tv Deadline White House MSNBC May 30, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
we'll end the day with about a .15% gain. here's the thing, markets are down by about 5% for the month. this has not been a great month as we still don't have a deal with china. that wraps up the hour for me. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. eastern and 3:00 p.m. eastern. "deadline: white house" with nicole wallace starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york where today we've been watching the collapse of a con. donald trump's cover story crafted with heavy assist from attorney general william barr's five pre-report appearances and statements came crumbling down today when donald trump woke up and realized that robert mueller clearly found evidence he obstructed justice. and that he had unseemly contacts with a foreign adversary. the fatal blow to his fragile
estate may have come from fox news where they ran these words, no exoneration. it was a far cry from trump's words, total and complete exoneration. to have been outed and revealed by a man like robert mueller who could not be corrupted, baited or intimidated by donald trump's mean tweets seemed to undo the president. >> i think he is a total conflicted person. i think mueller is a true never-trumper. he's somebody that dislikes donald trump. he's somebody that didn't get a job that he requested that he wanted very badly, and then he was appointed. and despite that. and despite $40 million, 18 trump haters, including people that worked for hillary clinton and some of the worst human beings on earth, they got nothing. it's pretty amazing. >> the worst human beings on earth. if you need any further evidence that mueller's performance
yesterday left trump stripped of his typical bluster today he admitted that russia helped him win writing on twitter, quote, i had nothing to do with russia helping me to get elected. of course, he saw the reaction on that from twitter, got out of his jam pemies to the cameras a tried to clean it up. but andrew mccabe bringing it in focus. >> we know from the reports something like 140 contacts between individuals associated with the campaign contacting and having interactions with russians or people connected to the intelligence services. this is unprecedented activity. so, you know, what has been bui billed as no collusion, no obstruction, should be recast as no witch hunt and no exoneration. that's where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends.
ale alexi, harry litman, frank figliuzzi and joining us from "the washington post" phil rucker. phil rucker i'll with you. a more astute white house watcher does not exist from you. even for donald trump, i was emotionally drained by 10:00 a.m. >> it was a busy morning, nicole. look, the president clearly rattled and agitated by bob mueller's appearance yesterday it wasn't just this morning. he was up late into the night, at 11:00 at night he called bill o'reilly, o'reilly revealed in an interview this morning that the president called him from the white house to complain about mueller to say mueller is a never-trumper, to exclaim these conflict of interests. the president told reporters this morning that mueller came
in to be interviewed to be fbi director, wanted the job and trump told him no. that's not quite right. mueller was brought in to the white house, to the oval office to meet with president trump in the wake of firing jim comey but more to seek his advise. the aides thought mueller might be able to explain to trump the origins of the fbi's independence, why it's important, he did not seek that job, he didn't apply for the job and therefore he wasn't rejected by president trump. frank figliuzzi, donald trump has a lot of tells, but one of them is that when he's guilty and someone says he's guilty, he has a few bafall bac things he does, he goes back to witch hunt, the worst people in the world. the people he called the worst people in the world are accomplished, life-long career
public servants who donald trump probably wouldn't recognize if he -- you know, if they were lined up in front of him. what do you make of the president back on the attack against a report that he said just a few weeks ago represented total and complete exoneration, no collusion, no obstruction, it seems donald trump doesn't believe that anymore. >> and he slips up when he gets off balance, it's like a boxer thrown off his game. so this mueller statement threw him off balance, where's the slip up? it's as you said in this morning's tweet where he said i didn't have anything to do with russia helping me get elected. i like him off his game because he slips up. what i'm fascinated by is the clash of cultures and ethics i see when he lashes out at people. who does he get truly upset with, who does he get under his skin? people who could never match in terms of integrity, ethics and public service, someone like bob
mueller and john mccain who some felt necessary to cover up the name on a navy ship during a foreign visit. these are the people who truly bother him because he knows he's no match for them. >> it's a great point. the vitriol today and the prestatement tweets, the havitrl for bob mueller, a former marine, his prosecutors, the vitriol directed at them, we never saw it directed at msb or the saudi's for the dismemberment of jamal khashoggi. and not for the russians who carried out an attack on our democracy. never seen it directed at roy
moore, an accused pedophile. the vitriol for law enforcement officials investigating him and his campaign is in a league of its own. >> the president has shown more favorites for vladimir putin than bob mueller. it's crazy when you think about it. bob mueller is the president's opposite in almost every way, in washington terms and every other terms. here's a guy who avoided service in vietnam, who's all about show and image, and bob mueller is a guy that never talks, the president is a guy that never stops talking or tweeting. that's why when he came out yesterday and spoke for the first, possible last, time, it had so much impact. it changed everything, even though he didn't say anything he hadn't said in the report. because he never speaks, because he chooses his words carefully, because of who he is, his
reputation, it changed the entire game in washington. that had to rattle the president, especially because he is so different. >> harry litman, everything nick said is spot on, but the idea that robert mueller chose every word so carefully, it adhered closely to a written statement. i watched him a second time last night, he kept going back to -- one of the things he says is when you obstruct an investigation. leaving no doubt in the viewer or the watcher's mind that he found that donald trump had obstructed the investigation because he referenced when an individual obstructs an investigation. making very clear i think today to the public, perhaps for the first time because of all the fog that attorney general barr blew into the situation before, during and after the mueller report's release, making very clear that donald trump, if he were anyone else would have been charged with criminal obstruction of justice. >> it's really true. and you know, he spoke briefly and on the facts, and he stayed
with the report. but still he chose what words to say and what words not to say. as you point out, he emphasizes the gravity both of the obstruction and of the many contacts that trump had, even if it fell short of a crime. and that was an implicit rebuke of the notion of either a witch hunt or somehow sort of trumped up charges. so that was quite accurate. and then also, i just think it's clear from his words and from reading the report he did find, there's no real other conclusion, prosecutors don't play horse shoes, they don't get to close and say we'll stop thinking about it now. they spend their career figuring out what is the line of criminality, when they passed it with trump they could only say because of the olc limitation we can't exonerate him. but there's no way around, i think, especially when you read the facts, that they got past
that line and the country was -- if they listen carefully to mueller will know it. >> so alexi, mueller making clear that donald trump committed the crime of obstruction but he was adhering to the doj policy that you couldn't indict him. donald trump's lawyers, axios and "the washington post" did a lot of reporting leading up to the mueller report that the president's lawyers, inside and outside the white house, most concerned about the president's exposure around the question of obstruction. and i think don mcghan decided not to put in a statement that he didn't obstruct justice once he saw the fuller picture of the second volume. the president is lashing out about the idea of impeachment. let me show this to you -- >> he could have reached a
conclusion. the opinion says you cannot indict a president while in office. he could have reached a conclusion, but he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained. i'm not going to argue about those reasons. but when he didn't make a decision, the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, and i felt it was necessary for us as the heads of the department to reach that decision. >> well, he seemed to suggest yesterday there was another venue for this and that was congress. >> i'm not sure what he was suggesting. you know, the department of justice doesn't use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to congress. >> mr. barr we're going to get to you but this is the sound i wanted to show you first, folks. >> i don't see how they can, because they're possibly allowed. although, i can't imagine the courts allowing it. i never got into it, i never thought that would be possible
to be using that word. to me it's a dirty word, the word impeach, it's a dirty, f l filthy word. it's high crimes and -- it's and not with or or. it's high crimes and misdemeanors. how do you impeach on that. >> we have high crimes in the southern district of new york and robert mueller making clear yesterday if he could have made it clear donald trump didn't commit crimes he would have. >> and mitch mcconnell saying himself if high crimes count -- and donald trump is so afraid of impeachment, he's going on to say it's dirty and filthy and disgusting. he's clearly afraid, upset, his
former lawyer john dowd sent in a long rant calling robert mueller conflicted. the man who's running the white house is very clearly upset and sort of bothered by this because he knows it's getting closer and closer to him, he's waiting to see whether and how democrats decide to respond by way of moving forward with an impeachment proceeding. >> phil rub cker the strategy o going after robert mueller on the day he announces his retirement seems to reek again of guilt. and it brings back into question whether anyone is wagging the dog or donald trump is wagging the whole operation. >> it's clear this is trump being trump. there's not a lot of strategy here. in fact, the strategy out of the white house and the legal team yesterday was to trying to turn the page.
you saw sarah sanders putting out a statement saying everyone should get on with their lives, case closed, we don't need to talk about this anymore but trump is not ready to get on with his life because he's up late and early again this morning commenting on this. it's interesting he called impeachment a dirty, sick word because it's actually in the constitution. >> but we don't think trump knows that, do we? >> it's something our founding fathers -- >> he doesn't know what's in the mueller report. >> i don't think he read the mueller report. >> i don't think he read the constitution. >> impeachment is part of the democracy and it's a perfectly fine word. >> it's a perfectly fine word but i would bet you a year's wor worth of morning donuts that he hasn't read it. let me ask you about the william barr clip i played. it's clear he has roy cohn. smeared by rudy giuliani,
smeared by other sort of right wing personalities, smeared by donald trump, if william barr is who he says he is and in his confirmation hearing he described himself as a friend of robert mueller's, what gives with that cbs interview where he again calls into question -- first he takes a pass on defending mueller from anything trump or any of his allies said about him. and then he calls into question the conduct of his 22-month-long probe. >> nicole, we know there's been tension in this relationship for some time now. all you have to do is look at the letter that robert mueller wrote to the attorney general a month or two ago after the attorney general misrepresented the conclusions and the totality of the investigation in his initial letter to congress. there's one clear difference between these two men. mueller says he does not have the evidence to be able to say that the president did not
commit a crime. and barr saw it fit to make that determination himself to decide as the attorney general that he did not think that the president committed a crime. so there's a clear difference there. there's a gulf, these two men are not exactly attacking one another, but they're clearly in a bit of a war of words diplomatically. >> frank, let me play for you and harry what robert mueller did say because i imagine he's the kind of imagine that isn't going to get back in front of the podium and respond to william barr's interview on cbs. we'll do it for him. here's the clip. >> if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so. it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge. so that was justice department policy. and those were the principles under which we operated. and from them we concluded that we would -- would not reach a
determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. >> i'm going to do some parsing here because that seems to be what the attorney general is engaged in. what the attorney general said in the cbs clip we played is he could have reached a decision whether it was criminal activity. he clearly found it was criminal. and mueller uses the word would. we decided we would not pursue that line of arguing that it was criminal because we were adhering to the office of legal counsel policy memo that says you can't indict a sitting president. why is barr still splitting hairs? >> i think what we're seeing is what it looks like when politically driven people like this unfortunately attorney general and president meet up with somebody driven by principles, rules and ethics. mueller is saying i took the fairness route. he used the word fairness or it would be unfair to accuse someone when you can't actually -- that person can't defend themselves in the court
system. so he just played strictly by the rules. and as a result barr doesn't know what to do with it except to say he could have bent the rules, done something against his conscience. and trump doesn't know what to do with somebody who's a straight arrow. this happens inside washington peri periodical periodically, someone stands up, i play by the rules with integrity and nobody knows what to do except attack them. >> can i add? >> yes. >> there's a line that people have overlooked to take. he said, i kept the acting attorney general, that's rosenstein, informed. i think that's a rebuke to this argument by barr, we don't know what he did, why did he choose not to do charges. rosenstein would have known that. and yet, rather than say to him, as you would think would be the case, go back and make a decision, that's what we do here
in the department of justice. he apparently acwested was fine with it only to turn around at the end of the day and cast his lot with barr. but i think mueller is letting the world know, hey, this was not me acting in isolation. rod rosenstein knew this. >> it's a good point but i feel we're ending in the trees and what the forest shows is that robert mueller went about his job with an honor that is unrecognizable. i think this is part of the conversation that your colleagues had this morning on the daily that sort of turning in something -- and this is for any of you, harry or nick here at the table -- nick, you first. the idea that the written word, that we can trust people who are twitter addicted and screen addicted to read the win word that we can't be moved by a performance, if there was a miscalculation on mueller's part it would be one that republicans would receive this report
honorably and read it and process it. and two, that democrats would sort of deviate from their very cautious political calculation and move to do something that might be politically unpopular. if the democrats don't do anything with the mueller report i don't know if they're different or showing more respect than the republicans are. >> you can see in mueller's description of what he found with russian interference, he was somehow surprised to find that has receded from the conversation, dhs my guess. i think he was surprised by how little republicans took it seriously on the hill, brushed it off. he was like look what i found people. in a way it was a reporter that wrote a story that everyone is tweeting about but no one read. i wrote this whole report right there. you're not going to read the report, i'll go on tv. and he did, he went on tv and
drilled down the key points. in washington we're used to leaks and gamesmanship that we don't recognize someone like mueller when we see it. he didn't leek, played it straight, carefully, colored inside the lines and was surprised when the rest of the capitol didn't. >> and i think he was surprised that the lack of leaking didn't have pent up interest in the content. >> you can summarize mueller's eight minutes in three words "read my report." and trump's response, he clearly hasn't read the report. he has to go to there must be a conflict, he must not like me, psychology and politics, not engage on the facts. >> phil rucker we're losing you, any last words of wisdom? >> read the report, it's an interesting read. >> i'm going to carry it and
read it at the bus stop. after the break, russia if you're listening, donald trump outed you this morning for you helping to elect him. that's before he tried to take it back. the messages the president is sending to an adversary ahead of the 2020 election. and those that heard the declaration that the president committed crimes and a call for nancy pelosi to take action. and the u.s.s. mccain was kept out of sight. an effort to keep the ship's name shielded from view. all those stories coming up. om . all those stories coming up. occasional d igestive upsets 24/7 with a strain of bacteria you can't get anywhere else. (woman) you could say align puts the "pro" in probiotic. so where you go, the pro goes.
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russia did not help me get elected. you know who got me elected? you know who got me elected? i got me elected. russia didn't help me at all. russia, if anything, i think helped the other side. >> nothing about the voters -- forget it. that was part of the cleanup of something donald trump let slip out this morning when he essentially agreed with one of the central conclusions of the mueller report. don't tell him. that the russians worked to assist his campaign in 2016. it's something his own intelligence community has been telling him for his entire presidency. and donald trump seemed to agree for about an hour when he tweeted this, quote, i had nothing to do with russia helping me to get elected. he typed that. maybe he was listening to robert mueller yesterday when he underscored the threat that should be on every americans'
mind, including the president's. >> there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election. and that allegation deserves the attention of every american. >> so frank, if i'm going to end up shouting the news from a bus stop with you're going to be next to me shouting the threat assessment from russia. like this is low-hanging fruit. alexi and i were talking about how it's so remarkable that no one in the white house has the standing, power or patriotism to say even if it's just for show, if we keep donald trump out of it, let's act like we care about a osstyhostile adversary meddli an election. >> we can joke and smile about this, what we think is a slip of a tweet this morning, i don't think it was. i don't think it's a mistake. i think it's a reflection of what the president thinks. let me be careful here, just as
mueller is measured. i'm not saying that there's evidence that the russians put trump over the top in the election. but what i'm saying clearly is i think trump thinks that, and i think he's scared out of his mind that that perception is going to get out there. so when we see no press conference being called on how to deal with the threat to our election system in 2020. we don't see a strike force put together, we don't see strong leadership standing together saying here's the money, the resources and the plan. what we're really seeing is the fear of this administration, if they align themselves with any acknowledgement of what the russians did, they're admitting they got help. i'm here to tell you, it's not just russia we should be worrying about it, it's north korea, china, iran, any other nation with a sophisticated cyber capability that decides whenever they want to to support whoever they want to. and next time it may not be
trump and it may not be the republicans. it may be something else. >> i'm going to disagree with frank here, which is rare for me. what i saw in that clip was pride. total pride. >> ego. >> this wasn't them. this was me. i did it. this is a version of being mad about -- >> they can both be true, though, right? >> yeah. to me that was him being angry at the idea that it wasn't just him. maybe there's more to it than that, but in that moment i saw pride. i feel bad for the white house staffers who had to run in and get him in a suit and roll him out to the lawn. >> maybe for trump it's prides, but jared kushner, rudy giuliani and brad -- what's his name? >> parscal. >> parscal, they're singing from the same song sheet. >> there's nothing wrong with taking informations from russians. >> there's nothing wrong with taking information. >> depends on where it came from. >> the whole thing is a
distraction from the country. look at what russia did, buying some facebook ads to sow decent, it's a terrible thing but i think the speculation that's happened the last two years has had a harsher impact on our democracy than a couple facebook ads. >> there was never any help from the russians. >> there was no help from the russians. rudy, there was nothing wrong with taking information from the russians. kushner, there was nothing wrong, look what russia did, buying facebook ads. a lot of people told a lot of lies about a lot of russians and forgot about it or lied about it. >> and reducing it to a couple of facebook ads reduces and reraces the entire gravity of russia interfering in our elections. i was thinking about nick saying
there's a point of pride. donald trump won via the electoral college not the popular vote. so why would he care about it if winning wasn't how he won in the first place. if he didn't win with popular vote, the hell with fixing our election systems that are out of date. house senators and democrats that came out yesterday have been talking about reinforcing our election systems and mitch mcconnell will not bring it to the floor because it's part of hr 1 from the house and he doesn't like it because it's socialist and doesn't care about bringing it forward even if it includes election security because no one is focussed on the issue at hand and they're down play it. for someone like brad parscal to down play it, he was the digital
technician, he knows how it works. >> it matters. >> i don't think they care. i think they saw the ways in which it helped donald trump. ads targeting black folks to stay home or dislike hillary clinton is voter suppression. voter suppression of black votes helps donald trump and not hillary clinton. there's zero ed that hillary clinton who's not in the white house, benefitted from the russians hacking our elections and interfering our elections. donald trump begged them in july, i think of 2016, to find the emails of hillary clinton. he begged them to help his campaign. i don't know where his team or he is getting this idea that they had nothing to do with it when he directly asked them on different occasions for their help. >> harry litman, i want to ask you to put the political questions about impeachment aside. they get everybody, democrats and republicans wrapped around an axle that no one can untangle themselves from, and my sense of politics they take care of
themselves for better or worse. if you look at what has happened to donald trump in the southern district of new york, where he is an unindicted co-conspirator, look at what robert mueller said from the podium, robert mueller said i cannot say that donald trump didn't commit crimes, if i could have, i would have. then you talk about what we're get at in this block, the stance of the first volume of the mueller report. what nick and alexi and frank are talking about, unresponded attacks on the american democracy, it's not just donald trump saying i did it without the russians. it's rudy giuliani, his lawyer in the legal probe, it's jared kushner his son-in-law, the most powerful adviser in the white house and brad parscal, the one time digital manager now his campaign manager is saying it's a nothing-burger. which if you're a russian, you
hear bring it on. is that not enough fodder to commence an impeachment proceeding? >> more than enough. and i want to go back to mueller. again, he chose his words really carefully, he begins with the russia threat, he ends with the russian threat in the present tense. it's something that everyone deserves, to any american must go forward and pay attention to, this is saying this is in congress' camp and a steep repube -- and he said specifically contra what trump said, it was to benefit trump and harm clinton. it's to bring home, he chose to bookend the presentation, to bring home the gravity of the russia attacks as if saying to trump, look you pet chew lant school child it is not about you only, it's about what russia did to the election, it's serious. and that's one of the big
reasons why it presented such fear and loathing in the white house. it also undercuts the whole mantra of investigate the investigators. it makes it clear it was serious and they had to approach it seriously and the information to they were now somehow prejudice against trump will not hunt. >> frank figliuzzi and harry litman thank you so much for spending time with us. after the break, while nancy pelosi continues to equivocate, some 2020 democratic candidates are turning up the volume on their cries for impeachment proceedings in the wake of robert mueller's public statement yesterday. that's next. mueller's public statement yesterday. that's next. girl: dad! keep on watching! amazing, honey. (horn tooting) ♪ who can say why your heart sighs ♪ ♪ as your love flies
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get under the circumstances. >> i think the right thing right now is to hold this president accountable for his actions. >> the way i see it, this is a point of principle. it's a point of our constitution. it's a point of each one of us who swore an oath to the constitution saying that is not permissible for a president of the united states. >> the aftershocks of robert mueller's statement yesterday being felt on the campaign trail where calls for donald trump's impeachment intensified among some of the 2020 democratic candidates as you saw yesterday. bernie sanders, cory booker, kirsten gillibrand, and john hickenlooper joining a growing list of 2020 contenders who support some form of impeachment proceedings. by our count that makes nine democrats while seven more or open to proceedings. but lists like this are an inexact science because many of the candidates are trying to have their impeachment cake and eat it too. a growing frustration is the
fluidity to which answers are given. you may have heard i support congress' decision, i've been telling my colleagues to expect impeachments and it's unavoidable. joining the table elise jordan, associate editor for real clear politics, amy is toer. we had a passionate debate in the hair and makeup room where all the magic happens -- looking around not all of you need magic, i do. >> they are at a point where they know that given what happened yesterday an quote,s you showed from the presidential contenders, there is a huge motivation out there that expect action. but it's should it be a censure, the beginning of an inquiry, which is a fancy launch of a
process but not on the house floor. so they're debating this brewing need for action with the idea of this turmoil and unanswered question, will this help us win the election or cost us the election. and they don't know. it's the process and the outcome. they believe if they wait a long time and show america that they faced a blockade from the trump administration, every subpoena was defied and they waited a long time with goodwill and then moved to impeachment it will be better received than if they launched it now. at the same time they feel tremendous pressure after what mueller said, which is it's on the congress. and they really don't have an answer and it's an unresolved situation they are debating several times a day. >> elise jordan, if you believe robert mueller who said yesterday if he could have said donald trump didn't commit
crimes he would have, if that needs translated for anyone in congress, that means donald trump committed crimes. if you believe that it justifies a process to hold him accountable in ways that robert mueller couldn't, whether it polls at 4% or 94, there's one thing that you do. >> i think democrats look weak if they don't ultimately end up going hard at donald trump with impeachment proceedings. i think if they sit back and just, you know, kind of let the process happen organically. i think politically, nancy pelosi, maybe she is playing the long game and is building support. >> or you rebuke mueller. and this is -- this is an intellectual exercise. if you feel the same way about mueller as the republicans appear to, then do what you're doing. wait, wait for it to get -- because here's the thing. say he gets reelected and you didn't impeach him after robert
mueller said he committed obstruction and southern district of new york found him a co so co-conspirator, then what? >> it's not only history but the separate and equal branch of government, which would be moot if they don't act on this. all of those things that you do and you risk losing the house and losing the white house. but at the same time many people are arguing that they will be rewarded for doing the right thing and they are overlooking and overthinking -- >> counting seats, they should be in a room figuring out what the right thing to do is. >> this is a finger in the wind moment for all the democrats, except senator warren, she read the report early -- >> you were here. >> yes. now the rest of them are responding to the political environment. the bottom line is no one knows what the dynamics of impeachment
are going to be, who will benefit from it. i think we can no longer think president trump thinks it'll help him to be impeached. he doesn't want to be impeached, he'd hate that idea. i think most people in congress, except justin amash are trying to figure out how it's going to play. the reality is, a.b. as you said, if you took this fact pattern and put it on a democratic president with a republican congress, we'd be there already. >> rod rosenstein, who was a republican deputy attorney general had articles of impeachment drawn up for him by republicans. who has bigger hands. >> but if a democrat's add, clause of the constitution that says we're going to do impeachment only if we can get the other team to go along with us, impeachment is a dead letter and exists no constitutional
mechanism for removing a president from office that breaks the law. >> and i understand impeachment and introducing legislation are two different things but they're introdeu int introducing legislation that mitch mcconnell is refusing to vote on because he wants to name it socialist. >> their argument again -- i'm not arguing for or against impeachment, i'm saying if you accept mueller's report at face value, if you're any democrat trying to get him on capitol hill to testify -- why? if you want him to testify because you think his report has credence, you would be moving to impeachment. your point is the right one, if you're not going to impeachment him because it dies in the senate, why pass a law? >> it's been more about messaging and drawing a picture of what the house democrats look like rather than getting something done. it's what they stand for, the people, election security, health care, drug costs, it's
what about building a picture of house democrats rather than what they're getting done. they don't have a leg to stand on in terms of getting the legislation passed if the republicans won't take it up in the senate. >> that's an important point. i also add that i think everyone has looked a little too much into the mark sanford example in the primary. he had a lot of money he could have spent if he had campaigned. and i like mark sanford and think he was a strong legislature and a great republican who didn't like donald trump. as an aside contrast with justin amash and the reception he got when he went into the packed town hall talking to his constituents, answering his questions, making everyone hear him out, and i think they're going to try to primary justin amash, but people in his district know him and love him and he read the mueller report. >> i think amash changes the
game. he's only one guy, but he's a true conservative. you know, he isn't some moderate republican. he went in, he said i want to impeach this guy, got a standing ovation, lived to tell about it. one guy can do it. or woman. >> private conversations with republicans, he's right and he said in the two twitter feeds, a lot of my colleagues agree with me privately. that's right. i've heard the same thing. >> he changed the game before mueller spoke yesterday, making all of them who haven't read it cram it over memorial day weekend. because they're hoping this would have gone away, saying to reporters, did you read it, why not? if so, can you debate the following pages with me. they're not happy about amash has changed the discussion back to who has read the report. >> no sympathy for them.
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be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible. i don't know what happened. i wasn't involved. i would not have done that. i was very angry with john mccain because he killed health care. i was not a big fan of john mccain in any way, shape or form. now, somebody did it because they thought i didn't like him, okay? and they were well meaning, i will say. i didn't know anything about it. i would never have done that. >> i just can't -- he's dead. >> let me phrase that for the president. it's terrible what they did. the ship should be there. they should take down the tarp. i'm proud to stand in front of that ship. instead it was like he was a cornered school kid by a teacher. it was such a weird thing for a president to do. >> this is just a nitpick but
that had cochran, the great late senator from mississippi died today. trump tweets about it. he has to throw in, he was very, very sick but he made it for a key vote on health care which was another obvious -- >> let me explain the story for anyone that missed it. what he was referring to is reporting that the white house wanted the u.s. navy to move a warship. the warship was called the uss john mccain, out of sight for the president's visit to japan. this is according to emails between the military and white house officials that the journal saw. a tarp was hung over the ship's name ahead of the president's trip. that's according to photos reviewed by the journal, and sailors were directed to remove any coverings from the ship that bore its name. after the tarp was taken down, a barge was moved closer to the ship, obscuring its name. sailors on the ship who typically wear caps bearing its
name were given the day off during mr. trump's visit people familiar with the matter said. the navy said all ships remained in normal configuration and acting defense secretary, pat shanahan, told reporters, quote, i never authorized, i never approved any action around the movement or activity regarding that ship. furthermore, i would never dishonor the memory of a great american patriot like senator mccain. so here's the problem. dishonor starts at the top, and the dishonorable posture that the entire administration has toward john mccain, an american hero, has seeped in somewhere. mark salter, long-time aide to john mccain, tweeted last night that they should call people up before congress until they figure out where this happened. >> exactly. somebody believed if he has plausible deny ability and says he didn't know, the president, if somebody believed they had to
do this, they believed that because of everything the president has ever said or done to dishonor john mccain. and what his daughter said today just really, really got to me. i hadn't even thought about it. that basically this third world, like banana republic thing where you would cover a name with a tarp, because the leader is coming and you don't want him to get upset or whatever, it's basically intimidating everyone in the military from honoring john mccain. and they know that they shouldn't talk about him and revere him and spotlight him because that's coming from the top down, from the commander in chief. and that is just awful. >> oh, my god, they should rename pennsylvania -- i think someone wrote this on twitter, they should rename pennsylvania avenue so he has to drive down john mccain avenue. the idea that any of this gets normalized where donald trump describes the person who did this as well meaning, well meaning for what, my fragile
ego. >> and also loyal to the president and what he wants and loves. if there's one thing we know about president trump, it's that he loves physical details, the way that he called kirstjen nielsen about the matte black tape of the border wall. the way if i remember correctly it was reported that he was poring over binders of different drapes and draperies and fixings for the oval office when he was elected. >> what else is he going to do though? >> what? >> you reported on his schedule. there's not a lot going on, right? we know he's not busy. >> lots of executive time. and that suggests to me, i don't know if the president knew about this. he says he doesn't. but that suggests to me that he is someone who is very clearly aware of and concerned with the optics around him and he wants it to be very precise and he wants it to be focused on him. he didn't want to have john mccain's name in the back grounds as a distraction from his visit and his presence and what he was saying and doing. there is no secret or no
surprise in the fact that he certainly would have had something to do with this or to know about this. >> or that the people -- and i don't even know what's worse. he said he didn't know about it. i'm not sure that it's not worse that the people around him knew how fragile he was that if he saw it, he'd lose it. >> i'm so disturbed by the idea that political operatives were successful in manipulating the military in this way too, because the military and all of the dealings that i had with them during the bush administration in iraq and afghanistan, and i know you too at the white house, i was always so impressed how they kept it operational and were so apolitical. and they were very firm on that. we were, you know, trying to stay within the confines and be appropriate too, but you look at how institutions that have revered such a virtue, it's now off the rails. >> we're going to sneak in our last break. don't go anywhere, we'll be right back. go anywhere, we'll b right back who used expedia to book
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my thanks to alexi, elise, a.b. and nick. that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. well, if it's thursday, president trump attacks robert mueller, totally mischaracterizes his public statement, and then makes an extraordinary admission that russia helped him win the white house. which he then retracted. attorney general barr gets in on the act taking a shot of his own at mueller.