tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC May 30, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
we've got a lot to do to restore it and it isn't just about getting rid of this one president. >> no, no, no, no. we created this. >> the reaction to this sends the other signal that counters. >> it does, it does, which is why we discussed it. that's all we've for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow. "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. good evening, ari. >> good evening, chuck. there are democrats responding to mueller's statement by pushing for impeachment. we have that story. also the man who played mueller himself, robert de niro, teaming up with prosecutors in a bid to get public attention for what to do next. the director of that very video joins me later this hour, rob reiner. our top story tonight, the day after bob mueller broke his silence is something that you may have seen before. it is a pattern the trump administration has settled on when dealing with bob mueller's sometimes explosive and negative findings. let me tell you exactly what this is. i call it the mueller sandwich. like any sandwich, the title
comes from the meat, in this case mueller. but team trump figured out a way to blunt what they may view as the bitter taste of mueller's meaty evidence by sandwiching him with a lot of barr. if you remember, there was a lot of barr before any of the mueller report came out. there was more barr during that unusual press conference to upstage the report on the very day it came out. and now that bob mueller has spoken for what he says he hopes to be the last time, well, guess what, mueller sandwich. barr out today again muddying mueller's careful explanation of how the rules prohibit indicting a president because, true to the sandwich, barr is making his own news and he is the attorney general, so what he says matters. he is claiming that mueller could have reached a decision on that very indictment point. >> i personally felt he could have reached a decision. >> in your view he could have reached a conclusion. >> right. he could have reached a conclusion. the opinion says you can't indict a president while he's in
office, but he could have reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity, but he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained, and i'm not going to argue about those reasons. >> just think through barr's claim right there. he's saying he would prefer that bob mueller conclude that donald trump committed criminal activity on obstruction without indicting him. how can i say this nicely. that's very hard to believe. and also, if that is what barr preferred and demanded, he could have demanded it. barr was mueller's boss until yesterday. he could order mueller to update the report with that very decision if he wanted. he didn't. he made the decision for himself. >> 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 that there was another
venue for this and that was congress. >> well, i'm not sure what he was suggesting, but, you know, the department of justice doesn't use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to congress. >> that's the sound of a very smart, very informed lawyer claiming to be confused, unsure. he just doesn't get what mueller suggested yesterday. that is a tell. by proclaiming his confusion, barr can claim he's not even really taking a position, that mueller's remarks went over his head. but all mueller did was quote the doj's own rule that the president's employees don't accuse him of wrongdoing. that's the role of congress. >> the opinion says that the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing. >> and the number of democrats tonight now pushing to make that formal accusal, to use mueller's words, is growing. the calls for impeachment has hit 50 now.
the chairman of the powerful house rules committee breaking with pelosi and echoing that the time for talking is over. >> i believe quite frankly that the next step is for the house judiciary committee to open an inquiry to formally begin considering whether impeachment is warranted. i think we're at that point. quite frankly, we're beyond talking about this in terms of political implications. i mean we have to do what's right. >> president trump took the debate head on telling reporters mueller's new remarks were the same as the report. that part is true. and stating his revulsion at the very word "impeachment." >> do you think they're gonna impeach you? >> i don't see how. they can because they're possibly allowed, although i can't imagine the courts allowing it. i've never got into it. i never thought that would even be possible to be use that word. to me it's a dirty word, the word "impeach." it's a dirty, filthy, disgusting
word. i'm joined by juanita tolliver, david frum and congressman brad sherman, who's calling for impeachment and introduced an -- >> i'm not sure you described my position accurately, but we'll get to it. >> we'll get to it right now. go for it. >> look, the president obstructed justice. that was apparent to me in 2017 when i introduced articles of impeachment, but i knew those articles couldn't lead anywhere without bipartisan support because, of course, republicans were in control. prosecutors don't indict unless they think they can get a conviction. we need to change public opinion so that we'll get a fair hearing in the united states senate because impeachment without removal is -- >> what was inaccurate about mentioning that you were for impeachment. >> certainly i think he should be -- well, impeachment and
removal is a package. and to impeach without removal is, i think, a mistake. it has some advantages but it has some disadvantages. >> but it is correct to say you've been pushing towards impeachment? >> i have been pushing towards impeachment. >> okay. >> but i want impeachment on a bipartisan basis, yes. >> i've got to correct your correction then. >> oversimplification perhaps. i think i've expressed enough. >> i don't know what you're doing, sir. you advocated for impeachment. you introduced a resolution for impeachment. i want to get the other panelists in. you can use your time as you see fit. do you want to talk about the case that you're making for impeachment? >> actually i've been trying to get on your show to talk about the saudi nuclear program and if it was my time we'd be talking about efforts to control drug prices. there's this image that congress is focused on impeachment. that's the only thing i can get on tv to talk about but it's not
really what i'm working on. >> interesting. well, look, we do a lot of subjects here. we can get into a lot of stuff. bob mueller broke his silence yesterday and said this is an issue for the congress if there's a wrongdoing to be accused so it is a big news story, i don't think that's in debate. before i move on to the panelists, sir, what do you think is the most important thing for congress to do now given what he said and resigned. >> investigate. do what sam irvin did with his investigative committee in the senate in 1973. show the american people what the facts are. have mueller testify but also reveal other facts beyond what's just in the narrow confines of the mueller report. >> yeah. >> and hope that we can get a change in public opinion that will lead to a change in the attitude of republican senators. it's a tough thing to do, but if we just expose trump for what he's done, if we're unable to remove him now, we've got next year. >> juanita, having listened to
the congressman there, he's talking about of course the divide. when you talk about anything that requires a super majority. but listen to what the president said this morning. it is sometimes common to point out everything that he says is wrong and he lies more than any president we've had, but he did say something that is both true and i think will resonate with his supporters, that basically while yesterday was dramatic and important and the first time you hear from bob mueller, the president underscored the idea there was nothing new that wasn't in the report. >> it was to me the same as the report. and there's no obstruction. you see what we're saying. there's no obstruction, there's no collusion, there's no nothing. it's nothing but a witch hunt. i think he is a total conflicted person. i think mueller is a true never trumper. he's somebody that dislikes donald trump. >> juanita, your view of what the president is arguing and how
that connects with any larger attempt to shape public opinion? >> yeah, first and foremost in his mind this is case closed, but the reality is mueller just reiterated what he wrote in the report and referred the matter to congress. he said there was insufficient evidence to make a broad claim of conspiracy here, but that there is something that needs to be looked into. i think the other thing that mueller raised yesterday that really piqued my interest was confirming that russians interfered in the election, something that essential low trump admitted to and agreed to today, though he back tracked quickly and said russia interfered and helped him win. so i think what he's trying to do is, of course, get his base to believe that the case is closed here, which is ultimately a lie, and his effort to really distract attention away from a bigger matter that needs to be dug into in congress. >> david, you've been unsparing in your criticism of what you see as many failures of donald trump, policy, ethical and otherwise. but you have a different view
about how to deal with all of this. what is that? >> i agree with congressman sherman. what congress needs to do is get to the bottom of either facts that either robert mueller didn't answer or didn't investigate. for example, robert mueller did not look at the whole question of russia take these enormous risks to help donald trump. why did they have so much confidence that he was a better choice than hillary clinton. bob mueller didn't really look at that question. but the answers may be, for example, in donald trump's accounting documents or in his income tax returns. but to proceed now with an impeachment is to go down a path which president trump is surely going to win. that he has the votes in the senate. and if -- if the senate rebuffs the house, then donald trump is going to claim before the 2020 election, i got my hearing, my critics did their worst and i was acquitted. it is -- that's the wrong way to go. what you meant to do is go down a path that will lead to success and get information and as the
congressman said shape the mind of the country to understand what they're dealing with. very few people read the mueller report. that's one of the things bob mueller is complaining about. but to help the mind of the country understand what kid of person this president is, what his connections are, how he became the president in the first place. that calls for those kind of hearings, not an argument about the technicalities of obstruction and what the appropriate penalty is for facts the public still doesn't know fully. >> david, does it matter to you that attorney general barr as we just showed, and i'll play a little more in this brand new interview, the most careful way i can say it is seems to be willfully muddying the public understanding and he is the attorney general of the united states, so it should matter even if people have lower expectations given the conduct thus far. take a look at him and compare it to mueller right here. >> we specifically asked him about the olc opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have
found a crime but for the existence of the olc opinion and he made it very clear several times that that was not his position. >> so that was justice department policy. 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. >> as i reported last night, david, a mueller spokesperson personally assured me that those two things are not in any conflict and mueller is this team player. a lot of other people see conflict. do you think that a.g. barr here has been on the level. >> of course not. if he were an honorable and forthright person, he wouldn't have gotten the job in the first place. the most important job qualification for this job in president trump's eyes is to be a dishonorable person. when he discovered that jeff sessions was more honorable donald trump could stomach, he campaigned against him.
but these intellectual assessments, these moral assessments should not drive your political judgment of what are going to be the probable political consequences of walking down a certain path. politicians have to be judged by results in the end, and the results of commencing impeachment now are going to be to donald trump's benefit, not to the country's. >> juanita? >> yeah, i think one additional thing about barr, not only is he just this person who seems to lack a degree of integrity but he is extremely loyal to trump and played to trump repeatedly, whether it's in congressional hearings, whether it's in the summary letter where he announced this was a total exoneration, which is a jarring juxtaposition to what special counsel mueller said repeatedly. even in the letter special counsel mueller challenged barr because he said his summary did not capture the context or the substance of the report and he was working to mislead the american people, which trump is actively doing. >> juanita, did that surprise you that we know mueller
disagreed with barr about that and yesterday he clearly tried to steer clear of that. >> he tried to steer clear of it because he's a man of integrity and hyperfocused on his mission. that's one thing that you can take away from his comments yesterday related to the fact that you can not indict a president. of course i was not going down that route. i think that barr nor trump don't know what to do with that. they don't know what to do with a person who operates with that degree of integrity. so you had trump going on multiple rants today, tweeting up a storm, distracting from his failures as a leader but working actively to mislead the american people. >> thanks to each of you for kicking off our coverage. we have a lot more to get to. we'll go inside mueller's end game strategy as well as why he is concerned that you may not have read the full report yet. we'll get into that and i'll speak to rob reiner who's working right here with robert de niro on this new impeachment push. >> in the words of the mueller
report, no person is above the law. and later, an important story the president of planned parenthood joins me tonight on this abortion ban and why there could be no more abortion allowed in the entire state of missouri by tomorrow. we'll explain. later, a look at how the 2020 contenders are shifting on impeachment. presidential candidate john hickenlooper with a new position today and he joins me. i'm ari melber. you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ applebee's new loaded fajitas. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. bill's back needed a afvacation from his vacation.. an amusement park... so he stepped on the dr. scholl's kiosk.
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as we saw at the very top of tonight's broadcast, there are democratic members of congress who twist themselves up in knots over how to approach donald trump and the potential impeachment and whether they support it. our next guest, though, has no doubts. acclaimed filmmaker rob reiner is in the impeachment column. good evening to you, sir. i want to show our viewers you're directing this new video which features robert de niro and former federal prosecutors arguing the mueller report shows donald trump obstructed justice. >> recently over 1,000 former federal prosecutors who served under both republican and democratic presidents have united to sign a statement to help americans understand what's actually in the mueller report. their conclusion should trouble us all. >> if you or i did what president trump did, we'd be
facing prison. >> and no one, not even the president, should be above the law. >> in the words of the mueller report, no person is above the law. >> nice to see you, rob. >> nice to see you, ari, thanks for having me. >> there are people who say you're a good story teller. >> some people. other people say i stink. >> and you've decided to yoz your firepower here to tell a story. anyone watching that recognizes some of the faces. others are there for their expertise and their knowledge but are not as famous as de niro. what story are you telling here? >> well, you know, it's been very frustrating for those of us who are following this story from the time that we heard about the russians sbrointrudin into the election until now and are into the weeds on this, we've got to have a picture of what actually happened. it's all summed up there in the mueller report. unfortunately, most people don't
know what's in the mueller report, haven't read it and are really not following it. so what i'm trying to do is get the information out to the american public so once they hear it, they'll have a better picture of what actually happened. yesterday, for instance, you had bob mueller go on television for eight minutes and for the next two days all that you hear talked about on cable news is that eight minutes because it's very powerful to see something on television actually tell the story. that's what i want to do. that's what congress needs to do at this point. they need to get people in front of the camera on television under oath to tell the truth. and once that happens, you're going to see a big change in how people view what should happen to this president. >> as you say, the whole reason that trials are important is they don't work off the paper evidence. the paper is there, they work hard on it, but the trial, the
evidence, what the jury sees is the people in the room. and you can confront your accuser, you can hear everyone talk, and you make a judgment. so your video here is tapping someone who has been personified comedically as bob mueller. let's take a quick look at de niro as mueller. >> on the charge of obstruction of justice, we have not drawn a definitive conclusion. >> but i have. and my conclusion is trump's clean as a whistle. >> free at last, free at last! >> in conclusion, it is my hope that this report will be made public with a few redactions. >> hello redactions. >> we're going to black out everything exempt the words "no" and "collusion." >> why did you think to tap de niro in this project? do you think people look at him a little differently having watched him play mueller, and what kind of rate did he charge
you for an activist video as opposed to a movie? >> well, he charged zero, which is the going rate for doing these kinds of things. the reason i chose him is because i'm trying to draw attention. bob mueller going on television yesterday, that got everybody's attention. and what i'm trying to do is draw attention to what is actually in the report. we have over a thousand federal prosecutors both serving republican and democratic presidents who basically say with what they have seen in the mueller report, president trump would have been indicted and he would be facing jail time. that's -- you know, that's not a small thing. i mean we have a president who has committed crimes, he's already been indicted, an unindicted co-conspirator in the southern district of new york for conspiracy to cover up payments to a porn star. >> beneficiary, he wasn't technically an unindicted co-conspirator. >> yeah, unindicted
co-conspirator but mueller said he couldn't indict a sitting president. >> right. >> but he laid out unequivocally crimes that this president committed. >> right. >> and we need to make sure the public understands that. >> it's interesting. and because the probe is closed, we are in the communications battle period of it, and you're someone who's clearly communicating. rob, thanks for telling us about your project tonight. still to come, the president of planned parenthood will be here on this abortion ban in missouri. first we go inside mueller's strategy and this end game and we'll show you why there is so much confusion about what's in the mueller report when i'm back in 30. in the muleelr report when i'm back in 30. each day justin chooses to walk. at work... and after work. he does it all with dr. scholl's. only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort. to keep him feeling more energized. dr. scholl's. born to move.
if you believe bob mueller, the report will set you free. read it and you'll get the evidence, you'll know what happened. that was the essence of his plea to america yesterday as he resigned, a belief in evidence and detail and thoroughness. that is a total contrast to a president who rose to power with bursts of words and tweets and who managed his own supporters' view of mueller's remarks here with what you see here, a very simple piece of sloganeering. a picture of trump ascending and mueller shrinking offstage. this is a communication stage in america where emojis move people far more than paragraphs. mueller's belief in reading the report is a contrast to the lawyer who stood between mueller
and trump, the infamous summaries and letters that mr. barr designed for not only a legal audience or court or congress, but designed to drive tweets and tv chirons and headlines to define the mueller report not only before it would be read, this is vital, to define the mueller report instead of it being read. barr got his results working on trump's vision to dominate this buzzy world where people don't even finish articles, let alone government reports. did that work? is it useful at this juncture to understand how this system was worked? how barr maybe outworked mueller? even for those who wish barr was not as effective as he is? consider that as all this news was breaking, just hours after mueller spoke, we got historical perspective by john meacham
about how mueller's tools may have been outgunned. a point we discussed. >> mueller and his team are in a knife fight and barr and trump brought a gun to that knife fight. one of his points this morning is read what we said. and fewer people do that. >> let me build on your point and hand it back to you, because you put it very well. and another way to say it is bob mueller brought a book to a twitter fight -- >> yes. >> now, that backdrop helps explain why a citizen who was interested enough to attend a town hall in person, which is something actually we know from data most people never do, was still surprised that the mueller report had anything bad on trump in it. i want to show you this brief, interesting, and honest exchange from a voter at a town hall with the lone republican congressman to say trump committed impeachable offenses. >> i was surprised there was anything negative in the mueller
report at all about president trump. i hadn't heard that before. and i mainly listen to conservative news. and i hadn't heard anything negative about that report. president trump had been exonerated. >> let's get into it with michael tomaski who writes mueller reiterates he wants the evidence to speak for itself but the evidence wasn't allowed to speak for itself, as he knows, barr spoke for it. and jonathan who's been writing about the reaction among conservatives to mueller's approach. what do you think, michael, of what you just saw there and how this relates to what people are really learning? >> that was staggering. not surprising, but staggering and depressing to see. there are millions of people out there like her. well, ari, as you know, you quoted from my piece, thank you for doing that. but what i tried to say in that article was that bob mueller has
this quite admirable in many ways, in almost every way, sense of rectitude and propriety. but for these times, for the times we're in, it's a little old-fashioned and it's not up to the fight. he wants to remain apolitical here. i understand why, given his history, given his sense of what constitutes his duty. and he wants to remain above the fray. if ever there was a time when the american history demanded that the facts demanded you be in the fray -- >> do you think barr outworked him in public? >> yeah, i do. >> let me get john on that same question. >> i think there's little question that bob mueller took a very fastidious approach. not only can he not charge the president with a crime, he can't
even say i would have charged him with a crime if not for this policy. so he's being extremely cautious, even though he laid out obviously criminal behavior in this report. and barr took advantage of mueller's silence and his fidelity to this principle. >> exactly. >> to misinform the public about what mueller did. >> as you put it that way, tomaski is saying maybe you have to get political. it's not political if mueller had just noted the letters tried to mislead the public about my report and it's concerning when an a.g. does that, full stop. >> full stop. and mueller has done this himself, ari, the letter that he wrote to the attorney general in late april directly right from bob mueller to bill barr, saying you have left out the context. you know the quotes better than i do. >> exactly. >> it's very clear, that letter. >> let me show you both something because you both believe in printing, right? >> yes.
>> yeah, sure. >> i want to go through and be enclosure with viewers because a lot of people watching "the beat" may be very versed on this an follow this story. take a look at how newspapers around the nation are reporting right now on mueller's new remarks. here's "the charlotte observer." mueller refuses to clear trump of obstruction. that's similar to what you've heard on television. here's the "connecticut post." mueller reignites impeachment debate. "the washington post," mueller, no exoneration for trump. and then the "san francisco chronicle." if you're having trouble noticing where the mueller news is, that's because in this big california paper, but in many papers we surveyed tonight, it's in the very bottom below the fold, a little squib with a little highlight we showed you there because this was not the biggest story today in san
francisco, not boyy a long shot. take a look at another local paper. same deal, not on the front page at all. "new york times" front page but still on the right, not the far left where you'd want a big story of yours to land. what do you make, both of you, in order, starting with michael, of the very divergent responses out there and the worst response that you can have which is it not make the front page at all? >> yeah, that's the most important part and those little squibs on the bottom of the "san francisco chronicle" and others. there's great anticipation among liberals inside the beltway and who are very tuned in whose heads are inside the beltway, wherever they may live. there's great anticipation that this is going to move the needle in a big way, mueller speaking, and that it's going to change public opinion and it's going to change numbers on impeachment. i'm not so sure. i'm not so sure.
i'm not so sure how big a story this is out there across the country. i'd like it to be. i'd like to think it would be, but again, and i trace this back to mueller's reticence to just say what he means and speak more directly about what he's putting out there. >> you know, i noticed that people like us who follow this very closely were not surprised by what mueller said, but conservatives, not just like that woman at the town hall that you showed, but professional pundits seem to be shocked and outraged by mueller's comments because i think they actually believed barr's spin and were stunned when mueller contradicted it, even though everything he said was in the report. >> yeah. what you're saying is that even the people you'd think are supposed to do the reading or not, and mueller may have been speaking to them as well, jonathan. >> right. i mean i really don't think many people on the conservative side actually dug into the mueller report itself, which is why justin amash was so unusual not only in his conclusion but i
think in the method he took to get there, which is read the report. >> final thought, michael? >> my final thought is that if the democrats want to pursue impeachment hearings, pursue an inquiry, they need to do more of the work to massage public opinion. they're not going to get any more out of robert mueller. they're not going to get more out of him. he may go testify, but he's made it pretty clear what would the point be. so the ball is completely in the democrats' court right now. >> and the larger point here that is where the constitution meets the public discussion is, this isn't the first communications revolution we've lived through and probably won't be the last. as soon as you get to what's the congress going to do, you're talking about a jury that has constituents. and so at a certain point mr. barr and i think the trump white house were very prepared to try to work the constituents about
all of this, and that was something that ken starr and other prosecutors have thought about. archibald cox held a big press conference over the nixon tapes. other prosecutors have seen that larger role precisely because you don't indict the president. mr. mueller has a narrower view and ceded a lot of the communications ground. thanks to both of you. >> thanks. >> appreciate it. up next, for the first time women in an entire state could lose access to abortion tomorrow. we'll explain why that matters, and we're joined by the with the of the planned parenthood association. later, i have a beat interview with governor john hickenlooper later on tonight. hi ckenlooper later on tonight.
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tto harrison, the wine tcollection.. to craig, this rock. the redwoods to the redheads. the rainbows to the proud. i leave these things to my heirs, all 39 million of you, on one condition. that you do everything in your power to preserve and protect them. with love, california. big news out of missouri right now. gop leaders cracking down on the sole abortion provider remaining in the state, potentially forcing its last abortion clinic to cease providing abortions
tomorrow. if missouri succeeds, may 31st will mark the first time in 45 years that a state in the america will prevent medical abortion services. planned parenthood is suing to keep the clinic open. a judge could rule by tomorrow. protesters are making it clear to the governor they do not support this. >> governor carson, shame on you! governor carson, shame on you! governor carson, shame on you! >> i'm joined by the president of planned parenthood. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> if the judge doesn't int intercede, what happens tomorrow? >> this is a real state of emergency we're in for women's health. we're talking about 1.1 million women of reproductive age in missouri who after tomorrow could have no access to essential health care, abortion care in their own state. we know that banning abortion is not going to stop abortion but
it will stop safe, legal abortion. this will endanger women's health and lives. >> so what happens tomorrow? >> what happens tomorrow is that our only remaining health center in missouri that provides abortion care, our planned parenthood health center in st. louis, will no longer be able to provide abortion care, leaving missouri as the only state in the country that has no provider of abortion care. the first time in almost 50 years. >> and we were looking at this today. for example, people under 25 in missouri make about $500 a week median. so does this functionally mean those people, many people would not be able to obtain what is still currently a legally protected right to abortion because they can't afford to even travel for it? >> that's exactly right. a right on paper is not worth very much if you literally cannot access the services that you need. right now already there's only
one health center left in missouri, and women have to travel hundreds of miles, making repeat trips, getting child care, time off of work, just to obtain a medical procedure. and the people who are affected the most by these terrible laws that are closing down our health centers, they're women with low income, women who live in rural areas who are the most affected by these onerrous restrictions. >> at what point do you think the supreme court has to pick up these cases if it's your argument this is an excuse. this isn't about the paperwork or admitting privileges of these things. if the result is to eliminate all abortion in the state, does that itself in your view violate roe v. wade? >> absolutely, which is the reason why we are suing the state of missouri. what they're doing is unconstitutional, it is illegal, it's dangerous, and it's part of a trend that we're seeing across the country with anti-women's
health politicians, not only in missouri but in georgia and alabama and mississippi. all over who are passing one extreme ban after another with no exceptions for rape or incest, putting doctors in jail for up to a lifetime as in the case of alabama for providing medical care. >> doctor, thank you very much. we'll stay on the story and see what happens tomorrow. when i come back, i'll be joined by 2020 democratic candidate, i'm going to say john hickenlooper. come on in. i know you're running for office and we'll see you when we come back after the break. break humira patients, you inspire us.
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it is time to start the impeachment process. >> this is as close to an impeachment referral as you could get under the circumstances. >> i believe that the judiciary committee should begin impeachment inquiries. >> some top 2020 democratic candidates reacting to mueller's first public comments, of course, about the probe yesterday. i'm joined right now by a democrat running for president. former colorado governor, john hickenlooper. thanks for coming on "the beastbeastt." >> thank you, ari. >> is it time to impeach donald trump? >> i call myself sometimes an extreme moderate. i wanted to hear what mr. mueller had to say yesterday. based on that, i think we'd be crazy not to open an impeachment inquiry and get the facts. >> last week were you for an
impeachment probe? >> no, i was still holding back. >> so this week is the week you're saying start an impeachment probe? >> start the inquiry. it doesn't mean we're going to impeach him tomorrow or maybe ever. let's not be naive. i don't think there's -- anybody thinks that mitch mcconnell is going to allow president trump to be impeached. democrats have to keep our eye on the prize. we're going t.o have to beat trump at the ballot. >> substantively, do you think he obstructed justice? >> probably. i think there's a high probability. what i want is the facts. i think the american people want the facts. i think we have a constitutional obligation to follow those facts wherever they lead. >> should the democrats nominate someone who can't say what you just said, who doesn't think that the way to stand up to donald trump is to have an impeachment probe? >> i don't think that's -- that should not be the litmus test. >> why not? >> because i think there are much bigger issues than that. we've got to create a vision for america that's based on kitchen
table economics. >> donald trump, according to your party, your base, poses a unique and dangerous threat to america. >> no question. >> and donald trump has now been publicly exposed, according to the mueller report, in ten different incidents of various ways that he was potentially betraying his oath of office. why shouldn't your party have a clear position on that? is joe biden wrong to say it's not time to impeach? >> i think, again, this is my -- joe biden has got his own universe of reasons. my feeling is that the inquiry is not the same as the filing articles of impeachment. that's the next step. but i think everybody should agree that we want to get the real facts. and if you have to open an impeachment proceeding to provide more weight behind the subpoenas to make sure that those facts come to light, then we have to do it. we have to do it. >> do you think holding back on a probe would help donald trump
cover up what he did? >> yes, i think that getting the facts allows, a, allows the american people to have some confidence of what they're dealing with. >> so final question on this before i turn to some other top >> sure. >> if joe biden is against starting that probe, then by your logic, he would be helping donald trump? >> no, i think i would want to hear what his reasons were and make sure that, you know, he is -- now i'm going to get myself in trouble. i think that we all should -- >> why are democrats so afraid of getting in trouble? people are looking for leadership, right? >> i understand that. >> and donald trump, we have heard from donald trump -- we've heard from bob mueller -- was trying to obstruct a criminal probe. that's substantial evidence. that's what i read and so i'm not taking a position but i'm asking for the democrats what are you afraid of? >> i'm not afraid at all. i'm saying right out, we've got to go out and get the facts,
open an impeachment inquiry and get the facts on the table. >> so joe biden and you -- >> wait, what i'm holding back -- >> not wait, wait, wait. >> you're trying to lure me into attacking my opponents. >> i'm not asking you to criticize him as a person, i'm trying to, and this is part of my job, governor, i'm trying to understand where the differences are, and whether you and biden have differences on that. >> i want to open an inquiry to get the facts out and he has not come to that decision. he probably will. maybe he won't. >> in the interest of time i want to hit some other stuff. >> okay. >> as governor you backed a women's health care plan that your administration argued was good for women and lowered unwanted pregnancies by providing supportive funding. explain. >> and i see what's going on in alabama, and indiana, and even missouri as an assault on women's rights, and i think women have an inalienable right
to control what happens to their body. we expanded health care access, provided women with long acting contraception and in the process we reduced teenage abortion by 64% and teenage pregnancy by 54%, and saved the colorado taxpayers $75 million. >> and you did that with what you're saying is still a pro-choice policy. >> absolutely. >> very interesting. >> we were out giving women access to make their own decisions. >> and we also want to have fun, we don't want to just ask you about your opponents, we want to have a little fun. would you do a lightning round with us. >> sure. >> all right. hit it. >> favorite tv show? >> cheers. i was in the bar business, like i said. >> yeah, you were a brewer. >> favorite president? >> lincoln. >> if you could have anyone for your running mate living or
dead. >> oh, that's a tough one. i guess i would take harry truman, he did such a great job if i'm going to lead this earth, good to have someone experienced in making that transition. >> jay inslee sat in that chair and said washington state has the best pot, do you agree or disagree? >> no, i think we have more experience, so if you're actually looking at quality and not quantity, i think we eclipse their efforts. >> you like squash. what has squash the game taught you about how to excel in politics? >> it's relentless, and it's filled with strategy. >> favorite band? you know, right now it's the -- i think the lumineers, although nathaniel and the night sweats, two amazing colorado bands, and old crow madison show. don't get me started. we don't have enough time.
>> we have time! curt vaughnigan, take a look, i'm going to play for you, your father has joked about this, your father is a friend and joking about who your real dad is. take a look. >> john, as you know, the man you've always believed to have been your father also named john hickenlooper was my brother in fraternity at cornell university in ithaca, new york. that quip was not your father. i am your father. >> vaughnigan meets darth vader. >> you know, my father died when i was 8, so curt told me more about my father than i learned probably from my family. >> wow. >> if you go to his chapter 44 of his last book, there's a whole piece about my father and myself and how he got to know us. the great thing about curt was when i called him and said i was going to run for mayor in 2003,
i had never run for anything, and i asked if he would endorse me. oh, if i endorsed you, i would have to endorse everybody. why would i do that. don't do it, curt, no problem. the next day i got a fax, he didn't like e-mails, he said i don't believe in endorsements, i believe in hope. i hope john hickenlooper is the next mayor of denver, so we put on bookmarks and got our volunteers to hand it out in libraries for the seven weeks before the election. >> well, hope is something i think everyone could agree on across the political spectrum. john hickenlooper governor, thank you for being on the show, and we will be right back. show, and we will be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ applebee's new loaded fajitas.
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the beat fwogoes on but it o ends, i'll be back tomorrow. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. trump said he didn't help russia help him. let's play hardball. ardball. good evening, i'm chris matthews, the battle rages between a president and a civil servant who seeks to distort and discredit. only for a brief moment did americans get a short but vastly illuminating glimpse of the truth when president trump declared what the rest of the world has known for nearly three years that russia conspired to help him w