tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 31, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
msnbc contributor mike barnicle, msnbc police cal analyst susan del percio, the host of saturday night politics, lighten up msnbc on saturday nights mr. donny deutsch, political writer for "the new york times" nicholas confessore. also with us heidi przybyla and associate editor of the "washington post" and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. donny, let's talk saturday night politics. what do you got dialed up? >> we have diana ross and the supremes. >> again? >> what's interesting is we have a whole segment on a bunch of pollsters looking at the last 40 years of polls as of june 1st ranging from giuliani on down, the leaders are not always the winners. an interesting look at that. we've got ari melber to help us break down the crazy legal things of the week. all kind of hijinks.
>> it's a great show. saturday night. meanwhile, president trump took to twitter yesterday to announce
he is imposing more tariffs, this time on mexico. he said on june 10th the united states will impose a 5% tariff on all goods coming into our country from mexico until such time as illegal my grants coming through mexico and into our country stop. in an official statement the president adds, quote, mexico has made massive amounts of money in its dealings with the united states and for years mexico has not treated us fairly. we are now asserting our rights as a sovereign nation. the president added the u.s. has been invaded by hundreds of thousands of people coming through mexico as a result of lawless chaos. trump also claims that the, quote, sustained imposition of tariffs will produce a massive return of jobs back to american cities and towns because we are firmly and forcefully standing up for america's interests. the white house says the tariffs will rise monthly by 5% to as high as 25%, but would not say
what it would take to remove or halt
them, only saying, quote, it will be at our discretion on an ad hoc basis. chuck grassley condemned the move saying in a statement trade policy and border security are separate issues. this is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent. he said that the tariff threat would seriously jeopardize passage of the revised north american free trade agreement and, quote, i support nearly every one of president trump's immigration policies, but this is not one of them. that, again, is from republican chuck grassley. let's bring in now cnbc's brian sullivan. brian, a lot to sort through here. first of all, the idea behind this, a 5% tariff to stop immigration, does that make sense? >> does it make sense? not to the u.s. markets right now it does not because the stock market is deeply in the red in the pre markets right now. we are seeing red across the board. if you are a u.s. ceo i know you also probably think it doesn't make sense because nafta 25
years ago told you that it's okay to move your supply chain to mexico. we actually encouraged it. u.s. companies did that and now they could be at risk. here is the reality, we buy a lot more from china but we sell a lot more to mexico. mexico, in fact, is about a 70% larger trading partner for u.s. companies than china is. this all coming, by the way, on the cusp of the signing of the usmca, the unfortunately named new nafta, if you will. this catching everybody off guard. 5% on june 1st, 10% on july 1st going up to the possibility of 25% on $300 billion worth of goods if the president is not satisfied with any changes they make at the border, which what does satisfied mean? what is the benchmark here? the market doesn't know. >> no, and the president didn't say at all what that benchmark would be. let's have this conversation we've been having about the chinese tariffs over the last
few months. it's important to underline what a tariff is exactly and who it actually hurts. for cars coming into the united states from mexico, for vegetables coming into the united states from mexico, what will that mean for a consumer? >> well, it's going to mean higher prices. here is the thing, about 70% of our trade with mexico is what they call intercompany. i don't want to get too deep in the weeds at 6:6:03, but if you are general motors, you send parts down there, put them in a gm car and bring them back to the united states. it's gm on gm. our biggest imports from mexico, auto parts, cars, trucks and buses. this morning gm stock down 4%. one-fourth ever every nissan you see on the road is built or partly built o in mexico as well. at a time when the average car loan is already seven years
long. >> the other gaping hole in the argument that the president is making is the idea that i'm posing tariffs and making life more difficult on mexico is going to somehow slow the flow of migrants to the united states. in fact, the opposite likely would be true. >> right. let's not forget trade policy, different than border policy. much different. two separate issues, that's what senator grassley was trying to do. i think the arizona chamber of commerce put it perfectly. they put out a statement saying it's baffling. i think we see two things with this. we saw mueller give his remarks earlier this week and this is trump's way of changing the conversation, and it's also, i think, setting trump up to put the blame on somebody else. he's now saying border security, wasn't my fault i couldn't get it done. look at mexico, look, i'm fighting mexico over it. totally changing the conversation. but i don't think americans will be duped by that. >> you know, part of it gets to the root of this presidency.
he issued a statement, the white house issued a statement on the president's behalf late last night surrounding this trade policy. it's a lengthy statement, it's an incoherent statement and it begs the question is there a white house staff? is there still a staff? or is this one individual whose rantings are on this statement about trade? and the other aspect of it is that we have now just put into complete on the shelf two trade treaties, tpp having to do with china and now nafta, which is going to be in difficulty with regard to mexico. we have to allies in this. >> to your point, look at what they did, though, last week when the president said was i rational? was i calm? and he lined up all his staff to go along with him. that's what they do. >> hey, guys, this is brian. two more points if i may jump in. number one is if you're looking for mexico to give more resources, more money, more people at the border weakening their economy is not the way to do t the mexican economy has
already been fragile, the peso their currency is falling this morning. if you damage their economy economically you may damage their ability to allocate more resourc resources. on the china front this morning, i know it's all about mexico today, but china coming out just moments ago and announcing what they're calling an unreliable entities list, that's their term. companies or individuals who do not obey contracts or in their way treat china fairly. so now, if you will, we've got another leg in the trade fight with china which is china effectively moments ago creating i don't want to call it a black list but certainly they're naming names on companies, u.s. companies, that they view don't play fair. kind of maybe a tit for tat with the huawei news here. you have this two-prong trade fight going on all at a time when u.s. markets have been with a he can. >> what would mexico's alternative be today to combat this? >> a big beautiful letter i suppose, mike. remember the tariffs are not enacted yet, june 10th.
congress comes back next monday. if there's something that they can do, perhaps trump is just threatening this, but if perhaps luis obrador and president trump can get together and have some kind of agreement, maybe trump has this in his back pocket is thinking i'll threaten this, show i'm strong and pull this out and settle things down. that's one option as well. otherwise it's tough. if you are a u.s. company who spent 20 years building a supply chain with mexico, mike, you are not going to be able to revisit that in a year. if we are talking about the 2020 elections, the folks up in wisconsin and michigan that voted for the president that have heavy auto parts manufacturing, they better hope this plays out well because this is just going to praise costs which as any economist tells you lowers demand. >> i want to jump out of tariffs and into trump white house and the way he does business. i used to work with all kinds of companies, shapes and sizes,
there was something called a maniacal role ceo. there is a ceo where there is a business plan and as an advertising agency or consultancy you work with that business plan first quarter this, second quarter we're going to launch this product. then there's the mrc who gets up in the morning, let's say burger king is the client, he says today we're not going to sell burgers, we're going to sell ice sandwich sandwiches. we sit here every day as everybody does and kind of react to the mrc. there is no logic, there is no basis point, he is a completely emotional nonthought out maniacal way of managing. it's bad enough when it's a corporation, it's frightening when it's the president of the united states. >> we know, gene robinson, the president loves tariffs. why? because it's unilateral presidential action, it's something he can pick up the phone and make happen immediately. he's going to use those wherever
he sees fit including somewhere like immigration where it doesn't make sense. >> yeah, i mean, look, i think susan was right, he's changing the subject. what we've been talking about all week, we've been talking about robert mueller, we've been talking about his incredible appearance the other day, we've been talking about possible impeachment. so trump goes to his go-to subjects, immigration and trade. this is stuff he can do on his own. he can impose these tariffs and invay against immigration and bash mexicans and latinos because it's really not mexicans who are coming across the border, it's central americans who are coming through mexico. apparently he wants mexico to impose some sort of iron curtain-like restrictions on the movement of people, which mexico is not going to do. the other thing is that the
president -- i guess he won't be surprised by the reaction, but maybe he will. he seems to have -- for a guy who calls himself a nationalist he has absolutely no understanding of how nationalism works and how a nation, proud nation like mexico, is going to react to this sort of -- this sort of dictate and how he puts the mexican president in an impossible position. he can't cave to donald trump. he can't do t the mexican people won't allow him to do it. it sets the stage for a useless trade war that's just going to hurt everybody. >> if you're wondering if this was a well thought out plan by the white house, acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney says we're going to judge this on a day to day, week to week basis keeping an eye on the flow of migrants. brian sullivan, thanks for helping us sort through this. senator bernie sanders has
become the latest 2020 democratic presidential candidate to call for an impeachment inquiry against donald trump following robert mueller's statement on wednesday. senator sanders made that call yesterday during a campaign rally in nevada, but stressed there are risks with going down that road. >> this president is not above the law. no president is above the law. this president must be held accountable and i believe that the judiciary committee should begin impeachment inquiries. inquiries, all right? that's not impeachment, that is to determine -- it's the first step, to determine whether or not trump has committed impeachable offenses. >> but here is the danger, which i think nancy pelosi and many people are struggling with, it may well be that donald trump wants to be impeached because he knows that in the senate you
know you need two-thirds of the united states senate. you all know that. you need 67 votes to impeach trump and right now there are 47 democrats and not all of them today would impeach trump. >> bernie sanders providing a lesson there. the audience started to clap when he said the word impeachment. he said, no, impeachment inquiry. donny, i want to play you a scene from the 2018 film "vice" to set you up for an idea you have for us about choosing the right words in politics. >> getting regular people to support cutting taxes on the very wealthy has always been extremely hard. we've had some success in the past, but the estate tax has always been very difficult. however, i think we may have had a breakthrough. now, the estate tax kicks in on anyone inheriting over $2 million. how many of you have a problem with that?
>> okay. how many of you would have a problem with something called a death tax? instead of global warming, which we all agree sounds very scary, we call it climate change. >> so, donny, we play that clip of the man playing frank luntz to use the word impeachment differently which is what you're proposing this morning. >> yeah, and this is -- i hope if we're going to cover this by the way, on saturday night politics. >> there you go. >> nancy pelosi is listening, if chuck schumer is listening, jerry nadler is listening, if the people running the democratic party here is the playbook. right now there is this conundrum whereas basically do we impeach? we know that's a losing proposition, but we know trump broke the law. now you have the democrats but we have to do something. here is the answer, you take it from a binary choice of two lanes, you create a third lane. you take the word impeachment
and you change it to criminal activity. you go on the premise of basically do you know what, we know he broke the law, we know he was a criminal as far as obstruction of justice, we know he was a criminal as far as an unindicted co-conspirator. we are going to initiate and continue the ongoing trump i didn't mean nl investigations. trump criminal, trump criminal investigations. take the word impeachment away. it's a losing word, it's a 30-year-old word that does not help us. change the discussion. even trump says it's a disgusting word. it's a disgusting word for democrats. ongoing as of tomorrow there will be the ongoing trump criminal investigations. it will be about taxes, it will be about the southern district, it will be about philanthropy. there's already two. basically we know what mueller said, you take the w, you don't give it to him. you said mueller said he obstructed justice, there was criminality there. he couldn't prosecute because of doj. that's one. number two, unindicted
co-conspirator. the word impeachment does not exist, it's the ongoing trump criminal activity investigations. there you go. >> heidi, this is the loo inn that nancy pelosi has been trying to walk now for a couple months of saying we are investigating, but we are not pursuing impeachment yet and that has frustrated some democrats in her caucus. >> i do think possibly donny is on to something here, willie, because -- >> don't tell him that. >> -- the democrats want to have these hearings, they want to get the information out before the american people and that's the problem is that you can't put the cart before the horse on impeachment. what we learned from history with watergate was that it wasn't until you actually had those hearings and you aired a lot of the information that the american people weren't familiar with that you could build that public support. here is the thing that nancy pelosi is concerned about right now, steve kornacki had great numbers on impeachment yesterday that showed that the public is kind of where they were right before bill clinton, they launched the impeachment inquiries against bill clinton, which was that the majority of
americans were against it. at the same time here is what's very different about today, bill clinton had something like a 70% approval rating. this president is barely cracking 40. and 56% of the american people already believe that he's guilty of wrongdoing. so it wouldn't take as much of a push there once you get that information before the american people. the problem is they don't have it and here is the challenge to your theory, though, donny, is that how do you get the witnesses because this is the whole problem and the reason why we're back to having this discussion about impeachment inquiry is that the democrats can't get the key witnesses like mcgahn. heck, they can't even get mueller at this point to come and recite his report before congress. so the challenge is how do they use those tools of impeachment like getting the grand jury information -- >> stop impeachment. >> without calling it impeachment. >> no, it's the tci. the word of criminal. it's the trump criminal
investigations. that's the branding. it's criminal. >> how do you get the witnesses? how do you get the witnesses? they are just not coming. they are defying subpoenas. >> that is the backdrop. by the way, also you already have two wins in the judiciary in terms of subpoenas as far as what the documents trump says -- you continue a criminal -- that's the word, guys -- brand him, convict him already. >> you know, nick, it's interesting to a certain point what donny brought up, but there is another word that's been missing in this and i'm wondering if you've heard it at all from people, your sources or whatever, and the word is censure, a censure vote in the united states senate, censuring the president of the united states for his behavior. >> it was certainly a strategy advocated for bill clinton. there was this idea what he had done in the white house was ugly and unbecoming, but it was not impeachable therefore they should censure him. i think the problem for this theory of yours is the congress has not authorized or i'm
powered to conduct a criminal investigation, it's not what they do. what they can do is conduct an impeachment inquiry. the issue for democrats is you can't predict what the political balance of that is going to be. a person that tells you they know it's going to be good or bad for trump is lying. nobody knows. he doesn't want to be impeached i don't think, the spectacle of it, the humiliation, the history book marker of being a president who was impeached, but if democrats decide to let the report from mueller stand and the clear roadmap to considering the question of obstruction and walk away from it, what they're saying is the process the constitution has laid out is no and we have no way of removing from office a president who may have contributed or committed a criminal act. that's a dark road to go down. >> censure will lead you down a path where donald trump already thinks of them as being in contempt and they are in contempt of him. i don't think it gives him the punch that nick is talking about. >> that's not a punch.
you have an attorney general who is not authorized to basically sell the way he did, why can't congress? you're telling me right now nancy pelosi can't say we believe this criminal activity, we believe we're going to have investigations to see -- it's branding. >> it may be branding, but there is an constitutional responsibility. >> you are in a dog fight, guys. >> fight. >> you guys you in a dog fight and you don't understand it. >> here is problem, though, where are they going to do with it, donny. at the end of the day it's either impeachment or not. you can brand it the way you want but there is a constitutional responsibility at stake and a lot of americans are okay with seeing them step up and fight for what's right. >> it's a loser. >> i disagree. >> it's a loser. >> i disagree. >> wow. i like -- this is good. fiery on a friday morning. >> keep it up. >> gene, your column this morning effectively asks the question if trump doesn't warrant impeachment then who does? flesh out the that argument a little bit because this is a conversation where the goal posts have been shifting. if you applied that report, that
phillip me mueller report to the question of impeachment i don't think there would be any question. >> the president would be in handcuffs at this point. look, i have struggled with this question because i see donny's point. i think politically it's hard to tell, it could be a massive loser politically, it might not be, though. i'm just not sure. it's risky politically to go to impeachment and i acknowledge that nancy pelosi's strategy so far has been working. you know, trump's ratings are down, his approval numbers are down, he's sort of flailing against it. i don't think -- i agree with nick, i don't think he wants to be impeached and go down in history as one of the -- one of three presidents who was impeached. that said, i do ask the question
what do you have to do to get impeached? if there is an impeachment clause in the constitution and it's there for a reason, if it's not there for donald trump it's very hard for me to imagine with all that he's done, not just in the mueller report but with all that he has done every day of his presidency including, by the way, lying to the american people every single day about everything, which is certainly not faithfully performing his duties as president. so it's a tough call, but i think ultimately congress is going to have to look at this and i think he may -- he may force their hand deliberately or not and make them move toward impeachment. but in terms of the branding, donny, that's an interesting idea and i think whatever congress does going forward i think criminal is a very important word and a very useful word. i think they ought to start
using it now as they move ahead and decide on impeachment. even if they do decide on impeachment use the word criminal. that's an excellent -- that's a great idea, and make donald trump say i am not a criminal. they're calling me a criminal. every time he says that it's bad for him. >> all right. gene on team donny. >> good session. >> we will send everybody to their corners, put vaseline on the cuts. come back for more on this story straight ahead. a former republican congressman has a novel idea for the president to avoid impeachment, open himself up to indictment instead. we will show you trey dowdy's reasoning on that. plus ted cruz finds common ground with alexandria ocasio-cortez. why those two different lawmakers are talking about teaming up. first, here is bill karins with a look at the weekend forecast. >> we all would like dry weather. we will get it for at least today and tomorrow. we finally have had clear skies enough to get up over the
arkansas river. the aerial view of the record flooding, highest levels we have ever seen on the arkansas level. a lot of these homes have never had water close to them before and now they have water surrounding them or in some cases even in them. overnight we have reports of a levee breach around the hollow bend area that's mostly going to flood thousands and thousands of farm acres. the planting season because of all the rain is very, very delayed for the crops across the country, too. this is a marilou danley economic disaster because the barge traffic has been shut down, too. we are finally looking at a dry map, it's been a long time since we've seen it like this. the only area of heavy rain is abilene, texas. 9 million people at risk of severe storms today, we are not going to see a tornado outbreak. yesterday we ended our streak of tornado outbreaks, we only had two reported in maryland. isolated strong storms from richmond down to raleigh to wilmington areas. western portions of texas.
as far as the rainfall over the weekend, we're dry today and over the weekend we get a good day on saturday in areas of the midwest and then by the time we get to sunday we start to watch the rain heading to the east. saturday the only problem is st. louis to chicago, strong storms. watch out around pittsburgh to buffalo. sunday northern portions of new england, especially the northeast get a chance of rain. we get a break in the flood zone and need it after an active may. hopefully june will be quieter. look at that, new york city, blue skies, sunshine. finally a dry day after three days of storms. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. ht back. through the at&t network, edge-to-edge intelligence gives you the power to see every corner of your growing business. from managing inventory... to detecting and preventing threats...
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me. if you have enough, the supreme court has never said that i can't be indicted. this is doj. i'm the head of doj. i run the executive branch. if you have enough to indict me g ahead and do it. at least you have have some clarity. i'd take my chances with 12 ynl minded fellow citizens then i would the house democrats. >> that's trey gowdy this week offering president trump a suggestion on how to avoid an impeachment inquiry by house democrats. nick, what do you make of that argument? >> that's fascinating. >> one way to put it. >> he's a former prosecutor, i'm not, but assuming it's true it sounds like a way of calling the bluff of democrats if, in fact, it is a bluff to say, okay, if you have enough, let's see if they can actually indict us and get us in court. i'm not sure that's a great thing for the president in the end, but it's probably a safe call as well because i believe the attorney general has already said that even absent the memo
from -- saying a president can't be indicted, the evidence on obstruction still isn't there. sounds like the president is clear either way from the perspective of the top official of law enforcement in the u.s. >> it would be a pretty bold move. might go to your argument, though. >> by the way, once again -- can we do a trey gowdy hair side-by-side from the pre to where he is. >> i think it's been consistent lately. >> i'm a fan. >> bring it on. once again, that would be one of the parts of the trump criminal investigation, the tci. i think that's fantastic. >> if you watched fox news last night they are effectively pleading with democrats to impeach the president of the united states. they are actually baiting, please do it, because you will be tied up for the next year and a half during a presidential election, it will look like the case that they believe was closed that you're trying to reopen it again and dig in. i think -- i know the president doesn't want that smerch on his
resumé of having been an impeached president but i think the white house believes it helps him in the long term. >> he is a simplicity fighter. if you can get an argument down to one thing, impeachment, they're trying to take me away, which is obviously going to be losing in the senate anyway, when disgusting word a series of criminal investigations he does not have that simple back hand to hit back. >> it wasn't true, heidi, that the case was closed, obviously bob mueller left open the questions on obstruction of justice, but the case the white house is making is we give a you the special counsel two years, all the money and resources you needed and he said the president he came up empty. >> right but to this argument that gowdy is making is really -- i don't understand it because remember that letter that came out from 900 former federal prosecutors that said but for the fact that he is the sitting president of the united states he would have been indicted. which suggests that there actually is substantial evidence there and mueller himself says in his own summary that there
was substantial evidence and 12 different incidences of obstruction. so, yes, i think this is just kind of chest puffing on fox news and something that the president would never pursue because let's just break it down, even if he's impeached in the house, the senate is never going to bless that. so he's still going to have this political tool of impeachment. he can call it whatever he wants. that's basically what it is each if the senate doesn't bless it. so from a political standpoint that is the best venue for this to play out, not in the court system where you have this letter from bipartisan former federal prosecutors saying, you know, this is a pretty clear cut case. >> willie, this would be to great, it would be a gift from heaven if he ever exceeded to trey gowdy's request just simply for the cross-examination. it would be the highest rated tv program ever. donald trump being cross-examined by a skilled prosecutor.
>> i don't think the president is going to take trey gowdy's advice. we are fact checking president trump's latest attack on robert mueller after the special counsel declined to exonerate the president. we will compare with what they both had to say next on "morning joe." both had to say next on "morning jo e. thanks for the ride-along, captain! i've never been in one of these before, even though geico has been- ohhh. ooh ohh here we go, here we go. you got cut off there, what were you saying? oooo. oh no no. maybe that geico has been proudly serving the military for over 75 years? is that what you wanted to say? mhmmm. i have to say, you seemed a lot chattier on tv. geico. proudly serving the military for over 75 years. you ok back there, buddy?
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joining us now the co-founder of axios, mike allen. mike, good morning. >> good morning. and happy friday on the last day of may. >> there it is, it's not a weekend until mike allen greets us with a happy friday. axios has behind the scenes reporting on how president trump's latest tariffs came to be announced yesterday. we got a little tease of it at the end of that press availability as he walked over to marine one, said he was going to announce something later in the day. how did this come to be? >> so last night it played out a little bit like a normal white house, the president tweets a major policy at 7:30 p.m., at 7:33 a lengthy statement pops up in reporters' email boxes, at 8:00 there is a long white house conference call, but -- i'm glad you're sitting down because it won't surprise you that behind the scenes it was pandaemonium. so jonathan swan has learned that this resulted from the
president's frustration, rage about the border boiling over, we're told behind the scenes he had talked repeated about this. we saw what we see again and again, the staff scrambling to get something out the door to apiece the president. >> it looks like mexico was completely taken offguard with this announcement of these tariffs that the president said could grow to become 25% tariffs on goods coming into the united states. is there any formal process that way or is it just the president spouting something off, the staff falling in line and then later telling the people who are affected by it? >> well, willie, i think that's what we call a question that answers itself. so you pointed out earlier there is not a plan and that's absolutely right. the tell was in the president's tweet when he said that he wanted immigration to, all caps, stop. of course that's not going to happen. he well knows that. so what does that mean? this means that the imposition
of this is purely by his whim and it will depend, like so many things in this white house do, ultimately on the president's mood. >> so i've got to ask you, too, a lot of people talking around here, mike, about the interview you guys did jonathan swan with jared kushner. we don't hear from kushner a lot. what did he find out? >> jonathan swan spent 90 minutes with jared kushner for axios on hbo. it got combative, he asked him about a number of tough questions including he asked him in detail about his relationship with the saudi crown prince. had a little bill of particulars and then said so what is it that you see in this guy? jared kushner rarely seen, rarely heard, more than 90 minutes with swan, some at his house, some at the white house. it's on axios on hbo season two premiering sunday night 6:00 p.m. pa sick and eastern. >> that's must much.
mike allen, thanks as always. >> happy weekend. new york democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez and texas republican senator ted cruz seem to agree on at least one thing, draining the swamp. the unlikely bipartisan matchup could soon be in the works in an effort to help overhaul d.c.'s lobbyists after aoc tweeted her displeasure with former congressional members signing on with such firms. senator cruz backed her position tweeting i have long called for a lifetime ban on former members of congress become lobbyists. the swamp would hate it but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation? the two hashed out potentially teaming up on a bill over twitter with cruz replying to congresswoman ocasio-cortez's proposal, quote, you're on. heidi cruz -- sorry, i had ted cruz on the brain. heidi brprzybyla, is this actuay going to happen?
>> it seems they co-sponsors volunteering on twitter. i have to say this is one of the warmest and fuzziest interactions i have ever seen on twitter between two members of congress. that said it's my job to be skeptical. >> yes. >> which i am, because this is just such a colossal problem in washington, however you want to define the swamp, whether it's big money in politics or congress -- members of congress going to get cushy jobs after congress. it is such a big problem and when you talk to the leadership you see that there is absolute resistance in the senate to even have a discussion about the massive ethics and campaign finance reform legislation that was passed in the house. what would happen inevitably in a discussion, let's say a theoretical discussion about this, would be that democrats would want to have that broader discussion and not be satisfied with a piecemeal approach. i may be wrong and i hope -- i
hope that i'm wrong because this is such a massive problem. let me give you a number here. since citizens united was enacted by theng a watershed number of $1 billion in dark money in our politics. dark money is defined as money that is basically untraceable to the donors. we as the press cannot report to you as the people about where this money is coming from. then you look at what's happening in washington, d.c. as well with the influence of corporate lobbyists over critical agencies like the epa, where you have a coal lobbyist running the epa, or hhs where you have former pharmaceutical executives running hhs. these are all incestuous circles where these executives are in charge of policing the industries that they will eventually and inevitably go back to work for. >> so, nick, this is the revolving door of washington,
you serve, leave and somebody payser for your access to people you served with. it's nice to see two people from opposite sides of the aisle. the united states congress politicians should not dictate what people can and cannot do once they're no longer serving. >> the principled argument is that, the selfish argument is that the people that ocasio-cortez and senator cruz are going to ask to vote on this are the people who are looking ahead to their payday which is a retirement package a. it's hard to imagine now, but there was a time 30 or 40 years ago where it was almost unheard of for a member of congress to go be a lobbyist. certainly not a senator. now it has become so routine, i can't think off the top of my head of a retiring lawmaker who has not gone to work for a lobby shop or a quasi lobby shop. it's become the life sickle for congress. they are highlighting an important problem. >> at the least it's nice to see two people getting along on twitter for five minutes anyway.
still ahead, another democratic white house hopeful agrees to a fox news town hall, while another candidate explains her decision to stay away. "morning joe" is coming right back. sion to stay away. "morning joe" is coming right back hey, who are you? oh, hey jeff, i'm a car thief... what?! i'm here to steal your car because, well, that's my job. what? what?? what?! (laughing) what?? what?! what?! [crash] what?! haha, it happens. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, paying for this could feel like getting robbed twice.
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another democratic presidential candidate has agreed to participate in a town hall hosted by fox news, julian castro will appear next month following town halls by pete buttigieg, bernie sanders and amy klobuchar. in an appearance on the view senator elizabeth warren defended her decision not to participate in a fox news town hall. >> here is the deal about fox news executives, and that is they're running a hate for profit scam. they give a platform to people who describe immigration as making our country poorer and dirtier, they attack a young man and try to sully his reputation after he's murdered just because
they think it will be a good attack on democrats. right now advertisers are getting really antsy about being with fox on a regular basis because they don't want their brands associated with them. we do town halls, we bring in a big democratic audience to watch that night, and then the sales reps for fox come out and say, oh, look, look at our high numbers and look how even-handed we are. >> there's so many people that watch that are really good people. >> yes. >> and i just think you're alienating an audience and it sounds like you don't care about people that watch fox news. >> i care. i'm going to find a thousand ways to reach out. i've done i think 88 town halls now. i've taken 1,100 questions. i'll go all around the country. i want to talk to people and find as many ways to reach out as i can. i am just not going to help the fox news executives raise money off my name.
>> it looks like we have some strong opinions around the table. gene robinson, let me start with you. elizabeth warren is doing really well right now. she probably doesn't need the advice of people around this table, she's rising in the polls. she's made her decision. what do you think of her argument? >> i think it works for her. you know, as candidates confront this question, whether or not to go on fox, for some it has been a good idea going into the belly of the beast from their point of view and speaking directly to fox viewers and to an audience, you know, standing o. it's been good for them. for warren, by contrast, i think that was exactly the right thing for her to do and it has worked for her. it made news, it drew a lot of attention to her. as you said, she's rising in the polls. so i don't think there's one answer there. >> pete buttigieg, donnie, did very well in his fox news town
hall moderated by chris wallace. we should point out elizabeth warren is doing town halls in person in places like west virginia which donald trump won by 40 points. so she is going there, just not on fox. >> if your goal is to get a couple of points and bump up in the primary race, it's okay. if you want to be president, it's a horrible brand. you're basically branding the audience. forget about executives, there are millions of people watching. i believe the overwatching majority of them are very, very good people. there are people watching with spouses who may not be devout fox people and you need to go where you can turn the votes. it's simple. if you want to win, it's not talking to the chorus, it's talking to the people that are not part of the chorus. to me it shows weakness, it shows naivete, and it has that hillary clinton stench of you're not good enough, you don't deserve to hear me. there's the executives and the viewers. and there's chris wallace and
bret baier. if you want to lead this country, it's a losing proposition. >> i would submit, a action that you're wrong. >> have you ever said anything else, boy the way? >> no. >> b, this fits elizabeth warren, this is who she is. and c, to one of the points you raised, elizabeth warren arguably is the only candidate whose policies that she articulates very well speaks to the needs of not only everybody else in the country but the fox audience specifically. >> look, she has made it very clear that she's talking about fox as a corporation and not as a viewership. what she has said is that there are good people on fox, but there is an overall enterprise here that she doesn't want to bless and be a part of. now look, cable news has an audience and fox has a big audience, but it is not the only way to reach people. she is betting there are better
ways that are more on brand and authentic to reach those voters than going on fox. we'll see if she's right. but she does have that feel of a candidate who is sticking with her plan from the beginning. i've seen that before and it often works very, very well for candidates to not be seen to be grabbing at opportunities or shifting back and forth. she is going for it. >> she knows who she is. >> it depends who it is. it fits some people's brands. let's not forget these fox town halls, like every town hall or the debate, everyone is looking for their breakout moment, for a moment to steal. elizabeth warren did it by saying she wasn't going to do that debate. she found our breakout moment without having -- not the debate, excuse me, a town hall. she found her moment in the sun without actually having to do the town hall. so it worked for her. and the timing of that is just when she was coming up on bernie sanders in the polls.
she really -- it worked to her advantage. other folks it doesn't work for. but to donnie's point, though, i do agree if you want to look at it in a bigger picture, if you're not willing to go on fox news, then you're not willing to lead the entire country. >> then again, you're going on fox news with chris wallace or bret baier, not sean hannity. julian castro is the latest democrat that will do a fox town hall, including pete buttigieg, bernie sanders and amy klobuchar. still ahead on "morning joe" first president trump said the person who kept the uss john mccain out of sight while he was in japan was well meaning. now he's calling the entire story fake news. we'll talk about the fallout from the president's continued attacks on the late senator john mccain. plus we'll talk about the growing fight over impeachment, or as donnie is now calling it, the trump criminal investigations. you're watching "morning joe."
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percio, the host of msnbc's "politicsnation," reverend al sharpton and "the new york times" reporter jeremy peters. joe and mika have the morning off. welcome, everybody. yesterday president trump was delivering a furious response to special counsel robert mueller and his remarks after the veteran law enforcement official took to the justice department podium and contradicted several claims from the president and his allies. but that did not stop president trump from continuing to put words in mueller's mouth. >> he said essentially you're innocent. i'm innocent of all charges. and you know the thing that nobody brings up, there was no crime. >> here again is what mueller said himself. >> if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. >> the president also was emphatic that there are no grounds for impeachment.
>> it's a dirty word, the word "impeach." it's a dirty, filthy, disgusting word. it's high crimes and, not with or or. it's high crimes and misdemeanors. there was no high crime and there was no misdemeanor. >> but unresolved matters remain. beside the ten episodes documented in the mueller report under the heading factual results of the obstruction investigation, in december federal prosecutors mentioned the president as individual 1 in the indictment of his former lawyer, michael cohen, saying cohen, quote, acted in coordination with and at the direction of trump, something cohen later testified about. >> is there additional corroborating evidence that mr. trump while a sitting president of the united states directly reimbursed you hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws? >> there are 11 checks that i received for the year. >> the president also had more to say yesterday about
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. some day you ought to read a thing called article 2. read article 2, which gives the president powers that you wouldn't believe. >> however, article 1 of the constitution is crystal clear on congressional power stating the house of representatives, quote, shall have the sole power of impeachment. here's more from the president. >> no, 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. >> that clashes with the conclusions of the nsa, the cia and the fbi, who stated that russia launched an influence campaign with a clear preference for president trump in
opposition to hillary clinton, something mueller himself affirmed again this week. >> russian intelligence officers who are part of the russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system. the releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate. >> the president also made a claim that president putin himself has disputed. >> i believe that russia would rather have hillary clinton as president of the united states than donald trump. >> president putin, did you want president trump to win the election, and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> translator: yes, i did. yes, i did. >> yes, i did. yes, i did. finally the president claimed yesterday to be cracking down on election interference. >> i think i've been much tougher on elections than president obama. president obama was told in 2016
just before the election in september that russia may try and interfere with the election. he did nothing. >> beside the fact that president trump repeatedly, despite having been briefed on the intelligence cast doubt on an october 2016 administration statement that publicly blamed russia for election interference and trump's own chief of staff reportedly told dhs officials not to mention work on election security in front of the president, senate republicans have been blocking a vote on a package that includes election security reforms passed by the house back in march. so, john heilemann, yesterday's presentation of the president of about 17 minutes or so just riddled with factual inaccuracies, easily demonstrated there. >> a lethal cocktail of jibberish, misconceptions and lies, so pretty much par for the course from the president. i'm looking forward to in his
post-presidency donald trump being given an adjunct faculty position at one of the country's great law schools. that read of article 2, the courts will never allow me to be kbeechl impeached, it will be a very novel constitutional law class that he teaches when he tries to take us through how the courts involve impeachment if you in fact read article 1, it says very clearly that only the body with any control is the house of representatives and the senate to convict or not. look, the thing that yesterday and all of that that came through as is often the case with president trump's twitter traffic and with his statements when he does one of these impromptu gaggles is what's in his head. he managed to get through after the mueller statement on wednesday, he managed to in a relatively restrained way, i think he only tweeted once, you knew that wasn't going to hold. so by the next morning you've got him on twitter first acknowledging that russia helped him get elected.
and then saying, no, russia didn't help me get elected and talking at this length, which tells you the degree to which what mueller said, the impact of mueller saying it and the fact that mueller might say it again despite he doesn't want to go before congress rank els the president and is rattling around inside that presidential head. >> so jeremy, the white house and the president what he was saying is case closed. he believes this is over, the special counsel's office has been closed, bob mueller is walking away from his position, returning to private life because it's over. in fact that's not at all what robert mueller was saying in that press briefing two days ago. >> no, it's not. and it's not what robert mueller said in the report. yet president trump mischaracterized what was in the initial report. i think this is instructive for how an impeachment would play out. imagine that 17 minutes happening every single day over the course of an impeachment proceeding. this is a president who has a singular ability to shift the news narrative on a time really.
and these lies that he tells become accepted as fact. there's this sound bite that's been playing a lot on this network, this woman in michigan who said that she didn't know there was anything even negative about president trump in the mueller report. that just tells you what kind of world a lot of americans are living in an how they will view the impeachment process. now, i know president trump doesn't want to go down as being the third president of the united states ever to be impeached. but the way that he is able to create this us versus them dynamic and portray the democrats as a bunch of like seething sore losers i think is potentially problematic for democrats because you remember going -- americans don't like sore losers, right? and if president trump is going to try to fight this on the grounds that, okay, the democrats want to relitigate the election that they lost. they're trying to steal this from me. this is his playbook. we've seen him do it time and
time again. and that's going to continue -- i mean it's just going to distract from the election from the democrats, from the people who are running and want to become president. >> rev, that's the political argument. that an impeachment inquiry helps the president of the united states. what a lot of democrats are saying and a lot of progressives watching this show are saying you have a duty and obligation of oversight. because of what bob mueller left for congress in that report and what he reiterated two days ago, it is incumbent on congress to pursue an impeachment inquiry, which is what bernie sanders came out for last night. >> one of the things that the democrats have to be careful of is in this whole noise chamber that we're listening to from the right that it will play to the president's base is forgetting their base. they can turn off their base by not proceeding because their base, and i do radio five times a week, i do tv twice a week, i'm talking to people every day all over the country, they want
to know why they are not moving forward. and you can get faked into playing your opponent's fight plan by letting them talk you out of a fight. now, i'm a fighter. all my life i've been a fighter. when i was born, i wanted to organize other babies in the maternity ward for getting after the doctors slapping us for getting us into life. >> is that true? >> absolutely. i'll get the other babies as witnesses. but i think we've got to understand that the democratic base wants to fight. and the constitution is laid out in article 2, laid out impeachment. so how do you explain if this is not impeachment, what is? and i think the democrats ought to start listening to their base rather than the republicans or the right wing telling them the reaction of their base, because i think the democratic base showed in '18 that they can beat them if you go and address and do what that base wants.
>> let's bring into this conversation the host of "saturday night politics k" on msnbc, donny deutsch. donny, this is the political argument versus the base argument and you want the word "impeachment" out of the conversation. explain that. >> i want to rebrand the fight. you have to fight. the democrats have to fight, to the rev's point. but you don't want a fight that you're going to lose. you're going to lose an impeachment fight for two reasons. donald trump gets to say they're coming to take me away, they're going to take your president and it's not going go anywhere in the senate so you do look like sore losers and you're setting up a losing fight. does that mean you don't fight? no. step away from the impeachment and change it to the trump criminal investigations. already brand him a criminal. say robert mueller basically said he obstructed justice. we know that, he just couldn't indict because of the guidelines. we know he's an unindicted co-conspirator with the southern district. we know we'll be looking at his
taxes, his philanthropies, you nancy pelosi, you jerry nadler, you adam schiff, you elijah cummings start the trump credible jeff sessions. impeachment may be part of it. brand him a criminal already. you've already had an a.g. that's gone on a branding exercise. the head of the judicial system went on a branding exercise success flow. congress needs to rebrand impeachment the trump criminal investigations. have him saying i'm not a criminal. that is the simple winning fight. rebrand it. impeachment is not the right word for you. but you have a fight. it's the trump criminal investigations. >> donny, i think rev is about to launch a protest against you. >> no, donny and i are cool, but i would respectfully say that if you go with criminal, the republicans' answer is going to be that you do not have the wherewithal to do a criminal prosecution any more than we just saw with mueller.
the constitution gives you impeachment. in the impeachment i think you need -- i agree with donny, you need to have the language of criminal, but you can't take your standing, your legal standing out of the fight. your standing is impeachment. and i would suggest to the greatest brander in america today, donny, that you rebrand what you've rebranded by saying, fine, we impeach. go to the senate, if they don't convict we'll take it to the election and let do what the sunset would not do. i would use the senate not convicting and not confirming an impeachment as my impetus as the turnout for the democrats because the people have the vote in november. the timing is right if they start now. but if they blink in the first three rounds and are behind on the scorecard, they're going to need a knock out. >> rev, we're saying the same thing in different ways.
i'm saying it's not a political or legal issue, it's a branding. put criminal out there. once again, you can bring impeachment proceedings eight months from now. right now, because right now if you start impeachment, you take the discussion in the wrong place. say we've already got two criminal convictions in our minds. we want to look at more criminal activity, and it may end in impeachment. i am talking about right now put two words together, donald trump and criminal as opposed to donald trump and impeachment. this is the noise out there. i am talking about a marketing strategy. once again, barr was a very, very marketer the way he marketed the mueller report. now congress has to market trump as a criminal ending with impeachment possibly. >> barr was a good marketer until we got home in the groceries, opened it up and found out there was nothing in the bag. mueller killed barr yesterday. the democrats have got to stay with constitution impeachment. that is what they're empowered
to do. you are right, they need to add criminal language, but they cannot get talked off of the premise of what gives them standing. their standing is the constitution says impeachment is in their hands and they have to stand. >> and that will re-elect the president. >> rev, don't get scared, this republican is agreeing with you, on principle and on politics. >> praise the lord. >> on principle, they do have a responsibility to go out and seek impeachment if that's what they believe that there are high crimes and misdemeanors. on politics i couldn't agree with you more about getting your base out. as a republican, what are republicans able to do? they get their base out more than anyone else. they get them out whether it's midterms or in the general election. if you don't have that motivator on the democratic side to get out the base, donald trump will seek to repress it. i think that he will -- could be successful in doing that again. if the democrats walk away from
the impeachment fight, i think that they will regret it in the long run politically as well. >> look, everybody that talks about this i feel like has valid points. i listen to the argument about this all the time and i find myself agreeing with parts of what everybody says. but all of it seems to me premised on this static analysis. there's everybody says you'll never get a conviction in the senate. how do you know? the process would be to unearth new material. there would be an investigation, things that we don't know, we would then know. things that we know that are in the report but that most of the american public does not know would be highlighted, televised hearings, months going forward of an investigation would change the political dynamic. you see many people in the country as jeremy and that clip points out, there are a lot of people who heard what the president said. no collusion, no obstruction. they think the mueller report is an exoneration.
what would happen if they were made aware through a bunch of highly rated public televised hearings that's not what the report said and they became familiar with the evidence? i don't know where that turns out. but i know to take a static snapshot of what the politics are now, what the country current low thinks about impeachment, what the senate vote would be, we don't know where we'll be at the end of two and a half years. do you believe mitch mcconnell would convict donald trump and throw him out of office? >> what i think is mitch mcconnell's senate has always been fully attuned to the dynamics of public opinion. so the question to me is -- i think they have no principles whatsoever. they stick with trump because trump is popular with the republican party. where you would be at the ending of this process -- if donald trump was at 60% approval with republicans and 20% approval with the public, the general public, i think republicans would abandon him en masse in the senate.
they don't care about donald trump, they only care about the fear of trump with their base and his strength within the republican party. again, i don't know where it would turn out but i do think the argument is we don't -- we have various presumptions about how the politics would play out. the argument for democrats to proceed with impeachment is all of them. all of them think the president committed criminal obstruction of justice, all of them. the reason to proceed with impeachment is it's the right thing to do from their point of view. there's not a democrat in the house who doesn't think donald trump didn't obstruct justice. then you have the obligation to proceed with impeachment, at least with the inquiry. in the edgnd, you've got to do what's right or what you think is right. >> jeremy, you cover capitol hill. what is the internal debate among democrats? nancy pelosi is holding the line of let's not go there yet, but after mueller's press conference we saw more and more, still a minority, but we saw moere and
more democrats jumping into the conversation and saying it's time for impeachment. >> i know from the democrats and republicans that i talk to that the consensus among the leadership in the democratic party is that right now they're leaning more toward what donny was talking about, an investigation to try to expose president trump's foundation, his activities before he became president and use those as a way to discredit him and tarnish him. that's more -- that's preferable to impeachment in the eyes of people like chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, who really feel boxed in now by bob mueller because they feel that he's hurt them now twice. once by handing them a report that had no specific reasons or lines of inquiry to pursue an impeachment and now by coming out two days ago and saying, well, this opaque statement of,
well, we can't exactly exonerate him but, you know, what are you going to do? so i think that right now when you look at the base turnout in both the republican and the democratic party, i hear a lot of skepticism that impeachment on either side is really going to at the end of the day do what people say it's going to do right now. as somebody said to me yesterday, the intensity is already so white hot, it's hot enough to melt steel. the logic in, well, the democrats won't turn out if we don't impeach, i just don't quite get that. they're so mad and they want to eject trump from office so badly that if the democrats don't impeach and they're not going -- >> because they look like everybody else. they look like everybody else in washington. they're not standing up. >> their hatred for trump is at a different level than anything we've ever seen. >> they look like cowards and everybody else. >> the congress is also on the same ballot and you don't want them to be angry at trump and
also angry at the undercard or under part of the ticket. why am i worried about the congress for you, when you wouldn't even stand up and fight. so you can look at the numbers, there have been many elections where people went and voted for president and didn't continue down because they were angry at their senator and congressmen. i don't think they can afford to take that risks. >> you want to galvanize a base, brand him a criminal right now. impeachment can come down the road. it's a 16-month marketing plan, the trump criminal investigations are about to begin. that will galvanize your base. >> jeremy peters, thank you very much. reverend al sharpton, we'll watch "politicsnation" every week. attorney general william barr says the special counsel could have reached a decision on obstruction despite doj policy about a sitting president. about a sitting president. wantd y who used expedia to book the vacation rental
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he said that he couldn't exonerate the president. you looked at the evidence and you did. i mean what's the fundamental difference between your view and his? >> well, i think bob said that he was not going to engage in the analysis. he was not going to make a determination one way or the other. we analyzed the law and the facts and a group of us spent a lot of time doing that and determined that both as a matter of law, many of the instances would not amount to obstruction. >> as a matter of law? >> as a matter of law. we didn't agree with the legal analysis -- a lot of the legal analysis in the report. it did not reflect the views of the department, it was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers. so we applied what we thought was the right law. >> that's attorney general william barr speaking with cbs
news. joining us now, former u.s. attorney and former aide to robert mueller, now an msnbc and nbc news law enforcement analyst, chuck rosenberg. also with us former federal prosecutors in the southern and eastern districts of new york, berret berger. chuck, let me again with you and your analysis of his reading, that their view of what was in volume 2 was different than the lawyers working in the special counsel's office. >> it's not that unusual for prosecutors to sit down and take different views of how evidence might play out in front of a jury, but i think there's something else going on, willie. i think what you're hearing from mr. barr is a very robust view of article 2 of the constitution. meaning if the president does certain things, if he issues a pardon or if he fires an executive within the executive branch, that's okay always. it could never be corrupt and, therefore, could never be obstruction of justice. that's not my view. and by the way, if you read
volume 2 of the mueller report, and i keep saying this because people really should, it's fascinating. it's long, but it's fascinating. what you see are a series of obstructive acts that were it anybody else, were it anybody not protected by that article 2 view of the constitution would be obstruction. and so i think what bill barr is saying is that he just has a different way of thinking about this. >> is what he said, what we just heard, is it not similar to his 19-page job application that he sent? >> well, that memo that bill barr wrote before he became attorney general lays out a very robust view of a president's authority under article 2. it gets complicated. if you take a step back, which i think here's what bob mueller is actually doing, there's policy from the department of justice that says you can't skboindict sitting president. why? to do so would burden the president and stigmatize the
presidency. if you can't charge a sitting president, then neither can you recommend charmingiging a sitti president. i think that's how bob mueller thought about it. whether he's right or wrong, we don't know. a court hasn't decided that you can't charge a president, that's just policy. what mueller did makes perfect sense to me, mike, and barr's interpretation of that frankly rings hollow. >> could you speak to -- there's been a lot of talk in the past couple of days about bob mueller, why didn't he do this, why didn't he do that and seemingly lacking a focus on what he did indeed do. could you speak to bob mueller as an institutionalist as to who he is? >> that's a great word for him. i had the privilege of working for bob, one of the great personal privileges of my life. he is first and foremost an institutionalist. he's a rule-oriented guy. he was a marine infantry officer. he was asked a couple of things. investigate, prosecute if appropriate and write a report.
he wasn't asked to opine, he wasn't to weigh in politically, he wasn't asked to color outside the lines, which is something he would never do. he was asked to investigate, prosecute and write a report. if you want to know what bob mueller thinks, read the report. >> and that's the case he made. the report is my testimony. don't ask me to come out and elaborate on it. berret, what do you see as the discrepancy between what william barr said and robert mueller said in his report and in his press conference two days ago? and is the attorney general on solid ground as he makes that case? >> i think the discrepancy here is really the role that that olc opinion that chuck just alluded to played in the special counsel's findings. what we heard from robert mueller and saw in the report is that that guidance was incredibly important to them. they went into this right from the get-go knowing that they were never going to be able to
bring an indictment against the sitting president. because of that guidance, that really shaped the way they did the investigation and the way they presented the findings. i think you see a lot of daylight between how the attorney general describes that and the role in the context of that policy and how barr describes what the special counsel did or didn't do. according to mueller, he said it wasn't the role of anyone in the department of justice to make that kind of a finding as to whether the president had committed the crime of obstruction of justice. barr simply sees it very different low. >> berit, susan del percio here. what i hear from most people is that this is all noise. there's so much noise they don't know what to make of it. where does this go? i mean we can have the debate back and forth for as long as we want on what muellerment or what he didn't mean. it seems to me that the only action in place would be an impeachment -- at least looking towards an impeachment because otherwise we can keep talking and there is no conclusion.
where do you fall on that? >> look, the way i see it here is that the end result that we should be looking for here is that the most facts possible that mueller and his team uncovered are presented to the american people in a format that they can actually get, in a way that they will listen to, a way that they can actually absorb. i'm not sure if the mueller report is that format. i don't know if people will take the time to read through 448 pages. perhaps hearing it from live witnesses through the form of testimony, whether that's just in congressional investigations or through the context of an impeachment proceeding, perhaps that will have a bit more punch. but as speaker pelosi said the other day, one of the most important facts here is to try to air the facts, both for the purposes of the investigation but also just so this information sees sunlight so that the people know the same amount of facts that mueller and his team did. >> chuck, you have the great personal privilege of working
with bob mueller. i've had the personal privilege of being on television with you twice the past 12 hours. how mueller saw this, how he interpreted the olc policy and how he acted based on his interpretation of it makes total sense to me, totally consistent. what doesn't make any sense to me is the relationship between mueller and barr at this point. bob mueller was an employee of the department of justice during this period. he says he was in consultation with the deputy attorney general, with rosenstein throughout. he had an interpretation, he acted according to that interpretation. barr clearly to mueller's great annoyance took the report, mischaracterized it publicly right out of the gate. if bob mueller had given that statement instead of bill barr, if mueller had been allowed to go before the cameras, i believe joyce vance pointed this out, imagine how history would be different if mueller had been allowed to characterize his own
report. the way he characterized his report is not the way bill barr did two days out. even now you have bill barr basically saying i don't know what mueller is talking about. mueller should have told us whether trump obstructed justice, which seems to contradict the understanding of the justice department policy that mueller was acting on. so i ask you what is the deal here with what seems to me to be a miles of daylight in fact, not necessarily how they're presenting it, but in fact miles of daylight between bob mueller and the current attorney general? >> well, you're right, john, it's really hard for the truth to catch up. and so if bob had gone first, i think people would have a very different view. there is a lot of daylight. it's unfortunate. bob is a subordinate to bill barr, and so it's bill barr's determination in the end that controls. i think berit makes a really important point. it's the difference between a book and a movie, right? i keep telling people to read the book, and berit's point is
people can't and probably won't read 448 pages. and so they need to see the movie. the idea of bringing live witnesses in front of congress is the movie and that may resonate. if we're going to get the facts out in some way to close that gap between bill barr and bob mueller, maybe my advice is not that useful. >> public service time. could you clear up for people watching and for us actually the difference between ken starr, a lot of people saying why didn't they do what ken starr did, the difference between the two charges. ken starr's charge and bob murmmur mueller's charge. >> a legal question i think i can actually answer. ken starr was operating under a different statute, the independent counsel statute which expired in 1999 at the ending of his tenure. so he was not a subordinate officer within the department of justice. he was an independent counsel who could make his own determinations about who to charge, how to charge, what report to write, whether or not to release it publicly, when and
what to say publicpublicly, he l that authority. when ken starr finished his work and the statute under which he operated expired, it was replaced with a new regulatory scheme, a new set of rules under which bob mueller operated, special counsel, subordinate to the attorney general of the united states. simply put, bob mueller did not have the running room that ken starr had. >> so, berit, as we say an impeachment hearing or impeachment inquiry would allow the american people to see the facts, the white house and many people in this country moit say, well, bob mueller gave you the facts, he gave you a 448-page book to go read on the beach this summer if you haven't read it yet. would there be new information that comes out in an impeachment inquiry? in other words, would the american people get more information than they already have? >> i think they do. first of all, i love the idea of everyone sitting on the beach reading the mueller report, that's a great visual.
i think they would simply boss the mueller report talks about the investigation that that team did. it gives information that they gathered. but every time you have a live witness sitting in a chair answering questions spontaneously, subject to essentially cross examination, new information always comes out. but not even just new information, you get context for that information. you get to see the witness's demeanor, you get to see how they answer those questions, whether you think they appear credible, whether what they say has the ring of truth as they're saying it. so i absolutely think that the public would get more context to this investigation that mueller did and possibly even more evidence. >> and we may just end up there. berit berger with the book club for the summer, number one on the list is the mueller report. chuck rosenberg thank you as well. listen to the nbc podcast "the
oath." the latest episode is an interview with sally yates. it's available now. to learn more go to msnbc.com/theoath. still ahead, voters so familiar with the personal tragedies in joe biden's life that it showed up in another candidate's polling. nbc's mime memoli has new reporting about how the former vice president's loss has emerged as a touchstone on the campaign trail. "morning joe" is back in two minutes. "morning joe" is back in two minutes. and struggle. we actually... seek it out. other species do difficult things because they have to. we do difficult things. because we like to. we think it's... fun. introducing the all-new 2019 ford ranger built for the strangest of all creatures. welcome to fowler, indiana. one of the windiest places in america.
>> that's former vice president joe biden yesterday speaking at delaware's observance of memorial day four years after his son, the state attorney general beau biden, succumbed to brain cancer at just 44 years old. it was of course a crushing personal loss for the vice president. it ultimately led him to decide he was in no condition to seek the presidency in 2016. in a moment we'll bring in nbc's mike memoli with reporting on how biden's personal loss has shaped this campaign. first, here is our show's tribute to beau following his death in 2015. >> my favorite poet was escales. he once wrote even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until in our own despair against our will comes wisdom through
the awful grace of god. >> the awful grace of god. that was robert kennedy april 4th, 1968, speaking after the sudden and shocking assassination of dr. martin luther king. bobby found those words when he was drowning in his own sea of grief from a book that his sister-in-law, jacqueline kennedy gave him in the months after the loss of president kennedy, who was his brother, his boss, and the north star in his life. saturday night vice president joe biden lost the north star in his life, his son, beau, at the age of 46. in his life, in his too-short life, beau accomplished so many things. he served as two terms of attorney general of his state. he was a member of the delaware national guard where he deployed to iraq in 2009, and he didn't just get deployed, he was awarded the bronze star. beau also had the distinction of
being the first child of a president or vice president to serve in combat zones since dwight eisenhower's own son went to war in korea. beau could have run for the senate in 2010 and he would have won, but he chose instead to continue as a local prosecutor, and he said he needed to do that because he needed to keep fighting in his state on a case that involved too many abused children. beau says i have a duty to fulfill as attorney general, and the immediate need to focus on a case of great consequence. and that is what i must do. but above all, beau biden was a family man. that's where his duty was. he was a father, he was a husband, he was a son. he's survived boy his wife hallie and two children, a daughter who's 11 and a son just 9 years old.
the total devotion to family is an example beau learned at the feet of his father. you know the story of joe biden is to know the story of the whole family of the bidens. it's a story that was told so well by the late richard kramer in a book "what it takes." it's a book that led me to tears so many times, and so many times those tears were from what happened in joe biden's life and how joe biden responded. cramer tells how tragedy struck biden's young family weeks after he was elected to senate at the age of 29. his wife, two sons and an infant daughter, naomi, they were in the car going christmas shopping when a tractor-trailer plowed into them. as cramer wrote, the car was so bad, they didn't know who she was until they saw the biden brochures fluttering above in the trees. that awful grace of god that
kennedy's greek poet spoke of the night that martin luther king was killed provided a moment of grace and empathy to joe biden so many years later when the vice president was speaking to military families who had lost their loved ones. >> i was down in washington hiring my staff, and i got a phone call saying that my family had been in an accident. and just like you guys know by the tone of the phone call, you just knew, didn't you? you knew when they walked up the path, you knew when the call came, you knew. you just felt it in your bones. something bad happened. and i knew. i don't know how i knew. but the call said my wife is dead, my daughter was dead, and wasn't sure how my sons were
going to make it. >> beau biden was one of those sons, of course, who was all cut up, broken bones. he had to be put in traction. his little brother, hunter, had a concussion, possibly permanent damage. their dad, well, he had just been elected to the senate, but the senate didn't mean a damn thing to him anymore. he wouldn't leave that hospital for weeks except at night. the hospital was in a tough neighborhood, cramer wrote, bad streets and dark. if the boys could sleep, joe and his brother jimmy would walk those streets half the night. they'd tell the nurses they were going out for pizza but they wouldn't eat. they didn't even talk. the sound was their shoes on grit or broken glass. joe was hoping someone would jump out from the alley, come at him. he would have killed the guy. he was looking for a fight. there was no place for his rage. sometimes he thought it would be easier if he were the only one left, then he could kill himself. but it was the boys that kept
him alive. biden talked about these days at the wake for massachusetts senator ted kennedy in 2009. >> when my wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident and my two boys were very badly injured and hospitalized, one of them who's with me here today, hunter, the other is in iraq, i got a call from your dad. i didn't know your dad too well. i mean i just met him that one time. he was the prod that convinced me to go to the senate, because i had told my governor after that election, the governor-elect, my brother did, that warp going to appoint someone else, i didn't want to go to the senate. it was your brother who came to see me to tell me that i owed it to my deceased wife and my children at least to be sworn in and stay for at least six
months. and when i got to the senate, he would literally come by once or twice a week to my office in the middle of the afternoon, and i didn't want to be there. i wanted to get the hell home. i didn't want to be around. >> and again he stayed around because ted kennedy was touched by that awful grace of god which touched joe biden, which has touched so many people since. one of those people, of course, beau. at the 2008 democratic national convention, it was beau biden who told that same story, but from his perspective, as a child who was just shy of 4 years old. >> one of my earliest memories was being in that hospital. my dad always at our side. we, my brother and i, not the senate, were all that he cared about. he decided not to take the oath
of office. he said then delaware can get another senator, but my boys can't get another father. however, however, great men, great men like ted kennedy, mike mansfield, hubert humphrey, men who have been test in their own right, convinced him to serve. he was sworn in in the hospital at my bedside. >> and of course beau and his brother, hunter, eventually left the hospital. they grew up and they thrived. joe biden, of course, stayed in the senate where he thrived as well. he got married again, or as his boys said we got married. they got a baby sister ashley. by the late 1980s joe saw big things ahead. he ran for the white house. the remaking of camelot in the backyard in delaware, but that campaign didn't work out. but joe would learn later that it was all in god's plan because
in february of 1988, joe suffered a brain aneurysm. a brain aneurysm he believes he would have otherwise ignored on the campaign trail. a police escort raced him from delaware down to walter reed army medical center in washington. the family piled into the cars and beau would ride up front in the cops, jill would ride in the ambulance with joe. maryland cops were supposed to meet them but they never showed up. deep into maryland he turned to beau and said where are we going? beau had a wind breaker on and a ball cap. he must have looked like a federal s.w.a.t. guy. beau just turned 19 years old. the surgeon told them they had no time to waste. they had to cut open the skull and operate. they said the chances were no more than 50-50. a priest came in to give him his last rites and joe asked to see the bidens one more time. he didn't have to tell the boys that he loved them after all or
ask them to take care of each other, they knew that stuff. but he wanted them to know what they found out 15 years before. they would go on and so would joe biden. he survived that dangerous operation in 1988 and went on oo spend another two decades in the senate where he became a pillar of the capital and on to the vice presidency where he left his mark as one of the president's closest and most trusted advisors. but we all know around this table that joe biden is proudest of the family he has built, of the grandchildren at his knee. sadly, that family all gathered again at a bedside in walter reed this weekend. this time to say good-bye to the son that guided joe biden through the night so many years ago to save his life. it's impossible to know the pain of losing one child and this second time, this second drop of pain, which cannot forget upon
the heart, for joe biden it must be unimaginable, but joe is beau's dad and he will go on and he must go on. there is something beyond this. >> and some of you, the loss occurred two years ago, some of you maybe two months ago. just when you think maybe i'm going to make it, you're riding down the road and pass a field and you see a flower and it reminds you or you hear a tune on the radio or you just look up in the night. and you know, you think, maybe i'm not going to make it, man. because you feel at that moment the way you felt the day you got the news. in a bizarre way, it's almost
harder for the parents of our fallen heros. because parents never expect to have a child pre-decease them, never. there will come a day, i promise you, and your parents as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. it will happen. >> that was "morning joe's" tribute to beau biden after his death four years ago yesterday at the age of 46. joining us now from washington nbc news national political reporter mike memly his story on nbcnews.com is titled biden's personal loss emerges as a touch stone on the campaign trail. it's good to have you with usp we saw it when joe biden
communes with other people who have suffered a loss as he suffered so much loss. he's so good in those settings and he's finding that again on the campaign trail this time around, isn't he? >> yeah. that's right, willie. i've been covering the former vice president regularly for over 11 years and it's always been remarkable to see how he continues to really endure and push through these tragedies that he's suffered throughout his life and cease increasingly how he's in his third presidential campaign, a bond between him and many voters. every december on the anniversary of the 1972 car accident that took the life of his wife and infant daughter, the biden family would mark that tragedy in private. yesterday we saw joe biden in public on that fourth anniversary. it's coming of a quirk in delaware law where memorial day they continue to celebrate it on may 30th. the vice president was there with his wife and granddaughter, beau's daughter, and talked about how the pain fades over
the years but moments like this are bittersweet, it all comes back, the pride and pain. willie, you know, as i've been watching him on the rope line it's been remarkable. beau is very much part of joe biden's campaign still right now. he talks about it in the context of health care, how he doesn't know how his family would have gone through beau's illness if they were worried about being able to pay for it and provide that for others. he talks about how in 2015 when he announced he wouldn't run for president his regret then he would not be the president who oversaw the end of cancer as we know it. he says if you elect me i will be that president. to cover joe biden is to see him work a rope line like nobody else. i began to notice him in these interactions with voters where it's often smiles and selfies and handshakes. he will go from a familiar smile to a knowing concerned look. i went back and looked at some of the conversations he was having and people were saying, i lost a child to cancer. i was diagnosed myself.
i couldn't pay for treatment. the affordable care act saved my life. he's always there saying keep the faith. this is very much something we're going to see going forward as he has this sort of connection to voters that goes far deeper than politics and policy. >> joe biden has always carried this unimaginable grief that thank god none of us at this table can understand, again and again. he's suffered those tragedies with his children and he carries it with him and you can see it as mike says when he looks into the eyes of someone who has had a shared experience or lost someone recently he connects in a way i'm not sure anybody else can on the campaign trail. >> mike mentioned one of the most important aspects of the biden candidacy at this point and in the past, he is a man that understand something that all americans understand. he understands loss. when we have a sitting president of the united states who symbolizes such a lack of
empathy and a level of cruelty, that the biden candidacy is a glimmer of hope. >> it's humanity. >> before we let you go, what is the posture right now, sort of the biden campaign? obviously huge leads at this very early date in the important states. he's doing very well among african-american voters in the state of south carolina as well. when you look into the cross tabs. how are they feeling about things and some of their challenges as well? >> well, you know, before of joe biden entered this race, i would hear often from his advisors that they thought that we were underestimating how he would come out of the gates strong and confound the expectations his best days of a candidate will be on the first day. there's been talk about whether he's campaigning enough, running a light schedule. there is, of course, a lot of emphasis coming up now on that first debate because his biggest strength right now is his perceived strength, this idea that he does have a strong lead in the polls, that he's perhaps
the strongest candidate against donald trump. that could change in an instant on that debate stage at the end of june and what we're seeing now is his advisors hunkering down with him, getting ready for that debate, getting ready for the attacks that are going to be coming from potentially all sides. what we know at least at this point, biden is telling his advisors he wants to make sure he stays positive he won't be joining those attacks on his rivals. defending his record will be a challenge. >> that first debate by the way four weeks from now coming up quickly here on nbc and across our networks. thanks so much. great to have you with us. still ahead, president trump has been calling impeachment the "i" word. donny deutsch has another name. he thinks his rebranding idea may sell impeachment to supporters and themselves. dow futures pointing to another a negative open on the president's tariff threats on mexico. we will talk to brian sullivan about the president's surprise announcement. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ing "mornine we'll be right back.
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(crowd muttering) - [woman] is that paper mache? - it's you. - [woman] wow. - [narrator] jibber jabber ruins everything. - is it? - [woman] i am confused. - [narrator] at symetra life insurance company we're cutting through it, to help you choose the retirement benefits and life products that work best for you. it's how we care for our patients- like job. his team at ctca treated his cancer and side effects. so job can stay strong for his family. cancer treatment centers of america. appointments available now. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." friday, may 31st. i'm willie geist. joe and mika are on their belated honeymoon. we will see them next week for the 75th anniversary of d-day. we have mike barnicle, republican strategist and political analyst susan dell per see yo, the host of saturday night politics, lighten up, msnbc on saturday nights, donny
deutsch, political writer for the "new york times" and political analyst nicolas confessore. with us nbc correspondent heidi prisbilla. klummist and associate editor of "the washington post" and political analyst eugene robinson. bernie sanders has become the latest presidential candidate to call for an impeachment inquiry against donald trump following robert mueller's statement on wednesday. senator sanders made that yesterday but stressed there are risks with going down that road. >> this president is not above the law. no president is above the law. this president must be held accountable. i believe that the judiciary committee should begin impeachment inquiries. inquiries. all right. now, that's not impeachment. that is to determine, it's the first step, to determine whether
or not trump has submitted impeachable offenses. but here is the danger, which i think foreign policy and many peop -- nancy pelosi and many are struggling with. it may be that donald trump wants to be impeached. in the senate you need two-thirds of the united states senate. you know that. you need 67 votes to impeach trump. right now there are 47 democrats and not all of them today would impeach trump. >> bernie sanders providing a lesson. they started to clap. he said no, impeachment inquiry. i want to play you a piece from "vice" about choosing the right words in politics. >> getting regular people to support cutting taxes on the very wealthy has always been extremely hard. we've had some success in the past, but the estate tax has
always been very difficult. however, i think we may have had a breakthrough. now the estate tax kicks in on anyone inheriting over $2 million. how many of you have a problem with that? okay. how many of you would have a problem with something called a death tax? instead of global warming, which we all agree sounds very scary, we call it climate change. >> so donnie, when we play that clip of a man playing frank, use the word impeachment differently what you're proposing this morning. >> i hope we're going to cover this, by the way, on saturday night politics, if nancy pelosi
and chuck schumer is listening, here is the playbook, the conundrum basically do we impeach? we know that's a losing proposition. we know trump broke the law. we have to do something where -- here's the answer. you take it from a binary choice of two lanes, you create a third lane. you take the word impeachment and you change it to criminal activity. you go on the premise of basically we know he broke the law, we know he was a criminal as far as obstruction of justice and a criminal as far as an unindicted co-conspirator. we will continue the trump criminal investigations. trump criminal investigations. take the word impeachment away. it's a losing word. a 30-year-old word that does not help us. change the discussion. bad impeachment. even trump says it's a disgusting word. it's a disgusting word for democrats. ongoing as of tomorrow the ongoing trump criminal investigations. it will be about taxes, about the southern district, it will
be about philanthropy. there's two. you own it. we know what mueller said. take the "w." don't give it to him. mueller said he obstructed justice, there was criminality there, he couldn't prosecute because of doj. that's one. number two, unindicted co-conspirator. make trump say i'm not a criminal. it's the ongoing trump criminal activity investigations. there you go. >> this is the line that nancy pelosi has been trying to walk now for a couple of months of saying we are investigating, but we are not pursuing impeachment yet. that's frustrated democrats in her caucus. >> i think possibly donnie is on to something here, willie. >> don't tell him that. >> they want to have the hearings and get the information out before the american people and that's the problem is that you can't put the cart before the horse on impeachment. what we learned from history with watergate was that it wasn't until you actually had those hearings and you aired a lot of the information that the american people weren't familiar
with, that you could build that public support. here's the thing that nancy pelosi is concerned about right now. steve kornacki had some great numbers on impeachment yesterday that showed that the public is kind of where they were right before bill clinton. they launched the impeachment inquiries against bill clinton, the majority of americans were against it. at the same time, here's what's very different about today. bill clinton had something like a 70% approval rating. this president is barely cracking 40%. 56% of the american people already believe that he's guilty of wrongdoing. so it wouldn't take as much of a push there once you get that information before the american people. the problem is, they don't have it. here's the challenge to your theory, though, donny, how do you get the witnesses? this is the whole problem and the reason why we're back to having this discussion about impeachment inquiry, is that the democrats can't get the key witnesses like mcgahn. heck, they can't even get
mueller at this point to come and recite his report before congress. so the challenge is, how do they use those tools of impeachment like getting the grand jury information -- >> stop impeachment. >> no. it's the tci, the word is criminal. it's the trump criminal investigations. that's the branding. it's criminal. >> how do you get the witnesses? how do you get the witnesses? they're just not coming. >> by the way, whatever witnesses you do or don't get, that is the backdrop. by the way, also, you already have two wins in the judiciary in terms of subpoenas as far as what the documents trump says. you continue a criminal, that's the word, guys, branding. >> it's interesting what donnie bright up. another word that's been missing in this and i'm wondering if you've heard it at all from people, your sources or whatever, and the word is censure. a censure vote in the united states senate.
censuring the president of the united states for his behavior? >> certainly a strategy advocated for bill clinton. the idea what he had done in the white house was ugly and unbecoming but not impeachable and therefore they should censure him. i think the problem for this theory of yours is, congress is not authorized or impowered to conduct a criminal investigation. what they can do is conduct an impeachment inquiry. the issue for democrats right now, you can't actually predict what the political outcome is going to be. a person who tells you it is going to be good or bad for trump doesn't know. he doesn't want to be impeached. the spectacle, the humiliation, the history bookmarker of being a president impeached. but democrats decide to let the report from mueller stand and the clear road map to considering the question of obstruction and walk away from it, what they're saying is, the process the constitution has laid out is null and we have no
way of removing him from office of a president who may have contributed or committed a criminal act. >> censure will lead you down a path where donald trump already thinks of them as being in contempt and they are in contempt of him. i don't think it gives him the punch that nick is talking about. >> why are you guys -- you have an attorney general who is not authorized to basically sell the way he did. why can't congress? you're telling me nancy pelosi can't say we believe this criminal activity. we believe we're going to have investigations to see if this. it's branding and word smithing. >> but there's a constitutional responsibility -- >> you're in a dogfight, guys. you don't understand it. >> you know what, here's the problem, though. where are they going to go with it? at the end of the day it's impeach or not. brand it however you want but there's a constitutional responsibility at stake and i think actually a lot of americans are okay with seeing them step up and fight for what's right. >> it's a loser.
>> i disagree. disagree. >> i like this. fiery on a friday morning. >> gene, your column asks the question, if trump doesn't warrant impeachment, then who does? flush out that argument a little bit. it is a conversation where the goal posts have been shifting. if you applied that report, the mueller report, to any other president, i don't think there would be any question around the question of impeachment. >> yeah. you know, the president would be in handcuffs. the president would be in handcuffs at this point. look, i have struggled with this question because i see donny's point. i think politically it's hard to tell. it could be a massive loser politically. it might not be, though. i'm just not sure. it's risky politically to go to impeachment. i acknowledge that nancy pelosi's strategy so far has been working. it's -- you know, his ratings are down, his approval numbers
are down. he's sort of flailing against it. i don't think he -- i agree with neck, i don nick, i don't think he wants to be impeached and go down in history as one of the presidents who was impeached. that said, i do ask the question, what do you have to do to get impeached? if there's an impeachment clause in the constitution and it's there for a reason, if it's not there for donald trump, it's very hard for me to imagine with all that he's done, not just in the mueller report, but with all that he has done, every day of his presidency, including, by the way, lying to the american people every single day about everything, which is certainly not faithfully performing his duties as president, it's a tough call but ultimately congress will have to look at this and i think he may force
their hand, deliberately or not, and make them move toward impeachment. in terms of the branding, donny, that's an interesting idea, and i think whatever congress does go forward, i think criminal is a very important word and a very useful word. they ought to start using it now as they move ahead and decide on impeachment. even if they do decide on impeachment, use the word criminal. that's a great idea. make donald trump say i am not a criminal. they're calling me a criminal. every time he says that. it's bad for him. >> still ahead on "morning joe," president trump has always said building a wall was the end all solution to stopping illegal immigration. but now he's rolling out a new plan, hitting mexico with tariffs. we'll talk about how that's going on over on capitol hill next on "morning joe." over on next on "morning joe."
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president trump took to twitter to announce he's imposing more tariffs, this time on mexico. he said on june 10th the united states will impose a 5% tariff on all goods coming into our country from mexico until such time as the illegal immigrants coming through mexico into other country stop. in an official statement the president adds, quote, mexico has made massive amounts of money in its dealings with the united states and for years mexico has not treated us fairly. we are now asserting our rights as a sovereign nation. the president added the u.s. has been invaded by hundreds of thousands of people coming through mexico as a result of lawless chaos. trump claims that the, quote, sustained imposition of tariffs will produce a massive return of jobs back to american cities and towns because we are firmly and forcefully standing up for america's interests. the white house says the tariffs will rise monthly by 5% to as
high as 25%, but would not say what it would take to remove or halt them, only saying, quote, it will be at our discretion on an ad hoc basis. the republican chairman of the senate finance committee chuck grassley condemned the move saying trade policy and border security are separate issues. this is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent and he said that tariff threat would seriously jeopardize passage of the revised north american free trade agreement and, quote, i support nearly every one of president trump's immigration policies but this is not one of them. that is from republican chuck grassley. let's bring in cnbc's brian sullivan. a lot to sort through here. first of all, the idea behind this, a 5% tariff to stop immigration, does that make sense? >> does it make sense? not to the u.s. markets it does not because the stock market is deeply in the red in the pre-markets and we're seeing red across the board. if you're a u.s. ceo i know you also probably think it doesn't
make sense because nafta 25 years ago told you that it's okay to move your supply chain to mexico. we actually encouraged it. u.s. companies did that. now they could be at risk. here's the reality. we buy more from china, but we sell a lot more to mexico. mexico, in fact, is about a 70% larger trading partner for u.s. companies than china is. this all coming, by the way, willie on the cusp of the signing of the usmca, unfortunately named new nafta if you will. this catching everybody off guard. 5% june 1st, 10% july 1st to the possibility of 25% on $300 billion worth of goods if the president is not satisfied with any changes they make at the border which what does satisfied mean? what is the benchmark here? the market doesn't know. >> and the president didn't say at all yesterday what that benchmark would be. and let's add this conversation that we've been having about the
chinese tariffs over the last few months because it's important to underline what a tariff is exactly and who it actually hurts. for cars coming into the united states from mexico and vegetables from mexico what will that mean? >> higher prices. about 70% sf our trade with mexico what is they call intercompany. i don't want to get too deep in the weeds. if you're general motors you send parts down there, put them in a car, bring the car back to the united states. in other words, it's sort of gm on gm. our biggest imports from mexico, it's not hard to figure out, auto parts, trucks, busses, and cars. this morning, gm stock down about 3%. one fourth of every nissan you see on the road is built or partly built in mexico as well. that means higher prices for u.s. consumers at a time when the average car loan is already seven years long. >> and the other gaping hole in the argument that president is
making is the idea that imposing tariffs and making life more difficult on mexico is going to somehow slow the flow of migrants to the united states. in fact the opposite would be true. >> let's not forget trade policy, different than border policy. much different. two separate issues. that's what senator grassley was trying to do. i think the arizona chamber of commerce put it perfectly they put out a statement saying, it's baffling. >> cnbc's brian sullivan, thanks for helping us sort through this. good to talk to you. coming up on "morning joe," our interview with acclaimed director rob reiner and talk about the film maker's new prompt. "saving private ryan" is coming back to select theaters as we approach the 75th anniversary of d-day. tom brokaw joins us with a special look at the greatest generation. "morning joe" is back in a moment. when i was diagnosed with breast cancer,
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a statement to help americans to understand what's in the mueller report. their conclusion should trouble us all. >> we all strongly believe that there is more than enough evidence to indict president trump for multiple felony counts of obstruction of justice. >> obstruction of justice. >> obstruction of justice. >> obstruction of justice. >> president trump tried to fire mueller. >> and tried to get others to lie and create false evidence about it. >> 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. >> that was a portion of the new video for now this, that looks to explain the key findings of the mueller report featuring 11 former federal prosecutors along with the legendary actor robert de niro. the effort attempts to outline evidence they say clearly shows president trump obstructed justice. joining us now is the director of that video, acclaimed
filmmaker rob reiner. always great to see you. this feels to me like the right week for this, the right group of people to talk about this. i want to get specifically into the video you put together with robert de niro, but broadly about what you've seen as you listen to robert mueller make that presentation on wednesday, what was your reaction? >> well, you know, here's the thing, willie, a couple days ago mueller made his statement and it was wall-to-wall coverage on cable news. we've been talking about it ever since. that's the reason why i made this video and i'm going to make a couple more videos about the mueller report, because people don't know what's in it. you know, everybody said well, it's going to be a do over and all this stuff. it's not a do-over. it will be for the first time. having robert mueller on television for eight minutes basically took up everybody's oxygen and we've talked about this for days.
we're still talking about it. if we have hearings in congress that was on television, the public would start to understand what's actually in the mueller report, which is the biggest pile of criminality that has ever been put together against any president in our history. that's what we're trying to do. get people to understand what's actually in the report, so that people will then say i can't -- i don't understand how we're not, you know, indicting or holding this president accountable through impeachment. >> so rob, that report and what you've done here with this mini doc, you are part of a very literate community out there in los angeles, you make films that people go see and sit and enjoy and understand. how many people that you encounter on a daily basis in that highly literate community do you think have actually read the mueller report?
yeah. >> zero. and the point is, nobody in america has read the mueller report, including the president of the united states. he has not read the report because if anybody sat down and actually read what was in that report, you would see criminality coming out of your ears. it's -- when he says, he's been -- for two years has been saying the words no collusion and no obstruction, and complete exoneration, that is so far from the truth. there is piles of evidence of collusion in the first volume of the report and as we point out, over a thousand federal prosecutors say it's a slam dunk, he would be indicted, but for the fact that he's a sitting president. >> as an educational tool, how do you go about explaining to people the contents of the mueller report? >> we have two more mini docs coming up. one is going to focus on volume one, which is the collusion
part, and the other is going to focus on volume two, which is about obstruction. we're going to try to get people to understand what actually is in the report. >> rob, it's jonathan. >> hi. >> you're right about the power of the images the president has been worried for weeks about what would happen when robert mueller went before cameras and discussed what was in the report, but to what you're trying to do is increase awareness of the report and you believe it will turn people further, that the americans need to indict or perhaps impeach this president, therefore, is the actual target audience of this nancy pelosi. >> the target audience is the american public. nancy pelosi is stuck in a tough situation because the public is not aware of what this president has done. you know the comparison all the time with watergate, you had senate hearings with all the players in public talking about what went on.
that hasn't happened yet. we only get one side of the story, which is trump talking and then barr basically doing his roy cohn imitation and echoing everything trump says. the public needs to see people on camera under oath talking about what happened and then you're going to see a major shift and it's going to be very easy for nancy pelosi to go down the impeachment path when the public is aware of what actually happened. >> that video for now featuring 11 former prosecutors and academy-award winner robert de niro is available now. it's "now this." rob reiner, always great to see you. we'll see you soon. >> thanks for having me. >> we'll be right back with more "morning joe." "morning joe." searching for a way to help stop your cold sore?
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ultimately leads to chaos and betrayal. driving the king to madness. glenda jackson joins us now the woman who brings the king to life on broadway. two-time academy and emmy award winning actress who last year returned to broadway after a 30 year absence and as a result picked up a tony award for her efforts. as if that weren't enough she served 23 years as a member of british parliament. oh, my gosh, hello. >> hello. >> an honor. >> how is that for a resume. >> so this is a gender blind performance of lear and you were the first woman to play lear on broadway. what is the experience like for you? >> it was suggested that i do it by a friend of mine and actress who did it in barcelona and i did it. when i was a member of parliament one of the things that i did, was obviously visit
old people's homes day centers and things of that nature. one of the things that i found fascinating, as we grow older those absolute boundaries and gender boundaries begin to fray, and they begin to get a bit misty and foggy, and i think i've found that quite useful in playing lear. one of the really interesting things about playing it is that no one has ever mentioned the fact that i'm a woman having seen it. it's such an extraordinary play and it's -- i mean, he only ever writes about us, doesn't he, william, and who are we, what are we, why are we and human nature is immutable. the human condition hopefully can be improved. we keep making the same mistakes. you know, there are things in lear which just bang into your chest when you realize how close it is to how we're living now in this world. >> if it's true that as an actor
you have to make connections with the people you are portraying and maybe connect experiences, pieces of you, your own passions, what is it that connects you with lear? >> i think, it's not so much that i connect with him, it's the basic rule actually for actors, you have to view the world through your character's eyes. you can't be judgmental. that's quite an interesting approach, actually, to what we are because we keep making as i said the same frightful mistakes. >> i want to know how that influenced your political career and 23 years in parliament, that tenant of an actor of not being judgmental and how more politicians could use that bit of advice? >> i would be very surprised what i say, i would be very surprised, given the chaotic situation that my country is going through at the moment, i wouldn't be surprised, because one of the really revolutionary
things about being an mp is that you are always in the subgy gaited position and it's not simply that you have to work for some kind of popularity so you're re-elected. you really are, i'll put it precisely what i mean, we have advice surgeries in my country, all mps hold them, i used to hold them every -- i can't remember how many weeks now, but complete stranger would come into the room, one of your constituents, and they would lay their life out on the table in front of you because you were the port of last resort. you were the person who could get a response to a letter or could make a phone call for you. nine times out of ten those lives were absolutely ghastly through no fault of the individual at all. yes, you, as an mp, went through that process of trying to help and sometimes you did get the result that they wanted, sometimes you didn't. without exception, without exception, everybody always said thank you. whether you got the result they
wanted or you didn't. and that is such, you know, that's a very, very rightfully humbling experience because they have given you what you think is the most -- well, i do -- the most precious thing you've got, right to vote. therefore, you're always in that position of -- people talk about the power of members of parliament. it's rubbish. in many ways we are ultimately powerless because we are always in the position of having to work upwards. do you see what i mean? not as an individual, but for the work that you are there to do, which is why i am bemused at what parliament is doing or failing to do the at moment. >> so beautiful. >> we need you to hold a seminar on capitol hill, send you down to washington with that voice. >> that's your problem. >> back to lear for a moment, i have young children who are getting their first exposure in school now to shakespeare and i am curious as to your view on
why it has endured through the ages? shakespeare broadly but specifically king helear, why crowds will fill a theater up the street to see you play king lear. what is it about this play? >> i go back to what i said. human nature is immutable. somebody said which i think crystallizes what i'm trying to say, after the show one night, i suddenly realized that this is about a family, this play is about a family, and i said, a friend of mine, when it was their book to read that particular year at school refused to do it and they said why. she said, it's about my family and i'm not going through it again. it is that. we do mess up in no small measure and try to kid ourselves we're doing the right thing nine times out of ten. >> king lear is now playing on
broadway at the court theater. what an opportunity. glenda jackson, thank you so much for being on the show. it's so great to see you and meet you. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." ck with much more "morning joe. veteran's affairs partnered with t-mobile for business. with va video connect, powered by t-mobile, vets can speak to their doctors from virtually anywhere, and get the care they deserve, without it counting against their data, so they can return to their most important post. soulmate, best friend, or just dad. the va provides the care, t-mobile provides the coverage. but i can tell you liberty mutual customized my car insurance so i only pay for what i need. oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no... only pay for what you need. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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democrats. joining us now professor of history at tulane university, walter isaacson, and at the table now, nbc's senior correspondent tom brokaw. gentlemen, good morning. tom, i'm so interested to hear your take on the way the word impeachment is being used in our culture right now, as opposed to the way it was used during the nixon years which you covered and had a front row seat. >> and i've been going back over that period of time and the great, great difference is, it was so much more methodical back then by both parties. it was not let's put it on the calendar for monday. an impeachment means we remove the president from office and there's no more dramatic instance than in the american constitution or american way of life than doing it. they went at it, both parties, in the most methodical, thoughtful way and so they crossed every "t" and dotted every "i." they had discussions back and forth in public and privately. now they just throw the word
around like let's take a break and have an impeachment. i think that's really, really inappropriate and i think it cheapens the process, frankly. i don't think that it advances our interests in moving this country forward at a time now when we need to be paying much more attention to what the constitution says, what the process is, and who we are. we've got three branches of government. the president is still the strongest. but if you're going to take a president down, you better take him down in a way that you can defend that 100 years from now based on not just the evidence, but on following the rule of law. >> walter, speaker pelosi understand exactly what tom is saying here and that's why some democrats who are anxious to move forward with impeachment have been frustrated with her, but even since mueller's press conference where the pressure was ramped up a bit, nancy pelosi has been trying to hold the line at least to say there is a process here. >> i think tom is exactly right and speaker pelosi is.
there is a process. impeachment throughout our history has both been a legal process and it's also been a political process. sometimes, as tom said, when it was the nixon impeachment inquiry, it was done much more in a methodical way, very legal. if you read jared cohn's book on "accidental presidents" you can see sometimes it was purely haphazard. in this case it's become much more of a political thing, different from the nixon years where there were democrats and republicans, from howard baker and, you know, even goldwater, with open minds. i think we get into a real problem when we make impeachment a very, very political thing. at this moment, it's impossible to convict a president with this senate held by republicans and if we make this into a clown show, i think it's going to be very bad. i like the idea that donny
deutsch said of having a criminal inquiry and saying, if the president doesn't cooperate, it does mean we may have to open some impeachment inquiry in order to get the documents that we need for our criminal inquiries. >> tom, have you been struck at all by the similarities between tip o'neill's role in 1973 and 1974 when he was majority leader of the house and nancy pelosi as speaker today, in terms of both of them using the discipline of party organization as they approached impeachment? >> they were two grownups in the room is what it comes down to. looking across party lines, hugh scott was a republican leader in the senate and at the same time he was not pushing back out there saying you cannot do this. he was listening to what everybody had to say, from the white house up to emissaries from other places. all parties were having a voice and a role on that and not playing it publicly. they understood the gravity of what was going on, but it was very important, as you say, for
speaker o'neill, the democratic leader, not to pound the drum and say we're going to do this, i don't care. we have the votes and we're going to pull it off. they understood the consequences of it. this is not just a seasonal exercise, mike. this is all time. we're going to be setting precedents here that people will be talking about a hundred years from now. that's the important part. >> hey, wallter, it's heilemann here. having watched bob mueller do his statement the other day, and he ostensibly gets his way about the last word on the matter, what do you think the impact of that moment was on the trajectory of this story and do you think that mueller will in fact get his way or do you think that in the end, democrats in the house in particular will demand, insist that he come up and testify on capitol hill? >> i think it's going to be hard to demand and insist that he testify on capitol hill if he really doesn't want to, unless
you have a formal impeachment inquiry, and that's one of the arguments for an impeachment inquiry. however i just don't think that's going to redound well in this time and in this claim, int it's not going to lead to anything particularly useful. i hope what mueller did gets people to read the mueller report. i'm here at tulane, i assigned all 160 kids in my class to read the mueller report, not specifically to worry about trump, but to talk about facebook, to talk about russians, to talk about obstruction of justice, and to talk about exactly how foreign governments can interfere in our elections. i think the big first step, and i saw rob reiner on your show earlier is, get people to read this report. >> so tom, in our nuance-free universe, political universe, tom brokaw says, leave it alone,
don't do anything. what you're saying is, if there's evidence, follow it, but don't jump to impeachment before any investigation. >> any prosecutor in any mid-size city in the country, they would go methodically through, who are the people we should be talking about, what's the removal lule of law, not jua news conference and say we're going to convict him, we're going to have an impeachment proceeding. the forefathers put it very clearly how we have to work through all these procedures so all three branches of government have their own protection and their own place in it. the presidency obviously has a much larger place but at the same time you have to follow the rules. nixon thought he could get away with it because he was chief executive and had all the presidential power. they had the goods opn him, the heard him on tape. at the same time they said, we have to step back, and go step by step, as a good district
attorney would in a small state or district in the country. we're talking about the long reach of history and the underpinning of the american system. >> good advice and historical perspective. the anniversary of d-day, june 6th, 1944, "saving private ryan" is being released in select theaters in weekend. tom recently sat down with the film's director, steven spielberg, and its star, tom hanks. >> i'll see you on the beach. >> there have been a lot of world war ii films before yours. a lot of them in the eyes and judgment of some of the veterans at the end couldn't quite pull the trigger on how hard it was. >> i've never been to war. i'm a filmmaker. i also didn't want to rely on my imagination. it's a dangerous thing to have made science fiction and fantasy films and then apply all that to a historical subject such as the
omaha beach landings. >> nevertheless, steven spielberg trying to do just that as a tribute to his father, a world war ii veteran. >> this is going to stand in in some small way for what those kids experienced at 6:30 in the morning on june 6th, 1944. >> he put his actors through a rigorous boot camp under the command of marine captain dale dye. >> the legend now is that we were out in the freezing cold woods for weeks and weeks. i think it was only five days. >> and catered. >> yeah. it was a substantial five days. we were up at ten to 6:00, getting yelled at and hollered at and we had to wolf down some food and march through the rain wearing full packs. our weapons were real and they were heavy.
when a fake ambush happens at 6:00 in the morning, i couldn't see my hands in front of my face, only the luminous dial of my army-issue watch. >> spielberg studied photographers by famed war photographer robert capa to help bring the film to life. >> it took us 25 days of shooting to capture 25 minutes of those landings. >> follow me! >> it was very, very loud. it was a lot of explosives, special effects, you know. they're planting pyrotechnics either on your body or in the ground. there's a lot of places to get hurries. >> every agonizing moment was based on the recollections of veterans who were there. >> we said, you know, after the first explosion took my best friend out, he was just in
pieces all over the beach, i got sand in my eyes. when he said, i couldn't see anything, i said, you know, let's show the audience what it looks like not to really be able to see very much. >> here's what i always say when we make nonfiction movies, we'll do things away never done, we'll say things that never were said, but outside of that, we'll be as authentic as possible. >> this anniversary will be the last one in which we have veterans. is there a danger we'll lose sight? >> the danger is if he enters into a mythological place where it becomes a time of gods and heroes. if we ever forget that it was a bunch of individuals that went over, and they all had names like ernie and buck and robert, that's when we've done a bad job of being citizens of the world, i think. >> tom, your last question to tom there really hit me, because if you're 18 years old on june 6, 1944, you're 92, 93 years old
now, you're right, the next anniversary we may not have any of these guys left, we have to hang on to this moment. >> they're why we're trying to capture them as much as possible. the world war ii museum, if i may for a moment give a commercial, i was involved in the beginning of that, it was originally designed to celebrate the landing craft. now it has become a world class institution that takes in the entire big picture of world war ii, the airplanes, the submarine missions, the combat parts of it. and people come away from there both shaken and impressed and deeply moved about what they have to do as american citizens. i think it would be those kinds of institutions, broadcasts like this, that we have to keep reminding people. we do have veterans from 75 years ago who will be with us over there. a 98-year-old medic who worked without breaks for three days or something. so it still moves me in a way that's hard for me to explain.
when i went there for the first time, at the 40th anniversary, we weren't paying attention to it. my first day s were in 1943, i put it behind me. it changed my life, obviously. >> mike, what will you be thinking about as you look out at the beaches and the water? >> tom and i have been there for several of the anniversaries, 1984, the 40th, the 50th. every time i go there i think it's unfortunate, it's impossible, of course, that every american cannot get the opportunity to stand on that hallowed ground. not just the american cemetery above omaha beach, but there are several american cemeteries scattered throughout the countryside. walter isaacson, i worry, maybe because i'm old, in this age of twitter, instagram, with the
attention span so fleeting in this country, that we don't remember what happened at places like normandy on june 6, 1944, and it's such, such a stark reminder of who we really are and still remain. >> i was at the d-day museum last night, a few blocks from here in new orleans. the one that tom just talked about. and tom was one of the heroes of the conversation. tom brokaw and tom hanks. we did the npr show "on opponpo that will be aired this morning. we talked about what we should say to our children and our children's children, not about eisenhower or montgomery or marshall, but about each of those kids that went on the airplanes, went to those higgins landing boats. the discussion was we have to keep alive the phrase that tom created for our culture, the greatest generation.
at the end of our conversation, at the end of this npr show, we talked about tom, tom hanks, and the greatest generation. i want to salute tom brokaw for making this world war ii museum. and i've walked around it with tom brokaw, something special that will be there to keep us remembering this for years. >> it's an extraordinary museum right there in new orleans, if you get there, you have to go see it. we're lucky in this country to have historians like walter isaacson, tom brokaw, and even you, michael barnacbarnicle. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up our coverage, hey, steph. >> hi, willie. i'm stephanie ruhle, we have a lot to get to this morning. our team of extraordinary reporters is here with details on the stories impacting your