tv Morning Joe MSNBC June 5, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it's wednesday, june 5th. i'm willie geist. joe and mika will be back tomorrow with our special coverage of d-day live from normandy. with us capitol hill correspondent, the how of k.c.d.c. on msnbc, kasie hunt, politics editor for the daily beast, sam stein, former aide to the george w. bush white house elise jordan, national security expert, columnist at "usa today" and author of "the death of expertise" tom nichols. we have to talk about chernobyl. with us the co-founder and ceo of axios jim vandehei and white house correspondent for pbs news hour. she is in london for us this morning. before we go any further let's go around the table and say their favorite bette midler movie. >> trying to context actualize this a little bit. >> on "morning joe" what we do is the gag first and then the text later. >> it's a close call between
"hocus-pocus" and "beaches". >> i vote for "first wives club." a lot of fighting and -- >> i should have gone with that. >> wasn't she in one with shelley long? >> sure. >> "troop beverly hills". >> in love with the same guy and it went right out of my head. i will instead because i can't remember the name, "for the boys." >> excellent choices. >> is murphy brown an acceptable answer? it's not a movie. >> was she in "murphy brown". >> apparently. >> you're cheating. >> yeah. >> the context the president of the united states was up in the middle of the night in the uk about 2:00 in the morning, tweeting about bette midler calling her a washed up psycho. that's where his mind is. outrageous fortune by the way. i'm told in my ear, outrageous fortune. that's the one. >> he really likes to call people psychos. >> he does. >> on the eve of this -- of
d-day on the eve a few hours before he's going with the queen to portsmouth, england, in the south of england where he landed to commemorate the launch of d-day he's tweeting about bette midler. on the british side of the english channel the launching point where allied forces began to wrestle back control of europe from the nazis. attending today, the prince of wales, prime minister theresa may and german chancellor, angela merkel. the president is commenting on that and also why he did not serve in the vietnam war. >> you were not able to serve in vietnam because of a bone spur condition in your feet. do you wish you had been able to serve? would you have liked to serve your country? >> i was never a fan of that war. i thought it was a terrible war and very far away. you're talking about vietnam and at that time nobody ever heard of the country. this isn't like i'm fighting against nazi germany, i'm fighting -- we're fighting
against hitler. i was like a lot of people. i wasn't out in the streets marching. i wasn't saying, you know, i'm going to move to canada, which a lot of people did. but no, i was not a fan of that war. that war was not something -- >> would you have liked to serve generally? >> i would not have minded that at all. i make up for it now. $700 billion i gave last year and this year $716 billion and i think i'm making up for it rapidly because we're rebuilding our military at a level that it's never seen before. >> president trump interviewed there by piers morgan. the president saying he was a conscientious objector to the vietnam war. he had the deferment for college and bone spurs. >> it was on the form. not a fan. this war, not a fan, too far away. haven't heard of this place. it just failed all the tests really. this is the kind of classic world war ii was the good war,
that's the one i would have liked to have fought in, proud to serve, and that interesting phrasing as we noticed of when he says i am making up for it, i am giving $700 billion. it's -- the story gets better with every telling. >> remind me what was his personal view on vietnam? >> please don't remind us. >> after today's d-day events in england president trump heads to ireland for a meeting with the prime minister there and a visit to his golf resort. bring in nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols live from shannon, ireland. what does the rest of the day look like for the president? >> well, once he gets here he has a meeting, willie, with the prime minister of ireland. it's just a brief pull aside. basically meeting at the airport at shanann airport where there are so many refueling flights for the u.s. military. some potential protests there. he's mostly here to visit his property. his resort.
i hope i got the pronunciation, if not twitter will let me know. the controversy there is there's coastal erosion and they have tried to build up coastal defenses outside of that "gq," so it's an environmental concern here. controversy following the president. show you a copy of the local paper here, higgins criticizes trump on climate. this will greet president trump when he arrives here. he got pomp and circumstances in london. that trip it seemed like the president enjoyed it, we'll see whether or not he enjoys what seems to be a little political friction here in ireland. >> all right. hans nichols, appreciate it. keep an eye on twitter on your pronunciation there. >> you're in london where the president departed and just landed in portsmouth in the south of england as we said. what's the feeling there in london about the president's two days before he headed out of town? >> well, the most vocal and loud reactions to president trump were negative ones.
there were thousands of protesters in the streets on both days he was visiting and people really told me that they think they see him as a racist. some people told me they saw him as a global symbol of far right extremism. there were some make america great hats saying the president should get credit for supporting brexit before uk made the vote and decided to leave the european union. i think the president was trying to pivot after he landing and was insulting the mayor of london he then started taking in the pomp and pageantry and started really following the protocols that even in his press conference with theresa may a lot of people who didn't see a lot of fireworks there. then, of course, he gets back to his -- where he's staying and tweeting about bette midler and goes to show you even in a foreign country he's playing the role of a statesman he's focused on his brash brand of politics. >> were there any deliverables as we might say out of the meeting with theresa may? it's hard to say there could be
since he's 48 hours away of no longer being effectively the prime minister of the uk. what were the objectives and if there were any did they deliver on any of them? >> i think the objectives for -- were really just for him to be here, for him to take in the state visit. there were no deliverables that i could tell. i talked to members of parliament and experts on the ground in london and everyone said, theresa may is in a position she's stepping down as head of her party, going to be prime minister for a couple more months until the conservatives find a new leader but essentially president trump was pivoting and looking beyond theresa may because he was meeting with nigel faraj, the controversial leader of the brexit party and someone who was pushing for brexit. he was on the phone with boris johnson, someone looking to be a contender for the prime minister. even as he was talking to theresa may and really focused on his meetings with her, he was really in some ways thinking about all the other people that are going to be players in
london and in the uk when she's gone. >> while the president is overseas, republicans have begun to push back a little bit on his proposed tariffs with mexico. vice president pence is set to welcome a delegation from mexico to the white house today in an effort to keep new u.s. tariffs on imports from taking effect. the meeting comes as the 5% tariff on all mexican goods faces growing resistance from republican lawmakers voiced during a policy lunch between gop senators and trump administration lawyers yesterday. two republican sources say senator ron johnson of wisconsin warned lawmakers could deal the president an embarrassing rebuke if he moves forward, stressing, i think the administration ought to be concerned about another vote of disapproval. according to the "new york times" senator ted cruz told the white house lawyers to remember, they didn't hear a single yes from the republican conference in support of the tariffs calling them a $30 billion tax hike on texans. the "times" reports john cornyn complained, we're holding a gun to our own heads.
following the meeting senate majority leader mitch mcconnell reiterated his colleague's lack of support for the president's tariffs. >> there is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that's for sure. i think it's safe to say you've talked to all of our members we're not fans of tariffs. we're still hoping this can be avoided. >> what do you think of republicans who say that they may take action to block you imposing those tariffs? >> i don't think they will do that. i think if they do it's foolish. there's nothing more important than borders. i've had tremendous republican support. i have a 94% approval rating as of this morning in the republican party. that's an all-time record. can you believe that? isn't that something? i love records. >> casey, you have the proposal by republicans of another resolution of disapproval here. is this real pushback or just floating the balloon to the president saying you don't want to do this. >> i think that the anger and frustration is very real. you know, for mitch mcconnell to come out and say, you know,
sorry, there's just not support for this, ted cruz, not a single person in the conference, i mean this is not one of the things where they're split down the middle. they've taken the votes of disapproval before. it's unclear whether they actually do anything. you know, they could take more meaningful action to try to limit the president's power to impose tariffs under this national security exception. there are some republicans who suggested they do it. my question, how hard are they really going to fight this? are they willing to go to the mat with president trump on it? we'll see. reading between the lines with mitch mcconnell, i think he wants to avoid it entirely by trying to convince the white house behind the scenes this would be such a problem they don't want to go down that road. they have had, shall we say, mixed results in convincing president trump to see their side of the story before he goes out in public on something. >> sam, i saw you shaking your head as you watched the republicans talk about the pushback on tariffs. are you skeptical they're going
to do what they say they're going to do? >> are you not. >> as i said yesterday, everyone around the table was. >> we've seen this script before, right. voices of disapproval in public and then acquiescence when it comes down to it. until they show me otherwise i can't imagine them taking a vote against the president's domestic economic agenda. even if they did, i'm not sure they would have the numbers in the house to hold up a veto. even if they did, i'm not sure president trump will get to the point where he puts in the tariffs. he's threatened them many times before. we're dealing with like three layers of hypotheticals here, but i think the pattern is pretty straightforward at this juncture, republicans rarely, if ever, put a strong rebuke on this administration. >> to your point, will president trump actually implement the tariffs? will he set the administration on a course to actually make this happen? it kind of reminds me of john brennan's security clearance and how there was so much hoopla and the staff never followed through on the bureaucratic steps
necessary to actually rescind the clearance. he loves to make these threats that send everyone into turmoil, but then behind the scenes, his own staff -- >> doesn't matter if anything happens. he'll just manufacture something that mexico said in a private phone conversation and say you know what they gave in and doing x, y, z therefore i don't need to put tariffs in place. it's hard to get really passionate and worked up about something that seems pretty clear, not pretty clear -- >> guacamole and beer prices skyrocket it's going to be a crisis. >> toyota came out and told its dealers yesterday that it was going to cost suppliers if these tariffs are implemented, cost suppliers a billion dollars. >> it's going to cost consumers. >> right. >> more money. we talk about who -- it's going to cost mexico and the carmakers. no. it's going to cost consumers. tariffs are a tax. ted cruz knows it. i sound like bob dole. ted cruz knows it, the president knows it. the bigger problem here is, imagine the situation we're in where the republican conference is now saying, we really want to
stop the president from doing the thing he ran on, right. in theory this is what he promised his voters he would do and when he was running for president and said i'm going to start trade wars. >> two things. one is the real issue here is not the tariffs, right. it's the immigration flowing to the country and what the president actually promised was that he would build a wall and mexico would pay for it and that would solve everything. >> solve all our problems. >> the other thing that doesn't get mentioned in any of these conversations is that punitive tariffs like this on mexico will make the immigration problem much worse. we will be causing economic devastation in mexico and people will flee to america. what he's trying to do is solve a problem and going to make it worse doesn't seem to make much sense. >> he has a personalized view of politics. if i can make things hurt the guy i'm dealing with will give in. >> yeah. >> and politics, you know, it shows you that two and a half years in the president doesn't understand how politics works. >> it seems to be a classic situation of the -- of how this
president likes to negotiate. just make threats, you know, find the thing that he knows people will respond to, you know, focus in on that, regardless of whether it's actually a policy that's going to be effective. i mean, can mitch mcconnell talk him out of it? i don't know. it's harder once the president has gone out and made such strong public statements like he did in london yesterday. >> it's a measure, jim, i think of where we are in our politics and the relationship between republicans and the president of the united states, that it's actually news that republican leadership is coming out against tariffs. >> well, yeah. it's also -- if this did come to a vote, i think it's the biggest gutcheck of the presidency for republicans. there's almost not a republican in the senate who would not say a tariff is not a tax increase. that goes at the core of what a republican believes in. it's a tax increase that ted cruz said in that meeting it hits your voters directly. if they're forced to choose between increasing taxes and something that hurts their constituents versus trump and they choose trump, that will be
the greatest show of force that trump has had and i think the panel is probably right, trump usually wins, even in circumstances like that because they fear him even in situations like this for reasons i don't fully understand because it is their people who are going to pay higher prices for cars or higher prices for products. in all likelihood it will get resolved before that. you don't know. there's always an asterisk against everything. no one thought he would slap the tariffs on mexico and he keeps saying he's going to go through with it. >> we saw yesterday at the joint news conference with theresa may, said republicans would be foolish, effectively, to push back on his idea for tariffs with mexico. how do you see this ending, knowing the white house the way you do? >> well, i think the president is really daring republicans to try him. i think it's because he feels as though at the end of the day he's the person who their constituents are loyal to. i'm thinking of a conversation that i had with trump supporters
who were going to be losing some money, housing through hud, some money to fix their roof and said, you know, this money, if this goes through is going to hurt you. you're not going to be able to fix your home. that person said to me, this was in ohio, what we need even in our roof cavess in, that mexicans aren't going through the border and our country is safe. i think the president is banking on a lot of people thinking that way. i can't say there are a lot of trump supporters who would have their own personal homes collapse in thinking about immigration but this idea that president feels as though he sold people on this really hardline stance on immigration and that they're going to follow him to the ends of the earth in pursuit of that goal. i think that the way this ends i think republicans are going to be trying to send really hard messages to the president, but i would be really, really shocked if republicans then overrode a veto of the president if they tries to pass a bill to disapprove these tariffs and the president vetoes it. >> yamiche in london.
there's a quote from senator john kennedy, the republican of louisiana, talked to president trump on sunday and said if the tariffs, quote, he's committed to this, serious as four heart attacks and a stroke. he's moving forward. senator john kennedy is convinced that there will be tariffs. >> senator kennedy. >> known for that. >> jim vandehei, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," the tariff threat against mexico is not the only area where republican lawmakers are breaking with the president. there's also saudi arabia and the administration's move to bypass congress by selling weapons to that kingdom. senator chris murphy from the foreign relations committee joins us next on that story. first bill karins has a look at the forecast. >> good morning to you. active weather returns. a lot of people need to grabs the umbrella before you head out the door this morning. last night's storms rolled through minneapolis and southern. m minnesota and vehicles getting caught in high waters.
let's get into the forecast and some of the cars that got stalled out. 31 million people at risk of severe storms, not so much tornadoes but wind damage and large hail from st. louis right through southern indiana, louisville, lexington, cincinnati area, knoxville, charlotte, greenville, all wait through raleigh. a chunk. notice washington, d.c., not in this slight risk but strong storms here and there. the other story, houston is horrible when it floods. the roads flood and the morning rush hour will be a nightmare. torrential rains over the city should last the next couple hours. slow at airport too. and eventually over the next three to four days this big rain event moves through the south including louisiana, mississippi and alabama. they don't have the horrible flooding like they did in areas like st. louis and arkansas, but we could see new flooding in those areas. the storms even in new york city. late this afternoon. again, anywhere east of about dallas grab the umbrella with hit and miss showers and thunderstorms. so again, new york city, timing about 5:00 to 7:00.
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it's just another way we're working to make your life simple, easy, awesome. go to xfinity.com/moving to get started. 16 days after agents of saudi arabia murdered "washington post" columnist and united states resident jamal khashoggi at their consulate in istanbul the trump administration approved the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology to saudi arabia. one of two times the administration allowed u.s. energy firms to export nuclear technology and expertise to saudi arabia since khashoggi's murder. on october 18th of last year, and also this past february. democratic senator tim kaine revealed these approvals yesterday, citing records given to congress. congressional staffers from both parties and an energy department official confirmed kaine's account to nbc news. more than two months ago the senate foreign relations committee requested details from
the administration on seven transfers of nuclear expertise to saudi arabia, including the timing of the approvals. on october 17th, one day before the initial approval, president trump publicly defended the saudis saying they're, quote, a very important ally because, quote, they're a tremendous purchaser of arms and military equipment. saudi arabia plans to build nuclear power plants, but so far has refused to agree to safeguards to ensure it does not develop nuclear weapons. in addition, late last month, the trump administration bypassed congress and invoked a rarely used national emergency provision to authorize 22 separate armed sales to saudi arabia, the uae and jordan. democratic senator bob menendez and republican senator lindsey graham are teaming up to introduce 22 resolutions of disapproval in an attempt to block those deals. joining us one of the sponsors of that legislation, member of the foreign relations committee, democratic senator chris murphy
of connecticut. good to have you with us this morning. walk us through what happened here if you could and what your protests against it are. >> so the president and his administration act as if the saudis are the senior partner in this relationship, and what has happened is that there has been absolutely no consequences to saudi arabia for the murder of jamal khashoggi and the continued imprisonment and torture of other u.s. residents inside saudi arabia. the message that we are sending to the world is one of absolute grave weakness. in fact, saudi arabia has been rewarded for their murder of khashoggi because as we now know, we have continued to approve nuclear sales to the saudis even though they have not agreed to what we call the gold standard of civilian nuclear activity to make sure they don't start a nuclear weapons program, and now we -- the president is going around congress to sell them weapons that are going to
be used to perpetuate potential war crimes in yemen. these are the bombs we're selling them they drop on civilians inside yemen. it's an inexplicable move by the administration. you know, for many of us, i think we can't understand it outside the framework of the trump family's personal relationship with the saudis. there's a lot of money that historically has flowed from gulf state individuals to the trump family fortune to their real estate em empire and that has to be part of the explanation as to why they continue to bend over backwards to try to make the saudis happy, despite all of their ma lev lants activity. >> underline again here, twice, after the murder of jamal khashoggi, including one 16 days after his murder the sales were made and again on february 18th, four months after the death of jamal khashoggi transferring nuclear technology to the saudis. how do you explain this beyond
the personal relationships? the president said it explicitly there in the quote i read a few minutes ago, they're a big purchaser. the reason that we are not condemning them the way we ought to be condemning them after the murder of a u.s. resident and "washington post" journalist is because of a business deal, perhaps like the ones we're talking about here. >> yeah. so i think there are two additional ways to explain it. you hinted at one, first the president views every foreign relationship as transactional and as long as you're buying things from the united states, he doesn't see any reason why your human rights record or the other things you do to contradict american national security should stand in the way of us selling you things. we all know that there has to be a moral line that a country can cross so that we get out of business with them. you wouldn't sell your neighbor a gun if you knew that they were going to use that gun to kill someone in their household. that's what we're doing with the saudis. we're selling them weapons we know they're going to turn around and kill civilians inside
yemen. he also went to saudi arabia first because he, you know, just wanted to signal to the world that he was going to do everything different than obama. obama had tried to build a relationship with iran to disabuse them of a nuclear weapons program that made the saudis angry and that's why president trump went first to saudi arabia. the problem is the president's committing nuclear nonproliferation malpractice because he's pulled out of the iran agreement and by selling the saudis nuclear technology, it makes it much more likely that iranians are going to restart their nuclear program because they see the saudis have a head start. this is absolutely disastrous and there's no real way to explain it through traditional national security lenses. >> senator murphy, elise jordan, thank you for continuing to speak out against the united states selling these arms to fund a horrible war that is causing massive starvation in yemen. we see the saudi influence
throughout the region and i'm curious about your opinion, if they are, indeed, emboldened right now, looking at what's happening in sudan with 60 protesters being killed over the last few days and those widespread protests there that the saudis are involved in, are they more emboldened to pursue their own agenda in the region and an agenda that could be contrary to american interests? >> i think that we have to ask ourselves whether it is in our national security interests to get so deeply involved in a series of unfolding proxy wars in the middle east between the saudis and the iranians that's what yemen is becoming. the iranians are bad actors and we should have a policy of trying to stop them from expanding their influence in the region. the saudis are bad actors as well. the extremist groups we continue to fight around the world are sunni extremist groups, the bedrock underneath them is a brand of islam that saudi arabia
exports around the world. the saudis' human rights record is getting worse by the day, comparable to the miserable human rights record of the iranians. i think it makes sense for the united states to step back here and come to the conclusion that well, we don't want iran to gain much more of a foothold, we also don't necessarily need to be incentivizing the saudis to fight proxy wars around the region. i brought a disapproval mo egti before the senate under the obama administration to stop the armed sales to saudi arabia and i got about 20 votes for that and i'm glad senator graham and many other senators will support us in this measure we'll bring before the senate in the coming weeks. >> senator, tom nicoles here, it seems to me underlying all this, there's a huge separation of powers problem going on here, when the president doesn't want to deal with congress, he declares an emergency and governs by fiat.
is there any plan of dealing with the larger problem of the bipartisan problem over many years of the enlargement of executive power, but something i think the president seems to have put on steroids? >> yeah. i talked to one republican senator yesterday who said that they wanted an article 1 working group where we would get together and talk about restoring our article 1 powers. that sounded like a nice idea in theory, but we don't have to sit down and talk about how to restore our article 1 powers. we know how to do it. this week we could take up legislation to stop the president's out of control tariff policy. the republicans could strain that power. we could make the decision to take away the president's power to use this emergency loophole to sell arms to the saudis. you know, in this case, my worry is that if the president uses some vague emergency in the middle east in order to go around congress to sell arms to the saudis, normally congress has the right to disapprove of any arms sale, then we will
never weigh in on our an arms sale again. there's always some emergency somewhere in the middle east that would allow a president to say that they can't take the time to come to congress. if republicans don't step up right now on the tariff issue, on the arm sale issue, you're setting a precedent whereby congress is permanently taking itself out of the game and you're starting to become an imperial presidency from a foreign policy standpoint which is not what the constitution drafters envisioned. >> senator, your colleagues in the senate on the republican side had a meeting on a different issue yesterday with some officials from the white house and that is about the proposal of these tariffs on mexico. we heard in different reporting from ted cruz, mitch mcconnell himself saying we don't like tariffs, this is a bad idea, senator cruz reported to have told white house officials go back to the white house and tell them you didn't hear a single yes from republicans on this idea, do you believe that this will be at least one moment where republicans step up to the president? >> well, there are two things that happened yesterday.
one, the republicans sent this message to the president that he would be in real trouble if he sent over -- if he actually went forward with the mexico tariffs. that strategy has worked in the past and communicated to him that some of his nominees were so objectionable they wouldn't find favor in the republican caucus and he pulled them. he had chuck schumer, you know, essentially telling him he didn't believe he would actually go forward with it, which caused the president to double down and back himself into a deeper corner. so it's not clear whether the republicans' normal tactics of trying to quietly signal to the president he's gone too far in this case will work, and if the president calls their bluff, there's really no precedent for them actually using their article 1 powers to stop him. lots of complaints, but not a lot of action. unfortunately, i think this is in the president's hands. if he moves forward with the tariffs on mexico i would be surprised if the republicans in the senate go forward with a confrontation with him. they never wanted one before. i would be surprised if they do it but unlikely.
>> the president said yesterday overseas republicans would be, quote, foolish to cross him on this. senator chris murphy of connecticut, thanks so much for your time this morning. we appreciate it. >> thanks, guys. in our next hour we'll speak to senator tim kaine who yesterday revealed the saudi deal approvals. still ahead, new reporting on russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 election was better planned and more lucrative than better thought. ken delaney joins us with that reporting next on "morning joe." " when i showed my mom the dna results, it made her feel proud. they saw us, they recognized us. ancestry specifically showed the regions
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manipulate american public opinion during the 2016 election was better planned and executed than previously known, according to a new cyber security form analysis of nearly 10 million tweets. joining us now to discuss his new report, nbc news intelligence and national security reporter ken delanian. ken, good morning. so the headline is, russian trolls who interfered in the 2016 election also made ad money. what does that mean exactly? >> good morning, willie. well, what it means is that some of these trolls remember were
working out of a building in st. petersburg, russia, were using this software that pushes an ad to a person who would click on the link that they were tweeting out of these fake accounts. they got paid a little bit for every single one of those clicks. that's actually very common among russian hackers, even highly sophisticated government hackers. they don't get paid that much and we often see them freelancing as cyber criminals on the side. the larger sort of implications of this, you know, we've known a lot obviously about the internet research agency run by putin out of st. petersburg. they were indicted by robert mueller and mentioned in the mueller report but twitter released the vast archive of the tweets, 10 million tweets, from nearly 4,000 accounts connected with this group and now cyber security firms are digging into this stuff and seeing what we can learn. this is new research out this morning from sim man tax and what they found in addition to the money-making scheme this campaign was better organized
better planned, more well coordinated than we previously understood. it was pretty sophisticated. they used a core group of accounts that masqueraded as news organizations like san jose news or new orleans times, and they pushed out fake news aimed at the extremes of both sides of the political divide. then they used a larger series of automated accounts to massively retweet this stuff and it got to real americans who retweeted it and, you know, it's really hard to measure the impact of this, willie, but it's clearly a lot of people saw this russian propaganda during the 2016 election. >> it's kasie, how much money are we talking about here, if i'm a russian hacker freelancing on the side trying to take advantage, how lucrative is that? >> in the case of one account, kasie, they found it could have made nearly a million dollars. not a bad payday for people who are essentially, you know, clerks and out-of-work laborers
who found themselves in these hourly paid jobs at the internet research agency. these weren't sophisticated people necessarily who were doing this. the messaging and the organization came down through the kremlin, the u.s. government believes. the real takeaway here, kasie, is that one of my takeaways, is the u.s. government and the social media companies have yet to figure out a way to stop this. it's happening again. just last week i wrote about a campaign based in iran that was seeking to manipulate american public opinion through twitter and facebook and twitter and facebook shut down the accounts after they were outed essentially by another cyber security firm. there's really no strategy and it's very difficult to see how one would exist to combat this. it's not just happening with foreign governments. it's happening in american elections. americans do this as well. the fake news problem on social media is getting out of control and we all need to come to grips with how to deal with it. >> ken, let's hone in on one particular account that really upset me during the election
just because i couldn't understand why this tennessee gop handle was so mean to me and just really had this visceral dislike of me on twitter trolling me. >> a personal story. >> not just me. because this was, indeed, the most successful account and so can you talk a little bit about the scope and reach of that particular troll? >> yeah. at 10 gop, masquerading as tennessee republicans, they gained 150,000 followers, more than 10,000 tweets, garnered 6 million retweets. by some very prominent people across the political spectrum. some other news organizations have done an analysis of the content of 10 gop and some of it was really racist, really divisive. a lot of sort of far right memes, white nationalism. it was some bad stuff mixed with messages that many mainstream republicans would embrace and
americans thought these were other americans. that's the point. it was russian propaganda based in st. petersburg who were doing this. >> ken, we know they're ramping up again as we're 18 months away from another presidential election. based on what you know and people you've talked to, are we any better prepared for the 2020 election for fighting this stuff? >> we're a little better prepared, willie, because before the 2016 election, almost nothing was being done about this. the social media companies weren't reacting at all. now, for example, facebook has a team of people that are going out and looking for fake accounts and foreign influence. we're not nearly where we need to be. it's not even clear that these companies can do this by themselves. you know, the fbi is working very closely with the social media companies, but when you ask who in the trump administration is in charge of this effort, where is the whole of government approach to this national crisis? you don't get an answer. donald trump is not interested in this. it's going to happen again. you're absolutely right. the intelligence agencies have
warned it's continuing to happen and will happen again. you know, people think of election interference as hacking the vote, you know, getting into the voting machines and that's a threat, but, you know, we have a very disparate voting system in this country and it's difficult to make an impact there. it's easier with this propaganda. people can establish fake companies, and they are influencing public opinion with little money and effort. >> on nbcnews.com. thanks so much, ken. it is extraordinary when you consider the scope of the problem and the fact it's still there and that's not my suspicion, that's the intel agencies saying it's happening again now and going to happen in our next presidential election, that nothing is being done about it or at least not enough. >> robert mueller told us this. >> right. >> we were attacked by the russian government, particularly by a russian military intelligence arm of the government, and i think ken's story shows you the sheer size of the -- and scope of the effort that the russian government itself was willing to put into this attack because
it's a low-cost, high-payoff attack. this kind of astro turfing and planting of fake stories is something -- >> that's like -- >> you do for peanuts. >> what ken was talking about was the last war, really. when you look forward, the sophistication of the disinformation campaign is going to be -- going to make 2016 look quaint. >> fake videos. things that never happened. >> it's not, obviously, of course just the purview of the russians or any foreign actors. we saw a couple weeks ago a manipulated nancy pelosi video making her look drunk basically was viewed by millions of people before people understood that it was fake and taken down from the internet. that was just some guy in the bronx kind of creating his own video. so -- >> facebook was like sorry, we're going to leave it up and tell you here is the fact check for it. >> okay. my wife works for facebook. >> i'm sorry. >> you know, i will say, there's a very difficult question that every social media company has to confront in this day and age,
which is at what line does a manipulated video become pernicious and do you take it down? is a video just sort of casually, you know, mocking, you know, nancy pelosi by, you know, putting little quirks into the video, that is something you have to take down? is it not pernicious enough? each social media company has to figure out the ultimate regime in which they're policing their own activities and they're not even close it seems to figuring that out. >> it's going to be -- the other thing the russians will do again, it will be a brute force attack, fire hosing so that nobody, facebook, instagram, nobody is going to be able to keep up with that many fakes coming through the pipeline. that's going to be their goal, is -- >> total fire hose. >> not just russia. if you're a hostile foreign power, what would stop you or disincentivize you from interfering when the russians faced little to no consequences? >> that's right. it's interesting in ken's report a lot of these accounts were created between may and august of 2014, before they knew donald trump was in it.
they just wanted to sow chaos. we learned from robert mueller and others that russia put the thumb on skalts fthe scale for trump. strict abortion lines are creating battle lines ahead of 2020. heidi has new reporting on joe biden's decades long evolution on the issue and some may not know about it. "morning joe" is coming right back. let me ask you something. can the past help you write the future?
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. number one, roe v. wade is the law of the land. the woman has the right to choose that decision. and if this court were to overrule roe v. wade and i was president, i would make it legislatively -- i would push to make it legislative. that was joe biden in new hampshire yesterday. joining us now, her latest
reporting talks about the views on abortion rights. you say, quote, it is striking it is completely recognized. >> going back to the late 1970s and early '80s, joe biden's record is far more conservative than previously understood. we all know biden is a devout catholic, always has been, he's personally been opposed to abortion. but in this case at the time that the hyde amendment was conceived, there was a raging debate over what the exceptions should be for a federally funded abortion. in this case joe biden specifically aligned himself with more conservative republicans and democrats in opposing any exceptions for rape and incest. so just to be clear, we're talking about medicated funding abortion for poor women here. these were votes that were taken in the late '80s -- or in the late '70s, early '80s, and joe biden in this case did align with conservatives like jessie
helms, with conservatives like robert bird of west virginia, with some of the more liberal eastern catholics like ted kennedy, like pat moynihan did support those exceptions. the second thing we discovered exclusively, willie, is in the current context of the 2020 debate, biden does stand alone in continuing to support that hyde amendment which bans federal funding for abortion with some rare exceptions, including the life of the mother, including rape and incest now. so that sets him apart from all of his competitors. the female competitors, for example, who are all senators are co-sponsoring legislation to repeal hyde. and the reason this is happening now, willie, is because of all of these state laws which are seeking to essentially end abortion in some of these southern states, and these competitors and these female senators feel that the way of protecting roe is by caudifying hyde among other legislation. you heard biden say there that
if it comes to it, he would himself also support legislation to caudify roe, but right now he's not there in terms of the number one most obvious way to do that which is through the hyde amendment. >> heidi, you've got your hands on a 1994 letter that joe biden wrote, then senator biden, to constituents where he pointed out that on no fewer than 50 occasions he had voted against federal funding for abortions. the quote inside the april 7, 1994 letter reads, those of us who are opposed to abortions should not be compelled to pay for them. we'll see how that plays in the democratic primary. >> that's right, and we also got correspondence with a catholic diocese newspaper, willie, where it really gives you a window into biden's personal feelings on abortion. we have to stress that biden made so clear that he would protect roe. he made a career against criminalizing abortion. he opposed chief court justices
who would end roe. but in this case we have correspondents showing his real personal feelings on abortion. this is from 1986 where he tells the catholic diocese newspaper that abortion is, quote, wrong from the moment of conception, and he praised pro-life groups for trying to push back the frontier on when abortion is legal. so, again, we've got these votes from the late '70s, early '80s but an evolution joe biden has spoken about personally with tim russer about how he's really had this internal struggle with trying to respect his personal beliefs but also understanding what his political responsibility is and that there really is, in his mind, a sliding scale of viability of the fetus and that he believes to this day that roe is the best way and the best compromise to try and reflect that internal tension. >> in a lot of ways this is not surprising. joe biden is a devout catholic who is against abortion, so that shouldn't surprise anyone. also he became a united states
senator in 1973, so this is not the first or last issue we'll hear about the evolution of joe biden. >> exactly, with the wrong track record and you have such a paper trail and so many votes, of course this is what some of joe biden's opponents are going to love this primary season, that they can tap into inconsistencies and evolutions within his political background. >> the reality here is that this was status quo for catholic democrats for decades. this did not get taken out of the democratic platform until 2016. this is, yes, something else he's probably going to, as you saw, have to address, but it is, to a certain extent -- we know he's going to be dealing with how positions have changed over decades of politics. >> nearly a half century. fascinating report. heidi, thank you so much. we'll read your new report on msnbc news.com. to commemorate the 76th
anniversary of d-day. plus senator tim kaine will be our guest. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ to make each journey more elegant. at adp we're designing a better way to work, so you can achieve what you're working for. but we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you.
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correspondent kasie hunt, george stein, national security expert and columnist for usa today, tom nichols, and joining our conversation, lucky for us, pulitzer prize-winning author, doris kearns goodwin, analyst, and moderator joe costa. joe and mika will be back tomorrow from normandy. queen elizabeth will be commemorating the 76th anniversary of d-day. the landings of normandy began to wrestle back control of europe from the nazis. also attending today's ceremony, the prince of wales, prime minister theresa may, and german chancellor angela merkel, among
others. tomorrow the president will be the enormity of the cemetaries there. doris, i have to ask you about the 76th anniversary as we sit here on the eve of one of the most important days in history. >> we are on the eve, so it's the day before that fascinates me. we know from history that d-day worked. but all the people 75 years ago were living with a sense of dread. eleanor roosevelt said she felt like she had a sword hanging over other head, not knowing when it will fall but knew it had to fall. winston churchill when he was going to sleep on this night said to his wife, do you realize tomorrow morning 25,000 of our men may be dead? franklin roosevelt was so tense he couldn't even go to sleep. and all those soldiers, i can't imagine what they were feeling when they were waiting to land. churchill wrote to roosevelt saying, i wish you were here. i need you to help me break the tension. roosevelt was supposed to go to
england but his health wasn't well enough. but roosevelt, they said interestingly, they said had the most capacity to deal with the tension because his polio had taught him, i can do what i can do but i can't control other things. and he knew all those soldiers were equipped with the best tanks and trucks. it had taken the united states years to mobilize this force, so he had to sit back and wait. finally at 4:3030 a.m., eleanor called and said, they've landed. they're going up the beach to the hills. and then with the great crusade of eisenhower, where he said, if this fails, i will take responsibility. then church bells rang and you knew it had started. >> i want to read the first two lines of this. quote, you are about to embark on the great crusade toward which we ever striven these many
months. the eyes of the world are upon you. and today we have the president of the united states there with queen elizabeth, other world leaders in port smith, the launch of this invasion. tomorrow the president will be on the beach of normandy. you've been there many times, many of us have been there as well. i can't think of a place where the chills come harder and faster and longer than they do when you stand on those beaches and look out at the water. >> and you think that western civilization was at risk. it was that serious. what would have happened if hitler had conquered? they had already conquered western england, france was waiting to be liberated. the bravery of those soldiers, i still can't imagine what it's like to get in that landing craft and get out. as i say, the american country and business had been allied together for 25 years. what they produced in those shifts was unbelievable, thousands of tanks and trucks
and planes and equipment. sometimes they had too much on their backs. but it was a sign of government and america coming together. every level was working, and it worked. but i can't even imagine, as i say, what it was like on this day. you just want the day to end. that's what eleanor said, i wish it were tomorrow. >> doris made such an important point. history gave it a moment of inevitability. we were an american and we had to do it, but it sure wasn't inevitable on this day 75 years ago. >> i think people forget because of the mythology and the entertainment and the popular culture that emerged around world war ii, we forget this was a one-run thing. nobody was sure how it would come out probably until after stalingrad when the nazis were on a strategic patrol backward,
but then even the question was, are we going to defeat them? how complete will the victory be? how long will it take? it's true, we look back at it and we say, the nazis, there was no way they could have won. right into the battle of the bulge, there were allied commanders saying this thing could go on for a while and may not end the way we want it to end. it was incredibly close. >> in 1940 we were only 18th in military power. we went to 17th when they surrendered. we had no fighter planes and roosevelt said, i'm going to have 50,000 planes made this year and they thought he was nuts. >> we were drilling with broomsticks. >> that's right, that's right. >> our army recruits didn't have rifles, so they drilled with broomsticks instead of guns. >> and doris, it seems incredible to remember that actually the country was at a fairly isolationist moment prior to world war ii, and fdr had
quite a heavy lift to convince and woo the american public and to make it politicall politically palliatable to make america involved. do you think there is anyone today that could shift public opinion for national security? >> that's a really good question, because fdr had an incredible talent to simply explain to the country. he did it through the depression and he had to do it now through this isolationist period. he had to control his emotions. one time he was so angry at isolationist congressmen, that at one point he named them, he called them a traitor. wait until the second draft, he was no longer named. the third draft, it was all sweetness and light. but what happened in europe mattered to us. then he took steps. he sent destroyers to england.
he got congress first that was isolationist and then he goes through business and he gives them depreciation and he brings in top republicans to his cabinet. it was a brilliant way to shape everything. >> there was something that happened in port smith with queen elizabeth there. queen elizabeth was 14 years old on d-day. she has vivid recollection what was happening that day and what was happening in europe and the perils of this idea they were going to secretly launch from port smith on the beach of normandy. >> it's incredible. what a tower of strength she is in general. just watching her dignity in these last days. as we've been going through the d-day thing, it makes you wish sometimes that -- i know we have no king, no queen here, and of course that's what the revolution was about. but there's something about somebody who can stand above the politics going on and represent
the history and position of the country. like a small tower she is. >> bob costa, the president of the united states was over there last night in an interview with piers morgan. he talked about his own lack of service and put it into context at today's ceremony. let's listen to what he said. >> reporter: you were not able to serve in vietnam because of a bone spur condition in your feet. do you wish you had been able to serve? would you have liked to serve your country? >> well, i was never a fan of that war, i'll be honest with you. i thought it was a terrible war, i thought it was very far away. you're talking about vietnam and at that time nobody had ever heard of the country. this is not like i'm fighting against nazi germany, we're fighting against hitler. i was like a lot of people. i wasn't out in the streets marching, i wasn't saying i'm going to move to canada, which a lot of people did. i was not a fan of that war. that war was not something i wanted to be involved in.
i think i make up for it now. $700 billion i gave last year, and this year $716 billion, and i think i'm making up for it rapidly because we're rebuilding our military at a level that it's never seen before. >> so, bob costa, what we heard there was effectively the president saying he's a conscientious objector to the vietnam war and maybe it wasn't the bone spurs, after all, that kept him away. >> the president's record on vietnam came under scrutiny not just because of his trip to europe this week but because of recent attacks from presidential candidates like pete buttigieg and they've been questioning the president's bone spurs and asking, was he using it as an excuse to get out of fighting in vietnam? it's one of the much charged
debates in the '60s and '70s in vietnam. republicans believe this won't hang over them in 2020 because they believe vietnam has their own questions to grapple with and discuss, but they also know if they move forward and nominate a veteran, this could be the way it was not in 2016. >> president trump is in port smith in the south of england right now where he attend a ceremony to commemorate the eve of d-day before he stops in france and ireland on the way for tomorrow's commemoration of d-day itself. the president appearing today with the queen. we'll check on that as they get together for that ceremony. meanwhile, vice president pence is set to welcome a delegation in an effort to keep u.s. tariffs on imports from taking effect. the meeting comes as 5% of tariffs on all mexican goods grows voiced on a policy between
republican senators and trump administration lawyers yesterday. two gop sources say senator ron johnson of wisconsin warned the lawmakers could deal the president an embarrassing rebuke if he moves forward, stressing, i think it is administration ought to be concerned about another vote of disapproval. according to the "new york times," senator ted cruz told white house lawyers to remember they didn't hear a single yes from the republican conference and supported the tariffs, calling a $30 billion tax hike on texans. texas senator john corning complained, quote, we're holding a gun to our own heads. here is senate leader mitch mcconnell speaking after that meeting. >> there is not much support in my conference for tariffs, th s that's for sure. i think it's fair to say you've talked to all of my members, we're not a fan of tariffs. we're hoping this can be avoided. >> what do you think of republicans who say they may take action to block you in opposing those tariffs? >> i don't think they'll do that. if they do, it's foolish.
there's nothing more important than borders. i've had tremendous republican support. i have a 94% approval rating as of this morning in the republican party. that's an all-time record. can you believe that? isn't that something? i love records. >> eugene scott, this is a situation where the president has been extraordinarily belligerent in public which usually makes it much harder to push him off a position like this. and frankly, republicans in the senate, they've tried things like this before. there are potentially stronger steps they could take, but the house leader kevin mccarthy is already on the record as saying, you know, no way, no how would they vote to override the president's veto. >> indeed, and that's in part because mccarthy realizes that if he does push back against the president's ideal, the president will probably get behind another primary opponent for many of these lawmakers who have criticized him. but what the president has to think about is what many of the
republican lawmakers are thinking about, and that's their constituents. republicans along the border know that many of the tariff costs that could come from this policy idea will be pushed to customers, will be pushed to american consumers. therefore, making the economy not as great for them as the president himself says it has been for them, and that really can affect their reelection. it also could affect the reelection of the president himself. >> and bob costa, republicans in the senate know what the president of the united states seems to be denying, that this will raise prices for consumers. toyota came out yesterday and said if you're going to buy a toyota tundra after these tariffs in mexico go into effect, it's going to raise the cost of that vehicle for you. the president, though, does not seem to be deterred, perhaps maybe should he be in the senate. what recourse, really, do republicans have besides talking to the "new york times" after this meeting? >> or the "washington post." >> sure. i put those in the wrong order
for you, bob. my apologies. >> it's all good, willie. what you've seen from republicans right now is a growing appetite to challenge the president's key instincts on issues like immigration and trade and foreign policy. not only was there a conference meeting on tuesday where you have republicans talking about the tariffs and their unhappiness about it, but you saw senator mitt romney of utah give his speech and talk about the need for the u.s. to have a stronger relationship with longstanding european allies. so across the board in the republican party, there is a frustration that was there always in the trump administration but is growing as this year unfolds even more. but again, it comes back to your core point about will they take action? and at this point, president trump with his remarks at the news conference is, in essence, testing them, saying, you may grumble, but i believe you still need me to win reelection, as eugene was saying, to keep power. and because of that dynamic, the white house does not truly believe this republican party
will buckle. >> that reminder of how popular he is in the republican party gets exactly to that point. don't forget how popular i am with your voters, republicans and the senate. doris, this also gets to questions of executive power. the president likes tariffs because it's something he can wave the wand and implement, something he's shown an affinity for in the first couple years of his presidency. >> no question. he hasn't gotten that relationship yet with the people and the congress to change the sentiments around what he wants to do, but he has the power. i think this is the bigger battle of our time. what is that relationship between congress and the executive? i mean, i've written about my guys who used executive power, but they needed to. the emancipation proclamation was executive order, but even then lincoln went for a 13th amendment because he knew he had used the power at moment when he could. teddy roosevelt brought a cold strike union together. never had somebody done that. they said it's unconstitutional. but they had to do it in my judgment, depending on it.
but then it accumulates over time and i think congress has to exert its power. this is a government that depends on those separate powers. >> and the power in the modern era -- and this started way before president trump, quite frankly. congress has been seeding its responsibilities to the president partly because it helps them avoid having to answer politically tough questions. when president obama wanted to strike syria and he went to congress and everyone was terrified of even taking a vote on it. so to a certain extent, they only have themselves to blame. >> trump doesn't like to be challenged by anybody, so he grabs the powers that he can. it's not just with tariffs, it's with any foreign policy venture, it's also with his media appetite. he rarely sits down for confrontational interviews. i think it hurts his presidency a little bit, it doesn't challenge him. another thing i've noticed, everything is done true strictly economic terms. every foreign policy maneuver -- >> business deals. >> -- business deals. you've seen it with the tariffs,
obviously, this is an economic solution of what he considers immigration. he says i'm going to inflict pain on mexico until they solve the immigration issue. you also saw it on service in vietnam. he's making up this hole that he has for not serving by personally giving $70 billion to the pentagon. so everything is done through a business transaction and that's skbrus essenti just essentially how he governs. >> even the issue with khashoggi, we need them. and where is morality? >> the other problem with how the president uses executive power is even for the mundane. i'm kind of hamiltonian about this, there are times the president has to make decisions
that no one else can make. when president obama was going to move into syria, i actually supported him. i thought, he has the authority to do this, he should report to congress. there are times of great stress and emergency. the problem is the president says, i just want to do some stuff and congress is annoying me today, so i guess we're just going to have an emergency and i'll just do it. and he gravitates toward executive orders, national emergencies, the use of the military, things that are directly within his control over, again, even the most mundane -- not that tariffs are that mundane, but they're not exactly world war iii, either. so it's almost like, again, we're just getting used to this constant exercise of executive power that goes around congress. and congress -- i don't think -- we keep asking, well, the republicans -- lucy is not going to kick that football this time. i mean, lucy is not going to hold the football. charlie brown is not going to kick it this time. >> eugene, weav've said this ma
times before, but the president is running the government like he ran the trump organization. he's at the head of the table, he's making the shots, he's the head of the country, we're not getting ripped off anymore. interesting proposition to treat the united states constitution like he did "the apprentice." >> yeah, we know that didn't go over very well for everyone on "the apprentice" and that's worth noting because the economy hasn't benefited everyone, either. so when the president complains about whether or not other things matter beyond the economy and why his coverage isn't focused on that, it's in part because the economy's benefits haven't touched all americans at the same level. we know that people of color, we know that many people in the heartland, we know that other groups that perhaps have been more critical of the president have not seen the benefits that some of the more fluent members of our society and bigger companies have, and these are
issues that will continue to come up on the trail of 2020 as democrats seeking to replace the president appear and hope to make the argument that trump's economy hasn't benefited all people. >> eugene scott and robert costa of the "washington post," thank you both for your insights. we always appreciate it. still ahead on "morning joe," there was plenty of speculation whether or not hope hicks would comply with the congressional subpoena. the answer? no, she will not. we'll talk about that and more developments straight ahead on "morning joe." d more developments straight ahead on "morning joe." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ applebee's new loaded fajitas. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient applebee's new loaded fajitas. originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
you never know what life is going to throw at you. [ whimpering ] and from this point on. nothing is going to be the same. [ "all these things that i've done" by the killers ] no, no, no. this way buddy. no! liam's heads for comforts is in the 80th percetile. oh that's cool. it's a lot of head. it's like you're the dad and i'm the mom and we're in a relationship and this is our baby. [ laughing ] well... it's exactly like that! exactly! beautiful morning in washington, d.c. as you look at the white house, the president, of course, overseas right now in portsmouth on the eve of d-day, a moment in history. two sources tell nbc news
excommunications director hope hicks and former deputy counsel annie donaldson have been told not to hand over any documents to the house judiciary committee related to their time at the white house. in a letter to the committee, hicks said she would not provide any documents related to her time in the administration or on the trump transition team, though she did agree to turn over some documents related to the campaign of 2016. in a statement, committee chairman jerry nadler said, quote, the president has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with the request. he added, we will seek reasonable accommodation on these and all of our discovery requests and intend to press these issues when we obtain the testimony of both ms. hicks and ms. donaldson. jennifer tau, and deputy assistant general, elliott williams. jennifer, let me start with you
and the white house treating subpoenas as optional. what should the judiciary committee be doing here in response? >> i'm really happy with what the judiciary committee is doing. i think they're taking the right steps and they need to contest these, but first they have to deal with these accommodations. i think what's most important is the president is right now, as you know, off overseas enjoying this kind of magic kingdom vacation. but when he comes back to the ground here in the u.s., he's facing this barrage of legal issues, mostly with the hearing that began with the house judiciary committee. most of what the house is doing is standing around and moving forward like adults as a practical matter here. >> so what happens here, hope hicks says, no, i won't show up. i see your subpoena and i ignore your subpoena. what do they do now? >> they can try and work with them or take the matter to court and get a court order. >> and force her to show up. >> force her to show up.
>> i'm sorry to disagree here, but i don't see how this meticulous approach the members are taking is smart at this point. we've had numerous high-lef hih officials say they won't produce documents or appear before congress, and that seems like a general affront to the basic notion of congressional oversight. how can you say, well, let's accommodate this a little bit more when the line has been crossed already? >> i agree with you in that it depends what role we're playing. as a citizen i'm very frustrated of this disregard of the rule of law and treating these procedures as optional. on the other hand, i understand that for the general public, what they actually need to see is the crimes and misdemeanors, in other words. so to the extent this game is played on procedure and who is showing up as opposed to getting the facts in front of the people. that's why i think the hearing on monday is so critical. if you look at the title, it's investigating the mueller report and the president's obstruction, ask crim and crimes is in the title and i
think of what deutsche said in this space. >> monday features john dean. john dean was the white house counsel for nixon. i don't know necessarily what additional elements he could add. he could talk about the historical context here, but let's say, elliott, you were still on the hill. what would you be advising them on how to approach this? >> i think from a political standpoint they need to get the facts of the mueller report out and on the record. but sam, i'm in 100% in agreement with you, i question a witness that was most relevant 40 or 45 years ago just because watergate was relevant but what this is about is getting robert mueller to testify and robert mueller on the record. to be clear, that press conference a week or so ago was some of the clearest information we've had about the president's
wrongdoing. just because, when you have a 448-page report that most americans are not going to read or have not read, hearing the drafter of that report say on the record, i could not exonerate the president, had a hugely important narrative impact, so let's get mueller on the record to testify. he's the one we need to hear from. this will be an interesting hearing, it will be enlightening. and to answer your question about my being on the hill, what you want is the splashy political moment, and of course john dean can provide that, but he's not robert mueller. he's the person that really needs to be testifying right now. >> elliott, you've been behind the scenes for these negotiations. i imagine there are a lot of americans out there who don't understand why there isn't, you know, a more aggressive public push from leaders to do that very thing, to compel robert mueller to come before the committee. if you're working on that, if your ultimate goal is to make that happen, what are they doing right now? why are we sitting waiting for
them as they work through that? >> under normal circumstances, if these were normal times, all these people would be working out the terms of their testimony and the parameters. but we're not in normal times. we're just not. look, the president, starting on january 3rd, the first time the president tweeted out the words "presidential harassment," we entered a new era where congress simply was not being respected as an investigative or oversight body. that's the framework we're in right now. so, again, i would -- because robert mueller, i would think, is a reasonable human being, i would think he's probably negotiating with the committee right now. i don't know if they need to reach the point where they need to subpoena him, because he needs to testify and i think he ultimately will at some point. but it's a drastic remedy to start going down the road of suing people and compelling their appearance. i think we will see that with hope hicks and annie donaldson. because, again, congress merely having the power to call someone
in is no longer enough. you've got to go to mom or ask dad, which is asking a court to do it, and i think that's the next step we're going to reach with all these folks. except robert mueller, i think he'll probably come in on his own. >> this goes back to donald trump's view of the constitution. he doesn't see congress, especially this congress, as a co-equal branch of government, and he can say to them, you've subpoenaed people, you've subpoenaed documents. i don't owe you any of that, which puts pressure on the committees. >> i still think what congress needs to do more than gathering any facts, they have facts. those facts are in the mueller report. they have to provide a story. they have to provide a narrative as to how this happened. why did it start being a problem with russia? why did so many people not tell the truth about it? what was going on? what does obstruction of justice mean? collusion, that awful word that no one understands what it is. one of the things the best presidents do is they educate, and the best congress now has to do it, the citizenry as to what
this is, a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. there's financial records, he did this, he did that. unless the country comes to a collective wisdom about what this president did and they themselves think that something should make the president deal with this, then we're going to have more division in this country than ever before. >> just from reporting on the hill, i'm sure kasie can attest to this, too, there is a frustration among democratic lawmakers over precisely that. they feel like they've spent the past six or severen ween weeks thely release of the mueller report, how can you compel the release of certain documents? all of which is important, obviously, but it's been a time nerd which they've not really talked about the actual substance of the mueller report ifrt itself. so they're trying to get to a place where they're telling that story. i think mueller was a step in that direction, and i guess calling john dean is another step in that direction, but there is so much more that lawmakers are trying to get them
to do. there are people that are not totally within the mueller front but adjacent to it, the chris christies of the world, the corwin lambowskys of the world. >> the challenges we are living in a reality show presidency with a president who can redirect the narrative at a moment's notice and, you know, nancy pelosi is running this like the institutionalist that she is, very carefully and with deference to her committees, and the result is that the narrative is getting lost. >> jennifer, last word to you on this. >> what doris and you all said, i think we all need to use the right words. we should be saying the words, the crimes and the cover-up. we don't need to use these fancy legal terms. crimes and cover-up. that's what we're looking at. >> good to have you here despite the fact you cited danny deutsche's argument because you
gave his ego a boost. elliott williams, thank you as well. school officials facing charges on the deadly shooting in parkland, florida. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is coming right back i'm here with the cortezs, lawsons, carnevales at their family reunion to show them the family of chevy suvs. this is the trax, the equinox and the traverse. which one is your favorite? the trax, actually. more compact. the equinox is jumping out at me. - the blue one. - the red one. and i would take that traverse. no matter what you want in an suv, chevy's got the perfect one for you. you got it covered. current competitive owners get 14% below msrp on most equinox models. that's over $5600 on this equinox. find new roads at your local chevy dealer.
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a former school safety officer in parkland, florida was arrested yesterday for failing to confront the gunman who fatally shot 17 people at marjorie stoneman douglas high school last year. 56-year-old scot peterson was charged with 17 counts of neglect to a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury. the broward office says his charges carry a potential sentence of 96 and a half years in a federal prison. the charges are deemed unprecedented and spurious. danny, we've already had this conversation on the commercial break whether or not cowardice that mr. peterson displayed that day versus criminality. what's your view of this?
>> if it's cowardice of a duty, a contractual duty or some other duty, a parental duty, it could rise to the level of a crime. but the supreme court has said that police officers are not the guarantors of all of our safety, the citizenry at large. instead, even inaction by a police officer in the face of a known risk may not be enough to get over that immunity that police officers have from civil lawsuits. so it stands to reason that if police officers are generally immune from civil cases, the burden of proof is much higher in a criminal case. so charges against a police officer, even a school resource officer for child neglect, seem to fly in the face of the idea of police officer immunity, even for their inaction. >> so this is a difficult case for the prosecution. >> it has its challenges. in addition to that, under the florida statute, is this school resource officer a caregiver under the child neglect statute? that normal slly is a parent or adult in the household.
this would be a stretch to expand that to a school resource officer, especially to someone like peterson, who was the only officer on duty that day fort high school, as i understand it. >> so tuculpable negligence. what does that mean as opposed to criminal negligence, for example? >> we have civil negligence which is just an objective standard c standard. was there a standard of care and did the criminal violate it? criminal negligence is like you act knowing there is a risk. we don't care what was in your head, we know you violated a standard of care, what you did was dumb. but criminal negligence is a higher standard and it has to be, because in the criminal context, we take your liberty. in the civil context, we only take your dollars, so we need that burden of proof. >> why are we here? was it pressure from the community? why are we seeing it unfold this way?
>> sometimes we look to people to hold responsible for these tragedies, and that might be behind what fueled these charges. in this case the core criminal defendant was the shooter, and peterson is going to make the argument that this is something that happened independent of his action, maybe even his cowardice, maybe even his inaction was fueled by lack of knowledge or lack of experience or whatever the case may be. but it does not rise to the level of culpable negligence significant enough to hold him criminally responsible. >> even the florida department of law came out and said his actions made people. the virginia democrat is standing by with more on the story of jamal khashoggi.
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with that being said, saudi arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the middle east. if you look at saudi arabia, they're an ally and they're a tremendous purchaser of not only military equipment but other things. >> tremendous purchaser. that was president trump talking about saudi arabia and the disappearance then of "washington post" columnist and u.s. resident jamal khashoggi. those comments on october 17, 2017 came one day before the first of two approvals by the trump administration made after khashoggi's mufrder for the transfer of nuclear sensitivity. tim kaine of virginia senator, good to see you. we had your colleague, tim murphy of connecticut, telling this story. tell me what you dug up and why you found it so significant. >> there is a couple things going on, willie. when the u.s. is going to
contemplate transfers of u.s. technology, we have a process in place where that can't be done without a government sign-off of the department of energy, the regulatory department of commerce and consultation of the dod. why do we do this? because we don't want them to get no-how of nuclear proliferations. the administration lets the public know the date on which they've done the approval and the company that's giving the permission to transfer the information. the trump administration has broken this precedent. they kept it secret. we found out in march that they had done a number of transfers to saudi arabia, even though saudi arabia has not agreed to non-proliferation agreements that would normally be part of what we call a 1-2-3 agreement. when we found this out, i asked secretary perry, hey, give me the date of these transfers, and i asked him directly, did you approve these transfers after the assassination of jamal
khashoggi? he said, i don't know, i'll have to give you the dates. two months went by. they wouldn't give me the information. i finally got the information after the republican chair of our foreign relations committee directed him to. it turns out right after khashoggi was murdered by the saudis and they were lying about it, the administration said, fine, here, we'll pass nuclear technology on to you, and then a couple months later, right after the house repudiated the saudi war in yemen and warned the president to back the u.s. away from supporting that war, they did another transfer. it's a pattern of business as unusual with the saudis, and you have to ask why they're doing this. >> to that very question, senator, in your full statement about this, you said you have serious questions on whether any transfers of nuclear equipment was made on the foreign ties rather than the interest of the american people. do you have any way from
congress of answering that question? >> some i'm not allowed to say because some of what i'm receiving from the department t and senate to get into this. in the past, this information, at least some of it, has been made public. we need to dig in and find out why are they doing these transfers? during the time they were approving the transfers after khashoggi, you'll remember we had directed the white house under the global magnitsky act, the saudis violated khashoggi's civil rights. they were obligated to issue a report. they were supposed to be doing that investigation as they were approving these nuclear transfers. so you add up this pattern, nuclear transfers and not telling congress, even after khashoggi's death, refusing to certify whether that was a human rights violation or not. refusing to speak out about the imprisonment of women's rights
activists. bypassing a congressional bloc on arms sales to the saudis as they did last week. there's a disturbing pattern of sweetheart deals, one after the next, with saudi arabia, and i think it's on congress' shoulders to find out why is this happening. >> senator kaine i agree with you, and what is it going to take for congress to investigate and find out if there are indeed financial ties driving americans' foreign policy? >> well, i think the key is finally getting the information because now that i have it, the other members of the committee have it as well. and we can start to dig in on the foreign relations committee to the particular transactions. it's a department of energy sign-off, but it has to be approved by the state department. so in the foreign relations committee we have jurisdiction over state department actions, and i'm going to ask all the members of the committee to start digging in to the particular transfers. there's some other information about the timing of transfers to
particular companies that i find highly, highly suspicious. the other thing about it, you know, it's not just a corruption issue. that's bad enough. the american activity of this administration is making the region less safe because when you give the saudis access to nuclear technology and you block legitimate congressional objection to arms sales, you are basically putting into a very tough region a whole series of additional flammable elements that can turn it into a cauldron, even a nuclear cauldron. the administration was disturbed and alleged that iran was responsible for some attacks on saudi shipping a couple of weeks ago. if the u.s. is giving the saudis weapons and nuclear technology, that is highly provocative behavior that makes the region less stable and endangers american interests. >> senator, tom nichols. has there been any kind of indication what sort of process,
if any, has been producing these decisions? has there been any interaction with the national security council? was there any kind of meeting or briefing that you were aware of or that you've been investigating that produced this outcome? >> tom, they kept congress in the dark on this. in the past, congress would have been notified. here's what i know. the part 810 process if it's followed is supposed to require sign up by energy, state, commerce and the nuclear regulatory commission. there's been some reporting to suggest the nuclear regulatory commission was completely out of the loop on this. dod is also supposed to be consulted. they don't have to sign off. now that we have the dates of the transfers and we're aware that two happened after the khashoggi assassination, we can go back through and say, okay, we want to know, you know, when did commerce sign off.
was nrc communicated with at all? we can now start to dig into this. but the thing that was fascinating to me is when i asked secretary perry directly, you've done -- he said he'd done six of these in an open hearing in march. turned out it was seven. did any of these happen after jamal khashoggi's assassination? he said, i can't remember. he knew the dates. the most recent would have happened like three weeks before he was in the committee chair before us. he knew the dates. he knew they were doing it when they were supposed to be investigating the khashoggi assassination. he didn't want to tell me and they dragged it out for 2 1/2 months before they were willing to give me the dates. only after the chairman of the foreign relations committee, a republican, ordered them to give it to us, have a done it. they're trying to hide something. they're trying to hide the khashoggi connection, and i worry they're trying to hide information that would maybe lead us to uncover that there's some corruption or sweetheart deal in this that they don't
want the american public to know. >> sam stein here. so we had chris murphy on who also referenced the potential for some sort of business deal that is -- hasn't been unearthed yet. i'm wondering if you can tie this, or if it is tiable to two other major initiatives happening. one is the kushner-led middle east peace plan that's supposed to be unveiled and the second is the saber rattling happening with iran gop you put the arms deals to saudi arabia in context of those two initiatives? is this a chip that the administration is playing to maneuver towards iran or in the kushner peace deal and can you illuminate why you think so. >> those are both credible explanations that we can explore as we get into it. clearly, the proposed peace deal which we haven't seen, it has all the earmarks not of a peace deal but of an economic
development deal. it's an effort to try to get gulf state nations to invest in palestinian economic development. and so it could be that if saudi arabia is asking for a quid for the quo. if you want us to do some investments here, then you have to do some things for us. certainly it's connected to the iran situation. the u.s. is taking a series of extremely provocative actions. provocative rhetoric, militarily provocative steps, provocative diplomatic efforts, economic steps. john bolton is trying to push this president, john bolton and a few others are trying to push this president into a position where having torn up a diplomatic deal, bolton has had a long track record of thinking a war with iran would be a good idea, and i have colleagues in the senate who think it would be easy. they talk about it being a two-strike operation. i'm on's armed services committee. i've got a kid in the military. i've got virginians deployed
multiple times over the last 20 years. a war with iran would be a massive mistake, and disproportionate, i think, to any other mistake we've made here because it was the u.s. that tore up a diplomatic deal that was working, and it's that action of the president a year ago that's pushed us too close to another war in the middle east. i do say this about the president. i think he's starting to get suspicious about what john bolton is trying to get him into, and he may be backing up a little bit. that's what needs to happen right now. >> senator tim kaine of virginia, always good have you on the show. still ahead -- president trump is wrapping up his trip to england with a farewell to queen elizabeth. he heads to ireland later today before heading to france tomorrow to commemorate the 75th anniversary of d-day. we'll get a live report on what we can expect. plus, tom brokaw joins us with a special look at what winston churchill was doing during the d-day invasion. and much more with doris kearns
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's the top of the hour. 8:00 on the east coast and as the united states capitol. 1:00 p.m. in the uk where president trump has just wrapped up a commemoration ceremony on the eve of the 75th anniversary of d-day. the allied landings in normandy france. any moment he'll participate in a farewell ceremony with queen elizabeth capping his three-day state visit to the uk. he'll also meet with u.s. d-day veterans before heading to ireland. we've got nbc news capitol hill correspondent, the coast of kc dc, kasie hunt. presidential historian doris kearns goodwin. msnbc political analyst and former aide to the george w. bush white house and state departments, elise jordan. and columnist at "usa today" and
author of the book "the death of expertise," tom nichols. joe and mika will be back tomorrow for our special coverage of d-day live from normandy. let's go right to nbc news correspondent matt bradley. he's live in portsmouth, england. good morning. good afternoon to you. the president has been taking part in this d-day eve ceremony this morning. tell us about what you saw. >> that's right, willie. good morning. we saw the president. he sat with the queen at this massive ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary tomorrow of the d-day embarkation. and the president read a short excerpt from president franklin delano roosevelt which he read to the nation on the evening of d-day. after this we'll start seeing the president filing out with the queen. he's going to have a short meet and greet with the queen. and then he's going to be meeting with some of the soldiers, some of the actual veterans. this is a really poignant moment
because these veterans, they're very elderly. for many of them, for just about all of them, this will probably be the last major commemoration of d-day. but there's a political significance to this as well. looking at this event we see all of these leaders who come from all over the world. most of the 15 countries that were represented in the actual d-day landings, those leaders are hoping that this president understands and internalizes this image, understands the importance of those allies, 75 years ago during world war ii, are just as important today. this is a president, after all, who has constantly criticized international institutions, international trade groups, and you know, the military alliance of nato which was another thing he brought up during this three-day trip to britain. so these leaders are going to be hoping that he sees that and understands the importance of these cross-atlantic alliance. after this, the president is going to be going to ireland where he's going to meet with
the irish prime minister and then he's going to wrap up the whole trip with a round of golf. >> matt bradley, thank you very much. live pictures there. go back to them for a minute. the president of the united states meeting with veterans of world war ii. veterans of the d-day invasion. there you see the president speaking. doris, matt made the point, tom brokaw has made it a couple times. we'll talk to tom in just a bit this morning. this really is the last gathering for these men. you figure if you were 20 years old that day, a young man who stormed the beaches of normandy, you're 94, 95 years old. we've lost a lot of the boys in some cases, the men who stormed those beaches, and this will be the last time for them to see this place. >> and what's so important for us as a nation is to not let those fading images of the people who were alive make us forget what happened there. it's interesting when lincoln was young he wrote about the fact the fading images of the revolution were taking place. and those soldiers were dying.
does that mean we'll not remember what they did? that's what history's role is. these people will never die, even though they may physically physical 94, 95 and die off. what they did that day will always be in our memory, it has to be. or we forget all we went through to make this happen. early on roosevelt sent weapons to england and his generals said to him, this is while england was standing alone and germany was going to intervene and invade england they thought. if our weapons that you're sending now to england and england is conquered by germany are used up, you'll be hung by a lamp post. he understood that alliance was a moral, emotional alliance and also how important england was if we were ever going to be safe. and that's what you hope the president will see today. an alliance is not just a deal. an alliance is a tradition. it's a bonding between -- this is the most important moment of that alliance. >> the president is standing right now, doris, i believe five or six miles from the headquarters of the supreme
allied commander general dwight david eisenhower. can you just speak a little to what was happening right now? june the 5th, 1944, 75 years ago as they prepared to launch this historic invasion? >> i think mostly what we have to remember is there was tension. there was fear. people weren't sure that it would work. they knew what an extraordinary enterprise it was. on the other hand, they knew what they were bringing there. they brought the best of american enterprise to help the soldiers. and that's why eisenhower's order of battle is so extraordinary. not just simply saying you're about to embark on a great crusade. but if it fails, it's my responsibility is what he's saying. i take that responsibility. that's a real leader. to mobilize the people to do what you want but to know it's not the soldiers, it's me. all the leaders felt a sense they'd done all they could. this is when it's up to individual soldiers. 1 million soldiers would land in
three weeks time. it's their bravery and courage and ability to do what they have to do. and the leaders aren't there but do everything they hope they can do. >> tom, you teach military history. we were talking earlier about how history has viewed this in an inevitability that the united states and the allies had to defeat the nazis and would. have you considered what would happen if they hadn't? >> well, we would have probably had a long, awful cold war with a german dominated europe that would have included most of what would have been left of the soviet union. we would have had a germany that within a year or so would have had nuclear weapons in the hands of nazi germany. when doris was talking about saving civilization, that's not an understatement. i mean, this was the battle for everything. this was all the marbles. and i think we've -- we lose that.
i don't want to be too pessimistic, but i think the president is probably going to learn nothing because the president doesn't understand that alliances like nato are based on shared values. not just on some common interest. we're just banding together to protect the village from wolfs. we're banding together because we're alike. because we share certain values and we have the same aspirations. and that's what made the alliance of world war ii great. it's what made nato the most successful alliance in human history. and, you know, i guess i join everybody in hoping the president gets that, but i'm not optimistic about it. >> and eisenhower at the time received a lot of criticism within american military circles for being too close with his british counterparts. for being too hand in hand. and you see how without one element the operation could have gone completely wrong. and one of my favorite
historical stories just of leadership is eisenhower on the eve of d-day and going and visiting his troops and looking them in the eye, shaking their hand as recounted by a close aide and then telling her afterwards, it's very hard to look a man in the eye when you know you're sending him to die. and that's the kind of leadership that i still think america is hungry for right now. leaders who will be accountable and are willing to take great risk, risk great sacrifice, but they know fully well going into it what the cost could be. >> doris, we almost take for granted the peace and stability that ensued in the wake of the d-day invasion, the subsequent end of world war ii. for the people my age, we were talking about the queen earlier. she remembers vividly as an adult where none of that was the case. and as a student of our long history, we always say we're
doomed to repeat it. is there a danger that we'll forget that the peace that we have enjoyed is so hard-won? >> that's a really good question. i think there's always a danger. and that's why history is so important because it puts into our emotional self what the country went through to get something. i mean, just exactly what you were saying in a certain sense. if we hadn't gone with the alliance that was an alliance of values, if the american people had stayed out even longer as the isolationist wants to and didn't begin to mobilize even before pearl harbor and not able to help england. we helped england when she was withstanding the german bombing. it all could have been different. they might have collapsed before we even got in there. and that was because of an alliance. an emotional bond. it was democracies, values. you need the military people like eisenhower to understand what it means to those soldiers. that's why the idea that churchill, too, couldn't sleep
the night before because he's waking up clementine and saying 20,000 people may die tomorrow morning. leaders have to know that and yet they have to be willing to make the decisions when a war is important and this is a war that has to be fought. no question. >> they were laughing about churchill. he wanted to storm the beaches with the troops and king george had to write him a strongly worded letter imploring him not to get on the boats to go to france. >> but you can understand it. the hardest thing is to have prepared this for so long, to have to stand by and know that it's not in your control. can you just imagine that character storming the troops? i love the image. he'd have to have that drink before hand. >> doris kearns goodwin, we want to congratulate her. formally inducted into the new york state writers hall of fame yesterday. one of seven inducted as part of the group's tenth anniversary. >> being a new yorker.
back again. >> and much more on your long relationship with ron burgundy coming up. that will make sense in the latest ron burgundy podcast. stay doris, good to see you. > we'll go live to france where tom brokaw is standing by. and joe and mika will be back tomorrow. john kerry will be among our guests. mike barnicle as well. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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cabut we all know we'res paying too much for it. enter xfinity mobile. america's best lte, with the most wifi hotspots combined for the first time. when you're near an xfinity hotspot you're connected to wifi, saving on data. when you're not, you pay for data one gig at a time. use a little, pay a little. use a lot, just switch to unlimited. it's a new kind of network. call, visit or go to xfinitymobile.com. eight years ago, i argued that russia was our number one geopolitical adversary. today, china is poised to assume that distinction. john mccain famously opined that russia is a gas station parading as a country. as it falls further behind, we must expect russia's inevitable desperation to lead to further and more abhorrent conduct.
it's in the united states' most vital interest to see a strong nato, a strong europe, stronger ties with the free nations of asia, the pacific, the subcontinent and with every free country. to date our national response has largely been ad hoc or short-term or piecemeal. it's past time for us to conduct and construct a comprehensive strategy to meet the challenge of an ambitious and increasingly hostile china. >> that's republican senator mitt romney of utah speaking on the floor of the senate yesterday. and, tom, a lot of what he was saying there is anathema to this president which is withdraw from the treaties, withdraw from nato, from all these important alliances. >> the other word he used is strategy to have a comprehensive strategy, to actually think through means and ends and goals. romney was right about russia. i have to say, at the time, even i was a little skeptical.