tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC June 8, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PDT
that is our show for today. "a.m. joy" will be back tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern. alex witt is next. i have to shout out my macaroni bracelet, a lot of folks on twitter have been asking about my macaroni bracelet. can i tell you quick? >> yeah. >> this i got from my adorable nephew keyon, he made me this adorable macaroni bracelet so i want to shout out to him and rashan and jeh and ramon, all of our little cousins and nephews. >> they love hearing that. that is so cool. you took off and left me here and went to london. girl, you got some explaining to do when you go home. >> i will bring you back tear and something from mark and spencers. >> thank you!
it's high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." first came fire and fury in mexico, now it's siege, trump under fire. new revelations in a new book about the president's second year in office. reversing course, the fallout, joe biden's backtrack on a critical abortion amendment. is he caving to political pressure? new this hour president trump defending a tariff deal between the u.s. and mexico late yesterday that averted an economic standoff between the two allies. the president touting the agreement can be very successful. he's also repeating his attack on house speaker nancy pelosi while calling on democrats to gratify their revised nafta. as part of the agreement to avoid the tariffs slated to start this and mod, mexico agreed to deploy guards to the southern border and expand the trump administration program
allowing trump to return immigrants to mexico while they wait for their asylum claims to be decided. in a new statement today speaker pelosi said she's deeply disappointed by the remain in mexico policy that vmiolates th rights of asylum seekers and fails to address the root cause of american migration, adding temper tantrums and threats are no way to negotiate foreign policy. crucial battleground 2020 states would be hit the hardest by the tariffs on mex kico and e of those congressman is touting him as a brilliant negotiator. but others feel differently. >> the farmers are breathing a big sigh of relief. not only are we facing repercussions as from trade deals and tariffs but as you have seen we have weather events
impacting the midwest and affecting our planting season as well. if the president dlifbeelivers support, they will continue supporting him. >> mike, how was this deal hammered out? >> good afternoon, alex. it was really dramatic and at the last minute it culminates a nine very tense days since prd and t president trump announced their intention to peoplize immigration to countries and three central american companies gaut hala, honduras and el salvador, traversing mexico in the caravans, 144,000 individuals caught trying to ep enter this country illegally, highest number in the decade. the president's main tool in his toolbox he seemed to have discover sd slapping tariffs on country to try to change their
behavior. again the president announcing on twitter shortly after he got back from his european trip that this deal had been reached. there had been a lot of republican resistance there. you see all of the series of tweets that the please has put forth, many this afternoon including calling out the individual, the speaker of the house of representatives, nervous nancy pelosi of the democratic house getting nothing done. for his part the democratic leader of the senate chuck schumer had a very sarcastic response. he said this is an historic night. now that the problem is solved, i'm sure we won't be hearing about it any more in the future. very little chance of that, alex. >> i did have a chuckle when i read that one. can i ask you about the rainbow flag that they wanted to flag overseas. >> yes, this is from josh lewis from the state department that foreign embassies around the world in israel, latvia, brazil
and germany asked the state department for permission during this, pride month internationally, to fly the pride flag at the embassy on their flagpole. the state department said no, we won't let you do it. you can fly it elsewhere within the embassy grounds. you can take part of festivities and observances of pride month but you cannot fly it from the main flagpole. especially interesting because in the case of germany, the american ambassador there, rick vernal, a close ally of president trump, openly gay individual, most senior openly gay individual in the entire trump administration and leading a fight internationally to decriminalize homosexuality, he said he's going to march in a parade and fly the pride flying elsewhere on the embassy grounds but he can't do it on the main flagpole at any embassy around the world. alex? >> thank you so much from the white house. joining me now, laura bassett, freelance journalist and political reporter from "the l.a. times". welcome to you both.
ladies, we heard the tweet from chuck schumer. it was humorous and sarcastic as well. do you think democrats perceive as victory of sorts for the president so the way they're going to react is with humor and sarcasm? >> i think so. i think they're frustrated because what happened here is that trump manufactured a crisis in order to then solve the crisis and claim the victory. it's going to war because claiming it wins elections and saying you won the war. i think they're frustrated. i don't think they think it will stop the flow of immigrants to the country and as many points out doesn't help the root cause of immigration, which is punishment and desperation. so i'm not sure how this is exactly a victory for trump but i think a lot of trump supporters will see it as such. >> trump supporters will look at tough talk, something to
classify as even being bullying, it working in anywhere minds, right, laura? >> yes, the tough talk is working. he claims to be a master negotiator and that's the message he's putting out here. look, a threatened he's horrible things. i wasn't intending to do that but mexico acquiesced. i think it remains to be seen whether these measures mexico promised will do anything -- >> in the long term. >> the big picture is he promised a wall. it hasn't happened. he promised to stop illegal immigration. that hasn't happened. now he's got this deal and name and we will see whether it's successful. >> in terms of behind the scenes, the white house faced stiff resistance from republicans and business leaders on this. yet politico reporting at a closed-door meeting a couple officials tried to lay out the president's view but they reported they faced brutal pushback from the gop, some threatening trump could face a
vetoed-proof majority to overturn tariffs. that would be a huge embarrassment. was this the pressure they faced within the president's own party that forced the administration to reach dial? >> i think that definitely added appreciate ire. first of all, there was an idea if this would have gone through would have really harmed the economies, both the united states and mexico, would have been destabilizing in mexico. harm american consumers which would do good, automakers in michigan. but also the president was facing intense pressure from the republicans, including in this state. you had governor kim reynolds and chuck grassley, the president's allies stuck with him through many things and spoke out about the harmful impact this would have had on this state and farmers here. this is one area where republicans have not just talked when they disagreed with the president but seemed like they were ready to act. >> because their constituents are we sag re saying got to pusk
on this. this week house speaker nancy pelosi said in public and private she wants to see the president in prison after he's out of office and again not impeached. is she ratcheting up this type of rhetoric? is she trying to tamp down the calls for impeachment to hopefully appease somebody with the prospect of this president being behind bars once he becomes a private citizen, is that what's behind it, laura? >> i do think so. i think there's a split in the democratic party whether impeachment is the right move. she's clearly been on the let's not impeach him side of that split and faced backlash because of it. i think her saying this is her way of saying i'm not trying to be soft on the president here. i think he belongs in prison. i think he's committed crimes. i just don't think impeachment is the plalarticularly smart wao go. >> what about the president who not surprisingly reacted to her president overseas. in fact, she's what she said -- >> i think she's a disgrace. i actually don't think she's a
talented person. i tried to be nice to her because i would have liked to have gotten some deals done. she's incapable of doing deals. she's a nasty, vindictive, horrible person. she stayed a statement -- >> when you're overseas. >> nasty, vicious statement. >> on hallowed, precious ground. but does the president have any business talking about this, he did the same thing to hillary clinton, remember all of the "lock her up" chants. >> yes, he repeatedly said during the campaign he wanted to see her in prison. i think the more notable thing is the context of where he said it, this is the data on our americans who sacrificed our lives and it's hallowed ground. where he said it really raised eyebrows. >> i want to get to the quick question, laura, on the joe biden news from this week. how is his reversal on the hyde amendment going to play out. >> this was a big misstep on his
part. less than 24 hours after he came out in support of an anti-abortion amendment he flipped his position and said he was against it. what happened in the next 24 hours, he was the vice president and senator before that, the hide amendment had been in place 24 years. he already knew instead so i think what he did there is give away the game. he said i'm not going to stand up or principle for women's rights, abortion rights, i'm trying to do what's politically expedient and i had people saying this was the wrong thing to do so i flipped it. i don't think that's a good look for somebody running to be the leader of the democrat i believe party. >> do you think, cima, it's a problem because of how it played out or the reversal of the stance? is it pore of a pr problem or policy problem? >> both. >> both? >> i think it's both. it's a pr problem because the way he handled it as laura pointed out but a problem he will face over and r aover agai. he was elected to office before
i was born and things have changed. on issues like abortion, it's a different country in terms of the democratic party and base than it was even ten years ago. i think this is an issue that has the potential to come up repeatedly throughout the campaign. he's had to make a ton of stands over the decades and the country changed in many ways. >> ladies, good to see you both. thank you very much. let's go down to contenders 20 and 19, yes, count them, 19 presidential candidates are gathering this weekend in the first caucus state they're expected to see tomorrow at the biggest political gathering of this election so far. that's the hall of fame dinner of the iowa democratic party. one notable democrat who will not be there is joe biden. instead the former vice president will campaign in iowa on tuesday. that is also when president trump will be heading to the hawkeye state to headline a republican fund-raiser and speak at an energy event. later on todays is iowa's pride parade and festival. these democrats joining events
to highlight lgbtq rights there. let's go to nbc news ward warrior ali vitaly. welcome to you. pride is about celebrating and also underlining quality is very much still a work in progress. how do we bring attention to that, what still needs to be done to protect lgbtq rights? >> alex, i'm sure it's going to come up. we're standing here where about half a dozen of the 2020 candidates in the state this weekend will be speaking for just a few minutes each. as much as i think the issue of lgbtq rights will definitely come up given what weekend this is, i think this is also an inflection point in the race over the course of the last few days i have been talking to the campaigns on the ground and strategists in the state who are looking at this weekend as a turning point, a sign as we go into the summer, things are really going to be ramping up here. you said 19 candidates will be in the state today. not all of them for pride today but definitely for sunday's
event tomorrow, iowa hall of fame in cedar rapids. that's one of the big kickoff events. we've seen several cattle call event as we go through the calendar season. what i'm expecting through this day and weekend is candidates to be making introductory pitches. getting voters a chance to know who they are and what they're about and this will be a weekend where voters are starting to tune in and candidates are recognizing that, trying to make the first impression on that base. one thing that stands out to me, joe biden is not here this weekend. it's not the first big weekend all of the candidates goes one place and he goes somewhere else. he did that last week, they were in california and he was in iowa. he is coming on tuesday though, going to make his own pitch on his own terms. it's going to be, of course, against the binary of donald trump also being here. kind of gives him a chance to set up what that general election pitch would be because he's in the same state as donald trump on tuesday. we will be looking ahead to that
for sure. >> we know you will, ali vitaly, thank you so much. the author of a new book on where he thinks the president spooked robert mueller. ooked ror patients that i see that complain ooked ror about dry mouth. they feel that they have to drink a lot of water. medications seem to be the number one cause for dry mouth. i like to recommend biotene. it replenishes the moisture in your mouth. biotene definitely works. [heartbeat]
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claims robert mueller's team had an outline in a draft mum dumb to dismiss an indictment by the end of march 2018. when drafted about an indictment, mueller told nbc news the documents described did not exhaust and mueller himself appeared to predict a draft memorandum when he said it was determined early on it was not an option his office could consider. "siege: trump under fire" is now out and its author michael wolff is joining us. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> and a spokesman said do you wish all you had written about this claim, of a draft memorandum of sort, draft of an indictment, if you had written about it in any different way, are you comfortable the way you put it out there? >> i'm entirely comfortable.
i'm entirely comfortable. a 56-page memorandum i could describe in detail -- >> gold standard source? >> absolutely. i could describe in detail what it is. it is a memorandum. it assumes the president has been indicted. it assumes the president has moved to dismiss the indictment on the grounds a sitting president could not be indicted. this memorandum is an answer to that. the first 20 pages outline the nature of the indictment, this is what i call the draft indictment, and the remainder argues very powerfully why a
sitting president can be indicted. >> do you know who drew up the document that you professed to have in your hands? >> i do. >> and you cannot say? >> i cannot. so i have said as much as i can say within the confines of my agreement with my source. >> can i ask you -- >> the other thing is it's ludicrous, the mueller statement there that they didn't consider this. obviously they had to consider this. obviously it's not cut and dry. >> is there something about the timing of this? because the mueller office statement is very early on they decided this was not something they were going to pursue. was it early? >> it wasn't that early. it was a year in. so the document that i have basically concludes in march 2018, so -- but this is obviously they had to consider
this. they had to consider the terms of a possible indictment. they had to consider if they could indict the president, not to do that would be -- i don't know, negligence. also, they spent two years. what did they do in two years? we don't know, that incredible cone of silence. so what i'm offering really is the first crack of the window, in which will crack further. we will know what went on. >> you can't tell us who your gold standard source was but can you tell us whether or not this was drafted within robert mueller's office? >> i cannot say anything more than i have said about this document. but the document, the signature line, by the way, is robert mueller iii. >> may i ask you what motivated this source to provide you with this document? >> you know, i think the same reason all sources, because everybody is interested in -- --
everybody is interested in what happened here, even the people involved with what has happened here. >> okay. there is another draft document of which you write, this one from within mueller's office, special counsel's office, anticipating a presidential pardon of michael flynn. can you tell me about that document? was it the same document -- rather was it the same source? >> it was the same source, yes. >> and this is a how many page document? >> i can't remember but it's a substantial document. it is considering all -- this is obviously central to what the special counsel was looking at. it is -- and they anticipate -- they anticipate that it might have become a count on the obstruction charges. >> what is this particular document about with regard to michael flynn? >> its intention is to go into
court, were the president to pardon michael flynn and go into court and in to challenge that. >> you said you think donald trump spooked robert mueller. how so? >> i think -- among the documents that i have is a set of quite a lengthy set of research reports on the -- essentially on the fragility of the special counsel, on the laws that created it. what could happen? one of the questions it asks, can the president directly fire robert mueller? and the answer in this research is yes. and i think that bob mueller -- again, here i'm speculating, but i'm reading these documents, i'm looking at this narrative, and i think bob mueller weighed these
two things, weighed protecting the institutions, the justice department, of how to avoid a constitutional crisis, perhaps the mother of all constitutional crisis, versus -- versus trying to -- trying to literally pursue donald trump. and i think it's almost as if it was, let's not tempt the man wearing the suicide vest, because i really think that bob mueller thought this guy, donald trump, the president of the united states, could pull down the temple. >> is that why you think robert mueller in his final performance publicly, at least if he gets his way when he went to the press conference last week, was not more specific and revelatory in what he said? >> absolutely. i think it was a funny moment when he said the report speaks for itself. if so, it speaks very unclearly.
and i think that's what we're left with, we're left with this equivocation, this ambivalence. i of on thought what if it had been someone else who had been the special counsel? what in another parallel universe, what if rudy giuliani had been a special counsel? he would have indicted the president. and i think that's the difference between bob mueller and other people, both the good side of robert mueller and the problematic side of robert mueller. at one point in my book, steve bannon says after the mueller report comes out, never send a marine to do a hit man's job. and i think that's what you have on bob mueller. he decided let's preserve the institutions. >> how have the dynamics in the trump administration changed from your first book, "fire and fury" to this one?
>> i think the first book was about chaos. and the second book is about meltdown. and it's almost -- i'm writing almost a counternarrative here. the main narrative is donald trump is a strong man, the waters part for him, nobody can touch him. i don't believe that's true. i believe day by day, what we've seen is a man become more and more -- pick your word, unhinged, unstable, unable to grapple with the details. he's lost the first wave of staffers left, the second wave of staffers left, and you're left now with, well, the mexico tariff thing was a fascinating example, nobody knew it was going to happen. he suddenly announces this. and then effectively reverses it and obviously is lying about what the mexicans have promised.
>> well, we will see what the mexicans deliver on. can i just ask you the reaction from the white house? did you tell them about this book and what you were doing? and what was their response? >> very specifically and strategically involved with all of the lawyers on this book. donald trump tried to stop the publication of the first book so i was not going to wade into that and give him an opportunity the second time to come at me with his own lawyers. >> so you did not let them know? >> i did not let them know. they had no idea. >> have you heard any reaction? >> deny, deny, deny in their usual fashion of denying everything in any way that is potentially damaging to them. >> all right. michael wolff, "siege: trump under fire," year two of this administration, a best seller to be sure. thank you so much. an about-face from joe biden leaving his campaign on the
defense. how it could leave him vulnerable long term. and we also have breaking news. this is on the death of hillary clinton's youngest brother, tony rod mma. she tweeted about it just minutes ago saying we lost my brother tony last night. it's hard to find words. my mind is flooded with mishes of him today. when he walked into a room, he would light it up with laughter. he was kind, generous and wonderful husband to meghan and father to zack, simon and fiona. we will miss him very much. no word on the cause of death but we extend our condolences. ♪ ♪ award winning interface. award winning design.
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president. i want to be really clear. i was with him all day yesterday. how he arrived on this position of the hyde amendment was not a versal. this was a thoughtful conversation about access and health care. i want to be clear for folks around the country, the vice president is not someone who will just go with the wind of my friends on the left. >> biden campaign senior adviser symone sanders taking issue with the rhetoric around the former joe biden shifting position on the hyde amendment, insisting the pressures from the left play nod part on his position held 40
years. joining me salina maxwell, director of program are for sirius xm and publicist tyler, both msnbc political antists. welcome to you both. should biden's campaign be worried about these concepts, first that it is a reversal and perhaps those further left pushed him in this position? >> look, whatever the reason is why he changed his mind, he changed it to the right position in terms of where the context of the democratic party is right now, alex. i think this conversation is a frustrating one because there are a lot on the right that oppose abortion and it's their personal belief and that should not dictate the freedom and the rights of women in this country, and the hyde amendment is absolutely abhorrent. it's not criminalizing but it hurts poor women and mostly women of color. joe biden did the right thing here and folks are free to say, look, i don't support joe biden. i support kamala harris or
elizabeth warren, who were right from the beginning on this issue. they're free to do. that's what primaries are about. sexually it's a flip in the right direction so we should give him a small amount of credit for that. >> rick, let's listen to exactly how joe biden laid out his new position on the hyde amendment. take a listen to what he said on thursday. >> i can't justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. if i believe health care is right as i do, i can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code. >> it seems like he's trying to walk a very fine line there but what do you make of his explanation for changing his position? >> i think the explanation is clear, he changed his mind and i don't think it was a thoughtful position. i think what he did on the fifth of this month, june 5th, "the new york times" came out with a story joe biden reaffirmed his support for the hyde amendment, which for years was seen as a m
reasonable mainstream position, including by many in the democratic party. it is no longer seen by many democrats in the base as a reasonable mainstream position. so there was a backlash for that story. two days later he came out with the reframe. there are certain cases abortion is medically necessary but by and large, abortion is not a necessary procedure, and, therefore, putting it, reframing it as health care is a reversal from what his previous position was. that is the hyde amendment disallowed federal funds, people who don't want their money used in the taking of innocent life, he reversed his position on that. so let's just say it, he reversed his position. >> can i talk about the big picture, rick, based on your years of experience being advisers in different campaigns and politics and the like, you
heard sema say earlier, this is a guy who's been in office a long time, he's taken issue on a lot of things and the fact is the issue of abortion evolved. so does that put him at a deficit at all? because he is going to at times contradict what he's done and said in the past. >> i think abortion has evolved politically and zerlina may be right in that it may help him in the democratic primary to reverse his position open hyde amendment because many in the base do not support the hyde amendment. the question is if he makes it and becomes the nominee, how many people would not vote for donald trump that believe the life is a strong issue, will he attract those candidates? but that doesn't seem to be his concern in the short run. look, biden's reversed his position also -- he was one of the sponsors of the crime bill
that puts drug offenders in jail that overcrowded our prisons, he's reversed himself on that. in this case, i agree with zerlina, that was the correct reversal. i don't agree the hyde amendment was the correct reversal. >> i want to take the next step with you, because was biden at risk of losing primary voter, not just general election voters someone looking for someone other than trump, before he shifted his position and is he better off now? >> yes, i think so. the hyde amendment repeal was in the democratic platform that was accepted in 2016. repealing the hyde amendment is the official position of this democratic party and the reason why, alex, is there has been a lot of research done in terms of the impact of the hyde amendment on poor women in color. one in five american women of reproductive health care age are on medicaid. that means they cannot use that medicaid to get a. >> mike: procedure like abortion. and certainly people can be
personally opposed to abortion. you could be morally opposed to a lot of things. i don't want my tax dollars to solitary confinement, the death penalty. but i'm an american and my tax dollars are going to those things. abortion is health care. you can be personally opposed to it. don't have one. but your believes should not dictate of rights of women in this country and that is why the democratic party has this position at this time and joe biden did the right thing here. >> okay. since you guys are both agreeing, i'm just going to call it a day on this saturday. rick and serena, thank you zerl >> i don't think we politically agree. >> we agree on biden but not abortion. >> you guys, thank you very much. the outrage and fight to protect children in the
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meanwhile the trump administration is canceling english classes, recreational programs including soccer time, and legal aid for unaccompanied minors detained in shelters. the administration said it's because of the financial constraints created by the crisis at the border. joining me now, a congresswoman from california, also a member of the homeland security committee and vice chair of the hispanic congressional caucus. i should note to folks you are joining us from paris after you attended some of the d-day commemorations there. but look, the department of health and human services says the activities it is defunding are, quote, not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety. but you know, a lot of these kids would be potentially helping those who lived with traumatizing effects of crossing the border, some escaping violence and poverty. what are your thoughts on this move? >> i think it's cruel.
i think it's unconscionable. we had courts say they need fundamental care, educational services is part of that, recreational abilities as well. so i think this is more of the president being cruel to migrants. i know there will be some core fights on this as well but we have to stand up and not allow the president to continue to bully migrants. >> it may be beyond cruelty because the administration may be violating the flores agreement that mandates education and recreation for minors in federal custody. from that end, what can your committee do now? might you support pursuing or joining legal action against the administration? >> well, that's always an option. we also have the power of the purse through appropriations to put in provisions there that can try to help stop some of this. i also know we have a dhs funding bill coming up. maybe this is the opportunity to put in some language to stop the president from trying to do this. but there's no doubt there is a
court order that requires the administration, the government, to provide educational services. this is also for the well being and mental well being of children. again, it's cruel and we need to continue to fight back and hold this administration accountable. >> not lost in all of this, of course, the six my grant children that have died in u.s. custody or shortly after being released. i know we have spoken with you at the border detention centers. are border officers and the environment you observed, is it prepared to meet the needs of detained children? >> surely not prepared. they're certainly in need of having officers who can treat migrants humanely and treat them with respect. something that's not being done right now, that's a huge concern of mine. we've certainly seen reports just come out from detention
centers and how people are not being traded humane being treated humanely and this is a great concern not only for me but members of congress. which is why we need members of congress to go in and see the conditions there and continue to hold this administration accountable. alex, there's one other thing i want to point out, the one other thing i want to point out about this alleged deal that was struck with mexico, which is an expansion of the remain in mexico policy, that's devastating. what this does is it puts migrants in danger. they're sending pregnant women to dangerous parts of mexico where even american citizens are told to reconsider travel and not to go there because of the danger of kidnappings, because of the danger of the crime. this is where we're asking people to go wait for their asylum to be heard. i think it's illegal and it's continuing to be more and more of this president doing whatever he wants and that's happening.
make sure we step up and step up through the courts and congress. >> when you say you want to step up, we, certainly democrats, but are there republicans with whom you can work in congress? forget the president at this point. are there things you can do in congress to ensure the safety of these kids, of these migrants that are put into horrible conditions like you describe there, do you get the sense you have people on the other side of the aisle, your colleagues there, who agree with what you're saying? >> well, i think my colleagues agree that children shouldn't be treated this way. i think where there's a difference is what to do about it. my colleagues on the other side just want to put a stop to immigration and a stop to allowing these children who are escaping violence to come to this country where as we believe the law is clear and we're a
country of immigrants, where we are here to make sure there's an alternative for people who are escaping violence. look, one of the things we've got to do is we have to invest more in alternatives to detention. that's something that's not being done enough. i know that we have more money for that in the upcoming appropriations bill. but that should be where the focus is, alternatives to the tension and not building more of these prison-like tents and settings, which is what this president is done. >> all right, nanette, thank you for joining us from paris. the backlash over the president's plan to inject himself over the d.c. fourth of july celebration. but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees
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their fingers and blaming each other for this dangerous action. what happened here? >> alex, it's arguably the closest american and russian naval vessels are accidently come since the korcold war and you said so far, both sides are blaming each other. that's kind of predingtable. the u.s. military said uss chancellorville is abruptly changed course into the path of that russian destroyer and they accused of u.s. of provoking the incident in order to intimidate justice just as chinese president xi jipg ping visited moscow. but they say the russian destroyer maneuvered from behind and accelerated ahead from the uss chancellorsville. it looked like it had to throw itself hard in reverse to keep from hitting the russian ship and that's a risky maneuver with a ship that size. if you look closely to the video you could be forgiven for
spotting bait of trolling on the russian side. it kind of looks there are russian mariners sun beiging on the back of the destroyer. but whether they're working hard or hardly working, it doesn't change the politics here becauses thbecause this happened before. the russian intercepted a military aircraft over the sea and russian regularly conducts these with america native allies and heat up with the alleged 2016 interference into the 2016 elections. we can expect more tit for tat and small-case tit for tat. >> i think the captain was on the back of the ship sun
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nomination. he said, she said and then he said again. words between the president and nancy pelosi and why it matters. fireworks firestorm, president trump's new move to crash d.c.'s july 4th party on the national mall. welcome, everybody, to "weekends with alex witt." news that prevented a trade deal before it began, as "the new york times" puts it. mexico agreeing to host more asylum seekers while their cases in the u.s. are undecided but house speaker nancy pelosi that violates the rights of asylum seekers saying threats and tantrums or no way to negotiate foreign policy. mexico also agreed to deploy national guard troops to the southern border and in return mexico did not accept to push the refugee status decision before reaching the united states. nbc's mike gutierrez is at the
white house with more on this. mike, what sealed this deal? >> let's start with the asylum seeker deal. they have been sending people who come here into mexico to wait here or close to the border while their asylum application is processed. under this agreement with mexico the president announced in a tweet shortly after landing from his multi day trip to europe, mexico would expand that program. now here's the problem, it's in the courts right now, it could conceivably be suspended or struck down. one thing to keep in miechbd as we see the details of this agreement be revealed, is that a lot of it is very tenuous. there are some details that are missing. we don't know exactly how it's going to work out. what we doe no is the president was under tremendous pressure on june 10th in a couple of days to issue the order that would raise tariffs on mexican goods coming
into this country to 5% and ending up at 25% in october if there were no change of flow of migrants coming north of mexico, if mexico had not done something to stop it. he was under a lot of pressure from kochk, including republican senators like joni ernest from the farm state of iowa. >> we are breathing a sigh of relief. our farmers are very, very concerned, they're anxious. we need to see some of these trade deals concluded and move on. not only are we facing repercussions from these trade deals, various tariffs, but as you have seen, we have weather events crossing the midwest that are impacting our planting season as well. they're in dire straits. they just want to see results. if the president continues to deliver those results, they will continue supporting him. >> the administration insists they will keep a sharp eye out to make sure the mexican government follows through or
they will threaten to follow through on their own with the tariffs the president's been talking about. but a lot of it is still up in the air. but for now the 5% tariff on american goods is suspended. >> mike, can you tell us about the beef one more time about flying the pride flag since it's pride month? >> yes, it's a controversy now that there were embassies around the world in israel and germany and latvia wanted to flalg the pride flag at the center of the ground, most visible place on the embassy grounds and the state department said no, we're not going to do it. notwithstanding the fact president supported pride month in a tweet not too long ago and the fact that this flag has been flown in the past and past administrations. in germany the top u.s. official there, the u.s. ambassador, rick
rinle, happens to be an ally of president and senior most openly day official in the entire trump administration. his embassy asked to fly the flag. they were told they couldn't, and renal said he with fly it elsewhere and march in pride festivities in germany. but no dice, the embassy disallowing the flags at embassies around the world. joining me now abigail tracy from "vanity fair" and chief correspondent writer from "the new york times." welcome to you both. what do you know about how this deal with mexican tariffs came about? and do you think it's a fair deal what you know so far? i guess it's your perspective, u.s. versus mexican perspective, or did the white house have to concede more than it hoped to? >> i think as we see here president trump's approach to free throw that are difficult. he makes a threat, sets a deadline and then cuts a deal before the deadline and said he got what he wanted. the trick is when you look at
the details, you see there are aspects in this deal that could be important but are things mexico agreed to in the past but also in the way moving to in the first place and the biggest thing the united states wanted mexico to do is agree to be a new treat dwy that would make t the first asylum place to request central america and allow them to come through the united states. it's an open question whether this will actually reduce immigration. we will see that in the months to come. that will be the real test. for the moment, it's this crisis the president sort of amped up and now has chosen to amp back down declaring victory. >> okay. what about politico, abigail, which is reporting about the closed-door lunch on tuesday. you had a couple trump administration officials that were trying to lay out the president's view but faced brutal push backs from the gop which some threatening trump could face a veto-proof majority to overturn the tariffs. was this a big pressure point?
did it leave the white house forced to make any kind of a deal? >> i definitely think the pressure the president was under from republican senators played a role in this, but i think the president and his adviser recognized if there was a trade war and these tariffs went into effect, it wouldn't be good for anyone, it would be a tax on american consumers but we have not seen very many profiles over the last two years from the republican party but in this case there was a lot of pushback and unified pushback from the party and i do think that likely played a role in what we saw from donald trump. as peter said, they didn't necessarily get everything they wanted to when they went into this deal with mexico. i do think one of the things looking forward though is whether these threats will be made again, depending on what donald trump's explanations are between american officials and handling the situation there. >> he completely said the american tariffs are off the table for now so they could be reinstated down the road. peter, do you think the president might expect to cite
this agreement saying look, my strategy worked. basically he played hardball. is he right if he says that? so that would indicate he would use this kind of bullying tactic again. >> no question he believes negotiation is about making max aist demands on the front end, being almost as extreme as you possibly can be, in order to come back to the middle later on. >> peter f. he does th, if he df the time, to take the words of larry kudlow who said, he's deadly serious about this when he was queried left and right look, the kind of financial problems that will rise as a result of these tariffs. larry comes and he says deadly serious. people elsewhere in the campaign, deadly paris. president repeats it time and time again. how are we to believe this if this is merely a tactic? >> that's an interesting point. to be an effective bluff you have to be seen as being dead
slierous. let's be honest, he has followed through on some of these in the past. they're not always bluffs. he said with china in the past, if he didn't get what he wanted out of china, he would impose tariffs and he has. did he that on canada and mexico threatening to cut off the u.s./mexico nafta if he didn't get a better deal. he got at least a somewhat bet deerl deal. if this view, the tactic works but it's not clear if he gotten all he could have gotten. two months ago said he would close the border all together and then said mexico's showing me they're doing something so i will give them a year to keep working on it. two weeks later back to the threats all over again. >> let's get to the 2020 election and joe biden's reversal on the hyde amendment. is this a choice of politics over principal and does it even matter in the long run? >> i think when you look at somebody like joe biden, who obviously has a long record
there are others in the 20 field that will face similar records and how they changed. when we look at joe biden and his flip-flop when it comes to the hyde amendment, one of the things is exactly what you said, politics or principles. given the fact this came under pressure, he didn't make his decision or change his view on the amendment until he was really getting a lot of pressure, whether activists, lobbyists people in their own circle. i know senator chris coons is one of the individuals who tried to push biden to change his position on this. so i think when we're looking at this, there are other people who have changed their views on certain policy decisions. given this came under such inteens pressure for biden, i think people won't really believe it is principled change he's making or making on his own. i think it is just a reflective of the political right now and the fact that he just changed his mind because of that. >> do you think, peter, the trump 2020 campaign will make an
issue out of this? do you expect it to attack during the campaign on the issue of abortion or is that too risky of trump to go there? >> no, i think he may very might do that. he has tried over the past few months to position himself politically pro abortion. since his life he was pro-choice. but since he's took office and running for president, he's been vocal on restrictions on abortions, even willing to say things that others like george w. bush weren't willing to say even at risk of offending people on the pro-choice side of the equation. i think he will push that issue and use it as a way of undermining vice president's credibility saying you can't trust a guy who's flip-flopping even though this president has done it several times himself, he it will be a decent weapon in his arsenal. >> i want to see if you have any updates on the president's fourth of july celebrations. he's been reported he may address the nation. what's happening?
what do we know that maybe is set in stone now? >> the city has been told, city of washington mayor has been told that the president will be giving an address on the fourth of july from the steps of the lincoln memorial. that's something something other presidents have not done. this has been a traditional celebration for hundreds of thousands on the national mall, fireworks and concerts, national sim fanny orchestra plays 1812 overture. we have had not have presidents make a political angle all of it. but they are saying it's all about him and he's trying to do with the 4th of july what he couldn't do when he wanted a military parade down pennsylvania avenue. it's caused -- turned something that's normally a unifying event knee yet another partisan event in washington. >> big sigh on that. peter and ab abigail tracy, good
to see you both. and the threats are imminent and what president trump did is an effective deterrent. joining us from an airbase in cutter, courtney, what's the latest there? is it qatar or qatar? you are right there. how do the locals pronounce it? >> i have actually heard it three different ways, cutter, qatar, and cuttar. but we're out on the uss abraham lincoln. we were sent there last night. this, of course, the aircraft carrier general mckenzie, when he requested additional assets to the region, the abraham was accelerated into the region. they got there in early may. despite the fact he continues to tell us there's still a real and credible get from iran and u.s. forces in this region, the
aircraft carrier is having a deterring effect on the iranian presence and there's something pulled back. we talked to him about that today and here's what he had to say. >> i think they had an effect. the fact an error caused the iranians to recalculate. it's concerning to them this big chunk of american will sitting here is operated by great americans zblxts do you see yourself sending more assets in, in response to this threat? >> we're in a constant assessment office talking to the chairman and secretary and will make those decisions as we come to them, kwortny. >> so, alex, as you can hear general mckenzie is optimistic about the fact this aircraft carrier and some of the other assets they surged into the region last month are having a determinative effect in the maritime environment but he warned the threat in iraq to americans there and american allies remains there, alex. >> are you hearing anything more
on that incident involving russian and u.s. war ships? >> acting secretary of defense pat shanahan was asked about it at the pentagon on friday, and he had stronger language than we usually hear from him about an incident. he said this put american lives at risk. we are expecting for a formal opposition to this, what's usually called a demarch from the united states to russia. as of now there have not been noir close calls like that but that one had people upset on thursday and friday at the pentagon. >> i bet. okay. nbc's courtney kube, thank you from cut acutter, qatar our cuttar. coming up -- why the new agreement won't count down on illegal immigration. ion. award winning interface. award winning design.
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by going to the mexicans, i'm asking them for everything. by the way, if they don't do it, i'm putting the tariffs on and we're going make a fortune. >> new today the president's threats of tear iariffs toefr t a deal with mexico. joining me now former minister of mexico and former professor of nyu.
welcome, sir. how is this affecting the relationship there now? >> i think since our new president took office in december, alex, he made a point of not having any confrontation to president trump, not paying attention to his tweets, tirades, diatribes or insults or anything he does. just sort of looking the other way and trying to avoid any kind of confrontation. this became very difficult now with the threat to impose tariffs, slap tariffs on mexican exports to the u.s. the good thing is the tariffs didn't happen. it was just a threat, little bit of bluff by the trump, but this time mexico was forced to make very serious concessions to president trump and that means that policy of looking the other way or turning the other cheek is not being very successful. >> with this agreement, as you know, mexico will be deploying its national guard troops
throughout the country, particularly on the southern border and decrease action to dismantle human trafficking prices and accept an expansion of a trump administration program that makes some asylum seekers being forced to may in mexico while they await a decision from the u.s. do you think this works for mexico? >> no, but it is doing the united states' dirty work. it is just better than the tariffs deal. but now migrant that requests asylum in the united states will be sent back to mexico to wait their turn and wait for a hearing and that can be 8,000 people like there are now or 470,000, which is the number of people that had been taken into custody by dhs and cbt over the past five months. which it will be, we don't know.
but if it's even somewhere in between this is 150,000, 250,000 migrants in small towns on the u.s./mexican border is very difficult to deal with a country going through tough economic times like it is today. >> difficult to deal with to the extent you wrote the president's tariffs threat amount to distortion of mexico. do you think mexico is being distort extorted here. >> extorted or blackmailed. take your pick on whichever sounds better. if you don't do what i want, i will slap tariffs on you. 5%, manageable, 10% difficult to manage and 25% unbearable to emergenc manage. that's what i call extortion. and president trump backed off the minute he got most of what he wanted, which is the remain in mexico program plus deploying
of troops plus going after the people traffickers. >> we have to know what this is about, and that is the president trying to stem the tide of illegal immigration here. this week we learned agents apprehended over 144,000 more migrants at the u.s./mexico border last month, 132,000 illegally, the highest number in over a decade. why has that number spiked? has mexico evolved at all to this point? >> are you there? can you hear me still, sir? jorge, i think maybe we lost a connection there. and if so, i'm very sorry. i had a few more questions to ask him. perhaps we will get him back and do that. meantime coming up democratic presidential candidate mar yan williamson will join me and talk about making it to the debate stage. and we also have this news to share. breaking news on the death of hillary clinton's youngest brother tony rodham.
she tweeted a few minutes ago saying, we lost my brother tony last night. it's hard to find words. my mind is flooded with memories of him today. when he walked into a room, he would light it up with laughter. he was kind, generous, and wonderful husband to megan and father to zach, simon and fiona. we will miss him very much. we have no word yet on the cause of death but extend our condolences to the entire family. as a doctor, i agree with cdc guidance. i recommend topical pain relievers first... like salonpas patch large. it's powerful, fda-approved to relieve moderate pain, yet non-addictive and gentle on the body. salonpas. it's good medicine. doctor bob, what should i take for back pain? before you take anything, i recommend applying topical relievers first. salonpas lidocaine patch blocks pain receptors
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okay, we were able to re-establish a connection with mexico city and jorge. i had one more question i wanted to ask you. i want to ask you a lot more but i don't have time do it now. here it is because you have to be fair. the fact is in the last month border agents apprehended 144,000 imgrarpts coming across the border, 132,000 were illegal migrants. that number spiked. it's the highest in a decade. so has mexico dropped the ball to some degree as the president alleges? >> i think this is largely mexico's fault in the sense that back in december when president obrador took office he pretty
much welcomed all central americans into mexico and told them they would receive humanitarian visas in mexico. so all of a sudden everybody in central america said let's go to mexico, but not to work in mexico, but use mexico to get to the united states. then he clamped down but by then it was too late. everybody and their cousin is coming from central america, and i think the original responsibility for this was the new government in mexico, very inexperienced, just taking office and these mistakes happen. this is what really happened. i agree with you completely, alex. >> all right, jorge, thank you so much. welcome back to nyu when you get back to teaching classes. thank you. on the campaign 2020 candidates flocking to iowa, first caucus state. 19 presidential candidates are gathering in the hawkeye state. they're expected to speet tomorrow as the biggest gathering of the election cycle so far of the hall of fame dinner of the iowa democratic party but the democratic front rinner will minority be there.
instead former vice president joe biden will be campaigning in iowa on tuesday, which is also when the president will head to the state to headline a republican fund-raising and speak at an energy event. later on today it's iowa's pride parade and vest fall and these democrats will be highlightsing lgbtq rights. we have msnbc's road warrior ali vitali joining us now. what are the 2020 candidates saying there still needs to be done to protect lgbtq rights? what are you hearing? >> alex, the mayor is on stage now so i will speak lower so i don't interfere what he's saying on the stage. i have been taking some notes and want to highlight the pitch he's making because he's doing his own speaking engagement in and out and later the 2020 candidates will come for what they're calling a meet and greet here on the day of the pride parade. he's up there making the point this is a reminder, day like pride, where you have to remind
that we're here to stand up for each other. men need to stand up for women whose reproductive rights are under attack, and white elected officials to stand up against racism and coming out saying in a light way, i just wanted start dating. while that was a moment of levity, there has been pretty serious policy demonstrations. as he was campaigning in the state, listen to what he said -- >> there's policy coming out regularly from the current administration that is horribly discriminatory and we've got to put an end to that, not just as a specialty issue for certain americans but matter of freedom and justice for all of us. >> the failure to invest in crime prevention against transgender americans who are being murdered and against whose violent acts are being committed at a frightening rate today.
>> so of course we heard from mayor pete who ran a five-day campaign in honor of pride day. over the course of the pafts few days, i have spoken to strategists who say this is when the campaign season kicks into high gear. you are seeing campaigns step up on the ground here in iowa and make their introduction pitch as voters start tuning in, alex. >> ali vitali, with a sidebar of mayor pete beyond you, as we can hear him as well. thank you, ali. meanwhile, one 2020 presidential candidate is calling iowa home. we have marianne williamson, who moved to des moines where she's leased a property there and spiritual author and 2020 presidential candidate marianne williamson is joining us now. the only thing i want to know about your move to iowa is the extent you're able to be with iowans day in and day out and the extent you're able to talk
about politics with them. what are you finding? >> you know, where you actually live during a presidential season is not that relevant because you live out of a suitcase. whether you're in iowa or south carolina or nevada, it's all about travel. where your furniture is isn't really the issue. wherever you are you're doing your best to talk to people on the ground about the things you feel matter most. and that's not geographical. it's just wherever you are having the deepest conversation you can. >> i'm sure you are. i have conversed with you right in front of me too and i know you're a great talker, particularly one on one. what are you hearing from iowans when you introduce yourself to them or when they recognize you in the street? >> people in iowa, like any other early primary state, alex, are very aware of their power. they're very aware of their importance. they know how they vote and their caucuses and in states primaries will determine the political conversation that
dominates this country for the next two years and possibly the world. this is important stuff. they know how important it is. they're educated. they listen very deeply, particularly this year when they're listening to so many candidates. it's an honor to be part of the process. i think that too many times the traditional applications tell people what the issues are. and i'm bringing a set of issues that people are not necessarily hearing from others. i'm talking about the death of child poverty, poverty in general, hunger in america, traumatized children, i'm talking about the fact we need to do more than talk about how to pay for health care. we have to talk about our many of our chemical policies and agriculture policies make us sick. we need to talk about national security. the fact so many of our agendas regarding national security have more to do with the sales contract or short-term profits than with actually waging peace. so what i find in voters in iowa and elsewhere is if you go deep into a conversation, they will go deep into a conversation.
but so much of the traditional establishment is so superficial. my campaign is about talking a little more honestly and more deeply as we often do about what's really happening in this country, where we've been and where we need to be going and what i get from people is they are so ready to go there. >> i'm curious how much you think you're going to be able that do that on the debate stage because we want to know you are just now -- we are four days away from the deadline to qualify but you've done it for the first set of primary debates for the democrats. you're one of 13 candidates who's met both qualifications, making awe lock to be on stage there. what is the message that you think that you can send and supersede the rest of your opponents in the democratic field? because you are beating some elected politicians to get to that stage. >> you know, alex, i'm trying to as deeply, authentically and honestly as i can have a deeper conversation about what america really needs to look at.
so no matter what the issue is, i want to try to fit it. can we talk for real guys and conversations that are beyond superficial issues and go down to real issues, where america has swerved economically and politically to the best of who we are, from the moral principles that really form the core of democracy and righteous living. that's what i hope to be able to do no platter whmatter what the presented to me, economics, foreign policy, issues of domestic concern, what is really going on and how has this corporate disagenda by which this government does more for short-term profits for huge, corporate conglomerates as opposed the people of the united states, planet on which we live and world itself. where is that that is really happening here and where do we need to fix that so the symptom itself will be changed? >> i'm curious what your strategy will be for a debate. look, you're on a national platform right now talking to a national audience and i'm giving
you time to put forward your national ideas and policy agendas and where you want to go but debate is a lot different. some will be combative and contradicting you. what is your strategy for how you will deal with this? how do you want to come across? >> well, you know, i want to come across as the woman that i am. and i want to come across with a message that i'm giving, our country has transitioned from a democracy to basically a veiled air stock raty. money has so corrupted our system, particularly huge corporate amounts of money, the money of the very, very richest among us, that the interest of the few are at the expense of the interests of the many. that is what we repudiated in 1776 and we need to repudiate it again. it really doesn't matter what other candidates say, whether they agree or not, that's simply the facts. certainly the fact as i see it. and if other people, namely the
voters, see it that way as well, they know they have in some somebody who's very clear about that. the reason we don't have universal health care is because of the profits for health insurance companies and big pharma. the reason we don't deal with climate change is because of short-term profits for fossil fuel companies. we reason we don't have common sense gun legislation is short-term profits for gun manufacturers and the reason we have a national secured agenda which is so much focused on endless preparations for war rather than an actual agenda for peace is because of short-term profits for defense contractors. i'm saying it. i'm saying it on the campaign trail and i'm going to keep saying it because until the american people really recognize how deeply corrupting that is and how deeply true it is, we will not be able to deal with those issues and we will not be able to change them. >> 2020 presidential campaign marianne williamson bound for the debate state. we're all going to be watching. thank you very much. prison talk, outrage and
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now to the uproar over new comments by house speaker nancy pelosi about president trump and his response. political reports in a meeting with senior democrats she said, quote, i don't want to see him impeached. i want to see him in prison. president trump and his supporters outraged as democrats are crying hypocrisy, citing one of his favorite lines about
hillary clinton. >> she should be in prison. >> she should be in jail for what she did with her emails. okay. she should be in jail. hillary clinton should have been prosecuted and gone to jail for what she did. she gets special treatment under the justice department. >> lock her up! >> lock her up is right. >> joining me now, peter emerson, who worked on three democratic administrations, republican political consultant sir michael singleton, and conservative strategist lauren zell. welcome to you all. shermichael, the moments we played in the clip from 2016 through 2018, there are a lot of others we have not included, has trump supporters forgotten this talk started with this president? >> i don't think they did, alex, but president trump was a candidate at the time and so was hillary clinton.
the difference is now the president is the president now and out of the country at the time. i think it was a bit inappropriate for speaker pelosi, someone i respect for the most part. but, alex, i will say this, i think nancy pelosi wants her cake and eat it too. she wants to see the president behind bars, which lead mez to believe he has done something so egregious he should be locked up but does not want to move forward on impeachment. you cannot move both ways. i think nancy pelosi needs to be decisive and decide whether you are going to move forward with some type of impeachment hearings or you're not. if she z want to deerj of the two she needs to make a very clear statement to the american people why. she hasn't done that so far. making those backdoor comments i don't think benefits or helps democrats at all. >> let's talk about what sean hannity said. >> speaker pelosi apparently now telling senior democrats she would like to see trump behind bars. based on no actual crime, she
wants a political opponent locked up in prison? that happens in banana republics. >> you know, i can't imagine he forgot about those lock her up chants either. what's your response to him? >> i'm certain he hasn't forgotten about those chants. i think all of this rhetoric is completely and totally beyond the pale. this is the most polarized this country has been in our lifetime and recent memory. what i will say about speaker pelosi is republicans love to run against nancy pelosi. she is sort of the favorite boogieman in a lot of these house races and other things you will see. but because i have the opportunity to be here today and contribute to the discussion, i do think all of this insane rhetoric needs to end on both sides of the aisle. if we're ever going to get anything done on important issues like immigration and others, we have to come together and we have to stop screaming at each other. do i think that will happen before 2020? i don't.
i also think that's really unfortunate. >> i have to agree with you there. peter, setting aside how this kind of talk got started, should speaker pelosi be going there? are democrats okay in general with this kind of rhetoric when they're the ones dishing it out? i do want to note when she was asked about politics and what had been said by our own andrea mitchell, she very graciously declined to talk about it because she was sitting there with the backdrop of the normandy cemetery. the president, however, did not. he went right after her with that same backdrop while talking to gloria ingram. >> peter to you, can you hear me? >> i'm sorry, i thought you were cutting to a piece of the interview with laura ingraham. >> sorry, i should have been more clear. but your thoughts on democrats saying it's okay for us to do this now? >> as a veteran and distinguished journalist, you know everything is about context. it's context. so donald trump has talked about
locking people up, putting people aside, wounding already wounded vietnam veterans, insulting hosts while he's overseas. nancy pelosi made this statement in a closed meeting with democrats. she even put out a statement later that said simply, i don't talk about the president while i'm out of the country. that's my principle. so it's all about context. and in this case, whether or not she said something behind closed doors is very different than the president tweeting social media, every cable, every broadcast platform. there's a big, big difference. >> how much of this, shermichael, do you think is all about political theater, which seems to be the norm to the dream these days as lauren was saying? >> i think it is. i think by whomever released these statements by speaker pelosi, it would appear at least politically speaking what she's attempting to do for those louder factions within the caucus here saying we want to
start impeachment hearings now, i think that statement does sort of tell those individuals hey, the speaker is on our side. she's sort of saying that without actually saying, alex, hey, let's move forward with impeachment hearings. this is just the brilliance of nancy pelosi of being a true political tactician. but at some point, alex, we talked about this so much on your show, democrats will have to become clear on what they want to do. i think a lot of american people are expecting them to do something. you have to -- doing nothing is not acceptable i think to many people within the democratic party and maybe even independent voters, alex, who it may be necessary for democrats to win 2020 if that is truly their objective. >> guys, unfortunately we have to rwrap it now. being told just out of time. always great to see you and i will make it up to you, i promise. the former cia act who had to sue to get her book published next. it's snowtime baby.
life in the cia" and joining me nay is nata bacos. welcome to you. this is a fascinating read. you sa you said it provides a counter narrative to the compelling film i've seen many times like "zero dark thirtiy", are you trying to explain how relentless and painstaking focus on your part. >> i was trying to convey just how meticulous the work is. and that it takes a multitude of people and a huge team across the government. a very small part of the book focuses on the hunt for osama bin laden but the primary target was zarkowi who was head of lk in iraq. >> so all of this intelligence that you were privy to looking for zarquawi and so you were privy to this intelligence before the invasion of iraq. what is your assessment of the
current iranian threat and does any of what you're hearing now give you any flashbacks back to 2003? >> yes, it does. i was with the team that was charged with evaluating whether iraq had anything to do with 9/11 and al qaeda. we found that it did not through our entire intelligence assessment that we went through very thoroughly prior to the invasion. all of that was communicated to the administration and to congress. when we look at present day rhetoric on iran, we could see a lot of parallels. there is a lot of wording like escalation and threats, anonymous posters in ditch news articles that iran is an imminent threat. that kind of language matters and it was used at the time as well. but what we need to look at is whether or not there is an intelligence assessment on what type of imminent threat the administration is claiming and if any of that information has been declassified and if there is an entire intelligence
community assessment that has been declassified. >> i want to play part of an interview that jared kushner did with axios last weekend in which he was asked about the murder of the journalist jamal khashoggi. >> they said bin salman ordered it and i don't know what the administration is waiting for in terms of accountability. >> i believe that there's a report they're working on, they've been doing an investigation and when they have the facts of the investigation it will be up to the president to make a determination. >> so does it frustrate agents and analysts from the cia coming to a -- to a conclusion and the administration does not appear to react accordingly? >> well, this is happened time and time again. where the cia will come up with an intelligence assessment and it is up to the policymaker to make the decision. because the cia does not make policy. so they're used to that to a certain extent but it could be
frustrating when it impacts our relationship with allies and saudi. what do they expect from us? are they using this as leverage and taking advantage of the situation? these are the questions we need to ask at this point. >> another thing i want to play here, regarding the president who has rejected u.s. intelligence agency of russian efforts to help his campaign in 2016 and here is what jared kushner said about one meeting he took. here it is. >> does it not set off at least some alarm bell when you see an email saying that the russian government wants to help -- >> like i said, the email that i got on my iphone at the time basically said show up at 4:00. i didn't scroll down or never thought about that. >> in the subject line -- >> again i get about 250 emails a day and it said show up at 4:00 and i show up at 4:00. >> would you call the fbi if it happened again. >> i don't know. we were not given anything that was salacious. >> my reaction is if you are
contacted by an adversary, a country that is a known adversary to the united states, you need to talk to the fbi. plain and simple. i think the decision to make there is very, very clear. i don't think there is any gray area as far as what your response should be. >> can i ask you quickly before i let you go. you were forced to sue the government to get your book published. on what grounds were the things that remain not in that book and potentially classified, were they operational details or was it for political reasons? >> you know, if anything i was proceeding as political and i pushed back on made sure it was very clear that it was my first amendment right to include things even if they just disagreed but majority of the stuff that has been redacted was operational decisions that i went ahead and -- we had a mutual agreement on what to take out. >> okay. we could read it in "the targeter, my life in the cia" and nada bakos, thank you so much and best of luck with the
book. >> thank you. the lgbtq community gets an apology and many thought they would never get it. that is coming up in the next hour. never get it that is coming up in the next hour your income doesn't have to. see how lincoln can help ensure you still have income every month of your retirement, guaranteed, at lincolnfinancial.com. ♪ ♪ award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine. the volvo xc90. the most awarded luxury suv of the century.
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