tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 11, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
>> thank you for joining us. i'll see you tomorrow morning. andrea mitchell reports. the new york city edition. nc right now. round one. president trump and joe biden squaring off in iowa. the first battleground face off on opposite sides of the first kcaucus state. >> while we're standing around not doing much, the rest of the world is moving ahead. they are moving ahead while other folks are tweeting. >> i don't take sides of who i'm in favor and who i'm not but joe biden was a disaster. nancy pelosi tristrikes bact the president for slamming her on d-day. >> she's nasty person. >> that morning before the president made his statement i was being interviewed by msnbc and they asked me about the president.
i said, we're here about our veterans. the president took a different tact. i'm done with him. i don't even want to talk about him. battle ready. the youngest candidate in the presidential race, afghanistan veteran pete buttigieg is the first democrat to roll out a foreign policy and take on the old e candidate, joe biden. >> democrats can no longer turn the clock back to the 1990s than republicans can return us to 1950s and we should not try. good day. get your popcorn ready for a clash of the titans this afternoon in iowa. first, joe biden, the former vice president unleashing a new line of attacks against president trump. in three separate stops and he's not the oldest. bernie sanders is a month or so older. biden calling the president a
scared leader with his tail between his legs in his prepared remarks if he sticks to them. adding mr. trump is setting a standard for crude language and embarrassing behavior. that's a quote. president trump is not shying away from a political fight with the front-runner who may have the best chance of beating him in 2020 if the polls hold up. we'll hear from the president in two stops and later this hour from the white house south lawn as we leaves to go to andrews air force base. joining me now, peter alexander peter, first to you. we're going to expect to hear from the president. the president seems to be consumed with joe biden from all the reporting. he keeps talking about him, tweeting about him against the advice of advisers who think he should lay off of it and stop
making biden the early favorite. >> reporter: i think you're right. the point you make is one i've heard from conversations with some of the presidents allies. folks that know the president's thinking very well. they fear that what he is doing is escalating joe biden and they fear that is a problem because they say biden is the one who has the best chance to beat him. consider the recent polling. internal poll, devastating polling from 17 states that was presented to the president within the last several weeks. in states like pennsylvania and michigan. crucial rust belt states that he needs to win. also even texas. polling showing bad numbers there. even urging, insisting that his aides dispute that saying there's other poll numbers that show they are doing well which was striking because we pressed sarah sanders on this very topic early this morning when he was out here on the north lawn and said 2016 all the polling was wrong so we don't believe the polling this time around. i said this is your own polling.
she declined to answer the question. the bottom line is what i hear from the president's aides and allies is they believe joe biden is a tough guy to caricature. the socialists attacks doesn't stick to joe biden. most americans feel like they know him pretty well. >> what is joe biden's strategy in going after the president so hard today? >> reporter: joe biden's whole campaign is predicated on the idea he's uniquely qualified to end the donald trump era. if you look at the way the last week of this campaign has played out, he had a rough week last week. he was beaten up by democrats for changing his position on the hyde amendment. on sunday, there were 19 democrats here and none of them named joe biden. today he gets the political stage to himself.
that split screen momentum of donald trump and joe biden trying to give primary voters a taste of what a fall campaign will look like. i don't think it's any accident that the speech excerpts were released this morning where they could be discussed on cable news all day long and get into president trump's head. i would be shocked if we don't hear a response from president trump to the way that joe biden has been characterizing him in a speech he hasn't even given yet. that's the path to victory for joe biden. he needs to look like the guy who can go toe to toe with donald trump. as of right now, you couldn't ask for a better set up than the way things are set to play out today. >> especially with such a large field and a lot of people not as well known nationally as he is. kathy, what about your polling? we have been pouring over the des moines register poll that came out on sunday. let's talk about where joe biden stands. still ahead but losing some elevation because you see
elizabeth warren and pete buttigieg as those gaining the most in the new poll. >> it's hard to compare our new poll to the last poll. we changed the methodology to how people will caucus. it's hard to say whether people are moving up or down. joe biden is still solidly in front. b bernie sanders still leading behind joe biden. some interesting side bar poll results are 65% of iowa caucus goers want primarily someone who can beat donald trump. that may also be fueling some of this go after donald trump that we're see here from joe biden. i have to tell you that i think there may be a trap here that donald trump sets for democrats because they are all talking about donald trump. they are not talking about what they can do for iowa farmers.
they are not talking about the economy. they are not talking about health care. this is what happened in 2016. they all went around the country and said we can't just spend the next election talking about donald trump. we have to talk about what we're going to do for voters. i think there's a danger here in spending fsh ining -- if joe b all his time talking about donald trump. >> kathy, you agree that donald trump has made himself the subject. we saw how that turned out for hillary clinton. guess what, he was. >> the candidates instead of driving the agenda and pushing forward and vision in leading their party, they are stuck in response mode and dealing with incoming fire from donald trump. we have seen how no one has been
able to land a fatal political blow on donald trump. joe biden may think he's the person to do it. however, i think that's a pretty big risk considering the stakes and considering how his numbers are dropping and you watch elizabeth warren's going up and al bernie sanders slipping too in iowa. >> what about donald trump and the way he's calling advisers, talking about biden and ignoring the reality. they are trying to brief him on his polling, which isn't great in a state by state polls yet he did you want want doesn't want to talk about policies about what he wants to do. what he wants to campaign on. >> donald trump had great polling during the campaign. he had advisers who saw a path where others didn't. the polls that he received, i have no doubt they are top notch. i was lucky to work with donald trump's pollster on another campaign and he's one of the very best in the business. to deny, have sarah sanders
denying the reality of your own research that is sound research, you watch how this white house will lie about absolutely anything and it's par for the course yet again. his obsession with joe biden, no doubt is right now that's the front-runner and he's going to go after him but again, is donald trump also fighting the last war. >> peter, what do you expect from the president's speech in iowa today? >> reporter: i can guarantee you'll hear the president say something about joe biden. there will be some questions from reporters as he walks away now. he will stay on the west side. joe biden will be on the east. never closer than 100 miles to one another. it will be a long distance fight between the two. the president is supposed to be focusing on renewable energy.
those close to the president who want to zero in a little bit better on this, others who say he needs to eviscerate him. he can focus on that identifiable target. something they believe the president has done so well with social media and other public comments and opponents in the past. what's noticeable is the president hasn't said anything about joe biden since the middle of last week when asked about him by piers morgan. no sleepy joe tweets since last tuesday. he'll need to do some quick ramping up which i expect we'll see from him today. >> kathy, likely caucus, want someone who can defeat donald trump. is it health care or climate change.
>> it's all of the above. climate change and health care are really top issues. as we saw in the last election those issues will come secondarily. most of them, the differences among the candidates on issues are really minute. they are subtle and so people are looking for ways to stand out. our poll results said iowa democrats think there's too many candidates in the race. they would like to see some of them drop out which is the historical function of the iowa caucuses. before we get there, candidates, i think are having to find more and more exfreedom wdotreme wayt themselves to stand out from the
pack. it's going be a fepersonality race. >> what about the abortion issue. we saw joe biden revising his stance on the hyde amendment. is that becoming an issue? do you expect to hear him talk about that at all today? >> reporter: the hyde amendment itself is a relatively esoteric issue. for those not dialed into abortion rights, the problem is the democratic base is very dialed into abortion rights as an issue more broadly. he was standing alone in way you do not want to stand alone. he was the last of the democratic candidates taking a position in favor of keeping the hyde amendment. there's a difference and a very real and palpable difference between the very online left and
middle of the road democratic primary electorate that we need out here in the real world. there was a lot of overlap and a number of outside groups and loud voices in both categories putting a lot of pressure on the vice president to change his position on this. you saw his response to that. i don't suspect this is the kind of thing he will bring up again on his own. i don't expect it will be something he'll be pushed on by voters. i was be shocked if it's not the kind of thing that doesn't come up in a debate as a question of policy and as a question of when and how it's appropriate for candidates to change their minds on issues that are so important to the american voter. people don't necessarily penalize someone for changing their view on a policy decision until they feel like it's a political act, not a true change of heart. i suspect some of the other candidates will find a way to press him on that. >> peter alexander, thank you
all. each night will be moderated by our top team. that's must see tv. nancy pelosi hitting back at the president for attacking her on sacred round. that's ahead. stay with us on andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. n andrea reports only on msnbc. but what i do count on... is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life.
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nancy pelosi slamming the president for going after her on hallowed ground on normandy on d-day. >> that morning before the president made his statement, i was being interviewed by msnbc and they asked me about the president. i said, we're here about our veterans. i have a rule, you can ask anyone, democrat, republican, we never criticize a president of the united states when we're overseas. we don't do that. we have plenty of time to do that back home. the president took a different tack. i'm done with him. i don't want to talk about him. >> i'm done with him, she says. joining me now is ruth marcus.
welcome. ruth, what about the way she's handling donald trump having not responded to him? i was asking her the questions. we had actually recorded her interview about an hour before he went after her again at the cemetery. >> well, i suspect that much as she would like to be done with him, she is not done with him. neither one of these two politicians has been exactly a profile in civility. the president and i'm not sticking up for him but the president was responded to the reports the speaker and not on camera but behientnd the scenes suggested she wanted to see him in jail. that being said, what he said about her was a remarkable thing for a president of the united states to say about a speaker of
the house whether or not it was on hallowed ground. the fact he was overseas, the fact it was at the cemetery in normandy just was kind of icing on the cake of incivility here. i thought what the speaker had to say was a good way to temporarily turn down the volume. >> she made those comments a couple of days earlier at a closer door meeting. the fact it was reported that morning was accidental from her case. this is what he said on fox and it was just moments before the very solemn ceremony and his speech and president macron's speech. let's watch. >> i think she's a disgrace. i don't think she's a talented person. i've 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. >> the settings matter. >> it does. those are inappropriate comments from the president about a constitutional officer in any event. it's shameful to make it in the setting where you can literally see the graves of dead soldiers sitting behind him and on such an important day. >> i don't think any one of us will be surprised that's the way the president comports himself. it's the way he's done since the beginning of his campaign and probably until the last day of office. whether he's removed from office or whether he loses election or in his post-presidency. i think she has the right perspective which is to move on. i would say good luck to that. wouchb t one of the president's super powers is he sets the music to which every one is dancing. if she can set the music to which he dances, that would be
quite an accomplishment. >> let's talk about justin amash who the only in favor of impeachment. resigning today from the house freedom caucus. announcing he will seek another term but acknowledging he might consider running as a libertarian and not as a republican. ruth. that's pretty interesting. >> it is interesting but i think that justin amash leaving the freedom caucus and justin amash as the sole republican to be talking about impeachment of the president says in some ways about republicans than it does about justin amash. that is that they are so cowed by this president, the freedom caucus is just in lock step with the president, unwilling to stand up to him. it would be very interesting to see justin amash mounting a campaign against trump and see
what happens when the sort of weight of the conservative world comes down on him. it's really remarkable that he is the sole voice out there. >> from michigan, grand rapids, michigan, a district that's always been pretty conservative but reliably republican. traditional republican, not trump republican. matt miller, what about this civil contempt vote. the democrats have gotten an agreement from doj to get some of the underlying material to the judiciary. they are still proceeding with a civil contempt resolution to enforce subpoenas on william barr and don mcgahn. this could be a very slow process. >> i think this was a worthwhile trade. they have dropped the criminal contempt threat against the attorney general.
it's symbolic vote. there's some leverage you get from it because no cabinet member wants to be held in contempt. i worked for eric holder who c. the day after he got up and went into work. it's meaningless. i think to drop the threat, if they got something in return was a pretty good deal. as you point out that's still a process that will tyke soake so time. that just gets you in a month's long process before you see don mcgahn or hope hicks or any of the witnesses show up.
>> just briefly, one of the things that jerry nadler said is he expects to see don mcgahn now. does he really expect to see him. are there negotiations that will bring him to testify in open session? >> look, i know they have been talk about don mcgahn's lawyer for some time. i'm skeptical he will come in. i think his attorney has been saying he wants to come but is respecting the white house's interest. i think the bottom line is he's not going to come unless he is forced to. >> thank you both so much. coming up, going global. mayor pete buttigieg gives major foreign policy speech today. stay with us. foreigpon licy speech today. stay with us when you shop for your home at wayfair,
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troubling one. this administration has embraced and emboldened autocrats while alienating allies across the globe. the pattern is that decisions are made impussively, erratically, emotion maalemotio politically. with no regard for strategy or long term consequences. >> he served in afghanistan and drew a clear distinction between himself and president trump. what other points does he make? >> reporter: he's talking about how it's insufficient the talk about a return to the past and bringing foreign policy to what it once was.
when you listen to where it was, a lot of it seems like a return to what was the status quo. he wants to return to the u.s. to the jcpoa. he wants to put the u.s. back in the paris climate agreement. he wants to get rid of the aumf, the post- 9/11 war resolutions without saying how he would replace it when lawmakers from both parties have had so much difficulty coming up with new war powers resolution over the years. while he is distinguishing himself by talk about foreign policy, putting a spotlight on it this early in a campaign, he hasn't laid out a vision that separates him from other democrats in the race. >> listening to the speech today, he's elevating climate change as a major foreign policy initiative and major national security issue. does he give way to withdraw?
>> reporter: this is something he's talked about a lot. that is a point of agreement between pete buttigieg and president trump. he thinks the fact he is a war veteran helps put a focus on the fact he's ready to be commander in chief despite being 37 years old, much younger than joe biden. >> mike pence saying the gay pride flag cannot be flown on the same poll on embassies around the world.
this is an interview kristen welker did. >> did the administration direct u.s. embassies not to fly the pride flag? >> i'm aware the state department indicated on the flag pole of our american embassies that one flag should fly and that's the american flag. i support that. >> to the lgbtq community who feels that runs counter to the president celebrating pride month in his tweet. >> when it comes to the american flag pole and capitals around the world having the one american flag fly, i think is the right decision. >> that has caused a lot of distress in the foreign services and it's caused consternation in embassies around the world. >> reporter: it has. the ambassador to germany is one of the ambassadors who requested that he wanted to fly the pride
flag. the state department saying no go. you can put it on the walls or inside the embassy. you can't fly it on the flag pole even though in prooefeviou years, it was blanket approval to fly it on the flag poles during the month of june. they say that's a rolling back and give trump's support on twitter, it doesn't make a lot of sense. >> stay tuned on that. this is not the last we'll hear about this issue. thank you for all your reporting. today iran releasing a u.s. permanent resident who had been imprisoned in the country for nearly four years. i.t. expert, a lebanese man who lives in the u.s. was arrested in 2015 in tehran. charged with spying. a charge he denies. he's now back in beirut safely at a time when tensions have been escalating between the u.s.
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kim jong-un's half brother was a cia source who met several times with operatives according to a wall street journal report. the half brother was assassinated by a nerve agent applied to his face in february 2017. u.s. and south korean officials at the time said his younger brother ordered the hit job. ken, we have been talking to sources going through all of this and anna's book that comes out today has some interesting quotes on it. she talks about the two brothers. she says that kim jong nam name an informant for the cia. would have considered talking to american spies but he provided information to them usually meeting his handlers in singapore or malaysia. it was in malaysia that he was killed. >> that's right. that's one of the big questions
whether this relationship was fair out by the north korean regime and whether that was a reason that kim jong nam was assassina assassinated. there's reporting there had been an assassination order for him for many years. these brothers never really knew each other very well. they are of much different age. kim jong-un is much i don't thinker -- younger. they have different mothers. it's not clear he would have had really great insight sboos the current regime. as you know, north korea is one of the hardest spying targets that the cia has. it would have been negligent not to reach out to him. the question is whether they were able to keep that relationship a secret. that's their ultimate job is to keep therair assets live. >> there's some reporting that in the trial held for one of the
two women accused of the assassination plot, they were seen on camera with this nerve agent, one of those trials suggested there was video from an elevator camera of an asian appearing man meeting with him in the hotel before he went to the airport. >> did he know his father? how well did he knew his father? >> he spent a lot of time in the same compounds as his father. his father had multiple families that he kept entirely separate. kim jong-un never knew his older, half brother. that's the guy he had killed. he did know his father. >> when kim jong-un first took pow power, he was 27 years old.
we were talking to our sources about who is this guy and was he going to be ruled by his uncle. we learned he took power very quickly. so far successfully but brutally, killing the uncle as well. >> the uncle was taken out of power and assassinated. the cia's job one from the time kim jong-un took power was to figure out whether he was competent, to figure out what his agenda is. now we have this bizarre situation he's had a summit with the united states. there's these high level negotiations going on. not very successfully. at the same time we're learning that half brother that kim jong-un may have had killed may have been a cia asset. fascinating. >> the president discounting the cia's warnings about kim, never wanting to denuclearize and saying he loves him and they have nice letters reassuring him about that. >> that's right. >> thank you. coming up, taking on graham.
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president trump is speaking to reporters right now at the white house addressing questions about joe biden as he prepares to head to iowa to take biden on. the race is on in south carolina with a former chair of the state's democratic's party, jamie harrison has launched a bid to challenge lindsey graham. >> he's not fit to be president of the united states. he's a race baiting, xenophobic bigot. i don't think he's that. i like the president. i'm all in. keep it up donald. he deserves the nobel peace prize and then some. >> here is a guy who will stay anything to stay in office. he can't lead us in any direction because he traded his moral compass for petty political gain. >> that's a political ad. it will be an uphill battle for harrison who is hoping to end
it. no one in the party has won a statewide race since 2006 and no democrat has won a senate race in more than two decades. jamie harrison joins me now. we have known each other for a while. a number of races down there. what possessed you to take on lindsey graham who has the president's embrace or has embraced the president? >> listen. the most important thing is having the support of the people here in south carolina. we have to understand this is not lindsey graham seat but it belongs to the people of this great state. for far too long this new version of lindsey graham has not put the citizens of south carolina first. it's his relationship with the president that's his priority. just this weekend he was off golfing with the president. i can give you laundry list of things in south carolina that i wish he was here fixing. this is a new version of lindsey
graham. it's almost like watching the reality show, a reality version of invasion of the body snatchers. most people ask me what's happened to lindsey graham, i don't have a good answer. >> south carolina has been red for so long. a lot of people are saying the reason he did flip and embrace the president so strongly is he didn't want to be primaried. he was afraid of a primary with a trump backed candidate. >> yeah. you know, that's why people hate politics these days. why i decided to get into this race. it's not about your political power and your political fortune. are you doing the work to really address the problems that people are faced with here on a day-to-day basis. i grew up here in small town, very poor background. my mom was 16 years old. dropped out of high school. grandparents didn't have a whole lot of education. they put into me and instilled
the values of working hard and helping people. that's what we really need. what we're pushing and what we're going is launching a campaign to help the people of south carolina address the issues that they're dealing with on a day to day basis. anybody who wants to, you can come and join me at jamie harrison.com. it'll be a new renaissance in the south, andrea. >> joe biden came out in favor of you. the president just on the south lawn, and we'll get that tape as soon as they finish up and bring it back in and play it back, said that president obama took joe biden off the trash heap. >> oh, good lord. i mean, again, andrea, this is the type of rhetoric that just has no place in politics. you know, my young son now watches television. i'm sure so many parents watch the news with their kids. that's not the type of rhetoric that we should be hearing from the president of the united states. but you also hear the same type of thing from lindsey graham, who is trying to mimic president
trump all the time. he basically said the other day that if you are one of these protesters, and there were protesters in south carolina, across the nation, that had this hash ttag trending, graham resi. he said, those folks can go to hell. that's not the rhetoric we should hear from a statesman, someone who represents the state. i can tell you, one never heard that rhetoric from thurman or hollings. you won't hear that rhetoric from jamie harrison when he is the u.s. senator from south carolina.harrison, we wish you luck. to all the candidates. we are extending an invitation to senator graham to also join us on the show. thank you, jamie. good to see you again. good luck out there. >> take care. >> thank you. coming up next, boston strong. the red sox fly david ortiz to boston for emergency care at mass general, as the city and the nation rally around big papi. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. not this john smith.
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we have breaking news. president trump has been speaking for about 20 minutes to reporters on the south lawn, on his way to iowa. correspondent peter alexander has an update. peter, he's talking about joe biden, among other things. >> reporter: andrea, certainly talking about joe biden. we almost guaranteed he would at the top of this hour here. my colleague, kristen welker, is on the south lawn right now. they're sending me notes, our team that's out there right now. of course, of this conversation, the president has attacked joe biden. again, he referred to him as a
loser, a dummy, and said that the former president, president obama, as you noted earlier, took him off the trash heap. i was struck by one of the president's criticisms of biden. this is something we have also heard from some of the president's allies on cable news, on fox news in particular. sean hannity has peppered this point before, suggesting that there is something physically or mentally wrong with joe biden here. without evidence they've made that point. the president reiterating it in his comments, saying he appears to be a different guy. he looks slower. also saying he is the weakest democrat mentally. >> peter, that is exactly the same tactic he used to try to diminish hillary clinton in the last campaign. it is a technique that has worked for him before. >> thanks so much, peter. we'll bring you the tape to everyone, we'll bring the tape as soon as they release it, as soon as he starts taking off. they'll bring the tape in and play it back. meanwhile, we're learning more about david ortiz's condition from his family now. the retired red sox legend's wife releasing a statement this morning, saying her husband is, quote, stable, awake, and
resting comfortably after a second successful surgery. this operation done at mass general in boston. the red sox flew him on a private plane from the dominican republic, where doctors removed his gallbladder and parts of his intestine after he was shot through the back by two assailants sunday evening. investigators have one suspect in custody and are actively searching for a second one. ron mott is in boston. the whole city, indeed the nation, the world, all talking about big papi today and what he is going through. >> reporter: yeah. hey there, andrea. he is a beloved figure here in boston. rich sports history in this town. he's one of the guys they'll always remember, not just for what he did on the diamond for the red sox, helping them win three championships, but what he did off the baseball diamond, as well. back to 2013, andrea, remember, shortly after the marathon bombings, david ortiz really sort of set the tone for how this city was going to respond. he took the microphone at fenway park and said, this is our city.
how dare someone do this to us. we're going to come back stronger than we are. the city rallied around that. when this horrible shooting took place the other day, the red sox management quickly got in touch with authorities down in the dominican republic, helped to start get the arrangements put together to get him up here. he did have the marathon surgery down there in the dr. six-hour surgery. the surgeon who led that team down there said the first thing that david ortiz said coming out of surgery was, when can i see my family? he was looking forward to reuniting with his wife, tiffany, and his kids. his son went to instagram and posted a beautiful message about his dad, saying there is nobody stronger than you. it'll be a matter of a few days before you're up and running. the bullet that entered his back and exited his abdomen, had it hit serious organs, we could have a different story on this tuesday. suffice it to say, this town is pleased he is back in boston, pleased that he is still alive and, apparently, is out of the woods in terms of any sort of life-threatening condition at this point. there's still a lot of concern
about his health going forward. andrea? >> ron, any progress on getting that second suspect and finding out what really happened here? >> reporter: well, the authorities down there obviously are continuing to investigate. they put out a notice this morning that rumors are rampant online, as you might imagine, andrea, that they put out a notice saying one of the police officers, whose name has surfaced down there, was not involved in any way in this shooting. as you meng tioned, one person custody. a second person is being sought. no one knows if this was a random crime or david ortiz was targeted by the shooter. we're looking for updates from the police down there later today and throughout the week, andrea. >> ron mott, thanks so much. boston rallies around big papi. david ortiz recouperating at mas general. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow us online, facebook, and twitter, @mitchell report. here is ali velshi and stephanie
ruhle. >> thank you, friend. have a great afternoon. hello, i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. it is tuesday, june 11th. a war of words before a presidential showdown in iowa. president trump and 2020 democratic contender joe biden both speaking to voters today across the state. biden is expected to hammer the president on everything from his tariffs to his tax cuts and his efforts to kill obamacare. >> president trump though getting in the first licks while speaking to reporters on the ground before his departure for iowa. he called biden a loser who will be overtaken from the other candidates on the left. as soon as we get those comments, we'll bring them to you. with just 15 days to go until the first democratic debates, it is clear biden is trump's number one target as of now. "new york times" says, quote, biden seems to have gotten into the president's head. the paper reporting that, quote, trump told aides to