tv Morning Joe MSNBC July 9, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
played? >> that's currently under review because of that i can't get into a lot of the specifics but we are looking at it. >> a time line -- >> i'm not aware of a specific time line. >> last winter, the trump administration said that they were reviewing labor secretary alex acosta's role in the nonprosecution agreement with jeffrey epstein. exposed for its leniency and secrecy. in a series of stunning reports from "the miami herald." four months later, the justice department has brought charges against epstein while the administration is completely silent on acosta. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it is tuesday, july 9th, with joe, willie and me, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. professor at princeton university eddie glaude jr. former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst steve rattner. great to have you all with us. >> great to have everybody with us. mike, we have a lot to talk about, but my gosh, the home run derby last night, one for the ages. >> oh, yeah.
i mean, first of all, you have pete alonso, rookie, new york mets, winning it. incredible. i mean, the number of home runs that were hit, over 300. and you had young vlad guerrero jr. and jack peterson from the dodgers going back and forth with two or three hitoffs they call them. 49 home runs, 50 home runs. just an amazing evening for major league baseball's home run derby. it really was. and $1 million to the winner. >> and alonso made more money last night than he'll make all year for the mets. >> yeah. >> yes, but the good news is there's a lot of money waiting for him over the course of his career. he's such a great player. george and i got to sit and watch a little of that last year. some years it comes and goes. vlad guerrero, he's been hurt all year but what a talent he'll be in the big leagues. >> no doubt about it. >> all right, let's get to our top story this morning. wealthy financier jeffrey epstein is being charged with
one count of sex trafficking, conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking. after a newly unsealed indictment accused the 66-year-old of seeking out minors as young as 14 years old from at least 2002 through 2005. and paying them hundreds of dollars in cash for sex. at either his new york city townhouse or in his estate in palm beach, florida. federal prosecutors yesterday revealed that an extraordinary volume of photographs featuring nude or partially nude young girls was confiscated from epstein's manhattan home. during a federal court appearance yesterday afternoon epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. he faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. a decision on epstein's bail was delayed and he must remain behind bars until at least
monday. atten earlier news conference, u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york geoffrey berman appealed for other potential victims to come forward while taking a swipe at prosecutors in south florida where epstein had been accused of molesting young girls and where he worked out a favorable deal following an arrest in 2005 related to accusations of sex with minors. >> while the charge conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims now young women. they deserve their day in court and we are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment. >> you know, willie, it's the rot of the judicial system as it pertains to -- to in this case especially the wealthiest of the
wealthy getting advantages that nobody else can get. you see it time and time again in this case, every day. something shocking. we were all shocked and talked about it for some time about the lenient treatment from south florida. julie brown exposed that. yesterday, we found out that cy vance, the manhattan district attorney his office went after epstein was a level 3 sex offender and tried to downgrade it to a level 1 sex offender. the judge being so shocked, saying i have never seen anything like this before in my life. and trying to downgrade it at a time, guess what, the guy still had obviously a massive stash of child porn locked in says. >> yeah. this is infuriating. when you read the details and hear the details yesterday it turns your stomach. but as you point out, it's been infuriating, been stomach turning for more than a decade now. this first investigation started
in florida in 2005. he got this lenient deal in 2008, a secret deal where he went to jail for essentially 13 months. a sentence that had him going to work by the way six days a week. not really jail by any true definition ofmsnbc's legal analyst danny cevallos. first on what we heard yesterday, what's new and different from what we knew in 2008 when that deal was struck and does it not make that 2008 deal led by the u.s. attorney at the time in miami, alexander acosta, now the labor secretary in the trump administration, all the more infuriating that jeffrey epstein has been allowed now for more than a decade to continue to do the horrible things he's alleged to have done while he's out free when he should be in jail? >> the original plea -- nonprosecution agreement that jeffrey epstein reached with the southern district of florida is one that the southern district of new york is now saying they are not bound by. because it was entered into by a
separate district but it raises questions about how the southern district of florida handled that original nonprosecution agreement. and you need look no further than the court filings in federal court which had the actual letters that his defense team sent in an all out campaign to get him the best possible deal. it's amazing because it's all available online. what you see is an all-out war by his defense team giving -- laying out their entire defense case to federal prosecutors directly to alexander acosta as the then u.s. attorney, laying out the lack of credibility of the witnesses -- the alleged lack of credibility of the victims of course. and the other weaknesses in the government's case. now what happens next is what's different. different from my experience as a criminal defense attorney. it's the u.s. attorney's deference to that letter. to those requests. that's not the kind -- that's the kind that's struck me from the beginning as a defense
attorney because for the most part, you lay out your case to the government why your client should not be prosecuted they'll say, okay, there's interesting, we're still going to prosecute. what's compelling is the level of deference that acosta's team gave to his defense team and to some degree the local prosecutors as well. it's just -- it's really compelling stuff. >> well, sticking with that aspect of it, danny, the introduction yesterday -- first of all, the u.s. attorney here in new york southern district was very forceful along with the assistant director of the fbi. very forceful language about this case. but the plea agreement that you just referenced that was made in florida, yesterday, the public integrity section of the southern district of new york, u.s. attorney's office, is now involved in this case. what potential threat does that pose to those who put that plea agreement together specifically the labor secretary alex acosta? >> you say plea agreement, it was a nonprosecution agreement and if reason that's significant is that the southern district of
florida didn't enter into the plea agreement. they did nothing. it was nonprosecution, based on the idea that, well, local authorities are prosecuting. that's good enough for us. we don't need to get involved and redouble the efforts of local prosecutors because they have done enough on their end. of course, today we look at that and say, doesn't really feel like enough was done in this it is yaption. going forward to your question, yesterday geoffrey berman said don't look too much into the fact that our corruption unit is handling the case. it may or may not mean anything. i'm paraphrasing. i choose to look a lot into the designation. he called it a mere staffing issue and i thought yesterday, these are not -- this is not a temp agency, the doj. they assign the folks who are the best at their job. they are run like a military hierarchy. they have people designated to handle certain kinds of cases and corruption in the law doesn't mean private individuals like epstein.
it typically refers to government officials, state or federal. that's who that group is normally targeting. >> in "the new york times" columnist michelle goldberg writes that jeffrey epstein is the ultimate symbol of plutocratic rot. reading here, the epstein case is first and foremost about the casual victimization of vulnerable girls and it's a political scandal. if not a partisan one. it reveals the deep corruption among mostly male elites across parties and the way the very rich with purchase impunity for the most loathsome of crimes. if it were fiction it would be both too sordid and on the those to be believable, like a season of true detective penned by a doctrinaire marxist. he socialized with donald trump who in 2002 described him as a terrific guy, whom he had known for is a years. it's even said that he likes
beautiful women as much as i do. and many of them are on the younger side said the future president. in 2000, a porter who worked next door to epstein's manhattan home told a british newspaper, i often see donald trump and there are loads of models coming and going mostly at night. it's amazing. epstein also hung out with bill clinton who rode on his jet many times. maxwell who has been accused of working as his procureer attended daughter chelsea's wedding and it's quite likely that some of our favorites are implicated and we need to let the chips fall where they may. i guess this might answer my question, but i was thinking reading this and reading all of these stories that are coming
out now that you have been hearing here and there throughout the years really about jeffrey epstein and the people he hangs out with. but what is it about just jeffrey epstein that would make people in the legal community and people with long careers to speak for as prosecutors have deference to him? is it the powerful people that perhaps were involved with this that could have led to such terrible legal behavior in terms of giving him such a sweet deal out of florida? >> i can't speak to why a prosecutor on the government side of this would choose to agree to -- >> but is he such a compelling personality? what is it about epstein? could it just be epstein that led to this? >> what it is about epstein, his money, basically. i knew jeffrey epstein a bit when he first came to new york. he sort of plunged into the new york scene with a ton of money,
of certain whereabouts. i'm not saying it was illegal but nobody understand where he came from and he showed up in the mansion and began to surround himself with rich and powerful friends. basically, the best friends money could buy with trips on his plane, with trips to the various islands and resorts and ranches and befriended a lot of people. when he began -- when he got in trouble, he surrounded himself with every expensive lawyer, the best lawyers he could find with the most money. and they ultimately -- how ever they did it, we don't know how, they managed to convince the federal prosecutors to agree to the nonprosecution agreement. i think what you have seen, there may be some corruption there. as mike just said the fact it's been referred to the division, how they did it, we don't know. when you bring in the most persuasive lawyers in america, you do sometimes get justice to tilt the wrong way to tilt in the favor of the rich and
powerful rather than the everyday american. >> so willie, what's so fascinating also is i remember hearing people all around the set in 2015 talk about people's connections on both sides with jeffrey epstein. and as you know, this was not even a hidden secret. i said it several times on the air, in 2016, that both donald trump and bill clinton knew jeffrey epstein very well. and a lot of powerful people in new york knew him very well and they all knew these stories. every one of them. and had all known it for a very long time. and it just does -- if not for julie brown and "the miami herald" doggedly picking this story back up -- >> some victims trying to speak
out. >> and victims trying to speak out. >> which would be the key. >> nothing would have happened. it remains a mystery, what the prosecutors would do what they did do and why this entire community in new york that knew of epstein and knew what he did and ran with epstein for years, why this didn't come out years before. >> look no further than that quote that mika just read. it was 2002 when donald trump then business man and reality show host spoke glowingly about jeffrey epstein and said he likes girls on the younger side. well, the indictment told us the younger side means as young as 14 years old. 14 years old. one of the girls saying she still had braces when she went to jeffrey epstein's house. the original indictment from 2008 was a 53-page document, eddie, which told the same story that the u.s. attorneys in new york told yesterday. that they told it in miami and somehow jeffrey epstein walked
away with a sentence of 13 months where he'd come and go to work as he pleased. >> think of all the girls -- >> exactly. >> that were abused between now and then or then and now. look, it seems to me a combination of two things. one, we have been using the phrase plutocratic rot. i think this is important. it cuts through our society. it's compromising our basic democracy at every level of government and we see it in so many ways in the criminal justice system and how punishment is doled out. who's secured from it and who experiences it. and who are left vulnerable as a result of that difference. but the second part of it is this. the banality of it. you have the people around it, and it's everyday people who know this is going on. this is happening but who are okay with it. one of the powerful aspects of michelle goldberg's column is she's talking about coming from vicki ward's piece in "vanity
fair" that so many people knew. joe echoed this, mika echoed this. so many people knew this was happening. so we saw young girls, vulnerable to a predator. and we turned our head away. that sounds so familiar to so much of what america -- what we're experiencing today in this country. speaks volumes. >> the allure of money. >> and of power. >> yeah. also, it reminds me of the age of me too with some of the big names that behaved terribly for years and we all saw it happening around us and just let it go by. it cease something to consider. that's a great piece that michelle wrote. danny cevallos, thank you so much. we'll have much more just ahead and we'll bring in a former prosecutor from the southern district of new york to talk about this. now to steve rattner's favorite story of the morning, senator elizabeth warren is maintaining among the top tier of white house hopefuls hitting
her stride with first-time toners, and her campaign reported yesterday in an email to donors the massachusetts senator announced raising $19.1 million in the past three months from 384,000 donors. more than 80% of whom had never given before. warren has $19.7 million in cash on hand with an average contribution of $28. the massive haul answers scentics who questioned whether her pledge not to court wealthy donors would put her campaign at a disadvantage. noting a massive spending push across multiple early voting states in the past three months. warren's second quarter donations put her behind mayor buttigieg who has reported the largest so far. and former vice president joe biden as well. she outraised bernie sanders and
senator kamala harris' post debate boost. incredible numbers, joe. she keeps going and moving forward with that message and not listening to her critics. >> well, you know, we were talking about it when she was done low in the polls and we kept saying we couldn't understand why her poll numbers were dragging behind because we thought she was doing everything right. she was working hard. she was holding a lot of town hall meetings. she had a very narrowly focused campaign message. she stuck to it. and she showed extraordinary discipline out on the campaign trail. i think i referred to it as the blocking and tackling. she was doing the blocking and tackling of politics exactly right. we now see these are sort of lagging indicators of how people were actually paying attention to all of the things she was doing right. because she's gone up in the polls. but she's also her fund-raising
haul is pretty extraordinary. steve, it does prove your point. something that you have said throughout this process that, yes, the bundlers are so important, the big money givers are so important, but just so important the candidates' ability to raise a lot of money actually online. and elizabeth warren's numbers, boy, very dramatic, dramatic because not only did she easily bypass kamala harris, but also bernie sanders. who would have believed that several months ago? >> yeah. joe, well, first, i think you're exactly right when you talked about the fact that people were paying attention to her on the campaign trail and she did something that honestly i would not necessarily have predicted which is she went through the policy door. her mantra was i have a plan. her famous refrain is i have a plan. she has a plan for everything. we may or may not like it or agree with it. but it seems that the public has bought into that idea. that she is someone with ideas who is going to get things done.
secondly to your other point about where the money came from it is a fact that she raised this from individual donors. she had 450,000 unique individual donors in this campaign and just to put that in the frame of reference, as everyone i think knows, you needed 65,000 donors to get on the debate stage for the first debate. you need 130,000 to get on the second debate. so she has massively outperformed that criteria and her average donation was $28. for mayor pete and biden, the average donation was $49 so they were depending more on big money. the only one who went -- who was below her was actually sanders at $18 so he's still very much -- he's getting that money from the people. but when you sum this all up, i think what you see now is that within that progressive wing of basically sanders and warren it's clearly warren who now has the momentum. >> let's put up those numbers one more time, willie. when we look at them, these
numbers for the top five certainly match who's doing the best in polling. other than mayor pete at the top, you have mayor pete and joe biden, elizabeth warren, bernie sanders and kamala harris and then a massive drop-off. boy, it's going to be next to impossible to get to the third quarter for some of these candidates that aren't getting above $2 million. >> yeah. we saw eric swalwell drop out yesterday. i think you will see more in the month or so ahead. maybe after the next debate at the end of this month. i think you're right, joe, about elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. bernie sanders had to wake up to the numbers from elizabeth warren yesterday and go, whoa. she raised a lot of money. she did it in small donors. i think some people thought it was a stunt maybe when she started her campaign and said i'm not going to do any fund-raising. i won't be calling rich people. it's not how we'll run the campaign. well, it's working. she's going out there on the stump every day. she's not been particularly
flashy. not having viral moments like some of the other candidates have. she's doing the work and now showing up in the polls and in the fund-raising. >> we were worried and concerned that she was burning through the cash in the early part of the campaign and she couldn't last this long. i think what we see in some ways that cadre, that organizing public that bernie sanders had. right? that those folks who were always already engaged are now really looking to her, looking towards her and looking towards him. i mean, she didn't outraise him by a significant number. i think what we see across those numbers is a real excitement among the democratic base. about $95.1 million total, right, divided among all of them. so we see an excitement among the democratic base. what they're going to choose, who they're going to choose is going to be interesting coming down the pike. >> there's also, willie, a strong message in elizabeth
warren's campaign for the rest of the candidates in the field. she's talking about the future. here's a plan for the future. not where we have been. where we are going. >> absolutely. >> yeah. here's the thing about her message. i mean, with elizabeth warren, first of all, she loves this. she loves doing the town halls. she loves what she's doing. she's really a nice person on top of it. which helps. also i'll say on the debate stage the optics completely worked for her. she was in the middle of the stage. she owned her space. some could argue she looked presidential. it's her story. her message is her story. she actually chose her education around her message. around her life story, around the issue of bankruptcy and the little guy getting screwed. and she delivers that message every day and she cuts through things like you know we talked yesterday about those mobility numbers where people think we're doing perhaps better than they really are in terms of how well they're going to do in the future. people are listening to her
message and they're doing the math. then they're making donations. here you see the numbers. >> one other thing, mika, i think that is very important. people have already forgotten -- people have forgotten it. donald trump has already taken her on. donald trump has already talked her. >> doesn't work. >> he's already ridiculed her and mocked her and in fact saying maybe i attacked her too early because she's collapsed in the polls. no, she has taken the hit head on from donald trump and guess what? it had no impact on her. that's something that donald trump needs to be concerned about because now she's immun e immunized from the attacks. >> absolutely. we learned to the british ambassador called the trump white house inept and uniquely dysfunctional in leaked private cables. for that the white house disinvited the ambassador from a special dinner last night for the emir of qatar.
but there was someone who did attend who caught people's attention. we'll tell you who that was. but first, washington, d.c. was hit by a historic flash flood yesterday and inundated the city with 3 1/2 inches of rain in two hours. let's bring in bill karins. >> i mean, mika, the timing was horrific. we saw people stranded. we saw people with their kids on top of the cars because the water rose so quickly. we even had school buss with children on them trying to drive through rivers. i mean, it was just -- for about one hour washington, d.c., was just -- it was at a stand still with water in places people have never seen it before. again, three inches of rain in about 50 minutes. yeah, this is all some of the people could do. some people had to swim for it and head to the embankments and try to climb to get out of the rising water. amazing we didn't have any fatalities from one of the heaviest rainfall events in washington, d.c.'s history. you know, as far as a daily total goes it was the sixth wettest july day in 150 years. so let's get into the weather concerns today. now we're watching the tropics.
we have a little area of rotation over southern georgia. hurricane center says this is an 80% chance of becoming our next tropical depression or maybe a storm. we're watching the northern gulf of mexico, something can spin up quickly. a big heads up from new orleans to houston and everywhere in between. our most reliable computer model takes it into louisiana on saturday. likely as a low end hurricane or tropical storm. we have a couple of days to watch it. the heat out there it will be brutally hot today throughout the deep south. it will be 112 heat indices in south texas and the south. it will be very hot. a heads up to everyone in the northeast, the great lakes and the ohio valley. the outlook for next week looks like we could have a significant heat wave from minneapolis to chicago all the way through the northeast. it hasn't been all that hot of a summer. but looking to change very quickly in areas of the north. so enjoy the cool, low humidity while you have it because areas
like new york city i think you'll have a prolonged period in the 90s coming up as we go through the end and the middle of july. new york city not so bad. temperatures in the 60s. enjoy it while it lasts. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. johnson & johnson is a baby company. but we're also a company that controls hiv, fights cancer, repairs shattered bones, relieves depression, restores heart rhythms, helps you back from strokes, and keeps you healthy your whole life. from the day you're born
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frances rivera. jeffrey epstein, do you think -- do you have any plans on getting involved? >> i am recused from that a matter because one of the law -- one of the law firms that represented epstein long ago was a firm that i subsequently joined for a period of time. >> that's william barr declining to discuss the fellow cabinet member's role in the epstein case saying he'll have no
involvement whatsoever. nancy pelosi is calling on acosta to resign. quote, he engaged in the uncontionenable agreement with epstein, kept secret from courageous young victims preventing them from seeking justice. this was known by the president when he appointed acosta to the cabinet. as "the miami herald" reported, facing a 53-page federal indictment epstein could have ended up in prison for the rest of his life in 2008 but a deal was struck with acosta's office and not only would epstein serve just 13 months in a county jail, but most of it on work release. also, a nonprosecution agreement essentially shut down the ongoing fbi probe into whether there were other people who took part in the sex crimes. according to the examination of thousands of emails, court documents and fbi records. as part of the agreement, acosta agreed despite a federal law to the contrary that the deal would be kept from the victims.
acosta did not respond to a request for comment from nbc news but he's defended that deal including during this house appropriation sub committee in april. >> as i was saying the department of justice for the past 12 years has defended the actions of the office in this case. at the end of the day, mr. epstein went to jail. epstein was incarcerated. he registered as a sex offender, the world was put on notice that he was a sex offender and the victims received restitution. >> 13 months in county jail, 12 hours a day, work release. you consider that justice for the compensation of these girls? >> that was back in april. a current representative of the department of justice u.s. attorney geoffrey berman said this yesterday. >> already on the radar when
acosta, now the secretary of labor, brokered a plea deal. >> well -- >> what information did you have -- >> i'm not going in to any dealings with the main justice nor am i going into any aspects of how our investigation originated. i will say that we were assisted from some excellent investigative journalism. >> that's julie brown he is talking about. joining us is dave aronberg and a former prosecutor from new york, berit berger. berit, you worked in the state of new york in the southern district there. what did you make of what you heard yesterday in contrast with the deal that was cut 11 years ago? >> yeah, i mean, it really couldn't be more of a stark contrast exactly as you said. i mean, the case as presented by the southern district of new york brings two incredibly
strong charges with very significant penalties. you have the u.s. attorney geoffrey berman going out during this press conference saying that these charges are being brought in part to sort of tell the story of these victims to -- to be sort of the defenders of the women in this case who haven't had a chance to have their day in court yet. this is in stark contrast to what happened in florida. not only were charges not brought, but these victims were intentionally left out of the process. i think that's the part that is so galling for so many former prosecutors like myself. this wasn't a case of simply somebody you know forgetting to notify a victim's lawyer about a court proceeding. there were communications where the defense attorneys and the prosecutors were really systematically trying to figure out how to keep the victims out of this process. and not only is that contrary to federal law, but it really goes against the ethics and dethose of what it means on the a -- to
be a prosecutor. that's why there's such a contrast here. >> so dave aronberg, currently you're the state's attorney for palm beach county but we have talked about this before and steve rattner was explaining how epstein came to manhattan and surrounded himself with attorneys. let's say willie black came to town or one of the big-name attorneys came to town, everybody treated them with great deference. you talked about the all-star team that came to town and overwhelmed prosecutors, overwhelmed everybody. and caused a series of terrible mistakes to happen. give us some insight on that. >> yeah, hi, joe. you know, when i was selected state attorney it was years after this happened. it was three administrations
after this occurred. and the thing i think that stands out to me is why there was that confidentiality agreement with the defendant to keep this from the eyes of the victims that's something that's really unusual and hasn't been an explanation as to why that happened. i think it's important for federal prosecutors and state prosecutors to show that no one is above the law. and unfortunately here there are so many questions that remained years later and i'm glad that it looks like that those who were involved in this will be held accountable. i think more charges are coming. >> so why did that happen? why did that -- >> i mean, how is he -- working for the president now? >> right. well, i can't explain why it happened. no one has explained it. i think that's the biggest mystery in all of this. why was there that confidentiality agreement? it's really unusual. and there's been no explanation. i wish i could explain it, you know, this is three administrations later and there aren't a lot of people left who were involved in it on our side. but this was negotiated at the
federal level. that confidentiality agreement was negotiated at the federal level. but here's the irony in this. the much maligned settlement agreement from 2007 could be epstein's undoing in an upcoming trial because there's an exception in the federal rules of evidence that will allow that plea agreement to be admitted into evidence to be used against him at trial. that could sink him in front of a jury and at sentencing. so it's ironic that this much maligned agreement may be his undoing. >> so berit, based on your experience you have what we have been told is the nonprosecution agreement that's been signed. now yesterday, the u.s. attorney southern district steps up to the plate and announces that in addition to what they're looking at from the u.s. attorney's office, the public corruption unit is also involved in this. what as a veteran prosecutor, what does that tell you? the introduction of the public corruption unit in this case. >> yeah, it's hard to know how
much to read into that. and you remember during yesterday's press conference the u.s. attorney said, you know, please don't jump to any conclusions about the fact that this is being prosecuted through the public corruption unit. we're kind of left a little bit wondering here. i mean, to some extent, these things are a little bit haphazard. you know, a case can come in through a tip from one section. you have attorneys that may be working in several different components of the u.s. attorney's office that are pulled in to work on a case. i mean, i think what we do know is that the southern district of new york has an incredibly strong public corruption unit with some of the brightest lawyers in the country working in that section. so to the extent that there are, you know, aspects of this case that go beyond child sex trafficking, that's the place that you want it to be. right? so this is a section that is independent, it's working in the office that is very apolitical. so if there are any kind of political connections that could be drawn from this case and -- i
think it's too early to know if something like that will come up but this is the section you want looking into it. >> all right. berit berger and dave aronberg, thank you very much. candidates are officially throwing their hats in the ring for key senate races. including one trump ally that republicans wish would stay on the sidelines. we'll explain why the gop wants him not to run, next.
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and the former secretary of state of kansas kris kobach is taking a stab at running for senate after a failed run for governor. some republicans are concerned the run could cost the party a valuable seat held for eight decades by senator pat roberts. in 2018, kobach lost his bid for governor by five points in the state that trump carried by 21
points. and scott taylor says he will challenge mark warner next year. taylor lost his re-election bid to a democrat in 2018 amid a fraud investigation surrounding his campaign. >> by the way, i mean, you know, willie, you look at kobach and you look at taylor in virginia. you look at roy moore in alabama a lot of headaches for the gop. and of course we have to remind everybody that the electorate actually expands, becomes younger, more diverse, less white in presidential years. this could be a real problem for republicans. >> and that's why you're hearing republicans especially in the case of kris kobach saying, please don't run. he's the third republican jumping into this race for the open seat left by roberts. another name floating around by the way for this kansas seat, mike pompeo.
mitch mcconnell said recently that pompeo would be his first choice so you have republicans immediately sort of setting up a warning flare about kris kobach. >> we heard that the secretary of state had higher aspirations and judging by his work lately perhaps he wants to be kim jong-un's number two in charge. >> there is that. >> a joke. a joke. but still. anybody acting like that around kim jong-un probably should be happy sitting where they are and not thinking they could be the president of the united states. >> and then there is kentucky. >> if you want to beat mitch mcconnell this better be a working class party if you want to go into kentucky and take his rear end out. >> that was congressman and 2020 hopeful tim ryan's advice on how to unseat mitch mcconnell next year. to do that the party first needs a candidate. and this morning, they may have found one. in a moment we'll be joined by
that candidate. but first, here is the premier of her launch to unseat majority leader mitch mcconnell in 2020. ♪ >> i was 13 years old. i knew exactly what i wanted to do with my life. i sat at this table and i wrote a letter to my senator. telling him i wanted to fly fighter jets in combat, to fight more my country and that women should be able to do that. he never wrote back. i'm amy mcgrath. i wondered how many other people did mitch mcconnell never take the time to write back or even think about? a second generation steelworker who found out his mill was shutting down, leaving no jobs
behind. a woman suffering from diabetes who fears losing her health care and coverage for her pre-existing condition. a coal miner forced to retire by black lung disease who's looking for someone to offer more than words. a student who can only afford college as long as she can get her federal loans. and has no idea how she'll pay off the debt. everything that's wrong in washington had to start some place. how did it come to this? that even within our own families we can't talk to each other about the leaders of our country anymore, without anger and blame. well, it started with this man who was elected a lifetime ago and who has bit by bit, year by year turned washington into something we all despise. where dysfunction and chaos are
political weapons. where budgets and health care and the supreme court are held hostage. a place where ideals go to die. i'm running for senate because it shouldn't be like this. i learned as a daughter, a mom, a marine, and a fighter pilot that the mission can never be forgotten. that protecting our democracy requires courage. that our freedoms are never assured. and the best way to lift someone up is a job. the challenge of today is inside each of us. how do we reconcile our belief in basic human decency with our anger at those who block progress at all costs. there is a path to resetting our country's moral compass. where each of us is heard. and we can become once again the moral and economic leader of a world in disarray, but to do that we have to win this.
>> and joining us now newly announced democratic kentucky senate candidate retired marine colonel amy mcgrath. great to have you on the show. that was an incredible rollout, but how do you get the people of kentucky to hear that message? >> well, it's good to be here. and i think that this is a message that kentuckians are ready for, you know? i never set out to be some politician. all i wanted to do with my life was fly fighter jets, serve my country and be a united states marine and i did that. and along the way, i met my husband, we have three amazing children right now. but like a lot of americans and a lot of kentuckians we look at each other and we say, you know,
we're worried about our country. we're worried about kentucky. we're worried about the future. and many kentuckians are worried along with us and so, you know, for somebody like me who's always stepped up the plate, who has always been somebody that wanted to serve my country felt like this was the right time to stand up and i think many kentuckians will be ready for that. >> amy, it's willie geist. congratulations on getting into the race. welcome to the show, good to have you here this morning. there are many people over the years who have come at mitch mcconnell, who believe they -- he or she were the candidate that were going to finally take him out politically. he has persevered. he's been a resell yent politician through the years. why do you think you'll be different? >> well, he has been around for 34 years and i think this is different. this is a different race beca e because, you know, kentucky voted overwhelmingly for donald
trump and you can say kentucky is a very red state but it's a very pro trump state. if you think about why kentuckians voted for trump, they wanted to drain the swamp and trump said he was going to do that. he promised to bring back jobs and promised to lower drug prices for so many kentuckians and that's important. what stops them along the way? who stops the president from doing these things? well, mitch mcconnell. i think that's really important and that's going to be, you know, my message, that the things that kentuckians voted for trump for are not being done. he's not able to get it done because of mitch mcconnell. >> hi, amy, i'm steve rattner. the presidential hopefuls come in a variety of colors and flavors if you will on issues. and just like i would like to ask you how you'll position yourself on the issues like medicare for all. like the green new deal, like free college tuition. how do you run on those issues
in the state of kentucky? >> well, i think that, you know, when i watched the democratic debates with my husband and my family and, you know, a lot of times my husband is a registered republican and i'm a democrat, but i was an independent for many years and there were times when, you know, when my husband and i looked at each other during the debates and we were concerned that many of the candidates were pulling a little too far left from where we are. because we're both moderates. you know, we're like most americans. we get along and we want reasonable solutions for some of these things. you know, so i differ from some of the democratic candidates because, you know, i'm not for taking away private health insurance as an example. i don't think we should upend the entire system for medicare for all. but we should be fixing the system. i'm not for things like
subsidizing health insurance for immigrants. we need to fix that first. >> this is eddie glaude from princeton university. let me ask you this question. you can talk about getting rid of mitch mcconnell. you can talk about your moderate agenda. but what are you doing or how are you planning to do the blocking and tackling? the ground game. what's your approach to turning out a range of voters in order to upset mitch mcconnell in this election? >> well, i think as i mentioned, you know, a lot of people are very pro trump and the key is to get out and talk to everybody. to remind them, hey, you know, we have had this senator here for 34 years. and in kentucky, there's a lot of people that just aren't feeling the ben fits of this economy. he's allowed tobacco and coal to
decline for decades. and not had a plan and we have left entire regions of our state to economic peril. we have one of the lowest wage rates in the country. we have an opioid crisis that's two times the rate in terms of deaths around the country. we have the highest cancer rates in the country and meanwhile, all of this time we have a senate their is not only not prioritizing these things because he's prioritizing the interests of special interests, but he's actively working against kentuckians when he's trying to take away health care and that sort of thing over and over again. i think that's the key. and just reminding people, hey, senator mcconnell has been in office. he has been somebody who his party had the power of the house, the presidency, and the senate for two years. the only major piece of legislation that he was able to pass because that was his priority was this tax wind fall
for corporations and wealthiest americans just like him. >> so amy, basically, you're going to go across your state for the next several months talking about a big con that's been enforced upon the people of kentucky and other places. now, we all sat here and watched your rollout commercial which is incredibly powerful. and one of the ways you can get people to vote obviously is based on emotion before you even get to the con that they're living under. so let's cut to the chase. what's your website? because people who saw that commercial are going to want to donate to you. what's your website? >> my website is amy mcgrath.com. and you're right to say it is about emotion. i'm not doing this because like i say i want to be some politician. i'm doing this because i care about our country and i care about kentucky. and i feel like we need people with courage to step up and we need the entire nation in this
fight. for kentucky. >> all right. thank you so much, retired marine lieutenant colonel amy mcgrath. we greatly appreciate it and certainly when mitch mcconnell comes on our show, we will also mention his website. but just for the record, her website again amy mcgrath.com. >> good luck. >> that's amy mcgrath.com. if you're outside of kentucky, amy mcgrath.com. >> all right. >> and like i said, when mitch comes on we'll do the same thing. >> sure. >> thank you so much. appreciate you being here. >> thank you. still to come this morning, yesterday we showed you the new "washington post"/abc news poll that has donald trump's approval rating on the rise particularly for his handling of the economy. can democrats make their case for why the economy may not be as good as it appears? steve rattner has charts on that. we'll be right back. eve rattner that we'll be right back. pnc bank has technology to help make banking easier,
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welcome back to "morning joe." it is tuesday, july 9th. still with joe, willie and me, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. professor at princeton university, eddie glaude jr. and former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst steve rattner. joining the conversation, nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of "kasie d.c." on msnbc, kasie hunt with us. also, associate editor of "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. and house editor for the cook political report, david wasserman. great to have you all on board this hour. a lot going on, joe. >> a lot going on and dave, it's so funny. i was reading i think on saturday going back and reading an interview you did with isaac chatner, in the new yorker and you're explaining why donald trump -- that people shouldn't
be celebrating too early when his numbers were so low, especially in the other states. because you were talking about the fact that more likely than not donald trump is going to do very well in 2020 because we're looking at the individual states. doesn't matter if the democrats pick up a million more votes in california or new york or just lose by three votes in texas. it's still bad news. then the next day of course the polls came out that showed among registered voters with trump at 47%. lay out for us if the dangers for democrats who think that this race is going to magically fall their way. >> well, joe, i'm not predicting that donald trump is going to do very well in 2020. i think it's likely to be a very close, competitive election. but the -- >> but dave, by very well, what i mean is much better than at times democrats have expected over the past two or three years
and people in the press that this is going to be a tight race to the end no matter what. >> well, what i'm saying is that the early trial heats that show trump trailing joe biden for example by ten points as we saw in the abc/post poll that came out yesterday aren't accurate portrayals of what a race could look like next fall because trump has not had the opportunity yet to basically try and separate the democratic nominee. up democrats benefited -- the democrats benefited from trump as being a uniting figure in 2018, but they're going to have to nominate someone who will have to face trump's barrage of negative attacks much as clinton faced in 2016. and he does have a geographic advantage when it comes to the electoral college. >> you mentioned that in 2018 democrats did very well. but no democratic candidate or activist should take heart by
that because donald trump's name wasn't on the ballot in '18. it will be on the ballot in 2020. what does that mean for the voters who come out? >> well, it means that a lot of voters of the sort who may have not liked mitch mcconnell, but wanted someone who would drain the swamp or take on those swamp creatures, they came out in 2016. they didn't turn out in 2018 because it was congressional republicans, the insiders who were on the ballot. and that tended to help democrats. but in 2020, trump will be back on the ballot and a lot of his core supporters especially white men without college degrees are likely to return to the electorate as long as he can gin up his base. that means that the electorate is like to be a little bit more favorable to him than the one that showed up in 2018. and democrats really run the risk of nominating a candidate who can rack up big margins in coastal states and heavily blue states in places that are
trending their way like texas, but doesn't -- but don't really move the needle in the states that are critical for winning the electoral college like wisconsin and pennsylvania and biden looks good in those states right now. but let's face it, trump is going to try to divide the democratic base by attacking the eventual nominee from the left as well, by trying to demoralize the democratic base if it's biden on issues like busing, anita hill and hair sniffing. >> hey, dave, it's willie. you have gotten to my question a little bit here but as you know there's this debate within the democratic party. do we need to get out the progressive base or nominate a candidate who can grab back those places like wisconsin and michigan and pennsylvania and those who went for obama once and then flipped for trump. i think there's the tension, i think the answer is trying to get a candidate who captures both of them, but if you were working on behalf of the democrats and i know you're not -- i don't want to put you
in that position, but where would your focus be right now? >> it would be on kind of reframing the way that voters see electability in this race. in 2018 i covered house races for a living and the profile that took off that year was younger women who were charismatic, didn't have much of a political track record, but were running on change and running as political outsiders. and that kind of resume is not really present in this race at the moment, but i think a lot of people are looking at the field in terms of left versus center. and which route is a better route for taking on trump. i would look at it more in terms of who is seen as authentic. who is seen as a credible change agent and who is really -- who is really coming across as
someone who is bringing about something new. and who can win those states in the interior of the country. >> you know, dave, i think it was you and correct me if i'm wrong that was talking about how nobody would have predicted at this point in the 2016 cycle that the guy that insulted just about every mexican and was calling for walls and all of the other bizarre things and insulting john mccain would ever be the republican nominee. so we have to be very careful about saying medicare for all is a loser or some of the other things that i thought wouldn't work for democrats would be a loser. that said, you did express some concerns -- not concerns but just said as you analyzed it that if you're more medicare for all, if you're for what many would consider to be an open border policy or at least a policy expressed during the debate seem to be for a return to busing. that causes real concerns for
the states that matter the most. michigan, wisconsin, ohio, pennsylvania and florida. explain that. >> yeah. there are limits to what democrats can say and advocate for and still get elected. generally, i don't think that candidates' orientation or identification as a progressive who wants to overhaul i.c.e. for example is disqualifying in the general election but running on a campaign of, you know, no border enforcement or abolishing private health insurance, yeah, that's probably disqualifying in a general election. but the key to who can win i believe is really empathy in addition to authenticity. who is weaving voters' personal struggles into the case for why they should be elected and that's what i find lacking on the democratic debate stage at the moment. >> you know, kasie hunt, we saw that in an extraordinary way in amy mcgrath's opening
announcement where she was weaving her campaign effort into the struggles of a lot of different people in the state of kentucky. what can you tell us about amy mcgrath? i know you covered her some in the 2018 campaign. and looking forward, does mitch mcconnell have a reason to be concerned? have you heard anything about his camp's reaction to running against mcgrath? >> some of his top advisers are tweeting in response to the news on this show, looking at essentially saying that they think mcgrath has positions like you and dave were just talking about that will put outside of the mainstream and we'll be reminded of those positions shortly. so i think that what that tells you is they were definitely prepared for this and i think we're going to see an on-slaught and taking on mitch mcconnell is
no small thing and deciding to put your entire life and career under a very intense microscope with a lot of money telling people all the flaws in your past so clearly amy mcgrath has decided she's ready for that. she was one of the most interesting candidates that i spoke to in 2018. she obviously didn't ultimately end up pulling out her race, but she came much closer than anybody really thought should have been feasible in that conservative area of kentucky. and she really did it on her -- you know, it was a combination of things. it was an organizational game that tried to think outside the box. and, you know, look at the electorate in new ways and sometimes in trumpian ways, right? he expected the electorate in ways we didn't expect but she is an incredibly compelling candidate with a compelling personal story. >> yes, she is. >> you really can't overstate and i think, you know, you and dave touched on this as well she has that outsider profile.
you know, she was a military fighter pilot who, you know, i stood there and read and mitch mcconnell was not the only politician to whom she wrote a letter saying hey, women should be in the fighter cockpits. some of the letters she did get back are astonishing in what they say about, you know, the status of women in the military. that's what she was up against and she successfully fought it and she's very good at articulating that when you have a personal conversation with her. you know, this is not a situation like what mcconnell faced in 2014 the last time he had to run for re-election. he was up against alison grimes a member of a long-time, you know, kentucky political democratic family. daughter of jerry lunder again, who was part of the democratic machine down there and mcconnell was able to use that because he painted her as similar to himself. but this is going to be a whole different ball game for him.
>> yeah. you know, mika, it's very interesting, talking about amy mcgrath's position on the show was very interesting that she distanced herself from taking private health insurance away from 155 million people. distanced herself from legalizing border crossings for those who are not american citizens. she separated herself from some of the issues that did concern more moderate democrats and obviously might play very well in parts of the country -- on the coast, but certainly wouldn't play well in the state of kentucky. >> no. and now on to trump and his approval ratings which plays into all of this as well. many are crediting president trump's rise in job approval on how he has handled the economy. but steve rattner you say appealing to those being left behind could present an opportunity for democrats.
tell us how. >> yeah, well, what i'm saying in essence is that this economy is not working for everybody. so let me give you three examples of groups of americans for whom the economy hasn't been working. we'll start with african-americans and look at their incomes as a percentage of white incomes and you can see back in the 2000, 2002 period, african-americans earned 80 to 81% of what white americans earned. today, we're down in the 76% range of what african-americans earned relative to what white americans earned. so you can see there's been a steady decline in the share of income that african-americans get relative to white americans. the opposite of what i think most of us think should have been happening and probably even most of us think was happening. and what's also extraordinary is that today if you adjust for age and occupation and things like that, african-americans earns
16% less than a comparable white american in the same job. yes, african-americans vote democratic, but remember the turnout was down in 2016 after the obamaary -- obama years and the key is to get them out. let's look at those who are left behind, those in the manufacturing sector and this chart focuses on the auto sector. you can see that on the inflation adjusted basis, autoworkers wages peaked back here in november of 2002 at about 31 or so dollars an hour. they have literally gone down 26% after adjusting for inflation to this level here of about $23 an hour. and essentially they have done nothing under president trump notwithstanding his promise to make america great again. people in this category are the kinds of white working class americans that went over to trump last time and the fact that their situation hasn't
improved should be an opportunity for democrats in the next election. then lastly, let's look at the -- at what's going on in rural america. because again within the overall improvement in wages, there's a lot of divergence. this compares the wages in new york city to the wages in mississippi and what's been happening to them. the green line being new york city and the orange line is mississippi. again, real wages adjusted for inflation so you can see throughout this period, they were basically following a similar kind of trajectory. since the middle of 2016 they have diverged so wages in new york city are now up 5% relative to where they were in 2016. wages in mississippi are now down 3.3% relative to where they were in 2016. this is a picture that is being repeated all over rural america. democrats are not going to carry mississippi. >> why? why in rural america do they plunge? >> because the good jobs -- the new jobs that we have been
creating are the so-called intellectual growth industries. tech, things like that. health care. those are concentrated in big cities. and secondly, as you know there's been a trend among particularly younger americans to want to be in cities, to be in real cities where a lot of things going on and rural america has been totally left behind and actually totally left behind in the south more so even than the rest of the country. again, democrats play not carry the south, but there are the pockets of voters out there that democrats ought to be able to get. >> gene robinson, even as we have this conversation the president is tweeting. the top line very good numbers on the economy, much potential for growth. he goes on to talk about trade deals being negotiated and how he's changing our relationship with countries that he says have treated us unfairly. he will point to the unemployment rate. he'll point to the stock market. a lot of figures he can point to and say look at how well we are doing, but big pockets of
america are not thriving. >> and anybody running against him, you have to point to the numbers, one has to highlight those numbers, the ones that steve rattner just showed us. in a way that connects. and so that's really the challenge for democrats, for whoever ends up running against president trump. and i call it more of a challenge than a dilemma. but yes, they want to get some of those white working class voters. some of those obama/trump voters back as many of them as they can. but they also face a pretty bleak election if they can't fire up and motivate and get out the democratic base. i mean, they just have to get african-american voters out in bigger numbers than in 2016. they have to get young people out in bigger numbers. they can put together -- put the
obama coalition back together which did include young people and african-americans. they can see a majority there. and so it's -- that's going to be the challenge i think for the democratic nominee. and just to emphasize one other point. as dave wasserman said it will be a nominee. it will not be a disembodied set of policies. or a platform. a platform doesn't win the presidency, but a candidate does. so it has to be a candidate who embodies and expresses the kind of hopes and dreams and aspirations and anger of enough voters to win. >> and eddie, the president will rebut what we saw in the first chart about african-americans and saying that african-americans currently or have in the last six months anyway had the lowest unemployment rate in history, but it's still almost double the national unemployment rate. >> exactly. he will also try to make an argument that it's undocumented
imgrants, not illegal aliens, undocumented immigrants who are in some ways the reason for wage stagnation. for all the things that's happening in black communities. i think we don't need to fall for it that old okey-doke. part of what we need to throw out once and for all is the false opposition. i hear what david is saying but we need to reject the false opposition between white workers and african-american works and if the democrats put forward an agenda, an agenda that speaks to the kitchen table issues that cut across race, that we don't in some ways pay homage to this old kind of logic that is defined the american electorate, where we play to these racial sentiments but really speak to the issues that cut across race, then the democrats will be successful. but if they try to be republican light once again, the base will not turn out, joe. they will not turn out. if it's republican light again.
>> but eddie, understand if you take away health insurance from 155 million americans, the majority of which -- you can look at pew research that says a majority of those 155 million americans like their health insurance plans. >> right. >> if you take that away from them, that has nothing to do with white or black or hispanic or asian-american. that is the kitchen table. people talk about medicare for all. what they're talking about if it's in a pure form is taking away private health insurance plans from all americans regardless of race. 155 million americans who like it, that's where democrats -- some might say, need to tread carefully. >> joe, i hear what you're saying but i want to say this really quickly. in 1980 when -- 1979 when ronald reagan was running and people, george bush he had voodoo
economics, he would lead us into the third world war when all of those folks were the ideologues within the reagan revolution and listening to people saying this would destroy the economy, destroy america they didn't pay attention to them. so i'm going to say to those democrats we love you, joe scarborough. don't pay attention to you. just simply put forward that agenda to change the center of gravity of the country and watch what happens. >> pay no attention. run for that cliff and jump off and flap your arms really fast. >> just called us dodo birds. >> i will say democrats for those who shouldn't listen to me, that's fine. i mean, i do care because obviously i made it very clear, i don't want trump to get re-elected but you didn't listen to me in 2016, did you? in fact you mocked me. you said a lot of nasty things about me when i told you donald
trump could win. could get to 270. oh, my god, would you like to see the press clippings then? maybe, just maybe, eddie, maybe a few should listen. >> all right. >> up to you. hey, dave, so let me ask you this question. you look at 2018, there were some pockets that i found absolutely fascinating. my old friend pete sessions lost his race in suburban dallas. i would have never seen that coming two years before. are you seeing any trends post 2018 that are surprising you like that or anything that you saw after having a year to pour over all of those results that are making you look at say michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania, north carolina, florida, any differently or georgia? do democrats finally have a chance in georgia? >> yeah, joe, look, democrats are doing better and better everywhere there's a whole foods market and stag nating where
there's a cracker barrel or dollar general. if you think of kentucky who's in the electorate? it's rural voters and autoworkers and the danger for amy mcgrath she's going to draw money away from senate races that are actually winnable. look, she ran for congress in 2018 in a fairly rural district, yes, it has lexington in it. she made it competitive. but she still lost by a few points in a district that went for donald trump by 15. well, kentucky is a state went for trump by 30 points. democrats and no offense to mcgrath, are fundamentally unelectable at the federal level, statewide, in kentucky. so they have to keep that in mind when they're targeting states and they have to be able to find a message that can hold on to the states that still are winnable at the presidential level like pennsylvania, michigan and wisconsin. i would throw in arizona and north carolina as potentially
decisive states. >> all right. dave wasserman, thank you so much for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," president trump has often claimed that he's brought america's coal industry back to life. but a growing number of the country's coal miners apparently don't feel the same way. nbc news' heidi przybyla has the invitation that is being extended to the 2020 candidates. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. we'll be ri. johnson & johnson is a baby company.
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i would go straight to west virginia and it's where i would locate my manufacturers, where i would locate my solar panel manufacturers. i would's where i would locate innovators around incentives, all these places in the green energies and it's how you make a promise to the american people. we are guaranteeing you job training in whatever field you want and whatever community you want to live, period.
go right into the states that will be disproportionately affected by the green energy dream and you include them as part of the solution and you invest in them as if your life depended upon it because it does. >> that was democratic presidential candidate kirsten gillibrand on saturday in new hampshire talking about the importance of investing in coal miners. her comments come just days after nearly 600 coal miners were suddenly left without work. and now the coal miners union is inviting the 2020 democratic candidates to come on an underground tour and hear from workers. the union says if democrats want to get back many who have deserted the party in the last several elections, it is coal miners who they need to win over. joining us now with more on that, nbc news correspondent heidi przybyla. heidi, what did you find out? >> hi, mika. this is really unusual. this is the first time that the coal miners have done this.
have reached out this early and invited the entire field of democratic candidates to tour a mine and open a dialogue. the last time that a presidential candidate did this was john kerry in 2004. so nbc news has obtained the letters that went out to all the presidential primary candidates and this underscores the significant and persistent concerns in this community, in these pockets of america where frankly the mine workers, mika, as you remember, were really the face of forgotten man during trump's campaign. he really made the mine workers a priority and said these are the people who i'm going to prioritize and bring back jobs for. no one he says has done more for the coal workers than him. he has a coal lobbyist heading the epa. they have had all of the regulatory rollbacks aimed at helping the coal industry and yet, 2018 was a record year for coal mine retirements.
and you see these coal workers if you're up on capitol hill, they're a fixture coming up there trying to appeal for help from members on capitol hill for their pensions for instance. so what we have here is a strong indication that even though this is a very loyal trump constituency, these people -- the forgotten man here are still really suffering and they're at least open to being wooed back by democrats who they say in this letter were their natural constituency in decades past. >> interesting. kasie hunt? >> hey, heidi, i mean, i take your point about this, but i mean, they haven't invited president trump to tour a mine presumably you seem to report because they know where he stands on this. i mean, how is there evidence here that this is something that's in play? >> it's evidence because they have not done this before. they do say that they know where president trump is on the issue. and point taken, many of them
are loyal trump voters but what you see here is really an opening divide as well between the working coal miners and the coal miners who are rapidly being put out of work and who are being essentially forced in to retirement. according to the coal miners union you are starting to see some cracks among those workers because they're starting to see that no matter the dramatic changes that have been made under trump, they are continuing to lose their jobs and so maybe -- just maybe they're starting to be open to some more of the arguments from democrats about how democrats or any lawmaker frankly can invest more in their communities because what they're seeing is regardless of the regulatory red carpet that's being rolled out, you know, the market's just moving in the opposite direction. they're moving to renewals, solar and natural gas. >> heidi przybyla, thank you
very much. we'll be reading your new reporting at nbcnews.com. coming up, the democratic party is all in on retaking the white house in 2020 but our next guest argues that winning the presidency may not be enough to undo president trump's agenda. he breaks down why the party needs to rebalance the senate and if it's even possible. we'll be right back. lick fast like a cookie dough ninja. apply that same speed to the ford hurry up and save sales event. for the first time ever get 20% estimated savings on select ford models, plus earn complimentary maintenance through fordpass rewards. it all adds up.
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so we have some data about something we discussed on the program recently. the morning consult asked voters if they had seen or heard about allegations in days following the stories of women accusing joe biden of touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. and columnist e. jean carroll her accusation that donald trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. 42% had heard a lot about the biden story. while only 15% heard the latest allegation against trump. joining us now the host of the public radio program studio 360
and author of the best selling book "fantasy land, how america went haywire," kurt anderson is joining us. and from the online gaming company win view and cnbc founder and contributor tom rogers. he is out this morning with a new piece in the morning consult entitled "rebalancing the senate." but first, you know, kurt, it's -- these numbers on the biden versus the trump story, they kind of -- they kind of describe the media landscape right now in terms of what people are hearing and what people are tuning out to and perhaps even what this president has done sort of to the value of news. does that make sense? >> well, i don't know about the value of news, but the value of what would in any normal time be a shocking allegation against the president of the united states. we are -- all of us inured to it
and therefore, like oh, that, oh, that? it comes and goes. the 15% numb does surprise me, that that view -- that small of a number of americans are aware that the president is credibly accused of raping someone. yes, that surprises me. >> and kurt, i mean, if you look at -- sometimes worth pausing and saying we have a president of the united states who is credibly accused with documentation of paying off a porn star. that came out right before the election. we learned more details about it later, but again that just breezes past people. >> well, i mean, it's the thing that is brought up again and again. i can shoot someone on fifth avenue and people would still be with me, which was a brilliant insight. not only to the fervency of his base and the people who love him no matter what the dear leader does, but i have been accused so much i'm such a rotten guy, i'm
such a liar, i'm such a whatever that one more, what's it going to do? he understands that. >> baked in the cake. >> correct. it's baked in. discounted. >> he counts on that tom, let's talk about the new piece, you offer a solution to the representation problem that the senate faces. in order to reverse a number of trump's initiatives it's clear that it's not enough to win back the presidency. democrats need to control congress as well. winning the senate becomes key but is that possible? the founding fathers devised the senate to ensure each state had equal representation and the house had the number of elected officials proportionate to population. however, a massive population imbalance across the country has developed over time. however, there's a recommend city that could be accomplished quite rapidly in if democrats do regain control of the executive and legislative branches. there are four million u.s. citizens living in washington, d.c. and puerto rico currently being deprived of voting representation in congress.
in 2020, put the right two at the top of the ticket, take two houses of government and admit two new states so let's focus on the is that the too. that's one of the things that we're talking about here. all of the proposals we hear, they're pure fantasy if democrats don't take back the senate. >> absolutely right. and the issue of the senate being out of whack with the u.s. population has become really dramatic. when the founders created the senate with two senators from each state, the difference between the five most populist northern and southern states was 700,000 people and a ratio of 2-1. that's grown today so that the ten most populous blue states versus the ten least populous states is a delta of 91 million people or a ratio of 24-1. and when you really break that down, what that has happening is
you have 20 red states sending 40 united states senators to the senate where there are only about 5% of the u.s. population that votes republican in those states. effectively sending a controlling bloc to the u.s. senate. now, you can't get a constitutional amendment through. we have talked about it on the show before, rebalancing the u.s. supreme court and how you can do that without a constitutional amendment. admitting states can be done by the majority of congress. by tradition, there's a plebiscite in each of the territories that would be admitted, both washington, d.c. and puerto rico have done that. majorities have spoken, they want to be admitted and a majority of the congress if we regain the presidency in both houses of congress can admit to two states which would result in four new democratic senators. and begin to rebalance an incredibly out of whack senate relative to only 5% of the u.s. population voting and effectively having a controlling bloc over a body all together.
>> gene robinson, hop in here. >> well, you know, i think that's a good idea, just because we have taxation without representation in the district of columbia and in puerto rico and i mean, it's what the american revolution was fought over and it's an injustice and it ought to be corrected. it would help rebalance the senate. but in order to do that, democrats would have to take the senate. and so shouldn't some of the presidential candidates be running for the senate? some who could win senate seats like steve bulluck and john hickenlooper, beto o'rourke potentially in texas? and they're likely not going to be president but they'd have a better chance of becoming a senator and actually helping democrats win a majority. wouldn't they? >> you make a great point because it looks as if only six republican seats even though there are 22 republican seats up
in 2020 only six are in play and maybe only four in play. if the democrats lose alabama which is certainly a possibly even if they gain the presidency and the vice president can break a tie in the 50-50 senate they would have to take all four of the seats that are most in play. that looks like a tougher climb than the presidency, but fundamental not only in terms of making change but rebalancing the government that's out of whack. >> do you think it's possible when the history -- say the last 10, 15, 20 years is written that donald trump will certainly be a pivotal figure in the course of writing this history. but what about the prospect of mitch mcconnell being a more pivotal figure given what he's done to increase and heighten the polarization of this nation through the united states senate? >> i think he'll still be a less well known freakish figure in
our history than the president. however, but the merrick garland incident that episode seems to me it will be seen forever as a milestone in breaking of the norms. and doing this thing that certainly our descendents will look at as this hardball beyond hardball in terms of depriving us of the normal democratic functioning as small "d" as it had been working for decades. >> speaking of mcconnell, the population of kentucky is about 4 million people. the combined population of puerto rico and washington, d.c., is about 4 million people. puerto rico in fact has a higher population than 21 states in the country. and not only in terms of minority representation, of blacks and latinos who are clearly underrepresented in the political process, the victims of voter suppression more than
anybody else, the gerrymandering decision further compounding that issue this would be an indirect remedy for a lot of that, not to mention the humanitarian issues of how puerto ricans were treated as second class citizens and making them a state would make them a long way in rectifying that. >> you're not arguing that montana and south dakota should have fewer senators. you just believe that others should have representation? >> you can't change the basic constitutional principles that are laid out and to do so would be folly. 60 years ago we admitted hawaii and alaska. they had one-fifth of the combined population of puerto rico and d.c. today. 50 years before that we admitted new mexico and arizona. so every 50, 60 years we do this. it's about time and we need to do it given how out of whack senate control has become in the small hands of very tiny
percentage of u.s. voters. >> so mike barnicle, it's not hard to remember when kentucky went democratic. it certainly used to be a democratic state, but bill clinton even in 1996 carried the state of kentucky. arkansas. kentucky. i mean, you could go up the entire mississippi river. missouri. i mean, that's not ancient history and i don't know that the population trends have changed quite so much. but again, clinton carried kentucky, we're hearing it's unwinnable now. i don't know. it seems -- there seems to be a lot of things happening at the same time. >> you know what was interesting when amy mcgrath was on with us a few moments ago, joe, and you pointed this out, she made it a point to indicate she was not in favor of medicare for all, things like that. that pose a lethal threat to democratic candidates in some states. and she seems to be focusing in on one of the not often
mentioned aspects of campaigning in this country now, the importance of family income. i mean, if you focus on family income, raising family income in places like paducah, kentucky, or portland, maine, that's going to resonate with more voters than medicare for all. it's what your you going to do to help my family grow, to help my income grow. i mean, steve's charts showed that that would resonate all throughout the country. >> mika -- go ahead. >> joe, i was going to say to your point, you can look at certain states which could turn back. montana for instance, which is considered a very red state is one of nine states that has one democratic and one republican senator. if bullock was not going to run for presidency, and instead take on danes for the senate there would be a good chance that a
red state might end up with two democratic senators and you could begin to see some of this change by virtue of the electorate. but it looks like a pretty, pretty tough climb for the democrats in 2020 given what's really in play now and the candidates that have come forward. >> well, a tough climb unless as you say bullock runs for senator there. >> yeah. >> hickenlooper runs for senator in colorado. beto if he decides to get out of the presidential race, runs for senator in texas. suddenly you have three very red states that are tossups and it changes the map for everybody. >> we need these democrats. >> stacy abrams in georgia. sally yates but they're not coming forward and the democratic party needs to do something about that. >> kurt andersen, thank you. tom rogers, great to see you. we're reading your new piece for the morning consult. up next, president trump
fires back at the uk's ambassador to the u.s. who called trump quote inept, insecure and incompetent. the retribution the white house took yesterday over those leaked remarks. we'll be right back. i didn't have to shout out for help. i didn't have to get you a lift. and i didn't have to call your wife to meet you at the doctor. because you didn't have another dvt. not today. we discussed how having one blood clot
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welcome back to "morning joe." live picture of the white house as we come up on 8:00 here on the east coast. president trump attended a dinner for the amir of qatar at the treasury department last night in which kim derrick was disinvited after privately calling the trump white house inept and uniquely dysfunctional in diplomatic cables. the president is tweeting right now calling him wacky and, quote, a very stupid guy. someone who was at the dinner, new england patriots owner
robert kraft. he was seated at the president's table with the emir. craft caught up in human trafficking allegations in florida, charchblgged with two s of solicitation of prostitution. president trump has been pushing aids to include white house in a super bowl visit for the new england patriots. kraft issued a public apology in april stating he has extraordinary respect for women. kraft aside, let's go back to the ambassador, someone who most people would privately tell you in the trump administration that they like, that they enjoy going into the ambassador's residence and spending time with. >> they do spend a lot of time there. it is not a unanimous point of view in the administration. in fact, he's a very smart man who wrote extremely candid cable toes his government as am ba
ambassadors are supposed to do trying to analyze and help them understand donald trump and the trump administration. and, you know, if you're a journalist and heaven forbid you get sued for lible, you can't be guilty of liable if what you say is true. there was nothing untrue about it. he is the victim of politics in london. and those cables got leaked. some machinations about the incoming prime minister and brexit and boris johnson and all of that. who knows exactly how that worked. but that is what happened to kim dera. he won't be here long, i'm sure, but we will miss him in washington. he's been a -- i think he's been an effective and annehonest
ambassador from the united kingdom . >> one of these linked documents says we don't believe this administration is going to be less unpredictable, less faction driven, less diplomatically inept. in other words, this is the way it's going to be. great britain has not denied the you a the authenticity of these documents. >> it's a little hard -- have we seen any evidence that that is the case? eugene robinson's organization has reported on all this. at the end of the day, his job, the ambassador's job is to tell the truth and to try to give his bosses back at westminster the tools that they needed to interact with the united states. and it seems that that is what he did. and, you know, to gene's point, i mean, the trump administration was always very welcome at the british embassy under kim
derrick and, in fact, did socialize there regularly. i don't think the way the president is talking about him right now reflects, you know, how that relationship was until this happened. but, you know, clearly, someone is out to get the ambassador and as gene said, i can't imagine he's long for this town. >> yeah. the president calling him a stupid guy and a pompous fool, even get something space in his tweet toes attack the british prime minister theresa may this morning. casey hunt, eugene robinson, thank you both. still ahead, jeffrey epstein, new questions mount over his previous sweetheart deal that kept him from doing serious time. we'll break down the case prosecutors will now make against the wealthy financier. against the wealthy financier.
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and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. ♪ mr. president, do you have any concerns about the labor secretary's handling? >> that seems like a long time ago. >> what is the administration doing specifically to look into secretary acosta's role for jeffrey epstein? does the president have any misgivings about the roll that this top official played in this? >> that's currently under review. i can't into specifics because it is under review. >> last winter, the trump
administration said that they were reviewing labor secretary alex acosta anticipates role in the nonprosecution agreement with jeffrey epstein, exposed for its leniency and secrecy. in a series of stunning reports from the "miami herald." four months later, the justice department has brought charges against epstein while the administration is completely silent on acosta. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is tuesday, july 9th. along with joe, willie and me, we have mike barnacle, eddie glaw jr., steve ratner. let's get to our top story this morning. wealthy financier jeffrey epstein is being charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking after a newly unsealed indictment accused the 66-year-old of seeking out minors as young as 14 years old
from at least 2002 and 2005 and paying them hundreds of dollars in cash for sex at either his new york city town house or in his estate in palm beach, florida. federal prosecutors yesterday revealed that an extraordinary volume of photographs featuring nude or partially nude young girls was confiscated from epstein's manhattan home. during a federal court appearance yesterday afternoon, epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. he faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. a decision on epstein's bail was delayed and he must remain behind bars until at least monday. at an earlier news conference, the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, jeffrey berman, appealed for other potential victims to come forward while appearing to take a swipe at prosecutors in south florida where epstein has previously been accused of
molesting young girls and where he worked out a favorable dealing following an arrest in 2005 related to accusations of sex with minors. >> while the charge, conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims, now young women. they deserve their day in court and we are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment. >> you know, willie, it's the rot of the judicial system as it pertains to -- in this case, especially, the wealthiest of the wealthy, getting advantages that nobody else can get. you see it time and time again in this case every day. something shocking. we were all shocked and talked about it for some time about the lenient treatment from south
florida. julia brown exposed that. yesterday, we found out that sy vance, the manhattan district attorney, his office went in after epstein was a level three sex offender, tried to downgrade it to a level one sex ovengder, the judge being so shocked saying i've never seen anything like this before in my life. no. and trying to downgrade it at a time, by the way, guess what? the guy still had obviously a massive stash of child porn locked in safes. >> yeah. this is infuriating when you read the details and hear the details yesterday, it turns your stomach. but as you point out, it's been infuriating and it's been stomach turning for more than a decade now. this first investigation started in florida in 2005. you have this lenient deal in 2008, a secret deal where he went to jail, essentially, for 14 months, a sense that had him going to work, by the way, six days a week. he could come and go as he pleased. so not really jail by any true
definition of it. danny, first on what we heard yesterday, what is new and difference from what we knew in 2008 when that deal was struck? and does it not make that deal in 2008, led by alexander acosta, all the more infuriating that jeffrey epstein has been allowed now for more than a decade to continue to do the horrible things he's alleged to have done while he's out free when he should be in jail? >> the original plea -- not prosecution agreement that jeffrey epstein reached with the southern district of florida is one that the southern district of new york is saying they are not bound by because it was entered into in a separate district. but it raises questions about how the southern district of florida handled that original nonprosecution agreement. and you need look no further than the court filings in federal court which had the actual letters that his defense team sent in an all-out campaign
to get epstein the best possible deal. and it's amazing because it's all available online. and what you see is an all-out war by his defense team giving -- laying out their entire defense case to federal prosecutors directly to alexander acosta as the then u.s. attorney, laying out the lack of credibility of the witnesses, the alleged lack of credibility of the victims, of course, and the other weaknesses in the government's case. now what happens next is what's difference, difference from my experience as a criminal defense attorney. it's the u.s. attorney's deference to that letter, to those requests. that's not the kind -- that's the thing that has struck me from the beginning as a defense attorney because, for the most part, if you lay out your case to u.s. attorneys or the government, why your client should not be prosecuted, they will say, okay, that's interesting, we're still going to prosecute. what is compelling is the level of deference that acosta's team gave to his defense team and to
some degree the local prosecutors, as well. it's really compelling stuff. >> stick, that aspect of it, danny, the introduction yesterday, first of all, the u.s. attorney here in new york southern district was very forceful along with the distant director of the fbi. very forceful language about this case. but the plea agreement that you just referenced that was made in florida yesterday, the public integrity section of the southern district of new york, u.s. attorney's office is now involved in this case. what potential threat does that pose to those who put that plea agreement together, specifically the labor secretary, alex acosta? >> one thing, you see plea agreement. it was a nonprosecution agreement. and the reason that's significant is that the southern district of florida didn't enter into a plea agreement. they did nothing. their agreement was nonprosecution based on the idea that, well, local authorities are prosecuting. that is good enough for us. we don't need to get involved and redouble the efforts of local prosecutors because they've done enough on their
end. and, of course, today we look at that and say it doesn't really feel like enough was done in this situation. going forward to your question, jeffrey berman said don't look too much into the fact that our corruption unit is handling this case. it may or may not mean anything. i choose to look a lot into that designation. he called it a mere staffing issue. this is not a temporary agency, the doj. they assign the folks who are the best at their job and they are run like a military hierarchy. and krungsz in the law doesn't mean private individuals like epstein. illustrate typically refers to government official. that's who that group is normally targeting. >> in the "new york times," columnist michelle goldberg writes that jeffrey epstein is the ultimate symbol of plutocratic rot. reading here from hurry piece,
quote, the epstein case is first and foremost about the casual victimzation of vulnerable girls, but it is also a political scandal, if not a partisan one. it reveal aes deep corruption among mostly male elites across parties and the way the very rich can often purchase impunity for even the most loathsome of crimes. if it were fiction, it would be both too sore did and too on the nose to be believable. epstein socialized with donald trump who in 2002 described him to new york magazine as a terrific guy whom he had known for 15 years. it's even said that he likes beautiful women as much as i do and many of them are on the younger side, said the future president. in 2000, a porter who worked next door to epstein's manhattan home told a british newspaper admiringly, i often see donald trump and there are loads of
models coming and going, mostly at night. it's amazing. epstein hung out with bill clinton, who rode on his jet several times. max well, a close companion of epstein, attended chelsea clinton's wedding in 2010, long after epstein's exposure. following his arrest on saturday, christine pelosi, daughter of house speaker nancy pelosi, tweeted it is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated, but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may. steve ratner, i guess this might answer my question, but i was thinking reading this and reading all these stories coming out now that you've been hearing here and there throughout the years, really, about jeffrey epstein and the people he hangs out with, but what is it about just jeffrey epstein that would make people in the legal community and people with long
careers to speak for as prosecutors have deference to him. is it the powerful people that perhaps were involved with this, that could have led to such a terrible legal behavior in terms of giving him such a sweet deal out of florida? >> well, i can't speak to why a prosecutor on the government side of this would choose to agree to this nonprofit -- >> but is he such a compelling personality? what is it about epstein? could it just be epstein that led to this? >> what is it about epstein? it's his money, basically. i knew jeffrey epstein a bit when he first came to new york. he plunged into the new york scene of a nonof money with uncertain whereabouts. i'm not saying that it's illegal, but no one knew where he was business was or where it came from. he showed up in this mansion and began to surround himself with the best friends money could buy with trips on his plane, trip toes various islands and
befriended a lot of people. when he got in trouble, he surrounded himself with every expensive lawyer, the best lawyers he could find with the most money and they ultimately, however they did it, and we don't know how, managed to convince the federal prosecutors to create this nonprosecution agreement. but i think what you've seen, there may be some corruption in there. as mike just said, the fact that it's been referred to the public integrity division seems to be an interesting factoid. how they did it, we don't know. but when you bring to bear the most expensive, powerful, influential lawyers in america, you sometimes get justice to tilt the wrong way, to tilt in favor of the rich and powerful of the everyday american. >> so, willie, what's so fascinating, also, is i remember hearing people all around the set, in 2015, talk about people's connections on both sides with jeffrey epstein.
and, as you know, this was not even a hidden secret. and i said it several times on the air. in 2016. that both donald trump and bill clinton knew jeffrey epstein very well. and a lot of powerful people in new york knew him very well and they all knew these stories. every one of them. and had all known it for a very long time. and it just -- if not for julie brown of the "miami herald" doggedly picking this up -- >> and some victims speaking out. >> and victims speaking out, it remains a mystery why the prosecutors would do what they would do and why this entire community in new york that knew of epstein and knew what he did and ran with epstein for years,
why this didn't come out years before. >> look no further than that quote mika just read. it was 2002 when donald trump spoke glowingly about jeffrey epstein and said he likes girls on the younger side. the indictment yesterday told us the younger side means as young as 14 years old. 14 years old. one of the girls saying she still had braces when she went to jeffrey epstein's house. the original indictment from 2008, eddie, was a 53-page document which basically told the same story that the u.s. attorneys in new york told yesterday, that they told it in miami, and somehow jeffrey epstein walked away with a sentence of 13 months where he could come and go to work as he pleased. >> and think about all of the girls that were abused between now and then or then and now. it seems to me abation of two dhings. one, we've been using the frayed
plutocratic rot. i can this is important. it cuts through our society. it's compromising our basic democracy at every level of government and we see it in so many way necessary our criminal justice system and how this punishment is dolled out, who is punished from it and who experiences it. but the second part of it is this. you have plutocratic rot and then you have the people who are around it. and it's everyday people who know that this is going on, this is happening, but who are okay with it. one of the powerful aspects of michelle goldberg's column is she's talking about coming from vicki ward's piece in "vanity fair" that so many people knew this was happening. so we saw young girls, vulnerable, to a predator. and we turned our head away. and that sounds so familiar to
so much auto of what we're experiencing today in this country. >> the end of power. >> and it soupd sort of reminds me in the age of "me too" with some of these big names we all saw it happening around us. danny, thank you so much. still ahead on "morning joe," senator elizabeth warren isn't doing fund raisers or calling big donors, but she's rolling in the money. we'll break down the second quarter fund-raising numbers and where it puts her among the democratic front runners. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. atching "mo" we'll be right back. this is the couple who wanted to get away
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among the top tier democratic white house hopefuls. her campaign reported yesterday in an email to donors, the massachusetts senator announced raising $19.1 million in the past three months from 384,000 donors, more than 80% of whom had never given before. warren has $19.7 million cash on hond with an average contribution of $28. the massive haul answers skeptics who questioned whether her pledge not to court wealthy donors would put her campaign at a disadvantage. noting a massive spending push across multiple early voting states in the past three months. warren's second quarter donations put her behind mayor pete buttigieg who has reported the largest of the quarter despite a lag in poll numbers and former vice president joe biden, as well.
however, she outpaced senator bernie sanders and senator kamala harris, too. incredible numbers, joe. elizabeth just seems to be like, you know what? she keeps going, moving forward with that message. and not listening to her critics. >> we were talking about it when she was down low in the polls and we kept saying we couldn't understand why her poll numbers were dragging behind because we thought she was doing everything right. she was working hard, holding a lot of town hall meetings. she had a narrowly focused campaign message. she stuck to it and she showed extraordinary discipline out on the campaign trail. i think i referred to it as the blocking and tackling. she was doing the blocking and tackling of politics exactly right. we now see these are sort of lagging indicators of how people were actually paying attention to all the things she was doing right because she's gone up in
the polls, but she's also -- her fund-raising haul is extraordinary. and, steve, it does prove your point as something you've said throughout this process that, yes, the bundlers are so important, the big money givers are so important, but just as important, these candidates' ablth ability to raise a lot of money online. and elizabeth warren's numbers, boy, very dramatic. dramatic because not only did she easily bypass kamala harris, but bernie sanders. who would have believed that several months ago? >> yeah, joe. first, i think you were exactly right when you talked about the fact that people were paying attention to her on the campaign trail. and she does somethiid somethin not have predicted. she went through the policy door. her mantra was i have a plan. she has a plan for everything. he with may or may not like it or agree with it, but it seems that the public has bought into that idea that she has bought
into someone she is going to get things done. she raised this from individual donors. she's had something like 450,000 unique individual donors in this campaign. to put that in a frame of reference, as erchbl, i think, knows, you needed 65,000 donors to get on the debate stage for the first debate. 130,000 to get it on the second debate. and so she has massively outperformed those criteria. and another factoid for you, her average donation was about $28. for mayor pete and for biden, the average donation was about $49. so obviously they were depending more on big money. the only one who was below her was sanders at $18. so he still very much is getting that money from the people. but when you sum this all up, i think what you see now is that within that progressive wing of basically sanders and warren, it's clearly warren now who has the momentum. coming up on "morning joe,"
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welcome back to "morning joe." earlier this morning, we spoke exclusively with amy mcgraph, a marine corps veteran who announced on our show that she is taking on senator majority leader mitch mcconnell in 2020. here is some of her campaign launch video. >> he was 13 years old and i knew exactly what i wanted to do with my life. i sat at this table and i wrote a letter to my senator telling him i wanted to fly fighter jets in combat, to fight for my country, and that women should be able to do that. he never wrote back. i'm amy mcgrath. and i've often wondered how many other people did mitch mcconnell never take the time to write
fwak inspect there is a path to resetting our country's moral compass where we can become once again the moral and economic leader of a world in disarray. but to do that, we have to win this. >> and joining us now, newly announced democratic kentucky senate candidate retired marine lieutenant colonel amy mcgrath. great to have you on the show. that was an incredible rollout. but how do you get the people of kentucky to hear that message? >> well, it's good to be here. and i think this is a message that kentuckians are ready for, you know? i never set out to be some politician. all i wanted to do with my hooif was fly fighter jets, serve my country, be a united states marine and i did that. and along the way, i met my husband and we have three amazing children right now. but like a lot of americans and a lot of kentuckians, we look at each other and we say, you know, we're worried about our country.
we're worried about kentucky. we're worried about the future. and many kentuckians are worried along with us. for somebody like me who has always stepped up to the plate, who has always been somebody that wanted to serve my country, i felt like this was the right time to stand up. and i think many kentuckians would be ready for that. >> amy, it's willie geist. congratulations on getting into the race. welcome to the show. it's good to have you here this morning. there have been many people over the years who have come at mitch mcconnell, who believed he or she was the candidate who was going to take him out politically. and he has persevered. why do you believe this time is different? >> well, and you're absolutely right to see his formidable and he's been around 34 years. i think this is different. it's a different race because, you know, kentucky voted overwhelmingly for donald trump. and you can say kentucky is a very red state, but it's a very
pro trump state. and if you think about why kentuckians voted for trump, they wanted to drain the swamp. and trump said that he was going to do that. trump promised to bring back jobs. he promised to lower drug prices for so many kentuckians. and that is very important. and you know what? who stops them along the way? who stops the president from doing these things? well, mitch mcconnell. and i think that that is really important and that's going to be, you know, my message. the things that kentuckians voted for trump for are not being done because of the senator mcconnell. >> thank you so much, retired marine lieutenant colonel amy mcgrath. we greatly appreciate it. certainly when mitch mcconnell comes on our show, we will also mention his website. but just for the record, her website, again, amymcgrath.com. >> good luck. >> that's amymcgrath.com.
if you are outside of kentucky, amymcgrath.com. >> that was part of our conversation with senate candidate amy mcgrath. and still ahead on "morning joe," the unsolved murder of dnc staffer seth rich was exploited to question whether russia was really behind the 2016 leak of democratic emails. now new documents say that conspiracy was spread by russia itself. yahoo! news's michael issakof joins the conversation to discuss exclusive new details on that. on to discuss exclusive new details on that my experience with usaa
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again. >> that was a mother of democratic national committee staffer stef rich whose murder in 2016 continues to fuel conspiracy theories. it's sick and it is despicable and sadly, it's something i know a little too much about. totally sick and despicable, the pain and anguish that is heaped upon parents and loved ones who have already lost their child once, but have to endure it again for a cheap political purposes. let's bring in right now the chief investigative correspondent for yahoo! michael issacoff. michael just launched a new podcast called conspiracy land in which he dives into the details surrounding seth ridge's tragic death. also with us, ruth marcus from "the washington post." michael, i'll just say it right
here, i know too much unfortunately about these sort of conspiracy theories and the anguish that it causes family members and lovd one whose have already lost somebody, but conspiracy theorys are dredged up for cheep political purposes. talk about what you found. >> right. look, this was one of the more insidious conspiracy theories that arose out of the 2016 election. it has so much traction. it was promoted on alt-right websites, all the usual crowd and eventually makes its way straight to fox news and shawn hannity. but what we found, and it was rm kind of shocking, is this started as a russian intelligence plant. within three days of seth rich's murder, when it really was a local crime story, it had gotten no traction nationally, nobody was paying any attention, the russian svr, which is their version of the cia, circulates
an intelligence bulletin claiming that seth rich was on his way to talk to the fbi at 4:00 in the morning on july 10th, 2016, when he was gunned down by a squad of asassits. >> so you're telling me this conspiracy theory picked up by trumpists and sean hannity actually began as a russian misinformation campaign? >> exactly. it was classic russian active measures with the soviets did during the cold war, planting conspiracy theories in various newspapers around the world. in this case, she picked an obscure website that's a frequent vehicle for russian propaganda. and it just grew from there and we trade it all the way directly to the trump white house where steve bannon is texting to a cbs
journalist in 2017 calling saying huge story, he was a bernie guy about seth rich which was not true, it was a contract kill, obviously. so you go from the kremlin through the straight alt-right websites. >> so seth ridge was murdered two years ago tomorrow, the early morning of july 10th, 2016. one of the things i think that happens is over the space of three years when all this garbage is being thrown out there, it does cast some doubt in people's mind about what actually happened there. so you've looked deeper into this than most people. what actually happened that night? >> from all indications, this is what the police concluded from the beginning that this was a botched robbery. he was walking home from a loose city bar, his favorite hangout early in the morning, talking to his girlfriend on the telephone.
there had been seven armed robbery in the bloomingdale neighborhood on the block where this took place in the six weeks prior to his death. we talked to the -- there was a fight. he put up a fight. there was resistance. he had bruises on his knuckles, on his body. he was shot in the back twice. we talked to the prosecutor who was in charge of the case. she's speaking publicly for the first time on this and shidz she said there had been a whole string of robberies in a nearby housing project. it was drug related. there was never any question in her mind that this was an assassination. she said, look, it's homicide 101. when it's an assassination and a hit job, she shothey shoot you head and they don't leave you alive for an hour and a half. which is what seth rich was. >> and we heard the pain in the voice of mary rich, seth's
mother as she spoke on the podcast about what the last three years have been like for her to have to first deal with the tragic and violent death of her son and then to have to contend with and fight with people, many of them prominent in the media pushing a conspiracy theory about who her son actually is. >> this is a heartbreaking and really repulsive episode. i asked the riches to write an op-ed for "the washington post" two years ago as this conspiracy theory was being bandied about about the impact on them. and they talked about how much more pain was imposed on them. so i want to commend my former colleague, michael, for getting to the bottom of this. but i think we -- it's a -- also an opportunity for us all to remind ourselves that there are actual real human beings affected by the stories that we write. this was a particularly tragic
episode. but whenever we're writing, the targets of our writing and their relatives and everything else, we should just remind ourselves there are real people there and try to have a little bit more skepticism about this story which was obviously never a true story, but just to have more human kindness and knowledge about the impacted of what we're writing even more broadly than seth rich. >> and willie, i've got to say, that goes for the president of the united states, who in my particular case drummed up a conspiracy theory that was a complete lie, whose parents and family and husband had to deal with that garbage for, you know, well over a decade. the president churns it up again in a tweet. the president of the united states engaging in this sort of behavior, as well. >> well, that is so important to point out because, michael, this went up the ladder. as you say, it goes from these
dark corners of the internet, these alt-right websites, and roger stone see s it. >> and the timing is so interesting here. the week that this breaks on fox news in a story they later had to retract and acknowledge was -- didn't meet their editorial standards, sean hannity is shouting it from the rooftops. what's going on na week? it's the week that mueller is appointed. it's the week comey is fired. it's when the russian story is whoing up. what better way to deflect from the russia story than to point the finger at this, you know, this guy in washington who was shot in an armed robbery. it wasn't the russians, it was seth rich. that is what -- you know, that was the subtext of what sean handy was pushing that week. who does he have on?
jay secelo. who had just been named as trump's lawyer in the russia investigation. what is he saying on fox news? this undercut tess whole russia narrative. that was the message they were pushing with this. >> so the fuel that fed the fire, basically, this murder of seth rich, the police report on that, two shots to the back, a fight that occurred prior to the shots, him alive for an hour and a half or so after he was shot, that police report was available to any get news organization to go through. >> absolutely. >> including fox nusz news. >> right. absolutely. and, you know, look, there were some questions people had because his wallet wasn't taken. there were no valuables taken. if this was a robbery, why was nothing taken? but, you know, we've talked to veteran prosecutors, veteran cops saying when there's a fight, this is what happens. you know, the victim resists, there's a scuffle, the robbers
panic, shoot and flee. >> someone turns on the lights in a house and says what's going on? and poof, they're gone. >> that's right. it's not all that uncommon. but to have it blown up and used and exploited, that was the tragedy here. >> this was good work for you and your team to explain what happened. the new podcast is conspiracy land. michael, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> ruth marcus, thank you, as well. still to come, our conversation with former major league baseball commissioner bud se selig ahead of tonight's all star game in cleveland. tonightl star game in cleveland just scan the sensor with your reader, iphone or android and manage your diabetes. with the freestyle libre 14 day system, a continuous glucose monitor, you can check your glucose levels any time, without fingersticks. ask your doctor to write a prescription for the freestyle libre 14 day system.
that was a line drive off the top of the wall. >> there it is! >> fires the back up. he's your home run derby champion of 2019. >> that is mets rookie star first baseman pete alonzo winning the home run derby in cleveland in a record-breaking showdown with the blue jays vladimir guerrero jr. tonight the all-star itself. we spoke with the second longest serving commissioner in baseball history, bud selig. he's the author of the book "for the good of the game: the inside 120e story of the dramatic transformation of major league baseball." we began our conversation about asking the commissioner and hall of famer about the state of
america's pastime. >> i have been through the game 55 years and i have been through all of the ups and downs and heard about the dire predictions. every era, don't misunderstand me, has things they have to do. i'm sure there are problems now, which we will have to discuss. it is going to play a role from this point on -- by the way, probab probably for your red sox, but that's a whole other story. gross revenues are at a all-time high. overall sports doing well. >> i want to talk about the book briefly. why did you write it? what will baseball fans learn after they read it? what will the big takeaway be? >> joe, i am a history buff and teach history now. i thought when i was done after 22 1/2 years of being a commissioner that there had been so many -- what i called
historicalness in certain areas that i really wanted to write a book at least from my perspective, having been in the middle of all of this for all of those years. and at least tell what i thought really had happened, why it happened, how it happened. there are probably going to be people unhappy, but one thing i learned as commissioner, whatever you do, somebody's going to be mad so you get used to that after a while. >> hank aaron, lifelong friend of yours. apart from baseball, one of your closest friends. what was it like when barry bonds was on the verge of breaking his record, knowing what you knew of bonds, knowing of bonds' personality and status in the game. what was it like having to heap accolades on him and watching that home run chase? >> it was something a commissioner has to do. hank and i talked a lt during then. he was great. he kept saying don't worry about
me and he meant it. and i didn't. but it was -- i guess the only thing i can say, i've said it in the book. you have to give bonds credit for the things that he did but it was not one of my happier days. >> race has always been a huge factor in american life, politics as well as sports. do any of us -- will any of us ever have a real feel for what henry aaron went through when he was pursuing babe ruth's record, the abuse that he took? the threats that were represented upon him? >> i don't think so. i don't think i did. b but i have to tell you a quick story about that which will show you how he reacted. i traded for him and closed his career with the milwaukee brewers in 1975/'76. he came up in january of that year with a big promotion. he and i were going to have dinner. his assistant called me about an hour and a half before and said, henry wants you to come to the
hotel as soon as you can, please. i said i'm going to have dinner with you guys at 7:00. he said no, he needs to see you right away. so i came downtown and went to his room, and he brought the letters that he had gotten a year and a half before. and, mike, they were the most awful, terrible things you've ever read. i have been through a lot of things. you couldn't imagine there were people in this country that wrote the kind of letters they did to him. he he got to -- he's a man of enormous dignity, grace. same guy that i met back in 1958. he never -- he never let any of that go to his head. he's just a really good human be being. he's everything an athlete and
human being should be. >> mr. commissioner, let me tell you the other side of that story. i grew up, of course, a huge baseball fan. i would always write letters to my heroes but i was born in atlanta a couple of years before the braves came to town. so hank aaron was my all-time sports hero, still is. eight years old when he's in the middle of that storm, usually when i write players' letters they were stamped thank you so much and it would be a stamp. i write hank aaron, just an 8-year-old kid. hank aaron in the spring of '74, before he breaks the record, sends me his beautiful color picture of him that i can still remember 50 years later, dear joey, thank you so much. all of the best to you, hank aaron. let me tell you something, i didn't even get those autographs from rookies. but in the middle of that storm
you're talking about, hank aaron always stopped for the fans, even an 8-year-old kid from doorville, georgia, who he never knew, would never meet. >> i'm not surprised because i have seen so many examples of that. >> some of the common complaints about baseball now are the pace of play, games drag on too long. also the lack of promotion of some of its stars. it's a sport that has charismatic young talent whether it's mookie betts or aaron judge or bryce harper or mike trout. but they're not promoted the way nba players or nfl players are. how do you see those situations resolved in terms of the stars and pick up the game to attract and hold on to younger fans? >> i understand people's feelings on that score. and i know that rob manfred and his people understand as well and will do everything they should do, as we always did. we have the best wave of young players, talking about movie bets and mike trout and on and
on and on. people say, well, regionally, your sport is very strong. but why is it nationally? well, that's a complicated question, but on the other hand we're going to draw over 70 million people this year. please don't misunderstand me. i say this in the book over and over again. we need to do certain things. i understand time of the game. i understand all of the situations that go on. but, you know, i have been to a lot of games or watched a lot of games my lifetime and this year, and when teams are winning and competitive, their fans are really into it. >> the book is "for the good of the game: the inside story of surprising and dramatic transformation of major league baseball" by a man who knows that story better than anyone. bud selig, thank you so much for being with us. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the
coverage right now. >> thanks so much, joe. hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle. we begin this morning with the growing calls for president trump's labor secretary alexander acosta to step down. one day after the legal controversy surrounding billionaire financier jeffrey epstein erupted here in new york city. epstein appeared in a courtroom monday pleading not guilty to charges he sex trafficked girls as young as 14 from 2002 to 2005. and he paid them hundreds of dollars in cash for, you guess it, sex. here's where secretary acosta comes into the picture. back in 2008, acosta was a u.s. attorney in miami who oversaw a nonprosecution deal that allowed epstein to plead guilty to a lesser state charge in florida. that deal was widely criticized too lenient because epstein served only 13 months in a county jail, and he was able to leave that jail six days a week on