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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  July 19, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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okay. this is really important. this sunday just three days before robert mueller testifies before congress, check out our special "the mueller report: what you need to know" right here on msnbc. in the meantime, my thanks to joyce, lydia, a.b., and most of all to you for watching all week. >> it was a tough week, right? thanks for sticking with us. that does it for this hour. i'm nicole. "mtp daily" with my friend chuck todd starts right now. ♪ if it is friday, we are taking another spin in the trump cycle. first the president disavowed the "send her back" chants at that rally. but now he is pretty much disavowing the disavowal. also democrats are demanding answers from hope hicks amid new
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revelations in the trump campaign hush-money case. we are going to speak to one of the congressional investigators in that case. and all this as robert mueller prepares to go back to the hill. how democrats are hoping to make his testimony really count. if it's friday, it is "meet the press daily." good evening to you. i am peter alexander in for chuck todd. and what a difference a day makes. yesterday the president disavowed his supporters' chants to send muslim congresswoman ilhan omar back prompting some of the most, frankly, ludicrous arguments from him and his supporters like i tried to stop it or he couldn't hear it. today it's almost as if the president himself wanted to put an end to what seemed to many like an obvious charade. here is the president speaking with reporters today at the white house. >> president trump, you said you were unhappy with the chant. however, the chant was just
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repeating what you said in your tweet. do you take that tweet back? >> you know what i'm unhappy with? i'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country. i'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-semitic things. that's what i'm unhappy with. those people in north carolina, that stadium was packed. it was a record crowd. and i could have filled it ten times, as you know. those are incredible people. those are incredible patriots. but i'm unhappy when a congresswoman goes and says i'm going to be the president's nightmare. she is going to be the president's nightmare. she's lucky to be where she is. >> and here he is talking to the press core just a few hours before we came on the air being asked if he thought that chant was racist. >> you know what's racist to me? when somebody goes out and says the horrible things about our country, the people of our country, that are anti-semitic,
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that hate everybody, that speak with scorn and hate. that to me is really a very dangerous thing. >> in one of those clips you heard the president refer to some comments that congresswoman omar made last night. >> it was quite a scene when she returned. she went back home, back to her home district in minnesota. >> he is threatened because we are inspiring people to dream about a country that recognizes the dignity and their humanity. [ cheers and applause ] when i said i was the hope of the united states is because i embody what that hope should look like. [ cheers and applause ] and when i said i was the president's nightmare, well, you're watching it now. [ cheers and applause ] because his nightmare is seeing a somali immigrant refugee rise above that.
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>> let's get right to the white house where nbc news white house correspondent geoff bennett has the latest. j of cour i want to get your take on this. yesterday we were wondering what led the president to go ahead with this disavowal. today we are wondering what led him in effect to go back to where he started in the first place. >> reporter: because that's what he's believed all aalong. and attempted disavowal right after that racial violence in charlottesville. the president initially said that there were fine people on both sides. the next day under political duress, he delivered a carefully core graphed statement. the day after that he then said that there was blame on both sides, in effect, reversing himself to where he was in the very beginning. so as we stand here at the end of the week as the president caps a week of attacks on these congresswomen, i think what was particularly interesting is what he said on the south lawn just today. he acknowledged that, yes, when
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he was a private citizen, he was intensely critical of this country when barack obama was president. but president trump tried to make the argument that so long as he's president, these four congresswomen in particular cannot be critical of him or the country and get away with it. get away with it was a phrase that he used earlier in the oval office. so the theory of the case that the president is presenting, peter, is this. he wants moderate voters. he wants republican voters large to buy his argument that these four congresswomen have staked out socialist positions on issues like taxes, health care, and climate change. and he wants the country to conflate them with whomever emerges as the democratic nominee, to make that democrat so far left of the party. it's also helpful that in these four women he has really powerful imagery to present to his "make america great again" base. he has four women, one who happens to be a somalian refugee
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who, of course, was naturalized when she was 17. so we'll see how this political guam but works for him. it certainly didn't work in 2018. democrats, as you of course know, flipped the house as the president was harping on that migrant caravan making their way from central america. democrats campaigned on things like the economy and health care. difference there versus 2020 is that the president wasn't on the ballot in 2018, although you could make the argument that it was a referendum on trumpism. but, yeah, in the absence of democrats presenting the country with a nominee, the president has settled on these four women as the foil that he so often seeks out and so often needs as he's on the political attack, peter. >> yeah. it's clear that that's an attack that he is not going to give up going forward. geoff bennett is on the steamy north lawn at the white house today. lots to talk about right here. we want to get right to our experts. joining me here now, national political reporter for bloomberg news, also fortunately for us an
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msnbc contributor. and bill kristol, director of "defending democracy." let me get right to this, if i can, with you, bill. is this just the president's true colors shining through here? >> yes. but just under that political duress he backed off a little bit. and i think the president took a look and decided, you know what, politically he's better off sticking with it. >> i hate this, i think it's very bad for the country and i hate even saying that he might be making a noncrazy political calculation. but, you know, if he backs off partly, it looks like he's not quite as strong. he doesn't really pick up people who hate him anyway, and some of the supporters lose a little faith. if he just keeps going full steam ahead, what price has he paid? i mean, they didn't do well in the midterm election. but it hasn't gone town terribly. he recovered after charlottesville. he may take a tiny hit next week. but he thinks he's better off doing what geoff said and
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framing the four congresswomen as a caricature of their most out landish statements. each question he just turned around. do you think the chant was racist? you know what i think is racist is this. so he's on total offense. i've got to say that i'm not sure -- we haven't proven yet that he's making a crazy, political decision. and he would have backed off if a hundred republican senators and congress men had said this is unacceptable. we are not voting for things you care\we are not supporting your nominees if you stick with this. but given the prophetic response of the republicans, he figures he gets away with it. >> when i asked him today about the fact that he heard spr some senior republicans. ruth, it kind of became ludicrous to kind of hear the arguments that the president's aides and allies were trying to make in his defense. here's what one of the campaign
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aides said in the president's defense immediately after we heard that chant. take a listen. >> how would the campaign prevent similar chance at rallies in the future? >> well, the president indicated that he couldn't really hear what was going on. it is very loud in the facility. i was there. there is a lot going on at any given time. >> at some point it was kind of ridiculous, right, to try to defend the president on this. >> you go to spin with the spin you've got. and that was the best they had. the president clearly heard it, he waited for 12 or 13 seconds. but i think it's a very interesting question that bill has raised about whether this is smart for the president politically. an ordinary president, which is not what we have in an ordinary time which is not what we're living in would be taking the very good economy that he has and using that not just to rally his base who should be very happy with this economy.
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>> the guy could be in the 50s and 60s with those numbers. >> but trump loves being trump and he loves playing with the fire. he hated when he got his fingers slapped a little bit and he has to go back to the matches. and i think we -- i don't think it's politically stupid because it does get people moving, and it does allow him this question that he can raise about democrats almost no matter who the nominee is through the election. but it's dangerous and sickening. >> just yesterday right here at this desk marc lotter, one of the spokespersons for the president's campaign had the opportunity. i said, hey, speak to the camera. what's the message you want to say to the president's supporters, and here's what he said. >> the president actually said today this is not what he believes in. he would discourage it in the future. i think this conversation right now will tell people out there who support president trump that when you come to the next rally that this is not a chant that is something that he supports. and i would hope that they would take that to heart.
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>> he said, and the fact he said, hey, we don't want you to do that anymore, but what message did the president himself send to those supporters today? >> i think the message that is clear is that nativism sits at the heart of his case. that was his muslim ban. and this is the latest iteration of that strategy where he picks a fight with these four women which i think based on their backgrounds is consistent with that theme. he is comfortable playing this game. and it's one of the reasons we talked about that, you know, he alluded to, he could be in the 50s, he could be approval with 60s. but he's at 44% in a recent poll. he is still doing very well with the republican base. i hate to reduce all this to political strategy. but i don't know that it's necessarily and plausible that he can march to re-election by continuing to do something like this. >> well, let's be clear they view this as political strategy. here is what the president said on the south lawn earlier as to what the strategy was behind it.
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[ inaudible question ] >> i don't know if it's good or bad politically. i don't care. but when people are speaking so badly, when they call our country garbage, think of that. that's worse than deplorable. when they call our country garbage, i don't care about politics. i don't care if it's good or bad about politics. many people say it's good. i don't know if it's good or bad. i can tell you this. you can't talk that way about our country. not when i'm the president. >> the president criticized these women. he said that some of these congressmembers referred to the country they called it garbage. here is your fact check for folks at home. in march of this year alexandria ocasio-cortez, one of the four freshman congresswomen about whom he speaks was talking about guaranteed health care, $15
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minimum wage. she said i think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are. but where we are is not a good thing, and this idea of 10% better from garbage shouldn't be something we settle for. she didn't call any americans garbage here. she said the country should be aiming higher. the president knows what he's doing here, bill. >> totally. and didn't he tweet early on after his initial tweets before the rally something about now the democrats are all tied to these four congresswomen whom nancy pelosi had been trying to distance the bulk of the democratic party from, he knows what he's doing. it's deeply cynical. and ultimately he is what he is, a nativism and zen xenophobe, and so forth. but he is probably right. >> he is comfortable with it. >> and i want to splash a little bit of cold water on the 12 dimensional chest strategy.
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he walked right into the middle of a democratic firing squad and got them to turn it on him. >> i agree that it's one of the -- he plays checkers, but sometimes in politics checkers isn't so bad. which is better from his point of view to have the democrats all rallying behind ilhan omar or to have the speaker of the house saying actually she doesn't represent most of the democrats. i don't know that that fight among the democrats from trump's point of view was bad from the democrats. >> he said to me if you live in this part of the country, a lot of people are going to say, yeah, you know i think i side with this guy. this is the way an ally described it to me. >> and nancy pelosi has been losing her luster as the republican's favorite boogiewoman. so how much better to do with ilhan omar. maybe if you were playing even four-dimensional chest you might've let the democrats play it out for a while and then gone in there. but he does what he is
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comfortable with. and he is comfortable demonizing. >> and he did try to do this with maxine waters, for instance, in 2018. i find a tweet for him in june of 2018 where he said maxine waters is something to the effect now the face of the democratic party. he tried to do that then. it failed. 15 months out from the election that he can make four young congresswomen who have enormous social media followings the face of the party when there's going to be a presidential nominee, that's a doubous proposition. >> this is a good conversation here on a friday. ahead right here, the return of hope, maybe, house democrats want the president's former confidant to clarify her most recent testimony, but will it make a difference? a member of the judiciary committee joins us right here. that's next. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice! but uh, what's up with your partner? oh! we just spend all day telling everyone
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we're back now. it has been several months since president trump's former fixer michael cohen testified that president trump directed him to
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pay hush-money payments to adult film star stephanie clifford, also known as stormy daniels. but new documents muddy the waters a bit for former white house communications director hope hicks who testified to the house judiciary committee that she had no knowledge of the payments before they were made. new documents show a flurry of activity including hicks that has made some democrats like house judiciary chairman gerald nadler want to hear from hicks again. and special counsel robert mueller will testify in front of both the house judiciary and house intelligence committees about the contents of his report. while mueller has said that his report is his testimony, some democrats are setting the stage for mueller to make news on his report. joining me now is the democratic -- is a democratic member of the house judiciary who questioned hope hicks and will be questioning robert mueller at next week's hearing, congressman steve cohen. thank you for being here,
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congressman. >> nice to be here with you. >> do you believe that hope hic hicks purge youred herself? >> or stormy daniels payments and she said she knew nothing about them, except what she read in the press, certainly appears to be false based on the documents. now the documents don't say that she participated in the phone calls with cohen and trump, michael cohen that is, and trump. but it's hard to fathom that she was left totally out. she was very close to trump. she was one of his confidants. she connected trump to cohen and dealt with it. she knew what was going on. >> to be clear, though, congressman, how do you prove that? let me show some of the back and forth from her testimony. congresswoman sheila jackson lee said were you ever present when trump and cohen discussed stormy daniels? she said, no, ma'am. you were never present when they discussed stormy daniels? no. so there's obviously evidence
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that there were some phone calls in which she played some part, but how can you determine what took place in those calls without that evidence? >> well, you need the evidence, you might need testimony from michael cohen of what they have. i said to your knowledge, i asked to your knowledge of payments made to ms. daniels and your discussions about those payments, i asked her do you have any knowledge of any of those payments or ms. mcdougal. apparently she did. and proving it, i don't know if those phone calls were taped, if cohen testified, if there's additional material, but you don't have to be dick tracy to know that she did the best nuancing or skating. trump trusted her. >> presumably robert mueller would've known something about this as well. so had he, wouldn't he have referred this or indicted her
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for perjuring herself? >> she didn't make those statements that robert mueller was off the case. and one of the questions to be asked is why was the case closed? why were there no additional indictments forthcoming? we had individual one. we know individual one, pretty sure individual one. i guess we don't know, but we have pretty good information individual one was donald j. trump, not indicted because the legal office's opinion that a president can't be indicted while in office. there could have been additional indictments. there was somebody -- people think it might've been junior. they certainly hope hicks. why were there no further indictments of the accountant? i think they gave him immunity. what happened to that? the case, when barr came in, the case stopped. when barr came in, the special counsel's case stopped. >> so, sir, you make a good point here.
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the trump administration has made clear that they won't prosecute donald trump's defenders for not adhering to congressional subpoenas. do you think that she, hope hicks, would just defy a subpoena? >> i think she would. i think the whole trump team would defy it. >> where does it get who, us, the government? >> where does it get you as members of congress trying to -- >> i think the only thing we can really do is impeachment. i know that we need to go forward. we need to listen to mueller. we need to listen to mcgahn. we need to see the 6c evidence that's being hidden from us. we need to hear from lewandowsky. based on the information that mueller has in his report we'll hear more about on wednesday based on what he said about the press and attacks on the first amendment and the attacks on the judiciary, hispanic judges,
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clinton pointed or obama-appointed judges that he's right for impeachment. will the senate convict? no. the house needs to take action. they need to impeachment. we need to bring that impeachment forward. if the senate doesn't act, i tell you the voters will respond at the polls. trump will claim he is vindicated no matter if he's impeached or not impeached. he will claim he's been vindicated. >> to be clear, though, isn't there a political risk for democrats right now? i think the latest polling that we did shows that 21% of americans believe that impeachment hearings, that this inquiry should begin, compared to 15% who say no and 27% who basically say keep doing what you're doing. so why would americans all be on board as you suggest with impeachment? >> well, i'm not sure if those numbers are correct. the numbers i've seen say about 74% of democrats favor impeachment and about 35% of independents do. i don't know.
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>> 35% is still a third of independents. >> that's right. but that's a pretty good amount. and i think if you go forward with impeachment and you bring out information from mcgahn and others will be more likely to get evidence from our subpoenas enforced on -- and on documents to be turned over. if we get that information and it comes out that there will be more and more people that see what happened to our constitution, which was shredded. the government's former respect for the three branches of government and the constitution have just totally been disrespected. and i think you will find more people for impeachment as the hearings go on. only 19% were for impeachment when the hearing started in watergate. when they heard the proof, they changed their mind. we heard a month of no collusion, no obstruction. lies by barr, lies by trump. they brainwashed the public. >> so on that topic, we are going to hear from robert mueller next week, assuming the timetable sticks to the way it
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should at this point. your colleague, representative gerry connolly of virginia not far from where we're sitting said it would be arrogant of robert mueller if he didn't basically provide any new information outside of his report. he said that his report is his testimony. do you agree with congressman connelly? would it be arrogant of robert mueller? >> i'm not going to use those words. robert mueller's done a great job in all of his roles for america. i think he will respond. if all he does is tell -- >> and if he doesn't -- yeah. >> if he tells us the elements of obstruction of justice, if he tells us that those elements were met when trump asked sessions to unrecuse himself when he asked mcgahn to go unrecuse himself when he asked mcgahn to change his statement when he said he didn't do, when they asked mueller be fired by mcgahn. >> he was in the public area. >> and if the elements were met.
quote
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that is obstruction and the only reason the president wasn't obstructed is because of the office of legal counsel opinion of the early '70s, the ball was put in the congress' court for impeachment. the senate won't do it. >> but if the senate doesn't do, susan collins, cory gardner, ms. mcsally, bye, you're gone. >> congressman steve cohen, we appreciate you sharing your perspective with us. thank you for your time. be sure to join msnbc for all-day coverage of the mueller testimony. again, that is this coming wednesday. joe starting at 6:00 a.m. eastern. brian williams will pick up the coverage at 9:00. democrats get ready for round two. the stage is set for the next debates. we'll show you the lineups and why they matter. award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine.
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in tonight's 2020 vision, the stage is now set for the second democratic debate, which kicks off just ten days from now. >> it's personal, and i was actually -- it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two united states senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. >> we could see more tense exchanges like that for the second democratic debate. joe biden and kamala harris will both be on stage for night two of that debate in detroit along with cory booker, julian castro,
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andrew yang, bill de blasio, michael bennet, tulsey gabbard, kirsten gillibrand, and jay inslee. >> it's just like the answer around minimum wage. it's who government works for. >> the time is now to expand medicare to every man, woman, and child in this country. >> night one will feature the two leading progressives in the race. senators elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. pete buttigieg, beto o'rourke, amy klobuchar, steve bullock, john delaney, and marianne williamson will also be part of that opening night. this second debate may be the last one for several of those candidates, just six of them so far have qualified for the party's third debate to take place in september. the dnc, you may have heard, raised the polling and fundraising thresholds needed to make that stage. we're going to be back with more "mtp daily" right after this. ds
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iran is in big trouble right now. their economy is crashing. it's coming to a crash. they are trying to bring soldiers back home because they can't pay them. a lot of bad things are happening to them, and it's very easy to straighten out or it's very easy for us to make it a lot worse. >> welcome back. president trump there stopping to talk to reporters on the white house lawn this afternoon, seemingly convinced that crippling economic sanctions will bring iran to the negotiating table. also today iran seized two international oil tankers, and during this hour we have now learned that at least one of them has been released. a british tanker is still in iranian custody. this comes less than 24 hours after the u.s. forces took down an iranian drone. and adding to the drama tehran claims they aren't missing a drone. maybe there is a way to make a deal, but it comes with a very
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big catch. national security and pentagon correspondent courtney kube is here to catch us up to speed on this quickly developing story. she is joined there you see by ambassador nicholas burnes for political affairs. he also served as the country's top negotiator with iran. they are both in aspen as part of the aspen institute's annual security forum. courtney, let me get to you. update us on where things stand right now in that region, and about high-level conversations that have been happening behind the scenes not just with the national security council but at the pentagon as well. >> reporter: that's right. there's very high-level meetings that are ongoing right now in england, what they call a cobra meeting, which is what we might talk about as an nsc meeting talking through this issue. as you mentioned, peter, there were two tankers that were boarded today. one was boarded and we just found out recently that it was released. it went back on its way.
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the other one was taken into iranian territory waters along with the roughly two dozen sailors. we know that none of those sailors are actually british citizens. generally those kinds of tankers, they tend to have a lot of indian citizens, sometimes there are russian citizens on them. but we don't have a whole lot of fidelity on that at this point. as you mentioned, this also comes about 24 hours after the united states, president trump, specifically announced that the u.s. military had taken down an iranian drone. in this case they did it with this newer technology, a jammer, where they cut off the communication from the drone and essentially disabled it, and it fell straight down into the water with president trump saying that it was destroyed. tensions remain very high between the united states and iran right now. and now of course england has been brought in as well, peter. >> so, courtney, to be clear, why would iran take this type of action? >> reporter: so, generally, they'll harass military and
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commercial vessels that go through the strait of hormuz transiting in and out of the persian gulf. generally, it's sometimes unsafe or unprofessional, but it's not to this extent where they try to drive them into iranian territorial waters. we often hear the excuse from iran or the explanation from iran that these vessels were in iranian territorial waters and that generally will stem from the fact that iran sees much of the straight of hormuz as their territorial waters, whereas the international community recognizes that 12 nautical miles from the shore is iranian. but everything beyond that is international waterways, peter. >> ambassador burnes, how do you expect perhaps the trump administration respond to this? >> well, i think this is a major opportunity for president trump to put together, assemble, an international coalition to escort these commercial vessels through the guy. as you know, this is a vital international waterway for the global economy, the oil and garks 50% of the
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world's oil and gas coming out of the middle east to the big asian economies and to europe. that's a u.s. interest to keep these open. and i do think the president will have support from south korea, from japan, from some of the suuni arab countries, to do this. and interestingly enough, we've been down this road before 30 years ago president reagan in responding to these piratical attacks by the iranians organized a coalition, kept the gulf open. president trump is in the right here. and he's the leader of the west and leader of the international community. he can do this. the he doesn't need to go it alone. i think it's a major opportunity for him. >> the president's obviously been inflam torch, even incendiary, effectively saying he was going to wipe them off the map. a.m. bass dog, what is the biggest risk in this situation? >> well, the biggest risk,
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obviously is military conflict. just a couple of weeks ago the president at the very last minute pulled back from the use of military force. i do think that a strong american response to facedown the iranians, not let them get away with blackmail here. that's what the iranian revolutionary guard core is doing, getting the international community behind the united states. they will all support us. nobody wants to live in a world where iranian pirates can board any kind of commercial vessel. and the president i think can do that. the iranians this morning offered an olive branch to the united states. i wouldn't take it right now. i think the president needs to show strength. but maybe in a couple weeks open up diplomatic communications. not because we like the iranian government, we don't, but because we might be able to make some headway in the process. >> from the foreign minister zarif basically saying that when
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he's going to be in the united states up ahead of the united nations that he plans to meet with u.s. lawmakers, those do you think conversations are already happening right now? >> well, we know they're happening between members of congress and foreign minister zarif. i do think that sometimes the best thing one can do in a tense situation like this is have diplomatic communications. and you know what we do with that diplomatic communication? give them a very stiff message that any further iranian provocations are going to be met with resolve from the united states. that's what all of our previous presidents would've done. i do think this is a situation where president trump can have bipartisan support from democrats as well as republicans in this kind of approach, not going to war with iran but showing resolve and then seeking some diplomatic communications so that they stand down from these violent and piratical actions that they're taking. >> and a.m. bass tomorrow, to be
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clear, the president has cast this basically that the sanctions are working right now. that's the reason behind iran's lashing out in the course of the last several weeks and even months right now. is that the way that you believe this has gone? >> i think we'd be in a much stronger position, peter, if president trump had not taken us out of the iran nuclear deal because britain, france, germany were our partners as well as russia and china. the president blew up that western international coalition. it's harder to get people to work with you in a crisis once you've repudiated them and sanctioned the europeans in the process. so i'm very critical of president trump from walking away from a very good nuclear deal where we had the iranians caged and really shut down their nuclear program. and the president had no plan b. so he has not done a good job in the leadup to this. but i think he's got an opportunity now to get some countries behind him. he needs to know this kind of flexibility but also resolve.
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>> ambassador nick burns, nbc's courtney kube, we appreciate the time of both of you today. ahead right now, what can we expect for the next round of democratic debates? our experts are back at the table. you're watching "mtp daily." tp " ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination. most people haven't driven a lincoln. discover the lincoln approach to craftsmanship at the lincoln summer invitation. right now, get 0% apr on all 2019 lincoln vehicles plus no payments for up to 90 days. only at your lincoln dealer. plus no payments for up to 90 days. the shawn mendes verizon up concert was surreal. we were right in front of him. dead center, front row. i'll never forget that day. (announcer) the network more people rely on gives you more, like a free galaxy s10e when you buy one. that's verizon. but we're also a cancer fighting,
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great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. and 2020 is all about making this country work for everyone else. >> welcome back. elizabeth warren there. she says she is delighted that she and bernie sanders will be sharing the stage for the second presidential debate now less than two weeks away, meaning the two candidates with the most appeal to progressives will be squaring off face-to-face. sahel, ruth are back with us. let's talk bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. in effect, this is like the different seeds in an nba basketball or an ncaa basketball tournament. this is the progressive wing right here. what will you be watching for? >> so i bet she's delighted. i will be watching for bernie to try to do something to regain his momentum against elizabeth warren because he was the progressive candidate in the last election. she is surging. he is diminishing. >> what changed? >> she has a plan.
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he is saying the same things that he has said before. people are intrigued by progressivism, but they are also more than intrigued by electability and they may see her as more electability. so i think that is a great matchup. and i think he wants to do something to knock her off her game. and i think she just wants to look like the candidate in waiting, a nominee in waiting. >> and you have joe biden and kamala harris. how important is this night for joe biden? does he have to have some pithy quick retort? because the potential is evidenced by what kamala harris did that if you get into it with joe biden, maybe your poll numbers don't go up as much as you'd like, but you sure as heck get a whole lot of media attention. >> i think it was very important for her because she was already sort of at the bottom so she had a chance to really become a
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first tier candidate, which she is. for all the talk about 24 candidates, people on stage and all this, the field has narrowed much faster than is usually the case. we are basically at a 4 4 1/2 person race with the outside shot that someone makes a run the way pete buttigieg did a few months ago. the truth is sanders is fading. i think he has a low chance to be the nominee now. basically it's warren, biden, harris, buttigieg a question mark. for me the big question, two things based on what ruth said. sanders is fading is a big story. four or five months ago we were all saying he had a huge donor base, online fund-raising capacity, dedicated voters who would never leave. doesn't feel that way now. warren's rise and sanders fall is a big topic in.
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>> it needs to be more than a quick equip. >> has to be a strong performance. >> push-ups on stage. >> can't be caught napping when she delivers a very, very personal attack the way she did last time. he was prepared to respond to the substance but not quite prepared i had i for the personal nature of that attack. the first night as you pointed out is going to be about progressive voters. i think it's going to be a challenge for bernie sanders. he doesn't want to go on the attack. the understanding and the signals i'm getting from warren's people is she's not going to attack him either. so. >> why would she. >> at this point. she's doing well without it. >> as my good friend bernie said, you can imagine a lot of that. >> second night, a big struggle for t african-american vote. biden is doing very, very well. harris has cut into that. >> that's why the biden is leading, number two on white voters but way ahead with african-american voters. >> i think the demographic contrast on night two is
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fascinating. biden is against three women. all the other nine are younger than him. it's an interesting split screen between what the democratic party looks like for most of biden's career and now. >> first time to see steve bullock on the stage. he's the only democrat who has won as governor in a red state. is that an insurgent campaign? does he have the shot to make headlines? >> i no he we don't want to narrow the field too fast so we all get board. as bill was saying, very slim. but really good to have steve bullock on the stage. sorry he wasn't there before. there were some other candidates i might like to shuffle off the stage. a democratic governor in a red state is vet useful to have. but the real stakes are first vice president biden. they just couldn't be higher. and while his support among african-americans has persisted, to use a phrase, and really survived a terrible debate performance, another performance
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like that is terrible news for the biden campaign. >> at the end of the day, this is binary. it's president trump or whatever the democrat is. the president's approval rating is at 48%. >> david wasserman wrote something interesting. he wrote in the wake of president trump's tweets suggesting several nonwhite congressman go back to their countries, it's tempt for the democrats to believe it will backfire and damage his election respects. the bulk of the nation's demographic transformation is in states that that matter the least in deciding the electoral college. trump could win five million votes fewer than his opponent and still win a second term. that terrifies a lot of democrats right now. all those votes notice california are the a wash. >> in the old days, i would have said michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania. they have democratic governors
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all of them. they had got democratic years in 201, democratic senators, some one or two democratic senators in each state. they would get together in a room and figure outside who could we nominate from these states or an adjacent state who would be appealing. but the democratic front runners and biden is the closest to that coming from pennsylvania, otherwise it's vermont, massachusetts, california. makes me wonder if biden fades whether someone like sherrod brown from ohio gets in the race or a strong candidate to be vp. buttigieg maybe. the central part of america is something they need to focus on at some point. >> he's got to win the states. sa sahil, nice to see you. ahead a celebration, 50 years in the making. s in the making if you say so. ♪ ahead a celebration, 50 years in the making. e to see you ahead a celebration, 50 years in the making is that snapshot rewards safe drivers with discounts on car insurance.
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finally tonight, this week we mark 50 years subs the crew of apollo 11 launched its mission to the moon. it was a long trip. more than 200,000 miles. today, much closer to home, buzz aldrin, michael collins and the family of the late neil armstrong visited the white house. there they were in the oval office. it is a visit the crew has made before on past anniversaries with previous presidents but as you might imagine this president had a lot to say. >> tomorrow, will represent 50 years from the time we planned a
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beautiful american flag on the moon. we're going a lot further now. nasa is back. we're having rich guys use it and pay us rent. you can judge them. they have so much they don't know what to do with it. elon muck, i see where his propulsion system has come back to earth. they come back standing up and you use them again i guess. but that was unbe a long time ago. >> with the viewpoint of someone who saw our planet from a distance, collins offered a different perspective. >> reusability, how many things in our life do we use once and then throw away? too many. maybe reusability doctrine could be a little more widespread in the rest of our economy. >> good point. >> the trump administration says it wants to put american men and women back on the moon by 2024, but collins says we should be aiming directly for mars instead. that will do it for us tonight.
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we will be back monday with more "meet the press" daily. "the beat with ari melber" begins right now. >> thank you so much. a lot in tonight's show. donald trump defending the crowd at that the north carolina rally that was chant send her back as patriots even as he backtracks. how trump's attacks are crashing his approach on immigration. a top obama official and a special interview later tonight. plus, it is of course, the count down to bob mueller's delayed testimony. it will hits next week with new pressure on hope hicks. we begin with the fallout from donald trump's race-baiting campaign all week. trump today did a couple things. first he tried to back up his supporters. this was hours after he also tried to claim that he is not supportive of that very chant that he authored, quote unquote, send her back. take a look. just one day after saying he was "unhappy," he now says she is people chanting his orders are patriots. >> it was quite

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