special coverage with my friend brian williams beginning right on the nose at 8:30. in the meantime, my thanks to roe p rose sor ro -- "mtp daily" with my friend steve kornacki in for chuck starts now. ♪ if it's monday, here comes mueller. we've got new reporting as the former special counsel is about to face congress on the hill. for all those democrats who want an impeachment inquiry is this their last, best hope? plus, the president lets loose on the so-called squad again as one of its members vows, quote, i'm not going anywhere until i impeach this president. and former minnesota senator
al franken on his resignation and his regrets. if it's monday, it's "meet the press daily." i'm steve kor nar knacki in for todd. robert mueller will give his first public testimony since being named special counsel. politically the biggest question this week isn't necessarily one that will be directed at the witness, it's one that house democrats have been wrestling with for movannths now. do they impeach the president? these hearings may be their last best shot at laying out a case for doing so. here's the problem, democrats are seemingly hoping for mueller to do something that he has said he wouldn't, go beyond his report. >> i think there is very substantial -- well, the report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and we have to present -- or let mueller present those facts to the american people and then see where we go from there because the administration must be held accountable, and no president can be above the law.
>> "the washington post" reports that privately judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler supports an impeachment proceeding against the president and that he's lobbied speaker nancy pelosi to refer the matter to his committee. regardless of private beliefs, democrats know that pulling the trigger on impeachment could be a political mine field, and to ratchet up the stakes even more win or lose, their decision will have lasting impacts beyond the 2020 campaign. some democrats seem frankly stumped about what to do. >> thinking about what precedent we're setting, what message we are delivering to future precedents seems to me a very important constitutional and policy question, and i think that's the way we need to look at this, honestly. i don't know what the political answer is. >> republicans on the other hand are confident that mueller will stick to the script. the party has already proven its loyalty to president trump who
this afternoon renewed his battle cry against the investigation. >> we had no collusion, no obstruction. we had no nothing. we had a total no collusion finding. the democrats were devastated by it. they went crazy. they've got off the deep end. they're not doing anything. all they care about is a phony investigation. >> and some new details this afternoon about the mueller hearing. the former special counsel will deliver an opening statement according to his spokesman, and he's expected to stay within the bounds of what's in his report. let's turn to our experts nbc correspondent hans nichols, he joins us from the white house here on set, correspondent for "the washington post," phillip bump, republican strategist, susan del percio, and in washington former democratic congressman joe crowley. let me start with you. you understand the internal dynamics of the democratic
caucus in the house better than anybody on this show right no, so let me ask you this question. on the record right now, there are 88 democrats, 88 of your former colleagues who say they want to go forward with impeachment. there's also that one independent justin amosh. there's also the most recent polling on this asking americans should there be impeachment or not, 37% yes, 59% no. and there is a looming congressional recess in august. is this the last opportunity for the pro-impeachment side to get the momentum they need for impeachment to happen? >> i think we start talking, steve, in last chances. that kind of does set up the scenario of a horse race and all sides to the corner so to speak. i think what, you know, speaker pelosi has been saying all along and what these hearings should be about and will be about is finding the truth. i know the president keeps saying there was no collusion, there was no collusion, there was no collusion, there was no cover-up, no cover-up, no
cover-up, the more you say it, the more people believe it. here is an opportunity for the american people, some who have never even quite frankly heard of the mueller report, it will be explained by the man himself, and i think that is what's so critically important about these hearings coming up and the impact that will have on the american people. >> let me ask you about that, that little piece of reporting we ended with there could be very big, the idea, nbc's reporting here pete williams that mueller will stay within the bounds of the report because there's this question it sounds like democrats want to ask him. if he wasn't the president, would you have charged him with obstruction of justice. if he is literally staying in the bounds of that report, they're not going to get the answer they're looking for there. >> no, you're right, and i think a lot of what the democrats are going to be doing is trying to sus out, there are passing references in the report that clearly mueller was very, very prescribed against not crossing particular lines. they're going to try and get him to go over those lines to the extent they can. it's going to be interesting to
watch the extent to which mueller actually is still able to hue to those walls he has set up for himself. at the same time what the democrats want to do is have him say in front of a television camera all the things that are in the report. that's really the the main win for them on wednesday, if they can get him to go a little further than he has in the past, i think they'll take it. >> it's interesting because this is not mueller's first time testifying before congress. it's not the first time he's gone before congress and one of the parties has wanted him to say certain things, sort of lean in a certain direction. in 2013 mueller testified before a house committee republican jim jordan, on the irs issue if you remember this back during barack obama's second term, jim jordan was asking him some aggressive questions, and this is how mueller handled it. take a look. >> i'm saying why were people targeted before the investigation started? why were they contacted by the fbi, people who are now part of tea party groups who were targeted by the irs?
>> you're asking questions about details of the investigation. i'd be happy to take -- >> that is not a detail of the investigation. that took place prior to the investigation starting. >> may i please finish? you're asking detailed questions about the investigation. i'd be happy to get back to you and answer those questions that i can understanding ongoing -- >> i'm asking basic questions about the investigation like who's heading it up, and you can't tell me that. you can't tell me how about agents are assigned to the most important news story, maybe the most important -- >> time, the time has expired. the director will be allowed to answer the question, and if he can't answer it today, we would definitely expect he answer it in writing to us as promptly as possible. >> i'd be happy to take your questions in writing, sir. >> i bring that up because we know -- this was not robert mueller's idea to testify this week. it was democrats idea. you saw he wasn't eager in 2013 to go beyond what he came to the committee prepared to say. is that what you just saw right there, what democrats are going to be up against on wednesday? >> pretty much. and i would look to republicans
to try and -- they'll probably cross the line in their questioning trying to make -- question his integrity, robert mueller's integrity, which i think is a lose-lose argument, but i think the bigger question is once his testimony is over, then what? the redacted report came out three months ago, and this is where we are today, and as you mentioned to the congressman, we're about to go into august recess. it doesn't seem like anything is happening with this report, and yes, they'll have the moment as phillip said to have it on tv and let the people know, but really given this news cycle and everything that's going, it seems that this is something that they lost their momentum because they never sought to gain it right away. >> hans nichols, let me bring you in from the white house's standpoint, what are they expecting on wednesday, and what's the expectation for how the president's going to be handling this? this is going to be on television all day, all these different cable networks airing it. what can we expect from him
during it? >> the president is an avid consumer of cable news. he even admitted he would probably be watching it. that was two seconds after he said he wouldn't be watching it. i suspect we'll have the president watch it. i don't know how intently he'll watch it, and the interesting thing for me, steve, is the president is scheduled at some point in the day to go to west virginia. that gives him an opportunity if the weather holds for him to talk to reporters on the lawn. you see him on the south lawn. he often unburdens himself with whatever he is thinking of. where i want to be on wednesday, i want to be on the south lawn watching the president take off. i don't care how hot it is. i think that's where we're going to get a realtime reaction from president donald trump. >> joe crowley let me bring you back in. there's the reporting out there, again, your former new york colleague jerry nadnadler, wantn impeachment inquiry. he wants this referred to his committee. he wants to launch a formal investigation there and his committee, the house speaker, nancy pelosi still not eager to go down that road. behind the scenes, what's the
relationship like there, pelosi and nadler? is there now some tension that they apparently want different things at this moment on this question? >> i know that steve, i know that nancy pelosi and jerry nadler have an excellent relationship. i'm sure jerry -- knowing jerry, he's very forceful in his opinion and is making that known only to the speaker, but to the entire caucus, i think everyone knows where jerry stands. i do think steve, here, i think my republican colleagues, former colleagues have admitted they haven't read the report. this may be the opportunity to hear the audio version of the report from the author himself, and i think that's what's important here, and i think that's what speaker pelosi knows and i think jerry nadler knows that as well. i think nadler and pelosi are more unified than you think. >> is there a scenario here where information or an interpretation of information or something even that mueller reads from the report, can you see a scenario where that would measurably change public opinion on this? >> i can see a scenario in which
mueller says something which provides new insight into what the report says. i can see certainly any number of scenarios in which mueller relays publicly aspects of the report which are not well understood right now, in part because donald trump and attorney general barr have done such a good job of corralling it in this no collusion, no corruption frame. so much of what we've seen is this interactability by a party. the numbers are essentially unchanged by by party. that's a whole different question. that said, i do think new information can come out and who knows. >> that information i think the value of that potentially for the democrats is it gives them a new thread to investigate, and open up potential impeachment hearings, and i know that nadler and the speaker are very close, but jerry nadler's facing a primary from the left, part of the squad conference if you will, so he's facing a primary.
she's already raised $265,000, so it's a serious primary, and he is afraid of getting hit on his left. so i think nadler will be looking for any opportunity, any kernel of new information to allow to open an investigation. >> joe crowly let me bring you back in. you say this is a process you think should just continue and see what emerges from it, but realistically, you know the calendar there as well as anybody else, a recess that's going to take -- as soon as this hearing is over folks aren't going to be back until labor day. you're going to have a presidential campaign pretty much in full swing by the fall. when do democrats have to decide either yes we're going forward impeachment wise or no, we're going to let the 2020 m ka paca be the decision. >> i do think the public sentiment is a favorite saying of nancy pelosi, she's taken that from abraham lincoln.
i also believe that she believes in the truth and let the truth go where it may lead. i understand there's all this timing, things that are going on, but at the end of the day this is more important, really getting this right is more important than any one individual. it's about our country's future, and i think pelosi knows that. i think the democratic caucus knows that as well. >> hans nichols, thank you for joining us, and phillip, susan joe, stick around, much more on mueller's testimony. straight ahead we are going to talk live with one of the lawmakers who's going to be inside one of those hearings on wednesday. and later we're in puerto rico as hundreds of thousands of protesters hit the streets in san juan, why they are demanding their governor step down now. what's the hesitation? eh, it just feels too complicated, you know? well sure, at first, but jj can help you with that. jj, will you break it down for this gentleman? hey, ian. you know, at td ameritrade, we can walk you through your options trades step by step until you're comfortable. i could be up for that. that's taking options trading from wall st. to main st.
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committees are referring to the president as a conspirator who is guilty of high creams and misdemeanors. those comments ratchet up -- i'm joined by someone who will be in the room asking questions when mueller testifies, congressman, a democrat from illinois who sits on the intelligence committee. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, steve. >> you're going to get a crack at robert mueller on wednesday. everyone in the world has wanted to talk to this guy for the lsts couple of years. in terms of your approach in asking those questions is it going to be affected at all or shaped at all by the fact that he doesn't want to be there? >> i think it's fair to say that he's probably going to give voice to what he said in his report as opposed to going outside the confines of his report, although he's not necessarily confined just to his
report, but in shaping our questions, i think that we want to try to get him to speak rather than give speeches ourselves, and i think that's something that i think will be very important for all of us on our respective committees to do. >> i mean, when you say give him the chance to speak, i hear this talk of -- to let him sort of narrate, is the idea to get him to be reading out loud, lines, excerpts from the report, or is the idea to be getting him to analyze it? >> i don't think reading the report would necessarily be very et fieing or educational, but telling us what are the key findings and why they matter would be extremely important. the vast majority of the audience likely will not have read the report. i have and probably you have and i've been cramming for a final exam so to speak, rereading sections, but i think most viewers are probably going to be digesting the report just by
watching his testimony. it will be kind of like a lot more people have watched the movie "godfather" than read the book, and i think that's certainly how people are going to approach this telecast. >> certainly many folks in your party have been saying since that report was made public that mueller would have charged donald trump with obstruction of justice if he weren't the president of the united states. given that you don't expect him to be straying from what's actually in the this report, though, do you expect him to answer that question of whether that's true? >> i'm not sure. i do think it's worth asking that question and seeing how he responds. i think that if he were to explain in plain english some of the things that he wrote, in other words clarify even what he said in the report, that would be significant, and if he also said what are the things he didn't get into, that would also help. that would also give us
hopefully a road map to proceed from here. >> going into this hearing, your position on whether there should be an impeachment inquiry is what, yes or no? >> going into the hearing right now, i don't think that we should start an impeachment inquiry unless we can sustain a conviction in the senate, so i will be open to hearing exactly what he has to say. i'll be listening intently because he's one of those special figures in american life with the stature and credibility to actually sway people's opinions like mine and the public's opinions as well. >> that's an interesting point you just made there saying unless we can sustain a conviction in the senate you said, so am i hearing you right? do you personally believe the president should be impeached but you don't believe it's politically feasible, so therefore you don't want to go down that road? >> i don't want to end up in a situation where he would necessarily be able to claim
that he was cleared of wrongdoing and that would embolden him to do worse or to have his successors do the same. i think we have to be very careful. i think right now we're still gathering evidence. and i really want to hear what he has to say because he's a special figure. >> we put the numbers up earlier, we can show them again though maybe, the question of impeachment, asking americans -- this is an abc "the washington post" poll, do you think proceedings should begin now or not, 37% yes, 59% no.
that was two weeks ago. so he may reveal information that might cause us to rethink the way we're looking at this case right now, and i think we really have to do the right thing and listen carefully and see where he goes. i don't think that we should make any conclusions until we hear from him and see where the evidence takes us. >> and where do you think the realistically speaking here, just given the realities of the political calendar, the congressional calendar, the recess that's going to take all those members out of town in august, when does a final decision have to be made by democrats about whether to go forward with impeachment or not? >> i don't know the answer, steve. i really do think that this is
such a weighty matter. it's so grave that you don't want to necessarily time it with a political calendar in mind. i think that you do need to -- if you're going to do something like this, make sure in my humble opinion that you can take it to a conviction and make sure that, you know, we start what we want to finish. as a former special assistant attorney general here in illinois, i believe that one thing that i learned is you have to start a prosecution if you can sustain a conviction. >> okay, member of the intelligence committee, one of those members who will be questioning the former special counsel this week. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, steve. and ahead, president trump's squad goals, our experts are back including the former congressman who faced aoc in a primary. that's ahead.
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welcome back, last week everybody was talking about the president's racially charged attacks. this week everybody's talking about robert mueller, two stories you would expect to have major electoral ramifications for the president, but here's what democrats are afraid of, that there are a whole bunch of scenarios where democrats get the turnout they're hoping for
in 2020 and it doesn't necessarily translate into victory. let me put this into some context here. we've been hearing a lot of chatter about this lately. it's that thing where you have a difference between the popular vote and the electoral college. in american history where you had somebody win the popular vote and not win the presidency, it happened in 1824, andrew jackson, john quincy adams, 1876, it happened three times in the 19th century, and then it didn't happen for more than a century. i remember growing up in the 1990s, we talked about about it as something that happened a few times in the past, but it was unlikely to ever happen again. then in 2000 you remember gore and bush, gore won the popular vote by about 600,000. bush won the electoral college. there you had it for the first time in more than a century, and then guess what in 2016 it happened again, and again, it was the democrat, hillary clinton who won the popular vote. donald trump the republican becomes the president. obviously democrats have not been too happy about that, and the possibility this is that
chatter you're starting to hear, political analyst here all the time, nate cohen in the "new york times," they were writing about this over the weekend. the possibility that what you saw in 2016 could happen again in 2020. remember, hillary clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes in 2016, and when they're saying is there's a possibility where this electoral map doesn't budge that much, where the democrats they say could even drive up their support for a state like texas. democrats don't win texas, but maybe they could do better in texas but still get zero electoral votes, get more popular votes out of california, but it's already blue. get more votes out of new york, but it's already blue, and then meanwhile, trump in those, you know, pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin, those midwest states where there are a lot of blue collar white voters, non-college white voters, the trump base where he's able to bring autothoautout those folks who aren't there for him necessarily, they come back in 2020 and the possibility
exists that trump once again wins the presidency, wins re-election in the electoral college even as he loses the popular vote and they say maybe by even a larger margin than in 2016, and that would be three times if that happened, three times in 20 years. does the prospect of that change democratic strategy in 2020 in terms of who they nominate. what would that do to the democratic party? how would that affected american politics? you could take it one step further if you want to talk theoretically here, how about this, let's say the democrats won back pennsylvania. let's say they won back michigan, but there's that one congressional district, omaha, clinton lost by four points in 2016. let's say democrats pulled that off in 2020 and everything else stayed in the same, you would have the 269, 269 tie and then it would be kicked to the house of representatives. imagine that, if the democrats had won the popular vote, they got a 269-269 tie in the
electoral college, it goes to the house, the democratic house, let's say democratic controlled house, but in the house not every member gets one vote. it's every state gets one vote, and there are -- probably will be more state delegations controlled by republicans than democrats and so the democratic house would presumably reelect a republican president who had lost the popular -- you could play this out in some ways. if you think losing the popular vote, losing electoral college for the third time in two decades would drive democrats nuts you could come up with wilder scenarios than that. up ahead, president trump's clash with the so-called squad as it may b could it be a political strategy that helps him produce a result like that in 2020? new developments in that battle up next. why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call
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die down, that question was answered today. >> i'm not going nowhere, not until i impeach this president! >> that was rashida tlaib a member of the so-called squad firing back at the president during his speech at the naacp convention in detroit. those remarks came two days after the president tweeted that he didn't think she and her fellow squad members were quote, capable of loving our country. in about an hour before he tweeted it that the squad is a very race igs groist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced and not very smart. he doubled down on that sweweet afternoon. >> i think they're very bad for our country. i really think they must hate our country, what they've said about israel, what they've said about our country when they talk about disgusting people, when they talk the way they talk. when the one mentioned that
brown people should speak for brown people and muslim people should speak for muslim people, and you hear all this, it's not what our country is all about. >> and joe crowley is back, he faced alexandria ocasio-cortez a squad member in last year's democratic primary. he is back with us along with phillip and susan. susan, let me just start with you. it is not uncommon for one party to want to run against what they think of as the most extreme members of the other party. i can remember the obama campaign eagerly running against the tea party and aspect ofs that in 2012. i imagine there are a lot of republicans who in theory like the idea of highlighting the squad in some of their more far left ideological positions, but the fact that the president has steered the conversation the way he has steered it, what does that do to other republicans who had been eager to run against them? >> well, it leaves them in a bind. most importantly, any republican
who is running should come out against the president's racist comments. they have to say it's wrong. they want to go after some of the policies on the left, go ahead. i don't think anyone should be a poster for anybody, but if you want to go after their policies, go have at it, but you've got to call out what's wrong because let me tell you something, steve. i guaranteed you if any member of congress found out their children came home and the principle said they get punished for calling someone -- telling someone to go back where they came from, they'd be pretty darn embarrassed and upset about it. >> can republicans do that now? is it possible for a random generic republican to go out there and say democrats are the party of aoc without conjuring -- >> i don't think so, but at the same time the democrats aren't necessarily -- the presidential candidates aren't embracing this either in this fight. if you notice no democratic candidate for president went out there and really embraced this
as a story and became their defenders that's because they're worried about being branded in that extreme left progressive manner, but i think at the end of the day there's going to be a presidential candidate on the democratic side, and that's who the republicans are going to run against. it doesn't matter what happens between now and january, february. >> joe, this came out today, npr maris new poll president trump's approval rating, this poll was taken last week as this story played out. i think it was after his initial tweet did not get the reaction to that chant at that rally. this is an incomplete readout on how the public is perceiving trump right now. nonetheless, it does show his approval rating sitting at 44%. it had been 41% in their lost poll. these are not great numbers historically, but by trump standards these are on the higher end of where he's been, 44% in this poll. is it possible to you, do you think, that this is -- this is
the kind of thing that has tapped into something that we weren't aware was there? >> i think the president has always known this rhetoric will really reinforce his base. how many times has this president used the word hate? i wonder if any of those fact checkers can go back and see how many times the president has used the word hate repeatedly over and over and over again. i have never heard any member of congress ever say that they hate this country, but the president keeps saying that, and you know, really you keep saying it, the more often you say it, more people believe it. and i do think the president has tapped into something here. his base has become more solidly behind him. >> the question too, if the president is continuing this fight, what happens the next time there's a trump rally, if this chant were to start up. mike pence was asked about that, the vice president was asked about that on cbs yesterday. take a look.
>> this could all go away with one simple word or a phrase or something. you have a chance to say it right now. don't do it again. >> the president was very clear. >> was he? >> that he wasn't happy about it and that if it happened again, he might -- he'd make an effort to speak out about it. >> he will make an effort to speak out about it. >> that's what he's already said. >> okay. phillip, it sounded a little conditional, a little hesitant right there. in 2016, we saw this where trump one day seemed to renounce the idea of doing the lock her up chant. the crowd did it again. he was like guys, it just continued. is that going to happen again? >> almost certainly. you know, mike pence understands by now that he's going to have to hedge his predictions what president trump is going to do. he's been working with trump long enough to know he needs to do that. it seems pretty clearly this is going to happen again. it seems pretty clearly that president trump will probably end up blaming the media and say the media doesn't want you to say that, something along those
lines. he's gloss it over in that way. it's obvious that this is simply a reflection of what president trump feels and represents publicly. he called these members of congress racist today. and i think it's important to lift up the point that the congressman made. this isn't rooted in anything. this is just him pulling random threads. a lot of stuff he sees in conservative media, ayanna pressley has been smeared with all these things, this lady having said very little. all of these things are coupled together in the sense these are bad people. these are racist tweets that came out from the president because it's not predicated on anything beyond the fact of who these women are and where they came from. >> joe, bring you back in, tap into your knowledge of the inner wor workings of the democratic caucus. there were a lot of conversations about tensions coming to the surface between aoc, between the squad and speaker pelosi.
nancy pelosi seemed to take some shots at them in a national interview with the "new york times." has this changed the pelosi relationship with aoc and the squad and the democratic caucuses relationship with them? >> i think that's a question you have to be asked, and it may take some time. i do know there are primaries being presented to a number of members of the democratic house, caucuses from the justice democrats, from the brand new congress that i think present further problems down the road, but i do think that the president in one fell swoop through his tweets was able to unify the democratic caucus behind the racist remarks the president said towards these four members of congress. i think that is something that will probably continue to happen because i think the president knows that really identifying the entire democratic caucus with socialism, democratic socialists is a good thing for him, and i think in some
respects leader pelosi knows that the democratic caucus is not the democratic socialist caucus, it's the democratic house of representatives. she knows how democrats got their leadership and how we got the majority, and she knows how to retain that as well. >> stay with us. and ahead, dramatic pictures of the uproar prevagen. healthier brain. better life. ♪ for miles and miles. running circles ♪ being lost ain't never really been my style. ♪ but i told ya... yo, jer! we gotta get to the show. ♪ i was looking for a sign. get on the bus. ♪ i need something to believe in. ♪ throw my hands up to the ceiling. ♪ oh sky won't you give me a sign. ♪ tell me will the world one day ever be mine? jeep wrangler. freedom to do it all. as a doctor, i agree with cdc guidance.
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ricar ricar ricardo rosella's resignation, hundreds of messages were leaked. the cha chats including jokes making light of the deaths following hurricane maria in 2017. protests are showing no signs of slowing down, especially after the governor announced yesterday he will not be stepping down, although he will say he will not be seeking re-election next year. joining me now is nbc news correspondent gabe gutierrez, he's been following the protests in puerto rico today. i'm reading these may be the largest demonstrations in history, political demonstrations. give us sense of the scale of it. >> reporter: hi there, steve, it's a little difficult to hear you right now in old san juan. i can tell you this is a city at a standstill, this old historic cobblestone neighborhood is just packed right now with cars, and in the distance you might be able to see behind you there are hundreds of people on this block
alone, we were down there a few moments ago but had to go up the hill to get better cell phone service to communicate with you. as you mentioned, hundreds of thousands of protesters descended on san juan, some being bussed in by unions from across the island, and they were demanding the resignation of ricardo jose owe. yesterday the government said he would step down as the head of the party, he would not seek re-election next year but he said he would not resign, and he reiterated that today. that has frustrated many of the protesters here and they say it added fuel to the fire. this has been building not just since the leak and the publication last week of those controversial chat messages you referenced, but also many of these protesters are demonstrating against what they call rampant corruption against many politicians in puerto rico,
and they are, again, once again demanding that the governor step down. right down there about a block and a half away is the governor's mansion in old san ju juan. this is the same location that saw demonstrations last week, and we've been seeing for several days, but i can tell you, steve, this is by far the largest protest that we have seen since this political scandal began, and right now with the governor saying he won't resign, there appears to be no end in sight. local lawmakers here in puerto rico are saying discussing possible impeachment, but even if rosello were to step down, there is no clear successor. for now he is hanging on despite the deafening chorus, steve. >> gabe gutierrez reporting for us, those protests only seem to be growing, gabe, thank you for that. we're going to be right back. limu's right. liberty mutual can save you money
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the president on twitter just now saying that a two-year budget deal has been reached with leaders in congress. it will avoid a nasty fight over the debt limit. also avoid a possible fight over a government shutdown. there, of course, has been some high drama over this deal would actually come together before congress left town. for the moment, it looks like it has. at least according to what the president is tweeting now. we are scrambling to get more details on this. and we will bring them to you as soon as we do. and meanwhile, more than a year and a half after announcing his resignation amid allegations of misconduct, now former senator
al franken says he regrets that decision to step down. he tells the new yorker's jane mayor he wishes he had appeared before the senate ethics committee instead, allowing a counter narrative to go out there than the one that played out in the press. excuse me. philip, susan, and joe are back with me. this new yorker, this is a long new yorker story, phillip. everyone is interested should go read it. i'm curious what you make of it. there's a lot of reporting here about this photo everybody is familiar with where he mimics a groping gesture on a fellow performer who is asleep. it takes awhile in this article, but it does get to the fact there were a number of women who subsequently came out and said -- with allegations of kissing or groping. what did you make of what we're hearing from franken here and what is reported here? >> yeah, i think the fascinating aspect to this is if you're al franken, i think it is quite natural that you would feel as though you were forced out of the senate prematurely. i think that is a natural thing for him to feel. but i think the argument that
there was some due process that should have been involved, that, you know, that was all based on this one photo which is some of the allegations you've seen in the aftermath of this, i think all these things sort of upped cut the idea that what we're talking about is not crim senator al franken procedure, we're talking about politics. the political fact was in that moment with those allegations coming forward -- as you know, the subsequent allegations as well -- his situation is much less tenable than what we see now. i get why al franken is mad. totally understand that. i also understand why in the moment he ended up leaving. >> several other people were out in the public arena being, being named as harassers or attackers in some cases. but with the difference between senator franken was, there was actually a picture. and given the timing of everything, i think that's where the pressure came on. i think when he looks at what happened to -- you're going to know the senator from new jersey -- >> menendez. >> menendez, thank you.
when he looks at senator menendez who certainly looks like -- >> hung jury in a bribery trial. >> there you have it. i mean, and he went through the whole process and he's still sitting there, that makes him say, huh, i could have made through it. but to phillip's point, it's politics, so it's a different story. >> so, joe crowley, you have the new yorker story, pat leahy, heidi heitkamp, angus king, jeff merkley, tom udal, tim nelson, current and former senators there all of whom joined that call in late 2017 for franken to leave the senate. he's saying in this article he basically had no choice. they're all saying now, they're quoted here on the record saying they regret it. should they regret it? >> well, i think you have to look back as philip and susan have said. there were over half a dozen credible accusations i believe made. and no one forced senator franken to resign. he chose to do that himself. but i wonder, steve, if you
could do the optics, had he remained on the judiciary committee with the kavanaugh hearing with all this going on, if he were there, that would mean that someone like kamala harris would not have been on the committee asking those pointed questions, those doving questions and running for president of the united states and showing what a woman can do on that committee to really propel herself in the national limelight. we have to look optically as phillip said earlier. there was a lot going on. the ramifications for that are playing out today. >> there was a lot going on. the other thing going on was the alabama election for the special senate. all the allegations about roy moore, as soon as this franken stuff came out, every republican in the world wanted to say, well, democrats shouldn't be casting any stones here, they've got franken. then a week to go in the campaign, the democrats threw franken overboard. a very narrow win. i remember being at the board that night. very narrow win for doug jones in alabama.
did the democrats throwing franken overboard help them in the election? >> you are more of a numbers guy. i would trust your counting break down. the point is the democrats made a political decision in that moment, and it was one with which al franken went along. >> right. >> i don't mean to beat a dead horse here. i get it, al, i get it. totally 100%. six-year job, great, perfect. but at that time, at that moment, the things that came out about him, of course the democrats said, you've got to go. whether or not that won the alabama seat, maybe it did, but regardless, the political calculus made sense. >> let's not forget, people say he shouldn't have done and they regret this now. but it was a different time and they were all jumping on something. and again, i have to go back to there was a photograph. and in that moment, how can you deny that photograph at that time? >> there was a photograph and then there were a number of women coming out.
i have to say just reading this article, i'm still unclear what exactly did or didn't happen in these cases, but you have multiple women coming out there. i'm not clear what exactly he's denying. >> but there was also -- it was a time where a lot of accusations against a lot of high-profile people, men, were being made against. and it was the beginning of the me too movement. it was a difficult time as a country, frankly, to see all these people being accused -- not hard to see them accused, but hard to deal with everything that was coming out, because it was coming out fast and furious. and to see a member of the senate being accused -- again, i can't emphasize this enough. if not for the photo, he maybe could have survived it, but with the photo it's a game changer. >> the photo precipitated all of that. susan, phillip, thank you. we have a statement from schumer and pelosi. they confirmed the president's
announcement that a bipartisan budget deal has been reached. that's all for tonight. be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily and the beat with ari melber starts right now. good evening, ari. >> good evening, steve. thank you as always. bob mueller speaks this week. tonight there is news how less prep and how bill barr is interfering. neal katyal ais here on that. he started this week like last week, stoking racial tension. a top republican who might actually challenge trump in 2020 mark sanford is here tonight as well. that's not all. later on the show, presidential candidate andrew yang along with jermaine dupre together. i'll explain. we begin with the top story. bob mueller's testimony two days away and here's what we're learning right now. first mueller will discuss the