tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 23, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
see the 50th anniversary of the famous first step. and neil armstrong famously said of his tonight on "all in." >> if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. >> all eyes on robert mueller. >> no, i'm not going to be watching, probably. maybe i'll see a little bit of it. >> tonight how democrats are approaching the last best chance to hold the president accountable. >> the report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. >> and why this week could be
make or break for impeachment. >> let mueller present those facts to the american people and then see where we go from there. then -- >> major, the president was very clear. >> was he? >> that he wasn't happy about it. >> reverend william barber on the moral outrage of the president's attacks on four congresswomen. plus, what we're learning about the elite company listed alongside donald trump and jeffrey epstein's black book. and my exclusive interview with former texas state senator wendy davis on her new run for office. >> wendy! wendy! "all in" starts now. good evening from washington, d.c. i'm joy reid in for chris hayes. well, we are just 36 hours away from former special counsel robert mueller's scheduled congressional testimony before both the house judiciary committee and the house intelligence committee. his almost 500-page report was released back in april. now, we did not hear from robert mueller until the following month when he spoke for only
around ten minutes. wednesday will be the first time we get to hear from mueller at length before multiple committees discussing the findings in his report. tonight trump's justice department is warning robert mueller about his upcoming testimony. judiciary chair jerry nadler, set the stakes for what democrats are hoping to get. >> 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 the -- 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 -- can be above the law. >> the report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. congressman nadler chose those words very specifically because as you'll remember, article ii section iv of the constitution reads, "the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors." if house diplomats want to move toward impeachment, establishing evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors seems like a pretty good place to start. "the washington post" reports today. "aides say nadler has privately voiced support for impeachment proceedings against trump, but he has stopped short of publicly calling for such a move." chairman nadler appears to be trying to get on the right side of history without getting on the wrong side of the house speaker, and while letting mueller do the heavy lifting. this as the number of house members in favor of impeachment
proceedings is growing. and we know this because we have a new whip count from the house floor last week, where 95 democrats voted in favor of a resolution to impeach the president. congressman nadler was not among them. either way, there is no guarantee that the special counsel's testimony will be a slam dunk for democrats. remember, in his lone press conference back in may, mueller himself made his reluctance to testify very clear. >> there has been discussion about an appearance before congress. any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. it contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. we chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. and the report is my testimony. i would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before congress. >> joining me now for a look ahead to the mueller hearing are chuck rosenberg, former u.s.
attorney and senior fbi official, now an msnbc contributor and cynthia oxney, former federal prosecutor who worked alongside robert mueller in washington and now an msnbc legal analyst. thank you both for being here. first, let's talk about this conviction, chuck, that the department of justice has pre-emptively placed on mueller. it sounds like a bit of a threat if he tries to go off script and not just literally read in the report, could he be in some kind of trouble? >> it sounds like a bit of a threat, joy, but it's really no different than the conviction that mueller put on himself. he was incredibly clear. i'm not going beyond my report. it seems somewhat perfunctory. if mueller says he's not going to do something, having worked with the man, i can tell you he's not going to do something. i don't think they need to worry. >> would it be going outside the restrictions if he was asked did you intend for of the attorney general of the united states to give your interpretation of your
report or make the decision, as he said, about whether or not prosecution could happen? is that outside the scope of his report? >> i don't think so, but, again, he's an extraordinarily cautious man, right? and so if it calls for conversations that he had with an official who is his boss, right? bill barr was his boss when he was working as special counsel. i think mueller's going to be respectful of that relationship. look, that's the cloth from which he is cut. he doesn't sort of randomly haphazardly talk about conversations with his boss. and so i don't think the white house has very much to worry about. >> yeah. okay. let's talk about mueller. he's testified 88 times going back to 1990. he's a very reluctant witness to say the least. he doesn't really want to be there. he makes it pretty clear he doesn't want to be there. he's had past go-ins with jim jordan. republicans are probably going to attack him. they're probably going to try to say he was biased, et cetera. is he the kind of guy if attacked would actually step outside saying read page 223 of my report?
>> no. he's not going to do -- he's not going to be goaded into breaking his own code of ethics. that isn't going to happen. and so people think there are going to be fireworks and he's going to make big conclusions, i just don't see that. i agree with you. that's not why he has this stellar reputation as this honorable, respectful, venerable prosecutor's prosecutor. he didn't get that because g-y-m jordan can push him a little bit and he loses his temper. that isn't going to happen. >> this may seem like an obvious question, but, you know, this report came out months ago. most americans haven't read it. it is heading up "the new york times" best-sellers list. were the conclusions in the report for both of you clear enough that it is isn't necessary for robert mueller to say refer to page 223 and do it in person? is there something different we're going to get out of him saying? >> yeah, you're definitely going to get something more out of it. if someone says to him, isn't it true you found there was
substantial evidence of an attempt to fire you or to get mcgahn to lie or to limit the scope of the investigation? he'll say yes. and he may give a page citation. could you please catalog for us what is the evidence that supports that in your report and why you found it compelling. >> yeah. >> and then get that out of him. >> yeah. just get him to say it. >> get him to say that and then you have something to show the american people. >> yeah. but could you -- >> we do need that. there is plenty in this report. this is -- this is evidence of obstruction of justice. >> yeah. >> it's right here. >> yeah. but, i mean, what if -- what if let's say for instance a democratic member were to ask robert mueller if the same set of evidence appeared before you and the person was not the president, would you indict him, will he answer that? >> no. >> you don't think he'll answer that? that's not in the report. >> if you were to ask me which question would i most like to hear him answer. >> yeah. >> that's it. >> if it was joy reid or cynthia alksne. >> he wouldn't answer that?
>> i don't see how he could. department of justice policy says you can't indict a sitting president. i think mueller took that a step further if you can't charge a sitting president, nor can you recommend charging a sitting president. to cynthia's point, i don't think bob mueller at a hearing is going to cast an aspersion on donald trump. you want to cast aspersions on donald trump, read the report. >> i agree with your conclusion but here is the ultimate wrinkle. barr announced in that interview he did in alaska, there's no reason why he couldn't have come to a conclusion. and barr said that. so there is going to be some pressure in the hearing quoting barr saying, well, barr said you could have come to a conclusion. >> that's right. >> i do think there will be those questions. >> yeah. >> but ultimately, you know, we are who we are, as my mother always said and he is who he is. i don't think he'll do it either. >> i think you're right. there will be pressure to do it but bob mueller won't.
this is not a guy that has bent in the wind over the course of a long and honorable career. no reason why that's going to start on wednesday. >> i've said it before, he is not waking up that morning and putting on his superman cape. thank you both. it will be interesting to hear from him. here now for more on the people who will be questioning robert mueller, former florida congressman david jolly. he left the republican party this past year and now an independent. and elizabeth holtzman, former democratic congresswoman from new york and the author of "the case for impeaching trump." david jolly, i'm going to start with you. >> sure. >> because my supposition is that as measured as robert mueller is going to be, republicans aren't going to be measured. they're going to come in there and attack the guy and their strategy is going to be say you're biased and bring up strzok and page and all this other stuff. is that what you expect them to do and do you think that would be at all effective for them? >> well, it will be effective for this base.
to your point, joy, what we have seen in every one of these hearings and that republicans never ask hard questions to try to get to the facts of the investigation, what they do is they try to impugn the witnesses and those who testified with mueller. matt gates said what they're going to do on wednesday is re-elect donald trump as president. that's clearly how the republicans are going into this. i think when the final gavel hits wednesday night, joy, though, the eyes of the nation once again turn to nancy pelosi. this is a political case to be made for impeachment. and democrats seem to be hoping that bob mueller will convince the nation on wednesday. democrats need to remind the nation, hey, voters, you haven't read the report yet, but at the end of the day if we are to be led to a convincing case for impeachment, that has to come through political leadership and it has to come from the person who occupies the highest constitutional office outside the white house. that is speaker pelosi. come wednesday night the eyes of the nation are going to be looking at her to ask what next? >> right. i mean even if, elizabeth, if all that mueller did was refer to what's in the report and
literally read it, right, he will then be speaking to the exact same facts that nearly 1,000 former prosecutors said were at least ten instances of obstruction of justice. that is one of the causes for which you can impeach a president. so i wonder from your point of view what should democrats do? they put the theater off for a month and a half. what should they do with their time now knowing they're not going to get a whole lot of theatrics out of mueller. >> let me deal with the theatrics issue for one moment. i just want to go back to watergate. because those republicans who used the watergate hearings that the house judiciary committee held to defend the president led to the huge victory for democrats in the midterm elections. why? because the democrats conducted themselves with dignity and sincerity and the republicans were just out there defending the president, and that did not sit well with the american people. so just want to bring that little historical factoid out here. now, the critical -- the
critical point is that most people have not read the mueller report. the democrats and really anybody who is sincere about trying to educate the american people so that they can help make a judgement about whether the president should be held to an impeachment standard, they need to make sure that the american people understand the facts. so getting mueller to read the report or put the report in his own words or restate it is a critical thing, and particularly the critical thing is to get him to confirm that there was evidence of conspiracy with the russians, just not enough evidence to permit an indictment. and secondly, that there was substantial evidence with regard to obstruction of justice. that they couldn't clear him and they couldn't exonerate him. the american people need to know that. we have someone in the white house, the president of the united states, who could not be exonerated of obstruction of justice and who could not even be exonerated of contacts with
the russians that could amount to conspiracy if we had more facts. >> yeah. >> that's something that the american people have to know. that's scary. that's dangerous. and it's up to the people, really, to demand that congress hold him accountable. >> well, can we just sort of, david, talk about that second half of it, the second hearing that's going to be before house intel? >> sure. >> everybody's going to be focused on the obstruction side of it, meaning the judiciary side of it because that's the thing that could lead to impeachment. how important is it for democrats to get to the fact -- make it really clear to people what russia did to this country and do you think that is possible with mueller sticking to the script? >> you know, so we focus on obstruction because that is the criminality, if you will. that's where we see this three-part test to criminality. it appears donald trump solves that. but at the end of the day what we want the american people to know is what elizabeth warren continues to tell them. the three elements of impeachment are russia tried to attack our democracy, donald trump's campaign welcomed the attacks at every turn when they were presented with making a
choice whether to welcome it or turn away the interference, and when our government tried to investigate that interference, donald trump objected it at every turn. that is the case for impeachment. now, to have two hearings, one before judiciary, one before intelligence, where each member's going to get five minutes to question bob mueller, who will be an imperfect witness. he will provide moments and theater, but at the same time he will fall flat for what democrats are trying to provide. it will take political leadership to wrap that in a bow at the end of the day if the case is to be made. elizabeth warren and a few other democrats have been able to succinctly try to make that case. we've yet to hear from house leadership. joy, my biggest concern is that there is one more week before the house adjourns for five weeks and takes a summer vacation. there will be little urgency around this come ten days from now -- >> yeah. >> and that is where i think many in the nation are begging for political leadership. >> very quickly liz holtzman, is that the big concern that the democrats will have this testimony on the books and then will do nothing? because what else could they
possibly have in order if they're going to proceed on impeachment? they've got mueller now talking. >> right. i think if he makes the point clearly, the democrats really have a responsibility to the constitution and to the american people to start the process. you don't need to show a crime, you need to show a high crime and misdemeanor, in other words, an assault on our democracy by the president, an abuse of his power. >> yeah. >> i think there is ample evidence of that. >> yeah. >> that is the kind of case that needs to be made. >> yeah. >> because otherwise our democracy is in danger. >> indeed. david jolly, liz holtzman, thank you very much. up next, the president's continued attacks on the four congresswomen of color. william barber is here to talk about racist comments coming from the nation's highest office right after this.
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you may have seen the media coverage of a sign posted outside a virginia church that went viral last week "america, love it or leave it." some of the congregation reportedly walked out of a service yesterday in protest of the sign. which the pastor says went up weeks ago. but it certainly echos the sentiments expressed recently by crump, who said last week that four democratic congresswomen of color known as the squad should go back to the places where they came from, even though they are american. the president continues to rage tweet about the squad. this morning, he called them "a very racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced and not very smart." these comments come on the heels of disturbing social media post targeting the four
congresswomen. a picture depicting the four as the jihad squad. a police officer in louisiana has just been suspended after he was busted on facebook for writing about congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. "this vile idiot needs a round, and i don't mean the kind she used to serve." i'm joined now by reverend dr. william barber. author of "revive us again: vision and action in moral organizing." let's talk about, first of all, this statement love it or leave it. can you just talk a little bit about the origins of that and what connection it had to anti-integrationists and segregationists back in the 1950s? >> i'm here in iowa with the christian church disciples of christ, joy, and we have thousands of people saying welcome, but there has always been this other side of
perverted, i call it racist americanity not true christianity. those signs were put up in by the klan. where i used to live there used to be a sign up that said this is klan country, america, love it or leave. it is a strange form of extremism to have people who come and take other people's land to then now say go back to where you come from. it is a form of engendering hate and racism, and actually it's a trick of racism, it's a trick of fascism when you don't have the answers for the real problem, so what you do is sow division as cover up, cover up for the failures of policies. a lot of times, joy, this is the strange thing, policies that not only hurt people of color, but also hurt poor white people. so here we are talking about tweets and racist tweets and go back, but not about the 140
million poor and low-income people in this country, 66 million of them which are what. not about the 62 million people who don't make a living wage. we aren't talking about his administration and party blocking living wages and blocking health care and thousands of people are dying because these tweets, these racist tweets and racist sayings used in history by racism and fascism are always kind of a phycological bird, as king said, being fed to people so that they don't pay attention to the real destruction that's happening in their lives. >> well, and i think it's an important point because, you know, it is interesting the way that the far-right and the racist elements in the country have been able to use this kind of, you know, tweaking people on their racial insecurities. push them toward a more sort of full racism while at the same time robbing them, taking away their hospitals. >> right. >> making their schools worse. making them poorer. >> so, for instance, trump was in pitt county the other day.
it didn't go for trump. it didn't go for any of that. he was about 35 miles from a hospital that was closed in rural north carolina because of republicans in our state refusing to expand medicaid. but so you -- they don't have answers. so you use this cover-up. now, here's another cautionary thing, we cannot act like this is new. when george w. bush first ran for congress back in the late '60s he said i'm running because i'm against the civil rights act because i'm for the 84%, not the 14%. ronald reagan when he ran, he often talked about welfare queens taking from people. he ran against fair housing, saying that a person should have a right to discriminate if it's their property and he began part of his campaign in the same county where the four civil rights leaders were killed -- the three civil rights leaders were killed in mississippi. so this coding and this tweeting is not new. it's just more of it. it's more pushed out because we
have a 24/7 news cycle, but it is not new. and it always is a cover-up for the other policies that are actually hurting people of color, and i want the audience to hear this, and poor white people of whom there are 66 million poor and low-income white people that while this hate is being spread, their lives are being damaged. >> right. and i wonder then what is the proper response to it? because there's been some, you know, some democrats, some never trumper republicans say, well, the response to it is just ignore what donald trump is saying, ignore the racism, pretend it isn't there and talk about health care. is that -- do you agree with that? >> no, no, no, no. you cannot ignore it. thank god for those people that walked out of that church over what went up on the sign, but what you cannot do is just focus on the sign and the tweets and not the negative policies that lie underneath the tweets. so here's what i would suggest. if democrats are really going to respond to this, they ought to have a press conference. they ought not be on the tweets.
they ought to list the top 25 to 30 policies driven by racial discrimination and their impact on black, brown and white people. in other words, they should say while he's tweeting and fooling you, you should know what's happening in terms of judges on the bench. you should know how your health care is being blocked. you should know how they're gearing up now to block a vote on the living wage bill that was just passed in the house. we have to connect the racism to the policies. we have to show people, listen, do you know the same people that are doing these tweets, they engage in racist voter suppression? well, do you know that the people who get elected by racist voter suppression when they get elected, they use their power to block living wages and block health care? >> right. >> we've got to expose the truth of the lies of what's going on, otherwise racism and fascism wins. >> indeed. reverend dr. william barber, good advice. hopefully someone will take it. appreciate your time. my exclusive interview with wendy davis on her new
there has been one question that has continued to surface around the renewed prosecution of jeffrey epstein, the uber connected financier convicted sex offender and accused sex trafficker. who else will be implicated? both before and after epstein's 2008 sweetheart deal with federal prosecutors, he was known to socialize in elite circles. presidents and politicians of both parties. and princes, too. and now that epstein, who has pleaded not guilty -- who has pleaded not guilty sits in a new york jail awaiting trial, there is renewed interest in just who the accused sex trafficker was spending his time with and how. many of the names epstein's associated can be -- many of the names of epstein's associates can be found in his infamous black book, the contents first published on gawker in 2015. it contains names and numbers of hundreds of people, many who were known associates of epstein and others who say they have
never met or spoken to epstein. there are people like donald trump. jeffrey epstein had 14 trump-related phone numbers in his black book. we don't know much about the nature of the relationships between epstein and the people listed in his black book, but reporters are digging in. this morning "new york" magazine published a deep dive into the world of jeffrey epstein using the book as a map. one name among the many rich and powerful they investigated was charlie rose, the former tv host who has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 30 women. according to phone logs obtained by "new york" magazine, epstein used to make recommendations of women for rose to hire. written call logs from 2005 and 2006 show epstein and his own assistant calling dozens of times. epstein called with a total of five women's names and phone numbers. according to the reporting, rose went on to hire 3 of the 5 women that epstein recommended, including one woman who later said that rose sexually harassed her.
when reached, she was stunned to learn she was one of many women epstein recommended for the job. "i was being offered up for abuse." said the woman. "jeffrey epstein from time to time recommended various candidates for open positions at the charlie rose show." we don't know how much if what the prosecutors are using the black book for, but my guess is many people in the book are feeling a little nervous right now. okay.
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event just days after he was confirmed. it was the slippers. $600 slippers wilbur ross wore to donald trump's very first presidential address to congress in early 2017. apparently custom made and emblazoned with the department of commerce logo to warm wilbur's little footsies. they appeared to be a pair of smoking slippers, like the ones you can buy from a particular palm beach company which makes "proper handmade genuine slippers." nunn has ever really explained why the secretary of the department of commerce would need custom made proper slippers or why on earth he would wear them out in public, but, and here's thing two, maybe it's because the guy is napping so much he just needs to always be in his p.j.s. ross was famously caught sleeping during trump's speech to muslim leaders in saudi arabia back in may of 2017. there are reports that trump was irritated by the secretary falling asleep in meetings in early 2018. today there is reporting on just
how much the napping has contributed to new heights of dysfunction at commerce. former outside adviser tells politico, "because he tends to fall asleep in meetings, they try not to put him in a position where that could happen. so they're very careful and conscious about how they schedule certain meetings. there's a small window where he's able to focus and pay attention and not fall asleep." you know, i know how you feel, wilbur. i'm sleepy all the time. i'm sleepy right now. but there's a thought. you know, you could actually get more sleep and even add a full-on onesie to your proper slippers and just nap it out all day if you stop being the secretary of commerce and just went home. >> a man who is another legend on wall street, truly a legend. they just call him wilbur. how about wall street? wall street's big and strong. he's just known as wilbur. carl called me up he said, donald, i heard you got wilbur. that was it.
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you might remember her from her sneakers. then texas state senator wendy davis led an 11-hour filibuster against some oust harshest abortion restrictions in this country in june 2013. she literally spoke for 11 hours on her feet. the following year, wendy davis ran for governor of texas, a state that has not seen a democrat in that office since 1995. she did not win, but she stayed
active in state and national politics and today wendy davis announced that she is running for office in texas again, this time for congress. in a district that includes parts of blue, blue austin but also went for donald trump by an overwhelming ten points in the 2016 election. wendy davis is here with me now. good to talk to you, wendy. so let's talk about this race. what's your plan? how do you plan to win? >> we plan to win by connecting with people on the issues that really matter to them, joy, and, of course, people in this district, as is the case all over texas and all over the country, are feeling like their issues of concern aren't being heard. that making sure they have a job that can earn a family income or that they have affordable health care, if they have health care at all in this particular state where we have the highest number and highest percentage of people who are uninsured, people who care about making sure after a lifetime of hard work they can retire with dignity, and, of course, that their kids are
going to safe, quality schools, drinking clean water, breathing clean air. they want to know that they have people working for them in washington who are looking to address these solutions. >> okay. >> and the person who's -- >> quickly. go ahead. sorry. >> the person who is in this office right now, former ted cruz chief of staff chip roy, is someone who has demonstrated that even in instances where democrats and republicans are coming together on things, he continues to be the standout person who is voting against them. he's so out of step with bipartisan ability to get things done that he was one of only three people in congress, for example, who voted to raise taxes on the military gold-star families. >> mmm-hmm. >> who voted against the violence against women act. and who has consistently voted against existing -- protecting pre-existing condition coverage in our health care -- >> mmm-hmm. >> and, of course, lowering costs in prescription drugs.
>> right. >> so he's shown himself to be out of the step with the district and he barely won this district in -- >> right. >> -- 2018. >> right. so he won it with 50.3%. chip roy, who is your opponent, who is the incumbent. you mentioned jobs. you mentioned health care. you mentioned bipartisanship. you didn't mention a woman's right to choose. now, you -- what you were known for -- >> yes. >> when you first burst on to the national scene was that you held this 11-hour filibuster. we're now seeing a record number of states going after women's liberty, going after women's right to choose. is this something that you're going to run into? is this something you're going to mention in your campaign? are you -- because you didn't mention it as an important thing of why you should be elected? >> yes, of course, joy. you know, i think looking at the polls nationally and in texas as well, it's very clear where americans stand on this issue. the vast majority of people believe that roe v. wade should stand. that is something that obviously i am known to support and will continue making sure that i
carry the message on and continue to fight for as a part of this campaign and as a congressional member, if i have the privilege of representing this district in the future. >> yeah. and, you know, when you talked about the things that you're going to do, that you want to do and want to say in your message to run for congress, they sounded like pretty standard, like standard political lines. this is not a standard period of history. >> yeah. >> it feels like what democrats want to do -- maybe you don't agree with what i'm about to say. democrats want to run a standard, you know, the way you run for city, state and federal government with a standard set of issues, but republicans are running asymmetrically. they're running on things like very racialized nationalism. you might want to say white nationalism. they're running on brown people don't belong here. they need to leave. is it possible for a democrat to win running a standard campaign when republicans are using that kind of asymmetry? >> you know, i think it's a little bit of both. obviously democrats were wildly
successful in 2018 by addressing the issues that really matter to people. while that may sound like standard fare, it's important that we continue to be the standard bearers for demonstrating we're going to fight for issues that matter in people's everyday lives. >> what issues would you say those were? >> those that i just outlined. people who want to make sure that they have a job that can support a family income. that they have the ability to afford health care and have a health care plan that's actually going to cover their needs -- >> yeah, but hold on a second because you went through those issues -- i don't mean to cut you off -- >> it's okay. >> the question i have whenever people say that is, what about health care? because i don't think that the 2018 election -- >> yeah. >> just my read of it was in general about jobs and health care. it was a very specific thing about health care, that donald trump was going to take your health care. >> that's right. >> so when democrats say it's just health care, do you mean just a proactive idea about
health care or defending health care against this president? >> absolutely defending against the attacks on health care. and i'm sitting in texas, where you probably know, joy, there is the lawsuit that's going on to try to deal the final blow to the affordable care act. it's being led by our attorney general, ken paxton, here. and so on the minds of many texans is exactly that, that republican leaders from the top to here at the state level are working tremendously hard to take away a health care benefit that they currently have. and they not only want to see us not work on taking it away, they want to make sure that we're making it stronger. >> right. >> i, as someone who has just a few employees, understand how expensive it is every month. >> yep. >> and how high our deductible is. they want to make sure we're fighting to make sure they cannot only afford it, but it's actually going to provide the kind of coverage they need. >> we are out of time, but i need a yes or no answer from
if i had a dollar for every opinion piece telling democrats the only way to beat trump in 2020 is to avoid talking about him and hide anything that makes them seem too democratic so they don't scare off rust belt trump voters. they want to talk about kitchen table issues like health care. not scary health care, but just saying it a lot, but not too loudly or liberal soundingy.
if i had a dollar for every call like that, i would be really rich. i'm exaggerating a little, but the never trumper wisdom seems to be if democrats focus on the terrible things trump said and does, that will make him stronger and get him reelected. on my show over the weekend, writer and anti-racism activist worked on the independent campaigns to stop david duke, the former grand wizard from winning state-wise office in indiana in the 1990s sees it very differently. >> these are people who are not believers in small government or low taxes. it is increasingly a white identity cult. unless the rest of us understand that, including democratic candidates and talk about this election as the existential threat that it is to multicultural democracy, we are going to blow it. they are motivated by that belief that the america they love is being lost.
we better take the election just as seriously and it's not going to be done with policy papers and policy positions. it's done the way it was done in louisiana making people understand that david duke was a threat to the america that we care about. donald trump is also that threat. >> to talk about that, i am joined by cornell belcher and david wigle, correspondent for "the washington post." thank you both for being here. cornell, i feel like we have talked about this before. what tim was saying and said more in that segment is that the goal of democrats have to be to separate the average white voter from the extremists that are going with donald trump. in his experience in louisiana, most white americans don't want to be associated with racism, but have to make it clear this is not just one version of health care versus trump's version. he said that's important to do. >> i guess, god bless him.
this is something we have been talking about for a while. it had to be a white guy for you to be taken seriously. he is right. as opposed to chasing trump voters, take wisconsin. trump did one point better than mitt romney did. so if i follow the conventional thinking here, we should spent our time and resources chasing the 1% and not chasing that 7% or almost 200,000 voters that we lost in the process. we should take all of our time and chase trump voters. conventional democratic wisdom focuses on barack obama when we flipped the script on the wisdom and was losing a lot of elections. what i fear is a lot of that wisdom that was front and center before barack obama is reestablishing itself and will run campaigns like it's 1990.
>> it seems like democrats are skipping the two elections in which the democratic candidate, barack obama won by 10 million and 5 million votes and said we will run that strategy where we tamp down the differences between ourselves and the republicans and run more like them. seem like them and be moderate and somehow convince white voters to come back over. that's not what barack obama did. there are seven million barack obama voters in 2012 who stayed home in 2016. democrats seem to be ignoring them and fixating on these voters who have gone to donald trump. >> it depend what is democrats are you talking about. if you are talking about people who write columns or have think tanks in d.c., it gets a huge megaphone in the press am i'm in wisconsin now and spent time in the state. i spent time with republican canvassers.
neither is thinking of things that way. they are thinking of the trump base and like trump and didn't vote last time. it's a persuasion campaign. they got started a few months ago in talking to voters ahead of 2020, the idea being you have the conversations and you get people who are not satisfied with trump or hillary clinton and you change the numbers. you mention the obama campaign. the emphasis is not anything trump did right in 2016, but obama's campaign registering two million voters in 2008 and 2 million in 2012. not we need to tack this message and be quiet about this. i don't that are as much. >> that's good news to hear. the other issue is what would get the seven million obama voters who stayed home? we talked about the nine million who flipped to trump, but those who lean democratic and didn't vote.
there is the wisdom is to way to get them is with moderate republican policy that is not too scarey and snu is that. somebody who does the data would that get the nonvoters oust benches? >> a couple of things. i sort of purchased serious holes in this big trump-obama vote. but romney voters voted for clinton. they get a better presenter than mitt romney. put that aside. democrats can't make the mistake of trying to run a 1990s campaign. we have to be inspirational and give them a vision and something to vote for. the big difference between john kerry and barack obama is when we dove inside this data at the dnc under howard dean, we found a majority of john kerry voters were voting against george bush, not for john kerry.
the majority of obama voters were voting for barack obama. we have to give them something vote for and cling to and offer a progressive alternative future and not about 1950s. america is not going backwards. we have to learn to live with each other. >> in your mind, can democrats afford to ignore trump? >> i don't think they are ignoring him, but i take my queues from the candidates who talked to voters and appear in forums and clear their throats about the threat of trump and talk about the policy. no one i think figured out the sweet spot here on how much you talk about trump without the only message being trump. if you are on the trail, he comes up as something to be replaced and the result of decades long trends and not let's respond to the tweet of the day. >> you guys are real smart. thank you very much for joining.
tonight less than 36 hours to go now until the reluctant and widely awaited testimony of robert mueller. and why the justice department seems nervous about what this now former employee might say and how far he might go. plus, the important question we were left with after the mueller report. would donald trump have been indicted were he not president? a look at the ten instances of possible obstruction found in the investigation. and entering a second week of attacks on four members of congress. the president today calls them racist and not very smart, all of it as "the 11th hour" gets underway on a monday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc headquarters in new york. day 19 of the trump administration, that puts us less than 36 hours away now from what will be robert mueller's 89th appearance before congress.