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tv   Up With David Gura  MSNBC  July 28, 2019 5:00am-7:00am PDT

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okay. that will do it for me this hour. i'm jo ling kent. thank you so much for watching. i'll see you next weekend. "up" with david gura, starts right now. >> this is "up." i'm david gura. and president trump has spent a significant part of this weekend, attacking elijah cummings, the chairman of the oversight committee. he called his district a rat and
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rodent-infested mess. and this morning, the twitter attack continues. >> to be attacked by a president issuing racist tweets is beyond disgusting. >> a growing backlash to the president's racist rhetoric. 149 african-americans serve in the obama administration say, enough is enough. two of the former staffers, including valerie jarrett, is going to be here. and new reporting on robert mueller's reluctance to testify, as more house democrats back impeachment proceedings. >> it's clear in his report, he couldn't find evidence of obstruction. they couldn't find anything. that guy is a good enough lawyer. and i sit down with steve bullock, just days before the seconds presidential debate in detroit. >> being a governor, being someone that governs in a state where the majority of the republican legislator, gives you
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a different perspective. after seven hours of hearings, one part of robert mueller's testimony clearly resonated with republicans. >> senate republicans blocked two election security bills and a cyber security measure. that's if robbers knocked down your door and ransacked the house, your response is, i learned my lesson, no doors. >> scott golden, the former chair of the national bar association. lynette lopez, and gabe is a national correspondent for "new york" magazine. we're going to start with the city of baltimore this morning, striking back, as president trump's sinner the salvo continues. attacking elijah cummings and the district he represents, brings the total to ten. the reaction to baltimore, nancy pelosi calling the president's tweets racist attacks. moments ago, trump tweeted, someone please explain to nancy
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pelosi who was called racist by those in her own party, there is nothing wrong that bringing out the obvious fact that elijah cummings did a poor job for his district of baltimore. the democrats always play the race card when they have done so little for our nation's african-american people. now lowest unemployment in u.s. history and only getting better. elijah cummings, he concludes, has failed badly. on saturday morning, "fox and friends" aired an interview of a republican strategist from maryland. she compared baltimore to the u.s./mexico border. and the president retweeted a video of that segment. here's what the city's mayor had to say about the president's comments about his city. >> you can come to the 7th congressional district and see all the work we have done.
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and we're working to rebuild the ones that need the help the most. i don't feel i'm fueling the fire. i looked a it as defending baltimore city, the city where i live. >> the city's paper of record has been "the baltimore sun." this is the headline on a powerful headline censuring the president for his comments. better to have a furats, it reads, than to be one. let me start with you, as we take that in. fox news rang the bell, the president salivated and his thumbs moved into action. what has become a saturday and sunday ritual is more sinister here. >> more vile, more offensive. the danger is, are we becoming numb to it. i read one report that said, i
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would rather be with the rats in baltimore, than the lies and racism coming out of the white house. by the way, there's a lot of rats in working class neighborhoods. the most recent tweets you talked about is more offensive, really. white america, or those who traffic in racism, are probably the least qualified to define the term racist or racism. if you've never felt the pain and degradation. they are the least qualified. no offense to anyone who is offended by that. until you have experienced it, like i have, being african-american for driving a nice car or a junker in college, you're not really qualified to tell me about that. it's hard to listen. i can't hear you. donald trump needs to stop. i will say this last point. the political boogie man for the
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gop and donald trump, appears to be this racial divide, the economic divide. there's no more hillary clinton. now, he's going to energize the base of his. and he's going to tell them that the reason we haven't made more progress, is because of black people, brown people, and the economic disparity between them. and worse, the gop has been silent. you talk about the obama supporters who wrote this op-ed. we need the gop, the bushes and the kents and those who supported the prior presidents to stand up. until that is the case, we will continue to have a racial divide as part of our political discourse. >> i want you to respond to that. in that tweet, the president is faced with the allegation, he will say black unemployment is at its lowest level. >> at its lowest because of whom? is it donald trump?
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or the overall economic picture? >> we stopped talking about economics. that's for another show, all we talk about how racist donald trump is and we're using the word racist. the last time i was on this show, i made a point to point out that white people cannot tell kamla harris how black she is. and white people can't tell me what racism is. i know racism better than white people. the gop has done a terrible job setting up guardrails around who is and who is not in its party. if you don't want racists in your party, you can do that. if you're a party. >> it's not that hard. we're going to talk about al franken later today. that was about setting up guardrails around the democratic party for the values we have and who is allowed to have power in the party and who is not. what kind of person. and the gop has never -- has
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never said, we doebn't allow racists. we don't allow racist behavior in this party. by not not allowing it, you're welcoming it. and that's the problem. >> maryland has a republican governor -- >> larry hogan. >> he was talking about challenging donald trump, in a few months ago. in response to this, a racist attack of the most important city -- >> and a decent man. a public official. >> his response was tepid, saying, we don't agree with this. that goes to the overall discord. we have to deal with this as a country, if one of the parties is throwing up its hands. >> there's a great statement in "the washington post," look how republicans reacted to this. it's something they quote.
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bryan lanza, he was adviser to trump's 2016 campaign and transition. i think this is a frank comment from him. usually, when they are faced with charges of racism, republicans hide. and the president is not hiding and that's what the republican voters like about him. >> that's the most dangerous realization i've heard. it's not just about donald trump. it's about his followers. it's about where we are in america, more than anything. the reason that the gop has cut this devil's bargain is because the people they represent back in their district and their states, they support this type of trafficking and racism, if you will. and donald trump is saying, what they won't say. and the grandparenop is afraid, stand up, morally stand up, they may not be re-elected. think about that conceptually. think about that politically. >> it's like -- >> not supporting the constitution and all that's great about america. >> they decided that power is it
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for power's sake. that's not democracy. here we are. >> the way this is covered routinely, has been a part for a long time. there's a lot of talk about how this is a grand strategy by the president. it's good to have a strategy. we're accepting the premise that's it's useful to use white identity politics he's done that for a long time now. it's not clear this was going to work. >> this is just who donald trump is. he's just an old racist. this is how he talks about people. this is how he thinks about people. this is not a grand strategy. he's not playing chess. he's just a racist who uses social media. >> those republican strategists are endorsing the strategy. >> there are a bunch of racists. >> i have stopped trying to rid america of racism. i've stopped that. i don't want it brought upon me.
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i don't want to be subjected to it. >> let me ask you -- let me ask you one last question. i was reading a lot of "the baltimore sun's" coverage. a wonderful piece. he said, you cannot remain silent in the face of such hatred and racism coming from the white house, even as you know, that he is forcing you to focus on him, him, him. there's the rub for me. i'm sure there's a huge part, some place in president trump's brain, that he is happy we're having this conversation that he set us up to have. >> they're endorsing it. but what's more dangerous than donald trump and his leadership on this racial divide and articulating it, is that gop members support it and endorse it and a analyzing the strategy of putting michelle into a racial divide. >> we're going to talk more about this. more on how the president's
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racist rhetoric continues to reverberate. the staffers who worked for president obama are condemning his racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. fidelity's rewriting the rules of investing. again.
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this is "up." i'm david gura. as president trump attacks elijah cummings, it's important to know the context. this is a continuum after the president attacked congressmen. but staffers signed their names to a letter published this weekend by "the washington post." refugees andafricans, we stand on the soil and march in the streets they help to pave. we refuse to sit by, as racism, sexism and homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president in our democracy. president trump claims he
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doesn't have a racist bone in his body. his personal history belies that. in recent years, he called mexicans racists and his career as a politician is built on the back of birtherism. mike blake's name is on that letter, published in "the washington post." he's the vice chair of the democratic national committee and running for a congressional seat in new york's 15th congressional district. thank you for being here. i want to talk about the motivation to write this letter. there was public backlash after the comments the president made on twitter. and we saw in the rally in eastern north carolina, understand how this letter came to be. and the call to action they're in. >> on sunday mornings, they will be going to church and places of worship. for our community, that's a place of refuge. and this is clearly a time when faith in action is necessary. and many of us decided enough is
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enough. on july 18th, people took the lead, as black appointees that served under president obama, decided we needed to speak out. we rejected this racist, sexist, ma misogynistic rhetoric from trump. they are here representing the communities. for those of us that have experience racist attacks over the years, we're saying we have endured this and we will not sit by idly. i think about having a monkey drawn on the door when i was in college. >> reporte or running for congress and having someone say go back to africa. the reality is, we're here in the united states of america to fight for our communities. donald trump has been like this for years. those of us in new york know him
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well. when he wrote the letter against the central park five, calling for the death penalty, or speaking out against the mexican community or not helping the people of puerto rico. enough is enough. we're not going back to africa. that's my plan to go to d.c. as a united states congressman. it's our plan to send women of color to congress, as well. and all of us are coming together to say enough with your rhetoric. your racist tweets will not defeat us in the streets. >> this op-ed, this letter, as part of a pivot point, talking about how this is leaving him motivated to run for congress. there's a backlash when something is coming out of this, as well. help us understand the importance of this the last two or three weeks. >> one thing is coming out of this, is the inability of the republican party to say racism is not a problem. you cannot say that racism is not an institutional problem. and the president of the united
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states is attacking people of color in this country. and his entire party is just nodding along. for my entire life, you've had white people who are like, racism isn't a problem anymore. this isn't something we really need to discuss in this country. we should move on. and that's getting harder and harder to say under this president. this letter that was written is another way of black people saying, look, this is a huge problem in this country. stop pretending it doesn't exist. and we are here to continue to fight against this. >> this came to allot of folks' attention, because your boss tweeted it out. >> i've been proud of what this team accomplished in my administration. i'm proud of how they're continuing to fight for it in america, that's better. there have been critics who said they wished the president would speak out or president obama would speak out. i wonder if you can give us some
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insight into that. if you're among those, the president hears this conversation and continues. >> well, first, i think we have to thank president obama for always having our back. it's about promoting the next generation. our colleagues served under president obama. in 2012, when we won re-election, he decried speaking to us and saying that his vision had been made complete the next generations had emerged. in 2006, the white house for 2 1/2 years, under valerie jarrett, who will be on later today. we had the opportunity to learn
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from him. we didn't need the president to prompt us. we had to be encouraged to be leaders on our own. we see this across the country, for people involved in the private sector. people are saying, you know what? i'm going to use my voice and communications to say we're not going to be silent here. this is a reflection of a people. this is not just on one person who has to speak out about this. all of us should be angered. all of us should be disgusted. not just on the republican side. when democrats are not speaking out against us, i have to say enough is enough. 400 years since our brothers and sisters were taken from africa, enslaved to the united states. we're saying, we are coming here. we've been a part of this country and we're not going anywhere. we say, we believe in this, our overall frame is, we are patriots. we are americans. we have to make sure you have
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clean running water. we will step up with education. we're patriots, as part of the vision of alumni saying. president obama, thank you for inspiring us. we are ready to take on the leadership and that's how we are. >> helps us understand the importance of this. >> i think mike is right. this is a strong alumni network. it's a first great step. i can tell you, i know a lot of people on that list. they're going to do more than write and be published and be on your show. there's another part to this that i hope this letter extends itself to america. i hope that same group can find a bipartisan, biracial group, 50 to 100, whether they're gop or democrat or people that don't look like me, to do another letter and another letter. until america comes together black people, white people,
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brown people, until they come together, and say enough is enough, the separation of us racially and politically, is the order of the day right now. we get people of all persuasions to write similar letters to the editor, to get the gop side to retweet that out. only then, is a country going to be strong enough to push back this very dangerous time in our lives. there was a coalition of people, not just black people, who were saying, that racial oppression was wrong and discrimination was wrong and segregation was wrong. it was a coalition of people, of blacks and whites and browns and jewish faith and protestants. we haven't seen that coalesce yet. that's what we need. >> quickly here. the president did a tell in his latest tweet. >> this morning? >> there's a tweet of why he's doing all this. talking about what a logical person doesn't do.
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it's racism. >> i don't know if he's ever been there. congressman cummings has been powerful in congress, particularly since democrats are back to majority. and trump has been making clear since he became the nominee. he was going to do the investigations, he was going to do powerfully against him. the congressman of color, no doubt about that. he is lashing out to the ones that are the most critical of him. this is a response to the fact that these investigations continue. valley jaruerie jarrett is join us later in the show. one of president obama's confidants. up next, rumors about robert mueller circulated for months
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before he testified on capitol hill. "the washington post" justice department reporter has a new piece on why the special counsel was such a reluctant witness. one of those travel sites? they tell you that, but when you book at hilton.com, you get the price match guarantee. so if you find your room at a lower rate, hilton is like... we're gonna match that rate and give you an extra 25% off. what would travel sites do if you found a better price? that's not my problem, it's your problem. get outta here! whoa, i really felt that performance. it's just acting, i'm really good at it. book at hilton.com and get the hilton price match guarantee. if you find a lower rate, we match it and give you 25% off that stay. so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country.
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some have argued, because director mueller was reluctant to testify, and seem older than some remembered him, his work is somehow diminished. it is not. >> this is "up."
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i'm david gura. that was jerry nadler, who defended mueller's testimony, which was called halting and sometimes confused. the whispers started in 2018. robert s. mueller iii, the marine veteran, leading an investigation of the president of the united states, might not be as sharp as he once was. according to that piece, some democrats are expressing regret, in private, at least, over how the party pressed robert mueller to testify. members of the inner circle are pushing back loudly. the 74-year-old worked nine to ten hours a day. he was focused and engaged throughout the investigation. i just mentioned matt. he joins us now. a fascinating piece. this goes back to 2018. talk about what little insight we have into who robert mueller was in 2018, 2019, just because
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of the way this investigation was conducted and how cloaked in secrecy it was. >> it was so easy for rumors to chase him. he had set up his office intentionally, not to leak and not to push back. he divided it up inside into small teams. and each team would only tell the other team information, as needed. there was an inner circle of him, aaron zebley, and that prevented information from getting out. because of that, you had democrats lionizing him. you had republicans able to attack him. they defined who he was. and that's how the rumors were able to choice him. capitol hill required the rumors, we're told, there is nothing there but we saw what happened. >> where did you hear the whispers. was it on the record? was it on the hill itself? i'm just curious about the degree this was talked about at the time. and in this piece, what this
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conversation was like between when that press conference took place or that statement that robert mueller gave and when he testified on capitol hill. how robust were the conversations? how much second thinking was there among democrats, bringing bob mueller on the hill in the justice department statement? >> there were three separate occasions when they asked robert mueller's team about the rumors and were told no. they were fine. they knew that robert mueller didn't want to testify. they didn't think that was because of age or health or anything like that. he just didn't want to be used as a political pawn. they pressed forward, force him to do so. his teammates, very clear. he doesn't want to be there, he's not going to help you, the democrats. they press forward anyway. now, there's some regret. i can't say it's widespread. i would say most staffers and members say, we had to do this. and some feel like this was a success, it exposed robert mueller's findings to the
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public, even if it wasn't in the most artful way. there is some feeling among some democrats that maybe we shouldn't have done this. this embarrassed the guy and it was unnecessary. >> scott bolden, you have a j.d. not an m.d. >> i do. >> what did you see when you watched him? was what you saw there out of character from other lawyers? >> we have had bad days, if you will. i don't think it was a great day for him. what was missing from his testimony, he had a hearing issue. i don't know if it was microphone or not. he seemed befuddled, if you will. this is a huge report. why was his deputy there? his deputy was there to support him. he did not interject. you can be 74 years old.
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the other part that was troubling, noed ed ed a cosey f findings or conclusions or questions raised. that's what you're hearing in this report. >> they are talking about aaron zepley a moment ago. he wasn't sworn in the morning, he was sworn in the afternoon. i saw a couple of things where the congressman or woman would ask robert mueller a question. he might defer to zezedley. for anybody, seven hours of testimony is a ruling thing. >> it's seven hours of testimony about a 400-page report and a year and a half-long investigation. and people has all sorts of prosecutions going on. it's complicated stuff. i'm not shocked they wanted to have an expert at the table with
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him there. i think one of the things we want to keep in mind, in terms of performance, is to prosecute a case in public. as mueller said from the start, i'm not going to be saying anything beyond what is in the report. the idea of talking about this, in terms of how compelling he was, i'm going to tell you what's in the report. to me, the tone was like, disappointed that you didn't read this thing. how surprising was it that somebody was trying to get some insight into this. was there more of a sense that bob mueller was there in those conference rooms, hearing what witnesses had to say. >> it wasn't surprising to me that he didn't sit in on interviews. this functioned like a u.s. attorney's office. and the u.s. attorney himself is not going to be sitting in on interviews of witnesses, even if it is a small team.
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17 or 18. he divided this up into various teams that were responsible for aspects of the investigation. he sat in with the team leaders. the team leaders would brief him. he would ask pointed questions. if a briefing was getting off-track, he would get to the importance of the thing. marty, our executive editor, he never sat in on one of my interviews. even my direct editor doesn't sit in on my interviews. i'm not surprised about that. >> thank you very much. matt, thank you very much. the pastry play goes west. i sit down with 2020 candidate, steve bullock, the governor of montana. enove it. so, you mentioned that that money we set aside.
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this is "up." i'm david gura. there will be a fresh face on the second democratic debate this week. montana governor, steve bullock. he was not eligible for the first debate. he will be in detroit, going toe-to-toe with 19 other rivals. i met up with him in utah, there for a meeting of the national governors association. we met in salt lake city and i asked him how he is prepping for his debate debut. do you have a plan for how you
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play the debate? are you going into it, thinking, i want to agitate a little bit? there's things i want to call up and bring up. >> doing my day job of the chairman of the national governors' association. part of the preparation, started long before this. it was interesting. a woman in one of the questions i brought up, said, missing from that debate stage was our voice. and so, part of my prep has been, actually, listening to folks along the way. now, there is certainly -- i think if i can maintain who i am, people see them. a big field, not that many. not only what i've done and the way i approach things. it's not. i won't be uncommon if i do draw distinctions.
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i don't agree with all 37 or 23 or whatever you're supposed to say. >> yeah. i think being a governor, being someone that governs in a state with a majority of republican legislature, it gives you a different perspective. i have to make sure the perspective is heard. how do you make that introduction. what do you want to convey to the voter that doesn't know you or your name? >> if i give you all my secrets, nobody will tune in. >> who i am and what i'm from is all that makes a difference. to try to ground in the back of my mind, will be the retired schoolteacher. these debates are missing my voice. this was interesting to look at democratic -- just a gathering of democrats.
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when a farmer turns around and says, sixth generation farmer, i don't think i want my son to be the seventh. it makes you think about what folks are concerned about. i don't know if it will be enough to talk about. i don't think trump is good for our country. for our institutions, all representing democracy. the election has to be more than just about him. it has to be about those folks i meet along the way. >> do you have regrets about getting in when you got in? did it handicap you in a way, waiting as long as you did? or are you confident in that long time? by ballot initiative, we tried
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to authorize expansion. tobacco companies spent 26 million bucks killing that. my legislature was still in session. and 100,000 montanans count on that for their health care. so, yeah. if the choice is between health care for $100,000 or chasinge i 100,000 dollar donors, that would be the easiest decision i would make. count on how many of this field announced while the governor was shut down. that's not -- do i think thhave something that cannot only break through but beat donald trump?
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absolutely. i hope voters can see that. >> he mentioned something, i'm going to follow up on. one, two, three, four, five, six of them. you saw him out early on, at politico. curious what he said about regrets not getting into this earlier. how much has that handicapped him? >> the point he is making, i was doing my job. and i was making sure montanans have health care. this is a man with a story to tell, because people don't know who he is. it's difficult to make this case. unless he does something
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remarkable, earns a spot in the debate stage. he is going to try it. you know he's going to talk about it. >> we're going to leave it there because of time. up next, airing regrets. a reporter takes a second look at the allegations of al franken and what led him to step aside. regrets? he's had a few. i won the lotte, got hair plugs, and started working out. and so can you! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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♪ ♪ let's go! ♪ this is "up." i'm david gura.
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a year after al franken resigned, jane mayer is taking a look at the circumstances that got him to leave. he stepped down with no ethics investigation. now, he regrets that decision. here's a part of the piece. when i asked him if he truly regretted his decision to resign, he said, oh, yeah. absolutely. and former colleagues also have regrets. one person that does not regret their role, is christian gillibrand. >> i would tell you now and told you that there's no prize for anyone who tries to hold accountable, a powerful man. you have to have the courage to do it anyway. i was unwilling to continue to carry his water. he had every right to wait for the next election. those are good decisions.
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something that comes across, is the cultural debate for the need of nuance when it comes to allegations of misconduct. the different changes in behavior are important. the argument that al franking has had for the last year. >> different behaviors, it's important to recognize that. we're talking about a senator. we're not talking about somebody who is packing bags at the grocery store. the bar for your behavior is high. people are, like, should he be fired for this? i don't think that's the question we should be asking. should a senator behavior like this? in the democratic party, they want to put up guardrails
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against that kind of behavior. they want to let people know, if you have that kind of past, you shouldn't bother. >> if the construct was before he became an elected official? >> i don't think you should be in the womb thinking you're going to be a u.s. senator, but maybe. >> you know, starting with the photograph, going back. in that photograph, has worked for a radio station. how does it change how society sees al franken? i think we have to keep in mind there were eight allegations here. >> that's the one that christian gillibrand says over and over again. >> it's in the mayer piece. it's one the particularly headline-grabbing allegation, which makes perfect sense. that's the one that kicked this whole thing off. there's a pattern of women
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feeling uncomfortable around al franken. they have to take that seriously. what the story does do is add a lot of nuance and questions around the initial thing. the point, you hear the senators say, when they express regrets, it's not that they are regretting -- al franken left the senate in the first place. they didn't push for more of an investigation. we did in the senate. when you listen to senator gillibrand, i regret that he left the senate. i called for his resignation. i don't have the power to do that. he chose to leave. >> there's so much cloak and dagger in this piece. that's something that al franken is bitter kristirsten gillibrand didn't t to him about it. i want to go to you here, scott bolden. you know due process. you use it in the courtroom. there wasn't a lot of due process here. yes, the decision was al
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franken's eventually. but it moved faster than most things do. >> he was part of the process, whether it had due process or not. he made some decisions. they control the decisionmaking. the decisionmaking will take place in spite of you. i can't tell you why he resigned or it will be due process or not. what do you do with this piece? he resigned. he did not have to resign. in the heat of the #metoo movement, when this broke. we know about it. and he was one of the early ones that decided not to fight. he didn't default. and that's the problem with this piece and how people view him
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and stuff. eight accusers, it was going to be public. it was going to have ethical hearings. >> there is a sad as he cries talking to jane mayer about this. what scott bolden just talked about, what happened since this event took place. someone thought long and hard about that. making the decision to resign and what happens next. >> one thing i will say about this piece, it just struck me that a lot of men have been careless.
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they think they're uncomfortable. they don't pay attention to space or proximity or anything like that. >> i manage 100 lawyers. it's not that hard to act like you have some sense. and sometimes it's hard for people to make good judgment and good decisions when interacting with colleagues. it shouldn't be that hard. somehow, we make it harder. >> scott bolden joining me here. the top of the next hour, confronting the president's poison. vall valerie jarrett is going to join us in a bit. we're going to sit down with one of the lawmakers to call for impeachment of president trump, steve cohen.
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♪ this is "up." i'm david gura. we start this hour with prch president trump's attacks on elijah cummings. in eight tweets, he called the 7th congressional district rodent and rat infested and i'm
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quoting here, where no human being would want to live. he is saying that congressman cummings doesn't spend time in his district. in the middle of the attack, the congressman replied on twitter, i go home to my district daily. each morning, i wake up and i go and fight for my neighbors. it's my constitutional duty to provide oversight of the executive branch. but it's my moral duty to fight for my constituents. elijah cummings is investigating how signed security clearance are signed by the white house. how the administration has dealt with and continues to deal with saudi arabia and potential obstruction of justice. the president continued his tirade. someone explain to nancy pelosi, who was called racist by people in her own party, that it
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there's nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that congressman elijah cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the city of baltimore. a letter by former members of the obama administration. we refuse to sit idly by as racism racism. more of what we did, i'm proud how they are continuing to fight for america that is better. valerie jarrett signed that letter. she was a senior adviser to president obama. she is the author of "findsing my voice." and sally ko, the opposite of hate. elliot williams was deputy attorney general. and beth is a correspondent for nbc and msnbc.
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valerie jarrett, should we take it as an endorsement of it? 150th signatory to this letter, in effect. >> he thinks we should be active and engaged servers. we have a responsibility to speak up. i say we, all americans. i was proud to join on the letter. i feel very strongly we're at a point in our society right now, where the rhetoric and the tone is hurting our country. we have to speak up and speak for what we believe is best for our country. >> let me read from the first paragraph of that letter, if i could. we heard this before. go back where you came from. go back to africa. and send her back. black and brown people don't hear these chants in a vacuum. it's been shouted in her face, strolled across lockers or heralded at us online.
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talk about that from your experience? >> of course. i don't know an african-american that doesn't associate that phrase with making us feel unwelcome, like we don't belong here. that's outrage us. we are americans. we are patriots. we love our country. we have as much right to be here as anybody. and i think it's un-american to say go back where you came from. what kind of talk is that? our country gets stronger when good people work hard and challenge the status quo. the decency, the morality. that's what we want to focus on. the policies and the rhetoric and the tone of this administration, are hurting our country and we refuse to sit silently by while that happens. >> in the waning days of the obama administration, how did you and aides talk about the need to speak up and to take action? was it something that was in regular conversation at the white house at tehe end of his
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second term? >> for everybody part of the administration, from the time we were on the campaign trail throughout the eight years, i had the privilege of serving all eight years, we always said the strength of our country comes from an active and engaged citizenry. and president obama was determined to bring in those voices, even voices with whom we disagreed, treat them with respect and encourage us to continue the hard work of perfecting our union. it wasn't something that we discussed at the end. it was a part of the dna of our administration and of the people who served and continue to serve our country right now. what doo you say to those who wishes the 45th president would speak out more? the degree he was going to engage, what was happening broadly and with the 45th president. what are you saying to those who are decision appointed he's not speaking out? >> he would have to speak out every day, to critique the
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rhetoric and the tone and the policies of this administration. what he said was important. all of us should speak up. the power of each of our voices to effect our democracy, is the essence of our democracy. when issues are critical, he is pezzed about it. he has decided to speak up and lift their voices. for the people across our country, who are not happy with the direction we're going to in, who do not think we are making america great again, each of you get involved, get engaged. vote. encourage other people to vote. our voices matter. >> elliot williams, let me turn to you and give it to that voice. you think back what the atmosphere was like, the environment was like, how this was being talked about in the administration, it is different than it was today.
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>> well, the problem is, there was never the culture of name-calling led by the president of the united states. to some extent, i want to say, what do you expect? we knew what we were getting with donald trump. and it's ironic that -- my colleagues are african-american, folks that are standing up. he started his campaign by challenging the citizenship of the president of the united states. on the day he announces, he goes after mexicans. we know why we're here and how we're here. where do we go from here? or my question is, to white women voters in philadelphia and outside of milwaukee and orlando, is this what you want and is this what you voted for? is this what you want again? this is not the america any of us want or believe and not the standard-bearer and the rhetoric we want coming out. i can't say enough how proud i am of the folks who put out this
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letter. it's an ongoing -- it's a testament to activism. and folks out in their communities and using the voices they have. >> valerie jarrett, there's a clarity to this letter. i wonder how you reacted to what you heard about, first, the z t incident, the tweets involving the congresswomen. and in the last 24 or 48 hours, what we've seen about elijah cummings. a lot of them distanced themselves from their democratic colleagues in the house. are you disappointed that there isn't a total embrace by those in the democratic caucus in. >> our democratic party, one of its strengths is it is diverse. we have lots of ideas and all are welcome. i don't see a breakdown in the unity. we're thinking about, what is the best way to move our country forward. and our basic values we share in common.
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we want to say, we have your back. just like victor blackwell, i supported him and the poignant message he had about baltimore. a city where he grew up and there's good and decent people there who love their country, too. and the president of the united states should think he represents all of us. i agree, the birther movement, and the candidate to office, to president, to white supremacists, saying there's good people on both sides. the rhetoric about infestation and filth. and the inhumanity of our communities. we should be having a president that embraces us all. it is a call to action. it is a call to not just focus on the president. but every elected official. why are the republicans staying
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quiet? this should not be a democratic or republican issue. this should be an issue of what's good for america. i call on them, too. they're afraid of being a victim of a tweet and having somebody run against them. but when our country is at stake, you have to speak up. you have to sometimes put yourself in harm's way. i'm sure my twitter feed is full of people criticizing me coming on your show. if we don't speak up, how is our country going to move forward and improve? >> i keep going back to this tweet about the four freshmen congresswomen. he said, this is going to get so much worse. bearing that in mind, now, with what we've seen this weekend with congressman cummings, how do you reconcile your optimism with that? >> it depends on what the it is. he said it will get worse because trump's rhetoric is going to get worse, he is probably right. but i think it will get better.
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good citizens on both sides of the aisle from all across our country, is going to say enough is enough. this is not a tone that's good for our country. these are not policies that lift us up. this is separating us. we were the beacon of hope for the world. and now, people are looking at the united states and wondering, who are we? we have to show the world who we are. >> and i want to be making a very important point that valerie just made. we can disagree on the partisan policies. you can disagree with the president on immigration or health care. it's a question of tone and of racism. you would not have gotten this from jeb bush or marco rubio or any of the other republicans. this is something and something bigger. i'm not saying it's unique to donald trump. there's a lot of racist people in the united states. i grew up in new jersey and know it. let's be clear. this is special in the white house. >> sally? >> the opposite is also true.
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you can support everything, policy-wise, that donald trump stands for and be against this. and i think to elliot's point, that's what we're talking about. the white folks who supported this president, voted for this president, are they going to accept this devil's bargain again? you can want the tax cuts. you can want to dismantle obamacare. i'm against all those things. you can believe in those things and say this is an unhealthy way for our country -- road for our country to go down and condemn him now and condemn him in 2020. that's really the question here. i think it's right. incumbent on all of us to say, this is unacceptable. he keep s crossing it. no more. >> do you agree with that? you is support this president and condemn what he's doing? or are we beyond that now? >> absolutely. we're beyond policies. we reasonable people have always differed about policies. that's why we have government
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there to hear the people and listen to the various ideas and have an honest debate. that's very different than racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist comments that are coming from this white house. that's a very different matter. again, this should not be about republican or democrat. it should be about the core values of our country. and i encourage all americans to say, we can do better than this. we can elect people who can support a debate of ideas. but represent the entire country. i think right now, far too many people are feeling left out. they're feeling like they're being treated as though they don't belong here. a country they love and they helped build and have strengthened. that's deeply offensive. we're not going to sit by and let that happen to our country. >> beth, we turn to you lastly. that optimism, it is manifesting itself. >> you said jeb bush would not do this. marco rubio would not do this.
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those folks lost to donald trump for a reason. republican voters chose donald trump because he was different from those two men and all of the others he competed against for the republican nomination. we're seeing an effort that was vol dated in 2016. why wouldn't it be in 2020? and the question to valerie, you are good friends with the former first lady, michelle obama. she said, when they go low, we go high. that didn't work in 2016. i'm wondering if she believes that's the right mantra for democrats. >> absolutely. the children are watching what we're doing. tone deafness starts at the top. it's up to all of us to set high standards, high ethics and values and tell the truth. and she's absolutely right. we can go high. and we can win. the number of people who did not vote in the last election, many thought, maybe it won't affect my life. what they are seeing are the
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real-life consequences of this administration. it's a wake-up call. i encourage people to get involved. it isn't enough just to vote. you have to knock on doors and encourage others to come out and vote. democracy will only be as strong as we demand it to be. >> valerie jarrett, one of those signatories to the letter in "the washington post." up next, one of the lawmakers beating the drum for impeachment, starting two years ago. steve cohen of tennessee with us next. >> taking this action because of the concern for our country and our constitution, our national security and our democracy. we believe that president trump has violated the constitution. >> tech: at safelite autoglass,.
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this is "up" i'm david gura. four days after robert mueller testified. there were 97 house democrats in favor of starting the proceedings. nancy pelosi has to guide her caucus through this debate. the only person in washington happier than donald trump's about robert mueller's appearance is nancy pelosi. the editorial board borrowing a
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phrase from the ranking house intelligence committee there. the speaker is reluctant to move to impeachment. that's after suggestions she's trying to run out the clock. >> i'm not trying to run out the clock. let's get sophisticated about this, okay? the decision will be made in a timely fashion. this isn't endless. and when we have the best, strongest possible case. steve cohen has called for impeachment and called for it early on, in 2017. the initial articles you put forward. you famously brought that bucket of chicken to bill barr's hearing. do you do that when the democratic caucus meets? how are you feeling about the willingness to engage with that sophisticated as nancy pelosi said. >> i don't think they're chicken
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but duck. we are moving along. i saw the picture of those folks. i started with 17. to see 100, it's a big lead. and more and more people are seeing it and being willing to come out and say it. this is a lawless president that should be impeached. that is our job under the constitution. we see violations, it's a political decision, but we should make the decision that is best for democracy. >> i wonder what the button hole conversations are like. when you grab somebody by the collar, you say, you have to get onboard with this. what is the argument against it? is there not enough information yet? the politics of it? what is the most difficult part of the cell ysell you have to m? >> i haven't done it this year. i have annotated my resignation the next time he steps in the
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bucket, which will probably be in an hour. can't do it during august. i will try to seek out sponsors. i did it the last congress. and politically, they weren't willing to do it. now, people are getting onboard because the democrats are 77%, 80% in favor of impeachment. they are seeing it in their homes. it's like massachusetts, and stronger districts, african-american districts, trump is about as popular -- i shouldn't say. his importance of august. tell us what he means by that. >> in many summers past, we have been covering members of congress going home to their districts to town hall meetings. and famously, under president obama, the members of congress
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heard a huge earfull in the affordable care act. they were all upset and alarmed about the reaction they were getting. we're going to get out to this august, first, freshmen democrats. folks that want to hear from a republican. a question to you, congressman. it's clear that nancy pelosi is thinking about the re-election and impeachment might imperil them. some of the 40 republican seats, whether they are worried about that, the way she is implying. >> there were certain people in more difficult districts that shows a lot of courage. i don't know if this will hurt them. i didn't go to some pollster saying, this is my gut. people elected the democratic
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house to put a check and balance on trump. and democrats choose to impeachment, they're not going to vote for those people, they're going to go right on. they sent democrats in to work on health care and other issues. to table issues, that impeachment doesn't meet that. >> we are doing all that. mitch mcconnell kills it. it's the grim reaper and the graveyard. we pass things and we don't get a senate and the president, it doesn't make a difference. we have to win the presidency and the senate. that's a long shot. i'm not suggesting we impeach for politics. we ought to do it because he deserves it. put a scarlet letter on him. do our duty. if the senate gets it and doesn't vote to impeach, which they won't, mcsally and gardner. >> i want to ask.
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how do you respond to your colleagues? there's an oversight process. we have lawsuits teed up. the way to do this is to build the evidence and so on. your colleagues seem to think that the oversight process is insufficient. >> i think we do that in impeachment. we're going to see in getting mcgahn out there. what is the grand jury testimony? that's the main course. you say indict. not that you came to a ham sandwich, but that's what you do. >> help us understand what jerry nadler did. by doing that, he is moving ahead with impeachment proceedings.
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>> we had hearings with john dean and company. the one we had with mueller, these are all looking at what we wept on. race and all these different issues. and the courts are likely to give us access to material. if we're looking at an impeachment -- >> you've already lost, when you talk about -- republicans they can fit their statement, no collusion, full exoneration. they have it down to a sentence. the part of the problem is the democrats are partly talking about impeachment and partly talking about oversight. >> we're going to come back. jerry nadler is speaking on another network. we're going to talk about him. much more coming up here on "up." lawmakers reacting to president trump's hit on elijah cummings,
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calling his district disgusting. we'll play some of that, as well. that, as well this was me before liberty mutucustomized my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. and this is me now! any physical changes to this man's appearance are purely coincidental. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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welcome back to "up." i'm david gura. moments ago on nbc, jerry nadler
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responded to president trump's attacks on elijah cummings. let's hear what he has to say. >> the president, as he usually is, disgusting and racist. he makes the charges with no base at all. and they are designed to attract attention from the serious allegations about his conduct that came from the mueller -- from the committee hearings this week. the fact is, the president accepted help from the russians to attack our election. worked with his campaign, worked with the russians. that's undisputed. he worked hard to cover up those crimes and he encouraged others to lie to investigators. so, he just tried to change the subject. >> he says this is a
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distraction. there was a moral issue he brought to bear. just one in four, the other. you see the distraction described there by your chair. >> he has no choice but to describe it because he's a lawless president. he is the man who survived because of the opinion in washington. there's really two felonies, obstruction of justice, in many counts, and the campaign finance laws up here. he makes richard nixon look like a saint. it's ridiculous. sally kohn, i want you to weigh in. how moral is that issue as you look at the democrats and figure out whether or not to get on the bandwagon. >> massively. there's a sense of -- the righteousness, but the good of our country. hopefully, at our best stand
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for. not to mention our laws and our democracy. you want to support impeachment. i personally feel all over the place on this. as a democrat, 100% in, as part of the problems i have with many presidency, is his lawless behavior. seeing how impeachments can backfire on a party. we look like we made a decision before we've reached a conclusion. the american in me, i don't want to turn him into a martyr. i don't want to juice his base even further. and i would like to see this country come together and resolve and repudiate what he's done in an election. yet, there's no question that is deserving.
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>> sally, what you said about past impeachments. clinton got hurt a little bit. the republicans won the presidency for eight years because of a little -- the impeachment they brought without much work and much effort. just threw it out there. >> that was totally different. the republicans controlled both the house and senate at that time. actually could go through the logical conclusion and have the senate turn it down. in this case, we have a divided congress. there's going to be no clear message out of the outcome, how this goes down. >> the senate turned it down. we do it this time, the senate will turn it down. what's the clear message? one of the messages, he has sex and lies about it. >> it was all related to sex. the underlying conduct is still obstruction of justice. i didn't think i would be the position of defending
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republicans in the 1990s. i still think going back to congressman adler's comments, about racism and impeachment. the bigger thing is this is about donald trump. he hasn't won over new voters over the course of the two-plus years. this gets back to orlando, philadelphia, pittsburgh and the swing places. is this what you want again? >> underneath all of this, if we stop talking about trump's tweets for a second. there's a theory on the case of how democratic candidates win elections now going forward. and one is about three swing voters and whether they can be persuaded to change their minds. i swear there's only three left. i'm arguing against myself now. i the other is, i think you actually, the nature of political politics, partisan politics has changed. he doesn't care what the majority of republican voters think. he cares about his base.
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and democrats going forward, the theory of how to win, you mobilize, energize and turn out communities of color and progressive whites and -- in this case, it does not hurt him politically. i have to be honest. i think it's immoral and problematic to make decisions on three swing voters. you know? in wherever. i don't know where those three are. >> by the way, you read the quotation with more gusto than king jeffries. >> i got criticized on twitter for not using the f-bomb on television. >> here's your chance. up next, on 15 days appearing on the streets of san juan, how the political crisis came to a head. -and...that's your basic three-point turn.
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this is "up." i'm david gura. breaking news out of hong kong, where police are using teargas on crowds, and pro-democracy protesters on the streets there. tens of thousands are taking part in demonstrations, one day after riot police discharged seemingly peaceful crowds. we'll continue to monitor that.
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a another string of protests that came to a head, when puerto ricans said it was the final straw, hundreds of leaked texts between the governor and his staff, were public. this week, the governor decided to resign. with the governor on his way out, many on the island are left wondering what is next. the focus shifts to a board that oversees the government. joining us here, in new york, maurice. is that the big question that this was a pivotal moment, the young governor, the son of a previous governor. what's your sense of what happens next? what kind of vacuum is a result of this? >> people are beginning to look, now, does the fiscal board that we put in place, it's what we need at this point. and when we hear that in washington, you see, there's a discussion about having a federal monitor, to really give expenditure of federal funds to
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racist trump, it's like the worst thing that would happen to the island, as the island is asking to be more involved. the people are asking more to say, in the day-to-day of what's happening in the government. to say, oh, no. we're going to back to the 1950s, when we appointed the governor of puerto rico. >> sally, how did you react to what you saw here? there was the protest in hong kong, moscow. thousands of people arrested there. this is a protest movement. >> i was so inspired. in the city and the towns. it was in the water. there were scuba protests. kayak protests. >> coffee on the menus, it was creative, life-affirming. there is research by eric chenoweth who studied two years
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of nonviolent revolutions and upheavals. on average, those moments happen, those revolutions happen, when 3.5% of the populous turns out. in puerto rico, even in the conservative estimates is that 7%-plus of the island turned out. they are setting an example for our country. 11 million people, we had turn out after the election. if more people take to the streets and actually, not just complaining on twitter, but complaining in coffee shops and in water and -- then, we would see a transformation. >> those are the people who are active. you can see the tweets and facebook of people, 8:00 p.m., everyone in the building was going to take a pot and start making noise. you will see this all over the
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island, in towns and in the capital. everywhere. there's a tweet i found fascinating of a pilot and a flight attendant, after landing, say -- and people start clapping and cheering in the plane, as we're about to land. >> i want to ask you about the focus on the last 15 days. the aftermath and the response to hurricane maria. one thing he said proudly, he didn't launch his campaign in texas, or new hampshire, it was in puerto rico. it has been a focus. that will astonish a lot of people. puerto ricans cannot vote for president. that's a crazy -- they can vote in the primary but not the general. >> you will see candidates going
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to puerto rico for the primary. it's not just castro. elizabeth warren went there. it's outrage to people that are citizens, we care about you and what's happening to your country. president trump is engaged in a war of words with the mayor. saying puerto rico is massively mismanaging money, that's been allocated to hurricane maria. there were obvious reason for democrats to stand up and say, that's not how we want to beh e behave. the question i have for you, you're seeing in puerto rico, why doesn't that happen in this country, to sally's point? >> elsewhere in this country. >> we saw the big march, and several women's marches now. there was the march for our lives gun control march. >> you see the people on the right, the abortion folks on the right. >> it seems like all of that
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energy protesting trump early, has dissipated. >> the chairman of the victory fund. we're doing presidential candidates. we will invite in all of the candidates. i think in the u.s., there's fatigue about trump. after a while, i wish we could start doing it. it would be something that i would do with my family, day in and day out. but there's a fatigue. can we be in the streets all the time? i believe we should. >> luis, thank you very much for coming. we're days away from the next democratic debate. they're calling her dangerous. "vanity fair" reporting out of fear that kamla harris is
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has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers 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 another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today. this is "up." i'm david gura. this week, 20 democratic candidates will appear on stage in detroit, over two nights for the second democratic primary debate. one is attracting a lot of attention from strategists, according to david rucker. on a new piece headlined "she's dangerous" in "vanity fair," some said that kamla harris
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could be the next barack obama. i know you've seen the piece in "vanity fair." i look at it in couple with "the new york times" story today. what kamla harris is berns writ forceful and pragmatic but unsteady when addressing litmus questions. help us understand what's going on here. >> you started by saying republicans wondering whether she'll be the next barack obama. in 2008, 2007 he was 40 points behind hillary clinton. in other words, he was not the same barack obama at that stage of the race as he was when he ultimately won. the race really toughened him up. so with that i would say kamala harris needs to go through that same sort of cycle. she's delivered several strong performances a we know about the
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issue of bus, everybody's going to remember for the long time. but then days later she stepped back and said, no, i'm not for court mandated busing. she basically agreed with joe biden. so her follow-up was not particularly strong. and we've got a long campaign ahead and we will if she can sort of steady herself on her feet, but that's going to have to happen for her to have that kind of quality those republican strategists are talking about. >> early days yet and she's new to national politics and democratic voters thrilled with her as a messenger and yet the content of her work remains in progress. >> it's still evolving. and again we should just be careful because there's i guess an impulgs of any black politician now is automatically
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going to be compared to barack obama. if you take donald trump for instance he doesn't have a nickname for her yet which is remarkable given how he's poked all the other candidates because i think he doesn't know quite what to do with her. the messaging comes out sort of muddled but in the end of the day she will be a potentially impactful candidate. >> we talked about earlier in the show the phantom swing voters whoever they might be. we have not found them yet but david drucker talks about the appeal to soccer moms in scotsdale, arizona. >> i think they're right to be afraid. let me be very clear. there may be three -- i know my math's a little off here, but there's three swing voters and
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there's 186,000 days until this election. it's sunday. but i think republicans in general should be afraid. trump is under water at this point before we've even gotten to head to head matchups where he shows himself to be an insensitive mean nasty hot head who doesn't know anything against you fill in the blank democratic candidate who is measured, moral and knowledge. you know, we've got a long time ago here the right to be afraid of any candidates and there's all kind of stories coming out of the white house he is particularly rattled by kamala harris, and of course got to love that. >> david, on that point there's a lot of new polling that's come out this week and it's been fairly consist that the strengthen of his status as a front-runner at this moment is because of his strength as african-american voters. kamala harris, if she cannot
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break through that, then the whole theory of the case for her capped d.c. which is do well in iowa as barack obama did in 2008 and then that perhaps will persuade black voters to believe that she can win. that only works if joe biden sort of falters. and right now his support among black voters are very strong. >> i want to get your perspective on this second one. going into that obviously immigration was a huge issue in the news. always a huge issue in the news but looming particularly large head of that debate. and now you have the contours shaping up. the booker-biden dynamic as well. how different is it going into the second debate as a result of that? some of these dynamics are now established going into the second one. >> i'd lake to say cnn is going to take a great lesson from our debates. but the dynamics are going to change a little built i agree.
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we brought that up of course in our msnbc debate last month. now on the fact joe biden has been challenged pie cory booker for his past. sort of raising race relations in america and black and white is the looming issue right now. >> you're going to be listening for that story to develop here on stage of the debate this week? >> no, absolutely. and beth touched on all of it. again, there's so much about all the different candidates that are splitting the vote right now. imagine if the energy behind beto and buttigieg and obama -- and harris, freudmian, much is really consolidated into one candidate. >> okay, all right. thanks very much to my panel here. and the president is doubling down on baltimore as we've been
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discussing. coming up joy reid talks to john waters, the film makers who's made his own love letters to that city over and over again. that conversation coming up next. er and over again. that conversation coming up next i can't believe it. that karl brought his karaoke machine? ♪ ain't nothing but a heartache... ♪ no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. ♪ i never wanna hear you say... ♪ no, kevin... no, kevin! believe it! geico could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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geico could save yeah, i think we can take five. you had to open your big mouth. here's what i'm gonna do. i'm gonna smash him right in the face. kill all thirteen guys in three seconds. i'm gonna drop kick him. him, and him. no, no, no that's my guy. that's my guy. look at you the fate of the world is in your hands and you can't even get along. your momma.
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[ screaming ] that's going to do it for me today. thank you very much for watching. "am joy" with joy reid starts right now. you feel like your doing a great job, right? is that what you're saying? >> we're doing our level best and a great job. >> what does that mean?
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what does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces? can't take a shower? come on, man. what's that about? none of us would have our children in that position. they are human beings. >> good morning and welcome to "am joy." maryland congressman elijah cummings, the influential chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee has leveled some of the most scathing criticisms of donald trump's cruel border policies and he had strong words for acting homeland security director caven mcleanen during a hearing earlier this month. that started the cascade of one of trump's ugliest fox news triggered outbursts on twitter. on saturday morning trump tv aka fox news aired a segment including a video

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