my great thanks for frankie figgs, karine, a.b., david. i will not be here tomorrow. "mtp daily" with steve kornacki in for chuck todd is starting right now. if it's monday, base instincts. president trump ramps up his racially charged rhetoric as he ramps up his re-election bid. plus, more than 100 house democrats now support an impeachment inquiry. will that momentum lead to movement? and one of the administration officials most willing to contradict the president is out
and a staunch supporter is in as the nominee for intelligence chief. if it's monday, it's "meet the press daily." good evening, i'm steve kornacki in new york in for chuck todd. we begin with an unprecedented moment in modern american politics as the president of the united states is stoking racial hostility as he looks to mobilize his base in the run-up to next year's election. the president is not letting up after racially charged comments this weekend going after house oversight chairman congressman elijah cummings. he called his district a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess and called cummings a racist after he criticized the president's comments. today the president called the reverend al sharpton, the national action network president, also an msnbc host, a con man who, quote, hates whites and cops. and don't forget it was just two weeks ago that the president suggested a group of congresswomen go back to where
they came from. taken together it's an astounding display of presidential behavior aimed at minorities to go back where they came from or clean up their road en -- rodent-infested district. >> he cut the ribbon at the national action convention. when he was a democrat i wasn't a con man then. he called me after he was elected president and asked me to go to mar-a-lago and meet with him. omarosa he sent to the national action network convention and asked for meetings. if he felt that way about me, why would he call me even after he won the election? and he confirmed the call. this is race baiting at its best. this is donald trump playing the race card and it is a shame and it is a sham. >> you heard him there say this is race baiting at its best. it's a sentiment seemingly
shared by "the baltimore sun" editorial board which in a scathing editorial said better to be a few rats than to be one. mr. trump sees attacking african-american members of congress as good politics as it both warms the cauockles of tho who love him and causes so many who don't to scream. as "the washington post" reports, trump's advisers had concluded after the go back tweets that the overall message sent by such a text is good for the president among his base resonating with the white working class voters he needs to win re-election in 2020. joining me now is jesse moore, former white house speechwriter and associate director of the office of public engagement in the obama white house. he is also one of the authors of an op-ed that was signed by 149
former obama officials critical of president trump's attacks on minorities. this was before the president's latest tweets targeting elijah cummings. also with me zerlina maxwell, john podhoretz, also an msnbc contributor, and gabe dibenedetti. jessie, let me start with you. we mentioned this op-ed that you wrote. that famous line from michelle obama that a lot of folks associate with the obama approach to politics, when they go low, we go high. is that something you're rethinking now in light of what the president is doing? >> no. you're not going to catch me rethinking on michelle obama's brilliance on national tv. >> that's smart. >> absolutely not. if you read the op-ed, you'll get the feeling of that 150
plus, and a lot more folks who wanted to sign on and didn't get the chance. you'll start to see that it's really about looking at who we are as a country and remembering who we are as a country. it's not really focused on taking a shot at donald trump, at the president of the united states, it's on trying to remind us as activists, as voters, who we really are and remind the country that there are other activists out here who are ready to work. >> but the context is unavoidable with this. you would not be writing this if it were not for the events we've been talking about the last few weeks? >> absolutely not. this is a moment where the country is wrestling with -- i'm going to be very frank, but do we have a racist in the white house? and i try not to get into the business of calling people racist or deciding who's racist because honestly it's subjective and distracts us. but go down the list. central park 5, rental discrimination, nfl protests, puerto rico, charlottesville,
s-hole countries, go back where you came from. if this was your uncle or somebody sitting down the bar from you, would you trust them with your kid? would you be a little bit worried about their world view rubbing off on your children? i would. that's all that matters to me. leading the country is about more than policy disputes, it's about more than what gets funded and what doesn't. it's about setting a tone and it's about inspiring people. and obviously this is not a priority for our president. >> john, in terms of we showed that quote from the "baltimore sun" editorial and you hear this, this is political strategy on the president's part. this is something that's going fire up his base. yes, it's going to offend the left but maybe that's going to fire up his base any more. do you buy that? because there's another version of this that there's a slice of trump voter from 2016 who he risks losing with this, who simply says it's too much. >> i'm baffled. i mean i'm not the world's greatest political strategist but i'm baffled in this sense.
i think that the people who whom this message really, really, really resonates are already in his camp. and he knows based on the 2018 results that a lot of republicans stayed home in 2018 and democrats were fired up. 62 million democrats voted in the house elections in 2018. the democratic party over the last four weeks has been in a slightly fratricidal mode where they're attacking each other. just as they're attack each other, looking to be divide, hard to see who's going to be the nominee, he raises his hand and says i'm going to say something horrible that is going to unite all of you and make me look incendiary. why is that a good strategy? everybody who is going to say, man, i love that trump, i love him giving it to baltimore is already going to vote for him. the whole question is whether he can get that three or four million people in the middle who stayed only in 2018 to come back to the polls to vote for him.
and they probably stayed home because they don't like the tweets. >> and that seems to be -- gabe, that seems to be the question here. one of the questions. is it a strategy? is it a strategy in the way we traditionally understand these things in politics? because the politics on these cummings' tweets have pointed out, there was a fox news segment. it seems certainly [ applause plausible the president saw the segment and then responded the way he did. there's almost an explanation after the fact about why this might be a good strategy or why this might work. there is any real strategic thinking behind it or is this just the president shooting his mouth off on twitter. >> all indications suggest it's the latter and after the fact white house officials and people close to the president have sort of suggested, well, actually there's political thinking here. but it appeared to originally at least be a response to fox news -- a "fox & friends" segment. this is a knee-jerk reaction
from the president. we see this over and over. not just on racial matters but on other matters. is this a brilliant strategy or some sort of political genius we don't see? indications are no. it's not even a stratstrategy. then you have people in the white house trying to retrofit a strategy to it. there might be something in their numbers that suggest they might be able to gin up some more hard-line base votes but there's no indication whatsoever that that would work and there's not any reporting or real suggestion that the president woke up one day and said here's a new strategy, let's try this. no, it was a reaction to, you know, racial provocation -- or it was a racial provocation of his. >> zerlina, strategically, to use that loosely, if there is a backlash this generates, john talks about potentially swing voters. there's also a question among core democratic voters. if you look at black turnout in general elections the past four
elections, you had two spikes when obama ran, 2008, 2012, the number got up to 66%. you can see between 2012 and 2016, look at that, a seven-point slide in black turnout. this is the hillary clinton/donald trump race in 2016. there's obviously a theory here that this sort of controversy, trump behaving this way, is going to motivate black voters and get that number back up to obama levels. i guess the other question that gets asked, he behaved in this way during the campaign in 2016 and you see what the turnout was. how do you look at that? >> well, there's a multitude of factors. on the one hand i think the question about whether or not it's a political strategy is actually one i want to put to the side because i don't care. the child in the cage doesn't care whether it's a political strategy, that the racism that put them in the cage in the first place comes from a strategy. they don't care about that. so that's to the side. in terms of 2016, i think the drop in turnout was because black millenials did not trust
hillary clinton on issues that impact communities of color. she never was able to get the level of trust that is necessary to get to those obama turnout numbers of 65% to 66% that you saw in 2008 and 2012. and that is because of the 1994 crime bill in large part. and i think going into 2020, one of the questions is going to be can the democrats have a response to those critiques that is sufficient to gain the trust of those millenials of color to increase their turnout so you get to that 66% number. i think that's the issue. i don't necessarily know whether or not trump's racism is going to make a black person go outside more so than democrats actually having a compelling message on the other side. >> can i -- in 1992 -- 1988 -- by 1992, george h.w. bush ended
up from a high-water mark of the jewish vote for republicans in 1984, '88, in the 35% to 40% range. drops down to 11%. why? because the focus, the focus on israel in the first bush presidency was very negative and jews said i'm done with you. i gave you a shot, 11% of the vote. in 2016, my sense is that most of the racial or ethnic animus that we looked at and thought was going to torpedo trump was hispanic, was about latinos, was about judge curiel, that sort of thing. we now have three years of racially charged attacks by trump on african-americans. if that alone doesn't jack up that number above 60%, the black turnout number, i would be very surprised because a lot of people, minorities particularly, go to vote when they feel threatened. i don't know how you don't feel threatened at this moment.
>> voter suppression also impacted the turnout numbers. voter suppression, especially in wisconsin, did impact that turnout number a bit. so it's not just because they stayed home because of lack of trust, it's also because there are voter i.d. laws which impact the voters that you really need. >> jesse, the other variable there politically speaking, we said barack obama as a candidate on the ballot in 2008 and 2012 ultimately obama more than anybody or anything else j generated that enthusiasm we're talking about. you put this op-ed out. i think former president obama put out a twitter retweet, said he's proud of you. do you expect he's going to be more vocal in the run-up to the 2020 election? >> i do. once we have a candidate, i expect him to -- he's a heck of a campaigner. >> you're talking in terms of supporting the democrat in the general election. there is a role for him before there's a democratic nominee, not getting into the democratic
primary itself, but addressing donald trump and what he's saying? >> i think he picked an interesting moment right here to support this group of activists and former staffers. this is the kind of moment, this is his brand, if you ask me, to empower other people and say keep doing what you're doing. even aside from the specifics of the op-ed just to say your voices are important and you have to lift them up. >> we can put this up. an interesting reaction coming in. mark meadows, very conceservati republican from north carolina. he put out a statement about the president's tweets. the president called elijah cummings a racist. remember, meadows and cummings are on the same committee and cummings had vouched for meadows very publicly. he said i'm friends with both men, president trump and chairman cummings. i know both men well. neither man is a racist. period. both love america. i think if we put aside
partisanship with investigations, we can find bipartisan solutions that will benefit not only chairman cummings' district but the country as iwhole. i'm committed to working to that end with both of them. it is vouching for congressman cummings which is maybe more than you hear from some republicans here. i know folks are out of washington now. do you expect anything different from republicans now that the president seems intent on -- there was the go back to your countries comment. there was some thought among republicans that they had gotten to mike pence and maybe gotten trump to back off. now it looks like trump is intent on going down this road. there is going to be any pushback from republicans or any separation that republicans try to create in light of this? >> no. not in any substantive way that's any different from what we've seen before. obviously this is a racial provocation on an order of magnitude that we haven't seen from the president but he's been doing things along these lines for a few years now. and while republicans may say
they're disappointed, we haven't seen any substantive steps to rebuke that. i wouldn't be surprised to see a few more statements along these lines. you saw governor hogan, the republican governor of maryland, say he was disappointed and didn't appreciate the president's tweets but that's pretty tepid. defending elijah cummings and saying neither of these people are racist is very different from outright condemning what the president had to say and move forward in any constructive manner. >> jesse moore, thank you for joining us. we appreciate that. gabe, zerlina and john are all sticking around. up next i'll talk to a democrat from the oversight committee after the president's attacks on elijah cummings. plus the influence and importance of black voters. plus national intelligence director dan colts ats is out. the president wants to replace him with a staunch ally. >> the white house has announced on twitter that vladimir putin is coming to the white house in the fall. >> say that again.
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you say it has zero to do with race. there is a clear pattern here, mick. the fact is that before his inauguration, the president tweeted about john lewis, a black congressman. then two weeks ago, he goes after these four members of the squad, all women of color, and says they should go back to the crime-infested countries from which they come. then he talks about elijah cummings and he says his district is rat and rodent-infested. >> i think you're spending way too much time reading between the lines. >> i'm not reading between the
lines. i'm reading the lines. >> welcome back. that was acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney on fox news sunday insisting the president's tweets attacking congressman cummings were not racist. republicans have largely remained silent after the president's latest attacks. yesterday on "meet the press" republican senator rick scott told chuck that he was disappointed in cummings. that is a big part of why democrats are divided on what to do when it comes to impeachment, because if a republican senator wouldn't criticize the president for his tweets this weekend, you can guess there's probably no way there are going to be enough votes there to convict a president in a republican-controlled senate. joining me now is congressman ro khanna from california. he's national co-chair of the bernie sanders campaign. congressman, thank you for taking a few minutes. we were talking about the last block, there's this whole question of whether the president thinks he is going to achieve something politically with this kind of rhetoric, with
these kind of tweets, whether he's doing it without any political consideration at all. i'm just curious what your read is on this country right now. do you think watching the president do this, watching the criticisms come in, do you think ultimately that is going to help him politically or do you think ultimately that is going to be something that hurts him? >> it's going to hurt him. it's going to hurt him particularly in suburban counties that he needs to carry. and it's sad because he is going at gut instinct. he thinks dividing this country is going to be in his interests, but he's miscalculating. notice chairman cummings' response. he didn't respond in kind, he didn't attack the president. he actually said he's still open to working with the president on lowering the cost of prescription drugs. my view is people will respond to chairman cummings because he's talking about solving the issues people care about as opposed to going back and forth on twitter. >> i know you're not in washington right now, you're
maybe not in contact with your colleagues that much. we just saw that statement from mark meadows. he said he does not consider elijah cummings a racist. behind the scenes, are you hearing from any of your republican colleagues about this? the kinds of relationships like we see that meadows has with cummings, is it going to affect how republicans on your committee approach this at all? >> i do. mark meadows has a close friendship with chairman cummings. he has always been decent in speaking with chairman cummings, and chairman cummings as you pointed out as come to his defense. so president trump picked the wrong person in going after elijah cummings. elijah cummings, the son of a share cropper, is seen as a moral voice. an even jim jordan and mark meadows, the president's closest allies, speak with respect of this chairman. so it was just the wrong target. that's why i think it's going to backfire. >> i believe we had you on the
day this was playing out but there was that vote in the house a week or so ago now on impeachment. there was that resolution, the impeachment resolution, al green from texas put forward that basically said he wanted to impeach the president on the grounds of his racial rhetoric, his conduct on racial issues, the way he speaks about them. you voted against that that day. i think 95 democrats did vote for it. does this make you change your mind at all? >> new york cio, it doesn't, be think the case for impeachment has to be based on mueller's report, it has to be based on obstruction, on systematic misconduct, not just on tweets. i think elijah cummings' response, which is let's not focus on these absurd attacks, let's focus on what we can do for the american people is the right response. i do think jerry nadler is going to move forward with hearings. he has the ability to do that without even a house vote. so we're very serious about laying a case that exposes the
president's misconduct. >> the president today also went after the man you say you are supporting. you are co-chairing the bernie sanders campaign. the president went after him today on this same subject. the president was referring to comments that bernie sanders made about baltimore while visiting there back in 2015. we can put that up on the screen. here's what sanders said at that time. he said anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you're in a wealthy nation. you would think that you were in a third world country. there was also a 2016 tweet from bernie sanders, residents of baltimore's poorest boroughs have life spans shorter than people living under dictatorship in north korea. the president today said i assume bernie must now be labeled a racist, just as a republican would if he used that term and standard. what's your response to that? >> well, it's just more obfuscation. here's the difference. senator sanders didn't insult the elected representative of baltimore, he didn't insult the
people of baltimore. donald trump is insulting voters and american citizens. what senator sanders is saying is we need more funding forredcation for our schools, we need better broadband, we need more infrastructure, we need more health care. if the president were serious, if he were actually serious about giving the people in baltimore a chance, he would work with us. instead he's insulting people. and i've never seen, frankly, an american president insult their own citizens. >> there is some news out of washington today involving your party and its campaign committee in the house, the house of representatives. the executive director of the democratic congressional campaign committee,the dccc, they funnel money into races around the country for the house. the executive director resigned today under pressure, specifically members from the congressional hispanic caucus had written to the chairwoman, sherri bustos, democrat from illinois, basically telling hershey needed to make a change
because of issues of sensitivity to diversity. in their letter, your two colleagues said that the dccc was in complete chaos. as we mentioned, the executive director did resign this afternoon. do you agree, is the campaign committee of your party in complete chaos right now? >> we're not. i've had disagreements with sherri bustos but she's doing a great job getting support. if you talk to our front line members, they'll tell you we have an extraordinary amount of support. we've got a diverse coalition and i think it speaks well of sherri bustos that she took the input of the hispanic caucus and is making a change. >> yes, the executive director who is stepping down now opens up the position. is that your position, a person of color will be the new executive director now? >> i don't think it has to be a person of color, i think it has to be someone who understands that having a diverse team is going to be an asset given that we're going to need a diverse
coalition to win. i think that was the point of the hispanic coalition, not demanding that there be a particular person hired but just someone who understands the type of coalition it's going to take to expand our majority. >> in their letter, your colleagues there did say they wanted the new executive director to be a qualified person of color, so we will see if that is what plays out here. congressman ro khanna, thank you for taking a few minutes. we appreciate that. >> thank you so much. and another sign joe biden may be bouncing back on the eve of another debate. plus support for an impeachment inquiry is growing. more than a hundred house democrats now say they are onboard. one prominent name not on that list, one of the most important, the most important, the house speaker. house speaker.
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welcome back. the president seems to think racially charged rhetoric will work for him in 2020, that it will fire up his base. the other possibility, will it motivate more democrats to get out and vote? that's the general election question we've been talking about, but obviously there is before that the question of the democratic primary. who are democrats going to nominate to run against president trump. guess what, in just the last few hours, a brand new poll on the state of the democratic race heading into this second debate this week. here you go. this is a quinnipiac national poll and there is joe biden
sitting there at 34%. elizabeth warren behind him by nearly 20 points, but in second place in this poll, 15%. kamala harris, remember, in that last debate it was kamala harris who got the surge afterwards. it was biden who took the hit afterwards. now things have settled down in the last few weeks. as i say, we're getting ready to go to that second debate and it looks a lot like it did heading into the first debate. kamala harris did get a bit of an uptick but maybe not as much as he initially thought. we will see what happens on that stage in the second debate and what the fallout is. second, there is that question. we talk about race with the president's attacks and talk about race inside the democratic contest for president. joe biden among white voters, first place, 32%. but among black voters, look at this, look at his support in this poll. more than 50%. 53% for joe biden. nobody else even in double
digits in this bowl. we've been talking about joe biden's strong support from black voters. this is about as strong as we have seen in a poll. and we talk all the time as well about the importance of the black vote. why is it so significant that joe biden is running at 53% among black voters and nobody else is in double digits? one reason is the black vote has probably never been more powerful than it is within the democratic party right now. this is a new project we've put together with nbcnews.com. it went live there today. go check it out because there's great information. but what we foundi is a look at the history. why in 1976? that's when we started the state-by-state exit polls. back then less than 10% of all voters in democratic primaries were african-american. fast forward to 2016, basically 24% of democratic primary voters
in that clinton/sanders race were black. we're expecting in 2020 the number to be at least that high. so basically one out of every four votes cast in 2020 across the country in the democratic primaries will come from black voters. one out of every four. that's why it's so significant that joe biden is sitting there at 53% in this poll, that he's been leading the black vote in so many polls. if you look at the other piece of modern history, how has the black vote gone? in the early days, you can see ted kennedy, jesse jackson ran twice in the 1980s, that really increased black voter registration. but it's the modern history starting in '92. starting with bill clinton in '92, he gets 70% of the black vote, wins the nomination. al gore, john kerry, barack obama. and hillary clinton in 2016. everybody who has won the democratic nomination for president since 1992 has won the black vote. often decisively.
so the clout of black voters has never been higher than it is right now in the democratic party and the democratic presidential race. that's why it's so significant. it was the reason hillary clinton was able to hold off bernie sanders and it's the reason that joe biden is in front as much as he i. let's see if that holds for him. we have got so much more on the history of the black vote in maude heodern presidential prim. it's called journey to power. you can check it out now, nbcnews.com/blackvoters. nbcnews.com/blackvoters, check that out, please, i think you'll enjoy. and be be back with more "mtp daily." with more "mtp da ily. ily. mor mont the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. daily." we be back with more "mt daily." ' be back with more "mtp daily." l be back with more "mtp daily." l be back with more "mtp
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offenses. he's violated the law six ways from sundays, but that's not the question. the question is can we develop enough evidence to put before the american people. >> welcome back. house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler remains publicly noncommittal on impeachment, but more than a hundred of his house colleagues are no longer on the fence. at least 108 house democrats, that's almost half of the democratic caucus and one independent, former republican, michigan's justin amash, now support opening an impeachment inquiry. 15 of them have announced their support since robert mueller's testimony last wednesday, including five who have announced their support in the last 48 hours. also over the weekend senator patty murray of washington, the third-ranking democrat in the senate, she also called for an impeachment inquiry in the house. let's bring back our experts. gabe, zerlina, john. gabe, 15 since mueller's testimony. mueller was very explicit in saying i'm just going to read
you stuff from the report and not go any farther than that. if folks weren't there before the report, why are they coming out now. >> many folks had a process and said i'm not going to say anything until mueller testifies so some of them surely knew they were going to do this. the reality is a lot of them are likely hearing from folks in their district, they're getting more pressure and there's been momentum on this thing. i think there was a perception after mueller spoke that a lot of folks in the media in particular but a lot of the commentary was saying what a dud, this wasn't great theater. the reality is no one has pulled back their call for impeachment, but we're getting more and more down the road there. i think that that's because people are hearing from their constituents on this. >> is there momentum, do you think, zerlina, or is it folks that have concluded, hey, this isn't actually going to happen but there are people in my party who want to hear me say it and maybe donors that want to hear me say it. >> i think there's momentum. we're about to go into a recess. if you know anything about the
activist left, one thing they're doing right now is preparing to show up at town halls. they're preparing to show up because they want to make it enclosure to the people who are representing them in congress that this is what they want. we didn't just put you there in the majority to hold trump accountable in some sort of vague way that is not -- does not include the possibility of impeachment. it doesn't necessarily mean that democratic voters think that, oh, we're going to be able to remove the president this way. there needs to be an education around that. but i think by and large, the democratic voters want there to be at least an open series of hearings where all of this can be aired out. one of the things that we did learn from the mueller report and the testimony -- or, excuse me, from the testimony that people may not have taken away from the report is that, one, there's a current series of ongoing investigations that we didn't know about or at least they were blacked out in the mueller report and now we have confirmation under oath that that's taking place. we want to know more about that. that goes to our national
security. on the other hand, i think voters really want, you know, the president to be held accountable for the things that robert mueller said he did under oath, which are crimes. and that's something that it doesn't matter who the president is, we don't want a criminal in the white house. >> john, zerlina says open series of hearings. is there a distinction maybe that pelosi and other democratic leaders who have seemed hesitant about this would make between having the kinds of hearings they'll have with the judiciary committee right now and using that to keep this issue out there, keep it in the public square, give their members a vehicle to pursue some questions without saying, yes, this is a formal impeachment inquiry and here's the resolution and here's the vote? >> well, yeah, but what's striking is that even with this momentum, we're still -- you still have to have 218 votes, right, to impeach. so we have 105 -- so no republican is going to vote to impeach, right? so the democratic caucus is 239 or something like that.
there's still a hundred people away from going into a procedure that would lead to this vote that wouldn't be an embarrassing defeat. so there's some momentum, but it's not a huge amount of momentum. the republicans used to have a rule called the hastert rule where no bill would be brought to the floor unless half of the republican caucus -- the majority of the majority. in all those cases that was usually a bill that the republicans in the minority were going to vote for, democrats were going to vote for. if you got to the majority of republicans, democrats added on, then the bill might pass. in this case, this could be like an incredibly foolish waste of time if you don't have democrats ready to vote for impeachment. like what are they going to do? everyone is going to be unsatisfied. trump is going to say you're tormenting me and democrats who really want impeachment want to say when there's no impeachment, what the hell just happened?
>> maybe the calculus right now, and at least for many of the democrats that have signed on among the hundred, they're actually looking at it as a bigger picture argument about the presidency and the constitution, right? if we're basically setting down a marker saying if we don't do this, then we're saying that the crimes outlined in the mueller report are fine and there's no accountability whatsoever in the constitution or elsewhere to hold the president accountable. impeachment is the only option. that is why the democrats are taking this seriously, regardless of whether or not it may be political savvy in the long term. >> but i think there's a mismatch of terms and misunderstanding where everyone is missing each other within the democratic caucus, particularly among those who have said that they are for impeachment in some way. there's a broad spectrum of what that means. a lot of them are putting forth a value, but a lot are saying let's start an inquiry. very few of them are saying we should hold a vote tomorrow which would be a spectacular failure as we've seen. there's a reason nancy pelosi is
saying let's go through this entire process and a reason that jerry nadler has pointedly said i think he's an impeachable president but this is a long-running process. it is true there are a number of people in the democratic caucus who think this has not gone along fast enough but a lot of them are saying this is something we need to get going. >> does anybody think politically -- does it make sense -- i know you don't want to talk political and i appreciate that. but does anybody think it's a smart move to get something into 2020, the year in which there is an election and there is a giant democratic flop in impeachment? >> if i'm a democratic running, i think it's probably a good idea to run against a republican who said the crimes are fine. >> let me put this out there for context sake. ro khanna said democrats, if they're going to do this, he said thanksgiving. he said they need to make a decision by thanksgiving. jackie speier from california who is 2for impeachment, she sad she's for it but september 1st. they need to decide by september
1st or it's not worth doing. >> it's funny we're putting this on a timetable or clock because of the election. it's not that they don't want to talk it only in the context of politics. what i'm saying is this is a bigger problem that we have. we have somebody in the white house who there's documented crimes that he's committed and there's only one way to hold him accountable for that. and maybe the question is should we put republicans on the record as saying crimes are fine. we're fine with crimes. >> the other way to do it -- >> while we cage children who people who aren't committing crimes. that's fine. >> impeachment isn't conviction. >> i understand the process, john. >> okay. but the reason i'm saying this, this way, is just because he's impeached with an indictment that says he committed crimes does not mean that he will be in fact -- >> everyone understands that. >> he won't be convicted of the crimes. so in that case he will not be held accountable. >> he'll be held accountable because you'll have republicans on the record saying crimes are
fine and i think that's a compelling message to take to voters at the ballot box. >> we mentioned the calendar. there's a question of when you start it. there's also a question of how long. you had the 1998 example of bill clinton that was like an express impeachment. you've got '74 watergate, that would take you to the summer of 2020. gabe, zerlina, john, thank you for being with us. coming up, dan coats is on his way out. his potential replacement, a congressman who made a splash going after robert mueller just last week. just last week. if you look close... jamie, are there any interesting photos from your trip? ouch, okay. huh, boring, boring, you don't need to see that. oh, here we go. can you believe my client steig had never heard of a home and auto bundle or that renters could bundle? wait, you're a lawyer? only licensed in stockholm. what is happening? jamie: anyway, game show, kumite, cinderella story. you know karate? no, alan, i practice muay thai, completely different skillset.
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i agree with the chairman this morning when he said donald trump is not above the law. he's not. but he damn sure shouldn't be below the law which is where volume 2 of this report puts him. >> welcome back. that was texas congressman john radcliffe grilling former special counsel robert mueller during his testimony before the house judiciary committee last wednesday, and that hearing may have been an audition of sorts for radcliffe, a staunch supporter of the president who is now set to be nominated as the new director of national intelligence. the president's announcement confirms weeks of speculation that current national intelligence director dan coats, who has often clashed with the president, is out of the job. with me now is ken dilanian who covers national security and intelligence for nbc news. so, ken, coats out, trump would like radcliffe in. and you have some new reporting on this. what can you tell us? >> that's right, steve. congressman radcliffe has very little national security and
intelligence experience, but one thing he has is that he was the u.s. attorney in east texas about a decade ago. he was a federal prosecutor and he says on his website that he was a terrorism prosecutor and that he, quote, put terrorists in prison. but nbc news and pete williams have been looking close ily at the record and we can find no evidence that he prosecuted a terrorism case. they pointed to a case in dallas against the holy land foundation, which was -- in which it was a muslim charity that was convicted of funneling money to a palestinian terrorism group. the first trial ended in mistrial. his name appears nowhere in the trial record. the idea that he convicted terrorists is under question tonight, steve. >> so while we talk about radcliffe potentially taking over, there is also the question of coats himself, the role he's played, what his absence potentially means in this
administration going forward. there have been some high profile instances, one in the summer of 2018 last summer when the president had that meeting with vladimir putin in helsinki and seemed to question american intelligence on the question of russian interference in the 2016 election. coats vouched for the u.s. intelligence, then explained why to andrea mitchell a few days later. listen to what he said. >> mr. president, there will be times whil have to bring news to you that you don't want to hear. i just want you to know that the news i bring to you, information i bring to you will be to the best extent that we can be unvarnished, nonpoliticized, the best that our incredible intelligence agency can produce so that you will have the information you need to make the policy decisions that you're going to be faced with. >> ken, that certainly was the reputation of dan coats, that he was one of the most, probably the most independent person in
trump's orbit. is that a fair representation, did he earn that? >> absolutely, steve. that was dan coats in a nutshell. although he was a republican senator from indiana, in this job he adopted a veneer of nonpartisan ship. he was willing to speak truth to power. at the worldwide threat hearing, he said a number of things at odds with what president trump had been saying, particularly the u.s. intelligence community assesses that north korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons. and so that did not earn dan coats any good will from president trump. but it did earn him a lot of praise from within the intelligence community. and the fear now is that in radcliffe, you have a person who is going to tell trump what he wants to hear. we're basing that only on his performance in these public hearings. he, of course, may put aside that partisanship and i'm sure he'll be grilled about this in the confirmation hearings. right now there are a lot of questions about whether radcliffe can play the same role that coats played, steve. >> ken dilanian, obviously yes,
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that was the bicentennial year jimmy carter beat about 16 other democrats. got himself the nomination, got himself elected president. we start there. we go to every election since then, please check it out. that is all for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily, and the beat starts right now with yasmin in for ari. >> kornacki, with any stats we watch you, that is for sure. thanks, steve. good talking to you. i'm yasmin in for ari melber. we are covering a lot of stories tonight. donald trump launches another racist tirade against a black member of congress, and is met with silence from the leaders of the republican party. plus the house i am impeachment caucus swells in the wake of mueller's testimony. and a major national security shake up with trump moving to install a loyalist as the director of national intelligence, we're going to get to all of it. but we begin tonight with donald trump's latest twitter outburst. a series of racist attacks on oversight cama