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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  July 30, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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stephen kornacki is with us. and msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele is here. pulitzer prize winning columnist and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson joins us. former chief of staff to the dccc and for hillary clinton's presidential candidate, adrienne elrod. she's an msnbc contributor. great group to have with us this morning. what's on tap for today? ten candidates for president square off tonight including bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. they're among the front-runners right now, but still trailing joe biden by a wide margin. we're going to dig deep into the latest polling and what's going on with the candidates. plus two developments from capitol hill. the senate fails to block arm sales to saudi arabia and more house democrats back the push
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for impeachment. we'll run both those stories and fact checking the president's pick for the nation's top spy job. what exactly was john ratcliffe talking about when he said he'd put terrorists in prison? like what did he mean? we'll go through that. but weeks of president trump's sound and fury have done nothing to ignite his base according to a new poll. in its latest analysis, the associated press writes the president has inflamed racial tensions betting that such divisions will help ease his path to victory in 2020. and he's replaced gut instinct and tweets for the sober analysis of professionals on matters of war and peace. while republicans nervously consider an unconstrained trump 15 months from the election, few have stepped up to challenge a president who has been emboldened by the conclusion of the russia probe and a divided democratic congress.
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the piece continues, the temptations for trump are only set to increase this week before two nights of democratic debates. then on thursday in ohio he'll have his first rally since the offensive chants of his supporters about democratic lawmakers of color which trump disavowed and then back tracked on his disavowal. remember that, send them back, send them back. but a new poll from quinnipiac university shows the percentage of voters who say they will definitely re-elect trump is still stuck in the low 30s. 32%. 12% say they'll consider voting for the president. 54% say they will definitely not vote for trump. willie geist an opening for democrats you would think. >> yeah, 54% is a big number definitely at this point, 15 months from the election will
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not vote for donald trump. we are told all the baltimore talk and all the elijah cummings tweeting is a base play. that he's strengthening his base. shoring up the people who put him into the white house in the first place and this is smart politics. some people have argued. that poll right there -- although it doesn't reflect the baltimore riff and rant is not reflected in the poll. that would suggest otherwise. wouldn't it? that the plays he's making to the base aren't helping his numbers. >> well, yeah. i think to a certain extent, but i don't know how much credence i put into them. a lot of people when it comes to donald trump lie about what they really think and feel about him. in other words they'll tell a pollster oh, no, i won't vote for him, because they don't want to be considered a trumper. so i'd take the polls with a grain of salt. i think it's very telling and i'm judging the behavior of
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republican elected members of congress in the united states senate, that's my gauge on where trump is with his base support. and how strong that base support is. the fact that they get off on a screed -- a racial screed that they somehow want to rush to that space and support the president and protect him tells me that his numbers are a lot stronger than a poll like that may reflect. and i think it's very dangerous for people to look at this race, even at this juncture. i'm not one to buy into elections, you know, a year and a half out. give me some time starting january and february, the numbers tighten a bit. but right now, you can give some insight to how the base feels and where the country is and donald trump knows his instincts are telling him he's in a much stronger position because that's where the american people want him to be right now. because they're not pushing back on what we saw out of baltimore.
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they're not -- they have not pushed back since charlottesville, so what incentive does he have to change his behavior? i don't think the polls reflect that. >> well, the incentive may be to widen the base, and to worry about the suburbs in wisconsin and in pennsylvania and in michigan that helped get him elected the last time around. >> yeah, it's interesting with trump trying to analyze how he understands the incentives of politics. i mean, i think the broad lesson he takes from 2016 is that he feels he broke every rule of american politics. every rule of campaigning. and he won. so what do the experts now? that's the best i can tell in terms of the incentives he responds to but one thing to keep in mind when you look at the polls and his path in 2020, the base isn't enough alone for donald trump. there's a certain segment of voter that held its those and voted for him. the numbers that speak this in 2016 are on election day, in our exit poll, his favorable rating in 2016, the number of people who said they like the guy, was 38%. he got 46% of the vote.
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he was able to do that because almost as many people had an unfavorable view of his opponent and the folks who didn't like trump or clinton ended up breaking lopsided for trump. >> steve kornacki said a couple of things right there, referencing donald trump's opponent in 2016 and outlining the fact that trump campaigned as he did, he never expected to win. so he was outrageous from the beginning. and now he's in the position of trying to mimic what he did in 2016, mika, except i have to tell you, i don't know about the polls. but there's only so many aggrieved white guys out there in a pool that you're swimming in that you can at tract. that's his problem. >> having said that, adrienne elrod, just talking to folks who are tapped in politically and following this closely, i am sensing a real concern about the
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democratic field. what are you hearing? >> well, look, sure. there's concerns about the democratic field in the sense that i think some people think that some of the front-runners are going too far to the left. tacking too far to the left on some issues like medicare for all. taking away your private health insurance. but look, mika, i think steve kornacki hit this on the head when he said you can only do so much when it comes to your base strategy that's what donald trump is doing here. he's doubling down on the base. he's hoping that divisive rhetoric and getting them excited about some of the racist, sexist, misogynistic comments he's made over the court of his presidency and in the campaign before that is going to push him over the finish line but that won't for him this time if he keeps this strategy up because the 4 to 5% of undecided voters in the middle, the ones who decide every single election they're not going to support him at this rate. so doubling down on his base, while also i think he's trying to suppress democratic voter turnout because people are just
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so sick and tired of the entire process. it's not going to work for him this time for a litany of reasons. so it will be interesting to see if his strategy at some point, mika, sort of -- trying to get him to take a more moderate tack here and try to get him to be less divisive and less, you know -- not saying some of the racist comments because i'm not sure that his strategy in the long term is going to work for him. >> yeah. we'll talk ahead more about this as we lead up to the debates, but about counting on that strategy not working is not a good play for the democrats and then you have got to give those folks in the middle there an alternative. are democrats doing that? think on that because a lot of folks are worried they're just not. the president continued his smear campaign against congressman elijah cummings yesterday, ramping up the assaults with unsubstantiated allegations of corruption. he said that the baltimore's numbers the worst in the united states on crime and economy,
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billions have been pumped in over the years to no avail, it was stole on wasted. ask elijah cummings where it went. he should investigate himself with his oversight committee. so the president going after him as head of oversight. that is an interesting parallel. that is an interesting enemy that the president is taking on. we are also hearing from republican congressman mark meadows whose friendship with cummings was on display when the house oversight chairman defended mark meadows against allegations of racism earlier this year. his response came as the president attacked his friend for a third straight day on twitter accusing him of being racist. meadows writes this. i'm friends with both men and president trump and chairman cummings. i know both men well. neither man is a racist. period. both love america.
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i think if we put aside partisanships with investigations we can find bipartisan solutions that will benefit not only chairman cummings' district, but the country as a whole. i am committed to working to that end with both of them. meadows did not mention trump's claim that cummings engages in quote radical oversight and is a quote incompetent leader. the statement also ignored trump's claim that cummings' district is a filthy, disgusting rat and rodent infested mess where no human being would want to live. but earlier this year, meadows cried -- he cried really hard when he himself was accused of being on the wrong side of an issue involving race. take a look. >> my nieces and nephews are people of color. not many people know that. you know that, mr. chairman. you and i have a personal relationship that's not based on
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color. >> mr. meadows, you know -- of all the people on this committee, i have said it and i got in trouble for it. you're one of my best friends. i know that shocks a lot of people. >> and likewise, mr. chairman. >> yeah, but you are. and i would -- i could see and feel your pain. i feel it. >> really? mark meadows just a couple of questions, can you feel elijah cummings' pain when he's called a racist because you were crying there. you were truly upset. you were deeply shocked and appalled that you were called a racist and elijah stood up for you. right there in front of the cameras, come what may, no matter what happened to him he stood with his friend. and you couldn't even do it. but you were so upset you were crying. like a baby. you were crying so hard at the thought of being called a racist
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so you know how much that hurts especially if it's not true and you did not stand up for your friend. so you have just shown america that you cannot be counted on. you have just showed your voters you cannot be counted on, that you will take the weak way out. that was pathetic. you had a moment yesterday when you could step up and return the favor because it was the right thing to do. and you took a pass because you're weak and spineless. and you think that some sort of relationship with this president is going to bring you somewhere good. if he leaves office after four years there's a chance he won't go back to mar-a-lago. this doesn't end well, mark meadows. and also, it's a matter of right and wrong. it's a matter of right and wrong. you know what it feels like to be called a racist. when you believe you're not, which many would question about you, but he didn't. he took a stand in realtime. you took a pathetic many moments to figure out some sort of
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pathetic statement that said nothing. you did nothing. gene robinson, any problem with anything i'm saying? >> no, no problem. i think you used the word pathetic three times i think that's the right word. unconscionable, disgraceful. those are another couple of words that you could use for meadows' performance. cummings didn't have to go out on that limb for him. cummings didn't have to -- >> sure didn't. >> at that point, when meadows was under attack, cummings didn't have to come to his defense. so -- >> do you remember, gene, do you remember what happened leading up to that moment where meadows was crying crocodile tears? >> i remember. >> do you remember that moment -- it was a pathetic display. and elijah cummings put his hand up and said, no, we're not using the word racist. i know this man, i have worked with him. he stood up for him in realtime. >> and that really ridiculous
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and again disgraceful sort of i know both men response is not the same thing as coming to the defense of someone who you claim as a friend, who showed he was a friend to you. a real friend to you. it's just -- it's just awful. it's amazing the whole -- michael steele was talking earlier about what he is seeing among republicans about trump. it is simply true that there is no republican party anymore. it is the trump party. you know, i have serious questions about whether donald trump can expand his base to the point where he could actually get re-elected. but i have no doubt about his control of the vast majority of self-identified republicans right now. he is the republican party.
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it's not the party of lincoln, it's the party of trump and republicans and republican office holders and the republican base are following him i believe off a cliff. but following him like some sort of demented pied piper. it is appalling. >> i hope mark meadows and elijah cummings are really friends, it's good for the country and they can work on legislation together but i don't know a lot of friends who would have sat there for three days and calculated what's the right thing to say so i don't anger the president of the united states and it goes as you know better than anyone to gene's larger point. donald trump has done smog republicans and to the republican party where they are not behaving the way they want to behave. in other words, they're doing things to please donald trump. they're calculating, thinking through how do i say this, how do i legislate even in a way
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that will please trump when it's a direct attack on a friend. they can't respond the way that the normal human being would respond for fear of upsetting donald trump. >> they have thrown virtue and value out the window because those choices anchor down the choices. it makes it hard to stand with donald trump if you value the propositions and the ideals of the republican party of let's say oh, gosh, let's say ronald reagan. or even, you know, william f. buckley. all of the stalwarts who built the modern conservative party have largely been set aside, let's just put it that way. there's a stronger word i could use. but the reality and the truth i think boils down to that moment that mika was talking about and clarified so well with one word -- pathetic because it applies to so much we have seen. as a life-long republican it has been hard for me to watch the pathetic child-like display of
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sycophantic behavior by a party that said it belonged to lincoln. >> okay, michael -- >> it belonged to frederick douglas and in a moment like that it took meadows three days to come up with that support. >> zilch. >> for his friend. with friends like that, elijah cummings, brother, you need to check that because i don't know if i'd go into the fight he's going to have my back the way you had his in front of the nation a few weeks ago. >> michael, we have -- i have been listening to you for a long time you make a lot of sense, but history is a constant stenographer, it never stops recording what happens. there's got to be some explanation other than fear of being primaried on your right from all of these people in the house and the senate. other than fear of donald trump.
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what is the answer here? why do they fold unceasingly one after another? >> i think it's probably -- again, it's driven more from the bottom up here. this is not the leadership and elected officials necessarily taking these positions on their own. they're reacting to a base of republicans that has turned on itself. and a lot of it -- a lot of it, mike, goes back to the promises that were made that were broken. the sense that you promised us these things, that you said these things were of value, then went off and did something different. you know, you have folks who looked at the spending in the bush era. yet, here we are with trump spending three or four times that amount and seemingly they don't care. i think that's pretty much the attitude is, look, all those things you told us and promised us were true we realized they're not so donald trump is exposing that. and we support him for exposing
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that lie. but there's more to it than that. because it has an impact. it rips at a fabric about who we are as a country and who we are as a party. and i think that's going to be what the party is going to have to grapple with when trump is no longer the center of the universe. when that star is gone how do those planets revolve, what do they do revolve around and before it was the ideas that propose were true. now maybe they're not so true. >> well, it's worth taking a moment to investigate what sent president trump on the warpath against congressman cummings. "the washington post" reports that trump was frustrated that the oversight committee that cummings chairs authorized a subpoena last week that could sweep up emails from his daughter and son-in-law as part of its probe into potential conflicts of interest in the trump administration.
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the specific focus of the subpoena is jared kushner's use of whatsapp as part of a wide ranging investigation into whether senior administration officials broke federal records laws by using private accounts for official purposes. trump is also annoyed that cummings stood alongside democratic leaders discussing the possibility of impeachment after robert mueller's testimony. and was particularly incensed when the long time democratic lawmaker lambasted trump's acting head of homeland security over reports from the border of a child sitting in its own feces and can't take a shower. so here we go. coming up on "morning joe" by some accounts kamala harris got the better of joe biden during their first debate but their poll numbers tell a different story. we'll get to that just ahead. plus, steve kornacki is doing what he does best. he's got a great new piece on
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the journey to power, the history of black voters over fast four decades. it's a must read heading into the presidential election but first, let's do right to bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> good tuesday morning to you. it will be a very hot day in the northeast. it's not often we wake up and new york city has the same feels like temperature as miami and san antonio. the only warmer spot is houston so we have tropical air mass very warm, humid conditions starting the day in the northeast and with the sun out this afternoon, that's why we have 30 million people under heat advisories. it will feel like 95 to 100 this afternoon from new york to hartford to boston. by the way, boston and hartford are both on track for the warmest july ever being recorded. they're's the feels like -- here's the feels like temperature. we don't have philadelphia or washington, d.c. in the heat advisory, but it will feel like the low to mid 90s. look at boston, boston will be one of the hottest fuels like
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temperatures only the entire -- on the entire east coast today. this cool front will cool it off, but not until wednesday afternoon in the northeast. today it's the northeast that cools off tomorrow. chicago and minneapolis, beautiful. there's your storms in the southeast. new york city, heat advisory. very hot, very humid and then beautiful, almost like coolish type of weather will move in on friday and saturday. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ching "morn" we'll be right back. surance was the easiest decision ever. i switched to geico and saved hundreds. that's a win. but it's not the only reason i switched. geico's a company i can trust, with over 75 years of great savings and service. ♪ now that's a win-win. switch to geico. it's a win-win.
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a month after the first round of democratic presidential debates, a new poll shows the race shifted yet again in july. the quinnipiac university poll has joe biden at 34%, gaining 12 points from the last poll taken in the wake of his weak
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performance when he and kamala harris were separated by just two points. at 15%, elizabeth warren holds steady from the post debate poll and harris dropped to 12%. bernie sanders is at 11%. down two points this month. pete buttigieg takes 6% and beto o'rourke and andrew yang are at 2% each. looking at how the vote breaks down across racial lines, joe biden gets a third of the white vote and the majority of the black vote with 53%. no other democrat rises out of single digits with african-american voters who made up a quarter of the democratic primary electorate in 2016. willie? >> steve kornacki, that's a big poll for joe biden and it showed him with almost a 40 point lead over kamala harris among african-american voters. you have journey to power, the
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history of the black voters from 1976 to 2020. people can read it at our website. let's start with the turnout because we were just talking about how fascinating this is. in 2004, 60% african-american turnout in general elections. it goes up for president obama in 2008, 2012, comes back down in 2016. so what are you expecting and projecting for 2020? >> this one of the big open questions that i think the election could swing on in 2020. that turnout pattern you're looking at right there, '08 and '12 those are historical elections, barack obama, elected and re-elected and look at the black turnout in the general election there. you think of the difference between '08 and '12, extremely high black turnout and big victories. and kerry lost to george w. bush and in 2016, lower black turnout, hillary clinton losing narrowly, very narrowly to donald trump. one of those questions is what
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happened with black vote and the turnout in 2008 and 2012 is that something that can be replicated democrat donald trump behaving the way he's behaving, stirring up what he's stirring up will that get black turnout back to the level in 2008 around 2012 or is 2016 or 2004 the numbers that book end that? and 2008 and '12 is the aberration? i think it's a big question headed into 2020. >> that's the general election. how important is that african-american vote if you want to even get the nomination? >> yeah. you see it -- since 1992, bill clinton in 1992 starting there, no one has won the democratic presidential nomination without also winning the black vote. it tends -- as you see right there in that poll with joe biden the black vote tends to go heavily toward one candidate. the reason that the black vote is so important is the relative size of black voters as a constituency within the democrat i think party has been -- within the democratic party has been
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rising. we start to look back at 1976, why '76 the first time we have exit polls, the first time that networks were sponsoring them. fewer than 10% of all voters in democratic primaries were african-americans and we're expecting in 2020 that one out of every four votes cast next year in democratic primaries will be from black voters. along the way, you can see this in the project that i encourage folks to look at it, i think there are two major events in the 40 year span that really account for the rise. number one was in the 1980s. you had to campaigns from jesse jackson. he mobilized millions of new black voters. remember it had been 20 years since the voting rights act. you had millions of black voters. the jackson campaign registered them, mobilized them and really cemented a bond with the democratic party and the next major event not surprisingly is barack obama. so the election and presidency of obama. >> what's your sense of the black vote in the primaries especially in south carolina?
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given the accelerant that is donald trump? >> the poll we showed a minute ago is the most dramatic example but we have been seeing this for months now. you have two african-american candidates in this race, kamala harris and cory booker and there's the 76-year-old white candidate who is running laps around them with the black vote. there's two different theories on that. one, you can look back at jesse jackson in the '80s in first campaign in '84. look at barack obama in 2008. in both of those cases, they had to sort of establish some early credibility and then their black support took off. so barack obama in 2008 won the iowa caucuses and then his support in south carolina basically doubled overnight. but i have to say, even then back in 2008 barack obama was doing significantly better with black voters than you're seeing kamala harris and booker right now. is it the connection that joe
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biden has with obama out there? and the polls continue to show he's running better against t the -- against trump than the other democrats. is that what's powering it? >> so gene robinson if we put that poll up one more time for people driving in the car it shows that nationally that biden has 53% support among african-american voters. you have to go down to bernie sanders at 8% and kamala harris at 7%. i mean, the gap there is massive. so what is going on here? because joe biden has been attacked during this primary on questions of busing from the 1970s, on criminal justice reform from the 1990s. you'll probably hear more on the stage tomorrow night at the debate. what -- how do you attest to joe biden's support among african-american voters? >> well, i think african-american voters -- my theory of the case is that african-american voters are among the most pragmatic you will find out there. they have -- we have voted for
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lesser of evils in so many elections. certainly in my home state of south carolina. over time. and look, they want to win this election. and look at the field and apparently see joe biden as the person with the best chance of winning the election and returning a democrat to the white house. if that's what african-american voters want, they see -- they see biden as the vehicle for that. and, you know, 2008 was instructive. barack obama did not pick up substantial african-american -- well, he had substantial african-american support but he didn't really pick the lead among african-americans until he showed in iowa that he could win white votes basically. and i think if kamala harris or cory booker could pull off something like that in iowa, they could -- one of them could
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win iowa, then i think a lot of people would take a second look. but right now, biden because of people know him, because people think he could win and then i think really on almost a tertiary level because of the long association with president obama he is the -- you know, 53%, that's just astounding. >> adrienne, i want to jump on the two points we were talking about. i mean, i would say what i'm hearing is concern is if not biden, the rest of the field is either too far left or is also too far left along with depending on the fact that the right thing will happen. people won't vote for a racist. it just seems like there isn't anyone else that truly fits the bill as someone who can beat trump. appeal to voters perhaps disenfranchised by him, as well
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as voters across america. as well as the african-american vote and the policies that they're pitching are a little bit too pie in the sky for this moment in history. >> yeah. i mean, mika, again, you hit this on the head. that's exactly right. you know, there are a lot of voters in some of these rust belt states, middle america states that we need to win back in this election. and that we need to show in the primary that we're fighting for them, we're on the right side of their issues who are saying, you know what, i'm not sure that i want my private insurance to go away. i support expanding health insurance but i'm not sure that medicare for all is the right solution. i think in part that's why you saw kamala harris issue a new health care plan yesterday where she basically said you can keep your private insurance a little bit longer, we're not going to jump straight into something like medicare for all. given the fact she was a little wishy-washy on where she stood on this position in the last debate. but look, i agree with you. i'm from arkansas, and i know that arkansas is a solidly red
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state and unfortunately at this point it's not going to be a state that's going to be in play in the general election. but i know a lot of folks in arkansas who are saying we have to beat trump, we have to do whatever we can in order to get him out of the white house. but i'm not quite sure that i'm ready to support a nominee who wants to take away my private health insurance. who wants to have a more socialist type of government. and i think that's what democrats are going to have been a little bit careful with going forward. >> adrienne elrod, thank you very much. we'll be hearing much more from in the coming days. coming up, during a signing ceremony during the 9/11 compensation fund, he used the occasion to tout himself. we are fact checking his claim about spending a lot of time at ground zero ahead on "morning joe." me at ground zero ahead on "morning joe. most people think a button is just a button. ♪
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president trump signed into law yesterday permanent extension of the 9/11 victims compensation fund that will guarantee money provided to the victims of the 2001 terror
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attacks never runs out. and during the speech he commented on the time he spent with first responders right after the attacks. >> many of those affected were firefighters, police officers and other first responders. i was down there also, but i'm not considering myself a first responder. but i was down there. i spent a lot of time down there with you. >> "the new york times" quotes a retired deputy chief with the new york fire department that trump was never really a presence at ground zero. in fact, on the day of the attacks, donald trump called into the local news station, wor here in new york to discuss his view from his window at trump tower to overlooked the world trade center. >> 40 wall street actually was the second tallest building in downtown manhattan and it was actually before the world trade center was the tallest and then when they built the world trade center it was the second tallest and now the tallest. >> mike barnicle it's great news
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that the president of the united states signed this into law and taking care of the first responders until the year 2092. but this was a political layup. you have to say the right things, give the praise that the first responders deserve and even there he puts himself into the place where he was not over the course of the days and months after 9/11. >> nobody should be surprised at that. he injects himself into everything. it's always his generals, his army, his plans and i was down there amongst you. everything like that. anecdotically, factually no. i have never spoken to anyone who saw a presence of donald trump, a visible presence at e the -- in the rubble during all those weeks and months that people were picking through it and contracting diseases that killed many. >> yeah. i think he went down there once or twice and he was in the city of new york, steve, but imagine taking september 11th and
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injecting yourself into it when obviously this was a moment to reflect on and praise these men and women who actually were there. and many of them have suffered and in fact died because of what they did on that pile. >> yeah, no, i think mike said it. it's par for the course though. it's what you expect from him at pretty much any event on any occasion. he is going to find a way to put himself into it. >> mika? >> all right. still ahead, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is defending his decision to block a series of election security bills and while critics argue that he's going soft on russia top democrats from the obama administration say it's nothing new. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪ limu emu & doug
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welcome back to "morning joe." live look at washington, d.c. some of the other stories we're
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following right now, former software engineer in seattle is facing federal charges for hacking into capital one and obtaining data of more than 100 million people. court documents say 33-year-old paige thompson accessed the information through a misconfigured data. and the fbi seized a number of digital devices in a raid on thompson's home that appears to have data from capital one and other companies that may have been targeted. the bank says no credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised. thompson is facing computer fraud and an abuse charge which could face up to five years in prison and a quarter of million dollar fine. capital one's chairman apologized for the breach and said his company will offer free credit monitoring and i.d. protection to those affected.
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rapper asap rocky's trial is currently under way in sweden this morning. prosecutors allege that rocky whose real name is rakim mayers and two other members of his entourage attacked a man in central stockholm on june 30th. however, rocky's lawyer said that he acted in self-defense. and that their actions were within the limits of the law. rocky who has been in prison since july 3rd if found guilty could face up to two years in prison. boston red sox icon david ortiz made his first public comments since leaving the hospital almost two months after being shot in the dominican republic. writing on instagram that he's enjoying priceless time with his family. ortiz posted a photo of steak on a grill and conveyed in both english and spanish gratitude for being home with loved ones
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as well as for all the prayers. however, the 43-year-old is still limited in how much he can eat, adding quote too bad i can't crush food yet. all right. mike barnicle, it looks like he's doing a little better. this was rough though. that injury -- the injuries from the shooting were worse than initially thought. >> yeah. david ortiz is a very lucky guy today, mika. he has been released from the hospital after several weeks at mass general. he's home with his family obviously we just showed that. but he -- it will be a while. he's going to have to undergo a lot of physical therapy and the wounds to his stomach issues are going to linger for quite some time but he's a lucky man to be alive. >> very. what a trauma physically and emotionally. back to some politics and the calls for launching an impeachment inquiry into president trump continued to grow. 109 house democrats and one independent have come out in
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support of impeachment. three lawmakers out -- added their names to the list yesterday. congressman jose serrano of new york, tina titus of nevada and emanuel cleaver of missouri. since robert mueller testified before congress last week there have been 16 house democrats to come out in support of an impeachment inquiry. eugene robinson, the numbers are slowly growing. it's republicans though that are really needed and also i think public opinion in an overwhelming way. it's something nancy pelosi is taking step by step very carefully as she plays this out. >> yeah, she is. i mean, my question is if that -- if and when that number inches above half the democratic caucus in the house is that in any way a tipping point for nancy pelosi? does she -- she does listen to her caucus. she -- you know, she doesn't
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lead as a dictator. she spends a lot of time listening to the views of her caucus, and by the same token she obviously does not want to proceed to the impeachment inquiry. she thinks that would be a political mistake. and so, you know, as that number mounts, how does her calculation change? i'm a bit surprised that it is continuing to climb since the mueller testimony and so we'll just have to see in the next few weeks if it gets there. i think chairman nadler of the judiciary committee is pushing very strongly now for an impeachment inquiry and he's the guy who would run it. >> so steve kornacki as we close out with you, the impact though of an impeachment proceeding could have an election, i'm sure you'll be tracking numbers like that because the timing is tough for democrats.
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this is a very careful path to navigate. >> yeah. i mean, just play out the calendar a little bit here. first of all, you have the new calls for impeachment but there's nothing that anybody can really do about it right now in washington because they're going to be on recess for the rest of the summer. really till the end of august. first of all, you come up with that. then if something were to begin say in september or october, the way democrats talk about potentially having an impeachment proceeding, they're sort of two historical models, two recent models for this, what republicans did with bill clinton back in 1998 and '99, that was an express impeachment. they started it around thanksgiving time. 1998, they finished basically two months later. maybe ten weeks total. so that was -- they kind of did a rush job and democrats said if they do anything on donald trump they don't have that model in mind. what they have in mind is what you saw back with watergate 1973, 1974. a much more extended, detailed, protracted process. a lot more hearings involved. a lot more investigation
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involved and a lot more time involved. you're talking about ten month soar so time frame. if you started something around labor day, you use the watergate model you're not finishing up with this thing until after the presidential primaries next year, late into the spring of a presidential election year and then the two recent impeachments, nixon and clinton, they were lame ducks. that's the wild card for democrats thinking about this, hey, the voters get to decide on this. >> this is all unchartered territory. steve kornacki, thank you for being on this morning. check out steve's great piece on journey to power, the history of black voters, 1976 to 2020. and gene, thank you as well. we'll be reading your latest piece from "the washington post" entitled trump's escalation of racism means one thing -- he's
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worried about re-election. coming up the a.p.'s jonathan lemire has analysis on how the political and policy guardrails protecting the country from the president's worst instincts have fallen off. plus, jerry moran on the president's partisan pick to replace intelligence chief dan coats. and democratic senator richard blumenthal joins the conversation. "morning joe" is back in just a moment. t a moment ♪ ♪ let's go! ♪
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mitch mcconnell is not -- is totally disconnected from what's happening in kentucky and the average kentuckyian's lives. we have an opioid crisis in kentucky. we have two times the death rate in terms of opioid overdoses. we have a senator who has a campaign slogan that calls himself cocaine mitch. >> democratic senate candidate amy mcgrath making the point that senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has no problem with the nickname cocaine mitch. but another nickname has gotten under his skin. welcome back to "morning joe." it is tuesday, july 30th. we have we have the former chairman of the republican national committee, michael steele. msnbc contributor, mike barnicle. white house reporter for the associated press jonathan
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lemire. national security expert and columnist at "usa today" and author of the book "the death of expertise" tom nichols. and host of "kasie d.c." on msnbc, kasie hunt. joe is under the weather this morning but we have a lot to get to this hour. we begin with mitch mcconnell. last week on our show after mitch mcconnell's republican senate blocked a number of bills designed to combat russian interference in the u.s. elections, joe called out mcconnell's obstruction to those measures. mcconnell took to the senate floor yesterday to defend himself. saying that he is a hawkish foreign policy conservative who spent decades pushing back on russia. but senate minority leader chuck schumer disagrees with that. >> and the leader mcconwho will is the majority leader who can determine what is put on the floor he's put nothing on the floor on elections when last
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year we attempted in the appropriations bill to add more money to help the states harden their systems against cyber security -- against cyber attack, leader mcconnell opposed it. he said it's not needed. >> we'll also note that dennis mcdonagh said that mcconnell watered down the administration's warning about russia's attempt to interfere in the 2016 election. former vice president joe biden re-affirmed that while speaking with the council on foreign relations, richard haass. >> mitch mcconnell who i get on with well and is a smart guy, mitch mcconnell wanted no part of having a bipartisan commitment that we would say essentially russia's doing this, stop. bipartisan. they would have no party -- they would have no part of it. that to me hanging around that body up there for a longer than any of you were around doing it meant to me that this -- that
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the die had been cast here. this is all about the political play. >> and mcconnell continues to block bipartisan efforts to bring election security to the senate floor stalling several bills including two just last week. kasie hunt, you know, joe started this sort of #moscow mitch. he's dead serious. how mitch mcconnell seems to be kowtowing to russia or -- there's a conflict here that's pretty blatant. >> so behind the scenes, mika, the sense is that mitch mcconnell is carrying water for the white house on this. there has been a lot of bipartisan agreement and work done on these election security bills. now, some of the bills that -- that they tried to bring up on the floor, some that are floating around out there have been written exclusively by
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democrats for sure. but there is a piece of legislation that was on the list on the graph you just showed called the secure elections ability that has been a bipartisan project between senators amy klobuchar and james langford a republican who is working very hard on this and there's some confusion as to why exactly if this -- there is something that, you know, langford has been in the past a member of the senate intelligence committee so he's seen exactly you know what we have faced as a country more than most of us, or even more than most senators and said, hey, we need to do something about this. so the white house of course every single time this comes up it goes back to the president's ego, frankly, and his sense of why he won or lost the election. and again, i think it seems to fit into the same category of republicans not wanting to anger the president of the united states at the end of the day.
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>> kasie, a quick follow-up -- this is for anyone at the table. has mitch mcconnell ever expressed concern about the security of our elections? has he ever vocalized that the concern exists? because this is -- i think for the most part there is a sense that this is really happened and that our country is at risk. does mitch mcconnell address the reality of this risk in any way? >> mika, i'll be honest with you i don't have the transcripts of everything that mitch mcconnell has ever said on this topic sitting in front of me. i seem to recall he's talked about the threat that the russians have posed to our national security in this context in the past. but i certainly don't want to mislead anybody and say it's specifically what he has or has and said here. >> i can't think of any concern he's expressed in a big way. tom nicols, explain the threat
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that exists and does mitch mcconnell have a responsibility to address it? >> who knew that mitch mcconnell was such a snowflake to take umbrage at these kinds of criticisms. you know, kasie is right that some of these bills they're asking for unanimous consent. the leader can't give it. i mean, you know, that's a pretty standard senate maneuver, but the problem is with the intelligence community for years now sending out these warnings and flashing red lights. the senate and mcconnell in particular have shown no inclination to do anything about this because exactly because of this problem that the president doesn't want it. because it -- he takes it as an affront. and so the threat is very clear that the russians have been probing election software. they have been trying to probe every single state for weaknesses.
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what the russian -- the real threat here is that the russians -- it's not that they're going to change votes or tallies. it's that they're going to leave their footprints on some kind of mischief in a state that will then have to stop and back up and refuse to certify their votes. and throw the election into chaos which is exactly what the president wants so that he can claim, you know, that there's all kinds of problems with it. the russians especially want that because they want us to lose faith in our own electoral institutions. and frankly, electoral security should be near the top if not the top of the senate's agenda. and mcconnell who carefully calibrates every one of his responses on this, he has shown some concern about russian meddling. he has said the words. he's also said that every member of the senate cares about this which means he's had conversations with rand paul i guess that nobody knows about, but he doesn't do anything about it. because again, there is this
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message from the white house, don't touch this. it offends the president and that's not a responsible position. so he's taking a lot of heat completely deservedly so. >> certainly mitch mcconnell in the past has been critical of vladimir putin and he's issued warnings about what russia is trying to do. he and the senate are taking the cues from the white house here. the president as kasie was saying, any discussion of the russian election interference in his mind reflects back to 2016. suggesting that he only won because he had outside help, therefore he would not be a legitimate president. he's concerned of course again that that could happen in 2020. he doesn't want any sort of discussion of that and it might not be russia. there are a number of hostile foreign actors that could jump in here and try to interfere with what the balloting procedure next year -- which of course americans should be spending as much as needed to protect and let's remember it was only a month or so back that the president in a nationally
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televised interview said he'd be open to taking help from a foreign government. this is something that people around the president are so anxious about that their aides according to the reporting are reluctant to say the word russia in his presence for fear of setting him off. >> mika, let's simplify this for people out there who remain confused about who proposed what and who opposed what. let's clarify it in terms of mitch mcconnell. there are two sides here to this story. there's one side and it's a bipartisan side that wants enhanced electoral security. to protect russia or iran or china or anybody from interfering with our election. that's one side. the other side is mitch mcconnell's side who wants very little done, practically nothing done from this point forward. that's tantamount to one side wanting to score a touchdown and mitch mcconnell's side deciding -- opting out for a field goal try from midfield, from the 50 yard line, in the
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snowstorm. that's where we are right now. >> mika -- >> that's where we are. yep. >> mika, if i could just dovetail real quick on mike's last point there. the other side of this, that mcconnell still adheres to despite the trumpian effect on his decision making with respect to the legislation that's come before the senate is this idea that the bills that have been proposed offer some form of federal oversight or federal mandate on our elections. sort of nationalizing the elections process in a way that mcconnell philosophically has always had a problem with. that's his hook, that's his safe harbor if you will, on a lot of this, from a philosophical stand point that these decisions should be rightly left to the 50 states to decide how to manage and run their elections. but a bill -- a federal bill that says that every state must have a backup, a paper ballot backup doesn't encroach necessarily on that freedom to
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decide how to run your elections. it's a safety measure which the federal government should take responsibility for. to safeguard the elections. >> all right. president trump's choice for the new director of national intelligence is drawing new scrutiny for inflating his record on fighting terrorism. republican congressman john ratcliffe is a fierce advocate for trump on the judiciary and intelligence committees. and has repeatedly touted this credential from his time in the u.s. attorney's office for the eastern district of texas. >> part of my background is that i was a terrorism prosecutor for george w. bush. i'm john ratcliffe. as u.s. attorney i prosecuted terrorists. >> currently on ratcliffe's official house web site it says as a u.s. attorney and federaler the prosecutor, ratcliffe put terrorists in prison. yet, there is no evidence
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ratcliffe ever prosecuted a terrorism case. in a 2015 news release, ratcliffe's office claimed that in the case of u.s. v holy land foundation he convicted individuals who were funneling money to hamas behind the front of a charitable organization. but ratcliffe's name does not appear in the holy land trial record. ratcliffe's spokesman said he was appointed to investigate what went wrong by the attorney general in the first of two trials in the case. a former justice department official said that ratcliffe had made no recommendations and was not involved in the retrial that resulted in convictions. tom nichols, your take? >> you know, this is so characteristic of trump world. simply to create a reality and live in it and expect rightly -- they're not wrong that 60 million people are going to nod
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their heads and say, well, i guess he's a qualified terrorism prosecutor because he said so. whatever comes out of the white house or whatever comes out of the white house's appointee's and enablers there's about 40% of the public that is simply going to believe it. and, you know -- my personal view, ratcliffe is completely unqualified for this. he was clearly auditioning for this job during the mueller hearings. he has pushed you know fever swamp theories about plots within the fbi. you know, you'd really have to try hard to find people that e are, you know, worse picks than this. and this administration could find them i'm sure. but it doesn't matter. i mean, in a sense we're in that self-created reality that trump world always lives in so ratcliffe is going to say i'm a terrorism prosecutor and i -- you know, trump's and the supporters will nod and say, okay, he is. even though as you say there's no evidence he did anything like
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that and really has no relevant experience for this job. >> rat cliff had met with the president a few weeks prior to that mueller hearing and the president was impressed with his work. he had seen him on fox news which is so often the audition for a high level position in the trump administration, defending the president on television. there was some momentum towards this post and then his performance during the mueller hearing sort of sealed the day. the president even tweeted out a clip and he told people around him that this is someone he really believes could do a good job. kasie, my question to you though, what are his prospects here going forward? there seems to be some reluctance from a number of key republican senators to whether or not that he could be someone who could be confirmed. what are his chances do you think? >> well, i think that the silence on this is a little bit deafening to be honest. and, you know, that says quite a bit in the way that these political things tend to play out. i mean, remember he only needs republicans to get ultimately confirmed so while there have
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been plenty of democrats already criticizing him that doesn't really matter that much. the person who matters probably the most in the next couple of weeks is probably richard burr the chairman of the senate intelligence committee. it's a committee that's known for having a real process, it is one of the few areas where there is still some legitimate bipartisanship in the senate. and burr actually spoke to reporters yesterday. he was critical of a report that suggested that privately he had told the administration that he didn't -- you know, ratcliffe was too political for the job. he said that he wanted the new york times to check their sourcing on that. just passing that along. but he hasn't said anything in public one way or the other about ratcliffe. he's just said i never met him. i don't know anything about him. and i think this story from ken dilanian underscores that. clearly here in washington that was picked up pretty quickly. there are plenty of people i have spoken to, reporters, other members of congress in the past 48 hours who have said, oh,
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yeah, he was a terrorism prosecutor. now it turns out well perhaps that's not the case. you know, we need to learn a little bit more about this. but he's such an unknown quantity that it suggests to me that we don't exactly know how this confirmation process could unfold and so far he is not standing on fully solid ground. now, that could change quickly this week. you know, he does obviously have the trust of the president. that's something people have pointed to. as a potential positive for him. but i mean, you know, frankly i have covered capitol hill for a long time. this is not somebody who was on our radar in an aggressive way until that hearing last wednesday with robert mueller. >> doesn't the dni statute that corrected the director of the national intelligence call for specifically some background in intelligence gathering? >> that's the idea. yeah. i mean, there's some questions about how, you know, strongly that -- you know, that applies. that you know you can kind of interpret it in the broad way.
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but the history of this job and the intention of it was -- you know, it came out of what happened on september 11th. the idea was this was supposed to be somebody with -- who could build trust among a dispirit set of intelligence agencies that clearly weren't working together well enough. they were having some turf battles that some thought damaged our national security. it's been held by politicians or people who have worked in or around politics before. but at the same time, it's always been somebody who has been trusted by the intelligence community who's been viewed as not necessarily part of the political swamp, if you will. it's not clear ratcliffe meets that criteria. >> now to this story. the senate has failed to override a trio of vetoes issued by president trump last week regarding the administration's arms sales to saudi arabia.
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the united arab emirates, and other countries. the veto stopped bipartisan legislation which would have blocked the 22 separate arms sales worth more than $8 billion to the persian gulf nations. the administration took unilateral action and bypassed congress which has oversight of arms sales by invoking a rarely used national emergency provision citing the threats from iran as justification and adding that blocking the controversial action quote would weaken america's global competitiveness. this all infuriated a large group of bipartisan lawmakers including lindsey graham and rand paul. meanwhile, we are learning more about the circumstances surrounding the trump administration's controversial approval allowing the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology to the kingdom of saudi arabia. the trump administration has twice allowed u.s. energy firms
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to export nuclear technology and expertise to the kingdom including days after jamal khashoggi's murder. and led by representative elijah cummings, the group reveals that private companies including one by trump fund-raiser tom barack helped to get support for the project and they lobbied for any limits on the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology to the king come. republican lawmakers have issued a minority report saying that the trump administration has no conflicts of interest and did not rush into the decision. saudi arabia plans to build nuclear power plants, but so far has refused to agree to safeguards that it does not develop nuclear weapons.
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one day before october 17th, president trump defended the saudis saying they're a very important ally, because they're a tremendous purchaser of arms and military equipment. jonathan lemire, there's so many conflicts here and clearly, the overriding narrative surrounding jamal khashoggi's murder and america's lack of really facing reality on what happened there and calling out the saudis on what they did. >> just a few weeks ago at the meetings at the g20 summit in osaka, japan, the president had a lot of time with the crown prince mbs there and in a small meeting a group of reporters were in, and i and a few of the colleagues shouted the comments, will you stand up for the american resident who was killed by the saudis, jamal khashoggi and he ignored the question. not only that, he spent a lot of
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time with the crown prince in a very -- in various events that weekend or during that summit where he was sort of his guide through a number of photo-ops. he stood with him center stage. surrounded by world leaders and diplomats we spoke to there suggested that it was almost the president not only defending the crown prince, but sort of acting, helping him rehabilitate his image on the world stage. so tom, let me go to you on this. where do -- what do you make of this? the president here, his behavior towards saudi arabia, is this about simply betting big on mbs and therefore being -- refusing to back down from that? or is this about economic reasons because of the arms sales? and what sort of moral high ground is he sacrificing by continuing to cozy up to this crown prince? >> on questions like this the administration almost seems to have a kind of political version of operational defiance disorder. that it will find things that are outrageous to a bipartisan audience, things that -- it's
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being advised not to do and then specifically goes out and does them. an american resident. a journalist for one of our major american newspapers is brutally murdered. he -- the president is asked to do something about it and he digs in and says, i'm specifically not going to do something about it. with that said, i think it's always dangerous to assume or hazardous to assume there's a policy. on the one hand the president seems attracted to strong men. people who just run things by fiat with a wave of their hand and that may just explain his relationship with mbs alone. there's a second group within the government that kind of keeps the lights on and keeps things moving that is pushing these things forward because of our relationship with saudi arabia. that isn't really interested in upsetting economic or security ties over this. even though we should. even though it would be good
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policy to rethink these ties. because the president has no interest in it and the rest of the government is kind of on autopilot, this is where we find ourselves. >> you know, michael steele, one of the impacts of this policy where you get the president of the united states and jared kushner gleefully selling weapons -- armaments, huge number of armaments to saudi arabia and the united arab emirates there's still an ongoing and extremely deadly war in yemen being carried on and multiple deaths, multiple destruction of homes and families are brought to you by weaponry furnished to the saudis and to the uae by the united states of america. and that does not go unnoticed in that region. >> it doesn't go unnoticed and it really contributes to the ongoing tensions in terms of dealing with the crisis and the
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administration's role in perpetuating that and not bringing some resolution. when you are funneling the arms and to the question that -- you know, the overarching question about what is the moral -- the moral compass here, what is the moral sense here, there is none. this is a purely transactional relationship which donald trump is in his heaven with because the saudis love to play that transactional game. it has been part and parcel of their history with the united states, despite their role of -- you know, their supposed role at least in the 9/11 with the majority of those individuals coming from the saudi region. so you have this sort of fractured history that's patched together by these transactional activities that occur. and turning a blind eye to the moral consequences of those
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actions. >> all right. tom nichols, thank you very much. a lot going on. come back soon. still ahead on "morning joe," the candidates for president will be talking to a national audience tonight at the democratic debate. but all politics is local and they're facing a hometown crowd in the motor city. we'll talk to congresswoman brenda lawrence about the vote in michigan and her role on the oversight committee. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast... ...and brake too hard. with feedback to help you drive safer. giving you the power to actually lower your cost. unfortunately, it can't do anything about that. now that you know the truth... are you in good hands?
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congressman elijah cummings holds the keys to one of the most powerful committees investigating the trump administration. and the president himself. that might explain why the president is very, very nervous.
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joining us now is a member of the house oversight committee congresswoman brenda lawrence of michigan. thank you very much for joining us on the show this morning. i know you all are interested in oversight, no matter who is in the oval office and no matter how the person who is in the oval office feels. but what is the information that you're looking for that could have trump reacting so badly, especially pertaining to elijah cummings? >> for me, the president reacts when there are questions about those who are closest to him including his family. if you ask me why he's getting such a -- giving such emotional responses is because his family, his children, who he put in office, who are employees of the federal government are being
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questioned and oversight is being applied to them as well. >> what are the questions being asked about jared and ivanka? >> jared and ivanka have had repeated -- it's been noted that they have top clearance and security clearance. they travel with the president on these foreign trips. we know they have not divested of the company business and so there are all of these incidents that we need to provide oversight including where the -- when we looked at the russian intrusion into our election system, we know for a fact that his family were directly involved in carrying messages back and forth and there has been absolutely no -- no pushback or denial of russian
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interference from everyone except the president. so when we're doing oversight and we're looking at the emoluments, violations, we're looking at the interaction between russia and this administration, his family comes into play. >> so you said they're carrying messages back and forth. what are the messages or communications that you are looking for specifically pertaining to jared and ivanka and are they being forthcoming with the material that you're requesting? >> no, they're not. as you know, there has been denial after denial of the request to come before our committee to testify. i want to be very clear about something, what are you looking for? this body the oversight committee we have been given reports, the mueller report,
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intel that shows that russia interfered in our elections and during that process they talk directly to members of this administration which includes the president's family. and some people say we're picking on this family. no. he has employed his children to be part of our government and once they took that oath and once they received top clearance in our government, we are entitled to oversight. so this is not picking on the president's family. we are doing our due diligence to find out so that we can correct and make sure we stop and hold russia accountable because there's denial from the top person in our government, the president of the united states, who has not admitted that russia has interfered in our elections. and we cannot afford that to
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continue. we now hear china and everyone else said hey, it's -- if russia can do it, we can do it as well. and we can then interfere and get policies and individuals in office that will do our bidding. >> representative lawrence, you are sitting there this morning in the motor city in a state that donald trump -- >> i'm in the motor city. >> yeah, good for you. we love the motor city. america loves the motor city. >> i do. i'm a home girl here. >> well, you're in a state that donald trump carried in 2016. not by much, but he did carry it. and one of the reasons he did carry it is because he insisted and sort of convinced many people in michigan that anything built in mexico, glass, doesn't matter what it was, it was all coming home to michigan. and the car business, the automobile industry, would be thriving. what is the status of the automobile industry in michigan and in the motor city today?
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>> so i have born and raised in detroit, so i know the auto industry. it's part of our dna here in detroit. the auto industry continues to make decisions based on the economics. we know that there's a large part of our auto industry that has been sent to mexico, to -- for lower costs, labor costs. we have seen plants close during this administration where there's decisions that have been made based on consumer buying. i can tell you we're actively looking at replacing our trade deals so that we can get one that will benefit the workers and not promote taking business and production out of detroit and sending it somewhere else because we want a trade deal that will ensure that we have human rights issues built in to it so you can't have sweatshops
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in other parts of the world and pay people these disturbing wages. we also want to make sure that when we do trade with other countries that we are getting the same amount of treatment that we're giving them in our cities as well. the auto industry is doing well at this time. there hasn't been major change since donald trump has been in office. i have a plant in my district that is being closed. we have another plant that is being opened. so we are still moving forward. i would say i have not seen a major change since this president has been in office. >> congresswoman brenda lawrence, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. up next, what's happening along the southern border is a vivid reminder of a shameful chapter in american history. 2019 isn't the first time families were put behind bars.
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nbc's tom brokaw has a pointed look back at the internment camps of world war ii. we'll be right back. who's dog is this? it's my special friend, antonio. his luxurious fur calms my nerves when i'm worried about moving into our new apartment. why don't we just ask geico for help with renters insurance? i didn't know geico helps with renters insurance. yeah, and we could save a bunch too. antonio! fetch computer! antonio? i'll get it. get to know geico and see how much you could save on renters insurance.
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this past weekend nbc senior
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correspondent tom brokaw was honored for his work helping to preserve the memory for one of the most shameful episodes in history, the forced internmentment of japanese americans during world war ii. it continues with the bitter debates over race and immigration. >> northern wyoming, the remnants of a world war ii prison. it was no less than that. japanese american citizens were torn from their homes and businesses and shipped here, denied their most fundamental rights, forced to live in crude barracks, barely heated, armed guards 24/7. many of the relatives were in american fighting uniforms in combat. now succeeding generations have created a memorial on this site. so we'll all remember.
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♪ each of us should spend every waking hour making sure it never occurs again wherever we come from. and our ancestry, whoever we marry, whatever our children become, and how we treat those immigrants who are coming across our borders from a variety of places, even today, we have to think about the idea that race is not in any fashion in america a measurement of worthiness. we're all the same. mittsy was a school girl in maryland where her father lived since the early 1900s but she was taken out of the school and sent with her family here to harp mountain. what happened when you got home? >> what happened, we had to walk a mile and a quarter to school. a woman yelled at me and sicced
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her dog at me on the way. when we got to school none of my former friends would speak to me or play with me at recess. >> but a unique lasting friendship was formed here. from cody, wyoming, one of the boy scouts was al simpson, later a congressman and he met a japanese american and norman was an important member of american government. a lot of people vaiing these days senator simpson, these are the worst of times politically. do you think so? >> the difference now is it's called hatred. it's not disgust or disappointment or you know i don't like the guy. i hate trump, i hate warren, i hate aoc, i hate pence, i hate schumer, i hate mcconnell and it's called hatred and hatred corrodes the container it's carried in.
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and these people were filled with hate that is some day going to blow a hole in their gut and they deserve every bit they get, the bastards. >> and the fact in your own personal experience, fellow japanese americans that you knew here, if they had left here with that kind of hatred, their lives would have come to an end. >> i think one of the amazing things about that whole experience is that you had 120,000 people impacted in this way and they did not become bitter about it. >> given all you have been through about what we're going through now, what would be your advice? >> i would say when you see something is right or wrong, don't just sit there and say nothing or do nothing. it's the good people who don't do anything that cause misery and harm. >> this is my third visit to harp mountain and i never fail to be inspired by what i find here. this ought to be a mandatory stopping place for people running for political office
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these days because so much of american politics now is divided by race, color of skin, country of origin. we do have to get beyond that. i'm tom brokaw at harp mountain. >> all right. thank you, tom. mike barnicle, if you look at that time in history, it just -- it doesn't seem possible that we could be resonating again moments like what we have happening now at the border. i mean, it is really incredible sort of the ricochet effect we have had over the past two decades from barack obama then to donald j. trump and these policies. >> you know, americans would do well to try to listen and remember the words of those two old men now, because they talked about bitterness, resentment and
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hatred on us. i'm fortunate, i grew up on the street that was literally a united nations of people who fled europe from countries like russia, poland, france, italy during world war ii or prior to world war ii. that's who we are. as americans we come from every place in the world. and we come color blind. we come without hatred, without resentment, without the bitterness that those two old men talked about. and we come here for one reason and one reason only. because this is the opportunity -- this is the land of opportunity. the land where you can be free to think and say whatever you want. and now to your point that we're pulled in one direction and the direction is not -- it's not -- it's not a great direction but it -- but we're being pulled by someone in the white house, the president of the united states, who wakes up seemingly every day with the intent to further divide this great nation. the words of those two old men we should think about them. >> yeah.
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coming up, a congressional investigation has found the u.s. olympic committee and usa gymnastics knowingly concealed the abuse of gymnasts by a team doctor. with one year until the 2020 olympics in tokyo, a pair of bipartisan senators taking action to protect athletes. "morning joe" will be right back. when the hot sun hits your ice cream lick fast like a cookie dough ninja.
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former olympic gymnastics doctor nassar was sentenced last year to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting young girls under the guise of treatment. during the marathon sentencing hearing, 156 of nassar's accusers gave statements of how the disgraced physician abused them including olympic gold medalist aly raisman and jordan
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wieber. he is also serving a sentence for possession of child pornography. critics believe that the abuse could have been stopped sooner if action was taken by institutions such as michigan state university where he had a sports medicine practice and which received reports of sexual abuse by him as early as the 1990s. following an 18 month senate investigation launched after nassar's sentencing that found the u.s. olympic committee and usa gymnastics knowingly concealed the sexual abuse of gymnasts, lawmakers are introducing new legislation that would hold the sports governing bodies to are more stringent accountability. and joining us, two of the driving forces behind the legislation. richard blumenthal and jerry
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moran. yes, things are happening beyond trump land here, trying to go get things done in washington. senator blumenthal, tell us what the legislation does that would prevent what happened. >> you're absolutely right that larry nassar was a monster predator. he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. but he was not a lone wolf. he was enabled by the u.s. olympic committee and by the gha national governing boards. there is a long list of other predators still out there, a long list of enablers who have to be held accountable. and other sports like swimming, wrestling and figure skates where there has been similar kinds of abuse. so our legislation would produce a seismic change in culture. no more medals and money above morals. usa gymnastics was rotten to the core. we'll hold u.s. olympics responsible. they will be legally
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accountable. they will have reporting duties. they will have to disclose the names of those predators that are found. and they will have to be legally liable. every individual. and every official and the organization itself. congress will be able to disband and fire them if they fame toilo the right thing. and i think the first test is whether the olympic committee supports the legislation. >> and senator moran, what is the possibility of seeing debate and getting passed? >> i think this is an opportunity that we don't see often enough in congress, the united states senate, very bipartisan effort, a very serious 18 month investigation. i don't see how it cannot become law. the senate is poised certainly our committee to pass -- debate and pass this legislation. we would expect time on the senate floor.
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the house then enact it and become law. and single tcertainly the effore senate and i commend senator blumenthal for our work together. but it is the survives, the athletes who came before our committee who appeared with us, who spoke of their stories, who told what happened to them. and their courage is what then requires, enables, insists that we respond by making certain that there is a result from their courageous actions. too often -- and the athletes said that they were failed by those they expected to protect them, institutions and people. and their request was please make certain that we are not failed by the united states congress. and senator plublumenthal and ie committed to making certain that this legislation becomes law and that it protects those who are in this kind of circumstance in the future and that it provides
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justice for those who encountered larry nassar and others to date. so this is -- no question in my mind this is a task that must be accomplished and will be. >> this is kasie hunt. senator blumenthal, you mentioned that it will be a key test if usa gymnastics actually supports this legislation. i'm interested to know in the course of your investigation, did you find that these major institutions, the u.s. olympic committee, usa gymnastics and also michigan state university, did they facilitate the work that you did or did they stand in your way? what signals did any send to you about how serious they are about fixing this? >> very bluntly all of those institutions facilitated an ecosystem that in effect
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condoned, enabled this kind of abuse. they turned a blind eye. and these athletes were so moving. the athletes are profiles in courage. these institutions and their officials are profiles in cowardi cowardice. we have referred one of them, former chief executive scott blackman for criminal prosecution. and another, head of usa gymnastics, is under state indictment. there are other potential individuals who should be held culpable criminally and civilly. but the example of these athletes who spoke truth to power ought to give voice and face to others. and part of what we're trying to do here is to create safe spaces at the locker rooms, fields, so that safe sports will actually keep people safe and make them
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able to come forward without fear ever retaliation. >> and this was the surprising discouraging damning thing of my observation of what transpired was too many people looked the other way. it seems to me that -- i believe all of us have a responsible if somebody brings us a story of sexual abuse, of emotional abuse, particularly these young women, but young people, anyone that we all have a moral and legal responsibility to respond. and we did not see that often enough. we saw it rarely. and so this was -- this just one of the things that remind all of us of the responsibilities that we have to try to protect those who are more vulnerable, try to protect every person from this kind of heinous behavior and it didn't happen very often. >> senators, thank you both very much. still ahead, nbc news
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obtains documents that suggest new efforts to crackdown on credible asylum claims. another stevphen miller special for you. plus the president tries to fire up his business with increasingly divisive rhetoric. we have the new poll numbers that snow just how much it is not working for his re-election effort. "morning joe" is back in two minutes. look limu. a civilian buying a new car. let's go. limu's right. liberty mutual can save you money by customizing your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh... yeah, i've been a customer for years. huh... only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it is tuesday, july 30th. yoe is under the weather. but along with willie and me, we have mike barnicle, national political correspondent for nbc news and msnbc and author of the red and the blue steve kornacki is with us this morning. msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the
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republican national committee michael steel steele is here. and also eugene robinson is joining us. and former chief of staff to the dcc krch dccc, adrienne elrod joining us. a great group to have with us this morning. so what is on tap for today? ten candidates for president square off tonight including bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. they are among the frontrunners right now. but still trailing joe biden by a wide margin. we'll dig deep into the 4r5i9la polling. plus two developments from capitol hill. the senate fails to block armed sales to saudi arabia. and more house democrats back the push for impeachment and fact checking the president's pick for the top spy job.
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what was john ratcliffe talking about when he said that he'd put terrorists in prison. like what did he mean. we'll go through that. but let's begin with this, weeks of president trump's sound and fury have done nothing to ignite his base according to a new poll. in its latest analysis, associated press writes the president has inflamed racial tensions betting such divisions will help ease his path to victory in 2020. and he has replaced gut instinct and tweets. and while republicans nervously consider an unconstrained trump 15 months from the election, few have stepped up to challenge a president who has been emboldened by the conclusion of the russia probe and a divided democratic congress. the temptations for trump are only set to increase this week before two nights of democratic
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debates. then thursday in ohio he will have his first rally since the offensive chants of his supporters about democratic lawmakers of color which trump disavowed and then backtracked. remember that? send her back, send them back? because a new poll from quinnipiac university shows the percentage of voters who say they will definitely reelect trump is still in the low 30s, 32%. 12% say that they will consider voting for the president. 54% say they will definitely not stroet for trump. willie geist, an opening for democrats you would think. >> yeah, 54%, michael steele, a big number 15 months away from the election. we'll see if that number swings over the next few months as we get a good look at democrats. but we're told that all this baltimore talk and all this i
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can't lie gentleman consucummin base play, that he is shoring up the people who put him in the white house and some people argue that it is snart politics. this poll, although it doesn't reflect the baltimore riff is not reflected, that would suggest otherwise, wouldn't it, that these plays that he is making to the base aren't exactly helping his numbers. >> but i don't know how much close krcredence i put in them. they will say i don't vote for him because they don't want to be considered a trumper. but i take the polls with a grain of salt. i think that it is very telling and i'm judging the behavior of republican elected members of congress in the united states senate. that is my gauge on where trump is with his base support and how
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strong that base support is. the fact that they get off on a racial screed that they somehow want to rush to that space and support the president and protect him tells me that his numbers are a lot stronger than a poll like that may reflect. and i think that it is very dangerous for people to look at this race even at this juncture and i'm not one to buy into elections a year and a half out. give me sometime january and february the numbers tighten a bit. but right now you can still get some insight into how the base feels and where the country is. and donald trump knows his instincts are telling him that he is in a much stronger position because that is where the american people want him to be right now because they are not pushing back on what we saw you out of baltimore, they have not pushed back since charlottesville. >> the incentive may be to widen
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his base of support and worry about some of the suburbs in wisconsin and pennsylvania and michigan that helped get him elected last time around. >> yeah, it is interesting with trump trying to analyze how he understands the incentives of politics. i think the broad lesson he takes from 16 is he feels he broke every rule of campaigning and he won. so what do the experts know. that is the best that i can tell in terms of the incentives he responds to. but one thing to keep in mind when you look at these polls, the base isn't enough alone for donald trump. there is a certain segment of voter that held its nose and voted for him. and the numbers that speak to there are on election day, his fafsh on favorable rates in 2016 was 38%. he got 46% of the vote. he was able to do that because almost as many people had an unfavorable view of his opponent and the folks who didn't like trump and didn't like clinton
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ended up breaking lopsidedly for trump. >> as usual steve kornacki says a couple things right. referencing donald trump's opponent in 2016 and outlining the fact that donald trump in 2016 campaigned as he did, he never expected to win. so he was outrageous from the beginning. and now he is in the position of trying to mimic what he did in 2016 except i got to tell you, i don't know about the polls, but there is only so many aggrieved white guys out there in a pool that you are stwiming in that y swimming in that you can attraction. >> and having said that, adrienne elrod, talking to folks who are following this closely, i'm sensing a real concern about the democratic field. what are you hearing? >> well, look, sure there is concerns about the democratic field in the sense that i think some people think that some of
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the frontrunners are going too far to the left on certain issues like medicare for all, taking away their private health insurance. but look, i think that steve kornacki hit it on the head when he said you can only do so much when it comes to your base strategy. that is what donald trump is doing. he is doubling down on his base hoping that the destrvic devisit toric will turn out his base enough to push him over the finish line. but that won't work this time if he keeps this strategy up because that 4% to 5% of undecided voters in the middle, the ones who literally decide every election, they won't support him at this rate. so doubling done on his base while also i think he is trying to suppress democratic voter turnout because people are just so sick and tired of the entire process, it won't work for him this time for a litany of
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reasons. so it will be interesting to see if his strategists try to get him to take more moderate tact and be less divisive and not saying the racist comments. >> still ahead on "morning joe," it took about 30 seconds for elijah cummings to defend mark meadows in real time when he was accused of being a racist. it took mark meadows about three days to return the favor and even then he didn't really return the favor. it was not convincing. we'll talk about that next on morning joe on oig. that next o morning joe on oig lick fast like a cookie dough ninja. apply that same speed to the ford hurry up and save sales event. for the first time ever get 20% estimated savings on select ford models, plus earn complimentary maintenance through fordpass rewards. it all adds up. don't you love math? so get here asap because tasty deals and summer
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and now get 250 dollars back when you buy an eligible phone. it's simple. easy. awesome. click, call or visit a store today. the president continued his smear campaign against congressman cummings yesterday ramping it up with unsubstantiated allegations of corruption. trump tweeted baltimore's
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numbers the worst in the united states on crime and the economy. billions of dollars have been pumped in, the money was stolen or wasted. ask elijah cummings where it went. he should investigate position with his oversight committee. so the president going after him as head of oversight. that is an interesting parallel. that is an interesting enemy that the president is taking on. we are also hearing from republican congressman mark meadows whose friendship with cummings was on display when the house oversight chairman defended meadows against allegations of racism earlier this year. his response came as the president attacked his friend for a third straight day on twitter accusing him of being raci racist. meadows writes i'm friends with both men and president trump and chairman cummings, i know both men well. neither man is a racist, period.
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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 a whole. i'm committed to working to that end with both of them. meadows did not mention trump's claim that cummings engages in radical oversight and is an incompetent leader. the statement also ignored trump's claim that cummings' district is a filthy disgusting rat and rodent infested mess. but earlier this year, meadows cried, he cried really hard when he position was accused of being on the wrong side of an issue involving race. take a look. >> my nieces and nephews are people of color. not many people know that. you know that, mr. chairman. you and i have a personal
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relationship that is not based on color. >> mr. meadows, you know -- of all the people on this committee, i've said it and got in trouble for it, that are you one of my best friends. i know that shocks a lot of people. >> and likewise, mr. chairman. >> but you are. and i would do -- i can see and feel your pain. i feel it. >> really. mark meadows just a couple questions. can you feel elijah cummings' pain when he is called a racist? because you were truly upset. you were deeply shocked and appalled that you where are called a racist and elijah stood up for you right there in front of the cameras come what may. no matter what happened to him, he stood with his friend and you couldn't even do it. but you were so upset you were crying. like a baby. you were crying so hard at the
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thought of being called a racist so you know how much that hurts. especially if it is not true. and you did not stand up for your friend. so you have just shown america that you cannot be counted on. you have just showed your voters you cannot be counted on, that you will take the weak way out. that was pathetic. you had a moment yesterday when you could step up and return the favor because it was the right thing to do and you took a pass because you are weak and spineless and you think that some sort of relationship with this president is going to bring you somewhere good? if he leaves office after four years, there is a chance that he won't even go back to mar-a-lago. this doesn't end well, mark meadows. and also it is a matter of right and wrong. it is a matter of right and wrong. you know what it feels like to be called a racist. when you believe you're not. which many would question about but he didn't. he took a stand in real time. you took a pathetic -- many
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moments to figure out some sort of pathetic statement that said nothing. you did nothing.robinson, any p anything i'm saying? >> no, i think you used the word pathetic three times and i think that is the right word. unconscionable, disgraceful. another couple of words that you could use for meadows' performance. cummings didn't have to go out on that lim fob for him when meadows was under attack. so -- >> do you remember what happened leading up to that moment where meadows was crying crocodile tears? >> i remember. >> do you remember that woman they brought out? it was a pathetic display. and elijah cummings put his hand up and said no, we're not using the word racist. i know this man, i've worked
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with him. he stood up for him in real t e time. >> and that really ridiculous and again disgraceful sort of i know both men response is not the same thing as coming to the defense of someone whom you claim as a friend, who showed that he was a friend to you. a real friend. it is just awful. it is amazing the whole -- michael steele was talking earlier about what he is seeing among republicans about trump. and it is simply true that there is no republican party anymore. it is the trump party. you know, i have serious questions about whether donald trump can expand his base to the point where he could actually get reelected. but i have no doubt about his control of the vast majority of
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self identified republicans right now. he is the republican party. it is not the party of lincoln, it is the party of trump. and republicans, republican officer holders and republican base are following him i believe off a cliff but following him like some sort of demented pied piper. it is appalling but this is the world we live in. coming up on "morning joe," it is joe biden's lead to keep in this week's democratic debates. he is up big on his rivals right now and steve kornacki is breaking down the numbers. that conversation is next on "morning joe." so ...how are you feeling? on a scale of one to five? one to five? it's more like five million. there's everything from happy
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a month after the first round of democratic presidential debates, a new poll shows the race shifted yet again in july. the quinnipiac university poll has joe biden at 34% gaining 12 points from their last poll taken in the wake of biden's weak performance when he and kamala harris were separated by gi just two points. at 15%, elizabeth warren holds steady. and harris dropped eight points
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to 12%. bernie sanders is at 11% down two points this month. pete buttigieg takes 6% and beto o'rourke 2%. looking at how breaks down across racial lines, joe biden gets a third of the white vote and majority of the black vote with 53%. no other democrat rises out of single digits with african-american voters who made up a quash of the democratic primary eelectric are tore rlec. >> and that is an extraordinary number. we had a poll out of south carolina that showed him with almost a 40 point lead over kamala harris among african-american voters. you have this extraordinary piece journey to power, history of black voters 1976 to 2020. i know you've been working on this for a long time. let's start with the turnout because we were just talking about how fascinating this is. in 2004, 16% african-american
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turnout. it goes up for president obama in 2008, 2012, comes back down in 2016. so what do you expect and project for 2020? >> i think this is a question that the election could swing on. that turnout pattern right there, that is barack obama, first black president, and look at the black turnout in the general election there. and you think about the difference between '08 and '12, extremely high black turnout, two democratic victories. 2004, lower turnout, narrow democratic loss. 2016, lower black turnout, hillary clinton losing very narrowly. it is one of those questions is what happened with black vote in the turnout in 2008 and 2012, is that something that can be replicated. donald trump behaving the way he is behaving stirring up what he is stirring up, will that get
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black turnout back to the level you saw in 2008 or is 2016, 2004 the numbers that book end that, are those sort of more the normal numbers. i think that it is a big question. >> and so that is the general election. let's go back to the primary where we sit today. how important is that african-american vote if you want to even get the nomination? >> yeah, since 1992, bill clinton in 1992 starting there, no one has won the democratic presidential nomination without also winning the black vote. s as you see, the black vote tends to go heavy toward one candidate. the reason the black vote is so important, relative size of black voters as a constituency has been rising for basically 40 plus years right now. this project we start looking back at 1976, first time that we got exit polls. in '76, fewer than 10% of all
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vote hers in democratic primaries were african-american. we're expecting in 2020 that one out of every four votes cast next year in democratic primaries will be from black voters. and you see in that project, i think there are two major events there in that 40 year span that account for that rise. number one was in the '80s, two presidential campaigns from jesse jackson. he wrenlg sistregistered millio black be voters. it had only been 20 years since the voting rights act. people who were not registered to vote. the jackson campaign registered them, mobilized them and really cemented a bond with the democratic party. and next major event is barack obama. >> and so what is your sense of the black vote in the primaries especially in south carolina given the beingaxlccelerant tha donald trump? >> the question of why joe biden, that poll we just showed is the most dramatic example.
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but we've been seeing it for months. you have two african-american candidates. kamala harris, cory booker, both with stole lid resumes and there is the 76-year-old white candidate who is running laps around them with the black vote. there are two different theories. one, you can look back at jesse jackson, you can look at barack obama. in both of those cases, they had to establish early credibility and then the black support really took off. barack obama won the iowa caucuses and then support in south carolina basically doubled overnight. but even back in 2008 barack obama at this point in the race was doing significantly better with black voters than you are seeing kamala harris and cory booker doing right now. is it the connection that joe biden has with obama? that is one theory. just that joe biden has tried to claim the status of most
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electable candidate. coming up, yet another effort inside the administration to reshape america's asylum system. and this one has stephen miller's fingerprints all over it. julia ainsley will join us next with her reporting. this was me six years ago... and this is me now! i got liberty mutual. they customized my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. then i won the lottery, got hair plugs, and started working out. and so can you!
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welcome back to "morning joe." a live look at washington. and right in there president trump apparently is watching "morning joe" again. donald, you really ought to find something else to do in the morning. it is just not healthy. tweeting about the show this morning saying that there is anger on the show. my anger? no, i'm not angry. don't worry, donald, i'm not angry. i'm sad and disgusted when pathetic politicians don't stand up to your racism. your racism. they are too afraid to. that is sad and that is unbelievably pathetic to watch and it is really bad for our
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country. so just make sure that you understand the emotion you're seeing here. it is really sad and what i'm saying is what is happening with those who suck up to you to the point where they throw away everything that they have worked for all their lives including the trust that voters have in them, the trust that other members of the senate and congress have in them, that they cannot be a true friend and stand up for a friend when they are being called a racist by the president of the united states? let's talk about mark meadows. and how he is too busy sucking up to you than being the friend that elijah cummings was to him when he was called a racist during a hearing about you by the way. and mark meadows cried like a baby when he was called a racist and had these crocodile tears in front of the entire committee and elijah food with him and said you're not a racist. mark meadows cannot return that favor to elijah cummings because he is too busy being afraid of
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you? that is sad and that is pathetic. so that is what you'realddonald tweeting away with your little thumbs. so again, unlike mark meadows just for the record, we're not afraid of you. new emails obtained by nbc show how the trump administration now want s to use border agents to conduct the initiasylum intervir migrants trying to come into the country. julia ainsley is joining us with the exclusive details. >> so we knew that it was a plan starting in the late spring to use more border agents and to train them to do asylum interviews. and at the time they said it is just a matter of manpower. we have so many asylum seekers crossing the border, we need more people. so they started to train 60 border agents. we now know that they have been conducting the interviews and stephen miller is interested in
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one thing about their performance and that is their passage rate. how many asylum seekers did they give a pass in their original interview. and he wants to know if that number is lower than asylum officers. he wants to know that because it has long been held stephen miller believes that asylum officers are softer, that they would give more of these immigrants a pass than a border agent who would be more focused on law and order. and he even asked whether or not these border agents were going to stop having asylum officers looking over their sthould dthe. that is a direct quote where a national security official is telling people ahead of a meeting with miller you better come prepared with this data because he is going to want to know this. the other thing this official said at the end is right here, he says my mantra has persistently presenting aliens with multiple unsolvable dilemmas to impact their calculus for choosing to make
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the arrestduous journey to begi with. that tells you everything that you need to know about this administration's policy toward immigration. whether it be having asylum seekers wait in mexico, having asylum seekers have to claim asylum in guatemala or mexico, turning people around at the border, all of that is built didn't matter whether it sticks or whether courts allow it, it is just to add another obstacle in their way. and really a comment like that could get them in trouble in court because you are not supposed to be developing immigration policies specifically to deter, to make life harder for immigrants. this was already a problem going back into the '90s and since then immigration policy has tried to focus on securing borders and having laws that are followed, but not just deterring immigrants lieu policies that are cruel or would somehow make them suffer. >> julia, great reporting here. you've been outlining the mut steps that this administration
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is taking to make immigration harder. do you have a sense are there more in the works and in particular the fear interview, i think a lot of people don't understand, what is that moment like for an immigrant trying to cross the border and how are they making it more difficult now? >> these are great questions. one thing we obtained was this outline of the agenda that was going to be discussed on friday. this is right at the point where the secretary was about to sign a deal with guatemala that we know about, and it went through you a list of different things. so i think yes, there are more things in the works that we're trying to get at. a lot is in acronyms so streets hard streets -- it is hard to piece apart. but the credible fear interview, yes, this is the first encounter where an asylum seeker is allowed to make their claim for asylum and go through the credible fear interview where they say that they have a credit only fear of returning to their home country because they could be persecuted, often because they are part of a earn is social group.
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that social group can include being a woman. if you are a victim of domestic violence. that is something that many of these parameters around the credible fear interview have been something this administration has tried to piece apart. but until the law changes, it is hard for them to do that. and they are also very much ham period by international law. even if you say someone needs to claim asylum somewhere else before they come to the united states, if they can show that they have a fear of being tortured or reasonable fear that they will continue to face try lens if they return, international law will protect them even if the u.s. law and these new policies will not. >> great explanation, julia. stay with us. let's bring in u.s. attorney for the united states district court for the western district of texas john bash. john, you just returned from central america where you looked at what is driving the immigration to the southern border and what did you find out? >> well, for example in guatemala, many of the
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immigrants maybe most come from the rule western highlands region. and the vast majority of these people are economic migrants, people who want to come to the united states for a period of time, send hone back to take care of their families. the problem from our point of view is that asylum was not designed for economic migrants, it was designed for people facing racial or religious persecution, political persecution. but we've created a system -- you were talking about the credible fear interview -- where 90% of people pass that credible fear interview even though only 13% who make an asylum claim succeed at the end of the day. so that creates incentive to come to the border if you are an economic migrant, file a claim knowing even if you lose, you will work here five years plus. >> all right. so julia ainsley has a question for you. >> thank you. this is always good to put this in context so we know who is
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coming here and why. i also heard that it is more difficult for people in rural areas, a lot is climate change driven and that is why they are trying to go to the cities to find work. but there they actually find they are persecuted, that there is almost a racism that exists against people who live in more rule areas coming into those center citys. did you find anyone was talking about trying to find another job in yacguatemala, finding that t were prejudiced against before coming here? did you hear about that trend at all? >> i visited and problems i heard of keeping a job was not race based persecution. not to say it didn't happen, about you what i heard is that gang violence and in particular extorting small businesses and the poor were driving people economic migrants to the united states to find better opportunities. and they are sympathetic.
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i'm sure we would do the same thing. the problem with it is two fold. one, that is not what the political asylum system was designed to correct. congress hasn't authorized that level of economic my glagigramid what concerns me the most is when we have 100 or as in may 140,000 people coming across the attorney border at won't, what that means is that border patrol agents are pulled out of the field and in these facilities to care for these people which is imperative, but it means that the nefarious actors like ms-13 members, cartel members have a much easier time getting into the country because our border patrol agents aren't doing the job they are supposed do, they are caring for the waves of economic migrants. so we need to reform whether threw legislation or regulation to continue to be a welcoming country but not for the economic migrants. >> and you know there is a huge
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difference between fleeing a country, leaving a country, taking that long dangerous trip to our border because of poverty or because you've been threatened in your own country or your children are killing people when they are 12 or 13 because they have been involved in a gang. is there anything that the united states can do or maybe s has done and stopped doing or might be annual to come now to connect and correct the root of the problem in those countries before they even consider leaving their countries for the border? >> that is a big question and an important question. one thing that i can say, i met with the attorney general of he will salvadore and we work very closely with the law enforcement professionals in those countries to try to get a hold on this gang problem. and that gang problem is it driving a lot of the economic migration because it is hard to earn an honest living.
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so i think that you are right, we need to focus on trying to get a hold of the gang problem in this country where ms 13 is a huge problem and also in central america to get a hold on the economic migration issue. >> all right. attorney john bash, thank you. julia ainsley, thank you as well. so we see the president's policies and rhetoric on immigration at the same time recent polling puts latino approval for trump hovering around 40%. ahead of last month's democratic debate in miami, "morning joe" producer daniella put together a panel of latino republicans to find out what is driving their support for the president. >> vice president mike pence kicked offer the first latino coalition of donald trump's 2020 preside presidential campaign. we sat down with a diverse group of any len yams who either voted for trump in 2016 or intend to vote for him in 2020.
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gion identifies as republican and work in the financial industry. carlos, a native of puerto rico, libertarian and business owner. linda, identifies as ibd. she is a former sanders supporter. eileen, originally from colombia, she is a republican and works in education. and a republican lawyer born in cuba and raised in miami. and tony born to immigrant parents. we started with immigration. what do we think? >> unfortunately that happens when there is no barrier or any type of i guess protection that -- they wouldn't be doing this, they would be coming across the legal way. >> they are putting themselves in the situation and of course we feel for them, but it is not america's fault. >> i think about man, that could have very well been me. republicans aren't against immigration. we are simply against illegality. >> and we asked about the administration's desire to limit
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legal immigration. >> if we can take care of home first, we can have a proper processing system. >> who will pick up the produce, who will do the things that americans don't want to do. >> he wants to limit legal immigration. do you agree with it? >> no. >> i do. i do believe that we have to reform immigration overall. right now the plan that he put forth is a mayor writ based immigration similar to canada and germany. we talk about, oh, we need low skill immigrants to pick up the vegetables, there are actually robots picking up strawberries. >> until we fix the current immigration system, it is there is no way that we can keep asking for more. >> are you for or against the wall? >> for it. >> i'm for the wall in the sense that i think it is him making a stand this is the america that we want is safe and to bring people in legally. >> we also asked about trump's outreach to latino voters. >> i'm happy that he is finally putting a focus on hispanics and not treating them as a mono
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liftic group. >> people against trump in the beginning were perhaps against his ideology. they really came around once he started working with guaido in venezuela. >> do you think the president dealt with hurricane maria the right way? >> absolutely not. i know that my island has huge corruption in their government. but that didnsdrnts me didn't mn intervene. >> i think that he did everything that he could. they withheld water from their people. >> trump's best quality. >> ability to negotiate. >> anti-political correctness. >> himself. >> worst quality. >> rough around the edges. >> do you believe the russian meddling? >> no. >> all right. daniella, with those insights there. michael steele, this is complicated, trump and latino voters, is what you get there.
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>> it is. and you have to start with and look at 2016 where after everything that we saw and heard from the moment the president came down the escalators to the final bell on election night, he still garnered 30% of the latino vote in 2016. i suspect that number could be higher in this cycle believe it or not because of a lot of what you just heard. yes, they were republicans. but they are also -- they also represent a cross section of hispanic thinking and feelings around this issue of immigration particularly among those immigrants who came through the process legally. and that is what i think you heard reflected more than anything else there. although not directly articulated. was that their stories were one in which their families followed the legal process. their families did it the right way, stood in line, bid their
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time. ed bied their time rather. and then achieved their start to the manner drem. for those who do not do that, you can sense the feeling of i don't have much sympathy for you. and i think thatthat's going toa prevailing attitude potentially potent for the president going into next year. >> coming up, a lot to discuss with our next guest, the former intelligence official, on russia's ongoing interference in u.s. elections and why he says democrats should move on from impeachment talk. keep it right here on "morning joe." joe. ♪ i want it that way... 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!
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my team made me feel like a whole person again. cancer treatment centers of america. appointments available now. you think this was a single attempt by the russians to get involved in our election or did you find evidence to suggest they'll try to do this again? >> it wasn't a single attempt. they're doing it as we sit here. and they expect to do it during the next campaign. >> robert mueller during his testimony last week. joining us now the former deputy director of the fbi's national security branch who met with mueller on a daily basis. philip mudd. also former deputy director of the cia's counterterrorist center and author of the new book entitled "black site, the cia and the post 9/11 world." mike barnicle has the first question for philip.
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>> before we get to the contents of the book, which is truly important, what was your reaction to director mueller's testimony last week and the reaction to his testimony? >> two things. the testimony, the facts in the document he laid on the table, if you had gone back two and a half years and laid that in front of the american people and said this is what you're going to get two and a half years into this administration i think you'd say, no way. this is a west wing story, not a west wing on tv story. this is not real. i think we've gotten used to the facts, normalized, thinking this is the way the world works. the facts are weird and compelling. the man has given 50 years, the best boss i ever saw. humanity, courage, courtesy, kindness, commitment, and after one hearing, two hearings, people come back and say, maybe he didn't have his a game. he was the best ever. let him walk away. give him thanks. >> i agree. now the book, the cia in the post 9/11 world and the west wing. you're in the west wing on september 12th, 2001.
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>> right across the executive avenue there and it looks like sort of a wedding cake in the executive office building. i remember saying, hearing that the first plane was going in and thinking it was a cessna. somebody made a mistake. the second plane goes in. we thought that one of the planes, shanksville, was coming for us. we immediately evacuated that morning. clear, cool morning, into the streets of washington. it was like a hollywood set. it was unbelievable. >> the first 90 days from september 12th through the beginning of december what was the expectation, the threat level to the united states of america internally at that time? >> what the book tries to do is take you back into that time and say, remember. everybody thought that there would be another september 11th, another wave of hijackers, what we called at the cia the second wave. then you had the anthrax attacks. remember, we thought initially those were al qaeda.
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i thought sitting at the threat table al qaeda might be beating us. that turned out to be wrong but the threat level was for years. >> two questions for you. one about that and one present day. first, tell us a what the viewers don't understand about black sites. why are they important and how do they work? >> i think what they need to understand is that you don't go in assuming people will tell you the truth. you go in with a large amount of knowledge about somebody sitting across the table in a plastic chair shackled and unless you have a lot of knowledge about that person you can't determine when they are lying or not. we knew people were lying but we had the highest in al qaeda guys and enough information to take them down an interrogation path and figure out when they started telling the truth. >> switching gears to current day the current d.i.a. of intelligence is leaving, coats. do you think ratcliffe is the right person for the position. >> i don't think it's the right
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question. the question is does he have enough ability to step away from politics and answer questions to the north american people when the intel guys disagree with the president. there will be answers for the pr see that the president doesn't like. i'm not sure this guy can deliver because he is one of the president's guys. >> how shocked would americans be if they actually knew the number of operations that have been subverted, caught, interrupted, stopped by american intelligence? >> i'm not -- let me give you -- that is a great question. i've never gotten that question. one way to think about that is if you stood over our shoulders when we're doing morning briefings in my case for director mueller for domestic threats and they saw the volume of threat i think the volume they would be surprised at. some kid in atlanta, los angeles. they'll never see it in the paper because he gets busted on some kind of other charge. if he had gone down a path and bought a backpack totally different story. the volume for years was really high.
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>> all right. the new book is "black site, the cia and the post 9/11 world." philip mudd, thank you very much. >> thank you. finally this morning, time for final thoughts. it's interesting. over the past couple of days as joe and i have been speaking out in support of elijah cummings we've heard a lot from trump supporters and trump support groups that we didn't disclose that elijah married us at the national archives in washington last november. you can read about it on our instagram accounts. i have a couple posts going with pictures from the wedding and also asking people to stand with elijah. we chose elijah cummings to marry us because he really represents everything that we aspire to be in a human being. he really is the man of the moment at this moment in history. also, for the record, president trump offered to marry us and we turned down that offer. that wasn't going to happen. that does it for us this
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morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika. hi there. i'm stephanie ruhle. here's what's happening right now. president trump has spent the better part of this week attacking an endless string of american lawmakers, american cities, and american companies. in all that time, he has barely mentioned any of the 2020 democrats who are trying to take his job. but over the next two nights those very democrats will take the debate stage with the chance to hit directly back at president trump. with only a few precious minutes of face time are those candidates better served throwing punches at the president or one another? i want to get right to our lead-off conversation with a staff writer at "the new yorker" and journalism professor at columbia university. my friend david jolly a former republican congressman from florida and an msnbc political contributor. and my guest who served as deputy secretary of state under

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