tv Morning Joe MSNBC August 8, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
>> to recognize that white nationalism is real, that white nationalism is on the rise, that white nationalism is without question a very serious problem in america, and beating down those who would help facilitate it and encourage, it because they are an enormous part of the problem. >> an internal debate on fox news with shep smith characterizes joe biden's speech yesterday taking president trump to task for his hateful rhetoric and that earned shep an insult over twitter from the president of united states, this is a reminder, christopher wray said before congress on july 23. >> through the third quarter of this fiscal year, had about, give or take 100 arrests in the international terrorism side, which includes the home-grown violent extremism. >> this year. >> this year. but we've also had just about the same number, again, don't quote me to the exact digit, on
the domestic terrorism side, a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we've investigated are motivated by some version of, what you might call white supremacists. >> the majority of the domestic terrorism cases, says the fbi director, white supremacist violence. good morning, welcome to morning joe, it's thursday, august 8, i'm willie geist. we have white house reporter for the associated press,on that lan mere. former aide to the george w. bush white house and state departments elise jordan pulitzer prize winning editorial writer four "washington post" and msnbc contributor, and senior white house reporter shannon, an historian, author of "the soul of america" and rogers professor of the presidency, at the vander built university, john meachum, an nbc news contributor as well. good morning, we will dive into the president's trip yesterday but just your broad stroke
thoughts over the last couple of days, you've had a piece talking about the power of a president's words. >> yes, i mean i think it has been a moment where there's clearly a vacuum of the kind of leadership that franklin roosevelt described, in 1932, before he became president, saying the presidency is not an engineering job, it is not an administrative job, it's preeminently a place of moral leadership. and i think not just console ner chief, which is a new cliche, you know, it is like saying that we got this, we have sort of entered that place. and you know, what we need is someone who speaks to the best part of us. and uses the power of the office to make the country demonstrably better and safer, and that's where the president has fallen down. again and again and again. and so my own view is that joe
biden and cory booker and beto o'rourke stepped in, and actually played that role over the last 72 hours or so. >> we will hear from all three of those men, pieces in "time" magazine and dig into it a bit more. president trump traveled to dayton, ohio, an el paso, texas, yesterday, the two cities where last weekend's mass shootings took place. meeting with first responder, city officials, and victims, to console those two hurting american communities but it took on an air of politics with the president a number of times turning his attention to those grieving, to airing his own grievances, with twitter outbursts that spanned a day, going after joe biden, the press, senator sherrod brown of ohio, the mayor of dayton, democrats in general, cable news anchors an many more. the president seemed concerned with controlling the appearance of his visits, releasing videos of his meetings with medical staff victims and first responders, with music, and in el paso, late yesterday, he
continued, concerned with even mild criticism, responding with more personal attacks. >> president trump, do you think as you are here today -- think as you are here today -- >> they shouldn't be politicking today. i had it with sherrod brown, and the mayor nan whaley, could we possibly go in and have a tour, and yes, i took them in at their request and we have a to your and they said to people and i get on air force one and i turn on the television and they are saying i don't know if it is appropriate for the president to be here. et cetera, et cetera, the same old line. they are very dishonest people and why they got about zero percent failing as a
presidential candidate. >> about the news conference, sherrod brown, and dayton mayor nan whaley, spoke to reporters after the hospital visit with the president and they both said they pressed for action on gun reform and the president was well received despite any differences they may have with them. >> both the mayor and i asked the president to call on senator mcconnell to bring the senate back in session this week, to tell the senate that he wants the background checks bill that has already passed the house, that he wants it on the floor, i asked the president to promise to me, and to the american people, that he will sign that bill, after he has spoken out in support of it with senator mcconnell. he only said that we will get things done. >> i think he heard me. i don't know if he will take action. i'm hoping for the people of dayton that he does, but we, both the senator and i spoke very directly what we've been saying the whole time about the need for common sense gun
legislation. >> what did he say -- >> he was comforting. he did the right thing. melania did the right thing. people at the hospital were terrific. and people showed, when the president of the united states came, that they showed respect for the office, and a number of them said to me they're not great admirers of him privately but they clearly showed respect for the office. >> i think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the president of the united states came today. >> that's mayor whaley of dayton right there. shortly after that press conference, the president tweeted about the tremendous enthusiasm and love during the visit and then i sawed failed presidential candidate, zero percent sherrod brown and mayor whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside the hospital. news conference after i left for el paso was a fraud. you heard what they just said. senator brown who chose not to run in 2020 put out a statement reading in part, quote, i've said before, donald trump is a bully and bull ryes are cowards. the people of dayton deserve a
president more focused on protecting them from gun violence than protecting his own ego. mayor whaley reacted this way when she was shown the president's tweets. >> i don't, i mean i'm really confused, we said he was treated very well. i don't know what he is talking about, misrepresenting. oh, well, who knows. he wrote in his world of twitter. >> several of president trump's staffers also criticized mayor whaley and senator brown for the news conference, and press secretary grisham says it is genuinely sad to see them immediately hold such a dishonest press conference in the name of politics. and dan scavino, very sad to see ohio senator brown and dayton mayor nan whaley, lying and completely mischaracterizing what took place with the president's visit to miami valley hospital today. they are disgracele politicians doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting at every turn they
can. and the president was treated like a rock car inside the hospital. which was all caught on video. "washington post" reporter ashley parker, who was part of the white house press pool yesterday, points out that it is unclear if what scavino says is true because the press pool was not allowed to witness anything. she tweeted, we were told the president wanted to avoid a photo op, though the white house did put out photos of their own. let's walk through this a little bit jonathan. this sur beat. the president, senator brown said himself, mayor whaley said herself, the president was well received. what are the white house staffers talking about, what were they so upset about in that press conference. >> this is a day when president trump spent most of the day playing the victim when he was standing amid the victims of two mass shootings. what happened yesterday, this was an attempt by the white house to try to control some sort of the narrative or the imagery, with president trump on the white house south lawn scolding the media for trying to make this a political event and warning other politicians not do
that though at the same time he pointed out the alleged political beliefs of the dayton shooter and got on the plane and headed to ohio, as ashley pointed out. >> reporters there were not able to witness him interacting with patients and that is understandable, that happen, these are people who are recovering, with privacy issues and so on. that first thought though at the very least he seemed to hit the right notes, officials said there, you saw that news conference where the senator and the mayor largely praised what he did, and said he was, he was treated well. now, the senator did suggest that he had problems with. so president's divisive rhetoric, so it may be that what the white house was responding to, but that sort of set off an onslaught, the rest of the day, from air force one, from the president himself, and his staff, attacking, going on the attack, on a day when the mission was to console, to be there, to pledge federal government's help, to be there, to suggest this will not, not let tragedies like this happen again and yet he turned into a
day as he so often does into about himself. and we saw that, it went from tweet to tweet to tweet, joe biden, for his very critical speech, about the president's rhetoric, and suggests maybe helped inspire this violence and went after the officials there in ohio, he went after the officials in texas, and he went after congressman castro, and you can see he went after the media, time and time again, he, as we have seen him so often do, when he is behind closed doors, meeting privately with someone, he can be, he can be son siller to, and charming and pledge help but when he retreats to the safety of whether the white house residence or yesterday, his cabin on air force one and he watches the cable news coverage and he gets upset by what he says, he turns to twitter and he lashes out and an sense of unity or healing is put aside. >> and some of these tweets took place by the way on the way between the two sites so he visited victims in one place and while in the air on air force one he tweeted about joe biden and we will hear from joe biden
making a speech yesterday in the vain of what john meachum was talking about, more of a conciliatory speech. and the president can't help himself and you would think that perhaps there was a day where he could help himself, yesterday would have been it. >> i can't imagine having met with victims who survived a traumatic mass shooting, and seeing these victims recovering in a hospital, and then the first thing that you start to do is lash out at the media, lash out at political opposition, and remove yourself from this sanctity of witnessing, grieving this incredible loss. it is unimaginable to me how broken you have to be as a human being, this is your first response. heading to el paso, where such a massacre just occurred, and the hispanic community in particular feels like they have a target on their backs, because they did, in that el paso walmart, and if
you read the manifesto, if you read that first paragraph, it is absolutely chilling, and donald trump is completely incapable of doing anything that is not about himself. we know that. we should just accept. it but i think this is a moment that we're looking to other leaders to lead, and so good for joe biden, in his speech yesterday, good for beto o'rourke, good for corey book wer his amazing speech, i hope that other leaders can fill the gap because we aren't seeing it from donald trump and we aren't seeing it from any republicans who may be incapable of condemning the president's racism and extremism. >> you covered yesterday, you wrote an account of it that reads trump turns a day of grieving in el paso and dayton shooting victims in a day of grievances. as i said, we heard from senator brown and mayor whaley who both said the president was good inside the hospital and well referred by the patients inside the hospital, so what was his gripe specifically with what they said at that press
conference? >> that took all of us covering the white house some time to figure out. because we were all going through the transcript of sherrod brown and mayor, the mayor's press conference, trying to figure out what that was, and finally we had to get from stefanie grisham the press secretary, essentially saying that she felt they the mayor and the senator should have emphasized how happy everyone in the hospital was to see the president, and that they did not characterize the enthusiasm at the hospital like that is one of the most important things to be conveyed out of the visit. you know, so it was a very odd tweet to see, that left us scratching our heads but it did fit into a pattern of a very odd day. when you step back and look at this through a political lens, and i will do that, because my brain kind of lives in 2020, as the baeincumbent president, the advantage you have as the office of the presidency, where you can look presidential, you can look
at the frame at this point, the consoler in chief, you can have the hero moments and the president, all he did yesterday, was detract from that, by launching these attacks. and i know that the president's supporters will say he was only punching back, and these were people who had been criticizing him for days and he was fighting back. but the criticism they have been launching is around his rhetoric, around his policies, and around his action. and the criticism that the president is firing back is really, it has nothing to do with policy. it is about making fun of beto o'rourke's name, and shep's ratings and calling joe biden sleepy and boring and an attack on people's appearance and people's personality and that's where i see the disconnect where we're so outside the normal political attacking back and forth because there is no policy conversation going on from the president at this point. >> it does take a different kind of person to see what the president saw in that hospital and then get on the plane and tweet what he tweeted. put his head in that place.
we should point out he called sherrod brown, a failed presidential candidate with zero percent and he never ran for president and he considered it and decided not to run. to the speech, jonathan that you're writing about, by democratic front-runner joe biden who lit into the president at a campaign event in iowa yesterday, accusing the president of fanning the flames of white supremacy and aligning with the nation's darkest forces. >> it's both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation. his low energy, vacant eyed mouthing of the words written for him, condemning white supremacists this week i don't believe fooled anyone at home or abroad. trump readily, eagerly attacks islamic terrorism but can barely bring himself to use the words white supremacy.
and eaven when he says it, he doesn't appear to believe. it he seems more concerned about losing their votes than beating back this hateful ideology. he says guns are not the problem in mass shootings. the issue is mental health. it's a dodge. hatred isn't a mental health issue. trump offers no more leadership. he seems to have no interest in unifying this nation. no evidence that the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least. indeed we have a president with a toxic tongue, who is publicly and unapologetically embraced the political strategy of hate, racism and division. we are living through a rare moment in this nation' history. where our president isn't up to the moment. where our president lacks the
moral authority to lead. where our president has more in common with george wallace than he does with george washington. what this president doesn't understand is that like every other nation on earth, we're unable to define what constitutes american by religion, by ethnicity or by tribe. we can't do it. america is an idea. an idea stronger than any army. bigger than any ocean. more powerful than any dictator or tyrant. it gives hope to the most desperate people on earth. phrases like fake news, enemy of the people, they're no joke. they're insidious. they're corrosive. trump is trying to weaken our institutions, the press, the court, the congress, precisely because they are the only checks
on his power. that's what this is all about. the abuse of power. there's one thing i can't stand and i know you can't, is the abuse of power. whether it's a boss, taking advantage of his or her workers, or a man who raises his hand to a woman or a child, or a president who is running roughshod over everything this country believes and stands for. on january 20, 2017, in his inaugural address, donald trump painted a dark bleak picture of our country in crisis when he declared, and i quote, this american carnage stops right here. it stops right now. but as a sitting president, trump's anger, hate and divisiveness, pitting americans against one another, train
honored division, and doing nothing, nothing about the indexic and the epidemic of guns, is fuelling a literal carnage in america. we can't, and i will not, let this man be re-elected president of the united states of america. this incompetence, this immorality, this carnage stops with us, right here, right now, starting in the midwest. limits of four years, i believe, and i really do believe this, that history will look back on this presidency as an aberrant moment in american history. but if donald trump is re-elected, i believe he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. >> that's joe biden in iowa yesterday.
president trump was watching biden's speech as he was traveling from dayton, to el paso, to comfort that community. the president responded to biden in a tweet writing watching sleepy joe biden making a speech. so boring. the lamestream media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy. it will be over for them, not to mention the fact that our country will be do poorly with hill. it will be one big crash, but at least china will be happy, writes the president. the former vice president's spns to that was succinct. >> you want to respond to the president responding to you? >> he should get a life. >> she get a life, says joe biden. biden's communications director responded to the tweet, saying quote, glad you're watching. he's talking to you. jonathan, your latest piece in the "washington post," titled joe biden reminded us what a presidential president would sound like. you write this, his words were stirring, you say of joe biden, his delivery was passionate and they were bee fitting a plan who kicked off his campaign with a video decrying trump's shafl am
shameful response to charlottesville. all of the candidates have a moral core and dese ty and sant ty that trump never possessed. unlike teleprompter trump's hollow remarks about the carnage in el paso and dayton, ohio, bide-an authority hard to match and his voice providing comfort for those of us who long for the days when a grownup was president of the united states and acted accordingly and wielded the bully pulpit of the oval office with moral authority. and instead in trump we have a bully with a pulpit and no moral compass. jonathan, joe biden has always excelled in these moments of grieving whether it is personal grieving or national grieving and he did it again yesterday. >> yes, this speech in its totality, and i'm glad that you showed extensive clips from that speech, but you can slice the speech in half, the first half being hard remarks against president trump, about what he is, who he is, how he sullied
the office, how he has no moral compass, and ceded the moral authority of the oval office. the other half of the speech is about who we are as a nation. who we are as a people. you played one part of that which i thought was the most powerful part, where he talks about how america is an idea, and how no matter who you are, no matter who you are, where you came from, whether you were native to this land, brought to this land in chains, or immigrated to this country like his family did, from ireland, no other country in the world can you come to and be american, be a part of this grand experiment. and so while he was lacing in to president trump, he was also reminding us of who we are as a nation, and that's what presidents do. you know, presidents are a, usually a reflection of our betterselves, who we aspire to be, that's why we hold them to higher standards, we want to be
like them, at least we used to be want to be like them because they are a reflection of our betterselves. but instead what we have in this president is someone who refuses to not take the bait. the question that he got there, in el paso, about his reaction to criticisms and things, presidents before him would let that roll right off their backs. would just say, you know, what, this is not the time. i'm here to grieve with this community, i am here to be, to heal, or actually not take the questions, not take the question at all. and what we have in president trump is someone who refuses to do that. and the idea that he would spend his time on air force one, with all the problems in the country, and the world, that he could be focusing on, to spend his time watching television, and tweeting back at opponents and adversaries, is, it's quite
beyond astounding. and one last point. you know, every time i hear someone from the trump administration pushing back against the media, pushing against critics, in the old days, administration officials putting out statements were usually talk together american people, but in those tweets and comments that we heard from scavino and grisham, even in those comments i can't help but think they're not talking to us, they're not talking to the american people, they are talking to president trump, those words that are coming out of their mouths and tweets, and in statements to the press, are words that sound to me like trigger words for the president, so when he sees them, he can say they're standing up and defending me. that's why i think vice president biden's speech yesterday was so powerful. because he rose above all this, to bring back, or at least try to bring back some dignity to
the american idea, the american experiment, the idea of the presidency, and you know, i also want to point out, vice president biden is not the only one doing this, we talked about senator cory booker and his speech at mother emanuel and charleston and beto o'rourke, any democratic candidate who stands far taller than the president of the united states in this moment. >> they were both powerful yesterday. we will hear from both of them in just a moment. john meachum, it does strike me in this presidential campaign that we find ourselves in the middle of right now, there is sort of the intellectual policy side which is health care and immigration and foreign policy and then the gut of this, which i think what joe biden was getting to yesterday, which is america, you are all watching this, you want four more years of this? how do you feel this way? do you want to continue to feel this way? his message is we got to put an end to what is happening in this country right now. >> one of the things we saw yesterday, isn't it, which goes to your point, is biden was who would you be at the front door,
or on the front porch, and trump is who you are in your den when the door is shut and you're watching fox. right? there is a certain kind of almost respectability argument here. and that's not to lionize the democrats immediate needlessly or pointlessly, but there is a stark contrast that we will see for the next whatever, 16 months, whatever it is, until the election, and i don't know, and you don't know, what the result of that is ultimately. but remember, presidential elections are not just simply referendum on someone. they're choices. the country wasn't presented a choice in 2016 do you want donald trump to be president, it was do you want donald trump or hillary clinton and in the bizarre nature of that moment, we had the result we had. so that's one of the reasons yesterday was so fascinating, was to see who will be on the
other side of that choice. and my own sense is that it will only get worse before it gets better with the president. there is, i mean maybe jonathan, either of the jonathans may have a better sense of this, i don't think there is any evidence, and i would, i'm honestly asking this, is there any evidence over the last four years or so, four years and a month, since he announced, of his not acting only in accordance with his own political self interest? i guess there was one state of the union where he was fairly, sort of conventional, but there's not going to be, there is no impetus for him to try to reach out. this is going to be a base strategy. it's going to get uglier and uglier, and i think that's why the ethos that senator booker and o'rourke and the vice president yesterday, created yesterday is so important.
>> we will talk to both jonathans in just a moment. we do have to take a commercial break but the take-away from the white house yesterday, i will read it again, as the president visited the hospital of people lying in the wake of the two massacres, the president was treated like a rock star inside the hospital. shannon, thank you very much. we will be reading your reporting. still ahead on "morning joe," the latest from capitol hill on the push for new gun legislation. some republicans are willing to back red flag laws but chuck schumer says that doesn't go far enough. and retiring congressman will hurd of texas, he represents a district along the u.s./mexico border and speak to him live and we will hear from cory booker and beto o'rourke. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ng joe." we'lbel right back. imu emu & d♪ look limu. a civilian buying a new car. let's go. limu's right.
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no, i don't think my rhetoric has at all. i think my rhetoric is very, it brings people together. >> i think that illegal immigration, you are talking about illegal immigration, right? correct? i think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. >> president trump saying yesterday, he believes his rhetoric brings people together. speaking there at the white house. as he left for dayton and el paso. needless to say senator cory booker, former congressman beto o'rourke, both running for president, disagree with him, senator booker delivered a speech yesterday at charleston's mother emanuel ame church, the site of another mass murder and senator booker talked about the rising tide of gun violence and white nationalism from the very place that white supremacist gunman murdered nine african-american worshippers and
the called out the president for being a catalyst of of the hate-filled massacre in el paso. >> it was sowed by those who spoke the same words, the el paso murderer, did warning of an invasion. it was sowed by those who spoke of an infestation of disgusting cities, rats, and rodents, talking about majority/minority communities. it was sowed by those who had drawn and equivalency between neo-nazis and those who protest them. it was sowed from the highest office in our land, where we see if tweets and rhetoric hateful words that ultimately endanger the lives of people in our country. >> beto o'rourke also not holding back, denouncing
president trump, msnbc jacob soberoff asked the congressman if another mass shooting could happen while president trump is in office. >> it will happen again, because what happened in el paso is not an isolated incident. after the president warned of caravans, you had somebody go in to the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh, warning of caravans. you had the mosque in victoria, texas, burned to the ground on the day that president trump signed his executive order seeking to ban muslims to the united states, there are very real consequences to his words, to his tweet, that the racism that he fans. you saw this in may at a rally in florida. how are we going to stop these people, meaning these immigrants coming into the country, and someone yells out shoot them and he laughs, and the crowd record approval. and that's okay with me. and you have been made very clear that the president is a racist.
is the president a white supremacist. >> he is. he has sought to dehumanize who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country. he said i wish we had more immigrants from norzic countries because those from haiti bring aids, those from africa come from [ bleep ] nations, and he has been clear who he wants to keep out with walls and cages and militarization and torture and cruelty. >> obviously, beto o'rourke is front and center during this, his hometown, his former district, he has been passionate about it, and you can understand why but you see all of the candidates from joe biden, to cory booker to beto o'rourke drawing a stark contrast in the way they talk about the shootings and the way they talk about the country after the shootings from president trump. >> exactly right. i think your talk with professor meachum in the last block highlights where we reflex the democrats for the moment are setting aside policy differences they have with each other and frankly policy differences with the president, and speaking on
more moral terms and suggesting that he is licensed to what has happened, president trump has fostered this environment of words and hate and action and has led to violence and people living in fear, and people across this country being afraid they could be next. even yesterday. this is so many public official, including the current congresswoman for el paso has spoke been how latino residents feel like they have a target on their backs right now and what does the president do last night, he goes and attacks a latino congressman, congressman castro. there is a sense, a fear among people, that he is leading to this. and i think we're seeing democrats, and joe biden certainly yesterday, he has perhaps been the best at this, with the campaign video that kicks off with the word charlottesville and we are seeing b-congressman o'rourke and cory booker and saying the president is a white supremacist and more and more of a willingness to call out the president for what he has said. and from a white house perspective, some of those in the trump orbit, part of why the
president reacted so strongly , he is always thin-skinned and particularly sensitive to receiving blame for these shootings and is aware that his words are fuel for the violence and lashing out and desperate to control the images of the visit yesterday. >> is there any self analysis, i think i know the answer, is there anyone, self analysis maybe in the west wing, other people saying i don't blame you for the shooting mr. president, you didn't pull the trigger, whatever, whatever, but perhaps we should tone down the way we're talking in light of what we just saw, in light of the people you saw lying in a hospital bed? is there anyone in the west wing who can get that message to the president? >> there is no evidence of any self analysis and time and time again, there is a lack of anyone on the senior staff who says that to him. an example about his five with elijah couplings in baltimore. there were a number of people who expressed to me and others who were very uncomfortable with that attack from the president. >> poor white house, and they're
uncomfortable. they're uncomfortable, with their racist regime. >> the point being, they didn't feel like they could say anything and they didn't feel like he would listen. >> this is pathetic. this is pathetic. i am so sick of everyone has excused it away for so long, and now, after what happened last weekend, i certainly hope to god we are going to have a sea change in this country, in terms of how we're addressing race, and how we're addressing donald trump's blatant bigotry on his day to day basis. you look at what is happening, on the border, you look at children in cages, you look at how we don't have enough resources to properly take care of all of these children, that have been forcibly separated, yet we do have 600 i.c.e. agents to go in and raid a factory farming plant in mississippi, while the billionaire ceo, i have a feeling that he is going to be fine today. but let's go, let's keep targeting the most vulnerable among us. >> you led us to our next story, elise. coming up, i.c.e. agents raid a
small town in mississippi, targeting a work force made up mostly of latino immigrants. it's being called the largest workplace sting in more than a decade. and as you can see, elise has some thoughts about that. "morning joe" is coming right back. that "morning joe" is coming right back life isn't a straight line. things happen. and sometimes you can find yourself heading in a new direction. but at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, a partner who makes sure every step is clear, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. a partner who makes sure every step is clear, would shakespeare have chosen just "some pens?" methinks a tul pen would serve m'lady well. thanks. and a unicorn notebook! get everything on your list. this week's doorbuster- school backpacks for $10;
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. welcome back to "morning joe." immigration enforcement agents raided food processing plants across mississippi yesterday, arresting 680 undocumented workers. it is believed to be the largest single day state sweep in u.s. history of a single state. the raids hit seven plants in six cities, most of the workers arrested are latino. the plant raids unfolded as president trump traveled to el paso, texas, where 22 people were killed saturday, allegedly by a man linked to an online screen about the invasion of hispanic immigrants, this happened nur home state of mississippi, 600 i.c.e. agents were carrying this out on the
same day that the president was sitting with people in the hospital. >> you think they were going in taking on david koresh and heavily-armed individuals the way they rolled in there. it blows my mind that 600 i.c.e. agents were necessary to take in 680 workers. and also, just the cruelty of doing this on the first day of school, perhaps that some of the i.c.e. resources could have been used to have a plan, so that the children, when they were getting out of school, they weren't just wandering around, wondering where their moms and dads are. it just is incredibly cruel how no matter the public condemnation, the administration refuses to do anything to enforce humane policies. if you are going to go forth, and you're going to do these raids, take care of the innocent children involved. it is disgusting. >> have some humanity to it. >> jonathan, this does not come as a great surprise, as i said, that the press has tell graphed
this, his administration has telegraphed it for a couple of years and this is a form of deterrents they believe to have a big show of force and hopefully they believe have other people from crossing the border illegally. >> yes, i just want to applaud elise for what she has been saying, at least from what i've heard, over the last 24 hours, talking about the people in the trump administration, who are aiding and abetting what is happening, calling the trump administration a racist regime, which is exactly what it is. and you know, i think it was adam, who made the point, that the cruelty is, the cruelty is the point here. the idea to elise's point, that they would use 600 i.c.e. agent, arrests more than 600 people, and have no plan for the children, who are left behind, on the first day of school, is, there are no words for it. it's cruel. it's inhumane.
it is not who i thought we were as a country. i mean, willie, we've been talking about this stuff now, as you said, for four years, and some months, and there is a sense, and i've said this before, just as an african-american, i feel a sense of menace in this country growing since june 16, 2015, when he came down that escalator, and made the first telegraphed message that, quote, mexicans are rapists. i mean i've lost all words of reaction to what this president is doing to this country, to people, elise is right, the latino community literally had a target on its back, and the president can't, for a minute, put aside his petty grievances and grow a thick enough skin to
think about other people. this country is walking a tight rope, right now. and i don't know if we as a nation can handle one more mass shooting, can handle one more white supremacist-inspired domestic terrorist attack. this is a time when we need a president, no matter republican or democrat, which is the other great thing about vice president biden's speech yesterday, is that he made a point of making it clear that the american idea is not a democratic idea or a republican idea, both democratic and republican presidents have upheld the principals of this country and that's what we need right now from the oval office and we don't have na, and as much as we can have vice president joe biden out there, cory booker, beto o'rourke, senator kamala harris out, there all of these other elected officials trying to fill the
void, it is not enough to fill the void that is left when the president of the united states is the one who is fanning the flames. >> and to underline elise's point about a lack of a plan in mississippi, one of the local papers writes this, this morning, in scott county, teachers and staff are on stand-by to make sure a child doesn't go home to an empty house. coming up, on "morning joe," it is not often an nfl player takes on a team owner, but that is what is happening with the miami dolphins. the billionaire owner of the team, who also owns a piece of soul cycle and other fitness clubs, is facing a backlash over an upcoming trump fundraiser in the hamptons. that story is ahead on "morning joe." tremfya® helps adults with moderate
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deadly mass shootings in a week. here's nbc news correspondent anne thompson. >> reporter: this is america on edge. people running for their lives, terrified it's happening in their town. >> i thought i was going to watch my daughter get shot down in front of me. >> reporter: workers evacuated at gannett's virginia headquarters after the report of a former employee with a gun. >> we have a lot of police approaching the front of the building. >> reporter: authorities found no evidence of violence. but similar scenes across the country. panic in new york's times square and capturing the moment that set off the stampede. >> people were tripping over each other, there were kids on the floor, shoes all over the place. >> reporter: seeking safety wherever they could find it. nbc news lindsay wolfson saw the fear firsthand. >> the first instinct was, oh, my god, this is an attack. >> reporter: there was no gun,
just a motorcycle backfiring creating chaos at broadway's "to kill a mockingbird." >> the audience started screaming and the cast fled the stage. this is the world we live in. this cannot be our world. it is our country. near salt lake city, shoppers ran for cover at west valley mall, mistaking a falling sign for gunshots. >> be quiet. >> these preschoolers in san diego preparing for the real thing. 3 and 4-year-olds in an active shooter drill. the cold war's duck and cover drills for nuclear attack replaced by an all-too-real danger. >> jon meacham, you've got kids. i've got some, too, and it's become a matter of routine for them, as ann just pointed out, with those 3 and 4-year-olds. and they don't bat an eye. it's what they do. it's like fire drills that we used to have. that they go in, they turn off the lights and close the blinds and lock themselves in the closet and hide from a shooter. they practice doing that. and that's just a part of their
life. it's the way they're growing up. >> it's remarkable. and it is a climate of fear. fear creates unreason. if you feel you're constantly under threat, it leads to irrational thought, irrational actions. and i think that ultimately, what has to happen is the ubiquity of the anxiety is something that has to be dispelled, both by word and by deed. it can't simply be a matter of people saying reassuring things. it has to be some sort of policy move that begins to make people feel safer. the first function of government, the most conservative person on the planet will agree with this. the first function of government is security. and right now, it's not providing that. and i don't think -- and this is ant call for one bill or another bill, but the thing to remember about this is why let the
perfect be the enemy of the good. if some legislation saves one life, that's one life saved. >> well said. we'll talk much more about this coming up, earlier this year. congressman will hurd was one of a handful of republicans to vote in support of a bill that would require a background check for every gun sale. this week, he announced his retirement. the congressman will be our guest this morning. plus, more on president trump's trips to dayton and el paso yesterday, turning a day of comfort for those grieving into airing his own grievances. "morning joe" is coming right back. back every day, visionaries are creating the future.
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in the wake of this weekend's tragedies, barack obama released a rare statement, saying in part, we should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments. and it's time of the overwhelming majority of americans of goodwill to say as much clear and unequivocally. oh! oh! oh, now you want to be my dad. you left! and you don't get to tell me what to do anymore!
papa, come back! ahh, i was bad! i'm sorry! don't leave me with the bad man! don't leave me with the bad man! please come back! you can still smoke. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it's thursday, august 8th. i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the morning off. stay with us, white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lamir. former aid to the george w. bush white house and state department, elise jordan. pulitzer prize-winning editorial writer for "the washington post" and msnbc contributor, jonathan capehart. historian and author of "the soul of america" and rogers professor of the presidency at vanderbilt university, jon meacham and joining our conversation, former u.s. senator and now msnbc political analyst, claire mccaskill. and communications director for define america, christiane ramos. the group says it aims to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing america. welcome to you all. i want to begin this morning
with "the washington post" reporting president trump is being pressured against background checks after a call from the head of the gun lobby. the president expressed support for background checks early in the week, as he had in the wake of last year's school shooting in parkland, florida. officials who spoke to the post on the condition of anonymity say nra chief executive wayne lapierre spoke with trump on tuesday, told him a background check bill would not be popular among trump's supporters. but before his trip to el paso and dayton yesterday, the president still seemed determined to act. >> well, i'm looking to do background checks. i think background checks are important. i don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate. what about assault rifles? a lot of people would like to see them banned. >> well, i can tell you that there is no political appetite for that at this moment. if you look at -- you can speak,
you can do your own polling and there's no political from the standpoint of legislature, but i will certainly bring that up. >> a recent politico morning consult poll found 70% of all voters would back a ban on assault-style weapons. meanwhile, top senate democrats chuck schumer is pushing back against the republican embrace of so-called red flag laws, which would take guns away from people temporarily who are deemed a threat. schumer released a statement saying the notion that such legislation alone comes close to a solution is, quote, an ineffective copout. schumer added, we democrats are not going to settle for half measures, so republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side. he says, any bill that comes to the floor must be accompanied by the universal background checks bill already passed by the house. claire, you served in that body not too long ago. you've been in this fight over guns and gun reform. do you have any hope or more than you have in the past that
there might actually be, for example, manchin/toomey taken up, which would make background checks universal? >> well, first of all, you have to understand, that mitch mcconnell is owned -- pardon the expression -- lock, stock, and barrel by the nra. they control him. so mitch mcconnell is a huge part of the problem. i will say this. people like cory gardner in colorado and thom tillis in north carolina, the polling in those states are very clear. they want to ban assault weapons and they want universal background checks. these senators are in real trouble if mitch mcconnell continues to just do the bidding of the nra. and i think the pressure is building. i think that -- and looking at somebody like susan collins, who votes for background checks and supports background checks, but her party is really putting her in a place that is really going to hurt her in the state of maine. i just think they're
underestimating this backlash. and that poll you referenced, willie, was very clear. the majority of republicans, the majority of republicans support both of these measures. >> and by the way, claire, when you look at the question of universal background checks, there's absolutely no question in the american public's mind. the q poll last year had the number at 97% support, 97% for universal background checks! and even among nra members, a majority of them say, yes, universal background checks. so it doesn't quite jive with what you're saying about mitch mcconnell. it if the membership of the nra wants expanded background checks, why is that so hard for pl mitch mcconnell to support? >> because the nra has always taken the position, we control our members. and they do nothing, they do nothing that we do not want them to do. this is about wayne lapierre and the leadership at the nra. and they've got their whole separate set of mess problems within the nra. but there is some good news
here. the groups against the nra are growing. and at this moment in our country's history, i think we'll look back and see that the ground did begin to shift around these horrific tragedies that all of us are so, you know, just sickened by, that we are the country -- we are no longer the country of the beacon on the hill and the shining light to those who want freedom and a better life and opportunity. we are now the number one home of mass slaughters in the world. and that's not a moniker that any american is comfortable with. >> so, claire, let's just help our viewers and help all of us game this out a little bit. it just doesn't make sense anymore. what happens to mitch mcconnell if he turns to the nra and says, i know you don't like it, it may cost me a few bucks, i think i can win re-election even if you don't fully support me anymore, but i'm going to go with the membership of the nra and back
manchin/toomey, get that through the senate and expand background checks. i'm not going to go after the semiautomatic weapons, i'm not going to back a weapons ban, but the universal background checks, i'm going to do that. he says that to wayne lapierre. what happens next? does he lose his senate seat, does he get in trouble, does he get a mean phone call? what's he afraid of, exactly? >> all things lead back to citizens united and the dark money. we know that russia gave the nra a lot of money to help donald trump. we don't know where all the dark money is coming from. and keep in mind, everyone needs to remember that in these senate races that are so important next year, because, frankly, if we don't pick up more senate seats, even if we defeat donald trump, our values are still going to be shaky in terms of what we can get done, in terms of immigration reform, and all the other things we want so badly. in all of these races, the amount of dark money that will be spent will dwarf the money that can be identified. it's typically 2-1. so in a place like colorado or
north carolina, there'll be hundreds of millions of dollars spent in those senate races. the vast majority of it will be unidentified. that's what mitch mcconnell's worried about. keeping ahold of all of those dark money checks that are $10 million, $5 million, $20 million at a time. and that's the kind of money that gets laundered through the nra. >> this is sort of an issue that you can tell that president trump is conflicted about a little bit, personally. that as a new yorker growing up, certainly, he has said that he's owned a handgun in the past, but gun control is not something that he supported when he was sort of a donald trump celebrity developer. but when he became a politician, there has never been anyone, perhaps, in the republican party that has been more closely tied to the nra than president trump, who supported them time and time again and lav and bast in their support in the campaign, particularly against hillary clinton. but during the parkland shooting, he did seem moved to want to do something and was immediately talked out of it by
the nra. this is another moment, there's no clear strategy by the white house yet beyond the red flag. they want to support that measure. but there is a sense in there that the president wants to do something else. now, they haven't come up with a coherent strategy. there's no sense of pressuring mitch mcconnell. there's no sense the senate is coming back on their recess to move on it. but this is a moment where the nra, it's probably the weakest it's been in a long time, engulfed in its own scandals, having really fund-raising issues, with wayne lapierre who is every day the subject of another negative story, this is a place where there could be an appetite where the president could potentially force mitch mcconnell to act, to get some republicans to do this, elise, what do you think? would there be so much blowback from republicans that he couldn't do it, or do you think he could spend a little capital here for something that honestly will probably be politically popular for him. >> let's be honest. donald trump can do whatever he wants and get away with it with republicans. and specifically with gun control, we just saw the polling. we saw where the electorate is. the nra is way more extreme than
their rank and file memberships. americans overwhelmingly support reasonable gun control. and you look at the transition that the nra is going through. right now, they're not at the top of their game. wayne lapierre may not be able to right the ship in the nra's favor. the nra has, you know, hemorrhaged their top people. the savvier people who were able to navigate d.c. and you look at how the movement has built over the past two years particularly, you look at the parkland students. and this last election cycle, for the first time, pro-gun control activists spent more money than the gun lobby. so, they really -- as long as they can keep up momentum, the problem is, in this news cycle of moving from one tragedy to the next, can gun control advocates keep up their momentum? >> and as for the president being conflicted on this, claire, the president wrote in his 2000 book, the america we
deserve, i support the ban on assault weapons, i support a longer waiting period to purchase a gun. that was in the year 2000. in 2012 after the sandy hook shootings, hearing president obama's call for stricter gun laws, the president, well, he wasn't president then, donald trump tweeted this. president obama spoke for me and every american in his remarks in connecticut. >> yeah, and let me point something out here that is really bad. donald trump is letting the nra control his administration behind the curtain. there was a regulation put in place by the obama administration which makes a lot of sense that if you have been determined to be mentally disabled and therefore receive social security payments for a mental disability, where there has to be proof of a mental disability, it made it harder for you to get a gun. not impossible, but harder. there were more hoops you had to go through, more showings that you had to show that you were safe and not a threat to yourself and others. the obama administration put
that reg in. the trump administration removed it. so they have made it easier, not harder, for people who have mental disabilities to get guns. so when he stands in front of cameras and lies like he does every ten minutes and says, we want to make it harder for people with mental illnesses to get guns, this administration with the nra pulling the puppet strings has done the exact opposite. >> christiane ramos, you are a native of el paso. your family comes from there. you've been inside that walmart several times. what were your reflections yesterday as the president traveled across the country, stopping in el paso, visiting with some of the victims in the hospital there and the way he handled the day in general? >> the latino community is strong and resilient, but right now it's afraid and there's a lot of heartache in the community. the president had an opportunity to strike a conciliatory tone. he had an opportunity to reach out to all americans and
apologize. listen, words matter. the words that the president of the united states uses, the most powerful man in the world, matter. when he says mexicans are rapists and murderers, when he has a campaign rally last may and he says it's okay to kill immigrants, those words were rendered into action. i have been to that walmart. i buy diapers for my daughter there. my heart aches for those families who lost their lives. my heart aches for the child that's in the hospital who has broken bones, whose parents died saving them in this horrendous tragedy. all the president had to do was apologize and strike a conciliatory tone. the reality is, we are facing a very simple question for america. how do we define our country? do we embrace equality? do we embrace inclusion? or are we going to continue to
let this president divide us with white supremacist rhetoric? >> at this point, kristian, if you had an audience with the president, and you may, he watches a lot of morning television, what would you say to him? what do you hope from him right now? >> i would say that the president should reach out to all americans. that he should reach out to the latino community. and he should apologize. it's the right thing to do. words matter. his words, especially. as the president of the united states, he has an opportunity to help lead us to a place that is not divisive, that is not awful, right? he's the president! please, show some leadership for christ's sake. >> reporter: kristian ramos, thank you very much. we appreciate you being with us this morning. the billionaire owner of the miami dolphins and luxury fitness brands like soul cycle
and equinox has drawn criticism for an upcoming fund-raiser he plans on hosting this weekend for president trump at his hamptons home. $250,000 a ticket in some cases at a fund-raiser for trump's re-election campaign, hosted by steven ross, and it's been slammed by high-profile lbgtq activists and celebrities and many others who have called for a boycott of soul cycle and equinox. equinox released a statement distancing itself from the fund-raiser, writing this. equinox and soul cycle have nothing to do with the event and do not support it. as is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians. we believe in tolerance and equality and will always stay true to those values. mr. ross, the statement goes on s , is a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business. kenny stills, who has knelt during the national anthem the past three seasons slammed ross, the owner of his team, for hosting that fund-raiser. in a statement obtained by "the
miami herald," ross defended his relationship with trump saying in part, "i have known donald trump for 40 years and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many oer others. i started my business for nothing and the reason for my engagement with our leaders is my deep concern for creating jobs and growing our country's economy. i have been and will continue to be an outspoken champion of inclusion, public education, and environmental stability." jon meacham, this gets to a lot of what we've been seeing in the country right now, which is that people pointing to companies, to people, to individuals and saying, if you support this president, however you want to slice it, you are supporting racism. >> yeah, it's another example of the ubiquity of the trump phenomenon, spilling from the traditional political arena into the entire culture and life of the country. the culture and the commerce. and i think that to some extent, it's fair. if you are going to parse that
statement, if you believe in all of those things and you're hosting a trump fund-raiser, it's cognitive dissidence, right? how do you hold two competing ideas in your head at the same time? but that's his first amendment right and he should, you know, that's fine. but you should also be willing to answer for it. and i think that ceos, we've seen this again and again, that business can lead on a lot of important issues. and so, insofar as they're frard fa facing, they can practice those first amendment rights but with that comes responsibility, too. >> jonathan cape haidkacapehart to a lot of what i heard and what you probably heard during the 2016 campaign which is, like, yeah, i don't like a lot of the garbage, the tweets, i don't like this stuff, but the economy is going to be strong, he's going to cut taxes and be good for business. and that seems to be the argument you're hearing from steven ross. >> yeah, and my question to steven ross and other people still supporting the president
is, is a tax cut worth shredding the american experiment? is a tax cut worth the further erosion of democracy? is a tax cut or more judges or more supreme court judges, are those things worth more than the sense of security and safety of not just american citizens, but immigrants. whether they are undocumented or naturalized or however they're defined. they are bigger issues at stake here. and so for anyone who's trying to parse or compartmentalize what's happening here, i'm sorry, it's unacceptable and to professor meacham's point, you know, you cannot expect to like give money to this regime and not expect people on the other side to react.
it is unreasonable to accept the free speech argument for someone like steve ross, but then deny the free speech argument for those members of equinox or those people going to soul cycle, exercising their free speech rights in saying that what the owner of these -- of these companies is doing is wrong, does not reflect my values. >> you know, the one thing about this, though, that is unfortunate, is once again, we go back to citizens united. i get naming and shaming for all of those folks who are publicly giving money to the president through his campaign committee or people who are doing fund-raising events. but the steve rosses of the world, you know what they're going to do from now on? when someone calls them and asks them to host an event? they'll say, let me just write you a $5 million check to whatever dark money committee you want me to write it to. so what this is going to do, it's going to chase all of those
people who have so much of the wealth of this country, unfortunately, you know, counterbalanced in the very tippy top, it's going to put them in a place, if they want to hold on to this president because they like the tax regime or they like the economic climate and they think somehow, inexplicably, this president had something to do with it, they're just going to put their money in the dark funds and they're going to forego coming out into the light. so if we really want this to be open to the american people, we really have to focus not just on gun control and not just on immigration reform, but also on cleaning up this campaign finance mess. >> for now, that event in the hamptons this weekend goes on as planned. still ahead on "morning joe," two members of congress, a republican and a democrat. we'll talk to congressman will hurd, who recently announced he will not seek re-election in texas. we'll talk to him about that decision and more. plus, from colorado, congressman jason crow who serves as the
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's 7:26 on the west coast. jon meacham, they call you the wise man of west end around nashville and you've proven why here. your latest piece in "time" magazine entitled "the power of a president's words." no one calls him that. jon writes this, in part, a president sets a tone for the broader nation and by word and by deed, helps tailor habits of heart and of mind. presidential action and presidential grace are often crucial in ameliorating moments of virulence and violence and the kind of presidential provocation we are now experiencing can help create and exacerbate just such hours.
trump's failure to do much more than tweet than over the weekend of the attack followed by his listless and unconvincing august 5th remarks about hate in a speech most notable for its implicit defense of guns stands in stark contrast to other presidents in other moments of crisis. from bill clinton after oklahoma city to george w. bush after 9/11, to barack obama after the church shooting in charleston, south carolina, in 2015, trump's recent predecessors have met the moment in ways he seems unable to do. nothing makes a man come to grips more directly with his conscience than the presidency. president lyndon b. johnson recalled in his memoirs, the burden of his responsibility literally opens up his soul. the tragedy of our time may well be that we have already seen what's in donald trump's. jon, i think you would probably agree, it's too much to expect donald trump to be empathetic. it's too much to expect him to be what all of those other presidents were in those big moments. so where does that leave us?
with a president who's incapable of providing that kind of comfort in these times? >> it becomes a stress test for citizenship. the country has to decide or at least enough voters in the right number of states needs to decide whether that's what we want at that preeminent place in our culture and our life. it's up to us. and that's a very difficult truth. it's a hard thing to remember that politicians in a republic are far more often mirrors of who we are, rather than molders. and, you know, there can be special interests that warp this a bit, but even there, special interests are, in fact, a force in the life of this incredibly complicated experiment we've undertaken. nobody's really tried this, right? to run an extensive democratic republic over a diverse, ethnically, religiously, racially diverse continental nation. it's a big task.
and this is a big, big ditch we've put ourselves into, with this particular president. but the good news, and part of the wisdom of the founders was, we'd get another shot at this in 16 months. and i think that's where the energy and the focus should be. to -- we'll continue to hold trump to account, but it makes us feel better, perhaps, and there's no alternative. you have to do it. i know there's been some criticism about, you know, sort of, trump does something, certain people attack, he then attacks them, and it's this feedback loop. that's a fair criticism, but what's the alternative? you have to bear witness. and it seems to me that you're right. we shouldn't -- we shouldn't expect him rationally to rise to an occasion, but we have to work hard if we want the country to be what we want it to be. >> i agree. it seems repettive, but you can't accept it as the new standard.
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i don't know congressman hurd, but i've heard he's done a good job. we differ on certain subjects, but i've heard he's actually done a good job. it's too bad he's leaving. but really don't know him. >> that's president trump last week following the surprise announcement of retirement by texas congressman will hurd that leaves republicans without a candidate in a pivotal swing district for now. hurd, the only african-american in the house republican caucus and the only gop member to represent a district on the border announced last thursday he will not seek re-election next year in a district that's about 70% latino and which hillary clinton won in 2016. congressman hurd is among seven republican incumbents who have announced they will retire the last three weeks, including two others in swing districts in texas. and congressman will hurd joins us now. he's a member of the house intelligence and appropriations committees. congressman, thanks so much as always for being with us. explain your decision a little bit here. i know you said you want to go
in the private sector and pursue some other opportunities. why did you believe this was the time to walk away? >> first of all, willie, i'm not retiring. i turn 42 next week. >> from congress, anyway. >> yeah, i've got a lot of ahead of me. first off, i'm going to stay involved in politics. i want to help candidates across the country do what i've been able to do. and that's win really tough races. as you've said in the opening, my district is 29 counties, two time zones, 820 miles of the border. it is larger than 20 states. it's roughly the size of georgia. i've won in races when people thought i couldn't win. and what i want to do is help candidates, great guys like westly hunt down in houston, texas. you know, he flew helicopters for the army, he's from a family that have served, his sister served, his father served. they were all diploeployed at o point at the same time. help people like that win in
tough primaries. that's my interest. because i want to make sure that there's 15, 20 people like me serving up in washington, d.c. and i'm also, you know, interested in staying involved on the topics that have been my passions for most of my adult life. and that's that intersection of technology and national security. >> congressman, you've served with integrity, you've criticized the president where you've seen necessary along the border. you've supported him where you thought he deserved your support. a lot of people are disappointed, frankly, within the party and outside the party that you are walking away. was there anything about the political culture, about this moment in our politics that caused you to say, you know what, i don't need this anymore? >> well, a lot of people have asked me that question, and i've been able to be effective under a democratic president, under a republican president, under a democratic speaker, around republican speaker. i've had 15 bills signed into law in my five years, you know, so far and the way i've been
able to do that is by focusing on what unites us, not what divides us. yes, there is gridlock at times. congress was not designed to be efficient. and i think that the message -- sorry, willie. the way that i've been effective and i want to make sure and communicate that to other folks. the only way we're going to be able to get big things done is if we actually focus on what unites us. and representing 71% of latino district, representing what's truly a 50/50, 50% republican, 50% democrat district, what i've learned is that we have way more in common. and when you focus on that, you can be effective. and i also think that the republican party should be be focused on, you know, explaining how we try to empower people and not empower the government. that the way that we believe families should move up the economic ladder is by free
markets and not socialism. that we should be talking about the way you achieve and maintain peace is by being nice with nice guys and tough with tough guyses. these are the message -- it's a winning message. folks that consider themselves independents recognize that. conservative democrats do, as well. i think that's the real opportunity and if we focus the conversation there, we'll be better off. the two largest growing groups of voters are minorities and young people. and the republican party should be talking to those groups of folks. all right? i always say, in texas, if the republican party in texas doesn't start looking like texas, there will not be a republican party in texas. and i want to take the hard lessons i've learned and apply that. >> congressman, as i've said, you've been critical of the president's border policies, saying a wall is a terrible idea, it doesn't make sense, there are ore ways to provide border security. but there are a lot of people, as i don't have to tell you in the state where i sit, given especially what happened at the walmart in el paso the other
day, people of color, latino who is feel under assault in this country. >> sure. >> what would you tell the president about the way he talks about people of culture, about the way he talks about the kind of people who live in your district? >> well, i would start with, let's hear more of what he said on monday than some of the things he's said before. what people need to realize about el paso, so my district butts right up against the city of el paso. i have part of the county that the city is in. el paso is the 22nd largest city in the united states of america and it's been one of the safest for its size for the last couple of decades. this is even when juarez, the mexican city on the other side of the border, was one of the most dangerous places in the world. so this, what happened in el paso, those horrific murders that happened a few days ago has really shocked a community that has, you know, worked together and support one another. what i love about el paso is
when people come into this -- this killer came into their community and tried to sew fear and the community of el paso is not going to cower, right? this person was trying to sew hate. they're responding with love. and so what i would suggest is that we, you know, talk about, in fact, call this what it was. it was white nationalist terrorism. and i'm glad that it seems like most of my colleagues have been referring to that. we should also make sure that we have a focus on this within the department of homeland security. you know, this is a major issue that's affecting our homeland. we all know what it is. and we should be making sure that all branches of the government recognize that. >> so, congressman, the shooter, though, as you saw in that screen, used language that the president has been using. a hispanic invasion. what would you say to the president about the way he talks about latinos and people of color in this country?
>> and like i said, you use more of the language that you use on monday, right? embrace our uniqueness as a country. we can't fuel the environment that has allowed hate in order to grow. we have to distinguish that have and take oxygen away from it. and so that's where -- that's how i've tried to operate. that's the way i'm going to continue to operate. and in this specific case, when it comes to el paso, let's make sure we're doing everything we can to prevent this from happening in the future. you know, it's wild, the u.s. secret service did a report in 2018 about -- and looked at 27 mass casualty events. this is where three or more people were killed. and in almost all of the cases, there were people that made a comment or some kind of communication that was threatening or concerning, and three-fourths of these people, you know, there was somebody
that reported them in some form or fashion, all right? and so, so we have an opportunity to disrupt this process of radicalization, and our words matter. the words we use matter. and so i hope we take lessons from this el paso shooting, also what happened in ohio, and use this as an opportunity for us to change our rhetoric and change our language. >> congressman, i've got a bunch of people that want to ask you questions, one more from me, though. there are a lot of people after the announcement that dan coats is leaving dni who have raised your name as someone given your history working in the cia and given your stature in the party. if you were asked to serve in this administration, if donald trump called upon you and said, i want you to be the head of the dni, what would you say? >> well, i think he has a short list. i don't think my name is on it. i haven't been asked. i think anybody who is ever asked to serve their country should evaluate the opportunity.
>> so you would consider the request to be dni? >> look, i would always evaluate any opportunity to see if i'm able to continue to serve my country. i've been proud to serve my country most of my adult life. but again, i haven't been asked. i'm not expecting to be asked. and i'm looking forward to spending the next 14 months running through the tape as the representative of the 23rd congressional district of texas. >> congressman, it's jonathan lamir. there's a lot of discussion this morning, just including now, about the president's rhetoric that may have played a role in these shootings. but there's also a lot of debate about what to do with the guns. the president floated yesterday at the white house that he might have some support for background checks. where do you stand on that issue? where do you think americans with this white house, should the republican congress, should senate leader mcconnell do about guns? >> i was one of eight republicans that voted for the background check bill. last congress, we also had a
bill that was called fix nix after the sutherland springs shooting, it came to k-- we foud out that the shooter should not have had a gun, but the department of defense did not provide all the details that they were supposed to to the knicks process. we were able to pass legislation, got signed into law in order to do that. and again, i think, you know, everybody agrees that you should keep guns out of the hands of some people that shouldn't have it. terrorists, people that have mental health issues. i hope that, you know, the fact that the president has indicated that he's interested in strengthening background checks, i hope some of my democratic senators that aren't running for president start working with the white house to actually try to get something done. i also hope that we see a little bit more resources going to countering violent extremism within the department of homeland security so that we can work on this, you know, that radicalization process.
there's another piece of legislation overwhelming and bipartisan piece of legislation frp dr. brian babin, republican from houston, val demmings from florida, who's a democrat, it's called a behavioral threat assessment management program that the u.s. secret service has and extends that to local law enforcement. there's a lot of things that we can do in order to protect our communities. >> all right, congressman will hurd of texas, we appreciate you taking some time this morning. thank you. >> always a pleasure. >> elise? an interesting choice for the director of national intelligence. >> i think congressman hurd wasn't exactly dismissing the option. that seemed like a very politician answer of not yes, not no. so perhaps donald trump would be well served to appoint congressman hurd as the next dni. he certainly would have a lot to offer in the role. >> there's certainly been a ground swell of support for some members of the republican party for congressman hurd, for that position.
there's no sense -- the president spoke kindly of him the other day. no sense he's on the short list, but he doesn't really have a short list there, so we will end up there. >> coming up next, our next guest represents a state that has been devastated by at least three mass shootings over the years. now, he's part of the house committee tasked with finding a solution. congressman jason crow of colorado joins us next on "morning joe." of colorado joins us next on "morning joe." ♪ limu emu & doug mmm, exactly! liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice! but uh, what's up with your partner?
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which is the main reason i left the military. everybody wants more for their kids, but i feel like with my kids, they measurably get more than i ever got. and i get to do that. i get to provide that for them. joining us now, a former army ranger who earned a bronze star during the invasion of iraq and who served two additional tours in afghanistan. democratic congressman jason crow of colorado. congressman, it's great to have you with us. i think you're an important voice in this conversation we've been having over the last five days or so as we talk specifically about guns. you have obviously used and held these weapons during war. you voted for the expanded background checks. tell us why as a gun owner
yourself and as a person who has used these weapons, why you support both of those. >> good morning. thanks for having me on again. you know, i grew up a hunter. i started hunting when i was very young. i joined the army, became an army ranger as you said, three combat tours in iraq and afghanistan. i used these weapons of war at war. i left the army. i came to colorado. i started a family with my wife. i have two young kids now. and when i come home and my kids tell me about the bad guy drills that they have in their schools, that they are sometimes afraid to go to school and i hear that sentiment across my district almost every week, i know we have a big problem. so i'm going on lead on this because, you know, i didn't take an assault weapon with me to a deer hunt and i didn't take my deer hunting rifle to me in iraq and afghanistan because they're very different weapons. they're designed to do very different things. i know that better than most people. and we have to lead on this issue and we have to solve this crisis. >> you used the term weapons of
war. when other people use those, they're assailed by those who want to protect ar-15s, for example, weapons like that. they say technically they're not weapons of war. they're semi automatic rifles. why do you call them weapons of war? >> i used the m-4 carbine, almost identical to the ar-15 that's used in the vast majority of these shootings. i know it well. i can disassemble that ar-15 probably with a blindfold on the same way i could with an m-4. they're almost identical. they were designed for military use decades ago. that's their background. and you see that in the recent shootings, right? in a matter of a minute or less, the number of rounds that these weapons can fire, how fast you can fire them, how easy that weapon is to use, all of the characteristics of that. it is designed to inflict mass casualties. and it has no place on our streets, in our schools, at concerts, in our movie theaters, all of the places where it has
inflicted those mass casualties. i respect the culture and heritage of the second amendment as a hunter, as an army ranger, as a member of this community. but we have a major problem on our hands here. and i'm going lead. i'm going to do something about it to keep our kids safe and i welcome the folks on the other side of the aisle to help us in that effort. >> congressman, let's talk a little bit about colorado. colorado, some call it purple, some want to argue that it's more blue. some say on guns, it is more red. i know there's been a mixed bag of political realities in colorado when it comes to guns. some action that was taken after columbine that then became politically unpopular. corey gardner is one of the largest recipients of nra money in the senate. talk about that for the political colorado election next year.
>> colorado has a long history and heritage of responsible firearm ownership. when i first ran for office, there were people that told me keep your hands off the gun issue. don't talk about it. it's a purple state. i disagreed with that because conventional wisdom would say to do that, but we're not in conventional times. i knew and my wife knew that the tide had turned on this issue. we are a community that suffered the columbine shooting, the aurora theater shoot, the s.t.e.m. school shooting a couple of months ago. the tide turned. people want action, they demand leadership. corey gardner is in trouble if he's not willing to lead on this. people across my community, moderate republicans, democrats, independents, unaffiliateds, they think about this all the time. it's now engrained in the psyche of our community. people demand leadership. and i think if our elected officials, whether it's corey gardner or anyone else across america is not willing to stand up and address this as the crisis that it is, then they will be held accountable at the
ballot box. let's take hr-8, for example, the universal background checks bill that we passed in february. over 90% of america supports common sense legislation like that. we have it in colorado. we passed universal background checks bill in colorado right after the aurora theater shooting. it has prevented over 2,000 firearms sales in that time to people that should not have those weapons. that makes a difference. it's common sense. people haven't lost their guns. it respects the second amendment. that's the type of common sense stuff we could do at the national level. >> congressman alesse jordan here, still in the realm of national security, you are cosponsoring an election security bill that is just kind of incredible to me that we even need it, that campaigns are to report interactions with foreign nationals who are offering help. what are the prospects for that bill and why do you think it's so necessary? >> well, we should be able to get this done.
this is one of those things that falls in the category of it should be nonpartisan, right? and in most normal political arenas. this shouldn't be a partisan issue. let's secure our elections. let's make sure that people's votes counts count, that we're not being manipulated and attacked by foreign powers. it's astonishing to me that mitch mcconnell has continued to block very common sense election security measures. the act that i'm cosponsoring along with my colleague, alyssa slotkin from michigan who originated this idea just says that if a campaign, a federal campaign at any level is approached by a foreign power, a foreign adversary for either support or donations, you know, really any type of support from a foreign power or adversary or an agent, that they have to report that to the u.s. government, to officials, so that they can look at that and see whether or not law enforcement needs to take action. common sense. why wouldn't we want to have that? but, of course, common sense doesn't prevail with some folks
in washington these days. so i'm going to keep on fighting for it. >> jason crow, congressman, army ranger, three tours and a bronze star. we appreciate your time this morning. thanks so much. >> thank you. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll hear from joe biden, cory booker and beto o'rourke as democratic hopefuls yesterday sharpened their criticism of president trump's rhetoric and the president taking the time to respond, spending his day visiting the victims of the dayton and el paso mass shootings while settling political scores along the way. political scores along the way ♪ ♪ i got that vibe, got that vibe ♪ ♪ got that vibe, yeah, i ain't petty, ♪ ♪ looking fly, looking fly, ♪ ♪ looking fly, yeah, they ain't ready. ♪ ♪ i can shine, i can shine, ♪ ♪ i can shine. ♪ i'mma do what i'm made to do. ♪ ♪ i'mma do what i'm made to do. ♪ built for excellence. you start from the foundation up. the excellence is reaching dreams and chasing them at the same time.
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if you were to assemble a list, a problem of what this country faces, where would supremacy be on the list? it's not a real problem in america. white supremacy, that's a problem. this is a hoax, just like the russia hoax. it's a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power. that's exactly what's going on. >> to recognize that white nationalism is real, that white nationalism is on the rise, that white nationalism is, without question, a very serious problem in america and meeting down those who would help facilitate it and encourage it because they are an enormous part of the problem. >> an internal debate there at fox news with shep smith characterizing joe biden's
speech yesterday taking president trump to task and that earned shep an insult over twitter from the president of the united states. here is what christopher wray, the director of the fbi said before congress on july 23rd. >> through the third quarter of this fiscal year, had about, give of take, a hundred arrests in the international terrorism side, which includes the homegrown violent extremism. >> this year. >> this year. but we've also had just about the same number -- don't quote me to the exact digit -- on the domestic terrorism side. the majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we have investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence. >> the majority of the domestic terrorism cases says the fbi director, white supremacist violence. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it's thursday, august 8th. i'm willie geist.
joe and mika are off today. we have jonathan lamere, alesse jordan, jonathan kapehart, shannon pettypiece and mr. jon meacham who is an nbc news convicter, as well. jon, we're going to dive into the president's trip yesterday, but just your broad stroke thoughts over the last couple of days. you've got a piece talking about the power of a president's words. >> yes. i mean, i think it's been a moment where there's clearly a vacuum of the kind of leadership that franklin roosevelt described in 1932, even before he became president. he said the presidency is not an engineering job, it's not an administrative job, it's preeminently a place of moral
leadership. and i mean that not simply in the consoler and chief, which is a new cliche. you know, it's like saying we got this. it's sort of entered that place. you know, what we need is someone who speaks to the best part of us. and uses the power of the office to make the country demonstrably safer and better. and that is where the president has fallen down again and again and again. my own view is that joe biden and cory booker and beto o'rourke stepped in and actually played that role over the last 72 hours or so. >> yeah. and we're going to hear from all three of those men. your pieces in "time" magazine. president trump travelled to dayton, ohio, and el paso, texas, yesterday. the two cities were last weekend's mass shootings took place, meeting with first responders to the officials and victims to console those two
hurting american communities. but the day took on an air of politics with the president a number of times, turning his attention from those grieving to airing his own grievances. with twitter outbursts that span the day going after joe biden, the president, senator shared brown of ohio, cable news anchors and many more. the president seemed concerned with controlling the appearance of his visits, releasing videos on of his meetings with medical staff, victims and first responders with music. in el paso late yesterday, he continued concern with mild criticism responding with more personal attacks. >> president trump, you've attacked a number of your critics like vice president biden, as well as various others of the media. can you explain -- >> they shouldn't be politicking today. i had it with sherrod brown, he and the mayor, they asked to go
in, could we poenl go in and make the tour with you. i said yeah, let's do it. i took them in at their request. they made the tour. he said it to people, she said it to people. i get on air force one. i turn on the television and there they are saying i don't know if it was appropriate for the president to be here, you know, etcetera, etcetera. they're very dishonest people and that's probably why he got i think about zero percent that he failed as a presidential candidate. >> about that news conference the president mentioned, ohio's democratic senator, sherrod brown and the mayor spoke to the president after the visit. both said they pressed the president on gun reform and said it was well received despite the differences they may have with him. >> we called on the president to ask senator mccontoll bring the session back in this week, to tell the senate that he wants
the background checks bill that has passed the house, that he wants it on the floor. i asked the president to promise to me and to the american people that he will sign that bill after he's spoken out in support of it with senator mcconnell. he was -- only said that we will get things done. >> he heard me. i don't know if he will take action. i'm hoping for the people of dayton that he does, but we -- you know, both the senator and i spoke very directly what we've been saying the whole time about the need for common sense gun legislation. >> it was received well by the patients -- >> what did he say to them? >> he was comforting and he did the right thing and melania did the right thing. >> the people at the hospital were terrific and people showed -- when the president of the united states came, they showed respect for the office. a number of them said to me, they're not great admirers of him clearly, but they clearly showed respect for the office. >> i think the victims and the first responders were grateful
that the president of the united states came to dayton. >> that's mayor whaley of dayton right there. shortly after that press conference, the president tweeted about the tremendous enthusiasm and love during the visit. quote, then i saw failed presidential candidate and mayor whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside the hospital. their news conference after i left for el paso was a fraud. you heard what they just said. senator brown, who chose not to run in 2020, put out a statement reading in part, quote, i have said before donald trump is a bully and bullies are cowards. the people of dayton deserve a president more interested in gun violence than protecting his own ego. >> i don't -- i'm really confused. we said he was treated, like, very well. so -- >> i'd love to hear what -- >> i don't know what he's talking about misrepresenting. oh, well. you know, he lives in his world of twitter. >> some of president trump's staffers criticized mayor whaley
and senator brown for their news conference. stephanie grisham tweeted in part, it is genuinely sad to see them immediately hold such a dishonest press conference in the name of partisan politics. and dan scavino tweeted very sad to see ohio senator brown and dayton mayor unanimous whaley lying and completely mischaracterizing what took place with the president's visit to miami valley hospital today. they are disgraceful politicians doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting at every point they can. he went on the president was treated like a rock star inside the hospital which was all caught on video. parker, who was part of the white house press pool yesterday, points out that it's unclear if what scavino says was true because the press pool was not allowed to witness anything. she tweeted we were told the president wanted to avoid a photo-op, although the white house did put out photos of their own.
jonathan lamere, this is your beat. they said the president was well received. what are the white house staffers talking about? what were they so upset about? >> this is a day where president trump spent most of it playing the victim when he was standing amid victims of two mass shootings. what happened yesterday was this was an attempt for the white house to control the narrative of imagery of this day. it began with president trump on the white house south lawn scolding the media for trying to make this a political event, warning other politicians not to do that, although at the same time he pointed out the alleged political beliefs of the dayton shooter and proceeded to get on the plane and head to ohio. as ashley pointed out, reporters there were not able to actually witness him interacting with patients. that's understanding how that happens. these are people who are recovering. there are privacy issues and so on. at that first stop, though, he seemed to hit the right notes. local officials said there he did fine. you just saw that news conference where the senator and the mayor largely praised what
he did and said he was treated well. now, the senator did suggest that he had problems with some of the president's divisive rhetoric, so maybe that is what the white house was responding to. but that sort of set off an onslaught for the president and others to attack, on a day where the president was to be there to suggest they will not let these tragedies happen again. he turned it into a -- as he so often does -- into about himself. and we saw it went from tweet to tweet to tweet, he went to joe biden for his speech. he went after the officials there in ohio. he went after the officials in texas. he went after congressman castro. seemingly, he went after the media. time and time again, as we have seen him so often do, when he's behind closed doors meeting
privately with someone, he can be constellatory, he can be charming, he can pledge help. but then when he retreats to the safety of whether it's the white house residence or yesterday, his cabin on air force one and he watches the cable news coverage and he gets upset by what he sees, he turns to twitter and lashes out. any sense of unity or healing is put aside. still ahead, joe biden's forceful rebuke of president trump. we'll show you the key moments of that speech straight ahead. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. wrinkles just won't. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair's derm-proven retinol works so fast, it takes only one week to reveal younger looking skin. neutrogena®
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joe biden accused the president of promoting white supremacy. >> his low energy, vacant eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning the white supremacists this week i don't believe fooled anyone at home or abroad. trump readily, eagerly attacks islamic terrorism, but can barely bring himself to use the words white supremacy. and even when he says it, he doesn't appear to believe it. he says guns are not the problem in mass shootings. the issue is mental health.
it's a dodge. hatred is not a mental health issue. what this president doesn't understand is that like every other nation on earth, we're unable to define what constitutes american by religion, by ethnicity or by tribe. you can't do it. america is an idea. an idea stronger than any army. bigger than any ocean. more powerful than any dictator or tyrant. it gives hope to the most destitute people on earth. we can't and i will not let this man be re-elected president of the united states. his carnage stops right here, right now, starting in the midwest.
limit it to four years, i believe. and i really do belief this. if donald trump is re-elected, i believe he will forever and fundamentally alter the position of president of the united states. >> the president responded to biden in a tweet writing, watching sleepy joe biden making a speech. so boring. the lame stream media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy. it will be over for them, not to mention the fact that our country will do poorly with him. it will be one big crash, but at least china will be happy. the former vice president's response to that was succinct. >> do you want to respond to the president responding to you? >> he should get a life. >> he should get a life says joe biden. biden's communications director
responded to the tweet, glad you're watching. he's talking to you. his words were stirring you say of joe biden. his delivery was passionate. and they were be fitting decrying trump's shameful response to charlottesville. unlike the prompter, biden came at a speech in iowa with an authority that is hard to match. providing comfort for us who long for the days when a president of the united states acted accordingly and treated the bully pulpit who treated it with moral authority. instead, we have a bully with a pulpit and no moral authority.
>> the speemp in its totality, and i'm glad you showed extensive clips from that speech, but you can slice the speech in half. the first half being hard remarks about president trump about what he is, who he is, how he's sullied the office. how he has no moral compass. the other half of the speech was about who we are as a nation, who we are as a people. you played one part of that, which i thought was the most powerful part where he talks about the part where america is an idea and no matter who you are, where you came from, whether you were native to this land, brought to this land in chains or immigrated to this country like his family did from ireland, no other country in the world can you come to and be american, be a part of this grand experiment.
and so while he was lacing into president trump, he was reminding us of who we are as a nation. and that's what presidents do. you know, presidents are a -- usually a reflection of our better selves, who we aspire to be. that's why we hold them to higher standards. we want to be like them, at least we want to used to be like them because they are a reflection of our better selves. but instead, what we have in this president is someone who refuses to not take the bait. coming up on "morning joe," joe biden was not the only presidential candidate speaking truth to the president. we'll show you what cory booker and beto o'rourke had to say next on "morning joe." o'rourkey next on "morning joe." you wouldn't do only half
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about the rise of white nationalism and he called out president trump and his rhetoric for being a catalyst behind the latest hate-fueled massacre in el paso. >> it was sowed by those who spoke the same words, the el patio murderer did warning of an invasion. it was sold by those who spoke of infestation of disgusting rodents talking about communities. it was sold by those who draw an equivalence between neo-nazis and those who protest them. it was sowed from the highest office in our land where we see in tweets and rhetoric hateful words that ultimately endanger the lives of people in our
country. >> peto o'rourke also not holding back. asking whether another mass shooting could happen while president trump is in office. >> it will happen again because what happened in el paso is not an isolated incident. after the president warned of caravans, you had somebody go into the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh warning of caravans. you had the mosque in victoria, texas, burned to the ground on the day trump signed his executive order seeking to ban muslim travel to the united states. so there are very real consequences to his words, to his tweets, to the racism that he fans. you saw this racism in may at a rally and he said how are we going to stop this? someone in the crowd yells shoot them. his response, he laughs. >> you've been clear that the
president is a racist. is the president a white supremacist? >> he is. he sought to dehumanize those who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country. he said i wish we had more immigrants from nordic country because those from haiti bring aids, those from africa come -- nations. he's been very clear about who he literally wants to keep out with walls and cages and militarization and torture and cruelty. >> jonathan, obviously, beto o'rourke has been front and center in this. that's his former hometown. he's been passionate about it. and you can understand why. but you see, really, all the candidates from joe biden to cory booker to beto o'rourke drawing a stark contrast in the way they talk about the shootings and the way they talk about the shootings and president trump. >> they're setting aside some of the policy differences and they're speaking on much more moral terms. they're trying to suggest that
he has lent license to what has happened, that the president has fostered this environment of hate with his words and actions that has led to not just the violence, but people living in fear, that people across this country being afraid that they could be next. even yesterday, this is so many public officials including the current congresswoman for el paso has spoken about how latino residents feel like they have a target on their backs right now. what does the president do? he goes on twitter and attacks a latino congressman, congressman castro. there is a fear among people that he is leading to this. we're seeing senator booker, we're seeing congressman o'rourke, elizabeth warren echos o'rourke's sentiment that the president was a white supremacist. we're seeing more and more of that, their willingness to call out the president and what he has done. someone close to the trump on sht said part of the reason why
the president reacted to strongly yesterday, he's sensitive to receiving blame for these shootings, that he is aware that his words are being judged as the fuel for this violence and that's why he is lashing out and so desperate to control the images of that visit yesterday. coming up, "time" magazine has a special report on the terror within. how united states officials ignored the growing threat of domestic extremism. that conversation, straight ahead on "morning joe." that conversation, straight aheaond "morning joe. we call it the mother standard of care.
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the new issue of "time" magazine is titled, enough. a year of gun violence in america so far. the cover illustration is comprised with the names and locations of 253 mass shootings in america this year. joining us now, three of the contributors of the new issue, columnist for "time" magazine david french, national security
corespondent w.j.hennigan and alisa arsay. bill, i want to start with you. we'll get to all of your pieces, your special report titled the terror within. you note for decades, u.s. officials ignored the growing threat of domestic terrorism. you write in part, in more than a dozen interviews with "time," former and current law enforcement and national security officials described a sense of be wilderment and frustration as they watched warnings go ignored and the white supremacist terror threat grow. over the past decade, multiple attempts to refocus the issue have been thwarted. they were funded, staffed, and defunded in the face of legal, constitutional and political concerns. you continue in the piece, a senior government official granted anonymity to discuss the trump administration's efforts said that had while fbi
officials continued to warn about the patterns of white nationalism radicalization online, it was quickly recognized that assessments that ran counter to what trump was saying publicly would fall on deaf ears. this echos some reporting by cnn that we got last night. why is this? why would they, when presented with evidence, why would they decline to look further into white supremacist terrorism? >> by labelinging it right wing terrorism, you're automatically, you know, assigning it to the conservative party. and there's been some pushback about that. so internally, terror analysts are thinking about what to call this and able to get the government to go after it. but i think it's important to
rememb remember, before 9/11, them thee mcveigh and the oklahoma city bombings, and then 9/11 understandably derailed a lot of attention that was on these groups and successful administrations, while they're pursuing the jihadist threat, they let the right wing threat grow. >> so, bill, what is your sense of whether or not that changes at this point based on what happened in el paso, based on the scree, the document that the shooter left behind? does that change now inside the fbi? >> right. so there has never been a big explosive attack like you saw on 9/11 or there is not a one leader like osama bin laden who can direct all the attention. but now that you saw these -- people are now noticing that this is -- the american public is recognizing that this is a big threat that we need to face down. when you see the support from
the americans, congress is beginning to take a closer look and indeed they've started to draft legislation on how to address it. >> so, julissa, the new issue titled our brown skin makes us a target for hate. you write in part, i naively believed that when i became an american with a passport that proves i belong here, all the fears i had while being undocumented would be erased, fierce of being detained, of being deported, of never being fully accepted in this country. but the election of donald trump, his lies about immigrants, the policies enacted by this administration and the violence he has incited against brown people have removed the rose colored glasses through which i once viewed this country. i now see america as a place where the color of your skin is the most important factor and if you're any other nonwhite ethnicity, it's the thing that can make you a target of hate as
we learned so terribly in that walmart in el paso the other day, julissa. >> yes, that is correct. today is actually the day that i became a u.s. citizen five years ago. and it has been a painful relation that it doesn't matter whether i am a u.s. citizen or not, that it is the color of my skin that is the most important factor and especially in these times. and so much of what we've been told about immigration is the reason that we don't want immigrants here is because we want them to do it legally. it's not really about legality because presenting yourself for asylum of the border is legal and our precedent is calling those laws ridiculous. so it's not about legality. it's not about the economy. we're constantly told that the reason we don't want immigrants here is because they're taking our jobs and they are bad for the economy. but you have a report from the bush administration that said that is the biggest fallacy in
the immigration debate. plus, of course, undocumented people pay taxes so it's not about the economy. it's about our brown skin. it's not even about being born in this country. i.c.e. has requested the detention of more than 3,000 u.s. citizens. so it's not about even being born here. it is about our brown skin that makes us a target, whether or not we were born in this country, whether or not we came here legally and whether or not as myself have naturalized, which chosen to be u.s. citizens. >> julisa, what do you think it's going to take for americans to understand what you're describing and what you're writing about and look to a better day or better angels and try to come together again as a country that does believe all men and women are created equal? >> yeah. well, you know, i think it's really important and i thank you
for having me on the show. i think it's really important that at this moment we listen to latino voices, that we listen to the concern of people of color, that we are visible. because i think that as long as we remaybe invisible, we will remain a target. so it's important that our voices are heard. but, you know, as i write in the piece, i also see a different america. i see the america that had dozens and dozens of people lined up to give blood for the victims of the el paso shooting. i see the people like the army private who took children under his arms and carried them on safety, putting his own life at risk. and i see the hundreds of people who have donated to my scholarship fund to make sure that undocumented students can still go to college. that is the america that i love and that my parents taught me to love, the america that promises
safety to people around the world. i also look to that america and i remain hopeful that that is the america that will shine through. i say in the piece this brown skin will continue to glow against a darkness that has fallen on this country. i really believe there are so many more people who want to do good and who see beyond the color of my skin. that is the america i want to fight for. >> david french, you see in column that the progress is bigger than trump. this can blind our nation to a larger problem. radicals of all kinds don't just seek to kill, threaten or harass. they seek to influence and the measure of their influence is the measure of their success. the vast majority of conservative or right leaning americans are not racists, they hate racist and utterly reject the language of right nationalism. still, the alt-right has achieved success in influencing
the national debate and they do it by casting themselves as fearless warriors against political correctness, telling the truths that only the left won't like. this gives radicals momentum and energy. as strike as it may sound to focus on the president is to think too small. the old virus of national culture, it's imperative we recognize its symptoms, including its language and ideas to banish it back into the irrelevant margins of american life. david, you've been writing about this and warning about it for some time. it's leapt from conspiracy website websites now into a walmart in el paso. >> yeah. that's right. i think we need to back up and take a look at exactly what is happening here. what you begin to see really burst on to the scene in 2015 with very overtly racist attacks against opponents of donald trump. throughout the 2015 and 2016
cycle. but then, to go really mainstream, you're not going to engage in this blatant racism that's been targeted these specific individuals. what you're going to talk about are ideas and themes that are consistent with these racist ideas that got -- that the torch got picked up and carried by much more mainstream outlets. steve bannon called breitbart the plat for the foreman alt-right and breitbart was at the time the second most conservative trafficked website in the united states of america. what they have is this idea they call it replacement theory that -- an idea that ethnicity and nationality in many ways should be inseparable. and they'll introduce these ideas into the bloodstream not through blatant and overt racism, but often by beginning with statements that perk up the ears of all too many conservatives in this country by saying, well, the left doesn't like what i'm about to say, but -- or this isn't politically correct, but -- and then they
begin injecting a lot of these themes. you saw this in some of the debate over the cara van, for example. on fox news, there was actually someone saying that immigrants, a guest on fox said immigrants were going to bring smallpox into the u.s. it's been eradicated for decades. so you have the injection of these ideas that communicate that immigrants are somehow inconsistent with and will replace or somehow extinguish the true american identity. and that's a core message of the alt-right. it was a message of this manifesto. and it is -- it's a message that will continue to be spread long after trump is gone. >> well, david, that's exactly where i wanted to go next, this idea the hate and racism, he has has elevated some of it. he's given license to some of it. but what happens when trump is gone? it's a mistake, right, to believe when he exits the stage or exits the oval office,
whether that's a year from now or five years from now that this would go away with it. what can be done about it when there is a new president? >> well, you know, one of the things that is a sad reality of american life is that white supremism has always been lurking there to some extent. so one of the problems that we have now is through online organizing, i think the comparison of the way in which young men are being radicalized into white supremism or the way young men are being radicalized into islamic terror, it's not exactly precise, but it's a good comparison. you're seeing the creation of online communities that are radicalizing young men. and i think it's incumbent upon law enforcement and big tech and each individual american to be as vigilant about these online communities and about this online radicalizing as we were and have been for years about the online radicalism of, for example, isis terror. >> david french, bill hennigan
and julissa arsay, we just scratched the surface of these pieces. thank you for being with us this morning. we appreciate it. coming up next, the president's rhetoric appears to be bad for business. ask the owner of sole cycle and the miami dolphins. we'll talk about the debate among business owner these election season. keep it on "morning joe." election season. keep it on "morning joe. it's easy to move forward when you're ready for what comes next. at fidelity, we make sure you have a clear plan to cover the essentials in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. and on the way, you'll get timely investment help to keep you on the right track, without the unnecessary fees you might expect from so many financial firms. because when you have a partner
it's fuel for thought. but we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. your harry potter facts were not accurate. who did the research? >> there was not a specific direction to do the research on harry potter. i was the one who said houses and classes interchangeably because i was trying to be more explicit so people could get a concept. >> governor, i have great respect for you. i have great respect for your tenacity for the fact that you just don't give up. but, rod, you're fired. >> that is the former governor
of illinois being fired by the future president of the united states because he please didn't have his harry potter facts straight. now president trump says he is strongly considering commuting the 14-year prison sentence of rod blagojevich after he was heard on wiretaps allegedly seeking to sell an appointment to the united states senate the seat barack obama had vacated upon his election as president. he was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2011 following a conviction on corruption charges. trump told reporters last night he thinks the former celebrity apprentice contestant was, quote, treated unbelievably unfairly. i think it's enough, seven years, said the president. the billionaire owner of the miami dolphins and luxury fitness brands steven ross has drawn criticism for an upcoming fundraiser he plans to host this weekend for president trump at his hamptons home. it is the latest example in a
growing debate over what role business leaders should play in supporting president trump's rhetoric and if they don't speak up about it. joining us now two business leaders who have done just that, the president and ceo of columbia sports wear company, tim boyle, and the founder and executive chairman of kindbars. thanks, both, gentlemen, for being here. in full disclosure i crushed a kind bar about ten minutes ago. i should tell the audience i am on the side of the kind bar. just from a business standpoint because there is this question, is there a risk to speaking out when you see something in this country happening that you don't like and why don't more business leaders do it as you have? >> i don't think it is a business issue. it transcends businesses. this is our lives. my father is a holocaust survivor. i see the world through a prism of what do we need to do to protect our democracy, rule of law. i was listening to the prior segment. just two years ago when president trump formed the business council, i don't remember the issues, he did something completely untoward and people stepped away on that
council and it imploded because people said that's not appropriate. we're not going to accept it. you fast forward two years later and he is saying things that are completely divisive and inappropriate and normalizing charlottesville and behaving not as a uniter but a divider and he has basically taken, captured the republican base and the republican party and to condemn hateful rhetoric. and i think we all as citizens whether from the left, center, right, i am a very proud independent, we need to just think beyond. all of us are going to have an impact on our political leaders and the way we talk and the way we react is going to impact all political leaders. there is a lot of extremism on the right and the left. i want to just stand up against it. >> tim, it's jonathan lamire. you have spoken out against this president. my two questions for you are what compelled you to do so and
what impact have you seen on the bottom line? have you had any blowback financially because of what you have said about this administration? >> well, there's always a risk when you announce your ideas publicly. that's why many people don't do it. frankly our business, 40% of our sales are outside the u.s. what we are selling in our apparel and foot wear is the american west, the ideal that america is a free and open place and a very accepting place. and when that's threatened, we have to not only say something about that threat but also tell our employees that we don't accept this kind of behavior. it's been commonly said that if i would have said something that the president said about going back to where you came from, i'd be fired by my board. and any company in america of
any scale would have that risk if their ceo was to say something. they'd be investigated and ultimately fired. we just can't stand by and not say something. >> as you've been speaking, tim, we've been looking at excerpts from the letter you wrote, the ceo letter to employees on president trump's comments that you wrote a couple weeks ago. jonathan capehart in the cases we have before us of steven ross who owns the miami dolphins, also has a piece of soul cycle and equinox gyms we've seen an uprising in the last 24 hours of people saying they will boycott those businesses. >> yeah. as much as steven ross and others who give money to the president want to claim a first amendment right of free speech to be able to give money to the candidates they want to give money to, so, too, do their customers who are making their voices heard and making their displeasure known by calling for boycotts or canceling their memberships or even just speaking out about how upset they are by this. you know, i want to ask both tim
and daniel this question, something i've been thinking about a lot. in the old days i remember when corporations, companies, business owners and leaders like you, would do everything humanly possible to stay away from politics, avoid controversy, and certainly to avoid going toe to toe and criticizing the president of the united states. but are you jumping in and have other people jumped in, business leaders, like the head of dick's sporting goods, jumped in because there is a moral void of leadership coming from the highest levels of government? >> well, you know, i can only speak for myself. i mean, i've been criticized sometimes by my family for being too vocal about these topics. but, you know, much like your other guest, i have the history of immigration in my family. my mother was a jewish immigrant from nazi germany. the only reason i'm here is because she was allowed to come into the united states in the
'30s. my great grandfather probably entered the country illegally. so it is important for me to say something. i don't know why others don't say something. you know, there are risks to voicing your opinion and, you know, i feel it is really important and i think our employees expect me to say something when they see something happen like this. >> i feel very similar to tim. my parents are only here because american soldiers traveled across to save a continent from hatred and racism from the nazi party. and so it's never lost on me. i've never thought about when i'm going to not speak up because of business interests. it is too small a prism through which to see the world. i think integrity is paramount, what's made this country so amazing is we have this social fabric that allows us to work together in spite of our differences, to unite, to respect each other, to have a quality, be something that stands for something very
serious. we need to defend that and protect that now more than ever. i think all of us need to make sure we don't rationalize away hatred and say oh, well yesterday i was with someone i respect very deeply who is a very strong supporter of the president and he was saying, you know, if he were to only not say all of these things because all of his policies i agree with. the point is, we cannot think that way. integrity matters. we cannot say i agree with this policy or that policy and not stand very, very strongly to condemn the type of rhetoric. people are listening and they are impacted. we own, in the united states, over 40% of the world's guns. we are only 4% of the population. sprinkle into that normalizing hatred and making white nationalism be okay and be involved and that's what you get. >> tim, in our remaining moments what would you say to the kind
of business leader that daniel is describing, the kind i'm sure you've encountered as you talk to other ceos and kind of the argument we heard from steven ross yesterday which is, yeah, i disagree with a lot of his policies. i disagree with a lot of the tweets and the thing he said but he is good for the economy. we got the tax cut, etcetera. what would you say to that argument? >> well, you know, it's interesting. this is not about money. this is about where we live and this is about how we feel and how we consider ourselves to be humans. my good friend ed stack at dick's sporting goods made significant adjustments to his business and he's been punished for it by wall street. you know what? he is able to stand up and say he did the right thing and i believe he's right. >> the president and ceo of columbia sports wear company, tim boyle and the founder and executive chairman of kind bars, daniel lubetsky we really appreciate you both being here today. thank you very much. guys, 30 seconds left. final thoughts? >> i'm surprised we haven't heard from the president yet today. he has been quiet on twitter. the idea of moral leadership and
whether he is creating a vacuum, he fund raises in the hamptons tomorrow then goes on vacation for ten days. >> i'm glad we're having this important conversation about moral leadership and thank you to you and all of the ceos that are taking a stand. >> all right. that does it for us this morning. we'll see you right back here tomorrow morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. thanks so much. hi there. here's what's happening now. new fall out from the president's visits to dayton, ohio, and el paso, texas. two cities obviously reeling from mass shootings. the president turned a day of grief somehow into a day of personal grievances. and let me remind you, this is what the president said on monday. >> now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside. so destructive. and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. >> unity, devotion, and love. yesterday the president did spend time meeting with victims an