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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  August 22, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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rates, it's not the right time to do it. we have a little tension. the people who would vote on the rate cut are not in agreement certainly with the president of the united states about the fact it should happen. that's why the president was trying to load up the fed with his own appointees, if you remember. stephen moore was one of them, herman cain another. that didn't work. but it's not enough to have appointed your own fed chief. the president needs to control the fed and they don't believe that there needs to be a rit cut. that's where you're seeing this up and down. dow is .2% higher. that wraps up this hour for me. i promised more information on the fed than you ever needed to know. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" starts right now. hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. i'm john heilemann in for nicolle wallace. a few 24 hours after a sustained presidential performance that even by donald trump's standard qualified as unhinged and unnerving, the world is reeling
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and offering a collective judgment of omg and wtf. that is a concise summary of today's headlines. dan balls from the washington press corps had seen it all, or so he thought. his reaction, quote, after the past two days, there's only one thing to say, be braced for the rest of the week. we want to show you what we mean by saying trump is behaving erratically. some you have seen already. to help you grasp the full scope of the presidential meltdown, we offer you this. >> nobody can be trusted. nobody can be trusted. this world i think nobody can be trusted. i think if you vote for a democrat, you're very, very disloyal to israel and to the jewish people. for most of the time it was the g8 that included russia and president obama didn't want russia in because he got outsmarted. these are people who have to be in institutions for help. i'm not talking about as a form
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of a prison, i'm saying for help. and i think it's something we have to really look at, the whole concept of mental institutions. i'm the least racist person ever to serve in office, okay. i'm the least racist person. >> are you saying you're loyal to israel? >> i would say so. >> isn't that anti-semitic? >> no, only in your head. it's only anti-semitic in your head. so somebody had to do it. i'm the chosen one. somebody had to do it. and we have great mental illness. >> this string of absurdities might seem mildly funny at times but to trump's own former aides, what they witnessed in recent days crossed the threshold from amusing to alarming. so alarming they're now voicing their concerns to reporters at "the new york times," who wrote, quote, some former trump administration officials in recent days said they were increasingly worried about the president's behavior, suggesting it stems from rising pressure on mr. trump as the economy seems
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more worrisome when next year's election approaches. our friend rick wilson describes the situation a little more vividly in a piece titled, this isn't the manman theory, this is the madman president. rick writes, the asylum in the bedlam of 1600 pennsylvania. the inmate is the president of the united states. instead of managing this dangerous patient, the staff sings his praises and encourages his worst behaviors. rick wilson himself joins us to start off the conversation, republican strategist and author of the beautifully titled "every trump touches dies." also joining us white house political reporter nancy cook, and rick stengel, who worked in president obama's state department and former managing editor of "time" magazine. jerry glaude and former aide to the george w. bush white house and state department, elise jordan. thank you guys for being here on this day of reverberations and
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reckonings. rick wilson, i want to start with you since we ended with you in that intro. the number of times we talked about trump seeming his mental state was worsening, his dementia was encroaching, that he lost his mind, lost his grip, we have been talking about this now for more than two years. but to a lot of people it seems worse beyond the adjectives and add verbs, what's the case for the notion that it is actually getting worse? >> i think there are interesting sort of verbal aphasias and gaps you're hearing in his speech patterns and way he's delivering he's various messages, particularly little press sprays where there's no teleprompter, nothing prepared and just off the cuff. i do think the underpinning theory of trump for a long time was he got this super clever multi dimensional chess game he's playing but there are no positive outcomes for any of these things he's doing and saying. but you would think somebody
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with presence of mind and consciousness of what is happening around them would correct their behavior or correct their direction and you just don't see him doing it. aside from the sort of edgy way i described it in the article, there's a lot of i think evidence building that donald trump is not a well man. >> nancy, i want to ask you, a lot of people put this down to some theory donald trump is just creating distractions. there are fundamental issues that are problematic for him politically such as the economy, and that he's just creating these many bright, shiny objects for us to all stare at while we don't look at the man behind the curtain and the things that he's doing. give us a sense whether you think these distractions are in fact part of a strategy or are just like the natural outgrowth of an increasingly chaotic presidency. >> i do not think they are part of a larger strategy. i think what we saw this week with the whiplash on taxes, for instance, was just showed the lack of strategy. the president came out at one point and said he was
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considering taxes. less than 24 hours later he said he was not considering additional tax cuts to boost the economy. i think it's just because the white house does not have a long-term plan to deal with the economy. for instance, you can say the same for trade issues heading into the g7 this weekend. you can say that for a bunch of things. the president is increasingly isolated in the white house. there are not as many aides around him as there used to be and he's speaking directly with the press more. so i think we are seeing this unfold in realtime. when you ask white house officials if there's a strategy behind it, usually they laugh and they say, you know better than that, nancy. so i think we're just seeing this made more public. >> rick, you have seen a lot of public performances by a lot of politicians in your time. one of the things that's been kind of extraordinary is watching the president hold forth at great length for many, many minutes in the blazing hot sun outside the white house covered in sweat. i mean, it's easy to make fun of but there's something -- we're
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going to talk about the way the world see it's in the next block of the show but there's something about it even though many of the ticks and things he's doing and saying are sort of familiar, that tab low itself, there is something unnerving, unnerving more than it was before. >> and it's unnerving to watch that whole thing. i sometimes feel better when donald trump is out there in front of the helicopter and tweeting and watching tv because that means he's not governing. what i'm afraid of is him governing and actually doing something. so it's like he's his own pr guy. he's a permanent pr guy. he's all about the sizzle. if he was suddenly about the steak, then i would be worried. so maybe there's been a demme in addition, but let him go out there and tap dance away.
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it's not as unnerving as invading another country or canceling a treaty or all of those other things that represent governing. >> i made the foolish mistake to referring to you as rick when there's another rick. i heard rick wilson trying to get in. before i go to rick wilson, i want to hear this from from "the new york times" today, with the growing campaign trump will be talking in public more in the coming months each time to say something productive that may distract from the messages his str staff prefer to emphasize. rick, you run campaigns. at what point is donald trump at this state from any mental atteauty he has left? is he from a standpoint of hell from trying to run a re-election operation? >> i think most of the republican operatives and consultants that are working for the trump campaign are just along for the ride. think recognize they can set up all of these structures and all of these organizational plans and all of these political plans and they have to essentially
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have to run them separately from donald trump who will go out and say whatever is in his little hold head that day and have the original sort of speaking in tongues he does at the rallies and they always have to play catch-up. they always have to retroactively go back and reconfigure what their messaging strategy was based on whatever was in his brain at that moment. he does not believe in organization. he does not believe in hierarchy of any kind so he will be out there winging it, as he tends to do. you can tell when he gets browbeaten to reading off the prompter for a few minutes and it sound like vaguely almost an almost normal human president and then he goes off and riffs about whatever's in his brain. they will always have a lot of trouble. he is the client from hell splxt eddie, i have been waiting to give you this question because i think you will enjoy this one. of the things we have seen the last few days, a lot of people focused on the greenland question. and there's another piece of reporting from haberman that
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they talk about this. according to last year from a former official who heard him, trump joked about trading puerto rico for greenland, happy to rid himself of a territory he has feuded with. and there's something else here, trading a bunch of brown people for white people is trumpian to me. >> and the reality is the majority of the folks in greenland or indigenous people so they would run up against his immigration policy and probably have to ship them off somewhere and put them in cages or something. but what we see here is he has an early 19th century understanding of the world, as if the west goes to civilize those who are uncivilized. this he can engage in the scramble not necessarily for africa but greenland. part of what we do know is that world is dead, at least we hope it is. but i want to say this though, i
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was thinking about how to describe this. first what mark says in the first time around is tragedy, second time is farce. i guess the third time is slapstick. what we see here is something similar. it's not as if today is somehow dramatically different than what we experienced before. it's just the accumulated effect. we have seen this before. we have seen him respond to policy in this way. we've seen the random association from gun control to mexican border. we've seep the fact he has -- he is not competent. so i'm wondering why suddenly today? maybe it's a slow news day. we're panicking around the fact that the familiar is in front of us. >> i don't think jordan is panicking. you're not panicking, are you? >> i have been panicking for a long time. >> 2 3/4 years. >> i think the crazy has gotten decidedly more crazy over the past two months. he's had an all-out racial war
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of words with elected officials of the united states to his response to the el paso massacre where he couldn't even be bothered to mourn in between going from one mass shooting site in dayton, ohio, to another el paso and instead had to just start inciting his political rivals on twitter. it's more unhinged i think. and that's a pretty big statement, i understand, given the gradations of crazy. but i don't know, sometimes when a crazy person is entertaining until it ends in tragedy and i'm worried we're coming to the point of tragedy. >> nancy, i ask you this from inside -- reporting inside this white house, there's been -- one of the consistent themes of the last 2 1/2 years has been there's some guardrails, there are some people working quietly behind the scenes to try to make sure the worst doesn't happen. as a lot of those people in the
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white house or cabinet have now left and a lot of those positions are now filled by acting personages, are there any guardrails left around donald trump to the except there ever were? or is it now really the wheels are completely off the wagon and there's nothing holding this thing together, again, to the except there ever was? >> i think there were a lot more aides before and there were a lot more aides who were well versed in certain policy areas or, you know, lawyers who were willing to say no to trump like don mcgahn as we've seen through tons of reporting in the mueller report. but i think what increasingly happened as time has gone on more and more senior aides have left so there's sort of a core group around trump, which includes acting chief of staff mick mulvaney, whose whole philosophy of running the white house has basically been left trump be trump. and both with his ascension and also with the family members who are playing a huge role in both the white house and the campaign, including jared kushner in particular and ivanka
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trump, i just feel like there are fewer and fewer people around the president who are willing to say no to him and the president has really adopted this mantra that he is his own political strategist, best communications director. he's the one that will deliver the message. he's the best negotiator. and i feel like he has filled the cabinet and federal agencies with people who also support him, who don't say no to him. we've seen that time and time again with dhs, department of defense. so i feel like we're at this interesting moment in year three where he doesn't have that many naysayers around him. >> one of the things that's also happening, guys, we're starting to see and hear from a few more republicans, not a lot by any means but a few more who are expressing alarm about what's going on right now. let's listen to this piece from joe walsh. >> i have told you before if somebody's going to go in there and go after him, john, it's got to be done soon. you're running out of time. but more importantly, these are not conventional times. look at the guy in the white
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house. these are urgent times. somebody needs to make that case. i have yet to hear any potential republican make that case. the republican party will always, always, always regret the fact that they did not call this man out. somebody has to. >> so there's a former republican congressman. we've got mark sanford talking about running against trump potentially. you got anthony scaramucci out there now beating the drums saying he's trying to round up a gang "oceans 11" style to get former aides to take donald trump down. you had a strong reaction today to walsh, rick? >> i did. i applauded him considering getting in the race. i applauded a republican from the right is saying donald trump is absolutely, categorically unfit to be president. and the reason that it's significant with joe walsh is that he is challenging trump from the right, not the left. and the right is where he's probably vulnerable in a way that we had not imagined.
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walsh is strong on borders, he's strong on immigration. but he also recognizes the topic we've been talking about today, donald trump is unhinged, not fit to be president or make these decisions. what i hope happens is there becomes a kind of tipping point. there's been many fewer republicans who have engaged than we all would have hoped but as the trickle begins, maybe it then becomes a wave at a certain point and that would be my hope. >> at least, jordan you are or once were a republican. >> not me, i'm very independent right now. very independent. >> so as you hear these scattering voices, smatterings of republican dissent, do you think there's hope there or this is all just a little noise around the edges that will not have any effect? >> i think it's starting to build but joe walsh has been outspoken for a while. i think it's admirable and he should be. justin amash has been speaking out against trump for as long as trump's been on the public
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scene. there are murmurs but i think it will take the economy, dramatic downfall for republicans to leave in droves. i certainly hope the economy does say strong and we don't have that desperate situation but the only time you have seen dissent over the republican leadership ranks is over trade, tariffs and economic issues. you don't see that kind of dissent when it's a racial issue, for example. >> rick wilson, i come to you for the last concluding question and i ask you the same thing more basically, is donald trump bottom line here, is donald trump going to have a primary opponent and will it matter if the answer is yes? >> i think he will have a primary opponent. i think he will have several primary opponents. i'm of the philosophy, if you let 100 flowers bloom if it comes to the primary. i don't think that it's an easy lift for any of them to beat him in the primary but pat buchanan wasn't going to beat george h.r. bush in the primary and didn't and yet put blood in the water enough to where ross perot came
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out and nipped and nipped and took him out of the 1992 re-election. so there are a lot of reasons why donald trump should not be happy about this. and, of course, one thing we all know is donald trump is a classic bully. he's a chicken. he will not debate these folks now that he has to defend a record and his record is basically being a capering madman who failed at almost everything he's done in terms of trade, in terms of the tax bill being an economic disaster with our debt and deficit. so i think it will be a tougher road for him. no one should underestimate how difficult it is. the trump party is now what was the gop so he will have a built-in advantage but it's meritorious people will step up and fight. >> rick wilson and nancy cook, thank you for spending time with us. when we come back, the international fasten your seat belt moment allies are having ahead of president trump's arrival to the g7 as trump calling for russia to be invited
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back. and rudy giuliani trying to investigate one of the political opponents and this time reportedly getting help from trump's state department. and the 2020 field of democrats positioning themselves to snag the big prize of delegate-rich california. we will be right back. k. this is anne marie peebles her saturday movie marathons are a never-ending montage of comfort. [where have you been all my life?] namaste? namaste right here on the couch. but then, anne laid on a serta perfect sleeper. and realized her life was only just... sorta comfortable. where have you been all my life? not just sorta comfortable. serta comfortable. save on the pressure-relieving serta perfect sleeper at the labor day sale.
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donald trump's unfriendly, downright sometimes adversarial behavior has the world bracing for this week's g7 summit in france. "the new york times" writing, quote, most of the other leaders. group of seven powers will no
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doubt save their eye-rolling for when he's not looking, as they have seen mercurial behavior as the new norm by this press. france's president manual macron has taken steps to avoid the controversy of last year's summit where trump surprised the other six by saying he refused to sign the joint statement after he left. they were set to end without a joint communique for the first time in its 44-year history after macron cited a very deep crisis of democracy. nbc news peter alexander joins us there. peter, i know you're not going there. you're not taking this trip, but you have been on a number of these trips before. give us a slight sense of how incredible it is for the first time in the history of this august organization we're not going to have predetermined in advance, a joint communique at the end of it? >> i think, john, a good way to look at the g7 summit, the
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president departing for france tomorrow, is this is the beginning of the bash the allies season. you remember the end of the last g7 that was hosted by canada, the president upon departure air force one attacked the prime minister of canada, justin theroux, and while en route to see a dictator, kim jong-un. but macron also said it would be jointless to put together a communique because we know there are others not on accord. there will be differences on climate change, iran, tariffs here. in fact there's no value in that as some foreign policy experts we have been speaking to described it. what was once the g8 and now g7 is more like g7 minus one. >> wow, that's pretty stiff beer there, rick stengel.
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this is another thing you've done a fair amount of, been to a lot of g7s. >> and a lot of stiff beers. >> what is it as we head into this event which has been governed by customs and traditions and norms for a long time in the best and worst of times, what does it say to you about america's place in the world the president of france is describing the situation as a deep crisis of democracy, by which i think he means donald trump is a problem. >> well, it means we do not have a leader of the free world. or at least the leader of the free world is not the president of the united states, which has always been the case. as peter laid it out, the thing that's so disturbing is now we're the out liar in the g7, which we are now, but we were formally the leader of the g7. that basically we organized it, we created it, we set up the policy and the world is not a good place when there's not american leadership. when american withdraws from anywhere in the world, we're never replaced by a better
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actor. we're withdrawing everywhere. america first is about consolidating at home and waevig a small stick abroad. that's bad for america and bad for the world and it is 100% donald trump. >> i will read you a little from the reuters piece of macron, who thinks donald trump thinks he's the leader of the free world. to meet iranians before g7 to float ideas for defusing the crisis. he said he will meet ahead of the summit to talk about proposals between washington and tehran, stamp down the brewing confrontation since u.s. president donald trump pulls his country out of iran and reimposed sanctions on the iranian economy that. to me, the iranian thing is an issue unto itself. but the french leadership insertion says something pretty incredible right now.
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>> the french leader macron moving to get in there, you look at where is the uk now? the uk has so much turmoil. you look at italy, where right now they're in the middle of their own governance crisis as the pro-trumpian forces i would describe them as in italy are coming to the forefront. the euro zone has huge issues to resolve among themselves so you're going into a g7 that's a very fractured and divided political scene with plenty of key players fighting among themselves. >> in some respects it's worse than that. there was so much yesterday in trump's long, rambling tirade that we -- a lot of people missed this, which read to a lot of people if donald trump didn't care about his european allies but was directly threatening them. let's play this little piece of sound. >> we're holding thousands of isis fighters right now and
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you're attempt to take them. if europe does not take them, i have no choice but to release them to the countries from which they came, which is germany, france and other places. we already told them, take these prisoners we captured because the united states is not going to put them in guantanamo for the next 50 years and pay for it. >> eddie, the clear -- you listen to what he just said there, we're holding thousands of isis fighters. if europe doesn't take them willingly, we're going to release them into those european countries. i don't know how else to describe that other than a threat to american allies in europe. >> absolutely. and it's not only a threat to them, it's a threat to the now, to the description. if you're going to release people into these countries, you can't call them allies anymore. and see, this is the key, since the american carnage was inaugurated, this fellow has decided he's going to attack the post world war ii consensus, he
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was going to undermine it at every turn. now it is very clear that he has been doing it and he will continue to do it and what was once the g7, whatever macron said about trump, they are doing what -- they're moving ahead with their agenda. the united states is just simply on the outside. >> and we need to be clear how dangerous that statement is, the idea that we're just going to release -- >> let me explain what is super dangerous about it, i'm sorry. i have never heard of us holding thousands of isis spiders in europe. i think he's making that up. i was on the front lines against combatting isis messaging for three years. we have very, very few isis prisoners -- i mean, you can count them on the fingers of two hands. so i have no idea what donald trump is talking about. >> it could not only be a threat but a fraudulent threat on top of everything else. i want to get back to my friend and fellow wildcat peter alexander who had a moment with
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donald trump that made news. we will play it and talk to peter on the other side. >> sir, you said russia was kicked out of the g8 because they outsmarted obama. in fact, it was because they annexed crimea. you know that their stale there -- >> that was outsmarting obama. >> why let them back in? >> russia outsmarted president obama. they took over during his term, not during mine, crimea. >> they're still there. why let them in now? >> they took over crimea and stopped being an organ of the democrats. you let me answer the question, i will answer it easily. it's a very simple question. the fact is president putin totally outsmarted president obama on crimea and other things, including the red line in the sand. he outsmarted, he made a living on outsmarting president obama, and frankly, because of it, obama was upset and he got obama out of what was the g8 into the
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g7. i think russia should be a part of it because we're looking for world peace. >> peter, there's donald trump doing everything possible to cozy up to russia while calling you, i believe, something i have never called you as i always calm you a fellow northwestern wildcat with pride, he calls you an organ of the democrats, i believe. >> here's the bottom line. i brought up the g7 leader's statement from march 2014 if the president needs a reminder of it, it was not because president obama was outsmarted as the remaining seven members of the g7 said the violation of international law they warned could have grave implications for the legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of our state. the bottom line is it was because russia had annexed crimea. my question was simple, he didn't answer it, is russia is still there, they still control crimea. macron, emmanuel macron said the key to allowing them back in for readmission is to take steps to help resolve the situation there in eastern ukraine.
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but the bottom line is the president who has been courting vladimir putin and courting a relationship with russia from the very beginning, this is where he stands. this is his position. i think there was no sort of better demonstration than we saw right there. what was equally striking is this came in the same 48-hour window that the president was ak t attacking the prime minister of denmark. what's critical in attacking an ally is denmark per capita lost more lives in iraq and afghanistan fighting alongside the u.s. than any other nato ally. while the president was embracing in effect russia, he was attacking denmark, and it was setting up what would potentially be a remarkable moment, when the u.s. hosts next year's g7 in the united states that if it were to come to pass, vladimir putin would be coming here to the u.s. >> peter, i know you didn't rise to my organ of democrats bait because you think it's beneath you, right? >> we will let it be.
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>> the only organ peter alexander reminds me of is a voice that is as sweet as a fine-tuned church organize anticipate. peter alexander, thank you very much, my wildcat friend. med 8ing, what meddling? talking about joe biden investigating him and his son. that new reporting is next. uh... the mobile app makes it easy to manage your policy, even way out here. your marshmallow's... get digital id cards, emergency roadside service, even file a... whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa. whoa! oops, that cheeky little thing got away from me. my bad. geico. it's easy to manage your policy whenever, wherever. can i trouble you for another marshmallow?
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in case you're worried, and i know you were, that months of rudy giuliani out of the news meant we were in some new post collusion chapter of donald trump's presidency, behold, rudy back in the headlines and back to his own tricks, which means pushing legal and ethical boundaries with a foreign government, all in support of donald j. trump. ken vogel from "the new york times" reports months after backing out to a trip to ukraine and criticized for mixing policy
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and foreign politics, rudy giuliani is pursuing investigations into political opponents of mr. trump, including whether there was anything improper when the overlap of former vice president's joseph r. biden's jr. efforts in ukraine and his son's role with a gas company there. unless somebody dismiss rudy as a rogue agent, there's this, mr. giuliani said he was acting on his own as a private citizen with the knowledge and assistance of the state department. that would be donald trump's state department. he would not say whether mr. trump approved or aware of the effort. joining us now with his reporting, "the new york times" political reporter ken vogel. ken, lay it out for us. >> yeah, we had reported on this, john, a few months back that rudy had actually planned to travel to ukraine to meet with the -- either the incoming president or people around the incoming president of ukraine to essentially raise these issues and urge the new government to
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continue what had been investigations that were started by a prosecutor under the old government. the prosecutors, by the way, widely accused of corruption like so many prosecutors in ukraine. he got a ton of criticism for that from across the political spectrum. he backed out of that, blamed democrats, the media as well as enemies, unspecified enemies in ukraine for sabotaging him. but what we learned is that he is, as you said, back at it. he actually got -- opened up a back channel of sorts with a top adviser to the new president, who he's had several phone calls with and one in-person meeting in madrid that, as you said as well, was set up with assistance from the state department to talk about these things. when i talked to folks on the ukrainian side, they seemed to suggest ukrainians felt like they had to reach out to rudy giuliani, because otherwise he would be out there sort of spewing his theories in the
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press and on twitter and they would rather have an open channel, open dialogue, than have them be doing that and potentially working with representatives of the old government, because let's not forget ukraine is not a parliament system, the new government is not set up and have all of its appointments made and confirmed by the parliament. they don't have a current prosecutor who is the choice of the new president. it's just the old guy, the one making noises about investigating these two things that could be to trump's benefit that rudy seized on. >> i want to play a little sound here, rudy giuliani, back in may when he was planning that first trip which you revealed and was part of the whole chain reaction that kept him from going ultimately, even though he's back at it. let's take a trip down memory lane seeing rudy giuliani on fox news. >> investigate and don't let these people buffalo you.
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that's what they're trying to do. >> it's a dramatic story and i guarantee you joe biden will not get to election day without this being investigated. not because i want to see him investigated. this is collateral to what i was doing. >> so, ken, i want to focus quick on that. that's a political undertaking on rudy giuliani, acting as a campaign representative for the president's re-election campaign. he stated in in bald terms back in may. your point that's so crucial to hone in on here, he has the assistance here, cooperation here of donald trump's state department. i know you said that before but i want to highlight it because it's incredibly unusual in this context. >> yes, i tend to agree. the state department had mostly our understanding is stayed out of this. and perhaps as rudy argues it was because the ukrainian's asked him, hey, we want to open up a channel with this guy who's like saying these things and causing political headaches for us. we prefer him to be talking to
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us. nonetheless, the state department opinion kurt volcker, longtime diplomat, very well regarded, special envoy from the u.s., from the state department to the ukrainian peace talks with russia, to the except that there are such peace talks, and he was the one who -- at least one of the folks who was pivotal in helping to arrange this communication between rudy giuliani and this close aide to the new president. interestingly rudy giuliani said he briefed the state department on all of the conversations with this ukrainian aide so it's not like the state department set it up and washed their hands of it. in fact this is a real ongoing concern as rudy suggested in that clip, even though it's from i few months ago, having talked to him recently i can tell you his mindset has not changed. he believes this is a live issue. he's going to continue to pursue. so i asked the state department
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about this. they said what they're role was, what capacity rudy was acting here. they said talk to the white house. i asked the white house. they said talk to the state department. not a whole lot of answers coming from the trump administration. >> they call that the old runaround. i got two people who worked for the state department, worked for a democrat and republican. jump ball for which of you wants to talk about how unusual and troubling it is the state department would be helping rudy giuliani on this. >> ambassador kurt volcker has an extraordinary reputation, bipartisan reputation. he was during the bush administration the u.s. ambassador to nato. so he's someone who respects and appreciates the united states' commitment to nato. honestly if i have to give my best analysis of this it is an example of the ukrainian leadership and state department leadership trying to placate an unhinged actor in the form of rudy giuliani and trying to
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mitigate the damage that he does when he goes out into the press making crazy product clamations. and when you look at rudy giuliani was at the forefront of donald trump's legal defense and missteps he had say on sean hannity's show, maybe he's just been pushed out to deal with this little assignment. >> i agree with your analysis. i just want to put it into wider context. i went to ukraine three times during the time i was in the state department, the last three years of the obama administration. why is that? in 2014 russia annexed crimea and invaded eastern ukraine. ukraine is a country the size of france in western europe. who cares about whether russia is part of the g7 and g8? european countries do because russia is right there. they are concerned about russia invading ukraine. the other thing that makes the giuliani adventure so ridiculous is that when i went there, you know what we went there for in the beginning?
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let's figure out -- let's get you to combat corruption in ukraine. ukraine was one of the most corrupt places on earth. we went there in 2015/'16. let's get rid of this corruption. you know who wanted to prosecute the oil firm that biden's son was involved with? the obama administration. the whole charade of giuliani doing this is kind of crazy. >> we're going to talk about this more because i know the story is not going away. ken vogel, thank you for spending time with us and your reporting. after the break, democrats, whole bunch descending on the state of california. - why are drivers 50 and over
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the state's jackpot of delegates is now within reach for a larger swath of candidates who may not have been able to make it all the way until june like usual. and while california's kamala harris' home turf, bernie sanders is making a huge investment there as well. associated press reporting his campaign could spend, quote, $25 million or more chasing votes in california. and then there's elizabeth warren, who has no paid staff in the state, just volunteers, yet repeatedly she ranks near or top of the polling in california. the latest from earlier this month shows her challenging joe biden for the lead. if you lend credence to the unscientific crowd size metric, elizabeth warren pasting muster there too. look at the crowd in the town hall last night in l.a. eddie glaude, this is a big deal. the notion california which has always been an afterthought, it's only mattered in the rare case when you had hillary clinton and barack obama and the race was still alive late into
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the season. now you have it coming up right after the first four early states and it's changing everyone's calibration about how to run for president. >> right, if you can get california, you come out of the early states at least first or second and you get california, can you wrap it up kind of early. it makes sense to me people are investing in california. kamala harris has to hold home court. i don't know what that will look like in its details. bernie sanders has to understand if he comes out of the early states and goes into california strong, he will catapult and be more than simply the person after biden. and elizabeth warren her momentum is fascinating to me. she's been engaged in that grunt work on the ground, building operations and interacting with people on a day-to-day basis with her plans. california will be an interesting state, interesting battleground. >> rick, the ap is writing about it today saying sanders and harris are set for a showdown in delegate-rich california. they're both investigating, the biggest prize.
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495 delegates at gamble for both. the candidates will play at the top of their earlier states than if their candidates are flagged by the time california starts voting. there's no doubt moving up in california kamala harris and you have not won one of those early four states, it's not going to matter that you're the home state senator. she's not even been at the top so far even though she has home-field advantage. >> and california is not a winner take all delegate. i kind of believe that the first four states, california's fifth, iowa, new hampshire, nevada, south carolina, by the time we get there, there's going to be a lot of clarity in the democratic race, and it's possible that california might not actually matter. look, i think the whole primary process is insane and california should probably go first instead of, you know, any these other small states. but i actually think there's going to be a lot of resolution of the democratic primaries before we get to california. >> you watch this, bernie
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sanders competed there in 2016, did very well in california. elizabeth warren, though, right now that crowd and you can feel it like you can feel it in a lot of places that the leftward lane of the party which is very strong in california is starting to kind of gravitate in her direction. >> warren's numbers in that poll, that's really something. i didn't realize that she was quite that high in california and the crowd sizes too. you look at joe biden, and he has been assumed to be the frontrunner, but there just isn't much buzz there among people who are actually supporting them. is elizabeth warren going to be able to further pluck some of those bernie sanders voters? i think they may very well do it. >> it gives you another sense of just how fragile the biden thing in. if he comes in and wins iowa and new hampshire, probably walzs the election. but if that falls apart, you are suddenly done for real quick. we are going to come back and talk about the impact of the latest democrat to drop out of the race and why it matters even
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i'm not going to be carrying the ball. i am not going to be the president so i'm withdrawing tonight from the race. but i've been fighting climate change for 25 years and i've never been so confident of the ability of america now to move the ball. >> that's jay inslee last night on this air with rachel maddow
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announcing somewhat to everyone's surprise that he's dropping out of the race. he says that he was never more forward that they were going to move the ball forward. and you've got bernie sanders announcing a $16.3 trillion climate plan. so is climate an issue that matters to democratic voters? >> i think so. when asked what was an existential threat to the country, the majority of the candidates on that debate state said climate change. now that the amazon forest is on fire and we know what that means for the planet, we know that it should be important at least to me. >> quick. >> it's an existential crisis. i'm not sure if voters vote on it, but i also applaud democrats to try to win the senate in 2020. >> i'd be surprise fire department they are counting it as their number one. because you certainly in 2016 saw where they weren't. so it'll be a sign of his impact perhaps if they do care more. >> you've got to give jay inslee
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a hand for giving it a try and pushing really hard to elevate this issue because it really does matter a lot. we'll be right back after this last break. if your adventure... keeps turning into unexpected bathroom trips. you may have overactive bladder, or oab. not again! we're seeing a doctor when we get home. myrbetriq treats oab symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage. it's the first and only oab treatment in its class. myrbetriq may increase blood pressure. tell your doctor right away if you have trouble
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astrazeneca may be able to help. my thanks to rick, eddie, elise, and everyone else. i'm john heilemann in for nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. ♪ ♪ welcome to thursday. it's a time when the president seems especially erratic and the 2020 democrats are facing an urgent question. what is the best way to beat him? is. plus, more homeland security department drama. a top aid to the acting secretary suddenly quits over tensions with the white house. boy, that's a familiar story. and the crisis in the amazon. wildfires are raging in the jungle in south america. the latest d

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