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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  September 13, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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federal reserve chairman jay powell? >> that's a good question. linda, thanks for joining me as always. linda is an economist and the author. that wraps up this hour for me. i'll see you right back here monday 1:00 p.m. eastern and 3:00 p.m. eastern. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. the 2020 democrats spent much of last night, and today jockeying for advantage in the post debate spin wars. some just trying to distinguish themselves after all ten frontrunners finally shared one debate stage for the first time in this election cycle. but other candidates spent the day in damage control mode. the showdown driving today's news, julian castro's suggestion that joe biden has trouble remembering his line of attack landed with a thud in the debate hall. our colleague chris matthews' press cast on the subject last
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night. >> most people thought there was another aspect to this that you were suggesting a man of 76 years had lost the ability to remember what he had just said. short-term memory loss you were accusing him of. >> not at all. >> you rubbed it in three or four times. you kept saying you don't remember. >> we had a disagreement about the he said "buy-in." >> these tapes are going to be played over and over again. >> we are here to debate health care policy. this covers everybody, this affects everybody. >> you believe he's deficient? >> i believe his health care plan is deficient. >> for anyone who missed the intermural fireworks, here is the original attack. >> the difference between what i support and what you suspect is that you require them to opt in, and i would not require them to opt in. they would automatically be enrolled. they wouldn't have to buy in. >> they do not have to buy in. [ applause ] >> you just said that two
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minutes ago. you just said two minutes oohing that they would have to buy in. >> -- can't afford it. -- do not have to buy in if you qualify. >> are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? [ crowd reacts] >> are you forgetting what you said already just two minutes ago? i mean, i can't believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in, and now you're saying they don't have to buy in. you're forgetting that. >> my grandmother who has no money. they are automatically enrolled. >> we should note that we took a look at the transcript, and biden in fact did not say that americans who can't afford it will have to buy in to his health care plan. that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. she is the chief public affairs officer for moveon.org. jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the associated press. former congressman david joins us and the rev al sharpton host of "politicsnation" here on msnbc. the president of the national action network.
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rev, in politics when you go in for the political assassination, you better make sure your gun is loaded. he made an attempt to take biden down, to diminish him to suggest he's diminished and he missed. >> well, i think clearly he did. you know, i was there last night in houston, and i was sitting there. and when he did it, and i like julian castro. he's very strong on a lot of the things i'm concerned about. but clearly he went three or four times suggesting that mr. biden was forgetful and wasn't working with a full deck in terms of memory. which is a republican talking point. i think we've got to be very careful that we not confirm what we know trump and them are going to do if biden or whoever is the nominee. that's one. second, you win the nomination by getting the most votes, not by doing the beatdown, especially when you're using a false premise. biden clearly did not forget
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what he said. if anything, julian fabricated that he said forgot what he said. i think he hurt himself in that regard. and julian i think has a lot going for him. i think he damaged it last night not only because he raised a point that i think the republicans are trying to use on biden. i am not in support of biden or julian. but because what he said was based on a false premise because biden didn't say what he said he said. and you keep hammering away at something. and people start saying, well, wait a minute, if you're that wrong about that, then maybe i don't believe you about other things. you have to be very careful if you're going to put your weight on something that you make sure that what you're putting on can hold your weight. >> i want to ask all of you to sort of -- i want to put you all on the spot, and i think at this point almost 18 hours after this debate, if we can strip this down. it is true that some people that have watched biden over the years find him to be less sharp. but it is not true that he
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was -- he's always sort of been loose with his -- not loose in his truth but he's always spoken very authentically. i said last night that i worked for children learning. voters don't throw out flags for misspeaking. voters are looking at the whole picture. and i know it's early. you constantly caution that we're early that this could flip. but right now biden is a desizive frontrunner. >> and you've got to beat that and not just beat up on him. let's be real clear. biden is 76. bernie's in his 70s. elizabeth warren is in her 70s. donald trump is over 70. so, i mean, it's not like biden is 76 and everybody else is 30. so why are we making an issue out of that, are we going to now say we are going with the
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70-year-old saying they are better than they used to be? biden was already in the senate and already a public figure in his 50s. i can tell you that donald trump has been loony for 30 years because i know. so, i mean, who are we talking about? >> i think the question that is before democratic primary voters is, if generational change is on the menu, it was. i thought beto and buttigieg had great nights last night. but the idea that julian castro had to take it on himself is something that it feels like democrats didn't welcome. >> right. i think there are a consuuple o things at play here. he almost seemed almost gleeful about it. he came back to it later in the night too where he also said that biden wasn't making sense. but i also think, though, fair or not, this is a story line for joe biden. he's had a number of blunders. he's always been gaffe-prone. >> but is this out there with voters, or is this a media story line? >> it's becoming a story line with the other candidates
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because it's not just cast roe. cory booker last night talked to cnn after the debate and said he had real concerns about joe biden being able to carry the ball across the finish line without fumbling. so i think among other democrats and certainly we all talk to operatives who share the whispers that you just mentioned. there are people who are concerned about the former vice president's ability to do this. so i don't know if it matters to voters yet. but it's mattering to the other campaigns. and at some point perhaps it will matter to those voters. >> democrats, something i've heard since 2015 is that democrats remain angry about what they felt like was a double standard for hillary clinton and donald trump. and if the question is mental fitness and we're prosecuting a case against joe biden and letting -- if donald trump were anyone's relative, i think there'd be a family meeting,
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we'd talk about oranges of the investigation, we'd talk about a david brooks column in 2017 where senators wondered if he wasn't displaying early signs of alzheimer's. we talk about instances where he seemed to slur his speech. we talked about an axios report where schedules were un-earthed and there's nothing on them. so i think if this is going to be an apples to apples question and it's on the table because of the age of two of the top candidates, it would seem that democrats are already getting a hold of themselves with these kind of attacks on biden. >> we are basically writing the attack ads if this continues for the republicans. and that is something that's incredibly dangerous because biden could very well be the nominee. i don't know. but that could be a likelihood. he is right now the frontrunner. and we can't do that. and the other thing about biden is that what people need to understand is he is the most well liked person in the race. people like him. there is a reason why he was
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affectionately called uncle joe. everybody knew who he was. i worked in the white house for the first two years under the obama administration. there was understanding that he was gaffe, had prone. and it was almost blofbed in some weird way. biden of today is the same biden of 1988. yes, he's 76 years old, yes, there is, you know, clearly he's older and there's probably things that people should be concerned about. but it is for the voters to decide. and we can't go after each other. and also the base doesn't want to see that. they want to beat donald trump. they don't want to see these guys going after each other. and that's what's going to be really problematic for democrats. >> i mean, listen, all's fair in love, war and presidential primaries. i'm not suggesting that he did something that's politically out of bounds. i'm suggesting he did something that was politically unwise. i don't think this helped him. and i think if biden -- i take
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the notes that anything can happen. i think that's right. but if biden emerges as the democrats' nominee, julian castro will have weakened him in some way among some viewers. >> look, i think in life and politics we often wrongly conflate age and fitness. whatever castro was trying to do last night demonstrated that he was wrongly conflating age and fitness. if age was an issue, we'd be having conversations about biden, about trump, about ruth bader ginsburg and nancy pelosi if castro was trying to challenge biden's fitness, biden answered. and frankly castro showed a lack of fitness in that moment. is this an issue for the american people or not? the american people will decide that. i think questions around fitness is an appropriate line of questioning for the media of all people. yes, he is gaffe-prone.
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that has to be reported on. we can't ignore that. now it's important how we contex wallize it. donald trump i wouldn't even call them gaffes. donald trump is manipulative. he lies. the statements he makes are outright falsehood and he knows it. if biden's gaffes are just gaffes, that's where the american people will have the discernment to show the difference between a gaffe and a manipulation. but you mentioned bush 43. i like seeing biden tested in these moments. i think the american people need to see him tested in this moment. and it's an opportunity for biden to step up. i'm not a democrat. i know democrats lament that they're swinging at each other last night. that's what elections are for. castro was right. that's what elections are for. if biden can't take it among friendly fire among democrats, watch out because donald trump is going to hit them with ten times more than that. >> i agree with that. but i also want to go back to one of your points is that
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you've got to offer more than you attack in the old guys. you've got to sell why you are the candidate that can beat trump and that can deliver. if your whole premise of running is that you are young, that's not an achievement. you were just born last. you had nothing to do with it. you've dpo to the show us, okay, fine, they're old, i'm young, but i am going to do a, b, c, d, and show some new energy, new ideas. and if you're in the polls, then how come young people in your generation is not following you. to call yourself a youth leader just because of your youth does not mean you're a youth leader. when i'm looking at somebody who has 2% in the poll. >> and bernie sanders is a perfect example. bernie sanders -- >> he's older than all of them. >> he's actually 78. >> so what are we talking about? >> and if we face a national
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security moment between now and next november with north korea, with iran, with any hot spot around the globe, you better believe the ignorance of youth is not going to be a selling point for these younger candidates. the american people are going to look to somebody like joe biden, somebody with the experience to say i've been there. there are different qualifications, but it's not based on age, it's based on experience. >> joe biden though was also asked about iraq and afghanistan and also mixed them up. so it wasn't just that one moment. there were a few. and it has been something that we have seen time and time again. he mixed up new hampshire and vermont. others feel like there might be a little more momentum. the other thing about last night -- >> let me just say something having been on a bunch of campaigns about that. the people who will rule him in or out based on misstatements on the campaign trail are the people in the audience. and we talk a lot about how people will rise and fall on the
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gravitational pull of their presence and their performance in the states. and that's my only point, but we don't decide for the democratic primary voters. they have many, many months before they vote. we may be looking at an entirely new top tier by the time they go to the iowa caucuses. despite the questions about, you know, the gaffes, and so on, his numbers have remained very steady. they have closed in some of the early states and certainly elizabeth warren has in come on. last night was supposed to be the biden versus warren showdown. didn't happen. there was sort of no fireworks there whatsoever. i think the warren campaign, they are happy with where things are going right now. they aren't going to take their shot at the vice president at this point. >> we have to remember she came in with the momentum. she still is having the momentum. nobody really touched her. she had a pretty good solid debate. and it's pretty much status quo. we are who we are.
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those three frontrunners are the three frontrunners. >> i felt this way last night and i watched some of the clips again this morning, and i still feel this way. i wonder if you guys agree that. for the three frontrunners, i said to rachel maddow who was walking out when i was walking in last night because we all do shift work at the end of the day. she hadn't seen it. she was on the air anchoring her broadcast that it was like a swim meet. people kind of went up and back but everyone kind of stayed in their lane. the only place where there might have been movement is with buttigieg and beto whether they translate into early crowds or some movement in the donor base. but they're the only ones second tier that may have seen any movement. >> and they didn't have to attack anybody to have their moment. beto i thought had his best debate i have seen. and especially when he came to race and when it came to gun reform. you saw the authenticity. you almost saw the beto of his senate race that we were all talking about. he was authentic.
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he was passionate. it's kind of like he knows what his base is and what he's supposed to be doing and the gun reform thing is his thing. and kudos to him. >> we are going to talk about that next. i am going to show everyone those clips because it's my sense that he found his voice after el paso. but buttigieg had a moment for the opposite reasons. so the best evidence that julian's strategy flopped was that buttigieg's best moment was rebuking the fights within. >> and he's the youngest guy up there. but, again, he's not running on youth. he's running on i can do this, this is my position. he's 37 years old. but you get the feeling that he really has a vision, he really has policies, whether you agree with him or not, and he has some gravitas. i think buttigieg had a very good night. >> me too. >> and i think beto had an excellent night. if they had showed up at the first debate like that, i think we'd be looking at a different
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poll because he took everything another level. that's how you win, in my opinion, the public because they want to vote for you for a reason, not for any of the profile things, i'm young, i'm old, i'm tall, i'm short. especially when you're up against a guy like donald trump. >> i want to show you, so i thought kamala harris also was good. she came after donald trump. she had a plan. she executed her plan. let me show you the attacks on donald trump. there weren't as many as i thought there might be, but there were some that seemed to break through. >> trump thinks that trade policy is a tweet at 3:00 in the morning. >> donald trump in office on trade policy, you know, he reminds me of that guy in the wizard of oz when you pull back the curtain it's a really small dude. >> this is a president that has a better relationship with dictators like dutarte and putin than he does with merkel and macron. >> he said he'd like to see me making a deal with xi jinping.
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i'd like to see him make a deal with xi jinping. [ laughter ] i'm going to say to immigrants come to america. >> there is enormous opportunities once we get rid of donald trump. >> on january 20th, 2021, at 12:01 p.m., we are going to have a democratic president, a democratic house, and a democratic senate. [ applause ] there will be life after donald trump. >> i plan on focusing on our common issues, our common hopes and desires, and in that way unifying our country, winning this election, and turning the page for america, and now, president trump, you can go back to watching fox news. >> that's pretty good. >> you know, look, you're always going to score points when you're talking to a democratic audience about the failings of donald trump. so i think it was necessary to do that. i don't think you can take the eye off the fact that this is a democratic primary, though. and they do need to test each other. there's a way to do it. and i think last night was
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better than the debate maybe two times ago but for the castro moment. and whoever the nominee is already has the case to make against donald trump. he gives us the material every day to know why whoever gets out of the democratic primary will be a better president than donald trump has. what i would like to see these democratic candidates do in those moments is demonstrate why they are presidential. don't just take the swipe at donald trump because it's a good sound byte. but demonstrate in that moment among friends and colleagues and among a democratic-leaning audience why they can be presidential. we're getting to that point -- >> who did that last night? >> i think you're seeing it -- look, it takes time, right? and. >> well, who's there now? >> i think elizabeth warren is getting there. i think biden just because he was vice president, he naturally brings some of that. viewers are starting to see elizabeth warren as she may be our next president. bernie sanders has a large
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following. i'm not sure much of the contemporary constituency has made that pivot with bernie sanders yet. but as we get deeper in this race, they're each going to be able to make that case and be seen as presidential. >> do you agree? >> yeah, i do. actually what i was thinking about is the winner was obama because, look, they got the memo, yeah, the president to go after is donald trump, not obama. and i think that -- and you saw that, you saw kind of the praise for president obama who is the most popular figure in the party. and i think, that's what i was thinking. i was like that's who kind of won the night. >> amazing that he already lost one of those nights, but here we are. after the break, beto o'rourke shakes up the intractable gun debate in washington. did he go too far? also, an update to a story we brought you yesterday. lawyers for former deputy director of the fbi andrew mccabe pressed the doj for answers. and trump corruption watch, the
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latest on that air force scandal. and new questions about conflicts of interest at a trump hotel. all those stories coming up. ♪ here i go again on my own ♪ goin' down the only road i've ever known ♪ ♪ like a drifter i was-- ♪ born to walk alone! ...barb! you left me hangin' on the high harmony there. if you ride, you get it. geico motorcycle. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. ♪ ♪ applebee's handcrafted burgers now starting at $7.99. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's, your plans can change in minutes.
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so, just to underline, it will be voluntary, it won't be, heck, yes. >> no. it's not voluntary. i want to make sure that we make the distinction here. it is mandatory. it will be the law. you will be required to comply with the law. >> former texas congressman this morning not mincing words when it comes to what an o'rourke administration would look like for owners with assault weapons,
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clarifying one of the more memorable moments from last night. here's that moment. >> if it's a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield, if the high impact, high-velocity round when it hits your body shreds everything inside in your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up. when we see that being used against children and in odessa i met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an ar-15. and that mother watched her daughter bleed to death over the course of an hour. there weren't enough ambulances to get to them in life. hell, yes, we are going to take your ar-15, your ak-47. we are not going to allow it to be used against our fellow americans anymore. >> to many, that was the moment of the night. msnbc's garrett haake is back
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with us. garrett, you stand as a reporter in the middle of i think the two biggest stories right now. this sort of surge in public profile. beto o'rourke getting his groove back. and the tragedy of the mass shootings in odessa and el paso, texas. what did you think personally when you saw that last night? >> reporter: look, i've spent the last six months on the road talking to these candidates and talking to democratic primary voters. and while o'rourke's comments last night scared some people, the sense i get is that he's squarely within the mainstream of what democratic primary voters want to hear. you've got people who are literally chanting at politicians do something. this is a very aggressive something. his answer on gun control doesn't get into the minutia of a filibuster of senate rules. he doesn't name mitch mcconnell. he doesn't talk about a background check bill that was defeated six years ago. he said we are going to do this
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in a very aggressive and earnestly heartfelt way. you can not cover one of these shootings. i wasn't in el paso, but i was in odessa, and i have covered mass shootings before, and not be personally affected by it, it's clear that o'rourke was and that he seized on something that connects viscerally with the people who could potentially be electing him. he has struggled to capture what he does well on the stump on the debate stage. but last night i think he sort of finally unlocked that and delivered that message in a way that resonated with a lot of people. you heard it in the room and you've been hearing it all day on twitter and television from other folks who connected with it. >> he absolutely struck a cord. i think that was sort of the emotional moment of the night. he has really found his voice in the wake of the el paso shootings, a campaign that had really been scuffling around until then. it was very powerful. now this cuts the other way, too. there is absolutely this polling suggests democrats republican as like are in favor some of gun control measures, whether it's
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background checks and so on. and i think there is a real issue to ban these weapons of war as he so vividly described them last night. c confiscating them is a different issue. the whispers about the government's coming to take your gun as way. in this case he is giving voice to that conspiracy theory. now a lot of americans would have no problem with that. but others would. and i think at the same time as i heard from republican strategists saying this could be the opening line of a donald trump re-election ad. >> i don't know about that. here's the front page of his hometown paperer, el paso newspaper, where coming back from a mass shooting in your community means that the debate that was on network television for more than two hours and in road block coverage on cable news doesn't make the front page. i think he's also giving voice to this story that dips in and out of the national news. but when it's your community, when it's your first graders who are slaughtered it doesn't go away. and when it's someone, heaven
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forbid that you love. i think what the country is probably looking at is has the clip, bad word, has the pace or the rate of mass shootings changed the policy debate around guns? and i don't know the answer. but i'm not sure that if i'm donald trump's campaign i'm really going to go front and center about weapons of war as something we should keep available. >> i agree. now gun reform is kind of moving up in the polls as something people really truly care about. we have to understand i'm thankful to beto for doing that last night because you have to understand in texas just this summer there were two mass shootings, two mass shootings in one state just this summer. and i was -- >> the second one carried out over the entire state. >> that's exactly right. i was just thinking this morning i got an email in my inbox about my 5-year-old just started school last week, and we got that email, that email about
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there's going to be a lockdown drill next week, talk to your kid. and it's about imminent threat. twhas parents are getting day after day, week after week. this is really real for people. schools are not safe. schools are not safe. malls are not safe. theaters are not safe. movies are not safe. if you go to a movie it's not safe. so it is a real issue. so what we need now is a movement. and i think that's what beto is trying to lean into. he's like we need a movement. the parkland students tried to do it with march for our lives and they got a lot of young people out in 2018. we need to build and we need a movement because that's the only way we are going to see change. it's not going to happen in washington d.c. it's not. and if donald trump wants to use this as an issue, i think it's a bad move. i think it's a -- >> we, i think it's like everything trumpian.
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it cuts both ways. all right. i want to say something else about beto's candidacy. he's rebooted, i don't know, a couple times, got a lot of criticism after he was on the cover of vanity fair or what not. o'rourke seeks a reset if you're in your car, reaches out to national democrats which is the second reboot. he seems to have landed on a three-legged stool that's going to hold him up for the foreseeable future in taking on white nationalism which was sort of the intersection of the murderer in el paso and donald trump's more racist rhetoric. this idea that the immigration policies of donald trump are cruel, that staking out a position more to the center of some other democratic candidates in that presidential primary. and then on guns. you know, speaking bluntly, swearing sometimes saying to the media why do you ask questions you know the answer to?
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he seems to be standing on a more solid base than at any other time in the presidential primary. >> no, i absolutely think he has done that. and i think that even grazing this about confiscating guns brings the issue dead center in the presidential race. and i agree that parkland student and others had built this groundswell in the public. but it was not front and center in the democratic primaries. everybody was giving their regular nice statements about we need reform. he's hit it right on the head now. it's going to have to be debated. i don't know that i'm all the way comfortable with how we are going to confiscate because i am worried about stop and frisk. i am worried about racial disparities when they start going to people home. but i want the debate. and i think that that is what lit up that crowd last night. and i think that is how you run for president. you've got to make it about more than you. and more than your resume. and beto's done that with that three-legged stool that you're
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talking about -- >> the whole campaign staff are talking. >> and dealing with white supremacy and white nationalism, he has made his campaign more than about beto. as long as it was beto on the vanity fair cover, it was about him. when you rupt something bigger than you, then people have to argue about that rather than you. and i think that's the mistake a lot of candidates make. they act as though they're in a beauty pageant rather than running to be the red of the free world and what that would look like if they win. >> i want to get garrett back in. he's got to go catch a plane. but you had thoughts about beto's performance. >> beto had the single most compelling of the night with that. and for two reasons. first, it was bold. and people like bold leadership. there is a reason bernie sanders' economic plan and elizabeth warren's economic plans resonate. it's because they're bold. frankly donald trump when he stood on the debate stage and said i don't know if i'll support these other yahoos was bold. what we saw from beto last night was bold leadership. and the second thing was he was
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shaping public opinion, not just following it. john kennedy said we are going to the moon, not because it's easy, because it's hard. barack obama said we are going to enact obamacare even if it means we lose the house in two years. what beto is saying is what's happening in washington even with the hard work of house democrats is incrementalism, and it's not going to fundamentally change the culture of guns in the united states. beto said, you know what, everybody else go to hell. i'm going to fundamentally change the culture of guns. follow me and i'll make it happen. a perfect moment for beto. >> you know, garrett, this is where i wanted to end with you. and david said it better than i was going to in my sleep-deprived state. elizabeth warren and bernie sanders were viewed outside of the mainstream democratic party. now they're two of the three frontrunners. in every big debate it's been a voice outside of washington that's had the most impact on said debate in washington. >> reporter: yeah. look, and i think o'rourke might be a leading indicator on this. i'll tell you something that surprised me. i interviewed four of the candidates running on take on
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john cornyn for the texas senate race. i interviewed them on tuesday. three other democrats told me they support a mandatory buy-back program. this is not like this suicide pact texas policy here. this is something that other democrats are willing to run on in the state where people own more guns than in any other state. and i did talk to o'rourke a little bit about this last night, the how to get this done. he said, look, i'm counting on people to follow the law. this would be a buy-back program. so people would have the opportunity to exchange these weapons for money. but there's not going to be a bunch of ausite hipsters to demand your gun back if you don't turn it over. there is no federal accounting for how many of these guns even exist in circulation right now. but it would become an illegal weapon just like machine guns are illegal. i don't think this is as politically risky. i think o'rourke would happily trade a second amendment activist if there is a theoretical second amendment
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activist still thinking about voting for him in a democratic primary. for a suburban mom who doesn't want to get that email about their kid having to go through active shooter drills when we go back to school. >> well, we are getting those emails anyway. my thanks to garrett haake in texas and jonathan lemire for joining us. after the break lawyers for former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe are looking for answers today asking the justice department refused to inindict the man who opened the full investigation into donald trump. that story next. next. it's going ok? great. now i'm spending more time with the kids. i'm introducing them to crab. crab!? they love it. so, you mentioned that that money we set aside. yeah. the kids and i want to build our own crab shack. ♪ ♪ ahhh, you're finally building that outdoor kitchen. yup - with room for the whole gang. ♪ ♪ see how investing with a j.p. morgan advisor can help you. visit your local chase branch.
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an update today to a story we brought you at the top of this hour yesterday. andrew mccame, former deputy director of the fbi who took over when jim comey was abruptly fired by donald trump was standing by this week for news that he might be indicted by a grand jury convened to hear evidence in a case about whether he lied to an inspector general.
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it was an unusual case to bring. we know from long-time doj officials that cases like mccabe's are typically handled internally. that might explain why actor in which the deputy attorney general flatly refused mccabe's appeal making public that they could indeed seek his indictment and prosecution. there's at least for now radio silence. mccabe's lawyer sending this letter to the u.s. attorney in charge of the case. quote, we heard rumors from reporters starting this morning that the grand jury considering charges against mr. mccabe had declined to vote an indictment. we do not know the specific basis for the rumors, but they were credible enough that both "the new york times" and "washington post" published stories suggesting the grand jury may have declined to vote in favor of mccabe's charges. tweeting this, a grand jury's refusal to return an indictment is something that happens maybe
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once every five years in a given office. if it occurred here, given the magnitude and visibility of the mccabe case, it's a stunning and humiliating rebuke for overreaching and playing politics. more on this story mike schmidt from "the new york times" is here, joyce vance, and matt miller, former spokesman for the department of justice. mike, start by telling us where this story is 24 hours later, this letter that i read from was sent by mccabe's lawyers to the u.s. attorney's office today trying to get clarity from what they describe as press rumors that a grand jury may have voted not to indict mccabe. >> and that's where it is. it's in the same place as it was. but i think what we're seeing here is the problems with the politics that the president has created around the investigation. criminal investigations are very complicated. sometimes things get messed up at the end. that sort of -- that can happen. that's not unusual.
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but because there is a perception issue here where the president has been so vocal about the fact that he wants this person to be prosecuted and for the justice department to go after him, it allows all of these questions to come in to say, well, what's really going on here, is there smrj larger afoot? and it's the issue of the perception may be worse than the reality. and it sort of takes the entire justice department again and it thrusts it out into the front. people can say, well, what's really going on here, well, why didn't they return this? well, sometimes criminal investigations are complicated, but i don't think anyone certainly one half of the country is going to give the justice department the benefit of the doubt. >> donald trump might not give the justice department the benefit of the doubt. he made clear that he wanted andy mccabe fired and jeff sessions fired andy mccabe. he thought he made it clear that andy mccabe committed treason. andy mccabe i'm told was prepared for the possibility of
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an indictment. what does it say that everything on people on both sides of this prepared for so far hasn't come to pass? >> you know, i think the problem with this case, i disagree with mike just a little bit which is something i rarely want to do in that i think that the problem with this case is more than the perception, it's the reality. if it wasn't for the politics around this investigation, if it wasn't for the president's demands that andy mccabe be fired and that he be investigated and that he be prosecuted, i don't think this case would be anywhere near this stage. i don't think he would have been fired shortly before his retirement and i don't think he would have gotten this close to indictment. it would've been handled like most normal cases are. and i think, look, we don't know what happened in the grand jury yesterday. but it is very strange that the department has been so quiet about this with mccabe's attorneys and that it seems clear, you know, mccabe's attorneys clearly think that something happened yesterday, that the department, when this grand jury expecting to walk out with an indictment and they didn't get it. and i think by sending this letter to the department and
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releasing it publicly, you know, they're trying to add a little noise in the system and see if there's someone inside the department who doesn't like the way this case is being handled who is willing to pick up the phone and call a reporter and tell them what happened. they are trying to shine some light on how weak this case is from the beginning. if you can't convince a grand jury, you know, there's this old saying a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. but it's not far from the truth. if you can't get an indictment in this case, the idea that you would ever take it to trial is bananas. >> joyce, let me show you how andy mccabe described the accusations when he was on this show. >> one of the unexplainable steps that they took is at some point their investigation of me over these disclosures authorized disclosures to the "wall street journal" was cleaved off from the larger
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investigation, and i believe rushed forward to try to reach some sort of a conclusion before i could retire. >> joyce, is that the kind of thing that might give a grand jury pause if they heard that? >> you know what? yeah. i don't know that that will give a grand jury pause. and of course the grand jury wouldn't get to hear former director mccabe's side of the story. what the grand jury hears is the prosecution's side of the story and the prosecution's side of the evidence. so although a lot of the process here was very irregular, this sort of a candor finding against an agent is something that you would expect would be resolved as an employment matter, not a criminal matter. if it's true that the grand jury rejected this case, it's because the government didn't even have probable cause to move forward as opposed to the sort of proof beyond a reasonable doubt they would need at trial to convict. and let me explain and say that probable cause, what prosecutors have to prove to a grand jury to
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get an indictment is a very low standard compared to what they need at trial. and if you have trouble convincing the grand jury as a prosecutor you need to seriously rethink your case because you're in trouble. >> mike, the lawyers for mccabe have sued over his firing calling it politically motivated, with some anecdotal evidence i think that overlaps with your reporting on the trump justice department. they wrote this, trump commanded mccabe's personal allegiance. he sought retailation and others served as trump's personal enforcers rather than the nation's highest law enforcement officials catering to trump's unlawful whims instead of honoring their oath to uphold the constitution. i think we learned from the new york times kwo, that trump indeed did want jeff sessions to prosecute jim comey, hillary clinton, and it was his own white house counsel who stopped that. is that the sort of political overlay that complicates all these cases? >> yeah, totally. and if it were to go to a jury,
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i think that certainly if you're mccabe's lawyers you would want this to be seen in that perspective. is this part of the political story of what's going on? and for them they probably say in washington, d.c., that's a pretty good argument for us. not a lot of people that are going to give donald trump the benefit of the doubt, people that are probably going to be very skeptical of what the president has said around this. and may look at this in a political light more so than any other type of criminal investigation. >> matt miller, people have brought up the craig trial as an example of just that effect. what's the connection between the two cases? >> you know, so the department just brought this case against craig. and i think it was a case that was probably tough on the merits. but you have to look at where you're bring the case as well. and d.c. is a democratic city, and it was clear from the comments of some of the jurors after that verdict which, you know, acquitted craig that some
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of the jurors didn't like the choices the department made with all of the corruption in the trump administration that basically said that they would go after greg craig. so the idea that after that trial with the same jury pool where you've lost a case that has nowhere near the same kind of arguments about retaliation. trump was never going after greg craig the way he was going after andrew mccabe. >> after the break the day's trump corruption news includes new details about an old conflict of interest. [horn honks] man this is what i feel like when i wear regular shoes, cramped and uncomfortable. we can arrange a little upgrade. which is why i wear skechers... wide fit shoes. they have extra room throughout. they're like a luxury ride for my feet. try skechers wide fit shoes. they're like a luxury ride for my feet.
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losses due to his presidency aside, there are questions whether he's actually profiting off the presidency. today a federal appeals court resurrected a lawsuit stating trump is profiting from the presidency. let's check in on those headlines. in the last 24 hours, how about this at his d.c. hotel. "the washington post" reports mike pence and mike pompeo were book by a nonprofit conservative group to speak at separate events there this week raising concerns that their appearances drove revenue to the company president's company. that's the same trump property where william barr booked a $30,000 holiday party. and there's trump's resort near miami. he recently suggested it would be the next location for the g-7 summit. and politico published the preliminary results of an air force review which revealed air
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crews have lodged there 40 times since 2015, far higher than previously known. at ireland's doonbeg resort shows mike pence's bizarre decision to stay there cost taxpayers $600,000 in grand transportation fees from there and to dublin all to stay at a trump resort. everyone is back. i'm coming for you. >> he's a corrupt man running a corrupt administration and no doubt documents will nodemonstre that donald trump or people around him do business at his properties. last week he directed his commerce secretary turn noaa scientists upside down defending one of his tweets. we talked about mccabe, who had the attorney general land the plane on the mueller report and lie to the american people. this is a president who had his spokesperson, sarah sanders go
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out before the election and say there were isis members in the caravans coming across the southwest borders. donald trump is definitely directing federal business be done on his property. that's an emoluments clouse, a constitutional violation, not a stature one. when house minority leader kevin mccarthy says earlier this week, i don't see any difference from going to the marriott or the trump hotel -- >> he might get into the hotel business. give him time. >> yes. mccarthy is even being a cold-stone sycophant corrupt person on behalf of the president or he's ignorant. he doesn't control the house, but democrats do. democrats on this and everything else need to record for history that this is a constitutional violation. if they fail to do so, then none of this means anything. >> congress got the mueller report, they did nothing. congress now has a steady drip of investigative reports about
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corruption, seeming corruption, in every corner of the government. do you think congress will act differently? >> what you laid out and what you laid out at the top sort of illustrates, i think, why trump has been able to succeed in this environment. there are so many different things that have come up that people would say would sink any other president. but in this case, there's no real tip of the sphere because there are so many spheres and there are so many questions. instead of focusing on one of the things you listed, you listed ten different things. you listed several at the top. >> do we need an editor? >> we're not talking about one issue. even on obstruction, you get the mueller report. you look at the mueller report. there's all these different instances, flavors and shades of his behavior. it's hard to get the average american to concentrate on one of them. let alone one of the issues. >> joyce, i'll give you the last word.
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>> that's dead on the money. one death is a tragic, 200 deaths is a statistic. what we have with the trump administration is so many misconducts on so many fronts it's difficult for americans to know what to focus on. people don't always all focus on the same problem at the same time. that's congress' job. congress moved forward with watergate style hearings, with professional staff doing questioning of witnesses next week, including lewandowski and deerborn, both of whom worked for trump. we need to circle around one major instance or several major instances and decide whether this president really does live up to the oath he took. >> joyce, matt miller, thank you so much for spending time with us. we'll sneak in our last break. we'll be right back. we'll sneak in our last break. we'll be right back.
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thanks for watching. that does it for our hour. i'm nicole. "mtp daily" with my friend chuck todd starts now. welcome to friday and "meet the press daily," i'm chuck todd. julian castro from the edge of the stage took a shot at joe biden's memory. during a back and forth over health care policy. in a moment i'll be joined by julian castro who defiantly says he wasn't going after biden personally. still cas

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