tv Morning Joe MSNBC September 23, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
>> this is a very dishonest thing that joe biden did. >> he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me. >> and i'm not even looking to hurt him, to be honest. he needs all the help can he get. >> trump's doing this because he knows i'll beat him like a drum. >> we begin the week at a remarkable point in congress. the white house trying to hamper congress by silencing a whistleblower who warned of presidential misconduct. as the "washington post" framed it over the weekend, trump's sense of himself as above the law has been reenforced throughout his timing in office. as detailed in the mueller report, he received help from a foreign adversary in 2016 without legal consequence. he sought to thwart the russia investigation and possibly obstruct justice without consequence. through the government he has earned profits for his businesses without consequence.
he has blocked congresses ability to conduct oversight without consequence. this morning we talk to all three of the president re's republican challenges in a joint interview with bill weld, joe walsh, and mark sanford. >> and they're coming on specifically to talk about an op-ed they had about donald trump, of course, rigging the republican nomination by having states cancel their primary contests. >> also joining us on the show this morning, former secretary of state john kerry and democratic presidential candidate senator cory booker. plus, new polling that shows a major shake-up in the democrats race for president. iowa, meet elizabeth warren. think they already have. good morning and welcome to "morning joe," it's monday, september 20 ii september 23rd. we have john lemire, richard
haass, msnbc and former chairman of the national republican committee michael steele. former chief of staff for hillary clinton's presidential campaign, adrienne elrod. she's an msnbc contributor. and historian auth thofr soul of america and roger's professor of the presidency jon meacham. he's an nbc news and msnbc contributor. we begin with president trump admitting he discussed former vice president joe biden on a phone call with the president of ukraine. the admission only came after the "wall street journal" and other news outlets reported that trump repeatedly pressed the ukrainian leader to investigate the business dealings of the former vice president's son hunter. the journal puts that number at eight times. >> so t"the wall street journal
says that eight times, eight times the president of the united states got on the phone and, as "the wall street journal" said, specifically pressured the leader of ukraine to deal with his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on joe biden and his family. >> the president deflected questions of whether he inappropriately enlisted a foreign government to help dig up dirt on a political rival. and, instead, tried to shift the scrutiny to biden. >> conversation i had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place. was largely the fact that we don't want our people like vice president biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the ukraine. >> i'm not looking to hurt him with respect to his son. joe's got a lot of problems. joe's got enough problems
without that. but what he said was a terrible thing. and, you know, lillereally made a -- it was an offer. it was beyond on offer if the was something where he said i'm not going to give billions of dollars to ukraine unless they remove this prosecutor. >> what the president is referring to was biden's role in cracking down on corruption in ukraine, including calling for the removal of ukraine's general prosecutor who at the time was also investigating a natural gas company whose board included hunter biden. >> so one the bigger problems, mika, is that western leaders all across, you can talk about the imf, they actually didn't think the prosecutor was investigating corruption hard enough and that, in fact, he was a hindrance to the anticorruption efforts there. including the investigation of this company that biden's son was associated with. >> right. he was just one of many diplomats to call for the
prosecutor to be fired. here is biden recounting the time he threatened to withhold a billion dollars in american loan guarantees if ukraine did not take action. >> i went over, i guess the 12th, 13th time to eyef aand i supposed to announce there was another billion dollars loan guarantee. and i got word that they would take action against the state prosecutor and they didn't. so they said they were walking out the press conference i said, no, i'm not going to -- we're not going to give you the billion dollars. they said, you have no authority, you're not the president. they said the president said. i said call him. i said i'm telling you you're not getting a billion dollars. i said you're not getting the billion, i'm going to be leaving here, i think it was six hours, said i'm leaving in six hours. if the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. >> earlier this year ukraine's
then prosecutor told blumberg news that it found no evidence of wrongdoing by biden or his son. >> they are still in fact saying that and basically saying -- everybody there saying that donald trump and rudy giuliani and everybody else is lying about this. and that, again, in fact, the prosecutor that was fired did not press hard enough on any of the companies that should have been investigated. again, including the one associated with biden's son. >> "the wall street journal" goes on to explain in detail how the former vice president led anticorruption efforts in ukraine. journal reports that soon after russia invaded the country in 2014 and next crima, biden took a key role. around the same time, biden's son hunter took a board position with a ukrainian natural gas extraction company. the white house said at the time there was nothing wrong with
hunter biden's work and that it didn't create a conflict of interest since he was a private person. president trump and his lawyer, rudy giuliani, have suggested that biden pushed for the firing of ukraine's general prosecutor to halt an investigation into the company. >> that's a lie because the journal reports that the prosecutor had actually, quote, dragged his feet on those investigations, western diplomats said, and effectively squashed one in lond i on by failing doe operate with authorities. >> they say ukraine's government was slow to fire the prosecutor despite warnings from sbairm international monetary board.
>> can you know what i found bought joe biden? do you know what i told my colleague? they're going to cover this up. too bad biden's involved in this. i got a nice straight case of ukrainian collusion. the minute i say biden that washington press corps is going to go nuts. they've been covering up for years. >> now you're straying into areas -- >> no, i'm not. i'm straying into what is wrong with us today. >> we need to point out -- we need to point out that the prosecutor who was appointed after spohokin was fired reanimated the case and found hunter biden was paid millions of dollars but he said that the board was able to pay a board member whatever they wanted and he didn't see anything wrong with that. >> it's so distorted. >> i'm pointing out a fact. >> if you did any work, you'd find that he was the prosecutor that biden put in. >> one other point. >> no, i'm not going to answer another question unless you let me finish.
these are very important things that have been covered up for years to protect slimy joe. >> you know, so here we are, richard haass, you actually have rupert murdocks "wall street journal" putting out a fact check showing that everything rudy giuliani is saying is a lie. and fox news, rupert murdochs fox news saying that everything he's saying is a lie. is richard there? >> i'm here. >> i want to see him while i'm talking to him. >> he looks great. >> he does look great. you have fox news and "the wall street journal" saying that everything that rudy giuliani is claiming is a lie. john roberts even started smirking at fox news because it was so embarrassing how much rudy giuliani was making a fool of himself. so giuliani's only response at the end was to call him slimy
joe because he was -- he was making such an -- of himself. it's very telling that you have the "wall street journal" and fox news calling out these lies, and you're actually there when biden was at the counsel on foreign relations explaining how the entire western world was saying this prosecutor had to get fired because nobody was going to loan ukraine money if they didn't start cleaning up corruption. explain that. >> exactly. this prosecutor was part of a much larger problem under the previous regime, ukraine was notorious for being -- there was systematic krurption. they refused to create an independent corruption court and the prosecutors they had were too weak or were part of the problem, as this one individual was. so the arguments that the united states had in the past under the
obama administration were totally legitimate. and we were not alone. it wasn't as though it was a unilateral problem with ukraine. it was the imf, all the europeans. it made it impossible to help ukraine and everybody wanted to help ukraine in order to push back against putin and russia. the u.s. policy was totally consistent with the rest of the world at the time, joe. >> and so what, jonathan lemire, the president has felt under siege especially since friday and he has "the wall street journal," rupert murdoch's wall street journal breaking the news that eight times he pressured the president of the ukraine, eight times to work with his personal lawyer rudy giuliani on ticking digging up dirt on his droomest rival. and then rudy giuliani is just
making up fifth grade names to try to attack joe biden. where has the white house been this weekend, especially white house insiders on handling a scandal that they know is going to cost the president real political pain? >> well, first i think the framing you used earlier is right. this is a president who's suffered very few consequences and paid no penalty for his actions. i think the timing of that phone call with the ukrainian president is illuminating. it was this past july. it was one day after, one day after robert mueller's appearance before congress and his somewhat faltering testimony about the russia investigation. the president survived that probe with far less damage than most people predicted. there was a sense that he was emboldened and could do whatever he wanted. and in this matter he pressed ukraine for help against joe biden. the very thing he was investigated before with russia, the idea of receiving heforeign help in an election it seemed
like he was doing again. the president has down played it. he suggested he sparred with reporters. on friday, again over the weekend, yesterday in texas mused that he might put out the transcript at some point that would clear his name. he hold told people around him he does not think he's done anything wrong and therefore he thinks this s'more of another of a deep state whistleblower, partisan whistleblower trying to undermine him. but people around him, though, there is a degree of worry, that this is something that could lead to a real problem. we are seeing rising calls for impeachment in the house. you know, adam schiff is suddenly moving that direction. speaker pelosi not yet. congresswoman alc took to twitter to blast the leadership over the weekend to say why are we not moving to impeach here? so there is some growing momentum there. there's concern among the white house. now, as the president comes here to new york for the united nations, this conversation, the matter with ukraine, is going to provide a backdrop for the
entire week. >> of course there's no press secretary to speak of so it's hard to get, you know, any type of formal statement about this. but, when it comes to trump, there's always mnuchin. here's steve mnuchin. >> what i do find is inappropriate is the fact that vice president biden at the time's son did very significant business dealings in ukraine. i, for one, find that to be concerning. and, to me, that's the issue that perhaps should be further investigated. >> i don't understand. so it's okay for donald trump jr. and eric trump do business all over the world, it's okay for ivanka trump to have copyright laws all over the world why president trump is president, but while joe biden was vice president his son shouldn't have been able to do business dealings? >> i don't want to go into more of these details -- >> well you're setting a precedent that the president is violating. >> i think there's a significant difference in which you're saying. what i was saying between biden and his son's relationship with
the ukraine oligarch. and potential business dealings that the trump organization has had which predated his presidency. >> snas deep. >> you have rudy giuliani making a fool of himself on fox news and then mnuchin doing the same on cnn. and you have donald trump doing what donald trump does all the time, he admits the scandal in broad daylight. and because he admits the scandal in broad daylight, instead of having it dug up, he thinks that makes everything okay. it does not. and this is unprecedented having the president of the united states, commander and chief, using his position. >> right. >> to have a foreign power try to dig up dirt on an american domestic rival. it is a continued blurring of the lines from 2016 and it is
unamerican. >> michael steele, is this the line for republicans? >> ah. [ laughter ] no. not if john cornyn's response to this was any indication. >> what's it going to snb what's to be? what's it going to take? >> is another cornyn came out and said i find all of this to be troubling about joe biden and started the typical washington backstroke of we need to get more information. i serve on senate intelligence and i'm sure we'll find out whatever without having any, you know, initial visceral reaction to what "the wall street journal's" reporting, what you've opened this show up about detailing, what the evidence displays. and then you have, you know, giuliani and mnuchin going on television being actually laughable in their response. but that's the point.
it is not supposed to clarify, it's not supposed to give you a straight line argument that this is not bad or there's no problem, it is to create the level of confusion. joe, you have it exactly right. the president comes outs and tells yeah, yeah, did i it, so what? and so as you started the show talking about and reading reports about there are no consequences, that's the world in which donald trump thrives because there have been no consequences. so it's now a matter on something so important as this whether or not the country is willing to make the president pay a consequence for behavior that leads to real questions about impeachment. and i think that this is something over the next 24 hours or more we're going to have to figure out as the members on the hill get microphones put in front of their faces to see whether or not they're willing to hold the president to a standard that we've held every president who's had the job before.
>> well, and, jon meacham, what great illumination we have into the soul, not of america, but the soul of the republican party. you have one republican after another trying to brush aside the fact that their president, the commander and chief, spoke to a foreign leader eight times and intimidated him eight times to use his personal lawyer to dig up dirt in a foreign country against a domestic rival, eight times. mitt romney even came out. it's surreal. all of it is so surreal and all of it eventually will damage the republican party in next year's election. but mitt romney said, well, if donald trump actually did speak to a foreign power to have them dig up dirt, that would be very troubling. "the wall street journal" reported even before that tweet that it happened eight times. and donald trump admitted that
he did it. and yet they decide to live in this never never land. >> that's a great way to put it is never never land. and, you know, history there's no once upon a time, there's not going to be a happily ever after. but there can be actual moments where we face facts. eleanor roosevelt said that's the test of a great government, a great society is can you, in fact, face facts however uncomfortable they are. and what i think is the great story of our time, honestly, is the extent to which 40%, 45% of the country, many of them republicans, have suspended their critical capacities, have suspended their essential dare i say patriotic instincts to follow this particular leader because of the will to power. so we're talking you about the party of eisenhower, reagan,
bush are comfortable with a president who conspires, whoever -- colludes, whatever word you want to use. >> he told george step no muss u lo stephanopoulos he would do this. >> no republican complained when he told george stephanopoulos that he would work, that he would collude with foreign powers to try to get dirt on his rival. here, another good word for you, extort. >> yeah. >> in this case, there are reports that he actually was extorting the democratically elected president of ukraine who had already seen his country invaded by vladimir putin and there are reports that he extoward thee extorted him saying he was not going to get military weapons
unless, unless he dug up dirt, worked, cooperated with his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on his domestic political rival. >> one of the things that's happened here, i've been thinking about this all weekend, is there are a couple of really interestingent flis george interestingly entries in george h.w. bush's diaries. in the '60s he's looking at these folks and he says their eyes aren't focused. they're living according to a narrative in their heads that does not actually track with reality. and he saw a little bit later some in the '80s. think he's gone from being a fringe, the berg society, which is what richard hofstetter was writing about when he defined the paranoid style in american politics, that was the occasion for that essay, but the paranoid
style has gone mainstream. and i think one of the great questions of the era is going to be who wants to be margaret chase smith? who wants to be joseph welch shall, the lawyer who said to mcarchthy finally have you no decency? and i promise you, there's a historical legacy, there's a historical halo ready to be grabbed if people will stand up and say, no more. >> yeah. you know, mika, there is, as john said, there is a suspension of belief. and we've seen it even with some of our friends who will talk about how many miles of the wall donald trump has built when donald trump's own administration, when the statistics in donald trump's own administration show that zero miles of new wall have been built. that you can't tell them because there's a suspension of belief. because in speeches donald trump says oh, we build the wall so
quickly. and here you have a suspension of belief that somehow it's okay that eight times the president of the united states pressured a foreign leader to dig up dirt on his political opponent, the united states. >> i think it's different this time and here's why. first of all, if you say, oh, to a trump supporter, republican who's serving, president trump told george stephanopoulos he would work a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political enemy, that person would say, oh, he doesn't mean it, he's just said that. he doesn't mean it. well guess what? it appears that he does mean it. but when the information comes out, i don't know if the whistleblower is going to have to step out on his or her own, right now this information is being covered up. at some point if and when the information comes out, i think
republicans will be in a very different position. they will not be able to say well, he doesn't mean it. which is what they usually say to protect him. up next, we're going to -- adrienne elrod, i want to ask you. what is the risk and the gain for the biden campaign? >> well, i guess to an extent, mika, any time hunter biden's past dealings in ukraine are making the news because of the situation, that's not a great -- that's not a great place for the biden campaign to be even though obviously hunter biden did nothing wrong, that's been investigated, that's been made clear that he did nothing wrong. but i think the gains are far outweighing the cons here. joe biden can go out there and say the president of the united states is trying to pressure an ally to get information to get opposition research to get dirt on me and my family. that's something he can take out there to voters and really, you know, make it clear how destainful this is and what a gross and abuse of power this
is. i think the pros in the situation far outway the cons. >> you talk about american fading politics. >> yeah. >> you talk about an inside game, rigging the process. and we talked about how donald trump is rig the process on the republican side to make sure that as many states as possible cancel democratic elections for the primary. he mean, he's learned from vladimir putin the way you get 100% of the vote is you just cancel the elections. and that's what donald trump is getting republican operatives to do across the country. so he's rigging the election that way. he's using his power now to try to rig the election so a foreign power is pressured so actually try to dig up dirt on joe biden and his family. and to use the word that rudy giuliani used, and actions that most voters would consider to be very slimy, especially since every investigation has shown
that joe biden not only acted properly, but did what democracies across the west were asking him to do. and that is, clean up ukraine by getting rid of a corruption investigator. >> and politically this is losing ugly for the trump campaign. everybody who knows joe biden and supports joe biden will dig in deeper. they will be deeply, deeply, deeply concerned and upset about what trump is doing to the biden family. you have joe biden who lost his daughter and wife in a car accident. and then lost beau biden to brain cancer. this is joe biden's surviving son. this politically is losing very ugly for the trump campaign. that's the bottom line. up next, we'll dig into the new poll poll out of iowa. plus. >> i'm going to call to you right now. i need everybody's help on my campaign, because we're not running an individual campaign, we will win this election not by
dividing democrats, but have people that unite us and bring us together. we will win this election not by showing the worst of who we are, but the best of who we are. >> senator cory booker needs to raise millions of dollars and fast. we'll talk to the presidential contender whose campaign for the white house might be on borrowed time. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ - [woman] with shark's duoclean, i don't just clean, i deep clean carpets and floors. so i got this. yep, this too. even long hair and pet hair are no problem. but the one thing i won't have to clean is this. because the shark self-cleaning brush roll removes the hair wrap while i clean. - [narrator] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself. now available in our new uplight model. but we're also a company that controls hiv, fights cancer,
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. ♪ 31 past the hour. senator elizabeth warren and former vice president joe biden are in a statistical tie in iowa. according to the latest did moin register, msnbc media poll warn now leads the democratic field by two points. she's now up seven points among iowa's democratic caucus since june. >> biden down three, sanders down five, mayor pete down six. i mean, it's crazy. >> vermont senator person with
did i sanders sits in third place down five points. warren also leads among voter enthusiasm with 32% of voters in iowa extremely enthusiastic about her campaign. 31% of iowa's democratic voters said they mildly -- they are mildly enthusiastic about biden's 2020 run. 63% of democratic caucus goers in iowa said while they have made their first choice, they could be persuaded to change. 20% said their pick is locked in. joining us now is the chairman of priorities, usa guy cecil. >> guy, quite a few headlines coming out of here. your headline could be that elizabeth warren soars, it could also be that joe biden stalls, or that bernie sanders campaign is slumping. what was your main takeaway? >> first i think there's a lot more flexibility in this race than people give credit for.
i expect that you're going to see as many changes between the end of the year and the iowa caucus as you've seen really from january to today. the fact that only one in five caucus goers say that they're mind is made up, the fact that elizabeth warren and pete buttigieg have the highest favorable ratings of any candidate, but that candidates like cory booker also continue to see an increase in their favorability. he's one of only two people in the poll that show a net increase in his vote. so i expect you'll still see some of these candidates that haven't gotten a lot of attention potentially move up into the first tier in iowa. i think the alarm bells start ringing when you see a decline in your favorable rating among caucus goers. so for those campaigns i think they need to make some adjustments on the ground and on the air? >> who are those campaigns? who should be most concerned right now? >> i think the two that saw the net decline and favorable ratings were biden and sanders. one of the things that's most
interesting about this poll is that elizabeth warren is now getting votes both from hillary clinton and bernie sanders' caucus goers. she's building a coalition of different types of voters, and that's incredibly powerful going into the end of this year. >> the question about the idea of enthusiasm. it seems like senator warren is not just the first choice among young voters, but a lot of voters have her listed adds the second. if she's not number one she's the number two. she has more of that support than anyone else. what gives rise to her surge here to why she's attracting people and doing so so passionately which is important in iowa. >> it's really important because if a candidate doesn't get 15% their voters can enough to other candidates in the second, third, fourth round of voting. i think what you're seeing across the board is that warren and buttigieg are increase the number of second-choice voters that they're getting. you're also seeing it again with cory booker who now is fourth in the net favorable rating in this
poll. the fact of the matter is that these are the people that are running good campaigns on the ground. and this matters more in iowa and more than any where else. whenever you talk to folks in iowa, the two campaigns that they consistently say have top shelf operations are elizabeth warren and cory booker. and usually pete buttigieg is not very far behind. so these make huge differences going into the caucus. but i would just caution, you're going to see a lot of changes. if we look historically at where the iowa caucus moves, there's a lot of movement in those last couple of months. you look at the kerry race against dean. you look at what happened with barack obama against hillary clinton in 2008 with john edwards in the mix. we're going to continue to see changes in polling in the iowa caucus going into the end of this year. >> adrienne elrod has a question. adrienne. >> yeah, guy, good morning, guy, good to see you on television. question for you regarding kamala harris's campaign.
she declared over the last few days that she's moving to iowa, that she's doubling her campaign staff, that she's going to make a very aggressive push, almost an all-in effort to perform very well in iowa. do you think this is a smart strategy on her behalf, especially when you look at the some of the new polling that's come out over the last few days. do you think her going all in in iowa is a smart strategy for her campaign at this point? >> i think it is. i think the challenge for a field of this size is winning leads to winning. you have to do well at least place in the top four in iowa to be seen as viable moving into the next early contest in new hampshire, nevada, and south carolina. and so i think the harris campaign is making exactly the right choice. and frankly, you're going to see more campaigns spending more time in iowa going into the fall of this year. >> so, guy, there's growing concern among democrats, especially democratic downers
that an elizabeth warren victory in the democratic nomination fight would hurt senate candidates, might hurt house candidates in swing districts. what's your thought about the elizabeth warren campaign that you've seen evolve over the past several months. >> well, my first thought is that there's something about democrats we're genetically predisposed to concern. and think so it's just the nature of our party. i think elizabeth warren can beat donald trump. i think elizabeth warren will not be a drag on the ticket in senate races that matter the most in places like colorado, arizona, and in maine which are three of our four top pickup opportunities. i think democrats need to let this race play out and i think we need to stop underestimating the enthusiasm that elizabeth warren brings to the table. she knows why she's running. this is the thing that i think i probably repeated on this show. if you ask elizabeth warren in
30 seconds, 60 seconds, two minutes, to hours why she's running for president, she can tell you. and it's been a consistent thread in her life. and i think it's something that other campaigns have struggled with. why are you running for president? what proactive changes do you want to make? and do you have the toughness to take on donald trump? i think warren's career has demonstrated pretty clearly she's tough and that she will be relentless in her focus not just on trump, but on how we move the country forward. >> right. >> so there's always these concerns inside of a democratic primary. >> right. >> but i don't think that precludes her from winning, not only the primary but against trump. >> all right. >> let me ask michael steele really quickly. >> sure. >> michael, i noticed over the weekend republicans, some pretty conservative people started warning others to stop wishing for an elizabeth warren
nomination in part because they believe that actually elizabeth warren will do very well. i could mention their names but i -- >> right. >> you can look on twitter or in columns and see that. but there's a growing belief by many on the right that wishing for an elizabeth warren nomination actually was like hillary clinton wishing for a donald trump nomination or the carter white house throwing a celebration when ronald reagan won the republican nomination. what do you think? >> be careful what you wish for. i think to guy's point, the fascinating and i think politically important thing about the warren campaign is how disciplined and how steady she has been. starting from the very beginning when she took the broadside from the president on the pocahontas stuff, the press came after her, every question was about that. she knocked it down, she put her campaign in the context of a
presidential run. and people began to listen and follow her. so i think -- i think the better part of wisdom, joe, to your point is be a little bit smarter about what you're seeing and hearing out of the elizabeth warren campaign. every democrat in the field now is aware of that. you saw the broadside last week from pete buttigieg and her inability to ants question will the middle class have to pay for your healthcare plan. she's going to be getting some incoming now. how she handles that in the upcoming debate i think will set the final stage leading into iowa. and elizabeth right now of all the candidates, of all of them, is in the best position to not just win iowa, but begin to lockdown those critical aspects of a presidential primary that leads to the nomination. >> all right. guy cecil, thank you very much. in our next hour, we're going to speak with the long-time polster who conducted this new des
moines register survey. also, john kerry will be our guest. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." guest. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe. what does it take, to call yourself an explorer? traveling to the darkest depths of the ocean. pushing beyond the known horizon. passing through... "hey mom," "can we get fro-yo?", >>"yeah, fro-yo." "yes." the all-new 2020 ford explorer st. with intelligent 4wd and terrain management system. it's the greatest exploration vehicle of all time. full of tasty, good for you ingredients. fresh and filling. so that you too will be full of good.
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44 past the hour. live look at the white house this morning. world leaders gather at the united nations this morning and a big focus of the general assembly this week will be on addressing climate change. at the same time, president trump will be holding his own rival event in a conference room in the same u.n. complex. his, quote, historic counter programming announced just one week ago includes speaking to evangelical leaders and activists at the global call to protect religious freedom event. joining us now, editor and chief of the economist, the magazine's latest edition highlights the climate issue as new york city kicks off climate week today. >> zanni, much to talk about, but why don't we start with the rising tensions between saudi arabia and iran because this morning breaking news iran finally allowed the british
vessel it had been holding since july to be released in as "the new york times" termed it, a rare -- a rare signal from iran that it was interested in lessening of tensions between the countries. >> i think that's absolutely right, it is a rare signal, as you say. i suspect it's not coincidental. at the beginning of this week in u.n. when iran is going to be under quite a lot of pressure. but i think the biggest story is that iran and the u.s. are both in a box after this saudi attack, which was a significant escalation by iran. and i think it comes after the u.s. had sort of talked tough and not done anything on several occasions, particularly when that drone was shot down earlier this summer. and i think it shows, frankly, the failure of the maximum pressure shift after the u.s. pulled out of the nuclear deal, the jcpoa, and the ryaniairanial they have never left to lose.
if the u.s. does nothing, there's a risk of escalation. both sides, particularly the u.s., is in a tricky situation. and it's tough when you hear the trump administration suddenly talking about the importance of the united nations and alliance building. it's quite difficult to see how the u.s. gets out of this box. >> zanni, spoken for some time on this program about how iran far from being wide i'd aeyed ad radical have played their cards for a long time, a regime that's not only survived but thrived in the world's most tur mumultuous region. why would they take these saudi
facilities? because they knew that donald trump was not going to strike back and it would further make the u.s. look like a weak effective ally? >> think in some ways their backs are against the wall economically because the u.s. does have this big economic pressure. and they feel, don't forget, within iran there are different -- it's not just a monolithic place and there are the revolutionary guards and there's the more moderate elements of the regime. think the more moderate elements now actually have had the rug taken out away from them by the u.s.'s moving out of the jcpoa, out of the nuclear deal. there were people in iran saying you can't trust the americans, they renege on any deal. and since they have reneged on it, it's the hardliners who can say look, we told you so. so now they need to show, they're pushing back and i'll give the higher oil price is what they're looking for. they want instating and they're showing they can do an enormous
amount of damage in the world of drones where you can very easily it seems attack the world's major oil facilities, they have the ability to do that. for me, one of the striking things it showed just how vulnerable these facilities are. we assumed that saudi arabia, one of the world's biggest military spenders, would be able to defend its oil facilities and it seems that it couldn't. >> i think actually zanni is right here. 100% the iranians have been on the receiving end of economic warfare. this is their retaliation, physical warfare. but i do think there's a way out for the united states. clearly donald trump doesn't want to go to war. he doesn't like being criticized as simply sitting there, it's called diplomacy. the real question for this administration is whether they are going to be prepared to offer the iranians basically the old uk yar agreement plus some greater constraints. they haven't been able to do it up till now. this, to me, whether it's north carolina north korea, the same thing. we've taken them as far as they can go.
we're now seeing military force used. if donald trump didn't want to escalate, he has to de-escalate and he has to do it with a real foreign policy. >> that would be a big shift. but it requires a president who has essentially moved out of this because president obama negotiated the nuclear deal to do some of what a u-turn to go back to that. i think it would require a level of, you know, willingness to admit that the original position has been wrong. >> he could say did i something barack obama couldn't do he has a better deal. he got missiles included, he could out diplomatic obama and for trump that would be tempting. >> that would be something he finds appealing. switching gears to climate change, the president saying he will not be at the climate change event instead holding the one on religious persecution which is seeing as i nod a nod
his evangelical base. can this be effective if the united states is not involved? >> this is the countries coming together to rye to reach the goals that they set under the paris agreement. the reality is there were these goals set and we are not on track to getting them accomplished. countries have to do more. unfortunately very few countries, of the major emitters have not done enough. and the signal is how much priority the u.s. puts on this. there will be lots of efforts to make it sound as though a most gress is being ma lot of of progress is being made. yoofs i do think that that has been and we are in the midst of a big change in people's view on this, even in the united states. i was struck by a poll that came out recently, 57% of americans say climate change say major
threat up from 40% in 2013. public opinion is shifting. this administration clearly hasn't. but public opinion is shift and over time i think we will take action. but the challenges as you saw in our cover which has these warming stripes which shows how the world temperature has changed relative to an average of the 1970s to 2000, you see the picture of our color going from bluer to redder and that means hotter. it is real. the longer we wait to take action, the tougher, the bigger the damage and the tougher that action will be. it's not that, you know, the world is going to end tomorrow morning. back up there is important -- there are important things that need to be done. and i think developing some consensus in what needs to be done, we're making some progress. i'm refusing to be as pessimistic when one would think when united states fails to show put it's not going to happen overnight. >> the president is going to address the general assembly. last year he literally got
laughed at. is there still a sfrens worense wait him out on issues like climate change and others? >> i think you always have to take the united states seriously and i think it would be a biss big mistake not to take the united states seriously. you have to deal with the leadership you have. in lots of countries in the world you have leaders who are not focused on this. i think it would be a big mistake to not take the united states seriously and to wait things out. but you need to make more progress than you're making. one of the challenges we have is it's a relatively small number of countries. if you have ten of the world's big emitters coming to some kind of arrangement on what needs to be done, you make a huge amount of progress on this. you don't need 190 countries to agree on things. this is a problem that is global in scope and that's why we did our cover this week to show that it affects every aspect of life around the world.
but it can -- we can deal with it and it can be fixed and it means basically committing -- convincing people who don't care about it that they need to change the way they live. >> all right. jon meacham has a question. meacham. >> just wondering if you give us kind of an anglo-american check on the populous instincts of the hour both unfolding in london and here. to what extent do you think our allies broadly put, or allies, to what extent are they waiting out this moment and to what extent do they think it might be a new norm allege, the trump moment for us and the johnson moment for you? >> coming from london i doept don't fe don't feel i'm in any position to cast aspersion on your government versus ours. i think on both sides of the atlantic we are suffering the political consequences of what you called a populous moment.
i think our political systems are being stretched. we are pretty much in the uk to what you call a constitutional crisis. we zriedon't have a constitutio tun folds in a different way. but we're seeing a very big shake-up of an existing political structure because of a lot of deep factors. climate is one of them but it's not the technological revolution, people are feeling the foreign policy shift, the shift between the u.s. and china. there are big, big factors going on in the world that are shaking up today's political system. and it's not going to change from today to tomorrow. thinking that a new president or a new prime minister would mean that this was all over i think would be a mistake. >> all right. zanni, always great to have you on the show. we'll be reading the new issue of the economist. jon meacham, thank you as well. and we have a big lineup straight ahead open "morning joe." joining us this morning, all three of president trump's 2020
republican challengers in one joint interview. former congressman joe walsh and mark sanford and former governor william weld. plus, former secretary of state john kerry and 2020 presidential candidate cory booker. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is coming right back ♪ the amount of student loan debt i have i'm embarrassed to even say i felt like i was going to spend my whole adult life
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i want to also ask you about ukraine. the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani is publicly calling for an investigation by the ukrainian government into joe biden who is obviously a political opponent of the president. is it appropriate for the president's personal attorney to be inserting himself in foreign affairs like this? >> if there was election interference that took place by the vice president, i think the american people deserve to know. we know there was interference in the 2016 election and if it's the case that there was
something going on with the president or his family that caused a conflict of interest and vice president biden behaved in a that was inconsistent with the way the biden family acted -- i think the american people ought to know that. >> election interference. >> ooh sso you're going -- >> secretary of state mike pompeo knows that's absurd. >> right. >> you talk about somebody mixing and swirling, a conspiracy of goo together, that's what he just did. no one has ever suggested that there was any election interference in this situation. this all had to do with the fact that donald trump actually is trying to get, according to "the wall street journal," according to the "wall street journal." >> donald trump's own words to
george stephanopoulos. >> and donald trump's own words to george stephanopoulos and, of course, donald trump admitting, jonathan lemire, that eight times, eight times accord to the "wall street journal" donald trump asked ukraine to interfere in america's political process. and the fact donald trump admitted with a helicopter behind him that he had reached out to have ukraine interfere in america's presidential elections. >> this is now been widely reported by the associated press and others, the "wall street journal" has that fantastic detail during that conversation the president eight different times urged the ukrainian leader to investigate joe biden. i wanted to highlight something that richard haass and i were just talking about offset a moment ago, it's not just that the president is urging, you know, a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, he's reported by extorting with
threatening to withhold american aid, tens of millions of dollars in order to do so. >> he withheld it for several months before it eventually came through. and that's something that raises the stakes to another level. yet another not just a norm broken by this president, but something that really sort of changes how we view the office and how the united states and the white house has relationships with its allies on adversaries overseas. >> along with the apson that lemire,
we have the president of the council on foreign relations richard haass. former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele. msnbc contributor marc mike barnicle joins us and former aid to the white house and state department e-lee elise jord zblan congress been pressuring donald trump to advance that aid to the
ukrainians because obviously vladimir putin continues his threats of further invasion after invading their country already. but explain how the president continued to hold up aid to ukraine at the same time eight times he was pressuring the ukrainian president to interfere in america's political process. >> just a few seconds of background here. after ukraine was invaded first in cry mimea, the government lod at it and decided they weren't going
to supply aid, so they sanctioned russia. this administration, correctly after some consideration, i would argue, provided defensive arms. and a chunk of them went to ukraine early on. then there were repeated efforts because the russians keep amping it up, not other they not
letting go of crimea, but they're going into the eastern reenls of ukraine. every day people are getting killed there and the fighting is going on. ukraine kept asking for more help. what happened over the last six or eight months, defense department, ukraine negotiated, it had been approved. and then 150, $200 billion of aid was held up. it finally got released around ten days ago with all sorts of pressure from democrats and republicans in congress. but the question is, why was it held up at all when the physical -- the military need for it was manifest? and that seems to me that he needs to be looked at. and the real question is, was aid being used to pressure zelenskiy, the new democratically elected president of ukraine, was typical used to get him to do what the president wanted on these investigations? >> that ought to be the focus of what congress looks at. >> that's what sources have been
telling me for months now. >> we actually heard about it in early august, that someone who was very involved in this region said you need to look into a story where donald trump is actually holding up aid to the ukrainians until they dig up dirt on biden. it was written about in had the financial times. it was editoralized in the "washington post." and then of course then after that pressure donald trump releases the aid. >> we're going to get into a lot more about this, but we want to let you know what's coming up. on the 2020 front we'll be speaking with long time pollster who's company conducted the big des moines register poll that showed a big shake-up in the iowa race. and senator cory booker will be our guest on the heels of addressing a dire plea to his supporters. a little later in the hour we'll bring in john kerry. but first more details on president trump admitting that he discussed former vice
president joe biden on a phone call with the president of the ukraine. admission only came after "the wall street journal" and other news outlets reported that trump repeatedly pressed the ukrainian leader to investigate the business dealings of the former vice president's son hunter. "the wall street journal" puts that number at eight times. >> eight times. >> this is according to "wall street journal." >> again, is donald trump going to call "the wall street journal" fake news? is he going to call fox news fake news? who both punched holes in his administration and rudy giuliani and their lies this weekend? is he going to call rupert murdoch's "wall street journal" fake news? again, for reporting that donald trump pressured the ukrainian president eight times to interfere in american politics. >> the president deflected questions of whether he inappropriately enlisted a foreign government to help dig
up dirt on a political rival and, instead, tried to shift the skr scrutiny to bide zbln. >> the conversation i had was largely congat laer to, corruption, all the corruption taking place. largely in fact that we don't want our people like vice president biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the ukraine. >> i'm not looking to hurt him with respect to his son. joe's got a lot of problems, joe's the good enough problems without that. but what he said was a terrible thing and he really made it a -- it was an offer. it was beyond an offer. it was something where he said, i'm not going to give billions of dollars to ukraine unless they remove this prosecutor. >> what the president is referring to was biden's role in cracking down on corruption in ukraine, including calling for the removal of ukraine's general
prosecutor who, at the time, was also investigating a natural gas company whose board included hunter biden. >> except, according to everyone at the time, he was not -- this prosecutor was not investigating that company or other companies aggressively enough. >> "the wall street journal" reports that the prosecutor, quote, had dragged his feet on those investigations. western diplomats said. and effectively squashd one in lond i do london by failing to cooperate with authorities. ukraine's government was slow to fire the prosecutor despite warnings from the international monetary fund and others that western aid to the country would be cut off if it didn't act. >> elise jordan, eight times the commander and chief reached out to the president of ukraine who was fighting a war with vladimir putin who had invaded crimea and
as richard haass said, invaded -- further invaded eastern parts of that country and posed a continuing and growing threat to ukraine. congress authorized weapon sales to protect ukraine and then donald trump refused to forward those weapon sales to ukraine while, according to the financial times and "the washington post," he was tying those weapon sales with ukraine's digging up dirt in zelenskiy, the president of ukraine, him digging up dirt on a domestic political rival. and, i mean, don't you find that number from "the wall street journal" that not only did it one time, eight times according to the "wall street journal." eight times. he leaned on the president on
ukraine who was in the middle of a war with vladimir putin to investigate his rival while he was not forwarding arms to that country to the leader to protect himself from vladimir putin. if that's not extortion, i just don't know what is. >> joe, and the day after robert mueller testified, donald trump has this phone conversation with the ukrainian president in the could be dismissed, perhaps, by donald trump supporters as yet another campaign act. this is a campaign finance violation, nothing happened surely the last time when the stormy daniels episode the month before the election in 2016. why this is bigger, i think, though, is it goes to the fundamental question of donald
trump's entire motivations as the u.s. president. is he commander and chief to protect the american national interests or is he commander and chief protecting donald trump's interests? and what this unseenly, unfortunate episode shows us is yet another example of donald trump using the might and the money of u.s. foreign policy for his own personal benefit. and this is just one example that in the years to come we are going to be able to really dissect his interactions with so many foreign regimes, and especially authoritarian leaders and get to the real heart of donald trump's corruption. >> perfectly put questions on why this matters. and joining us now for more on that, former acting u.s. solicitor and now msnbc legal contributor, neil. he's coauthor of a new piece in the "washington post" entitled
trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment, but the ukraine allegations are over the top. neil, are they? i mean, at this point there are crucial questions as to high this matters. if you could lay them out for us. >> yeah, i think this is more significant than, for example, the whole did trump conspire with russian in 2016 question for two reasons. one is that here you've got the actions are alleged to be the president as president taking them withholding eight that congress has appropriated in the national interests toward ukraine. and here the president is advancing his personal agenda as president using the exercise of his foreign policy powers as president. that's different than some candidate in 2016 allegedly conspiring with russia. and the second is the timing. here the president is saying, i don't have to turn over this information to congress in the teeth of a law that's been around for a long time that says
when a whistleblower comes forward with a serious, credible complaint you've got to. he's not even turning it over. he's trying to stymie the investigation at the get go. and that's, again, unlike russia where you did ultimately have the mueller report. and so those two things taken together make this a really different and a much more serious allegation of the abuse of public trust. and that's why i think there will be undoubtedly a call -- a serious call for impeachment this week. >> so, neil, let's get to that aforementioned law that you just mentioned. the ig gets report, he sends it to dni and under the law the dni is supposed to send it to the house intelligence committee. but instead he refers it to the justice department, the justice department comes back and says, no, no, you don't have to do it under the current law. what's going on in the justice department and their interpretation of this law? what's your interpretation? >> yeah, so the law's very clear. it literally says that the inspector general shall furnish
this information to congress if it's urgent and serious. there's no discretion. congress used that word on purpose because, you know, whistleblower allegations are very sensitive and so it has to be handled in a particular way. here the law said it's got to be given to the intelligence committees. and what trump did or trump's -- by the way, this is trump's own inspector general. this is his guy he appointed. and that inspector general said, whoa, this is really serious and urgent and has to be turned over to congress. what they then did was interpose what used to be an elite part of the justice department, the office of legal counsel, which act as a kind of a judge for internal executive branch disputes. and those folks for years have been since trump has gotten into office have just been allowing the president do whatever he wants and saying things like he can't be indicted and, you know, there's all sorts of presidential pererogatives, you can't commit obstruction of
justice, all kinds of ludicrous things. and here's another one. the law says shall? well, the president doesn't have to do it. and fingerprint they take that hin interpretation, joe, that's why i think this is going to result ultimately in a serious call for impeachment. because what they are saying is we don't even have to bother following a law of congress to protect whistle blowers and get information to the intelligence committees in the isn't like a law that says all of congress has got to see it, but just the intelligence committee. and trump's defense here is biden did stuff that's wrong. look, i was in two different tours in the justice department. the idea that if we thought that there was a serious allegation of someone in the government conspiring or something like that or engaged in corruption that we would send rudy giuliani to go and investigate that and try to drum up information is laughable. there's no way in the world you'd send the president's private attorney to go carry out official u.s. government
business to try to root out corruption and figure out who in the united states government did something wrong. it's just not plausible. >> neil, it's jonathan lemire. you've established the wrongdoing by the president himself and the phone call and how he's using the government behind him to support it. my question, though, is what can is congress's recourse? what can they do to force the issue in the interim? >> well, they can do one other thing. since that november 2018 they control the house of representatives. and the house of representatives is essential for, for example, doj funding. funding for the office of legal counsel. funding for the attorney general's office. they can do all -- and funding for the intelligence community. they can selectively cut and say, look, we're not going to affirmatively reup parts of the budget because you're engaged in lawless, unconstitutional behavior and a cover-up of it.
i think they've got some tools, and this is what we wrote in the "washington post," this is the case for impeachment in the is what the founders put it in for, for abuse of the public trust. that phrase high crimes and merchandise misdemeanors is all about a president who puts his personal interests above the interests of the american people. i'm not saying that necessarily happened here because we don't have all the facts, but it's sure looking that way with every new revelation, particularly the one joe points out, "the wall street journal" eight separate times the president has been pressuring ukraine do this. >> neil, thank you very much. we'll be reading the piece that you cowrote with george conway in "the washington post." now to senator elizabeth warren and former vice president joe biden in a statistical tie in iowa. according to the latest des moines register, warn now leads the democratic field by two points at 22%. she is now up seven points among
iowa's democratic caucus goers since june. biden follows closely behind at 20%, down three points. vermont senator bernie sanders sits in third place down five points since the beginning of the summer. warren also leads biden among voter enthusiasm with 32% of voters in iowa extremely enthusiastic about her campaign. 63% of democratic caucus goers in iowa said while they have made their first choice, they could be persuaded to change. 20% said their pick is locked in. meanwhile, among those who caucused for sanders in 2016, only 25% said they planned on doing so again next year. 32% said they would be changing their votes to warren, 12% said they would choose mayor pete buttigieg. and as for what does electability look like to democrats in iowa, 74% said the ability to excite new voters to show up and vote.
63% said to find common ground with republicans. 57% said it was important to represent a new generation of leadership. and 54% said they wanted a candidate who will take the high road against president trump. joining us now, long time pollster, anne seltzer. >> we've seen all the headlines from the poll, we've seen elizabeth warren doing extremely well and joe biden in a holding pattern while bernie sanders drops. why don't you take us inside of the poll. what were some of the surprises to you when you got the results back or what are some of the things that you think our viewers would be interested in this morning? >> well think there there are three points worth making, joe. i mean, one is this is clearly elizabeth warren rising. not only is she up in the horse race, but her favorable numbers have risen and she's she has a
very strong 40%. all of those are numbers who that have risen. our june poll, we have a metric we've created called the footprint which is first choice plus secretary choice plus are you actively considering this morning. and her number was even with joe biden in june, even though he had a substantial lead. the second point would be that biden is pretty much holding on to his numbers except really underneath we thought he was shaky in june and you're starting to see those shakes fall down a bit. his -- his favorability numbers were just stellar when we measured him in december and march. and march was really a siren song to joe biden to come, get into the race, which did he. but now those numbers are falling a bit. his footprint number has stayed
even while warren's has risen. her footprint now is 71. joe biden's is 60. so 71% of likely iowa caucus goers are actively considering elizabeth warren. and then the third i think you're really seeing a fading bernie sanders. and for some of the reasons that you already said. he is eeking out a double digit standing in the horse race where he formerly was a stronger contender and he's not holding up the plurality of people who stood up for him in 60. and it was once said once a bernie supporter always a bernie supporter, we're seeing that not so much. >> michael steele. >> a quick question for you. i really appreciate this poll because it affirms for me what i have said for a long, long time relative to national polling. that, you know, these candidates are not running races in
california, new mexico, florida, new york right now. they're running in four states principally two states. in your poll i think proves the point that the national polls may say something about, you know, name i.d. and level of favorability. but the boots on the ground organization, the willness and the competitiveness of a campaign to get into the fight is what you're seeing right now through this poll. how do you -- is this poll -- your polling right now a leading indicator for what may come? or does it just isolate wa? iowa? do you think this tells us what's beginning to take place in nevada, south carolina, and potentially new hampshire? >> well, we know what happens here on caucus night is very influential. we know -- less influential with what happens in new hampshire,
but extremely influential with what happens down the line, particularly south carolina. in terms of the way that the campaigns are playing out, i think they learn from iowa. they figure out what works here and then begin implementing it elsewhere. so what our poll is reflecting is where the campaigns have been significant. so i think, michael steele, that that's what you're asking. but i'm going to say it plays out a little bit differently. it plays out in what the campaigns learn from what they're seeing in our poll and how they move that forward. >> so, ann, on the biden slippage, is it lack of excitement? is it his age? is it lack of policy specifics? how fluid are these numbers? did elizabeth warren just manage to win the summer? >> well, a little bit of all of that, except that elizabeth warren's numbers don't show too much of a shakiness underneath.
joe biden's numbers have never shown much enthusiasm. and that is also true to a certain extent for elizabeth warren. there's a group who say they're extremely enthusiastic. but if you look at the supporters of bernie sanders and pete buttigieg, for each of those candidates, small groups, but it's almost half of their supporters who have described themselves as extremely enthusiastic. so what you have here is biden just kind of seeming not to wear well over time. there was that wish to get him in the race and now that he's there, now that he's carrying on it's just more people are unfavorable to him. those numbers are growing. and i don't know that he ever would have expected that. >> all right. thank you so much. let's bring in now democratic presidential candidates senator cory booker of new jersey. his campaign revealed over the
weekend that it must raise nearly $2 million by next monday in order to remain viable in the 2020 race. so, cory, what's your pitch? how are you going to do that? >> well, it's already been the best two fundraising days of our campaign so far. well over 10,000 people have responded to this challenge that we got in this race not for exer sizi exercising or vanity project where are we got in to win. the two most respected campaigns on the ground are mine and elizabeth waurns arren's. we have more endorsements than any other candidates. we have built a campaign to win, but we wanted to be honest with people. the fourth quarter is when you grow. if we don't have the money to grow we are not going to be able to stay competitive. in my opinion, i don't want to stick around if i'm not in it to win it. so we now the challenge nearly $2 million for us to stay in this race. and so far the momentum, the
surge, even when i was out at the iowa state fair i had people wearing other candidates shirts saying you need to be in this race, we need your voice on this stage and they've contributed. so we've got still a little bit of a hill to climb. if people want me in this race, go to corybooker.com and help us make sure we're in position to win in the new year. >> senator, we've been saying for some time around the sthaet you've been running a really good, a really strong campaign. are you frustrated, you see one poll after another and there seem to be three candidates in the race that have a lot of name id that continue to crowd everybody else out. how frustrating is that considering that you seem to be what we call, you know, doing the blocking and tackling, right? you're doing the basics right. you're inspiring people out on the stump. how frustrating is it that it still seems to be a contest of
three people with the highest name identification? >> well, that's what you'd expect this far out. i don't 20to win the fall of 19. and we have never in my lifetime ever had a person go on from the democratic party to become president who's leading in the polls this far out. we elect people like jimmy cart, he bill clinton, barack obama who were these inspiring young leaders who were doing terribly in the polls this far out. but we're doing the right things on the ground. and that's why we're putting this money challenge out. because we know when we talk to kerry's campaign polling at 4% and wins in iowa. obama this day was 15, 20 points behind hillary clinton. all of those campaigns told us build the organization on the ground and you have the inspiring energy and message to be in there to win this campaign. so we just had to give a lot of honesty this week and say, so far we've been able to build that kind of campaign, it's been noted by everybody, local press in iowa. but we don't have the capacity
to continue towards victory unless we raise about $2 million before the end of this quarter. >> so senator booker, my wife and i have seven children, a couple of grandchildren, my wife and i, we obviously have a shelf life. i'm concerned about our grandchildren. >> yes. >> why should i send you a hundred dollars or a million dollars? what are you going to do for them? >> well, first and foremost we desperately need a leader in america that can unite the democratic party. we win when we have movement like elections. not trying an gu lagt ones just to beat donald trump. donald trump is the floor, it's not the sooelg ceilinceiling. i want to unite americans to the common cause to deal with those problems that the future really is starring at from climate change to just an economy that doesn't work like it did for my parents. 90% of baby boomers did better economically than their parents. for millennials it's down to
50/50 now. we've got have a healing in this country and understand that the lines that divide us, that this president preys upon or in no way near as strong that the ties that bind us. i want to be a leader that brings this country to new american majorities like kennedy did to help us beat the russians with just put up sputnik and go further and farther than them. like generations of a civil right movement did that were able to take down jim crow. it wasn't cast in a partisan way. that's why i'm in this race. that's when the mission of my life to turn around a city to the only senator it can brag with dick durbin that pulled together the kind of bipartisan cotlation passed major legislation under this president which was criminal justice reform. that's what we need in a leader. >> there's another poll i wanted to ask you about the voters that know you best is the poll of new jersey residents who majority of them say they do not want you and they do not think you would be a good president. on that are the issue of new jersey, there's been so much
written and said about the water crisis in flint, michigan. far less about the one in newark, new jersey. what responsibility do you have as a mayor of this city and then senator for not fixing this? >> first of all, i'm the senator of new jersey, i take responsibility. so talking about bipartisan legislation, two weeks ago it wasn't really reported but i passed a major bipartisan bill through the united states senate, wrote one to release significant resources specifically for newark, new jersey, but it will help states all across this country that are having a lead crisis. that's a leader taking responsibility and getting things down in a broken washington. more than this, you're right. these lead pipes under the ground or poisoning many cities. there are 3,000 jurisdictions in america where children have more than twice the blood lead levels of flint, michigan. that's why a lot of climate plan's out there. but mine is one of the few that has a major pillar on environmental injustice. i travel all over this country from a place in louisiana that
you could just google cancer ally and people know where that is. chemical companies poison them to up in the mountains alabama. we have a massive problem that in america people don't have access to clean water and clean air. so this is an urgency for me, it's been since i've been mayor of the city of newark dealing with led crises when i was mayor. it's been one since ways in the united states senate, founded the environmental justice caucus because things have been taken for grant and it has to change. that's why i'm running for president. we need a president that's going to stand you and have the words that we say, liberty and justice for all, we swear that oath, just the liberty of knowing when you turn on your faucet you'll have clean water. millions of americans don't have that. i'm going to say that. >> general assembly meeting this week. iran making news this morning releasing a british tanker they've been holding since july. i'm curious if you were president of the united states what would you say to the general assembly about iran and
their recent attacks against saudi oil fields and what would you say the united states response would be to those attacks if you were speaking in front of the u.n. this week? >> we have a president that's turned his back on the community of nations. his america first policy is really more an america isolated policy. and we've been ice lasolating ourselves from the world. we're the strongest nation on the planet earth but our strength is multiplied and magnified when we stand with those who have common cause with this country, especially our western allies. i tell you right now, we see this president who has pulled out of the paris climate accords and said to the rest of the planet, hey, we're not in with you on this, every other nation is. on the iran noouclear deal, we' isolating and tufrmbling towards greater potential conflict. if that happens we're not going to have our allies necessarily
standing with us. unone of t one of the things i'm going to do is reconnect and restrengthen our allies. >> i'm asking specifically this week if you're in front of the u.n. general assembly this week, specifically what would you say about iran's attacks against saudi oil fields and what would you tell the u.n. general assembly, the united states' response to those attacks would be? >> iran sais a dangerous bad acr in that region from yemen to their attacks in saudi arabia, their actions are unacceptable and weapon need to need to be together do something about it. but the conflict and tension we're seeing right now say direct result of not just the iranians, but changes in american policies that are causing more tension and problems in that region. this is donald trump's crisis. and he has not done the right diplomatic things necessary to make sure we avoid this crisis.
and there are still diplomatic lanes available. but, again, this is a president that has better relationships with dictators like putin or duarte than he does with our credit the cal allows like macron and merkel. >> would you tell the u.n. general assembly you could pursue diplomat ib means to this crisis? would you take a military response off the table? >> i would never take a military response off the table. but you use this great nation's mill stare strength to create the continuestor diplomacy. this president has not done that. he's actually violated our constitution by taking military actions without the authorization from congress. so this is a president who is pushing us into crisis, not just in that region but in this country's security as well and violating the contusion along
t constitution along the way. we're more isolated since he took office. >> people want to help you out, they want to learn more, where do they go. >> this is the week, our is back against the wall. go to corybooker.com. help us and keep helping us stay this this election, keep my voice on that stage and win in iowa. >> senator cory booker, thank you very much. >> thank you all i have much. >> still ahead on "morning joe," our next guests can speak to our stories. john kerry won the caucus in 2004 and dealt with u.s. foreign policy of ukraine. former secretary of state and diplomat joins us straight ahead on "morning joe." state and diplomat joins us straight ahead on "morning joe. s hiv, fights cancer, repairs shattered bones, relieves depression, restores heart rhythms, helps you back from strokes, and keeps you healthy your whole life.
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beautiful shot of new york city. 40 past the hour. u.n. general assembly meets this week in new york city and it comes just days after the trump administration announced it is deploying military forces to the middle east after recent attacks on saudi arabian oil sites and facilities. joining us now former u.s. secretary of state under president obama john kerry.
great have you back on the show. >> thank you. >> obviously a big week this week in new york with the u.n. general assembly. a lot going on in the middle east with iran's alleged attacks against the saudi oil facilities, netanyahu apparently shaken from power in israel. what are your concerns as we go into this week, especially as it pertains to the ongoing unrest in the middle east? >> well, my concerns are with whether adults are going to show dund what they immediate to be doing in terms of diplomacy to pull back from the brink and to avoid the real potential of if not accidental war of the war of choice. this is unnecessary. what is happening right now is completely unnecessary. it is happening in a foreseeable and foreseen manner because we said if you don't deal with iran's nuclear program and deal
properly with the other issues in a diplomatic channel, you are going to have confrontation. people didn't take that that seriously a number of years ago when we said it. we still got the agreement, but now it's real. it's very real. >> and what should our stance be with saudi arabia? obviously they've been a key strategic ally for decades. there are, of course, some serious concerns with leadership there. serious concerns about the ongoing war in yemen. but, again, they are our allies. how do we address this crisis looking at saudi arabia? looking at iran? looking at american interests across that region? >> well, good diplomacy is helping people sometimes to understand their own interests. and i think that in this case russia has real interests in seeking an end to the war in
yemen. actually iran could play a role in that if we had the proper diplomacy and efforts going. i believe that there is a way to resolve the question of iran itself and its nuclear program and the security issues of the region. but you need a strategy that's prepared to open up the possibilities of diplomacy. if you are as the administration is right now saying here are the 12 things you have to do and there's no real incentive that deals with the lack of credibility the administration now has because they're the ones who broke the deal, this was extremely difficult for rouhani to come to the table, the irgc and hardliners and iran didn't want this deal. that should tell you something about the effectiveness of the deal. but the hardliners create a politics for iran that this administration is not dealing with in any way. right now, because the supreme leader went way out on the limb allowing rouhani to negotiate this agreetment, he was told
again and again don't negotiate with the united states, the great satan, they'll burn you. guess what? donald trump came along and burned them. the deal was working, our allies are for it, they're still for it, and there's been no effort to bring our allies to the table in a way that we show iran what is possible here. and what the administration is willing to do in terms of sarchsarch sanctions or otherwise if we move forward. southern less something happens to change that equation, there won't be the kind of meetings that ought to take place. i think the administration ought to use our allies to greater effect here to open up a channel of communication, create a regional dialogue and begin to put on the table something real for what the positive outcome can be. because, iran has no reason to trust anything that donald trump says. for that matter, most americans don't either. >> well, and with that i'd like to move to the ukraine story.
i'd love to get your reaction and what the crucial questions that come to your mind when you hear about the "wall street journal" reporting that the president reached out to the leader of ukraine potentially eight times -- we don't know the exact wording of these conversations yet -- >> but it was to interfere, to speak with rudy giuliani on this investigation. >> what's your reaction, mr. secretary? >> well, mika, my reaction is one of absolute shock and that apparently within hours of the -- or days of the mueller testimony the president is on the telephone putting american foreign policy in hock while he extorts the leader of another country to russia's advantage, i might add. here's another interest of the president putting the heat on the country we're trying to help resist russia and he turns around and says i'm going to take your aid away unless you
become the opposition research center for my campaign for president of the united states. that is a fundamental, profound abuse of power, there's no other way to put it. and the president said yesterday, oh, we had a beautiful conversation. mr. president, show america what that beautiful conversation was. let us see how beautiful it really was. let us know whether eight times you turned around and tried to extort from the president your campaign opposition research. and, by the way, it's "the wall street journal" that printed this story. it will be the first time i've ever heard "the wall street journal" called fake news by a republican president of the united states. >> can we come back to the iran situation for a second? you're talking about giving iran some insenti some incentive. would you argue to the administration or democratic candidate that we ought to go
back into the twi2015 agreement has too much time passed and the goal post as moved. we would be willing to release sanctions but only after we have an agreement on missiles? >> i think we're at a point here, richard, where there is time that has passed and the situation in the middle east is fluid and it has changed. we always intended, it was our intention to first take the nuclear potential off the table. but we always intended to pursue the follow-on agreement. and that yemen, hezbollah, getting an agreement in the region so you don't have iran on a daily threat to israel. you have to do with the missiles that are a raid in lebanon through israel. all of those are -- you know, meddling in other countries, by the way, other countries in the
region are meddling in other countries. so there has to be a coming together of a reality check for this region. this is the single least integrated economic region in the world. single least security integrated region in the world. and that has gone on year after year after year. what is being missed in the middle east in terms of economic growth, development, the potential for a peaceful future is shocking. i believe there are leaders there who are prepared to come together around a genuine strategy that lays out a vision for what the upside should be. and i believe with respect to iran that -- that there is a way -- i'm convinced of this. iran is prepared to negotiate on those other items. but you've got to first prove you're bona fideties that you're going to negotiate in good faith. they came to this table
reluctantly, they didn't trust the process. we built that up over years of work, hours of negotiations. we got to a place where we eliminated the nuclear threat. didn't mean they might not decide in the future to try to break out, but we would know it. and every military option available to us today would be available to us then. so we didn't lose anything in creating this. donald trump lost it. he turned away from our allies, he turned away from russia, china, france, germany, britain who are still in this agreement. and now i believe the ground is ripe to find a way to come back to the fundamentals of the agreement, perhaps a few changes, but more profoundly to wrap it into a larger integrated regional security arrangement for the middle east. that's where we ought to go. and this could be -- if you exercise and execute that diplomacy, this could be a big moment for the region. but also it can be a very
negative moment. >> you know, i have a question within a question, and the first question before we wrap the other question in is we opened this segment that we opened today this hour the clip asked about the whole thing going on with the ukraine and president trump. and he basically said it's on joe biden because he tried to do something ridiculously corrupt with ukraine when he was vice president. so my question about that is you served in the senate for a couple of decades. why do you think so many people, republicans in the senate and the house sell their soul to this man, donald trump? what happens there? and then on an entirely different subject, but maybe not, the national security implications of climate change. >> i'm really sad what has happened to the united states senate.
there are always political considerations and complications, but never have i seen people talk privately and acknowledge that they know this is wrong, that they know there is a lack of balance in this presidency. it's a polite way of putting it. yet, they don't do anything about it. and the reason is there is a fear, a fear of primaries, a fear of the president himself churning up his base and the base somehow are going to pay the price for that. we don't sooet states people necessary. i remember president kennedy said there is a reason it was a thin book. there weren't a lot of profiles. right now, there are none on the republican side. there were a few, and the other colleagues now see what happened to them. this isn't hard to figure out. it's pretty basic politics. but the united states senate is
not supposed to be the prisoner of basic politics. that's what our founding fathers designed it to be is something bigger, better. that's why you have a six-year term and different rules of debate and the possibilities of buildish coalitions and being the check against the passions of the day. that's what our founding fathers put together. that is not being honored in any way whatsoever right now. >> what should the democratic leadership do? because it seems pretty obvious that donald trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses. what would you prescribe? >> i think the most important thing right now is to have the investigation and get the facts. don't jump to the conclusion ahead of time. but it's absolutely appropriate that they thoroughly investigate and layout this mosaic of
remarkable events that have taken place. i think this most recent thing with ukraine is quite extraordinary. and back when richard nixon abused power, republicans joined in holding him accountable for it. we need to see the institutions of our country stand up here. americans rely on that. our nation's democracy right now is generally troubled. it's troubled because the amount of money in american politics. it's troubled because of gerrymandering which deprives of a legitimate general election in our nation. we're not getting budgets passed. we don't have a regular order. we need to get back to it, but it takes leadership to do that. i think that it is appropriate to investigate. there is no between what donald trump did and the fact that our
administration at the direction of the president and with the professionals in the state department making the calls saying we need to get the corruption out of ukraine. and it was the full administration's policy to want that prosecutor out of there. that was not an individual choice by biden. the phone call made by the president of the united states was an individual choice and completely outside the realm of decency and appropriateness for president. >> so you have continued to lead on climate, continue to go across the world talking about the need for america to not only get re-engaged in paris, but also you've encouraged other countries to exceed those minimal requirements. this week, obviously, where so much focus has been on the climate and going to be at the climate on the u.n., you are actually going to be talking about a new climate initiative
that you're going to be heading up. tell us about it. >> thank you for asking that. and i hope in the next weeks when we really roll it out in full, i can come back with a team of people who will be involved. it's a very exciting idea. we lack political accountability with respect to climate. even if we did everything we set out to do in paris, if every nation lived up to the paris agreement, we would be at 3.7 degrees of warming. and it's not because anybody was deceived by paris. what we did in paris was excite the market place with a signal that 196 countries would try to move in the same direction. the problem is nobody is. they went up here in america, europe, china. the people are supposed to be leading. kids are out in the streets of the world saying this is our world. this is our future. and you guys aren't getting the
job done. guess what, we're not. the world is not getting the job done. and the results are we're going to have massive dislocation of human beings coming out as part of the reason we have people coming across the border from central america is climate change. they can't farm. they can't feed themselves. if you think we see a problem today, wait until you see what happens if we don't respond adequately. what is so confounding about this moment is that the american people are being lied to about this. today there will be a major meeting at the united nations. nations will come together to talk about climate change. the president of the united states is skipping that meeting. the president of the united states is saying that climate change is a chinese hoax, when the best scientists in the world are telling us you guys have about ten years now to get this
together so we are reducing emissions and building a zero emissions economy by at least 2050. the tragedy of this is there are millions of jobs to be created in doing this. this is a job winner, not a job loser as people are being told. this is an incredible opportunity for better health, reduce the particulates in the air, reduce the cancer. reduce the number of children -- the greatest cause of children being hospitalized in the summer is environmentally induced asthma. if we attack this and do what is necessary, we'll create jobs. we'll have better health. we'll have better national security. we have admirals telling people we have to get this done. so world war zero. go to worldwarzero.com. it will take on the deniers and the delayers and distorters. and we're going to try to create
political accountability in this country again, the kind that brought us the clean air act, the epa, safe drinking water all of which came out of citizen activity. the american people need to rise up and reclaim the future. >> so mr. secretary before you go, of course, we won't put you in the position of talking about the other democratic candidates. some might ask, why wouldn't you run for president of the united states? >> because i'm doing what i'm doing right now. how's that? >> pretty good. >> john kerry. >> when you come back to do the full launch, we'll follow-up. more to come. >> thank you very much for being on. >> thanks a lot. good to be with you. >> great to have you here. still ahead, a joint interview with all three of the president's republican primary challengers. former congressman joe walsh and
mark sanford. >> they're talking about the republican party canceling elections. talk about undemocratic. morning joe back in two minutes. . morning joe back in two minutes. . otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you.
the conversation, by the way, was absolutely perfect. it was a beautiful, warm, nice conversation. >> why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader. >> what you have to do is look at the corruption on the democrats side. >> everybody looked at this and everybody looked at it and said there is nothing there. >> this is a very dishonest thing that joe biden did. >> he is using abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me. >> i'm not even looking to hurt him. he needs all the help he can get. >> trump is doing this, but he knows i'll beat him like a drum. >> we begin the week at a remarkable point in american politics. the white house trying to hamper congress by silencing a whistleblower who warned of presidential misconduct. as the washington post claimed it trump's sense of himself as above the law has been
reinforced throughout his time in office. as detailed in the mueller report he received help from a foreign adversary without legal consequence. he sought to thwart the russia investigation without consequence. through the government, he has earned profits for his businesses without consequence. he has blocked congress's ability to conduct oversight without consequence. this morning, we talked to all three of the president's republican choolge e challenger 2020 interview. >> they're coming on specifically to talk about an op-ed they had about donald trump, of course, rigging the republican nomination by having states cancel their primary contest sglz new polling that shows a major shakeup in the democrats' race for president. iowa, meet elizabeth warren. i think they already have. good morning and welcome to
morning joe. it's monday, september 23. with us, we have white house reporter for the the associated press. president of the council on foreign relations and author of the book "a world in disarray" richard hoss. and msnbc analyst michael steel. former chief of staff for hillary clinton's presidential campaign, adrian elrod. and historian, author of "soul of america" john meacham. heez rn an nbc news and msnbc contributor. we begin with president trump admitting he discussed former vice president joe biden on a phone call with the president of ukraine. the admission came after the wall street journal reported that trump repeatedly pressed
the ukrainian leader to investigate the business dealings of the former vice president's son, hunter. the journal puts that number at eight times. >> so it says that eight times, eight times the president of the united states got on the phone and as the wall street journal said specifically pressured the leader of ukraine to deal with his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on joe biden and his family. >> the president deflected questions. and instead tried to shift the scrutiny to biden. >> the conversation i had was largely congratulatory and largely all the corruption taking place, largely the fact that we don't want our people like vice president biden and his son creating to the
corruption already in the ukraine. i'm not looking to hurt him with respect to his son. joe's got a lot of problems. joe's got enough problems without that. but what he said was a terrible thing. you know, he really made it a -- it was an offer. it was beyond an offer. it was something where he said i'm not going to give billions of dollars to ukraine unless they remove this prosecutor. >> what the president is referring to is biden's role in cracking down on corruption in ukraine including calling for the removal of ukraine's general prosecutor who at the time was also investigating a natural gas company whose board included hunter biden. >> one of the bigger problems is that western leaders all across, they actually didn't think the prosecutor was investigating corruption hard enough. and that in fact he was a
hindrance to anticorruption efforts there, including the investigation of this company that biden's son was associated with. >> he was just one of many diplomats to call for the prosecutor to be fired. here is biden recounting the time he threatened to with hold a billion dollars in american loan guarantees if ukraine did not take action. >> i guess the 12th, 13th time and i was supposed to announce that there is another billion dollar loan guarantee. i had gotten a commitment that they would take action against the state prosecutor, and they didn't. so they said -- i said we're not going to give you the billion dollars. they said you have no authority. you're not the president. i said call him. i said i'm telling you, you're not getting a billion dollars. i'm going to be leaving here in
six hours. if the prosecutor is not fired you're not getting the money. >> earlier this year, ukraine's then prosecutor told bloomberg news that it found no evidence of wrong doing by biden or his son. >> they are still, in fact, saying that and basically saying that donald trump and rudy giuliani and everybody else is lying about this. again, in fact, the prosecutor that was fired actually did not press hard enough on any of the companies that should have been investigated again including the one associated with biden's son. >> the wall street journal goes on to explain in detail how the former vice president led anti-corruption efforts in ukraine. thf journal reports that soon after russia invaded the country in 2014 and annexed crimea,
around the same time biden's son hunter took a board position with a ukrainian natural gas extraction company. the white house said at the time there was nothing wrong with hunter biden's work and that it didn't create a conflict of interest since he was a private person. president trump and his lawyer rudy giuliani have suggested that biden pushed for the firing of ukraine's general prosecutor to halt an investigation into it. >> that's a lie because the journal reports that the prosecutor had actually quote dragged his feet on those investigations and effectively squashed one in london by failing to cooperate with u.k. authorities. >> the paper continues, ukraine's government was slow to fire the prosecutor despite warnings from the international monetary fund and others that western aid to the country would be cut off if it didn't act.
yesterday on fox news, giuliani was pressed on whether it was appropriate for president trump to press ukraine to investigate the former vice president and his son. >> do you know what i found out about joe biden? do you know what i found my colleague snz they're going to cover it up. i have a nice straight case of ukrainian collusion. the minute i say biden, the washington press corps will go nuts. they have been covering it up for years. >> now you're -- >> i'm straying into what is wrong with us today. >> we need to point out that the prosecutor who was appointed resurrected, re-animated the case and found that hunter biden was paid millions of dollars, but said that the board was able to pay a board member whatever they wanted, and he doesn't see anything wrong with that.
>> if you did any work, you would find out he is the prosecutor that biden put in. >> one other point to make here. >> i won't answer another question unless i finish. these are important things that have been covered up for years to protect slimy joe. >> here we are. you actually have rupert murdoch's wall street journal putting out a fact check that says anything rudy giuliani is saying is a lie. and then you have fox news, rupert murdoch's fox news showing that what rudy giuliani is saying is a lie. john roberts even started working at fox news because it was so embar asing how much rudy giuliani is making a fool of himself. his only response at the end was to call him slimy joe, because he was making such an ass of himself. so it's very telling that you
have the wall street journal and fox news calling out these lies. and you werer actually there when biden was at the council of foreign relations explaining how the entire western world was saying this prosecutor had to get fired because nobody was going to loan ukraine money if they didn't start cleaning up corruption. explain that. >> this prosecutor was part of a much larger problem under the previous regime. ukraine was notorious for being -- there were systematic institutional corruption. they refused to create an independent anticorruption court. and the prosecutors they did have were either too weak or were part of the problem. so the arguments that the united states had in the past under the obama administration were totally legitimate. we were not alone. there wasn't as though it was a unilateral american problem with ukraine.
it was the imf, all the europeans. it made it impossible to help ukraine. everybody wanted to help ukraine in order to push back against putin and russia. so the u.s. policy was totally consistent with the rest of the world at the time. still ahead, president trump apparently has a real problem with children of political leaders doing business overseas. >> he's taking his stand. >> do you think we should tell them? >> i don't think so. we'll show you the reaction from top administration officials when pressed on the double standard inside the white house. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. "morning j" we'll be right back. but we're also a company that controls hiv, fights cancer, repairs shattered bones, relieves depression, restores heart rhythms,
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inappropriate is the fact that vice president biden at the time's son did very significant business dealings in ukraine. i for one find that to be concerning. and to me, that's the issue perhaps that should be further investigated. >> i don't understand. so it is okay for donald trump jr. and eric trump to do business all over the world while president trump is president, but while vice president biden was vice president, his son shouldn't have been able to do business dealings? >> again i don't want to go into more of the details other than to say -- >> you are setting a precedent for the president is violating. >> i think there is a significant difference in what you're saying and what i was saying between biden and his son's relationship with the ukraine oligarch and potential business dealings that the trump organization has had which pre-dated his presidency.
>> you have rudy giuliani making a fool of himself on fox news and then mnuchin doing the same on cnn. you have donald trump doing what donald trump does all the time. he admits the scandal in broad day light. and because he admits the scandal in broad day light, instead of having it dug up, he thinks that makes everything okay. it does not. and this is unprecedented having the president of the united states, the commander in chief using his position to have a foreign power try to dig up dirt on an american domestic rival. it it is continued blurring of the lines from 2016. and it is unamerican. >> so michael steel, is this the line for republicans? >> no. not if john cornen's response
was any indication. >> what's it going to take? >> i don't know at this point. senator cornen said i find all of this to be very troubling about joe biden and started the typical washington backstroke of we need to get more information. i'm sure we will find out whatever without having any initial visceral reaction to what the evidence displays. and then you have, you know, giuliani and mnuchin going on television being actually laughable in their response. but that's the point. it is not supposed to clarify. it is not supposed to give you a straight line argument that this is not bad or there is no problem. it is to create the level of confusion. joe, you have it exactly right. the president tells you i did it. so what? that's the world in which donald trump thrives, because there
have been no consequences. so it is now a matter on whether or not the country is willing to make the president pay a consequence for behavior that leads to real questions about impeachment. and i think that this is something over the next 24 hours or more we're going to have to figure out as the members on the hill get microphones put in front of their faces to see whether or not they are willing to hold the president to a standard that we have held every president who has had the job before. >> what great illumination we have into the soul not of america but the soul of the republican party. you have one republican after another trying to brush aside the fact that their president, the commander in chief, spoke to a foreign leader eight times and intimidated him eight times to use his personal lawyer to dig
up dirt in a foreign country against a domestic rival, eight times. mitt romney even came out. it's surreal. all of it is so surreal. and all of it will value damage the republican party in next year's election. mitt romney said if donald trump actually did speak to a foreign power to have them dig up dirt, that would be very troubling. the wall street journal reported even before that tweet that it happened eight times. and donald trump admitted that he did it. and yet they decide to live in this never neverland. >> that's a great way to put it is never neverland. history there is no once upon a time. there is not going to be a happily ever after, but there can be actual moments where we face facts. eleanor roosevelt said that is
the test of a great government. what i think is the great story of our time honestly is the extent to which 40, 45% of the country, many of them republicans have suspended their critical capacities, have suspended their essential patriotic instincts to follow this particular leader because of the will to power. so the party of eisenhower, reagan, bush are comfortable with a president who conspires, who clooolludes with foreign leaders to affect our democracy. how do you swear to that? >> he told george stephanopoulos he would do this. three republican challengers to president trump, bill weld,
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welcome back. president trump's approval rating is at or below 45% in 10 of the states he won in 2016. that's according to gallop. those states include texas, iowa, georgia, florida, ohio and arizona. arizona is among a handful of states that has scrapped its 2020 republican presidential primary. over the weekend, alaska became the latest to join that group when that state's republican party passed a rule stating a primary would serve no useful purpose because donald trump is president. the three republican challengers to president trump recently banded together to write an op-ed for the washington post warning why canceling jop primaries is a critical mistake, and the three candidates join us now. former congressman joe walsh of illinois. mark sanford of south carolina
and former governor bill weld of massachusetts. >> governor, let's begin with you. it's rich, is it not that donald trump spent the entire 2016 campaign can first whining about the republican primaries being rigged against him by insiders. and then complaining that hillary clinton's democratic primary was rigged against bernie sanders. and yet here he is working furiously, governor weld, working furiously to actually have primary elections cancelled and wiped off the book and him being declared the winner without one person being able to vote in those states. >> well, obviously, canceling primaries under mines democratic institutions and democratic elections, but that's far from the deepest dive crime that the president has committed here. he has now acknowledged that in a single phone call right after
he suspended $250 million of military aid to ukraine, he called up the president of ukraine and pressed him eight times to investigate joe biden who the president thinks is going to be running against him. talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a u.s. election. it couldn't be clearer. and that's not just undermining democratic institutions. that is treason. it's treason pure and simple. and the penalty for treason under the u.s. code is death. that's the only penalty. the penalty on the constitution is removal from office. and that might look like a pretty good alternative to the president if he can work out a plea deal. >> congressman joe walsh. do you agree? >> this isn't complicated. i begin where you ended. donald trump needs to be impeached, period. as bill weld just said, he told a foreign leader two months ago to interfere in our 2020
election. he needs to be impeached. he has obstructed justice. in 2016 he encouraged and welcomed russian interference in our election. he is a king. he is a would-be dictator. this isn't complicated. 2020 is a referendum on trump. it's not about any issue. it's not about the debt. it's not about tariffs. it's about this man who is unfit, this man who is a clear and present danger to this country f. country. if my party continues the silence the party will be dead after 2020. >> governor sanford, you have just heard governor weld indicate that he feels it is treason. you heard joe talk about the misgivings about what he is doing every day as president. so my question to you is why so many of your former colleagues in the house of representatives
and governors around the country who you know, republicans who you know, why do they sell their souls to silence rather than standing up for the united states of america? >> well, the obvious, the name of the game is staying in the game for a lot of people in politics. everybody is drawing their own line in terms of where they are on that particular debate. i think you know where the three of us are. i would go back simply to the op-ed which is at the end of the day, holding elections -- holding or not holding elections is the key to making a democracy in a republic work. the idea of the republican party being the party about disenfranchisement in terms of voter involvement i think is a really bad signal to be sending. i think this idea of disbanding elections is also bad just on the standpoint of producing better candidates. the idea of football teams
saying we will not practice this week. we're just going to save our energy for the game on friday night would be viewed as crazy by a coach. yet that's exactly what the republican party is doing in south carolina where they said we are just going to hold on to everything and just wait until next november. you have a whole lot of candidates on the democratic side scrimmaging and playing awfully hard getting ready for that game come november next. >> michael steel here. good to see all of your gentlemen. i want to throw it on the table starting with governor sanford. the rnc coupled with the various states to the point you were just making decided to start to shut down the primary process. are you or all three of you prepared to take legal action, bring some legal recourse to the conversation on behalf of yourselves and the primary process? how citizens are being disenfranchised from the process
on a larger scale by beginning to shut down the effort to go out and vote for a anyone of you. it's a competitive process. >> sure. i actually held a series of press conferences across south carolina last monday. i talked about wait a minute, not only is it about disenfranchisement, this is about something a whole lot simpler which is it doesn't make any sense. the world of politics, if you have a chance to pick up an alleged 80% or 90% win which is what the trump campaign suggests they have, you take it. particularly if it is the first in the south primary. it says to a lot of folks that trump supporters are a mile wide and an inch deep. >> to answer your question, yes, we are going to fight this with everything we've got. this is about
disenfranchisement. this isn't russia. this isn't china. you just can't cancel elections in the united states of america. that's what donald trump is doing. make no mistake about it, this is donald trump telling the republican party bosses what foodo, because the republican party bosses, the republican party establishment, all they want to do is wash their dictator's feet every day y. go back to what i said before. this president needs to be impeached. that's on the table right now. the republican party needs to have the courage to do what's right. >> governor weld, you went a little bit further than just impeachment in your prior comments. and i just want to continue with that a bit. you said that donald trump has committed treason and the penalty for treason under american law is death. what's the legal framework here? have you looked into this? how do you see this proceeding? >> the legal framework is under
the u.s. code. the only penalty for treason is death. grounds for removal of office, impeachment are treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. we don't have to worry about bribery anymore. we don't have to worry about other high crimes and misdemeanors although i think he committed many. we have treason. we can go right for the hoop. this president has been trying to cancel this election for months. he tried to cancel the new hampshire first in the nation primary. that went over like a lead balloon in new hampshire because they're not stupid. the people in new hampshire were the first ones to stand up to president trump this year. it's well past time for this guy, in my opinion, to be carted off to save us all. he's daring us all to let him be totally lawless. he has no respect for the law. he has no knowledge base under
any issues. why do we want this man as president of the united states? i don't get it. now the path is clear. it's a whole new level, and we have to count noses among the republicans in the senate. if they won't sape this is a bridge too far for us, then they really have no chance at the ballot box next year, not just president trump but those members of the senate. >> all right. mark sanford, william weld and joe walsh. thank you all so much for being with us. >> i really appreciate this joint interview. up next, judging by the principles held up by mike pence over decades. he wouldn't be standing for any of this. how does the vice president rationalize his service to donald trump? we'll talk to the author of the new book "piety and power". we call it the mother standard of care.
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these last ten years have been the best years of our lives. and for everyone who worked with us on it, i can't believe we finished it and it's over. we shall never see it again. >> one of "game of thrones" creators accepting the emmy award last night for the final season tying the record for most wins in the best drama series with the likes of the west wing and mad men. >> you're a big "game of thrones" fan. they won again this year despite the fact a lot of hard core fans said it was their worst season yet. >> that's the thing with "game of thrones," even the worst is still the best out there. it was such an incredible sweeping epic from start to almost finish. i was disappointed in the season finale. maybe that just means there will be a movie in the works and we
can enjoy a movie just like we had the downtownen abby movie having a great box office weekend this weekend. >> all right. so on friday, an event obviously bigger than the emmy's. >> just a little bit. >> in philadelphia independent blue cross. what a great, great event. >> it was really fun. this was at the comcast technology center in philadelphia, which is absolutely beautiful. >> incredible. >> i worked with my good friends to get their employees together in a room and grow their value. we talked about negotiating skills, playing for the long game, growing your career, really developing career sustainability. independence is really investing in these employees. and we brought the know your value message to the table. it was a great day. so our thanks.
it was wonderful. another blockbuster day. there is the great liz bentley. we had career coaches, negotiating experts, wellness, work life balance, the whole thing. >> it is something that wherever we go, people come up and tell you that they've read your book, and it has made such a big difference in their life. it happens every week. >> weerp rr developing on the message. it's really been such a joy. >> congratulations on that. >> thank you so much. of course you can find out so much more at knowyourvalue.com. vice president pence is facing criticism after a historic visit to one michigan community. we'll explain the misstep when it comes to using motor vehicles. we'll be right back. r vehicles. we'll be right back. so i can buy from
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in. >> reporter: perhaps no one cares more about crowd size than the president of the united states himself. >> one thing we know we get the biggest crowds. >> reporter: his too big to believe it crowds were among first things that signaled something was going on. >> no matter where i go, we have the incredible crowds. something is happening that is amazing. >> reporter: especially in contrast with the presumed front runner at the time. >> please clap. >> reporter: trump is not the first person to translate crowd size into something real like here in new york city where then candidate barack obama drew thousands while he trailed then rival hillary clinton. >> i love new york. >> reporter: bernie sanders drew more than 27,000 in that same park in 2016, but he lost the nomination. monday night, same park, same thousands, same question as elizabeth warren rallied her biggest event yet. does crowd size matter? >> i think it shows even though biden is polling higher than
basically all other candidates right now, candidates like warren have a lot more energy. >> four years ago bernie had bigger crowds and hillary managed to win. i do think it shows excitement. >> reporter: what can events really tell us about the field? and can they be misleader. here's mitt romney's crowd before clinching the nomination three months later and drawing tens of thousands by october. >> i'm going to help the american people get good jobs and a bright future. >> reporter: this year kamala harris's launch attracted a big diverse crowd, but her polling has been up and down. sanders and warren has dwarfing joe biden. >> it depends what the event is. what i'm trying to do is go from town to town. >> reporter: while the democratic field is a packed one, not all events are. >> i think it really matters how people vote in the voting box. stiemds they can show up at
rally. >> reporter: with voting still months away, we're left to wonder where do the candidates really stand and what does all this mean? >> michael steel, i think to an extent you have massive crowding like the one that elizabeth warren is seeing it speaks to a narrative backed up by data. none of it is exact, we're still early. >> we are and you know, look, from campaign perspective and having been a candidate, you go to a space and if you have more than 50 people it's a good day. the reality of a campaign, no matter the scale, when you're starting out, the small room is typically what you get. when you get to that stretch and you go from 50 to 1,000 to 5,000, to 10,000, it adds energy, money, and it creates a narrative around your campaign that hey, this is it, everybody wants to be part of this.
and that is a big driver for donald trump. it is affirmation of this idea that the center of the universe politically or oregon is right here. so elizabeth warren is enjoying it right now. the plea for money is a way to create a kind of energy that will translate hopefully into crowd size as well. it is part of the game, and right now the best at it are donald trump and elizabeth warren. >> it is kind of interesting based on what michael just said and guy cecil. elizabeth juan has run an electric campaign. i was at her event here in new york city. her crowds were enthusiastic and electric.
we heard about the iowa poll, the democrat register poll showing her big jump in the past two or three weeks, but at the end of the day, guess what she has done? she won the summer. and there is still a lot of flew winty o -- fluidity. >> a vehicle van did not stop mike pence have arriving in a motorcade. he arrived on mackinac island by helicopter and then he made it down the main streets with the trucks. he there was for a republican party conference for the grand hotel. they were brought to the island by ferrie for his visit. pence is the first sitting vice president to visit the historic island where the vehicle ban has been in place since 1898.
when president gerald ford visited in 1975, he and the first lady travelled by horse drawn carriage. joining me now is someone who has followed the vice president since the beginning of the plan. he has a book called "piety and power" taking the white house. you point out in the book that he is a lot more kcunning than the media gives him credit for. what did you find out? >> i didn't always see it when i was covering him day today, but when i pulled back for this book and started getting more behind the scenes, it is a calculated run for the white house. and let me point to something really important. you know there is an idea out there that they think he is predestined for the white house. he doesn't really get bit with
the white house bug until 2008. this is when the movement of conservatives national policy start trying to recruit him to run for president. and we see a change in trajectory in his actions and movements from when she a congressman to starting to position himself. i think that is what we have right now. that is where he is right now. it has not changed, it just delayed the schedule. team pence is looking at 2024 right now. >> so, mike pence is planning on continuing after -- if there is a successful reelection, he would run in 2024? >> what his advisors told me and this goes count tore a lot of wild stories we hear about him out there. they told me that the best they can hope for is h.w. bush. running on two successive terms
of trump and then you try to ride the coat tails. it is better than coming off of a losing cycle and trying to come back in like a dan quail vas. >> we had him just before being elected. he was very sincere. a lot of eye contact, double hand grasping, who is he really behind that stuff. is that who he is? and is he the kind of man who would fall on his forward for donald j. trump. he has to. i think he has to. remember on the access hollywood weekend he has that opportunity to remove or boot him from the ticket and they say no. this is according to my reporting, based on everything i can tell, he had -- he can't say no because he loses the base. and yeah you see it right now.
this is what he is doing. over the summer he had two terrible events in july. the weird thing where he flies out to new hampshire, gets called back to the last minute. then they send him to a detention camp and there is a terrible video of him with a grim face, which should have been trump. is that should have been the president, not the vice president, that's what vps aides and allies are telling me. these are loyalty tests. for some of them they feel it is incredibly demeaning of him. and it goes to a point of him playing the long game. he has to survive the talk. i wrote this for yahoo news a few weeks ago. the talk about jared and ivanka, ways to get rid of him politically. bringing back suburban voters and women, that's all real, and the way we know it is real, and
of course they deny that, their people say that is not accurate, but the way we know it is real is by the actions of pence and his team. a big part of mike pence is karen pence and the role that she has played very very powerfully and very quietly in helping him position and deal with some of this. so here is a two parter. how has she influenced his decision to stay with trump giving their evangelical mothris and how they wear that on their sleeves. once you turn that corner where drau
donald trump is a lame duck and the next iteration coming from trump or their survival. ? you don't want to rock the boat. it is a joint venture with them. if you go back in this history, in mike's history, from before he meets karen, friends describe him as someone very philosophical, interested in long talks, karen puts the pl d blinders on him and helps him focus. where they are right now and i think this is why you saw karen pence kick up the new karen pence twitter feed. she puts out that video, they have to be a team together, and they have to be a team forward with trump.
she the sole gate keeper to mike pence. when i talk to lobbyists, if you want to move the nueedle at all it has to go through karen. and when i was this, now you see marty yost who some advisors refer to as the karen whisperer. they know they can get through to karn through him. >> the book, piety and power, mike pence and the taking of the white house is on sale tomorrow. thank you for being on the show. 30 seconds left, elise jordan, what are you looking at? >> i just hope that donald trump
can behavior himself. holding on to hope. stephanie ruhle picking up the coverage right now. >> it is monday, september 23rd, here is what is happening, president trump will have his hands full when he heads there later this morning. we are covering every angle of it all week long. topic number one is likely iran, and hanging over the president's head big time, the growing questions about his conversations with the leader of the ukraine. back in dc the issue has some democrats trying to ramp up talk of impeachment, president trump admits he talked to the ukrainian president about joe biden and his son, hunter, but mr. trump dps pushing for any