tv Kasie DC MSNBC September 29, 2019 4:00pm-6:00pm PDT
welcome to kasie d.c., everyone. tonight the impeachment inquiry focuses on a conversation between the president of the united states and the president of ukraine. some of president trump's allies try to smoke out a whistle-blower, are they ready for their biggest fight yet? and after catching grief for the left flank of her party nancy pelosi goes full speed ahead with the votes now behind her to pursue an impeachment inquiry. there is so much to get to on this show tonight. in just a few minutes i'm going
to talk to senator gar ae peters who's demanding an explanation about the delay of $400 million in security aid to ukraine. and in the 8:00 hour joined by senator doug jones of alabama. he's among the vulnerable democrats up for re-election in 2020. he's just one of many preparing for the potentially radioactive politics of impeachment. i'm also going to talk to three former republican congressmen who are watching their colleagues standby the president so far. the question tonight, for how long? and believe it or not, this photo, it is real. it is rudy giuliani giving an emmy to the cast of the west wing on the classic show's 20th anniversary. i sit down with bradley whitford to talk about that and his new comedy on nbc "perfect harmony." but first the month of september it feels like it began a hundred years ago when one of the top headlines, you remember this one, presidential use of a
sharpie on a hurricane projection map. the month of september, it comes to an end with the opening of a much more serious chapter in our country's history. the house suddenly finding itself with enough votes to launch an impeachment inquiry. the mueller investigation didn't compel democrats to do it, but this time it is different. and unlike the special counsel's investigation, things are playing out at rapid speed. secretary of state mike pompeo he's already been subpoenaed by the house and the envoy to ukraine, paul volker, he's already resigned. depositions begin next week. house intel chairman adam schiff says the whistle-blower behind all of this, he will come before the committee though a date is not yet set, and the president's allies are all trying to tarnish that person's reputation. >> in fact, i'm a legitimate whistle-blower. >> i think it's unfortunate that the media continue tuesday describe this individual as a whistle-blower where an honorfc
this individual certainly does not deserve. >> the president of the united states is the whistle-blower, and this individual is a saboteur trying to undermine a democratically elected government. >> it is an open question whether the white house and the president's orbit is ready for what comes next. in fact the associated press explains it like this saying unlike special counsel mueller's two year investigation which circled an array of people in trump's orbit but not always trump himself, trump doesn't always have the benefit of distance. his words and his actions are at the center of this investigation. nbc news reportsed thursday that white house officials were scrambling to figure out how to countther house democrats. and the president's attorney jay sekulow said it like this, saying, earlier, this weekend no war room is being established. now he tells nbc news, quote, i just went through a war, this is scrimmish. rudy giuliani appeared on three
sunday shows today to make the case. while past administration officials looked on with concern. >> you know, the whistle-blower's complaint says that white house officials were deeply disturbed by the president's phone call with zelensky. what was your reaction? >> yeah, i'm deeply disturbed by it as well and this entire mess has me frustrated. the removal of a president in the biggest democracy in the world is really a weighty matter and i hope everyone can sift through the evidence and be very careful. that said, it is a bad day and bad week for this president and this country if he is asking for political dirt on an opponent. but it looks to me like the other matter that's far from proven is whether he was doing anything to abuse his power and withhold aid in order to solicit such a thing. >> all right, ware going have to brand new reporting on how the white house is preparing to counter all of this starting this week in just a few minutes. and with all of that, i'd like
to bring in my panel. here with me in the studio msnbc contributor eddie glaud, and michael steele, congressional correspondent for "the new york times" cheryl stoleberg. let me begin with you if i may because we've got to start with the big picture perspective here. give us a sense how all of this inquiry is actually being shaped while congress is out of session. >> there is a whole lot going on in d.c. house speaker nancy pelosi today convened a private confidential call with democratic colleagues and she made an appeal to them not to squander this moment. i think democrats see the polls swinging in their favor. cbs news reported today a poll
that showed a majority of democrats favor the decision to open an impeachment inquiry. and what pelosi said to her colleagues was this is a very solemn time and our tone must be respectful, it must be solemn. and that is the message that democratic leaders have sent to their rank and file as the lawmakers go out to their districts this week and next. the message that they want their constituents or their colleagues rather to give is one of president trump abused his oath of office and we will follow the facts. and they -- you know, they realized that this is a very, very grave moment. this is the most solemn undertaking that any congress can engage in. >> so there's no doubt, sheryl, this was triggered by the whistle-blower complaint specifically. the whole issue of ukraine, it is coming as we just outlined on
the heels of so many other investigations that did not create this kind of impetus among members of congress. what are we likely to see as the boundaries of this investigation, of this impeachment? do you get a sense from your reporting and others that there are those who want to make this broad to incorporate many aspects of other alleged wrongdoings over the past two years, or is the desire to keep this narrowly focused on just the ukraine whistle-blower complaint? >> i think very much the latter. you know, this has been a fast moving thing. and when nancy pelosi announced it on tuesday she said we're going to have -- it's still going to be a broad-based inquiry. we're going to have six committees looking into all these different things including ukraine. but it's become very clear very fast that this is going to be an inquiry focused on ukraine and this july 25th call with
president zelensky of ukraine, in which we know president trump pressured zelensky to investigate joe biden, his political rival. it's clear adam schiff, the chairman of the intelligence committee is going to be leading this inquiry. ied earlier the call. sherry, the chair of the house democrat's campaign arm told reporters in texas just recently that she wants to see this inquiry headed by schiff and focused really on ukraine. and i think that tells you that democrats feel that they have a really clear and concise message with this ukraine issue. there have been months of kind of murky messaging around the mueller inquiry, around investigations into the president's business dealings, into hush money payments. but this is something that can be boiled down to an elevator speech, which is that the president pressured a foreign leader to meddle in the 2020
election for the president's own personal benefit. and it's not something that happened in the past. this is not 2016 and candidate trump and russia -- >> yeah, it is a confined incident. >> this is something that's happened right now and it's a national security issue, democrats say. and it's an issue of election security. and they have a constitutional obligation to investigate -- >> it's interesting, sheryl. sorry to cut you off because the president has tweeted in the past couple of minutes about the whistle-blower saying he feels that he should be allowed to meet the accusers, he refers to them. especially when this accuser, the so-called whistle-blower represented a conversation with a leader and also then goes onto say in addition i want to meet not only my accuser who presented second and thirdhand information but also the person who illegally gave this
information which was largely incorrect to the whistle-blower. was this person spying on the u.s. president, big consequences. michael steele, i'm going to get your first reaction to the president's tweets. i know you love being in this position when i ask you to try to explain to me what this means. but what is this barrage of tweets just in the last couple of minutes with the president referring to the whistle-blower in that language and saying he wants to meet his accuser, saying the person who gave him the information was a possible spy? what does that say about the mind-set of the president and his inner circle this evening? >> that's the president wetting his pants this evening. a little nervous. there's real concern here. the conflation of, you know, a criminal illegal proceedsing where under our constitution you have a right to, you know, confront your accuser, you know, that happens in a courtroom, not during an investigation. and so this idea is to sort of
say it's not what it is and to make it as complicated as possible, i think sheryl and her reporting have just made it -- laid out the real bottom line here is the simplicity of all this. this is not this great mystery of who done it and all this, this is just a straight up, president having a conversation, this is who he had it with, this is who he talked about and that's the problem. and so the president now recognizing that his own administration started this by putting out a documents they thought was innocuous and unimportant, turned out to be a very important document sort of set in motion where we are now, and that's been affirmed by the documents that we have subsequent from the whistle-blower himself or herself that states very clearly and corroborates what's already in the president's memo. so this is the president in a little bit of a panic here.
the flashing tweets that keep jumping out is his way of trying to get control of something that he's losing a grip on. >> joel, let's talk a little bit about the tipping point that we discussed with the polls, the numbers and more importantly with the republicans who have at least by some accounts come out mostly in defense of the president but a few as we just played there from tom bosser, i want to play you this sound bite and listen to this. >> what you're referring to there is a debunked conspiracy theory that somehow ukraine tot russia hacked the e-mails and ukraine might have the dnc server or the e-mails. the details are both convoluted and false and during your time in the white house you explain that to the president, right? >> i did. it's not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked. last year retired former senator jeb greg wrote a piece in the magazine saying the three ways or the five ways to impeach ones
self and the third way was to hire rudy giuliani. at this point i'm deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team are doing in repeating that debunked theory to the president. it sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again. for clarity let me repeat that it has no validity. the united states government reached its conclusion by attributing to russia the dnc hack in 2016 before it even communicated it to the fbi, long before the fbi ever knocked on the door at the dnc. >> so you had the former senior advisor to the president debunking that theory. you have the members of congress in support of impeachment rapidly increasing from 138 to about 226 after this ukraine story broke. are we likely to see more members of the gop, members of the republican party begin to abandon this president in some
way, shape, or form? >> i think it's going to take more and i don't know exactly what more means. but i think the white house, that it would behoove the white house to stay away from conspiracy theories and, you know, this litany of defenses, if you want to call them that, the president's tweets. and stay more narrowly focused on the substance of the conversation saying here's what i said, there's nothing wrong in here. and, you know, if that is their defense, i think it's survivable. if the defense is going to be to continue to put rudy giuliani on television, i think it becomes lesser viable and also more likely to have gop defections within the halls of congress. >> you and i were talking about this before the show, but how have democrats handled this moment and how do they continue to handle it going forward? >> you know, i think the tide turned. they were slow walking if a bit. i think once the transcript came out, the story broke.
they had no other choice. i think speaker pelosi was kind of thinking about the politics of it all. now she understands her constitutional responsibility. and so i think it's important for her and the leadership of the democratic party to say that people should not get ahead of their skis, they shouldn't be overly political with this, that sole solemnity should be a part of this process. i think it's important people need to emphasize the seriousness of this issue, that our democracy is at stake and politics matter, of course they do, but we need to understand that the country stands on a nice edge and everyone needs to approach it that way. i think the democrats are doing their jobs. i'm concerned that republicans on the other side of the aisle aren't, but this is the nature of washington, d.c., it seems to me. >> we have a lot more to break in -- break down i should say
this hour. i'm going to ask everyone to stay with me. thank you both very much for your reporting and insights tonight. just ahead, brand new reporting on how the white house is planning to counter democrats. the president kpeshtexpected to proposals as early as tomorrow. and joining me as a key american ally -- both i should say american allies in general are being tested as this chapter in american history unfolds. stay with us. chapter in american history unfolds stay with us ing. you get everything you need for your home at a great price, the way it works best for you, i'll take that. wait honey, no. when you want it. you get a delivery experience you can always count on. you get your perfect find at a price to match, on your own schedule. you get fast and free shipping on the things that make your home feel like you. that's what you get when you've got wayfair. so shop now!
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in the days after the impeachment inquiry was announced nbc reported white house officials were scrambling how to counter democrats inquiry and citing a sense of total panic according to one source. but nbc has brand new reporting tonight tat the president's chief of staff, mick mulvaney, and the white house counsel will present the president with a rapid response strategy to the
growing impeachment threat. joining me now with more on all of this nbc news white house correspondent kelly o'donnell. good to have you with us this evening. what are we learning about the preparations being made for the president? >> part of why this stand out is in repeat days we've heard from officials the president did not want to have what is commonly referred to as a war room, where you would have a group of people tasked with fighting back on this. and what we've learned is the acting chief of staff mick mulvaney and white house counsel pat sip loany are going to be part of a presentation to the president in the coming days where they would argue to the president there was a need for a coordinated effort of legal, political and communication strategy that would be rapid response to deal with impeachment as the inquiry progresses and the house democrats are certainly moving forward and this whistle-blower complaint. what that means is the president would have to make a decision if
he's willing to go forward with this. but the argument is they don't want to be caught flat-footed and they wanted to have a coordinated response where you're bringing together people who know the law, understand politics and know how to communicate about this. on the outside you've got the campaign unlike bill clinton who was a second term president, this president was running for re-election so the campaign has its own team able to respond to a lot of the publicly disseminated information and you're certainly seeing that from the campaign. but this would be something in the white house if the president likes it. >> thank you, kelly. meanwhile even though the latest fight over impeachment and ukraine is seemingly about the 2020 race, we can't escape the echoes of 2016. >> this election is over. i realize 2016 did not turn out the way speaker pelosi wanted it to happen. but she cannot change the laws
of this congress. >> and during his call with the ukrainian president, president trump brought up a consheers theory involving the hack of dnc e-mails back in 2016. and new reporting from "the washington post" seems to cement the idea the administration hasn't given up on 2016. in fact the state department is reportedly intensifying their probe into the e-mails of dozens of officials who cept messages to then secretary of state clinton's private e-mail. and here's the secretary this morning. >> i believe he knows he's an illegitimate president. he knows. he knows that were a bunch of different reasons why the election turned out the way it did and i take responsibility for those parts of it i should, but it's like applying for a job and getting 66 million letters of recommendation and losing to a corrupt human tornado. so of course he's obsessed with me. and i believe that it's a guilty consciousness in so much as he
has a conscience. >> the panel is back with me. the way the secretary of state hillary clinton is framing this position and also the interesting thing it seems republicans are insisting -- it's the democrats that continue to insist it's about 20 16 r 16 when it's the republicans continuing to insist. >> that's a strong representation by secretary clinton of the mind-set of donald trump and his minions. it seems to me there's an ongoing question about the legitimacy of his presidency. >> that gets under his skin. >> and it gets under his skin. what they've done in 2016 is to displace that sense of illegitimacy onto others. i know i am, but what are you? this is this kind of childish way in which he approaches things. i think it's important for us to understand the way he works.
but i think he made one mistake, he doesn't have a conscience, he doesn't care. this is where we are. as i said earlier, donald trump will take the whole thing down to protect himself. and what's interesting is all of those folks around him who are complicit in it. so it's not just him. it's a republican party that seems to have been corrupted and that we need to understand -- this is why we have to approach this in a very deliberate and serious way because the stakes in some ways go well beyond donald trump himself. >> and to that point, michael steele, when you think about what's already happened you've got the president by some analysis throwing mike pence under the bus saying he's gone to ukraine as well. rudy giuliani saying he's doing this as the behest of the state department and that mike pompeo knew about this, and now you've got the state department allegedly still going back to 2016 and looking at e-mails involving hillary clinton. again, i go back to the point of what are we witnessing unfold
here by the president, and as kelly o'donnell mentioned he's not off the hook. he's got to try to get re-elected in 2020. >> he still has that, and ought laugh this will play into the that narrative. the idea again is to create as much confusion around the facts as possible. and what's throwing this game off more than anything else is the timing of it and the nature of it. this is not the mueller report. this is not a two year investigation. this is not a long runway for the administration to beef up and push out and support the mantra, no collusion, no corruption, witch hunt and all of that. this is fast paced. you have the president's own words. we have a transcript, a summary not of the entire phene call, by the way. we don't know what else the president said there because remember there are a lot of ellipsis in that document. i think what you're seeing to
eddy's point is the party kind of stuck in this space where their natural inclination to rally around the support of the president is strong. that's linda graham. but then you have others who are like, i don't know, i know a little bit more, i've seen a little bit more, i've heard a bit more that tells me to take this cautiously and slow this roll a little bit more than we have usually because this could be bigger than we think. we don't know yet, and that's what the investigations are going to be about. and clearly the american people are moving more in that direction as well. >> and to eddie's point the media has an important role to play in all this as well to make sure they get the facts right. >> much more to come tonight. one of the questions at the heart of all this is when you read between the lines of president trump's read out from july, is there any evidence of a quid pro quo with ukraine's president? senator gary peters is demanding clarity on that specific point. he joins me live next. specific t he joins me live next. geico makes it easy to get help when i need it.
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aid to ukraine and when he had that phone call with ukrainian president zelensky, which is why senator gary peters wrote a letter about the delay to make mick mulvaney who is still technically the director of the office of management and budget as well as the acting chief of staff at the white house. senator peters joins me live this evening. senator, great to have you with us and thank you very much for your time. let me, sir, start with a question about the letter we just mentioned. what are the most important questions from your spperspecti that need to be answered about those funds. and explain to our viewers why the funds for ukraine are so critical? >> well, thae critical and that's why it's important to get some answers to questions as to why those funds were held up. you know, in addition to being the ranking member on homeland security, i'm also a member on the armed services committee. i actually spent some time around two years ago in ukraine, in the capacity of the armed
services, met with ukrainian government officials, with the military. and basically ukraine right now is in an undeclared war with russia, and it's a serious threat to the sovereignty. and they needed military aid in order to stand up to russian tanks that basically outgunned any of the ukrainian forces. this is basically an existential exercise for the ukrainians. they need to have that assistance. we need to provide lethal assistance to the ukrainian military so they could defend the sovereignty of their country. this is serious business, so that was grouped, moved forward and looked as if was going to be dispersed and suddenly it came to a halt. we need to find out why. so my letter is a basic investigatory letter to say what was the process here, how did this stop, why did it stop, who ordered those funds from going
forward? congress was very clear that this money needed to go to ukraine to deal with a very serious issue with an ally of the united states. and when an ally requires assistance and suddenly that assistant comes to a halt with no apparent explanation that is serious problem. >> senator, let me get your reaction to and i know this is a hypothetical but given the fact this has happened by the administration before, you've given the office of budget and management until october 11th to answer your questions, and what are you prepared to do get to the bottom of the questions you just posed? >> well, we have to get to the bottom but you're right, this administration basically doesn't provide information. congress has a constitutional responsibility to provide oversight that we ask for information so we can provide that oversight. but basically this administration stone walls. i know for the house has subpoena powers and additional powers and are going to weigh in on this question as well.
this is an incredibly serious matter and we're dealing with the words of the president himself from the summary of the transcript. these are words from the president saying please do me a favor. we've been helpful to you, but this relationship has not been reciprocal, could you please do me a favor? but when you hear those words, you have to put it into the context of how important these funds were to the ukrainian people in order to defend themselves against the russians. >> there's a lot of questions whether or not impeachment will unfold. jeff flake estimated about 35 republican senators would vote for president trump to rebe removed from office if they could vote in private. that was according to usa today. going off your knowledge to your colleagues in the senate, evaluate that sentiment for us. how accurate or true do you think it is you have some republican colleagues that are watching this and are very concerned even to the degree
they may consider impeaching the president? >> i think we have to wait and see how more facts unfold in the days and weeks ahead. clearly this is an incredibly serious matter. this should not be partisan in any way. we're talking about the very foundations of american democracy and whether or not a united states president was asking a foreign government to get involved in an election, something fundamental to our democracy. i would hope that my colleagues would look at this as a fact based situation, and if the facts lead to action, we should follow those facts. it's important for the american people to understand that this is not a -- it should not be a partisan exercise. it is something fundamental to our democracy and ultimately as jurors we basically would sit in a trial, there would be a hundred of us sitting as jurors, and like any jury in this country, i would hope that jury would make a decision based on the facts pure and simple. >> you are the only one of the
michigan congressional delegation still on defense about impeachment. what is it going to take in your mind to tip your scale? >> it is about the facts. we have to continue to get these facts. certainly the facts that have come out and certainly the transcript is very damaging. i think it raises a whole host of questions that are very serious that demand answers, but we need to see those facts, and, you know, it's important to remember that as a member of the united states senate i will be sitting as a juror, this is a trial before the senate and we have the chief justice of the supreme court presiding. we will hear that case and as a member of the jury i will make my decision based on the facts presented before us. and i would hope that all 99 of my colleagues would also make that judgment based on the facts presented and not partisan politics. >> all right, senator gary peters, thank you, sir, for joining us this evening with all your insights. when we continue i'm joined by three former republican congressman to talk about their
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>> all right, joining me now are three former republican congressman. david jolly of florida who's no longer affiliated with the gop. former rnc chairman michael steele is back with us as well. gentlemen, great to have all of you with us. so far only one conservative republican has come out for impeachment, that is justin amosh. certainly an independent, no doubt a conservative. what would have to happen for more republicans to get behind that? i'll start with representative curbelo. >> i think what we have to watch for first i don't think many republicans are going to come out for impeachment, but how many are defending the president's actions? i think the leadership are doing
although they feel they don't have a choice although they do. i think the rank and file has been quiet. i know privately they've been expressing frustrations with rudy giuliani, with lot of what we're seeing out of the white house. so i think in the early days as this process develops, we have to watch for what republicans are saying and what they aren't saying, and that could be a clue, that could foreshadow what could happen a few weeks and months down the line as more information and evidence becomes available. >> what is it that they are not saying that has you at least looking into that as being an indicator of where they think or what they think about this? >> well, a lot of republican rank and file members, i'm not talking about the leadership, the leadership is squarely on the president, but a lot of the rank and file have been quiet. they haven't come out to defend the president the way many of them did in the context of the russia inquiry, but this is certainly different this time. there's a greater degree of
frustration and a greater degree of caution emanating from house republicans. >> david jolly, is there a risk at all for republicans if they remain too silight on this or do they need to come out and take a stance or take a position one way or the other? >> well, look, in the short run speaking out is a risk to their electoral fortunes, but in the long run it's a risk to their legacy. i mean, they are staying silent in the midst of impeachmable behavior of the president of united states and frankly many of them know that. carlos is referring to the level of uncomfortableness if you will by some of our former colleagues. it's going to take either a molt of conviction or enlightened self-interest. and enlightened self-interest will occur if public opinion continues to grow in favor of impeachment. if donald trump continues spiraling, continues to attack the patriotism of the whistle-blower, continues to suggest that leveraging his office to get a foreign leader
to infeert in the 2020 election the ran and file couldn't defend the president anymore, or conversely it could be a moment where there is a clear definition by democratic leaders in the house that democratic leaders win this narrative among the american people and frame the issues so clearly this is simply an abuse of power. i think you'll see house republicans begin to say, hey, how do i vote no against an abuse of power? in the senate you might see a mitt romney say how do i vote no against abuse of power? how clearly they define this, that will be the next month will have a lot of impact on whether or not republicans begin to feel pressure from the american people. >> and to that point ryan costello about the democrats and how they've handled this, what do you make of how nancy pelosihy has handled this and been able to push off
impeachability for the better part of two years of the presidency and literally within a week of this news breaking and getting a lot of traction, flipping on that issue being full steam ahead? >> well, a couple of things. one, i think if i were to point to one mistake i think democrats have made in the last couple of days it's highlighting this polling that the dccc was done. i think for those who want to wait to see who testifies and what they testify to, having this look more political than it already is too early could undermine some of that. the other thing i think amongst republicans there's this fear this is rinse and repeat. the mueller report and testimony was not the smoking gun that so many democrats felt. and i think for most house republicans unless and until they see testimony which is really truly problematic and ties together some of these loose ends that it appears democrats have already tied
tightly themselves, you're not going to see any republicans out in front one way or the other. i would also add and i can tell you from experience in the house that president trump can have a messaging set of principles and they can be proffered to house republicans to go out and say things and then a day later trump tweets or trump does something else and then it blows everything up. and given the fact we have no idea what rudy giuliani is saying or doing or will do or say next, house republicans are not going to want to get out in front of facts or alleged facts that they have no idea what happened. to be honest with you we have a whistle-blower report which is based on hearsay and we have allegations, and we don't know really what happened, so house republicans are not going to want to do more or see how these hearings tran hearings transpire. >> let me open this conversation up by a former colleague of all of yours to pose a question.
take it away. >> it's good to see everybody. you've touched on a couple of things and i guess the bottom line question is you've got a hard core 38%, 40% of the republican base that's not going to move off of trump no matter what. but you represent -- some of you represent or are from areas that are going to be critically important for republican success next year. pennsylvania, florida, for example. how do you go about -- how does the party go about translating this to hold that in place as the facts of this thing comes more to the table and people really begin to see that there may be more there than people believe right now? does the strategy reflect this effort to kind of hold it together? or are the republicans right now sort of saying, look, longer term this could be a real problem for us not only in keeping the white house but holding the senate and maybe even try to get back the house? >> well, michael, and i think that's why the swing district members in both parties are the
leading indicators. we look back at the democrats. one of the big reasons why nancy pelosi waited this long, why she didn't want to proceed with impeachment was to protect her swing district members, the 31 democrats in the house that represent districts that donald trump won in 2016. there are still republicans who represent swing districts, and they're the ones most concerned about this. they're the ones most likely to crack so to speak early, and they would be the leading indicators of republicans from swing districts start moving towards impeachment or endorsing this concept of an inpeachment inquiry. we know that the president is in trouble. having said that, there's some potential political peril for democrats here, too. and we know that to be the case because nancy pelosi really hesitated to get to this point for a reason because in a lot of these districts that some democrats represent, impeachment may still be unpopular. >> guys, we're going to have
leave it at that. >> let me add something real quick. when republicans lost the house, i can assure you that even before we left in january 80% of house republicans could have easily predicted that democrats would move to impeach donald trump this year. and most republican voters, especially pro-trump republicans, would have predicted this would happen. so unless and until something is presented in testimony, in hearings most republicans assumed this was going to happen. >> ryan, the president confessed to it and he released a synapsis of the transcript. it's not just hearsay and allegations. the president confessed to it. and look, he's my buddy but this is exactly the inflection point that democrats and republicans are going to reach and democrats will have to control this narrative. the president confessed to pressuring the leader of ukraine to investigating his political opponent. that is how this issue is framed. if republicans succeed in saying
it's hearsay then democrats will ultimately lose in the court of opinion. this is exactly the inflection point, exactly what we're going to see going forward on capitol hill. >> thank you all very much for this evening. we're going to have to leave it at that, gentlemen. appreciate it. my conversation with nato secretary-gener secretary-general jens stoltenberg is coming up next. js stoltenberg is coming up next. patients that i see that complain about dry mouth,
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on thursday while capitol hill is melting down on impeachment in the testimony of acting director of national intelligence another hearing was happening down the hall. >> it's possible to disagree and strongly disagree but to be civil and treat each other with respect. that's on us. there are also steps that congress can take to promote civility. >> that was from the select committee on the modernization of congress holding a panel on promoting civility. the hearing was carried by every major broadcast network and media outlet. the stream has 433 views, one of the primary witnesses was ray lahood, president obama's transportation secretary. before that, he was a republican in congress. he told the committee the leadership could improve bipartisanship by doing small things like planning retreats together or having nancy pelosi
and kevin mccarthy coordinate dinners with the rank-and-file members of congress. and he also gave this warning. >> we chaired the proceedings in the house. you and i have had conversations about how the impeachment process impacted the ability to get things done. >> impeachment is probably the most controversial, volatile thing. it's going to turn this place upside down. if i were you, i would avoid it like the plague. this place will never be the same if you go down that road. and all of your work will have to come in the next congress. it will not come in this congress. >> that is just something to think about. in our next hour, senator doug jones checks in plus new reporting. we're also going to get the longview from history from the great john meacham. back after this. great john meacham. backft aer this. was ahead of its time.
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encouraging a foreign leader to investigate a political rival that is an impeachment offense. >> if he's saying do me and favor, go investigate joe biden, that's one thing. >> can't make that up. the following day the readout of the call was released revealing that immediately after zelensky released the issue of aid to the ukraine the president responded by saying i would like you to do us a favor though and shifted the conversation to investigations that he wanted pursued. the whistleblower complaint released this week includes allegations of a cover up. the whistleblower writes in the days following the phone call, i learned from multiple officials that seen yn white house officials had intervened to lockdown all records of the phone call especially the official word for word transcript of that phone call. white house officials told me that they were directed by white house lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the
computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored. instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and -- the whistleblower also alleges that according to white house officials, this was not the first time that happened and that allegation squares with new reporting from the "new york times" about the white house concealing transcripts of calls between the president and other foreign officials notably those include vladimir putin of russia tlmpt is still so much more we don't know about all of this. but according to house intelligence chairman adam schiff congress will be hearing from this person first-hand. >> as director maguire promised
the whistleblower will be allowed to come in and come in without a minder from the justice department or from the white house to tell the whistleblower what they can and cannot say. we'll get the unfiltered testimony of that whistleblower. >> and
the president tweeting about the whistleblower like every american i deserve to meet my accuser. he also said he wants adam schiff to be questioned at the highest level for fraud and treason. with me on set, political reporter for the "new york times." in washington, white house bureau chief and msnbc political analyst. and presidential historian and msnbc contributor john meacham, the author of the book "the soul of america" let me begin with you, if i may. we have just witnessed one of the most remarkable, most historic weeks in this nation's
history. put that in perspective for us in terms of this seriousness of the moment we find ourselves. >> well, the entire legitimacy and future of an unfolding presidency is at stake. and there are very few moments in our 240 years, the 240th anniversary of george washington taking the oath in noerk and then ultimately moving to philadelphia. john adams was the first president to live in the white house as they move south to the potomac. andrew johnson in the cat clissism of reconstruction was a moment where the ongoing existence of a presidency was in question. richard nixon over a 26-month period, however, the water donald trump gate break in was june 17, 1972. there was a tape that we didn't know about for another year and a half made on june 23 where president nixon tried to use the
cia to stop the fbi from investigating him. very similar. mark twain once said history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. that's the big rhyme at the moment. but it wasn't until -- i would argue this week feels a lot like that period in late july and early august of 1974 when there was a lot of republican support for richard nixon. there were people like pat buchanan and others saying it was if not a witch hunt they were making those points. it was an ilegitimate inquiry. all of the arguments were being made. and then republicans on the house judiciary committee, guys like charles wigans from california, walter flowers from alabama, these were conservative republicans who finally got the transcript of that tape. that began to change their
minds. it was the actual evidence. it was the words on the page and then ultimately the voice on the tapes that began to shift this. that sounds a lot more like the summer of 1974 than anything has with trump. >> to that point, take us into the white house this evening knowing how serious this moment is for his presidency -- >> i would break that down into two different answers. first you have the president's mindset, and he's very much casting himself as a victim as someone being persecuted. we see that playing out hour by hour on twitter on social media where the president is pushing
out video clips of his conservative fans on fox news. he's making all sorts of accusations in his own words day and night every day about this situation. and then you look at the staff in the white house. initially when pelosi made this announcement they thought we have been through so much. this is just going to be another hiccup, another mueller investigation. but there has been a slow recognition by the end of this past week that this is much more serious and potentially more perilous for the presidency. there is a sense that they have to get more off a strategy in place here, not just a legal strategy for how to defend the president, but a public relation strategy for how to maintain popular support for the president to make sure that there doesn't become sort of an uprising demanding that he be removed from office because that would certainly change the calculus of a lot of republican senators. >> you write in the washington
post donald trump is not the first american staring down impeachment, but he is the first to broadcast that mentality to the world in the five days since house speaker nancy pelosi opened the impeachment inquiry. a portrayal that seems part political, part virtual therapy session. he is a hard working and honorable president whose conduct has been quote perfect but who is being harassed and tormented by do nothing democrat savages and the corrupt intelligence community and ultimately undo the 2016 election. let me pick up on what phil wrote there and get your sense about all of this. the significance of this is that you are not hearing from a lot of republicans. are we likely to hear others come forward given what we heard
from both phil and john? >> i think everyone is trying to wait and see what else comes out. i think there are many republicans who are horrified when f with what they have seen. there are a few who want to take the opposition until it all plays out. i think if it remains fluid for a couple more weeks that we are looking back at the water gate summer. if you see ranks close and harden on monday, that's going to be a sign that it's going to be warfare. i think what's different this time, bob mueller didn't say a word until he ended his report. the pr campaign was the white house against somebody who wasn't fighting back. it's not going to be that way this time. they're going to have an active opposition who will lead the inquisition and go after him. it's going to be very different i think. >> your tweet earlier this week really summed it up perfectly. it's a pretty straight forward
calculation for republicans. do you want a president who seeks to use a foreign power in our elections, or do you want us to remain sovereign? that's the heart of the matter. explain how you boiled it down to that point? and whether or not based on what you have heard so far from republicans on the offensive today, whether or not they are heeding it the way you just outlined it? >> i tried to outline it that way because i'm like a lot of folks. there is so much inso far as there is a trump strategy to create this tsunami of charge, counter charge. we saw that with mayor giuliani this morning. i couldn't follow any of that. try to diagram those sentences, which i wouldn't recommend. i can't even talk about it. what i think you have here is a pretty straight forward question. the president in a document that he released is asking for this
favor. you know, the question that he's asking for is information that he will then use in an american election. i think everybody here is sentimental enough to have a certain memory of the first couple of pages of teddy white's making of the president in 1960. it's about how the country votes. and it's how all the innumerable souls make their decisions. they come and the majesty of democracy unfolds on that election day. and then he steps back to the nixon and kennedy camps. what we saw in '16 and what our intelligence communities have said, although the president accepts vladimir putin over that, is that, in fact, when we all went to the polls in 2016, we weren't doing so as sovereign american citizens, as the sons and daughters of concord and
appomattox. that wasn't happening. what was happening was this had been shaped and manipulated to some extent and some degree by an extraordinary geopolitical rival, one that we stood in the deadliest standoff in human history against from the end of world war ii until christmas day in 1991. i was just sitting thinking how do you break this down as clearly as possible? and the one common theme here is that president trump and his a wanted to get as much information as possible in order to shape and manipulate our elections. and that's a violation of our sovereignty. and it's very much no comment like this from me can go without mentioning 1787. this is very much what the founders were worried about.
there is a reason we have a line in the constitution that you can't accept foreign titles. the moments, you can't do this. put ourselves -- in a weird way the cyber world has kind of taken us back a little bit to the anxiety and the vulnerability of those figures in the late 18th sencentury. they had just won a war barely against the greatest empire in the world. they had every expectation that the british would come back. the french would come back. the spanish would come back, and they did. the british did come back in 1812. they were trying to build a wall in this case one we needed against foreign interference. what's happening now is we have a 21st century president who is just blowing through that. >> i'm going to ask all of you to stay with me a little bit longer. joining me now is democratic
senator doug jones of alabama joining us from birmingham. thank you for joining this conversation. let me begin because you have been one of those who has been reluct chbt at least for now saying waiting until we get the facts so to speak before you make up your mind as to whether or not we should proceed with impeachment of president trump. let me pick up from what we were just hearing there from john meacham which is a very basic question. do you want a president who seeks to use a foreign power in our elections? or do you want us to remain sovereign? what is it from what you have seen so far that has not answered that question for you? >> well, we still don't have all the facts. we have seen a transcript. we have seen a summer of a transcript as you have noted. the actual transcript has been removed and we haven't seen that. we have seen a summary that has been very troubling. other than that, we have seen a whistleblower complaint.
the one thing republicans are saying that is correct is this is allegations, a lot of hear say and a lot of putting the pieces together. we need to have the fact-finding mission. whether that leads to a vote on impeachment or not i think remains to be seen. i don't think you can do that simply on the complaint as we have seen it or just even that one transcript. we need to get to the bottom of this. we need to get the facts. whenever you get to an impeachment vote if it gets there it needs to be based on facts. it doesn't need to be based on mere allegations and one transcript. >> so let me try it this way, senator, if i may. this summary of the phone call, that came out from the white house. that means the white house is at least acknowledging that part of it is true. in that transcript or the summary of that transcript, the president is asking for information or an investigation into joe biden and hunter biden. let me ask you about this way. if he was not running for
president, if joe biden was not running for president, do you think the president would be asking for an investigation into joe biden? >> probably not. >> so isn't that political interference and asking president zelensky will you help me find information or investigate a political rival of mine? >> i think that that is a very serious problem. but you're going to have -- i have looked at transcripts left and right in my career as a prosecutor. and as a defense lawyer. the problem is that you can find any number of people who would say absolutely that is a smoking gun. but you're going to find reasonable people who say hold back a little bit. that may be improper, but is that an impeachable offense? the point is that we need to get all of the facts. we need to put that one conversation in a much bigger context and a much bigger chronology about what was going on with ukraine, with russia, with the biden investigation if
there was one going on? and there didn't appear to be one going on. let's look at all of the information and where we stand on with holding military aid and put that in as a piece of the puzzle to see if the dots connect. i think it is inappropriate to jump to a conclusion that you want me to jump to right now based on that one transcript. this is too dang serious to do that. we're talking about the impeachment of the president of the united states. this is a really serious matter and folks in the media want everybody to take a side. that's just not right. >> fair enough. let me play you this sound byte from your colleague, lindsey graham and what he had to say in an interview this morning about the whistleblower complaint. >> this seems to me like a political setup. it's all hear say. you can't get a parking ticket conviction based on hear say. we're not going to impeach a president based on hear say as long as i'm around.
there is a political smell to this that is far different than mueller. >> do you agree with senator lindsey graham that this is hear say and implication that this is politically motivated eechben though the acting dni said it was credible? >> so on the first part of your question, is it hear say? a lot of that allegation, a lot of the whistleblower complaint is in fact hear say. it is what other people have told him. i think senator graham was right, you don't impeach somebody based on hear say. i think he's wrong that this is a sham and wrong that this is a setup. i think this is a very concerned citizen that are very concerned about the abuse of power about our national security. he is right that you can't convict people of a parking ticket on mere hear say. we have to have the facts. the truth is somewhere in the middle of what we're hearing on
the extremes right now. >> senator doug jones of alabama, thank you very much for joining us. john meacham, as well. thank you for your deep sense of history. we always appreciate it. my conversation with former west wing star as he launches his new show and the finger pointing begins in the white house as impeachment nears. -their béarnaise sauce here is the best in town.
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it didn't take long for the finger pointing to begin after the whistleblower's complaint was released. here's the president suggesting that reporters should look into mike pence's conversations with ukraine, as well. >> i think you should ask for vp pence's conversation, because he had a couple of conversations, also. i can save you a lot of time. they're all perfect. >> amid reporting from the "new york times" that secretary of state mike pompeo is angry with rudy giuliani, giuliani tried to shift the focus back to the state department. >> his state department asked me to do this. mike, if you're unhappy with me, i'm sorry, but i accomplished my mission. i never talked to an ukrainian official until the state department called me and asked me to do it and then i reported every conversation back to them. i'm a pretty good lawyer, just a country lawyer, but it's all here, right here. >> joining the conversation campaign director for the center for american progress action fund.
great to have you join this conversation. phil, let me begin with you. what do you make of all this finger pointing? are things as dysfunctional as they seem given the fact that you've got the president saying look at mike pence and mike pompeo saying he's upset or suggested he is upset with rudy giuliani and giuliani saying the state department knows exactly what i'm doing? >> everybody thinks somebody else did it. i think we can all come back to the fact that it was president trump who got on the call with the president of the ukraine and said i need a favor and offered a barr to look into it and offered up giuliani. the fact that pompeo and pence are dragged into it is pretty remarkable but shows a sign of panic and everyone is running scared because now the hammer is coming down on them. >> phil, what's your take on all of this and the finger pointing? >> it's not surprising. it's sort of the pattern of behavior inside the white house which is that we have seen this for several years now which is
the president will do something, take some action, say something, do something with his conduct that creates controversy, in this case true peril for the presidency and casts about two others for blame and will always try to find staffers that he can blame or people that he can fault for his own conduct. we saw this in earlier regimes in terms of white house staffing. we're seeing it now with mick mulvaney. it comes at a point of chaos in the white house given that mulvaney is in an acting capacity as chief of staff and a number of senior officials. the press secretary is currently juggling three jobs at once. it's not a fully staffed well oiled operation. >> is he on thin ice because he is essential in the investigation as they say they are sending a letter to find out
why the $400 million was held up? >> mulvaney mulvaney's job status varies. some say he is totally fine and has nothing to worry about. others feel like he is on thin ice and trump -- staff tends to complain about all of their staff. it's unclear to know exactly what his standing is at the moment. certainly there will be a lot of exposure as the investigation continues including by the way into this management of how these foreign calls notes about these foreign calls, transcripts are stored within the system. >> one of the most remarkable things that came out of the snaupsis of the transcript of the phone call was this little subtle slip of trump tower reference. it's interesting because in that summary he writes i would like to tell you that i have quite a few ukrainian friends who live
in the united states. the last time i travelled to the united states i stayed in new york near central park and at trump tower. you followed that up with an interesting tweet writing they understand that dropping coin is a necessary component of diplomacy. expand on why that is significant. >> it's a mini scandal of itself that foreign leaders feel that they have to be able to talk to the president about staying at his hotels and properties in order to conduct official business with him. if that doesn't tell you that something is seriously wrong with the way the president has cabined his family's business and his presidency, i don't know what will. it's part of the routine. he slipped it in there. he was ready for it. for all we know he made a point of staying there so he could talk about it when he talked to the president. >> it's remarkable that that would have been a headline.
>> it's deeply corrupt. the dvr team of producers watch the sunday shows so you don't have to. impeachment 2020, how the inquiry is helping some presidential hopefuls and potentially hurting others. >> i have the energy of a mother of five boys who all play a different sport. let's do this. >> i'm like plastic straws. i've been around forever. i've always worked. now you're mad at me. s worked. now you're mad at me. as a struggling actor, i need all the breaks that i can get. at liberty butchemel... cut. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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so with impeachment taking up all the auxoxygen, political insiders are wondering if it can suck the life out of the campaign while breathing more life into others. >> the president proved again in july that we know about that he is willing to reach out to a foreign government and ask them to interfere in our elections. that is illegal and the way to hold this president of the united states accountable is to impeach him. so i hope we go forward with
care and deliberation but that we do it quickly. >> and then there is joe biden tasked with challenging president trump without getting further mired in the scandal by implication. >> it's the congress's job to pursue the facts and to hold donald trump accountable. in the meantime, my job, our job is to make sure above all else we beat donald trump. we'd like very much for us -- me to focus on his mistakes and what he has done and his focussed battle between he and i. this is not about me. this is about the american people. >> our panel is back with us. let me get your analysis on whether or not elizabeth warren stands to benefit from this controversy that involves the president and is focussed on the president but with impeachment conversations dragging joe biden into it, could she benefit from
it? >> she definitely stands to benefit from it. she has made cleaning up corrupt systems in washington a central part of the campaign. she has called for his impeachment previously just reinforces her stance on that. i think biden while he does have to treed carefully to make sure he doesn't worsen the scandal is presented with an opportunity to juxtapose against trump. someone who wasn't named there is senator kamala harris who has leveraged her experience. i think anybody who is a sitting senator definitely has an opportunity here. the other folks down ballot who are in lower tiers in the race definitely stand to lose a lot of oxygen in this.
>> if you were a low-tier candidate and you're seeing all of this headline about impeachment starting to suck all the air waves and you're trying to break through into the third debate stage, are you at all concerned, and you don't want to see the headlines all about impeachment. >> it's hard to find the story that can overtake a presidential election. but impeachment could actually -- it's a close comparison. there was already precious oxygen to talk about policy to move up. and the race is fairly static at this point. there are three top dogs and everyone else is kind of struggling. i think it makes it harder. i think warren to the extent that she was out there saying impeachment let's go for it. it probably helps her. i'm struck by how biden has been very careful to avoid addressing this. i guess the reason is probably because the charges right now
are totally spurious. to address them at all invites some kind of exchange. it makes them look like it's not getting into the main story. if it calls for an impeachment because of an investigation it's also kind of tricky. >> it's a double-edged sword. thank you very much for joining us all this evening. when we come back, a one-on-one conversation with n.a.t.o. secretary general as the president psingles out america's n.a.t.o. allies. out america's n.a.t.o. allies.
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a whistleblower complaint and impeachment inquiry did just that this week though i managed to find time to sit down with naty secretary general to discuss the state of the alliance and the controversy surrounding president trump. i want to begin if i may, sir, with the developments that have consumed two members of n.a.t.o., very important allies and what is happening in washington, d.c. are you at all concerned as the secretary general of n.a.t.o. when you hear reports that the american president allegedly politicized military assistance to ukraine for personal political gain? >> that is a domestic discussion issue for united states to address. what i can say is that all n.a.t.o. allies strongly support
ukraine. i met the ukrainian president this week and i reiterated n.a.t.o.'s political support and practical support we provide to ukraine. you have to remember that part of ukraine is occupied by russia. since they did so in 2014 allies have provided different kinds of support including some training and strength in the military capacity of ukraine. >> if i can focus on that for a moment which is the president of the united states was very critical about what other n.a.t.o. allies have been doing to ukraine, do you share his assessment that france and germany are not doing enough and are not helping ukraine with their needs? >> all allies provide support. different allies provide support on the bilateral level.
then i think there is the need to do more. that's also the reason why n.a.t.o. foreign ministers when we met in washington this spring we decided to step up our support to ukraine to do more. we are doing more. we are stepping up in different fields but also in proving the naval capabilities on top of all we have done. >> i understand the concern that the president was explicit in singling out germany and france. secretary general of n.a.t.o., do you think they should be doing more? >> my main responsibility is to make sure that the alliance stands together and work together and deliver together. i don't think the best way to do that is to sort of rank members publically. what i do is try to push for
more, that we do more together. when it comes to what we are stepping up and that includes all allies that are providing support to the ukraine. >> do you feel that other countries may be watching what is unfolding with ukraine currently and have concerns that the united states' commitment to n.a.t.o., to n.a.t.o. allies, individual countries is on shaky grounds or is on political grounds to say the least? >> i think to understand it fully, ukraine is not a n.a.t.o. member. russia has annexed a part of ukraine. that's the reason we support a partner, friend, neighbor, but they are not a member. what we have also done is we have significantly increased our military presence in the eastern part of the alliance because people asked can anything like this happen? we have to send an absolutely
clear message that this cannot happen. that's why we have deployed n.a.t.o. troops in the eastern part of the alliance. this is the u.s.'s part. i welcome the fact that the united states is increasing the military presence and also in europe and in the baltic part. >> no doubt that part of the strength is the democratic aspects of all of the countries that are part of the alliance. are you concerned going into election cycles that election security is a major security concern for n.a.t.o. as an alliance, as well? >> we are concerned about that. >> is the alliance doing anything about that? >> we are doing a lot to increase awareness of the possibility of meddling in democratic processes. we see the terms of that in several countries, but also in particular we are focussed on cyber security. therefore, we are doing it not tew increase cyber security and
to learn from each other big exercises, but also helping to make sure we are able to withstand sieb urtacyber attack we are faced with attempts to meddli meddling. we have to help in those. we don't believe the way to do that is to -- the truth will prevail and to provide the facts is the best way to counter attempts to meddling in democratic processes to disinformation. >> when you survey what is the biggest threat to n.a.t.o. today from where you sit as the secretary general, what would you say is the single biggest threat that the alliance is facing? >> the single biggest threat is that we live in a more unpredictable world with many different threats and challenges
at the same time. all that together creates a more unpredictable and more uncertain world. in uncertain time, we need strong national institutions to address those. >> thank you so much for your time. we appreciate it. >> thanks so much. and my thanks to n.a.t.o. secretary general for that conversation. coming up next here. >> leads down to five. >> lead in maine. >> we got momentum. we got the big mo. >> bradley whitford has some momentum of his own after a recent emmy win in the premiere of a new comedy. i will speak to him about the march to impeachment and the west wing 20 years after its launch. west wing 20 years aftes launch. imagine a world where
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new york and i asked him about all of it. >> great to have you with us. congratulations on your recent emmy. >> thank you, thank you. >> how does that feel? >> i feel obnoxiously lucky. >> congratulations. we will definitely talk about the show. knowing how politically engaged you are, i want to get your thoughts on everything that has transpired this week in washington, d.c. what do you make of what is going on in washington right now? >> as we were saying before, it's a relief to see that there is some sort of check and balance happening. i was getting really frustrate . i mean, on the one hand it is great that we are doing this, but he did stare down the barrel of the camera about three years ago and ask a foreign power to interfere in an election. it is frustrating to me that the democrats haven't been taking action when the rationale was
there is a political cost to it. that's the same rationale the republicans are using to allow the lawless behavior to continue. i'm horrified by his behavior, but i'm glad that it seems to be being reigned in. this is the 20th anniversary of the premier of "west wing." if you could imagine what josh would do or think about 2020, what would it be? >> he would be climbing the walls exactly as i am. >> you couldn't script an episode like this. >> no, this is terrible writing, terrible writing. if you pitched this, if you pitched a version of like, you know, the mueller report land g landing, not -- not having the consequences a lot of people thought it would have and have
the guy go out the next day and betray the country, yeah, it's bad writing. >> as someone who watched "west wing" religiously, i'm curious to get your thoughts. i remember back then the show was inspirational about its politics. >> it celebrated public service. >> you almost wanted to be some of the characters in the show. do you realize how polarized we are about our politics and po politicians? >> i have mixed feelings about that. this white house is something we have never experienced before. it is hard to imagine it having those lofty intentions. but a couple years ago, we had a president like that and even presidents i disagree with, george bush, i firmly believe that he was trying to do what he thought was right, and i think there were people around him who truly believed in him. i don't think that aspect of the
show was a fantasy. it does -- what is unprecedented with this guy, george bush, it broke his heart that he could not bring people together. it broke obama's heart. it broke bush's dad's heart. it broke clinton's heart. they wanted to bring people together. and this guy, i think, perversely and dangerously thrives on division. >> let's talk about something a little more light hearted, "perfect harmony." >> is this hell? >> that was quite a bender you were on, art. >> how do you know my name? >> we looked through your wallet. >> you paid so much. >> now, you put up quite a fight. luckily i'm huge. >> i shouldn't be here. i'm going to get my pants and go. >> wait. we're getting ready for a choir competition. we need your help. think of it as community service. >> this is my wife's community,
not mine, and i am retired. >> new comedy. >> the women talk back on this show. that's the difference. >> let's talk a little bit about why you decided to take on this role. >> i have been wanting to do a comedy. and actually we were thinking about -- this story came up. leslie blake webster who wrote this, this is a story based on her grandfather who at the end of his life was a very successful choir director and ended up in a little church in kentucky and found great meaning and joy there. and i wanted to do a show with radically different human beings coming together and kind of transcending their differences through humor and the joy of singing together. >> and finally, any chance of a "west wing" reboot of any sort?
>> we get that a lot. you know, it's all up to aaron sorkin. and he is justifiably reticent. that's my political answer. >> congratulations on all your success. >> thank you. give my love to kasie. >> will do. >> be sure to catch "perfect harmo harmony" on thursdays. when we return the kasie dvr. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ if you have moderate or psoriatic arthritis, little things can be a big deal.
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what a week it has been. >> a mind boggling week. >> a momentous week. >> white house officials were deeply disturbed by the president's phone call. >> i'm deeply disturbed by it at all. >> i have zero problems with this phone call. >> even pushing the president of ukraine to investigate a political rival. >> but he didn't do that. >> it's in the transcript. >> the call speaks for itself and it is plenty damning. >> four words that will likely live in infamy. >> do us a favor. >> do us a favor. >> do us a favor. that is what you call a high pressure tactic. >> there is no quid pro quo here. >> we don't have to show a quid pro quo, although this conversation comes awfully close. >> three years of deep state sabotage. >> i believe he knows. >> if he continues to focus on
that white wail, it will bring him down. >> i'm being respectful. >> please, can i just make my point? ? this is a sham as far as i'm concerned. >> it is unfortunate that the media continues to describe this individual as a whistleblower. >> a whistleblower says i don't have any direct knowledge. i just heard things. >> this seems to me like a political set-up. >> the president of the united states is the whistleblower. and this individual is a saboteur. >> it frightens me the republicans are standing up and defending the president. >> i read articles thinking she might be a whip. >> wow. all right. before we go, nick is back with us. nick, what are you watching for? that was just a summary of the past read. i can't imagine what this week is going to bring. >> of course it was a quid pro quo. if it was any more of one, it would be a written contract. but i'm curious to see how this shakes up with republicans.
senator graham is always in the president's corner. so the jim, the congressman. but they happen slowly and then all at once. do we see people wondering if they will be a lot better off with president pence than trump? >> that does it tonight on kasie d.c. and now good night from new york. this is an msnbc special presentation. they told me to take my clothes off. in an instant, i knew what was happening. >> it's the explosive story nbc news has investigated all year. >> this was a very prolific sexual predator. >> the secret world of jeffrey epstein. >> there are six of you before me. how many vic similatims do you there would be. >> i was shocked at court