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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  May 25, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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grotesq grotesque. birther movement in charlottesville, saying there was value on both sides. trump says some of the worst things a commander in chief ever has while never apologizing. that does it for me. i'm yasmin vossoughian. that does it. in every generation, they stand. in every generation, they receiver. in every generation, they sacrifice. for two and a half stcenturies,n land, sea, and in the air, they've fought and died for an idea bigger than themselves. they are the americans of every race and faith, who swear a sacred oath of honor and live it
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to the last. and when that moment comes, they lay down their lives for the country they love. protecting their comrades, their families, and their nation. they are the bold angels now, examples to us all. on this day, let us honor their sacrifice and call upon ourselves to walk in their footst footsteps, boldly. for they have led the way to the america we must be. the lincoln project. >> a moving tribute on this memorial day. >> beautiful. >> 2020. from the lincoln project, honoring our nation's fallen heros. a few lines in there just, you know, mika, stand out so much on this memorial day. they fought and died for an idea bigger than themselves.
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they are the bold angels, examples s to us all. and, you know, we watched, mika and i began watching, again this weekend -- because you'd never seen it -- "band of brothers" and got through the first three or four episodes. you know, as you watch that, and as you look at not only the greatest generation but this generation, as well, and the sacrifices that have been made, that are still being made to protect this country, you really do ask yourself that often repeated question, w do we find such men and such women? where do we find such heros? today is the day that we, of course, remember them, and we honor them the way we should honor them every day. >> good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, may 25th. with us, we have white house
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reporter for the "associated press," jonathan lemire. professor at princeton university, eddie glaude jr. former aide to the george w bush white house and state departments, elise jordan. and former nato supreme allied commander, retired four-star navy admiral, james, analyst for nbc news and msnbc. >> admiral, let's begin with you. and we actually got you here to talk about a lot of different things, to talk about china, to talk about the handling of this pandemic and how we do better moving forward, because you've obviously led men and women for so long and had to prepare for war. we're certainly in the grips of this war right now. but let's talk about past wars. let's talk about memorial day. and let's talk about -- like, for instance, what mika and i saw on "band of brothers,"
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actually, you sit there and think, "well, okay, this is just an incredible tv series." but it was true. it's what men and women not only go through today but have been going through for the past 240 years, to protect our land. some of your thoughts today on some of the men and women you have known through the years. >> wonderful, joe. first of all, thank you for taking the time to really talk about the men and women who have served the country, and those who have fallen. you know, a bookend to what you're watching about europe and the army is to look at the pacific and what the navy did there. watch the film "pearl harbor," which really stands up. you'll see there a navy corpsman, african-american, dory miller, who, in those days, all you could do as an
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african-american was to work in cooking. dory miller, pearl harbor, left his station in the ward room, the mess, if you will, and took other one of the anti-aircraft guns and shot down japanese aircraft. here's the bottom line of that, the navy just announced that our next nuclear aircraft carrier is going to be named the "uss dory miller." >> oh, wow. >> that experience, world war ii, is certainly that greatest generation. but i think back a decade ago when i was supreme allied commander of nato in afghanistan, on memorial day, when we were losing dozens of troops every week, and going to an outpost outside of kandahar and being a part of a memorial service. they took a soldier's boots and uniform and put it on a cross. it was a moving moment. this is the ultimate sacrifice
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you were just speaking of. certainly the phrase "bold angels" resonates with me, as well. >> well, on this memorial day, the nation mourns those who -- those killed while serving this country at war. we're also remembering those who lost their lives during a battle we are still trying to win. against coronavirus. the u.s. death toll from the virus is now approaching 100,000, eclipsing that of the wars in vietnam, the persian gulf, iran, and afghanistan combined. the "new york times" called it, quote, incalculable loss. the paper had the names of americans who lost their lives to covid-19. 1,000 names printed on the cover and on the inside of the paper, just a fraction, 1% of the deaths so far. another headline that sums up the weekend comes from the "washington post." quote, on weekend dedicated to
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war dead, trump tweets insults, promotes baseless claims, and plays golf. the president visited his golf club in virginia on saturday and sunday. he said nothing about the rising death toll, but he did find time to retweet posts that mocked the personal appearance of house speaker nancy pelosi. please excuse the crass language here, but the retweet said, quote, anyone know what's going on with poly grip? i noticed lately her face seems glossy, she is sporting a poorly marked second set of eyebrows. a second retweet stated, to protect poly grip during this pandem pandemic, we've developed two options. with the djt option, she will be able to tongue and adjust her dentures more ease adily -- goo god, this is the president -- with duct tape. won't be able to drink booze,
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blah, blah. >> all right, all right. >> he talked about vice presidential contender stacey abrams. the president we re tweeted, we just got a look at the official p portrait for the self-proclaimed race in georgia. she kissed babies and visited every buffet, restaurant in the state. joe will be a racist if he doesn't pick her. he retweeted this post on hillary clinton. quote, when i see one of those polls that has malarkey the racist up 6 to 8 points everywhere, i'm thinking they must have called the same 1,000 people from 2016 that said hrc "the skank" was up 6% to 8%. not to mention the two tweets about a disgusting conspiracy theory about joe. >> well, actually -- >> why do we read these? why do we read these? everyone is freaking out about what joe biden said. they're doing, like, two to three minutes of coverage, extensive coverage. this guy can't go five minutes
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without defaming someone, libellilibel i libeling them, saying disgusting, cruel things. if we're going to spend as much time on president trump's disgusting comments as we do on joe biden's, we're going to be on the air for a long time. we'll informnever get off the a. it is endless. >> elise jordan, let me go to you, fo you. former republican, it is remarkable to me that donald trump spent this weekend -- since joe biden's joke, which he apologized for. democrats apologize, even for jokes. but since that time, i've had calls from the press, what should biden do? i'm, like, are you kidding me? since that time, that offhanded remark, donald trump has called
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a black woman, who has dedicated her life to public policy, mocked her for being obese, mocked the appearance of the speaker of the house, the highest ranked woman in history, called a former secretary of state, former first lady, and the last nominee for the democratic party a, quote, skank. mika said one thing about me that is not accurate. it is really about donald trump attacking a grieving florida family, which we don't really want to talk about here. we can talk about all these other tweets, but attacking private citizens and the reputation of people who are no longer here to protect themselves. but that's how he spent memorial day weekend. instead of honoring the dead,
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lashing out. even many of his own supporters, even many of the anti anti-trump brigade called foul on him this weekend. he really -- i guess the thing i heard the most this weekend was that just when we thought he couldn't get any lower, he goes much lower. as jonah goldberg said in a tweet, basically said, this is all disgusting. this is all horrifying. the only question is, why does he think this will help him get re-elected? of course, elise, the answer to that is, it won't. >> joe, the kind of tweets that donald trump was retweeting this weekend, and the trash that was coming off his twitter account, if you have a relative tweeting things like that, you step in. if your father or mother is going crazy on the twitter
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account, you stop them. it just is intolerable. and i can't believe that, at the same time, you have joe biden's comments, which were unfortunate, but he apologized immediately and showed humility, that trump -- some trump supporters are trying to say, "oh, let's keep talking about that." when you look at just the complete trash emitting from donald trump's twitter feed. imagine if donald trump decided to go to walter reed instead of spending time with twitter or golfing. president bush wouldn't golf once america became involved in wars. he said he was a wartime commander and that mothers who had sons sacrificing, sons and daughters, they didn't deserve to have to see the commander in chief golfing while their family sacrificed. and that he needed to be treating it with the solemnity
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it deserved. you do not see that in one iota from donald trump. >> yeah. you know, we're not going to take the bait, other than talking about, this is what the man did during memorial day weeng weekend, as we approached 100,000. we will wrap this up quickly because i understand he wants to distract from his fiailure. i understand he wants to distract from the pandemic that he said would never happen. he said it was just one person coming in from china in january, then said it was only 15 people and that it was going tb down to zero in february. he wasn't concerned in march. in april, he wanted us to investigate bleach, disinfectants, and lights, and pushed a drug that actually, studies show, is bad for your heart. but i do want to just underline this fact.
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it is important for us to take note of this. as people are freaking out about joe biden making an offhanded remark, that donald trump does that every day. if the media, seriously, is going to obsess on joe biden making an offhanded remark for four or five days, then you need to obsess on absolutely everything donald trump says every single day that is beyond the pale, and suggests that the man is unfit for the presidency, unfit to be commander in chief. really, if he had anybody around him that respected the position they held, then they would seriously be considering the 25th amendment. tim carney said this, jay is right, talking about jay kno norlandknorr land norlander, saying trump is sick beyond belief. those with good will, and those without good will, should reckon
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with it. "examiner" wrote this, if you had an employee doing what trump did here, you'd fire him. if you had a friend doing this, you'd stop being his friend. if you had a family member acting like trump here, you would desperately try to intervene. that's all we're going to say about this. about calling hillary clinton the name that he did. about attacking -- by the way, donald trump attacking somebody for being overweight? seriously? that's like me attacking somebody for talking too much. it's just, like, you just don't do it. >> morbidly obese. >> then attacking nancy pelosi for her age. again, donald trump, please. i mean, please, put the mirror up. i guess there are no mirrors in the white house now. but let's talk, jonathan lemire, about the 100,000 soon to be dead. can we put the "new york times"
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front page up from yesterday? it was an extraordinary page one from the "times." >> really gave people a sense. >> extraordinary era that we are going through. as you look at those names, just 1,000 of 100,000, jonathan, you are reminded of the fact that just two months ago, almost all of those people were alive. two and a half months ago, we had a president that was saying he wasn't concerned at all. what is, exactly, based on your reporting, what is going through the president's mind? what is his state of mind? why does he seem even more unbalanced and unmoored today than he has over the past three and a half turbulent years?
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>> the "new york times" front page was such a powerful statement and image because, in part, of all the names that couldn't fit on the front page. i encourage people, if you haven't yet, to please look at it. it is not just names but snippets of a life, a life ended too soon. it was an extraordinary piece of journalism by the "times." i'm glad this show did a special, noting the hundreds of thousands yesterday. the president here is eager to talk about anything else. that is why, according to people i talked to around him, it led to the twitter explosion this weekend. 100,000 will be a somber milestone, when we hit it in the next couple of days. combined, of course, with a struggling economy, these are the things the president knows are going to very much damage his re-election chances. obviously, he's never been one to show much in the way of empathy. he struggled with previous tragedies. a hurricane or forest fire.
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he's rarely talked about that in terms of this pandemic. he's rarely offered sympathy to those gone. this weekend, he moved to lower the flag at the white house and federal buildings to half-staff. that came after a suggestion from house speaker pelosi and chuck schumer to do so. he was out golfing this weekend, in an effort to show the nation, look, we are opening up again. people returning to normal, though infections are rising in the country. he is going to note memorial day today. he is scheduled to go to arlington national cemetery. he has an event in baltimore, as well. what we're seeing here is a frustration from a president who is not overseeing the country that he wanted. more than that, is unable to run the campaign he wanted. he thought, as of a couple months ago, he'd be running a campaign on the back of a robust economy. he'd be able to talk about obamagate and deep state.
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he'd be able to dwell on joe biden's latest gaffe. none of that is in the cards right now. we're seeing him desperate, he and his allies trying to revive that over the weekend with j, j, seizing upon the biden joke. there is a flailing from the white house, from his campaign team, knowing that right now, his own internal polls say if the election were held today, he would lose. that has led to, more than anything, a sort of unmoored, unhinged twitter spree that we saw this weekend, instead of a focus on those who have died in the pandemic. >> eddie glaude, as we look at the numbers and the front page of the "new york times," we would be remiss if we didn't underline the fact that this pandemic has disproportionately hit black communities. this pandemic has disproportionately impacted people who don't have adequate
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health care coverage. it's likely for all americans, but especially members of the plaq black community, leaders of the black community. this pandemic should force everyone, once again, to see why health insurance, not only for black americans, but for all americans, is so critical in a pandemic and after a pandemic. >> you're so right, joe. the virus hams metastasized in the fissures of society. it's revealed how inequality has undermined american democracy, prior to covid-19. as i locoked at that cover and watched the special yesterday, i was thinking about the loss of each of those individuals, joe. you know, you have to think about each of those persons being a member of a family. being a member of a community.
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and how the very fabric of those communities and those families have been, in some ways, rend by the loss. you have to multiply the loss not simply by the number of dead, 100,000, but you have to think of the nested network communities in which those people lived and the impact that has. i want to juxtapose that to the video that opened this segment. you have the bold angels sacrificing, exhibiting the character of courage. you have to juxtapose that sacrifice with the rampant selfishness today. we're on our way to 100,000 who are dead. th to think about sacrifice, selfishness, and the reality of those we've lost, we are in a terrible state right now as a country. >> i will tell you, eddie, as
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you talk about a family that's attached to each one of those names, i think about friends of mine. mark holden, robert draper. men who have lost their mothers during this time. they were not able to be there and be with them. it was -- it is, for those who haven't done it, it is terrible, bei being there when your mother passes. you take some comfort by the fact you can hold her hand tharks t, like the family, as we were when my mom passed away, the family can be around. we were singing some of her favorite songs. we were praying with her. we knew -- >> making her feel safe. >> we wanted her to feel safe. she passed in peace.
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but this disease for robert and for mark and for 100,000 americans, families, it takes -- it steals that moment, that critical moment, the life passage away from these families. mika and i have a really good friend who is a mental health counselor, who is -- has done a drive just to buy ipads, to buy tabl tablets. so his people are dying, they can communicate with their family members. this is a crucial, crucial pel,, and we have a ways to go. we are so grateful that this country is opening up, but it needs to open up safely. there were some scenes yesterday that made me fear for those who are in the middle of a crush of
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people. fear for not only them, but for the parents and grandparents they were going to be seeing in the next few weeks. this pandemic is real. it is still with us. we pray for a vaccine, for a miracle vaccine. we pray for medicine, that we move towards that day. until that time, there are still people like robert, still people like mark, who have said good-bye and who will have to say good-bye to their parents, grandparents and, yes, even their sons and daughters. so we need to remain vigilant. admiral, with that, i'm going to ask you a leadership question here and ask your advice. we all look to the president. we obviously can't look to him right now, and that's just the way it is. we're americans. we're not ruled by one person, by one man. so it is incumbent upon us to be
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leaders ourselves. and i would ask you your thoughts. we're going to be threading the needle. we have to do two things at once and, my god, you've had to plan that in even more dire circumstances, when lives were immediately on the line during war. but we need to reopen this economy, which we're starting to do, and do it in a safe way. we also have to prepare for the fall because the pandemic of 1918 proves to us that if we do that wrong, the second wave could be even worse than the first wave. so drawing upon all you have learned, your leadership skills, how does america move through the summer with a partial reopening and move into a fall? how do we best be prepared for a possible second wave that could be far more deadly than even the first? >> let's start with your
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premise, which is the leadership question. i've asked myself a lot about that recently, as you can imagine. let's go back to a president who faced a crisis worse than what we are in today. of course, that would be franklin delino roosevelt. it is pretty instructive to go back and look at fdr, in the way he led the country both through the second world war but also the great depression. don't forget, those events come on the heels of the previous great pandemic, the spanish influeni influen influenza, which ran to the early '20s, then great depression, then world war ii 2. roosevelt was calm. he was steady. he was a superb communicator in an era where you didn't have all these marvelous tools of mass communication. he did it with these fireside chats on the radio. he was a team builder who brought in an extraordinary
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array of individuals, put them around him, sublimated their egos, and created a sense of teamwork. finally, he led from a moral platform. he believed in the country. he knew this country mattered to the world. he did what leaders do in a situation like this, joe. that is, every day, they wake up and strive to bring order out of chaos. the way to do that is a steadiness, a sensibility for the nation, and we do not see that, at the moment, certainly, from the white house. we are seeing it -- i'll close on this -- from some of our governors. let's look at that in a bipartisan way. look at a republican in massachusetts, like charlie baker, who has been all the things i just described. look at andrew cuomo in new york, a democrat, who puts on briefing after briefing,
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steadily communicates, has worked through the worst of the crisis of any of the 50 states. you can find governors on both sides of the spectrum. sadly, i'm not seeing that at the federal level. >> and you do see governor dewine in ohio, governor newsom in california. again, they've all provided steadily leadership and made a difference in their states. i'm hopeful that as we move forward, governors in other states will do the same. i guess we can hope against hope that the president, one day, will wake up, one morning will wake up and understand the grave responsibility he has for what has happened. but understand that we could, if history is any guide, just be at halftime. we need everybody, everybody on the field, so to speak, carrying this metaphor forward, as we
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move into the fall. do we pray for a miracle vaccine? yes, we do. do we hope for great breakthroughs in drugs? yes, we do. but praying and hoping and wishful thinking is not enough. i think it was mother teresa who said, you should pray as if there is no such thing as work, and you should work as if there is no such thing as prayer. we have to do both. still ahead on "morning joe," it is a double-edged sword. rural communities are more isolated from large populations of people, but they also lack the health care facilities of larger cities. we'll talk about those factors in the spread of the coronavirus. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. >> this is not about politics. this is not about whether you're liberal or conservative, left or
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china's move to exert greater control over hong kong caused more turmoil over the weekend, as protesters defied social distancing rules and clashed with police who fired tear gas and a water cannon, arresting at least 180 people. critics of beijing's move to impose a national security law on hong kong say that it is an attempt to stifle dissent, putting an end to the city's independence. the white house said yesterday that china will likely face sanctions for its actions in
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hong kong. >> admiral, china is becoming more aggressive by the day. fairly remarkable if you look at it just in recent history, that they are responsible for the unleashing of a pandemic that has wrecked the world economy, killed so many people. we don't know where the death count is going to end up. instead of being back on their heels or working aggressively for a vaccine, or reaching out to the world community, they are actually acting more aggressive, whether it is toward hong kong or toward vietnam or even in the concentration camps inside their country. what is going on? how is the united states failed in its response to xi's rising power? and what in the world can we do moving forward? >> you know, let's start with the premise here. let's go back to 2019.
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you remember, 2019 seems like a long time ago, we already had a rich basket of disagreement with china. south china sea, huge body of water, china claims it in its entirety. 5g, the network controversy. as you mentioned, the territorial disputes around the edges of the south china sea with vietnam, the philippines, taiwan. additional pressure on them. trade and tariff disputes. we have this very rich, unfortunately, basket of disagreement. now, you drop a nuclear bomb in the middle of that, which is called covid-19, the irresponsibility of the regime in allowing that to get into the wild, so to speak. so you really have this witch's broom of relationships. news flash, it is occurring during an election year in the united states, in which the trump administration, predictably, is going to maximize the ability to use
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china like a pin i canata, and t for electoral advantage. terrible fact pattern at the moment. i think the real question -- you nailed it, joe -- is what do we do about it? i'll tell you three things quickly. first, we need a strategy. that means not just episodic responses, but thinking about dpl diplomacy, economics, military deterrence, bringing sensibility to the challenges in china. secondly, we need an international coalition. that's all our allies in the pacific, and there are many. japan, south korea, australia, new zealand, malaysia, singapore, thailand, vietnam increasingly. we need to internationalize the response to china, and that includes the response to covid. third and finally, we need to recognize, we've got to bend this relationship with china. we have to change the terms of it. we don't want to break it, ie, get ourselves stumbling into a
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cold war. it is going to be complicated. from now to november, it is going to be a very difficult stretch of water. >> well, as you talk about strategy, the united states needs to develop a long-term strategy. we just -- you need to start by having a coherent message to send to the chinese. we've been so erratic. if you look at the president's fawning praise of president xi, of course, we always talk about what he said on january 24th, when he thanked president xi for his transparency and all the great work china was doing. that was a bizarre tweet to send out at the time. but this is also the same president who saluted xi for consolidating power in the past. has more power than anybody since chairman mao.
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you have that praise one moment. the next moment, you have these erratic trade skirmishes, where the president doesn't have an overall strategy. follow that up with occasional nasty tweets and insults toward the people of china, just because he seems to be checking that off of his list for the campaign. it's really hard to figure out where donald trump stands when it comes to china. any attack of china, any critique of china is usually followed up by the president talking about what a wonderful leader and person president xi is. >> exactly. to reference our earlier conversation, what do you want leaders to do? you want them to bring order out of the chaos. you want them to have a plan. you wan tht them to communicate steady ways. what we don't want to do with china is treat it like an on and off switch on the wall that we turn on, oh, we love china, then
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we turn it off, oops, we're going to get into a war with china. we've got to dial it in. it is like a dimmer on the wall in your dining room. we have got to be able to have a coherent strategy that is steady and finds balance, not this jagged on and off switch all the time. again, i'll close on this, hen kising kisinger said we are on a war. we have to confront china when we must, when the behavior warrants it, but we have to find ways to cooperate where we can. confront where we must, cooperate where we can, and build a strategy. >> admiral stavridis, thank you so much. remember these pictures from march, travellers from europe, packed shoulder to shoulder in
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jam-packed terminals, including chicago? a new report is looking into how president trump's move to block travel from europe triggered chaos and a surge of passengers from the outbreak center. >> he announced it. they didn't prepare for it. we talked about it in real time. there was no preparation, so you had all of these people traveling from one of the worst infected places. >> squashed together. >> squashed together in airports because, again, no planning. just erratic jig jagging. his own administration has asked him, the head of hhs has asked him in late january to implement a travel ban from europe. he refused because he thought it would spook the markets. he had another month or so to prepare for an eventual ban. he didn't do it. the consequences were grave. more on this just ahead on "morning joe." every leak in our softest, smoothest fabric. she's confident, protected, her strength respected.
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shortly before trump tweeted fox news host steve hilton was talking about the topic, urging schools to reopen. quote, reopen now, before you do even more needless damage. he said wearing masks were fine but compulsory, temporary checks, unscientific nonsense and pointless. and social distancing rules wer. twump tweet trump tweeted, much very good information now available. >> much very good information. >> english much? >> jonathan lemire, this reminds me, obviously, the fda is right. while some of the cases are going down, and we -- we're bending the curve, obviously, there are concerns that health officials have across the rest of the country. the head of the fda, who has
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been right more often than not during this crisis, has said it's not contained yet. donald trump, of course, goes out and then undercuts that, which he often undercuts doctors and scientists in his own administration. but, again, this magical thinking continues from donald trump. not exactly sure why. reminds me of when kudlow said the end of february that we had the pandemic contained. that was before 100,000 americans, nearly 100,000 americans died. kellyanne conway blasted a cbs reporter for suggesting the coronavirus was not contained. again, the magical thinking continues. i'm just curious, when the president is saying that the schools need to be reopened, when i think something like 75% of americans with children in schools say they would not send
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their kids back to school right now, i keep wondering, especially where this school thing comes from. again, if you look at the 1918 pandemic, rushing kids back to school ended up being a disastrous move. i'm not talking about even for the fall. like, they're talking about right now. >> geez. >> right. this is the latest example of the tension between the match cal thinkin i magical thinking, a as you say, and the science. it was born out of a fox news segme segment, and he tweeted about it. school districts are closed for the year as it is, or heading that way, or have a few weeks left. there are real concerns. parents across the country, of course, want to know about summer camps in the months ahead, and school in the fall. we've had dr. fauci even in his testimony a few week ago suggest that he wasn't sure he could endorse that yet. he didn't know that the nation would be ready for a
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full-fledged return to school, even by the fall. it is too early to say. what we're seeing here is the president, again, undercutting his advisers, who are also not hearing from a lot. we saw dr. birx for the first time in the white house briefing room in nearly a month, when she appeared friday. dr. fauci had one media appearance last week. he acknowledged he hadn't been doing many. he said he hoped to do more, but we haven't seen him since. those are being controlled by the west wing. whether or not these doctors are able to get out there and talk to the press. part of that is the president has wanted them on the sidelines because he's wanted to shift the focus to the economy. he doesn't want to dwell on the public health crisis. except, of course, to engage in that glass half full nature, promising a vaccine by the end of the year when experts think it seems unlikely, and not wanting to dwell on the death total and not, as a final point,
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on what dr. birx said friday. we're seeing cases in certain places, including the washington, d.c. area, which hasn't been able to bend the curve like they've wanted to see. >> the thing that i don't understand, mika, is that this magical thinking has -- it's on video tape. he continues it. the predictions that he's making now, i mean, it's on tape for the fall. he's on tape in january saying that, yeah, this is just one person coming in from china. soon, it'll be gone away. nothing to worry about. on tape the end of february, almost a month after joe biden and peter navarthanavarro, his representative, warned we weren't ready for this pandemic. navarro saying 500,000 americans could die from it. in march, telling members of the senate, republicans, you have nothing to worry about. everything is fine. he's asked by reporters in march
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if he is concerned, and he says, "no, i'm not concerned at all." we're doing a great job. you have the fda here saying it's still not scientifically, look at it, yeah, but it's not contained. the president, with magical thinking, undercuts that. it's just like when the president talked about injecting disinfectants. fda had to come out and say, "this is bad. please don't do it." >> don't do it. >> it is when the president kept talking about hydroxychloroquine. the fda had to come out with warnings. again, again, the president, it'd be great to say the president is only hurting his own political prospects, but he is sending a really dangerous message to many americans who listen to him, act on that bad advice, and then could quite possibly end up in the hospital. >> clearly a deadly message, a
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fatal message for those with vulnerabilities. elise jordan, again, leadership. you have families with small children. they're absolutely miserable. they want to get outside. they want to go to camp. they want to go to school. they want life to get back to normal. if you could talk about the need for clarity, in terms of directives. families that are, you know, on the edge and desperate to get out of lockdown will take, you know, any sign they can get to leave. >> the problem is, mika, it has just been so all over the place. the guidance that has been coming from the federal levels. so governors have really had to step up and lead. yet, that's been all over the place. you have, you know, within the limits of a certain state, the rules could be completely different if you cross over the border. so i feel for parents who are desperately wanting to return to some semblance of normal life
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with their children, and have their children be able to go and play with other kids and do the kind of things we like to see children do in the summer. but until this white house can step up to the plate and level with americans about what should be permissible and about what's relatively safe, and giving some kind of framework for navigating this pandemic, it's just not going to be possible. i understand why plenty of parents are probably errin d er the side of extreme caution. >> eddie, of all the tweets he put out this weekend, the horrid tweets, cruel tweets he put out this weekend, perhaps the most dangerous was the one we just showed, saying, "hey, it is safe to get back in the water." basically saying, you know, cases, numbers, deaths going down all over the country.
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as we move towards 100,000, we are bending the curve. of course, people in the trump administration are still concerned about the outbreaks that are out there and the outbreaks that could come. let me ask you about princeton and the fall. i know every college, every university, every high school, middle school, they're all approaching this in different ways. right now, what does a prospect of fall classes look like for princeton? >> well, princeton is waiting -- kind of waiting to assess the patt matter. they know we're developing thera therapies. a vaccine is a year or two off down the line, and they want to make sure they have testing regimes in place before they bring students back to campus. we won't know until mid-july whether or not we'll have an on-campus fall semester.
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they're telling factuality to prepare to teach online, but we won't know until mid-july. they'll taking in data to make an informed decision. the tweet enrages me. i'm thinking about all the people that he's putting in danger, and then i'm reminded of what dr. fauci told us when we first started doing the press conferences around covid-19. remember, he said that we would see this lag. even if we bent the curve, there would then be the death lag. the deaths would still rise. so you had spikes happening in the south, even though you've seen bending of curves in some places. we still haven't experienced the lag yet. so i'm just wondering when this accumulated knowledge from what we have experienced up until now will then be brought to bear on how we respond to the current circumstances. instead, we get this clamoring to open up the economy because
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donald trump is really interested in his political well-being. so as princeton looks at the data to make a decision about when to bring kids back to campus, we need to be looking at the data and experience as we try to open up our economy. it just seems only right to me. >> you know, mika, the economy is reopening. whether you're talking about opening up a restaurant or getting back into the churches or the synagogues or the mosques, we just have to do it safely. we have to socially distance. yes, people, if they want to be safe, should wear masks if they want to keep other people around them safe. >> yeah. >> they should wear masks. what has concerned me from the beginning is that, yes, new york city went through absolute hell. they bore the brunt of this. i'm concerned though about, you know, where i grew up. all the places i grew up in the central time zone. i'm concerned about rural
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america. the hospital system has been defunded over the past decade. a lot of those hospitals can't face the influx of covid-19 cases. so it's so critical. everybody looked at new york city. everybody has looked at washington. everybody has looked at chicago and new orleans. it is so critical that people in rural america, in the central time zone, in other places that maybe we haven't heard as much about, that they -- that they're careful and they're safe as they go about their business, as they go to church, as they think about getting back to schools. again, rural health care has been gutted by the federal government over the past decade. up next, tom nichols joins us with his new, provocative piece for the "atlantic," entitled, donald trump, the most unmanly president. tom will explain that ahead. >> mr. burgundy, you are acting like a baby.
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according to the zbi guidelines -- >> the law allows the president to override -- >> every governor can allow churches to reopen. it is interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to see the churches and houses of worship stay closed. >> the president said that -- >> i object to that. i mean, gi i'm dying to go back church. the question we're asking you, and would like to have asked the president and dr. birx, is is it safe? if it is not safe, is the president trying to encourage that, or does the president agree with dr. birx, that people should wait? >> the white house press secretary is always a complicated job. they work for the white house, but they're paid by taxpayers. they are public officials. kayleigh mcenany isn't acting like she's working for the public. she acts like she is what we used to be, a spokesperson for
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the trump campaign. let me just say, sam donaldson, the reagan white house, we were tough on the press secretaries and never had our religious beliefs questioned or were lectured or what we should ask. >> welcome back to "morning joe." monday, may 25th, memorial day. still with us, we have white house reporter for the "associated press," jonathan lemire. professor at princeton university, eddie glaude jr. former aide to the george w. bush white house, elise jordan. and joining the conversation, mike barnicle. and national security expert columnist at "usa today" and author of the book, "the death of expertise," tom nichols. good to have you on board this hour. on this memorial day, the nation mourns those killed while serving this country at war. we're also remembering those who lost their lives in a battle we're still trying to win, and that's against the coronavirus.
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the u.s. death toll from the virus is now approaching a staggering 100,000. eclipsing that of the wars in vietnam, the persian gulf, iraq, and afghanistan combined. the "new york times" called it a, quote, incalculable loss, as the paper covered its front page with the names of americans who lost their lives to covid-19. 1,000 names printed on the cover. on the inside of the paper, just a fraction, 1% of the deaths so far. another headline that sums up the weekend comes from the "washington post." quote, on weekend dedicated to war dead, trump tweets insults, promotes basely claims, and plays golf. the president visited his golf club in virginia on saturday and sunday. he said nothing about the rising death toll and the incredible milestone of 100,000 dead that we are approaching.
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but he found time to retweet garbage. >> well -- >> just horrible things about people who he considers his critics. he sat there, like maybe in his golf cart, i don't know, from the golf course, tweeting and retweeting horrible things about people. >> well, you know, it is shocking, mike, that he would make fun of stacey abrams' weight. of course, you can look at the president and ask whether he has no mirrors in the white house or not. but making fun of a black woman's weight, which he did via tweet. calling a former secretary of state and a former presidential candidate a, quote, skank. repeatedly making fun of nancy pelosi's appearance and also her age. you know, also, and we don't
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want to get into it much here, but also being extraordinarily cruel to a family who are not public figures. he did this over memorial day weekend, and he did this as the "new york times" moves towards -- showed us how much closer we are to 100,000 deaths. just the absolute scale and the humanity of this loss. >> joe, is it really shocking that he did this? this is a cruel, damaged human being, who goes out of his way to harm people. he goes out of his way without seeing these people. he would never utter a single negative response to any of the people that he attacked on twitter over the weekend if it
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were eye-to-eye contact. he is afraid of that. he is afraid of the repudiation. but he is afraid of the physicality of it. he is afraid of looking at someone in the eye and saying what he says on twitter to them. he would never, ever do that. the front page of the "new york times," the front page of the "new york times" was a reminder to him and to everyone in this nation that these people listed in the "times," in three full pages, actually, they were your friends. they were your neighbors. they were us. we were told as a nation many, many times -- you've gone over it many, many times, joe -- "there is no threat here. it is one person from china. it is 15 people from china. we just sent them back to china." the level of threat has never been addressed. the level or responsibility will never be addressed. on memorial day 2020, a sacred
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day, especially where i'm from. i grew up at a time when memorial day was memorial day. there were no sales at home depots. there were no large-scale picnics. it was to honor the dead. i grew up in a gold star hou household. my uncle jerry was killed at midway. like all of the people listed yesterday in the "times," and all of the people who will be memorialized at cemeteries around this country today, my uncle jerry, second lieutenant gerald j. barnacle, killed at midway, june 4th, 1942, he never died. his memory lived. he lives today through me. as will all those people who are listed in the "times" yesterday. that's what donald trump fails to grasp. >> and as we saw in that beautiful video coming in at the
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6:00 hour, they are bold angels now. they serve as a constant reminder to us of the responsibility we owe to this country. but, yeah, this weekend, it was an extraordinary weekend. as you looked at a country tryintr trying to reopen. i want to say this again, i want to underline this again, because i can't say it enough. if you just read the president's twitter feed, or if you just watch cable news, or if you just listen to podcasts or read blog posts, you miss the big picture. here is the big picture. that over the past two and a half months, the overwhelming majority of americans have acted in a remarkable way, in a responsible way, in a giving way, that proved they loved their neighbors as themselves. that they cared for the health
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of those around them. that they would do whatever it took to protect their families. yes, that they would not wait from leadership from washington or from a governor's mansion to move forward themselves and protect their families, their loved ones, and their neighbors. and we saw this, again, i keep saying it, we saw it in florida, where a study last week came out and showed that floridians moved to socially distance and moved to shelter in place with their families even while the governor was acting irresponsibly. even while the governor was fumbling around and bumbling around and refusing to do what the president's own team were telling governors to do. because he wanted to keep spring break open. he wanted to keep the sand bars open. he wanted money to keep flowing.
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floridi floridians, like americans, acted responsibly. the overwhelming majority have. you look at the polls. you see that, you know what, we've got them outnumbered. we really do. 75%, 80% of americans say, no, no, no. we're not going to send our kids back to school yet. overwhelming majority of americans say, "yes, we'll wear masks. will it protect us? will it protect our neighbor? sure, we'll wear masks." only 8% say they won't. you see the clip of the reporter going into a crowd, a mob of people screaming and yelling and pushing him, tell ting him to te off his mask. that's 8%. you see in michigan, people carrying military style weapons into a legislature, threatening the governor, trying to shut down do legislature, and screaming and yelling and verbally abusing law enforcement
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officers. that's the minority. we've got them outnumbered. the majority of americans, republicans, democrats, independents alike, have acted responsibly. it is why we bent the curve. we have to continue to act responsibly because we're moving into the summer. as scott gottlieb said on friday, hopefully we do have a seasonal effect. hopefully in july and august, it will dissipate a bit. we have to prepare for the fall. so, mika, something very exciting is happening this morning on "morning joe." >> what's that? >> for the first time, the nick nickenick nichols twins. tom nichols and hans nichols, who i think were olympians and also started facebook. i think i got that name right.
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but let's go to hans nichols at the white house right now. they call him the quiet nichols twin. hans -- i bet nobody called you quiet any more than they called me quiet. so what's the plan for the next week? obviously, a lot of chaos this weekend. we've covered that. don't want to talk about that really. let's talk about moving forward. we haven't seen dr. fauci in a while, dr. birx, we finally saw her. is there a plan to get a medical update this week from the white house on how the country is doing, other than what the fda chief said, which is, "hey, this virus is not contained yet?" >> reporter: the president was tweeting the cdc this morning, which is slightly new for him. there's been distance between the white house and cdc throughout the entire process. perhaps more reliance on the cdc. i wouldn't weigh too much into that. looking forward to this week, it
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seems the big fight is going to be about schools. you're talking about the fall, and you're talking about what's going to happen next. the school fight seems to be the big fight. the argument on churches, at least from the white house perspective, seem largely symbolic. there's not a whole lot the white house can do to pressure governors to open up churches. they basically admitted that last week on friday. schools are different matter. the amount of federal money that flows into them. yes, we've had a lot of symbolic fights, fights about signaling and what people think should happen next. the school fight strikes me as significant because there are federal dollars at play, and it is clear this is what the president thinks the next battleground is going to be, to start opening up the country, not just having people out on boardwalks and whatnot. that's what we'll be looking to. the president has some travel, heading down to florida for that spacex launch. again, that's more on the sort of symbolism category. here's what he wants to do,
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pretend everything is normal and send that signal, especially to his core group of supporters. guys? >> thank you so much, hans. we greatly appreciate it. jonathan lemire, also, obviously, you cover the white house for the "ap." jonathan, can you help -- obviously, it is very hard to figure out where the president is getting his information from and why the president is doing what he is doing, and why he is doing things that are going to hurt him so much with the overwhelming majority of americans. we saw the poll last week, that an overwhelming number of americans who have children in schools say they are not ready to send their kids back to school yet. our kids want to go to summer camp. i'm getting calls from parents who are saying, "hey, we're not going to let our kids go to summer camp. we're going to sort of wait this out." so the overwhelming majority of americans are taking a wait and see approach before they send their children back into
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schools. i'm cure rowiou curious, the pr been pushing this back to school thing even though the majority of americans don't support him on this. any insight into why he is doing that, when parents of kids are not ready yet? >> well, joe, certainly, my kids are ready to get out of the house. certainly, most school districts and camps are taking a wait and see approach here. parents, too, wanting to be cautious. you cited the polls. this is a moment where it is akin to a few weeks ago, when the president was seeing these pretty small protests at state capitols, like michigan, pennsylvania, few other places. he really seized upon them. a lot were trump supporters wearing "make america great again" apparel. he took it as a representation of his base, that that's what the base that he cares so deeply about, that's what they wanted. that led to the liberate tweets,
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though public opinion polling showed those people were in the vast minority. we're seeing that here again, sort of an echo chamber between the white house and the conservative media. it had been agitating for a reopening of the nation and the economy in a much brisker speed than perhaps the public at large. >> wait, wait, if i can -- >> they fixated on schools. >> if i can interrupt you, it is not the conservative media -- forgive you for correcting you. it is the trump media or anti anti-trump media. >> sure. >> i haven't seen a great outpouring of conservative writers saying, "hey, let's rush headlong back into school right now," like donald trump is. so are we talking about the fringes again, the 8% that don't want to wear masks, the people that are showing up with ar-15s to try to shut legislatures down? again, i haven't heard this groundswell. i heard people say, "i'm ready
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to get back out to work. hey, i'm ready to go to a restaurant and sit outside, wear a mask. hey, i'm ready to go to church if the church services are outside. hey, i'm ready to do all theesz thi these things." i haven't heard a single parent, and i have two kids that are in, like, middle school and high school. i haven't heard a single parent in a very conservative area going, "i need to send my kids back to school today." nobody. i mean, nobody is saying that. like, i'm a coach of a -- of my boy's baseball team. there's somebody in the league that said, "hey, when are we starting this back up?" every single parent in my conservative area said, "are you kidding me? no, we're not ready to start playing baseball again." so, again, i just -- i'm just baffled where the president is hearing this from. because if i'm hearing this in a place that voted for trump, and
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from all of my trump friends, people that supported trump in '16, if they're all saying, "no, no, no, we're not starting baseball back yet with our kids. no, we're not ready to send them back to school," again, where is he hearing this? >> some of it is from the conservative fringes, as you say. according to our report, also, people have told the president, there's the link that the economy can't fully reopen until working parent haves a plas hav put their children. that's paramount to the president, the idea of the economy going. what you're seeing this weekend, he had a few tweets about schools, but the most direct tweet yet, the directive, we should reopen schools, that came this weekend, immediately after he saw it on fox news. there is at least a percentage that. whether it leads to actions, decisions are made on the city level, state level.
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the white house has little to do with it. so this may simply be the president talking. again, trying to run against the government. we talked at length last week, joe, about him trying to be the outsider again. i think we're seeing that, as well. even if schools can't reopen, he thinks it is politically smart to position himself, running against the guidelines his own government created. >> donald trump is running against donald trump. good luck, buddy. it is not going to work. mika, as jonathan is reporting, bottom line is, it's about business. it's not about children. it's not about parents. it's about business. but you know that businesses are going to try to figure out a way to work with parents so they can -- they're doing it right now. >> yeah. >> so they can work at home until it is safe for the children to head back to school. >> i also think it is about the election. but there is a spiraling happening here. tom nichols, you tweeted that donald trump's twitter feed is now becoming indistinguishable
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to conspiracy theorists and trolls. i mean, it just doesn't -- it definitely doesn't look presidential. let's put it that way. >> it's gotten worse. i mean, his twitter feed was always kind of, you know, a bowl of hot crazy now and then. but in the past few weeks, i think as he's realizing that he is losing, losing in the public opinion battle, he's losing in the polls, probably going to lose the presidency, he has become more unhinged. nastier and crazier in the way he tweets. you know, you can't un-ring some of those bells. you can't say, "well, i was doing that to get elected."
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that was his thing in 2016. i'm doing these things to get elected, and when i'm president, i'll be super presidential. that's not happening, this is who he is. it is disturbing and it says something, that he is unfit for the job. he literally is not capable of doing the job. we're in the middle of a crisis is, you know, he is tweeting crazy conspiracy theory stuff. >> yeah. i fear el so much more could be happening in leadership and getting people together to deal with the virus. it's not happening. >> it's not happening. it's not working. again, i don't understand politically why he's gone down this path. >> yeah. >> you look at all the polls. you look at the fox news poll from friday. i think it was friday. he's down eight to joe biden nationally. he's down five in a minnesota poll that came out yesterday from the main newspaper in minnesota. he's down five to joe biden in minnesota there. he's down in wisconsin polls. he's down in pennsylvania polls. he's down in florida polls. he's down in arizona polls.
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most importantly, he continues to really lose a lot of traction among senior citizens, for good reason. because a lot of senior citizens know they can't trust what he's saying about a opinipandemic. >> they can't survive what he is saying. >> it's killing way too many senior citizens. he's hearing some of donald trump supporters, prominent supporters, people in his own administration talking about, "hey, i don't know what?" well, as donald trump himself said, "yes, people will die." in the "new york times" this morning, memorial day, mika, there's a moving story about extraordinary heros from world war ii, and the extraordinary things they did to not only beat hitler and nazism, but also to win the war in the pacific. yet, they lost their lives over the past few months in this
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pandemic. they see, seniors see what is happening. that's why i just don't understand why this course that is reckless politically and economically, but most importantly is reckless when it comes to the health of our seniors, why this course continues to be pursued. >> i don't think he knows a different one. joining us now, "morning joe" chief medical correspondent dr. dave campbell. dr. dave, this weekend, dr. deborah birx reminded americans of the importance to continue to social distance, not let their guard down, and she talked about the effectiveness of wearing masks. she's now wearing one publicly. we can't say it enough, though it is worth repeating. there are a large number of people who won't wear masks at this point, including the president. >> you know, it's important to realize that she reminded us.
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she didn't tell us for the first time. it is important to prevent droplets from you going to someone else. it is also important to remember that the cdc has told us that one-third of people who are infected with covid-19, with the coronavirus, don't know it. they're asymptomatic. that pool, it is a large, large pool. in the united states, the people who will, over the next few weeks, be infected, not know it, and able to transmit it to other people. it's never been more important to wear face masks, especially when you're inside, where the air just kind of sits. if you're outside, and you're 6 feet away from the next person, sure. if you're not sure whether to wear a mask or not, you should wear one. the you're clearly out in the breeze and distanced from people around you, and you're not wearing a mask, that's one thing. but it's inconvenient to just
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take masks on and off. and i think most everybody recommends that if you want to be courteous and respectful to those people that you're with, to give them the courtesy of safety, that you should prevent your breath, your sneeze, your cough, your droplets from going to the other person. mika? >> that is -- >> and it reduces, does it not, it reduces the likelihood of passing of the disease by over 80%. again, it costs nothing. it cannot only save your life but save the lives of people that you love and people that you work with and people that you worship with. >> yeah. you know, it is common sense. we've learned. this country has become so smart with science and medicine in the last three months. sitting home in a pandemic, our medical and health literacy across the country has gone way
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up. but it is common sense that if your face is covered with something made of cloth, that when you're talking, and the droplets would typically go out, they're going in the mask. or they're going out the side. it is the droplets, it's the virus in the droplets that's the contagious part of this highly contagious viral disease. we can't reiterate that enough times. dr. birx really did the country a huge service right before this long holiday weekend, to remind us. joe and mika, wear a mask when you're outside. wear a mask when you're inside. socially distance and be courteous to those around you. >> absolutely. dr. dave campbell, as always, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," a new book says even if donald trump loses the 2020 election, the political forces he exploited will continue to endanger american democracy.
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give to the dav covid-19 relief fund - and help provide critical assistance to veterans in need. go to dav.org/helpvets or call now. your donation will make a real difference. joining us, staff writer at the "atlantic," david frum, out with a new book entitled "trumpocalypse, restoring american democracy. >> david, tell us the idea of the book. most was written before the pandemic, but, obviously, much of it applies even more now. >> yeah. >> i begin the book, i begin by quoting a column in the "washington post," by a pulitzer prize-winning columnist just before the vote in 2016. columnist said, "whatever happens, we'll be fine." that was a common view back then. how much harm could a donald
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trump presidency do? we now know the answer. trumpocalype tries to assess the damage. then it points out, hey, a third of the country is still, despite all the deaths, despite the unemployment, willing to go along with this. for cultural revenge, to own noisy women, to show the ungrateful minorities. what is america as a nation going to do to restore democracy around that one-third who seem to object to democracy as a mode of government? the book offers suggestions on how to do that. practical, achievable, limited. how do you rebalance american democracy when a third of the country seems to be against it? >> david, let me ask you, and we're going to go to elise jordan in a second, who i think probably fits into our club, as well. i'm, obviously, a former republican. i still am a conservative. you're a conservative. of course, there are a lot of trumpers who would say you're a lefty and i'm a lefty which, of
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course, is preposterous. we care about policies. there was a time when the heritage foundation, when other organizations back in the '80s f focused on policy. now, it is mainly an anti anti-trumpism. ted cruz compared trump to mussolini during the campaign. now, he's carrying his water day in and day out. lindsey graham said, if the republican party picks this guy, they'll be destroyed and deserve it. now he carries water for the guy. thousands of quotes from lindsey. you look at the white house press secretary who trashed donald trump repeatedly. now, just to get her 15 minutes, she's completely twisting and contorting herself to be -- i think it was goldberg who said -- to be a twitter troll. >> yeah. well, this ship is sinking. i wrote "trumpocalype" on the
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assumption donald trump would probably lose the 2020 election. i thought because of his recession, worried he'd get us into a shooting war with iran. now, we know the nature. i don't think a president survives with 10%, 15%, 20% unemployment. we know the ship is sinking. the question to begin to think about now is, how do we restore? after the trump ship sinks, how do we prevent the ship from going down after trump? how do we rebuild a two-party system, where two parties are committed to democratic norms and democratic outcomes? i try to offer ideas how to do that. i want to focus on what we can achieve. you can't change the electoral college but you can have a new voting rights act. you can't change how the supreme court works, but what you can do is make sure you have a more independent department of
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justice. >> elise jordan, you have a question? >> david, dealing specifically with the question of restoring american democracy, i'm concerned about the role of norms within our democracy. how do we get back the norms that were previously followed because an office holder would respect the digginity of the office, not because it was necessarily enshrined. how do you propose we go about having some national rebirth of respecting norms? >> some of the -- that's a great question. it's a hard question. some of those norms will have to be enforced by being codified into formal law. so the old norm, you know, one of the things i've been warning about for a long time is many of the corrupt things donald trump has done are not illegal. one of the things the book talks about is why the mueller investigation failed.
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at the center of it was the thing we wanted to know is, does donald trump owe a lot of money to russian interests? mueller didn't look at it because mueller was looking for prosecutable crimes. it is not a crime for an american businessman to owe a lot of money, even to dirty people, in russia. the way we're going to get the norms back -- and i say this with some sadness because it is not the ideal solution -- is to codify them. we need a law about financial disclosure. we'll need to go back to the reforms we enacted after watergate and bring them -- 50 years ago, and bring them to the modern era. we'll need a new era, from '74 to '78, where we take things that were abuses and write laws to say, it is a little locking the barn after the horse is gone, i admit, but there may be new bad horses. we need to put these into writing and make them binding. >> tom nichols has a problem. first, i want to follow up on that with you, tom. i think you and i probably
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shared the belief that american institutions were fine, were going to handle this very well. i think, for the most part, actually, they have. but i do agree with david that we need -- there are some things that we need to codify, things that we trust in a president to actually carry through, based on political norms or constitutional norms, that donald trump has shown we can no longer do. for me, david brought it up, step one is a more independent justice department for republicans and democrats and independents alike. what are your thoughts? then feel free to go to david with a question. i think, like david, i'm uncomfortable with having to codify things that we should be observing as norms. to me, a constitutional republic
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isn't governed by making sure you've covered every possible contingency through some legislation and sanction. that's like having a marriage where you sign a prenup that says, you'll love your spouse and be considerate and remember his or her birthday. if you have to legislate that, you probably shouldn't be married. and i think we're heading into a similar situation, where, you know, if tens of millions of americans just don't care that the president is somehow financially compromised by the russians, then writing it into law isn't going to help you very much. but with that said, i think, at least as a short-term corrective, we're going to have to codify at least some of those things to bring back some transparency, to give some of the american public, and people overseas who are watching us, some faith that the system can work again. my question for david, and the
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thing i'm worried about is, objeon the assumption that trump loses -- and i didn't use to worry about this. like joe said, i had a lot of faith that the institutions are resilient. but i'm looking at the period between now and january, when a new president is sworn in. i'm thinking that, especially looking at the kind of tweets and behavior we were talking about earlier, there are a lot of things this president can do to basically set everything on fire on his way out the door. what are the things you're most concerned about in the next six -- on the assumption that trump loses, what are the things he could do that would be really deeply constitutional -- aside from starting a war, obviously, but what are the things that would be really deeply damaging that you're most worried about? >> well, i think it is -- i think he'll issue a spade of pardons to his intimates, relatives, and to himself. we've never had to test the question, whether a president can pardon himself. i imagine, i expect that we will
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be testing that question. the attack on democracy we've seen is not a trump-specific problem. look, we have states, where with 45% of the vote, the republican party, and it is also the republican party, gets close to 65% of the seats. it is not just south of the mason-dixon line. michigan and wisconsin are very bad actors. we have a census coming up in 2020. we're probably going to have some democratic gains in 2020 at the state level. how do you make sure state governments reflect the votes cast? the book has ideas on how to do that. one thing i suggest is democrats use their gains in 2020, in the states where they do well, north carolina perhaps, wisconsin perhaps, and draw two maps. say, here's what we could do to you. here's what we should do to you. now, we can do either map. if you will make -- if you, republicans, will use your power in texas and georgia to draw fair maps, we'll use our power in north carolina and wisconsin to draw fair maps. if not, not.
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i mean, it is crazy that in the united states, politicians draw their maps. i'd like to do away with that, but that's not practical. what is practical is to restore deterrence. the courts, since 2013, have stepped away from any role as guardians of democracy in the united states. they gutted the voting rights act in 201367. they allowed partisan gerrymandering in the last session of court. they say, so long as it is not racial. because partisanship and race match in the united states, whenever you do partisan gerrymandering, you are doing racial gerrymandering. >> eddie glaude? >> david, this argument sounds extraordinarily fascinating to me. i wanted to go back to how you framed it. that is in terms of this third of the country that seems to be against democracy in so many ways. we could tell a story of the country that suggests, or that involves how we have, in some ways, compromised with that
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third. the way in which the compromises have -- certain groups had to bear the burden of its implication. so what do you do? how do you respond to the fact that you have so many americans who are, shall we say, not necessarily committed to democracy in all of its details? >> thank you. i describe in the book lots of evidence of how when you tell republicans, you know, the russians intervened in the election. do you care? you discover an extraordinary percentage of republicans who say, i don't care. the reason they don't care, it seems to me, is they do not feel a strong enough bond of nation hood with people who are different from them in important ways. they feel more in common with a russian trump supporter than they do with an american non-trump supporter. so the last half of the book talks about how do you reconnect the bonds of nationhood in a place they've been weakened? i have suggestions for that. you have to sort of -- almost
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all of the economic gains of the past decade have accrued to knowledge centers, big cities and university towns. you have to find some way to reignite economic activity in non-metropolitan areas. you need a new approach to health cares to make americans people as britains and canadians do, it marks them off as something that is only for americans. if you're not american, you don't get it. it is a health care guarantee. as the same time, along with thickening the social insurance state, you have to restrict immigration more, to make sure that to become a member of the national community is more difficult. you can't show up and claim the benefits of nationhood. the benefits of nationhood have to be earned. once earned, the benefits are real and available to everybody. that, above all, includes the right to vote. you know, one more sentence on this. people of my cohort were raised to believe the story of american
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democracy is the vote got wider and wider and wider. 15th amendment, you can no longer deny the vote on the basis of race. you can no longer deny it to women. we make the senate popularly elected. up and up and up. that's not the way it was. it has been contested. it's gone backwards as often as forwards. and we are in a period where that right to vote has been going backwards for some time. we have to now per pepetuate an constitutionalize the right to vote. >> all right. the book is "trumpocalyp "trumpocalype: restoring american democracy." david frum, thank you so much. tom nichols, you write an article about how fascinating it is, that this populous plutocrat has become popular, has become so popular with certain blue collar workers. he uses populous rhetoric, but
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he has plutocratic policies. i remember the tax cuts, him going to his billionaire friends at mar-a-lago and saying, "i just made you guys a lot richer today." income inequality, obviously, expands. he helps multi-national corporations. he promises to gut -- makes a promise to gut the health care assurances that a lot of working class americans got over the past four, five years. so it is -- it remains a mystery, why a guy whose policies are so detrimental to working class americans, still has an in to some of them. >> yeah. i think it is especially strange that he has such an appeal to working class men. because he really is everything they don't believe in. he doesn't treat people fairly.
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he is not an honorable man. he is not an honest man. he's vain. he's self-centered. he is not what, you know, people who grow up like you or me or mike barnicle, you know, the old expression, he is not a standup guy. yet, there are, you know, working class men who think he's terrific. that's really mystifying. donald trump does not act like a man taking responsibility, leading his team, taking care of the workers of america. he's our national, irascible, little boy. i mean, it is, in some ways, mystifying, that the people that are most vulnerable, and that trump most -- is most harming support him the most strongly. and i think it boils down to the reality that, you know, he hates the same people they hate. it's a good show. they enjoy the circus.
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but it is really a remarkable betrayal of everything they believe in. i think, as i wrote this morning, especially the men, it is especially a betrayal on the part of the men who admire him. i think it is really mystifying and disheartening. >> all right. tom's new piece is online for the "atlantic" magazine this morning. tom, thank you so much for being with us. now, let's bring in state attorney for palm beach county, dave aronberg. the president, of course, seems to tweet just about every day about voter fraud. >> yeah. >> to be honest with you, he sounds like liberal democrats used to sound after they lost every election. the next, you know, two minutes later, there was voter fraud. they're missing boxes out there somewhere. we're going to track them down and beat those republicans. it was what democrats used to always do. now, it is what donald trump does. he's whining about a rigged election, even before it
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happens. yet, there was florida, the state of florida, law enforcement just proved that there was no significant voter fraud in florida. not a likelihood of it. talk about that, that finding by florida's law enforcement agency. >> joe, the president felt confident enough in our voting systems in palm beach county and the state of florida to vote by mail himself in 2018. after that election, he and others thought to go after democrat and voter fraud. there were a number of late counted ballots in democratic counties of broward and palm beach. the urging of the governor and the president ordered department of law enforcement to start an investigation into voter fraud. 17 months later, the investigation has concluded. last week, the department of law enforcement here in florida announced that there was no voter fraud. because voter fraud is rare.
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even the president's own commission that he established after the 2016 election looked at voter fraud and couldn't find any. had to be disbanded. in fact, the most notable case of voter fraud in the last few years has been in a congressional election in north carolina. it was committed by the republicans. so this whole allegation of voter fraud is a way to try to get states to enact additional restrictions on voting rights. it is about voter suppression. we saw that in wisconsin, when the supreme court there made voters stand in line rather than vote by mail. to choose between protecting their right to vote and protecting their health. so that's a strategy here. talk about voter fraud in a way to pursue voter suppression, and also question legitimacy of the 2020 elections in case president trump moves it. keep in mind, when this goes on the next few months, that voter fraud is rare, but voter suppression is very real and comes in many forms. >> well, mike barnicle, take a question to dave, but, first,
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mike, let's talk about the fact that this president, while he's spinning conspiracy theories and attacking people, he was spinning conspiracy theories about voter fraud, as well. isn't it fascinating that he attacked michigan and nevada, trying to suppress votes there, but states like texas, georgia, other states where he wants the votes up, doesn't say a word about them doing the same exact thing? >> yeah, well, i mean, you know, it is who he is, joe. we all know that. i mean, it has to do with, you know, mailing the vote in. he's desperately against that because he knows, and he eluded to it, actually. we all remember when he said if we had vote by mail, a republican would hardly win ever again. that's who he is. he lives in his own self-concocted, self-conceived fantasy world. it involves, this state is involved in voter trade. that state is not involved in
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voter fraud because it is going to vote for me. it fills his days, his dreams, his made-up numbers about the death count being overrated, w. you can't follow him. dave, my question to you is, is there any credibility do you think on a national level after the local level investigates and proves there is no voter fraud? do republicans listen to that? >> republican parties have depended on vote by mail for years to gain an advantage over democrats. i'm thinking this is like rope a dope where the president is accusing democrats of doing something that the republican party has been based on for years, which is an extended vote by mail effort. doesn't mean there's fraud there. i think the president is hoping the democrats back off on their vote by mail while the republicans are full speed ahead. and, mike, what's interesting is what happened last night. last night a federal judge in
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florida, judge hinkle, threw out the republican's contention when they tried to enact a statute that requires people to pay off obligations before they could vote. this is akin to a poll tax. you can have 1.6 furloughed individuals and in a state as narrow as florida, that can make the difference, not just in this election, but in many elections ahead. >> all right. dave, thank you very much. joining us, ceo of iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. thank you very much, jeremy butler. how should americans be remembering those who served and sacrifice. >> i appreciate you having me on
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and asking that question. what's the true meaning and importance of memorial day is. the biggest thing we ask is for everyone, #gosilent. take a moment at 3 p.m. to take a moment to remember those who have fallen. we continue to be a nation at war. we continue to be a country that sends service members into harms way. we just had a service member die in afghanistan last week. we had a service member shot while standing watch at a gate in texas, a sailor. she thankfully survived, but it's a reminder of how dangerous it is and continues to be to serve in the military. please take a minute everywhere wherever you are at 3 p.m., take a minute to go silent and remember those who are silent. >> elise jordan. >> what is the level of engagement that you see outside of memorial day with the concern
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for american veterans outside of just a holiday but do you see, you know, the kind of sustained focus that we're going to need in the years to come if we are going to properly take care of all of the vets who recently cycled through wars in the middle east? >> yeah. i think it would be a mixed bag. there's a lot that still needs to be done. we continue to focus on everything from the ongoing crisis of suicide, the military and veteran community. 20 a day, 22 a day but they don't know what to do about it. they know it's horrible. they know more needs to be done. iava and others are fighting to make sure the country realizes what is going on in the military and veteran community and how they can help. one of the ways in this case is they can support reach out to their members of congress, support john scott han nonveteran member health care
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improvement act which will help the va, service members and others outside of the va to get the help they need to make sure they never get to the point where they can get the mental health care that they need. the country i think understands that there's a lot more that we need to be doing for a veteran. during this time of a pandemic we see an increasing number of folks helping out with health issues, homelessness, other jobs. there's a lot that iava and others can do to raise the understanding of the issues that our veterans do and work with them to get solutions. >> mike barnacle. >> jeremy, as you just eluded to, pointed out, we have been at war as a nation now for 19 years. memorial day used to have much more significance in this nation three or four decades ago when there was more familiarity with people who served in wars, world
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war ii, korea. do you think this would be a great time considering less than 1% of our population serves in the militarmilitary, god love t less than 1% serves alongside people who are serving. what about national public service? mandatory national public service in this country, do you think that would help boost the idea among other people, citizens, normal citizens for the role of the service member? >> i think so. i think it's a great idea. i think so many that join the military do so not because they want to go to war but because they want to serve their country. they love their country. they know how much it has provided them and they want an opportunity to give back to make it stronger. not everyone is qualified to join the military. maybe not everyone is up for joining the military but there are a lot of people who want to serve and give back. national service is an amazing way to do that.
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that's why you see a lot of veterans joining service organizations after they get out of the service, because they want to continue that service to the country. they know that their time in uniform is up but they know they don't want to stop serving the country. i think it does help to bring about a greater awareness of the sacrifice that so many who have worn the uniforms make to the country. >> ceo of iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> going silent this afternoon. >> 3 p.m. >> to remember those heroes. wonderful thing to do. eddie, final thoughts this hour on this memorial day. >> thinking about the sacrifice and service and courage and all of those fallen soldiers and thinking about the close to 100,000 dead of our fellows. and a line from shakespeare's "hamlet" for in the sleep of death what dreams may come.
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all the aspirations that have been cut short. and my prayers go to the family members, to the communities that have lost so many folk. you need to buckle down and understand that our country is in desperate need of our focused attention to salvage american democracy. that's what i'm thinking on this particular memorial day, joe. >> eddie, thank you. coming up, our conversation with retired four star general david petraeus. we're back in two minutes. i just love hitting the open road and telling people that liberty mutual customizes your insurance, so you only pay for what you need! [squawks] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ to serve on the front lines... to fight an invisible enemy with courage and compassion...
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every generation they stand. in every generation they serve. in every generation they
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sacrifice. for 2 and a half centuries on land, sea, and in the air they have fought and died for an idea bigger than themselves. they are the americans of every race and faith who swear a sacred oath of honor and live it to the last. and when that moment comes, they lay down their lives for the country they love protecting their comrades, their families, and their nation. they are the bold angels now, examples to us all on this day let us honor their sacrifice and call upon ourselves to walk in their footsteps boldly, where they have led the way to the america we must be.
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>> moving tribute on this memorial day. >> beautiful. >> 2020 from the lincoln project honoring our nation's fallen heroes. a few lines in there just, you know, mika, stand out so much on this memorial day. they fought and died for an idea bigger than themselves. they are the bold angels, examples to us all. and, you know, we watched, mika and i began watching again this weekend because she's never seen it "band of brothers" and got through the first three or four episodes, and, you know, as you watch that and as you look at not only the greatest generation but this generation as well and the sacrifices that have been made, that are still being made to protect this country, you really do ask yourself that
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often-repeated question, where do we find such men and such women? where do we find such heroes? today is the day that we, of course, remember them and we honor them the way we should honor them every day. >> good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, may 25th. with us we have white house reporter for the associated press jonathan la mere. professor at princeton university, eddie glod junior. former aid to the george w. bush white house and state department, elise jordan and former nato supreme retired commander james debriedes. he is chief security diplomacy analyst for nbc. >> admiral, let's begin with you. we actually got you here to talk to you about a lot of different things, to talk about china, to talk about the handling of this
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pandemic and how we do better moving forward because you've obviously led men and women for so long and had to prepare for war. we're certainly in the grips of this war right now. but let's talk about past wars. let's talk about memorial day, and let's talk about, for instance, what mika and i saw on "band of brothers," actually you sit there and you think, okay, this is just an incredible tv series. it's to protect our land. first of all, thank you for taking the time.
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a book end to it. about europe. >> pearl harbor. >> all you can do is an african-american was to work. it's an antiaircraft and shut down japanese air kroft. >> that experience, world war ii, is certainly that greatest generation. i think back, joe, supreme ally commander of nato in afghanistan
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on memorial day when we were losing dozens of troops every week and going to an outpost outside of kandahar and being part of a memorial service there. they took the boots and helmet. that was what you were speaking of. >> on this memorial day, the nation mourns. >> coronavirus is approaching 100,000.
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1,000 names printed on the cover and on the inside of the paper. just a fraction, 1%, of the deaths so far. another headline that sums up the weekend comes from the washington post. quote, on weekend dedicated to war dead, trump tweets insults, promotes baseless claims and plays golf. he said nothing about the rising death toll but he did find time to retweet posts that mocked the personal appearance of house speaker nancy pelosi and please excuse the crass language here but the retweet said anyone know what's going on with poly grip? i've noticed lately that her face seems glossy and she is sporting a poorly marked set of
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eyebrows. to protect poly grip we have a djt option she will be able to tongue and adjust her dentures more easily. good god. this is the president. with duct tape. she won't be able to drink booze, blah, blah, blah. >> all right. all right. all right. >> he also talked about democratic vice presidential contender stacey abrams. the president retweeted we just got a look at the self-proclaimed democrat. joe will be a racist if he doesn't pick her. he retweeted this post on hillary clinton. when i see one of those polls that has malarkey the race is up 6 to 8 points everywhere, i'm thinking they must have called the same 1,000 people from 2016 that said hrc the skank was up 6
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to 8%. not to mention the two tweets about a disgusting conspiracy theory about joe. >> it's actually -- >> why do we read these? why do we read these? because everyone is freaking out about what joe biden said. they are doing two to three minutes of coverage, extensive coverage. this guy can't go five minutes without defaming someone, liabling them and bullying them and saying disgusting, cruel things. like let's take a moment. if we're going to spend as much time on president trump's disgusting comments as we do on joe biden's, we're going to be on the air for a long time. we'll never get off the air. it's endless. >> elise jordan, let me go to you. former republican. it is remarkable to me that donald trump spent this weekend, since joe biden's joke, spent
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this weekend, which he apologized for, because democrats apologize even for jokes, but since that time i've had calls, what should biden do, are you kidding me? since that time that offhanded remark, donald trump has called a black woman, who has dedicated her life to public policy, mocked her for being obese, mocked appearance of the speaker of the house, the highest ranked woman in history. called a former secretary of state, a former first lady and the last nominee for the democratic party a, quote, skank, and mika said one thing about me that's actually not accurate. it's really about donald trump
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attacking a grieving florida family, which we don't really want to talk about here. we can talk about all these other tweets but attacking private citizens and the reputations of people who are no longer here to protect themselves. but that's how he spent memorial day weekend. instead of honoring the dead, lashing out. and even many of his own supporters, even many of the anti-anti-trump brigade called foul on him this weekend. i guess the thing i heard the most this weekend was just when we thought he couldn't get any lower, he goes much lower. as johnna goldberg said in a tweet, this is all disgusting, horrifying, the only question is why does he think this will help him get re-elected.
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of course, elise, the answer to that is, it won't. >> joe, the kind of tweets that donald trump was retweeting this weekend and the trash that was coming off his twitter account, if you have a relative tweeting things like that, you'd step in. if your father or mother is going crazy on the twitter account, you stop them. it just is intolerable, and i can't believe that at the same time joe biden's comments, which were unfortunate, but he apologized immediately and showed humility, that some trump supporters are trying to say, let's keep talking about that. when you look at just the complete trash emitting from donald trump's twitter feed. imagine if donald trump had decided to go to walter reed instead of spending time with twitter or golfing.
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president bush wouldn't golf once america became involved in wars. he said he was a war time commander and the mothers who had sons and daughters sacrificing, they didn't deserve to see the commander in chief golfing while they were sacrificing. he needed to treat that with the solemnity that it deserved. still ahead on "morning joe," president trump threatened federal funds to two battleground states. we'll talk to one senator when gary peters from michigan joins the conversation. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. it's best we stay apart for a bit, but you're not alone. we're automatically refunding our customers a portion of their personal auto premiums. learn more at libertymutual.com/covid-19. [ piano playing ]
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- 58 million latinos live in the united states. if we all participate in the 2020 census, we can ensure fair funding for our schools, libraries, hospitals, and other public services. the census is safe, it's confidential, and our community is counting on us to do our part. we know who we are and how vibrant our community is. let's make sure our nation knows it too. for more information, say "census 2020" into your x1 voice remote, and to participate, go to census.gov. caused more turmoil over the
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weekend as they defy social distancing rules and clashed with police who fired tear gas and a water cannon arresting at least 180 people. critics of beijing's move to impose a national security law on hong kong say that it is an attempt to stifle dissent putting an end to the city's independence. the white house said that china will likely face sanctions for its actions in hong kong. >> so admiral, china is becoming more aggressive by the day. fairly remarkable if you look at it just in recent history that they are responsible for the unleashing of a pandemic that has wrecked the world economy, killed so many people. we don't know where that death count is going to end up. instead of being back on their heels or working aggressively for a vaccine or reaching out to the world community, they are
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actually acting more aggressive whether it's towards hong kong or towards vietnam or even in the concentration camps inside their country. what is going on. how are they responding to the rising power. what can we do moving forward? you remember 2019 seems like a long time ago. we had a rich basket with china. south china sea, huge body of water. the philippines, taiwan.
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unfortunately they're back to a disagreement. the irresponsibility. and so you really have this witch's brew of relationships and news a flash, it's occurring during an election year in the united states in which the trump administration predictably is going to maximize the ability to use china like a pinata so terrible fact pattern. you nailed it, joe. what do we do about it? three things, first we need a strategy. that means not just episodic responses but thinking about diplomacy, economics, military deterrence. bringing that inner agency sense to china. secondly, even more important, we need international coalition.
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that's all of our allies in the pacific, they are many. japan, south korea, new zealand, malaysia, singapore, thailand. we need to internationalize the response. third and finally we have to recognize we have to bend this relationship with china. we have to change the terms of it but we don't want to break it. i.e.,, get ourselves stumbling into a cold war. it's going to be complicated. from now to november it's going to be a very difficult stretch water. >> as you talk about strategy, the united states needs to develop a long-term strategy. we just need to start by having coherent message to send to the chinese. we've been so erratic. if you look at the president's fawning praise of president xi.
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we always talk about what he said on january 24th when he thanked president xi for his transparency and all the great work china was doing. that was a bizarre tweet to send out at the time. this is also the same president who saluted xi for consolidating power. you have that fawning praise moment. you have a continuation of these trade skirmishes where the president doesn't have an overall strategy. you follow that up with occasional nasty tweets and insults towards the people of china just because he seems to be checking that off of his list for the campaign. it's really hard to figure out where donald trump stands when it comes to china because any attack on china, any critique of china is usually followed up by
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the president talking about what a wonderful leader and person president xi is. >> exactly. and reference our earlier conversation, what do you want leaders to do? you want them to bring order out of the chaos. you want them to have a plan. you want them to communicate insteady ways. what we don't want to do with china is treat it like an on and off switch, oh, we love china, we're going to turn it off. oops, we're going to get it dialed in. it's like a reostat like the dimmer in your dining room. we have to have a coherent strategy that is steady and finds balance not this jagged on and off switch all the time. again, i'll close on this. henry kissinger said late last year that we were in the foothills of a cold war. i think we are continuing to
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ascend that mountain. it is a mistake for both nations. we need to confront china where we must where the behavior warrants it. we ought to try to find the ways to cooperate where we can. confront where we must, cooperate where we can, build a strategy. coming up on "morning joe" we'll go live to london. keir simmons explains that next on "morning joe." that next on "morning joe. how about no
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no uh uh, no way come on, no no n-n-n-no-no only discover has no annual fee on any card.
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the white house announced a travel ban for most non-u.s. citizens from brazil yesterday as the south american country's quickly becoming the next epicenter. now only second to the united states in overall cases. >> by the way -- >> number one -- >> by the way, it's not a coincidence that the president of brazil has mocked social distancing. >> and hydroxychloroquine. >> and has done one reckless thing after the other. >> twitter did something about that, by the way. >> yeah. he got some tweets taken down from twitter. they do that. but he's been mocking science. he's been mocking social distancing. he's been mocking so many things, and guess what? brazil is now second in the number of -- >> to the u.s. of a.
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>> washington post report details the trump administration's scrambled effort to block travel from europe as more than 1.8 million travelers came here to the u.s. from there back in february when the continent was the epicenter of the pandemic. on march 11th president trump announced that travel from europe would be suspended starting from march 13th. what ensued was travel mayhem according to the washington post in interviews with dozens of current and former u.s. officials. airline executives and passengers. the report found that, quote, early warnings were missed or ignored. coordination was chaotic or non-existe non-existent. key agencies fumbled their assignments. trump's errant -- for instance, travelers from europe stood
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shoulder to shoulder in jam packed terminals waiting for hours in long lines which helped spread the virus. for their part white house officials said that the president was initially criticized for suspending travel from europe and that he told bold early action. now to travel within europe. ferries between greece's scenic islands resumed today with strict rules as the country prepares to welcome tourists beginning next month. some tension between brittain and france concerning the opening of travel as well. >> a few things to talk about here. let's start with the last thing you talked about, and that is europe. europe is going to have to look at their open border policy within the e.u. it's been a concern for me for a very long time. we've talked about it here. the european politicians haven't been able to strike any sensible middle ground on movement between countries, sort of this
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concept of no borders between all of these countries, whether you're talking about terrorists moving freely across the continent or whether you're talking about a pandemic. this is forcing them to look more closely to perhaps for the sake of their own safety and security and health finding a middle ground. secondly, when you talk about the european ban, we found out belatedly that at the end of january the department of health and human services pleaded with the president to implement a ban on europe. he didn't listen to hhs secretary azar. instead, he listened to treasury secretary steve mnuchin. they were afraid that actually banning travel from europe at the end of january when he put his toothless china ban into place would actually spook the
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stock market. well, the stock market fell subsequently anyway, and unfortunately so many people from italy and europe came into the united states, especially new york city, and the infections exploded because of it. you go back, mika, to that day. it's so important that we go back and look at that day and we talked about it on the show as it was happening. we were looking at all of the travelers jam packed into airports. as with everything, it seems, regarding donald trump, there is no planning. there is no forward thinking. there is no long-range plan. instead, an announcement is made, agencies scramble and because of that -- >> look at this. >> -- americans are put in dangerous, dangerous positions. >> deadly. >> and deadly positions. this is, again, march 11th. >> there's no question the virus spread here. >> there's no question the virus spread. people coming again from italy, which was the hot spot of hot spots and across europe to the
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united states. so, yes, this is when actually planning and experience and also what admiral talked about earlier, projecting calm and bringing order out of chaos. that's what having a leader who knows how to do that can save lives. that's a leader unfortunately that many people think we do not have right now. >> no. >> if you look at this pandemic and the fact that -- apps are used everywhere...
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except work. why is that? is it because people love filling out forms? maybe they like checking with their supervisor to see how much vacation time they have.
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or sending corporate their expense reports. i'll let you in on a little secret. they don't. by empowering employees to manage their own tasks, paycom frees you to focus on the business of business. to learn more, visit paycom.com well, obviously we're having a little technical difficulty with joe and mika's connection to us, but we have not lost a connection to keir simmons who is with us from london. keir, prior to the break we just had we were talking about the difficulty in europe. a huge sprawl of combined nations with open borders and yet there is constantly lately trouble. >> reporter: that's right, mike.
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you know, i think that the geopolitical story of travel tensions will get louder and louder in the months and maybe the years ahead. and some of these tensions going a little bit unnoticed. just as one example, brittain and france. brittain first saying that it would allow no quarantine from visitors from france, then saying it would include france in a two-week quarantine. imposing a quarantine of its own and imposing their own between countries. greece is a really good case study, not because it's close to my heart. my wife is half greek. we got married in greece but also because greece has done so well with the coronavirus. only 171 deaths and managing to really control it. and yet it has still been hugely impacted economically. it is now going into the summer
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period, the vacation period that constitutes 20%, 20% of its economy. needing to open up but worrying at the same time, of course, that by opening up it will allow infections in. so what greece has been doing is looking at air bridges between different countries. that's where the geopolitical tension really starts because which countries will greece open up to? i had a chance to speak to the greek tourism ministry about how they're trying to figure this out. take a listen. >> the idea is that we initially create a list of countries that we start this with. we open and we try that. and then as we gain knowledge of how this works we can reverse it with a negative list. trying to open up with most of the countries except the ones that are not safe. >> if a country begins to slip
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again, whether you will say now we actually need to stop, whether you have a plan for reversing an agreement, if you like. >> nobody knows the future and if this is the advice of doctors, we will have to see what we can. we all need to follow rules, but we hope and this is what we've -- we strive for, to keep the essence of the experience there the big smile. >> reporter: nice image, mike. this isn't about people having an opportunity to go sailing in the beautiful greek islands or to rely on a beautiful greek beach. it is going to be about the tensions between different countries. let me just give you an example, mike.
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austria, germany, will they not open travel with the u.s. if u.s. infections increase? imagine the kinds of challenges we face with those kinds of decisions and countries with various histories? >> keir simmons from london with a report of a continuing world in disarray. we'll be back in a couple of minutes. when i get my teeth cleaned, my hygienist doesn't use something like this. she cleans with something like this.
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very few people really know who ulysses s. grant was. >> today there's a sense that he was forgotten. >> he's been called so many things over the years. >> the first modern american warrior. >> a bloody butcher. >> a corrupt president. >> a belligerent drunk. >> the greatest general of his time.
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>> the unheroic hero of our greatest national epic. >> there were but two parties now. don't forget, we possess strengths they do not have. >> that was a look at the three-part mini series "grant" for history which chronicles the life of one of the most under appreciated generals and presidents in history. ulysses s. grant. joining us now, pulitzer prize winning author and biographer and retired united states army general and former cia director, david petraeus. great to have you both on today. >> ron, let's begin with you. as you go through the -- your book, i'm sure this mini series as well, the term unheroic hero seems to come to mind over and over again. here's a man totally
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underestimated throughout his entire life. as you wrote when he showed up in washington, people were shocked by the lack of -- sort of forceful presence and yet he is a man who did as much as anybody this side of abraham lincoln of saving our union. tell us how he managed that. >> yeah. walt whitman said about ulysses s. grant, there was nothing baroque about him. he had a special type of charisma which was the total lack of charisma. people know he was a notorious union general in the civil war. the side of the story that they don't know is that grant's presence, he was not just this failed presidency marked by corruption but that he was our greatest civil rights president between abraham lincoln and lyndon baines johnson. he really inherited the mantle of the civil war after lincoln
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was assassinated and the 4 million freed slaves who had become full-fledged american citizens with the right to vote, it was really grant who prote protected them against the violent backlash against the ku klux klan in the south. >> at the same time he obviously, as you know, was criticized because the promise of reconstruction did not go the way leaders like frederick douglas had hoped it would go. in fact, many were em bittered that grant wasn't aggressive enough. how does history hold him accountable for that? does it hold him accountable for that? or has history been unfair to grant in that respect? >> no, i think grant did everything in his power to see that reconstruction succeeded. i should say, joe, for a long time reconstruction was seen as a big fiasco with legislators black and white. now we see it as a noble
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experiment in biracial justice. we had 2,000 african-americans held in state and local offices in the south. we had 14 black members of the house and two black members of the senate. in fact, ulysses s grant personally marched up to capitol hill with his entire cabinet to get past the ku klux klan act. what happens, joe, at the end of his second term is that not only is there the violent resistance in the white south but there's fatigue from northern liberals as well. so in the last year or two of his second term grant has to backtrack from his commitment to reconstruction. during the first five or six years of his presidency he could not have been a more vigorous supporter of it. >> general petraeus, one of the most notable things is how grant
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was considered a failure by many even close to him but that first scene where he's put in charge of a group of guys who are considered misfits and yet in a short amount of time he somehow wills them to come together as a fighting unit and actually excel on the battlefield, and that seemed to be grant's m.o. time and time again throughout the civil war. what special leadership skill did he have that separated him from all of lincoln's other generals? >> he had extraordinary competen competence, joe. keep in mind when lincoln finds his general as it was described, he had been through most of the other union generals in getting to grant who had proven himself first at the tactical level in the west and then with his extraordinary operational victory in vicksburg. then he comes east and takes
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control of the union forces and crafts the strategy that does indeed save the union. it was his strategy with sherman taking atlanta in september of 1864 and sheridan taking the valleys, shenandoah valley, that enabled lincoln to win the election of november 1864. he was running against one of grant's predecessors, general mcclellan who said he would sue for peace. we forget there were draft riots. there was unrest in cities like new york and it's entirely possible that mcclellan could have won had it not been for the successes of the first true strategy of all of the union forces. grant had an income to minable determination. in the series they have this incredible moment after the terrible day at shilo and he said, grant, we had the devil's own day today, didn't we? grant says, yup, lick 'em tomorrow though. this was even inspirational to
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us so many years in iraq. he could see a battlefield. he could see it in time and in space and he could issue orders that were very, very clear. it would synchronize the activities of all of the different commanders on a battlefield and ultimately in the entire strategy that enabled, again, the union to win the war and save the union because it enabled lincoln to win the war. >> hey, ron, it's willie geist. in an effort to butter up the professor, i brought my book to class today. it's so fascinating and the history channel show, the series talks about him being a misunderstood general, misunderstood president. someone who's not appreciated by history. i think history appreciates him pretty well as general petraeus said. but what about as a president? how was he misunderstood and
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under appreciated there? >> i think, willie, i think you have to understand grant was the first president after the 13th amendment which freed the slave, the 14th amendment gave them equal rights and the 15th amendment gave black men the right to vote. there were states in the south, for instance, mississippi, georgia, blacks were the majority of the population so that if blacks dared to register to vote, they would take political power. one of the great untold stories of grant's presidency is that the justice department was created under grant in 1870 and the first great crusade of the justice department was to crush the ku klux klan. grant appointed a crusading attorney general named amo amos akerman. brought 3,000 indictments and crushed the clan. this took tremendous courage.
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as i was saying to joe a moment ago, grant had to do this not only in the face of southern resistance but often northern resistance as well. at the end of the second term hayes becomes president. we begin jim crow which lasts for 80 or 90 years. most americans have no idea that we had a civil rights movement in the 1860s and 1870s. we had the civil rights act of 1866 and 1875 that created desegregation and public accommodations in transport. >> all of dh happened before the 1960s. >> general petraeus, it's mike barnacle. i'm looking at general grant's military career. it was rather uneven. he suffered desperate loneliness when he was posted out in fremont, california.
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he resigns his commission in the early 1850s and comes back to the military in 1860, 1861 at the start of the civil war but there's an astounding moment in his military career that i need your help your help in understanding. the compassion and generosity he showed at the signing of the surrender with robert e. lee at the apmatics courthouse, how does that happen? >> well, first of all it happened because lincoln empowered grant to a considerable degree to draw up the articles of surrender. and then as grant describes in his memoirs and as ron captures so beautifully in his biography, grant thinks about what the soldiers of the south are going to go back to do and they're officers and allows them to keep their side arms, their horses. they know they're going to have the harvest come in. of course, it's in april of 1865. and he, in a sense, puts himself
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in if you will, their shoes. he feels for them. he doesn't feel enormous enmity for them. he does believe the clause was the worst for which man ever fought. but he feels very much for the individuals. and that is what animates what becomes quite, as you described it, a compassion aate set of tes of surrender and sought to foster reconciliation. of course, that did continue for some time as ron described. but ultimately, broke down after his presidency. >> grant did not allow his troops to gloat. he didn't allow them to celebrate. in fact, his wife julia suggested that grant go to richmond which had been the capital of the confederacy. julia grant wanted her husband to march into richmond as the conquering hero. and grant said to here, don't you realize how bitter defeat
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already is for these people and why do you want me to rub salt into their wounds. i think the fact that grant experienced so much failure in his own life before the civil war gave him a special sensitivity to the psychology of defeated men and their need for self-respect and the tremendous sensitivity with which he handled that situation. >> the three-night television event "grant," begins this evening at 9:00 p.m. eastern on history. david petraeus and ron chernow, thank you both. incredible to have you both on. thank you very much. and we'll be right back with much more "morning joe."
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>> well, as you know, michigan has been hit very, very hard. we are at the top of the list in terms of hot spots. detroit has been particularly hard hit. the african-american population here in our state that represents about 14% of the population, yet over 40% of the deaths it's been absolutely tragic. we're bending the curve. things are starting to get better, but then, of course, we had another natural disaster with major flooding in the central part of the state in the midland area with 10,000-plus people displaced. so it's been some rough going here. >> so tell us about the flooding there and what exactly happened with the dam and what needs to be done to help these people? >> well, we had a major rain event in central michigan. many inches of rain fell and then two dams catastrophically failed which sent a wall of water through the small towns
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and city of midland. sanford in particular was hard hit. i had an opportunity to walk through the town and it just absolutely devastating what happened. and it happened in a flash as the dam broke and this water came rushing through the town. the image that i will never forget that image of the destruction. and to think how quickly it happened and how people's lives were up ended instantly at the same time that we're all dealing with a pandemic is certainly really a terrible, terrible thing to have happened. but the dams were actually -- were known to have structural problems. the federal government actually denied a license for one of the dams to operate as a power station because of problems with the dam. and those were not fixed. they should have been fixing the dam. they knew if there was going to be a major storm event, the dams would likely not hold. and that's exactly, unfortunately, what happened. they didn't hold and the water went through the town.
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so certainly we need to have tougher regulations that actually force these privately owned dams and most of the dams in michigan are privately owned, and most of them are over 50 years old and need to have maintenance done. we've got to make sure we're doing that maintenance and spending the money now or the costs are certainly much greater later when you have a catastrophe like we saw there. >> what a tragedy. senator, mike barnicle is with us, and he has a question for you. mike? >> senator, on this memorial day, we're sitting in a country, and you just alluded to it, about the dams needing repair. we're sitting in a country where people claim that america doesn't build things anymore. you're not too far from the old ford willow run plant where in world war ii, the b24 liberators were coming off the assembly line of that plant at the rate of 1 per hour. detroit helping to win the war. what is going on? why can't we get an infrastructure bill passed in this country to rebuild america
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today in 2020? >> well, we have to. let me pick up briefly because i appreciate you talking about the arsenal of democracy. as we're in this current crisis you're seeing those auto companies now making ventilators and masks and also changing their production to deal with this crisis. you're right. that's what we do here in michigan. we know how to make things. we have to be investing in frsk and we have to build it up to the standards necessary in what's going to be a very challenging environment going forward. we have to build resiliency in our infrastructure. we talked about the dams failing. they're failing because of a very strong weather event. and we know with climate change now that the weather -- we'll see more severe storms and the magnitude of those storms will also increase in years ahead. and at the same time, we have infrastructure that's old and that's deteriorating. we're heading for a very
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dangerous time if we do not step up and start fixing this infrastructure across the country. i actually did a report from the homeland security committee which i'm the ranking member of last year, that talked about the significant cost to the taxpayers and the economy as a whole if we do not invest now. it's a whole lot smarter to start working on that now. we have to have the political will to come it democrats and republicans have to come together, understanding there is a cost to do it, but that cost is far less than if we wait and have the kinds of accidents or disasters that we have seen. not just here in michigan but across the country. >> all right. senator, really quickly. the president has been attacking michigan repeatedly. attacking the governor. now claiming that michigan's doing something inappropriate as it relates to absentee ballots. tell us what's going on there.
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is michigan doing anything differently now than it's done in the past under republican governorships? >> well, it's outrageous what the president has been saying about absentee voting and the ability for folks in michigan to request an absentee ballot. in 2018, we had a proposal on the ballot and the folks here in the state voted by a very large majority to have the right to request an absentee ballot for no reason. prior to that you had to be a senior citizen or verify that you were going to be out of town. now anybody can ask to have a ballot sent to their home and vote. the president apparently doesn't like that. and yet it is the constitutional right of everybody here in michigan to be able to exercise their right to vote. to have the ballot on their kitchen table to be able to take time to think through the various issues and to vote. and yet this president is saying that that is wrong. and the amount of hypocrisy is
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extreme given the fact that my understanding is that the president nearly every time he has voted, he votes by mail. everybody in michigan should have the right to be able to vote by mail as well. and it is -- all we're seeing from the secretary of state now, she's mailing out applications to folks here in the state asking whether or not they would like to vote by mail. it is their right and to threaten holding back funding for that is simply outrageous. >> well, especially since he's not doing it to republican states -- >> of course not. >> and he also said that michigan voters actually voted for this right. senator, thank you for being with us. >> senator gary peters, thank you. ayman mohyeldin picks up the coverage. >> it is memorial day, monday, may 25th. and here are the facts at this hour. as we wake up this morning, a reminder of the stunning amount of loss this country has

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