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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  August 20, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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axios newsletter at signup.ax s signup.axios.com. that does it for me, i'm yasmin vossoughian. "morning joe" starts right now. during the pandemic, the movement appears to be gaining followers, can you talk about what you think about that and what you have to say about people following this movement right now? >> i don't know much about the movement, other than i understand they like me very much. >> at a minimum we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility. >> i have heard that it is gaining in popularity. >> regardless of ego, ambition or political beliefs. >> they do supposedly like me. >> they are counting on your cynici cynicism. >> i heard these are people that like our country. >> the worst unleashed. >> there's a theory you are secretly saving the world from the secret cult of pedophiles
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and cannibals. does that sound like something you are behind or -- >> i haven't -- i haven't heard that. is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing. >> the circus of it all, the meanness and lies and conspiracy theories. >> if i can help save the world from problems, i'm willing to do it. >> donald trump hasn't grown into the job, because he can't. and the consequences of that failure are severe. >> former president obama and president trump both speaking yesterday. good morning. and welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, august 20th, joe is off this morning. along with willie and me we have white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire. msnbc contributor, shana thomas. historian john meacham, whose biography of john lewis
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accomplishes next week. and host of politics nation and president of the national action network reverend al sharpton is with us. we are covering a lot this morning, including developments in the postal story, with house speaker nancy pelosi saying louis dejoy will not restore cuts made to the postal service. speaker pelosi said louis dejoy told her while he has agreed to refrain from additional changes until after the election he has, quote, no intention of returning the sorting machines removed from facilities or collection mailboxes taken from streets. and developments with the concern as florida yesterday became the fifth state to reach 10,000 deaths. joining new jersey, new york, california, and texas. georgia now leads the country in the rate of new cases according
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to the white house coronavirus task force, which urged the state to take stronger measures to curb the outbreak. the infection rate in new york city, the former global epicenter of the outbreak has reached a record low, according to the mayor bill de blasio saying the rate is .24%. saying they're connecting a lot of tests. >> we'll dig into those stories in a moment but let's begin with senator kamala harris making history, becoming the first woman of color to accept the nomination for vice president of the united states. in her speech delivered live from joe biden's hometown of wilmington, delaware, she shared parts of her own personal story, took aim at president trump and called on americans to fight for
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the country's future. >> my mother instilled in my sister maya and me the values that would chart the course of our lives. she raised us to be proud, strong black women. and she raised us to know and be proud of our indian heritage. she taught us to put family first. the family you're born into and the family you choose. >> i have fought for children and survivors of sexual assault. i have fought against transnational criminal organization. i took on the biggest banks and helped take down one of the biggest for profit colleges. i know a predator when i see one. donald trump's failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods. if you're a parent struggling
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with your child's remote learning or you're a teacher struggling on the other side of that screen, you know what we're doing right now is not working. so we're at an inflection point. the constant chaos leaves us adrift. the incompetence makes us feel afraid. the callusness makes us feel alone. it's a lot. and here's the thing. we can do better and deserve so much more. right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons. joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose. joe and i believe that we can build that beloved community. one that is strong and decent,
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just and kind. one in which we can all see ourselves. >> shana, thomas, i'll let you dig into kamala harris' effectiveness, prosecuting the case against donald trump which she began to do for the first time last night but to pause and see a woman of color, a woman of african-american color, a daughter of immigrants standing there as nominee in the united states of a major political party to become vice president, what does that image mean to you, to the country? >> she can represent so much for so many different types of people. i think that word represent, representation, i think i talked about this on the show before, but this idea that there is a possibility that someone with darker skin, with experiences
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that no vice president before, no vice presidential candidate has had can be in the room with the president of the united states and start making decisions with some of that life behind her is a pretty head dy thing. and it's one of the examples of what can make america actually great. but i also was struck by how much of her bio that she needed to talk about. i looked back at the nbc "wall street journal" poll and 13% of the registered voters in the poll who didn't know who kamala harris was or hadn't formed some kind of opinion positive or negative. 13% in this election is a big deal. and so, i think she did an admir admirable job of reintroducing herself to people, and showing how she's not only indian decent and black but comes from a blended family.
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she struck the different tones that can bring people in. it remains to be seen and historically, vice presidential picks aren't exactly what people vote on, but because of the representation and this was a historic night last night there's a possibility she introduced herself to a lot of people and made them feel they were in the room for when decisions get made. if they win. >> we'll have a lot more on this, what kamala harris brings to the table, her leadership, her ability to fight. but let's get right to the unprecedented performance by barack obama last night, who assailed president trump in his democratic convention speech, calling him a threat to democracy and issuing a stark warning to americans of the dire need to vote him out of office in november. the former president made his plea from the museum of the american revolution in philadelphia, where he was flanked by the text of the u.s.
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constitution. >> i have sat in the oval office with both of the men running for president. i never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. i did hope, for the sake of our country, that donald trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously. that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. but he never did. for close to four years now he has shown no interest in putting in the work. no interest in finding common ground. no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends. no interest in treating the
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presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves. donald trump hasn't grown into the job, because he can't. and the consequences of that failure are severe. this president, and those in power, those who benefit from keeping things the way they are, they are counting on your cynicism. they know they can't win you over with their policies. so they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote does not matter. that is how they win. what i know about joe, what i know about kamala, is that they actually care about every american. they believe in a democracy, the right to vote is sacred. they believe that no one,
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including the president, is above the law. and that no public official, including the president should use their office to enrich themselves or their supporters. that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depend on a fidelity to facts and science and logic. and not just making stuff up. so i'm also asking you to believe in your own ability to embrace your own responsibility as citizens. to make sure that the basic tenants of our democracy endure. because that's what's at stake right now. our democracy. >> john meacham, in my estimate, extremely powerful telling americans this is a dire time, especially given the questions that are happening right now with the postal service. what was your take away from president obama's speech and is there any precedent for
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something like this? >>, you know, what's remarkable about president obama, and i honestly had kind of forgotten it, was how he can combine two of the great human realities. he can argue from reason with a kind of restrained passion, right. usually people are either really passionate and emotionally or highly cerebral. this is a fascinating combination of those two tributaries and formed an impressive rhetorical river. it's rhetorical in the classic cal sense. rhetoric isn't just supposed to mean blah blah blah, it's rooted in action. he's always believed in the power of language, in the power of story. one of the things he'll tell people that might want to run for office, what's your story? if you want to replace a different story you have to tell
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a narrative. the narrative he gave us in a very restrained, somber speech totally commensurate with the moment was a reminder that we are, in fact, more than the sum of our parts. i know everybody is talking about how blistering or whatever the analogy would be, how tough he was on trump. really? was he? trump rose to national power by deploying baseless, disproven, racist attacks against this man. i thought, if anything, obama took an intelligent high road, a wise high road here. and just says what a lot of us think. and that's what a great political or tour is about, can you articulate what we're thinking? senator harris did the same thing by talking about folks on
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both sides of the remote learning screen, a brilliant device from the fire side chat vernacular. fdr always tried to find some way to be in the living room, around the radio with people. and what senator harris did in that image about teachers and students and families struggling she got in everybody's kitchen when they're struggling online to get to class and the teachers being frustrated by it. so the net effect of both senator harris' speech and president obama's speech, i think, is just to say we know this isn't working. you know this isn't working. and we hope, you know, a lot of folks hoped -- i know i did, president obama just said he did, that, you know, maybe miraculously this carnival barker would be transformed by the office. he was not. instead of being transformed by
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the office, donald trump has attempted to transform the office and the country into something we shouldn't want to be. and here we have a chance, in 76 days, to fix it. i think that was the message and i think that was effective. >> it seems, reverend al, the russia hoax that's not a hoax and the tens of thousands set to die, due to die in the future, 170 already thousand, for some, it hasn't shaken them from the numbness of what has happened to our country, but to hear president obama say that he is a threat to our democracy, do you think that will make a difference? >> it will make a difference. first you have to look at president obama brilliantly went to the museum where the constitution and all the founding documents started there
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in philadelphia. president obama doesn't live in philadelphia, so this was something that he chose to use as the setting to bring us back to where the country started and what the country claimed to represent. the irony is, here's a black men who his people, our people, were ebb slaved and considered less than human weren't included in that but he brought us back to this is what we're supposed to be. i think that shakes a lot of people at their root. what i think he did most effectively given the political season connected to that, is he said let me be clear, president trump is not only not living up to the spirit of what the country represented, whether it lived up to it or not, he can't do it, he's incapable of it. i think it's the height of an attack for people to hear someone say, wait a minute, quit
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waiting for this guy to bring us out of the pandemic, quit waiting on this guy to save the economy that is a result of the pandemic, he's incapable. and the ultimate insult, as one that knows president obama relatively well and trump well, the ultimate insult to a white racist is for a black man to say, i did it but he is not capable of rising to the level that i did and pubush did and clinton did. that got under donald trump's skin more than everyone could imagine but i hope it got into everyone looking, into their heads, this guy can't do it, he's incapable. and that's a lot more serious than just saying this guy has made bad mistakes or bad judgment. he say he can't do it, he's incapable, don't keep him in that seat. >> jonathan lemire, last night was extraordinary not just because of the way that barack obama went after the incumbent
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president but because of the way the president responded, sitting in the white house, in the building behind you, tweeting in all caps, live tweeting as his predecessor spoke. a couple of notes barack obama we learned was supposed to speak at the end of the night but when kamala harris became the choice he said no this should be her night so he moved himself up as sort of an opening act and a passing of the torch to kamala harris. what can you tell us talking to obama advisers about the way the speech was developed, how it came to pass and how he decided now was not the time to make not implicit criticism but direct criticism of the man in the white house. >> president barack obama almost never uses the president's name, but last night he did. he took the time, he enunciated donald trump's name and made it clear to pick up on the thread the reverend was saying a moment ago that it wasn't that people
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should wait for him to grow into the job, he's not capable of it, and he echoed what his own wife, michelle obama, said a few days ago before. the president is simply not up to the position, he can't do it. the message that the president wanted to convey last night, talking to some of his former advisers during the evening was we saw him last night angry. it was a righteous anger about the condition that donald trump has left not just president obama's legacy but the country itself. and more than that, and we saw him get emotional at times, seemed to be fighting back tears when he was recounting struggles that previous generations have had, fears their struggles could have been in vein if progress was unravelled by president trump and he wanted to convey another message, he's scared, perhaps democracy and the
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country itself in this election and that's what he wanted to say last night and did so so powerfully. as you say, it triggered the current president who largely held his tongue the previous two nights during the convention. didn't have much to say about the former first lady, michelle obama, i don't believe he said anything at all about dr. jill biden. but last night before barack obama and senator harris took the podiums, he tweeted, welcome to the party. and then afterwards, a series of all cap tweets alleging without evidence that barack obama's administration spied on him, alleging without evidence, falsely, that senator harris called joe biden a racist, that's not true. and dealing in these untruths, in all caps, the obama people believe he made the point for him. this was just the latest evidence that's his behavior, this unhinged behavior they say, that president trump simply
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isn't up to the job. >> and then there's this. with the backdrop of actually a letter i saw, a journalist tweeted on twitter yesterday of president trump writing a letter to vladimir putin inviting him to his beauty pageant and he wrote at the bottom letter, most beautiful women in the world, exclamation point, hoping he would come and have a good time and with the backdrop of the senate intel committee report on russia. now a prom figure alexi navalny has been hospitalized from poison. a leading critic of vladimir putin reportedly fell ill during a flight causing the plane to make an emergency landing. he likely consumed the toxin
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from his tea his spokesperson said. the 44-year-old opposition leader has been under the kremlin's scrutiny for exposing corruption at the highest levels of the russian government and he was imprisoned last year and hospitalized after another suspected poisoning that doctors explained as an allergic reaction. navalny had campaigned to challenge putin in the 2018 election but russian officials barred him from running. and still ahead on "morning joe." postmaster general louis dejoy will testify tomorrow amid claims that the agency is trying to sabotage mail in votes to help donald trump. we'll talk to the head of that
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committee, senator gary peters. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. g "morning " we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ the open road is open again. and wherever you're headed, choice hotels is there. book direct at choicehotels.com. ♪ you power through chronic migraine - 15 or more headache days a month, ...each lasting 4 hours or more. botox® prevents headaches in adults with chronic migraine. so, if you haven't tried botox® for your chronic migraine, ...check with your doctor if botox® is right for you, and if samples are available. effects of botox® may spread hours to weeks after injection ...causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing, ...speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness... ...can be signs of a life-threatening condition. side effects may include allergic reactions... ...neck and injection site pain... ...fatigue, and headache.
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the only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. remember that. it's the only way we're going to lose this election. so we have to be very careful. look, we have -- this is more than this election, that's a big statement. the only way they 'going to win is that way and we can't let that happen. >> the president has always said he'll see what happens and make the determination in the aftermath, it's the same thing he said last november. he wants a free election, a fair election and confidence in the results of the election. particularly when you have states like nevada doing mass mail out voting, to their rolls and when they tried it in the primary, ballots were in the trash bins or pinned to the boards. the president wants to make sure these are fair and not subject to the fraud. >> that's the white house press
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secretary when asked by reporters yesterday about the comments you heard from president trump. willie? >> all right. exclusive new images obtained by nbc news appear to show high volume mail sorting machines out of service and dismantled despite assurances this week from the u.s. postal service that the machines were being allocated. one machine that can process 35,000 pieces of mail in an hour and workers say was in good condition now sits in a garage. in portland, oregon an employee says these machines were in good commission before they were decommissioned in the past two weeks. these images have not been verified by nbc news. and in grand rapids, michigan a man found yesterday sitting in the parking lot. the post office had no comment
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despite that from postmaster general dejoy. in tuesday's announcement he said mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are but he did not specify if what has been removed will be restored. joining us now senator gary peters of michigan. the ranking member on the homeland security committee that will question dejoy tomorrow. great to have you with us this morning. what can you tell us about grand rapids? the case we heard from the postal service is from time to time we take these out of commission when mail sorting slows down, we don't always need all of them, but what can you say about grand rapids right now? >> the images that you showed are real. you have a machine in the parking lot being disassembled.
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we understand talking to folks in the grand rapids post office that roughly 6 out of 35 machines have been disassembled and taken out. i was at a major metroplex in pontiac a week or so ago they were taking machines out, they said this is a regular resorting of machines, these machines sort the mail and get it out quickly, but this has been happening in such a widespread fashion it doesn't seem to make sense. that's why we have to ask postmaster general what is going on here. i had a conversation with him yesterday. he said this is part of the routine business. but when you see this much activity occurring and i'm hearing from postal workers and mail handlers in the facilities saying when they are operating machines they're told to shut them off after 40,000 pieces of mail are sorted, even though they usually do 80 to 100,000 and then mail piles up as a result of that. there are a lot of questions
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here, we have to ask the questions on the record, mr. dejoy will be sworn in, he'll be under oath tomorrow. we'll be asking a lot of tough questions that need to be asked and the american people deserve to have the answers to this because what we have been hearing from the postal service workers who are our letter carrie carriers, postal workers, they are dedicated individuals, want to move the mail out as quickly and efficiently as possible. now they're saying supervisors are saying, just go home, mail is piling up but you can work on it tomorrow. when you take these high speed sorting machines out of the process, it makes it more complicated. >> so senator, you'll get more answers tomorrow but you've been looking into this clearly. as you point out, the postal service says sometimes mail volume is slower in certain places as routine we take the delivery boxes away we don't need all of them, we take
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sorting machines out of circulation if they're too old. that's their side of it. on the other side, donald trump has a donor to the campaign, put him in at the postal service, running it as postmaster general and they are working hand in glove to slow down the mail so mail-in ballots cannot be delivered which the president believes hurts him in the fall. what in your estimation is going on here, as you looked into this? >> it's clear there's been a big change. when you have the argument this is routine, this is the kind of thing we do to adjust to mail volumes. what brought my attention to the issue was really a huge outpouring of folks contacting my office and saying what's going on with the postal service. it's not unusual to have folks contacting my office and talking about issues related to the postal service but in july we had a flood of folks talking to the office. i opened a website people could go and tell me what's happening.
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after roughly a week we had close to 8,000 people who responded saying something is different. we have folks that put in request for prescription drugs from the va, normally takes three days now it's taking 13 days. so there's a significant change. this is anything but routine. this is different. this is why we have to investigate it. the postmaster general said he's going to halt these procedures but why did he put them in place to begin with? what went into making these changes that thought it wasn't going to have an impact on the reliable delivery of mail. >> and was he directed to make these changes. i hope that's asked. senator, how do we know that -- how do we know whether or not too much damage has been done, whether this is fixable in time for the election? this is, you know, a tall order to try to scramble together between now and the election if,
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if the head of the postal service has been breaking down the system systematically. is there any way to quantify what has happened over the past few months to slow down service and how it can be fixed? >> well, there is, and that's part of our investigation. i opened an official investigation through the committee. we are digging into those kinds of facts, those are the types of questions that will be asked tomorrow, the postmaster general as well. we have to make sure the resources are there. the letter carriers, the postal carriers who work with surge, they can get it done. we know they can move large amounts of mail in a short period of time, they do it every year during the holiday season, for example, but you have to make sure they have resources, they have overtime, have additional workers in place, we have to make sure that all of those procedures are ready to go. i'll say right now the fact that this is getting such an oversight from the american public that is asking these tough questions, you just got to
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keep the focus on it, keep the light shining. when you keep the light shining you're likely to get compliance but we can't take our eye off this one by any means. >> for sure. i'm sure many appreciate that you're starting investigations but investigations take times, there's procedures, hearings take -- is there time to fix this if there's a problem? >> we have to. so definitely. this is a total focus of what we're doing right now is to make sure that there hasn't been damage, i'm talking to folks working within the post offices, union folks that are there that are eyes and ears to what's happening. they do their job professionally every day, they want to deliver but we have to keep our eyes on the administration. the actions we've seen the last few weeks no question there's a red light flashing that we need to be focused on. you're right, we need to look at this every day. >> senator gary peters, thank
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you very much. willie? big story yesterday elevated even further by president trump, facebook has now banned hundreds of pages, ads and groups associated with the pro-trump conspiracy group qanon, the ban covers 9,000 facebook pages, 10,000 instagram pages pushing the conspiracy theories. the policies states, pages, groups and instagram accounts associated with these movements and organizations will be removed when they discuss potential violence. qanon promotes the idea that president trump is saving the world from a satanic cult. the group has been linked to various violent attacks like a train hijacking, kidnappings, a police chase and a murder. a bulletin warned that
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conspiracy driven theorists have become a terror threat. yesterday during his press briefing, president trump was asked about the uptick in qanon's popularity. >> during the pandemic the qanon movement appears to be gaining followers. can you talk about what you have to think about that and what you have to say to people following this movement right now? >> i don't know much about the movement other than i understand they like me very much, which i appreciate. but i don't know much about the movement. i have heard that it is gaining in popularity, and from what i hear these are people that they watch the streets of portland, when they watch what happened in new york city in just the last six or seven months but this was starting even four years ago when i came here -- almost four years, can you believe it? these are people that don't like seeing what's going on in places
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like portland and places like chicago and new york and other cities, and states, and i've heard these are people that love our country and they just don't like seeing it. so i don't know really anything about it, other than they do supposedly like me and they also would like to see problems in these areas, like especially the areas we're talking about, go away. there's no reason the democrats can't run a city. and if they can't, we will accepted in all of the federal -- whether it's troops or law enforcement whatever they like, we'll send them in and straighten out their problem in 24 hours orless. >> across the theory is the belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals. does that sound like something you are behind or --
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>> well, i haven't -- i haven't heard that. is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? if i can help save the world from problems, i'm willing to do it. i'm willing to put myself out there. >> my god. let's be clear about what qanon is. i don't want to amplify what they say much here, but the bottom line is, donald trump is the hero of a story that they have concocted, that they've invented who is going to save the world from a cabal of high profile democrats and progressives who qanon alleges are pedophiles, satanic worshippers, something, something. but the point is, donald trump if he hears they like him, there's no group he's not willing to embrace. his quote, i understand they like me very much so i appreciate. so no matter what they spew out into the culture, he's willing to embrace them because they
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like him. it's a lesson that foreign leaders learned, republicans on capitol hill know if they use flattery, they'll get help from president trump. we cease to be shocked anymore, but a stunning moment when president trump embraces that group yesterday inside the white house. >> first i would like to give credit to shanna for being able to get through that series of questions professionally. but second what we're talking about in that sound bite you showed is amplifying in some ways one of the themes of the democratic national convention, this idea it is about him and not necessarily about caring for the united states of america. and that he is going to use the office to try to help people to try to help america, to try to educate america. he has this opportunity to explain that qanon is basically nonsense and that this is not something that he supports.
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and because, as the democrats like to say, he makes everything about him and his ability to win an election and not about the country and what's best for the country, then he says things like that that are easy to sort of turn into campaign ads that are easy for the democrats to harp on over the last three nights. he effectively makes the case for the democrats. and if the polls are to be believed, and a lot of the people on the democratic side are voting to get rid of president trump, then this just plays into that even more. >> jonathan lemire, i hesitate to ask, but does donald trump actually not know what qanon is, or does he know precisely what it is and is happy to have their support because they flatter him and put him at the center of a heroic story, one they invented,
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of course, was there anything in the white house after that? did anyone say, mr. president, even for you this is a bridge too far? . >> from what we talked to willie, no, those conversations haven't happened. earlier in the day the press secretary was asked about qanon. and republicans in the house who embraced their tenants, in past, at least two of them, have shared anti-muslim rhetorirhetoe was pushed on that and she said the president didn't know, and you heard him say he didn't know much about qanon, and whether he knows the theory, he never criticizes groups that like him. that is included to far more serious matters, including like charlottesville, the aftermath where he's been slow to condemn white nationalists, slow to disavow david duke, slow to
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suggest that only one side was to blame in that violent clash three years ago this week in charlottesville, virginia. his takeaway has always been if they like him, they must be doing something right. john meacham, i want to bring you into this, not on the particulars of cannibals, pedophiles. but have we seen any historical precedent for a president to embrace a conspiracy theory like this? the utter fringes of society and their beliefs, is there any other president prior to this one who has done anything like this? >> before i answer that, willie is keeping notes for when he writes the official history of "morning joe." and i want him to note this was the first time we actually used the phrase "cannibal pedophiles" at least since -- >> already got it. >> it's been a while.
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>> i wonder if we can do coffee mugs and maybe needle point pillows. >> no. >> i just made light of it, which i shouldn't have done. this is important. these people move beyond their digital caves and they are an active threat to many people, and a good bit of what we care about. so i apologize for that. but there is -- to answer your question, directly, jonathan. no. there's -- and it kind of wouldn't matter, if i may, if there were a precedent, because where we are now is we have a president who has managed to embody every dark american force. whether it's conspiracyism, whether it's nativism, whether it's racism, isolationism, extremism, all of these things
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are part of the american character, right. one election, one party isn't going to take that away because we live if had a fallen, frail, and fallible world. a huge part of the country, 30, 40% of the country is going to believe something you can't imagine they could believe. the difference is that at this point, those dark forces have an active and engaged ally at the pinnacle of power. this is what president obama was talking about last night. it's what -- it's the case joe biden and kamala harris are going to have to make here. is that we don't have to encourage these forces. in fact, what we should do is discourage them. i would say this, this is where the precedent comes in. we speak warmly and openly about
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presidents who actually tell their base, the darker parts of their base, when to stop. not how they should keep going. so whether it's lyndon johnson and segregationists, whether it's richard nixon and unrepent tent cold warriors. george walker bush resigning from the nra because the nra called federal agents jack booted thugs in the 1990s. those examples, george w. bush going to the mosque right after september 11th and saying this is not a war against all of islam. the fact that those examples come to the top of mind is telling, because they're examples where a president said,
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this is wrong. not well, they like me so i'm going to put up with it. again, 76 days. >> i think we're in shock, too. john meacham, i know that you feel bad for joking at the same time, it's nervous energy at this point when we watch all of this unfold before our eyes and see the president speaking that way about yet another crazy quack conspiracy theory. and we know the pain of conspiracy theories and promulgating them and how they tear people apart and bring people down and what's happened to even joe on a smaller level has been horrendous and it's all been executed by this president seemingly can't think of any other reason to hurt people. and barack obama last night, reverend al, again talked about our democracy being at stake.
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we've been talking on this show with some of the greatest minds as it pertains to politics in american history and unanimously they agree we are in an emergency state, emergency situation as it pertains to our democracy, especially if the problems with the postal service persist and they are being handed down by the president and he's trying to sow doubt into our election. and that along with the senate intel committee's partisan report on russia and what happened there, the latest information out of russia of a putin critic possibly being poisoned. this is all too scary for those who care about this country. and i was wondering if we could close this block by you talking about not what's just at stake for our democracy but for black
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americans. >> it is a particularly dangerous period, particularly for black americans. when we are seeing the actual right to vote and exercise that vote being really threatened by the highest office in the land. when you see a president standing in the white house talking about a group that everyone considers some cult fringe kind of phenomenon at best, and he says but they love american and they are against what's going on in portland and chicago, giving legitimacy and main streaming their mania, and we are the ones that are at the bottom of the socioeconomic poll, in terms of how you judge the matrix in this country, it is very scary. we're talking about blacks that
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are disproportionately unemployed, given the worse in terms of the educational experience, everything across the board, criminal justice, we're in the age of george floyd and you have a president who all you have to do is say i like you and he gives you the legitimacy of the white house and all you have to do is play to some base instincts in the worst americans and he'll act like there's some fine people over there because they're already with me. this is a dangerous place to be. as much as we fought segregationists and bigots in the past we never doubted their capacity to at least administer the affairs of state. we have someone i do not believe, and i think former president obama said it last night, even has the capacity to understand the danger that he's put all americans in, particularly black americans and even worse, i don't even think he cares. >> well, john meacham then since
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you've got remarks that are playing tonight, the author of "the soul of america" and the biography of john lewis. without giving it away, what message are you hoping to send? >> that the soul of america is an arena of contention between our better angels and our worst instincts. it's a parenial struggle from sock a tees through the bible, it's understood as breath and life, it's the core of who we are. ever since -- every day, every hour of every day it is that struggle. and at our best, americans have been animated by the proposition that we are all created equally and more important or as important we need to be treated equally and not just folks who
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look like me. if you look at history -- this is not about partisanship, this is american history, if you look at our history we've always been at our best when we have reached out, when we've embraced, when we've tried to join a common enterprise as opposed to building walls. history tells us you need a president with empathy, grace, open mind, openness to reason and i think joe biden will do that. coming up we'll talk to the governor of new jersey after the trump campaign sued his state for expanding vote by mail. "morning joe" is back in a moment. "morning joe" is back in a moment ♪ ♪
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justice and progress. this is who we still are. >> this president, and those in power, those who benefit from keeping things the way they are, they are counting on your cynicism. they know they can't win you over with their policies. so they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote and to convince you that your vote does not matter. that is how they win. that is how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life and the lives of the people you love. that's how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well connected. how our health systems willett more people fall through the cracks. that's how a democracy withers. until it's no democracy at all. and we cannot let that happen.
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do not let them take away your power. do not let them take away your democracy. >> wow. barack and michelle obama on what's at stake this november, our democracy. joining us now, u.s. national editor at the financial times, ed luce, whose latest piece for the paper "the promised land that slipped away from obama". tell us about your piece and i'd love to hear your reaction to barack obama's remarks last night. >> i thought his address last night was an extraordinary well constructed impassioned case from a fitting venue to the american people that this is an election, essentially between light and darkness. this isn't normal democracy where the loser walks off the field on polling day and accepts
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the at least honorable intentions of the winner. it's not like that anymore. they used to joke the american elections were between pepsi and coke. and when barack obama was rising it still had a little bit of that element and he could launch his career on the case there is no red state america, blue state america, just the united states of america. that's impossible to say now. i think this has been a fascinating week, michelle obama began it on monday night by quietly burying that theory that we could work together, find common ground, that compromise was the essence of american politics and we can disagree without being disagreeable. she quietly laid that one to rest by saying, look, if you don't think this can get any worse, trust me, it can. so i think it's been a very
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poignant week to hear the obamas really bury, you know, what it was that brought that hope and change message and brought him to the white house. that's just no longer possible to talk about realistically. we are in a contest where, as obama put it last night, democracy is on the line. the future of the republic is on the line. and that's an extraordinary moment. >> shawna thomas, what do you take of ed luce's comments? and you can take it to ed. >> i mean, i -- i think ed has said what i was thinking last night as i was watching barack obama in a much more eloquent way than i think i can, but it's this idea that president trump has changed politics. we -- we operate politically in a different way than we did before, and i think denying that is something that the democratic
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party sort of at the beginning of trump's presidency was kind of doing, because they wanted to believe that politics was the same as it had been for 30 or 40 years and it's different. and what barack obama did and what michelle obama did, was kind of acknowledge that difference. and acknowledge the fact that this is -- they are going to have to operate in a different way to get their message across about president trump. and that -- to me, that was fascinating. i think the other thing, and i'm interested in how you see this, ed, is the fact that barack obama, a black man, michelle obama, a black woman, felt that they were in the situation that they could take it to the president -- the current president of the united states the way they did, also says something about changes in our country when it comes to race and they didn't feel that the way they would be perceived for speaking the way they did this week would reflect badly upon
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themselves or upon the democratic party or their images. it's as though they knew they needed to say that to protect their own legacies in some way. what do you think about that, ed? >> i think that's a great question. look, kamala harris last night, in her address, used the term "structural racism," which you couldn't have imaged in '08 or 2012, a term main streamed within the democratic party or comprehended by most of the viewers. so i think things have changed. it's not for me to say for obvious reasons. but i think barack obama treaded very, very carefully as president and as candidate on the question of race, could never appear to be angry about things because of how people perceive black men or black women who show anger. and that was an entirely
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understandable and successful strategy that he pursued, which i'm sure was consistent with his personality several years ago. today, righteous anger is i think very much acceptable and main stream. the obama's evolution, reflects that. so these are very, very different times. the idea that you can campaign on hope and change and that simply by electing somebody like barack obama america will have changed has clearly been belied by the last few years and it ought to be emphasized that obama's hope and change didn't just mark his 2004 convention address and his '08 campaign, it also marked how he dealt with donald trump during the transition. he welcomed him in, he assumed that trump was innocent until proven guilty, offered his help,
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offered his advice. said not a word in criticism of him. and here is where we are. it's light versus dark at this point. >> ed luce, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. we'll be reading your piece in the financial times. it is just past the top of the hour and last night president obama delivered an unprecedented speech that was played at the democratic national convention, basically saying, in many different ways, that president trump is a threat to our democracy. take a listen. >> i have sat in the oval office with both of the men who are running for president. i never expected that my succ s successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. i did hope, for the sake of our country, that donald trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously.
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that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. but he never did. for close to four years now he has shown no interest in putting in the work. no interest in finding common ground. no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends. no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves. donald trump hasn't grown into the job, because he can't. and the consequences of that failure are severe. 12 years ago, when i began my search for a vice president, i didn't know i'd end up finding a brother.
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joe and i come from different places, different generations, but what i quickly came to admire about joe biden is his resilience, born of too much struggle, his empathy born of too much grief. joe is a man who learned early on to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity. living by the words his parents taught him, no one's better than you joe, but you're better than nobody. that empathy, that decency, the belief that everybody counts, that's who joe is. joe and kamala will restore our standing in the world. as we learned from this pandemic, that matters. joe knows the world. and the world knows him. he knows that our true strength
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comes from setting an example that the world wants to follow. a nation that stands with democracy, not dictators, a nation that can inspire and mobilize others to overcome threats like climate change and terrorism, poverty and disease. but more than anything, what i know about joe, what i know about kamala, is that they actually care about every american. >> president obama's remarks last night at the democratic national convention, extremely powerful, extremely unprecedented. one thing he talked about there is the consequences of the trump presidency being severe. being severe in so many ways. this president could be seen as a national security threat in ways that have been apparent from the beginning.
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idolizing vladimir putin, seeking help against a political rival from a foreign leader and openly stating that he'd be happy to do that. he's weakened our nation's status in the world. he's made the united states, but particularly himself, a laughingstock among world leaders. but perhaps the most tangible way that americans can really see the severity of the consequences of this presidency has been in his reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. we are in a worldwide pandemic. other countries have gotten it under control. we have states that are breaking records in deaths, breaking records in numbers. florida breaking new records again today. and also a president who held back on doing basic things that would have mitigated the virus, including instigating, firing up the defense production act to
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get testing right away and contact tracing right away nationalized to move that all forward. perhaps we'd have quicker tests now so perhaps we could reopen the economy safely. this is a president whose campaign, whose campaign held a super spreader event in tulsa and city officials say that coronavirus outbreaks spiked in the weeks after his superspreader event where he squished 6,000 people together in a room for hours, for hours in the middle of a pandemic that spreads rapidly between people. his lack of care for the american people, the consequences of this president are quite apparent to the american people. joining us now msnbc weekend anchor, alicia menendez, cohost of show time's the circuit, john
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heileman, and white house correspondent for pbs news hour, ja meesh alcindor, jonathan lemire and reverend al sharpton are still with us. >> yamiche i want to start with you, the relay when gabby gifford is making an extraordinary speech, passing to nancy pelosi and elizabeth warren and hillary clinton, president of the united states barack obama and culminating with kamala harris, the first woman of color ever to be on a major party ticket, what did you see last night in total in democrats, sometimes implicitly, but often in the case of barack obama and kamala harris making a direct message at donald trump, something that barack obama has hesitated to do over the first three years or so, ramped it up a little bit more in recent months but nothing like we saw last night. >> the democrats' criticism of
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president trump was both emotional, biting, blistering as well as told through the stories of individual people, including, of course, that very powerful speech by gabby giffords, her aides say she worked months to give that speech. it was something you could tell people were putting their heart and soul into. there was also that young woman who said her mother was deported by the trump administration, her father had been a supporter for the president, but he's not supporting him now because his wife has been torn away from her family. we saw president obama really make the case in the same way that michelle obama made the case that donald trump isn't up to the job. saying as you pointed out he has not grown into the job because he simply cannot do so. that dove tails with what michelle obama was saying, he can't fake his way through the
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job. and then we saw kamala harris give the account of ways she was raised to be powerful and understand her place in the world to seek justice. the democrats are making those cases and they all connected to the idea that donald trump is not someone that can be trusted to have the nation's best interests at heart or to be trusted in the middle of a pandemic that is killing hundreds of thousands of americans, i think up to 170 now. as barack obama was making the case that donald trump wasn't mature in the job, president trump took to twitter and was saying that president obama spied on his campaign, something we know is not true. so i think in the middle of barack obama making that point, there's some, especially critics of president trump who say he proved barack obama's point by taking to twitter, doing what he does best, being angry, riling up his base but not answering in a serious way the topics that people were talking about last night.
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>> and those all caps tweets last night while president obama spoke were preceded by president trump's embrace of qanon, appalling conspiracy theory. he says he likes them because they like him. john heileman putting politics aside for a moment, you couldn't help but look at the history taking place last night when you had the country's first african-american president, handing off to a woman who hopes to become the first african-american vice president, the first woman of color to be on a major party ticket. you are as plugged in as anybody, how do democrats think this is going, three nights in as they close out tonight with joe biden? >> willie, i think there was a lot of nervousness about this convention going into it, just because so much about it was new. really trying to do something of this fully virtual convention,
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it was a highly experimental and high stakes endeavor and i think people as we sit here on the morning of the fourth night this this has gone about as well as this conceivably could have gone. there are moments you see kamala harris standing at the podium, at the end you know they pulled out wide and you could see a handful of reporters in that room. and there's a -- it's not optimal. it's not what you would want for the rollout. some of these big speech moments you would prefer to have the roar of the crowd and the emotion on faces of people. there are obviously moments where people look up and say we are constrained, this is not what anybody would have dreamed it could be, on the other hand, i think we talked about it yesterday. particularly, yesterday the second night and then there were elements of last night, where the production of the videos has
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been extremely strong and i think, you know, there have been a lot of advantages to this kind of convention. at this point, as you've gone through, you had the monday night devoted to making the case against donald trump, you had tuesday night more or less devoted to bio graphic cal elements trying to flesh out who joe biden is. last night you had a lot of policy. this is the first time the convention got to address some key areas of policy. both areas of policy that animate the democratic base like climate change and gun reform but also the key, key question of economics and economic policy where joe biden is at a disadvantage to donald trump in the polling and it's a thing the campaign is focused on trying to fix. and the handoff -- i think the other thing last night, raising the stakes, hearing barack obama do both of those things, talk about joe biden and raise the stakes, make it clear how much
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is on the line in this election. the story they've told the past three nights now building up to a night that has a number of speakers, a packed program but the most important speech of the week which is joe biden's. i think people feel this has gone really, really well from their point of view, but there's still a big night left -- one big night left ahead and people are waiting to see what joe biden is going to bring to the stage tonight. >> totally agree. in her speech last night, former secretary of state hillary clinton invoked her 2016 election loss as a cautionary tale in urging americans to vote in november. >> for four years people have told me, i didn't realize how dangerous he was. i wish i could do it all over. or worse, i should have voted. look, this can't be another woulda, coulda, shoulda,
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election. remember back in 2016 when trump asked, what do you have to lose? now we know, our health care, our jobs, our loved ones. our leadership in the world and even our post office. to the young people watching, don't give up on america. despite our flaws and problems, we've come so far. we can still be a more just equal country with opportunities previous generations could never have imagined. >> hillary clinton certainly would know, and said that last night. and it is important to understand how precious this democracy is and how easily it can slip away from us. it is not institutions made of rock. it's institutions made of people. and people aren't perfect. but when you have corruption at the very top, i think one can see what will happen.
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and gosh, another four years of donald trump, willie, i -- i worry about what could happen. and i think a lot of democrats are trying to behave as if, you know, they don't got this, even though the polls are looking good. but with the potential damage to the postal service, i don't know. the next few months seem a little bit uncertain in terms of what the outcome could be and it doesn't seem like it could be just trump or biden. trump could try to sow doubt in the election himself -- itself. >> he already has. he's already said it. in fact, kayleigh mcenany said from the white house briefing room last night we'll see what happens after the election. she couldn't say he would accept the results. he's planted the seeds for months it will be a rigged election because of mail-in voting. that's out there you can't put it back at this point. that's what democrats are up against. that's why i think probably
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barack obama decided to take the next step last night and so directly and explicitly go after the record of donald trump and raise the stakes saying if there's another term of this president, the future of democracy is in peril, to paraphrase his message last night. what did you say as you watch the string of speakers, what is the message from democrats? >> what i saw last night was a contrast to the night before which felt like it was aim a t a persuadable, perhaps soft republican voter. last night felt like it was all about reenergizing the obama coalition. so much of the energy on the left coming from from movements happening outside of the party, the black lives matter movement, women's movement, movement for climate change, against gun violence. so you heard talk of policy aimed at that audience, trying to get them engaged.
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you had direct appeals to young people. you played the clip of hillary clinton saying please don't give up on america. you had it repeated again by president obama. an understanding i think that this election has to be both about persuading those who may not have been persuaded in 2016 and also mobilizing the democratic base and the obama coalition. i think the question tonight, willie is how former vice president biden ties those two messages together. how does he both make his appeal to a voter he still needs to persuade and how does he convince the more left flank of the party that they can be enthused and excited about him and ready to turn out in those big, big numbers in the lead up to november. >> he's had help the last couple nights from elizabeth warren and bernie sanders saying progressives that supported me in the primary season, it's time to get on board, the stakes are too high. tomorrow secretary hillary
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clinton will be our guest live here on "morning joe." that's coming up tomorrow. jonathan lemire, speaking of tonight and joe biden's speech, president trump is counter programming in a spoesk way, i know you've be on the trip today to pennsylvania not far from joe biden's hometown. >> that's right. in what can only be described as a bit of troll campaigning, the president is heading to scranton, pennsylvania and it's to show up in joe biden's old backyard. he'll deliver a speech just outside scranton. his advisers titled it he will cover the, quote, half century of joe biden's failures. the tradition of lying low during your opponent's convention week has eroded over the decades. president obama had a number of events during mitt romney's convention but none were in
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boston. this president was in arizona on tuesday and now in pennsylvania. it's meant to be in your face campaigning. they know they can't eclipse the headlines that come from joe biden's speech tonight but they'll try to have their say, in addition to the president's stop in scranton, he's giving an interview on fox news during the convention, around 9:00 before joe biden takes the stage. he'll be there undoubtedly live tweeting as well, we'll see if he does the all caps. pennsylvania is more than a troll, this is a state the president needs to have. he won it by a narrow margin, last time. it was pennsylvania, wisconsin and michigan, he captured all three, that led to hillary clinton's defeat. they feel it's out of reach now, though, the president can only afford to lose one more, and d
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he's down in the polls consistently in all of them. gop registrations are up in pennsylvania, but joe biden home of scranton appeals to the white voters, but joe biden has kept the lead right now showing the president has work to do to get a state he desperately needs this had time around. >> reverend al what does joe biden need to say tonight? what's the message he needs to send to the american people? >> joe biden needs to say that i understand more about the experiences about the broad base of americans than my opponent and i understand that's why we need to save this democracy, save people's rights to vote that is eroding before our eyes. save ourselves from outside enemy influence, which russia, which even a senate committee came out this week with republicans on the committee
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saying he does not need to be an electrifying speaker, he needs to electrify us about our own interests. it's not about having somebody that is a superstar that we gravitate to, it's about somebody saying you have to gravitate to saying you're saying the country you believe in and your fore fathers fought for in different aspects of the country. if he can rally us around us he wins. i think it would be a mistake to try to redo joe biden into this charismatic electrifying figure. he needs to say i'm running for you because i'm one of you. look at my story and look at trump's story. look at what he's done. he's about to rob you of all you've lived for, believed in and what your parents stood for, believed in. and that's why you need to go out and despite whatever impediments are put in the way and vote and find a way to vote.
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he needs to sell us to us tonight. if he does that, then we will deliver him to the white house, i believe. >> still ahead on "morning joe," facing a legal battle against the trump administration challenging his executive order for mail-in voting. new jersey governor, phil murphy is standing by. as we go to break, a first look at the new issue of time called "the new american revolution," the special project was created with artist and producer fa pharrell williams and features conversations between black leaders that explore america's oppressive past and look for a better future. >> words came easy today. i have struggled to speak. but i have not lost my voice. america needs all of us to speak
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now that the rent's due but they've cut your pay. now that the virus has cost lives but your healthcare costs too much. now that our president has had months but he still doesn't have a plan. what happens now? joe biden knows how to lead through a crisis because he's done it before. when our economy was on the verge of collapse, joe biden led the largest economic stimulus in a generation and saved millions of jobs. now joe biden is ready to lead us through this crisis. he knows rebuilding our economy starts with fighting the virus, increasing testing, getting more protective gear for healthcare workers and calling for mask mandates nationwide. as president, he'll get working families back on their feet by lowering healthcare costs and helping small businesses recover. so what happens now? we elect a president who will build back better. i'm joe biden and i approve this message.
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if it's okay to show up to protest, it's certainly okay to show up and vote in person, and we see democrats with this hypocritical point that says somehow that we shouldn't be able to show up at the polling place and cast a vote. that's just ridiculous. here's what we need. give them some options where mail-in voting if they request an absentee vote we want to encourage them, the post office will be ready to deliver those ball los but we want to say if you show up in person or drive up curb side you should have the ability to do that. >> that is white house chief of staff mark meadows yesterday defending the trump administration's lawsuit against the state of new jersey over the governor's executive order to institute voting by executive order. the lawsuit seeks to throw out
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the order on the grounds it is a, quote, direct you sur pags of the legislatures authority. in response to the lawsuit, governor phil murphy told local reporters, quote, bring it on, and accused the trump team of a full throated propaganda campaign to undermine the election itself. governor murphy joins us now. good morning. i'll let you expand on it. why is it a bad idea? why is the lawsuit unfounded? >> willie, good to be with you. because it's a lawsuit i won't speak to it directly. but let me give you a couple thoughts here. we're in a pandemic so we're balancing public health with the sacred right at the center of democracy to vote. we deployed a hybrid model in our primary in july. it largely worked really well. we gave people the choice to vote by mail or show up in and
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vote in person. we've tweaked it within made it stronger, better, and that's what we'll do in november. this isn't new in new jersey, it isn't new in america, the president has vote by mail, i've voted by mail. what we're saying to folks is listen, you're going to get a ballot and you can fill that ballot out and put it in the mail or drop it off at hundreds of secure dropboxs or show up on election day and hand your ballot to a poll worker or show up and vote in person. it's a hybrid model it exceeds flexibility. we think it protects public health and preserves the right at the center of democracy for everyone to vote and have their vote counted. >> the criticism from the trump administration is more mail-in voting means more fraud. we point out there's no evidence of widespread voter fraud when mail-in voting is used. but there's an example in
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patterson, new jersey in may, and the president has used the election again, there was fraud and 20% of the ballots were thrown out, they have to rehold the election. what do you say to the criticism in your state there was fraud and more mail-in balloting opens itself to more. >> i had a conversation with the president on this, it was a local election in patterson, some guys tried to screw with the system, i view it as a positive data point. they got caught. they've been indicted, they're innocent until proven guilty but if they're convicted they'll pay an enormous price. our primary, that was a local election, our primary july 7th, which was statewide went off virtually without a hitch. we're trying to tweak this and making our voices heard with the postal service. i was on with the chief
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operating officer dave williams yesterday going over the plan. that patterson example to me tells me the system works and we should feel good about the fact that the bad guys were caught. >> we've been talking about the united states postal service, how concerned are you about a higher volume of mail-in ballots weighing down the post office to the point it impacts the votes, the way and time spent counting those votes. do you see problems in new jersey? >> it should weigh on all of us. that's the underlying reason for my conversations which have been regular, by the way, with the postal service and as i said, as recently as yesterday. one of the things we've done in the primary that we're going to do again in the general. not only are we going to have more secure boxes for folks to put their ballot into and bypass the postal service or hand it to a poll worker on election day as
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i said earlier, but we extended the amount of days your ballot will count as long as it was postmarked by election day. it used to be two days after that, it will now be seven. we think that's enough. the postal service, we made our plan known to them in great detail. they had a tweak they asked us to lack at which we're doing at the moment. so i'm concerned, but i believe as long as we fund the post office, it's an american institution, this just in, it doesn't exist just for ballots in the mail, it's seniors and their meds, it's veterans, it's rural communities, it's small businesses. we need a strong and robust u.s. postal service. >> we also have mike barnicle joining us. he's got the next question. mike? >> governor, another important topic, schools. before you get to harvard you were a public school kid. what's the status of new jersey
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school openings for public school children? >> mike, good to hear your voice. so we have put out 105-page guideline a couple of months ago and we'vecontinually, as we promised we would, tweaked that. we're giving districts the option to open in person the day after labor day or if they can't largely because they can't achieve some safety protocol, give us a reason why, what's the deficiency or the plan to remediate that? we'll work with the districts and give a plan to reopen. it's safety first, high quality education, equity, that's an important point not every family is configured and looks the same, and then wrapped around that flexibility. but it's our intent to get to in-person instruction in some form safely, as soon as we can. >> new jersey governor phil
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murphy, thank you very, very much. and john heileman, i feel like every governor needs to be stepping up here because they actually know how things get done in their states and could have a big impact on making sure the postal service and its whatever functions are left are stepped up and solidified before the election. before what's your response to the white house and kayleigh mcenany talking about this in such a flip way? it seems to me that we could have a problem come election day given what the usps head has done to the postal service. >> well, mika, we're going to find out a lot more in the next couple days when the postmaster comes to capitol hill both tomorrow in front of the senate and monday in front of the house. there are a lot of questions.
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and you and i had a colloquy yesterday a lot of people were saying louis dejoy had backed off, the drama was over and you and i were both skeptical about that yesterday i recall saying this looks like it could be a transparent tactical pr statement and then yesterday we saw reporting in which it became clear that the postmaster may be saying that he's going to not continue to dismantle the postal service the next couple of months but not going to go back and reinstall the machines that have been decommissioned and fix the damage already done. that's a giant problem. it's obvious we are going to have more mail-in votes in this election, unprecedented numbers. therefore the postal service needs to be funded at a higher level than ever before, it needs
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to be bolstered instead you have a postmaster, a political crony of donald trumps, and on all the available evidence there suggests a lot of reason for concern. it's not good enough. first of all, i don't trust him going forward to make good on the promises in that press release. even if you did, it's not enough to just hold steady right now having already seen the problems that we've seen reported over the last couple of weeks. this is a system that needs to be built up, not torn down, and i think at the federal level, at the state level, every level and the activists grass roots level, everyone needs to be focused on this in a laser-like way. because donald trump has made it very clear he wants to delegitimize mail-in voting so if he loses the election he'll be able to say this is a corrupt system, it's -- the fix is in.
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and he's contributing by undermining the postal service, he's contributing to allowing himself to be able to make that argument. it's as clear as day what's happening here. and if we don't rally around -- i mean, every american who cares about democracy in addition to our representatives, if we don't take this seriously starting right now, it's not like we might have a problem on election day, we are going to have a giant problem on election day and the days and weeks to follow. >> the bottom line, i wonder, yamiche what the white house -- how they can ignore this? in the middle of this pandemic, every company if they're going to do their stupid, idiotic logic that the post office is losing money, it's a bad business, and therefore, we must break it down, which is just b.s. no one expected the post office to make money. it wasn't even created to be -- it was created to be a service to the american people. and right now in the middle of a
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worldwide pandemic every company and every state government and even washington is looking at what services are essential. right. and you would assume, is it fair, that the post office, in a pandemic, a service that gets things like medicines to the people across america, would be essential. so breaking it down during this time seems corrupt and also, quite frankly, that they are inflicting pain on the american people who are already dying of the coronavirus. people who need medicines to come for other illnesses that they -- they are now being hurt. because the head of the usps has decided to cut overtime and get rid of sorting machines now. how can the white house ignore this literally with a straight face? >> i think you just laid out the
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reason why they are not ignoring it at this point. because they had to backtrack a bit because of the things you just laid out, on top of the fact we're in the middle of a pandemic, on top of the fact people are relying on mail as they shelter in place at home, they're also the essential workers going out risking their lives going into communities day after day, in all sorts of weather, in the middle of a pandemic to do the work people need. the words and idea of essential workers has expanded so much. i've been talking to bus drivers, grocery store workers, postal workers understanding they are part of the emergency response to a pandemic. i think that's why you see the president also curtailing his language here and he realizes there's a political problem here. if you vilify the mail, you're looking at seniors in florida that want to vote for you. i think that's why you hear in the democrats during the
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convention making the case that people need to get ready to fight to vote. you heard michelle obama say pack a lunch, put on comfortable shoes you may have to go in person, barack obama last night talking about the fact they are going to try to take the vote away. making the point that republicans he feels are going to try to suppress the vote of democrats across the country. i think that's why you see the president doing this. i think there's the big question that john heileman was talking about, what was the damage already done and how are they going to deal with that? the white house right now does not have an answer to that question, i think they're going to continue to be asked that question and they have to come up with a way to deal with this. or you're going to see more democratic attorneys general pursuing lawsuits which is what we're seeing now. >> thank you very much. still ahead former secretary of state john kerry will be our guest. plus former senior adviser to president obama valerie jarrett joins us. "morning joe" is coming right
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absentee is great but universal is going to be a disaster, the likes of which our country has never seen. it'll end up being a luggrigged election or they'll never come out with an outcome and they have to do it again, and nobody wants that. i don't want that. >> joining us now editor of news week and founder of cnbc tom rogers out with a new piece for news week entitled "how to defeat trump's plan to overturn the election". tom we talked about this, i have a bet with someone on this actually, a lot of different ways that those who know him well are concerned that he won't leave. tell us about your piece and how to guard against it. >> thanks, mika. well, with all this talk from trump that if he loses it's
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because the election is rigged, no one can think this is about just getting to the end of the election and him saying okay it was rigged, i didn't really lose. there's much more of a strategy and a game plan here. he's setting a post election stage for this being thrown into a friendlier forum for him, and that is congress. and to understand the game here, you have to understand how the trump campaign is viewing this and what the math involved is. all this post election chaos that he's creating is about trying to overturn the electoral college vote. so this election isn't just about more people going out and voting for joe biden. it isn't just about more people voting for him to win the swing states. this also involves having to worry about certain key congressional races which become
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part and parcel of winning the presidency. and you have to understand how they are trying to play this, and why congress and certain congressional relations become vital >> alicia menendez is with us and she has the next question. >> thanks, mika. tom, you know, when you talk to people who are election advocates, the thing i keep hearing is that on one hand, you need to be ringing the alarm about what is happening right now and the way in which the president is not only questioning the potential results of this election, but questioning the legitimacy of the process beginning now. and on the other hand, the more you do that, the more you run the risk of people feeling deflated, feeling that their vote doesn't matter and wanting to sit it out. how do you reconcile the two, both the responsibility of being honest and straightforward about what is happening now and on the other hand the potential that
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that will have a stimmying effect on voting turnout? >> voter turnout is absolutely critical. the issue of voter turnout has to be translated into what happens after the election that is going to create a basis for trump trying to take this election away by throwing it into the hands of congress. and the way that happens is all nine swing states have republican legislators. and his whole attempt to cast this as a rigged election is to get those republican legislators to have a rationale to put a competing slate of electoral delegates, electoral college voters in the hands of congress when congress reconvenes and open the slates of state electoral college electors in january. and that will end up in the
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courts. and then the courts can resolve that one of two ways. they can send that to congress for resolution where there's a vote of the house and the senate as to which state electors are legitimate. and obviously if it's thrown into the house vote, the house will vote democratically. but right now, if it's thrown into the senate the way the senate composition works, it wouldn't. so the democrats have to win the senate. but then you have to ask how many votes in the senate do they have to win? many think three and you get 50/50 and vice president harris could break the tie. but we could lose alabama so it's four. but, actually, vice president pence will be in charge of that session of congress when they open the envelopes of the electoral college votes and a vote is taken as to the legitimacy of which state electors get to vote in the electoral college. and as a result of that, pence having that tiebreaking vote, the democrats actually have to
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elect five new democratic senators. if they don't do that and the senate cannot resolve this with the house because the senate is republican still and the house is democrat, then this may get thrown to the house to decide the election based on state by state vote of each state getting one vote based on the majority of congressmen in that state delegation. then the republicans still win because they have a 26-23 majority. and you have to ask, so what happens to change that? and it's not easy. because there are not that many states where you can flip the delegation. there happen to be three where there are only one vote, congress congressional vote away from flipping that. florida has two up for grabs. you need to win one. pennsylvania has two up for grabs. need to win one. montana is the third which has one congressional district.
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so the math is this. to safeguard the election, when trump throws this to congress and congress has one of two paths to be able to block both paths, five senate seats, three democratic congressional seats need to flip in three key states. we've got to nationalize those elections because they come part and parcel of winning the presidency. and if you think that congress doesn't matter, the entire vote on those eight races may determine the presidency. >> tom rogers with potentially a really important warning. thank you very much for coming on the show this morning. and coming up, one of our next guests calls president trump's foreign policy a blooper reel of love letters to dictators and break-ups with american allies. former secretary of state john kerry joins us just ahead on morning joe. joins us just aheadn morning joe. from prom dresses...
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sduduring the pandemic, the movement appears to be getting a lot of followers. can you talk about what you think about that and what you have to say to people following this movement right now? >> i don't know much about the movement, other than i understand they like me very much. >> at a minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility. >> i have heard that it is gaining in popularity. >> regardless of ego, ambition or political beliefs. >> they do supposedly like me. >> they are counting on you. our worst impulses unleashed. >> the theory is this belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals. >> well, i haven't heard that,
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but is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? >> the circus of it all, the meanless and the lies and conspiracy theories. >> you know, if i can help save the world from problems, i'm willing to do it. >> donald trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't. and the consequences of that failure are severe. >> former president obama and president trump both speaking yesterday. good morning. it is thursday, august 20th. joe is off this morning, but along with willie and me, we have white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lamere, nbc news and misnbc contributor shawna thomas. historian john meachum whose biography of jaw lewis marching on next week, and reverend al
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sharpton is with us. we are covering a lot this morning including developments in the postal service including nancy pelosi saying the postmaster general will not restore cuts made to the postal service. she said dejoy told her in a conversation that he has agreed to no additional changes, he has no intention of returning the sorting machines removed from facilities or collection mailboxes taken from streets. and developments with the coronavirus as florida yesterday became the fifth state to reach 10,000 deaths, joining new jersey, new york, california, and texas. georgia now leads the country in the rate of new cases according to the white house coronavirus task force. which urged the state to take stronger measures to curb its outbreak. meanwhile, the infection rate in
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new york city the former global center of the outbreak has reached a record low according to mayor bill de blasio who said the rate of tests coming back could be as low as 0.24%, a sign the city is conducting a high number of tests and is so far managing to handle the outbreak. >> and let's begin with senator kamala harris making history last night, becoming the first woman of color to formally accept the democratic nomination for vice president of the united states. in her speech, senator harris shared parts of her personal story, took aim at president trump and called on americans to fight for the country's future. >> my mother instilled in my sister and me the values that would chart the course of our lives. she raised us to be proud, strong black women.
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and she raised us to know and be proud of our indian heritage. she taught us to put family first, the family you're born into and the family you choose. i have fought for children and survivors of sexual assault. i fought against transnational criminal organizations. i took on the biggest banks and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges. i know a predator when i see one. donald trump's failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods. if you're a parent struggling with your child's remote learning or you're a teacher struggling on the other side of that screen, you know what we're doing right now is not working. so we're at an inflexion point.
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the constant chaos leaves us adrift. the incompetence makes us feel afraid. the callousness makes us feel alone. it's a lot. and here is the thing. we can do better and deserve so much more. right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons. joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose. joe and i believe that we can build that be loved community. one that is strong and decent. just and kind. one in which we can all see ourselves. >> shawna thomas, i'll let you
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dig into kamala hair yeps's effectiveness prosecuting the case against president trump as she started to do last night. but just a moment to pause and look at that image to see a woman of color, a woman of indian descent standing there, a nominee to become vice president, what did that image mean to you? what does that image mean for the country? >> it represents so much. i think that word, representation, i think i talked about this on the show before. but this idea that there is a possibility that someone with darker skin, with experiences that no vice president before, no vice presidential candidate before has had can be in the room with the president of the united states and start making decisions with some of that life
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behind her is a pretty heady thing. it's one of the examples of what can make america actually great. but i also was struck by how much from her biothat she needed to talk about. i looked back at the nbc "wall street journal" poll and there were 13% of the registered voters in that poll who either didn't know who kamala harris was or hadn't formed some kind of opinion, positive or negative. 13%, actually, in this election is a big deal. and so i think she did an admirable job of reintroducing herself to people. i think she did an admirable job of showing she's not just of indian descent and a black family, but she struck the tones. vice presidential picks aren't exactly what people vote on, but because of that level of representation and because this was a historic night last night, there is a possibility that she
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introduced herself to a lot of people and made them feel like maybe they're in the room for when decisions get made. >> still ahead, a full recap of former president barack obama's comments about the current commander in chief. you're watching morning joe. we'll be right back. chief you're watching morning joe. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the open road is open again. and wherever you're headed, choice hotels is there.
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started a business started a blog shared a picture shared a moment turn your wish list into a checklist, with internet essentials from comcast. when you're connected, you're ready for anything. let's go right to the unprecedented performance by barack obama who assailed president trump in his democratic convention speech calling him a threat to democracy and issuing a stark warning to americans of the dire need to vote him out of office in november. the former president made his poignant mae from the museum of the american revolution in philadelphia where he was flanked by the text of the u.s.
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constitution. >> i have sat in the oval office with both of the men who are running for president. i never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. i did hope, for the sake of our country, that donald trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some r reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. but he never did. for close to four years now, he has shown no interest in putting in the work, no interest in finding common ground, no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends. no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can
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use to get the attention he craves. donald trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't. and the consequences of that failure are severe. this president and those in power, those who become from keeping things the way they are, they are counting on your cynicism. they know they can't win you over with their policies. so they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote and to convince you that your vote does not matter. that is how they win. what i know about joe, what i know about kamala is that they actually care about every american. they believe that in a democracy the right to vote is sacred. they believe that no one, including the president, is above the law.
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and that no public official, including the president, should use their office to enrich themselves or their supporters, that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depend on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up. so i'm also asking you to believe in your own ability, to embrace your own responsibility as citizens because that is what is at stake right now. our democracy. >> telling americans this is a dire time, especially given the questions that are happening right now with the postal service. what was your take away from president trump's speech and is there any precedent for something like this?
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>> you know, what is remarkable about president obama, and honestly i had kind of forgotten it was how he could combine two of the great human realities. he can argue from reason with a kind of restrained passion, right? usually people are either really passionate and emotional or they're highly cerebral. this was a fascinating combination of those two tributaries and it formed a very impressive rhetorical river. and it's rhetorical in the classic sense. rhetoric is rooted in action. words are supposed to lead to action. and he's always believed in the power of language, the power of story. one of the things he'll tell people who might want to run for office is what's your story? if you're going to replace an existing story, you have to tell a different narrative. and the narrative he gave us in a very restrained, somber speech
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totally commensurate with the moment was a reminder that we are, in fact, more than the sum of our parts. and i know everybody is talking about how blistering or whatever the analogy would be, how tough he was on trump. really? was he? trump rose to national power by deploying baseless disproven racist attacks against this man. i thought, if anything, obama took an intelligence high road, a wise high road here. and just says what a lot of us think. and that's what great political oratory is about, is can you articulate what we're thinking. senator harris did the same thing, too, by the way, by talking about the folks on both sides of the remote learning
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screen. that was a brilliant diagnose from the fireside chat vernacular. they found a way to be in the living room, to be around the radio with people, imaginatively. and what senator harris did in that image about teachers and students and families struggling was she put -- she got in everybody's kitchen, right, when they're struggling to get online to get to class and the teacher is being frustrated by it. so the net effect of both senator harris's speech and president obama's speech, i think, is just to say we know this isn't working. you know this isn't working. and we hoped, a lot of folks hoped, i know i did, president obama said he did, that maybe miraculously this carnival barker would actually be transformed by the office. he was not. instead of being transformed by the office, donald trump has
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attempted to transform the office and the country into something we shouldn't want to be. coming up, rev rental's top t takeaways from last night's convention. morning joe is back in a moment. n morning joe is back in a moment. >> tech: at safelite, we're here for you with safe, convenient service. >> tech: we'll come right to you. ♪ upbeat music >> tech: you'll get a text when we're on our way. >> tech: before we arrive, just leave your keys on the dash. we'll replace your windshield with safe, no-contact service. ♪ upbeat music >> tech: and that's service you can trust when you need it the most. ♪ upbeat music
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the tens of thousands set to die, due to die in the future, 170 already thousand. for some, it hasn't shaken them from the numbness of what has happened to our country. but to hear president obama say that he is a threat to our democracy, do you think that will make a difference? >> it will make a difference. first, you have to look at president obama brilliantly went to the museum where the constitution and all the
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founding documents started there in philadelphia. president obama doesn't live in philadelphia, so this was something that he chose to use as the setting to bring us back to where the country started and what the country claimed to represent. the irony is he is a black man who his people, our people, were enslaved and considered less than human weren't included in that. but he brought us back to this is what we're supposed to be. and i think that that shakes a lot of people at their root. but what i think he did most effectively in giving the political season that's connected to that is he said let me be clear, president trump is not only not living up to the spirit of what the country represented, whether it lived up to it or not. he can't do it. he's incapable of it. and i think it is the height of an attack for people to hear someone say, wait a minute, quit waiting for this guy to bring us out of the pandemic.
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quit waiting on this guy to save the economy that is a result of the pandemic. he's incapable. and the ultimate insult, as one that knows president obama relatively well and trump well. the ultimate insult to a white racist is for a black man to say i did it, but he is not capable of rising to the level that i did and bush did and clinton did. that got under donald trump's skin more than everyone could imagine. but i hope it got into everyone looking into their heads. this guy can't do it. he's incapable. that's a lot more serious than just saying this guy has made bad mistakes or bad judgment. he said he can't do it. he's incapable. don't keep him in that seat. >> jonathan lamere, last night was extraordinary, not just because of the way that president obama went after the
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incumbent president, but because of the way the president responded sitting in the white house and the building behind you tweeting in all caps, hive tweeting as his predecessor spoke and criticized him in a pointed way. a couple of notes, barack obama we've learned was supposed to speak at the end of the night last night, but when kamala harris became the choice, he said, no, this should be her night. so he moved himself up as an opening act and a passing of the torch to kamala harris. what can you tell us talking to obama advisers about the way this speech was developed, the way it came to pass and how he decided now was not the time to make im poliplicit criticism, b direct criticism? >> president trump almost never uses president trump's name. but last night, he did and made it clear to pick up on the thread the reverend was saying a
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moment ago. it wasn't that people were waiting to donald trump to grow into the job. he's note capable of it. he echoed what his own wife, michelle obama, said before, president trump is not up to the issue. he can't do it. and the message that they wanted to convey last night, including talking to some of his former advisers of the evening was anger. it was a righteous anger that donald trump has left, not just about obama's legacy but the country itself. and more than that, and we saw him get emotional at times, we saw him holding back tears when we talk about the struggles of previous americans have had, that their struggles could have been in vain if progress was unwound by president trump. more than rachighteous anger, h wanted to convey that he was scared perhaps about the fibers
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of democracy and this election itself. that's what he wanted to say last night and did so. it certainly triggered the current president who largely held his tongue the previous two nights during the convention. he didn't have much to say about former first lady michelle obama. i don't believe he said anything at all about dr. jill biden. but last night, even before, brought up senator harris took the podiums. he tweeted welcome to the party and afterwards a series on of all caps tweets alleging that barack obama's administration spied on him, alleging without evidence that senator harris called joe biden a racist. that's simply not true. dealing with these untruths, the obama people believe he made the former president's point for him that, indeed, this was the latest evidence that that is his unhinged behavior they say that
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president trump simply isn't up to the job. coming up on morning joe, two people who worked alongside former president barack obama, john kerry. morning joe is back in a moment. y morning joe is back in a moment. ♪ book two separate qualifying stays and earn a free night. the open road is open again. and wherever you're headed, choice hotels is there. book direct at choicehotels.com.
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andnow that the rent's due, but they've cut your pay.. now that the virus has cost lives but your healthcare costs too much. now that our president has had months but he still doesn't have a plan. what happens now? joe biden knows how to lead through a crisis because he's done it before. when our economy was on the verge of collapse, joe biden led the largest economic stimulus in a generation and saved millions of jobs. now joe biden is ready to lead us through this crisis. he knows rebuilding our economy starts with fighting the virus, increasing testing, getting more protective gear for healthcare workers and calling for mask mandates nationwide. as president, he'll get working families back on their feet by lowering healthcare costs and helping small businesses recover. so what happens now? we elect a president who will build back better. i'm joe biden and i approve this message.
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mm. yeah, they say if you blanch it it's better, but that seems like a lot of work. now offering zero commissions on online trades. we charge you less so you have more to invest. ♪ welcome back to morning joe. the weekly jobless claims report has just crossed. let's bring in dominic chu. dom, how does it look this week? >> what we have are initial jobless claims ticking back above the 1 million mark. 1.106 million initial jobless claims filed. analysts and economists were on average looking for around 923,000. so this does mark a bit of a reversal because just last week, you may recall that we did see the numbers fall for initial
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jobless claims below the 1 million mark for the first time since march 21st. that was, by the way, 20 straight weeks where claims were over that 1 million mark. so we ticked back above there right now. we're still going through the numbers here, but we're going to try to see what the continuing claims number is right now. as of last week, 15.5 million americans were still filing for unemployment benefits on an ongoing basis, so continuing to go through some of those numbers. we're watching headlines coming out over the past couple of days with regard to apple. it became the first u.s. company to ever hit a market value of $2 trillion. apple has been helped recently by folks buying more iphones, ipads, mac computers and everything else to work from or entertain themselves at home. it's seeing a lot of growth in its services business like the apps store, itunes music, icloud stores. and for perspective on how big it is, the entire s&p 500 energy sector, the most important oil and gas companies in all of america, are together worth $720
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billion. so apple is worth nearly three times that entire industry. and 3 trillion is roughly the entire size of the economy of italy. air bnb has filed regulatory documents for an initial public offering. it was valued earlier this year at $18 billion. but some are skeptical about what the business will look like for airbnb in a world where the pandemic is pretty much pack and play. we did get headlines this morning, as well, on air bnb. it's announcing it's going to ban all house parties at all of of its properties worldwide. there is now, by the way, a max of 16 people permitted in each house. some of the big headlines there. >> yeah. obviously, a tough time for airbnb and a lot of companies. i want to ask you, dom, about
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good year. yesterday, president trump promoted a boycott of the goodyear rubber and tire company. he wrote in part, don't buy goodyear tires. they announced a ban on maga hats. get better tires for far less wrote the president of the united states. he went on to make a comment about radical left democrats saying two can play the same game. the president references an image that a goodyear employee said was taken during a training reference labelling maga attire as an unacceptable display. among the other things unacceptable were blue lives matter, all lives matter and political affiliated material. goodyear said in a statement the visual in question was not created or distributed by goodyear corporate nor is it part of our diversity training.
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the tiremaker said in part yesterday goodyear became the focus of a conversation about a concept that created misconceptions about our policies. goodyear has supported equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. it asked sociologies refrain from workplace expressions and avoid campaigning for any political party or similar folks of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues. so, dom, you have the the of the united states calling for the boycott of a major american company that employs about 62,000, 63,000 people in ohio, by the way. what was the market impact yesterday of the president's comment? >> so, i mean, the market impact was there. i mean, as soon as the tweet comes out -- and to be fair, any company that's the target of a tweet from the president on a negative basis does have a market reaction. the question is how long. in this case here, the initial market reaction was marked.
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it was around 4% to 6% in terms of the drop in shares. it did slowly recover it throughout the course of the trading day. it's actually up in the premarket right now. by it just goes to show you that it does have an impact. by the way, goodyear is the biggest u.s.-based manufacturer of tires out there. cooper is maybe a little smaller in terms of market cap, but in terms of total sales, goodyear is the one out there and it's probably the most visible, as well. it's also the primary tire sponsored by nascar. you'll see them on all the nascar vehicles. so it begs the question about whether or not there are ripple effects that were perhaps not seen before the tweet went out in this kind of a situation, guys. >> it's also the tire, by the way, that's on the beast, the presidential armored limousine. dominic chu, thank you so much. mika, there you have it. the president sees a segment on fox news. he tweets a boycott of a ohio-based company that employs 62,000, 63,000 people.
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>> yeah. terrible, but also he's distracting from a lot of things that are going on right now. let's get back now to last night's historic moment when senator kamala harris became the first woman of color to accept a major party nomination for vice president. >> i keep thinking about that 25-year-old indian woman, all of five feet tall, who gave birth to me at kaiser hospital in oakland, california. on that day, she probably could have never imagined that i would be standing before you now and speaking these words. i accept your nomination for vice president of the united states of america. >> joining us now, former senior adviser to president barack obama, valley jarrett. mike barnacle and alicia menendez are back with us, as
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well. valerie, great to have you on the show. i want to get to all the different things that kamala harris, the choice of kamala harris bring to the table. but first, looking ahead to tonight, what does joe biden need to do if michelle and barack obama and kamala harris really kind of laid out the case against trump, what does he need to do to close the deal? >> well, first of all, mika, what an incredible convention it has been. and i have goose bumps, again, watching senator harris say that she accepts that nomination. it's a historic moment for a person who really reflects the american story. and last night's theme was -- and it came to life through the voices of those, particularly the women who have helped perfect other union through their grit and hard work and resilience and love of country. so i think for vice president biden, the case has been made on his behalf. i think he'll tell his story again, let people in as every speaker has done so that there could be a connection with the
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american people and explain why he is the man for this moment, together with his partner, senator harris, and also, of course, contrasted was the unbelievably painful last nearly four years as each of the speakers have already done. >> we have alicia menendez with us. she has the next question for you, valerie. >> hi, alicia, how are you? >> good to see you. last night, we saw president obama give his most pointed critique yet of president trump. i'm hoping you can give us some insight. >> he thinks the stakes couldn't be higher. our democracy is in peril. and i think the setting with the constitution behind him, framing the context for why he had to deliver the message he did speaks volumes to what he believes is at stake here. and i think it wasn't just
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making a case for why vice president biden is the man for the hour with kamala harris. it wasn't just a case against the track record of president trump, but it was to inspire us all to feel that we have a responsibility. when he was president, he fulfilled that responsibility. but the most important office is the office of citizen. so i think he didn't want to just inspire people, i wanted to motivate them to get out there and do something. and the final point i would make is i think this convention is working better without the crowd. i think people were able to lean in and listen without the hoopla at this critical time in our nation's history. so i like the fact that he delivered the speech without any applause. i would say the same thing for senator harris. they wanted people to hear them clearly, absorb what they were saying and feel this enormous connection with what we all have to do collectively. >> mike barnacle.
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>> valerie, i realize that you are not engaged in the day-to-day strategy planning for the biden/harris ticket. but the other night during the virtual roll call to your point about this being more incidentsment without the convention crowds there, but during the virtual roll call, it struck me not for the first time this week that we are looking at each and every hour of this convention coverage. we're looking at the face and the feelings of america. >> exactly. >> so my question to you is, if you're in the other side of the equation, if you're in the republican side of the equation, what do they do to respond to what we see and hear each and every night during this convention? >> well, i think, and we'll see next week, that they do what they have been doing which is to continue to play to a smaller and smaller base. trying to excite that base so much that they will turn out in
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record numbers to vote. but that does not reflect our country. and i think, mike, you got it just right. the voices of the american people, the richness of our diversity, the stories that they told about the effect that the last nearly four years has had on their lives from the woman who talked about her dad dieing of covid-19 and his pre-existing condition, president trump, to the dreamers, to folks worried about being deported, to the people struggling because their businesses are closing, all of those stories reflect first of all the strength and the fact that those folks still love our country and see its potential and i think that the republicans, they're missing out on that. they're not reaching out to independents and republicans. they're using fear, they're using distortions if not outright untruths as we've seen in the last four years. and i don't think that really reflects the goodness of america
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and most americans are good. >> valerie, it's willie. good to see you this morning. >> good morning. >> i think it's very clear right now that democrats, progressives, many americans were energized by seeing the former first lady on monday night and last night former president barack obama. they were reminded what the country can be. my question to you is how much more will we see of president obama and first lady obama over the next couple of months? i know they don't want to over-shadow joe. it's his race. but when they come out, democrats are energized, undeniably. will we see a lot more of them? >> i think what president obama has said is he is here to do whatever is most helpful to the campaign. he is all in. they were all in. i thought her speech was magnificent in its raw and transparent honesty. it is what it is. i've heard that so many times in
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the last couple of days. and so, yes, they have both made the point that our democracy really hangs in peril and we all have to do whatever possible to ensure vice president biden's success. michelle obama has been working for the last 2 1/2 years on when we'll vote which is a nonpartisan effort for people to turn out to vote. she was so disappointed in the last election was with the voter turnout. so, yes, you will hear their voices out there in any way possible to make sure that we turn this page, this dreadful, dreadful chapter in our nation's history must come to an end. >> valerie jarrett, always good to see you. thank you so much for coming on the this show. >> thank you so much. >> her latest book is finding my voice. when the perfect plan crumbles, the adventure begins. up next, following his indictment of president trump's handling of u.s. foreign policy
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on the dnc stage tuesday night, former secretary of state john kerry is standing by. he joins the conversation next on morning joe. he joins the conversation next on morning joe looks like they picked the wrong getaway driver. they're going to be paying for this for a long time. they will, but with accident forgiveness allstate won't raise your rates just because of an accident, even if it's your fault. cut! sonny. was that good? line! the desert never lies. isn't that what i said? no you were talking about allstate and insurance. i just... when i... let's try again. everybody back to one. accident forgiveness from allstate. click or call for a quote today. my psoriasis. cosentyx works on all of this. cosentyx treats the multiple symptoms of psoriatic arthritis to help you look and feel better. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease
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writes love letters to dictators. america deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at. downtown did pretends russia didn't attack our elections and now he does nothing about russia putting atroops. so he won't defend our country, he doesn't know how to defend our troops. the only person he's interested in defending is himself. this is the bottom line. our interests, our ideals and our brave men and women in uniform can't afford four more years of donald trump. >> john kerry on tuesday night at the democratic national convention with his review of president trump's conduct on the world stage. and the former secretary of state joins us now. secretary kerry, great to have you on. and i want to ask you more about those comments we just heard. but first, can you comment on the news that we got over the past day that russian opposition
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figure novalny is in a coma after an apparent poisoning? >> well, this is a pattern. we've seen russian operatives attempting to murder people in other countries, in england, and it's frightening by any standard that oppositionists in russia apparently are subject to being assassinated or attempted assassinations anywhere in the world. i think it underscores the degree to which president trump's unwillingness to say anything about russian activities from the interference in our election to their activities in other parts of the world is having a negative impact on standards and expectations. donald trump has been breaking norms of every kind but not without consequence. and the consequence of this is
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to create the wild, wild west out there everywhere. east, west, north and south. >> so now to the remarks that you made last night it's actually related on many levels because president trump made it very clear he really likes vladimir putin. he admires him, which many of us find very strange. we really don't understand, you know, why there wasn't a translator or note-taker at some of these meetings. the whole thing is very unnerving especially in light of the bipartisan senate intel report that came out last week. but you talk about his appearances on the world stage really being more like a blooper real. i remember the video of several world leaders sort of in a cluster laughing at him. is he the laughing stock of the world, and i say that in all seriousness, and why does that matter? >> well, it matters because the
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credibility of the united states of america and the quality of our leadership has always made a different. we assumed a huge responsibility in the aftermath of world war ii when we executed the marshall plan. we did something unprecedented. we stood up and helped germany and japan, both of whom initiated this conflict, and we brought them back. today germany and japan are strongest allies. they are strong democracies and what a difference the courage of that leadership made. we don't see that leadership today. we don't see the implementation of a strategy that the world desperately needs to be brought together to deal with countless major challenges, mika. you're familiar with all of them. cyberwarfare. there's nor cyberattacks and cyberinterference in this world than ever before. we began in the obama
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administration to establish some basic principles for the rules of the road for cyber. and our intention clearly is to have the next administration continue that. but this administration has done nothing about it. and they've given free license to bad actors in the world to be able to be disruptive. donald trump welcomes disruption. that's part of the approach. and it's a hallmark of this administration. chaos. every day there's another element of that. but the world doesn't work well that way. not when you have a pandemic. not when you have nuclear weapons that are now being enlarged in the arsenals of various countries. not when you have the challenge of global climate crisis. you can only solve these problems, as i said at the convention by coming together as nations and working in the ways that all the institutions we helped set up in the aftermath
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of world war ii, the way they were intended to work. they're not working that way today. and one of the principal reasons for that is the withdrawal of the united states of america as a force for convening, a force for putting big ideas on the table and for helping to cajole and jawbone and bring about the cooperation necessary for a world to work. donald trump just is the antithesis of that. and you look at something like north korea. his love letters to kim jong-un belie the fact that only months before that, he was promising fire and fury for the situation that existed with their nuclear weapons. that hasn't changed, mika. he's built more nuclear weapons. his arsenal is bigger today than it was. it's a greater threat to the united states and the world today than it was. and there's no fundamental arrangement. sort of an uneasy standoff. but that's not the real stuff of
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diplomacy. and so i think the world needs to recognize what president obama said last night. not only are we witnessing the diminishment of the american leadership role but we're witnessing a challenge to our own democracy here at home, and it doesn't get more serious or more fundamental than that. >> speaking of president obama's remarks, mike barnicle, i know you wanted to say something about the former president's remarks last night and then you can take it to secretary kerry. >> yeah, mika, last night was truly historic at several different levels. obviously, kamala harris' appearance as the vice presidential nominee was historic in and of itself. but barack obama, a former president, legitimately criticizing his predecessor, a sitting president, was truly, in memory, historic. and i think it was the intimacy of his speech that was critical.
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no crowds. no screaming delegates partying and screaming and yelling and throwing straw hats in the air or on the floor. it was just barack obama talking directly to you, the citizen out there, and he was talking about the need to defend this country, that this country, the united states of america, is literally on the line this election day. but in any event, mr. secretary, back to your forte, diplomacy, what does this administration probably a foolish question to ask about this administration or the next administration, the biden administration, what do we do about china who have -- the chinese have held back vital information about a virus that has crippled the world. what do we do about china? >> well, china is going to be -- is today and will be one of the most important if not the most important relationship that we have in the world.
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china is a powerhouse economy. it is not yet but will be inevitably because of its size the largest economy in the world. it has committed to a major expansionism in its foreign policy through the one belt, one road, spending about a trillion dollars and some 70 countries. so we have to recognize that even as we must stand up for american businesses and for rules of the road, access to the market, not having technology stolen from us and so forth, these are critical things. they're real issues. they're right to be raised. but how you raise them is critical. the obama/biden administration knew how to work with china even as we disagreed with them. in fact, we did the same thing with russia. we put sanctions on russia. we fortified the front line nations that were tlehreatened
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russia's expansion into ukraine. we held them accountable with the sanctions, upped the sanctions, but we were cooperative with them on the iran nuclear agreement, on the climate agreement in paris. that's the art of diplomacy. you have to be able to do different things. ronald reagan proved that. talking to the evil empire when he went to reykjavik and he and gorbachev came to an historic agreement with trop nuclerespec nuclear weapons. this administration doesn't do that. president trump has started trade war before he's even really engaged in the discussion that is necessary to try to work out the rules of the road. i am convinced the biden administration will recognize the need to hold china accountable to standards of behaviors as we do several countries but simultaneously, we've got to work with china. you can't solve the cybercrisis. you can't solve nuclear weapons. you can't deal with north korea.
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you can't deal with the climate crisis without china at the table. it is vital. and i think that vice president biden, who has a strong relationship with president xi, who has been part of eight years of the successful management of many of these issues, understands exactly how we can go about that. that doesn't mean you say yes to them. it means you engage and if they are not willing to move in a reasonable way, then you may be forced to do things. but don't start with those things before you've exhausted the remedies available to you. >> former secretary of state john kerry, thank you very much for being on with us this morning. and that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now.

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