tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 22, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
minutes ago touched down in tel aviv on the second leg of his first overseas trip as president. he was met at the airport as you just saw by prime minister benjamin netanyahu, who apparently had to order reluctant cabinet members to attend this greeting. the president is now at the podium. >> we're going to listen to a few minutes of this and then get on with the news. here is the president. >> it is wonderful to be here in israel. president rivlin, mrs. rivlin, prime minister netanyahu, mrs. netanyahu. thank you very much. i am deeply grateful for your invitation and very, very honored to be with you. on my first trip overseas as president, i have come to the sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the united states and the state of israel.
in this land so rich in history, israel has built one of the world's great civilizations. a strong, resilient, determined, and prosperous nation. it is also a nation forged in the commitment that we will never allow the horrors and atrocities of the last century to be repeated. now we must work together to build a future where the nations of the region are at peace, and all of our children can grow, and grow up strong, and grow up free from terrorism and violence. during my travels in recent days, i have found new reasons for hope. i have just concluded a visit to
saudi arabia, where yesterday i met with king salman and the leaders from across the muslim and arab world. in that visit we reached historic agreements to pursue greater and greater cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its evil ideology. my future travels will take me to visit pope francis at the vatican and then our nato and european allies. we have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace. but we can only get there working together. there is no other way.
mr. president, mr. prime minister, i look forward to working closely with both of you during my stay. we love israel. we respect israel. and i send your people the warmest greetings from your friend and ally, all of the people in the united states of america. we are with you. thank you and god bless you. thank you. [ applause ] >> you're looking at israel, donald trump just landed there, mika. he talked about yesterday his time in saudi arabia where he po' to 54 leaders from muslim countries representing 58 countries. and he said he looked forward to a time with the nations of the region are at peace. he found a new reason for hope and a rare opportunity to bring peace to this region. >> a lot of optics and
symbolism. you have red carpets from riyadh to tel aviv, but that really does not overshadow what has happened in washington. significant new developments involving the investigation into russia. >> we're going to get to that in two seconds but let's first get david ignatius quickly. your response to what you've seen over the past 48 hours. >> joe, i thought this was an important visit. it's symbolic but precisely the symbol we should think about. the president who represented many millions of americans who are angry, fearful toward the muslim world went to the muslim world and essentially embraced it. that's not a flip-flop simply for trump, it's a change. >> massive change. >> he wants to offer. similarly more than 50 years of muslim leaders don't like united states. the degree of antipathy.
many promising they will make financing of terror groups illegal. if they make the pledge that's significant. >> he did something significant for once, he talked about individuals. they do not like talking about individuals in saudi arabia financing. that's actually going at the power trukt you're there. >> yo, as long as i've covered that part of the world, that's been a dodge. we're not -- saudi arabia isn't giving money to terrorist, maybe some citizens do that. we can't -- what they have said is for citizens to do that will now be illegal. they set up a mechanism from a year from now u.s. officials will go to saudi arabia and check and see did they deliver. they will look at the finance. i think those were concrete achievements. jobs, jobs, jobs, weapons deals.
but the essence of this, muslim, western interaction. >> everyone, mika, that i spoke with that either diplomats over there are represented leaders in the sunni arab world were absolutely thrilled with what they heard. it's all about context. they felt abandoned and betrayed. whether they are correct or not, by barack obama's leaning in towards iran. yesterday that all changed, in their mind. >> there are risks to playing with trump we've seen play out over the last few months so we'll see. with us washington anchor for bbc news katy kay. jeremy peters. senior editor and white house correspondent for the post sam stein. in new york, president of council on foreign relations and author of the book "a world in
disarray" richard haass. let's give you the backdrop to which we've seen these scenes. the white house wants the president's trip to drive in washington. it has difficulty overshadowing significant new doemts involving the investigation into russia. one report saying the probe is now targeting a current white house staffer while another report said the president personally told the russians that firing james comey relieved great pressure. let's start right there. news pro over the weekend that the day after president trump abruptly fired fbi director james comey, trump spoke about it to high-ranking russian officials inside the oval office. "the new york times" quoted from a document summarizing the president's meeting with the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov and ambassador sergey kislyak. quote, i just fired the head of the fbi. he was crazy, a real nut job. i faced great pressure because
of russia. that's taken off. the white house did not dispute the quote. two other times the white house cited russia for comey's sudden and unceremonious missile. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. >> just to clarify one thing you said, the president encouraged the investigation into russia, sooner rather than later, how does he encourage it when he just fired the man overseeing the russia investigation. >> there are multiple people art of this, not just fbi, house committee, the point is we want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity. we think by removing director comey taking steps to make that happen. thanks so much, guys.
>> reacting to the core of the president's comments about director comey sean spicer said in a statement, by grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into russia's actions, james comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with russia. white house national security adviser h.r. mcmaster was asked about the report yesterday, here is how he responded. >> i don't remember exactly what the president said. the notes they have, i don't think are a direct transcript. the gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he's hamstrung in his ability to work with russia, find areas of cooperation because this has obviously been so much in the news. that was the intention of that portion of the conversation. >> let me ask you, jeremy, how much is all of this going to impact, this first working day
members have gotten back. obviously the president is across the sea. but this is what's doing to be focusing the mind for most republicans, democrats on the hill. what are these weekend revelations many for the president's standing to get anything done. >> i think he's obviously going to want to have the focus on his foreign trip, on his interactions with these leaders overseas but i don't think that is going to be possible when you're going to haveore and more developments about the russian investigation. every reporter on capitol hill is going to be asking just about every member of congress what do you think the president said about james comey being a nut job and fired him and pressure relieved on him and just kind of move on here like nothing happened. >> catty, it's just one after another after another. it's a wave of news every day. it's surprising. we find out again the president said i fired the nut job. i killed the investigation. the pressure is off of us,
basically is what he said. then you have a person of interest high up in the white house. then you hear james comey is going to testify publicly. it just keeps going and going and going. >> two weeks ago. >> two weeks ago comey was still director of the fbi. it feels like two years ago. >> yes. >> it's hard to keep track of everything that's happened since then and all of it coming out of the white house. then you have the news about what he said to lavrov and how that relieved pressure on him and the spin that came out from tillerson, which i thought was unconvincing spins, and from h.r. mcmaster, to show he could carry on dealing with russian relations. he specifically said the pressure was off him. he didn't say impact relations at home and abroad. it keeps putting the white house in this position of cleanup mode. >> richard haass, how extraordinary is it, richard, that the president of the united states not only reveals top secret sensitive, classified
information but at the same meeting says, hey, you know that investigation about us, i killed it, got rid of the fbi director who was a nut job, and there's no more pressure. >> there's a rule when you're a u.s. official when you travel abroad, you never criticize your own country. you might say certain things in the united states but would never say it to foreign official and foreign public. the president did that and then some in this meeting. it wasn't just with any foreign official, it was with the foreign minister of russia, one of this country's principle adversaries. it was high on the ip appropriate scale. i actually found it truly objectionable. >> that is classic understatement. it is high on the inappropriate scale. >> working really hard over the past six months to try and measure, lives like us, get our
our hair on fire, this was really bad. that's what he was trying to say. this shows untethered diverting ridiculous behavior. go ahead. >> inappropriate scale. >> let's talk about what maybe one of the most extraordinary things in the entire story, that the story got out. for the verbate of a private conversation inside the white house. >> people are done with him. >> a summary of that to actually get out, something this damming is not something we would have seen in barack obama's administration or george bush's. >> what does it take. >> or any previous administration. >> this administration is obsessed with leaks. can you see why. they are not able to keep things more than a few hours some days. i thought the importance of what
has been revealed about the conversation in the oval office with lavrov, you don't have to take anybody's reporting, just take h.r. mcmaster's summary. he confirms that the president spoke about being relieved of a problem of dealing with russia. the firing comey, you have evidence that was specific outcome in his advantage. if you look at the law -- >> trump admit thad to lester holt already. >> you have trump, president trump admitted on tv. the next day admitted it they fired comey and mcmaster. >> no, it's mind boggling. i keep thinking of the "saturday
night live" depiction of the lester holt interview where it was like, i got him, i got him? nothing matters. any other white house these comments would be scandalous. it is here but we're going about our business. i can't think of a meeting with more diplomatic and domestic policy implications than with russia. he's in israel now. the first scandal, gave to russia -- it will complicate -- >> take a step back. we were all shocked, the media was shocked at the bad judgment of having lavrov and the russians in because he had just fired comey the prior day. that's part of the story. >> you talked about the leaks. a month or so ago we were having a conversation in which we were saying, look, if you play mean
with everybody, you end up having no friends. >> good to war with everybody. >> that's exactly what donald trump has done in intelligence agencies. if they think they have leaks now, it's not going to get any better. >> there's a couple of things. there's still federal investigation into a person de los trump inside the white house that we'll get to in just a moment. to your point, sam, we're going about our business, actually, we're not. we're not sitting here on these pictures of trump in tel aviv and going live and listening to every word, we're focused on washington. because what happens in the white house at this point impacts the world and this country. and the white house is in meltdown mode. >> let's remember, no matter what you see on the screens, no matter what we're doing, this is doing to be resolved by one man sitting quietly at his desk named robert mueller and he's just every day going to keep working and working no matter what we say, no matter what is flashed on the screen by donald trump. that's what's doing to determine how this resolves itself.
>> one other thing before we get into the investigation inside the white house, that's how the secretary of state is navigating all this. let's go to nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell live from jerusalem. andrea, safe to say what happened with the russians in the oval office is having an impact on the u.s. and our relationships around the world. what are you hearing this morning? >> rex tillerson on "air force one" flying from riyadh to tel aviv, historic flight never taken place before was questioned about the lavrov meeting. he was in the oval office. it is trailing them here. it's inescapable. yes, there's a lot of red carpets, and there are conversations brief as they are, because the fact that middle east peace can be negotiated in a 15 or 20-minute conversation between two leaders is laughable. but the fact is this stuff does follow them here.
tillerson candidate about the israeli concern. i've been here talking to people. there's tremendous concern about israeli intelligence breaches in the oval office to the russians no less in league with iran, israel's historic enemy. despite all that, he said i don't know we have anything to apologize for, when asked if there would be an apology. then he went on to say with a follow-up question that it would be dealt with to satisfy israeli concerns in any regard. i doubt very much netanyahu would bring this up with president trump, and i doubt president trump would bring it up. certainly between intelligence and security officials and probably at the foreign minister level it is going to be brought up. more importantly he's going on to nato where i am told there have been deep concerns. nato is a military alliance. foreign ministers and defense ministers and intelligence organizations in all of these countries are appalled. the british in particular appalled. the french, some of our closest
allies are so concerned about this intelligence breach. i have to tell you, so far the president is not having news conferences on this trip. he's not tweeting on this trip, reading off his teleprompter, not speaking. this has been sober mission to riyadh and i assume israel as well. >> thank you very much, appreciate it. let's go to richard haass. richard, i asked david ignatius to comment on the last 24, 48 hours. what's your take away and what you're hearing this morning? >> take away, surprisingly uncharacteristically normal trip. what didn't happen is at least as important as what what happened. we're not talking about things associated with it. i think the saudis were prepared not just to roll out the red carpet but have this trip succeed. this was not barack obama. they wanted to send a signal it was a new chapter. i agree with what david said outreach to muslim world, change in language.
the only thing widely discord ant against backdrop of iranian election for all of its constraints was something of an exercise in at least partial democracy and blaming iran for a lot of the ills what's going on it seemed to be leaving out one thing, the whole decision not to be critical of the sunni arab world. that's been one of the drivers of terrorism. you look at 9/11, the rise of groups like al qaeda, it's because of the flaws in the society. yes, the terrorist financing is one part of it, but it's also the fact a whole generation of young people feel totally disengaged from their societies and vulnerable and open for these calls for radicalism. that simply wasn't on the agenda. you would think that somehow iran was the real scourge of terrorism in the region and a scourge of it but not the only one. the only thing it really signed the united states up for prolonged anti-iranian and foreign policy. that's taking on a lot particularly in places like yemen, also syria, also iraq.
i just hope people have thought through exactly what it is we're signing onto. >> david, at the same time, it is barack obama's move towards iran that has united the sunni world, even moved them closer to israel and closer to the united states than any time since dwight eisenhower first became president back in the early '50s. >> joe, it's fascinating to see this trip in mirror image to obama's eight years ago. the theme of obama's trip was i'm going to reach out to our enemies. the theme of trump's trip is i'm going to embrace our friends. it's that simple. obviously the friends being embraced are really delighted. just a final caution. selling $110 billion of arms to saudi arabia is not doing to make the problems of that region bett better. i don't think so. we've tried it. the second is at some point sensible people, certainly the president of the united states,
has to help lead the sunni stronger, more confident sunnis toward make kind of easing of this terrible tension with iran, which is ripping the middle east apart. >> and all the president's trip and speech did yesterday was pour oil on the flames of the rift that is grog from sunnis and shias in that area of the world. it's hard to see in the long run how that improves peace. >> i have to say, barack obama was openly hostile to a lot of these sunni regions, openly hostile to el sisi for a very long time. he was i don't want to say loathed throughout the region, but it was hard to fend a leader or foreign minister or ambassador that had anything nice to say about the united states. they felt abandoned. i'm talking about sunni arab world, felt abandoned from the very beginning. the question is, how do you embrace your friends without
starting a cold war with your enemy. >> maybe they will start to do more sensible things with their own people, with their adversaries, that's a hope. >> richard has a point. you're alienating a nation which is potentially pro western, pro american nation which has voted in -- >> iran. you're speaking like a european now. there's nothing pro american about europe. there's nothing pro american about iran. >> iranian population, you get a more pro european, pro western, pro american view than -- >> extraordinary civilization and leaders from the seventh century. >> right. but does alienating -- i think there has to be some kind of -- one extreme to the other, right? barack obama embraced -- embraced -- >> i wouldn't call embraced. >> made overtures to the world and -- >> you wouldn't call that embracing iran? i guarantee you every sunni
leader across the nation, how much money did they get, $150 billion? >> we have to get to break. >> i'll tell you, you defend the iranian regime since 1979, i will not. >> here is the problem. this peer conversation is on shaky ground, what's happening in washington. you can debate obama and say he made mistakes but we're talking about a presidency that's literally in question. >> hold on, mika, that's two different things. >> i know. but the conversation we're having right now. you can debate obama versus trump right now but -- >> i'm not debating obama verse trump, we're explaining what happened over the last 48 hours and you have to have some context on why he did what he did. >> here is the context, we can't go a day without this president exploding. >> i understand. also the context that there is a better chance at regional stability possibly if you talk to leaders in that region if
this is the u.s. policy. >> i agree they are very excited about trump. i think they should also be very, very nervous. coming up, the other shoe to drop from the "washington post." we'll explain that. this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪
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obviously been a tough start for the trump administration, so we just wanted to take a moment to look back and remember all the people trump has lost this year. ♪ had a bad day sing a sad song turn it around ♪ >> but there's one other, the other major shoe to drop from the "washington post." the paper reported the federal investigation looking into possible coordination between the trump campaign and moscow has identified a current official in the white house as,
quote, a significant person of interest. that paper sources people familiar with the matter. the reporting does not identify who that person might be saying that it is someone close to the president. the paper also reports the probe is still also interested enformer officiaenform enformer -- in former officials including michael flynn and paul manafort. manafort denied any wrongdoing. trump's attorneys publicly sought immunity. i'm curious at this point why they wouldn't give it to him. >> build the case out a little bit more, see how much they have on him and then decide how much they want to give to him. so david ignatius, the person of sfw, there's not a long line up here who that person could be. >> senior official -- there's a guessing game going on as to who
this might be. since i have not been told the name, i'm not going to pretend that i know it. but i just want to know one thing about this story. the phrase is an odd one, a significant person. >> i know. >> it's not really a phrase that lawyers in criminal investigations use. people have three statuses. the lawyer will say, the prosecutor, okay, you want to talk to my client, okay, is my client a witness? is my client a subject? a general suspect or a target. you do not say is my client a person of interest. that's confusing. no one i've known of other than flynn, to actually interview, obtain subpoenas, proceed with prosecution about any of these people. so that's just one reason to be a little cautious until we know
mo more. >> here is what we do know and sam jump in. this investigation continues in a web of different directions. already trump white house investigated for possible collusion between their campaign and russian operatives. president trump's reported boasts to public officials about why he fired comey may trigger a department of justice investigation into whether the president intentionally engaged in a possible cover-up. senate investigators indicated they would tap into a database of suspicious financial transactions, money laundering to begin tracking the financial activities of some of trump's associates. collusion, obstruction of justice, cover-up, money laundering, just some of the phrases being used with increasing regularity as we reach day 122 of the trump administration. >> sam stein, programming note, sam is going to respond. for the rest of the day he's going to be speaking in corsi.
>> i can't believe it's day 122. >> every day is like a dog year. >> sally yates -- >> obviously this is sucking all the oxygen out of the room. i'm not totally of the mind-set that this distracts the rest of the agenda. i think congress will try to keep going ahead with some of this stuff, successful or not, including obamacare repeal. this white house can't get out from underneath this, in part because they are giving us different responses to it. for instance, trump's first reaction to a lot of stuff was, okay, i'm glad been appointed. it will prove i've done nothing wrong and we'll move beyond this. everything since then has suggested someone guilt ridden. a reuters report that came out friday which we have not discussed, that i thought was in tre oincredibly illuminating, how
much bob mueller can look into. obscure, bob mueller cannot investigate jared, ivanka. that does not strike me as the actions of someone who wants to get this investigation done and done thoroughly, it strikes me as someone who wants to obstruct the investigation. >> it's not politically feasible. it's really not, for him to be able to block portions of this investigation and certainly nothing mueller will put up with. jeremy peters, what -- again, what's the impact on the hill. there's legislation that's tied up. is anything going to get done? republican leaders and members i've spoken to over the past week don't say donald trump is alone in being nixonian in the bunker. he's still very engaging and calling him every day and sounds
pretty positive. >> maybe before the fourth of july recess there's something they do on obamacare. tax reform was always going to be hard. whether or not that gets done, i have no idea. i don't hear a lot of optimism about that at this point. infrastructure, looks like that could be harder. the overwhelming problem here, as you were getting at earlier here, at what point does all the of the scandal, drip, drip, drip, of this slowly unspooling investigation, multiple investigations on multiple front overwhelm the agenda legislatively. it's hard to see at this opponent how it doesn't when you have sum damning revelations coming out. >> i spoke to members of the obama administration who told me that the impact of having this sort of investigation and having a person mentioned actually freezes everything, makes a
dysfunctional white house filled with infighting even worse. >> paranoia. >> one person who was even at -- back during the valerie plame investigation said that every day everybody in the bush white house was staring at everybody else saying who is talking today? are they talking about me? is somebody going to point their finger at me. that was going on before the investigation. now there are criminal liabilities possibly attached. how much worse does this news make it for this white house to function? >> the answer is a lot worse. almost an economy, like a value added tax. everything you do you now have this tra burden. it's so -- you work so hard when you work in places like the white house. there's so much coming at you. the idea you have to then spend several hours a day also dealing with lawyers or burning up all the nervous energy, the calories associated with this.
it just makes an extraordinarily difficult situation tougher. as you say, it's incredibly corrosive for the ability and willingness of people to speak out, just be trusting of colleagues. it's very hard to make policy if you're not essentially open and trusting chlgt this is a serious overhang over this administration and the people in it. >> are they lawyering up at this point? you notice david ignatius, when there was a report trump was boasting in the oval office about the firing of comey, for the first time along the way here, you didn't have these white house staffers blindly protecting the president for the point of almost ridiculous. they didn't argue with it, which i thought was significant. >> i think people are beginning to get legal advice about how to behave. they understand they could have jeopardy. one interesting thing, the president himself does not appear to have a legal cons i y
consigliere. >> one thing we haven't discussed, this white house already has a huge staffing ir, they adopt have staff. if you have a white house in crisis like this, people who are working for this administration do have to think about lawyering up, imagine how much harder it becomes to recruit those key deputies. everyone knows in administrations the work gets done at deputy level. if you're doing to have vacancies, recruit c level, d level talent, that makes it all that much harder. >> i will say this. he does not have a lawyer yet. he's been reaching out for at least since friday morning reaching out, calling old allies talking about what does he need. what kind of lawyer does he need. how many lawyers does he need. is it time to start lawyering up. to a person talking to him that told him, get a lawyer and shut up. >> is he taking that advice,
joe? >> i will only say one prominent figure friday afternoon said that for the first time it sounded like he was absorbing that. >> joe, one further piece of advice he's clearly following, get out of dodge. i think we're going to see more of this theme of donald trump foreign policy president. sounds unlikely but they have really felt this trip went the way they wanted to. so many domestic things have gone wrong. this seems to be going more or less right. i bet they will do more. >> the bigger problem is him alone in a room at the white house with a phone. i say that with absolutely no humor. i'm just saying these trips keep him busy from looking at television and from ponding. >> he'll come back. >> yes, we have for the seen any evidence for several months of this presidency, even at times when things were really going awry, we have not seen this president able to hold it. >> as we talk about nato, mika,
was it not the nato secretary-general who was quoted as saying this president has an attention span of a child, of about 12 seconds. so yes. >> the child is busy at daycare right now. >> with alec baldwin. >> or benjamin netanyahu. nbc's hallie jackson traveling with the president and "the washington post" bob costa with his latest reporting. we'll hear from richard haass. his new piece on the president's trip. he says trump's travel to saudi arabia, israel and rome is a test of nerves, our nerves. we'll be right back. are allergies holding you back?
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all right. president trump has just landed in jerusalem. president rivlin greeting him. of course he's going to be taking a trip to the western wall. so we continue to cover the president trump's visit to jerusalem with a lot more to cover about what's happening here in washington as well. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe."
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so we were just talking. we think that now is the time, i'm serious, we need to get iron man and captain america and the hulk, because there's some bad stuff coming. a new -- no, i'm serious. new super villains. >> this is weird. >> what's your caption for the three? >> what is this? >> i'm serious, they look like the villains. >> three witches. >> you go shakespeare, i'm talking "the avengers." >> just bringing it up. >> all right. richard haass, you do that all the time but with a flashlight under your face and that's scary. like this in usa today, donald
trump's trip to israel and rome -- prosecute april electric saudi arabia, israel and vatican and nato conference would present challenges for even the most disciplined and diplomatic president, words disciplined and diplomat ic president, words not normally associated with donald trump. is there reason for concern? the short answer is yes, unless the president stops his freelancing and sticks to a script. sometimes what is done spontaneously and regretted can be walked back and trump has had considerable experience with that but often there's a price to be paid for freelancing. security, once compromised, cannot be fully restored. the same holds for a reputation. be of it an individual or a country. the temptation to freelance, like most temptations, ought to be resisted. >> ought, richard. >> and keep him busy enough. >> ought but we know won't. we said that after speech to
congress that gained whyspread praise. we said on this set great, but we're worried about tweets. three days later he tweeted about barack obama. after syria, a lot of positive statements. but it doesn't seem that he can ever discipline himself. >> look, so far the first 48 hours of this trip have been extraordinarily scripted. you had, actually, the formal speech. you've had no tweeting. you've had no press conferences and you've had closed meetings. there hasn't been a real opportunity to go off message. we'll see what happens in israel. obviously one thing the israelis are looking for is some signal about moving the u.s. ambassaem from tel aviv to jerusalem. it's a proverbial land mine just given the history and politics of that. it's quite possible this trip will stay heavily controlled. i think europe will be a
slightly more open situation. i think the big difference when he gets to europe, joe, compared to the middle east is that in the middle east everyone is thrilled about who he's not, which is his predecessor. in europe, people are not thrilled who he's not because they preferred his predecessor, much more comfortable with barack obama, a far more open, aggressive media. the european half of this trip could be more difficult. >> go ahead. >> i was just going to say, no one right now is happier that donald trump is out of the country than the republican strategists who are running the races in mountantana and georgi right now. they are breathing a huge sigh of relief. maybe it's worth reminding ourselves, we're two days into this trip. two days. there's, what, almost a week left? there's still a lot that could go wrong. not only that, but you have a budget that is getting unveiled this week, too, in which he proposes cutting $800 billion from medicare, an extraordinary
amount of money. not just these investigations but politically, legislatively, a lot going on dom eveesticallyt we can't forget about. >> isn't it highly unlukely that he will move the embassy to jerusalem when the biggest land deal, biggest skyscraper deal is middle east peace? he has been told by the palestinians that it is dead forever if that move is made. >> president trump and jared kushner, as key adviser, decide they had want to make a push and they've been advised if you move the embassy prematurely, it will make part of your base and strong right wing supporters, netanyahu happy, but probably foreclose the deal that you dream of. i think they'll hold off. >> katty, to follow up on richard's great point, yes, the 54 leaders there yesterday were glad that they had donald trump
and not barack obama. but that completely switches to 180-degree shift when he goes to europe because europeans are horrified that donald trump is our president. most leaders. and they actually were extraordinarily comfortable with barack obama. >> yes. he started with the easiest bit of the trip, saudi arabia. the trip in israel has complication around the western wall and then he gets to europe where donald trump has met several of the european leaders, theresa may, angela merkel. he hasn't met emmanuel macron. you can't ignore the united states. it's too big. the economy is too big. the military is too big. none of them have figured out if what donald trump says one day is what he means the next day. >> that's the big problem here. we have this hopeful trip but haven't seen any evidence that the president can last more than a day or two.
>> a day or two? we've gone from hours to days? that's impressive. >> i'm saying a day or two because he's busy, he's occupied. his hands are being used to shake hands and say hello to people. he's not on his phone. and i'm not even joking. >> hands on a lit-up globe. again. i'm sorry. mike myers will be very sorry that dr. evil did not -- >> who allowed that photo? >> i don't know. >> save this b roll. president trump doing a traditional sword dance in saudi arabia. >> do we have steve bannon looking horrified in front of his guests? >> now he turns his attention to the israelis. he just arrived moments ago in jerusalem but overshadowing this trip, russia. jim comey set to testify as early as next week. we go through where things stand now that the white house has admitted on three separate
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president's trip to drive the conversation in washington but it cannot overshadow new, significant developments into the investigation into russia. a current white house staffer is being targeted. another report says the president personally told the russians that firing james comey, quote, relieved great pressure. david ignatius, katty kay, richard haas in new york and joining the conversation, political reporter for the washington post, robert costa, and "the new yorker's" robin wright, joint fellow at the institution of peace. news broke over the weekend that the day after president trump abruptly fired fbi director james comey, trump spoke about it to high-ranking russian officials inside the oval office. "the new york times" quoted from a document summarizing the president's meeting with the foreign minister, sergey lavrov
and sergey kislyak. quote i just fired the head of the fbi. he was crazy acres real nut job. i faced great pressure because of russia. that's taken off. >> usually what would happen is you would fear that a conversation like that would happen. you would put subpoenas out there. you would tear through documents and 2 1/2 years later, you would find an e-mail hidden somewhere that somebody forgot to delete that made that suggestion. donald trump just came out and said to the russians, who are also the other side of this investigation. you talk about that bombshell on top of the bombshell that there's a person of interest inside the white house close to trump being investigated. that dysfunctional white house just got a lot more dysfunctional. didn't it? >> your point about how some of
this emerges a year later on an e-mail is valid. a fear inside the white house, resignation almost that everything they seem to do seems to emerge into the public space. >> how did a summary of a conversation that usually would have been kept private, how did that get public, go public? that's extraordinary. >> many people in the room. you had foreign officials, domestic officials. you had some intelligence community members. so it's not that surprising that the conversation gets out. many people within the federal government are alarmed about some of the things that the trump administration is doing. and so there is an eruption of rage and fury, i find sometimes in my reporting. when you look at the conversation about comey, so much of the firing was driven by the president's personal ire about all these leaks. >> is someone going to get fire this had week, next week? >> it's intriguing to see reince priebus come back early.
perhaps a personnel decision is in the works. i called around saturday, sunday and said what's this about? there's been talk about a shakeup. i'm not entirely sure if it come this is week. there is a lot of anger, again, not only about the weeks but communication strategy at the white house. >> robin wright, with this as a backdrop, extraordinary stories coming out on friday, the president took off. unfortunately for his staff members, they were trapped on the flight to saudi arabia while this news was braking. all that aside, let's talk about the impact of the president's trip to saudi arabia and the speech that, whether you liked it or didn't like it, was an extraordinary speech if you contrast what he said there with what he said during the campaign. >> total flip flop. this is the man who charged that saudis were throwing gays off buildings, enslaving women. >> there's that. >> that they shouldn't be able to get away with u.s. support when they gave us nothing and
turns around and says he's going to do not only a deal in selling billions of dollars of weaponry but that the saudis get the best deal possible. it's a stark contrast with the tone of both president obama and president bush in their attempt to confront extremism. it was a very simplistic approach. >> talk about the contrast. what was the greatest contrast between what donald trump said yesterday and what bush and obama said. >> his is a very simplistic strategy. he's saying to the arabs, it's basically your problem. this is one that you have to do. he kept using the term drive out, drive out, drive them out for your territory, drive them out from the holy lands, drive them out of the earth. it's very much a transactional arrangement where we'll sell them weaponry and they'll then deal with the problem, which is incredibly naive. this has to do with grievances in the region, that are economic, that are political. ironically, he's making this deal with the very regimes that
are most autocratic, that have done the most to oppress their people and have not done jobs. even in oil-rich saudi arabia, you have a society where a third of the young are unemployed. this is a problem that is pervasive. it is a very short-term arrangement that doesn't deal with the broader problem. president bush talked about nation building. president obama talked about building hospitals and roads and schools and having a kind of comprehensive, holistic approach. and president trump, it was very narrow. >> focus on the military response. >> bilateral relationships is that you can end up in a situation -- we had this on the show friday with the video of president erdogan watch his bodyguards beat up protesters on the streets of washington, d.c. if you don't have an overarching framework of this is what our moral value is, this is what our leadership looks like, you can
also then increase the risk that you fall into a situation where you cozy up to president erdogan and something like that happens in your own backyard. >> david ignatius, the last decade shows us that there is logic, whether it is the direction this country should go or not, to being a hardened realist. if you say mubarak must go and mubarak goes, there are consequences to that. >> that opened the door for a period of chaos that we're still struggling to recover from. in the last hour if you contrast barack obama's tone in his speech eight years ago, it was i'm going to speak to my enemies. he said it passionately, analytically. and trump has said i'm going to hold on to my friends. that's a message that's powerful. these friends are autocrats, s
yes, represent a lot of negative trends. i have felt for years that if the sunni countries could feel more secure, could build themselves back up, self confidence, outward expansion. if the sunnis had more confidence, lease more balance in the region, some things might be possible that would be positive. >> mika? >> as we watch live pictures of president trump, of course, in jerusalem, i want richard haas to jump in about the symbolism of these moments and the backdrop of what's happening in washington, d.c. >> well, there's a long tradition of presidents being abroad at the times of domestic turmoil. what comes to mind is that scene in "animal house" when john belushi and his buddy get in trouble on camp sbus and say "r trip" before final exams. here we are, about to note the 50th anniversary of the june
1967 war, the war that formed and framed the modern israeli/palestinian situation, the israeli arab situation and president trump walking into, if you will, the iconic stalemate that's gone on half a century now. he has said it's not that hard. he is going to make it a priority, handing it off to jared kushner. the question is what, if any, progress they can make. would it have any impact on the rest of the middle east, syria, libya, iraq? and the answer is no. it's a very different middle east than a lot of them have in their minds. >> but, robin, they said right after the election that they were going to pursue middle east peace in a way unlike any other president. instead of sitting -- the israelis and palestinians down together -- and this has been planned out since mid november. they were going to go to the saudis. okay. you want x, we want y.
they were going to go to the jordanians. they were going to go to every sunni arab country and say if you want to have a closer relationship with the united states than you had under barack obama, then this is what we expect. the first thing they said with saudi arabia, back in the fall, was you're going to have to stop funding terrorism. you're going to have to be aggressive. you've got to give him credit for forward thinking. that's exactly, at least in word, what they got out of the saudis yesterday. we'll see what happens a year from now. instead of having this grand meeting at camp david, you go country by country by country. >> well, look, getting all of these sunni autocrats together doesn't necessarily mean they're going to act. >> right. >> president after president has made that effort. the fact is that they haven't
gotten far. president obama reached out to king salman's predecessor and said give us something that we can then go to the israelis on normalization and didn't get anything. he said help us with guantanamo bay. the saudi king said absolutely not. i'm not sure that these are the people you can invest in long term. they don't have a great record. the point about the sunnis, they're terribly divide among themselves in terms of what are the solutions, on the syrian civil war, how far they're prepared to go with israel. it's nice to get them all in one room. are they actually going to deliver what you want? and i think we will probably see a meeting wean mahmoud abbas and bebe net anyahu. they don't reflect a lot of what's going on in the streets, particularly among the palestinians. can they make those critical compromises on jerusalem, on the
bigger questions? i'm not confident that, for whatever commitment the administration makes, as previous presidents have made, they're going to get anywhere. >> i'm interested, robin, what do we learn about tillerson on the trip, secretary of state, secretary of commerce, wilbur ross, are they doing anything to build relationships that other presidents have used in the past? >> that's what's missing. we don't have a lot of that. there is the economic component but not the political. one of the most interesting things that came out in the press conference over the weekend was when rex tillerson said he would actually be willing to talk to the iranian foreign minister. this was groundbreaking, given the kind of language we've seen from other administration officials. president trump actually sounded, at one point, like he was talking about regime change in his speech, where he talked about that juncture when the iranians finally have a government that represents them.
that's regime change. tillerson said at the right moment he would be willing to talk to the iranians. that was one new inside component. i think that the president basically has walked away from the idea whether it's nation building, promoting democrat you can values that that is not on their agenda at the moment. >> yeah. and we'll kind of try and bring this all in with what's going on in washington, which is sort of unavoidable at this point. he has to go back to washington at some point and try to be president. the other major shoe to drop was from "the washington post." the paper reported looking into possible coordination between the trump campaign and moscow has identified a current official in the white house as a, interesting wording here, quote, significant person of interest. the reporting does not identify who that person might be, saying that it is someone close to the
president. the paper also reports that the probe is also still interested in former officials including former national security adviser michael flynn and campaign manager paul manaforte. nbc news has not verified "the post" report. >> what else can you tell us about this story? >> if you read inside the story, congress youngal leaders, we call the gang of eight, has been informed in recent days about the expansion of this federal probe and the question the trump administration has -- they sometimes feel in the dark about this -- who else could be on this list? >> when you say expansion, we heard lindsey graham talk about criminal, possible criminal investigation. and also the word cover-up was
passed along. >> the way this works is federal investigators move forward with their investigation in various ways as they get new evidence. they also, because they're federal investigators, have to brief federal leaders about where this is going, in a confidential, classified way. top leaders on capitol hill know that there are new turns in this federal investigation into russian interference and involve a significant person of interest. >> so the significant person of interest is chose to the president. what is the group of people that we can deduce? i think it's fair to say. >> not very many of them. >> david ignatius wants to do that right now. >> no, he doesn't. >> i don't think any of us should. >> you can count the people who would be considered close to the president. one hand. >> yeah. there are only two people that
actually, i think, fit this. >> without talking about who the significant person of interest is, because we don't know, there are some facts that emerged weeks ago that i think are going to get more attention. jared kushner now senior adviser to the president, we know, met with ambassador kislyak, accompanied by mike flynn, back during the transition period. jared's purpose in those meetings was to see if he could find a channel to the russians to talk about the scope of possible policy that the new administration. >> wait a minute. wasn't there a russian banking official? >> i'm getting -- that's item number two. i'm told kislyak said i'm not the person who can answer this question but i would like to put you in touch with the person that can can, that has that kind of relationship with putin. there was a subsequent conversation with a banker, and
that meeting took place. by that time, things had moved on and there was less need for that kind of back channel contact. but i think, you know, those events, whether they have anything to do with this latest investigation will be part of where this goes. kushner offered to testify, voluntarily, before the senate intelligence committee many weeks ago about the facts i just describe described. at some point that conversation is going to happen. >> his rivals, steve bannon was telling reporters he didn't have to worry about kushner because russia would take care of him. that's there. also you have to look at -- since we said jared's name, we might as well -- the other person, don mcgahn has been in
the middle of everything from the very beginning. i'm not suggesting that he is one of those. but if you were narrowing it down to one, two, three, four -- >> would you describe don mcgahn as somebody close to the president? >> yes. >> president's lawyer. >> yeah. the president's lawyer. would you like to enter this very dangerous game of speculation? >> i don't speculate. >> thank you very much. >> i don't speculate. within the administration, they now face not only questions about russia and interference and alleged collusion, but potential obstruction of justice, two separate sharks coming at the white house from different directions. the special counsel will not only be looking at relationships with russia but what the president did when he fired james comey. how was that decision made? was it all proper? >> are all these people so ignorant of the basics of governance that they don't
understand the potential conflict of interest, that the white house lawyer is not aware of, you know, what might be construed as obstruction of justice. >> i do believe they are, robin. >> the answer is yes. >> whole new -- >> great frustrations for everyone that has spoken with them from the day after they got elected. they think we're big real estate people in new york city. those shmucks down in washington, d.c. don't know how to run anything. we've run huge corporations. we have changed the face of new york city and anybody telling us how to do things, you know, they're just simpletons. that has been their attitude every single day. a lot of people chose to him saying you can't just call foreign leaders. you can't just call diplomats, warning from day one. but they're smarter than everybody and always have been.
>> foreign leaders i know, angela merkel being one of them, the president picks up the phone and calls her and they have to place the calls well in advance and an aide finds out the president wants to talk to her and says is there some big new initiative, is there some military action? no, he just wants to talk to her. he doesn't know the basics of protocol and so forth. the bigger question, you know, president nixon was the first president ever to go to both israel and saudi arabia. he went there in 1974 with the same agenda that president trump has. that was to promote a new peace plan after the '73 war, to build a new coalition. he also was facing the escalating tensions over watergate. and the trip did not change the basics two months later, he was forced to resign. so, i ask you, since you know so much about it, how long after president trump's trip does he face the kind of challenges that president nixon faced? >> when nancy pelosi is elected
speaker of the house -- >> that's a long time, joe. >> i know. >> you think that's on the horizon? >> oh, my god. >> by the way, i just showed -- >> even in the state they're in. >> "the washington post" story that showed ed gillespie now losing to double digits in virginia, the governor's race coming up this fall all because of trump. but, again, during the campaign, we said the same -- we get to a point in our reporting on the server where mika and i finally said we're going to stop. we're going to stop speculating. the fbi is either going to come back and indict or they're not. if they indict, then she'll lose. if they don't indict, she'll win. we weren't exactly right but here, three words, mueller,
mueller, mueller. because of ignorance and arrogance. i worked in a trial law firm for a couple of years. you could tell at the beginning of the case by the chaos out there. we're going to get him. >> it was mueller, mueller and mid terms. the commercial we saw yesterday, lieutenant governor of virginia, am i getting this right? literally campaigning on -- >> donald trump is crazy. >> talking about being a doctor and talking about policy and he looks like a really earnest, knowledgeable politician running for office and then in the middle of his pitch he goes straight to camera, i think donald trump is a maniac and narcissist and i think i should be your next -- and it was just unbelievable. they're campaigning on the fact that he's crazy.
>> that's how you cut through the noise. >> welcome to politics 2018. >> that was it. and he said it with great credibility and not -- >> yeah. what we have to say about mueller, if there has been wrongdoing here, he will find it. if there has not been wrongdoing, he will clear this white house. he is a straight-up prosecutor. the one person i found that no one will say a bad word about. >> three options, wrongdoing, stupidity leading to wrongdoing, stumbling into it, and nothing. >> top democrats are saying we just don't want this investigation to wrap up too quickly because we want him still be around for 2018. >> is there a danger that there's some middle ground that it's not as clear cut, the language he used in talking to the russians, you know, let it go. it involves a lot of legal interpretation. >> right. >> and can they actually nail him for obstruction of justice or will it look like it is just
arrogance or ignorance and that that was not what he -- >> either way it will make it difficult. we have to go to break. >> it will be up to congress. robert mueller is not going to prosecute the president. >> republican congress. >> it's much more likely it would be a cover-up or something they stumbled into instead of direct collusion between donald trump and rug russia. >> robin wright, thank you. an impossible situation for the gop. hop on the president's roller coaster ride of ridiculous lies or hold him accountable and face primary threats in 2018. and we continue to follow the developing news from jerusalem as the president meets with israeli leaders. he said, moments ago, with the israeli president, that there is a great opportunity for peace. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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potential obstruction of justice. >> you would like the president to beat them over the head with the fact that if they did -- if the russians actually did interfere in any way, shape or form, how wrong that is and how outraged america is on both sides of the aisle. >> i don't know how to read it, except i'm almost speechless, because i don't know how -- why someone would say something like that. but i know this. mr. lavrov is the stooge of a thug and a murderer. he no business in the oval offic office.
>> john mccain throwing, actually, 98-mile-an-hour fastballs right at the head. >> well, rightfully so. >> talking about some tough brushback. no doubt. >> several leading republicans spent the weekend creating space between themselves and president trump over issues relating to russia. "the new york times" calls it, quote acres slow retreat. i don't think it was that slow. mccain has been gone. >> tough for a long time. >> marco rubio and john mccain, along with jason chaffetz, reacting to the firing of james comey and reports that president trump explicitly told the russians that it relieved great pressure. joining us now, nbc news national security analyst jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and department of defense. >> jeremy, let's get your reaction to the president of the united states talking to the russians, who were targeted in this investigation, along with people around him, saying to them, hey, comey was a nut case. i fired him.
the pressure is off, the investigation is over. >> in the law you would say it's prima fascia evidence. how mueller handles this. it now puts if play a second pillar of this investigation. the first, obviously, is collusion with the russians but on this obstruction issue, you know, the only target there is the president. and there's really no role for a prosecutor to go after the president. that really has to be turned over to congress, for congress to handle. >> and, bob, talk about the backing off of donald trump. it's been slight. but what are you seeing? what are you hearing on the hill? >> i think that the hawkish republicans are the first to break, the mccains and rubios of the world. they were a little more comfortable with the president, with the syrian air strikes they still have a lot of reservations about the coziness with russia. >> also -- sorry. >> go ahead. >> he's getting a lot of
criticism from those same senators for not speaking out more aggressively on the human rights abuses that have occurred in the arab world, especially in saudi arabia. trump explicitly avoided condemning them in any way on those grounds. and that's created a lot of discomfort among republicans because trump stood up there and basically said, look, i'm not this nation building imperialist type of president that you may have expected from the old republican party. >> right. >> you guys have your own terrorism problem that you have to solve. solve it yourselves. >> i want to talk a little bit more about what happened in the oval office. reporters on the set were reminding each other not to engage in speculation, but what about speculation that gives the president the benefit of the doubt? is there anything else? is there anything possible that the president could have been talking about? of course, the white house not disputing that those words were exchanged. what else could it be that the
president might have been talking about that perhaps is not obstruction of justice or some sort of meaning to warrant that? >> general mcmaster's formulation on the sunday shows was that he wants to pursue a new course with russia and this overhang has been preventing him from pursuing a new course with russia. seeing it from the other angle, it shows that he wanted to basically get closer to russia, do deals with russia. he wanted to have this channel with russia and that comey was investigating him and so he had to shut it down so he could do this. >> right. >> get close to russia. >> i hear it. >> which, by the way, is still the killing of an investigation against you and the russians. >> right. >> so mcmaster actually gave mueller one more admission against interest. >> right. >> what the white house has been saying -- i haven't been able to figure it out all weekend. i'm a slow, southern country lawyer. >> that's true. >> they've been saying all along smart, dartmouth educated.
>> again true. >> did you go to prep school, by the way? >> come on. you so did. >> donald trump said this so the russians would owe him something so he could get something in return. i've been trying to figure out if i were their lawyer any way to attach facts to that fact pattern. again, do it. >> you haven't read chapter eight of "art of the deal"? >> yes. >> i have no idea. i really don't understand. >> have you heard that, oh, he was doing that so they would feel sorry for him? >> i heard that. >> they would owe him something. >> it doesn't make sense. >> it makes no sense from me. i can see it from h.r. mcmaster's perspective sort of that any overt friendliness to the russians would be -- actually, i can't see that.
>> i know. >> but my thinking, i want to go back on the question of distance from the senate republicans. yes, they are publicly more willing to actually say negative things, to rebuke him. i had not seen, and maybe bob knows this more than i do. i've not seen anything that would suggest on a substantive level that they're willing to rebuke the president. still very much against an independent commission, for instance, very little in the way of oversight i've seen. from a legislative standpoint they're in lockstep with his administration. >> the geography -- geography is destiny here. two-thirds of the republicans' district are rural. you basically have two-thirds of the caucus that represent districts that are still going to give trump the benefit of the
doubt, right? >> what republicans are worried about is temperament. do moderate republicans flip in these counties like atlanta suburbs where they're not ideologically democrat but say i'm not comfortable with trump anymore. inside the white house, mcmaster matters to trump. the president is relying a lot on his credibility. dereliction of duty about how advisers and key generals need to stand up to the president if he gets out of line, referencing lyndon johnson and how vietnam was handled. mcmaster provides the white house with some credibility, they hope. >> richard, we've talked about republicans, how republicans are responding to the troubles that donald trump has. eric erickson has a great column out this past weekend talking about how republicans need to step away from the president. what about foreign leaders? what about diplomats you talk to every day?
what about foreign ministers you talk to every day? among our allies, what is the reaction to donald trump's domestic turbulence? >> it's part of a larger story, joe, where they're not quite sure what to make of it. they find this president and administration incredibly difficult to read. this is outside anything they're remotely familiar with. they see domestic problems. a lot of them look at it in the same way they look at domestic problems in their own country and kind of shrug it off. that's certainly the case of a lot of the middle eastern leaders, a lot of the asian leaders who are anything but democrats. i think it has a bigger impact in europe where the pushback from democratic institutions resonates in europe in the ways it doesn't in much of rest of the world. >> coming up, we'll bring in andrea mitchell, live in jerusalem, helping us track president trump's movements in israel this morning. trump is about to become the first sitting president to visit the western wall. the question is, can his
administration agree on whether or not it's part of israel? that controversy ahead on "morning joe." i don't understand why people are that shocked. this president ran a very unconventional campaign. i was there for a big part of it at the beginning, alongside, being one of his competitors. that's what the american people voted for. in essence, you know, this white house is not much different from the campaign. i mean, people got what they voted for. they elected him.
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tremendously talented people but, in particular, jason, you love israel so much that he left a very, very, very substantial job to be able to help on a peace treaty. you would love to see that, wopt you? david friedman, likewise, one of the most successful lawyers in the united states. he said i want to do something. he's your ambassador, as you know, david friedman. we're very honored to have the two of you working so hard to try to bring about peace. and i think you'll be very successful. if you're not, you'll get blamed because i just put it on record
that -- >> yeah. >> that's donald trump pushing back against what he calls the ultimate deal between israelis and palestinians. but we were -- during the break -- >> is this real? >> oh, that, yes. >> we're going to play it for you. >> fantastic. >> running for governor where he calls donald trump, what, a maniac and narcissisnarcissist? >> narcissist and maniac. >> where people are in primary commercials. you stumbled upon something else. >> quoting rex tillerson i feel bad but whatever. secretary of state talking about the trip. u.s. president, saudi arabia will be, quote, tel aviv, home of judaism, which it most certainly is not. that would be akin to calling houston the home of jazz. >> ayman mohyeldin has covered
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joining us now from jerusalem, nbc correspondent andrea mitchell, and ayman mohyeldin and on the foreign council of islamic relations, ni nihad awad. >> it's just the opposite, based on talking to people here on both sides because it is so intractable. president trump believes he has a greater opportunity, that he is the deal maker, that it will be easier. he has even said middle east peace is not as difficult as some have said. he gave a very warm welcome to mahmoud abbas in washington but this palestinian leader is at historically low popularity
among his own people. so, there is, as israel has criticized, not a strong palestinian leader with whom to engage, and the fact is that president trump is so aligned with prime minister netanyahu and so wedded to netanyahu's view with expanding settlements into the west bank that a lot of the major issues that have to be resolved through negotiations are being taken off the table by preemptive israeli action. it's very difficult to see that there can be a peace agreement. certainly not out of these brief meetings this week. but also down the road. >> let me ask you for your reaction to yesterday's speech. was it a positive development? or when you take what the president said during his campaign or more of the same? >> i hope that we are all witnessing an evolution in the thinking and policy of donald trump but one speech cannot wipe
out two years of anti-muslim rhetoric. >> right. >> anti-muslim proposals, including the muslim ban, which his administration continues to defend in court. so, if he's serious about changing, he has to follow it by serious and concrete actions. >> so many of us are looking at the impact this speech had across the arab world, across the muslim world. what about across the united states? muslim americans that felt under siege during the campaign. what message would you have for them? >> they continue to be under siege. most americans are in airports, the son of muhammad ali and his mother were asked about their religion at the border. thousands of american muslims who are coming back from overseas trips get questioned about what faith they follow and which mosque they go to.
the president has a lot of work to do to convince american muslims at home and abroad that his policies are inclusive. they're not targeting a are not of religious groups. >> you cover the region for a long type, your family is from egypt. give me your reactions where a lot of leaders were praising yesterday but perhaps people that they -- the people that they lead may not have been so quite happy. >> yeah, the speech was a speech for muslim leaders. it was not for the muslim population of the word. the muslim world using that word is not a monlithic entity. the comment made by president trump was to a specific subset
and that's muslim leaders. he tried to close the gap on one issue and that's iran. i have been getting diplomats and officials i have been speaking to, they say this is a home run for them and they are happy of the objectives laid out as a result of this. there is still a lot of issues and the lack of democratic reform and economic opportunity. you did not hear those words addressed in the speech that president trump made because it was not a speech to the muslim world fchl you are thinking about joining an extremest group anywhere in that part of the world, that would make you say you know what, i am not going forward with this. i believe in a better future. i think it was great on symbolism. it had the pomp and ceremony but i don't think it had the substance that's going to
address this issue. >> david ignacious i am going to ask you to take it t to -- benjamin netanyahu has questions surrounding him as well, some scandals. >> but benjamin netanyahu has for months facing israeli litigations of various questions of potential corruption and some involving big military contracts that his lawyer said he had been involved in. those are not resolved for the last six months or so. there is a cloud over benjamin netanyahu. it does not seem to be affecting him this visit. he's surrounded by political enemies back home. andrea, do you think we are
entering a stage now where president trump and jared kushner are committed to do something that they'll put pressure on israel making concession and look for significant deliverables that they can offer the palestinians that this is real and we are beginning something here. >> it depends. that was to sweep the pile a little bit to smooth the way. it is hard to imagine jared kushner coming from the family and the zbround davbackground a freeman here and benjamin netanyahu. the issues is well known. the solution is apparent to people to every administration
to bush and clinton and obama. something has to be decided in jerusalem to divide the city and vertically and if nots so not horizontically. if benjamin netanyahu is making both major concessions, i don't see this happening. >> when you talk to the white house, they seem to think the way to get to this middle east plan now is not to fall down in all those details of final status and jerusalem and etcetera but just to rely on the shift and president trump ability to foster good relations on both sides.
that combined with working with the moment of israel. they think that's what's going to do this, are they right? >> short answer is no. good luck on that. for any agreement to be right, resolutions, we need leaders willing and able to make big compromises. that's action from the contemporary israeli and palestinians issues. so this will be an awfully a lot of calories and frustrating. i think we should be working with israel to rebuild this relationship to deal with potential instability and jordan. what's going on in syria and the possibility of another war with lebanon. all this work of getting this big deal, at the end of the day is dpoigoing to come up empty. >> we are looking at president rivlin and donald trump in jerusalem. they're about to make remarks. >> we'll stay here and when
donald trump begins speaking. we'll jump in and' what he has to say while we are watching this jeremy, some skepticism around the table of the possibility of bringing the peace deal in the middle east, doing it one country at the time. >> the message is about iran, it is to pivot away from iran and supporting the zunni golf country. we have to figure out how far to go there and what they want to do is develop a nuclear weapon. >> same thing that i heard yesterday from some leaders there that it was a home run and a reset. but, for viewers to understand, this is really about one issue. is barack obama obsessed from the time he starts his campaign of striking the deal of iran, the zuni leaders were threatened
from day one. >> that was the continuity message. that was not ground breaking. what was different was the messaging when the lights went off and the doors closed about iran basically saying we'll have your back and provide you capabilities and have our force in the region. it is interesting to know. that's the biggest discussion point in israel as well. this peace process stuff requires a partner from the other side. i don't think benjamin netanyahu thinks he has it. the messaging from israel is about iran celebrating jerusalem's 50 years uniification, we got your back and third, we'll have conference of the palestinianpalestinians. >> as david has said, it was simple. it is what i heard from some leaders yesterday. if you boil it down to a fairly simple speech, we are not going to try to make break throughs with our enemies.
we'll spend the next four years embracing our friends. that helps. >> but, also the complications of the issues need to be paid attention to. i believe the peace is very important. all leaders whether zuni or individual people in government would -- peace in the holy land is the corner stuff. if you postpone it, it is going to come back to you. israelis ought to be constructively and the u.s. have a lot of assets and delivering on both sides. i disagree with you. and there is a lot more work to do from the u.s. to deliver these things.
>> jeremy to respond to that, there is -- israel is not happy with the president for releasing secrets to the russians, revealing a source. that's happening as we speak now. that's sort of something that's the unspoken elephant in the rool. room. >> the leaders and intelligence agency are going to be concerned of whether they can be trusted with this team with their secrets. president trump is speaking now, lets listen in >> the homeland of the jewish people. i am awe of this beautiful city and holy land. >> president rivlin, mrs. rivlin, thank you very much. thank you for opening your wonderful home and welcoming
melania and myself to your amazing country. that's what it is, it is an amazing country. what you have done is perhaps never been done before. i come to this land to reaffirm our friendship of the united states and the state of israel. that's always enduring, that's number one to me. we are long time friends and we are great allies and partners, we stand together always. this moment in history calls for us to strengthen our cooperation as both israel and america face common threats from isis and other terrorist groups to countries like iran that sponsored terrorism and ferment
terrible violent not only here but all over the world. most importantly the united states and israel can declare with one voice that iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon and seize his deadly funding and training and equipping of terrorists and malicious and must seize immediately. on those issues there is a strong consensus among the nations of the world including many in the muslim world. i was encouraged by my conversations with muslim world leaders in saudi arabia including king salman who i
spoke to a great length. he feels strongly and i can tell you we love to see peace between israel and the palestinians. many expressed their results to help enters and the spread of radicalization. many muslim nations have taken steps to begin following through on this commitment. there is a growing realization among your arab neighbors that they have common cause with you and the threat posed by iran. it is a threat and there is no question about that. i thank you and prime minister benjamin netanyahu for your commitment to achieving peace between the israelis and the palestinians. i look forward to discussing the peace process with palestinians president of us. young israelis and palestinian
children deserve to grow up in safety and follow their dreams free from the violence that has destroyed so many lives. the united states and israel can also bring safety to our world to a stronger tie of trade and commerce. already, our two countries do a great deal of business together. strong foundation from which to build a closer relationship that benefits both of our countries. i am trying to narrow that trade deficits a little bit, is that okay? >> he does not mind. he wants to keep it the way it is as i understand. >> today we have so many incredible opportunities before us, my hope for this visit is that we seize every single one of them. i am thrilled to be here on behalf of the american people.
i know israel and america share the same goals and i have great confidence that we can achieve tremendous success together. we can achieve all of our goals together. president rivlin, i look forward to working with you and seeing more of this sacred land and getting to spend time with the remarkable people of israel. thank you very much. thank you. [ applause ] >> donald trump is speaking to the president residence, reus re israel. >> we wonder sometimes when donald trump would hit the wall. he's been variable motion machine for 24 hour as day over
seven days a week. he's clearly showing the strengths of exhaustion. staff members blamed exhaustion on him 34misstating a phrase. a couple people around the people, katy kade, talked about a rookie mistake. whether you have somebody that's 45 years old. >> this is a grueling trip by any standards but to put the main boss on the airplane and say you are going to sleep on the airplane and get up and start a meeting right away. that's cruel. president of rivlin, he's the head of state. he's not going to play any
exceptional role over the peace process. now, we have ceremony at the airport and the other one at the president's residence. he will get the guy hang out and getting ready for the next set of meeting. you bring up a good point and i like that ceremonial over load. you see a push of the land optics through all over the cable networks to try to deflect which trump is a master of and creating more chaos and creating many symbolic moment as one would argue and get the picture on someone else and get the camera on something else. >> this happens. this trip is planned for in advance of what happened this past week. david, i don't know it has anything to do with the distraction. this is who trump is.
i am going to arrive in saudi arabia, future caantastic and h face and pull all the stocks. >> it is pretty stick here. >> the sword dance and the welcoming bag pipe as and the speech. in israel, we should note that the criticism is that he has not spent enough time. he's only spending 50 minutes at the site of holocaust. he needs to spend at least half an hour. in any presidential trip, people want to do more time and you are looking at the costs. he's a pretty exhausted president. >> there was numerous meetings planned in of 50 minutes. this is impossible to pull off. keep it up.
we need to space it out or cancel the meetings. this is a president who's trying to figure this all out. he does look like he's jam packed. >> andrea again, they're talking about the exhaustion. but, it is staff's responsibilities to make sure that the president is in a position where he can take all the meetings and not being exhausted and not create an international incident and this trip is jam packed. then they're getting ceremonies immediately the next morning. two things come to mind. one is that he's trying so hard to stick to the script and the telepromter and not doing news conferences and not tweeting. they're trying for him to be the sober diplomat and the leader o f the free world. so this is stifling his impulses
and the permsonality of donald trump. it reminds me of ronal reagan's first big trip in his 1992. i was on that trip. that was the trip with nancy reagan almost fired the whole team. he ended up falling asleep with the pope and happening to go to dinner of the same day. there is a staff issue here and i have seen it before. >> i have seen it before and i remember the pictures. the thing we forget about donald trump that we did not forget about reagan. reagan at 69, he's old historically to be president of the united states. trump is almost 71, i am not sure of his birthday.
reagan would go out and cut wood and he was extraordinary -- this is a guy that brags about eating fast food. >> i can see trump going out, he does not like to stop. >> we forget that donald trump is an old man relative to this position. we are seeing the metabolism of this president. if he wants to be active as i think he does in foreign travels, he has to think of precise issues. you have to know your principles and what is his tolerance for the time differences and how much jet lag does he get and how do you deal with that? i heard from senior white house over the weekend, maybe that this is going to be a foreign policy president. if that's their ambition, they have to think carefully of these practical details scheduling.
>> andrea, i want to pick up on something that was said last hour and look forward in this trip to what happens when he goes to europe. there is no doubt. there is a lot of leaders who are excited of the president's speech yesterday. i had one telling me over and over again, just read the texts. see what he has said. that is massive reset. for every arab leader in the city arab world excited about donald trump, there is a european leader horrified by his kp existence in the oval office. the real danger comes to europe where you have a president that's not contained the way the media is contained in saudi arabia. >> the european leaders already very nervous about him and angry
that the outreach to lavrov and to russia and this strategy of viewing iran. this is the time to reach out to president rouhani and at least the hard liner will defeat it. if there is any an opportunity window to reach out to iran, this is now. that's not the view absolutely of either israel or donald trump. your piece is going to be a different ball game, the nato leader have been keeping their speeches short because he has a short attention span. they're going to keep that brussel meeting less boring than brussel meetings usual i are and he's going onto g 7, he's got a harder trip ahead. we don't know what the
ambassador p choreography for the vatican. the fact that he spoke to mag pragmatically -- they may not meet as easily. other thing uis there is little press contest. right now there is no presses scheduled from any country. >> there is a harden realism that has taken root in this white house and i would say most
likely among most americans simply because of what we learned the past ten years of george h.w. bush was going to free the world from tyranny. i don't think there is much of an appetite of this white house among americans for lead ing on the human rights issues. >> i think this president is undoubtingly a realist. he reads his inaugural address, every foreign policy decision viewed through the prism of what's good for america. you go back to president kennedy who expand the inaugural address of his success of liberty around the world. if that's the most idealistic,
donald trump is the least. >> what are the consequences having this hard, realistic look of the middle east and say that we are worried about security and our allies being in power of whatever the cause. >> it is putting interests over values. we talk about america values of being the corner stone. yesterday, you heard president trump being clear about that. their values are not porpt as the interest. we are not here to lecture you or tell you how to be behave or live your lives. that's the message of the arab world and some are authoritarian than other. on one hand, the president is saying to the government, you are free to do what you want to
do domestically. as we know continue to get worse and worse. on one hand, the president was saying to the country, we are not going to get around involved and turn around says to the people of iran, we want you to have a better community. this is dictate of what the u.s. government face is a good sound policy in dealing with the iranian government. that's going to be loss and frustrated with that kind of double speak. >> is that short sided with the president's approach? >> i have to argue with the point. our front policy has to be founded on our values and principles and our long-term interests which is the democracy and human rights. donald trump should not to continue to press the people.
he projected the american's perspective to the muslim world through national security but not future relationships and shared interests and unfortunately, he was not. >> you have grown up around this at the time you were 9-year-old, very famously around camp david as the 9-year-old girl. >> thank you. >> it did not happen. >> it is all good. >> she did not cause crisis in the middle east, she spilled caviar on the crotch of china's leader in the opening of the china's relations in 1979. >> who has not? >> was that a sit backdrop. what your thoughts of everything
that you are seeing here, your father had not traveled around the middle east or meeting with tunisia. >> what we are seeing here is never seen before. my father never seen anything like this of these important meetings to deal with the future of the world and strategic decisions and my father's book title "america's policy abroad." i think it is fair to say in question at this moment. i think that even every single day with this presidency, we are in a state of hyper vigilance where we know something is going to happen but we don't know what it is. you are dealing with a child that has severe problems and you are trying to stop it everyday.
and, that's why this makes everything that we are looking so uncertain. >> yeah. >> and unfortunately, like a speech that he made in riad may have some important marker being put down. this president has fact after fact that we covered proven that you don't really know what's coming next with him. >> yes, i totally agree. >> the impulsivmpulsiveness is problem here. after san bernardino, that's when he introduced the muslim ban and for him to do what's completely 180 of the speech in saudi arabia and talked about mutual interests and minimuslime not the enemy. >> you are waiting for the next thing. >> he's not given the crisis of not of his own making yet. there will be some point of a terrorist attack in the world and what happens then? what kind of policies is donald trump going to do.
it is the impulsiveness is the problem. >> and the absolutely lack of ideology and the lack of analytical contract. donald trump will come back to the united states and i am sure many on the al right is deeply awe fe a offended that he's surrounded by the arab people and what he does is sending out a trip. playing to the lowest common denominator of his harden base and that throws everything. >> he's done it twice on mexico where he had a good relation with mexico and he blew them up. i am struck by the way the world needs a strong american president. there is such a will out there
that kind of receives him and say america's back. you can take a cynical view about israel leaders and certainly in saudi arabia. the world does want america more engaged than it was during the obama years. in that sense, trump as flawed as he is and many problem as he has, he's being received as back in the region and i think we all can take a lesson. >> who engages by the way, i know you heard it as well as i have with all his flaws. >> if a world leader calls him, pick up the phone. >> look at xi jinping who he blasted raping america during america during the campaign. first thing he does is how can i have best possible relationship with this leader. there he is, taking the gold medal from king salman.
he's discovered that americans need friends in the world. >> they're alliance with iran and assad regime. the prep that people are getting to sort of prepare for this president is that he has a short intention span. >> it is a definitely unprecedented time. >> also, what we heard from news last week that people going into brief him tried to put his name in every paragraph because that helps him flattering. >> and focus. >> still ahead more on the backdrop of all of this, the drip, drip, drip story about russia that reached to the middle east. it is only 2017. we'll play you the one that i am talking about earlier out of virginia. >> that plays into all of this. you are watching "morning joe," we'll be right back.
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regardless of recommendations, i was going to fire comey and knowing that there is no better time to do it. this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. >> the president has encouraged this investigation with russia, how is he encouraging if he's just overseeing the investigation. >> there are multiple people this who are apart of this. the point is, we want this to come to its conclusion and come to its inclusion with integrity and we think that by removing director comey, taking steps in making that happen. >> thanks so much guys. i will be the first to admit and
as i said in my campaign back in my first campaign when people started attacking me because i was a lawyer but not a good lawyer. so i may not be a good lawyer, i maybe ad dumb country lawyer. >> we want this investigation to come to a conclusion and by removing him, we believe we may have done just that. i am going to put a check right there. if you don't call that obstruction of justice and i know there is a lot of peop people -- lets go to the next step, mcmaster this weekend said the same thing. donald trump told lester holt the same thing. and this weekend, news broke that the day after the president fired james comey, he spoke to
two high ranking russian officials, you have the principles of that investigation together and the new york times quoted from a document summarizing the president meeting lavrov, i just fired the head of the fbi. he was a crazy, nut job. here we go. i face great pressure because of russia, present tense. that's taken off. i am not under investigation. again. i am thinking you don't have to be that great of a lawyer, i am sorry, you all can say that's not obstruction of justice all you want. >> but, i am not sure that bob
mueller is looking at all of those. >> i guarantee that -- >> he has to prepare a case that he can send to the house, to the house of the committee and naming donald trump's unindicted conspiracy and he's got to think about things he needs to prove in the legal case fch. if you look at obstruction of justice title, you need to know what you are obstructing. >> you feed to do it corruptly and the lawyers said, you have to do it with willful intent and so if he says, i was trying to clear the way mcmaster from my russia diplomacy and it was crucial that i do that. that underminds argumen
argument -- arguably. >> these are extraordinary times. there is an investigation between, you know, collusion between the president of the united states and the russians. you cannot have more of a smoking gun than having a principle in the same room at the president bragging that he got pressure taken off because the investigation kills. >> what tickles me a little bit is what a monumental -- and alleviating the pressure by firing james comey. >> james comey is so wrong and. it made congress deeply nervous. and probably could make the case led to bob mueller's appointment. out of this miscalculation reflected to me as someone new and someone that if you are a friend to the business world, is
it? >> that's something you may do. in politics, very different. multiple stake holders. he never thought that if you got rid of james comey, it made matters work. >> donald trump creating a world inherited money from his father from consequences were divorced from his actions. he can fire somebody and pay no price for that. >> this is a first time in his 70-year-old life that his actions and impulses have consequences. >> apparently facts are also divorced from his actions. comey is not a nut job. comey is a serious season capable prosecutor of the fbi director. what i think is so interesting and joe, you nailed it on the legal issue of this conversation of the lester holt's interview. this was a private conversation.
i carries a lot more weight in the mind of a prosecutor. if there is criminal activity to prosecute, bob mueller, will do so through the district of virginia, this will be everybody but the president. it is going to be a political judgment. i think we have to figure out whether or not this congress will see this as a disqualification for serving the presidency. >> bob, what's the reaction of the capitol hill throughout the president. one scandal after another or one controversy after another that's self inflicted. >> how impatient are republicans becoming and angry they are becoming. >> it is interesting based on my reporting, it is not actually as
much anger about the russia issues. it is more of his attempts to over haul the healthcare act. >> lets talk about breaking news this weekend, slashing medicaid which takes a badville in the eyes of 80% americans and making it worse. you did not see a lot of republican governors saying no, don't give us medicaid. >> the president did not touch on social security and medicaid and healthcare proposal on capitol hill and his new budget he's going after entitlement reform but you cannot make traditional conservatives -- >> economic confidence skyrocketed because republicans became really confident. >> wall street reacted negatively in recent day of what
seems to be odd behavior from the white house. if these things continue to manifest themselves, that's what republicans will be looking at. they can isolate stuff out there -- >> this is a great point. >> when i was talking to some people on wall street last week, the markets are reacting to where are the tax cuts. they thought that trump was going to move quickly. now they're saying they're trying to bake into their pricing and the market. it is actually going to happen and all these promises on business friendly policies. >> those of us sitting around these tables and washington and new york and looking at scandals and the president not respecting the constitution of separation of powers and freedom of the press and all the things that the president holds near and dear to his heart.
he won ohio and pennsylvania. they're by winning the presidency because they were concerned of jobs because they wanted their jobs back. is bob right? at the end of the day, this is going to be about the economy and jobs and unemployment rates keep ongoing down. what's the unemployment rate in wisconsin? it is lower than it is been. that's going to drive it more. >> when the president twoewent saudi arabia, jobs, jobs, jobs. that's what the trip out of saudi arabia about. it is a jobs trip. >> i was just in pittsburgh last week, there is a palpable, questions of whether the economy is coming back. >> the new budget with this big
entitlement cuts. economic growth in the first quarter was 0.7%. it was below what it is been under obama. unless trump can get that number up, you can travel all you want, the american public is going to feel we are stuck in this slow growth. as you say that it will give the life on what people hope donald trump can do. jobs for me. >> if we pass obamacare, you got to keep your insurance, is that what he said >> donald trump promised lower premiums, more coverage and whether republicans on the hill. many of them believe that the healthcare bill they pass out is a good healthcare bill. the message that 90% of
americans and no republicans push back uneffectively has been the 24 million people will lose their health insurance because of this the what they got this weekend, more medicaid cuts. >> a big cbs are coming on wednesday this weekend. that could be another shock of republicans. again, it is donald trump won in large part because he carries a lot of working class white voters that barack obama won eight years ago and four years ago. those very people are going to be impacted by a lot of these healthcare guys. they'll feel it immediately. all of the chatter that everybody hears on cable news will be blown out of the water when they get their healthcare bill or when they see that they're dropped or when they have to take their children back to the emergency room for primary care. it is what we said around the
table after obamacare pass was, if it works for people, you are not going to be able to get rid of it. we just saw live pictures of president trump visiting the church. lets bring it in live jesrusale, our halie jackson, lets talk about the president's men, some of them have left early including the steve bannon and reince priebus. and wilbur ross as well, he was on that flight. there were a lot of advisers traveling with the president instead of the west wing force one. you can call it to saudi arabia. some of them dropped off and some of that have been planned according to white house official. i spoke with one senior aid this morning that bannon is set to leave tonight. >> chief strategist wanted to be
back for budget talks which you have been discussing here and there is a lot of talks of what this can mean and reading the tea leaves. the president have been taken a lot more advisers. when i told this person who had planned to go on a trip here with the international trip with the president, the response stunned silence and disbelieving laughters that so many of these top people would be traveling with the president here. >> we see these gentlemen going in and out, gary coale, is on this trip. the president certainly has his core around him including jared kushner and ivanka trump both you saw at the church there.
after this, they're going to walk across over to the western wall and what is expected to be a key moment here in israel, guys. >> thank you very much. nbc's halie jackson, greatly appreciate it. >> what did we hear about steve bannon. he was about to get fired and there were some battle between him and jared. this is sort of dropped back. what's the best that you can tell us on the steve bannon's front in the white house. there is a lot of push and bannon was getting two out there and high profile, he never left the white house and he's traveling with the president and coming to work with congress. the key thing for him was trying to repair the relationship with jared kushner. they were close during the campaign and seems like maybe the relationship is being repaired from what i am told
inside the white house. he's there and as long as he's there working with peter navarro and talking to trump in alliance with reince priebus, which is still intriguing to watch. if there is a major white house shake up, i don't think it is bannon goes or reince priebus goes. they are tied together. >> if decembomestic plays -- he rebel rouser. >> it is over the last outcome. bob costa. thanks so much. still ahead, the president continues his trip to the city of jerusalem. in a few minutes, he's going to become the first sitting president to visit the western wall, our "roundtable" continues just a moment.
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we are now in new orleans of waller isaac here onset and our kr correspondents and the rest of the crew. lets go to new orleans first, walt walter, what's your impression of what's happening over ovseas? >> it is going to to be important in israel because he's going to meet benjamin netanyahu. there is some chance of movement on that front because trump needs it so desperately. it is the one thing that can help trump move along. i want suspect that jared kushner and others have helped pave the way for some grand or thought when they put to rgt ge the zuni alliance, and also
having the gulf state and the zuni state helping to do something for is real. this is all not very likely but it is a thing to watch today. >> so walter, very quickly, it is coming in the news so we did not cover this weekend because it broke like friday. the event of the president meeting lester holt and admitting to the entire white house west core and general mcmaster hemeeting this weekend they wanted the investigation to end and sanders wanted to draw this of a conclusion and we have removing -- that exploded on friday night. what's your reaction? >> well, you know, listening to david ignacious and others, i
cannot think of anything clearly and attempt to block a justice investigation they just admitted intentionally and inadvertedly a admitted to. i have said on your show for a year now, we should be waiving our hands on russia. and, the unwillingness to express concerns about it and want to get in the bottom of this. i don't know who within the trump campaign organizations, you heard people mentioned like manafort were involved or if they were involved. this is not going to end. i mean this is just in flame as you said. >> firing comey. >> it really has. >> kim -- a lot of the zuni leaders yesterday considered his speech to be a home run. chances are good. a lot of people considering that
to be a home run. what is your take? >> we keep ongoing back to policies that have not worked in the for leaders who don't necessarily represent their people, but who provide a semblance of stability has not paid off in the past and now we're trying it again. the speech was considered to be a home run by the arab leaders who were present. i spoke to some audi friends -- saudi friends who were quite pleased, they have concerns how this will play out, whether it will deliver what donald trump promises it will deliver, it delivers some nice big arms deals, but what concerns me is the disconnect that this is going to feed between arab leaders and their people. there are several surveys out there that show that 64% of young arabs in the region are angry and anxious about donald trump's policies towards the region. 84% have a negative view of him,
so that all feeds again into the disconnect between arab leaders and their people as the people see the arab leaders cozy up to a president who is depriving young -- who is supporting leaders that are depriving young people in the region of opportunities and travel to the u.s. >> one of the great ironies, david, is the middle east in general is the sunni leaders closer to the united states have citizens who are more hostile to the united states, whereas i iranians and before the civil war syrians had much warmer feelings about the united states and their leaders were sworn enemies. >> go figure. the place the united states is most popular in the middle east is is iran. iranians would be jubilant if they could have more contact with the u.s. i think the one thing we're leaving out of our assessment of this trip last weekend is donald trump went to a saudi arabia which is being reshaped by a very interesting, young deputy
crown prince, king salman, who has a different idea of what saudi arabia should look like. he said to me three weeks ago the era post-1979 when we became so conservative, so afraid of, you know, offending religious sensibilities, that era is over. and he want to try to create a different kind of saudi arabia and that's really the place that donald trump is embracing. don't forget that reform, not to say it's going to work, but that's the aspiration. >> and i think that pro-american sentiment in saudi arabia itself is quite high and we shouldn't discount that. i think that it's in countries like egypt, syria, bahrain, possibly some quarters iraq that you have these anti-american feelings, but it often comes from the fact that america supports leaders that aren't delivering for their people, at the same time, young arabs still look to the u.s. for saving in a way. they want america to stand up for human right, et cetera, so
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survivors of the virginia tech shooting asked me to support an assault weapons ban and close the gun show loophole i took on the fight. i saw what those weapons can do as an army doctor during the golf war. now i'm listening carefully to donald trump and i think he's a narcissistic maniac. whatever you call him we're not letting him bring his hate into virginia. >> whoa. >> walter isaacson, the subtlety of a bulldozer there -- >> [ inaudible ] i've seen in a while -- >> does that tell us where we are politically with donald trump? >> it does. especially if somebody in virginia can talk talking about let's be a little more sensible on gun safety and narcissistic maniac those type of franchs can catch on. i think you've been saying throughout the show if you cut our health care, really cut medicaid, you really do the
things that are in this budget and the affordable care act, you're opening the way for a whole lot of democrats to do types of ads like that will be deeply effective. >> "washington post" reporting this morning that ed gillespie tied with his two opponents last week now behind by double digits. >> it's extraordinary. i mean, this is what -- this is the paul that is going to be cast over republican candidates in wealthier upscale more highly educated districts like the one in georgia which votes a month from now. let's not forget there's a race on thursday in montana and while the republican is comfortably ahead, i just got an alert on my phone saying now that it's being rated a tossup. donald trump can have as many s ceremonies with arab leaders and slash swords but that's not going to distract -- >> i don't think that helps in the general election. >> final thought. >> i've learned that president can go for at least three days without major tweets, reading from teleprompter and it seems
to do himself some good. >> kim? final thoughts? >> i was surprised by how well, it's gone so far, but i also do remember that in 2009, king abdullah then said thank god for president obama. so now they're welcoming president trump and we'll see how long the enthusiasm lasts. >> jeremy? >> a successful trip and the western wall is critical here because israel is no the israel without the western wall. i think the administration has to make that clear. the comey issue i think over the next several months is going to be the biggest story. >> and it's just going to keep heating up. that does it for us this morning. ali velshi picks up the coverage. >> good morning. i'm in for stephanie ruhle. breaking news this morning president trump has landed in israel about to become the first sitting u.s. president to visit the western wall. one of the holiest sites for the jewish people. >> we must work together to build a future where the nations of the region are at peace.
>> the president is meeting with israel's prime minister this morning diving right into the middle of the peace process, all this just a day after his call for the muslim world to root out extremists. >> drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth. >> plus, james comey now set to testify before congress as the national security adviser speaks out. did president trump call comey a nut job to the russians? >> the intent of that conversation was to say, what i would like to do is move beyond all of the russia news. >> we begin today with president trump and the first lady in the midst of their first day in the holy land where israeli prime minister netanyahu literally welcomed them with open arms. so far so good on this trip as the president tries to put some distance between himself and his troubles back home. we've got a great team with me to break it all down. the president right now is inside the church of the holy sepulchre. i want to bring in