tv Morning Joe MSNBC August 2, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
right now. >> it's not an order, the president's opinion. >> are president trump's tweets considered official white house statements? >> the president is the president of the united states, they're considered official statements by the president of the united states. wow. good morning. and welcome to "morning joe." >> i'm confused. so confused. >> what is that line from "the office"? universe, you win. it's thursday, august 2nd. and what a way to start the day. >> what a way. so, is it the official policy of the president or not? i think the most telling thing of the whole story is how much his lawyers freaked out immediately and started calling around immediately. he was just venting. just like a baseball game. when he's actually doing what -- talking about what would start a constitutional crisis. >> or obstruction of justice.
>> as brian clause pointed out yesterday is exactly what he did in turkey back 2013, 2014. talk about fake news. you talk about deep state conspiracies. you fire prosecutors and you have a -- >> we're getting close. with us we have mike barnicle and jonathan lamir and former fbi special agent and contributor clint watts and national political reporter heidi. i say we are getting close and that may sound like an overstatement, but we're understating what we are seeing every day. ask someone like madeline albright whether what she sees here is the beginning of a very bad scene for this country that does not look like a democracy. >> a bad scene for a country, willie, if you don't have people pushing back. we talked about the commander
that pushed back a couple days ago told the truth about warnings and we actually saw john cornyn and some republicans step out yesterday, susan collins saying, no, he can't do that. so, there was pushback and there will be push back. but, you know, we're talking about the white house and donald trump specifically provoking fights and violence towards reporters a couple days ago and then the white house comes out and says, oh, he never taukdlke about violence. then speaking of fake news, you have sarah huckabee sanders pushing a lie, the fake news about some report on osama bin laden and how the press actually stopped american military men and women from catching -- >> wow. >> she might as well have said
neal armstrong never walked on the moon. pure conspiracy. nonsense. >> widely debunked theory that goes back to his rally two nights ago. we talked about this yesterday. the signs up everywhere. conspiracy theories all over the place. not only not squashing them, but they're promoting them. but yesterday the president was as explicit as he's ever been calling on the attorney general of the united states to stop the mueller investigation. that is your headline. no amount of spin calling "new york times" and everybody else they could find on their speed dial to say, oh, just blowing off steam, he called for an end to the investigation. >> he's up all night freaking out about it all. >> up all night. right? tweets in the middle of the night. and, mike, he knows, he knows mueller has the goods.
he knows that mueller is getting closer. he knows that they have information about if you believe rudy giuliani, a premeeting. he knows it is all coming down on him. he's hearing talk about don jr. and real legal jeopardy. but i think -- >> oh, boy. >> -- the most telling thing that is going on. look at poor, poor donald. he really needs to sleep. i think a little more rest would make him less frantic in the morning when he wakes up. but i think the most telling thing right now is the fact that there are even a handful of republicans and some pro-russian on another cable network who are now not doing the bidding of donald trump and trying to end the mueller investigation. but are now doing the bidding of an ex-kgb spy because mueller
has uncovered and it's in black and white. mueller has uncovered the fact that putin tried to infiltrate the united states democracy and undermine it. the united states military, the united states intel services have got the goods on putin. so, now, any american that is patriotic would say, okay, we need to find out more about this. how did he try to undermine and destroy our democracy. instead there are actually some, and then you have the majority whip who were doing vladimir putin's biddings. they're trying to cover up for vladimir putin by ending the trial. i don't think that's big. i don't think that's covering up for ex-kgb agents that, i don't think that's big in louisiana or north carolina.
>> steve scalise behavior, at the core of this is the president of the united states clearly fearful because he knows what he did. and he knows that bob mueller and the investigation that they are conducting is on to what he did. and that's the result of the tweets. but there's something else here that is truly dangerous. and that is the venom that he has begun to feed on a daily basis out into the public. we started at the rally the other night. no longer fun, no longer funny. truly dangerous. >> yes. >> we keep referring to his base. well, i'm sorry, but the people we saw the other evening at that rally, if that's his base, it's deranged. >> it's shrinking, it's a shrinking -- >> it's also dangerous. >> i will say this, after that
rally, i started calling a lot of my friends and republican friend not only in northwest florida but across the country and i started asking. okay, guys, i got 80% and republican primaries have been talking about free trade, low taxes, being anti-russia, being strong for nato, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. what's changed? are you guys buying into this and they all said no. we're sitting here holding our breath. the polls say that 90% of republicans supporting and maybe that's what a lot of them tell pollsters but a deep, deep unrest along life-long republicans. the chamber of commerce republicans no longer exists. they're wiped out. and as we've said here time and again. politics is a game of addition,
not subtraction. that hard core dwindling base. that spells real trouble for republicans. this fall. and real trouble for donald trump in 2020. >> getting back to our top story. three sources tell donald trump he is pushing for an interview with robert mueller. >> good, he should. >> the "washington post" reports that special counsel robert mueller sent the white house a letter on monday offering to limit the questions in order to secure a presidential interview. according to "the post" mueller's team suggested that investigators would reduce the number of questions about potential obstruction of justice. they would ask in person and, instead, seek some answers in written form. the special counsel's office declined to comment. the legal team sought for months to narrow the questions about trump's actions in office and set conditions for an interview. the president's lawyer, rudy
giuliani, said the president discussed the latest response on tuesday night and wednesday morning, which would have been around the time he sent those tweets. according to giuliani, there was slight movement, not enough to answer the concerns, but enough at least to continue at least discussing for a short while longer. >> so, clint, it's obvious. donald trump's lawyers have no confidence in him. they don't think he's smart enough to sit across the table. >> he's scared he's going to spew out something -- >> i would be insulted if i were him. he can hire the lawyers he wants to hire. what is at risk if he sits down with mueller? >> they're looking at the strategy now where at first it would be great to submit written answers first before i go in. what written answers can do it can put donald trump in a tough spot because he has to be able to attest to those answers.
the second part of it, he has to answer follow-up questions based off those written questions. the other thing, they don't know what everyone else has texted, communicated, e-mailed. pretty much the last interview of the obstruction case. if the timeline doesn't match up and they show up in person and say we have this message that came from one of the people in your circles and this is what it said, this puts the president in a tough spot and even if he goes in with a game plan -- >> you have to tell the truth. >> what is your reporting telling you from the white house. donald trump, obviously, in melt down mode. what is going on? >> trump himself is a singular voice in terms of advocating to do this. no one around him thinks he should. not only his attorneys, but his closest advisors think this is a
trap situation and asking to end this probe even though sessions has recused himself but the mechanism would be there to end this if he wanted to. >> more obstruction of justice. >> this comes after just days of reporting after we know that the mueller team is examining trump's tweets as exhibits possible evidence of obstruction. not just to be looking at what he says behind closed doors and trump being so transparent does that quite a bit. we're also -- >> by the way, i just want to say, we were talking about this with somebody yesterday and they said, well, is it a crime if he does it all in public? if i walk into a bank and there are 30 armed guards and i say stick up, give me all your money. that is still a crime. the fact that he continues to try to obstruct justice in
public, doing things that would have any other governors or mayors thrown in jail immediately, that doesn't lesson the impact that he's attempting to obstruct justice in the light of day. >> it's how it's being received. the impact would be greater if it was uncovered in an e-mail or text message instead of wide open for his 50 million followers to read. there is certainly a lot of this mueller pressure right now with the interview going on. we know yesterday morning he was watching the news coverage of the paul manafort trial. he sees this as a significant step. as much as he downplays publicly what manafort did, he ran that convention. this is the closest it has come to him, to the white house and to his family. even if these charges aren't specifically about russia. we've also seen him according to our reporting talking to advisors deduriuring the night
the last week just furious on how the media has covered this. but also the coverage of the helsinki summit and that he just feels like it is both the government, jeff sessions and the media conspiring against him. >> manafort trial makes it very real. he's watching this and seeing mug shots and testimony and cross-examination. >> it's all happening. >> joe, as a lawyer, you know the tweet yesterday about, you know, end this now. gets us something that prosecutors love to get to, his state of mind. >> state of mind. and you can trace that all the way back to his white house meeting where he kicked out all americans and all he had were russians in there and he's saying, i fired comey and now the pressure's off of us. i mean, it's really, it's pretty remarkable that, again, he calls it a witch-hunt. i would just say, again, for any cable news outlet that refers to
it as a witch-hunt for any congressman that refers to it as a witch-hunt, for any talk show host that refers to it as a witch-hunt, you're doing vladimir putin's bidding. you just are. because that quote, witch-hunt, actually has evidence that the united states military and intel agencies picked up on, in black and white, forensic evidence. you're no longer doing the bidding of donald trump. you're doing the bidding of an ex ex-kgb agent. you were aiding and abetting enemy if you call it a witch-hunt. >> yesterday at the white house, maybe not for the first time, but sarah sanders referring to it as the witch-hunt in shorthand as official statement from the white house podium. >> can you imagine, can you imagine -- i just can't imagine any time in our past with the
united states military, people at ft. mead, the united states intel agencies discover that a hostile power is waging some form of war on the united states of america and elected officials and sarah huckabee sanders and cable news hosts are attacking that investigation. and demanding, okay, we just found out that, yes, they are trying to undermine american democracy. we now demand that you, that you close that investigation right when we start getting evidence that russia. we've got the hard evidence. why don't they want us to find out what else vladimir putin's done. >> we had facebook coming out this week talking about more intrusions for 2018 and story for "wall street journal" about russianis getting into the powe grid. to call it a witch-hunt seems to
be a dereliction of duty. >> you're aiding and abetting the enemy. >> how will senate react jeff sessions should stop this witch-hunt right now. here is the reaction. >> the president's tweet is unfortunate. it's inappropriate for him to be commenting on an ongoing investigation. >> i don't think general sessions can fire mr. mueller. i think he's recused. >> should the president be sending these tweets out? >> you'll have to ask the president. >> i think that's out of jeff sessions' hands. he recused himself from the russian investigation because he participated in the campaign, as we all know. and i think that was appropriate for him to do so. >> mueller's going to finish his investigation. the truth is all going to come out and that's the best thing
that can happen for the president and for the country. >> so, heidi, is that consistent with what you're hearing on capitol hill? more stating of the fact that general sessions has, in fact, recused himself in all this. what is the feeling on capitol hill when the camera is off? >> consistent with what i'm hearing, willie. i'm so glad you played that because the question right now is how has this sentiment changed over the course of this investigation. i went back and looked. we have a great comparison here. exactly about this time last year, trump was also beating up on sessions. and i pulled up an article from august 3rd of 2017 and here was the response from congress. quote, the blow back from congress to trump's public criticism of sessions was sharp and substantial. and his allies in the gop told the president to back off. what we saw was two separate bipartisan bills were introduced
in order to send a message to the president a shout and not even to think about taking any moves on the special counsel or jeff sessions. under no circumstances will we be holding hearings over the break in order to confirm a new nominee. so, i just want to put that out there to contrast how much things have changed in terms of the sentiment in congress since last year when the exact same thing happened in terms of the president's attacks on sessions. >> you're saying far more muted yesterday. saying that he can't fire sessions, but not much more than that. >> they separated themselves a bit. >> far more muted now. kind of a downplaying of the president's comments. a discounting of them and an assumption that this investigation will go forward and just don't ask me about it. >> discounting. >> discounting of it where they're just trying to push it away. but, jonathan, behind the
scenes, the senate republicans, at least, and paul ryan, also, are sending a message to donald trump saying, don't do it, right? don't cross the line. this is a step too far. >> it would be disastrous not just because it would prompt a constitutional crisis but going into these midterms that they're very concerned if the president were to act and take those steps to end this probe and bring it to a conclusion before mueller reports his findings to congress that it would be a disaster for republicans going into november. publicly we're seeing what they're doing there. they're always afraid to fully defy this president. they know how popular, but they're finding a way to do it and focusing on the sessions argument here. he's not the one who can do it anyway. communicating to the white house saying, look, this is a step if a far. >> clint, follow up on exactly what the white house calling this investigation a witch-hunt means for vladimir putin.
talk about what a danger this investigation remains for vladimir putin. talk about how exposed robert mueller, with the help of the united states military, the united states intel community, how much we have shattered russia's belief that they can do whatever they want with the united states of america. explain how a republican congressman trying to stop us in the middle of an investigation where the u.s. military, the u.s. intel communities are giving us more and more information about how putin has attacked american democracy in the past and how he wants to attack american democracy this year and in the future. talk about how they are doing bidding and aiding and abetting vladimir putin pie trying to kill this investigation. >> beyond any one election or elected official, what they always want to do is grade democratic constitutions --
>> when you say that, putin -- >> when you hear witch-hunt coming out of the president's mouth ythey say, you're right. they can build a bond with the president and work with the president as an ally to thwart democratic constitutions and democracy is a good system of governance. this is consistent. having congressmen run around with secret leaks. this destroys the ability of our institutions of our leaders and appointed leaders to actually do their jobs, whether it's sessions today, it will be somebody else tomorrow. you see this conflict playing out for 2018. there is no plan to deal with russian interference or any foreign interference going to into 2018. >> is it fair to say that if someone is trying to end this russian investigation that they're doing the bidding of vladimir putin? is there any question that if a member of congress is trying to stop this russian investigation
that has already revealed so much that they are doing vladimir putin's bidding? >> not only by trying to stop it. if they were successful, it would create massive turmoil in this country. that's what the kremlin would want. just continuing this discussion extends the length of the investigation. every day it goes on is another victory for vladimir putin. >> not just the russia probe that the president is interested in shutting down, it's also the federal government. what he just said about that possibility and why he thinks it will be a good thing for republicans and why he might need to finally go to sleep. we'll be right back. oh, milk. another breakfast, another dilemma. am i willing to pay the price for loving you? you'll make my morning, but ruin my day. complicated relationship with milk? pour on the lactaid. it's delicious 100% real milk, just without that annoying lactose.
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winning percentage and we're trying to figure out whether the sox are going to lose seven of eight or eight of eight against the yankees. that's how we think. because when it's august i see four-game series against the yankees and you could take four games off. we're going to lose three of four at least. >> it's in our dna. who is the next series? how could we start a new winning streak. >> you guys are on pace for one of the best, four, five seasons in baseball and if we can get a split, we'll be lucky. >> tonight we open the series with a pitcher that i used in jack's game. all right. president trump is attempting -- >> you don't even care about the yankees/red sox series. >> i like the red sox. i've been watching. it's been fun. >> up until now. it all ends now. go ahead. >> okay. >> classic. >> serious things are going on.
president trump is attempting to put a positive spin on the potential for a government shutdown over his continued demands for funding his border wall, which always makes me think of imfwragz amigration an the separation of children from their family. when you think about it, president trump, you bring up your border wall and horrendous, policy and when you bring up the wall, you're bringing up immigration. the president suggested that the federal government coming to a stop would actually help republicans ahead of the midterm elections. >> i actually think it would be a positive, like pulling teeth getting these guys to get it done is, and you have no idea how tough i've been. if you have a shut down, you have a shut down. the shut down can also take place after the election. i happen to think it's a great
political thing because people want border security. >> but most republican lawmakers aren't buying the president's optimism. ron johnson of wisconsin said yesterday he reiterated the position of opposition of the president shutting down the government and border wall, here's what he said. >> the government is not going to build the wall, i don't believe. >> so, there you go. sort of lincoln at gettysburg. i like that. there's a big build up for a half second clip. i have no idea what ron said before or after that. i did love that clip. so -- >> let's talk about the red sox. >> i want to talk about the "wall street journal" editorial a couple days ago. >> okay. >> where they said trump is probably thinking it is in my best interest to lose the house. others have started saying that, as well. and, of course, i don't think he ever thinks that way. but i'm not so sure that he's
not thinking what everybody says. nancy pelosi speaker of the house gives me the perfect target to attack for the next two years and makes it easier for me to get elected in 2020. >> nancy pelosi in that role would be the perfect, camps in the white house are divided on this. some people, of course, who do not want the republicans to lose the house. for fear not necessarily because of impeachment proceedings but bog down the trump agenda even more than it is now and various house committees and make, not just the russia probe be the story of the day, but have investigations into corruption and that would be the defining two years for the final two years of this first term. however, yes, presidents have had success in the past running against, governing against the control, body of congress controlled by the other party.
some suggestion around the president that he would like that and that he would fight day to day thisenei enemy. >> having the tea party to run against was pretty great. >> heidi, what do you think of the president's strategy setting aside the fact that it has no regard for the country or the people in it. >> heidi, what do you think of the president's strategy? >> different flavors of shut down over the years? shut down over obamacare and spending cuts and shutdown over the wall. the public has never liked it and, matter of fact, we've seen the poll ratings manifest in terms of republicans going down, down, down. i think the republicans on the hill all understand that. i don't think that the president understands that, but i do think he believes that this is a winning strategy because there will never be a shut down because what will happen is that he will get some kind of funding
for his wall. it won't be the full amount that he's asked for, but he can take that check, put it in his pocket and declare victory. so, he'll spend the next several weeks beating up on congress, demanding this funding and then no matter what the amount is, he can say, he got a victory. still ahead, is collusion a crime? that's the question. in paul manafort's case, it may not matter. we'll bring in a former prosecutor to explain why. we're seeing ostrich jacket is in. >> he had a vest. >> who does this? >> the guy is always one up us. >> do we get to see the jacket? >> do they have it? >> do you guys have the vest? do you have the vest, joe? >> no, we don't have the vest. i'm going to go get it now,
though. i've been talking and they've been giving me a little money on the side and use some of that profit and get the vest. >> who wore it better. manafort or scarborough. >> the other option is to cry. "morning joe" will be right back. you're turning onto the street when you barely clip a passing car. minor accident - no big deal, right? wrong. your insurance company is gonna raise your rate after the other car got a scratch so small you coulda fixed it with a pen. maybe you should take that pen and use it to sign up with a different insurance company. for drivers with accident forgiveness liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. liberty mutual insurance. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty ♪
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welcome back to "morning joe." this morning the word of the day is, if you hear that and then you hear this sound, be the seventh calling to call morning joe and you'll go away with a lifetime supply of rice-a-roni. >> willie? >> president trump also weighed in on the trial against his former campaign chair looking back on history who was treated worse alfonse capone or paul manafort. >> didn't al capone, didn't he get sent to alcatraz? >> it was a tax. >> was he there for a while? >> i think he died a pretty bad death. >> that wasn't great.
>> the president went on now serving solitary confinement talking about manafort, convicted of nothing, where is the russian collusion, asks the president. day two focused on his luxury lifestyle. the government produced invoices for more than a million dollars worth of clothing purchased between 2010 and 2014 some paid through wire transfers from banks originating in cypress. >> they showed pictures. >> i thought it was going to be feathers. >> python jacket. >> also in evidence, more than $18,000 python skinned jacket. >> ew. >> that's something, if you're not wearing that at the polo bar this fall, you're just out. you're just out of fashion. >> i don't know about you, joe, when i go into j. crew when they
say cash or credit card, say wire transfer from cypress, i hope that's okay. so, the judge also rebuked the prosecution for focusing too much on manafort's lavish lifestyle. the government doesn't want to prosecute somebody because they wear nice clothes, do they? mercedes-benz of alexandria and a contractor billed more than $3 million to do work on at least five of manafort's homes including one in trump tower. both witnesses told the court they were paid wire transfers from cypress. saying it suggested manafort was working with criminals while in ukraine while the evidence does not back that up. in a twist, depending on how testimony unfolds its star witness deputy trump campaign chairman rick gates may not testify. the government also says it's
moving ahead of schedule and expects to rest its case next week. joining us now is former federal prosecutor glenn kershner out with a new piece entitled is collusion a crime? it may not matter. why manafort's trial is focused on financial wrongdoing for now. if you want to put aside the python jacket and ostrich jacket and wire transfers from cypress, what's important to focus on the manafort trial? >> i would agree we shouldn't be focusing on his opulent lifestyle, the ostrich jacket and the python jacket, i guess we can be thankful he didn't have panda fur boots, as well. it's funny, the more i hear the word collusion raised primarily by the president and his loyalists, i guess i would have to point out that special counsel robert mueller has never once said, i am investigating the president for collusion. because we all know collusion is
not a crime. conspiracy is a crime. and i would, i would suggest that there is not a lot of definitional daylight between collusion and conspiracy. but, the president continues to sort of set up the straw man of collusion just to knock it down. you know, bob mueller is investigating by his appointment letter by deputy attorney general rod rosenstein any contacts between the trump campaign and the russians. and, yes, in a common sense way, that is collusion. but he's investigating conspiracy. he's investigating potential obstruction of justice by covering up the trump campaign contacts with russians. so, you know, i think the collusion is a bit of a straw man. that the president is taking advantage of and trying to confuse, quite frankly, the general public. >> glenn, clint watts. i wanted to ask you, we have been talking a lot about
obstruction and taking written questions why the mueller team might narrow down to fewer written questions and written questions with a follow-up interview. i wanted to take your opinion about why they are maybe using that strategy and cutting down the questions and what their goal is. >> clint, first of all, i have to wonder if the reporting by mr. giuliani is accurate about what the mueller team is offering. but let's assume it is and let's assume that bob mueller and his team actually do contemplate either cutting down the scope of the questions or offering some written questions in lieu of an actual sit down interview. it may very well be that the mueller team believes that any questions being answered by the president would be important for two reasons. one, it may very well inform the investigation about, among other things, the president's thought
process. his subjective intent to see whether when he was doing the things he is alleged to have done, he was doing it with a corrupt intent. and then, two, i don't want to be cynical, but it may very well be that bob mueller and his team are willing to negotiate the terms of the interview a little bit, just to have the opportunity to interview the president. because, i think we've all seen the president has real challenges being consistent in his answers from one day to the next. from one tweet to the next. and, you know, the mueller investigation team knows full well that if the president answers questions, either in writing or in an interview setting and he lies to federal investigators, each time he does it, he violates 18 united states code section 1,001 for lying to federal investigators and each time he does it, it carries up
to five years in prison. so, the mueller investigative team may very well want to give the president the opportunity to be his own worst enemy. >> jonathan lamire. >> we mentioned gates' name a, h what that means in this trial and going forward. >> that's a great question. i think we're all a little surprised when we heard the prosecutor represent to judge ellis, when judge ellis pressed him because, apparently, i wasn't in the courtroom but i spoke to people who were. the prosecutor was showing the witness a document and talking about rick gates' signature and the judge said let's not waste time, you can ask mr. gates that. that's when the prosecutor had to be responsible to the judge and say, you know what, your honor, we're not sure we're going to put mr. gates on the stand in this trial. that did come to a surprise to
people. if they decide to decline to call rick gates as a witness, it is because they believe they have more than enough evidence to prove manafort's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. if we dig down a little bit more. i was a federal prosecutor and i put countless witnesses on the stand. if i called that witness at trial, you would bet i would stand up in front of the journey and say, ladies and gentlemen, let me explain what a cooperating witness is. let me tell you that even though the cooperating witness had his charges reduced in exchange for his agreement to testify truthfully against others. if he lies in court, all of those charges are revived. he's facing more time in prison. he's facing perjury charges. he could be facing accessory after the fact charges, if he lies in court. so the cooperating witness has everything to gain by telling
the truth and everything to lose by lying. even a lie that might make it look like mr. manafort is more guilty. the reason i'm doing that in opening statement. i want to be the one to frame for the jury how to receive information from a cooperating witness. well, guess what, when i talked to people who watched the opening statement, the prosecutors in the eastern district of virginia case didn't open like that. they opened very generally on, well, you'll hear some information about mr. gates and crimes he committed. it may be that the prosecutor sort of lulled the defense team into thinking they were going to call mr. gates. they may not call him at all. there are a number of reasons for that. >> glenn kurershner, thank you very much. the president tweets thanking the dictator of north korea. north korea also sent one dog tag that no other way to help
u.s. experts identify. we'll talk to ben rhodes who says this may end up being another trump photo-op. "morning joe" is coming right back. welcome! hi there. so, what do you look for in a vehicle? sleek designs. performance. dependability is top on my list. well then, here's some vehicles that deliver on that. woah! wow. oh jeez! that's our truck! it's our truck! and they're our cars! that's my chevy! chevy's the only brand to earn j.d. power dependability awards across cars, trucks and suvs
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four cities are suing president trump over his promise to let obamacare implode, using his words, after congressional republicans failed to repeal the law last year. heidi przybilla, this is your exclusive reporting this morning. what can you tell us? >> mika, a lawsuit is filed by the cities of columbus, cincinnati, chicago and baltimore today arguing that trump's efforts to make good on his promise to "let obamacare implode" violate the constitution. trump has waged a relentless effort to use executive action alone to undermine and ultimately eliminate the law, the complaint charges, according to a draft obtained by nbc news. the suit alleges that trump's directives ordering agencies to roll back as much of the
affordable care act as possible violates article two of the constitution requiring the president to "take care" that the laws be faithfully executed. it also will rely on a list of trump's tweets, indicating his intent to unravel the law according to a lawyer that i talked to involved in the case, and if successful, the suit would prevent trump from undercutting insurance markets and issue an injunction that he implement the law faithfully, so mika, this has been going on and building for the past year, ever since congress tried numerous times and failed to repeal the law legislatively. >> there you go. >> jonathan, a lot of talk around this set for good reason, because we're talking about a foreign power trying to destroy our democracy, about the russia investigation, about putin, about a lot of other issues, but out on the campaign trail, aren't democrats hammering health care most of all?
i know claire mccaskill talking a lot about pre-existing conditions and donald trump wanting to take away that benefit from working class and middle class americans? >> democrats almost have an abundance of options in terms of how to run this campaign this fall, but i think that where a lot of strategists are coming to the opinion and i'm sure heidi can point to this as well is the idea that as much as russia would resonate and present itself as a danger to the democracy but it's things like health care that are the issues where that's where democrats feel like they can make more inroads, affecting people's everyday lives in their pockets where they feel when they go to the doctors they need to provide for themselves and their children. do you think between now and november the democrats will focus on that rather than the opaque issues like russia or obstruction of justice? >> i think russia will play more than we could have ever imagined, but number one will
continue to be the health care issue. the democrats very much feel they have turned the tables on the gop on obamacare which the republicans have used essentially since 2010 in every election and midterm election because the democrats i talked to told me now that the republicans controlled all the levers of government, they were given a chance to promote their alternative, to put forward their alternative and the public got to see that there was no better alternative that they had, they weren't able to push it through even though they called all the levers of government. the president is openly acknowledging he's doing things that drive up prices and we're going into 2018 expecting a surge in 2019 in premiums and a lot of those insurance companies are saying it's directly tied to actions being taken in washington. >> willy, one of the most remarkable failures i think legislative failures have been the republicans running against
obamacare for six years, non-stop, and saying we have a better way. they get elected and they have no plan. >> right. >> they have absolutely no health care plan. >> that predates president trump, by the way, that's congressional republicans who want to tear it down but they have nothing to replace it with and to heidi's point this is a rallying cry for democrats, where it used to be a target for republicans, chuck schumer every time you talk to him he brings up we have to defend obama khan inju obamacare. why donald trump's public feud with charles koch. >> stay away. >> trump is tweeting about it moments ago, when is it going to go to sleep and let it go? >> he can't help himself. >> all night. just stop, go ato sleto sleep, go. >> republicans he won't say a bad word about vladimir putin. >> not a ward. >> trying to end the
investigation into vladimir putin. >> thinks north korea is nice. >> getting into your democracy. he says kim jong-un is a wonderful cat, and he hates charles koch. that's your republican party. >> the ding for that? >> yes. thank you. his most explicit call for he were to general jeff sessions to end robert mueller's russia probe. "morning joe" will be right back. >> they should render their report, put up -- i guess if we were playing poker, put up or shut up, what have you got? to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula available. it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and wrinkles. one week? that definitely works! rapid wrinkle repair®. and for dark spots, rapid tone repair. neutrogena®.
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(avo) beneful select 10. 10 ingredients. 1 thoughtful recipe. all right, welcome back to "morning joe." it's thursday, august 2nd, still with us, mike barnicle, former fbi special agent and msnbc contributor clint watts, jonathan lemire, heidi przybilla, joining us he needs self-awareness, he walks in and takes over the set and throwing papers around, "new york times" reporter jeremy peters, and also with us former justice department spokesman, now an msnbc justice and security analyst, matt miller. >> by the way, little tommy submit from schenectady, new york, was our seventh caller, mike, rice-a-roni the san francisco treat and going to be eating a lot of rice-a-roni. >> good for him. how did he do it? >> i don't know. >> student of history.
>> trump? >> we're going to be giving away more rice-a-roni, the bell is more. >> so exciting, i love it. >> while supplies last. >> while supplies last, i should have said. >> based on new reports -- >> can we talk about the series this weekend? >> no. >> anyway, one of the great rivalries in all of sports, and is there a better rivalry than the yankees/red sox? >> no. >> yes, cardinals/cubs. >> no! come on! >> come on, clint. >> come on! >> we actually play baseball, we don't just watch it. >> seriously? did you -- you just fall off the turnip truck? come on, man. so willy, we were talking before about the red sox, thinking we're going to lose, you know, three out of four games, and you said? i mean we've blown huge leads before, 1978. >> why are you doing this? >> '78 we blew a nine-game lead in the middle of august and 2011 blew a nine-game lead in early
september. >> i like how the red sox mentality never goes away. you win world series and still have that fatalist it's going to end today, the sky's falling. >> kind of like the balkans, growing up in the balkans actually. you just know, you can drive through croatia on a bike right now but it's not going to always be that way. >> the yankees have been in the wilderness for a decade, we haven't won a world series since 2009. we'll be happy to scrap out a wild card birth and if we can upset somebody in the game and maybe get on the same field as you guys we'll be happy. >> just playing for nickels. >> scrappy team. >> are you guys done? >> for now. ok >> okay, predictions, how many games, are we going to split it? >> probably get swept. at fenway. >> get out! >> i'll take a split, split's fine. >> split would be great. >> with the sale injury, a split is fine.
>> our pitchers either are injured, stink or have foot and mouth disease. two out of four. the st. louis cardinals and the san francisco giants have just done a remarkable job over the past 10, 15 years. cardinals forever, but both of those great organizations down right now. better days ahead for the giants? >> i hope so. we've gotten used to this pattern, i'm a giants fan, we were winning every other year, in an election year team and we broke that streak in 2016 and it doesn't look like we'll do any again so let's hope that change is around the corner. >> can i ask willy quickly, how do one get foot and mouth and hoof disease? >> you have a mets pitcher and yankees pitcher with it. >> where are these going on the weekend? >> rural scotland apparently. >> or chuck e. cheese. >> how do you -- >> it afflicts toddlers and new york city starting pitchers. >> joe, i can tell you, because
i had it last year, i have a little kid that's in day care, that's how you get it. >> oh. >> can we get the lysol and spray down the camera, after matt leaves? let's go to the news now. by the way, that's way too much information, i will never look at you the same again. >> oversharing. okay, based on new reports, and the president's own tweets, it looks like donald trump is seeking to end special counsel robert mueller's investigation one way or another. three sources tell the "new york times" that trump is flouting his lawyers advice and pushing for an interview with robert mueller in the hope that it will clear him. "the washington post" reports that special counselor robert mueller sent the white house a letter on monday offering to limit the questions in order to secure presidential interview. according to "the post" mueller's team suggested investigators would reduce the number of questions about potential obstruction of justice, that they would ask in person, and instead seek some answers in written form.
the special counsel's office declined to comment. >> and by the way, he wants to have the same sort of test that, who was the guy, ronny jackson, dementia or not, you show the pictures of sketches of lions and you're supposed to say what they are? >> um-hum. >> is he tweeting right now? hold on, let's go to singapore, hold on. >> right. sorry. >> we're going to go to the singapore desk. >> i messed it all up. >> willy? what's he saying? what's the president saying? >> he writes this, "wow, fox and friends is blowing away the competition in the morning ratings, morning joe is a dead show with very few people watching and sadly fake news cnn also doing poorly, too much hate and inaccurately reported stories, too predictable." >> we want to thank the president, oh, that's yours. >> you need to go to bed. >> we'd like to thank the
president -- >> get the toothpicks out of your eyes. >>? it's true nobody is watching us anymore we know based on your staff members that we have at least one viewer every morning and we thank you, donald. we can always count on you. how are you doing? hey, get some sleep. >> always there for us. >> get some sleep, okay? get some sleep. >> it's okay. >> we're sad for you. he's not doing well. >> yeah. >> willy? >> i don't have any insight into his condition, but i do know he was up late tweeting. >> all night. >> he was up so late tweeting we don't know really -- we're kind of at a loss. thank you, jonathan lemire. >> it was hard to read on your phone, it's so dirty. i'll get you an alcohol swab for that. >> thank you. >> so anyway, we're talking, matt, about donald trump trying to finish off this investigation. it seems to me, and i'm being dead serious here, if donald trump thinks that he can sit at
a table with robert mueller and not get wiped out, he would be doing himself, his white house, this country a great favor if he really is innocent to sit down, get it over with, see that that's in the rear view mirror, and then go ahead and let mueller investigate what vladimir putin did in 2016. we don't really care whether donald trump's innocent or not. what i care about and what americans should care about is, what did vladimir putin do in 2016 to disrupt america's democracy, seems to me sitting down talking to mueller getting it behind you is the best way to get this in your rear view mirror. >> look, i have to say i have always been skeptical of the reports the president really does want to sit down for the interview. look, the lawyers work for him, not the other way around. if he wanted to sit down and do this interview he could have done it months ago. they've been negotiating the
interview for seven or eight months. he could have easily done it and answered all these questions and this question of whether he can get through the interview or not it is absurd the president of the united states can't sit down and answer questions truthfully. he'd incriminate himself by telling the truth or can't get through an interview without lying repeatedly and committing another crime. >> isn't it remarkable how little confidence donald trump's own lawyers have in him, that they think he's too stupid to sit across the table with robert mueller? if i were trump, i'd be insulted. >> and they're basically willing to come out and say that, if you read between the lines they're all but saying that and it is insulting to everyone else that works in the federal government. if you work at the justice department or the defense department or anywhere else and you are under fbi investigation, you have the fifth amendment right to not sit down for an interview, to not cooperate with investigators but you have to leave your job. you're not allowed to stay in the federal government while you do that. the idea there's a different standard for the president, that he is somehow above the rules that apply to everyone else is
really kind of offensive to anyone else that works in the government. i think we ought to expect -- we do a lot of this debate kind of as legal analysts, whether it's good for him or not. he ought to do it. he's the president of the united states, sit down and cooperate for this important investigation. >> you look at some -- if you're investigating a case, clint, and you look at the reactions to the people around him, it appears, many would deduce his lawyers think he's a moron, and that his tweets indicate that he's very afraid, tweeting all night long, tweeting about morning shows. i mean, this sun hinad i is unh behavior and someone who keeps tweet being this investigation as he could push it away with i don't know, trying to manipulate the press. >> the problem the president was, collusion or obstruction is this twitter feed and his public statements which almost always seem to match up with russia,
if. you ha -- if you've got the emails maybe there was a meeting before to obstruction where he's essentially come out in interviews or on twitter and said the russia investigation was on his mind and part of his decision. i am with matt that i don't believe he really wants to sit down for an interview, because if you look at the track record and other things, he wants to have a summit with north korea, suddenly that just appears out of nowhere. he wants to have a parade in washington, d.c., now we're having a parade. so if he wants to have an interview with special counsel mueller, i don't see why he couldn't shv that instantaneously. it's strange he can make so many other things happen so quickly but for some reason he can't get to the table and answer a few questions, and it's curious that these lawyers are keeping them essentially from getting there, this is the one thing he won't overturn. all of his other tell him not to do something. >> maybe he can scared of mueller. >> i think so. when you look at it -- >> wow. >> i know i would be worried if i was in his position and just having been someone who has briefed director mueller at different times, i tell you, you
wouldn't be on your toes because he's going to ask the right questions and say very little but he's going to learn a lot. >> i guess, willy, he's scared. >> said he's his own best advocate so i don't know why he wouldn't want to sit across from bob mueller. matt, we know bob mueller is looking at the president's tweets, "attorney general jeff sessions should stop this rigged witch hunt right now" is about as explicit publicly as the president has been. what would mueller take from that tweet? >> i think two things. one there's this debate whether that tweet in itself is a criminal act, whether it constitutes obstruction of justice and you saw the president's attorneys really worried about it yesterday coming out and try to spin it but the other question, even if you just take this one tweet in isolation that might be one thing but it's the pattern of activity he's done privately and publicly. that's the thing we can often miss is what mueller is doing is looking at all the things from the president said publicly that portray what he really means and what his intent is, and then all
the times he's acted privately to pressure individuals to try to remove them from their positions and i think one of the things that giuliani did, giuliani gave away the game a little bit yesterday by coming out and saying this wasn't a direct order. he clearly knew that giving a direct order would be legally problematic for the president. well the problem with that strategy for rudy, let's remember the president has given direct orders to interfere with the investigation before. he directed don mcgann to go over to the justice department and get mueller fired. he didn't comply but the president did issue according to rudy giuliani now tacit admission would be a corrupt order. >> matt, doesn't it also that tweet yesterday also get to what mueller and his people want to get at, why they would strive touring a meeti during a meeting with the president. it gets at state of mind. >> yes, it absolutely does, and you know, i don't know how anyone could actually argue at this point that the president doesn't have a corrupt intent with respect to this investigation.
you know, he's not acting like someone that is innocent. he's not acting like someone that wants it to go forward. he tried to stop it on one of his first days in office. he was actively trying to interfere with it all through the spring of 2016, when he was meeting with comey, and meeting with intelligence officials, and he's never really stopped. so we have to have this debate because we don't know everything else that mueller is looking at about the president's corrupt intent and his lawyers will try to deny it. i think that record is actually pretty clear, if you just look at what's staring you in the face. >> so why did the president call for attorney general sessions to shut down the russia probe, when the white house has repeatedly claimed the president has the authority to fire special counsel mueller? >> do you believe he has the power to fire special counsel robert mueller, does he believe he has the power to do that. >> he certainly believes he has the power to do so. >> doesn't it look weak on twitter for him to say sessions should end the probe when rosenstein can end the probe?
>> it's not weak for the president of the united states to state his opinion. >> yikes. just leave the podium, hurry, run. just go. really, it's time to go. >> jeremy? >> no, i mean that's it right there, is this is all about a projection of strength, and an effort to demonize the investigators and mueller in particular as part of this corrupt, deep state government that has always been out to undermine donald trump and therefore strip away the power that the people have invested in him as voters. he makes it about them, when he goes out and he talks about the corrupt investigators and crooked hillary and all these people who come after him. he's saying no, they're coming for your power, they're coming for you. they're coming for me but they're really coming for you. >> the republicans obviously on the hill yesterday were scrambling, as heidi pointed out, not as aggressively as before, but all saying he didn't have the power to fire jeff
sessions to end the investigation, that he couldn't end it that way, but there seem to be so many cross currents right now. trump again, who has been at war with everybody except for vladimir putin and stormy daniels, the only people he hasn't attacked and now he's attacking charles koch, especially who -- >> again this morning. >> again this morning, a guy who you just does not, you don't rattle charles koch at all. >> no. >> so i'm not exactly sure what he's trying to do, other than, again, driving a wedge between himself and a lot of republican candidates who depend on charles koch's support. >> right, i think it's just another example of the incredibly thin skin that the president has. you can never say anything negative, criticize his leadership, his policies, without incurring the wrath of donald trump's twitter attacks. i think what charles koch and
the koch network are doing right now is kind of, it's, what's happening across the republican party. there is this cost-benefit analysis going on if you're a republican right now, how much does it cost me to break with donald trump? and if you're the kochs, you're saying, you know what? i'm not going to get any more out of this guy. we're probably going to lose the house. we got the tax cuts, the deregulation. to continue to enable him and his destructive impulses, his inflammatory rhetoric on immigration, will not only hurt us but will hurt the cause we believe in going forward. >> by the way, the kochs have always been far more, i don't know if you way progressive but far more open about immigration, huge believers in immigration, so all of these scenes from the border obviously horrifying. >> oh. >> absolutely. this is -- the kochs are opposed
to basically what has been the beating heart of the darkest parts of trumpism, the harshness on immigration, and trade, demonizing our foreign enemies as trying to undermine us. so they decided, you know what? being in the majority in the house, we haven't really gotten much out of it. we don't have much more to get out of it, right, because look at the deficit spending. look at how it's exploded, the republican party is not acting like the fiscally responsible party, and furthermore, it's undermining its values by continuing to stand by a president who really doesn't share anyone's value. >> it is the antithesis of what conservatism has meant for 70 years, heidi, which is the party that says they support small government, balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility, free trade, a tough stance against
russian aggression. we were -- we conservatives were concerned about russia expanding into the baltics, and now we have vladimir putin coming to america every two years, during our elections, and republicans are covering up for donald trump. so why does charles koch, why does any classical liberal support trumpism? >> it is the culture wars, it is the deficit spending, and i really believe that the final straw is the trade and tariff wars. i met with representatives from the koch network earlier this year who predicted that the president would go exactly down this route. they said it was their biggest fear, that they had essentially achieved the crowned jewel of their agenda with the tax cuts, and that the president, with his trade wars, would undercut all of the benefits of that tax cut and they are now seeing that realized. i pointed this out the other day
on the show as well, this also dovetails with the departure from the white house of mark short, who was the legislative director and tightly aligned with the koch network. i believe in their own words, they felt that at this point all they're doing is playing whac-a-mole on the hill, trying to bat down some of these other initiatives and that they weren't moving forward on that more kind of fiscally conservative, small government agenda that the party has always stood for, so it's no surprise that you see people like mark short as well as the kochs now distancing themselves from this more pivot to the culture wars and the tariff wars that we'll see for the next several months going into the election. >> all right, matt miller and clint watts, thank you both. up next, he was directly involved in many of president obama's most consequential decisions on foreign policy, decisions that president trump is widely working to dismantle.
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joining us now former deputy national securitier adviser under president obama, now nbc news and msnbc contributor. his new book titled "the world as it is: a memoir of the obama white house." it's great to have you on. >> thanks for seeing me. >> you know, i've been critical at times of barack obama's foreign policy and i want to tell you this -- >> he's sorry. >> when barack obama in 2007 in the debate said that he would talk to iran unilaterally -- >> and north korea. >> what a sign of weakness. let me just tell you something, for all of donald trump's failings, trump would never say that he would talk to iran from a position not of strength, not of weakness, but just actually i'm serious, can you believe the
republicans that were critical of barack obama for seven, eight years are now saying nothing about donald trump saying, we don't want to even negotiate from a position of strength with iran. we just want to talk to them. >> yes. well, or have this constant heaping of praise on kim jong-un, also president obama had included north korea on that list with iran and literally people went in to complete conniption fits about it. >> have you seen the fox news clips the before and afters, stunning. >> yes. sometimes hypocrisy hits you to hard in the face you don't know what to do with it. the reality is, it makes you question is there any fundamental principle? i used to look to the republican party as a party that would be for the strongest possible line on russia. >> right. >> and the most suspicion of diplomacy with adversaries like iran and north korea. i didn't always agree with those positions but respected them as the bedrock principles of the republican party. those are completely removed now and the question is, what does the republican party therefore
stand for on these national security issues? >> you know what's troubling, you look at helsinki, what is so troubling is since helsinki, since the private meeting, forget about how donald trump made a fool of himself on the world stage, but that private meeting, now we have to ask ourselves every time mnuchin comes out and says hey, let's lift sanctions on one of putin's oligarch friends, is that an order from putin in that private meeting or hey, let's start talking to one of iran's, one of russia's most strategic allies in the middle east. was he ordered to do that? i could go down the list. >> yep. >> one thing after another, post-helsinki suggests that donald trump is following somebody's script, and it's not his own. >> well, if the script had been written for him that week by the kremlin, here's what he would have done. he would have attacked nato, he would have picked a fight with angela merkel, who is the biggest antagonist of vladimir putin in europe. he would have destabilized british politics more, which he
did and he would have sat alone with vladimir putin like he did. so the people are also asking that question, joe, are our allies. the reason you would normally have at least one person in that room is to read out the rest of the meeting to our government but also to our friends. you don't want them wondering in won done and berlin and paris what did the u.s. president talk about alone, nevermind in eastern europe where their survival depends on our security guarantee. none of our allies who depend on us for their security have any idea what he was talking about along with putin and what they see is he's basically following a script that could have been written for him by the kremlin. >> right, and mike, you also want somebody in the room with you so a former kgb agent, who deals in disinformation more than anybody else on the planet, doesn't twist your words out of proper context in their readout of the meeting. >> they're the only ones with a readout on the meeting and they have whatever they had on him before, potentially had on him before, they have even more now
as a result of that meeting, given his public statements, but you know, ben, as you know, it's hard to focus on things right below sea level, because we're inundated every day with tweets and the russia stuff and everything like that, but there's an impact to the american public right now because of the trade war that has begun. they're talking about 25% china and things like that. when you were there, president obama constituted tpp, the transpacific trade pact. >> yes. >> so what was the objective of the trade pact? what difference would it the trade pact have made if it hadn't been thrown out the window by the trump administration right now on this burgeoning trade, dangerously burgeoning trade war? >> one we wanted to open up some of the biggest markets in asia but two, this is very important, that was a part of getting tough on china. there are huge problems that we have with china, that we have to address in terms of our trade relationship. the way to go into that fight is to build your own team and isolate the chinese, so what we did is we said we're going to organize the rest of asia into a
trade agreement with us so that then when we go into the fight with china, about what they're doing to our goods, how they're stealing our intellectual property we're in a much stronger position. the danger here is trump is picking trade fights with our allies at the same time he's doing with china, which gives him much less leverage and leaves us much more vulnerable. the rest of the world could gang up on us. >> he's not getting the europe even union, angela merck toll join had nim a concerted -- >> no, that's when that comes home to roost with the allies, you need them in a trade scrap or going after terrorists they'll be less likely to put skin in the game. >> dealing with iran i believed it was a bad deal, but getting out of it now only isolates the united states more and there's nothing we can do now, willy, to get our european allies to at least stand at the side for a minute if we want to renegotiate certain terms that we may find
undesirable. can't do it. >> you go across the map and north korea where the president stepped away from the photo opp with kim jong-un and within dayed declared north korea no longer a nuclear threat. they continue to produce fissile material, the secretary of state testified to that, they continue to produce ballistic missiles, perhaps a warhead could be attached to the missiles that could reach the united states. is there ever a moment to trust north korea? it seems that the president of the united states and this administration put a blind trust into north korea. is that foolhardy? >> yes, and look, joe, you would have killed us if we walked away from a deal with iran or north korea that had no international inspections. >> good lord. >> no time line for denucle denuclearizati denuclearization. you cannot trust anything they do unless there are international inspectors verifying it as they do it. my biggest concern, willy, is he's so eager to make this a success, that hands so much leverage to the north koreans,
because they know that trump has to make this look like the biggest win ever, so all they have to do is periodically have some people in north korea say they're blowing up some building, any building. we don't know whether or not there are international inspectors. they have their weapons and missiles and none of that is changing and trump is praising their leader giving them international legitimacy. you know the sanctions regime will start to fray given how much he's heaping praise on yng j y kim jong-un. >> i thought the president and the secretary of state wanted that too much but my god, you had painstaking negotiations, time and time again. there was a back-and-forth. it was tense. it took a long time. >> yes. >> i didn't love the outcome of the deal, but there were a lot of people like david ignatius who said yes, it's a gamble, it's a cosmic gamble but if it pays off, man, there will be a great result. here, you have donald trump just winging it on the world stage,
and actually holding them, not holding them to account at all. >> if you think about t joe, not a single international inspector in there. there's no time line whatsoever for them to give up their nuclear weapons but also when he's saying this leader is beloved by his people, one of the things you think about in government, how is this going to run on their state television? they're watching that in the gulag today, i'm sure a loop president of the united states saying kim jong-un is beloved by his people. he has handed him what every dictator wants which is my validation. >> we should get him to say i wish my people acted like that. >> we're getting into idi amin territory. i get to say that, seventh caller wins rice-a-roni, san francisco treat for a life time. i want to ask a couple of things that happened over the eight years that president obama was in office. i remember at the beginning of your term being out on a book
too with dmika and talking abou the bridge between europe and the middle east and there was great hope and he believed that if turkey could be turned, it would make such a huge difference in both regions. obviously over those eight years, for internal reasons, that just hasn't happened. where are we now? who is turkey to the united states of america? are they an ally? are they an adversary? at what point do we say enough, erdogan, enough? >> the fact is, turkey is one of those countries that gone from being an ally, i mean they're in nato, right, so we have a formal alliance relationship with them, to being one of those countries that's a mixed bag, where we do work with them on some very important things, right, and we do depend on them for some counterterrorism cooperation but the fact is what happened over the last eight years is erdogan has turned into an authoritarian
and every decision that he makes is through the prism of does this empower me, and that is dangerous for us, because when he needs to work against us or needs to demagogue us or blame us for things he'll work against our interests. >> what you're saying and what a lot of other foreign policy leaders are saying is, we can't tell erdogan to go to hell because there are some strategic ways that erdogan and turkey still help the united states. >> yes, and he has a huge amount of leverage on europe with these refugee deals that he makes to stop the flow of refugees up into europe. i would like to see us get tougher on him. he gets too much of a pass, particularly for what he's doing internally. lot of what he's doing internally, joe, is there's few countries on earth certainly countries that we thought of once as democracies that are harder on journalists and independent media than turkey. >> right now and at least last year it was the hardest, jailings, killings. >> and the u.s., we're calling the press the enemy of the state here, our ability to say to erdogan you got to let the journalists out of prison,
that's gone. >> ben, stay with us. you still speak regularly with president obama and we want to get your take on what he's thinking about what's happening, looking up to the midterms. he just announced dozens of new endorsements for the midterms, and it is interesting who is not on the list. that is next on "morning joe." us. it's what this country is made of. but right now, our bond is fraying. how do we get back to "us"? the y fills the gaps. and bridges our divides. donate to your local y today. because where there's a y, there's an us.
former president obama just endorsed 81 candidates ahead of this year's midterm elections, weighing in on more than a dozen state races, obama says he's eager to help his party gain seats this november. the former president's endorsements include georgia gubernatorial candidate stacey abrams, nevada jackie rosen and new mexico house candidate deb hayland. some notable absences texas senate candidate o'rourke and new york congressional candidate cortez. obama cease team says the endorsements are a first wave and more will follow. >> ben, who do you see on the first list? >> i see a lot of people that i worked with, so a lot of alumni, so just here in new york, andy kim, tom malinowski and buffy
wicks who worked on our campaign in 2008. he encouraged part of his legacy the people who worked for him to get into office. that's the main list taking care of the alumni, giving them that push but also showing he's going to be active not just in senate races and house races but also in state legislative races to show that this is a part of his broad approach to trying to, look, candidly we saw the party got worse in all those places in our eight years. he wants to be a part of trying to build that back up. i think it is the first wave and you'll see additional endorsements to come. >> jeremy? >> that is key here, right, it's tending to what the democratic party did not pay much attention to during the obama years. you were there, you talked to the president about this. this is obviously a source of great concern. i don't know if you exactly say shame but obviously there is a recognition that -- >> hard word, shame. >> well, look at the republican gains during the obama years, something like a thousand seats
in state legislatures. that's a generation of future republican conservative leaders. how much of this is oriented at correcting that? >> there's a couple of things. one is our biggest washout election was 2010 and that cost us not to the house seats but the redistrict be that was done because of the census in 2010. he's looking at trying to address the gerrymandering in our districts. big part of that is, look, he took up a lot of the oxygen, and what we had trouble doing is getting that obama coalition that turned out for him in 2008 and 2012 to be portable to other democrats. >> which trump is having a hard time in special elections right now, you look at what happened in alabama with doug jones, you had voters in the black belt of alabama coming out in numbers, almost equal to president obama's. it's pretty remarkable, so it looks like right now, it's just a function of american
democracy, the president in power has a party that gets pounded. >> that's right, and we're trying to activate that base again to get into these races at the local level. >> so ben, you still talk to the president quite a bit. he sort of picked his spots over the last couple of years, went to criticize president trump and didn't do it by name, didn't do in his endorsement list yesterday. can you give us insight into the way he views america and what's happening in our politics? >> i think he's concerned about the direction of our politics and i think he will be active on the campaign trail this fall. i was just with him in south africa. he looked happy to be back in front of frankly and i i think he will be an effective advocate. one of the reasons to not criticize trump and get in the in you can with him every day is the norms of being a former president, but another is part of the problem that we had the last eight years is that not enough leaders emerged. obama took up a lot of space and the clintons took up a lot of
space and part of his calculus if i'm having this fight i'll take up the space we need new leaders to step into, that balance of how do i not be this guy who is owning the field here, i'm doing my part and i'm telling my part of the story here, but i want to make sure that we get some blue blood out. >> an easy foil for president trump doesn't have to defend his own record can be after obama. >> trump likes it, a higher weight class. >> speaking of new leaders, why don't we show the film clip of butch and sundance at the dog tag bakery, the two of them. >> but that doesn't end so well. >> that's fair. >> the mandela speech, by the way, was great. it was a speech that americans need to hear. >> thanks. you felt a hunger for people to be hearing any american on a world stage delivering a message like that. >> that we can be proud of, yes. former deputy national security adviser under president obama ben rhodes, thank you very much for being on. good to see you.
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it's the ultimate wifi experience. xfinity xfi, simple, easy, awesome. russia was -- >> can we make that recommendation? >> what's that, about emma lou harris, my favorite -- >> after. i think we talked about it before. >> i know, but i did a musical request for the president. >> okay. >> yeah. >> straight out of o brother, where art thou. let's talk about russia. >> russia was clearly successful in meddling with america's last presidential election, but 2016 was hardly vladimir putin's first foray into political espionage aimed at disrupting western democracy. he has a 30-year history of doing it. that time line is revealed in the new documentary "active measures" and we have' got an exclusive look at part of the
new trailer. >> the russians have a particular type of mark, they go after somebody who has business resources, shady morals, and political connections or aspirations. i've just described donald trump. >> the crowned jewel for any intelligence agency is to recruit an asset inside your adversary's intelligence agency. >> they seem to have premonitions of things that were going to happen that in fact did happen. >> the question is, who helped guide the decisions that the russians were making. >> trump tower was money laundering paradise. >> anybody who was anybody in russian organized crime bought a condo unit at trump tower. >> we have the serious intelligence operation in the home of the man who becomes president of the united states. >> joining us now the director, writer and producer of that film, jack brian. thank you very much for being on this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> it goes back 30 years and
tell us more about what we can see in the film in terms of really tracking the time line and also really getting an understanding of what russia perhaps might be doing for the next election? >> absolutely. and basically, we started this because we wanted -- there's a lot of great reporting out there. there was information that was out there. but people had a difficult time putting it together. it felt just like different pieces of data floating around. and so we thought for people to understand what's happening now in the news, what happens in 2016, we had to trace these operations back to the roots, the whys and the whos and the hows. >> so, jack, how far back do you go.? there's been a lot of talk about donald trump's casinos in atlantic city. where do you pinpoint his first contact with rush asia? >> the first was in 1984 meeting with a russian mobster and selling him five trump condos.
that was a loose affiliation. around 2002 to 2004, members of the russian mob started entering the trump organization and pervasively getting capital. >> and how does the taj mahal in atlantic city, how does that fit into this puzzle? >> it's the first in a series of bankruptcies, where in he progressively starts losing his initial investment, starts losing his ability to borrow hone from banks and the russian mob is seeing this and makes their move. >> so there's been a lot of talk about what russia may have on donald trump in this theory, whether it's compromising materials, financial and otherwise. how much validity do you give to that idea that they're potentially pulling the strings from donald trump because they have something on him. you'll note putin didn't deny that when asked. >> i think it's tremendously valid. people always point to the sex
tapes or things like that, but just on the bare of it, there's been financial improprieties within the trump organization for a long time. and they know that. and maybe there was some corruption in other countries. but the difference is that russia is the top down. so the kremlin is aware of any corruption that happened in the trump organization with people that were working for them. that's leverage. >> so anytime there's an undertaking that involves the kremlin and misdeeds and espionage, any type of reporting that goes on, i think there's always the fear that the person doing the reporting is being monitored, tailed, surveilled. did you ever feel at any time like russians were on to you as you undertook this project? >> yeah. especially early on. we started this film march of 2017 and we were e-mailing a lot with congress and the senate and we -- a couple members of our team got followed through train stations. we go ahead we would get
threatening voice mails telling us not to make the film. but that ended when the mueller investigation started. i think if we were on some kind of list, our priority dropped significantly. but we get a lot of phishing attempts and much more than we used to. >> did you approach the president for an interview for this? >> we did not, know. we were -- we felt that their story had been told, which is no collusion. >> in tweet after tweet after tweet. >> has he said that? >> i think once or twice. i've heard it. i don't know. >> but it's changing now. they're saying that maybe there was collusion. >> but it's in the a crime. >> not a crime, yeah, not illegal. >> jack, you said the russian mob, just to go back a minute, made its move when it saw that donald trump couldn't borrow from american banks any more after these bankruptcies. what does that mean, the mob made its move? >> starting in 2002, whereas before you're seeing incidents of money laundering, things like that happening, you're seeing particularly in belgs like the trump soho, the toronto tower, the panama tower to an extent,
as well, and several others a development where the there is -- what certainly appears to be russia or post soviet mafia money going into it, particularly from the ukraine russia gas trades. and it's been going in there to basically start the building process. . >> the allegation is that donald trump borrowed money from russians where he couldn't get it in america. >> borrowed, but also moved in. they were making investments. so some of it is in terms of debt, but some of it is straight equity. >> the film is "active measures." and jack bryan, thank you very much. >> appreciate it. >> thanks for being here. still ahead, the white house says the president believes he has the power to fire bob mueller. so why is he pressuring jeff sessions to do it? >> because he knows he can't, by the way. >> and is there a possibility of trump meeting with mueller face-to-face? the president wants to, but will his lawyers let him?
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new laptop with 24/7 tech support. yep, thanks guys. i think he might need some support. yes start them off right. with the school supplies they need at low prices all summer long. save $200 on this dell laptop at office depot officemax. it's not an order. it's the president's opinion. >> are president trump's tweets considered official white house statements? >> well, the president is the president of the united states. so they are considered official statements by the president of the united states. >> wow.
good morning and welcome to "morning joe." >> i'm confused. so confused. >> what's that line from "the office"? universe, you win. >> it's thursday, august 2nd. and what a way to start the day. >> what a way. >> incredible. >> is it official policy of the president or not? i think the most telling thing in the whole story is how they freaked out immediately. >> it's baseball again. >> he's talking about the crisis or -- >> obstruction of justice. just got yesterday is exactly what erdogan did in turkey back 2013, 2014. talking about fake news, you talk about about deep state conspiracies. you fire prosecutors and you have a banana republic. >> yeah. we're getting close.
with us, we have msnbc contributor mike barnacle, white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lamere, former fbi special agent and contributor clint watts and nbc national political reporter heidi prisbella. i say we're getting close and that may sound like an overstatement, but i will tell you we are understating what we are seeing every day. and ask someone like madeline albright whether what she sees here is the beginning of a very bad scene for this country that does not look like a democracy if it keeps going. >> well, a bad scene for a country, willie, if you don't have people pushing back. but we talked about the commander that pushed back a couple of days ago told the truth about warnings and we actually saw john cornan and some republicans step out yesterday, susan collins, saying no, he can't do that. so there was pushback and there will be pushback. but you, you know, we are talking about the white house
and donald trump specifically provoking fights and violence towards reporters a couple of days ago. and then they -- the white house comes out and says, oh, he's never talked about violence. you can look at all the quotes in the campaign where you say beat them up or whatever. and speaking of fake news, you have sarah huckabee sanders pushing a lie, a fake news about some report on osama bin laden and how the press actually stopped american military men and women from catching -- she might as well have said neil armstrong never walked on the moon. it's just pure conspiracy, pizzagate nonsense. >> a widely debunked theory. it goes back to his rally two nights ago. those signs that were up everywhere, there's conspiracy theories all over the place. not only are they not squashing
them, they're are promoting them. >> from the podium. >> but yet the president was as explicit as he's ever been calling on the attorney general of the united states to stop the mueller investigation. and no amount of spin from rudy giuliani calling the "new york times" and everybody else they could say on their speed dial to say he's just blowing off steam, expressing his opinion, could change that. >> and he's up all night freaking out about it all. >> he is up all night freaking out about it. tweets in the middle of the night. and mike, he knows. he knows mueller has the goods. he knows that mueller is getting closer. he knows that they have information about if you believe rudy giuliani, a premeeting. like he knows it's all coming down on him. he's hearing talk about don jr. and real legal jeopardy. i think the most telling thing that's going on -- and look at
poor, poor -- >> let's go to sleep. >> poor donald. he really needs to sleep. just -- it's -- >> lay your head on the pillow. >> i think a little more rest would make him less frantic in the morning when he wakes up. but i think the most telling thing right now is the fact that there are even a handful of republicans and some pro russian dupes on another cable network. who are now not doing the bidding of donald trump and trying to end the mueller investigation. but are now doing the bidding of an x kgb stot. because mueller has uncovered black and white. mueller is uncovered. the united states military, the united states intel services, they've got the goods on putin. and so now any american that's
patriotic would say, okay, with we need to find out more about this. how did you try to undermine and destroy our democracy? instead, there are actually some dupes, i call them back benchers, but some run the freedom caucus and then you've got the majority whip who are doing vladimir putin's -- they're trying to cover for vladimir putin. i don't think that's big. i don't think that's covering up for ex kgb agents that are murderers. i don't think that's big in louisiana. or in north carolina. >> clearly fearful, because he knows what he did. and he knows that bob mueller and the investigation that they are conducting is on to what he did.
listen for the tweets. something that is truly dangerous and that is the venom that he has begun to feed on an almost daily basis. at the rally the other night, it's no longer funny, it's truly dangerous. and we keep referring to his base. well, i'm sorry, but the people we saw, the other event at that rally, if that's his base, it's deranged. >> it's a shrinking -- it is a shrinking -- >> i will say this. after that rally, i started calling a lot of my friends. republican friends not only in northwest florida but across the country. and i started asking, okay, guys, i got 80% and republican primaries by talking about free trade, low taxes, being about
anti-russia, being strong for nato, etcetera, et set are ra, etcetera. what has changed? are you guys buying into this and to a person they all said no. this is -- we're just sitting here holing our breath. i know the polls say that 90% of republicans support him. maybe that's what a lot of them tell pollsters. but mika, there is a deep, deep unrest among lifelong republicans. they also say this. the chamber of commerce republicans no longer exist. they're wiped out. politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. that hard core dwindling base, that spells real trouble for republicans this fall and real trouble for donald trump in 2020. >> well, getting back to our top story, then, three sources tell the "new york times" that donald trump is flouting his lawyer's advice and pushing for an interview with robert mueller. i hope that it will clear him.
"the washington post" reports that special counsel robert mueller sent the white house a letter on monday offering to limit the questions in order to secure a presidential interview. according to the post, mueller's team suggestion investigators would reduce the questions about the potential obstruction of justice, they would ask in person and instead seek some answers in written form. the special counsel's office declined to comment. the president's legal team has sought for months to narrow the questions about trump's actions in office and set conditionser for an interview. the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, said that the president discussed the latest response on tuesday night and wednesday morning which would have been around the time he sent those tweets. according to giuliani there was slight movement.
>> so it's obvious, donald trump's lawyers have no confidence in him. they don't think he's smart enough to sit across the table -- >> they're scared he's going to spew out something. they think he's too dumb to do it. i'd be insulted if i was him, but he can hire the lawyers he wants to hire. what's at risk for donald trump? >> well, they're looking at the strategy now where i think at first it seemed it would be great if i could submit written answers first before i go in. but what written answers can do is it can put donald trump in a tough spot because he has to be able to attest to those answers. we know he doesn't like to read a whole lot. the second part of it is he will have to answer follow-up questions based off those written answers. that's another dangerous situation for president trump to walk into.
the president will be the last interview pretty much of this obstruction case. if they say, well, we have this message from one of the people in your circle and this is what it said, this puts the president in a tough spot. so even if he goes into the game plan, that game plan will go away. >> was your reporting telling you from the white house yesterday? donald trump obviously belt out what's going on. >> trump himself is a singular voice in terms of advocating to do this. not just attorneys, but his closest advisers. a real trap situation where he would get himself into a lot of trouble. be with but saw yesterday and we should remember just to put it very bluntly, to call the nation's top law enforcement officer, jeff sessions, and ask him to recall this probe. but certainly the mechanism would be there to end this if you wanted to. >> that is more obstruction of justice. >> and this contact just days of
reporting knowing the mueller team is examining trump's tweets, not just looking at what he is saying behind closed doors, but what he is saying out in public. but we're also -- >> by the way, i just was -- we were talking about this with somebody yesterday. and they said, well, is it a crime if he does it all in public? i said, well, yeah. if i walk into a bank and it's the middle of the day and there are 30 armed guards around and i say give me your money, that's still a crime. even if i'm acting in a stupid, obvious way. that is still a crime. the fact that he continues to try to obstruct justice in public, doing things that would have any other governors or mayo mayors thrown in jail immediately, na doesn't lessen the impact.
it's a confluence of events. there's a lot of this mueller pressure right now with this interview going on. we know yesterday morning he was watching the news coverage of the paul manafort trial. he sees this as a significant step as long as he down plays with manafort, he knows he was the campaign chairman for months. even if these charges specifically aren't about russia. and we have also seen him tell it according to our advisers over the last week. just furious about how the media has covered this. but also acore to go russia and the foresight with both the government, jeff sessions being with him. >> trump hasn't forgotten that
jeff sessions rekusd himself from the russia probe, so why does he keep calling on the ag to end it? we'll show you what members of the president's own party is saying about that straight ahead. but first, bill karins with a weather report. >> flood risks today. it's all because of this area of high pressure. this is what we call bermuda high. up the coast of the atlantic and the northeast, high humidity levels and you get the afternoon storms pouring rain down. and also a little bit of rain know showing up into western pennsylvania and eastern pennsylvania. it shows up flash flooding. we're watching mostly the southern and central appalachians from north georgia up through areas of central portions of pennsylvania. 34 million people at risk. and then the carr fire is still burning. the new video and pictures in
show it's still spreading. we have 35% containment on that blaze. it's up to 121,000 acres. if it gains five more thousand acres, it will make it the top 20 list for the largest california wildfires since 1932. that's when the records began. it's not just your average big fire, it's one of the hugest in the state's history. mendocino complex is at 91. it is going to cool off in the west as we head into the weekend, but there's no rain in sight. it's the dry season and the rain doesn't usually arrive until the end of october, beginning of november. new yo new york city is one of those spots that saw rain yesterday. new york's rainy chance will be on friday. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. this is not a bed.
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states that reads attorney general jeff sessions should stop this rigged witch-hunt right now before it continues to stain our country any further. here is the reaction from republicans. >> the president's tweet is unfortunate. i think it's inappropriater for him to be commenting on an ongoing investigation. >> i don't think general sessions can fire mr. mueller. i think he's recused. >> should the president be sending his tweet us out? >> you'll have to ask the president. >> i think that's out of jeff sessions hands. he's recused himself from the russian investigation because he participated in the campaign as we all know. and i think that was appropriate for him to do so. >> mueller is going to finish his investigation. the truth is all going to come out and that's the best thing that can happen for the president and for the country. >> so heidi, is that consistent with what you're hearing on capitol hill? not exactly full throated
conitem nations of the president's tweet. more stating of the fact that general sessions hay has recuse dollars himself ed himself of all this. >> i think so glad that you played that. the question right now is how has this sentiment changed over the course of this investigation? so i went back and looked because we have a great comparison here, exactly about this time last year. trump was also beating up on sessions. and i pulled up an article from august 3rd of 2017 and here was the response from congress. quote, the blow back from congress to trump's public criticism of sessions was sharp and substantial. and his allies in the gop told the president to back off. what we saw was two separate bipartisan bills were introduced in order to send a message to the president, a shot across the bow not to even think about taking any moves on the special counsel or on jeff sessions. senator grassley, who was the
head of the judiciary committee said under no circumstances will we be holing hearings over the break in order to confirm a new nominee. so i just want to put that out there to contrast how much things have changed in terms of the sentiment in congress since last year when the exact same thing happened in terms of the president's attacks on sessions. >> you're just saying far more muted yesterday, saying that he can't fire sessions, but not much more than that. >> they separated themselves a bit. yeah. it's far more muted now. there's kind of a down playing of the president's comments, a discounting on of them, an assumption that this investigation will go forward and just don't ask me about it. >> so, jonathan -- >> discounting of it. where they're just trying to push i away. >> but, jonathan, behind the scenes, the senate republicans, at least, and paul ryan, also, are sending a message to donald trump saying, don't do it, right? don't cross the line.
this is a step too far. >> yes. it was disastrous not because it was prompt a crisis, but it could be disastrous for the republican party going into these midterms, that they are very concerned that if the president were to act, if he were to take those steps to eventually end this probe, to bring it to a conclusion before mueller reports his findings for congress, that it would be a disaster for republicans going into november. publicly, we're seeing what they're doing there. they're always afraid to fully defy this president. they know how you popular he is on republicans, but they're finding a way to do it and they're focussing on the sessions argument here that, hey, look, he's not the one who can do it anyway because he's been recused. behind the scenes, they are communicating to the white house, this is a step too far. don't do this. coming up, president trump says a government shutdown is good for republicans. republicans say no. no, it isn't. so in light of that, is there some truth to the theory that the president wants democrats to take over the house this fall? we'll be right back. you're turning onto the street
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but we need the help of experts. pg&e is an integral part of our emergency response team. they are the industry expert with utilities. whether it is a gas leak or a wire down, just having someone there that deals with this every day is pretty comforting. we each bring something to the table that is unique and that is a specialty. with all of us working together we can keep all these emergencies small. and the fact that we can bring it together and effectively work together is pretty special. they bring their knowledge, their tools and equipment and the proficiency to get the job done. and the whole time i have been in the fire service, pg&e's been there, too. whatever we need whenever we need it. i do count on pg&e to keep our firefighters safe. that's why we ask for their help. president trump is attempting to put a positive spin on the potential of a governmentdown over his continued demands for funding
his border wall, which always makes me think of immigration and separations of children from their family. so when you think about it, president trump, when you bring up the border wall, you're bringing up the issue of immigration and your horrendous diabolical policy of separating children frommer their families. so every time you bring up the wall, remember, you're bringing up immigration. in an interview yesterday, the president suggested that the federal government coming to a stop would actually help republicans ahead of the midterm elections. >> i actually think it would be a positive -- it's like pulling teeth, though. getting these guys to get it done is -- and you have no idea how tough i've been. and i say, hey, if you had a shutdown, you have a shutdown. the shutdown can also take place after the election. i happen to think it's a great political thing because people want border security. >> but most republican lawmakers aren't buying the president's optimist. ron johnson of wisconsin said
yesterday, he reiterated the position of opposition the president shutting down the government in the border wall. that's what he said. >> shutting down the government is not going to build the wall, i don't believe. >> so it was sort of lincoln at gettysburg there. i like that, there's a big build up for a half second clip. i have no idea what ron said before or after that, but i did love that clip. so -- >> let's talk about the red sox. >> no, i want to talk with about "the wall street journal" editorial a couple of days ago. >> okay. >> where they said, you know with, trump is probably thinking it's in my best interest to lose the house. others have started saying that, as well. and, of course, i don't think he ever thinks that way. but i'm not so sure that he's not thinking what with everybody says. nancy pelosi, speaker of the house, gives me a perfect target to attack fort next two years. makes it easier to get elected
in 2020. >> trump is defined in many ways by his enemies. the camps around the white house are divided on this. there are some people who don't want the republicans to lose the house. but just that the democratically controlled house would utterly bog down the trump agenda more than it is now and haul up official after official for various house committees and make not just a russia probe be the story of the day, but have investigations into corruption, that that would be the defining two years for the final two years of this first term. however, yes, presidents have had success in the past running against -- governing against the body of congress controlled by the other party. i think there is some suggestion around the president that he would like that, he would be able to fight day-to-day and use
that to pivot to 2020. >> barack obama would have preferred a democratic majority all the way through, but having the tea party to run against in '12 was pretty great for him politically. >> heidi, what do you think about the president's strategy setting aside the fact that it has no regard for the country or for people in it. heidi, what do you think of the president's strategy? >> well, i've seen different flavors of shutdown over the years. there was shutdown over obamacare. shutdown over the wall. the public has never liked it and as a matter of fact we've seen the poll ratings manifest in terms of republicans going down, down, down. so i think the republicans all on the hill understand that. i don't think that the president understands that. but i do think that he believes this is a winning strategy because there will never away shutdown because what will happen is that he will get some kind of funding for his wall. it won't be the full amount that he's asked for. but he can take that check, put it in his pocket and declare victory.
so you'll spend the next several weeks beating up on congress, demanding this funding, and no matter what the amount is, he can say he got a victory. coming up with, our next guest just testified where before the senate intelligence committee yesterday about the risk of other authoritarian regimes taking a page from russia's play book. we'll be right back with much more ""morning joe."" oh! oh! ♪ ozempic®! ♪ (vo) people with type 2 diabetes
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the 9/11 commission characterized that as a failure of imagination. i believe the failure to discorruption the russian online platforms to be a similar failure to imagine not just by the government, but by those who ought to understand these tools best, their creators. >> that was some of what our next guest told the senate intelligence hearing yesterday on a hearing combatting foreign
influencing on social media. lauren rosenberger join us now, a former official for both the state department and national security council and is now director of the alliance for securing democracy. founder of nbc cable and former president of tivo, tom rogers. tom now serves as the executive chairman of the company winview games. good to have you both on board. laura, we'll start with you. tell us more about your testimony and the type of influence that you think is the most pervasive right now especially as it pertains to trying to control the election process. >> thanks so much, mika. i think yesterday's hearing was a really important series of conversations, a very serious conversation by the senate intelligence committee looking at how our adversaries, in particular vladimir putin, have weaponized social media and online platforms to undermine our democracy. i think one of the things that's
really important to understand is oftentimes we talk about this just in terms of false content. but that's just one small piece of how this works and facebook and twitter are just two of the, you know, significant platforms, but there is about the whole information ecosystem being manipulated through automation with, through false personas to try to weaken us as americans, polarize us against one another. and while elections are one part of the strategy, this is much more broad than just about elections. this activity never stopped after the 2016 election. it's ongoing. and it's about weakening us as a country. >> before we broaden this out, what other types of platforms, whether they're platforms beyond facebook are we talking about? >> well with, we know, for instance, that both reddit and tu mbler have information created on their platform often talked about as the russian troll farm and there's other
entities like the internet research agency that we haven't found yet. but other platforms, we've found content on instagram, pintrest, brief it or not. so this is about the whole ecosystem. we also see search results on google, google news, youtube basically being manipulated by russian propaganda outlets to have their conspear toral content that basically advances the kremlin's viewpoint. so rise to the top of the echo information system. >> pin terrorist, what does that board look like? favorite putin stashes? stalin -- stalin purges or -- >> i don't know. >> hey, you talked about that failure of imagination yesterday, but as you know, we don't have to imagine any more. we know what's happened in 2016. our intelligence agencies know
what's happening. facebook now knows what's happening. you have dan coats, the director of national intelligence talking about the lights blinking red right now. so the question that a lot of people in this country have is why isn't this a five alarm fire root now? why isn't every resource being pushed towards stopping it? >> it is a five alarm fire, willie. as i said yesterday, what was once a failure to imagine is now a failure to act. that's by both the government and the platforms. i mean, i think we've seen some very slow progress from the various social media and tech companies, the kind of announcement that facebook made earlier this week about discovering another information operation. we need more of that. we need transparency, we need exposure, we need action. but unfortunately i think partisanship on this issue has stopped and prevented some real meaningful action that could happen. >> what's the partisan angle on this? what's the other side of dvensding democracy against russian entrugz.
>> as to somebody who was a national security professional, i have my own partisan affiliation. i was a career civil servant in the bush administration and the obama administration. i don't think this should be a partisan issue. i think for some people because this conversation has gotten so caught up in the context of the 2016 election, it's very hard for people to separate the fact that a foreign adversary attacked our country and continues to attack it. >> tom, the scope of this as she just described it is so wide. so all consuming. how do you combat this tsunami of misinformation and disinformation? >> well, we obviously have the foreign manipulation of facebook. but we have somebody running facebook who seems to be more interested in the free speech rights of holocaust deniers than what's going on here.
>> as a guy that has run one media company after another, how does any media company, especially a media company that controls -- that has over 50% of -- is a source of news for over 50% of americans say that holocaust deniers have the right to free speech on their platform when they're not even bound by the first a amendment? >> exactly right. it's a private platform. it's not the government. here you have the other side of it which is you have the president of the united states trying to undermine, paint, degrade legitimate news sources. so we have this coming from both directions. and it's not just facebook. i think the entire media industry has to be called out here. i mean, you've talked a lot about republican enablers here. but we got trade associations in washington, the national association of broadcasters, cable television association, the news media council that represents national newspapers, the internet association that
represents the internet content sites. these are advocacy trade organizations, incredibly well funded. and the product of the industry they represent is being damaged every day by a president who is trying to delegitimize them. the first aemtd is really under attack when you have the government -- >> why aren't all these associations that people pay millions of dollars to to defend first aem rights, why are they being trump's lap dog? >> i think the answer is they like the deregulation stuff that they're getting a piece of, too. and here with the organizations who make first amendment arguments over the smallest of regulatory issues. and they're into -- you know, when the tylenol was tainted, the media industry came together to help with the recall and deal with massive outlets getting all
the information. we've got a tainted product and we're part of the process of helping to restore a brand. here their own brands, their own products are under massive attack. and no campaign is being raised to inform the public of the value of investigative journalist, of how news is created, the difference between real news and facebook. without holding the media center itself -- there are editorial pages, there are reporters doing their job, but these are big, massive industries who i don't see lift ago finger here to counter the issue of fake news. >> and people are dieing as a result. let's not forget the overseas component here in places like india and sri lanka. there's a similar threat here to what is happening in the united states. very cleverly, these manipulators have used child
predators as a way to incite violence. with the president's heated rhetoric around journalists, it seems there's a lot ooh people that think it's only a matter of time before something like this happens in the united states. what do they social media companies do when they have to answer for -- and they say they're fixing it. >> for a violent or potentially lethal attack incited by social media in the united states? >> i mean, it's a significant issues in the united states. one of the things we've noted, the russians tried to set up protests, organize people. in one instance that was well documented in houston, they actually organized two different protests on two different sides of an issue with, two different sides of the street, same time, same place.
and the intent seemed to be to try to prevent violence between these protesters and counter protesters. they didn't even know they were counter protesting. and, fortunately, law enforcement was there, they separated the groups. there was no violence. but the kind of thing that facebook identified earlier this week seems like there may have been an intent to try to provoke some sort of violence like that. and i think what's important to bear in mind here, as we've seen from these examples, what happens online doesn't stay online. this isn't vegas. and online organizing and online manipulation can have real world consequences. it translates off line. >> what is inexplicable to many people is that, you know, we can talk about facebook and pintrest and misinformation and all of that stuff. but the bottom line here is we are confronted by an act of war, committed by russia against the united states. i mean, they're into banking institutions, electrical grids,
all sorts of things on a daily basis. and the lack of patriotism in the united states senate, in the united states house of representatives speaking as one against an aggressor is astounding to many people. >> it's truly unbelievable. we know from what facebook uncovered this week, there's a lot more to come. where there's one cockroach, there's usually many, many cockroaches. and it's clear they don't have their hands around this yet. we're less than three months away from the election and if people start losing faith in the electoral process, we have an enormous problem on our hands beyond some of the active issues you're pointing to which create even bigger issues. >> laura, what's the relationship between government agencies and a company like facebook right now? in other words, after they learn what they learn about the 2016 election, have they been working hand in hand to stop it?
>> so different parts of the government have set up various task forces, dhs has one, fbi has one, they are engaging with the platforms. it's been a relatively ad hoc process so far. i think it's incredibly important that we figure out a more institutionalized way of ensuring data is shared from the governments and the platforms. given the fact that this isn't just about one company, one platform, that it's across the whole eek heo system. we need to have the companies communicating with each other along with outside researchers. so there's models from counter terrorism, from cyber security that have brought together these kinds of information sharing mechanisms in robust ways. we need to establish that robust activity. that's really what we need. there's a bunch of different buzz puzzle pieces that have to come together to identify and root out this problem.
>> laura, thank you very much. great to have you on this morning. >> thank you very much. the rate at which the commander in chief makes false or misleading claims has increased dramatically. according to an ongoing analysis, president trump has made 229 false or misleading claims in his 558 days in average averaging 7.6 a day. that is up from the 4.9 trump averaged during his first 100 days as president. in the first six months of his second year in office, trump nearly matched the total from his entire first year and the rate continues to increase. in june and july of of this year, the president averaged 16 false or misleading claims a day. both during a single month in his presidency. on july 5th trump hit a new
record. and of course there was one this morning. but trump versus the truth. he's devaluing it every day. every day of his presidency. and i think this is incredibly dangerous. people push back and say, calm down, things will be okay. >> and the amazing thing about that, beyond the extent to which he is telling falsehoods is the extent at which he is being successful in this campaign. among republicans we saw from a cbs poll this week 91% of republicans believe what comes from trump. 68% believe what they get from friends and family. and we're down to 11% now among republicans who believe the mainstream media. and, you know, you look at independents and he's having some impact there, as well. so wab again, so, again, the entire product of the media industry is being degraded and the person calling for the death of the traditional media industry by the end of his
presidency is not being countered in any systemic way by the very industry whose product is being taken down by this. and i don't get that. republican enablers who are scared of of the sway he has with their constituents, i get that. cowardess, but i get it. but the media associations who are there to undermine their industries and silence when it comes to this instead of a massive xair campaign to counter it, i don't get that at all. >> tom rogers, thank you very much. >> thank you, tom. >> good to have you on. up next from teacher of the year to member of congress, we'll talk to democratic candidate johann ayates about her candidacy in connecticut. the digital divide is splitting this country.
we have parents who are trying to get their kids off of too much social media and computers, and then we have parents who would only hope their children have access. middle school is a really key transition point, right. the stakes start changing. students begin to really start thinking about their futures. what i like about verizon's approach is that it's not limited to just giving kids new tools, it's really about empowering educators to teach in different ways, and exposing kids to more active forms of learning. giving technology is not a total solution. teaching technology, now that is.
another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula to visibly reduce wrinkles. neutrogena®. ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, accompanied by secretary john king and the 2016 national teacher of the year, johanna yates. >> it is now my privilege -- i'm sorry, don't kick me out. >> okay, okay. >> i thought they were going to kick me out of there. they were, like, stand still. this is as good as it gets.
it was so surreal. that was still -- >> well, i don't blame you. it's an exciting thing when you meet the president. >> first of all, i'll never get invited back. >> oh, my gosh. i love her already. you know what you learn in school, joe, when you're wrong, you're wrong. you can't blame it on anybody else. it's on you. former national teacher of the year johanna haze. i got your name wrong. no one got it wrong for me. i apologize. great to have you on the show. she may get to book a ticket back to washington. this time, as representative in the state of connecticut. she's mounting a challenge in the state's fifth congressional district. we welcome you to the show. >> thanks for having me, this is awesome. >> the inspiration to run, where'd that come from? >> my students, just like everything else. i took them through the habitat build and i just thought, who's going to speak for these kids?
who's going to ensure their future is what i keep telling them will be? >> you work for waterbury, connecticut, so you see the struggles head on. as a teacher, you're on the ground, really seeing the impact of those challenges. so what do you plan to do differently? >> well, i was born and raised in waterbury so i lived through those challenges. and i understand what happens when government works, when we get people mobile and back on their feet so that they can be contributors. so i can speak to that with fidelity. but i also understand that all people have value. and there are so many different communities in connecticut, you know, so my goal is just to make sure that everyone is represented, you know, no matter where you live, no matter what your socioeconomic status is, no matter what your background is, that people feel included and connected to our government. >> how exciting was it to meet president barack obama at the white house? i mean, i saw -- how was that for you?
>> that was unbelievable. i mean, my family was there. i'm a person who was a high school dropout. who was a teenage mom. who was homeless. who struggled. so to be recognized at that level in my profession for the work that i did and the i pact that i made by a man who just symbolizes everything that i believe in, this idea of hope, because that's what i taught my students. that you can be better, hope is a strategy. to be on that stage next to him being celebrated for my profession, it was all right. it was good, it was good. >> so given your life, what has happened in your life. you're a high school history teacher. and now you're running for congress of the united states. in a pretty big district in connecticut. so it's sort of like i would imagine a big parent/teacher conference every time you go out and meet people and greet people. what is on people's minds in
your district, as you go through the district? >> well, it's definitely like a parent/teacher conference because you have to deal with everyone. people have different issues. different concerns. what i found at the end of the day, people are concerned about their children, about their future, about the future of this country. and no matter who they are or where they come from, we all want the exact same things. so if we start with just getting back to that moral center. just getting back to who we are and what we value as a country, i think we'll be so much better off. as i talked to people, their concerns might be different because of the area that they're in. but at the end of the day, they all go back to this idea of who we are as americans. you know. and my life story really just embodies all of that. i know what's possible because i've lived it. >> when people get into politics for the first time, as you know, they often come from local politics or when they get into national politics. or they're business leaders. they use that as a launching
point. what advantage do you have as a teacher? what makes a teacher a unique and good candidate for congress? >> my whole professional life has been about grooming the next generation. about dealing with problems as they come. about meeting the challenges head on. about being flexible. about compromising. about getting people to coalless around ideas. not just one group, not just people with political experience. that's what representative democracy looks like. everybody coming together, sitting at the table, discussing ideas, bringing unique perspectives and coming to consensus and solutions. i'm a problem solver. i think that's what congress can use right now. >> great to have you on. best of luck to you. we'll be watching. all right, and stay with us for final thoughts. >> mike, final thoughts? >> johanna hayes just gave the
final thoughts that were on my mind, you know, we've got to pull this country together. we've gone through too much to get to where we are as a nation to let it go down the drain. let's bring america back. >> full game set starts tonight in boston. we'll put that to the side. the president, we should underline again, the attorney should stop the rigged witch hunt. the first time he said publicly he wants his attorney general to get rid of bob mueller and his investigation. >> that would be obstruction of justice. jeremy. >> look at the way the social media companies are failing to act, to combat this divisiveness, this lethal divisiveness, and you wonder at what point, is there ever going to be enough pressure on them. or consumers, people who consume news that comports with their world view does not really want it? >> if you are calling for an end
to the russian investigation, then you are not doing the bidding of donald trump. you're doing the bidding of an ex-kgb agent who now is a killer, running russia. and who considers himself an enemy of the united states of america. good luck explaining that in your home district this weekend. >> that does it for us this morning. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. >> joe and mika, thank you very much. i'm chris jansing, in for stephanie ruhle. this morning, let's make a deal. special counsel robert mueller reportedly willing to limit investigator's questions in a bid to secure an interview with president trump. >> he's always been interested in testifying. i'm not going to give you a lot of hope it's going to happen but we're still negotiating. >> shut it down. trump's legal team on defense after the president takes to twitter to call for an end, an immediate end, to the russia investigation. >> it's not an order. it's the president's opinion. >> yes, they can. former president obama endorses dozens of democrats ahead of the