tv Deadline White House MSNBC October 9, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
think campaigns are, we are dealing with all kind of doctors and want a sense of what is going on, really. the first thing we try to do is understand what is going on and it's not a baseball game. so, i think we acted absolutely appropriately. >> you can catch more of that interview tonight on nbc "nightly news." that is it for me. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. two big stories crowding out all else today. donald trump's obstruction of his own impeachment investigation which has the support of majority of americans. and the attack of the trail. america's ally in the fight against isis. two big lead stories and two crises both of donald trump's make. maybe that's part of problem, folks. maybe the fact that the president turned his back on american allies some who will die for the crime for standing
by the u.s. and the fact that congress will, once again, be stymied in its effort to protect the country from foreign interference is part of the same story. the story we've been warned about. a story that we've seen play out before our very eyes. the story documented in the 400 pages of the mueller report. and in black and white every morning on donald trump's twitter feed. the story is this. the president lacks the stability and the confidence for the job he holds. those aren't even my words. that's a quote from former republican senator. again, not an original thought on my part. that is what mitt romney said back in january. on donald trump's new war on his own impeachment process. here's what one of his allies had to say about the power of congress to hold the president accountable. >> it's not your job to tell us what we need, it is your job to comply for the things we need to provide oversight over you.
the day richard nixon failed to answer that subpoena was the day he was subject to impeachment because he took the power from congress over that impeachment process away from congress and he became the judge and jury. >> preach, lindsey. >> this is him on the importance of turning over information and documents to congress. >> the notion that you can withhold information and documents from congress no matter whether you're the party in power or not in power is wrong. respect for the rule of law must mean something irrespective of the political cycles. >> i'm going to find a way to play that every day. we're going to spend the next 60 minutes showing you the different crises around the globe as a result of this president's self-obsessed view of the american presidency. but let's all stop pretending it is about anything other than a self-dealing president whose lack of fitness is on full
display and enabled by his cabinet, his staff and the gop. betray those comments we just played or what he actually meant to say when he said them to defend this letter sent by the white house council last night. it read, quote, president trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances. nancy pelosi responded by saying this, quote, the white house letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy and to insist that the president is above the law. the white house should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the president's abuse of power from the american people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction. and "new york times" sums it up this way. quote, in refusing to cooperate with mr. trump on tuesday called a congress cue court, the president risked ensuring the very outcome he would rather
avoid. house democrats made clear that his failure to comply with their demands for information could form the basis for its own article of impeachment. and that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. white house reporter for the ap jonathan lamire, denise jordan and democratic strategist and chris lu,, deputy of chief oversight committee during impeachment. jonathan, i feel like everyone is wrestling today with what is the bigger crises. the fact that people are already dying because donald trump took an unstaffed phone call from erdogan sunday night and made a deal with the turks and the closest allies on the region are already dying or that he's obstructing his own impeachment guaranteeing an appeal.
>> that's the immediate crisis what is happening in syria. a tweet from erdogan that they had gone over the border and military action has started and ap reporters on the ground that initi witnessed some of those initial moments. the rare thing that the republican party is willing to criticize this president over. with tremendous strength, there are some exceptions like rand paul. >> can i challenge you on strength because to the tweets, are they strength now? >> considering compared to what they have done previously, it is strong for them. >> pathetically low bar. they tweeted at them. >> the moment calls for more than that, i think we can certainly say. but there has been pretty substantial criticism from republicans including usual allies like lindsey graham who we just saw talking about a misguided decision. the president put out a statement today saying that this is not what he agreed to with erdogan and calling for turkey
to ease up on some of this violence and, of course, that the accounts from the turkish press suggested that this is exactly what that phone call entitled. erdogan was clear on what is going to happen next. impeachment shadows eve s every he is doing right now. people i talked to in the white house were pleased with that reporting. we had a story today on the wire that we talked to a dozen experts who all suggested it was a political document. there was nothing legal about it. cited msnbc appearances as it did case law. public relations and try to stir up the trump base and republicans to suggest that this investigation inquiry was unfounded and unfair and partisan. it's going to do very little. it's an open declaration of war on this inquiry. they're not going to cooperate. they're going to stonewall. they're willing to let this play out and go to the courts and defy subpoenas. this is the best chance to replay the same playbook that they used in the latter half of the mueller investigation and
pretty much against every house attempt to investigate them since the democrats took control of that chamber in january. they feel that is to muddy this up and say no to drag it out. >> it would seem to me, though, the fourth best plan they had. the first was to confess to the crime and hope that the base and everybody accepts it. yes, ukraine to tackle corruption and the second was, i'm so proud of having done so, i'll try my own transcript. let's release our own transcript of us committing a crime and, third, let's let the ambassador i had take the fall. ambassador volker. yielded smoking gun-type evidence. the poll numbers plunged after that transcript came out. now a majority of americans in multiple polls who support donald trump's impeachment and removal from office. and, so, it would seem that stonewalling, while it's an old play, is the fourth one they've run. >> the other three haven't worked, as you just said. there is a sensor on the white
house. they're still surprised by the speed of this. it's only been a couple weeks. i feel like we have been living with this story for a while, but it's only been a couple weeks. that is where they're getting their bearings. they were simply pleased about the letter, even though they didn't necessarily think it would change the game that much but it was something. they were caught so flat footed at this point and they needed to lay down a marker here and say we're not going to go quietly but we're going to fight back. i will tell you this. the preside they see the support for impeachment and removal has risen rapidly in the last few days and that makes them exceedingly nervous. >> chris, i think what is amazing about the men who have sort of taken up as the tip of donald trump's spears in impeachment are the ones with most hypocrisy. lindsey graham whose reputation will be soiled and tarnished for
flipping on their own words. forget about the association with donald trump, they're both already there. it took us five minutes to find the tape that we led with. for two people who have such sort of staked out these, in their view, i'm sure, principled positions on the appropriate role of congressional oversight and impeachment to take up for this president is unrecoverable hypocrisy. >> hypocrisy is not just in lindsey graham and tray. go to the second or third paragraph for the letter. threatening executive branch officials for violating norms for violating due process. this is a president who every day launches false accusations against his opponents who have openly bragged about asking the justice department to do investigations. now he's crying about due process. now, it's a common defense attorney trick to fight about process when the facts aren't on
your side. what's clear in this letter is that they never get to the point that article one, clause five of the constitution says the house of representatives has the sole power to determine impeachment proceedings. what they tried to do here is conflate whatever due process is necessary at a senate trial with what happens at a house impeachment proceeding. look, we could have a whole argument whether there should be a vote on an impeachment inquiry but that's not required here. let's also be clear if this information that is being withheld whether it's witnesses or documents truly exonerated this president, he would have no problems putting it out right now. that's why they're left with, as you say, the fourth strategy. but i'm not convinced this is not going to help them politically. >> chris, i was told by a former justice department official that if any of these witnesses fraumtfrau frafrom the state department could exonerate donald trump on pay to play the buck stopped with me. you know, aid for an investigation was my idea.
if any of them had anything excullpatory that they could testify donald trump would be arguing for cameras in the depos. those people potentially incriminate the aid for dirt scheme. until we know how high it went, an investigation of some sort isn't only justified, it is the urgent and credible national security crisis that the trump-appointed inspector general for the intelligence community found in the whistle-blower complaint. do you see it that way? >> exactly. mind you, just look at yesterday's deposition of the ambusda ambassador to the eu. no quid pro quo before saying, hey, we should stop texting about this and get on the phone. if that is what he was going to say that is what the case was and reveal the content of the conversation and turn other materials, you better believe they would have let that deposition go forward yesterday, but they certainly didn't.
the hard part for the trump people right now, other people that will go up there. we have the former ambassador to ukraine who will give a deposition. we have the whistle-blower and the inspector general, the intelligence community. there is a second whistle-blower. information is going to continue to leak out and, as you pointed out, even based on the limited information we have right now, public opinion is turning pretty fast against the president. much faster than if you look historically at the clinton impeachment and the nixon impeachment. >> you know, elise, we have jim stewart on who has written a great new book called "deep state" about the ripple effects on law enforcement but one thing that benefited donald trump was blaming his own trespasses on a deep state. the difference with this crisis for the president, i said this before, is that whistle-blowers in fiction and in real-life are celebrated. they are people who have nothing to gain, everything to lose and they go out and tell the truth. so, this war on the whistle-blower is going to be too little, too late.
especially since donald trump has basically confessed to everything in the seven pages. do you think an effort to stop ambassador from testifying this week does anything for him? they look guilty if she testifies to why she was pulled back and gives more color to the narrative. they look more guilty, it would seem to me, if they're trying to muzzle the diplomats aid for dirt plan. >> i also don't think that someone who is paid by the state department can refuse to testify to congress. i think that the administration's legal argument of executive privilege is really shaky, if nonexistent when it comes to trying to muzzle these state department employees. he looks guilty as sin. he released his own transcript. you can read for yourself and you might read it through partisan bifocals or might read it through bifocals that are clear headed. but you can see that donald
trump was not exactly being a boy scout on that call and aside from the smoking gun of the word though, was donald trump actually doing anything for america on that call or just doing something for donald trump? the answer is the latter. >> well, that's the reporting that came out just before our hour yesterday in "new york times" that some of what the whistle-blower gathered in his complaint is this reaction from white house officials who found it, quote, frightening. it would appear that all of the evidence that has sort of spilled out and was triggered and, you're right, this story happened quickly. but i think it felt different from the beginning because the fact that the call took place the day after mueller testified. it was sort of like parenting a teenager. you know, they get away, the sneaking out of the house and taking the keys and the next day they don't stay home. they don't stay home at all. they take the keys and the wine. and sneak out the window or maybe walk out the front door.
that's what donald trump did. >> that's exactly right. i have been saying what the call sort of made clear to me is that he does this with trying to develop foreign interest to go after his political foes. to do his own bidding. and that should scare anyone whether you're in the room listening to the call at that moment or a day or multiple days later you're an american citizen in your home and hearing this lead reporter doing the news. that is why i would also in connecting it to what isp ha p a happening in turkey. when people can say he's on a call and so easily convinced to do something in the moment without even talking to his supporters and his staff and experts in the field, i mean, this is a very, this is incredibly concerning. so, when you talk about hypocrisy, which you did earlier. one of my political mentors used to tell me very early in my career voters may forgive you if you lie, but not if you're a
hypocrite. as we see all the republicans, including lindsey graham who we saw earlier who looked great before he clearly sold his soul to support donald trump. when we start to see all of them fall in line behind him, it's not just the president's judgment we have to question. it's also congress and the republicans in congress which looks like they're being in the arm of the executive office instead of check and balance on the executive. that is what should be concerning all of us. >> chris, i quoted bob corker because he really was the canary in the coal mine. speaking out i think it was early 2017 as the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee position that gave him, i think, an up close and personal view that would appear to have alarmed him very much. he was very disturbed by the dismissals of rex tillerson and the departure of jim mattis. he described donald trump as lacking the fitness for the job he holds. and that only seemed to come
truer and truer and truer. how does that play into impeachment? >> i think what's notable here is that i think i can count four republican senators who have spoken about the president's comments on china last week, where universal condemnation of his moves on turkey. they are really the same thing. show his unfitness for office and both of these fundamentally undercut u.s. credibility and both of these moods actualves a benefit russia in the end. republicans are more comfortable criticizing him on turkey than they are on ukraine. in the end, both moves need to be seen as his unfitness and the more these two things play out and as you point out, lives that are going to be lost among our kurdish allies. these two stories feed into each other. >> chris lu, thank you. general mccaffrey weighs in on president trump's betrayal and the ripple effect for the men and women in the military. also ahead a brand-new book
on the unprecedented collision of law enforcement of politics with a fresh look at the effort to count votes for the 25th amendment. remember that? joe biden strikes back calling for donald trump's impeachment today. all those stories, coming up. be right back. with moderate to severe crohn's disease, i was there, just not always where i needed to be. is she alright? i hope so. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. and the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission in as little as 4 weeks. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common,
e-cigarettes. juul is "following big tobacco's playbook." and now, juul is pushing prop c to overturn e-cigarette protections. vote no on juul. no on big tobacco. no on prop c. military attack is underway in syria where turkish forces are targeting u.s. allies, the kurds, just three days after donald trump's decision to withdraw u.s. troops from the region. "new york times" reports, quote, turkey sent war planes and troops into northeastern syria. on wednesday in a military
operation aimed at flushing out an american-backed militia. turkish and syrian officials said. the operation could open a dangerous new front in syria's eight-year-old war. leaving the kurds are allies in the fight against isis as essentially sitting ducks for the turks has drawn condemnation from across the political spectrum including strong words from one of the president's biggest defenders lindsay graham who told axios trump is making the biggest mistake of his presidency. pray for our kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the trump administration. this move ensures the reemergence of isis. and the third ranking republican in the house liz cheney called the news sickening and trump's actions impossible to understand in trying to clarify the white house's position trump's statement today rang hollow. he put this out. quote, the u.s. does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to turkey that this
operation is a bad idea. we expect turkey to abide by all of its commitments and we continue to monitor the situation closely. this tragedy unfolding comes under scrutiny a new nbc exclusive reporting. quote, trump and his family have long had business ties in and with turkey. the most visible example being the trump tower in istanbul which licenses the trump name. erdogan attended the opening ceremony in 2012. and ivanka trump tweeted a message thanking him for attending. we are now pleased to bring in retired four-star general barry mccaffrey as well as heidi przybyla who has a byline on that amazing story. but i'm going to start with you, general mccaffrey. i have never -- a lot of the people that i talked to, to understand the impacts of trump's presidency are former national security official who's i frankly never knew if they leaned right or left and i still don't.
but i have never heard them as apoplectic who have kept american soldiers alive, american intelligence operatives alive, have been single-handedly responsible for many, many men and women coming home safely to leave them to die is a move that has been flabbergasted, stunned and frankly devastated. >> it is a very shameful situation. in the short run what we've done is walked away and abandoned an ally, an ally that did the overwhelming majority of fighting against isis. this really wasn't their fight. they did it so that we would stay with them and prevent their classic enemy, the kurds from -- turks from coming in and annihilating them. i'd also point out this may well revive isis. there are several thousand
fighters being held by the kurds, tens of thousands of their family members. it's easy to see that this could again start this up. and by the way, erdogan was tolerant if not supportive of this suny muslim isis terrorist movement. his enemy is assad, essentially a shiite offshoot. so it's a decision that goes against u.s. national interest and falls into a pattern of mr. trump taking apart nato, our alliance with japan, our alliance with south korea in a systematic matter. it's just unbelievable for watch this taking place. >> if you follow the thread, general, from what donald trump says he believes in, which is to not be involved in foreign wars, people have pointed out to me that this makes it far more likely that we will be, that what the kurds offered us were people that were extraordinarily skilled fighters and can do some
of the fighting for us. this seems to cut not only against everything rational, everything american, everything patriotic, but also everything that trump says he wants. >> yeah. these are very small footprints on the ground. we probably have at any given time not more than a thousand troops inside syria, air force ground controllers, it's been an incredible leveraged position because the kurds did the ground combat. same situation takes place now in iraq that basically 7,000, 8,000 troops there. most of the maintenance of the security situation is done by the iraqi forces. and afghanistan where mr. trump keeps making these impulsive decisions he's going to pull out. again, a very small u.s. footprint all of which adds to our security. so it's hard to understand what mr. trump is up to, particularly with these one-on-one phone calls with erdogan who is an
authoritian threat to democracy. we ought to be considering ejeking turkey from nato, not embracing them as a fall on our kurdish allies. >> brett mcgurk, former coalition, both pointed to that phone call as something worthy of investigation trying to understand what went on, on that phone call, who staffed that phone call. what did america get in exchange for greenlighting a military operation that will result in the slaughter of our closest allies in the region? do you think that phone call is worth investigating? >> oh, absolutely. and by the way, where is the secretary of defense and where is the national security council, a process to pull together diplomacy, economic leverage, cia involvement? this is unilateral dark of the night calls from the white house residence to his former business associate erdogan which then results in a precipitous
withdrawal and the immediate start of combat operations. what is going on here? this is conduct that strikes at the heart of u.s. national security. >> heidi przybyla, i don't know that i could have set up your reporting any better. take us through it. >> right. well, the general there mentioned stakes and just the gravity of this situation that really for the first time we have president trump making a decision that is going to put so many lives at risk including something that could ricochet back on us here in the u.s. in terms of isis rebuilding in a country resolving around a country where he himself has said he has a conflict of interest. in 2015 he gave an interview to then breitbart editor stephen bannon. when bannon asked him how are you going to handle turkey and nato. and he said, well, i've got a little bit of a conflict of interest there. >> heidi, i have it. let me play it and we'll come back to you on the other side. >> well, i also have -- i have a
little conflict of interest because i have a major, major building in istanbul and it's a tremendously successful job. it's called trump towers, two towers instead of one, not the usual one. and i've gotten to know the turkish people. they have a strong leader. >> nicole, we took a closer look at turkey. it's not just the towers. turkey is actually a top destination for the trumps in terms of business ventures where they are least joint partners. other countries include china and the philippines. we know that he's talked nicely about another autocratic leader duterte in the philippines. this is a crown jewel of the president's real estate portfolio in europe, this trump towers, which are a mix of residential and office space. his family ivanka trump is also -- and he himself describes his business partners in turkey
who are friends with erdogan as very, very good friends. in fact, yalsendeg who invested $4 million into those towers actually came to manhattan to celebrate with trump around his election victory. no one is saying here that this decision was made due to these conflicts of interest. but that's exactly the problem, nicole, when i talk to diplomats, former ambassadors, state department experts. they say that the problem is you just don't know with trump whether this is just coloring his judgment or actually having a big role in his judgment given that he has such a significant investment there. it could have nothing to do with it or it could be coloring his judgment in a worst-case scenario. >> you talked to trump's allies, and when you ask them why he won't stop doing the things that are dangerous to him. they say he can't change. well, even his seemingly corrupt
conduct can't change. he was trying to build trump tower moscow. he greenlit and excused russian meddling. he is super proud of and described himself. this is trump about trump. i have a little conflict of interest because i have a major, major building. and then he shows that he can count to two. this is -- talk about pattern recognition. this is the pattern. >> he is who he has always been. let's remember that his first reaction -- >> but now people are dying. >> his first reaction was to note that he now had the tallest building in lower manhattan. and also there are real, real world dangerous consequences of this decision here. the president right now in fact is having an event in the white house. he's been fielding questions from reporters in the white house. he was asked whether he was concerned that turkey's assault in syria could lead to the liberation of isis fighters. he says, quote, they are going to be escaping to europe. which he put it as a spin, well, that means they won't be coming to the united states endangering us here. but that is endangering the capitals and cities and towns of our allies there.
these isis fighters shouldn't be encouraged to be anywhere. but that is how he thinks. it is simply about his own narrow self-interest and not concerned at all for the ramifications for the rest of the world. >> general mccaffrey, let me give you the last word about how this flies in the face of american military and diplomatic history to be so scornful of our allies and so welcoming of terrorists like isis making their way to europe. there is no explanation. and by the way this turkish assault is apparently being coordinated in support of assage, who is one of the month stores who's destroyed syria with his air ground backing is coordinating with erdogan to destroy our allies. it's hard to get to anything but a conclusion that this was a major blow to u.s. national security credibility. not just in syria but across the region. >> thank you both for spending some time with us. when we come back, the author of a new book about the enduring
mysteries around the mueller probe, the president's war on justice and the uncomfortable new reality for law enforcement when our political leaders are the ones they are investigating. pulitzer prize winner jim stewart joins the table next. t t saturdays happen. pain happens. aleve it. aleve is proven better on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong.
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nobody respects the fbi more than i do. and i think if you took a vote in the fbi they would vote me president right now, a vast, vast majority and they're great people. i know a lot of them. but your leadership was terrible. >> nothing could be further from the truth. that was trump just a few moments ago claiming he's the fbi's biggest cheerleader despite his now years long war on justice in the rule of law. a new book by pulitzer prize winning new york journalist jim stewart leads one to wonder if the answer isn't the fbi. in his gripping narrative stewart answers some of the enduring questions about the mueller probe about why jim comey did what he did during the clinton email investigation and
where we go for mueller's failure to curb donald trump of his insatiable appetite for foreign interference. joining our conversation author of the new book "deep state trump: the fbi and the rule of law." first of all this is a fantastic read. it answers so many questions about all the things that we talk about here every day. i wonder if i could just sort of get your thoughts having spent time with some of the people who it would appear to me people like jim comey and andy mccabe sacrificed everything to pull a fire alarm. jim comey when he sort of revealed in testimony and in memos he had written that he'd been asked to take a loyalty oath, that he'd been asked to stop investigating mike flynn, andy mccabe when he was badgered by donald trump about his wife's political ambitions and ultimately for opening the field investigation that included donald trump. they seemed to have risked everything to pull an alarm on donald trump. and it would seem that the alaw is still ringing. what did you find in reporting this out?
>> this really goes to the heart of the whole son sent of the deep state. trump has branded anyone, and certainly anyone in law enforcement who stands up to him, not just as just deep state but as a traitor, somebody who might even deserve the death penalty. jim comey told me this on the record for the book he never heard the content deep state. but to him it means, yes, we do have a deep state. and thank god we do. we have a professional bureaucracy in this country who take an oath of allegiance to the constitution of the united states. they work for the people of the united states. they do not work for the white house or the president. and, in fact, we have a constitutional system of checks and balances intended to curb the power of the white house. these people in my view you can call them the deep state, but they are patriots for standing up for what they should be doing and what the constitution calls for. trump's response is literally to prosecute them. he now has a justice department that he has bent to his will.
we are out pursuing criminal investigations against comey, mccabe, anybody who dared to defy him is literally terrified. >> they were trying to investigate russian interference. >> they are doing their job. >> they only make contact with him where he was involved in russian interference. is that right? >> i think a critically important point you see here is far from being zealously trying to throw trump out of the white house, they were cautious, they were restrained. >> were they too cautious? >> that's a good question. i think honestly mueller was too cautious. i think the fbi did a very good job in that investigation. they gained the evidence. but mueller did not require trump to testify about obstruction of justice. that ed not require him to testify about anything that happened after he became president. and he didn't reach any conclusions, or at least he wouldn't reach a legal conclusion. he reached a lot more conclusions than i think trump
acknowledges or that most people recognize. and again i lay that out in the book. but mueller, i don't understand it really. he was a trained prosecutor. it's like when it really came down to the wire, he folded. >> well, i was going to ask you this because you go deep in some of those enduring mysteries. i call them the mueller probe. is it your personal opinion that mueller failed? >> well, it depends on how you define what his mission was. >> his mission was to stop the president from acting lawlessly. >> his mission was to investigate and if necessary prosecute. >> or recommend prosecution which would have the effect -- i mean, if you're just a bank robber, if you're arrested and then prosecuted, often you get out of jail and go commit more crimes. but the intent i think of law enforcement structurally is to get you off the streets to serve your time to try to rehabilitate you. if you apply that to the mueller probe, did he succeed the next day he got on the phone with the ukrainians suggest he failed? >> even barr who, let's face it,
has not been standing up to trump in any way. but even barr said that he was shocked that mueller gathered all this evidence and then said i'm not going to reach a conclusion of law. now he has his reasons and i spelled them out in the book. if you take every element of the crime obstruction of justice, mueller found the facts. motive, yes, act, yes, interference with impending investigation, yes, intimidation of witnesses, yes. why stop? he felt a sitting president couldn't be charged. but he wasn't told, oh, only, you know, you can't charge him so don't actually tell us if a crime was committed. that was not his mandate. so in that sense, yes, i think he did fail. now trump he immediately declared total victory. he said i am completely exonerated. everything you see about trump has come back to life in spades. trump thinks in binary terms. did he win or did he lose? if he won, then everything he did was okay. he seems to be completely unaware of the damage he's done
to institutions in this country, the two years of turmoil that everybody went through because of his actions, because he fired comey and then lied about it. he has no one to blame but himself. so he won. he immediately steps out and doubles down. not only does he do everything that he did in the pages of deep state, he hands congressional democrats the one thing they were missing which was his overt participation in asking a foreign power to interfere in american elections. he hands it right to them. it's astonishing. >> i have so much more to ask you. can we sneak in a break? >> sure. on "the other side" i'm going to more things. don't go anywhere. we'll be right back. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it.
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rosenstein grew more animated flailing his hands and arms. at times he got up and walked around the table. at one point he was so upset he went into an adjoining. at some point in his increasingly disjointed monologue, rosenstein brought up the 25th amendment and said he thought at least two-cabinet level officers were willing to support such a move. take me through what you read about the twenty-fifth amendment? >> well, this was an extraordinary period in american history this week after comey was fired. because, remember, trump had decided to fire comey. then he calls rosenstein and sessions and says i'm going to fire him, do you agree? he says i think you mishandled clinton. so rosenstein writes a memo. trump immediately brandish it's and says this is why i'm firing him and then he wanted rosenstein to go out and do a press conference saying i was the one who fired comey.
that was completely false. i think rosenstein wasn't in the job that long. he was literally falling apart inside the justice department. at one point he says to andrew mccabe there is nobody i can talk, to there's no one i can trust. i'm all alone here, can i talk to jim comb snaechl i really admire the guy. he just wrote a memo that was being used to fire him. and people were staggered by that. so then he starts getting into this stuff, well, i could wear a wire in the white house. i could get evidence against the president obstructing. then he brought up this twenty-fifth amendment. he must have been talking about it because he said he had sessions and kelly already lined up to support it. the fbi people again, again trump says the fbi was out to get him. they went back to the fbi headquarters and said whoa here, wait a minute, this is completely out of bounds. so they went back to a second meeting. rosenstein again talks about wearing the wire. at this point he didn't say anything more about the
twenty-fifth amendment. but i think the important thing here is even within the trump justice department, his actions were viewed with such alarm, these extreme measures were being banded. >> having gone as deep as you did, do you think if rod rosenstein and jeff sessions were there that the criminal referral from the cia of the ukraine call would've been handled differently? >> oh, absolutely. i mean, say what you will about sessions and rosenstein. but they would not go as far as barr as now as attorney general. here you get what has been deemed a credible complaint from a whistle-blower. the proper way to handle that would be to hand it over to the fbi for investigation. barr instead said there's no evidence of crime so we are not even going to investigate. he decided there was no evidence before we even know what the evidence is before we know the facts. that's completely subverting the function of an independent agency like the fbi which is now why congress has to do it. the fbi should be doing that. and that's one of the damaging
aspects of this. trump finally has the attorney general he's always wanted. i guess he said i want a roy cone which is how low is that bar? no pun intended. and so i think we are now in a very dangerous situation. and that's why it has fallen to congress essentially now act as the investigative agency because of the executive branch is not going to do it. >> all right. we are going to have to table this for the other side of the break. i said before that it reads like a thriller. it is and what a thriller. stay with us. when we come back, joe biden goes all in on impeachment. that's next. been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice.
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him get away with it. >> biden today calling for the first time for donald trump's impeachment. and we had some technical difficulties during which biden got some more ammunition. >> this is significant, that biden, the front-runner, or cofront-runner, finally does get there and calls for impeachment. the president -- >> warren called for it long ago. >> i think that's significant that biden, the more moderate wing of the democratic party is also there now. the president was still speaking to the reporters at the white house. he suggested that biden was falling like a rock in the polls and stuff. and he unleashed this puzzling quote. he said that the kurds didn't help america as much as possible. he's pushing against saying we betrayed them. he said, quote, they didn't help us with normandy. so, my question to you is -- what? >> i still can't believe that we have a president who is so ignorant of basic history and
literally he believes that. he believes that because he said it and it should be true, let alone that, when did kurdistan actually get recognized by iraq, back in the '70s? and so, hey, they weren't storming the beaches with us, but maybe it's a new age and maybe there are new alliances. >> let me just say, sarah palin took all kinds of stuff for her foreign policy. his ignorance is staggering. and bestarted the show talking about former republican senator corker's determination that after seeing him up close he lacked the fitness and the competence for the office he holds. i think the quote you just read proves the point. >> but i -- yes, but i also go back to, didn't we not know this in 2016? >> well, he wasn't america's commander in chief leaving american allies to say and saying the justification is they weren't on the beaches of
normandy. >> absolutely right. but i also -- what i say is, if someone tells you who they are, you believe them. >> i'm with you. >> and he was so ignorant of facts, so willing to be so cavalier about how he was going to flout all the norms of what it was to be president of the united states, to get what he wanted and get the love and support from his supporters that he craved and he was elected anyway. so, i guess the point -- what i ask myself is, what else do we need to do to convince folks that are standing behind him that he is unfit for office? >> well, i think one of the things that could happen is that the people with a whole lot of credibility are the generals. where is jim mattis? where is h.r. mcmaster? where is john kelly? where are the national security -- where are the generals who have stood on battlefields and hear a president say something this stupid, where are they? >> the mattis thing is striking. he didn't want to -- >> he quit over this policy. >> he said he didn't want to
criticize, but people around him suggested he still would be heard from. if not now, when? >> we have a seat for you. my thanks to elise, basil, michael, thank you for watching. i'm any nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" with katy tur, in for chuck todd, starts now. welcome to wednesday, it's "meet the press daily," i'm katy tur in new york. the president says he wants to pull the u.s. out of what he called an endless war in the middle east. and it is causing some members of his own party on capitol hill to speak out against him. we'll get to the latest between the u.s., syria and turkey in just a moment. but first, a far less literal battle he is waging, where republicans are staying almost entirely with him. and that's the trump versus the