tv Morning Joe MSNBC October 11, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
what are some of the important issues related to the impeachment inquiry or elsewhere that you're keeping an eye on? >> well, apart from what i just do normally had is try to find out what's being said in these rooms with the testimony one thing i'm watching closely is the movements in public opinion. that's something that the white house is watching closely, president trump's political team is watching closely ar and senators are watching really closely because we have seen an unmistakable shift in public opinion towards support for impeachment of this president. and that is concerning some people. >> all right, jonathan swann live for us in washington, d.c. congrats again. >> congrats to you and betsy. >> we'll be reading axios a.m. in just a bit. our viewers sign up for that newsletter by going to signup.axios.com. >> that does it for us on this friday morning. "morning joe" starts right now. do you think it is appropriate for the president of the united states to solicit foreign interference in our political process?
>> yeah. >> thank you. >> of course no, no, it's absolutely not. >> right. see, right there, you saw that it's pretty easy. it's just a no. absolutely not. crystal clear answer from former trump national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. he knows the answer. so -- >> well, he should. >> right. >> he should know the answer. i mean, he's a national security adviser. >> right. >> and of course the answer to this, let's be very clear, has always been the same. >> yeah. >> it's been unambiguous and aim sure there's nobody, mika, on capitol hill that would have any problem answering that question. >> right. so let's see how republican senator cory gardner handled a nearly -- >> watch this, he's going to just say no. >> nearly identical question. >> do you believe it's appropriate for the president of the united states to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, yes or no. >> look, this is what we're going to get into. the senate intelligence committee is having a bipartisan
investigation. unfortunately what we've seen say political process take over. >> but the question is is it appropriate for a president to -- >> we are going 0 have an investigation -- >> to ask a foreign government investigate. >> it's a nonpartisan investigation. >> oh, and it went on like that for four minutes. it's been that kind of week. >> is it okay to throw somebody in front of a bus as it's speeding down fifth avenue? we're going to have an investigation, it's become very political, this question, because it was a democrat that was thrown -- no. it's not about politics, cory, and you know it's not. listen, i know you're running in 2020. we understand that. but the answer is no, it's not appropriate. it's never done. it's not supposed to be done. this is black and white. >> it can't be that hard. >> yes, no. >> all right. >> it's not that hard. i tell ya, it's also not hard
explaining to your constituents, hey, i'm going to support this guy when he supports the people of colorado. i'm going to vote for this guy when he votes, when he has issues that he's pushing for the people of colorado. but, no, i'm not going to allow him to do things that actually weaken america and i'm not going to do things that no other commander and chief would do because it undermines this country. it's very simple. and they're going to all pay. listen, mark it down, they're going to all pay for this. >> well, i think -- >> politically they're going to get voted -- >> i think the country is too. >> they're going to get voted out of office. >> welcome to "morning joe," it's friday, october 11th along with joe, willie and me we have donny, super tan, usually tan. >> what is that? >> usually tan this morning. it's a spray tan. >> he looks good. >> i don't like the mental image already. spray tan, does that go all over? >> he's not really orange like somebody else. >> so can we -- so can you guys
zoom in? i'm going to ask willie, zoom in on donny, if you will. i'm just curious, willie, is this guy a character from the first, second, or third austin powers movie? >> oh my god. >> you're a gold member? >> joe, first of all, i have a certain splender that i know throughout these people. i just like to lay low. >> so you're actually -- >> you're very attractive, donny, you don't need to do the extra stuff. >> you're actually going with the white collar thing like it's 1986 and you know the billionaires' boys club. >> in many of our viewers out there stop me and say, donny, i love the way you dress. so i'm just telling you what the people say. people speak, joe. you speak and then the people speak and i'm ail m man of the
people. >> former treasury official steve rattner is with us. >> i can just say -- >> he knows how to dress. >> i'm jealous that donny is known only by his first name. but the ten minutes than fold that -- >> you got it. >> if you want to be -- >> you're ratner, charts. >> fun fact too, steve rattner, spray tan head to toe this morning. >> that's where i'm at in my head and i can't get it out. i can't unsee it. >> i've had a couple of melanomas. >> stop. >> when i go south -- >> we don't want to hear this, grandpa. come on. >> he always tries to make it sound like a medical reason that i needed to spray tan his whole skblod sa body. >> save that for your aarp article. >> what do we have. >> msnbc political analyst eugene robinson, and -- >> not digging the white collar thing either. >> guys --
>> >> i toi too, i think the wa dresses, i've had people stop any overseas and tell me i love the way donny dresses, but not the white collar. >> usa today upon columnist and former senior adviser for the house oversight and government reform committee kurt joins us this morning. >> kurt. >> all right. >> really quickly, mika, before we jump in. i know you want to talk baseball so let's briefly talk baseball. willie, it took a while for order to be restored in the universe but it was, in fact, restored. houston astros is the best team in baseball, closed out a really gutsy, really impressive tampa team last night. >> great effort by the rays, great season for the rays, it was just gerrit cole's too good. the astros' ace pitcher. they put four runs on the board in the first inning and was going to be hard to climb out of that hole for the rays. they fought for the whole game.
the astros win now and the inevitable is here, yankees, astros. two best teams in the american league all season long. everybody had been pointing to this since spring training and now it's here. should be a great epic season, the one break the yankees did get is that now those two ace pitchers verlander and cole had to go deep into that previous series so we don't see them in game one. should be great. >> well, yeah, it's a tale of two leagues. the american league you have the two best teams possibly in all of baseball making it through. and the national league you have two -- two underdogs. i mean, atlanta had a great season this year, fell apart last game. that was an incredible series. so you have the cardinals coming through and my gosh, the poor under achieving in october dodgers once again left at home. it actually -- you got to hurt for them, they're such a great team. but -- >> and who beat them? who beat them? >> gene. >> who beat them, joe?
>> gene, you gotta let me get -- it's all about pacing, my friend. i was about to tell you. let's try this again. you've got to feel really sorry about those dodgers being sent home yet again. but let me bring you in gene robinson, because i know you're a big mets fan. >> thank you. >> i just have to say this how exciting for so many reasons, but also you nats fans are an especially bitter lot. how exciting for you that bryce harper is in philadelphia watching this glorious occasion unfold. >> that just warms every heart in the -- in the washington metropolitan area. and also that the monkey is off the back of the washington nationals finally. they have great regular seasons, usually they get into the first round of the playoffs and they lose. and this time they broke through and, boy, what a break through it was. this team never quits.
this team can never be counted out. you know, down 3-0, down 3-1 with two in the eightenih innin and this is a special team. watch out. watch out for them. >> they really are. they really are. hold on one second. >> yeah. >> da, da, da, that's our little espn and e moment. we've done nine moments of that, let's go to the news. >> let's please go to the news. >> by the way, mika, that was an espn thing. >> i'll explain that to her, joe. >> explain to her. let's go to the news. >> okay. stop us if you've heard this before, but yet another new poll shows a majority of americans support house democrats impeachment inquiry into president trump. according to a new npr/pbs news hour poll 52% of americans said they approve of the house inquiry into trump.
that's up three points since last month. 43% disapproved. 49% said they support the impeachment of the president, 47% are opposed. americans in this poll are divided. 48 to 48 on whether they support the senate voting to remove trump from office. good lord. these are -- >> that's high. that's high. >> that's high, yeah. >> willie, we're going to keep going, willie, but let's look at those numbers. keep those numbers up on the screen. if you're driving in listening to us, driving into work, 48% of americans support donald trump being removed from office. 48% oppose. >> gosh. >> but, willie, we're within the margin of error again. this is about the third or fourth poll where half of americans, 50% of americans, soon a majority of americans support donald trump being impeached in the house, convicted in the senate, and removed from office. >> yeah. >> this is staggering. >> and these questions, joe, are making the leap not to do you
support an impeachment inquiry. we've seen support for that. this question here, the one on the screen is do you support the senate voting to remove president trump from office? in other words have you seen enough all ready to believe that donald trump should be removed from office? 48% say so. yesterday we had the fox news poll that showed 51% of americans supported that idea. that led to donald trump writing sort of a breakup tweet with fox news yesterday before perhaps getting back together with fox news at his rally last night. but he sees these polls, especially the fox news polls, and there are enough of them now, there's a critical mass of these polls that you can't dismiss any one or the other as an outlier. 68% of americans said it's not acceptable for a president to ask foreign countries to investigate his political rivals. 68%. >> hey, cory, that's the answer. >> only 26% say it's acceptable. almost 60% say they do not trust the administration very much or at all. 40% say they do trust the administration a great or a good
amount, joe. >> i wonder who that 40% are. so anyway, donny deutsch, it seems that donald trump is having a problem with republicans over the kurds, there seems to be sort of a real riff there. he's sort of throwing fox news under the bus. he doesn't like data that comes from fox news that actually it's polling. this is eight pollsters by the way. had he liars going out there's a liberal firm -- no, it's the same group of people who were saying that only 40% supported impeachment a month or two ago. but, donny, he's throwing fox news under the bus, he's throwing republicans under the bus, he's throwing the kurds under the bus, and, and, wait for it, wait for it, he's throwing rudy giuliani under the bus. you'll have to ask rudy. >> you got a buddy who's in jail right now who heard that, right? you're going to have to ask michael cohen about that.
now we're hearing you're going to have to ask rudy. we'll get to thesers to, but my god, two of rudy's associates who also were close to donald trump in jail. i mean, and now rudy is having to face some pretty tough questions himself. >> you know, if you know donald trump, there isn't anybody he wouldn't throw -- he would throw his family under the bus. >> well of course. >> i don't say that kwibly. he would be the last man standing until they carry him out. two points, first of all, i think it's important that the democrats, this new rudy story, there's so much to unpack there. but the good news/bad news is the democrats continue to move forward on impeachment is they can't lose that one-sentence strategy. the more this thing airs out, if you will and fans out, you start to in a strange way it gets worse but it also dilutes the simple one-sentence message the president seeked a foreign power to get dirt on his opponent at the expense of our national security. we can't still lose that one
headline. that's critical for the democrats. and i want to also go back to one point you made earlier, joe. i don't understand how somebody like a mitt romney does not come forward. it is such an obvious thing to say. right now you would be an american hero and you can say, look, i've supported the president's policies and this is painful, but i work fofr the voters and the constitution. it astounds me as a branding guy that none of these people get that. it's not even brave. >> hasn't mitt come forward? >> i mean, in a more meaningful way, to stand up -- >> oh, so when you want him to -- so you want mitt romney when he's saying that what the president's done is wrong and despicable, you want him carrying a blowtorch and just spraying anybody, is that what you want, donny? >> no, i do -- >> he's one of the guys that's come forward. >> stand corrected on mitt romney. but my point is even just saying this wrong. what is wrong with saying and he does not belong in office? what is wrong with somebody
taking that leap? >> when it's so obvious? >> of course it's wrong. i mean, i don't think you get points for that at this point. but, to me, he's the one guy that's bullet proof. what would americans think if he stood up and said, look, this is not working. this is not working. people would line up behind him. republicans would line up behind him. >> i don't know about that. >> the thing is, though, donny, that -- here's the thing. not everybody just has a constituency of the 12 or 13 people that work in their upper east side mansion like you. >> joe, no. >> so -- >> joe, no -- >> poor donny. >> voters -- i'm just saying you do have to bring people along. it's not just, you don't start at zero and go to a hundred miles an hour. i know -- >> heroes do. >> -- you want mitt romney to carry that blowtorch. >> heroes do. >> actually abraham lincoln at the beginning of the civil war, not to get too deep, at the
beginning of the civil war said, you know, slavery, if i can say the union and keep slavery, then let's keep slavery. he didn't really believe that, but he knew had he to bring the north along. and he said it was all about saving the union. we have to save the union. then eventually he moved when he thought that people, ready. then he kept moving until he knew he could get to emancipation. mitt romney, gene, correct me if i'm wrong, mitt romney has stepped out there about as strongly as i think he can politically right now. he's called it disgusting. i don't know the exact words. but it is -- it is a two, three, four, five, six-step process, especially bh wh especially when you have people who support somebody, you want the facts do the talking and you follow the facts. >> i mean, just the objective truth is that rom nip has gone further out than any other republican senator at that point. he just has.
he has come out and, you know, and he uses the entry words, right? deeply disturbing and appalling and that -- that's the beginning of what i hope is the progression you talk about, joe. but, you know, people like cory gardner and susan collins and joni ernst are going to continue to come under pressure from their constituents and from reporters who are going to keep asking the question over and over again for four minutes, if necessary, continue pressing. and they're going to have to come up with better answers than -- than gardner did. look, the political reality is they're still all petrified of donald trump tweet storm. and romney is more immune to that than most of them because the people of utah are really
not trumpists republican, they're conservative republicans, but he's probably one who has the least to worry about from his republican constituents, i think. >> all right. >> you know, willie -- >> go ahead. >> just really quickly to willie, there was an event last night, willie, where the president got out and said a few things, was little unbalanced. george conway said, the husband of one of president's top aides said he appeared to have severe personality disorders that were on full display. out of respect to the family and his loved once, we're not going to be showing that speech. we actually think he would -- and i'm hoping that he can -- he can get some care and get some treatment because once again, it seems that the president of the united states is detached from reality and not well. >> well, consider what he's up against now. rudy giuliani, two of his
buddies, businessmen, were arrested. they were walking on to a plane bound for europe. they were intercepted on the jetway and brought back and arrested. >> that's happened to us before, by the way, will. >> i it has and i was hoping you wouldn't bring that up. >> it's not fun. it's not fun. three years later we finally get out of turkey. we'll talk about that next block. go ahead. >> the backdrop of this is he got questions on his way out of the white house about that. who are these two guys? i didn't really know them. there might be a picture of me with them i didn't really know them. but the indictment says they're the go-betweens. they're the answer to the question of who may have been paying rudy giuliani to fly all over the country. there were questions in ukraine they could get rudy in touch with the people to find the dirt on the bidens. >> can we go back to the last picture? that guy on the right, he dresses like donny. go ahead. >> joe, joe. >> oh my god. >> you and i, pal, let's go to the school yard, all right, because you're going hard today. >> come on, it's fun, donny. by the way, i love the leafs behind you since you're the
autumn of your life. i think it all -- [ laughter ] >> joe, i don't think it's nice that you're mocking cancer, joe. i talked about melanoma and you mocked it. i think that that's make meg sad, i just want to say that. can i go back seriously to the romney thing? i think we're saying the very -- just give me 30 seconds. i think we're setting a very low bar. >> i didn't mock cancer i -- >> he was making fun of you. >> you were talking about your girlfriend mellanomia. >> i just want to goo ba back? >> really quickly. we're setting a low bar when somebody said it's long. leaders go further than that. i don't agree with you. i think if mitt romney stood up and said we need to think where we're going as a country and about this man's leadership, i do not think to your point earlier, i think people would line up behind him. that's what leaders do. i said my peace and i'm not going to wear this shirt
anymore. >> i want it go farther because did i see a good bit of that rally last night and i don't think we should show. but for the reasons you said, you get the feeling the guy is kind of unhinged and desperate. he is just saying stuff and flailing out in ways that are even more crazy than what he normally does. and the stuff he said about the bidens, you know, the words he used. >> yeah. >> it's all pretty disgusting. >> it was really disturbing stuff. we're going to actually get to the giuliani story after a break. >> i love it. >> tom winter, nbc news tom winter will join us as well as dave ehrenberg. so we'll have that after the break. but first, let's turn to bill karins with a look at severe weather. bill. >> mika, breaking news overnight. the fire conditions in california were very dangerous going into the night and about midnight a new fire has formed. this is near porter ranch, california. it went from 0% containment, which is still at up to 4,500 acres in just the last couple hours. we've had rapid fire growth. we've had over 30,000 people
evacuate. i've seen pictures of homes that have been burned and this is not too far away from los angeles, the burbank area, and just to the north thereof up interstate 5. interstate 5 is closed along with highway 118. the fire is just too close by to those areas. and at one point the fire actually jumped interstate 5. i'll show outmaps here. here's downtown los angeles, and this is the burbank area. had is north ridge. this is where the fire is. this is the mandatory evacuation order for the 30,000 people in porter ranch. the fire's burning in this general direction and they're worried about chats worth is the next were, the big next town and neighborhood that it could head to. red flag warnings up for the day today. it's going to be extremely windy as we go throughout the morning. it will die off a little bit this afternoon and then flare up later on this evening. there have been homes that have been burned. people have been evacuate and lost their properties. another bad, bad fire in california. we'll keep giving you updates throughout the day.
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♪ it's 27 past the hour. two foreign-born associates of rudy giuliani are facing criminal charges after being arrested while trying to leave the country. they are accused of trying to influence u.s. politics with a leg illegal campaign contributions. hallie jackson has the details. >> inside federal court, rudy giuliani's inside men in ukraine who have been helping him dig up dirt on joe biden there, now in a separate case the pair is being charged with breaking campaign finance laws here by
allegedly trying to funnel foreign money into elections to buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates governments. the two arrested at dulles airport after buying a one-way ticket out of the country, prosecutors say. >> this investigation is about corrupt behavior. deliberate law breaking. >> in one example, they donated more than they were allowed to to now former congressman pete sessions, according to the indictment, and asked for help getting rid of the u.s. fweed ukraine, maria uvan know vich. a letter obtained by nbc news asked the secretary of state to consider terminating her ambassadorship citing concrete evidence from two close companionions that she had spoken privately and repeatedly about her disdain for the current administration. sessions in a statement says his motivation for that letter was that political apintees shoupoid
not be disparaging the president. the indictment reveals they were also disguised the source of $325,000 in donations to a pro trump super pac which says that money's in a segregated account while the legal battle unfolds. the pair's attorney is not commenting. the president. >> what conversations have you had with lev and igor? >> i don't know those gentlemen. now it's possible i have a picture with them because i have a picture with everybody. i have a picture with everybody here. but somebody said there may be a picture or something at a fundraiser or somewhere. >> giuliani, the president's personal attorney, telling nbc news he can't comment yet but told "the new york times" last month i referred the known a campaign finance expert to pretty much resooflved it. house democrats have subpoenaed them. >> that's hallie jackson reporting. >> my gosh. >> let's bring in investigations reporter tom winter and state attorney for palm beach county dave ehrenberg. good morning, guys. tom, let's start with you and
just kind of help us cut through this. there are a lot of new names, new characters in this big ukraine story. why are they significant as it relates to rudy giuliani trying to get information out of that country? >> well, i think it's really significant because you have a couple people who in rudy giuliani has said that these are his clients. so you have rudy giuliani has definitive ties to these people and then as my colleagues ken dilanian reported yesterday, these are people that he tried to do a business deal with in ukraine in the natural gas business, which is one of the dirtiest businesses that there is in any country, let alone in ukraine. it's an industry that is notorious for corruption, it is rife with russian organized crime influences. that's the primary players in that. people that are in involved in regular defenders of the president on tv, i'm talking about victoria and joe, they represent an indicted now outside of the natural gas industry, but they represent a ukrainian oligarch who is in the
middle of the natural gas industry. it's a real dirty industry. you've got rudy giuliani completely mixed one these individuals and on top of that you have a federal investigation that's been going on for nearly two years now, at least a year and a half according to our reporting. so it's a significant case. >> they were effectively because of their connections to ukraine helping rudy giuliani get access inside ukraine, perhaps to find information about the bidens, for example? >> i mean, that's another huge part of this. it's not in -- it has nothing to do with the charges filed yesterday, but this is absolutely something that's been talked about and this is absolutely ha what has come up in the past. it raises questions if you have them at the center of this ongoing biden effort to find information in ukraine. in the meantime you've got them accepting according to the allegations yesterday in the indictment, you've got them accepting foreign money and putting that into the u.s. election process. and as the indictment states, there's no indication that the campaigns or that the, you know, the pro trump super pac that accepted money here, that they
were aware of these efforts, but they're definitely involved in influencing the 2018 election and actually giving money to a then sitting u.s. congressman pete sessions. >> so if you could, tom, help us out. you say it's a really dirty industry, corrupt industry. give us a timeline for rudy giuliani trying to get involved in this industry and trying strike deals in ukraine. >> this goes back within the last year or two. this is really recent effort. and it's an effort that it's not clear that they actually were able to get engaged in this industry in a meaningful way or actually be involved with it. there's been a lot of efforts over the past i would say year or two to be able to get kind of these middlemen players on. what happens in that industry, there's a lot of different companies that come in and they all take a skim. whereas here you may have a natural gas company and then somebody who distributes it to your apartment building, condo building, your home.
they have a couple of different layers of people to get involved and they all take a little bit off the top. it can become very lucrative as you would imagine in a place like ukraine. >> yeah. dave ehrenberg, there's a florida angle to this story you were telling me about. what is it? >> well, there's always a florida angle to everything, joe. >> there certainly is. >> okay. >> here these two guys live in south florida. they have a history of financial disputes and lawsuits. mr. parness in particular has had nine different court judgments against him in the last 15 years including two court-ordered evictions. and yet they were able continue to filtrate trump's circle because they spread around enough campaign cash and dug up enough dirt of his enemies. patterness's name appears on reason denver ron desantis's --
his name was on donald trump jr. steering whit tee, whatevcommit whatever that means. this shows me that they didn't intend to have this indictment unsealed so soon, but they were forced to because it got these two suspects who were ready to board a flight to e-vienna with one way tickets. it also shows this thing is going to keep unraveling a lot faster than even the federal prosecutors had intended. >> you know, kurt, you obviously did a lot of work on -- for republicans on the oversight committee. things are coming at congress so quickly at the oversight committee so quickly, you actually had the white house backing down yesterday, now they're going to have their ambassador to the eu testify, backing down because they certainly see those impeachment numbers and removal numbers going up. but here's yet another part of this ukraine story. how does congress get to the --
get to the bottom of this? especially with the white house that's not cooperative? >> i tell you, joe, this is the reason why the oversight committee is structured the way that it is. it has very little jurisdiction and legislation. it is a one-handed, single-handed investigative outfit if the has one of the largest staffs on capitol hill. 80 people work for the majority on the oversight committee. most of them are investigators, they are seasoned lawyers, they know exactly how to conduct an investigation like this and follow all of these threads. the real challenge right now is so much information is coming out so quickly and so many characters keep being brought into this conversation that every time there's a new person that's brought in, they issue a subpoena. they want documents. they want any type kpf change that happened between those people and the united states government. and we're seeing now within just the trump administration this is bigger than anything anyone ever expected. it goes from the white house to the state department to the intelligence community, so the energy secretary, rick perry. this is touching every corner of
government. and it's the important reason why, i think democrats are doing a better job at coordinating with oversight, the intel committee, foreign affairs committee all working together pulling their human resources to try to catch every thread of this investigation. >> i think one of the questions is who they can actually get to testify. and obviously the administration is staked out some ground there. but then you, for example, have these two guys that get indicted. my understanding is when you're under indictment you don't have to, you're well advised not to start testifying in civil litigation, congress, whatever, because it can compromise your criminal situation. who do you think they're going to get to sit down there and tell their story? >> well, we're seeing right now they have the adviser of -- trump's russia adviser will be testifying next week. the ambassador's coming in tomorrow or monday, i believe. so they're going to get a lot of government career service officials who aren't necessarily political appointees who care more about the institution. i think the biggest challenge is
how to get some of these whistleblowers in in a way that doesn't compromise their identity. the whistleblowers want to talk to congress. they've asked if they can submit written testimony rather than coming in in person because they're so concerned right now that the republicans on the committee will do everything they can to out them effectively and put their livelihood in danger. >> and dave ehrenberg, just finally how this all ties back these two arrests especially to rudy giuliani. where does he face any possibilities here, especially as it pertains to campaign finance and ukraine? >> mika, i never thought that a bill barr-led department of justice would ever prosecute the president's personal lawyer. but after yesterday's actions by the southern district of new york, i'm starting to believe that the cloud hanging over giuliani could ultimately end up in prosecutions for violations of campaign finance laws, the prosecutor said that the conspiracy investigation is ongoing. and maybe even a violation of the foreign agent's registration
a act, cl is what paul manafort pled guilty to. it wasn't good for rudy giuliani to be soon in new york with these two suspects just hours before they tried to flee the country with one-way tickets to vienna. >> wow. >> so it would be ironic -- >> yeah. it would be ironic if the southern district of new york was the agency that took him down considering he used to run that agency as u.s. attorney. indeed, the giuliani of 30 years ago would probably have wanted to prosecute the giuliani of today. >> so, tom, one of the other details in this 21-page federal indictment yesterday says that patterness and fruman were lobbying for the removal of the u.s. ambassador maria jonno vich. we know that from the whistleblower and text messages and everything else. they were working hard to get letter out of there because they viewed her as an impediment to things they wanted on ukraine, mainly dirt on the 2016 election and joe biden. she is scheduled to be deposed today, the ambassador. and geoff bennett our white
house correspondent is reporting there's a possibility that she may quit her job at the state department, she's still employed there, so that she can testify because the white house could block her from testifying. >> you know what's interesting to me, she possibly has to quit her job to bea able to offer information that she wants to tell congress, that's extraordinary, one, to your point. two, what was interesting in yesterday's indictment that according to the allegations, that both of these men, parness and fruman got direction from on you or more government officials. so the ukrainian government officials are directing this effort to toss the ambassador. i thought that was very interesting yesterday. this is going all the way back to the ukrainian government. to the point dave was making, when you look at the exposure, potential criminal exposure for rudy giuliani, is he doing the bidding here of certain ukrainian government officials that would lead to a violation of the foreign agent's registration act and that's something that i think he has to at least consider at this point when he's looking at his own exposure to this case. >> wow.
tom winter and dave ehrenberg, thank you very much. and then yesterday conservative lawyer george conway appeared on a podcast and had this to say about the president. >> he can't take into account the interests of the country. he can't take into account the interests of the constitution. he can't take into account his duties. and he puts his self, his own interests above the country's in almost any circumstance. what i don't understand is you've got all these people clearly shifting' uncomfortably in their seats when they're faced with the things that donald trump says and does. it's clear that they're not sure which way to go, and if you're not sure which way to go, why not just do the right thing? >> wow. it comes as the coalition of prominent conservatives conway leads known as checks and balances released a letter calling for an expeditious
impeachment probe of president trump. and joining us now, one of the signatories of that letter and former law clerk to supreme court justice clarence thomas, marisa malec. thank you very much for being on the show. what do you feel the letter accomplishes at this stage in the game? and, also, do you guys take into consideration what donald trump has just said that appears to be a breach of trust, perhaps even more? >> that's right. good morning. i'm very excited to be here. we're hoping what the letter will do is it will give other republicans cover to actually start coming out and speaking out against our president. so far the only one we've seen is senator romney. he's the only one with any courage or conviction that saying what the president is doing is wrong, asking for a foreign leader to actually look into a political opponent. it really does rise to the level of high crime and misdemeanor and constitutes an impeachable
offense. >> the way nancy pelosi has been playing las vegas it out for the last couple weeks when she came out in support the inquiry was it was pretty cut and dry for the president to use his position to help him get political dirt on ann opponent. when you talk about an impeachment inquiry in your letter, what's the specific violation you see? >> i think the specific violation is what we're seeing coming out now especially as the investigation goes on with the new text messages from the ambassadors, that the president does seem to have asked the ukrainian president to investigate a political rival. and it does look like it was some quid pro quo that went into that where he, you know, stop the appropriation of money from congress to go to uexplain krai exchange for the investigation. and with the evidence that's
coming out with how giuliani's associates are implicated in a bigger plot to engage in foreign officers and other foreign governments to investigate and interfere with our candidates, only time will tell to see if they're really connected. but it seemingly is so. >> gene robinson. >> just one question. are you and the other signatories concerned about being sort of ostracized from the community of republican -- the republican legal community, basically, conservative legal community? and are you getting that sort of reaction from people who are not speaking out? >> we've gotten some reaction to that end, but i think for all of us it doesn't matter. at some point you need to put your country above politics and i certainly feel that way now and i believe the other signatories do as well. >> all right, marisa, we
appreciate you being on the show this morning. still ahead, turkey's military forces have pushed deeper into northeastern syria. the turkish ministry says nearly 300 kurdish fighters have been killed so far. richard haass joins us next to weigh in. "morning joe" is back in a moment. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪
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beautiful shot of the capital. let me bring in donny deutsch right here. >> oh, no. >> donny, i got a know the from kevin, he's from cape elizabeth, maine, another town where willie and i spin tent a couple nights jail, it's a long story but it was the '80s. they're tough up there by the way. i'm not going to get into it, but wow. kevin, from kaip elizabeth, mabe writes this. says if you don't like donny why do you have him someone to it takes a lot of work to make america feel bad for the guy but now we do. well, i just want you to know, donny, that are all the money that you pay me, all the under the table cash payments that you pay me to make america feel
sorry for you, it's actually paying off. and people don't understand that's the shtik. how many times have people looked at you and said donny deutsch, he's a sympathetic figure until now? you know it helps you with the guys. you know it helps you with your kids. you know it helps you with, well, everybody. >> just two thoughts on that. >> yeah. >> if i had a dollar for every time somebody stops me on the street and go why do mika and joe hate you so much, it's a shtik. it's television, kids. >> i mean what i say. >> i thought you were going to read the tweet about bring back saturday night politics. >> oh. >> i thought that's what you were teeing up for. >> let me tell you something, willie and i, we went to scotland last week just one night in jail and we actually are trying to get the bay city rollers back together. we want them to play live on
stage for the relaunch of "saturday night live" -- or saturday night flakes. saturday night politics. i think it will happen. >> i want to say for the record how up close the spray tan looks great. >> that's really good. it's kind of weird those guys in their 60s and they're still playing guitars wearing kilts. now for something completely different. here's the president. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> on syria that you [ inaudible ]. >> perhaps the last one, i hope. i hope the last one. of the three, i hope it's going to be the last one. look, we have no soldiers in syria. we've won. we beat isis and we beat them blade and decisively. we have no soldiers. the last thing i want to do is bring thousands and thousands of
soldiers in and defeat everybody again. we've already done that. so what we have is really two choices. you have the choice of bringing in the military and defeating everybody again, or you have the choice of financially doing some very strong things to turkey so that they take it a little bit easy on really competition that is -- i don't think it's being fairly treated in many ways. we have a very good relationship with kurds. or we can mediate. i hope we can mediate. >> i mean, it's shockingly ignorant of history, not of history from the 1940s, of history three or four years ago. let's bring in richard haass. he is the author of "a world in disarray" now in its 14th printing complete with barbecue shots. really more barbecue than foreign policy. so you listen to donald trump there, richard, and it's almost as if he doesn't remember that he kept attacking barack obama
during the campaign for, quote, inventing isis because of his speedy withdrawal. now here you have donald trump a couple years later saying we're going it leave, we don't want american troops to have to come back when what he's zog ensurdo ensuring the reemergence of isis and killing americans across america and the return of troops back to syria. the president is doing the very thing, except i think far worse, than what barack obama, what he attacked ba ram obama for doing three or four years ago. >> plus, he inherit and actually helped bring about the solution. we have -- >> yes. >> -- a small number of u.s. troops partnering with the syrian kurds. isis was completely bottled up. there wasn't a war between turkey and anybody else. the syrian government wasn't able to extend its control over the entire country despite russian and iranian help.
we had an acceptable situation. and at an incredibly modest cost. now we've brought around a situation where thousands will die. where the syrian kurds will make common cause with the syrian government because that's who they're going to have to go to for protection so they can survive the turkish onslaught. and you're right, ultimately terrorism will be reconstitute and we're going to have to decide whether we're prepared to leave ourselves vulnerable or once again go back. but it's going to be harder, joe, to find a partner because what we've done is basically said being a partner of the united states is risky business. >> we've burned a lot of bridges. so, richard, diseek thing the president's sbran always a different exercise, first you have to find it, but put that aside. but how much of this do you think is trump's support, affection, whatever, for erdogan, you know, another semi autocratic, thuggish dictator versus his simplistic view of we
have to get out of everywhere? what do you think is motivating a policy that everyone agrees is insane? >> i don't flow if there's any connection turk to turkey. he has talked about getting troops out of middle east. he's isolationist in his instincts. he thinks the coast of alliances, the cost of foreign policy far outways the benefits. so i see this consistent with his world view. >> but this is a few hundred troops in an absolute critical position. >> you're right. but it gives him a talking point. i got you -- even though, by the way, he was wrong in what he just said there. u.s. troops are not leaving syria. u.s. troops have pulled back. be that as it may, it gives him the argument that he has undone one of the forever wars. that's what he tried to do with afghanistan a few weeks ago. that was at a peace agreement. what he was negotiating was a cover for an american troop withdrawal even though it would have led to maihem there. so this is part and parcel, this is his foreign policy, it's pretty clear. >> let's not forget trump towers
istanbul. he's still a real estate developer and thinking about life after this and he's not going to be building any hotels in syria. there's more to come in istanbul. >> gene. >> yeah, richard, isn't this actually a very good thing for iran? i mean, their buddy assad gets to take full control of his territory back and doesn't it strengthen him and strengthen the iranians hand in the middle east? >> absolutely. it strengthens iran because iran has a lot of influence in iraq. now this consolidates insurance influence in syria, goes all the way through lebanon. it's also good for mr. putin and the russians. this is one of those there's no silver lining. plus, the consequences aren't geographically limited. foreign policy can't be compartmentalized. when the united states betrays a partner, this sends messages around the world that if you're an ally, you better have a
hedging strategy. you better have plan "b." this applies to japan, it applies to south carolina, applies to south korea, and the countries in europe who continues to face what the russians have done to ukraine, how can anybody sit here and say with confidence they're not going to do that sort of thing to one of the newer members of nate to? to montenegro, one of the baltic countries? i think this is corrosive to everything we've worked to build over the last 70, 75 years. this is consequential. as big as the stakes are in syria, in some wait global consequences are bigger. >> as you rightly point out, the president made up the story yesterday that all american soldiers are out of syria. there are special operators there that have just been asked to stand aside or move to different places in the country. can you see a scenario because of what may happen now, because these prison may break home ownershopen
and terrorism will break out again that they'll have to go back? >> certainly. they'll they'll have to use force again from the air. every time you rush to withdrawal you create a vacuum. cra vacuums get filled not by good guys. we need think about endurance strategies. how do we keep small levels of troops working with local partners to create -- it doesn't solve situations but it makes them manageable. we had found that in syria. that's what's so tragic about this. we really snatched defeat from the jaws of victory here. >> thank you so much. eugene robinson, thank you as well. we'll be reading your latest op-ed for "the washington post." and still ahead, we'll talk to a former republican congressman who actually met with rudy giuliani's now indicted clients on capitol hill. we'll ask him what was discussed. plus, president trump's former top aide on russia is
preparing to go in front of congress and she'll reportedly give revealing testimony about rudy giuliani and another figure in the ukraine scandal. nbc's carol lee joins with us that reporting. "morning joe" is back in a moment. orting. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪ (dramatic orchestra) performance comes in lots of flavors. there's the amped-up, over-tuned, feeding-frenzy-of sheet-metal-kind. and then there's performance that just leaves you feeling better as a result. that's the kind lincoln's about. ♪ this fall, book two, separate qualifying stays at choicehotels.com... ...and earn a free night. because when your business is rewarding yourself,
jiening toining the convers reverend al sharpton. jake sherman is an msnbc political contributor. so we'll start with that new poll, joe, that, again, again, shows a majority of americans support house democrats impeachment inquiry into president trump. according to this new npr/pbs poll, 52% of americans said they approve of house democrats impeachment inquiry into the president. that's up three points since last month. 43% disapproved. 49% said they support the impeachment of the president, 47% are opposed. americans in this poll are divided 48 to 48 on whether they support the senate voting to remove trump from office. 68% of americans said that it's not acceptable for a president to ask foreign countries to investigate his political
rivals. 26% disagreed. and, joe, that's the question that i think -- i think the white house, perhaps, thought they would have a very easy time conflating this, confusing this, muddying it up and making it too hard for people to understand. the answer to this question is basic. the answer is no. it's not okay to shakedown ukraine for dirt on your political rival. americans know that. >> americans know that instinctively they certainly know that about china as well. it's very interesting when the president actually asks china to help out, to look into this. you had some members of congress and some -- some trumpists in the trump supportive media saying it was just a joke. well, the president was asked again yesterday whether he was joking or not and he -- he brushed it off and said, well, if china wants to investigate, that's what they should do. it's up to china.
so it's not a joke whether the president is asking china in front of a bank of cameras to investigate joe biden and his family or whether he's actually going through back channels do it and then admitting it. so they understand that instinctively. and in most polls, two out of three americans say it is wrong. which is what makes cory gardner's bumbling and babbling around and joni ernst's bumbling around at press conferences what takes that so depressing is wrong. mitt rahm romney homney has it that's beneath the dignity of the president of the united states. and americans are on to it. and, jake sherman, when you get a series of polls over the past several days, one a fox news poll saying 51% of americans support his removal from office, at this point the white house is
getting worried and republican senators on the hill have to be starting to think a little -- the focus at least is more narrowed in on this. what can you tell us? what are you hearing from the hill from republicans? >> there's definitely a sense of concern among republicans. and you that. and the most telling thing is nobody's coming out to defend the president. you don't see a parade of republican lawmakers running to cameras in their districts saying but donald trump and here's why he's right and why did he nothing wrong. you see mark meadows and jim jordan who will never have to deal with any electoral consequence because they have districts that suit them and that are completely safe and the they go on camera to defend the president constantly. and i think the thing that troubles people the most is they don't know where the bottom is here. they don't know what the end of this story is. they don't know how much the people around the president have done. and frankly, the white house is
not giving them any signals. they're entire strategy is to pretend this impeachment inquiry exists and it's not on the level. house republicans, if you talk to them, they are polling more narrow slices of the electorate, basically seats they hold and seats they'd like to hold where they say they're in the right on impeachment and the american people don't want impeachment. so you see this kind of stark divide that's becoming more and more clear around the country. but house republicans see this very different than the senate republicans, obviously senators have to represent entire state and house republicans are increasingly representing trump centric districts that support the president no matter what he says or does. >> jake, we saw a performance from senator cory gardner back in his home state of denver yesterday where for about four minutes he was asked the very basic question is it appropriate for a president to accept foreign influence in our elections, in our political process. wouldn't answer the question, pivoted to nancy pelosi and the investigation being political.
how much longer are guys like him and ron johnson and others going to be able to take that basic question, not provide a yes nor answer aor no answer an with it? are they just hoping this goes away somehow and does that change at all as we watch the polling moving to majorities of americans saying they want to see at least the impeachment inquiry and in many cases see president trump removed from office just what they know publicly? >> gardner sis a special case because he represents a state that's urban, suburban and rural in a major and drastic and stark way. gardner is somebody ha is goith going to have a tough time here. something i found interesting yesterday when which is when joni ernst appeared next to mike pence and literally every question he got asked, standing next to joni ernst was about the impeachment inquiry, how long
are republicans going to want to stand next to members of this administration when every single question is about ballooning scandals? remember, this scanned sal ndal becoming narrower in scope, it's becoming for encompassing. as we get to 2020 who's going to want to stand next to pence and donald trump when they're trying to seek re-election? i think what cory gardner does yesterday, i don't know how he was prepared not to answer that question. this is somebody who chaired the republican senate committee last cycle. he's supposed to understand how to answer questions. the playbook is to turn this around, talk about the overt political nature of the process and then pivot to somebody else. again think there you're right, willie, it's not going to last. >> rev, i want to ask you a question. steve, i'd like you to jump in. it's interesting when you see these polls now and to jake's
point a lot of republicans are being quiet. for the first time i spoke to a serious trump guy who no matter what happened was like, no, no, no. the first time he said things aren't working so well. it wasn't an issue about the investigation, it was about the economy. all of a sudden whether it's trade, whether it's the inverted yield curve, i'm starting to see people, and these are the people that once again have stood by him not as much even about the investigation, but they're starting to sense that other than the unemployment numbers, the economy's going the other direction. people get a lot braver when the economy's not going well. >> with the economy headed the way it is and other promises that he made not there, i think the democrats are right to focus on the investigations. but they need to focus on where's the wall? how is it being paid for? what happened to infrastructure? i think a lot of people that are for trump or have been for trump ever waking up, realizing this guy has not delivered on what he promised us. and then when you have an
investigation, the majority of americans saying overwhelmingly that a foreign government should not interfere with our elections, all left for the congress it to do is to prove that they did. if he did it, they've already had a jury that says we will go against him, just give us the evidence. it cannot be a good time in the white house because it all is moving the other way now. >> you know, it's interesting i had a friend reach out to me who's a traditional republican and said he wants to have coffee next week because can he not any longer support this administration. what do you do? so, i agree with that. i think they're moving away from trump for a couple of reasons. one, they got some of the policies they wanted early but now they're getting policies they don't like, like the trade war. but secondly, you know, most people are stand-up, moral people and they look at trump and the way he conducts himself and they say to themselves, how i can support a guy who's utter utterly immoral, corrupt, and surrounded by corrupt people in
the problem they have is where do they go? the next thing they go but i can't vote for elizabeth warren. >> exactly. that's the next thing that they say is i can't vote for elizabeth warren, biden has his issues, we can go through the list. so the problem, like the never trumpers, people without a home, without a country because they can't stand him, but they really don't see a democrat who's going to get there who they can support. if we had a moderate democrat -- >> i've heard that a lot. >> -- in the mix, they would go to it. >> they find morality had they're pocketbook starts getting ainfectedget affected. >> mika, you and i have heard this from so many people not only former trump supporters but independents and democrats. and it's really from all sides of the party where they say, you know, we can't vote for donald trump but, gee, we can't vote for elizabeth warren or bernie sanders either. and therein lies, i think, a real challenge. i know, you know, twitter will
kpod if y explode if you make that argument on twitter. i'm just telling people that are watching the show what we all hear. and it's from -- it's from different groups. it's not just in new york, it's -- >> well, it's from democrats, joe. >> it's in florida, michigan. yeah, it's democrats as well who are really scared right now. and the suburbs, people in the suburbs where this is -- this is democratic territory. if what we are hearing is actually true, then elizabeth warren and bernie sanders either one of them against donald trump puts the suburbs back in play, it just does. >> i stood alone. i think i felt in the conversation leading up in the run-up to the election about the weaknesses of hillary clinton's campaign. but now when i talk to people who were high up in the democratic party, this conversation is real. there is a void from the is a problem about who can beat trump. i personally love elizabeth warren.
you all know that, you've been watch meg watch her for years. i think her message matches her life story, matches what she wants to do for america. i would potentially vote for her. but you know what? the people who are really tired of trump who are looking for an alternative who would be very comfortable with joe biden, they're left without a candidate if joe biden can't make it through. >> i hear from everybody -- >> this is what i hear. >> the issue is not just policy. what i'm hearing, i'm hearing the exact same thing that, joe, you're expressing. it's a question of leadership. we have a president that has indicated i will bring down the whole american experiment for my own self-interest. people want someone that's strong that will not only come with the right policy and i think elizabeth warren and bernie and them are doing that, but they show the strength to hold this nation up on its back and stand up. and that strength is going to be just as important as policy. >> and beat back the -- >> americans don't want -- 160
million americans don't want to be told they can't get the insurance they want. literally elizabeth warren, i take a lot of heat from this and she's wonderful is the only thing that can keep trump in office. >> well, the problem right now is, willie, that you also talked to the same democrats who are expressing real concern about elizabeth warren and bernie sanders, they're expression equal concern and i'd love to hear from steve and others about this, about joe biden who, let's just say it on the air, they don't think joe biden is up for this race. they don't think he can do it. and that is, again, you know, we heard all of these complaints about hillary clinton's campaign, but nobody in polite society would really stay on television. mika said it and everybody was shocked and stunned and deeply saddened and phil griffin would get calls from people running the democratic party saying that mika had to straighten up or be taken off the air. meek and heed up being right about that. so let's just get it out on the
table now instead of waiting till next year. >> great. >> we're all hearing that joe biden just may not be up to this. that's why democrats are really wringing their hands behind the scenes saying, my god, are we going to get donald trump again? >> you do hear that and, yet, his polling has -- listen, he's held his position. >> yes, he has. >> but elizabeth warren is surging, that's why the race is getting closer. you hear that anecdotally. you hear it after the debate where they go, i don't know, can he hang in with donald trump in a one on one matchup in i'm watching him, he doesn't look like he has his fastball anymore. but in public polling he's still in a fight tight race with elizabeth warren. i think the democrats say that i don't want my taxes go up with elizabeth warren. i also hear from democrats who are so principally against donald trump, they say i'll take anybody about donald trump.
maybe i prefer joe biden, but can you afford elizabeth warren? i don't think they're going to pass through the senate nip nor. anyway. none of these things that she's putting out there are not going to make it through the suts united states senate. you may object to a lot of it, but it's not going to happen if i way. >> look, i was at a dinner the other day -- >> i was just going to say, steve, that is the case. it will never happen. medicare for all will certainly not happen in this environment. you go back and look at obamacare and how difficult obamacare was to pass. just barely got through. democrats paid for it for eight years politically. if somebody -- i mean, again there is just a reality check. if somebody's looking at elizabeth warren and looking at medicare for all, they have to understand it's not going to pass the house and if it does pass the house it will never pass the united states senate. but, steve, people don't think
that way had they go in to vote, they just go elizabeth warren's taking, you know, wants to take my private healthcare plan away from me and make me go to the federal government to get healthcare. that is not a winning issue when you drill down on it in the polls. >> no. look, i think you're exactly right. i would say people don't think about it that way. but, look, i was at a political dinner the other night and someone said, well, you know, i don't agree with elizabeth warren about anything but i'm going to vote for her because nothing she wants is actually going to get passed. that's kind of a crazy way to make a political decision to run a country. there's one issue is can elizabeth warren beat sflufrp i wou donald trump? i would say the world i live in people have a hard time bringing themselves to vote for elizabeth warren. secondly is the question that she does have a lot of policies,
not all of which have to go there congress, some can be done administratively that i think would be highly negative. but you to have, i agree with what you said a few minutes ago, you to have the situation where democrats are worried about winning because of the strengths and weaknesses of the various leading candidates. and the people in the center who really don't like trump, don't want to vote for trump are looking at what's going on on the democratic side and say who i do vote for? where do i go? >> well, you look, rev, also, let's just show all sides of this. you look at just about every head to head matchup and, yes, joe biden wins by double digits. it trounces, trounces donald trump. this one he wins by ten points and others it's even more than that. but look at elizabeth warren. in this poll she's withnning by ten points. i guess these numbers will all tighten up, they always do tient
tighten up and perhaps biden might play better in pennsylvania, might play better in wisconsin, michigan, and ohio. but, rev, weaved talk've talked elizabeth warren's weaknesses and said maybe she's not so weak with swing voters. but let's go to joe biden who we've all sid peopaid he's lost than one step and he's not up to. but you look at the fox news poll we just showed, he's up three points. he's ahead of the field. and you look at that south carolina poll where it counts the most. biden is tearing them up in south carolina. >> yes. >> a lot of biden support in south carolina is african-american voters. a lot of that is based on he was barack obama's vice president. if there is an upset in iowa, even a close vote and new hampshire, and it appears that
elizabeth warren is the one that can beat donald trump, a lot of that vote will switch because a democrats votes are based on anti-trump. people -- particularly in the world i live in would vote for anyone against trump. the question is can we come up with somebody that the beat trump rather than just anybody? an anti-trump voter is one thing. an antivote because i like this person is another thing. but let's not forget elizabeth warren wasn't in the discussion a few months ago. so she's come from someone who everyone was laughing at with the pocahontas thing to everyone's discussing can she beat trump? that's a long way from where she started. i would not count her out. >> she's doing great. >> nbc news correspondents broke a couple big stories last night. joining us now is cara lee with
reporting on what the former russian aide is set to reveal in congressional testimony. also with us, nbc's julia ainsley with reporting on law classmates of white house counsel pat telling him that he's distorting the constitution. carol, we'll start with you who was the former aide and what do we expect her to reveal? >> well, mika, the former aide is fiona whoil whill who was in of the russian security council for about 2 1/2 years until this summer -- she left right around the time of that now infamous ukraine call that the president had with president zelensky. and a person familiar with her testimony, she's scheduled to testify next to week, said that she plans to tell congress that rudy giuliani and gordon sondland who is the u.s. ambassador to the eu were running around the chain of command within the white house to set ukraine policy and that that involved circumventing key
officials who would typically be involved with a poly liicy lookt including not only fiona hill but the national security adviser at the time john bolton. so she plans to say that giuliani and sondland were essentially running a shadow foreign policy that had a direct line to the president. and, you know, i should ad that giuliani responded to us last night and said that he doesn't know fiona hill, that his -- what he was doing was coordinated with the state department and perhaps, you know, she was running some sort of shadow foreign policy. just to put that into context, fiona hill was in charge of russia and europe. ukraine was her beat. and she worked in the national security council. so this was -- this was what she does. what she was there to do. and, you know, one of the things about her testimony is that kind of makes people around the president nervous is she was not a trump loyalist, she was a
russia hawk and expert and she knows a lot. she was there, she knows everything that happened up to that fun to call and she knows not only just about ukraine, mika, but she knows a ton about russia. she was there for everything that the president was doing with russia until she left this summer. >> so, kurt, what do you make of this? what stands out to you and also what else do you expect the committee to get out of people like rick perry if they ever can get them to talk? >> well, i think what we're seeing, mika, is rudy giuliani is becoming the central figure in this probe. put there really by donald trump. we saw in the transcript or the notes of the transcript of that call, ukrainian president that he directed him to talk to rudy giuliani. and so i think one of the things that we've seen this week is that the entry of former congressman trey gaudy in the trump orbit as legal adviser. i think this has to do with the fact that rudy is coming under fire. it may not be wise for the
president to have rudy as the face of the president. the more that rudy becomes part of this probe, they're going to need somebody else out there. i think that's the reason why they've turned to gaudy. gaudy was the former chair of the benghazi committee, has expensive experience with oversight in congress. it's interesting because when i worked at the oversight committee, gaudy was theardent theard dent defender of oversight. >> i want to interrupt there because so many republicans were like i'm shocked. the subpoena, they're getting these subpoenas for the president, it's shocking. and could you tell us how many times gaudy and the committee subpoenaed the obama administration? because i heard these republicans being shocked and stun a stunned and deeply sad end and these subpoenas sent out.
they sent a flurry ute all tout time. you name it, fast and furious, didn't that start with a whistleblower too? >> exactly. republicans love whistleblowers when obama was president and they issued hundreds of subpoenas, joe, going from trey guad i do when darryl was the committee chairman for the first part of this decade. they didn't hesitate to unleash every mechanism of congressional authority and oversight prerogative as possible. they held hundreds of hearings, hundreds of depositions and did not at all feel any -- any remorse about diplomatic sizing things like benghazi and using the power of congress to hurt hillary clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. and so it's funny now to see he's characters like trey gaudy, like jim jordan and mike pompeo who was also on the benghazi committee say that the executive branch canfully ignore congressional authority, can completely turn their backs to it, throw a wrecking ball to the checks and balances, it's
completely the opposite of what we heard from them when barack obama was president. >> you know, let's move to julia ainsley's reporting because you have a growing number of groups of people coming together to sign letters saying what you're doing is wrong. and what kind of space does that make? what's your reporting, julia? >> well, mika, the subpoena issue is at the heart of this reporting as well. we obtained a letter from 22 former classmates. and what they're saying is the letter he sent to house democrats on tuesday presents something that they say is unconstitutional and does not reflect the insurance intellectual honesty that they learned in the class of 1991 at the university of chicago. they're saying and i can read from it here, when any president openly invites the help of foreign powers for partisan political purposes, congress and the exercise of its constitutional powers should conduct an inquiry and the white house should cooperate. fair-minded lawyers can easily agree on this regardless of their politics.
your letter, instead, distorts the law and the constitution for other purposes, including cable news consumption. so they're saying that pat s's letter blocking material to part of the impeachment inquiry doesn't reflect what they learned in law school. we went through people who had signed this. it's easy to see what was in that law school class as well as the names that signed and we went through the donations they made. and they've given to both republican and democratic candidates in the past. they say that regardless of their political views, it is not his position and he shouldn't do this based on his training to block congress what they think is a legitimate inquiry. as we know at that point, pat is saying it is simply not worth the president's energy when he needs to be governing the country to be handing over materials and allowing witnesses to testify. this was interesting. this is going straight to his desk from people went to school with. >> wow, that's fascinating.
let me ask both you and carol, obviously this has been a remarkable week, it's a busy week in the age of trump. what are you going to be working on, julia? >> gosh, i think from the justice department angle i want to be looking into everything william barr is doing and who he is meeting with. as we know there was some reporting yesterday that william barr went to new york and met with rupert murdoch. we want to know more about that and his overseas travel. also how much involvement he has in the john durham investigation. looking into the origins of the mueller investigation. one thing that was interesting about barr yesterday, though, that we learned is that he has known since he came in to his position as attorney general as far back as february about the inquiry that led to those arrests and that indictment yesterday of the two people who have worked with rudy giuliani in ukraine. so that was interesting that he has known about that and has allowed that to progress. but i think any -- any part of this where william barr has his
finger on the scale or is involved, we want to know how and we want to see if he's carrying that out in a way that's free of bias. >> and, joe, what about now. >> what are you going to be looking at through this weekend? >> well, i'm really interested in how fiona hill's case plays out, whether the white house tries to block her testimony if she winds up being subpoenaed, if she's able to reent wally testify. because it's basically a test case for how the scenario will play out with other former white house officials who congress might want to talk to. most principally potentially the former national security adviser john bolton and some of his aides who deportarted with them. they left on sour terms with the white house. fun of them have none of them have a reason to defend president trump. fiona hill's -- her testimony will be important, but also whether it is able to go through and how that plays out between
the white house and congress say real test case for potentially other significant testimony going forward. >> our thanks to carol lee and julia ainsley. thank you both for your reporting. we'll be reading all of it at nbcnews.com. and kurt, thank you as well. >> thank you, kurt. >> we'll be reading your new piece on nbc news think about trey gaudy. and "politico's" jake sherman, thank you as well. still ahead on "morning joe," how the answer to a simple yes or no question somehow stretched into a four-minute tap dance. we'll talk about senator cory gardner's struggle to denounce foreign interference in american elections. it's not hard. with florida republican congressman carlos car bellow next on "morning joe." bellow next on "morning joe." - [spokeswoman] meet the ninja foodi pressure cooker,
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do you believe it's appropriate for the president of the united states to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, yes or no. >> this is what we're going to get into. the senate against committee is having an investigation, a bipartisan investigation. but we've seen a very political process take over. >> is it -- >> i've answered your question. >> no, you didn't. >> it's a yes or no answer. >> here's what we're seeing in the how fast representatives. you see a very partisan process taking place. why is it when you all do stories or resee reports in the news it's been about four states, colorado, arizona, maine, and north carolina? seems to be about politics and elections other than the serious process that it. >> but the question is is it appropriate for the president to have -- have -- >> we're going so have an investigation. >> the president actually said that he's doing it, so you can investigate it, but you can also answer the question as to whether or not it's okay to do that sips t that since the president said he did. republican senator cory gardner
of colorado, that was him painfully dodging questions about whether it was appropriate for president trump to ask foreign countries to investigate his rivals. joining us now, politics and journalism professor at morgan state university, politics editor at the root and msnbc political contributor jason johnson. staff writer at the atlantic, david fromm joins us. and carlos curbelo of florida, he's an nbc news and msnbc political tricontributor. congressman, why is it so hard to answer that question, do you think? it doesn't seem that -- could you try to answer it? >> mika, this is the impossible position that a lot of republicans find themselves in. they're trying -- >> but is it really? >> the answer's simple. >> the answer's simple. >> the answer to the question is simple. what they're trying to do is they're trying to stay loyal to their base voters who support the president not
offending swing voters. and that's very difficult. that just doesn't work. >> i don't think -- >> so you end up losing on both sides. that's why my advice is always just answer truthfully. and don't worry about who's going to be offended or who you may lose. people will respect you ultimately for just speaking plainly and saying the truth. >> i mean, when you walk down the middle of the road, you get hit by traffic on both sides and that's what's happening here. you satisfy no one because you stand for nothing. it is not only very simple politically, you represent the united states congress to your constituents and your constituents to them. to equivocate on whether or not a foreign government should interfere with our elections should be something that at your core you believe in. >> it's a simple pivot. you could say no but i still support the president. it's not a hard pivot. >> jason johnson, we're talking about political considerations here, but isn't there just an easy answer to that question? and i guess the other question
would ask and you'd be a good person to ask, as is klay mccaskill who sits here, is the job, do you need to be a congressman or senator that badly that you're willing to compromise and lie and say thing that you know are untrue or at the very least unethical? >> that lifelong retirement check if you serve a couple terms seems to be pretty good. some of them think it's worth it. you say, no, it's not appropriate but i don't think that's what the president did. that's how you spin it. now, is everyone going to believe you some of course not. but you down the sound as di disingenuous in this answer. he is down four points to hickenlooper. he's in a serious fight for his political career in colorado. the second issue is imagine that segment that we just saw with him multiplied by 50 different members of the senate in 2020 or beyond. every single senator who can't come up with a clear, concise
answer about this impeachment is going to be held accountable in the next election and subsequent elections. so they need to get in the room and figure out what their consistent assistance going to be. they can't give this nonsense, they can't quote fox news. they've got to give an answer that makes sense to people in the suburbs, rural areas, the or you're going to lose your seat next year. >> mitt romney has been the strongest to come out. we've heard some fishback although not full throated from a couple republicans but not many others the do you see any dynamic, is there any polling that could change the posture of republicans on this question? >> i think a lot of things will change. the reason cory gardner danced the question, you all are focused on the jab, he's watching the hook. because the question after, if not, then what will you do about it? congressman curbelo and jason suggested i think it's inappropriate but i don't believe the president did '. but he knows the president did it. we all know the president did
it. it's on tape. just yesterday the financial times reported that a trump adviser in china, mike pillsbury asked them for a investigation on biden. you have to be careful about accepting the jab. since the president did it you need to be careful about saying whether it's appropriate or not. >> congressman curbelo, in ferms of these two associates of rudy giuliani who were nabbed at the airport you met with them about a year ago. can you tell us the circumstances about that and what were your reflections from meeting them? >> they were on the hill lobbying on canada's policy and now i understand why, because it seems they were trying to get into the business in nevada. and they certainly stood out a little bit. i had no reason to believe that they were up to any wrongdoing because i certainly didn't talk about nephew crane stuany of th. but they do aftid over and over remained me this have clear access to the president.
i don't have any way of confirming that, but they did say they were frequent guests of mar-a-lago, they were going to dinner with the president there in the coming weeks. >> did you have any reason not to believe them? >> not at all. apparently they did have access and they did mention having a friendship with rudy giuliani as well. so that's something that they were very intent on sharing. and even kind of suggesting that they could help get policy passed or supported. >> you said those kind of stick out. >> if two men tell me just with respect to the congressman, if two men tell me they're frequent guests of the president, i would assume they're up to no good. >> yeah. >> do they also not stand out in their appearance? doesn't look like the kind of guys that are usually up on the hill? >> a little bit. yeah, people who visit congressional offices tend to dress a certain way and act a certain way and they stood out a little. but, again, i had no reason to believe after meeting them they were up to any of this. of course we didn't know about any of these details. >> so interesting. >> but they did stand out. >> how did they say they knew
the president of the united states? in other words, you've got two guys who are lobbying about cannabis. why were they so close to the president of the united states? did they tell you that? >> think the way they were presenting it is that they were politically supportive of the president and therefore had access. >> i'm curious just going back, i saw you wanted to jump in on our previous question about the way republicans are handling that question. do you see anything changing the dynamic? >> well, willie, think you made an important point. first thing i'll say is theres no life-long check after serving a couple terms, i can confirm that, it didn't exist. the second thing is you're right. the worst thing that can happen in politics, if you say the truth, is that you lose an election. and it's not so bad. and what all of these members of congress need to understand, republicans and democrats, because democrats have an important role here too and they have to treat this with sobriety and respect, is our institutions are far more important than any single politician. my parents come from a country where institutions broke down and they lost their country and
they had no choice but to become compiled to the united states. our institutions are being tested every day. and the men and women that are supposed to make those institutions strong, i think in many cases failing the test. >> david fromm, i'd love for you to weigh in on the situation in northeastern syria as it stands right now, the president's decision, what do you make of it, and is there any way that this situation can be rectified, backtracked in any way? what are the possibilities right now? >> well, you can't bring people back to life, that part of the situation can't be rectified. the united states could reverse itself and impose some kind of restraint on the turks. the president seems so strongly bent on not doing that. and when you think about president trump's indifference to events in most of the world, it's hard to come up with an innocent explanation of why he was so determined to disregard all advice and proceed on this plan. he does that only in -- between
russia and ukraine and he does that only in northeastern syria. everywhere else he takes advice. these two areas he does not. he must have some very strong inner compulsion. what could that snb be? it might be his corruption business interests. it could be he's sending a message to congress, you proceed against me i burn the world down around you. >> gracious. jason. >> yeah, look, and part of this also we have to remember it's just the president's general lack of knowledge about foreign policy. his refusal to listen to anybody. his foreign relations, whether we're talking about north korea, whether we're talking about russia, turkey, are always based on his interpersonal relations. his feelings about the leadership in saudi arabia. unfortunately if you have a president who's operating based off of feelings, operating based off of if he likes this particular leader, not with the geopolitical consequences, this is what we see happening. again, it's not only destabilize
together region, but it makes it difficult for our actual allies to trust us if they know the foreign policy happens based on gut instincts and tweet and not on real intelligence on the ground. >> all right. jason johnson and david fromm, thank you very much. carlos curbelo, thank you all very much for being on the show this morning. and there is still a shifting tide in global culture, our next guest and author who grew up in syria says for years american pop culture ruled the world. but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore. that discussion is next on "morning joe." anymore. that discussion is next on "morning joe."
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she is the niece and granddaughter of two former pakistani prime ministers and she spent her childhood and teenage years in syria. her new book is "new kings of the world, dispatches from bollywood, dz, and k-pop" we'll get to that in just a moment. fascinating and really significant to what is happening to america's place in the world today. but you grow up in syria, so i would like to get your reaction to the developments there and the president's decision to abandon kurdish allies. >> well, unfortunately president trump isn't the first american president to abandon the kurds. president obama abandoned them in 2011 when he pulled out of iraq. so this seems to be a pattern that's repeated consistently. and in terms of turkey's moving into syria, turkey has been positioning itself as a leader and not just of asia or the middle east, but of the muslim
world. they've been pushing their power whether through military or soft power means for a very long time. >> the president's decision seemed rather drastic. what was your gut as to what was behind his decision versus the decisions of other presidents? >> well, think it points to the incredible decline of american power. here is an american president steps asi stepping aside for others to lead the way. this seems to happen across the board whether one looks at politics in the middle east, culture or anything else. >> this leads us into your book because when you look at pop culture and america seemed to lead around the world. you can look apt it t it as sorn the entertainment sphere or as influence. >> we should look at it as influence. steve bannon famously believes politics is downstream of culture. first you hit the culture and the politics follows. i think a lot of people working in the world today know that and it is time we all catch up. >> what do you find in writing
this book? what is happening? >> well, the attention has turned away from america, the many millions of america who are coming late to the model world. we are stulging with the tensions of global zachlization. they see it in products like bollywood which comes from india or turkish dz, which is turkish television shows. they're modern but embedded with traditional values and people respond to that. >> give us an example of a particular show or piece of pop culture, oh, this is why these people relate to it versus a piece of television show over here. what are they seeing over there? >> i think they're seeing themselves first of all. they're reflected in the stories. hollywood has come so late to the idea of diversity and representation -- >> beyond the actual, okay, i see what i look like and the person looks like me, what are
the values that they are serving up? >> there was a show in turkey that was popular called "what is fatima go full." it is about a poor woman who is violated by a group of men. she fights for justice. that fight is not easy. it is long, but she is triumphant. >> i could say the fight -- the amazing mini series about the central park five was a similar story line. the colors of the faces may have been different, but it is that same exact story line about -- >> yes, but it is very particular to new york. so you would have to have an understanding of what new york was like in that period of police power in new york, of racial feelings in new york. the story of fatima is fighting for basic human dignity, justice and -- and the compassion of her
community. >> obviously american pop culture still has power around the world. >> yes. >> an "avengers" movie is about to make its way around the world. when did you see the change in more pop culture and local art they can let to? >> i think it comes from several places. number one, soft power only works when the power behind it is seen as credible. films like "zero dark thirty" or "american sniper" are alienating for people watching that. migration has been very important here. in 2015 over a billion people migrated. i know in the west people assume they're all coming to the west, but a minority is. some 200 million are leaving their country. the majority are moving within their own borders, going from rural homes into the city. those people ignored in the
enormous, faceless city are not seeing their problems reflected in films like "avenger, or "captain america" or ""spider-man"" doesn't speak to them but bollywood does. >> how do the people who feel in many ways feel marge iballized and now want to express their culture and not have others, particularly out of the west, impose their culture on them? >> i think that's a huge part of it. i went to peru to write about a subculture of the bollywood fans. they have moved from the islands into lima. they come from andean backgrounds and feel insulted and patronized by popular culture at large. they don't feel they can speak their native languages, they don't feel they can wear their native dress comfortably.
they're relegated to a backward position. when you watch a bollywood film someone is wearing a sari, wearing traditional clothes, treating their family in traditional manner but still captains of modern industry, power and prestige. >> fascinating. the book is "new kings of the world, diss patches from bollywood, dz and k pop." thank you for being on the show. great to have you on. >> thank you. >> coming up, it is not the democrats but the independence who seem to be driving the swing in the impeachment. when it comes to defending joe biden against donald trump's attacks, the head of the democratic party says it is the campaign's job, not the ndnc's. we will ask the party chairman about his hands-off approach ahead on "morning joe". .. i'm oe and i'm not gonna be around... i'm worried about my parents' retirement.
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do you think it is appropriate for the president of the united states to solicit foreign interference in our political process? thank you. >> of course, no. no, it is absolutely not. >> right. see that right there, you saw that. it is pretty easy. it is just a no. absolutely not. crystal clearance from former trump national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. he knows the answer. so --
>> well, he should. >> right. >> i mean he should know. he should know the answer. he's national security adviser and, of course, the answer to this has always been the same. >> yeah. >> it has been unambiguous, and i'm sure there's nobody, mika, on capitol hill that would have any problem answering that question. >> right. so let's see how republican senator cory gardner handled a nearly identical question. >> oh, watch what he's going to say now. >> reporter: do you believe it is appropriate for the president of the united states to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, yes or no? >> look, this is what we're going to get into. the senate intelligence committee is having a bipartisan investigation. unfortunately, we have seen a political process take over. >> reporter: but the question is, is it appropriate for a president to ask a foreign government to investigate. >> it is a non-partisan investigation. >> my god. it went on like that for four minutes. it's been that kind of week. >> is it okay to throw somebody
in front of a bus as it is speeding down fifth avenue? we're going to have an investigation. it has become very political, this question, because it was a democrat that was thrown in front -- no. it is not about politics, cory. listen, i know you're running in 2020. we understand that. but the answer is no, it is not appropriate. it is never done. it is not supposed to be done. this is black and white. >> it can't be that hard. >> yes, no. it is not that hard. i tell you, it is also not hard explaining to your constituents, hey, i'm going to support this guy when he supports the people of colorado. i'm going to vote for this guy when he votes, when he has issues that he's pushing for the people of colorado. but, no, i'm not going to allow him to do things that actually weaken america and i'm not going to allow him to do things that no other commander in chief
would do because it undermines this country. it is very simple. >> it is. >> they're going to all pay. listen, mark it all down. they're going to all pay for this. >> well, i think -- >> politically, they're going to get vetted out of office. >> welcome back to "morning joe". still with joe, willie and me we have donny deutsch. >> oh, that's great. >> former treasury official and "morning joe" economic analyst steve ratner, and pulitzer prize winner columnist and associate editor for "the washington post" and msnbc analyst eugene robinson. we will start with yet another new pole showing a majority of americans show house democrats impeachment inquiry into president trump. according to a new npr/pbc/marist hour poll, 52% of americans approve of the impeachment inquiry into president trump since 43%
approved last month. 49% support beechkboechlt of im president, 47% are opposed. americans are divided on whether they support the senate voting to remove trump from office. 48% to 48%. >> that's still high. >> yeah, yeah. >> willie, we are going to keep going but look at the numbers. keep the numbers up on the screen, and if you are driving in to work listening to us, 48% of americans support donald trump be removed from office. 48% oppose. >> gosh. >> willie, we're within the margin of error again. it is about the third or fourth poll i believe where half of americans, 50% of americans, soon a majority of americans support donald trump being impeached in the house, convicted in the senate and removed from office. >> yeah. >> this is staggering. >> and these questions, joe, are making the leap not to do you support impeachment inquiry. we have seen support for that. this question here, the one on the screen is do you support the
senate voting to remove president trump from office. in other words, have you seen enough already to believe that donald trump should be removed from office. 48% say so. yesterday we had the "fox news" poll that showed 51% of americans supported that idea. that led to donald trump writing sort of a break-up tweet with "fox news" yesterday before perhaps getting back together with "fox news" at his rally last night. but he sees these polls, especially the "fox news" polls, and there are numb of them now, there's a critical mass of the polls that you can't dismiss one or the other as an outlier. 68% said it is not acceptable for a president to ask foreign countries to investigate his political rivals. >> cory, that's the answer. >> there you go. only 26% say it is acceptable. 60% say they do not trust the administration very much or at all. 40% say they do trust the administration a great or a good amount, joe. >> i wonder who that 40% are.
so anyway, donny deutsch, it seems that donald trump is having a problem with the republicans over the kurds. there seems to be sort of a real rift there. he's sort of throwing "fox news" under the bus. he doesn't like data that comes from "fox news" that actually it is polling that -- these are the same pollsters by the way. you had liars going out saying, oh, there's a liberal firm. no, it is the same group of people that were saying only 40% supported impeachment a month or two ago. but, donny, he is throwing "fox news" under the bus. he is throwing republicans under the bus. he is throwing the kurds under the bus, and, wait for it, wait for it, he's throwing rudy guilliani under the bus. you will have to ask rudy. hey, you got a buddy who is in jail right now. you heard that, right? you're going to have to ask michael cohen about that. now we're hearing, you're going to have to ask rudy.
we will guess to these stories, but two of rudy's associates who were close to donald trump in jail, in jail. now rudy is having to fay pretty tough questions himself. >> you know, if you know donald trump there isn't anybody he wouldn't throw -- he would throw his family under the bus. >> of course. >> i don't say it glibly. he will be the last man standing until they carry him out. two points. full of all, i think it is important that the democrats -- the new rudy story, there's so much to unpack there. the good news/bad news as the democrats move forward on impeachment they can't lose the one-sentence strategy. the more this thing airs out and fans out, you start to in a strange way -- it gets worse but dlu dl dilutes the simple message that the president sought foreign power to get dirt on a political adversary.
that's critical for the democrats. i want to go back to one point from earlier, joe. i don't understand how somebody like a mitt romney does not come forward. it is such an obvious thing to say. right now you will be an american hero and you can say, look, i supported the president's policies and it is painful but i work for the rotors and administrator that none of these people get that it is not even brave or smart politically. >> hasn't mitt come forward? >> i mean in a more meaningful way. to stand up -- >> so when you want -- so you want mitt romney when he is saying what the president has done is wrong and despicable, you want him carrying a blow torch and spraying anybody, is that what you want, donny? >> no, i do -- >> he's one of the guys that has come forward. >> i stand corrected on mitt romney. my point is even what you are saying is wrong, what is wrong with saying, "and he does not belong in office"? what is wrong with somebody taking that leaning?
>> it is so obvious. >> i don't even think you would get points for that at this point, but to me he is one guy that is bullet proof. what would americans think if he stood up and said, "look, this is not working"? republicans would line up behind him. >> i don't know that. >> the thing is though, donny, here is the thing, not everybody just has a constituency of 12 or 13 people that work in their upper east side mansion like you. >> joe, no -- >> poor donny. >> no, i'm just saying. >> okay. >> you do have to bring people along. >> it is not just -- you don't start at zero and go to 100 miles an hour. >> heroes do. >> i know you want to get mitt to carry the blow torch. >> heroes do. >> no, actually, abe raham lincn at the beginning of the world, you know, slavery, if i can save
the union and keep slavery, let's keep slavery. he didn't really blef thelieve but he knew he had to bring the north along. it is all about saving the union, then eventually he moved and he kept moving until he could get to emancipation. mitt romney i think -- gene robinson, correct me if i'm wrong. might romney stepped out there about as strongly as i think he can politically right now. he called it disgusting. i don't know the exact words, but it is a two, three, four, five, six-step process. >> yes. >> especially when you have people who support somebody. you want the facts to do the talking and you follow the facts. >> yes, i mean just the objective truth is that romney has gone farther out than any other republican senator at this point. he just has. he has come and, you know, and he uses the entry words, deeply
disturbing and appalling. that's the beginning of what i hope is the progression you talk about, joe. but people like cory gardner and susan collins and joni ernst are going to continue to come under pressure from their constituents and from reporters who will keep asking the question over and over again for four minutes if they, continue pressing, and they're going to have to come up with better answers than they did. look, the political reality is they're still all petrified of a donald trump tweet storm, and romney is more immune to that than most of them before the people of utah are really not
trumpi trumpist republicans. they're conservative republicans. he is probably the one with the least to worry about from his republican constituents i think. >> all right. >> you know, willie -- >> go ahead, joe. >> just really quickly to joe. there was an event last night where the president got out and said a few things, was a little unbalanced. as george conway said, the husband of one of the president's top aides, he said it appeared he had severe personality disorders that were on full display. out of respect to the family and his loved ones we're not going to be showing that speech. we actually think he would -- and i am hoping that he can get some care and get some treatment because, once again, it seems that the president of the united states is detached from reality and not well. >> well, consider what he's up against now. rudy guilliani, two of his buddies, businessmen, were arrested. they were walking on to a plane
bound for europe. they were intercepted on the jet way, brought back and arrested. >> that has happened to us before, by the way, willie. >> it has. i was hoping you wouldn't bring that up. >> it is not fun. years later we finally get out of turkey, but we will talk about that next block, but go ahead. >> long story. the backdrop is he got questions on the way out of the white house about that. who are these two guys? i didn't really know them. there might be a picture of me and then but i didn't really know them. the indictment is they're the go betweens, they may be who paid rudy guilliani to fly all over the country, they had connections in ukraine to get rudy in touch with people to find the dirt on biden. >> can we go back to the last picture? that guy on the right dresses like donny. >> joe, joe, you and i, pal, let's go to the school yard because you're going hard today. >> come on, donny. i love the leaves behind you since you are in the autumn of your life. >> joe, i don't think it is nice that you mock -- you are mocking
cancer, joe. i talked about melanoma and you mocked it. i think it is making me sad, i want to say that. >> i'm sorry. >> can i go back to the romney thing? i think we're -- just give me 30 seconds. i think we're setting a low bar. >> first of all, i didn't mock cancer. >> don't tweet. he was making fun of me. >> i thought you were talking about your girl melanomia, somebody you brought back -- >> just joe did not mock in the tweet, everybody. but very quickly -- >> do you have to? >> yes. we are setting a low bar. leaders go further than that. mitt romney stood up and said, look, we need to start to think bl we are going as a country and this man's leadership. i think people would line up behind him, he is a leader. >> i didn't see the rally last
night and i don't think we should show it, but for the reasons you said, willie, you get the feeling the guy is unhinged and desperate. he is saying stuff and flailing out in ways that are even more crazy than what he normally does. the stuff he said about the bidens, you know, the words he used, it is all pretty disgusting. >> it was really disturbing stuff. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> reporter: are you concerned that rudy guilliani could be indicted in all of this? >> well, i hope not. again, i don't know how he knows these people. >> they're his client. >> what? >> they're his clients. >> well, then they're his clients. he has a lot of clients. i don't know. i haven't spoken to rudy about it. >> president trump offers a less than forceful defense of his personal attorney. the latest drama involving rudy colludey next on "morning joe". standard of care. ♪ life is too much ♪ life is too much like viola. when she was diagnosed with breast cancer,
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two foreign-born associates of rudy guilliani are facing criminal charges after being arrested while trying to leave the country. they are accused of trying to influence u.s. politics with illegal campaign contributions. nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has the details? inside federal court rudy guilliani's inside men in ukraine who had been helping him dig up dirt on joe biden there. now in a separate case, the bear is being charged with breaking campaign finance laws here by allegedly trying to funnel foreign money into elections to buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns and the candidates' governments. the two, arrested at dulles airport, after buying a one-way ticket out of the country investigators say. >> this investigation is about corrupt behavior, deliberate law breaking. >> reporter: in one example they donated more than allowed to
former congressman pete sessions according to the indictment and asked for help getting rid of the u.s. ambassador to ukraine, mar maria maria maria ivano vihch. she is spoken privately and repeatedly about the current administration. sessions said his motivation for the letter said that political appointees should not disparage the president, adding that he will vigorously defend himself against allegations of wrong doing. the indictment reveals that they disguised the source of $325,000 in donations to a pro trump super pac which says that money is in a segregated account while the battle unfolds. the president -- >> reporter: what conversations have you had with lev parnas and
fruman -- >> i don't know those gentlemen. it is possible i have a picture with them because i have a picture with everybody here. somebody said there may be a picture at a fundraiser or somewhere. >> reporter: guilliani, the president's personal attorney, telling nbc news he can't comment yet but he said he referred them to a finance expert who resolved it. house democrats have subpoenaed parnas and fruman. >> that's hallie jackson. >> my gosh. >> let's bring in investigative reporter tom winter. help us cut through this. there are a lot of new names in this ukraine story. why are they significant to rudy guilliani getting information out of the country? >> i think it is significant because you have a couple of people and rudy guilliani has said they're his clients. you have rudy guilliani has definitive ties to his people and as my colleagues reported yesterday, these are people he tried to do a business deal with in ukraine in the natural gas business, which is one of the
dirtiest businesses that there is in any country let alone in ukraine. it is an industry that is notorious for corruption. it is rive with russian organized crime influences. that's the primary players in that, people that are involved and regular defenders of the president on tv -- talking about joe digeniva who represents a ukrainian oligarch in the middle of the industry. it is a dirty industry. you have rudy guilliani completely mixed up with the individuals and on top of that you have a federal investigation going on for nearly two years now, at least a year and a half according to our reporting. it is a significant case. >> effectively because of their connections to ukraine they were helping rudy guilliani get access inside ukraine perhaps to find information about the bidens, for example? >> i mean that's another huge part of this. it is not in -- it has nothing to do with the charges filed
yesterday, but it is absolutely something that's been talked about. this is absolutely what has come up in the past. so it raises a lot of questions, if you have them at the center of this ongoing biden effort to find information in ukraine, and in the meantime you have them accepting, according to the allegations yesterday in the indictment, you have them accepting foreign money and putting that into the u.s. election process, and as the indictment states there's no indication that the campaigns or the pro trump super pac that received money here, that they were aware of these efforts, but they're definitely involved in influencing the 2018 election and actually moving money to a then-sitting u.s. congressman, pete sessions. >> so if you could, tom, help us out. you say it is a really dirty industry, a corrupt industry. give us a timeline for guilliani trying to get involved in the industry, trying to strike deals in ukraine. >> yes, joe, this goes back within the last year or two. this is really a recent effort. it is an effort that -- it is
not clear that they actually were able to get engaged in this industry in a meaningful way or actually be involved with it. there's been a lot of efforts over the past i would say year or two to be able to get kind of these middle men players. what happens in the industry, there's a lot of different companies coming in and they all take a bit of a skim. whereas here you may have a natural gas company and that distributes it to your apartment building, your condo building, your home, they have a couple of different layers of people that get involved and all take a little bit off the top. it can become very lucrative as you can imagine in a place like ukraine. coming up on "morning joe", president trump describes what is happening in syria as a, quote, victory for the united states. america's kurdish allies would call it something else. richard haas weighs in on the new battle front there next on "morning joe". ♪ limu emu & doug
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aaddiction. how juuline hooked kids and ignited an janssen can help you explore public health crisis." other news outlets report- juul took $12.8 billion from big tobacco. markets e-cigarettes with kid friendly flavors and uses nicotine to addict them. 5 million kids use 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. >> reporter: which of the three choices on syria that you just articulated in a tweet -- >> perhaps the last one, i hope. i hope the last one. of the three, i hope it is going to be the last one. look, we have no soldiers in
syria. we have won. we beat isis and we beat them badly and decisively. we have no soldiers. the last thing i want to do is bring thousands and thousands of soldiers in and defeat everybody again. we have already done that. so what we have is really two choices. you have the choice of bringing in the military and defeating everybody again or you have the choice of financially doing some very strong things to turkey so that they take it a little bit easy on really competition that is -- i don't think it is being fairly treated in many ways. okay. we have a very good relationship with kurds, or we can mediate. i hope we can mediate. >> i mean it is shockingly ignorant of history. not of history like the 1940s, of history three or four years ago. let's bring in richard haas. he is the author of "a world in disarray," now in its 14th printing, complete with barbecue
shots. really more barbecue than foreign policy. so you listen to donald trump there, richard, and it is almost as if he doesn't remember that he kept attacking barack obama during the campaign for, quote, inventing isis because of his speedy withdrawal. now here you have donald trump a couple of years later saying, oh, we are going to leave, we don't want american troops to have to come back, when what he is doing is ensuring the reemergence of isis and killings across europe and america and the return of american troops back to syria. the president is doing the very thing, except i think far worse, than what barack obama, what he attacked barack obama for doing three or four years ago. >> plus, he inherited and helped bring about the solution. >> yes. >> we had a small number of u.s. troops partnering with the syrian kurds. isis was completely bottled up. there wasn't a war between
turkey and anybody else. the syrian government wasn't able to extend its control over the entire country despite russian and iranian help. we had an acceptable situation at an incredibly modest cost. what we have done is brought about a situation where thousands of die, where the syrian kurds will make common cause with the syrian government because that's who they now have to go to for protection to survive the turkish onslaught. you are right. ultimately terrorism will be reconstituted and we have to decide whether we are prepared to leave ourselves vulnerable or once again go back, but it will be harder, joe, to find a partner. what we have done is basically said being a partner of the united states is risky business. >> we burned a lot of bridges. so, richard, dissecting the president's brain is always a difficult issue. first you have to find it, but put that aside. how much do you think is trump's support, affection, whatever,
for erdogan, you know, another semi-autocrat semi-autocratic thuggish dictator versus his view that we just have to get out of everywhere? what do you think is motivating a policy everybody is agrees is insane? >> my own sense is take it at face value. he has talked about getting american troops out of the middle east. he is essentially isolationist in his instincts. he thinks the cost of alliances, the cost of foreign policy far outweighs the benefits. i see it as totally consistent with his world view. >> this is a few hundred troops in an absolutely critical position. >> your the 'righ're right, but him a talking point. but he was wrong in what he was saying there, u.s. troops are not leaving syria, they're pulling back. be that as it may, it gives him the argument he has undone one of the forever wars. it is what he tried to do with
afghanistan. it wasn't a peace agreement. it was a cover for american troop withdrawal even though it would have led to mayhem there. this is his part and parcel, it is clear. >> let's not forget he is still a real estate developer, still thinking about life after this. he won't be building in syria. coming up, the chair of the democratic national committee tom perez is standing by. he joins the conversation next on "morning joe". ♪ >> there was no quid pro quo. it was a perfect conversation. >> what really happened in ukraine? >> were you ever approached by or did you meet with rudy guilliani? >> richard engel reports from kiev with a look at the facts. "on assignment with richard engel, trump and ukraine, fact and fiction." sunday at 10:00 on msnbc. fictio. sunday at 10:00 on msnbc fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely.
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next month's debate on november 20th will be in georgia, hosted by msnbc, alongside "the washington post". joining us now, chairman of the democratic national committee, tom perez. very good to have you on the show. >> it is always great to be with you. >> we're looking at a number of issues. and in terms of the debate stage it is getting a little smaller but it is still a lot of candidates and it is tough to sort through all of the answers. >> well, we have a deep field and i think it is a good challenge to have, mika. we will have a debate next week. the criteria for next month has gone up, and we'll see who qualifies in november. we're looking forward to our partnership with you again next month as well in georgia. i think it will be a great night. you know, the reality is right now -- i mean we -- the democratic party is walking and chewing gum. i'm confident next week we will
talk about both this abuse of power by the president. >> yes. >> and we also will be talking about how we're going to make sure we continue our work of ensuring access to health care, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, making sure that everybody has access to opportunity. i mean i watched some of that rally last night, and, you know, it is all about himself. >> yeah. >> we need a president who is focused on helping the american people. this abuse of power scandal is really illustrating to me, and i think increasingly to the american people, that this is a president whose north star -- he looks in the mirror every day because it is himself and that's not what we need in a president. >> let me follow up on that because the abuse of power, of course, points directly at attacking joe biden. >> absolutely. >> i wonder if the party has done enough to push back directly as it pertains to joe biden himself. why separate -- why separate the two? >> oh, we've been very clear. i mean the president has been
lying like a rug about joe biden. he is doing it to distract from his own criminal wrong doing, wrong doing that i think is impeachable. we have been very clear in saying, for instance, to facebook -- i think we were first to say to facebook, stop airing those ads. they're lies. they're lies plain and simple. frankly, i appreciate the fact that nbc, cnn and, hopefully, others will do the same. we will never hess state to call out these lies and to make sure that networks don't aid and abed in this campaign to undermine the truth. we will continue to do that as a party, just as in the aftermath of el paso when there was fake news going around one of the shooters had a beto bumper sticker, we immediately went to the o'rourke campaign, told them of that, and we were off and running to make sure that that lie didn't get out there. so we're going to continue to be
exceedingly aggressive for the vice president, who has been the victim of a smear campaign here, and for any other candidate who is the victim of similar smear campaigns. that's not -- we will be consistent and we will be vigilant. >> mr. chairman, willie geist. good to see you this morning. as you well know, one of the criticisms of 2016 is that the dnc was on the side of hillary clinton from the beginning and helped shut out bernie sanders of the process, basically chose a side. do you run the risk by rallying around joe biden of repeating that? in other words taking a front-runner, choosing a candidate and perhaps not putting your thumb on the scale but defending him more than the others. >> we defended every candidate, willie. i very much appreciate your question. if you look at what we've done throughout this process and this cycle, any time any candidate has been the victim of a smear campaign, a lie campaign, we have been vigilant in calling that out. we have a seem of people who
spend all day trolling social media. when they see attacks on our candidates, we call the candidates, whoever it is, to make sure that they're aware of this. we work with them. i mentioned the work we did with the o'rourke campaign. i mentioned what we're doing now to call out the lies as it relates to the vice president. we will call out anything that is attacking any of our candidates based on lies. we will continue to do that. we will continue to work with all of the candidates when we see misinformation on social media. i think so far here, you know, i can give you other examples of how we have identified issues for other candidates. we will continue to do that. i understand the tenor of your question, and i think we have been even handed to every single candidate, and we will continue to do that. that is the ses ens essence of we're about here at the dnc. >> you probably saw yesterday, mr. chairman, one of the 12
candidates who is qualified for the debate, congressman tulsi gabbert of hawaii is threatening to boycott the debate. she claims in a posting on her website that the dnc is rigging the election again. she believes the debates show where they're focusing on the top-tier candidates and others can't get a word in. she believes the standards set to get on the stage with regard to polling is arbitrary, not transparent. how do you respond to congresswoman gabbert? >> we have been transparent throughout. whenever we announced our first debate we announced it and gave them four months to qualify for the debate stage. not only did we set up a polling criteria to get on the debate stage, but we set up a grassroots fundraising criteria. that never had been done in politics. we said that up, willie, because we wanted to give candidates who had real talent but maybe not
the national name id, an alternative pathway to the debate stage. there were something like 35 different polls for this upcoming debate, and what candidates needed to do was get on -- get 2% in no less than four polls. so you have to bat four out of 35 to get on the debate stage at 2%. that's highly -- i wouldn't call that a high bar. in addition, if you look at 2016 and other races, usually there were about, you know, six to ten poles that you had -- that were the poles being used. we gave you 35 different polls and a remarkably long runway to make the debate stage. i have great respect for the congresswoman. by the way, she made the debate stage for next week i would point out. i think we've been exceedingly fair and inclusive and transparent, and we're going to
continue to do that. >> tom, donny deutsch. how are you, man? >> always good to see you, donny. >> great, man. i want to do some branding, we worked together on the midterm, and go back to mika's point that although on the one hand we want to give exposure to everybody, that the democratic brand, as soon as they are baked down to a few candidates, the more we understand the conflict between them, when is the tipping point? i don't think it is in the democratic's best interest as a brand to continue to go forward with 12 people. it shows a very diluted approach, if you will. that's just if we were doing a little behind-the-scenes branding work. >> i think, donny, it will be up to the voters to figure out who their candidates are. one thing that's very clear to me, we have had 20, 25 people run for president, all but one won't make it to the mountain top. we need to make sure at the end of the day every candidate and their supporters understand
their candidate in fact got a fair shake, so when we have our nominee next spring everybody is coming together because our university file is our greatest strength against this president. next month the bar for participation in the georgia debate we will be doing with msnbc is raised. both the polling bar and the grassroots fundraising bar. we will continue to evaluate what the bar should be for december, and i suspect we will announce that in the not-so-distant future because, again, we want to give all of the candidates ample notice. i understand your point about the fact that there are a lot of people in the race. we have a deep field. i think the voters understand that everybody on that stage is fighting for an america that works for everyone. everyone understands health care should be a right for all. everyone understands what the president did in ukraine is unconscionable and is not what the president should be doing. so we're going to continue to
make sure that we have an orderly process, a fair process and a transparent process. i'm kf i'm confident in the near future we will be accomplishing a lot of what you are setting forth. i don't think it is my place to call candidates and say, hey, maybe you should consider getting out. i really want to leave that up to the voters and the candidates themselves. >> all right. dnc chair tom perez. great to have you on the show. thank you very much. >> always a pleasure. reverend al, looking at the debates what are the questions in your mind in terms of the setup and also potentially how elizabeth warren and joe biden separate themselves from each other and one of them tries to sort of take over the game? what do you think the potential for a dynamic between the two of them is with such a wide field on the stage? >> i think you're clearly going to see some kind of interaction between the two of them because it is the first debate that you are seeing elizabeth warren
ahead of him, though it is slight in some polls but she has moved ahead. so the dynamics have changed. they have the real problem of being policy driven but at the same time knowing that they're going to have electibility because elizabeth warren's challenge is joe biden set up until now she is most electable. joe biden has to try to recapture ground. bernie sanders has to deal with the health issue now that he has come back. it will be very interesting tuesday night. the other thing, and i think tom perez is working on this, is the mid information we got from foreign governments. it came out with the intelligence from the senate this week that they were targeting a lot of voters of color, particularly black voters with misinformation. don't vote. they did nothing about eric gardner, using eric gardner's
picture. using social media and other things to suppress the vote. so you have to energize the turn kbrout and at the same time not be so extreme you turn off people while turning on others. >> it is a lot. coming up, elizabeth warren had a great one-liner last night when asked about marriage equality. that moment is next on "morning joe". ♪ ah! come on! let's hide in the attic. no. in the basement. why can't we just get in the running car? are you crazy? let's hide behind the chainsaws. smart. yeah. ok. if you're in a horror movie, you make poor decisions. it's what you do. this was a good idea. shhhh. i'm being quiet. you're breathing on me! if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do.
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i spent my liar working on lbgtq isnow. >> we need a justice department that is on the side of all of the people. >> let's just set this clear back when a lot of democrats were talking about civil unions in february of 2004 i was performing marriages. >> there can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone, any organization in america that denies the full human rights and civil rights of every single one of us. >> my solutions are these. first of all to make sure that hiv community can get the drugs they need. >> i also believe our asylum
policies, frior instance, shoul reflect our values. >> the world we're trying to create should definitely include a specific attempt to represent the right of lbgtq people who live outside of the united states. >> let's say you're on the campaign trail -- >> i have been. >> and a supporter approaching you and says senator i'm old fashioned and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman. what is your response. >> i'm going to assume it's a guy that said that, and i'm going to say than just marry one woman. i'm cool with that. and assuming you can find one. >> oh my god, that was so good.
>> i'm always taking -- always on so many levels that was good. that was a home run. a home run. there are so many multiple marriages out there on the part of men that everybody is okay. society accepts it. >> but that just nails it. >> we have all fell short. >> but she also dodged the whole religious thing. just marry one woman. exactly you do you, i'll do me. nine of the ten democratic presidential candidates took to the stage last night in los angeles at the largest town hall for lbgtq issues. joining us now was editorial director brook sipell, thank you
for coming on the show. >> thank you for having me. i loved that line last night. all of the candidates sounded pretty great, but on the policy platforms, which candidates stand out ahead on these issues. >> i think one thing that stood out is that the candidates have more similarities than differences. i believe everyone talked about the priority act. ending conversion therapy. one thing that was apparent is they have a lot of similarities. and they all try to make stark differences between themselves and president trump. many people in the lbgtq community believe he has rolled back a lot of recently won transactions. >> who stands out more on these issues? is there one who is stronger?
>> warren, buttigieg, and harris all laid out plans the day of the forum. so i think that they in particular see to have the most kpre have priorities including ending workplace harassment, ending discrimination, and reversing a lot of the measures that trump has put in place. >> i think clearly she is right that warren and buttigieg and harris came with the most detailed plans, but harris made a very good opponent that she supported same sex marriage when it was still debatable around
the country. and it was not an easy thing to do. i remember when i came out for it i had ministers tell me i don't know if i can have you to the church. >> the same with joe biden. i think he really took -- >> brook, beto o'rourke put some out there very strong that telling a religious organization they should not be able to reap fax benef tax benefits if they don't believe in same sex marriages. it's one thing if it works into the commercial world, but i thought that was extreme. >> he said your religious freedom ends when it hurts
someone else. your religious freedom is a principal of the u.s., but once it starts to impact someone else's life, that is when we get into troublesome territory and they are trying to bring that across. please come back, we would love to have you back. >> i would love to be back. >> before we go i'm going to send joe some white collared thirties. i will go on -- >> could you raise our game and the weal it has been a crazy week in good pilots don't tlie
in fly into storms, they lift above the turbulence. trump likes us bouncing around and we can go higher. hear more about it on politics nation. that does it for us this morning, stephanie ruhle picking up the coverage now. >> democrats showing no signs of backing down to find out this brings their total count this morning to nine, nanny this hour, one of the key players in this impeachment battle, mar