tv Morning Joe MSNBC January 30, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PST
mohyeldin and liouis bergdorf. >> this administration declares unconditional war on poverty in america. >> i believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. one year of watergate is enough. >> the era of big government is over. >> states like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil. >> the supreme court reversed a century of law that i believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections. >> and tonight, president trump delivers his first state of the union address. amid growing questions about his conduct during the campaign and inside the oval office. most recently, surrounding the
planned release of a classified memo for apparently political purposes. good morning, it is tuesday, january 30th. welcome to morning joe. with us we have national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, john heilemann. nbc news national political reporter heidi przybilla. former fbi special agent and msnbc contributor, clint watts and jim vandehyde and pulitzer prize winning historian john meechum is here. >> we frame the story by looking at the fact they voted to release this memo. what are your thoughts? >> it's unbelievable. donald trump never just allows himself to have a straight shot at anything. here we have the state of the union coming up tonight. that should be the focus. but instead, you look at what happened last night in the
house. and you had nunes' memo, which twists the truth and plays these crude political games with highly secret intelligence. that mika, most of the republicans who voted to release this controversial memo, that the justice department said would be extraordinarily reckless, had never even read the memo. and many who did read nunes' memo say it falsely summarized a reality and filled with all of these falsehoods and these, these misleading conclusions, all in an attempt to slur law enforcement officers, that donald trump -- i don't know how i should say this, he's targeted them for a political purge. so this is a cynical game that paul ryan and kevin mccarthy and devin nunes that anybody that empowers devin nunes is playing. they push to release a memo that
is distorted by what's in it, and what's distorted by what is not in it. and they know that will misinform the public but they also know this, mika -- they know that the facts that would actually allow americans to know the entire truth about what happened, are so highly classified, that guess what, the public will never get to see those details. and for good reason, because we don't want classified information out. so ryan and nunes want to release a half-truth that turns out to be a whole lie. a twisted and distorted lie. since ryan thinks the public will never learn the full facts, he and nunes can skate by on their lie. they can smear the men and women of the fbi. they can smear the professionals at the justice department. who said this would be really reckless to put out there. they can smear distinguished fisa judges and they can smear
the entire intelligence community by extension. all to take part in a sleazy political purge that we've been seeing unfolding before our eyes, to feed the paranoid and maniacal desires of donald trump. the justice department is right -- paul ryan and devin nunes' actions are incredibly reckless. and the speaker of the house is allowing devin nunes to be incredibly reckless with this information, all in the service of donald trump's daily efforts to obstruct justice. and i just want to go to clint. watch, clint -- they know the memo is false, they know the memo is misleading. and they know that the information that allows americans to really know what happened, will never be released. because it's highly classified. >> i mean -- talk about how they
are politicizing law enforcement. have you ever seen anything quite like this since what we all read about during watergate? >> no. it's also just mind-blowing that it's the republicans in this case that did it. if you remember back after 9/11 it was the republicans that were pushing for a lot of this patriot act intense surveillance and increasing authorities. and in this case, the foreign intelligence surveillance act, the fisa application and the renewals, essentially they're going after renewal. rod rosenstein approved the renewal. this was an ongoing search warrant that was out there. they're going toof and cherry-picking classified intelligence. and now wanting to throw that out into the public with no context to promote conspiracies. just think if you were an fbi agent or any agent across america right now and you're putting together an application for surveillance and you have no idea how years later, months later, some politician might pick apart some piece of
information you've put in there and use it against you. it is really damaging to our country and its institutions, it will slow down investigations moving forward. >> and it will make americans, mika, less safe. as we're trying to figure out how to protect our country, as the intel community is trying to figure out how to protect our country in this case you talk to any experts on this and they'll say it was a case closed. carter page was cavorting with russians who were targets of investigations. and so one syracuse law professor who is an expert said -- you look at the details behind rod rosenstein's extension, it is so basic, it is case closed, no question, this is what any fisa judge would appro approve. >> so let's lay it out step by step, the white house is preparing to release the controversial memo, authored by house republicans, that auses
the fbi and the justice department of abusing its surveillance powers, particularly against an associate of president trump. a senior administration official told nbc news last night that the white house counsel and security officials will review the memo and decide on additional redactions. they have five days to do that. republicans on the house intelligence committee voted to release the memo, which according to reports, allege research bankrolled by anti-trump republicans and democrats during the 2016 campaign. was used in a fisa application to surveil trump foreign policy adviser carter page. a memo written by committee democrats described as a point-by-point rebuttal of the gop memo's flaws was voted down along party lines. though it had been cleared for other house members to read. last night the republican running the house russia investigation, mike conway and ranking democrat adam schiff
reacted. >> why do you think it was important for the public to see this memo? >> well if asked to see it, obviously and in order for us to do the work of the judiciary committee to propose legislation, if any is necessary, then you would need to know the underlying reason why that legislation would be moving forward. and this is a problem that we felt needed to be disclosed. >> the white house has made it abundantly clear that they want the memo published, even though they haven't read it. that should tell you all you need to know about the president's priorities. even without reading it, even without hearing from the intelligence agencies or the fbi what damage it might do, in terms of public release, it's clear they already want it released. that is apparently the standard now for the release of classified information, if it's good for the president, then fine, regardless of its impacts on the bureau, the department or the interests of justice. it was disclosed to the minority
today for the first time, that the majority has evidently opened an investigation of the fbi and an investigation of the department of justice, under our committee rules of course that has to be the product of consultation with minority but we learned about that for the first time here today. this is a wholesale broadside against two of our respected institutions. and brings to mind something i brought to the committee's attention a week ago. when we first took up the majority memo. and that is, we need to be concerned with not just what happens during this presidency, but the lasting damage that may be done to these institutions. >> congressman schiff said that you guys are now, the republicans on the committee, formally investigating the doj and the fbi. do you agree with that? >> no. we have constant oversight and we have an issue that we'll disclose in the memo that i suspect when the president lets
it go shortly and you'll understand what's going on. >> but john heilemann, we know what's in the memo. the only thing that seems to be going on is they're presenting half-acts. they're going after republicans. they're going after rod rosenstein they're going after other republicans in the doj. put this in
questions that have been raised throughout this and are heightened now about how it could be that the republican chair of the house intel committee continues to behave in ways that seem not to just serve donald trump's true interests, but the interests of a foreign adversary at every turn. we talked about some of the twitter activity around release the memo thing and the pro russian forces in social media. but it genuinely is, one of the most kind i have a ston issuing things i've generally ever seen in covering accomplishes. >> let's stop here and let me
explain to people that didn't see or show a couple of days ago. let them understand the russian intelligence agencies and the russia bots that they let loose on twitter and social media, are all pushing the hashtag, release the memo. russian bts they are sending out are saying release the memo. on the side of certain talk show hosts whose names are not even 0 worthy of mentioning on this show. it's extraordinary that the republican party of ronald reagan is now doing the bidding of vladimir putin and his intelligence agencies. >> and in the movie version of this, you know, when, he keep
trying to say come back to simple principles, the russians intervene in the american election in 2016, this is supposed to be a committee in a bipartisan way that's investigating that. which is an extraordinary historical unprecedented thing that occurred in 2016. instead of being dedicated to that purpose you have a republican chairman of this committee who seems to be furthering the ends that the russians have been seeking, starting with the election and continue to seek. it's not just this they're getting in the way or doing political things to help donald trump. it's that the subversion of democratic norms, principles and the american system that russia has tried to carry out is now being carried out in this effort by the republican chairman of the house intel committee with paul ryan's acquiescence, i find it beyond my comprehension that this could be happening in the way it's happening. >> paul ryan from janesville,
wisconsin, is allowing vladimir putin and allowing the russian intelligence agencies, and the russian bots they are releasing, to get their way. they are allowing donald trump to keep the focus on, on side matters, instead of focusing on the fact that john meechum, that elections are still being rigged across the globe. you know, putin tried to interfere in france. tried to interfere in the czech republic. tried to interfere across europe. will be back, trying to interfere again. yet everybody is so focused, paul ryan, kevin mccarthy, devin nunes, are so focused on protecting donald trump, on helping him obstruct justice, on conducting wars against the fisa courts, against the fbi, against the justice department, that they're not even looking to protect our own elections in 2018 or beyond.
parallels? >> i don't know what they're getting for it. but i hope it's worth it. because kwlo think even mid-term history is not going to look on this kindly this is a strategy of deceiving and distracting. >> there's anecdotal evidence, i was talking to some very sophisticated republicans, not particularly pro trump last week. they couldn't follow what was going on. the strategy was working, they couldn't keep up with nunes and the memo. why would putin do that? it was just this absolute vindication of a strategy that is coming i think straight out of the brain of donald trump. because that's what comes out of his brain. it's a media manipulation, creating a storm that has us having one conversation, and we're like the grown-ups in peanuts, we're speaking wah, wah and the other side is talking about patriotism. >> that's what you always sound like but -- okay. >> please, come on.
>> heidi, what's the word on capitol hill? paul ryan will sit behind the president tonight and dutifully clap at everything he has to say. is there something we're missing? what would be the explanation after the tirades we have heard at the top of the show of the profound problems that the release of this memo poses. what would be the argument? >> i've spoken with some democrats on the house intelligence committee who are livid about this and they say you know what, this is even worse than just allowing the russian bots to have their way. this is actively co-opting the tactics of russian disinformation which is selective, distorted leaks in terms of this memo, in terms of the text messages from peter strzok and his paramour that they leaked, they're using
russian disinformation techniques, to the point of irony. what was hillary clinton's downfall in the 2016 campaign? it was the accusation that she mishandled classified information. and here you have an entire committee on a partisan vote against the urging of their own top law enforcement officials, voting to steamroll those officials and all of the other democrats on the committee, and to disallow any kind of dissenting information next kind of context. >> we can debate how coordinated this is. but the strategy is actually working. he's not worried about stepping on the state of the union speech tonight. they know that robert mueller is coming for them. know that he's coming for them for at least obstruction of justice. so what do you do? you say everybody's guilty. the fbi is guilty, hillary clinton's guilty. the media is guilty. he turned hillary an enemy of
the state. >> why would paul ryan, a guy thaw and i have known for a very long time -- why would paul ryan allow himself to be used in a way that slurs and slanders the justice department and fbi agents? and undercuts the fisa process? >> it's a very fair question. >> i understand donald trump, he's, he will take any sleazy tactic he can to save himself and his family from going to jail. but paul ryan, from janesville, wisconsin, a guy that i campaigned for in 1998. and janesville, wisconsin -- what does he get out of this? >> they made a deal with the devil and they feel good about it. they feel -- >> no. >> if you, and one of the things that we're missing here is that if you have conservatives, if you had fox viewers, sitting on this panel.
if you had people who go to breitbart and listen to conservative talk radio, they believe this. if you go watch or listen to anything that's happening with 50% of the country, they believe there is now a deep state conspiracy that everybody's guilty. maybe donald trump is guilty, but so is hillary clinton. >> paul ryan believes this? >> you can't give any other explanation, so they've so self-rationalized their behavior. but they have not again to this day -- everything that's happened, there's been hardly a republican who is not retiring, who has spoken critically of donald trump on this if this gets to the point of an indictment, if it gets down to impeachment, he's got his backstop. unless democrats win the house, republicans are with him. what he would, would nunes did is unprecedented. never in the history of this committee, has this committee voted to declassify classified material. never. the reason is that it takes
years to do that. >> republicans seem to be on the yellow brick road. >> the yellow brick road to hell. >> to the wizard of oz. behind the curtain, just a little man with no clothes on. i mean -- >> but he's going to bad things are going to happen to him legally. >> the wizard of oz didn't get indicted. the wizard of oz didn't get to jail. the wizard of oz -- >> was not telling the truth. >> anybody that has been around washington long enough knows ultimately how this story ends. just like paul manafort's friends understood how that story was going to end, thanks to the great reporting of frank ford and the "atlantic" they knew how that story was going to end. anybody who has around washington long enough has seen this before. they know how this ends, it ends in disgrace for donald trump. and why all of these republicans that heretofore had good reputations would allow
themselves to be compromised, is beyond me. paul ryan doesn't believe it. kevin mccarthy doesn't believe it. none of these people believe the lies that donald trump is peddling. so i do, i wonder mika, like you said, what's worth it? so let me ask you, john meechum. this is not entirely new in washington, d.c. you had robert mcnamara lie about the war for years. until he finally woke up late in the johnson administration, obviously lbj, nixon lied about vietnam. ehrlichman and halderman and agnew and others lying about what was going on in watergate. but in watergate there were at least a few howard bakers, there were barry goldwaters, that would step forward and speak truth to power. doesn't it seem to you over the
past several months that even the senator from your state, bob corker, that i've got great respect for. he seemed to go a bit mute on this as james fellows at the "atlantic" always brings up, floor speeches are great, but two republican votes needed in the senate. just two republicans with a conscience are needed to say no to this madness. where are two? >> and of course, what creates the courage to do that is either not running for office, or perhaps being sick. and as much as we appreciate their service, that's an interesting point. nobody who is really in the arena right now, who might face voters again, is stepping up to play sam irvin or on the republican side, a goldwater or a hugh scott or howard. it seems to me that something happened in 2016, when trump was you know, we joked about this
before, was the first recorded case of a hijacker boarding an airplane and the passengers sided with the hijacker. that continues to be the dynamic. i'm particularly disappointed with speaker ryan. you wouldn't have thought that the wisconsin figure, he would have something in common with would be joe mccarthy. but right now it's an open question. still ahead on "morning joe," the other major story that.govtathat dovetails with this one, the fbi deputy director is stepping aside. an nbc news exclusive that the president insulted andrew mccabe's wife. that's a quote, loser. also ahead this morning, senators chris coons and chris murphy, house democratic whip steny hoyer and eric swalwell and republican governor john kasich joins the table.
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the russians have a long history of these information campaigns. that part of it is not new. the threat is not going to go away. the russians have been at this for a long time and i fully expect they'll continue to be at it. >> do you have concerns that they might try to interfere in the u.s. midterms which are coming up? >> of course. i have every expectation that they will continue to try to do that but i'm confident that america will be able to have a free and fair election that we'll push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won't be great. >> that was c.i.a. director mike pompeo. addressing russian's election interference. it comes as the trump administration says there's no need for new sanctions against russia. relating to the 2016 election interference issues. congress overwhelmingly passed
the sanctions package last summer with only five no votes across both the house and the senate, instilling a deadline of yesterday for the white house to implement them. however, the state department said yesterday that since the threat of adding the sanctions is acting as a quote deterrent, actual implementation isn't necessary. a state department official says that future sanctions could fall on governments and entities that buy from certain russian firms, but not on the russians themselves, the u.s. treasury department did release a list of russian oligarchs with ties to vladimir putin including 114 politicians and 96 businessmen there are no penalties for legal repercussions for being on that list. the kremlin has responded, vowing to retaliate and saying it is a quote direct and obvious attempt to influence russia's upcoming presidential election, which putin is expected to easily win. what am i missing here, joe?
it's unbelievable. >> well donald trump does the bidding, for vladimir putin. again. donald trump tries to make vladimir putin's life easier again. we showed a clip from 2015. where he was praising vladimir putin as a strong leader for assassinating journalists and killing political opponents. well just this week, vladimir putin had a popular political opponent, dragged off the streets in the middle of a protest and taken away by authorities in the broad light of day. this is not a man who is popular in russia. this is a man who is so unpopular in russia that he has to throw all of his opponents in jail. we, we don't really know how popular he is. because political opponents that could rise and challenge him are either assassinated or locked away. let's bring in chris murphy. is chris with us?
>> i'm here. >> let's bring in chris murphy. hey, senator. so much to talk about. but first, i mean we've got to ask you, what do you think about donald trump once again allowing vladimir putin to skate and not implementing sanctions that are so badly needed to send russia a tough signal? >> well i'm glad to hear mike pompeo taking seriously what we believe to be the russians -- the russians' attempts to try to influence the 2018 election. when donald trump is sending them totally different signals, telling them that there's no consequences for your prior manipulation of u.s. elections, that's no deterrent at all. and what we know is that the russians are still deeply aligned with donald trump's political future. it was russian bots that were spinning out the hashtag schumer shutdown, trying to help trump politically win that fight and you would expect they will be aligned with them this fall. in part because trump has taken
america off the playing field in places like the middle east, leaving russia to gain influence all over. i'm glad that pompeo is serious about this. i know others in the justice department are serious about it. but when russia realizes there's no consequence to be paid for in the past, it means that they are likely to go at it again in the future. >> i was pleased to hear the director of the c.i.a. come out and say that. it's clearly as he did. unfortunately, other people in the administration haven't done that. it's sort of a follow up on what john heilemann was saying before, where are we as a nation when you have one political party that is being aided by russian intelligence agencies, whether it's on a government shutdown by sending out bots, putin sending out bots that are calling it hashtag the schumer shutdown. or a week later, russian intelligence agencies guiding
their twitter bots to start talking about releasing a memo that they know would hurt the united states' intel community. where are we as a nation when you have paul ryan's party and kevin mccarthy's party, embracing the support of russian intelligence agencies, directly or indirectly and doing their bidding? >> as republicans like lindsey graham have reminded his colleagues, russians are not by nature republicans. they are aligned with that party temporarily today, because they think it suits their interests, because trump is taking america off the playing field in parts of the world in which russia wants to exert influence. that's not to say five years or ten years from now. the rauns could be using their influence to hurt republican candidates. so republicans shouldn't assume this is some permanent alignment between the russian government and the republican party. ultimately they can bear the cost of this down the road just
like democrats are today. i don't think we should assume that democracy is going to stick around for the next 200 years. you have to cultivate it you have to protect it. when you have a foreign government trying to undermine it, usually this is a place where both parties stand together to push out that foreign influence. too bad that's not happening today. >> what do you -- senator really quickly, what do you think about devin nunes, paul ryan's hand-picked intel agency person? what do you think of devin nunes drafting a memo that the justice department, donald trump's own justice department said the release of which would be incredibly reckless. what do you think about paul ryan and kevin mccarthy and devin nunes signing off on that? >> last i heard devin nunes say he was recusing himself from this investigation. which doesn't appear to be the case. from what i understand, the fbi
simply asked for a little more time to understand how the report could negatively impact the fbi in their investigation. and that committee, nunes as the chair wouldn't give them a few days, which suggests that this is a totally partisan endeavor. >> heidi, i'll let you take the next question, it seems almost like our policy caters to russia at this point. >> if you look at the sanctions issue from the very beginning. this is at the center of trump world in terms of flynn's meeting with kislyak. kushner's meeting with the bankers. and one of the first acts of this administration was to try and lift those sanctions. but senator, i'm wondering, you know, this is a situation where our country was attacked and yet, you've seen no legislation coming out of congress. and i want to draw a bright contrast here, for example with the last time that we had any kind of controversy in our electoral system, which was in
2000, with the issue of hanging chads. we were never attacked about hanging chads. at the end of the day congress had passed the help america vote act. to try to address that problem, that kink in our democratic system. why do you think at this point there's been no movement in congress to try and bolster our defenses going into this next election? >> well i wouldn't say there's been no legislation, we referenced the fact that we passed a robust sanctions bill. that gave the president the authority to punish russia for what they did. >> but to protect our voting systems, to send information to the states, for instance. to kind of try and prevent what the russians did. not just the sanctions. >> yeah, i guess i can't speak for our republican leadership as to why they haven't passed that legislation. but i will also suggest that we passed legislation that sets audiotape whole new office in the state department. to counteract russian propaganda
as you know. the trump administration then dragged their feet and refused to fund that office for months and months and months. they have now technically funded it but the hiring freeze at the state department means that no one is at work there. so congress has taken some steps to push back on russian interference, it's been the administration that has regularly blocked the implementation of those pieces of legislation. remember on the electoral front, don't assume that the russians are going ton object facebook in 2018. they were trying to penetrate state-based voter lists in 2016. and if they're ever successful at that that's true pandemonium at the polls. >> senator i'll ask you a question that under any other circumstances would be absurd. but under these circumstances is warranted. is it possible that the republican chairman of the house intel committee, has been compromised by the russians? is it possible they have a russian agent running the house intel committee on the republican side? >> i have no information to
suggest that it is. >> doesn't this behavior speak of that, though? i'm not the first person who has raised this. he's behaving like someone who has been compromised and there are people in the intelligence community and others with great expertise in this area who look at him and say that guy has been compromised. >> well i don't have that expertise, what i also know is that there are plenty of republican who is simply instinctively act in a way to protect their president and his actions. would certain comport with that motivation. i don't necessarily know that there's another explanation. >> and senator before you go, any high expectations for the state of the union tonight. listen, the president is pretty good at reading off a tell prompter. he'll talk about immigration. a couple of days ago he was on twitter once again calling the leader of the united states senate democratic caucus names. so while his speech tonight may
suggest an effort to bring the two parties together, i unfortunately am sure that he'll be back on social media a few days later blowing the place up again. >> yup, usually the story is when he's off prompter. >> senator chris murphy. thank you very much. i appreciate your being on the show this morning. still donald trump insulted ted cruz's wife during the campaign by retweeting an unflattering picture of her. now we've learned that he reportedly insulted andrew mccabe's wife by calling her a loser. the president has been trying for months to get the deputy fbi director to step down and yesterday he got what he wanted. that's ahead on "morning joe." [ click, keyboard clacking ]
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we're going to be discussing what to expect from president trump's first state of the union address tonight and the democratic response as well. all five of them. we have a power -- >> mika? >> yeah. >> we know what's going to happen. >> what? >> he's going to read his teleprompter. >> i know. >> everybody is going to go this is the day that president trump became the president of the
united states. remember his speech last year about this time, he gave this speech, everybody said this is donald trump, da, da, da. i think in real-time we said yeah, but wait and see what he tweets. i think it was three days later after donald trump became president tonight, that he tweeted about barack obama. i think this is a guy that can't help himself. >> we know him, he'll be so charged up after he'll get lots of accolades from his people. he won't be able to help himself and he'll start blurting. this is the -- the way he behaves, it's his pattern. >> i'm telling you, season two of trump the president, there just aren't as many plot twists as season one. this is going to get old with viewers. they're going to turn over to big brother now that omarosa is on, what is she on? >> big brother? think about that.
>> big brother? it won't be long -- you can only tweet so often. like there's no twist. he's got to do the whole bobbie and jr thing where he becomes the good guy and you know, meechum becomes the bad guy or something like that. wah, wah. >> we know it's going to happen. he gives a speech and everybody goes great job, presidential. and then he tweets something horrific the next day and we're back where we were at the beginning of season one and it's boring and people turn off the tv sets. >> and speaking of getting old, i'm the mother of a 22-year-old today. happy birthday amelia. >> getting really old. >> amazing. >> we have a powerhouse roundtable ahead. dor dor doris kearns goodwin is on.
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i can tell you none of this decision was made by that of the white house and any specifics i would refer to you the fbi who i believe will be making a statement later today. >> you say that the white house was not involved in the decisio not involved in the decision but clearly the president seemed to be involved in a public relations campaign against mccabe. >> look, the president stands by his previous comments. >> >> can you say deive iffinit the president didn't play a role in mccabe stepping down? >> he wasn't part of the decision-making process and we would refer you to the fbi where christopher ray serves as the director. >> press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said yesterday the white house was not involved in fbi deputy director andrew mccabe's decision to step down. the "new york times" reports according to two people close to cabe, he felt pressured to leave by fbi director christopher write a and now nbc news has
learned of an exchange between president trump and andrew mccabe. the day after james comey was fired as fbi director, president trump called mccabe then acting director demanding to know why comey had been allowed to fly on an fbi plane after he was dismissed. comey was fired on may 9 of last year. tv cameras showed footage of him boarding an fbi plane that would take him from los angeles to washington, d.c. after having received word that he'd been dismissed. according to nbc's reporting, during their phone call, mccabe told the president he hadn't been asked to authorize comey's flight but if anyone had asked he would have approved it. that's according to three people familiar with the call. the president was silent for a moment and then turned on mccabe suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser. an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in virginia that mccabe's made
in 2015. mccabe replayed "okay, sir." the president then hung up the pho phone. a white house official who would not speak on the record while the fbi declined to comment on the call. joe? >> yeah, you ask the question what type of thug would say such a hateful vicious thing to a man about his wife but that's really just a question that answers itself. it's just a question that answers itself in so many ways. clint, we don't know what is going on in the ig report, we don't know what christopher wray knows and perhaps there is reason, even just regular turnover, for the new guy that goes goo the fbi to line up his team. that's fine, we understand that
and everybody in those positions are grown-ups and understand that. i just do wonder, though, about the fbi director's timing. it seems to me if i have a president acting as disrespectful as one of my top agents and as combative publicly, the last thing i would do just to send a message to everybody in the fbi "i've got your back" is to dismiss him. especially since we're only talking about what, two, three, four weeks? the guy could have staid there for two, three, four weeks instead of sending him on leave. >> it is curious. we don't know what the timing is. it could be that mccabe's annual leave is matching up with his retirement and this was a good time to do it but if anything else it shows political pressure
by the trump administration against the fbi or the department of justice works. it's astounding to me that this is how it's played out. usually a deputy director, particularly between transitions, between one fbi director and another, the deputy director, the associate deputy director stay on board for a while to ensure there's no gap in that transition and what we're seeing the rapid turnover again like we've seen at the doj and other places between one team and the other. and so it will be interesting to see how this plays out, does direct oor wray pick who he wan or does he have to pick somebody president trump wants to be his next deputy director or associate deputy director and on down the chain of command. >> and jon meacham, again, without knowing the background, it certainly seems ominous that one that the president of the united states has been targeting in an agency that's investigating him after firing a former fbi director is targeted
by the president and announces he's leaving the fbi on the same day that devin nunes release this is suspect memo. or votes to have this suspect memo released. >> i think it's safe to say it's never a good sign when a president is meddling in the personnel decisions of the second and third level of an agency. it brings up the saturday night massacre. it brings up the threat of some of the justice department lawyers, including comey, to resign under george w. bush it's just a manifestation of management issues and more fundamental issues in this case when a president is calling the number two, number three of the fbi and talking about his wife. i don't remember fdr doing that. >> nope, i don't either. jon meacham and clint watts, thank you for being on the show this morning. still ahead, we'll bring in
senator chris coons who is looking for information and eric swalwell who voted to release the controversial memo alleging fbi spying abuses. "morning joe" will be right back. ( ♪ ) ♪ one is the only number ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance. it's about the one bold choice you make, that moves you forward. ( ♪ ) the one and only cadillac escalade. come in now for this exceptional offer on the cadillac escalade. get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac escalade from around $879 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer. from around $879 per month. i needthat's whenvice foi remembered that my ex-ex- ex-boyfriend actually went to law school, so i called him. he didn't call me back! if your ex-ex- ex-boyfriend isn't a lawyer, call legalzoom and we'll connect you with an attorney. legalzoom. where life meets legal.
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to pump blood to the body. in the largest heart failure study ever, entresto was proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital compared to a leading heart failure medicine. don't take entresto if pregnant. it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren. if you've had angioedema while taking an ace or arb medicine, don't take entresto. the most serious side effects are angioedema, low blood pressure, kidney problems, or high blood potassium. ask your doctor about entresto. and help make more tomorrows possible. ♪ welcome back to "morning joe," it's tuesday, january 30. still with us, we have national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john hielman, incoming nbc
news national political reporter heidi przybyla and joining the table we have msnbc chief legal correspondent and host of "the beat" on msnbc ari melber. the white house is preparing to release that controversial memo authored by house republicans that accuses the fbi and justice department of abusing its surveillance powers particularly against an associate of president trump. a senior administration official told nbc news late last night that the white house counsel and security officials will review the memo and decide on additional redactions. they have five days to decide. republicans on the house intelligence committee voted to release the memo which, according to reports, alleges research bankrolled by anti-trump republicans and democrats during the 2016 campaign was used in a fisa application to surveil trump foreign policy adviser carter page. a memo written by committee
democrats described as a point-by-point rebuttal of the gop memo was voted down along party lines though it has been cleared for other house members to read. let's bring in a member of the house intelligence and judiciary committees eric swalwell of california. joe, the release of the memo and now the five days to decide, i'm sure the congressman has a few things to say about this. >> i'm sure, congressman, first of all, thank you for being with us. we'll get to you your thoughts on the state of the union in a moment but first it's remarkable that the republicans, first of all, cherry pick information put inside a memo that their members admit they don't read before voting to make it public despite the fact the justice department, trump's own justice department says it would be extraordinarily reckless to do and then democrats try to get the truth out and they won't let you release your memo.
what can you tell us about the democratic memo that would have filled in some of the gaps on this highly misleading memo that de vin nunes is trying to pure on the president and the american people? >> good morning, joe. you're right, the president addresses congress tonight and the state of our union is lawless. lawless as the president tries to remove robert mueller through tactics like this. lawless as his aides in congress seek to help him and lawless as you didn't mention but he has failed to impose the sanctions against russia that congress pass. now once the republicans put forward what can be best described as a brainwashing memo, we sought to correct the memo with a ten-page memo that went into painstaking detail point by point rebutting with classified information what the republicans have alleged but also opened the door on mountains of new evidence that would i think bolster the fbi's
credibility and they voted unanimously to not allow the public to see that. that is a shame. >> so congress, you tried to get information out that would prove that our men and women of the fbi and the justice department were going their jobs correctly and republicans obviously don't want that out. from what i've read, from what we've gathered, what devin nunes and his enabler paul ryan are doing are putting out a memo that only tells half the story and the other half of the story can only be told by classified information that can't be released so the american people will never see the entirety of that story. because to do so would be to reveal classified information. is that correct? >> that's right. they essentially have put out a book review on a book that devin nunes himself hasn't read and they say the book the full of
lies, that's the position they're going to put the american people in. >> wait a second. are you saying devin nunes hasn't even read this information himself? just put out a -- >> he has not read the materials he is commenting on in this memo. that was acknowledged yesterday. >> that is unbelievable. john hielman -- >> strange times. >> congressman, i'm going ask you a question i asked senator murphy earlier, it's an impolitic question and one that would have seemed absurd in almost any other circumstance but congressman nunes, your chairman it is suggested not by me but by people who follow these matters closely, could possibly be someone who's been compromised by the russians. is that something you consider a possibility? >> he certainly seems to be willing to risk the public to protect the president, to risk the rule of law to help the
president's case in the russian investigation. he's supposed to be recused. he's been recused in body but not in spirit. now he's actively involved in this disruptive process. >> i suppose the flip side to this, you have outlined everything that's wrong with this process and a fair-minded observer sees that chl. flip side is, if the memo is as compromised as you say and that through this deadline the president releases it by some sort of redaction or protecting underlying sources and methods, what in the memo itself would be scary to everyone if it's so obviously compromised. won't you arguably then win this on the facts? >> it goes to great length asserts inaccuracies to
discredit robert mueller and his team. i'm afraid they will have poisoned the well of public sentiment as robert mueller continues to do his work and if he reaches further indictments the public sentiment will have been tainted because of a one-sided mem blow the full picture isn't seen. i'm confident if the full picture would be seen it would be laughable. the intent is to protect the president at the risk of torching the fbi building. >> congressman eric swalwell, thank you very much for being on. fbi director christopher wray and deputy attorney general j rod rosenstein met with john kelly. a replacement for mccabe hasn't been announced but there is reporting from bloomberg about the influence the white house is
allegedly exerting over the justice department. four people with knowledge say president trump erupted in anger on air force one when he learned an associate attorney general warned it would be extraordinarily reckless to release the memo. trump's reported outburst capped a week where he and senior white house officials personally reproached attorney general jeff sessions. two people -- reapproached. two people said trump warned sessions and others and said they need to -- they need to excel their jobs or go down as the worst in history. the report says trump met privately with sessions and director wray at the white house last month to discuss missing text messages sent between two fbi agents who had expressed anti-trump views. and bloomberg sources asked john kelly to speak with others. according to the report, "kelly held separate meetings or phone
calls with senior justice department officials last monday, tuesday, and wednesday to convey trump's displeasure and lecture them on the white house's expectations. kelly has taken to ending such conversations with a disclaimer that the white house isn't expecting officials to do anything illegal or unethical. the justice department declined bloomberg's request for comment." joe? >> anybody that's been in washington more than a day knows that kelly making that call is unethical. donald trump making demands of his attorney general is unethical. the white house communicating with justice and the fbi the way these people are berating and badgering and beating them is unethical. it goes against every constitutional norm and jim vandehei, if barack obama had
done that ngz -- republicans would have burned the city down. if democrats had done that democrats would have burned the city down. if bill clinton had done that, republicans would have burned the city down. this in and of itself would be a three-month story if leaks of a phone call from a chief of staff badgering and lecturing fbi officials and justice department official officia officials leaked out into the perez. this is the shredding of all legal and constitutional norms and for general kelly to think a little disclaimer cleans him up is wrong. >> three things we've talked
about today have never happened before. the intel committee releasing a justice department memo. the house has never done that before. the russia sanctions bill passed 98-2 in the senate. one of the rare shows of bipartisanship and president trump is ignoring it. the interference with the justice department at this scale never has this happened and you have to keep your eye on the prize. what is indisputable is anybody who's looked at this investigation, you may not like it or love it, there's no way you can say this is a flawed information that shouldn't take place yes, fbi messages might
have shared text messages but keep your eye on the prize of is this a legitimate information? the investigation may clear donald trump for all we know but there's no sane person that would look at this and say what w a straight face it's not a legitimate investigation and that is fundamentally what's at stake here. >> it's a witch-hunt. >> no sane person would look at the facts before it and not say that the justice department and the fbi did not have a responsibility to investigate it, perhaps donald trump is cleared in the end but the known-knowns are so persuasive the investigation has to move forward. ari, it's interesting, jim vandehei laid out three things for our viewers, i know there are people that watch that haven't been following politics for as long as we have and so they need to know what's happening is extraordinary and jim vandehei neatly laid out three things that have never
happened before in washsds that violate constitutional norms, that violate presidential norms, that violate american democratic traditions. what's the common denominator of all three of those things? let me add, sir, russia, russia, and russia. it always goes back to russia as if donald trump wants -- it's as if donald trump is actually answering our questions for us. it all goes back to russia. all roads lead to vladimir putin. >> i think that's fair and job job as a legal reporter is to keep an open mind but if this were a movie we would say halfway through the plot this is too obvious, there's too many tells. the criminal probe that is
proceeding which is run by a former republican fbi director robert mueller is looking as you say at two things, joe, was there any type of criminal conspiracy with russia to impact the election. we know they meddled and set honey traps but was there american coordination and, two, is there an attempt by people in government or around government to obstruct that russia probe? on number one you get the news of the sanctions, you get carter page who is identified by the fbi as an unwitting asset to russia in 2014 before donald trump's presidency was the glimmer -- when the glimmer of most people in politics eyes and you get this other evidence that piles soup the question is how many people may have been pulled into it and that's still under investigation. and then, two, when it comes to obstruction, the list of people who have been pressured or targ targeted with the departure of the number two official from the fbi includes everyone.
the president reportedly trying to get mueller fired, upset at sessions for his recusarecusal. the number two director ousted from that position. rod rosenstein in the hot seat because he oversees bob mueller. there isn't a senior law enforcement official who is involved in this thing who hasn't been pressured. i would add to that list chris wray, according to axios, embodied next to me since we're speaking about who's embodied reporting that chris wray threatens to resign. that's everyone who touches this, mika. >> everyone. let's bring in democratic senator chris coons of delaware. i want to focus on the news of yesterday, senator, what do you make of the vote to release the memo? >> i think this is a stunning development but as your panel has ably laid out, it fits in with a broader pattern. the president's partisans in congress, republicans in house like the supposedly recused devin nunes are continuing to act in ways to undermine the credibility of the fbi, the
department of justice with the ultimate aim of undermining the independence of the investigation being led by robert mueller. i'm hopeful the evidence will out and that the senate intelligence committee and the broader congress will see the counter memo from the democrats' side on house intelligence that lays out robust evidence, i'm told. i haven't seen it, that counters this memo that may well be released inappropriately today. let's remember about the larger poll. as your panelist just said, robert mueller's investigation is important to our nation and our rule of law. it may ultimately fully clear president trump, but he's barely able to contain himself from raging against the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, firing the former fbi director, pushing out the deputy fbi director, making his own white house counsel throw himself bodily before his
attempts to fire special counsel robert mueller. we in the senate must act to pass a reasonable, responsible, modest remedial measure that would provide some relief if the president inappropriately acts to fire the special counsel and i have a bipartisan bill that could accomplish that goal. the time to buy fire insurance is not when your house is on fire, but we are almost there. >> well, and heidi i'll send it to you next but it does appear the president feels threatened by mueller and everything about his pattern showed he would try to get rid of him. >> and now mccabe and this is my question, senator because i've spoke within democrats who said if mccabe were forced out someone needs to come before the judiciary committee, perhaps the attorney general. well, now we have reports saying that mccabe felt pressured to leave, we don't know what was in
the ig report but do you believe someone from justice needs to answer questions? >> yes, we need to do our job of oversight and to make it clear that these important firewalls, these barriers between the executive office of the president and the department of justice and the fbi are respected and observed. all these recent reports suggesting the chief of staff, the president himself have been crossing critical boundaries, have to be investigated, overseen and reinforced by bipartisan action by the judiciary committee and the pushing out of the deputy director is just the recent part of a trend. >> how inappropriate is it, how tradition-shattering is it for a president and his cleef of staff to call bully, berate, abuse, and break arms against the men and women at the fbi and his own
justice department? have you ever heard of a president or a chief of staff every crossing those legal lines? >> joe, you're right, every lawyer, every legislator, every citizen should be hearing this as the moment of great importance in our republic that it is. we have a president and chief of staff who are acting completely outside the norms of what protects our republic and the rule of law. if we mean what we say we mean, which is that this is a nation of laws not men, where no one is above the law, no mayor, governor, senator, or president then we have to step forward and take action to rein this behavior in. this is unprecedented and it's incredibly dangerous for our system. >> senator chris coons, thank you very much for being on this morning. >> thank you. >> ari melber and jim vandehei, thank you both as well. up next, three of the
all-time greats, nbc's tom brokaw, former president speech writer and columnist peggy noonan and presidential historian doris kearns goodwin. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. [ click, keyboard clacking ] [ click, keyboard clacking ] [ keyboard clacking ] [ click, keyboard clacking ] ♪ good questions lead to good answers.
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>> if there's nothing to see here and he wants to cooperate, why does he continually go after people who are connected to the investigation and just trying to do the investigation? doesn't that make it look like he has something to hide? >> frankly, if some of these individuals were just trying to do the investigation, they would have done it and it would have been wrapped up. time and time again the only thing that has come out of these in every single time after interviews and reviewing records is that no, we haven't found anything yet. frankly, i think the people that are frustrated most isn't the president, it's the american people. they're sick and tired of being inundated with russia fever, they're ready for the media and the rest of the country to be able to solely focus on how to
move us forward. >> hey, mika, just -- hold on. i hate to break it to her. i know she's busy and maybe she hasn't followed the news, she says there's nothing there. let me just -- for sarah huckabee sanders, i know you're busy and sometimes you can't read all the news clips, we can't hold you to that high of a standard to be able to read your entire twitter feed, so just in case you missed some of the news over the past few months, the man who was closest to donald trump during the campaign, the man that i was told repeatedly flew around on airplanes when donald trump and was with him non-stop to calm him down who was picked as his national security adviser who would be the closest person to the white house, he was arrested, he was charged and he pled to a crime. and he is now cooperating with
the independent counsel. now, i can understand -- that was one, maybe you just missed that, it was a busy weekend, we all miss things. >> blah blah blah, yeah. >> but just so you know, there was another person that donald trump named one of his two top foreign policy advisers to the "washington pos -- >> is that papadopoulos. >> yeah. he was charged, pled -- but let's not get complicated. i don't want to give her too many facts. pled and he is cooperating with this investigation that you claim has proved nothing. you know what? i was just thinking back on my twitter feed. it seems the campaign chairman donald trump selected and told my personally, "i've got to get this guy, he's the best. this guy will get me the delegates that i need to get over the top, joe, he's the best and he will help me win the
nomination" paul manafort, yeah, i don't know if you missed that, sarah huckabee sanders, he, too, arrested and i think he's out on $10 million bail so it couldn't have been that bad. he's going to jail for life most likely. also another top deputy in the campaign, rick gates, also charged in this investigation and is going to be facing a hefty amount of jail time. so sarah huckabee sanders, those are just four. other indictments are coming, you know they are. so you want to be careful on what you say in front of the cameras. >> just helping out. >> it reminded me of ken burns' documentary. you lie to the american people enough, at some point they figure out you're lying and they completely tune you out. i would say we're facing that
point right now. mika, now that i've done that public service announcement for the white house spokesperson because she missed some headlines, why don't you bring in our most august panel of guests? >> joining us now, nbc news senior correspondent tom brokaw. pulitzer prize winning author and presidential historian doris kearns goodwin and columnist for the "wall street journal" and political contributor for nbc news and msnbc, peggy noonan, and hielmann is here as well. >> bringing up the rear. >> let me start with tom brokaw. we're sorting through the constitutional irregularities that are going on. this isn't a first. lbj ordered the cia to connect anti-war protesters to communists and was outraged when he didn't get the answer he
wanted. nixon crossed one boundary during watergate and the saturday night massacre. we are we in 2018 with donald trump and his chief of staff calling and berating the fbi director and his attorney general demanding that that basically do his bidding for him? >> joe, i have resisted comparing what's going on hear what watergate because i always thought that was unique, it was a greatest criminal case in the history of the presidency, it cost the president his job, obviously. and it was a searing experience for the american people. but now there's beginning to be a whiff of the tactics, at least, in this white house that we saw during the days of watergate. how it turns out i can't say but it's clear the white house is trying to create an alternative reality is how i would describe it. look at this and you'll have to give as much credence to this as what mr. mueller is able to find
out. i don't know what the american people are going to buy, they have another channel promoting that idea as well, but when you say it with great confidence the american people are tired of this, they know what's going on, that's not what i find when i go out there. they say we'd like to get a resolution so we can get on with our business and they are getting on with their business outside of the beltway. they're doing well with the economy, states are organizing themselves and at this point i think we still have to see how this all turns out, but this is not, in my judgment, a good sign that they want to release an fbi report and they want the public to take a look at it without any context whatsoever and what does that say about future investigations? >> and doris, even listening to that one soundbite with sarah huckabee sanders, to tom's point
about trying to create an alternative reality, you could see it there. saying nothing has happened to a lot of what's happened. >> and when you look back to nixon's state of the union in 1964, he said "one year of this investigation is enough" almost saying to the judiciary committee, and then there were boos from the democrats. he meant to say "we need to replace the discredited welfare system." and instead he said "we need to replace the discredited president." >> whoa. big slip there. >> freudian. >> very. >> i want to ask you to bring the these stories together. we have these story lines going on and we have the state of the union. it seems the importance of a speech, any speech, given the context we're going through right now, it couldn't be
smaller on some level. it's just a speech, you have multiple investigations going forward, the mueller investigation, potential conspiracy, obstruction of justice, just think about this from your history as a speech writer. the challenge before you if you are trying to make this speech matter, how do you address that against this extraordinary background and facing a very tough crowd. >> well, i think there's a certain we are just now more than one year into this presidency and there's a certain predictable sameness in the cycle. there can be a big speech that's important. it will be followed by a big tweet, it will be followed by a big feud. the fisticuffs nature of this presidency will continue. i would argue a state of the union address starts the year off for a president. he announces what his hopes and intentions and plans are, what his policy is, what he's going
to stand for everybody thinks it's just presentation and part of the show biz of politics and yet it's a document, goes into the history books, it announces things that will be parsed and discussed on the press for the next few days so it does have meaning. >> it's a real leadership moment. a president is announcing his priorities for the year. lbj talked about voting rights, medicare, pbs, npr, head start and all of those programs got passed. what a leader does is to say this is the order of things i want to happen. and then it works if it happens, otherwise it's just words and a gobbledygook of priorities. >> and the fact that a state of the union address is coming in january and nerve the administration knows it in november and december, it forces them and forces the president to
make the decisions unveiled in the speech. you didn't have a state of the union, they'd never make the decision. >> i just want to play devil's advocate though and ask tom this question. he gave a big speech. this is his first state of the union, but he gave a big speech a year ago. we saw him give that speech -- people praised it. then it had no connection whatsoever to what unfolded over the course of the next year. there's a lot of precedent that these speeches matter. given all the ways in which donald trump has departed from precedent and given what we saw over the last year, why should we care what he says tonight? >> what we have to find out is whether he can control his impulses. i'm sure in the white house they're working on the speech that is more modified in terms of how he's talked in the past. gave a good speech in davos. i remember praising the speech he gave at the arab summit where he said if you've got terrorists coming into your country, throw them out. that was an important speech but
when i tweeted that i got killed by democrats, how dare you say anything good about him? so tonight we'll see which donald trump shows up and more importantly in the next 48 hours which donald trump surfaces in twitter and other ways. he's unpredictable. >> but that's the point, tom, joe, which donald trump will show up tonight? i'm not sure if the show is getting -- you know how you talked about the arc of a reality show, at some point the show is over, the show is getting to where everyone's seen it a few times. we know trump on prompter, we know kelly and others have written trump on prompter. we know he will get a high five and everyone will tell him he did great and he'll get a high from it and then he'll want to tweet and then someone will make him angry and that's the trump that is truly revealed. it's the trump off prompter, i
have to defer to heiielmann. >> at some point it gets old, every president has a use-by date. i've said it before i was shocked in 1986 when the great communicator's speeches seemed to stop having their impact on foreign policy. i was shocked when other presidents by a certain date, barack obama, you won't out there and it wasn't boston 2004, it wasn't denver, 2008, it was just like, oh, yeah, there he goes again. donald trump is afternooning this reality show game on such a fast cycle i suspect americans will get burned out on it much more quickly. but that leaves, peggy noonan, republicans. i remember in 2004 and 2005 you and i criticizing george w. bush and i remember both of us being
castigated and rhinos and how dare you talk about his wilsonian foreign policy, how dare you talk about his deficit s and debts and of course three or four years later republicans were saying the same thing we were saying once a republican was safely out of the white house. >> true. >> what we're dealing with now, though, are republicans badgering the fbi, releasing -- voting to release a memo that the justice department calls extraordinarily reckless and a chief of staff and a president that are calling to apply pressure on the attorney general and the fbi director, breaking arms in a way that president's and chief of staffs are not supposed to do. so where is our republican party right now? where is at least one or two senators to stand up and say this is violating constitutional norms, this is dangerous and, friends, donald trump will leave town one day but we're going to be left with our legacy of
enabling these constitutional violations. where are those republicans? >> lately, i'm thinking president trump by his very presence, he became president because the republican party was brok broken and as he proceeds, he almost in a funny way obscures the fact that the republican party is broken. front the democrats we have five responses to the president's state of the union. that speaks also of a party that is breaking or has broken. a lot of chaos in our political realm. i think in washington there is a lot of -- we know there's partisanship, there should be partisanship, that's fine. washington is about politics. but there's something sick about the partisanship now. i would differ a little bit, joe, in that it seems to me it may be a very promising thing that some of these documents in
the russia investigation are revealed and made public. i'm not sure anybody in sickly partisan washington can analyze them heck, when you get to that point give them to the people and reporters and let them trying not to be sickly partisan analyze the data in those documents. >> the other thing is -- >> but the only thing i have to say is donald trump's own justice department said it would be reckless for them to release these documents. and they're not releasing the entirety of the documents, they're cherry picked because the highly classified information that would tell americans and tell reporters what the true story is will never be released. devin nunes, the chairman of that committee, didn't even read the underlying information for which he drew up the report. >> the other thing about the sturnl, i've been in the chamber
going way back, they've become kabuki dancers, they don't have much meeting because the audience is going "what are those fools doing when they're jumping up every two minutes?" you can see the sour expressions on the democrats and it might be new helpful if we found a new form to address the needs of this country. i don't think we're going to see that tonight. i think the other donald trump will show up tonight the question is, will donald trump go off the rails a at some point? he almost always does. >> i think even before he get there is, there is a pageantry to the state of the union. maybe i'm just an old sentimental character but when you see them walk in and you see the justices and the cabinet and you see both sides standing up, we have to remember that's a oneness moment. that's the moment that the president has the platform he can speak to the entire country
and everybody is together so it may screw up as we go along, it may be polarized underneath and we may see people that sit in the audience but there's something about the entire government being together. >> indeed, the forms endure. >> we hope. tom brokaw, doris kearns goodwin, thank you both. peggy, stay with us if you can. coming up, it's john kasich's last year as ohio's governor and he's planning a trip -- to new hampshire. in april, he's returning to the state that holds the first in the nation primary and it's already fuelling 2020 rumors. the governor joins us coming up on "morning joe." ( ♪ ) ♪ one is the only number ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance.
so ahead in our 8:00 hour, congress passed a bipartisan bill last year calling for new sanctions against russia. remember that? that was after moscow meddled in the 2016 election. i think the vote was something like 98-2. it wasn't a close call. now donald trump and the white house are saying those sanctions aren't necessary. we'll talk to democratic whip steny hoyer. he was the co-author of that
bill and he'll join the conversation, i'll ask him exactly what is going on. also, coming up next, we have ohio governor john kasich. he's going to join the table. a lot of talk about 2020. we'll ask him questions also about what's been going on in washington this week when "morning joe" returns. directv has been rated number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like pre-shaken sodas.
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welcome back to "morning joe," let's bring in right now ohio's governor john kasich. hey, governor, always great to have you on. i'm trying to sort through this mess of what's happening in washington, d.c. with the republicans. if you're keeping score, the republicans, your party, my former party, have announced yesterday that they're going to investigate the fbi and the justice department but they're giving russia a free pass.
donald trump not going to lean on russia despite the 98-2 vote on sanctions. where is our republican party right now and how do we explain to conservatives and republicans that this is not what the >> well, joe, i mean, first of all, let's just think about all this for a second. you have hard right and hard left. and those who are on the hard right and the hard left, you can't reason with them. they've made up their mind. if you said to them, it's daylight outside, they would go no, no, no, it's not. i'm to the point now with people who are so dug in that you can't make an argument. they just -- no matter what you say to them, they dismiss what you think and they say, well, let me explain to you how t. and i've had some frustrating conversations. so what we need to do is for our country, to think about people who are sort of in the middle. and i don't mean squishy middle.
i mean people who are able to take a look at what with is happening and draw a conclusion without being blinded by extreme partisanship. where my hope lies, frankly, is in the next generation. my hope lies with millennials, gen-xers who have a whole different view of things. i've never been a guy spending time looking at scandals. here is what i'm worried about. i believe that we are in the process of potentially eroding some of the basic institutions we have in this country. and that concerns me for the future of my 18-year-old daughters, the future of our country. you can't -- i mean, look, the fbi, i think the fbi is incredible. you know, i've never seen them to be -- somebody does something wrong, they get rid of them. but the attacks, even on the press, joe, and i hear it from everybody. very intelligent people. the press is bias.
what would you rather have, no press? so we have to reach those people who are in the middle. let me say one other thing because i heard you talking about the state of the union. i went to 18 of them. one speech doesn't make a difference. except if you're winston churchill. what is going to happen is people on the hard right and people on the hard left, they'll both -- both sides will hear exactly what they want to hear and what's going to be critical is the follow yuch. what are we going to do with daca? what are we going to do with trade? what are we going to do with russian sanctions? these are the things that will matter over time and one simple speech. a couple speeches aren't going to bring people along. they had to see action and they had to see the fact that what i was saying, i would stand behind it. that's the key for tonight. it's a much different state of the union. in my lifetime, i've never seen this country divided like this.
this is astounding to me. >> so i want to ask you two questions about about the president. they are political questions, but they're questions about where we stand. you were the last man standing in the republican nomination for 2016 and you were pretty dire about the presidency. so now has trump governed better or worse than you expected? >> i'd have to think about all the policies, but i said there's no way we were going to ship 11 mm million people out of this country. i've been very disappointed with the tenor and the actions of deporting people out of this country. we were built on the basis of immigration. and i know everybody wants all these high if a lieutenant end smart people to come here. my grandfather could barely speak english. yes, we have to have a merit based system to some degree, but we also want your tired, your hungry and your poor. i am very concerned about that.
i am very concerned about us walking away from these trade agreements. particularly in asia where we see a rising china. they have -- peggy, unbelievable. the chinese said oh, yeah, when the west defines what liberty is, who cares. we're going to define what liberty is. the books you've written, liberty and the notion of it comes from our creator. what do you think she is thinking over there? he thinks she is the creator. so these are very concerning things and, john, the other thing, i think the country is more divided, more polarized. and it's both sides. it's not just -- it's both sides. and it's been happening for a long time. and finally does it really matter in terms of our lives where we live? >> i want to let peggy answer that question, but i want to get my second one in. yes or no, will someone challenge donald trump for the republican nomination? >> nobody can say that.
nobody knows. >> you're a astute political analyst. what do you think? >> anybody who is going to run, if you can't raise the money and make a good case, you don't run. unless you want to do it for the heck of it and have john heilman follow you around with a camera all the time. >> you must have moments. you're coming up on the end of i think your third term? >> no. second. nobody wants to be governor more than two is half nuts. >> okay. coming up on second terms as a very popular governor of ohio. as you maybe think and reflect about 2016, what do you think you got wrong in the 2016 primaries that maybe you could turn around if you ever came forward and ran again in 2020? >> well, i think that people, peggy, threw out everything. put it like this. you go to a doctor for a long time, you're not feeling better. so then you go on the internet and you find some alternative medicine and then you find out
that doesn't work and then you go back to your doctor. i think we're in the let's throw everything out because i don't like the politicians, i -- and i just don't think there was something that really could have been done. where do i think this is going to go? i hope we're going to get to the point where we're going to settle things down and the traditions of the great leaders of our country who brought people together. i just don't -- i don't know what's going to happen, peggy. i'm very concerned about the this split, but the millennials, the gen-xors and people who are willing to be reasonable, they're the hope for the future in my opinion. >> okay. >> governor john kasich, thank you so much. greatly appreciate it, as always. always great to see you. still ahead, as donald trump addresses the nation tonight, paul ryan is going to be seated right behind him. that may be a fitting image for what's happening in washington, d.c. right now. as the house speaker gives the president a level of cover to break legal precedent on capitol
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>> states like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil. >> the supreme court reversed a century of law that i believe will open the flood gates for special interests. including foreign corporations. to spend without limit in our election. >> and tonight, president trump delivers his first state of the union address amid growing questions about his conduct during the campaign and inside the oval office. most recently surrounding the plan for release of a classified memo for apparently political purposes. good morning, everyone. it is tuesday, january 30th. welcome to "morning joe." with us, we have national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, john heilman. nbc news national political reporter highly prisbella. i haven't said congratulations. welcome aboard yet.
former fbi special agent and msnbc contributor clint blocks, vandehei and john meachum is with us, as well. joe, we framed our state of the union tonight by looking at this morning that they voted to release this memo. what are your thoughts? >> it's unbelievable. donald trump never allows himself to have a straight shot at anything. here we have the state of the union coming up up tonight. that should be the focus. but instead, you look at what happened last night in the house and you had nunes' memo which twists the truth and it plays these crude political games with the highly secret intelligence. mika, most of the republicans who voted to release his controversial memo, that the justice department said would be extraordinarily reckless, had never even read the memo. and many who did read nunes'
memo says it falsely summarized the reality and it's filled with all of these falsehoods and these misleading conclusions all in an attempt to slur law enforcement officers that donald trump -- i don't know how i should say this. he's targeted them for a political purge. so this is a cynical game that paul ryan and can kevin mccarthy and devin nunes and anybody that empowers devin nunes is playing. they pushed to release a memo that is distorted by what's in it and what's distorted by what is not in it. and they know that will misinporm the public, but they also know this, mika. they know that the facts that would actually allow americans to know the entire truth about what happened are so highly classified that, guess what? the public will never get to see
those details. and for good reason because we don't want classified information out. so ryan and nunes want to release a half truth that turns out to be a whole lie, a twisted, distorted lie. but since ryan thinks the public will never learn the full facts, he and nunes can skate by on their lie. they can smear the men and women of the fbi, they can smear the professionals of the justice department who said this is reckless to put out there. they can even smear distinguished fisa judges. and they can smear the entire intelligence community by extension, all to take part in the sleazy political purge that we've been seeing unfolding before our eyes to feed the paranoid and moniacle desires of donald trump. the justice department is right. paul ryan and devin nunes's actions are incredibly reckless.
and the speaker of the house is allowing devin nunes to be incredibly reckless with this information all in the service of donald trump's daily efforts to obstruct justice. and i just want to go to clint. watch, clint, they know the memo is false. they know the memo is misleading. and they know the information that allows americans to really know what happened will never be released because it's highly classified. i mean, talk about the -- how they are politicizing law enforcement and have you ever seen anything quite like this since what we all read about during watergate.? >> no. it's also just mind blowing that it's the republicans in this case that did it. if you remember back after 9/11, it was the republicans that were pushing for all of this patriot act, intelligence surveillance
and increasing authorities. and in this case, the foreign intelligence act, the fisa applications and renewals. rod rosen sateen approached that renewal. this was an ongoing search warrant that was out there and going after it and cherry picking classified intelligence and now wanting to throw that out into the public with no context to promote conspiracies. just think if you were an fbi agent or any law enforcement specialist, years later, months later, some politician might pick apart some piece of information you put in there and use that against you. it is really damaging to our country and its institutions. it will slow down investigations moving forward. >> and it will make americans, mika, less safe as we're trying to figure out how to protect our country as the intel communities are trying to figure out how to protect our country. and in this case, you talk to any experts on this and they'll say it was a case closed.
carter page was cavorting with russians who were targets of investigations. and so one syracuse law professor who is an expert says, you look at the details behind rod rosenstein's extension, it is so basic, it is case closed. no question. this is what any fisa judge would approve. >> so let's lay this all out step by step. the white house is preparing to release that controversial memo authored by house republicans that accuses the fbi and justice department of abusing its surveillance powers, particularly against an associate of president trump, a senior administration official told nbc news late last night that the white house counsel and security officials will review the memo and decide on additional redactions. they have five days to do that. republicans on the house intelligence committee voted to release the memo which, according to reports, allege
research bank rolled by anti-trump republicans and democrats during the 2016 campaign was used in a fisa application to surveil trump foreign policy adviser carter page. a memo written by committee democrats described as a point by point rebuttal of the gop memos plows was voted down along party lines, though it will be cleared for other house members to read. last night, the republican running the house russia investigation, mike conaway and ranking democrat adam schiff reacted. >> why do you think it was important for the public to see this memo? >> well, they've asked to see it, obviously. and in order for us to do the work of the judiciary committee, to propose legislation, if any is necessary, then you would need to know the underlying reason why that legislation would be moving forward and this is a problem that we felt neededed to be disclosed.
>> the white house has made it abundantly clear that they want the memo published even though they haven't read it. that should tell you all you need to know about the president's priorities. even without reading it, even without hearing from the intelligence agencies or the fbi what damage it might do in terms of public release, it's clear they already want it released. that is apparently the standard now for the release of classified information. if it's good for the president, then fine, regardless of its impacts on the bureau, on the department or on the interest of justice. >> it was disclosed to the minority today for the first time that the majority has evidently opened an investigation of the fbi and an investigation of the department of justice. under our committee rules, of course, that has to be the product of consultation with minority, but we learned about that for the first time here today. this is a wholesale broadside against two of our respective institutions.
and brings to mind something i brought to the committee's attention a week ago when we first took up the majority memo and that is we need to be concerned with not just what happens during this presidency, but the lasting damage that will be done to these institutions. >> congressman schiff said you guys are now formally investigating the doj and the fbi. do you agree with that characterization? >> no. >> why not? >> we have oversight, constantly oversight and we have an issue that you'll declose in a memo i suspect if the president let's it go shortly and you'll understand exactly what's going on. >> john heilman, we know what's in the memo and the only thing that seems to be going on is they're presenting half facts. they're going after republicans. they're going after rod rosenstein, they're going after other republicans in the doj. put this in perspective. what are we looking at right now
with devin nunes and paul ryan who is empowering devin nunes to do this? it seems to me to help donald trumpen continue a purge against people who are conducting an independent investigation against him. >> yeah, i think that's right. and i think it's worse than that in some ways, joe, and more disturbing. i think congressman schiff is without precedent. we've never seen anything quite like this before. the house intelligence committee has been a mess and this investigation has been a mess pretty much since it started on the house side largely because of the role of devin nunes. and i think we've talked about him a lot on this program over the course of months. but it is not merely that the political objectives that are being carried out here seem to be designed to reek havoc with institutional arrangements that keep the country safe and that are designed to benefit donald trump and create distractions and so on. there are just profound questions that have been raised
throughout this and are heightened now about how it could be that the republican chair of the house intel committee continues to behave in ways that seem not only to serve donald trump's interests, but a foreign adversary at every turn. >> and still ahead, paul ryan's tenure as speaker was always going to be defined at least in part by donald trump, but no one could have predicted this. that conversation is next on "morning joe." (whispering) excuse me, are you aware of what's happening right now? we're facing 20 billion security events every day. ddos campaigns, ransomware, malware attacks... actually, we just handled all the priority threats. you did that? we did that. really. we analyzed millions of articles and reports. we can identify threats 50% faster. you can do that? we can do that. then do that. can we do that? we can do that. you wof your daily routine, so why treat your mouth any differently?
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welcome back to "morning joe." we've been talking all morning about paul ryan's decision to effectively hand over the keys of government to donald trump. ja john meech yam, i donachum, i d paul ryan is getting in return for this, but frankly, i don't think it's worth it, siis it? >> even midterm history is not going to look on this kindly. this is a strategy of deceiving and distracting.
it's this an ecdotal evidence, was talking to some republicans last week, not particularly pro trump, and frankly, they couldn't keep up with what's going on. why wouldn't putin do that? it was this absolute vindication of a strategy that is coming, i think, straight out of the brain of donald trump. it's a media manipulation, it's createdi creating a storm that has us having a conversation. it's like peanuts, we're speaking wah, wah, wah, and the other side is talking about patriotism. >> actually, that's what you always sound like. >> please. heidi, what's the word on capitol hill? paul ryan will sit behind the president tonight and dutifully clap at everything he has to say. is there something we're missing? what would be the explanation
after the tirades we have heard at the top of this show of the profound problems that the release of this memo poses? what would be the argument? >> i've spoken with some democrats on the house intelligence committee and they say this seen worse than just allowing the russian bots to have their way. this is actively coopting the tactics of russia and disinformation, which is selective, distorted leaks in terms of this memo. in items of the text messages from peter strock being selectively leaked, that they're using russian disinformation techniques. and to the point of irony. what was hillary clinton's down fall in the 2016 campaign? it was the accusation that she mishamed classified information. and here you have an entire committee on a partisan vote
against the urging of their own top law enforcement officials vote to go steamroll those officials and all of the other democrats on the committee and to disallow any kind of dissenting information, any kind of context. >> he's not worried about stepping on the state of the union speech tonight. they know robert mueller is coming for them. they know he's coming for them for at least obstruction of justice. what do you do? you say everybody is guilty. the fbi is guilty. hillary clinton is guilty. the media is guilty. he turned hillary into an enemy of the state. >> i don't understand why donald trump would do that, jim. jim, why would paul ryan, guy that you and i have known for a very long time, why would paul ripe allow himself to be used in a way that slurs and slanders
the justice department and the fbi agents and undercuts the -- >> it's a fair question. i understand donald trump. he will take any sleazy tactic he can to save himself and his family from going to jail. but paul ryan, from janesville, wisconsin, a guy that i campaigned for in 1998. in janesville, wisconsin. what does he get out of this? >> they made a deal with the devil .they feel good about it. >> no. >> listen, they -- >> i can't -- >> and one of the things that we're missing here is that if you had conservatives, if you had fox viewers sitting on this panel, if you have people who go to breitbart and people who go listen to conservative talk radio, they believe this. if you go watch or listen to anything that's happening with 50% of the country, they believe there is now a deep state conspiracy that everybody is
guilty. maybe donald trump is guilty, but so is hillary clinton. >> come on, paul ryan believes this? >> you can't give any other explanation or they've just so self-rationalized their behavior. but to this day, everything that's happened, there's hardly a republican who is not retiring who has spoken critically of donald trump on this. if this gets to the point of an indictment or impeachment, he's goot his back stop. unless democrats win the house, republicans are with him. what n had unes is did is unprecedentsed. never in the history of this committee has this committee voted to declassify classified material. coming up on "morning joe," he fired jim comey, tried to fire bob mueller and certain pressured andrew mccabe to quit. we'll break down the president's latest push against american officials who refuse to do his bidding. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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to be involved in the public relations campaign against mccabe. >> oh, look, the president stands by his previous comments. >> can you say definitively that the president did not play a role in andrew mccabe stepping down? >> yes, i can say the president wasn't part of this decision-making process and we would refer you to the fbi where christopher wray serves as the director. >> press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said yesterday that the white house was not involved in fbi deputy director andrew mccabe's decision yesterday to stand down. according to two people close to mccabe, he felt pressure to leave by fbi director christopher wray. now nbc news as learned that the previously unreported exchange between president trump and andrew mccabe. according to the exclusive report, the day after james comey was fired as fbi director, president trump called mccabe, then acting director, demanding
to know why comey had been allowed to fly on an fbi plane after he was dismissed. comey was fired on may 9th of last year. tv cameras showed footage of him boarding an fbi plane that would take him from los angeles to washington, d.c. after having received word that he's been dismissed. according to nbc's reporting during their phone call, mccabe told the president he hadn't been asked to authorize comey's flight, but if anyone had asked, he would have approved it. that's according to three people familiar with the call. the president was silent for a moment and then turned on mccabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser. and apparently reference to a failed campaign for state office in virginia that mccabe's wife made in 2015. mccabe replied okay, sir. the president then hung up the phone. a white house official who would not speak on the record disputed the account while the fbi declined to comment on the call.
joe. >> yeah. it's -- you know, you ask the question what type of thug would say such a hateful, vicious thing to a man about his wife. but that's really just -- it's a question that answers itself. yeah. >> it's just a question that answers itself in so many ways. clint, though, we don't know what is going on in the ig report. we don't know what christopher wray knows. and what happens there is reason, even just regular turnover, for the new guy that goes into the fbi to line up his team. that's fine. i think we all understand that. and everybody in those positions are grownups and understand that. i just do wonder, though, about the fbi director's timing. it seems to me, if i have a
president acting as disrespectful of one of my top agents and as combative publicly, the last thing i would do, just to send a message to everybody in the fbi, i've got your back, is to dismiss him. and certainly not dis -- i mean, especially since we're only talking about, what, two, three, four weeks. the guy could have stayed there for two, three, four weeks instead of sending him on leave. >> it is curious. i mean, we don't know what the timing is. it could be mccabe's ability to leave matches up with his retirement in a couple of months and this was a good time to do it. but if anything else, it just shows that political pressure by the trump administration against the fbi or the department of justice works. it's just astounding to me that this is how it's played out. usually a deputy director, particularly between transitions, between one fbi
director and the other, the deputy director and the associate deputy director stay on board for a while so there's a smooth transition. so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. does director wray get to pick who he wants or does he have to pick somebody that president trump wants to be his associate deputy director and on down the chain of command. coming up, immigration will be a big part of the president's state of the union speech tonight, including his push for a border wall. we've go live to southern california and the front lines of that debate. plus, democratic whip steny hoyer joins the conversation. "morning joe" is coming right back.
ythen you turn 40 ande everything goes. tell me about it. you know, it's made me think, i'm closer to my retirement days than i am my college days. hm. i'm thinking... will i have enough? should i change something? well, you're asking the right questions. i just want to know, am i gonna be okay? i know people who specialize in "am i going to be okay." i like that. you may need glasses though. yeah. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today with td ameritrade.
>> of course not, mr. president. we're not going to talk about new york. >> what about it? >> i was taking the staten island ferry the other day -- >> empire state building. >> deli. >> pizza. >> train track. >> central park. >> fine. okay. you won me over. what do you want me to do? >> just add the word progress to your speech so we can tell our donors that you capitulated to all of our demands. now you don't even have to mean it. >> by the way, who is in charge of your party? right now, it seems like a bunch of sea gulls fighting over a potato chip. >> that was a clip from the new animated series, our cartoon president from the producers of the late show which day abuses sunday night on showtime. in a moment, we'll bring in steny hoyer and we'll ask him that question about the democratic party, by the way. but first, in tonight's state of the union address, president trump is expected to again call on congress to fund his border wall. but even if they do, will it
ever be built? msnbc correspondent jacob sillerwall went to find out if it will ever be built. >> here in san diego, they have a primary and a secondary fence. the same cannot be said across the country in texas and new mexico. residents down there know and they've known for a long time, that is a prom that's pretty hard to keep. take a look at this. >> when you're on the border, things are always unpredictable and our tour of existing border wall with fidalgo county officials quickly turned into something more. >> south. >> what we're looking at right now, just in the middle of our tour here with the county officials is border patrols going out and looking for somebody. this agent just said did you see the two that went south. so, they're out doing what they
do, right? and this is part of that, i guess. >> as you can see, it's not holding them. >> it's not holding them. >> right. it's a very impractical thing, very expensive thing to construct, and it doesn't work. >> so what you're saying is even though the president wants to build new stuff, we're seeing in realtime an example of people that crossed right around this fence right here. >> that's correct. >> there's no wall here, but if you look over the edge, come check this out. we're talking about at least 15 feet down. you don't have to have a fence in order for it to be a border wall. >> you build a 15-foot wall, they'll build 18 foot ladders. because this area, the rio grand valley has long been a popular crossing for migrants. in the george w. push area, they built 18 walls here. >> probably have to ask her. if that's what they're thinking,
i mean, i think the most natural way would probably be that they have to start on federal property because i can't see anybody here locally that has agreed to sell their property. >> it the turns out 95% of the land in texas is privately owned, including much of the border. >> so they would have to start with land they already own. >> it seems that way. >> how much land is left that the federal government owns? >> about 2el 8. >> out of the remaining 30 miles. >> 30 miles. >> the county outlined where those miles of wall would go, including the 2.8 miles through the santa ana national wildlife refuge. >> so we're walking on the path of the wall right now. >> this is where the trump administration wants to build the first portion of the wall in the united states? >> yes. it is very low hanging fruit for the administration because it's a wildlife rough eej becaurefug
they already own the land. >> in between what they would build as the border wall over this there and the river over here, what would this area become? >> no man's land. >> the reason they want to build here is there's a chance they can't build anywhere else in texas. >> right. it will get tied up in court, eminent domain laws and such, and it could extend another 10, 12 years before construction begins. >> so there's a chance in donald trump's presidency he may not build any wall in texas if he doesn't build it where we're standing right now. >> right. >> so even if the government got all the funding they want to build the wall, it will be up to private landowners whether or not they build this wall. there are about 300 lawsuits still today. a third of those are tied up in lit combination.
this is something that might never, ever happen down there, even during donald trump's presidency. >> thank you very much for that report. joining us now is the democratic whip, congressman steny hoyer of maryland. thank you very much for being on with us. joe, take it away. >> good morning. >> hey, steny, we've been talk this morning about a lot of things, a lot of things to keep up with. one of the most disturbing is the news out that the president and the president's chief of staff, general kelly, are be rating and twisting the arms of the fbi director and their attorney general, trying to take pressure off of donald trump in the russian investigation and trying to have a political purge of people that want an independent investigation. first of all, how concerning is that to you and secondly, what can you and your caucus do to slow this sort of behavior down? >> well, first of all, joe, it's very concerning, ought to be very concerning to every
american. the underpinning of america is that we are a nation of laws. and if, in fact, the president of the united states can pressure law enforcement and as well try to pressure the courts and the justice department to skew the law, to undermine the proper administration of the law, then america is less safe, less secure. and less what america means to our people and to the world. so that it all to be very concerning. you asked what we can do. first of all, we can raise our voices. you've been doing what that. the press has been doing that. the public has been doing that. we need to keep doing that. also, we need to oppose any legislation that would further undermine the department of justice and i would hope we would have legislation put on the floor which would not only not undermine, but would try to
protect and would move towards protecting mr. mueller in particular, but also the sanctity of the law. >> john heilman, i want to ask you about two people, one, the chairman of the house intelligence committee who recused himself from the russia investigation but now seems to be running roughshod over these things. i'd like you to explain what you think is going on with devin nunes and what his game is here. number two, what is paul ryan's role here and how can paul ryan tolerate 245 behavior on the part of the one of his committee chairs? >> well, he shouldn't. and i don't know what recusal means if congressman nunes is the example of recusal. because as you point out, he seems to have been continually involved in one way or another in the russian investigation when with he said he was not going to be and would step aside.
what can the speaker do? the speaker can ultimately remove him as chairman of the committee and at least at the very least assure that recusal means recusal. recusal means not being involved. recusal means not trying to influence what is going on with respect to the committee's oversight of what russia's role was in the election and what danger they caused to us. it's a very disappointing that the speaker doesn't act or that nuness has acted notwithstanding his pledge of recutsal because f close involvement with the white house. >> would you seem to be calling for the removal of congressman nunes from that committee? >> you asked what the speaker could do. >> i'm asking what you would do right now. do you think he's behaving inappropriately? >> i think to the extent congressman nunes continues to involve himself in an investigation that he said he was going to recuse himself on,
i think the speaker, if that continues, should remove him. looking ahead to the state of the union tonight, heidi, you have some reporting as to what we might hear from the president. >> congressman, i spoke with an official briefed by the president last night on his address. to this point on the wall, let's play a little devil the's advocate. >> all right. >> the president told this group of officials 2458 that the $25 billion he's asking for isn't just for the wall. it's for ports of entries, reincidence forcements along the northern border even, prosecutors and jumgs. and you repair that with the reporting by jacob that a lot of this may not happen because of 'em domain and the legal battles. put it out there and you're getting a really good deal on citizenship for 800,000 d.r.e.a.m.ers who will be a great benefit to our which he. >> well, of course, you're right on the latter. we believe that the wall itself, to the extent that the president continues to focus on building a
wall, it is not efficient, would be very costly and won't accomplish the objective. we are in strong favor of making sure the border is secure. and there's agreement on that across the board. however, we think what the president has proposed is a waste of money. however, to the extent that the president has shown some flexibility, when i was down at the white house meeting, he indicated, well, i'm not talking about 2,000 miles worth of wall, which is a practical matter. your report just showed it would probably not happen in any event and probably couldn't happen. so that to the extent that he's talking about alternative ways or to repair an existing barriers, that's one thing. and i agree with you that if that is what we're talking about, and it's difficult to know what the president is talking about because he changes his mind pretty rapidly. but if that's what we're talking about, we certainly want to make
sure that we not only protect the daca protectees, but the 1.8 million plus people that the president talked about in his most recent proposal, which i think is filled with things that we will not agree to but nevertheless i was encouraged by the fact that the white house is now said it was willing to not only protect daca, daca eligible, but also give them a path to citizenship. hopefully that's a step forward. >> peggy nunan. >> congressman, good morning. two weeks ago, it looked to me like a historic moment where the administration had climbed down on daca and the d.r.e.a.m.ers. and the the democrats were coming in and saying, i'll help you build this wall or i'll free up some funds or at least had assign some funds for the wall. where does it stand now with regard to i know everybody has
had their mind on the drama with mr. nunes and his committee and also the state of the union this evening. but then where does this go? did the democratic leadership meet with the president? does the republican leadership meet with the president? do you all talk to each other? how are you going to move this hole? >> peggy, all of the above, hopefully. but as you know, the majority leader mccarthy and i and john cornin, the whip in the senate, republican and dick durbin, the whip in the senate, as well, the many democratic whip, have been talking. we met with hem. we met with general kelly and smacking short of the white house. i am he curved that the white house issued a paper that adopt today premise of protecting not just those who signed up for daca, but those who are daca eligible, as well, young people
brought to this country. they have no decision in that and have been productive in school, in work, in the military, and are people that i think deal -- the overwhelming majority, an 90% of the american public said they ought to be citizener and ought to be able to stay here in return for some of the things he asked for in that document, some which we think are nonstarters. that undermines making available slots for those who are of diver diverse backgrounds. we're prepared to work with the president to allocate some funds to make sure that the border is more secure. >> congressman steny hoyer, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. >> thanks a lot. good to be with you. coming up, translating
say the most massive, but it's the largest tax cut in the history of our country. last year was something very special. especially to cap it off with the tremendous tax cuts and tax reform. and don't forget anwr. and don't forget the fact that the individual mandate, such a horrible thing for so many people, was terminated. so it's very, very tough. i guess sloppy steve brought them into the white house quite a bit. and it was one of those things. that's why sloppy steve is now looking for a job. >> don't think the democrats want to make a deal. i think they talk about daca but they don't want the daca people. we used to say the daca children. oh, that's a big thing, that's very big. that's very big. that's fantastic. i think we're doing a really great job with my team. i have a team of just tremendous people and i think we're doing a very special job. >> uh.
some of donald trump's signature style of speaking. there apparently is a pattern. and our next guest worked really hard to find it. best-selling novelist. >> he cracked it. >> co-founder of "spy" magazine, he spent weeks studying transcripts of trump interviews and press conferences and thousands of tweets. >> and really years of studying. years. >> and has come up with a definitive guide to speaking trump. he compiles his trump language style guide in a new piece in the atlantic magazine entitled how to talk trump which kirk developed after the parody memoir he wrote last year with alec baldwin written in the dialect of donald trump, entitled, you can't spell america without me. and kirk joins us now. wow. first of all, the book itself is like a weapon. but what is the language? what have you found? >> actually, i had to create a kind of style guide lexicon for
myself as we were writing. because i want -- you know, i had studied trump for a long time. i really wanted to know what are the fundamental elements of his -- of the trump dialect. which we won't hear tonight. because somebody else -- >> written it. >> steven miller or somebody will have written it and the periods will come and so forth. whereas in the real trump dialect, it's a limit ed palett of words, like disgusting, horrible. positive adjectives like unbelievable and great and fantastic. and often, and often the repetitions are so interesting. where he'll just answer a question. he'll say the same thing three, four, five times within a matter of, i don't know, 50 or 100 word, so that's interesting. sometimes instead of saying "many" as a qualifier, he'll say "many, many, many." so it really is a patier.
it's not normal english, it's trump english. >> it kind of sounds like you're just saying limited english. >> i like when you say patier in the context of trump, that's the best part. >> it's limited but in very particular ways. lots of people have limited english. people who aren't educated have limited ed limited english. but his, he has these special words he returns to again and again and again. and when he is not speaking off a teleprompter. tonight, he'll be speak off a teleprompter. we won't get true trump. >> the verbal ticks. here's my question. i was being purposeful when i mentioned you've been studying trump for a long time because you've been watching him, as a close observer of donald trump, as editor of "spy" and all this stuff for decade, right? many people have the assumption that it's shrinking and the reputations are getting more frequent. do you note that over -- having
watched him over decades? think at this point he's tick yer? >> it's the emotional affect is narrower and harsher and angrier and more unhappy. no, i'm not sure -- it wasn't as though he was talking about resip rick call responsibilities that we have with our many allies abroad 30 years ago and now he's just saying disgusting and crooked. but he does i think return to his safe words. his favorite words. somewhat more frequently. but i don't think -- i don't think -- >> he was never lin manuel. >> never. >> if you were writing a speech for a president who speaks like
this, what would you focus on? would you try and focus on the strengths, which would be those three or four words he goes back to and hangs on? >> yes. i was thinking the other day that president trump's speechwriters at this point in the development of the state of the union speech are probably meeting with him and listening to him give the speech after hopefully meeting with him a number of times about what we're doing here. and i was thinking the first thing they would tell them is please don't repeat that. stay with what we have. don't say the economy is really going up. say the economy is really going up. don't say it's going up, up, up. like you wouldn't believe it. it's huge. you know. i would think it was that simple at this point. don't repeat. >> well, and he does that, as we see -- >> all the time. >> when he's off prompter, he
comments on his own thing. he'll say something and he'll say, that's so true, that's so true. >> he does that on prompter though often. like in the middle, when he pauses, repeats off that prompter, all the time. >> the piece is "how to talk trump." thank you very much. joe, before we close this morning, as we look ahead to the state of the union tonight, and also the other major headlines today, what are you most interested in watching? is it the state of the union itself? >> no, state of the union itself, while it's a nice ceremony that makes a lot of people feel good, makes me feel good, american to see everybody together, is essentially meaningless. donald trump makes it meaningless because tomorrow or the next day he'll tweet something that will yield it to be meaningless. i'm concerned about republicans who still seem to be interested in the witch-hunt against the federal bureau of investigations, the professionals there. the attorney general and the
justice department, while giving russians a free pass. this is an investigation into the interference of vladimir putin's russian government in our election system. and devin nun yez, with the help of paul ryan, has turned it instead to an examination of the very law enforcement agencies who were trying to investigate how vladimir putin and russia interfered with the people who run our government. history will not treat these enablers of donald trump and vladimir putin well. >> and that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, mika. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, damaging document. the house intelligence committee votes to release a highl