tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 9, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
ruins. obviously assad was still standing. the remarkable thing is that it was all so predictable and john mccain had said potus pledged to withdraw from syria only emboldened assad backed by russia and iran to commit more war crimes. richard haass, you see syria being blamed in the gas attack there, new york times reports that israel has responded early this morning already. but this was so predictable. i wrote a column for sunday's washington times -- post. >> washington post. it's early. sunday's washington post and said as trump leaves to fight his imaginary border war, he's leaving the real war where we can make a difference and said he's turning it over to assad
and to iran and to isis and -- >> and russia. >> and russia. and sure enough. trump who mocked and ridiculed barack obama for, quote, creating isis, for abandoning iraq instantly, has done nothing but encourage our sworn enemies here. >> exactly. it's fair to critique barack obama for what he didn't do in syria, but that was then and now is now. and now it's mr. trump's choices and tweets about mr. obama seem a little bit thin and he's got to decide now what he's going to do. his rhetoric has been extraordinarily tough and you always get in trouble when your rhetoric outpaces your reality on your policy. if he simply does what he did last time a year ago, it seems kind of symbolic and token and
ineffect chul. if he is going to use military force, does he use it mean i meaningfully. so these are some big decisions that will actually be quite revealing about mr. trump's foreign policy. >> we were in a meeting with policymakers a month ago that represented parts of america's foreign policy community, people across the world, our allies across the world and at that time nobody could understand whether united states after developing a sustainable strategy to defeat isis would be abandoned. david ignatius talks about it on our show that our troops who are on the front lines, who are proud to be fighting and defeating isis have not known what the policy moving forward has been for months. if donald trump goes out and blurts that he wants to get out
after mocking and ridiculing barack obama for doing the same thing for broadcasting to your worst enemies when you are going to be leaving a war zone. and in so doing, you create a void and who fills that void? thugs like putin and assad. >> so much to get to and so many questions surrounding that this morning on this monday morning, april 9th. happy birthday. >> happy birthday. >> happy birthday. >> can you believe it? >> 73 never looked so good. >> happy birthday. >> also with us, former aide to the george w. bush white house and state department elise jordan. and steve ratner is with us. and former nato supreme allied commander now the dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university, retired four star navy admiral james stavridis. so on top of this major story on syria that we're already talking about this morning, there are
several big developments in washington as well. today, john bolton takes over as national security adviser with new signs that north korea is ready to sit down at the negotiating table. meanwhile, reports say scott pruitt was flying coach but only when he had to pay for it himself. it was first class when the taxpayers were picking up the tab. >> the guy is also flipping houses for dummy corporations. >> strange stuff going on there. >> it's his cattle's future. there's a different story for this guy everyday. he's got an entourage and a security detail greater than world leaders. >> lobbyists kicked him out of his apartment. oh well. also this, john kelly is still on the job, but the question is this morning for how long? reports say the president berated his chief of staff so loudly earlier this year that shouting could be heard through the oval office doors.
that's probably a little tense relationship there. we'll begin back in syria where opposition activists and groups, aid groups say at least 40 people were killed in a suspected chemical weapons attack over the weekend. the alleged attack took place late saturday in douma, the last rebel-held enclave near the capital of damascus. video shows people being hosed off with water. local activists tell nbc news they saw dozens of dead bodies, many of whom were children in underground shelters across the city according to the syrian american medical society the reported symptoms indicate that the victims suffocated from exposure to toxic chemicals. both the syrian and russian governments are denying involvement. the syrian government called the allegations of a chemical attack fabrications. today the u.n. security council expected to hold an emergency
meeting to discuss the reported chemical attack. meanwhile, a predawn missile strike hit an air base in central syria overnight. according to the associated press, russia and the syrian military are blaming israel for the strike, saying israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from lebanon's air space a war monitoring group said the air strikes killed 14 people. israel's foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the accusations. >> admiral stavridis, obviously the united states has much to answer for in the lead justify to the iraq war in 2003. and for much of the chaos that was let loose in that region, but the further we get away from the united states in the obama administration encouraging resistance against assad and
then the united states sitting back and doing little to nothing while 500, 600 people die and watching one red line after another be run through and now having another president wanting to abandon that region, how are historians going to look back on the united states' involvement and lack thereof in syria and the international refugee crisis that it let loose and the chaos and the hell that we just absolutely refuse to step up and assist in bringing to resolution? >> joe, i think future historians will look back and unload a great deal of shame on all of us. they should. this is beginning to feel like
rwanda, for example, where we watched this train wreck almost in slow motion go on and on and on and on. let me tell you what's happening in the pentagon today. all night the j3, direct rat for operations has been building options for the president. the j5, the directory for plans and policies is working on the connectivity internationally. what we got to do is kind of get the interagency together, joe. so this is john bolton's big day, and his job as the national security adviser is to bring state and defense together along with the national security team to make decisions about are we going to move the carriers. our carriers are mispositioned, for example. we're going to have to look at are we going to give the president options for land-based strikes. are we going to use special forces? will cyber be incorporated? will israel be part of this? france has indicated the desire
to help. the bottom line is we have to take action. this is unconscionable what is unfolding in front of us. >> we go into iraq in 2003 in an unjustifiable war. we stay there. we stay the course. we finally bridge some semblance of order to the region by 2008/2009. we then abandon it in 2011. we allow the rise of isis in 2012, 2013. we belatedly start going in there, crush isis and now we have another united states president that once again in a schizophrenic move now that we have created a successful and a sustainable model to actually keep peace in that region, we now have a president, a commander in chief, that says to the generals, good job but i'm going to do just what barack obama did in 2011. we're bringing everybody home
because it feels good to me. it feels good to donald trump to say i'm going to bring the troops home. and yet chaos is loosened upon the world. >> here is what donald trump has to think about. one is going to exactly your point, joe, does he find a way to walk away from this quasi isolation desire to quote unquote bring the troops back home and move away from the one group that worked along with us and fought valiantly against isis which is the syrian kurd. issue two, do we respond to syrian use of chemical weapons which flouts an international norm? i would say we have to. and we have to do it bigger than last time. shooting off a couple cruise missiles may make us feel good. it doesn't accomplish any good. thirdly, do we commit ourselves to getting rid of assad? there we could argue that's a bridge too far. >> do we commit ourselves to
taking the eastern part of syria and doing what many people have suggested for some time and create a no-fly zone and a safe zone for refugees to return home? >> clearly that's the sort of thing we need to think of. we have the syrian kurds we're working with. do we create a humanitarian zone, okay for now, assad is the mayor of greater damascus. we don't like it, we can't stop it. he's there. but we're going to create a part of syria the syrian people can live safely in and people can return to. more than 60% of this country is now displaced either internally it's been turned into refugees. the question is do we begin to take back parts of syria. >> richard, explain it's important, yesterday front page of the new york times and look at fred hyatt's editorial in the washington post, you see the same themes. there is a battle against democracy. what has caused that battle in europe for democracy? a refugee crisis that these
countries have been unable to confront. and that, in part, was let loose again by the lack of action in syria. if there is still a united nations, and if that united nations has any teeth and any purpose for existing, would it not be to create a safe zone, a no-fly zone, in eastern syria to allow these refugees to return home? >> the u.n. i do not believe will green light that because countries like russia have vetoes. this is a little like bosnia. admiral stavridis knows this better than anybody. if there's some type of concerted international action, you have to do an end run around the united nations and nato and the united states and some like-minded countries in europe and in the region will have to work together because there isn't a united nations, joe. there isn't an international consensus about what should be done.
>> why do we have it? >> it can be a useful talk shop. after saddam invaded kuwait, we are returning to the idea that the major powers line up is increasingly not happening and that's what we're seeing on syria. >> president trump responded to the news of the suspected chemical attacks in a series of tweets yesterday morning. many dead, including women and children in mindless chemical attack in syria. area of atrocity is in lock down and encircled by syrian army making it completely inaccessible to outside world. president putin, russia and iran are responsible for backing animal assad. big price to pay. open area immediately for medical help and verification. another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. sick. he went on to criticize his predecessor writing if president obama had crossed his stated red
line in the sand, the syrian disaster would have end elong ago. animal assad would have been history. republican senator john mccain is criticizing president trump following the attacks saying assad's regime was emboldened after he suggested last week that it was time to reduce u.s. involvement in syria. and republican senator lindsey graham had this to say about president trump's response to the suspected chemical attack. >> defining moment in his presidency because he has challenged assad in the past not to use chemical weapons. we had a one and done missile attack. so assad's at it again. they see us resolve breaking, they see our determination to stay in syria waning and it's no accident they used chemical weapons. if it becomes a tweet without meaning, then he's hurt himself with north korea if he doesn't follow through and live up to that tweet, he'll look weak in the eyes of russia and iran. so this is defining moment, mr.
president. you need to follow through with that tweet, show a resolve that obama never did to get this right. >> so, at least rewind a little bit. first tweet he was -- he did call out putin by name. >> which is significant. it's the first time that he -- >> it's worth noting. >> that he has ever done that over the course of the presidential campaign and now in his presidency. it's surprising to me. i think that it's the truth. it's what he should do. it is surprising to me that it happened at this specific moment. admiral stavridis, my question to you is how does the u.s. military define the strategy that they are supposed to implement on the ground in syria right now? that's an incredibly confusing tweet storm and i must say that i'm completely confused as to what the mission is supposed to be, but how would the u.s. military see it? >> well, the u.s. military at this point is hunkered down
building options, but let's rewind a couple of days ago when president trump launches the first of the tweets about we're going to get out of syria. literally at the same moment general joe botel, four-star general army, incredibly capable special forces officer in charge of this entire region militarily at the same moment his commander in chief is tweeting, we're pulling out of syria, general botel is saying at a different forum, we're going to say. we have a good plan. we're working through this. we have a job to do with isis so this kind of disconnect is incredibly difficult for the military to deal with. and, i think about the time that tweet came out there was a sound of a distant explosion. that was general mattis's head exploding in the pentagon because he's the one that has to put those pieces back together again. so, elise, today the military is building the option sets, which will run from fairly benign
intelligence gathering all the way up to a big land force in the region. we'll probably end up somewhere in between richard haass is right, a few more pinprick strikes with tomahawks are not going to get this done. you'll see carriers move into the area, you'll see land-based air employed here. we'll do this with the israelis. that's the set of options the president will look at. don't look for anything to happen immediately. this is probably two or three days from now to build that kind of strike. the military is working the options. we're very good at this. the challenge is going to be in the white house nailing down decisions that have a strategic end goal in mind. that's what i don't see happening. >> and steve ratner, as donald trump is our commander in chief was announcing his retreat from the region, you actually had a meeting between putin, erdogan and iran talking about basically patting themselves on the back, their backs, and talking about
how they were going to handle syria and the region in the future. it's hard for any -- it's hard for me to imagine any presidential candidate not getting politically ripped to shreds in the next political campaign for turning a region back over to isis, to iran, to putin and to assad. but that's what he would be doing. i don't know who he's listening to. i don't know what columns he's reading, but even the american firsters that i've talked to in the past, they're not fans of isis. they're not fans of iran. i thought he was going to destroy isis and was going to stand up to iran. well, this, this is something that barack obama wouldn't even do if confronted with these set of facts. >> well, we did a little of that obviously in terms of taking on
isis, but i agree with everything you said in that our policy has been completely inconsistent. apart from the human tragedy, we're on the verge of seeding syria to a bunch of folks who are not our friends and giving russia strategic position in the middle east which obviously israel isn't happy with and will have its own response to. >> is this really about russia in the end that he's basically telling vladimir putin i'm going to seed this to you? >> you mean donald trump? >> yes. >> i can't look inside donald trump's head, but that seems to be what is going on. the issue, the part of this that i don't quite see clearly, richard laid out three parts. one is eastern syria, you made your points about eastern syria. trump made a big mistake saying he would take those 2,000 troops out of syria. now they have to stay and rebuild it. the other question is regime change seems improbable. you're in this middle zone of what is it you exactly do. we can protect eastern syria but that gas attack was in greater
damascus and against his own people. and there have been a series of them since last april since trump sent the tomahawks in. this is not the first gas attack since last april. admiral talks about all the options we have, i'm not exactly sure what it is we're trying to do in greater syria, put aside eastern syria, parts that assad still controls. >> at the end of the day, it's not an all or nothing proposition. one of those people that are sitting with the iranians and russians, erdogan, we'll have to sit down with. we could make this, as richard said, we could make this a nato operation and actually give erdogan an opportunity to step in and be part of the future of the region or if he chooses not to, we'll do it with our own allies. i have a feeling that if he believes that those are the two options that he faces, he's going to have to take part in the operation. if he doesn't, we'll bring our
other allies in. >> joe, i think that's about right. and i want to go back to the baba balkans 20 years. it included the use of military force, the hard power piece, but ultimately diplomacy and the soft power piece. the dayton accords, you'll remember those. ultimately we worked with russia, so that's the point i think steve ratner is on which is the right one what's the long-term strategic outcome we're looking for here? to go back to assad, ma loes vich, a butcher. initially he stayed. what finally happened to him? he died in a jail cell. eventually that will happen to assad as well. but we have to work our way from the inside out here. that means, i think, a military
response, a strategic end game, a diplomatic plan that ultimately can possibly even partition syria and, joe, you're right, turkey is absolutely a key to this. and i conquer with you that ultimately turkey would line up with nato in an operation if they got safeguards for their border. and i think we could provide that. that's longer term. let's get through the initial steps here, but for god sake, let's have a long-term plan of where we're trying to go. >> hard to get clarity from the president, but bolton does start today, elise, and he has clear views on russia. >> well, i wonder how hawkish john bolton is going to push donald trump to be in this scenario. i'm worried sitting around and all the options that are being bandied about, assume that donald trump wants to show american leadership. everything he's ever said about his foreign policy and how he envisions america's role in the world is retreat.
and that is the fact of the matter when we're discussing donald trump. we can talk about the post-world war ii order, talk about nato, talk about international organizations, that is not his instinct. his instinct is not to become more involved in syria. >> admiral stay with us. we have much more to get to on this. on this first day of the john bolton era, a new column says america is in a battle to defend democracy and president trump is on the wrong side. we're going to read from fred hyatt's piece in the washington post. plus, more republicans seem willing to look the other way on scott pruitt's controversies since he's following through on the president's agenda. we'll talk about that precedent being set. and reports that staffers under mick mulvaney are taking pretty sweet paychecks home. we'll be right back on "morning joe." ♪
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we are now engaged in a fundamental contest between our free and open societies and closed and repressive systems. it is time that we expose those who glamourize and apologize in the service of communist, awe her to tan yan and repressive governments. regimes who torture and slave, oppress and murder their people. even in the united states and in other free nations some journalists, academics, public officials and saddest of all young people have developed and promulgated idealized, warped views of tyrannical regimes. >> wow. some of what now ex-national security adviser h.r. mcmaster said last week at the atlantic council for his final speech in his post.
as he left the west wing on friday, mcmaster was applauded by hundreds of cheering white house and national security staffers, press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said that mcmaster and his family were greeted by president trump who thanked the three-star general for his service. meanwhile, fred hyatt writes about mcmaster's final speech in a piece for the washington post. his visions so far removed from trump's values, approach to america and the world that it came across as a call to action to everyone else who may be called upon to defend democracy. ordinarily at such a time the world would look to america for leadership. but freedom house said the united states has retreated from its traditional role as both the
champion and exem pler. a president famously seems to admire and, yes, glamourize dictators. he demeanized reporters, congratulating egypt's dictator for his sham re-election, itching to withdraw from syria to leave that field to iran and russia. abandoning human rights improvement as a policy objective anywhere in the world. proposing to gut funding for the national endowment for democracy. and so on and so on and so on. that's just part of the list. >> and richard, we didn't even -- fred didn't -- we didn't put congratulating vladimir putin for his victory in his sham election even after he was told in all caps not to do that.
"the new york times" also writing a piece this weekend about democracy and retreat in central and eastern europe. >> also the theme of our new issue of our magazine. but the united states is no longer setting an example that others want to emulate. the united states is no longer making the promotion and respect for democracy and human rights part of its foreign policy. we now have an amoral foreign policy that in this context people like me would argue is immoral. and joe, there's a gray area between what we're doing now which is doing nothing and saying the only purpose of american foreign policy so to transform the world and get everybody reading the federalist papers in their local language. there is something in between. we walked away from it. the only problem with h.r. mcmaster's speech is he did it when he was leaving the white house. it would have been a hell of a lot better if he did it when he
was walking in. >> he probably tried. >> james stravridis, i just thik that people in liberal democracies and from a liberal tradition need to understand so much of what's happened in america and so much what's happened in europe also is a reaction because european countries have refused speaking of gray zones to take a middle ground on immigration, where it's open up, open up the borders, have an eu where somebody can come in in one country and go across 27 other countries and the people -- a lot of people, a lot of labor voters in britain said enough. that's why they voted the way they voted in brexit. there has been no middle ground
on immigration. and that has caused political chaos in europe and it's caused some chaos here in the united states as well. not talking about closing the borders, but there is a middle ground that liberal democracies over the past 20 years have refused to take on immigration and this is the result. >> absolutely right, joe. and let's think of it this way. there's an idealistic let's do the right thing, let's take care of the world component to this and that's important, but i think there's a very pragmatic reason that the united states ought to be taking these kind of positions. and if we look back in history it's kind of instructive. if you go back about 100 years ago, world war i is ending. what does is united states do? we reject the league of nations, the predecessor to the united nations. we erect walls called tariff barriers, the holly smoot tariffs. and we withdraw.
we come back home to america. how did that turn out? well, we cracked the global economy. can you spell trade war? and we allowed a plum line that you could drop down to fasism, leads directly to the second world war. there are idealistic reasons we ought to pursue these policies. the pragmatism is a strong component in this. i fear when we build walls on our border, we erect tariff barrier. we need to think more about how we connect with the world, not how we withdraw from it. that's the real depression. its connectivity and working with other nations. that's what really worries me as i look at the international scene today. >> and i think mika, the mistake that donald trump makes repeatedly is the mistake of seeing the united states doing things start with marshal plan in '47, looking that as a gift
to europe. when not to sort of let the secret out, but we didn't do that just for europe. we did that for our own self interest to stop the spread of communism to france, to italy, to stop this spread of communism across europe. that's why we created so much of the post war order in '47, '48, '49 and it has worked. and it's not welfare for europe and the rest of the world. it's a very pragmatic, tough-minded investment in democracy for not only the benefit of the world but for the benefit of us. >> and the list that fred hiatt had in that piece, we're going to feel that for years maybe even decades to come. admiral james stavridis, thank you very much. and still ahead, president
trump attacked "the washington post" again yesterday. this time he was critical of a report about john kelly's diminishing influence in the white house. we'll talk to one of the authors of that report. >> did you see that poll that fox news showed yesterday i think over the weekend about it's really something. it shows who do you trust more, cnn or trump? cnn 48, trump 35. who do you trust more, msnbc or trump? msnbc 45, president trump 32. who do you trust more, fox or president trump, fox 30, donald trump 20. donald trump is less trusted than those that he attacks. and the more he attacks them the stronger they get. this is just straight out of a new hope. strike me down. >> that was a tease. >> darth and you only make me
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you know, there's been an evolutionary process that this president has gone through. they all say things during the course of campaigns that may or may not be fully informed. >> back in january, chief of staff john kelly made news by trying to rationalize donald trump's positions on immigration. "the washington post" is now reporting that in the aftermath of that fox news interview, trump berated kelly in the oval office, shouts so loud they could be heard through the door. it all plays into the current state of affairs in the white house. the chain of command has reportedly broken down in the west wing. the post depicts increasingly powerless of john kelly after eight months of white house chief of staff. kelly neither lurks around the oval office or listens in to the president's calls even with foreign leader. he has not been fully consulted on several key personnel decisions and lost the trust and support of some of the staff as well as melania trump over his
sudden dismissal of johnny mcentee, the president's personal aide. he threatened to reside on multiple occasions, quote, it's sort of a weekly event said one senior white house official. kelly agrejedly grew so frustrated the day that trump fired david shulkin that homeland secretary nielson and mattis both reached out to calm him down. with us now, the author of that piece, white house bureau chief of the washington post and political analyst for msnbc and nbc news philip rucker and also joining the table msnbc contributor mike barnacle. mike, i begin with you with the most difficult, most important question, how is xander bogaerts doing? >> we'll find out later. >> the red sox for those of you at home who aren't keeping up with this the red sox are 8-1 and the new york team is doing
just as well, the mets, just absolutely tearing it up. >> 7-1. >> richard haass new york yankees not doing quite so well, but at least you have stanton. >> how about the masters, joe. >> let's talk about golf. >> philip rucker, now, to the other news, how long will this continue? does donald trump feel like he has to keep general kelly on for the foreseeable future? is he keeping him on because general mattis wants him on? what's going on here. why hasn't he been fired already? >> well, joe, our reporting indicates that things are sort of a status quo lull for a little while. kelly has a very clear decline in his power and influence and credibility inside the white house, but there's no indication that he's actually going to resign and certainly no indication that trump is going to fire him. that could, of course, change
any day now. but, our reporting indicates that the president is content to sort of let this ride out for a little bit. he feels like kelly can be a useful functionary at sort of a staff level in running the paper flow and the operation of the white house, even as he's lost influence in actually advising the president and doing the sorts of things that a chief of staff ordinarily would do. >> so, phil, in your post piece, it would -- after reading it, it would give you the sense that general kelly, given who he is and who he has been his entire life, he's not going to quit, it would seem. but what does he do all day, everyday now that he has a president of the united states who i don't know the last time that he released a public schedule with something on it? >> well, you know, i think he spends everyday trying to get through to the next day. it's a genuine crisis in that white house and has been some time now, a rather chaotic atmosphere. i think kelly is sort of spending his time putting out brush fires as well as he can,
but he is increasingly out of the loop with the president and in those early months kelly would be in the oval office literally all day almost baby sitting what the president did, who he talked to, listening in on phone calls. now the president is making decisions on his own. he hired larry kidlow and john bolton without much consultation with john kelly. he is reshaping this administration and the chief of staff is watching from the back room. >> let me ask you a related subject which is scott pruitt. we know what's going on there. but what struck me over the weekend is what scott pruitt is accused of doing is multiple times anything that tom price did and had to leave for, the $50 a night condo, first class travel, the security, the stuff in his office, the list is very, very long, so why is scott pruitt still there when tom price was gone? >> well, i think the only person in the administration who wants scott pruitt still in his job is president trump and that's why he still has his job.
the white house has just completely lost its patience and tolerance for the ethical blunders coming out of pruitt's office, not just that but sort of the very strange political strategic decisions that pruitt seems to be making and how he manages this scandal. but the president is unwilling, as of now, to fire him. he feels like he's an ideological warrior for the trump cause. he's disentangling all these regulations. he's accomplishing what trump wants accomplished in that agency. and, you know, pruitt met with the president last week and has defended himself. so for now he stays in a job despite all these blunders. >> but part of the cause was to drain the swamp, right? still president trump standing by epa administrator scott pruitt amid these growing scandals. the epa spent millions for a 20-member full-time security detail for pruitt, according to the associated press. more than three times the
predecessor's part time security contingent and the epa spokesperson sited unprecedented threats against pruitt and his family for justification though the epa did not provide any specific threats. the epa sited threats to pruitt to justify his first class travel. >> coach can be dangerous. >> right. they pass right by you in first class. however, an anonymous epa official said pruitt flew coach when taxpayers weren't paying for his ticket. >> it wasn't as dangerous then. >> he's just abusing privileges right and left. >> well, the condo is the worst of it. $50 a night for a condo owned by a lobbyist. >> he won't pay for it. >> the lobbyists had to lock the door he wouldn't pay the $50. the idea you can't find other people that agree with donald trump idealogically on the epa is ridiculous.
i have no idea why this guy keeps humiliating him. trump gives him direct orders. he ignores them. gives people raises when trump says don't give them raises. again, there's all these little autocrats in waiting whether you're talking about what he's doing or zinky with his buckingham palace flag and minting gold coins. >> it really has baffled me. >> it's unbelievable. >> it's crazy. >> i don't understand if you're a fiscal conservative, who cares what he's doing at the epa if he cannot manage his own office and his own sense of entitlement is so great that he needs a 20-person security detail. >> none of them are fiscal conservatives. >> no one is interested in harming him. >> bullet proof desk. he has bullet proof cars. i think he probably has bullet proof pens. it's unbelievable. >> the sirens on going to dinner. >> to get to the fancy, trendy
place i sure have never been able to get a reservation at. >> and firing your security detail. we don't do that. we can't do that. >> he can become the poster child for exactly the sort of things that people who supported trump were against. >> donald trump can't see it coming, these 30-second ads, the 30-second ads combining what he's done with what zinck is doing and tom price is doing. >> filling the swamp. >> they think can yell fake news, those 30-second ads are so devastating that republicans will bleed support in the fall and they're not going to be able to do anything about it. >> right. >> because donald trump won't move and fire a corrupt head of the epa. donald trump is allowing people to put buckingham palace flags on top of their bureaus and mint gold coins with their noses on
it or whatever he's putting on his gold coins. steve ratner, you are a friend of interior. >> i don't think i'll be getting a goldcoin. >> i mean seriously who are these people? >> philip rucker, thank you very much. >> can i just -- >> no, we have to go to break. >> lord rucker. >> kids, if you get these positions, good way to -- keep your head down. >> yeah. and work for america. >> get somebody that -- that will tell you how to spend your money and hue now to spend your money and how not to spend your money. and if you're a fiscal conservative, which nobody in trump's administration is a fiscal conservative and i don't think there are any fiscal conservatives left on the hill or they would haven't passed the largest spending bill ever without reading it. >> right. okay, still ahead -- >> wait, how do you defend that? >> i had my moment. i don't know. >> i'm a conservative.
oh, wait a second, i just signed -- i just voted for the largest spending bill in the history of the american republic and i didn't even read it. roll tide. >> u.s. stock futures are posting gains ahead of today's open, but it will stay that way? concerns over a potential trade war with china continue to rattle investors and the president is already tweeting about tariffs this morning. >> oh, that's great. >> we'll have that straight ahead. ♪ most people come to la with big dreams.
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still ahead, in the wake of the suspected chemical attack in syria, president trump leveled his most direct criticism yet at vladimir putin. plus, american officials say north korea has communicated with the u.s. government and is ready to press forward on talks about that country's nuclear program. the direct communication raises the possibility of a face-to-face meeting between president trump and kim jong-un.
>> that's exciting. they're going to -- >> no. >> wait a second. >> it's a meeting -- >> that's a 1994 headline. go ahead. >> we'll talk about this with nicholas burns and nbc's andrea mitchell all straight ahead. i get up, i go to the office, i kill it. i go home, and i repeat. my career is moving forward, but my student loans are going nowhere. it'll take me 20 years to pay them off, but i finally found a way to pay them off sooner, and save money by refinancing with sofi. sofi has helped over 200,000 people get ahead of their debt, and they can help you move forward too. see how much you can save in just two minutes at sofi.com/sooner aveeno® positively radiant body lotion... it's time to get your glow on! with the moisture-rich power of soy. it transforms dull, dry skin to leave you glowing.
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to use chemical weapons. we had a one-and-done missile attack. assad sees our resolve breaking, our determination to stay in syria waning and it's not accident they used chemical weapons. if it becomes a tweet without meaning, he's hurt himself on north korea. if he doesn't follow through and live up to that tweet, he's going to look weak in the eyes of russia and iran so this is a defining moment, mr. president, you need to follow through with that tweet, show a resolve that obama never did to get this right. >> okay, welcome back to "morning joe." it's the top of the hour, monday, april 9. happy birthday. >> it's my day so we can talk about just what i want to talk about. >> just on your day? never any time else? you're going to lead the conversation? >> we're going to talk "star wars" movies. >> feel free to interrupt. try something new. >> so nick confessore -- >> "star wars" correspondent on "morning joe." >> exactly. i saw david french last night. david, i love most of the stuff
david tweets, i've been having issues with his sbeinterpretati of the constitution of late in a small area but he said something more disturbing yesterday. he tweeted that he was predicting that solo -- he said solo greater than "the last jedi." he's crossed the line. i'm sick and tired of people kicking around "the last jedi." >> it's the red line for joe scarborough. i'm very excited for that movie and i think he'll be correct. it will be a better movie than t last jedi. >> i've had mika watching movies lately. >> i'm not watching that. >> we saw "three billboards." >> great movie. >> such great performances. >> lady bird. loved it. >> parochial school. >> "i tanya" amazing. and yesterday we get mika watching "all about eve." ratner, what are your favorites? >> great movie, one of my favorites. >> you weren't watching the golf
yesterday? >> no! also joining the conversation -- >> we did watch the red sox. how are the yankees doing? >> shh. >> let's go back to syria. >> wow. all right, former u.s. ambassador to nato and former state department spokesman nicholas burns, he is professor of diplomacy and international relations at harvard kennedy school of government. also with us, nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. and political reporter for the "washington post" and msnbc political analyst robert costa. a lot to get to this hour. >> i forget, joe stash roe went to see wes anderson's movie "isle of dogs." >> you love wes anderson. >> absolutely love him. >> all right, happy birthday, it's over now. [ laughter ] you heard senator lindsey graham at the top of the hour talking about the president's response to the reported syria attacks. we'll begin there in syria where
opposition activists and aid groups say at least 40 people were killed in a suspected chemical weapons attack over the weekend. the alleged attack took place late saturday in doma, the latest rememblat -- local activists tell nbc news they saw dozens of dead bodies, many of whom were children in underground shelters across the city. reports indicate that the victims suffocated from exposure to toxic chemicals. both the syrian and russian governments are denying involvement. the syrian government called the allegations of a chemical attack fabrications. today the u.n. security council is expected to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the reported chemical attack. >> andrea, these pictures,
whether you're looking at the "wall street journal" or the "washington post" or the "new york times," pictures that we didn't think we would be seeing again but here we are. druch last week tells the world, tells our enemies that he wants to retreat and leave the region to syria and putin and iran and isis and a few days later this. what's donald trump's next step? does he continue the retreat or do we strike back? >> the question that you've been discussing today and that everyone needs to be asking is will it be another pinprick symbolic strike taking out a runway that was rebuilt within days if not hours which is what was done a year ago on april 6 when he was in mar-a-lago several days after another suspected chemical attack and that one, there were russians reportedly in that same landing area on that same base watching
the planes taking off. must have known how they were armed so their complicity was never criticized this time. the difference -- the biggest difference so far is that the president has named vladimir putin -- it's the first time he's name checked him in a critical way on twitter and in his series of tweets blaming the russians and the iranians appropriately for their military protection of assad in the regi regime. also blaming president obama and there's been plenty of criticism of what he did in 2013 or what he did not do after teeing up strong military action with a big speech from john kerry on friday then on friday night doing a walk about with his chief of staff and making a very different decision and surprising his own national security team and surprising the world certainly. so covered up that lack of action but there's no question that now all these years later it's -- donald trump's challenge and the problem is that he as
john mccain pointed out did say to the distress of his own pentagon that he's going to pull out our 2000 troops and he wants it to be done in months not years so after signaling weakness and watching putin and erdogan and rouhani meeting and celebrating their victory, he has to take action. he has to do a coordinated action. the israelis are most likely the ones who struck in the last 24 hours but now there has to be a comprehensive response. >> and nicholas burns, what does that comprehensive response look like? we've been talking here in the first hour about turkey, giving turkey an ultimatum. you can either be a part of it or watch it from the sidelines in your neighborhood. what do we do? >> well, i think we have to have a comprehensive strategy. the president is lurching from thought to thought on this. he has to respond to this. the president's tweet clearly indicates we're going to respond so the president and american
credibility is on the line, this is a horrific attack, the eighth such chemical weapons attack this year. so assad is operating with impunity. you have to respond to that but you also have to have a stronger comprehensive policy. you have to deal with the refugee crisis which is the greatest refugee crisis since 1945. 12 million of the 22.4 million syrians are homeless, either inside the country or out. we have been awall, joe, as you know, we haven't accepted any syrian refugees under president obama, he's determined to keep them out and there's an ethical responsibility we have and a strategic responsibility and we still haven't defeated the islamic state so we have to stay in syria and we want to be part of the calculation there when syria begins to be put back together again, we have effective control over eastern syria through the syrian kurds so you can see the pieces of a strategy. the president just hasn't put it together. >> it's interesting nick that -- nick confessore, that the president did actually criticize
vladimir putin by name for the first time in his three years as a public figure. certainly a political figure. and that follows some pretty tough sanctions at the end of last week. i wonder if we're at a turning point here. >> it could be. and look, there's always been a contradiction at the heart of president trump's foreign policy. he's been more assertive and bellicose and on the other hand more isolationist so his voters want to get away from this mess in the middle east but he wants to be more aggressive and so my question for you, richard, is what are his options within these two poles and what happens next in syria for the u.s. and u.s. forces there? >> one pole is doing nothing there would be a moral and strategic fiasco, the other pole would be getting truly involved in getting rid of assad and essentially babysitting the future syria which is a bridge too far. so what's in between? military strikes, say, not just
for a day or two, protecting people in parts of syria so they can live there and go back there. those would be the two things. continued american presence, including support for the syrian kurds which is essential both to show that if you work with us against isis we won't desert you. and what that means is a willingness to stand up to turkey. turkey is technically an ally but no one should kid themselves. >> turkey hadn't acted like an ally for years. they provided the onramp for isis to get into syria. >> exactly, through their territory. and turkey, all they care about is going after the very people who have been our partners which is the syrian kurds so we have got to be willing to stand up to turkey. we've got to find alternative to a dependence on turkish military bases and we have to be willing to -- if we go after syrian military hardware we have to understand that russia is not just going to oppose u.s. in the u.n. this is a big issue because russia is going to be there on the ground. we just killed several -- more than a hundred russians when they went after us in syria.
this may require the united states being willing to risk something of a direct confrontation with russia and syria. >> and perhaps influential on the issue of russia, the new national security adviser, mike barnicle, john bolton starts today. >> first day of work which leads nick burns to this question. people are saying the president has to act now so given the fact that the united nations is probably out of the question that anything we would propose russia would veto, what are the odds of us being able to put together a mini coalition of great britain, france perhaps, perhaps even turkey to act in a concerted fashion within syria when there is nothing at the state department that would lead you to believe that the mechanics of putting together such a coalition would be there. and the verbal behavior and tweeting behavior of the president has our allies on the fence as to who we are today. >> mike, i think it's a central
question. this is an essential test for john bolton and it will also be a test for mike pompeo at his confirmation hearings this thursday. he's now going to be asked about this. this will be one of the central issues. there is a coalition we can pull together. it 's the sunni arab states, we represent many of their interests in syria. it's the united kingdom and france. the united kingdom has standoff weapons so they could be involved in the attack but it has to be much larger than that. it has to be complete the battle against isis, protect the syrian kurds, have leverage in syria so we can compete politically, diplomatically, with the iranians and russians and turks and i think richard haass is right, we have to hold the ground in eastern sir and tell president erdogan we won't tolerate turkish invasions in the northern part of the country. it doesn't have to go to war. we shouldn't target russian forces, we should be careful about that. we should pick our fights easily
but holding our position makes sense because if we lose -- and that was president trump's wish stated publicly last week -- who wins? iran wins and russia wins and we can't tolerate that in syria. >> and how fascinating, andrea. what a fascinating day for john bolton to go into the white house, someone who had been tough on russia, a real hawk on russia. a real hawk on iran. as everybody knows, i've rawls been a big john bolton fan. but here we are going well, god, at least we have bolton. >> how things have changed. >> but it couldn't line up, more interestingly, in that you have two countries that john bolton has spent his adult life fighting against, russia and iran who actually would be the biggest winners if trump did that fast speedy retreat that he's been talking about instead of having a comprehensive plan
to bring stability at least to eastern syria. >> the irony here which you've teed up here is that john bolton on syria might be general mattis' -- defense secretary mattis' ally because it's not tolerable to have russia and iran and erdogan continuing to do high fives about their victory over the u.s. the other interesting point is that israel obviouslily and saudi arabia as well cheering the president on in terms of doing something more kinetic, more military action against these players. >> well, the entire sunni world, right? >> exactly. >> yeah, and erdogan has been such a bad actor, going after our allies, those syrian kurdish forces have been our most loyal ground forces. the allies of america against isis. and we have started to abandon them, they were already
retreating because erdogan is trying to wipe them out. so they were already telling richard engel and our other colleagues that they're being abandoned by the united states so someone, bolton, is going to have to reconcile the president's twitter withdrawal and what he said in ohio and what he said last week in the white house about getting out and what he said to his military advisers about getting out with what is happening on the ground. and what nick and others have pointed out, this is not the first suspected chemical attack this year. so in the years since that pinprick strike on april 6, 2017, there have been eight alone this year of at least chlorine if not poison gas. >> so bob costa, it leads to the question of which president trump we're going to see responding to syria because there is the president trump who wants to get out of wars and has been critical of that but there's also the strong leader
who wants to show america's force in the world and has spoken behind the scenes about, you know, why can't we use nukes? i mean, i'm not sure exactly what part of this president is going to be emboldened by his new national security adviser as well. >> and there is the president trump who has already taken action in syria earlier in his presidency and based on my calls over the week end to white house officials and friends of the president, they say he was able to take action earlier, they suspect he'd be able to take action again. especially because of the new national security adviser at his side but also the congressional factor. there's so many more hawks in congress and on the republican side who are urging the president to take some kind of action to build a coalition to go after assad and his allies that they they this even though his instinct may be to withdraw the troops as quickly as possible, the context of the situation may prod him toward action. >> what about republicans on the hill, bob?
usually there is obviously the most conservative wing of the republican party that has no problem standing up to the pentagon calling for more spending restraint at times. also obviously trying to discourage military venturism. but here again you have iran, isis, and russia lined up. do you think most republicans on the hill are going to support the president if he decides to come up with a comprehensive strategy to check their power in that region? >> yes and they have in previous incidents and when you look at richard haass' comments, he's right. when you look at the cabinet -- not only the congress, but the cabinet who are full of people who have worked many more republican hawkish administrations who would echo the president's call for action should he do that. but people close to the president put an asterisk next
to this and they say the president himself is still tempted by that senator rand paul of wing of the republican party that moved toward non-interventionism and isolationism. >> robert costa, thank you very much. former ambassador nicholas burns, thank you as well. andrea mitchell, we'll be watching "andrea mitchell reports" at noon eastern on msnbc. >> thank you, andrea as always. >> thank you, happy birthday. >> happy birthday. >> by the way, peter gammons -- we share happy birthday. >> today is peter's birthday? >> that's what he said, yeah. >> same age? >> yes and for those of you who don't know, peter gammons is a big red sox fan. >> you're lucky it's your birthday. >> and how about those mets? the amazing mets. >> 7-1. >> i knew the new york team was going to be great this year. >> you did. >> can we talk about patrick reid? >> no, we're going to talk about steve's charts as soon as we can get to them. also coming up, bob mueller's probe is targeting wealthy russian oligarchs including one former business partner of
indicted trump campaign chairman paul manafort. we'll talk to the co-authors of the number one "new york times" best-seller russian roulette. and this programming note, tonight on "nbc nightly news," former attorney general loretta lynch speaks out to lester holt in an exclusive wide-ranging interview on her airplane meeting with president bill clinton during the 2016 campaign. she's going to talk about that meeting. and her relationship -- >> by the way, lester's interview not on that airplane. >> no. and her relationship with former fbi director james comey. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..."
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russian political figures with direct ties to those under scrutiny in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. among them, oleg deripaska, a former business partner of indicted trump campaign chairman paul manafort. joining us now, chief investigative correspondent for yahoo news, michael isikoff, and washington bureau chief of "mother jones," david corn. they are co-authors of the book "russian roulette, the inside story of putin's war on america and the election of donald trump." and a lot of this, michael isikoff, seems to go back to paul manafort in some way. >> yeah. the list the treasury department put out friday is remarkable because it has some fresh details on just how much the u.s. government knows about deripaska's background. one of the things we write about in the book is that when hillary
clinton was secretary of state she would meet with sergei lavrov, the russian foreign minister. and one of the issues lavrov would always raise is trying to get a visa for deripaska, he had been denied entry to the united states because the fbi had suspicions about his ties to organized crime. lavrov kept pressing clinton as did other russian officials promising other u.s. officials to try to get deripaska a visa. it just shows how tight he was with the putin regime in this treasury department announcement. we have fresh details about what the u.s. government intelligence community collected about deripaska, tying him to exportion, money launder ie extortion, money laundering, bribery, attempted murder of a businessman, this is laid out in the treasury announcement and what's striking about this is at the very time the u.s. intelligence communities collected this, dare kpas is in business with manafort, they had a falling out, deripaska was
pressing manafort to return millions of dollars he thought had gone missing in a cable deal in ukraine. manafort, the campaign chairman of the trump campaign, was in debt to this mobbed-up russian businessman. >> nick confessore here, staying on deripaska. walk us through the chatter in paul manafort's circle in the campaign era when he was talking about how to get ahold of deripaska or setting up meetings. talk us through how that leads us to conspiracy or collusion. >> it's interesting that manafort seemed to believe that becoming campaign manager of a presidential campaign for trump was a steppingstone for him in his business endeavors. as mike mentioned, he was in debt for millions of dollars to deripaska. at the same time he's managing
the campaign, he's offering deripaska inside information on the campaign in order to get into better graces with him. it's important how he's doing this. deripaska had a business colleague he'd been working with for years named constantine kalimnik. so take a step back, it's almost like a bad spy novel. the guy running the campaign, while he's running the campaign is having private conversations with a former russian military intelligence officer about the campaign and how to get information to deripaska. whatever he's telling kalimnik can no doubt be give on the other people in moscow and it's not insignificant because at the same time moscow throughout the
summer is attacking the united states people call it meddling, i call it an attack. so russians knew how the trump campaign was thinking about this and whether they were upset about the russian intervention or not, that would help them in how they move forward. so this is like having a tremendous mole inside the presidential campaign. >> michael, elise jordan here. can you talk about how the u.s. government started their investigation into the trump campaign's contacts with russia and the ticktock of how the investigation evolved during the course of the campaign? >> sure. it goes back to the summer, july of 2016. now, this is after the cyber attack on the dnc has been definitively linked by the fbi to the russians and the fbi from a counterintelligence perspective sees all these
relationships -- manafort and deripaska, george papadopoulos member of the foreign policy advisory team named by trump having these contacts with kremlin cutouts and talking about them at a bar in london to the australian ambassador. carter page another foreign policy advisory guy who flies over to moscow. michael flynn, who flew over to moscow to celebrate the tenth anniversary of rt and sits next to vladimir putin. so the fbi sees this in the summer and they open up a counterintelligence investigation. none of that was known publicly at the time but we see the fruits of that in mueller's investigation and this was rather significant stuff that was going on all -- it was highly classified, counterintelligence
investigations always are but there was a lot there beneath the surface that the public didn't know about. >> so david, let's stick with the timeline michael was just talking about and john brennan, cia, james comey, fbi. who was there first? there's so much information here. who was there first? >> well, chapter 13 sort of outlines this to put a plug in here. it really wasn't until after the leak of information at the democratic convention in july that all the pieces michael just laid out start coming together and john brennan gets its intelligence and it gets intercepts and intelligence from other foreign intelligence services about contacts between trump associates and russians and brennan puts together basically a swat team from the nsa, national security agency, from the fbi, he says he doesn't
want to repeat the mistakes of people of 9/11, people in their own silos, and he starts saying we've got to get to the bottom of this and come early august they're telling the white house that what's happening is a russian information warfare attack. then it becomes an issue of how much they can figure out why they're doing this, whether putin is involved, and what the u.s. should do. and at the end of july, the national security establishment intelligence community has pieced together a lot of this and is very, very concerned and then in mid-august another piece comes in. they make up intelligence, as mike reported at the time, that russian hackers are probing our state election systems, our databases and registration files and that gets them more concerned that the russians might be planning to blow up this election day. >> the book is russian roulette. michael isikoff and david corn, thank you both. >> thank you. coming up, president trump
president trump is up and tweeting this morning. >> are we going to play bingo? >> we will now unveil the "morning joe" trump twitter bingo board. the president tweeted "when a car is sent to the united states from china, there is a tariff to
be paid of 2.5%. when a car is sent to china from the united states, there is a tariff to be paid of 25%. does that sound like free trade or fair trade? no it sounds like stupid trade. going on for years." taking a look at our board, we can add a marker on china. >> very good. >> other pockets, "rocket man, failing "new york times," collusion, and ratings." we'll see if we can get a few more markers on the board before the morning is over. definitely through the week.
that will be fun. >> where's miko. >> psycho joe? >> these are pretty good. >> we should fill up the board -- >> "fox & friends" is going to be covered up in five minutes. >> definitely. cryin', not sure about that. fake news is in there. crooked hillary for sure. up next, we'll dive much deeper into president trump's possible trade war with china and whether he's winging it. steve rattner has charts -- >> that's exciting. >> and gop congressman jim renaci, a member of the house budget committee, will join us on that and we'll get his take on administrator scott pruitt as a number of republicans voice concern over his growth list of ethics scandals. we'll be right back.
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we've lost the trade war because for many years, whether it's clinton or the bushes or obama, all of our presidents before have for some reason it just got worse and worse and now it's $500 billion in deficits and a theft of $300 billion in intellectual property so you can't have this. now, the easiest thing for me to do would be to close my eyes and forget it. if i did that, i wouldn't be doing my job. so i'm not saying there won't be pain. but the market has gone up 40%, 42%. so we might lose a little bit of it but we're going to have a much stronger country when we're finished. >> actually, the easiest thing for him to do would be to make up numbers out of whole cloth. grab them out of the air, make them up, say them on the radio. that's exact what he did. not 500.
>> no, president trump on friday acknowledged the potential impact on americans from his ongoing tariff battle with china. asian markets rose this morning despite growing concern over declines on wall street. dow jones industrial average closed down by 572 points on friday amid the trade dispute between the u.s. and china. axios reports that president trump sparked the battle over tariff with little planning. "there wasn't one single deliberative meeting in which senior officials sat down to debate the pros and the cons of this historic threat. trump didn't even ask for advice from his new top economic adviser larry kudlow. chief of staff john kelly knew trump wanted more tariffs but was blindsided by the speed of the announcement and legislative affairs director marc short, the white house's liaison to capitol hill was totally in the dark. >> i think larry kudlow has been doing the best that he can do.
>> gave honest answers when he was asked. >> gives honest answers and he's -- i think he's done -- >> it's not easy to be in there, that's for sure. >> take a very difficult position and tried to balance it and reassure the markets, hey, we're just posturing, this is just -- we're negotiating right now. which is what the markets need to hear. >> joining us now for this conversation is congressman jim renacci of ohio. good to have you with us. we also have steve's charts ahead. >> but congressman, we found a fiscal conservative. so we brought you in, you actually did vote against the biggest spending bill of all time that nobody read. >> well, again when you get a bill the night before and it's 2200 pages it's difficult for me to vote for something like that. one of the reporters walked up to me and said "did you know such and such was in the bill?" i said "look, i'm not sure what was in the bill." there were good things and bad things but i can't read that fast. >> that's what we conservatives
have complained about. don't give us bills we can't read and yet that's what the republican leadership is doing. why? >> republicans and democrats have both done it. it's a problem. it came down to not get something done in time so there were four or five people that negotiated and in the end it's difficult for somebody representing one sixteenth of ohio to say i'm going to go along with it. i was a business guy for almost three decades. i want to see it, read it, understand it before i vote for. >> it do you understand the president's tariff plans? >> i understand what he's doing. we just can't wait any longer so remember, ohio has a lot of issues when it relates to tariff. we have to make sure our steel industry is growing but we have agriculture which is an issue, we have manufacturing so i'm glad to see -- this president casts a large net out there and then he pulls it back in and these are negotiations that are going on and i know people get
uncomfortable -- >> so you think he's negotiating? >> i think it's a starting point. remember, when the tariffs first came out there was a big shock and now we've pulled it back. we've excluded canada, we've excluded mexico. we're starting to pull things back but in the end we have a problem with china. >> steve, take us through your charts on the trade issue with china. what is the issue? >> i think we would all agree we have a trade problem with china. i think the lead in you read in terms of how this unfolded and i would say congressman i think the way this has been handled is about as bad a way as you can handle a serious problem. let's look at the problem and start with china. joe mentioned that trump doesn't always tell the truth about these things so we'll show you some facts. so first, if you go back to the 1980s we had no trade with china. it was a very closed economy and then in 2001 they were admitted to the world trade organization and got preferential tariff treatments on their goods and services and so what happened
from there was basically our imports exploded, our exports went up a little bit and that $500 billion deficit that trump talked about is actually $375 billion. >> so, steve, explain the imports and explain what that line means when it comes to low cost goods for american consumers when they go into walmart. >> this is one of the things people talk about when they talk about the price of soybeans and how bad it is for north dakota, all of which i'm sympathetic to. but would you like to pay $100 more for your iphone? because if we keep putting tariffs on imports, 2450ez% tariffs or whatever, that's what's going to happen. so we've had enormous benefit from low-cost chinese goods but it's come at a high cost in terms of the $375 billion deficit and lots of lost jobs and important places like china. if you look at the overall situation, you can see china is
50% of our trade deficit but not the only part. mexico, which the president likes to go after, is 10%, the same size as germany at 10% and japan at 8%. so cloyhina is the biggest part the problem but we have a broader trade problem. >> again, though, when you say "problem," that problem results in, again, lower costs to american consumers. the there's a reason why we are importing goods from china and other countries. we can get them into our country and it's cheaper for americans. it's not cheaper for chinese. it benefits working class americans. >> so what you're saying or at least what i would say is trade should be good for everybody. trade should create lower cost imports and a chance for countries to export things and create jobs that way. and so trade is great. the problem is when you have unbalanced trade like this and
we run these huge deficits we're essentially piling up debt. but there are countries like germany, switzerland, japan, that run trade surpluses with china not deficits because they have found ways to export more stuff to china and they've kept their imports at a reasonable level. >> wow. >> so congressman, tell us, if you were advising the president now on his net, ready to cast a wide net, how would you win this trade war? what steps would you take next to aid void the fallout to american workers. but still get some of the problems we're talking about here fixed. >> he casts a wide net then he starts to pull the net back and we have to look at the effects on the economy, we have to look at the effects on manufacturing and farming going on. especially in ohio so in the end -- >> what's the ideal policy outcome? >> the ideal policy is to have free and fair trade with china, especially china. that's our issue. china is not fairly trading with us and i think in the end we
have to have free and fair trade and we can look at some of the other countries that we're talking about here but in the end when the biggest part of our trade deficit, 50% is china, we have to look at it. we can't ignore it. the one thing i will say about this president, he's not ignoring things. we've had republican and democrats in the past who have ignored this and that's why we've run into the situation we're in. >> steve, what does germany export that we don't have that we could export to reduce our deficit? >> well, they export things like very sophisticated machine tools that the chinese need to build those -- >> we don't make them here? >> not as well as germany does. germany is really good at that. german cars are obviously very popular in china, they export a lot of cars. our cars are made in china but not as popular. >> so congressman, we started out this segment by noting you were a fiscal conservative. what do you make of members of this cabinet? pruitt, mulvaney to name a few.
do they seem like fiscal conservatives. >> zinke? have you mint add gold coin with your likeness? >> but can you speak on the record -- >> do you have a flag raised over your office when you walk in and lower when you all these falling through on the president's agenda. do i agree with some of the spending? absolutely not. i ran small business for 28 years. i'm as tight as you can be when it came to spending. >> shouldn't they be tight? >> you should watch what you're spending and i think -- i don't know of all those things but i'm not going to agree with some of that spending. absolutely not. but again, i think in the end they're following through with the president's policy. >> aren't there conserve tiffs that can follow through without wasting taxpayer dollars? >> first off, we should be passing appropria
passing appropriations bills. we're not getting a budget passed. we're doing it in the house, the senate is missing the boat many, many times and in the end, we have to be able to tighten this down. it's our job and then give them the dollars they can spend, but that's not happening. >> well, congressman, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> did you get through all the charts? >> there was one more. >> there was? i want to see it. >> the last one really, so we talk about what we can do and i would respectfully disagree with the congressman, this idea of starting big and pearigoing bac. they own $1.2 trillion of our treasuries with 20% of the foreign holdings and imagine what happens if china wakes up one day and says we're going to put 100 billion of these on the market and see what happens here to your interest rates and to your treasury market. >> what would happen? >> interest rates would go up a lot. a fair amount f okay i don't of
market. >> trump says wars are easy. no wars are good things and i think there would be a better way to have done this, get our own house in order. >> maybe talk to some people about it. >> it's creating a lot of these deficits. there are lots of ways it could have been made better. still ahead, what we know this morning about a suspected chemical weapons attack in syria and some of president trump's most critical comments to date about vladimir putin. plus, as we just discussed with the congressman, president trump and his cabinet posed some tricky questions for the gop. the new documentary trump's takeover of the republican party straight ahead on "morning joe." , 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?
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of isis. we'll be coming out of syria very soon. let the other people take care of it now. very soon. we're coming out. >> that was president trump is 1 days ago and while isis may be in ruins, bashar assad is still standing and still killing. syria was a disaster before donald trump, but senator john mccain says the president's pledge to withdraw american forces has only emboldened that country's dictator and his backers in russia and iran. as evidence, a reported chemical attack against the opposition over the weekend that killed at least 40 people.
welcome back to "morning joe." with us you have we have the president of foreign relations. former aid to the george w. bush white house and former nato supreme allied commander, now the dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy, retired four star navy admiral. so on top of this major story on syria that we're already talking about this morning there are several big developments in washington as well. today john bolton takes over as national security advisor with new signs that north korea is ready to sit down at the negotiating table. meanwhile, reports say scott pruitt was flying coach but only when he had to pay for it himself. it was first class when taxpayers were picking up the tab. >> and he's also flipping houses. it's his cattle's future. i mean, there's a different
story every day for this guy. and he's got an entourage bigger than some world leaders. >> also, john kelly is still on the job, but the question is this morning for how long? reports say the president berated his chief of staff so loudly earlier this year that shouting could be heard through the oval office doors. so we'll get to that story as well. that's probably a little tense relationship there. we're going to begin back in syria where opposition activists and groups -- aid groups say at least 40 people were killed in a suspected chemical weapons attack over the weekend. the alleged attack took place late saturday in douma, the last rebel held enclave near damascus. video coming out of the region shows people being hosed off with water. local activists tell nbc news
they saw dozens of dead bodies, many of whom were children in underground she woulders across the city. according to that statement from the syrian medical society the reported symptoms were the victims suffocated from exposure to toxic chemicals. both the syrian and russian governments are denying involvement. the syrian government called the allegations fabrications. today the u.n. security council expected to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the reported chemical attack. meanwhile, a predawn missile strike hit an air base in central syria overnight. according to the associated press, russia and the syrian military will are blaming israel for the strike saying israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from lebanon's air space. the air strikes killed 14 people. israel's foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the
accusations. >> admiral, obviously the united states has much to answer for in the leadup to the iraq war in 2003. and for much of the chaos that was let loose in that region, but the further we get away from the united states and the obama administration encouraging resistance against assad and then the united states sitting back and doing little to nothing while 500, 600,000 people die, and watching one red line after another be run through and now having another president wanting to abandon that region, how -- how are historians going to look back and the united states' involvement and lack there of in
syria and the international refugee crisis that it let loose and the chaos and the hell that we just absolutely refuse to step up and -- and assist in bringing to resolution? >> joe, i think future historians will look back and unload a great deal of shame on all of us and they should. i mean, this is beginning to feel like rowan da for example where we watched this train wreck almost in slow motion go on and on and on. let me tell you what's happening in the pentagon today. all night the director of operations has been building options for the president, the j 5, the director for claims and policies is working on the connectivity internationally. and what we got to do is kind of get the inner agency together, joe, so this is john bolton's
big day. and his job as the national security advisor is to bring state and defense together along with national security team to make decisions about are we going to move the carriers, our carriers are mispositioned right now for example. we'll have to look at are we going to give the president option for land based strikes. are we going to use special forces? will israel will part of this? france has already indicated a desire to help. the bottom line is we have to take action. this is unconscionable what's happening before us. >> we go into iraq in 2003 in an unjustifiable war. we stay there. we stay the course. we finally bring some semblance of order to the region by 2008, 2009, we then abandon it in 2011. we allowed the rise of isis in
2012-2013. we belatedly start going in there, crush isis and now we have another united states president that once again in a schizophrenic move, now that we have created a successful and a sustainable model to actually keep peace in that region, we now have a president, a commander in chief that says to the generals, good job, but i'm going to do just what barack obama did in 2011. we're bringing everybody home because it feels good to me. it feels good to donald trump to say i'm going to bring the troops home. and yet chaos is loosened upon the world. >> so here's what donald trump has to think about. one is going to exactly your point, joe. does he find a way to walk away from this isolationist desire to quote unquote bring the troops back home and to move away from the one group that has worked
with us and valiantly and effectively which is the syrian cur kurds. issue two, do we respond to syrian use of chemical weapons which flouts an international norm, i would say we have to and we have to do it bigger than last time. shooting off a come of cruise missiles may make us feel good. it doesn't accomplish any good. and thirdly, do we commit ourselves to getting rid of assad? that's still a bridge too far. >> do we commit ourselves to taking the eastern part of syria and doing what many people have suggested for some time and create a no fly zone and a safe zone for refugees to return home? >> clearly that's the sort of thing -- you've got the syrian kurds, do we basically say okay, for now assad is the mayor of greater damascus. we don't like it. we can't stop it. he's there. but, but, but we're going to
crea create a part of syria that people can live safely in. more than 60% of this country has been misplaced. either internally or turned into refugees. >> and richard, explain, yesterday, front page of the new york times and if you look at the editorial in the washington post, you see the same themes. there is a battle against democracy. what has caused that battle in europe for democracy? a refugee crisis that these countries have been unable to confront. and that, in part, was let loose again by the lack of action in syria. if there is still a united nations and if that united nations has any teeth and any purpose for existing, would it not be to create a safe zone, a no fly zone in eastern syria to
allow these refugees to return home? >> the un will not green light that because countries like russia have vetoes. and admiral knows this better than anybody. if there's going to be some type of concerted international action my guess is you'll have to do an end run around the united nations. possibly do it through nato and the united states and some like minded countries in europe and in the region will have to work together because there isn't a united nations, joe. there isn't an international con sen us about what should be done. >> why do we have it? >> it can be a useful talk shop and in turn limited areas the world is able and willing to come together, but great powers increasingly are disagreeing. we have returning to an era of international relations where the idea that the major powers line up is increasingly not happening. >> still ahead on "morning joe," his final speech h.r. mcmaster said it's time to expose those
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that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. we are now engaged in a fundamental contest between our free and open societies and closed and repressive systems. it is time that we expose those who glamourize and apologize in the service of communist authoritarian and repressive governments. regimes who torture, and oppress and murder their people. even in united states and other free nations some journalists academics and saddest of all young people have developed and
promulgated idealized warped views of tyrannical regimes. >> wow, some of what now ex- national security advisor h.r. mcmaster said last week at the atlantic council for his final speech in his post. as he left the west wing on friday mcmaster was applauded by hundreds of cheering white house and national security staffers. press secretary sarah huckabay sanders said he was greeted by president trump who thanked the three star general for his service. meanwhile fred hyatte writes about his final speech in a piece in the washington post. mcmaster's warning was more global. his estimation of the stakes more existential and his vision so far removed from trump's values, values free zero some approach in america in the world that it came across as a call to action to everyone else who may be called upon to defend
democracy. ordinarily, at such a time the world would look to america for leadership. but freedom house said the united states has retreated from its role of exemplar of democracy. from a pat who famoresident who admire and glamourize dictators. cheering when china's president declared him for life. congratulating egypt's dictator for his sham re-election, itching to withdraw from syria to leave that field from airan and russia. proposing to gut funding and failing to nominate an assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor and so on and so on and so on.
that's just part of the list. >> we didn't even put in that -- him congratulating vladimir putin in his sham election even after he was told in all caps tot no to do that. the new york sometimes also writing a piece this weekend about democracy and retreat in central and eastern europe. >> it's also the theme of the new issue of our magazine of foreign affairs. there is a democratic recession in the world for lots of reasons, some economic, some of the immigration point you made before, but the united states is no longer setting an example that others want to emulate. the united states is no longer making the promotion and respect for democracy and human rights part of its foreign policy. we have an amoral foreign policy and there's a gray area between what we're doing now which is doing nothing and saying the only purpose of american foreign policy is to transform the world
and get everybody reading the federalist papers and their local language. there is something in between. we've walked away from it. the only problem with h.r. mcmaster's speech is he did it as he was leaving the white house. >> it's just like republicans retiring doing the same thing. i guess i don't expect you to weigh in on this. i'm just -- as i toss to you to think of what you think of fred's column, i just think people in liberal democracies and from a liberal tradition need to understand so much of what's happened in america and so much what's -- what's happened in europe also is a reaction, because european countries have refused, speaking of gray zones, to take a middle ground on immigration. >> if we look back at history it's kind of instructive. if you go back about 100 years
ago, world war i is ending. we erect walls called tariff barriers and we withdraw. we come back home to america. how did that turn out in well, we cracked the global economy. can you spell trade war and we allowed a plum line that you could drop down to fascism, leads directly to the second world war. there are idealistic reasons we ought to be pursuing these kind of policies, but the realistic ones, the pragmatism is a strong component in this and i fear when we come back and build walls on our border we erect tariff barriers, we need to be thinking more about how we connect with the world, now how wi we withdraw from it it's connective and working with other nations. that's what really worries me. >> coming up on "morning joe,"
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we have a lot more to get to this hour of "morning joe." not long ago will bert ross held up a can of campbell's soup to illustrate the tariffs. we're going to get a live report on the economic fallout. plus, politico says a race to replace paul ryan is on. is the speaker of the house on the verge of calling it quits? new reporting on how that's playing out. we're joined next on "morning joe." discover card.
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washington, msnbc correspondent von hill yard. von spent the weekend in wisconsin talking to voters there. >> reporter: good morning, you guys. this is the congressional district of paul ryan but le's met with a democratic challenger, a
gentleman who is a long time iron worker in the district and he's raised $5 million up to this point and mount the campaign that paul ryan is facing for 18 years but this town hall was intended for paul ryan but instead andy price came. that was put on by several different high school students that organized the town hall and we asked people who they think of this race. this is what some of them told us. >> actually i'm angry. i'm angry that he doesn't represent me or my city or my community. i feel like when he back pedalled on trump and he said
that he was first not in favor of the way that he bullied people and he wasn't -- he doesn't agree with his tweeting and he doesn't agree with this and that and then he turns around and supports him. >> i usually vote and i'm registered republican. >>
and you voted for paul ryan? >> i have. >> and what about this november? >> i'm voting for -- he gave in, and went along to get along. >> could that be what changes this election? >> i think it's going to be a lot to do with it. >> he doesn't respond to anything. i fax him, call him, write him and e-mail him so i cover all my bases. he never responds. >> i voted for paul in the early 2 thousands and i was glad to see him in washington representing this district but i think since he's been there things have changed and they've changed a lot and now that he's speaker of the house i see that even more. >> how do you think paul ryan has gone about handling his
relationship with president trump. >> i don't think he's shirked back at all. he has not agreed with president trump -- >> from what we see in the news, some of the stuff he has agreed with, some of the stuff he's nod. but he's not afraid to say he did not agree with him. >> should speaker ryan push back more on president trump? >> push back, no. >> pe hushes back quite a bit as it is. >> paul is safe in this area here. i think he is's done a good job. >> why is he safe? well, i think his base is pretty strong. >> do you think other republicans may jump in and vote for him? >> it's possible. >> why? >> i'm not sure everyone likes the way the president has been acting lately and i think there's a lot of people getting tired of potentially -- or what they're seeing right now in washington, d.c. and i think when people get, you know, frustrated with what's happening
in d. krmt thc. they have a ten look for other options. but again, november is a long ways out. a lot of things can happen. >> joe and mika, this was a district that trump won by 10 points, but this was a town hall. there were more than 100 of them held across the country. this was put on by high school students. for the first hour of that town hall the only questions that were had were about gun control issues and the gentleman in the middle there, he was wearing a gm polo, he lost his job back in 2009 with the gm plant just a mile from where paul ryan lives closed down. he told me he voted for paul rye yand and donald trump but- his daughter who was one of the students who put on that town hall and ultimately it was the young people, these are the question going into this is how many republicans like scott buckland who have young students raising questions about several
different issues including gun about the possi any word on that? >> well, he hasn't begun his official re-elect campaign, june 1st is the deadline to file those signature petitions. to note, we just found out this morning that he raised -- has raised more than $50 million as part of this election cycle at this point. he's got about $10 million cash on hand. would have plenty of nrcc money to back him up. the question though for paul ryan if you're looking at this race at this point is the extent to which ultimately, you know, it's -- is he able to go back into this district and separate himself from donald trump and remind these folks that he is a member of congress and a member of janesville in this area. >> thank you very much. fascinating. >> and you never really know. mike, in '94, big republican sweep, the speaker of the house then got swept out of power surprisingly enough.
a lot of senior democrats got swept out of power. >> it's only anecdotal reporting we saw. it was good reporting but the voices articulated at the town hall meeting that the speaker did not go to, that's kind of a warning. that's his hometown and it's a coalition of youngsters who put that together. you would think that he would have gone, which lends credence to the rumors as you just pointed out that he may -- he may fold it up. >> and why would he want to stay in and keep fighting? he really had to be pulled into the speaker's job. wanted to spend more time with his kids. been there such a long time. i've got to say who in the hell would want to stick around another two years with donald trump as president of the united states knowing that any policy position you took would be followed up with a question of, what did donald trump tweet about today? what -- you know, what woman did
donald trump insult today? what racist statement did donald trump make today? who would want to be in that position? >> i certainly wouldn't. railro railro record attrition. it's making certain districts lean away from the republican party and really affecting our chances coming up in midterms. >> can you think of another politician whose reputation has taken more of a hit -- >> no. >> -- in the last two years. >> which is why if you're paul ryan, why stick around for two more years and double the impact. >> that little kids, loves his family. spend time with your family and don't let donald trump tear down the rest of your reputation over the next couple of years. because you know, nun ez and the wretched reign of devin nunes in
the intel committee -- >> but it's paul ryan who enabled it. >> i know and being in the position where if you remove nunes, why would somebody dedicated his entire adult life to idea, why would they stick around to let donald trump trash their reputation the next two years? >> the house goes out of control if he steps down. it becomes divided and also if he leaves on the other hand, this guy passed the biggest tax cut for corporations in years. he's going toe have his pick of corporate board jobs and making a lot of money in the private sector if he wants to. >> yeah, he could stay and actually speak the truth to power and that would be helpful. joining us now, michael kirk.
he is out tomorrow with front line's new documentary trump's takeover which investigates president trump's high stakes battle for control of the gop. here's a clip. >> donald trump came to do something he'd been avoiding. >> donald trump has clinched the republican nomination for president. >> meet with the republican establishment. >> we had no interest in coming to see what was going on in washington and to get the endorsements and to meet with these people because they're the ones who have had washington broken for the last 30 years and trump was going to come and change it. >> he heads to capitol hill. >> now he would confront the party leaders he had attacked during the primaries. let's face it. he was larger than the republican party. in fact, his nomination was the his till takeover of the republican party. >> michael, tell us -- >> wow. we had a couple of thoughts.
but the republican party, what are we going to see beyond that? >> well, over the last year we watched as the republican leadership, the establishment in washington failed to seem to understand what donald trump knew intuitively which is how to manage the base and the result of this last year that we watched astonishingly starting at the moment you've just shown and ending at that episode in front of the white house after the tax bill was passed to watch that change across the last year is just an amazing experience. i think for people who consider themselves republicans and for people who don't, to just see how it worked and what finally happened is -- in all the years i've been covering washington and the presidency, i've never seen anything quite like it. >> stunning. >> michael, within the republican party, there are those who believe that trumpism is a fever and it will
eventually break, but i think i might argue it's more like a cancer at this point. where are you on that question? >> well, i think a bargain was made by the people in washington. one of the people we talked to, prominent republican said, you know, it's great to make a bargain. you get the judges you want, you get the regulatory reform. you get a tax cut, but in the end there's a price to pay and i think what your piece, your very good piece was just about was the price being paid by ryan mcconnell and others for the way this battle has gone and the way they've misplayed it. trump seems to be a dominant figure now. not only in the party, but in the way that so many people as you said in the piece left washington or are leaving washington, flake and corker, a lot of other people who miscalculated. at this moment it doesn't bode very well for the future especially as we head into the midterm elections for certain
kinds of republican establishment figures. >> is there really fair to call this a takeover? when you think about history of the gop over the years, look, there are people around this table who think of trump as an abhor ration, but there's also a different critique that he has put the junior partners into the driver's seat. the nationalist base. >> i think people do not really understand what it took me a little while to understand about president trump, which is he's not ideological, this is all about loyalty to trump and anyone who was prepared to pledge allegiance to that and stay with it and all of its implications have risen to the top and others like corker, flake and many, many others dent lots of republicans who we talk to all walking away in distaste and worried about, what's that bargain has yielded.
>> thank you trump's takeover appears tomorrow on pbs. thank you very much. it's the front line of the tariff battle with china. we'll go live to the port of charleston in south carolina where a whole lot of products come in and out of america. keep it right here on "morning joe." not enough, not enough, we have more than 8000 allys looking out for one thing: you. call in the next ten minutes... and if that's not enough, we'll look after your every dollar. put down the phone. and if that's not enough, we'll look after your every cent. grab your wallet. (beeping sound) (computer voice) access denied. and if that's still not enough to help you save... oh the new one! we'll bring out the dogs. mush! (dogs barking) the old one's just fine! we'll do anything, seriously anything, to help our customers. thanks. ally. do it right. we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig. wakey! wakey! rise and shine! oh my gosh! how are you? well watch this. i pop that in there. press brew. that's it. so rich. i love it.
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off a new trading week. stocks are expected to regain some ground after friday's massive selloff with saw the dow shed more than 500 points amid the trade dispute with china. and president trump is weighing in on the matter again this morning. tweeting when a car is sent to the united states from china there is a tariff to be paid. when a car goes to china there is a tariff to be paid of 25%. it sounds like stupid trade going on for years. >> that part actually tried this in 1988. you remember the commercial about the -- >> yeah. >> it didn't work then. it's not going to work now. >> no. >> okay. joining us now from the port of charleston, south carolina, bryan sullivan. walk us through just how significant an impact this trade battle could have. >> reporter: you know, cars are the perfect example, guys and
good morning, by the way. here's why. so cars are the number one export from the port of charleston over all in terms of dollar volume. but what cars are they? they're bmws, which is owned by who, the germans but they're made in spartanburg. and volvo is investing a billion dollars in a factory here. it's a swedish company but it's owned by the chinese. all these cars now are going to be made by south carolinians. you have a german car company with u.s. workers with french tires being shipped out of a south carolina port. soon a chinese company, the idea is this. if trade slows down, who might get hurt? it will probably be the men and women who are hard at work in the rain here taking these boxes out, building these cars, getting on the rails, driving
these trucks 24/7 all over the state because did you know that 26% of the entire u.s. economy at some point touches a sea port? we are truly not only internationally, but across the united states, guys, that this is really kind of the ground zero for trade. >> you know that's the thing. i'm so glad we've got you down in south carolina. you walk down greenville on a friday night, you will hear german spoken. you go to the county of t tuscaloosa, we live in an economy that has benefitted from having free trade. >> that's also the perception when we think of big international ports in the country we think of long beach
or baltimore, but obviously charleston, south carolina, is a huge exporting point. >> it is and in fact, guys, listen, how about this? how about this? ? from a political calculus perspective, if you don't care about trade and you think that china isn't playing fair. 3 billion, that's the amount of tax dollars that is being spent to deepen the ports of jacksonville, savannah, charleston and raise the bail and bridge in our area of new york so that the biggest ships can get in. billions of dollars in tax revenue is regulated by trade. this is not just a one-way street. whenever a ship goes in and out of here they pay taxes on those products, they pay fees on tha those products so to joe's point about greenville, everything is so globally integrated and this
is for the president, the majority of products that come and go are not finished goods. they're not a wholly completed car. maybe they're shipped into here and they're railed over in nevada and hen he reexports it back out. the number involved in trade, guys is exponentially more than the jobs involved in manufacturing. >> thanks for throwing those numbers out there. speaking of numbers, i got one for you. it's the speed limit. it's 55. aren't you 55 today? happy birthday, joe. we have cake. >> i want to bring those balloons over if you could too. >> look at this. >> oh. >> bring over the balloons. >> does anybody think i like this. >> she wouldn't let me have the big bear that had a smaller one
inside it. and we put these glasses on and we should be able to give you a little hat and it's your birthday. we also have look at these balloons. >> thank you. >> happy birthday, joe. >> oh, my gosh, roll tide? >> happy birthday! >> all right. this is like being the head of the epa. seriously. >> do we have any gold coin? >> we need to mint gold toins so i could pass out to people. >> would you like to wear this? thank you. my color too. i'm going for the bear tomorrow. >> she's going in. >> yeah. oh, yeah. >> all right. have some cake and wear these glasses, they're really good for you.
>> why don't you try the glasses. >> can the will be giants be trusted to correct some major flaws right now? we'll be right back with that on "morning joe." and you're eating cake. you know, i used to be good at this. then you turn 40 and 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.
♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ ♪ just say the words ♪ and we'll beat the birds down to acapulco bay ♪ ♪ it's perfect for a flying honeymoon they say ♪ ♪ come fly with me ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ ♪ come fly with me ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ i don't want to hurt facebook. i don't want to regulate them half to death. but we have a problem. our promised digital utopia has mine fields in it. my biggest worry in all this, and i have many, many questions, mr. zuckerberg, but my biggest worry, with all this, is that the privacy issue and what i
call the propagandist issues are both too big for facebook to fix and that's the frightening part. >> wow. senator john kennedy of louisiana. sounding the alarm in congress about the facebook scandal and what may be mark zuckerberg's inability to control the social media giant that he created. the company is now suspended the firm cube you after cnbc discovered it was collecting information about users through quizzes. much in the same way that cambridge analytica did. zuckerberg is scheduled to appear in capitol hill this week to answer questions about the data mining scandal. joining us now, two people who know a lot about social media and how it's being used to harness power in ways we couldn't imagine just a few years ago. jeremy heinemans is co-founder and ceo of purpose, a company that specializes in building social movements across the globe. also director of the 92nd street
y. how power works in our hyper connected world and how to make it work for you. boy, does this make a great birthday gift. joe, i'm going to give this to you for your birthday. >> thank you, so kind. >> there, now i gave you a gift. >> disruption seems like too mild of a world for what has happened over past 5, 10 years. existing orders have just been broken to pieces. and we've seen donald trump. we've seen the me too movement on both sides. we've seen certain groups that are able to harness this new existing order. >> this is the essential skill of the 21st century. if you think about it, this power to harness the energy of the connected crowd is what was behind the trump election, the obama election, the rise of facebook, the rise of me too. i think what we're all beginning to realize is those people who can help harness the crowd are those people who are coming out on top. >> we've talked so much about
donald trump and his connection with facebook but barack obama in 2008, in 2008 and 2012, not only with facebook but with text messaging, with you name it, people calling somebody and in, you know, worst ster, massachusetts, we see, you haven't been out to vote yet. >> exactly, the big question becomes to what ends are you using that new power. so with donald trump, we saw his mastery of this vast decentralized social media army. but ultimately he lotted that up to a very authoritarian position. he's the master of new power tools. he understands how to harness -- >> isn't it interesting that we in 2005, think it was 2005, 2006, the orange revolution in ukraine. everybody was talking about oh, my god, people are now able to text and gather for these huge
rallies. this is going to promote democracy. it works the other way as well. >> isn't it ironic, the era we were promised at that time was going to be about demock contractization. and two of the stronger actors are the strongmen and the platforms. part of the goal of the book is to push back, and say as we watch this world go by, how can we be more powerful. we have to push back against these forces. >> you know, i mean, you've studied this so much, but you know. somebody can get out and promote democratic values, talk about the greatness of checks and balances. talk about our history. that's not going to keep up with somebody who spreads a lie. whether it's pizza gate or some other lie. because there are studies that show fake news spreads more rapidly than the truth. >> it seems like if silicon
valley has built an advertising machine and it's also incredibly good at spreading propaganda. so we see these news deserts, right where facebook is very powerful. i have a question for you, jeremy. so facebook is in the hot seat. and mark zuckerberg is going to wear a suit and tie this week and go to congress. they're going to ask about privacy. is there any world in which a facebook that protects privacy and users is also a profitable corporation? >> look, i think there is a way to make facebook better for all of us. actually, as users, we need to make those demands. for too long we've seen ourselves as quite passive in connection to facebook. actually, we can put pressure on facebook. we saw this elite facebook movement emerge. there's enormous market power in our voices. but we have to start act like citizens. this platform is far too
important for the future of democracy to think about it as any other e-commerce service. it just isn't. >> what do you think that the public need to hear from mark zuckerberg when he testifies before congress and talks to the american people? >> i think the other -- the really interesting question is what does mark zuckerberg need to hear from the public, right. the power dynamic is we're all waiting to hear what he says. but the real question i think for all of us is how do we think about our capacity to shift outcomes using new power. because away from the trumps and the facebooks and the big stories of date, things like academics and expertise. the people whose voices of reason, all of these people need to master crowds as well. whoever mobilizes best is going to come out on top. >> so someone who feels sort of like behind the 8 ball in social media, can this book help them in terms of learning how to not only harness their new power? i notice that's a real generation gap with that.
>> the book is about unpacking these crucial skills. how do you build a movement? how do you spread your ideas? those on the side of reason have to spread their ideas more effectively than the people spreading disinformation. how do you lead differently? thinking about the context of leading in the world of crowd. where you're leading beyond just the people on your payroll. that requires a different sort of new power orientation and mind-set that just is a new repertoire. >> by the way, thank you for asking that question for the older generation. because i'm still sending speeches out on eight track tapes and i'm not sure why -- i'm just not getting the market share i need. so the question it seems to me is what do we do as a society, as a culture? what do we do to push back on the authoritarianism. not just donald trump but people
across central europe, "the times" is talking about it. where they can spread their message, no filters, a preponderance of lies and undermine, undermine not only media tingss but also truth. >> i think the answer to that question. all those ideas. if they're just armed with a press release, they're not going to be able to conquer this world. the second thing to do is we talk a lot about how people don't trust institutions. the truth of it is more often institutions doesn't trust people. especially with the generation of people who are used to the absolute delight of something like instagram or facebook. there's pressure on our institutions to give people more reward. >> something happening with young people and the gun debate, where they're really catching
fire, so you can only hope there's more positive -- positive messaging out there. >> they get how to hornearness power. >> they're camera ready. >> we actually need an alliance with old power in order to push that into long-term policy change. that's what the nra does so well. they've got a new power repertoire. >> oh, got it. >> you know, speaking, you know, of knowing how to harness the power, i mean, it's just, i mean, nick, we've seen time and time again the president attacking old media. but the immortal words of michael wolf who wrote a book before last one, television is the new television. "new york times" doing better than they have in a long time. "the washington post" doing better than they have in a long time. you look at the fox news graphic that shows donald trump is not trusted anywhere near cbs or msnbc numbers.
>> the paradox, the same platform which enables donald trump and populism is the same platform which spreads to readers. it's a paradox. >> thank you for the birthday present. >> new power, how power workings in our hyper connected world. that does it for us this morning. happy birthday. >> thank you. >> stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> abused. >> happy birthday to you, joe. good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot of news to cover. starting with an atrocity in syria. the u.n. security council calls an emergency meeting amid reports of a suspected chemical weapons attack on