adoption of the resolution. those in favor, completion s please say aye. >> good morning. i'm jonathan capehart.etion plee say aye. >> good morning. i'm jonathan capehart. joy reid should be back soon. the battle over impeachment reaches new heights when the house voted to endorse the impeachment inquiry against donald trump. this marks only the fourth time in u.s. history that congress has voted on the impeachment of a president and the wrresolutio set into motion a new set of rules including public impeachment hearings. those public hearings will reveal more of the damning closed door testimony that investigators have been hearing for weeks now. testimony that has built a clear case for impeaching donald trump. that donald trump put a hold on hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid to ukraine before a july phone call with ukranian president volodymyr zelensky. and during that phone calling, trump asked zelensky to, quote,
do him a favor though, and investigate his 2020 political opponent joe biden. we know this and much, much more because of more than 100 hours of testimony behind closed doors with 13 witnesses who have essentially corroborated the whistleblower's account of the call and established that quid pro quo did in fact take place. the evidence the house has collected so far falls under the three abcs of impeachment. abuse of power. donald trump using the office of the presidency for personal gain. betrayal, trump betraying national security interests. and corruption, trump's attempt to get ukraine to corrupt our election. and with public hearings coming up, at least some of the testimony will be on live tv and america will hear the case for impeaching donald trump. joining me now is michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia. ambassador, thank you very much for being here this morning.
>> sure, thanks for about having me. >> so what are the -- of the many things that happened over the last week, there was the testimony of the lieutenant colon colonel vich colonel vichbd m colonel alexander vindman who testified about what happened. he was one of the people on that phone call, on that july 25th phone call. from my understanding, you know who lieutenant colonel vindman is. what kind of person is he and then i'll followle up with another question about him. >> yeah, i do know him. we served in moscow together. he was a military attache the same time i was. and he is everything that you would want in a military attache. committed to the cause, dedicated to american national interests, spoke fluent russian, knew the country well. you know, a first rate person to have on your team if you are trying to advance american foreign policy.
>> and i asked you to talk about who lieutenant colonel vindmant me that there were people on television, whether television hosts or republicans, going out there and raising questions about the credibility of vindman. i recall someone even questioning his loyalty to the united states. how damning and damaging is that to this entire process that we're going through? >> well, i found to be absolutely outrageous. and we've had a history of this before in our country. where we used hiyphenated adjectives. and a lot of people talk about how he was born this ukraine. no, he was born in the soviet union and his family is jewish, they fled religious persecution from the soviet union.
so they even have the facts wrong in the smearing efforts. and i have no disagreement with people that might want to question his actions. that is a legitimate thing. but to question his integrity and to use ethnic slurs to do so, that is unamerican. >> you know, there is a story in the "washington post" today talking about lieutenant consider necolonel vindman saying that he testified that he received instruction from john eisenberg after white house lawyers learned july 29th that cia employee had anonymously raised concerns about the trump phone call and he was told by eisenberg to basically sit tight, be quiet about this. to your mind, what does that say about the extent to which the actions within this white house to cover up the july 25th phone
call reaches far beyond the tight circle of people who were trying to keep it concealed? >> well, jonathan, i worked at the national security council too. i worked there for three years. in the first three years of the obama administration. and after any major phone call like this one that the president would have with a foreign leader, there would be a readout to the interagency team. and colonel vindman, he is the director, he director, the most senior person responsible for ukraine. and so it would have been very natural standard operating procedure for him do a readout of that call to the state department, to the defense department, to the cia so that everybody knew what the policy was within the government because the president of course sets policies in these phone calls. and that, this lawyer told him not to do so, is unprecedented and i've never heard of anything like that. and i think that just
underscores very big paradox that trump and his defenders have. if there was nothing wrong in the call and now the new argument was that if there was a quid pro quo, for bno big deal, there wasn't anything wrong, why hide their actions. >> that is a very good question and maybe this coming week we'll find out more on the attempts to keep the phone call under wraps. this week, and i mention this week because we'll be hearing from a slew of more witnesses. you can see there on monday john icebeeisenber eisenberg, he is the national security council still adviser. michael ellis is national security legal adviser. it is to my mind kind of extraordinary and spectacular that these folks are going to go to the hill and testify, but
also the fact that you have members of the national security council who are going before congress to talk about -- assuming that they do show up -- but talk about how extraordinary it is and will be to have people like john eisenberg and michael ellis and robert blair or brian mccormick and so on go to the hill to testify in this inquiry? >> it is extraordinary. you know, under normal times, those people in the administration who were confirmed are the ones that usually go before the committees, the konlg congressi committee its and testify. and national security officials and people who work directly for therd do not.its and testify. and national security officials and people who work directly for therd do not.ts and testify.
and national security officials and people who work directly for therd do not.s and testify. and national security officials and people who work directly for therd do not. that is normal but we are not in normal times. others have set the resident and i think that those people should be applauded both the ambassadors that testified especially ambassador yovanovitch and ambassador da taylor, they set the resident for the state department to testify. and i think colonel vindman did the same. that must have been extraordinarily difficult decision for him to make. remember, he is working at the white house right now. he went to wok at tto work at t security council the day after he testified. and you are trained to serve in the chain of command. so he did that i think now, and it has made it possible for others to say based on some kind of privileged relationship with the president we're not going to testify. >> i know that questions have been racised as to whether this person who is slated to testify thursday will testify, john bolton. but talk about if he does indeed
show up, the significance of having him testify before this impeachment inquiry. >> well, of course mr. bolton is the head of the nsc, so all these other staffers, fiona hill, if you may remember, she already testified, she is a former senior director, colonel vindman is a director. and remember, this is not just about one phone call. we know this was a keep that went on for months with multiple different iterations to try to make this quid pro quo happen. john bolton called that drug deal allegedly, others have reported on that. so i think that we have a pretty good understanding of what he thought about it. and we also have a pretty good understanding that they tried to cut him out. he wasn't on that phone call. and again, that is just completely unprecedented in my time working at the nsc that the national security adviser would
not be part of either prepping the president or listening to a call with a major leader. and i think it was because they understood that those try dogt quid pro quo that bolton was against it, so he is in a very important position to talk about why it was wrong and, you know, all the other things that they did to try to make it happen. >> and if ambassador bolton does not testify, does congress already have enough information to move forward without his testimony? >> yes. i think with the transcript, the reskruconstructed strantranscrie text mess averages that were revealed when volker testified, i think that it is clear. the use of a public office for private electoral gain, that is what happened and it is clear. now, you know, in my world, in
academia, when you use public office for private gain, that is called corruption. we have pretty standard definitions for it. but the political decision about whether it is an impeachable offense that will come later. >> all right. we'll have to leave it there. ambassador, thank you very much. coming up, we all know that donald trump will never exercise his right to remain silent. next up, we'll tell you about the other rights that nancy pelosi is affording the president. losi is affording the president. did you know that feeling sluggish or weighed down could be signs that your digestive system isn't working at its best? taking metamucil every day can help. metamucil supports your daily digestive health using a special plant-based fiber called psyllium. psyllium works by forming a gel in your digestive system to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. metamucil's gelling action also helps to lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so, start feeling lighter and more energetic we'll have to leave it there. ev
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unlike during the impeachment of president nixon and clinton, no special prosecutor has been named to investigate president trump on this. that is why the intelligence committee has been gathering evidence and hearing testimony. five or ten years from now, people will ask each of us what we did in this moment. we will stand up for the constitution and defend the rule of law. >> this week house democrats released an approved text of the resolution that will detail their procedures in the impeachment inquiry into donald trump including new rules that allow trump and his counsel to participate in the proceedings by friepresenting their case, raising objections and cross-examining witnesses. the rule granting trump and his legal team some due process rights is modeled on the impeachment proceedings against richard nixon and bill clinton,
but it appears that trump will have even more rights than his predecessors. joining me to break it down is our legal analysts, sisters in law. mya wiley, joyce vance and barbara mcquaid. thank you all very much for being here. i'm going to throw this out there because i'm sure there are a lot of people at home who might be watching this and heard me talk about these new rules and you today process rights for the president. and thinking, well, wait a minute, i thought that the trial was supposed to take place in the senate. how is it that in the impeachment inquiry the president is getting all of this -- all of these rights, if up? please explain this to me. >> well, jonathan, it is a fair question. because i think that a little bit what have we're confusing here is this notion of here is what happened during nixon and
here is what happened during clinton and they got all these rights and therefore we have to keep doing that. two things. one, they didn't as you said, they did not have the process that is currently laid out by house democrats. what is really happening here is impeachment is a process where the constitution leaves the rules too the house arul rules to the house and senate. house on the investigation and determining whether to vote, and senate on the trial and whether or not to acquit or convict. and every single time even in the clinton inquiry folks said yeah, were making it up as they went along. the context sort of determines what the rules are. and in this case, they are giving president trump many more opportunities to have what i worry might be more of a public circus than a fact finding inquiry because under richard nixon, he had a white house
attorney attend closed door testimony which was not available to the public. that was actually close to the public. and so then the questioning could be more focused on evidence. >> joyce and barbara, joi joyce start but, are you curbed about the circus-like atmosphere where these hearings will be televised unlike the nikts xon hearings? those hearings were done behind closed doors and these will be done live on television. >> i think mya makes a fair point, when hasn't this administration stooped to inserting a circus where a more dignified process would serve the country better. but i think the answer is actually a matter of property. because there was no speciale counsel on to investigate the
facts, the house committees have had to step into that role. the prooemt proce prooech prooemt proce impeachment proceedings will come in the weeks ahead when they take a vote on articles of prooem impeachment. so this should help the country understand how fair democrats are being. i think that that is important for the country to pull together as this process goes forward. >> and that is a good point. barbara, what is your view on this? >> i think that although as mya says the house has no requirement to offer any of these due process rights, i think the house is also recognizing that this is a political process as well and so appearances matter. we've seen republicans complaining about lack of due process and all of these things
which there is not a right to have open hearings, cross-examination, the president to call witnesses. at least certainly at this investigative phase. but i do think that they are mindful of not just fairness, but the appearance of fairness. but one of the things that they have done in these rules to ensure or at least attempt to ensure some professionalism is they are allowing 90 minutes of questioning by the chair who may defer to professional staff counsel. so you may recall when corey lewandowski testified, barry burke took care of cross-exam e cross-examining the witness and did such afterno such an effective job. so i think that we're likely to see that here as well. rather than the five minute questioning, someone who gets a longer period of time to do more effective questioning of witnesses. i think that will be useful. >> and mya, you are itching to
jump in. >> and i agree with everything joyce and barbara are hahave sa. the reason that i was making that comparison is because what nadler has the power do in the house you area committee is saying i'm going to cut your questioning off. i'm going to not allow this 34r5ur witness. they have reserved powers to try to control the circus like aspect. and that is new and different. but many of this is new and different. so the point i wanted to underscore, when republicans come back and complain, which they will, when they don't get to do everything that they demarnd to do, we will hear this is not due process, this is unfair, this is unprecedented, not like anything allowed in nixon or clinton and it won't be true. >> and i want to put up on the screen for the audience so they know the rights that the president and his lawyers have
gotten, he and his lawyers may attend the hearings, they can question witnesses, they can object to evidence. and barbara, when i saw this object to evidence piece here that i wondered, well in, a court of law, it is the judge who determined whether an objection is upheld. a court of law, it is the judge who determined whether an objection is upheld. or denied. who is the judge, is it chairman nadler? >> it is an unusual situation. i think that he will be sort of the referee at least. but what it says is that if a decision needs to be made on these thing, then the committee will vote. and because the committee has a majority of democratic members, they do retain the power to overrule these objections. they also retain a really interesting power, i don't know how effective this will be, but you know how we've seen the president stonewalling by not allowing certain witnesses to everyone show up and testify. one of the things that they have retained is the power to use sanctions to say if you engage in that kind of refusal to allow
witnesses to testify, we retain the power to take away these rights. >> wow. i have another question here for you, mya, because, you know, when you are hear are here at 3 you get to talk and make you a very good point in the makeup room which i think that the audience needs to know. when trying to evaluate the charges back and forth about this isn't fair and the president is being mistreated. this is not a criminal trial. and that is the way we've been talking about it as citizens, as members of the media, and just as part of the conversation. this isn't a criminal trial. talk about that bit more. >> yeah, i think this is really important because there are lots of aspects to this which may include articles of impeachment that would be considered crime. but this is not a criminal proceeding. because at the end if he is convicted, his biggest konsz
defense consequence is removal from office. some people don't understand this, they think if he is removed from office, goes to jail. no, that is not true. this is more akin to a situation where an employer deciding whether to get to an employee. constitution annualally much mo significant, but remember in bill clinton's case, he was -- he had articles of impeachment that included a crime. he is not convicted at his trial. when he leaves office, he still is subject to criminal prosecution. they then make basically a deal which is you cop to it, you say you lied, you won't get prosecuted. and that became the deal. so i think the point is, we keep talking about this due process rights are different in a civil action versus a criminal action. we keep talking about this in due process terms as if it is a criminal proceeding and it is not.
that is different. >> barbara and joyce, i'll try to get you in here in the last couple minutes that we have. i'm wondering how much does public opinion play in all of this in this legal sphere? and i bring that unbecause there a new "washington post" poll that shows the partisan dividei. 82% of democrats say he should be impeached and removed whereas republican, 82% say he shouldn't be impeach and removed from office. how much should public opinion play in the legal sphere and the impeachment sphere that we're talking about now? joyce. >> well, as mya correctly points out, this is a political process. it is a judicial process in political clothing. and it will have aspects of both of those systems as it goes forward. but ultimately the american people through their senators are the jurors who will decide whether or not the president
should be removed there office. and as we look at these national polls, it is so important to remember that whether the country as a whole favors impeachment or doesn't favor impeachment, the senators who will be the voting members in this jury will worry about what is going on in their individual states. and so the 3450d, tmood, the vi citizens in each state will in many ways be determinative of the determine impeachment process. >> barbara, i'll give you the last word. >> yeah, i think so as well. and i think in that regard one of the reasons that the house now we see moving to this more open phase, they should welcome scrutiny and it will require public attention. the public will have to be paying attention to what is going on because ultimately they are the arbiters through their elected representatives. the decision whether this amount to the a high crime or misdemeanor for which impeachment is proposal defends on the senators who depend on -- who are there to represent the
voice of the voters. >> mya wiley, joyce vance, barbara mcquaid, sisters in law, thank you very much. coming up, trump wants his own fireside chat. we'll give you a preview. fireside chat. we'll give you a preview do you want me to go first or do you want to go first, brea? you can go first. audible reintroduced this whole world to me. so many great stories from amazing people. makes me wanna be better. to connect with stories that i'm listening to- that's inspiration. with audible originals, there's something for almost every taste in there. everything you ever wanted to hear. our ability to empathize through these stories can be transformational. it's my own thing that i can do for me. download audible and start listening today.
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i had a perfect conversation with the president of ukraine. perfect. the conversation has been perfect. that was a perfect conversation. i heard rick scott today say that was a perfect conversation. how can they impeach him on that conversation? i made a perfect call. not a good call, a per femgt cal effect call. >> the phone call was so perfect according to trump that he told the washington examiner that he wants to read it, that is, the edited notes of the call in a live televised fireside chat. like fdr did in the 3'30s and '40s. trump's version of the fireside chat might go something like this -- july 25th, 2019. president zelensky begins, we are almost ready to buy more javelins from the united states for the defense purposes.
trump replies, i would like you to do us a favor though, because our country has been through a lot. and ukraine knows a lot about it. i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowd strike dot dot dot i guess you have one of your wealthy people dot dot dot the server they say ukraine has it. there are a lot of things that went on. the whole situation. i think that you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. i would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and i would like you to get to the bottom of it. zelensky responds in part, i guarantee as the president of ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. that i can assure you. trump later says, the other thing, there is a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the
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in its inquiry into the impeachment of the president. >> on this vote the yeas are 232, nays are 196. the resolution is adopted without eeks the motion tobject motion to reconsider is blade upon the table. >> the impeachment inquiry into richard nixon had buy-in from almost every member of congress and ultimately nixon resigned when he realized his own party would vote to impeach him. compare that to thursday's vote sharply divided along party lines with republicans that the impeachment inquiry itself is illegitimate. i'm joined by jill wine-banks, msnm schms nbc contributor and autho. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, jonathan. >> and there is your book cover. look at you. i want to put up this time line that we have.
nixon versus bill clinton versus president trump. and the length of time it took to go from the precipitating event to the time inquiry was started. as part of the nixon impeachment inquiry, it was 5 9d 9 d99 days. fast forward to president trump, 11 days. is that warn speed where we are right now? >> well, you know, in watergate, we actually had a lot ofp speed right now? >> well, you know, in watergate, we actually had a lot of expedition. people acted fast. the break in was june of '72 and we were appointed in '73, may of '73. and the senate started hearings in may of '73. so a lot was public and this brought people along fast. but this is happening fast because this happened really
contemporaneously, it happened in july, the phone call, and then we found out about it and now it is going really fast because the evidence is really falling in place. all the pieces are coming together in ways this you could not normally predict that people would come forward and that we would be able to corroborate everything. everything that the whistleblower said, donald trump admitted by releasing the memorandum of the conversation. and every witness has said that is exactly what happened and then it fit into place with the background of all of the shadow diplomacy if you want to to use that word by giuliani. >> also part of this, what is happening, is public opinion. and the role public opinion plays in terms of support for an impeachment inquiry, particularly on capitol hill among members of congress. i want to show this chart that we have where you have the bar in yellow showing, you know,
approval of the job richard nixon was doing as president going down. and then the blue line is president nixon should be removed from office. and that is going up. as the public learned more are about what was happening, approval of his job went down and those believing that he should be removed went up. the same calculus is at work here in the trump example. >> exactly. and if you could also plot along the bottom line, all you need to do is put fact revealed, fact revealed, fapgt ct revealed and would see support for impeachment going straight up as the facts came up. but this is a different era. back then we had three networks. and they all had the same facts. now we do not. people are living in bubbles where they don't have the same facts and so that is a problem be. i'm hoping that public hearings will reach all americans.
>> i'm glad you brought up the fact that the time of the nixon impeachment hearing was a very sort of finite time, three networks, just several major national newspapers. today we have the three networks plus now we have cable, us here. there is social media which is also playing a role. and with cable, you now have an entire network dedicated to one particular party. and i want to play a mash up of voices from that particular cable network. >> they can't beat him in the elect. so they are using politics to beat him. and you are right, america is seeing through this. i think this will be a whale that swallows the democrats whole. >> this is russia collusion all over again. we'll do ukraine collusion. this is not something to impeach someone on. >> we are now looking down the barrel of yet another national
crisis clearly orchestrated by the deep state, a hit job that will not go unchallenged. >> listening to that mash up, jill, i'm reminded what you just said before i showed it about back during the nixon impeachment, all the networks shared the same facts an now as we heard, there is an entire network dedicated to -- i don't know. i've been calling it earth two. how would you describe it? >> it is an alternative universe and it is very damaging. what is happening on that other network, you do not get the full story. so if you watched the impeachment hearings -- or the senate hearing during watergate from gavel to gavel, you saw john dean raise his hand and testify. you saw halderman say all that
john dean is saying isn't true. and then you heard butterfield say there is tapes. and then we got the tapes and everything that john dean said was true. and now that i'm mentioning john dean, i just have to defer to, you know, he was the white house counsel to nixon and he was definitely part of the cover june. he had a major role in curoveri up the information from the break into the white house and then he realized what was going on and he said no more and he came clean. i would say that eisenberg in trying to conceal -- >> national security council legal adviser. >> exactly. that he is john dean before john dean stopped being part of the coverup. because what he did in telling vindman to keep cquiet and putting the conversation in a secure vault that had no basis
for being there, there was nothing of national security in there, that is wrong. that is not only an ethical violation, he misperceives who his client is. his client is not the president of the united states. his client is the office of the president and the american people. and so that is an ethical violation. and probably part of a coverup. and we've seen a lot of coverup in watergate, the coverup was considered worse than the crime. here the crime involves our national security and in fact world peace and world security. we walked away from helping to protect the ukranian people from russian invasion when we -- not we. when donald trump withheld the military aid congress had approved. and that is a danger that is really more serious than breaking into the dnc. >> let me ask you a quick question about eisenberg. you believe he is john dean before john dean became the i don't know dean thjohn dean tha
know. how confident are you that eisenberg will cross over and say what is happening is wrong? will he break from the administration? >> that is so hard to predict. john dean was incredible in coming forward and also in his memory. he had the most phenomenal memory and had a detailed narrative before he knew there were tapes. and then he was corroborated by those tapes. so far in this administration, only the people who are career civil servants and career people what donald trump derides as the deep state are the people of moral courage, the people who are patriots coming forward and saying there is a threat to our national security and i'm afraid for this country. and that is what i hope gets communicated to all americans when they testify in public and
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now you can take control of your home wifi and get a notification the instant someone new joins your network... only with xfinity xfi. download the xfi app today. annoepidemic fueled by juul use with their kid-friendly flavors. san francisco voters stopped the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. but then juul, backed by big tobacco, wrote prop c to weaken e-cigarette protections. the san francisco chronicle reports prop c is an audacious overreach, threatening to overturn the ban on flavored products approved by voters. prop c means more kids vaping. that's a dangerous idea. vote no on juul. no on big tobacco. no on prop c. this is a process that has been fundamentally tainted. the president has had no rights inside these hearings. his counsel has not been able to be present. >> all we went through with the whole mueller thing, and now
this. and now this today. this, as the whip has said, this entire sham process. >> democrats are trying to impeach the president because they are scared they cannot defeat him at the ballot box. >> this is soviet-style rules. maybe in the soviet union you do things like this, where only you make the rules, where you reject the ability for the person you're accusing to even be in the room, to question what's going on. >> congressman steve scalise on the house floor broke out that prompt there because donald trump's presidency needs more russia in it. he may have taken that extra step, but every single house republican stood by their man this week, voting against the resolution to endorse an impeachment inquiry. so, now we know that republicans in the house are lockstep with donald trump, but the forecast isn't as clear in the senate, not when you have consistent critics like senator mitt romney telling cnbc this week that he's keeping a, quote, completely
open mind and waiting for the facts. joining me now, dean obeidallah, host of the "dean obeidallah" show. tarrant o'dell, john harwood, cnbc editor at large, natasha bertrand, politico national security correspondent, and as if that's not enough, michael steele, former chairman of the republican national committee. thank you all for being here. chairman steele, i'm going to start with you, but before that, let's play this sound bite, this interview that matt schlapp did on another network. >> what's good about it is that if there are no crimes and if they don't come forward with articles that show any criminality but just like your polling -- >> matt, it doesn't have to be a crime. that's just misleading. >> they talked for two straight minutes -- let me talk -- >> you know that a crime is not the standard, matt. >> don't have an asymmetrical
standard. >> don't misuse information. >> that's matt schlapp, chairman of the american conservative union. chairman steele, can you please explain, what's up with your party? >> oh, i need the couch for that one. >> well, you've got 30 seconds. >> no, you know, what's up with them is that they're in defense mode. they do not -- the facts do not support the arguments that they're making. you have republicans now in the senate who are looking at this saying, well, yeah, the president may have had this conversation, but again, to matt schlapp's point, it wasn't a crime. well, this isn't about committing a crime. this is not like violating some statute or some regulation. this is about how the president of the united states used his power and authority under the constitution to leverage against, you know, for his own personal interest. so that takes it to a different
level. it's a different kind of conversation. if you're talking about that, jonathan, then it's hard to say anything other than what's been said, and that is, oh, my god, the president did something wrong, but it wasn't impeachable. well, the standard is, let's look at the facts, let's look at what the president did, and then assess whether or not it rises to a high crime or misdemeanor. i would say that when the president uses his power to benefit himself personally in an upcoming presidential election, yeah, that's a pretty clear case right there. >> one more question real quick, chairman steele. are you surprised -- i mean, you know all these people. you know everybody who is in that mash-up we just played. >> yeah. >> you know matt schlapp. are you surprised, given all your years in the republican party and all of the values and things that it stood for and stands for in your mind, that these people are siding, despite all the facts that we know that have been released by the president, that they're still
sticking by him? >> not only surprised but highly disappointed. it is embarrassing how pathetic these sycophants have become, how desperate they are for one man, one man, to like them, to not tweet about them, to say something good about them, to endorse them. it is embarrassingly pathetic for a party that has a rich and long tradition for standing with the rule of law, standing against our enemies and foreign and domestic, so that would include russia and the kkk. but here they are. while they may not directly use the words that trump uses, while they may not directly behave the way he behaves, their embrace of that, their embrace and wholly accepting of that makes them as culpable in everything he says and done and every word that comes out of his mouth and every action that he takes. they're going to be held
accountable at the ballot box, not donald trump alone. they, too. and yet, they don't seem to care because they think the american people will buy anything that donald trump sells. >> well, dean and tara, let's jump off what chairman steele was talking about. you've got these folks in the republican party who are residing on earth, too, who are junking decades worth of orthodoxy and values, to chairman steele's point, to get one person to like them. dean, you have a show, a national show. you hear from the people. are they buying this? are they buying the republican argument that this is a sham and they're just trying to overturn the 2016 election, or do they see what's happening? >> well, can i just say, the republican party today stands for whatever trump tweets in the morning. that's what they stand for today. i have no idea the history of what this party -- i know what it used to stand for. it does not stand for that now.
look, when i have americans who are on the left or middle call my show, they are very troubled or they think it's crimes. when i have trump supporters call, and i actually had an argument with one earlier this week, he kept calling it the transcript, the phone conversation. i said it literally says it's not a transcript. >> it's the notes of the call. >> he goes, no, that's wrong. i said i'm reading from you the words. the problem for you is i can read. and it got him so mad. so we're not going to move them. as chairman steele is saying, it's about trump. it's not just about trump. it's about the base. they fear being primaried. >> right. >> let's forget the ridiculo ridiculousness about the witch hunt. he called mueller that. the thing that's making witch hunts great again, that's all that's going for him. let the republicans pay a price in the election. they need to pay a price. >> do you think republicans will pay a price? i -- i mean, my heart wants me to believe that they will pay a price, but my head is telling me, i don't know. >> they will pay a price if
there is massive voter turnout. in the absence of massive voter turnout, they will not pay a price. and the reason being is because the base will stick together. the base is solidly behind donald trump. that's point one. point two, we talk about it, but we probably don't talk about it enough -- gerrymandering. a lot of these congressional districts are gerrymandered districts that give republicans an advantage. that happened when we allowed the republicans to take over the different state legislatures and the governorships, right, across the country, and the census. that's another important thing, which is why people need to show up and participate in the census, because that determines the apportionment of congressional seats. the third thing, voter suppression. one of my clients, andrew goodman foundation, is suing the state of tennessee, suing the state of florida. there is rampant voter suppression going on. there is efforts in texas right now. so, those are the systemic barriers that we face before we even talk about electoral issues
that are going to be a huge challenge for democrats. and so, that's why we need massive turnout. and i would just say one more thing -- part of how we get that massive turnout is we have to continue to expose donald trump's corruption and the cost to the american public. and i call it, brian lair coined this, a corruption tax. >> mm-hmm. >> and we need to expose that corruption tax so people know that this hurts you directly, these deeds, not trump supporters who don't care. but to those people loosely paying attention and other people who may not participate in every election, they need to know that. >> and just for folks on television, brian lair is the legendary host of "the brian lair show" on wync. tanya, let me bring you in and this "washington post" story from saturday that says "growing number of gop senators consider acknowledging trump's quid pro quo on ukraine." and in the story, it says, "in this shift in strategy to defend trump, these republicans are insisting that the president's action was not illegal and does
not rise to the level of an impeachable offense." quite a change in tactics there, natasha. >> yeah. we've come a long way from the moment when mick mulvaney stood up before the press corps and basically admitted that this was a quid pro quo, and republicans and trump allies and even the white house kind of went crazy and were really eager to distance themselves from what mulvaney had said, because it seemed like it was just so damaging to the narrative that they were trying to put out there, that this wasn't a quid pro quo, that the president wasn't extorting ukraine. but now it seems like they have no choice, obviously, but to admit that a quid pro quo occurred because of all the witness testimony that we've seen in the last two to three weeks, from pentagon officials, state department officials, white house officials, who have corroborated, many of them having been on the phone call themselves, who have corroborated not only the fact that the president asked the president of ukraine to investigate the bidens, but also
that this was a very far-reaching, wide-ranging conspiracy to pressure the ukrainians to oust the ukrainian ambassador -- the u.s. ambassador to ukraine, mashie yovanovitch, and basically bring ukraine to its knees in wake of the president's own political objectives in the united states. i do think, though, that it's really interesting, because if there wasn't anything wrong with this phone call, then why were there so many efforts to cover it up? we broke the story yesterday that after he moved the transcript -- or the record of the call -- into the top-secret code word system that the nsa uses to dramatically restrict access that officials have to this call, john eisenberg, the white house lawyer, actually told lieutenant colonel alexander vindman, who was the ukraine director for the nsc, not to tell anyone what had happened on the call. and remember, vindman had actually participated in the call. he had listened in on it. he was very alarmed by what he heard. and eisenberg was so concerned that perhaps he was talking
about this with his interagency colleagues that he actually took the step to go to him, knowing that this is someone who would not, you know, leak this information necessarily, but went to him and said, do not speak to your interagency colleagues about what happened on this call. that obviously raises very serious questions about whether there was an attempt to bury this conversation altogether. >> it seems like there were a lot of attempts to bury this conversation, the notes of the call, everything. john harwood, you're there in washington. you have been covering washington for a long time. you know how the capitol works. you know how congress works. i want to share two stories that have come out in the last few days. first one is, fox news' chris wallace two weeks ago, he says, was told by a, quote, well-connected republican, there's a 20% chance the gop will vote for -- if it goes to the senate for a trial, will vote to remove the president from office, would vote to
convict the president. and then on top of that, around the same time, politico has a report on trump, as you see there, "trump lures gop senators on impeachment with cold cash." and it says in the story, trump is tapping his vast fund-raising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough re-election bids in 2020. each has signed on to a republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as, quote, unprecedented and undemocratic, conspicuously absent is maine senator susan collins, who's facing a tough re-election bid. john, talk about how unusual this is to have a president do this and be mindful -- and when i say be mindful, i'm talking to the audience here -- that the senate, if the president is impeached in the house, a trial goes over to the senate, where a trial would happen, those senators are the jury. john, why shouldn't i and other people who hear this and read
these two stories not think that the president is trying to tamper with the jury? >> well, first of all, jonathan, everything about this situation is unusual to your earlier point. secondly -- excuse me. this is inherently a political process. >> right. >> and so, i don't -- you could think of it as jury tampering. i don't, actually. i think of it as more the way politics works. but the senate is fundamentally different from the house. and you know, what the house messaging that you were talking about earlier, it has devolved into this crude tribalism that's best expressed by the video last week of don young, a member of alaska, headbutting the camera of an activist who asked him whether he would defend a president using his authority over a foreign country to investigate a rival. they've tried, you know, the
whisking blowers anonymous. it was third hand. then, of course, the whistle-blowers allegations were substantiated. then they tried, well, no quid pro quo. then that's substantiated. then it's, it's a secret star chamber, soviet-style proceeding. now there are public hearings. they don't have anything on the house side. in the senate, you have broader constituencies at play for those senators than individual house districts, and i do think there is a chance that somebody like mitt romney could lead a small vanguard. i think it's a low-probability event. i think republicans are all in for trump generally speaking, but we saw a "washington post"/abc news poll yesterday that showed 18% of republicans favoring the impeachment and removal of this president. so, if you have a larger group of defections than that, then you start to get real pressure on these republican senators, and know that mitch mcconnell doesn't care a wit about donald
trump. he cares about preserving the senate majority. if he thinks it's advantageous for his members to cut loose from trump, he will. again, that is not a likely event, but it's not impossible. >> and what you said there, john harwood, about senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is the number one thing people need to keep in mind when following these events as they work their way through the house and potentially go over to the senate. chairman steele, i want to come back to you, because when i interviewed you on my podcast, you had a great line, and it was advice to democrats. and your advice to democrats was to "trust nancy." and i want you to talk about that in the context of the resolution that was just passed this week that opens up the impeachment hearings to be out in the open and public, that gives a lot of rights and courtesies to the president,
such as cross examining witnesses and documents and subpoena power all these things. due to your mind and to your trust nancy edict, do you think that by granting the republicans this wish list of things that she and the democrats have painted republicans into a corner to the point where they will sort of rue the day when they ask for these things, or in other words, be careful what you wish for? >> yeah, i think precisely that. i think nancy has been nothing, if not methodical, in her approach to this. she's taken the incoming from her own caucus. she's taken the incoming from her base outside the caucus, progressives in the party. and she's taken incoming from republicans. and yet, she has stayed steady and on course. when you stop -- you know, you take a sort of 300-foot-level sort of view of the landscaping here, she has a better sense, i
think, of where this thing needs to go and how to get there sooner than donald trump, who is his own war room, his own counsel, et cetera. >> his own everything. >> but even more -- yes, you know, he is his everything. but more so than even those closer to it, like members of her own caucus. she's got her finger on a different pulse, and that pulse is measuring up the president and realizing exactly what his strength and weaknesses are relative to the facts and the information that she knows is there. and she has been very effective at putting together the case. her challenge will be when the committees take this and run with it, this process, that they avoid -- it's political. it's inherently political, as john said, an inherently political process, and the politics will be what the politics are, but avoiding the partisanship is going to be the key thing to bring the american people along. and that's why i say to the democrats, trust nancy on this
because she has a way to avoid that trap for the democrats while the political trap for the republicans she seemed to have set fairly nicely. >> right. chairman steele, going to leave it there. dean and natasha, thank you. tara, john and michael will be back later. coming up, the very real threat that some prominent republicans are stoking. that's next. t. she wanted a roommate to help with the cooking. but she wanted someone who loves cats. so, we got griswalda. dinner's almost ready. but one thing we could both agree on was getting geico to help with our renters insurance. yeah, switching and saving was really easy! drink it all up. good! could have used a little salt. visit geico.com and see how easy saving on renters insurance can be.
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they want it to be a one-sided, non due process sham court, and it's about to push this country to a civil war if they were to get their wishes. and if there's one thing i don't want to see in my lifetime i don't want to ever have participation in, it's a civil war. some historian, i don't remember who, said guns are only involved in the last phase of a civil war. >> this isn't the first time republicans have threatened the possibility of civil war when something doesn't go their way. in fact, multiple republican members of congress, religion leaders and conservative pundits have been using that inflammatory rhetoric for quite some time, and it's not without consequences. this week marks one year since a fan of donald trump was arrested
for allegedly mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent democrats, news organizations, and critics of the president who were often the targets of trump's rage. just months ago, a shooter in el paso, texas, killed 22 people in a shooting rampage targeting immigrants in a walmart for what he called the, quote, hispanic invasion of texas. the civil war rhetoric seems to be catching on outside washington. case in point, this threatening voice mail left for democratic congressman david cicilline earlier this week. >> cicilline, you trying to start a [ bleep ] civil war? well, you just keep on talking, pal. you're already starting it. we're planning it. and it's not going to be good for you or your [ bleep ], i'll tell you that right now. cicilline, punk little [ bleep ]. trump 2020! >> joining me now is msnbc legal analyst glen kirshner and msnbc
political analyst michael steele. glen, can you please just -- to me, this is one of the most underreported stories in this whole situation that we're in, this talk of civil war, this talk of potential violence, if this president in particular either doesn't win re-election or doesn't get his way. how damaging is this to the republic? >> you know, jonathan, the hateful, violent speech by the louie gohmerts and the steve kings of the world -- steve king recently tweeted out something about red states have 8 trillion bullets and the inference being we're not afraid to use them. you know, this is -- you know, this kind of hateful speech just
proves they have no defense of the president's conduct on the merits, so instead, they behave like common criminals. i mean, we know hate is not borne of strength. hate is borne of weakness and fear and insecurity, and i see comments by steve king and by louie gohmert as being no different than an armed gunman who walks up to a victim in the street and says "give me your wallet," and the victim says, "you have no right to my wallet," and the gunman says, listen, if you don't give me your wallet, there will be violence. i mean, that's what these folks are saying. and it's so irresponsible and it is so sort of antithetical to what we're supposed to be about. but what i would say at the end of the day, jonathan, is that, you know, we can't decline to do
the right thing based on how the wrong people will react or respond or how they will threaten to react or respond. the congress -- and this is the democrats and the republicans -- need to continue to move forward on the right path doing the right thing, holding a criminal president accountable, if that's what the evidence shows. and i don't want to say consequences be damned, but you can't decline to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. >> and that gets to, you know, something i've been saying to friends when talking about this, and that is, if you don't move -- you meaning democrats in congress -- if you don't move on impeachment in this case with this president, then any president coming after him will have free range to do whatever. chairman steele, i want to show you, there was a tweet from
september of this year from the president. as you can see there. "if the democrats are successful in removing the president from office, which they will never be, it will cause a civil war like fracture in this nation from which our country will never heal." and this is a quote from pastor robert jeffress, who said this on fox news. so it's not just the louie gohmerts and steve kings of the world who are engaging in this civil war talk. it is the president of the united states. >> yeah, i don't know what the hell's wrong with these people. i think we just need to be straight up about it and just call them out. jeffress, gohmert, all of them are -- this is something they want. this is something that they are perpetuating through their language and their tweets. and we -- i think the rest of us, whoever, a republican, democrat, independent, black, white, hispanic -- americans have to push back on this and say, no, this is not where we are going and this is not who we are. the fact of the matter is, you
know, you're going to threaten us with a civil war? when did we have all this conversation about a civil war? who started this silliness? over donald trump? are you frigging kidding me? i'm going to go to civil -- i'm going to go against my neighbor over donald trump? this shows you the lunacy of this time where people can't even sit down at thanksgiving dinner and have a conversation, if trump's name comes up, all hell breaks loose. what is it with this man that people are so obsessed to the point of stupid that they're sitting out here talking about, i've got 8 trillion bullets, you know, we're going to use them, over donald trump? seriously? come on, america. you are smarter and better than this. get your head out of you know what, out of your, you-know-what, and focus on what's happening here -- the manipulation, the lying, the bs, over donald trump. it's not worth it. the country is better than this. >> the country is better than this, and yet, we are having very serious conversations -- i should say we -- i have been
having very serious conversations with very serious people who are concerned, if not talking about the potential of civil war the way a lot of republicans seem to be talking, but about the possibility that if, indeed, donald trump is defeated at the ballot box next november, that, one, he won't leave, or two, that there won't be a peaceful transition of power as has been the case for his 44 predecessors. how do we talk the nation away from the ledge of the potential of this happening? >> so, jonathan, you said it a minute ago. if we do not address this lawless president and what he has done by encouraging and accepting russian interference in the first instance in our election, then trying to strongarm ukraine to fabricate an investigation on joe biden to work to the president's political advantage and then
standing on the white house lawn and saying, i want china to do the same thing. if we do not wrestle this to the ground right now based on principle, you know, you can draw a straight line, i believe, from the nixon pardon and the consequences of that to what we are experiencing today with donald trump's lawlessness. if we don't wrestle it to the ground right now, you know, what do we get moving forward after donald trump's lawlessness, which is like nixon's lawlessness on steroids? i mean, you don't want to be hyperbolic, but i don't know that the republic can survive another four years of trump or somebody who is even more lawless than trump. i mean, and i hate to be cavalier about the prospect of violence in the future, but it almost doesn't matter what the wrong people threaten at this moment. we have to move forward based on principle, or else there is no hope. >> chairman steele, what's --
and you've talked about this in the previous segment and in this segment, about the members of your party. you're still a republican. and i've talked to you about this many times before. >> yep. >> and you're like, i'll be damned if i let these people run me out of my party. but what is it going to take to get the people who are still calling themselves republican and enthralled to this one man to stand up for the values and the customs and the constitution of the united states, to put, literally put country over party? >> you know, that's a more and more challenging answer to come to, jonathan, to be honest. it is disappointing. it's maddening. it's frustrating. to listen to leaders in the party, activists, you know, individuals who call themselves republicans, conservatives, who once stood with ronald reagan, who once stood with george bush, who once stood with william f.
buckley, and others, now sort of push all of that aside for this one man. who is not a republican, not a conservative, never has been, never will be. he's a populist. he's an opportunist. and he's a provocateur and he day trades in politics so everyone buys what he's selling. so, i think it's going to be, quite honest, those of us who say these are the values and principles that still matter and they're worth fighting for, and appeal to those in the party who need to find strength to stand with us. we'll provide that strength for you. come on. i mean, you've got to link arms around something that matters. and this isn't it. this is not the country. this is not the party. this is not who we are. and certainly not what we've espoused as something of importance for the world. and donald trump ain't it.
i'm sorry. >> we should point out, this whole conversation, which i hope we keep having as the campaign goes through, this isn't about partisanship. this is about patriotism. glen kirshner, thank you for being here today. michael steele will be back later. coming up, another problem donald trump has taken from bad to worse. that's next. taken from bad to worse that's next. motor? nope. not motor? it's pronounced "motaur." for those who were born to ride,
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during my administration, i/we all together destroyed the caliphate 100%. remember? i got it down to 97%. and i said, all right, let's go home. and then those people start saying 100%. you know, before me, they didn't care. but now they say, what about 100%? >> just because you take out one leader, even one as significant as al baghdadi, the mission of isis persists. less than a week after donald trump announced that u.s. forces killed the terrorist leader in a raid in syria, the terror group called its former leader a martyr and said it already has a new leader. coming up, the 2020 race is shaking up. just wait until you see the latest poll out of iowa. next. e latest poll out of iowa. next
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stage and tells you they can make change without a fight is not going to win that fight. >> beto is out and biden is dwindling, but the race forges on. on friday, at the biggest gathering of iowa democrats, 13 white house hopefuls aimed for the breakout moment they need before next year's caucuses. the liberty and justice celebration dinner, once known as the jefferson jackson dinner, is a revered space for democrats on the campaign trail and also where then candidate barack obama had his breakout moment in 2007, when hillary clinton was leading in the polls. >> we can make this election not about fear but about the future, and that won't just be a democratic victory, that will be an american victory. and that is a victory that america needs right now! >> back with me are tara dowdell, john harwood and
michael steele, who is also host of "man of steele" podcast and former chairman of the republican national committee. thank you all very much for coming back here. so, is it any surprise, tara, that beto o'rourke dropped out of the race? >> no, i don't think it's a big surprise because he hasn't really moved in the polls. i mean, he's been consistently at the bottom. so, i think other when he first announced his candidacy and he had the bump that most people get when they do that, other than that, he's really just wavered around the bottom of the list of contenders. so, i think what you're going to see is more pressure on the other democrats who are not moving in the polls to drop out as well. and i can tell you how this story goes. you get a call from one of your top donors or you call them to raise money from them and they say, look, i'm not sure i can give you any more money because i'm not seeing any progress. so, you'll start to see donors pushing a lot of these candidates to drop out because -- and you'll see party leaders starting to push candidates in secret, quiet calls, asking them to drop out
because right now they're just taking -- the view is going to be that they are taking away from candidates who are likely the top contenders. >> right, right. and in fact, to your point about the polls, i mean, beto o'rourke isn't even in "the new york times" sienna college poll, as you see there on the screen up there. you have warren -- elizabeth warren at 22%, bernie sanders at 19%, mayor pete at 18%. and actually, i misspoke. o'rourke is on there, but he's at 1% in a poll with a margin of error of 4.7%. so, clearly, he probably got one of those calls, and clearly there -- >> he probably got a lot of those calls. >> john, i'm looking at this poll, and it is of 439 likely democratic caucusgoers in iowa. i mean, we talk a lot about polls, and this poll is, you know, it's significant in that it's talking to iowa voters, but
how seriously should we be taking polls right now. >> well, it's early. we've got three months until the iowa caucuses, and as you noted, that poll has a -- it's a relatively small sample and relatively high margin for error. so, i think the conclusion we can draw about iowa is that, a, the contest is really getting under way in earnest now in the most intense phase, and secondly, we've got four candidates who have very substantial followings. that doesn't mean that somebody like amy klobuchar or cory booker or kamala harris might not be able to get something going, but it really looks like we have a pretty discrete top tier, and that includes warren, who's had a very successful year, joe biden, who's still very much in this game, even though he has lost a level of support. bernie sanders has risen in the polls since he came back from his heart attack. he's gotten more energy, and i
think people have welcomed him back to the trail. and pete buttigieg has raised a ton of money, has had more cash on hand at last report than anybody else, and was in position -- or excuse me, maybe bernie had more cash on hand, but pete has plenty to build an organization. and as you saw in the clip, he gave a strongly received speech last night in iowa. so, this thing is wide open, not just in iowa, but also in new hampshire, and i think the determination of this race is in front of us. >> another person who gave a really strong speech was senator kamala harris of california. but since you mentioned mayor pete, john harwood, i want to play this piece of sound of what mayor pete had to say about iowa. >> first time i came to this state was as a volunteer, to knock on doors for a
presidential candidate, a young man with a funny name. and we knew the stakes were high then. the stakes are colossal now. >> all right, michael steele. so, let's have some real talk here. i've interviewed mayor pete now twice, and each time i came away thinking, you know who he reminds me of? he reminds me of barack obama, when he was running for president, or even as president just in terms of demeanor. mayor pete is rising in the polls. he's been rising in the polls since his breakout moment back in march at that town hall forum. how realistic from your perspective is it for a mayor pete buttigieg to not only win the iowa caucuses but to
actually win the nomination? >> he's got the momentum -- >> i think -- yeah, he's got momentum, but everybody's had momentum at some point. and momentum fades. and it's what you do when it fades that determines whether or not you stay in the game. he's got the rise right now. remember, mayor pete had a lot of money and was polling at 5%. but he was able to sort of continue to hone his message and deliver it in a way in which, yeah, he sort of, you know, channeling a little barack obama there, and sort of connecting to people in that regard. but this race is more than just iowa. iowa will not determine who the next president or nominee of the democratic party will be. i think it will be someplace like south carolina. i think that's going to be the real test for mayor pete -- >> right. >> -- is whether he can move out of an iowa and into joe biden's stronghold, which, again, yeah, he's 17% and he's behind in iowa, but when you get outside
of iowa, it's a very different world, it's a very different campaign, and that's going to be the test of not just the money, but that momentum that mayor pete has. >> and to your point, south carolina is significant because the democratic electorate there -- i should say, african-americans make up 60% of the democratic primary vote in south carolina, so it is imperative for any of the candidates, if they want the nomination, they have got to have a good showing in south carolina or in the super tuesday states, which come up three days after south carolina. in the little time we have left, john harwood, i want to get your views on senator warren's medicare for all plan. the price tag, $34 trillion, which is an estimate by the urban institute. what do you make of this, and is it realistic? can it happen? if she were elected. >> well, i think the plan is technically sound.
she put forward plausible ways of raising money to pay for her plan, plausible ideas for bringing down health care costs, but that's a different thing from whether it's politically realistic. i think it's highly politically unrealistic. it is extraordinarily difficult for her to pass the level of structural change in the health care system that she's proposing with this plan, not just the tax side, but also the banding of private health insurance. i think what she's tryi ining t is demonstrate ambition, which she referred to in her speech last night, and also a commitment to spare the middle class from additional costs and put more costs on the wealthy. but whether you can translate that vision into actual governing i think is highly doubtful. >> michael steele, i want to thank you very much for your time today. thanks for coming on this show. >> sure. >> tara and john will be right back. coming up, the real news
about trump's economy. that's next. rl eanews about trump's economy. that's next. hopes you drive safely. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast... ...and brake too hard. with feedback to help you drive safer. giving you the power to actually lower your cost. unfortunately, it can't do anything about that. now that you know the truth... are you in good hands?
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we've rebuilt our military. and we have financial strength. and by the way, for those of you with a thing called 401(k)s -- that's not bad when you're on the debate stage, and you say, we have the best economy we've ever had. we have the best military we've ever had, the best unemployment and employment numbers we've ever had. >> donald trump is still hoping the economy will make him a two-term president, although this week's news that the gdp grew at just 1.9%, indicating a slowdown in the economy, makes the economic outlook look a lot less sunny for trump. back with me, tara dowdell and john harwood. john, let me start with you. and i want to put up two tweets from the president. the first one is from 2012, when the first quarter was at 1.9%. "q-1 gdp has just been revised down to 1.9%.
the economy is in deep trouble." that was then private citizen donald trump in may of 2012. now let's look at president trump today. "the greatest economy in american history!" and as we just played in the montage, he says it's the best economy we've ever had. john harwood, is this the best economy we've ever had? >> of course not. and those two tweets that you just showed are an illustration of the fact that the words that come out of donald trump's mouth mean nothing beyond what he thinks his immediate short-term interest is. we do have a solid economy. the economy's continuing to grow. it does not look like we are headed for a recession in the next year. job growth is strong. unemployment is low. all that is good. but it's basically the same economy that he inherited from president obama. we did have a blip of upward
trajectory growth in 2018 after the passage of that tax cut, as was predicted. once you have a deficit finance tax cut. but now we're back at that 2% growth level that we had coming out of the recovery in the obama years. so it's solid. it is a good thing for him. it's better than the alternative, which is a recession. it's not the greatest economy in history. >> and tara, to this point, i keep thinking of the ronald reagan question, when he was running for re-election, are you better off now than four years ago? and just listening to what john just said, how hard is it going to be for democrats to run against a president who is still coasting on the economy he inherited from president obama, but when he's running on his own record and own stewardship, can democrats pierce that particular piece of armor? >> i think democrats can pierce
that particular piece of armor, but it has to be done with consistent and ongoing messaging around the facts. like number one, i'm a small business owner, and i can tell you as a small business owner, things are still hard as a small business owner. but the economy is great from a jobs perspective. but these jobs are not paying people enough money to actually afford housing, for millennials to move out of their parents' homes. so, while there are a lot of jo jobs, if you can't make ends meet from working one full-time job or multiple jobs, that's still a problem, that's the case. we have massive inequality in this country and we have seen protests around the world for the same reason -- chile, haiti, bolivia. we're seeing massive protests for the very factors that we have in this country. and so, i do think it's important for democrats to call out the fact that a lot of people have jobs, but they can't afford health care, they can't afford housing, they can't
afford any kind of upward mobility, to move up in this country, and those are very important factors. and if you are an american, you feel that. and they also need to remind people, the trump tax cuts overwhelmingly benefited the top people in this country, and guess what, it did not trickle down. something trickled down. it wasn't wealth. >> john, i want to ask you the same question i just asked tara dowdell, which is, if the economy is doing relatively well, can democrats make a credible case that the president is actually hurting american taxpayers? >> well, the strongest case democrats can make is that, a, the tax cut exacerbated income and wealth inequality in the country, and b, that the trade war that he is prosecuting with china is hurting the american economy, hurting american farmers, that sort of thing.
now, democrats aren't going to be eager to make the latter argument because they want to talk tough on china, too. >> right. >> they have different approaches to doing the same thing. i do think in fairness, we should point out that the same thing that trump has failed to do, that is lift prospects for middle class and working class people, barack obama and joe biden also failed to do. there were two things obama was trying to do, get us out of the great recession, on the road to recovery and secondly lift the trajectory for average people. the latter part didn't get done. we're back on a recovered economy, but this is why democrats are making the argument for things like medicare for all and free college, to try to do things that substantially raise the water level in terms of how american, average americans can do, and that's something that nobody's demonstrated that they can do. >> john, real quickly, because you mentioned the trade war, and i'm glad you did. very quickly, my in-laws are in north dakota, and they're
friends with lots of farmers. and the first alarm bell that i got about the trade war's impact was from my in-laws who were saying that their friends were worried about soybean prices and that the markets -- before it was the market was collapsing -- now the market is gone. why have we not seen any impact from the trade war on any of these economic numbers? or am i missing it? >> well, i do think that uncertainty about the trade war has contributed to the slowdown in manufacturing and business investment. business isn't sure when this is -- we see the stock market gyrating as people get optimistic or pessimistic on a very short-term basis about the trade war with china. the president has lavished subsidies on farmers. >> right. >> who lost exports. but this is something that i think the question mark, the cloud over the economy is what the greatest contribution that the trade war's made so far.
>> and with that, we're going to have to leave it there. tara dowdell, john harwood, thank you very much for being here. more "a.m. joy" after the break. here more "a.m. joy" after the break. look. only one thing's more exciting than getting a lexus... ahhhh! giving one. the lexus december to rembember sales event lease the 2020 nx 300 for $329 a month for 27 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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>> that's right, an extra hour of sleep. and we're talking about any number of things under the sun during the commercial break. thank you for that entertaining commercial break with you. >> thanks, alex. >> all right, see you tomorrow. >> yes. >> good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. it is high noon in a couple seconds in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." coast-to-coast battle. a new report out hours ago about the lengths the president is going to keep his tax returns private. >> yesterday's vote by the radical democrats is an attack on democracy itself. >> we haven't even made a decision to impeach. >> impeachment clash. what new polls say about who's winning the messaging. testimony takeaways. who's made the biggest impression and how soon it will all go public. hear from someone who's heard the witnesses firsthand. fireside chat. how the president is taking a page from fdr's playbook in an effort to argue his case about