tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 13, 2020 12:30pm-2:00pm PDT
after president commuted the sentence of his longtime friend and ally roger stone. despite the fact that stone lied about his russian contacts and his communications with wikiileaks, the president has painted his longtime friend as something of a victim. but now the former special counsel is breaking his silence at least in print. defending his doj colleague. originally in an op-ed in the washington post, mueller wrote this, when a subject lies to investigators it strikes at the government's effort to hold wrong doers accountable. we made every decision in stone's case as in all our cases based solely on the facts and
the law and accordance with the rule of law. claims to the contrary are false. >> joining your conversation is our good friend frank figliuzzi. lucky for us he's now an msnbc national security analyst. some of the words that were like fingers in the socket for me. donald trump suggested that roger stone had been framed and i wonder what you think the imperative is to erase the work of the special counsel ahead of the 2020 november elections. what's the rush? some of trump's friends, because of covid, stone won't be there for long. what's the urgency to so completely denigrate the legitimacy of the investigation
into russia's attack on our election. >> let's address the sense of urgency both on a micro and macro. with roger stone there was a timely aspect to this, he was about to go to federal prison, he was losing his argument that he should be left out of the prison setting because of covid or some other reason. that meant there was a great fear among the trump team that roger stone wasn't going to do well and probably going to consider talking, there's your timelessly issue. why the president is so, so driven to make this whole thing go away he tied it to the legitimacy of his presidency and the upcoming november election and the lingering fact that won't go away that robert mueller found and even indicted over two dozen russians for
operating on trump's behalf to try to assist the election, that's not going to go away. stone represents the truth about that. that's why stone was essentially silenced through a commutation. >> rachel maddow went back and read the parts of the mueller report that explained the coordination or the collaboration, whatever word you want to use sort short of collusion between stone and russia, with his sentenced commuted and trump and bill barr, that have gone along with the commutation, what signal does it send along with doing nothing about bounties put on the heads of the american soldiers to the russians ahead of this election? >> look, the signal is clear -- both are adversaries particularly to russia and among the trump co-conspirators.
that is that not only will there be no repercussions, but ily actually aid and abet you and cover for you if you cover for me. this is a essentially an episode of the sopranos that can't be turned on. he's a mob cop, demanding loyalty and rewarding that silence and loyalty. as i said before, when you're relying on mobsters to keep you out of prison, they're one day away from becoming a snitch and we switch over to mueller, mueller's op-ed in the washington post, right, this is the stark contrast between a mob mentality and the rule of law. you can't have a more stark contrast than mueller and trump and mueller has had enough. you can only dispraj an
honorable person so much before they're compelled to speak out. >> that's a great point, frank. this couldn't have of course been telegraphed any further, it felt for days like friday was going to be the day, the president was at a fund-raiser at the home of a beef jerky ceo in florida and just after his departure we get word that stone has been sprung. the president's trying hard to billboard the fact that it looks like flynn, manafortmanafort, a will we have a "star wars" commutation barr scene. >> yeah, there will be a rogue galleries of those who are pardoned and sentences who are commuted by this president. it's an attempt to just with a
broad brush make all of this go away and reward silence. and so let's understand, this isn't about standing up for a president, it's about covering up for a president. roger stone has the goods on trump in the form of trump's knowledge, prior knowledge of wikileaks and russian intelligence service action with regard to the campaign. that's what this is all about. it's not a friendship gift. it's not an act of kindness for someone treated unfairly, it's i need to protect my rear-end from the folks who are going to do me in. we're going to see more of it. >> frank, axios reported that stone said he'll continue to follow one of his stone's rules, i will do anything necessary to elect my candidate short of breaking the law, he's still a felon, we don't know what we
don't know. as it pertains to rudy giuliani, does a commutation free you from having to testify in another investigation? >> yeah, legal scholars differ on this. this can get complicated. even more complex when you start layering in the possibility of state charges. those legal scholars who have come out and suggested that perhaps new york state would have venue against roger stone because remember the witness he called, he threatened his life, he said prepare to die if you testified. if that wasn't enough he might kill his dog, guess where that witness was sitting during that phone call, the state of new york, new york state might have valid witness tampering charges here and obstruction charges to levy. so, when roger stone considers coming out, full guns in favor
of the president, he better remember, particularly for someone who can't keep his mouth shut, everything's going to be recorded. everything's going to be used against him. i think he needs to restrain himself and i don't think he can do it. >> i don't think so, either. frank, thank you for spending some time with us today. we're always grateful. brian, this is the part of of the hour when we lose you and your blue emu cream and your beef jerky -- it's been quite a tour de force for you. >> trying to inject context into our day's coverage. seems like a normal monday otherwise. thank you for having me, nicolle. i'll go watch. >> thanks, my friend. when we return -- donald trump is sinking in the polls and now democrats aren't
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as donald trump continues to trail joe bide in lots and lots and lots of battleground states. the trump campaign received yet another warning sign this weekend, after the trump team abruptly postponed the president's scheduled rally in new hampshire. nbc news learned that concerns over low turnout is one reason that the threpostponed rally. quote, it's the perfect timing, the weather may have been disswaying people to come. reflected in a new crop of battleground polls, where we see biden leading the president in florida, neck and neck in texas,
tied in arizona, that comes as another poll from texas shows biden up by five. joining our conversation democr democratic strategist. he served as the south carolina deputy political director. also with us our friend elise jord jordan, she's now a contributor to "time" magazine and an msnbc political analyst. >> i know there's so much ptsd among democrats not to get confident but not to maybe trust the polling at this early juncture, let's stipulate that, but the trends and the national nature of donald trump's diminished standing in the eyes of his 2016 coalition is undeniable. >> that's absolutely right,
nicolle. so what you're seeing when it comes to the plummeting of the polls you're seeing how voters are responding to their impressions of trump's handling of the coronavirus, his handling of race relations and his hand lynx of the economy. let's take a step back and think about it, when we're looking at the states like florida, like texas, we're seeing trump plummeted in those polls in states that are being ravaged by the coronavirus right now, so it is -- as much as it has to do with his handling of these policy issues that are affecting our daily lives and our livelihoods as well as a reflection of the demographics. we have states in the sun belt that are experiencing significant demographic shifts. 67% of american that race discrimination is a problem. the fact that donald trump is in many ways a racist commander in chief makes it unlikely that they're going to vote for him in
november and lastly, we want someone who's going to move the economy forward. they want to someone who actu actually opens the economy safely. you have donald trump who trump, who urged all of these states to open their economies and now they've had to shut down. and we have yoed yojoe biden, w the commander of the recovery act, getting shovel-ready jobs out the door. making sure our economy was stimulated and stayed stimulated through a recession and has just released his economic plan to make sure that we build back better. so you're seeing a referendum on all of these issues that are not just pocketbook, they are lives and livelihoods. >> elise jordan, let me put that poll up, the monmouth university polling, 67% of americans say racial and ethnic discrimination in the u.s. is a big problem. this is important on so many levels. it says something good about 67%
of americans seeing what is clear to a vast majority of americans, but it also says something structurally politically devastating for donald trump. so he only has available to him, for the conversation the other 33% of americans. on the question of discrimination, he's at odds now with his own chairman of the joint chiefs, chairman melee, with general petraeus. and these are people who in republican circles still have credibility and they cross cut the trump coalition. he's doing himself grave harm by being out on this racist public-facing -- and i agree with elena. he has governed that way. but by making this the public-facing message of his re-elect with about 100 days left, it's a giant loser. >> in 2016, donald trump might have gotten a pass from some of the voters that we called "hold
your nose" trump voters, who didn't like the way he talked about race, but they didn't want to vote for hillary clinton. four years later, his racist campaign strategy clearly isn't working. and it's bad on two levels. first, i hope that this actually is a moment of seismic change for race relations in the united states. but i do worry a little bit that it could be about donald trump's unpopularity, which not -- you know, neither of those scenarios are good for donald trump, granted i really hope that it's actually a sea change and not just about trump's own popularity. but how much of the emotion and the energy surrounding the support for the black lives matter movement is frustration for donald trump, too? >> this is a conversation for the three of us to keep having every day for the next 100. thank you for spending some time with us. we'll be right back. for spendine with us. we'll be right back.
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thought you should know. coming up for us, donald trump's war on dr. anthony fauci, headline white house is next an headline white house is next and more one of a kind finds. it all ships free. and with new deals every day you can explore endless options at every price point. get your outdoor oasis delivered fast so you can get the good times going. ♪ wayfair. you've got just what i need. ♪ [(vo)stinct radio chatter] audi e-tron. the next frontier of electric. get an exceptional offer at your local audi dealer. tonight, try pure zzzs all night. unlike other sleep aids, our extended release melatonin helps you sleep longer.
and xfinity is your home for the return of live sports. . hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. donald trump's weekend of presidential decorum vandalism started with a commutation for his buddy, felon roger stone, and ended with an opposition research dump designed to smear and destroy the 67% public approval rating of his top
disease fighter, anthony fauci. "the washington post" was first to report on the effort. they write this. quote, as the trump administration has strayed from the advice of many of its scientists and public health experts, the white house has moved to sideline fauci, scuttled some of his planned tv appearances, and largely kept him out of the oval office for more than a month, even as coronavirus infections surge in large swaths of the country. in response to reporting on that story, the white house released a list of instances it alleged tony fauci was wrong about the virus. again, this is the white house that serves president trump "let's look at injecting disinfectant into the lungs for a good-old-fashioned cleaning." but let's look at the why. trump has badly botched the country's response to coronavirus since the start. ignoring warnings from his intelligence and health advisers like fauci since the beginning of the year. and delaying our country's
response, leading to a seemingly endless and tragic cycle of human suffering and economic devastation. but what really, really gets to trump according to the "washington post" today, is fauci's soaring popularity. "the post" writes this, quote, trump is galled by fauci's approval ratings. a recent "new york times" siena college poll shows that 67% of voters trusted fauci for information on the coronavirus, compared with 26%, who trusted trump. the attacks on fauci center on statements he made in the early days of the pandemic, when the whole world was still learning how the virus was transmitted. for example, they quote him saying, in february, at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you're doing on a day-to-day basis. but that quote takes fauci out of context. here's the full sound bite, which comes with a call for vigilance and a warning that the situation could soon get much worse. >> at this moment, there is no need to change anything that they're doing on a day-by-day
basis. right now, the risk is still low, but this could change. i've said that many times, even on this program. you've got to watch out, because although the risk is low now, you don't need to change anything you're doing. when you start to see community spread, this could change. and force you to become much more attentive to doing things that would protect you from spread. >> dr. fauci, quickly, how does this all end? >> you know, it ends if you -- it depends on the nature of the outbreak. this could be a major outbreak. i hope not. >> i feel adequately warned that things could change. i don't know about you. and for what it's worth, if the white house wants to claim that that warning wasn't dire enough, then what do we make of trump's comments from the very same week? >> you may ask about the coronavirus, which is, you know, very well under control in our country. the people are getting better. they're all getting better. >> we're going to be pretty soon at only five people and we could
be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. it's going to disappear. one day like a miracle, it will disappear. >> the good old days. while the white house is attacking tony fauci, here's what the pandemic is doing to the country. outbreaks growing in at least 39 states, with hot spots intensifying across the south and new ones emerging in the midwest. florida reporting 15,000 new cases on sunday alone, a higher one-day increase in cases than new york ever saw at our worst. and across the south, tragic scenes familiar to those who lived through the crisis in the northeast and pacific northwest. hospitals reaching capacity, icus running out of beds. long lines for coronavirus tests and delays in getting any results. as president trump shares tweets today, saying americans shouldn't believe what they're hearing from the media, the cdc, or even their own doctors, about the severity of the pandemic. trump's war on fauci while the
coronavirus wages war on america is where we start today. dr. vim gupta, global health policy expert and msnbc medical contributor is here, plus associated press white house reporter, jonathan lamir, and former democratic senator, claire mccaskill. claire, you know i'm coming to you. go. >> so i thought, you know, be careful talking on tv, because i've gotten into a really angry place. i know we're all worn out. the fatigue is significant over this scandal. but i can't decide which makes me sicker. the fact that he has commuted roger stone or whether he is attacking, with oppo research, dr. fauci. i mean, nicole, oppo research is for your political opponents. the notion that he has sent the white house operatives out, press operatives out to drop oppo on dr. fauci is beyond the pale. this country trusts dr. fauci
for a reason. and they don't trust him. and him going after him is not going to help him. it's just not going to help trump at all. i hope that dr. fauci stays strong. i wish he would go ahead and book on some of these shows in defiance of the white house, because that's what the public needs right now. the public needs him to stand up to this bully. >> claire, i don't want to make you feel like you have to make a choice, and so, we will take time and we will get through all of it, because i think that's how donald trump has gotten away with so much, right? we move on. the volume is so fast. we have to move on. friday night, the stone commutation broke, and today there's an oppo dump. but we'll cover all of it. let me stay with you on just this abnormal nature of dumping smears against not just the country's top infectious disease doctor, but one of the
preeminent experts in the world. i asked dr. ann rimoin this in the last hour. you know, when we were covering the chinese government's response to wuhan, it was international news when the government censored or suppressed the scientist. we are now that government. trump is now that leader. and tony fauci, that troo truth-telling scientist. it's a remarkable moment for our country on the world stage. just a remarkable, shameful disgrace. >> you know, the united states of america has been the city on the hill, because of our values. because we have had the world's best sciences and researchers. because we cared about the first amendment and tolerance and equality. and now, this president, he is so in love with putin and kim jong-un and xi, these despots around the globe, that reject
all of those values, they reject them all, especially those that have to do with civil rights for their citizenry. and the idea that we're now emulating them. he wants to be like those guys. he won't say anything about a bounty being put on our soldiers by putin, because he wants to be putin. and this is a great example of him modeling that behavior that the world would criticize,well criticize and it's our own president doing it. it just is infuriating. >>lamir, i'm in the business of searching high and low for silver linings. and one of the only ones that i can find is that the public by a ratio of 67 to 26 trusts anthony fauci. this was pre-orchestrated publicly detailed smear campaign run from the white house of this
country. but the scientist still has a lot of credibility. is the white house goal to destroy it? >> there are moments where it certainly feels that way, nicole. let's back up a little bit here to the origin of this particular tension, if you will. although it's relatively one-sided, of course. you hit on it early on. dr. fauci enjoys remarkable popularity, poll numbers support him. he does much better than president trump, to say the least. and early on, the president sort of grumbled to advisers, we reported at the time, how much media attention dr. fauci was getting. the press, he at one point told an adviser, that he felt like dr. fauci was walking on water. and we saw the west wing seize control of dr. fauci's media exposure and he has been appearing on television a lot less. and as the white house press secretary briefings were phased out, dr. fauci appeared in front
of cameras and the public eye even less frequently. these days, it's only sort of in alternative media. he's doing podcasts and live streams and social media and that's all important. and that certainly gets him in front of some people, but not nearly the reach he would have. the white house is telling people that they feel like dr. fauci is being counterproductive. this is their telling. that they feel like that he is, you know, perhaps more willing to take a negative view of the president's handling of this virus in the media rather than he is in the west wing. they feel like he is a distraction, as one adviser put it to me, because their focus is on reopening the economy. that's the central issue here, nicole. we can't lose sight of this. this is the president who's eyeing re-election, he's facing voters in under four months. frankly, six weeks or so when we start talking about early voting. and he needs -- his advisers believe he needs the economy to get going. and they are trying to basically steam roll anything that gets in their way, that includes dr. fauci. even though, of course, we are seeing the coronavirus surge
throughout the country right now, in a number of states that's forced governors to roll back some of their reopenings and force the president, frankly, to at least for the time being, abandon the idea of campaign rallies, because forget the storm that the public excuse on saturday, it was fear of a low crowd, people didn't want to congregate in significant numbers in new hampshire that led to the white house of -- led to the campaign to have to scuttle that rally. >> dr. gupta, i want to show you something that former education secretary arne duncan said on this topic that jonathan lamir has raised about steamrolling. let's listen to it and talk about it on the other side. >> there is no body count high enough for the president to actually pay attention to science. we could lose another 10,000, we could lose another 50,000. we could lose another 100,000. nothing would compel him to listen to dr. fauci and others. we're actually fighting to try to save lives. and schools are not going to put
teachers, principles, their children, or their children's families in a position of risk, that's far too high. do not pay attention to trump, does no be scared of his bluffs. he does not care whether you live or die. pay attention to those local people that live in your community, please listen to them. >> there is no body count high enough to make donald trump pay attention, donald trump doesn't care if you live or die. do you agree with that? >> you know, based on what i've seen in terms of the school reopening plans, it doesn't seem like he cares about teacher's lives, parents' lives, those of our children, nicole. there's no plan, and that's the big problem here. and you know, more than anything else, if we're really going to restart schools, as betsy devos had said over the weekend, we're going to start schools because there's no evidence that children are affected by covid-19, which is demonstrably false and dangerous as she says that, she's a walking public
health emergency, she should not be near a microphone, we need schools to be well funded, nicole. that's not something -- democrats are saying at least 1.8 million per school district. 13,000 school districts nationwide. that's going to be billions of dollars here. republicans just don't have support for that. it goes beyond the presidents, to his surrogates, it's to admiral gerard who is sitting there suggesting that dr. fauci, doctors, white coats have the nation's full interest at heart. we have narrow interests, according to him, to paraphrase him. that is demonstrably false. the only way to economic normalization, to schools reopening, is by getting handle on this pandemic, nicole. that's the only way. and the administration enabling this talking point is deeply alarming and it goes against the primary credence of any md, which is first do no harm. >> and it isn't just scientists
and doctors. donald trump's former chief of staff, mick mulvaney, jonathan lamir, writes the truth about testing. quote, i know it isn't popular to talk about in some republican circles, but we still have a testing problem in this country. my son was tested recently. we had to wait five to seven days for results. my daughter wanted to get tested before visiting her grandparents, but she was told she doesn't qualify. that is simply inexcusable at this point in the pandemic. i have two friends with kids who got tested and staid awyed away their households for a couple of days and with no test results, i think one is five, six days out, another had to go home to her kids and she's eight, nine days out. so -- do they think they've solved testing? i mean, or do they understand that we still don't have tests that result in results in any manner that helps anybody contact trace or contain the virus? >> well, first, let's point out
that when mick mulvaney was still chief of staff and appeared at cpac back in, i believe, february, he called the whole coronavirus a media-driven hoax. so i guess it's encouraging to see that he has changed his mind on that. but the testing backlog is real and growing. just like you, i can attest to several friends who have had to wait a week or more for test results. there seems to be such a backlog right now, particularly in the last couple of weeks, as we're seeing cases surge across the country. the testing capabilities just can't keep up. the white house, we've heard the president talk over and over, sort of almost nonsensically, about how, if we didn't test as much, they wouldn't find as many cases. of course, he's missing the point on that, health experts agree. but there doesn't seem to be, at least not yet, a push from this white house to try to get more tests out there. that has been from day one, you and i have talked about it on this show, over and over, about how the lack of a fundamental comprehensive testing program that has slowed and hampered the
nation's ability to get ahead of this pandemic. and that still seems to be the case. it had improved, but now it seems -- we have seen some backsliding again. and it just can't keep up with what we're seeing in so many states across the country. but that's not the white house's focus right now, at least not yet. they are pushing forward on reopening. they seem to be waiting for a battle over schools. and i think everyone agrees that it's so important for schools to reopen this fall, but i think there's a moment here, and some of the rump allies have called for this, a huge investment, big money to try to help schools get space for the needed distancing to try to reopen as best they can this fall. but at least so far, the administration hasn't done that. instead, we have the president threatening to withhold funding from schools that won't rope eo or are too, quote, left wing, according to some of his advisers. so they're still stuck in the across roads he crossroads here. is it encouraging that president trump finally donned a mask for the first time at walter reed on
sunday? i was there, i saw him do it, but we'll see if that's a one-off thing for a photo op or if this is going to be a change consistently about masks. i think it's safe to say where you would put your money if you were a betting person. >> i mean, dr. gupta, i'm going to wait and celebrate trump when he does something ahead of an 8-year-old who's been wearing his mask for two months. tell me where we are with the pandemic in this country. i know california has made some moves today, moving back towards some closings, moving some school districts in southern part of the state, online permanently for the fall. where are we heading? >> you know, it's binary, nicole. half the governors, again, it seems louisiana in this case, california, we've seen continued leadership out of new jersey. these governors are leading. they're closing down indoor dining and bars, which every state in the union needs to do. but you're seeing ridiculous policies like in my native ohio, where governor dewine says, hey,
we're going to institute mandatory masks in seven counties, but you don't have to wear masks in the others. doesn't make sense. henry mcmaster in south carolina, we're going to close bars in 11. how does that make any sense? governor desantis, don't get me started. we're not going to deploy the national guard now for hospital icu capability, but we'll call protests and use the national guard readily for that. so nicole, bottom line, there are two different realities happening here now. there are governors taking action informed by science and there's others who are ignoring it and who think of me and my colleagues as adversaries to prove a political point. >> that's an unbelievable state of affairs. dr. gupta, jonathan lamir, thank you for starting us off. the world needs a little more claire. she's staying put. when we come back, the rule of law in this country dealt another blow over the weekend by its own department of justice. we're now in a state of lawlessness in america where the president is enabled to do whatever he wants in order to
protect himself. neal katyal joins us. and joe biden's league grows in of all places texas as people there begin to feel the effects of donald trump's failures in responding to coronavirus. plus, the art of the troll. the never-trump republicans have made a name for themselves with their stinging ads, but this time, they could break through at the polls, too. all of those stories, coming up. all of those stories, coming up. stock slices. for as little as $5, now anyone can own companies in the s&p 500, even if their shares cost more. at $5 a slice, you could own ten companies for $50 instead of paying thousands. all commission free online. schwab stock slices: an easy way to start investing or to give the gift of stock ownership. schwab. own your tomorrow. schwab. ♪ ♪all strength ♪we ain't stoppin' believe me♪ ♪go straight till the morning look like we♪
favoritism that the united states has ever seen. it's a sad fact in the era of donald trump we have to get more specific than that. late friday night, trump commuted the 40-month prison sentence of his longtime buddy, roger stone, who is due to report for the start of his sentence tomorrow. stone was convicted of lying to congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of the robert mueller investigation. in response, the special counsel himself defended the investigation in a rare op-ed in "the washington post," writing this. quote, we made every decision in stone's case, as in all of our cases, based solely on the facts and the law, and in accordance with the rule of law. the women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. claims to the contrary are false. about half an hour ago, we learned just how far trump is going to go in his special favors to stone. in response to a question from the judge, we're learning the president is voiding stone's prison time plus his supervisory
lease and the $20,000 fine. joining us now, former acting solicitor general and msnbc legal analyst, neal katyal. as promised, claire mccaskill is still here. neal? >> you described this as a state of lawlessness, nicole. it is that. it's fundamentally evil. judge amy jackson says that stone was prosecuted for covering up for the president and now the president just drops his sentence. this is the essence of the abuse of his constitutional powers and one point of viewing this is think about what richard nixon did. he thought one night about pardoning mitchell and halderman said, don't you dare do it and he never did it. here you have trump doing have even nixon is afraid to do. he has an oath to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. and he is spitting on it.
>> take me through your theory on the why. why is it so crucial to erase the mueller investigation, the mueller prosecutions, the mueller guilty pleas, the mueller sentences ahead of november in your mind? >> i'm not sure that he's trying to erase them. what he really did was give stone a kind of half-hearted measure of dropping the criminal consequences of the conviction, but he didn't even do that very competently, because stone can be re-prosecuted and prosecuted easily by the states in new york, d.c., florida, of all places in which stone's crimes occurred, and he indeed could be prosecuted by the justice department itself in another administration for other crimes or he should be prosecuted now, but with barr at the helm, we don't think that's likely. but it wasn't even a complete erasu erasure, nicole. sometimes the president wants it to be, but here he botched even
that. >> claire mccaskill, it's the death of outrage on the right that i've mourned for much of the last four years. the "access hollywood" tape, which was the beginning of republicans looking away so quickly their necks almost snapped off. we now have what is such a clear and present threat to the rule of law. it was the trumpiest of all attorneys general, matt whitaker, who approved the indictment against roger stone. on july 8th, bill barr said it was a righteous conviction and sentence. and that was after he meddled in the sentencing of roger stone and got it reduced from nine years to the 40 months that judge jackson settled on. what does it say that nobody leaves, nobody quits, nobody resigns? there was sort of a limp effort to suggest that barr might, but i made a few calls and it really didn't check out. what does that say about the depth of the corruption?
>> well, this was a criminal transaction. and i think a legal theory is very sound that this was a broad criminal conspiracy that the president and roger stone were part of. they were part of hiding evidence against the president and the judge found that very clearly in this case that roger stone wasn't lying to protect himself. he wasn't lying to protect his wife or his family or some other criminal. he was lying to protect the president of the united states. so, there is a theory out there, which i think has a lot of validity, that there is still a case that could be brought against this criminal transaction. now, let's talk about the republican senators. we have barr saying it was a righteous prosecution and a fair sentence, even though four prosecutors quit over barr's meddling in the sentence, but we have republican senators that
are saying nothing. this shows such a lack of respect for the voters, nicole. do they actually believe that the voters don't see what's happening here? do they actually believe that voters don't realize that the disrespect with which they're being treated? the notion that cory gardner or thom tillis or joni ernst or martha mcsally or john cornyn is too afraid to stand up and say presidents can't commute sentences of people who are lying to protect them. and threatening witnesses to protect them. this is not complicated. and i, i said over the weekend and i believe it, i believe the republicans will lose the senate over this and they deserve to. >> neal katyal, claire reminds us of what roger stone's crimes were. can you pick up on her thread
and just share some thoughts about the very essence of what he did was to lie to protect the president. >> exactly. and so, you know, that is, i think claire is 100% right. the essence of a criminal conspiracy is an agreement of the minds to do something unlawful. here, it really does seem, and indeed, judge jackson even found that the reason why stone was doing this was to protect the president and what that means is that the commutation on friday is actually an overt act and furtherance of the conspiracy. and what that further means is that a justice department, a future justice department can indict not just stone for this behavior, but donald trump as well. and, you know, i know that seems a little bit extreme, but, you know, we are talking about the most fundamental abuse of presidential power imaginable. when you're the president, the kind of key thing you have in your arsenal is this idea that you can use the pardon and commutation power, but you've got to use it for good ends.
you're not supposed to do it to protect your own hide. and that's what the president appears to have been doing here. and indeed, the unredacted mueller report, which we've now seen come out because of the freedom of information act litigation just recently says all of this. it says that basically, stone was covering up for the president, and that there were witnesses, that mueller had that the president knew about stone's activities with wikileaks. so this is not by any stretch the end of the chapter, nicole about mueller and all of this stuff. unfortunately, it's rather the beginning. >> and to that very point, claire, i have this recurring nightmare that in 10, 20, 30 years, that people look back and say, how stupid was the press to think that it was coincidental that every russia headline had trump connections. the last thing you referenced was about trump doing nothing still, i think it's been 28 or
21 days since "the new york times" broke story about trump being briefed about russians paying the taliban bounties for dead american soldiers, no public statements on that story. there is always a trump scandal and a russia tie to it. are we -- what, are we asking the wrong questions, are we learning the limits of congress, are we learning that a republican congress can't be trusted to look out for u.s. national security? are we learning that trump's volume business distracts from all of it? what are we learning? >> well, i think we are learning that when you are this bad, people -- it's like walking on a bed of nails. you don't feel the individual nails, because they're all so damned sharp. and i think that the country has gotten way too numb to the level of scandal that keeps going. but you know, the saddest thing to me, and i was so angry over the weekend, but you take a guy like lindsey graham.
lindsey graham would have been first in line calling up putin for putting a bounty on american soldiers. he would have been pounding the podium in the armed services committee along with john mccain and tom cotton and the rest of them. get to the bottom of what putin has done! not only does lindsey graham not do that, not only does he go silent and go get his golf clubs to meekly follow after donald trump on the golf course, he does even worse. he tries to justify what trump did with stone over the weekend. he knows better. he knows. and neal could explain this. if you ask for a trial, it is implicit that if you go to trial, you're going to get time if you're convicted. roger stone knows that. roger stone asked for a jury trial, he got a jury trial, and a jury of his peers convicted him seven times forfulne feloni. and the notion that lindsey would actually say that really this was justified, he's 70 years old and a first-time offender. give me a break!
lip lindsey graham should be so ashamed of himself. it is beyond belief he has gone this low. he is down there in shrlugville. he's a slug along with the slug in the white house. >> there's no better place to hit pause in this conversation. my friend, claire mccaskill, my friend, neal katyal, thank you both so much for spending some time with us. after the break, it's happening again. another big flashing red light for donald trump's re-election team, where the ground is starting to shift underneath him. that story, next. ting to shift h him. that story, next ♪ thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, are living in the moment and taking ibrance. ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor is for postmenopausal women or for men with hr+/her2- metastatic breast cancer, as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole significantly delayed
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okay, folks, take in the context in cwhich i mean it. this is an historical point. the last presidential contest that saw a democrat win texas was in 1976 with jimmy carter. here we are, three and a half months out from the 2020 election and the lone star state has a strikingly more purplish hue today. the real clear politics average shows joe biden tied with trump and that's a warning signal for the president. our new poll -- one new poll by "the dallas morning news" and ut tyler even shows biden leading trump by five points. five points in texas. numbers like these coming out of a traditionally reliably red state as well as in almost all the other battlegrounds are leading some democrats to say they see a tsunami coming in november. "the washington post" writes this. quote, president trump's
management of this summer's crisis has triggered what democrats detect as a tectonic shift in the landscape with party leaders suddenly bullish about not only taking back the white house but also wresting control of the senate and also expanding their house majority. let's bring into this conversation, former top state department official, rick stengel and "new york times" editorial member mara gay. i described it as ptsd with elena beverly in the last hour. there's so much trauma among democrats about relying and trusting the polls, especially when they show the democrat ahead. but one thing i know from working on campaigns that you can take from these is that the national trends, the national tide shows rising prospects for joe biden and really plunging prospects for donald trump. >> that's true. it's also important that, you know, polls can -- as we understand, polls can only tell us so much. actually, four years ago, we were lacking in really good
polling in the swing states. and this year, we have much better, more intensive, more frequent polling in the swing states. and so that really does give you more confidence about reporting the president's kind of troubles, i would say, haelding into the election year. the other thing to look at is the margin, which is significantly larger than hillary clinton had coming into 2016. so i think given the fact that donald trump almost lost the first election, he really isn't in trouble. the question that i have is about turnout, especially amid a pandemic, and of course, protecting the vote, which is really a local enterprise, unfortunately, in this country. and we've seen a lot of problems this year already, especially in georgia. >> you know, rick stengel, it does necessitate the conversation about the lengths to which donald trump will go to delegitimize an election that he loses. what are your concerns in that bucket? >> well, boy, you took it --
went far past even the election. >> i'll come back to it. >> i don't even like to look at the national numbers, because we don't have a popular vote election in america. we have this thing called the electoral college. so, you know, the thing that scarce me is, i mean, even more than -- as much as donald trump getting re-elected is what he will do during that period between november -- the election and the inauguration. it's a very, very dangerous time. i mean, we have always been wrong when we thought that donald trump would observe any norm, even the most constitutionally protected norm. and so, i think not only do democrats need to, you know, get joe biden elected by a margin that's so large that it's indisputable, but they need to prepare all different kinds of
scenarios for an unconstitutional, aconstitutional effort by donald trump. and i know that sounds alarmist, but i think we have to be prepared. >> i have so much more ground to cover with both of you. rick and mara, please stay over through the break. because afterwards, we're going to talk about the never-trumpers. they're under his skin, a thorn in his side. he watches their ads on fox. how the anti-trump republicans could end up putting their finger on the scale in a serious way in the next election. that's next. serious way in the next election that's next. new tide power pods one up the cleaning power of liquid.
every single expert told him to test more and test faster. and now, we know his response. >> slow the testing down, please! >> it could be everyone. >> it's everyone. >> this fall, the lincoln project will help several republican senators on their way to forced retirement. >> sad, weak, low energy. just like your presidency. just like you. >> there's mourning in america. and under the leadership of donald trump, our country is weaker, sicker, and poorer. >> the men and women involved in those efforts sure know how to make effective political ads. and that was just a sampling of the group's clever and devastating attack ads aimed at
donald trump and his enablers in the republican project. the lincoln project, founded by members of the gop, dedicated to seeing donald trump defeated, along with other similar groups like republican voters against trump have found success in trolling the president. and they're becoming a campaign force. "the washington post" writes this over the weekend. quote, the movement seeks to build a national political operation to oust both the president and his supporters in congress with a particular emphasis on persuading white suburban voters who consider themselves true republicans, to break from the president. that's according to interviews with more than a dozen anti-trump advisers and allies who are involved in the planning. rick and mara are back. rick, i know a lot of the folks involved in these efforts. i've worked alongside a lot of them in campaigns for john mccain and george w. bush. and i think even most democrats would concede that this is a group whose ad-making act mumen
in a league of its own. >> i think the ads have been terrific. i know a lot of those folks, as well. i have been on the opposite side of some elections from them. their ads are terrific. they're smart, they're super fast, this is great. they troll donald trump. i think in some ways, that might be where they are most productive. i mean, i'm one of those people that kind of thinks that the swing voter is kind of a unicorn, an imaginary species that we don't really know whether they exist or not. and yes, i think there could be some suburban women who might have voted for donald trump last time and won't this time. i think the most important thing is -- and mara mentioned this earlier, and i've said before, the three most important things for the election are turnout, turnout, and turnout. and one of the things that the lincoln project ads might do is it might suppress turnout on the part of republicans who just feel like, oh, my god, i can't cross that threshold and vote for donald trump. and i think that's part of the power of their ads.
>> you know, mara gay, i think having worked in politics and having worked in the white house, it makes such a big difference if you're on the side that's trying to appeal to both sides. and it's such a simple point, but i think that the simple political takeaway is, there's a group of republicans trying to make republicans vote for the democrat. any side on the side of widening the universe of support, especially while the other one is giving the kinds of speeches that trump gave at mt. rushmore zwrushl usually starts with a greater sort of universe of targets. >> that's right. one of the powerful things for me about the ads, excuse me, is that what we've seen over the past four years, especially, that it's not just about the kind of information that voters receive that matters. it's about who they receive it from. and so some voters will only believe things they hear from their pastor, right? others, it's on facebook, their classmates, their friends, their
family. so this may be -- this may have a small audience, i agree with rick, frankly. but every vote counts, every vote matters, especially in swing states like virginia. i could see this plagying very well, as the daughter of a longtime ad man, i think that the spots are powerful, especially they have a spot out right now, the lincoln project does, having voters in their own voice speak directly to the camera about why they've changed their mind and letting other voters know that it's okay to do so. those are powerful narratives. >> i think that's such a good point. and i always observe that i thought that some of the damage that bernie sanders did to hillary was that he was saying the same things about her, as donald trump was. and i still believe in the swing voter. i think they're usually registered as democrats or republicans, but i do think they're voters that follow the news very, very closely, they're a small universe. but i think they're the ones who if they hear something from a
person on the extreme of one side of a debate or on the other, they're more likely to believe it. i wonder, too, mara, that you think about republican senator mitt romney attacking donald trump with some of the same language almost as the lincoln project around commutation of r. it is not just the well-known cable voices. here's mitt romney calling it unprecedented, historic corruption. convicted bay jury of lying to shield that very president. mara? >> again, i do want to go back do rick's point about the most important thing to focus on being voter protection and turnout if you're a democrat right now but i believe every vote matters and people have dismissed especially the east coast i would say. people dismissed mitt romney because they say he doesn't -- he is not a big fox news personality, he is not loved by those on the right or those really in trump's base and while
that's true i don't think we should so quickly dismiss him because a lot of evangelical christians and christians of other faiths that really listen to what he is saying as a moderate. those are silent republicans that can be won over. >> rick, mara, thank you for spending time with us. after the break, celebrating two lives well lived. lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose.
maya andelou said your legacy is everything you do every day, every person whose life was moved or not. it is every person you've harmed or helped. that's your legacy. hold on to that while we tell you about reverend gibbs of houston. she died of coronavirus on friday. her congregation made a facebook page to share memories. there are already hundreds of entries, little stories, a moment here, a kindness there, how she sat with a cancer patient just after emergency surgery, how she helped an aging mother or hugged the person who needed it most. how she responded to someone saying, hey, i love your earrings with, here, you can have them. that's vicki's legacy.
for her wife and two daughters, it's one they should be proud of forever. we're also celebrating the life of devon hill today, they called him vonnie. coronavirus had him on a ventilator and doctors told his family he was actually doing well, improving but hours later they got a call, his condition was worsening. they recommended the family come to the hospital, he died before they even arrived. so let's try to do his memory some justice here and reflect on his legacy. his bubbly personality made him something of a local celebrity at the restaurant where he worked. his adoptive mother said he'd give you the shirt off his back. a friend says the 24-year-old gave off a unique, loving energy. one what a legacy that is. that does it for our hour. thank you for letting us into your homes during these
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