tv Deadline White House MSNBC May 31, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
♪♪ hey, everyone, and namaste, it is 4:00 in new york city. i'm john highland in for nicolle wallace for the rest of this week. the shattered, traumatized ask grief stricken town of uvalde, texas, has been beginning finally the nearly unthinkable process of laying to rest 19 slain school children and two of their teachers, the victims of a soul destroying shooting at robb elementary school on this day one week ago. the services are scheduled to take place over two weeks through june 16th, and and "the washington post" reports this from on the ground in uvalde, quote priests who last week comforted still bleeding children and pastors who prayed with anxious parents on monday, turn to the familiar ritual surrounding christian burials. volunteers flew and drove in from across texas and all over the country to help with the various aspects of the funerals. operators of a food truck handed out food and water.
florists shaped casket sprays. the head of the texas funeral director's association brought in an extra funeral coach along with other morticians. some experts at the art of facial reconstruction to assist. all of this happening against the backdrop of persisting questions around the police response to the shooting and deep anger and confusion over why it took law enforcement well over an hour to confront the shooter. on sunday the justice department announced that it is launching a probe into the police response, what's known as a critical incident review. "new york times" reports out the history of this type of investigation saying, quote, other mass shootings that the justice department has looked at in its review of law enforcement agency responses have included the 2015 domestic terrorist attack in san bernardino, california, and the 2016 attack on the pulse nightclub in orlando, florida, with an eye toward understanding how officers could have been better prepared and reacted to the attacks. the urgent and loud and unrelenting calls for action on gun safe continues unabated.
during a visit to uvalde on sunday, president joe biden was met with a chance to do something. watch. >> earlier today, the president said he would meet with federal lawmakers to work on a way forward with gun legislation while house democrats are working on a package of government reforms, nearly all practical hope rests on a bipartisan group of senators led by connecticut democrat chris murphy that's set to meet tomorrow. a source tells nbc news that they feel a, quote, new urgency to the task. on monday president biden acknowledged the limitations on what he can do via executive order, but he did express hope on gun reform. here is a bit of what he said. >> you know, the folks -- folks who were victimized, the
families, they spent three hours and 40 minutes with them, and they waited all that time, and some came two hours early, and the pain is palpable, and i think a lot of it's unnecessary. so i'm going to continue to push and we'll see how this works. >> and that is where we begin today, joining us fromuvalde, texas, is liz mclaughlin, and new york university law professor melissa murray, matthew dowd, political strategist, and frank figliuzzi, host of bureau podcast. all of them to a person and msnbc contributor. liz, i want to start with you since you're down there on the ground. i talked a little bit about ago the unthinkable prospect, what is the town is facing now of laying to rest, of mourning and laying to rest in a formal way the victims of this shooting. talk a little bit about what's happening down there, the
atmosphere there and how those preparations are being made, how they're going to unfold over the next couple of weeks. >> reporter: you know, at first there was so much confusion and shock, john, that this is almost a tougher week for this community, and especially after talking to some mental health, spiritual care volunteers who have been working with the victims of these families and traumatized kids. the reality is starting to set in that these children, these teachers will never walk through those doors at robb elementary again. they won't be interacting with this community ever again, and this was supposed to be a celebratory week, the start of summer break, and this community came back from the holiday weekend to bury 19 children and two teachers, and that will continue as you mentioned earlier through june 16th to today for amerie garza and maite rodriguez, two 10-year-olds who had bright futures and brig big dreams that will never come to
fruition. these funeral services have been taxiing on the small town as well. there's only two funeral homes. they've had to bring volunteers in from out of the state, and it's just been people who have personal connections to this community. so it's just been especially tough here, and so many have come to this town square to pay their respects, crosses for all the victims, and piles of flowers that almost go over the crosses now, lots of signs of support, an outpouring of support from all across the nation. no amount of financial support, even all those funeral services covered by an anonymous donor who donated $175,000 to cover those costs, but no financial contribution can cover, can fill the hole that's in this community now, and lots of folks have gathered here. they're turning -- it's a very tight-knit community here, a small town, so most people know someone connected to this, someone hurting, and a very faith-based community. lots of folks holding hands,
praying, dropping to their knees at this memorial. i spoke with a local pastor here, daniel myers who talked about the support he's giving to this community and how they're feeling right now. let's listen. >> i don't know them personally, but it is my home, and it hurts. i can only imagine the parents, the grandparents when they were out there wanting to go in and the police wouldn't let them go in. that hurts. it hurts. >> liz, you've got -- >> reporter: it hurts and this community hurts. >> you've got all that emotion down there. obviously it's a painful time, and as you pointed out, the facilities down there are relatively limited. this is not a large town. you look at the schedule just for today of the masses and visitations and funeral services, you know, they're already kind of stacked up at
the few places, the few actual facilities there are to do these things in. it must just be -- it's horrible in any case, but to just look at the way in which these services are going to have to go out over the course of these two weeks, largely because the infrastructure is not there to support this number, this kind of demand side what's happened here is just so staggering and puts such stress on the resources of the community apart from the emotional wherewithal of the people who live there. >> reporter: sorry, you broke up a little bit at the end there, but i will say that it's just heartbreaking that some people have to go back to work here and most people know other people, so a lot of people going to these memorials, to these funerals, are going to multiple ones. friends of these kids having to suddenly understand what death means, it's really overwhelming. but there is a lot of support, a lot of resources coming in, including red cross disaster relief, spiritual care
volunteers, and that pastor we just heard from. he has a sign around his neck that just says chaplain. sometimes people walk up to him just crying and hugging. lots of hugs and tears here. there seems to be a strong unity, a strong message of love and a hope to move forward. there is going to be -- they don't expect anyone to walk through those doors at robb elementary again to have that traumatizing experience again. so many kids are scared of school now as you can imagine, teachers as well. there are plans to demolish and rebuild that school as they did in sandy hook, at sandy hook ten years ago, and there could be some federal money as well, john, to rebuild here. >> liz, thanks very much for updating us on the scene down there. matthew doud, you know, as i read through that opening script, the lines that killed me in reading from that "washington post" story, just that little phrase, some experts at the art of facial reconstruction. it's an unthinkable thing has happening in uvalde.
there's no way to prepare for it, and there's no way to cope with it. it's beyond the kin, i think, of most huge imagination. >> yeah, and it's interesting you say that phrase because that's the exact phrase that kind of punched my gut as you read it, the idea that we have children at school who now have been killed, and now we have to bring in facial reconstruction experts because they've been so damaged and traumatized that they have to be put back together. that is a gut punch in this. i was thinking as you went through that and you were talking, playing the stuff from uvalde, that the level of trauma i don't think we completely have a handle on in this. obviously we know the trauma of the direct people involved, the families of the children that were killed and the adults that were killed in this, the trauma of the community and of the friends, the trauma then extends to people that have been victims or are survivors of gun violence
around the country at all of the multiple incidents are once again reliving that trauma they had again in this trauma. it also goes to a concentric circle of trauma for our country. because as this happens more and more and nothing's done, the country as a whole is traumatized in this, and either they fall into the camp of they're angry, they're upset, or they're shrugging their shoulders and saying, well, every other time this has happened nothing's been done, so is anything going to get done? so not only is it direct trauma, obviously, horribly for the families involved, i think our country is going through a trauma every single time this happens. the country as a whole is traumatized until we actually deal with the fundamental problem of guns in america. >> so frank, i think there's obviously a mixture on the ground of grief and also rage, and the rage that's been ignited around the law enforcement's reaction to what happened, its
lack of reaction to what happened. we now have tiktoks of what took place that are fairly detailed. "the new york times," "the washington post," others have gone through in some cases doing minute by minute reconstructions of what happened on the ground. we now know there's still some questions to be answered. i'm curious -- first of all, what are those for you, and then talk a little bit about this critical incident review that the doj's undertaking and whether that is what they were trying to do, get to the bottom of still unanswered questions and what goes on -- what the next step of that is, what the intention and what the hopeful outcome might be. >> sure, john and you're right to bring up the social media aspect here. we're just learning more and more it seems each day about this shooter's postings, the number of people who may have understood what he was up to. people all over the world, including a young lady in germany who he was communicating with. so we're kind of getting distracted understandably by the law enforcement response issue, i totally get that. but we cannot ignore the fact
that the warning signs and indicators that you've heard me talk about over the years were all there, and so we've got to address the social media aspect of this and whether or not algorithms can ever be tweaked properly to discern private chat rooms, blogs, you know, encrypted communications. it's virtually impossible to catch all of this, but yet there was so much out there that you have to wonder whether educating children about the warning signs and indicators of violence on social media so they can pick up the phone and call the police needs to happen. now, let's talk about what happens when you call the police. let's talk about this doj critical incident after action report. we know it's not criminal, right? we know that. that does not mean, john, that it's precluding criminal prosecution after the facts come out. some prosecutors have even contacted me and talked about child abandonment, which is a law in texas in subsection c,
which may apply depending on the facts with regard to this school chief of police and what he knew. the hope here and what this unit does for a living at doj is that they discern best practices and share them and make recommendations for training and even grant money. so, for example, if they were to find that nobody, none of the police on scene, which by the way they find hard to believe, none of the 19 officers in that hallway had proper breaching tools, they might make the recommendation for grant money to give communities around the country enough breaching tools to put in squad cars. if they find that radio communications were totally broken down, that that school chief of police was on a different frequency or turned his radio off, they'll make recommendations regarding cross frequency radio ban sharing. if they find out he thought this was a hostage negotiation but he didn't know how to negotiate because there was no trained negotiator present, well, they'll make recommendations about negotiation training.
the bottom line, john, is that this was a colossal failure of law enforcement. this should have been a hiccup for any well-trained s.w.a.t. team, but i don't hear about a well-trained s.w.a.t. team showing up until border patrol, thank god, shows up with their s.w.a.t. and tactical members, but where is the uvalde city police department? where is the county sheriff s.w.a.t. team? why is it that the school chief is in charge when he commands no more than six officers that patrol campuses? who is the best qualified person to run this event regardless of turf and jurisdiction? all of that is going to be the subject of review by doj. >> so frank, those are good questions. i was going to ask you what the questions were that you had left in your mind, and you just rattled off a bunch of them. in the history of these critical incident reviews, do they tend to lead to change? i mean, one of the things that we ask for in circumstances like this is accountability. everybody says at the end, especially when someone like you and others say this is the most
colossal failure of law enforcement i've seen in this kind of situation. you say, okay, colossal failure. what happens now to give accountability? accountability will not bring these kids back. accountability will not bring these teachers back, it will not bring peace to this community. what do these critical incident reviews lead to? have they done that in the past, and can we expect they might do so now? >> yeah, in my experience, they do. so of course ironically what's the greatest example we can show that's on point? the columbine reviews that were done literally changed the policy. but now here we are years later where the policy was ignored, but i can remember in my career specifically within my agency, the fbi, we called time-out. we were told the policy has changed on active shooter. you're going in. and people, agents who were working white collar crime now find themselves at the firing range getting instructed on stacking up, going in with
whoever came by. if the game warden shows up and the state trooper shows up, and you're there, you're going in. you're not waiting for s.w.a.t. to show up. so yes, reviews change. the infamous shooting that was one of the worst days in fbi history where agents were killed in miami resulted in a complete overhaul of weaponry, weapons available to agents within their cars, not in their trucks, in their trunks. upgrading the caliber of weapons involved. so yes, changes can occur, but training, training, training is going to be the mantra here. >> we've been focused on uvalde the place, we'll talk about the national issues related to gun reform in a minute, but i want to just focus -- to stay focused on uvalde and read this piece from "the new york times" that was headlined, debate over guns unfolds in uvalde, a rural texas town in grief. here's what it says, in uvalde the debate has unfolded not through protests and marches as it did after parkland but in quieter discussions inside
people's living rooms, in some cases exposing rifts of grieving families. the grandfather of one boy tuesday says he always keeps a gun under the seat of his truck. the boy's grandmother now wants to limit access. vincent salazar, 66 whose granddaughter was killed in the uvalde attack, said he keptfor 30 years. he wanted lawmakers to at least raise the age for selling long guns like the black ar-15 style rifle in his granddaughter's killing. this freedom to carry, what did it do, mr. salazar asked? it killed. you know, that's a lot of wisdom in those couple words, and also a lot of sophistication and nuance in that debate happening in uvalde. i can't -- you know, we look at the -- i said i was going to go to washington later. you look at the debate we have like this on a national level, it's nothing like that wise, and
nothing like that nuanced. where is the huge gap the way we talk about this in the media and washington, d.c., versus the way the people in this town are talking about it right now? >> again, i think it's likely a very abstract issue most of the time in washington, d.c., until it's punctuated by the kind of tragedy we've seen in uvalde, in buffalo, which, again was only a week before uvalde and all over the country. there are these moments where we have these reminders. these are not abstract political debates about the nature of the second amendment and positions on the second amendment. these are real life policy decisions that have real life consequences. and sometimes those consequences are borne on the back s of school children. this is getting at the heart of what the difficulties are here. we have this debate about gun reform and gun control that has been marked by the view that individual citizens need to be able to protect themselves from violent criminals who are more likely to be armed as the debate tells us, but then we have
episodes like this where the fact of being armed really had no consequence in keeping these children safe. so this will continue to play out in washington. president biden has suggested he's hopeful that there will be an opportunity for bipartisan reform here, but you know, i think we not only need to look at what's going on in congress, but also what's happening at the supreme court. the supreme court is poised to decide a major gun control case this year that will perhaps open wide the degree to which individual citizens may publicly carry concealed weapons. again, there's a lot going on, and it's playing out in all branches of the federal government. >> it's a messed up state of our democracy when the only thing that brings realism to the debate is if the community in question has to suffer a mass shooting to wake up to the reality of it. everyone is staying with us. we're going to talk about this some more. when we come back, the sports community continuing to not let the world look away from uvalde.
plus, the doj taking a big step forward in its investigation of the capital insurrection and those in donald trump's west wing. peter navarro says fbi agents served him with a grand jury subpoena asking for any communication he had with the ex-president. and later in the program, republicans falling back to a familiar playbook, but it's not a gun problem. it's the schools and the parents at home. all those stories and more when "deadline white house" continues after this. please do not leave us. afr teths please do not leave us ing but the team remained calm. because with miro, they could problem solve together, and find the answer that was right under their nose. or... his nose. i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health. time. it's life's most precious commodity,
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attorney's office to pursue justice for everyone. but like so many of my colleagues, i resigned in protest because chesa boudin interfered in every single case and failed to do his job. the office is absolutely in disarray right now. chesa dissolved my unit prosecuting car break-ins. now criminals flock to san francisco because there are no consequences. we can't wait. recall chesa boudin now.
america this year and nothing changes. i can't understand that, and children shouldn't -- that shouldn't be happening to children. parents shouldn't be having to send their children to school and feel worried about something like that happening, and you know, i get over there like it's always -- there's always talk about it being so inpolitical. i don't see how it is, like, i don't think anyone wants to see things like that happening. my feeling is that like surely at some stage you do something different. you can't keep approaching, you know, the problem, you know, by buying more guns and having more guns in the country. like i don't see how that solves it. >> that was the great tennis pro andy murray talking to bbc sports on monday and talking absolute sense as he joined the legions of athletes speaking out in calling for gun reform in the wake of the shooting in uvalde, texas. murray is a survivor of the unit
kingdom's deadliest mass shooting. he was 9 years old when a gunman entered his school and killed 16 children and a teacher. that shooting prompted the british government to enact stricter gun laws. you saw sports figures all over the weekend, these are not -- this is not a comprehensive list but the tampa bay rays and the yankees last week collaborated on social media to post only facts about devastation of gun violence rather than give play by plays of the game. you had on friday gabe kapler said he wasn't going to take the field for the national anthem until i feel better about the direction of our country. he did actually stand for the national anthem on memorial day yesterday, and then in mls, before the philadelphia unions 1-1 tie at the new england revolution, the union players wore orange t-shirts with the message end gun violence during
pregame. i'm a sports freak, but i'm trying to get at something bigger here. this is one of these incidents that has spilled over out of the realm of cable news and politics into the realm of mass popular culture, and you see it throughout sports. you see it in the entertainment world, a lot of other places. i wonder whether that among the many signs that maybe this is different, that that's one of those places where it could be a little different and whether you think, a, whether you think that's true, and whether you think it matters? >> well, i think it's important you mention this. i do think it matters because what happens when sports figures speak up, they get above and through politics so their ability and now their perceived in america and around the world, but let's just say america, it's outside the political realm. people don't know whether most of these people are republicans or democrats, and so when they speak out, it has an impact. i don't know how much it will get done. as we were -- you were leading into this and coming from the last segment, i think the progress is when you go around
the world -- this is the fundamental problem, which is why i think this points to a much bigger issue, which is the health of our democracy -- if you go around the world, i think about the same percentage of people in every country and all these major democracies want sort of unrestricted gun access, including the united states. so it's about equal around the world. the problem is those people that want unrestricted gun access and no impingement on freedom are completely part of one political party, completely part of one political party who refuses to budge. that's the difference, and so when you have these issues where 70% or 80% of the country want something done, they want universal background checks. they want the age raised to 21. they want red flag laws, 80% of the country wants that, and it's not happening. you have to ask why. it's because we have a very unhealthy democracy where the super majority can't rule because we have a republican party that's been completely taken over by this small group
of unrestricted gun access. the other thing i'll mention, which takes up on the last conversation is part of what happens, i think, i'm a gun owner. i've told you that before. i'm a gun owner. i've taken my children hunting. we've enjoyed it. all of that. i've gone hunting with people from uvalde, with them and their kids from uvalde, years ago, people that hunted in this. and i think the debate needs to understand that better as mr. salazar said. it doesn't -- when it goes into no guns or all guns, if it's a debate where gun owners who support all of these things as i do, they support all of these things, where there's an acknowledgment that guns are a part of people that grew up with it, but there's a rational reasonable approach that they're for. i think part of what happens in washington and part of what happens in the new york media especially is i don't think there's an understanding of that, of the importance of hunting, the importance of all of those things when the debate
unfolds. but absolutely, i think what the debate ought to be about is just do the things 80% of the country wants. just start there. just do the things 80% of the country wants. we can debate whether all the other things, but just do the three things or four things that 80% of the country wants. my fear is the republican party is so consumed by unrestricted gun access, they are not going to move an inch on it. >> yeah, well, matt, i think, you know, in some cases on some of those matters like universal background checks, i think the number's actually closer to 90 than it is to 80. people at 86, 87% in some of these cases. and melissa, when we hear some discussion right now about the possibility that maybe this time is different, i'll focus back on washington, d.c., again, where joe biden has been in the middle of this fight for a very long time. he was asked by a reporter about mitch mcconnell and john cornyn, one of the two senators from texas, and he's asked about the prospect for gun reform.
i want to hear what joe biden had to say. it speaks directly to one of the things that matt dowd just brought up which speaks to the kind of systemic problems with our democracy. let's hear joe biden talking about a couple of republican colleagues. >> mcconnell has directed senator cornyn to search for a compromise. do you really think there's something there or are they just making noise? >> i don't know, but i think there's a realization on the part of rational republicans, and i think mcconnell is a rational republican, and cornyn is as well. >> so melissa, i'll ask you. mitch mcconnell, john cornyn, rational republicans, question mark? >> i don't know really know if it matters if i think that they're rational, but whether they are going to act rationally on this particular issue, and i think this really comes down to whether it's in their political interest to do so. the country is clamoring for some kind of common sense gun
reform. i think matt is exactly right. this isn't a question, a zero sum game of getting rid of all guns or allowing unfettered access. people recognize there will be individuals who want to carry arms and they have a second right to do so, but the second amendment does not offer an absolute right. the court has never interpreted the second amendment to offer an absolute right to bear all kinds of weapons in all circumstances, and i think common sense gun reform is not only constitutionally required, it's required by this moment, and the question is whether the republican party will understand and meet the moment where it is. >> frank, i'm going to get to you in a second just because i heard matthew doud laugh out loud, when i said rational republicans there was a cackle, and i want to come back to matt about this. first i want to play another piece of sound, on "meet the press" talking about how republicans are acting against the interests of police, what police say they want, not just acting against -- acting against those 86%, 85% of americans that
want those two or three things matt talked about, but basically looking at police and telling them to pound sand. let's hear senator gutierrez here and talk to matthew doud about what i think is his former party. we'll talk on the other side. >> you know, i can't imagine what the fealty is to the nra. i can only suppose that it's money to fund their campaigns, and i say they being my republican colleagues in the house or in the senate. at the end of the day, what has happened over these years has been simply preposterous. culminating last session with their open carry bill. not one law enforcement agency, everybody in texas, every law enforcement agency said don't do this. i gave a closing argument on that bill. i said because of this bill kids are going to die. i never thought that that bit of hyperbole was going to happen in my community. i never thought. >> matthew doud, speak to your
former party and whether anybody in it is still rational? >> sure, first i want to say roland's a friend of mine, and i know roland, so people know roland gutierrez is not a progressive liberal democrat. he's actually a very moderate in some ways, conservative democrat that has that district that goes from san antonio out to west texas, and he's been a great public servant. i think he's figured out how emotionally impacting and things node to be done. he's not a character out of some playbook. i would say this about joe biden and mitch mcconnell and, as you know, i've praised joe biden for a number of things. i've criticized him at times. one of the criticisms i have of joe biden is i think joe biden still is operating in a world that republicans are going to be like they were in the '90s or like they were 15 years ago. they're not. it's gone. it's over. that's done. and i think -- and he's a hopeful optimistic guy.
i think that's who he is. i think joe biden is too much of a carrot guy. he keeps thinking he'll go throughout out a carrot and mitch mcconnell will get and he'll throw out a carrot. mitch mcconnell is like a rabbit who keeps eating the carrots and it doesn't change his behavior at all. at some point joe biden needs to become l.b.j. or f.d.r., not in huge policies but in bringing a stick to the debate. there are many things joe biden can do as president that basically can say if you don't do x, i'm going to do y, and i know that sounds like a threat. it probably is a threat in this. there's many presidents that have threatened people in order to get them to do good public policy things as l.b.j. did throughout civil rights. he threatened a lot of people to get civil rights legislation. but joe biden has to stop thinking of the republican party like it's something from 20 years ago and see the republican party for what it is today. and i think the only way the republican party responds today is not a series of carrots but as a big stick where he's pushed until he cannot not do it.
that's the only way i think mitch mcconnell will go for this. >> so matt, just do me one favor, okay? mitch mcconnell is not the hare. he's the tortoise. when you talk about him being a rant it's very confusing for me in the metaphorical sense. one quick question here, i bet a lot of money that you know more people who own guns than all of us do. matt owns a gun, but i bet in your career of law enforcement, you've known more people who are regularly armed who own firearms who believe strongly in the second amendment than anybody else on this panel. if you had to -- and i'm not going to treat you as a spokesman for all of them, but if you had to kind of collectively say what you thought the view of law enforcement is on the question of gun safety, if we could take the nra out of the equation and go to the collective of law enforcement around the country, what would they be for when it comes to regulating firearms and trying to make the questions -- trying to make guns if not controlled, at least more safe along the lines we've been
talking about in the last half an hour? >> this is easy for me because so many police organizations have already spoken what their posture is on this, including by the way, the largest law enforcement association in the state of texas that came out publicly against the governor last september 1st when he said you don't need training, permit or license to buy a gun. law enforcement officers want people to be checked. they want the universal background check. they would love to see some tighter control on automatic or semiautomatic long guns, so raising the age, for example, to 21 is most police officers agree to that. they would love red flag laws on a national basis. that means their ability to take guns temporarily while they're figuring out whether or not the threats they're receiving are valid and then returning them. red flag, universal background
checks, raising the age for an assault type rifle to 21, saves lives. it's what cops want. they've already spoken on this. >> frank figliuzzi, pointing us toward something, again, democrats have to recognize that on, whether it comes to this issue or comes to the way republicans have handled the january 6th insurrection, there are two big flashing issues where republicans can be portrayed as anti-law enforcement. frank, thanks for being on. you've been great throughout this whole thing, melissa murray, and matthew doud, great to see you today. one of donald trump's top aides has been hit twice with -- subpoenas related to his role in the january 6th attack, one from the select committee and now one from the u.s. department of justice. today he is suing to try to block them both. the very latest on all of that is next. it's a storm that crashes, and consumes,
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and it's never too early to learn you could save with america's number one motorcycle insurer. that's right, jamie. but it's not just about savings. it's about the friends we make along the way. you said it, flo. and don't forget to floss before you brush. your gums will thank you. -that's right, dr. gary. -jamie? sorry, i had another thought so i got back in line. what was it? [ sighs ] i can't remember. the department of justice probe into january 6th has now reached the trump white house. former aide peter navarro says he has been subpoenaed to testify to a federal grand jury on thursday about his role in the insurrection. he also claims he has been ordered to provide prosecutors with any records he has related to the attack on the capitol last year, including, quote, any communications with donald trump. this is the first known subpoena in the doj's investigation into the january 6th riot at the
capitol to be issued to someone who worked in donald trump's white house. the existence of the subpoena was first revealed in a lawsuit that navarro has filed against the january 6th committee. house speaker nancy pelosi and the u.s. attorney for the district of columbia, matthew graves. navarro has said he will represent himself in the suit. it comes on the heels of the news last week that a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to individuals involved in the so-called alternate elector plan, including rudy giuliani, john eastman and jenna ellis. what a collection there. joining us now almany, and the one, the only, daniel goldman, msnbc legal analyst, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york as well as former majority counsel during donald trump's first impeachment trial. dan, navarro says that the subpoena is related to the contempt of congress referral. how likely do you think all of
this -- how do you think this is going to play out, number one? and number two, what does it tell us about the doj's investigation that they're going after peter navarro and calling him before a grand jury? >> well, first, i'd be shocked if it related to his contempt of congress referral to the department of justice. he is the obvious target of that investigation, and as we are now learning from reporting, assuming it's correct, the request for information about communications with donald trump are irrelevant to whether or not he defied a subpoena by congress, so they are going -- these are entirely separate matters. what the department of justice is looking for and expanding their investigation into is what navarro himself called the green bay sweep, which was the white house's effort to overturn the election, as simple as that, and it is further reflection and further proof that the department of justice
investigation into the events leading up to january 6th is ramping up. it has expanded beyond the actual rioters on january 6th going back to the election and even before the election, and it is going to start turning the screws on people close to donald trump. and as, you know, you and i have talked about many times, john, when that happens we will know about it, just like we know from this absurd lawsuit from peter navarro. i don't think he's a particularly good political adviser, but he's really a terrible lawyer. >> i'm going to get to his lawsuit in a second. jackie, let me ask you this. you know, it wasn't that long ago that democrats on capitol hill and elsewhere were like, well, the justice department is not doing anything. got to do something. then they said, you know, they asked the january 6th committee for some work product that became a controversy. now it looks like they got a grand jury going and they're going after peter navarro.
what's the thought right now on capitol hill among democrats about how they view what the doj's doing? are they starting to take some heart, some comfort in the fact that doj is moving, or are they still frustrated one way or the other? >> yeah, john, right now we're really not hearing much from democrats at all. mostly because they're at home with their constituents during recess, making the rounds, talking about things that are not january 6th related but also because the committee investigating the january 6th committee -- or the january 6th insurrection are pretty busy preparing for the public hearings right now. there were also a few outliers on the committee who resisted from applying the public pressure on the doj last month, and really for most of this year as the doj has yet to make a decision on some of these criminal contempt referrals that the committee has made, and that's because there was sort of a feeling amongst people like congressman jamie raskin that the doj was doing their job as they had outlined it. they were working from the bottom up starting with insurrectionists who were
actually involved with the storming of the capitol on january 6th and going to then incrementally move up to the top tiers of power, people closer to former president trump. further, in a lot of the conversations that i've had with lawyers throughout the course of this investigation, they've also said that the doj's silence was to be expected. they also potentially warned that maybe the doj was not really publicly cooperating or as in touch with the january 6th select committee as really they should be, sort of maintaining these firewalls because they are seeking to avoid another oliver north iran-contra investigation redo, which is where, you know, if the january 6th committee potentially offered immunity, then that would prevent the doj from actually pursuing real charges, criminal charges against people themselves. so i think the committee and the doj have stuck in their own lanes throughout the course of this investigation, and so far
that has been for the best, although obviously we could potentially first see democratic outcry if the doj ultimately decides not to press any criminal charges. >> so dan, you talked about peter navarro's lack of legal expertise, his skills. i was going to read you part of the lawsuit, and i literally as i read it, it's so bonkers that like the words -- i'm going to have a hard time parsing them on the page. i'm just reading part of it. i just want to ask you like on a scale of one to ten how nuts this lawsuit is. >> it's about a nine, and i say that only because he clearly got some assistance from an actual lawyer in order to do it. i have seen a lot crazier pro se filings than this, but just from a -- it's clearly just purely a stall tactic. there's absolutely no merit. he conflates the two different types of subpoenas from congress
and from the department of justice. they're entirely separate investigations, and what he has done is put himself in the cross hairs in the public by making it very clear that he has now been subpoenaed about conduct unrelated to his criminal referral for contempt of congress, and he's put himself in a position by trying to delay where he's making his own situation a lot worse. >> all right. jackie and dan are sticking around because we have other matters to discuss. when we come back, we will talk about those things including house republican leader refusing to comply from a subpoena from his colleagues investigating january 6th. what he could be facing by ignore that request. and some stuff about donald trump and mike pence, both of those things next.
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loyalty on the part of trump republicans so let's talk about that, about kevin mccarthy, comply with the subpoena, jackie, give us all the news that's fit to mccarthy >> yeah. so, first of all, these subpoenas came pretty late in the game for people like house minority leader kevin mccarthy mo brooks and a handful of the other gop lawmakers who were involved with the efforts to overturn the results and i think if there was more urgency from the committee, in terms of really needing them to come in to actually collect information, they would have been called in sooner, so i think it sort of illuminates the fact that the committee's already gathered a lot of information around these players and they were giving them the opportunity to provide their side of the argument here, potentially any counters to what they found. but -- and i think that it was to be t expected that these
republican lawmakers were not going to comply as one republican staffer said to me, it'sd not good for republicans either way to be talking about january 6th. whether that means actually having republicans sit on the committee, there has been some criticismre of mccarthy for sor of botching his handling of this right from the very start, by not at least having some republicans sitting there to defend the former president, especially during these june hearings that are coming up, where a lot of the american public's going to be tuning in. but on the other side of the coin here, it's also not helpful for republicans to continue to talk about this, to look like they're cooperating in any way. obviously, from a matter of political expediency, kevin mccarthy has already made the calculation that it is in his best interest to continue to take trump's side here, to, you know, espouse the tenets of trumpism, ultra-maga, whatever you want to call it, and whether or not he's booed at a trump
rally, you know, at the end of the day, he is someone who's still invited to speak at a rally. he is -- the former president has not held it against him, sort oft his wishy-washy-ness the wake of the january 6th attack and i think we're going to see that up until november when potentially he might be in the speaker in waiting if republicans do take back the house. >> so, as bad as it is to get booed, given everything that kevin mccarthy has done to try to ingratiate himself to donald trump and his voters and then get booed, the only thing worse is to be mike pence, who had trump loyalists saying that he should be hanged and apparently donald trump was all for it or at least f indicated that he wouldn't mind. here's "the new york times" story and these revelations came out a couple days ago. shortly after hundreds of rioters at the capitol started chanting, hang mike pence on january 6, 2021, the white house chief of staff, mark meadows,
told colleagues that president donald j. trump was complaining that the j vice president was being whisked to safety and he told colleagues mr. trump had said something to the effect of, maybe mr. pence should be hanged. you put this in the category of shocking but not surprising. are there legal implications of it, dan? >> yes, 100%. what it reflects is donald trump's both lack of surprise and support for what was going on at the capitol that day. and that goes to his state of mind. if donald trump is going to get charged for trying to conspire with others to overturn the election, to execute a self-coup, then the prosecutors are going to have to show that he s intended for that to happe and that it was -- that he knew what he was doing was wrong. that goes, perhaps, a little further than is necessary, but i think that's really i where they're going to have to land, and h what this shows is he didt say, oh my goodness, how
terrible that they were saying, hang mike pence, let's make sure that we get him out of there and get him to safety. we know he didn't call for reinforcements to go and stop the riot, but now we actually know that he was privately rooting the rioters on. that is a very bad fact for donald trump. >> jackie alemany and dan goldman, i would never boo you. quite the contrary. thank you for spending time with us today. on the other side of the break, republicans and the nra reverting quickly back to their conventional playbooks on how to respond to mass shootings. that story and another hour is coming up next. ngs. that story and another hour is coming up next ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ crossed the desert's bare, man. ♪ ♪ i've breathed the mountain air, man. ♪ ♪ of travel i've had my share, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ ♪ i've been to: pittsburgh, parkersburg, ♪ ♪ gravelbourg, colorado, ♪ ♪ ellensburg, cedar city, dodge city, what a pity. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪
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if you can make it harder for people to get guns in this country. you know that. no. you know that. but you stand here, you stand -- you stand in the nra convention. it is harder -- it is harder when there are more guns to stop gun violence. it is not ignorant. >> you don't know what you're talking about. >> people are in this country and there are guns everywhere. why is it so hard? why does this need to happen? >> if you don't get out of his face. >> why did you come here to the convention? >> you need to back up. >> why? when 19 children died. 19 children died. that's on your hands. that's on your hands. >> hi again, everybody, it's 5:00 in new york city. i'm john heilemann in for nicole wallace this week. just three days after 19 children and 2 teachers were slaughtered by a gunman in an elementary school in uvalde, texas, that was one of the
state's senators, ted cruz, being confronted after speaking at the nra convention in houston. benjamin hernandez, a board member of the liberal group, individual houston, accosted cruz over his refusal to support legislation that would make obtaining a gun more difficult. it was a moment showcasing the nationwide outrage and the newly impassioned battle over passing gun safety legislation that has followed the uvalde shooting. while republicans like cruz continue to insist that the appropriate response to mass shootings that take the lives of children in classrooms is to blame mental health issues and harden schools, including even arming teachers rather than taking common sense and widely supported steps to make gun ownership safer. according to gun control activists and parkland survivor david hogg, something seems to have changed. he tweeted, why do i know this time is different? this is the first time that i have been in a long time in a time where i get thousands of messages and dms and literally
only three have been negative. none have been threatening. many, many supportive gun owners and republicans have messaged. hogg is among a vast swell of young people crying out for change like 14-year-old yolanda renee king, martin luther king jr.'s granddaughter, who writes, i know the challenges my generation faces resemble those that led my grandparents to march on washington and other cities to demand change. i do not want to walk into school afraid anymore. i want to be a teenager. i have read a lot of my grandfather's sermons and speeches, and there is one that comes to mind in the wake of this tragedy. quote, with this faith, we'll be able to hew out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. that is our call to action. action that cannot happen a moment too soon as we saw in the one week since the shooting in uvalde, at least 15 mass shootings where at least 4 people were shot or killed have
taken place from california to arizona to tennessee. and that is where we begin this hour. nick confessore here with us, an investigative reporter for the "new york times" and msnbc political analyst. also, charlie sykes editor-at-large of the bulwark as well as an msnbc contributor. and joining us from texas, the state's democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, mike collier. and mike, because you're down there, i want to start with you. the following things are all true. you ran against dan patrick for lieutenant governor in 2018. you lost to him by four points. you are a republican -- you were a republican up until 2011, so you know a lot about at least what the party used to be. and i will say, you also were the state comptroller for a period of time, wrote a book called, i can't believe this, "out of comptrol," which is a title for the ages. how has this debate unfolded? does it feel different in the state of texas to you?
>> first of all, thank you for allowing me to say a few things on this really terrible moment in texas history. what it feels like is the exact same conversation that we had four years ago when a gunman went into a high school in santa fe, texas, and murdered students and then you heard dan patrick and the rest come out and say we're going to harden targets and do this, and i got to tell you, they did exactly nothing. the only thing that has happened in the four years since that killing was the only gun safety law that we had on the books was canceled by these guys. now, i've called for a special session of the legislature to act. they must act because children are coming back to school and i can tell you, as i travel the state, i'm hearing democrats and independents and republicans. we, in texas, must act. sensible gun laws. it's time. >> so, mike, just stick with that. i asked you what's different. i think what you're saying, first, you're saying that the response from official -- from the governor, from the
lieutenant governor, it's exactly the same and nothing happened from the last time, from going back, you have had more than one mass shooting in texas in the last x number of years, but it sounds like you're saying that the character of the debate, what you're hearing from texans may be a little different, and that's what i want to focus on right now. what are you hearing from rank and file republicans? what are you hearing from people on the ground there that may be -- that may suggest there's a greater appetite for change or a greater outrage at the lack of change this time than have been in the wake of past mass shooting incidents? >> all i can say is at some point, enough is too much. this is the seventh mass murder in dan patrick's seven years as lieutenant governor. and they are horrific. this may be the most horrific thing that we've ever seen as the details emerge and at some point, texans say, enough. the majority of texans are with me on this and want sensible gun laws. we haven't felt the sense of urgency. i have.
but we collectively haven't, but i do believe that now we do. everyone loves uvalde, and our hearts go out to those children and those parents and the stories are just absolutely heart rending and it's time. it's palpable. texans are saying, you know, our politics are controlled by zealots and the majority point of view does not make its way through the legislature, which is the lieutenant governor's fault, and texans of all parties are saying, enough is enough. it's too much. >> again, my last question to you, i guess, you are a -- you are a gun owner, sir, correct? and you are a supporter of the second amendment, correct? >> yeah. >> yes. >> absolutely. i was raised in a hunting culture. yeah. >> and a -- at the same time, a big supporter of background checks that work and red flag laws. i really want to focus on one thing i saw you say on this network yesterday. you pointed out that -- the following things. you said, in texas, you can't buy a beer at 18. you can't buy cigarettes at 18. but you can buy a machine designed to murder human beings and walk into a school at age 18. it's easier to do that, by the way, in texas, than it is to buy
a fishing license. unfortunately, texas isn't the only state where that's true. what's standing in the way of moving that age up to fix the remedy that -- is it really just a matter of, you got to get rid of dan patrick and greg abbott? or is there more in texas that needs to get changed in order to change -- to make that kind of -- what would seem like the most common sense kind of change that your state could possibly employ? >> well, when you find yourself in a situation where the vast majority of texans agree on something that's absolutely crucial to the safety of our communities and it didn't happen, the only thing you can do is look at the tone at the top and the politics of the individuals at the very top. abbott does not escape my criticism. dan patrick, i think, is the root of all of our horrific leadership in this state. as president of the senate. folks need to know that the lieutenant governor is not a vice governor in texas. lieutenant governor dominates the legislature.
dominates the legislation. the problem is at the very top. i talk to republicans a lot. even republican lawmakers. they know that we must act, but they are preventing from doing so by the very, very top leadership who are cowards. they just pander to the gun lobby. they're afraid of them, and they've got to go. >> mike collier, candidate for lieutenant governor in texas, thank you for taking the time for being so candid and so clear and so forceful in your statements. we appreciate you for coming on. i want to go, charlie, i want to come to you. you've been writing a lot about this topic. i'm going to read a quote from the "washington post" about a devout nra republican, the headline on this is the uvalde shooting, quote, stirred something in him so he gave up his gun. on saturday night, 68-year-old retired high school history teacher richard small, a self-described devout nra republican, did what he acknowledges would have been unthinkable days earlier. he unlocked his gun cabinet and pulled out his ar-15.
he drove to his local police department and turned it in. quote, i'm a gun advocate. i believe in the second amendment. but this ar after what i saw in uvalde, i am done with it. i'm sick over it. charlie, is that so unusual that we should just write it off? or is that the kind of thing that might be stirring among people who up until now have not been stirred by these horrific shootings in schools and other places all over the country? >> well, let me give you two answers to that question. number one, i do think that there is a huge number of responsible gun owners, people who do hunt, who do own weapons, who are appalled by this, and for whom the nra doesn't speak. so, i do think that there is -- and who speaks for them other than the zealots who claim to speak in their name, so i think there is a lot of revulsion. on the other hand, i think that if we think that suddenly the
culture is going to change, that would be naive, and i'm sitting here listening to this conversation, and john, you and i are old enough to have gone through this again and again and again. i remember being on the air after parkland. i remember being on the air after, well, after the shooting at columbine. after santa fe. after walmart. and hearing the same arguments over and over and over again. and part of the problem is this gun culture and the way in which the gun culture has become part of the culture wars. you read some of the accounts from the nra convention, and you see the degree to which they have embraced conspiracy theories, in which they have embraced the politics of fear and paranoia and division in order to bolster their position, that sense that you need to arm up because they are coming for you, and this has been building for a very, very, very long time. so, i would like to say that this is going to make a difference, but i thought that
the murder of the innocents at sandy hook would make a difference. look, i think there's no question about it. laws could make a difference. i think that what ted cruz is talking about, you know, recycling these tired discredited talking points, you know, hardening the schools. let's harden the synagogues and the churches and the walmarts and the grocery stores. let's turn america into alcatraz. let's turn us into sparta, because that seems to be their vision. but unfortunately, you're going to continue to have these bad faith arguments because, in fact, we have this toxic culture that has fed into and been fed by the gun lobby. that's not going to change, i don't think. >> the gun lobby, nick, is what i just want to ask you about real quick because i want to get on to the broader democratic crisis because charlie's been talking about that at the bulwark but one of your many specialties and expertises relates to money in politics so there are people who talk about the nra being in crisis and the nra weakening and i feel like i've been hearing this for a
decade, that the nra is falling apart and i know there's evidence that suggests that the organization is has been plagued by corruption and has had various kinds of institutional problems, and yet, in terms of the kind of grip that it continues to have over the republican party or the grip its ideology has, doesn't seem to have changed at all. what's the health report, so to speak, institutional health report or power report on the nra at this hour? >> so, as a group, you know, it has setbacks. it's facing litigation in new york and elsewhere. it's under investigation here and there. but they have built a powerful movement over the years, and as charlie said, it's not a debate over gun regulation. it's a culture war. that's while why people at the convention, politicians are, you know, kind of referring to woke culture. it's not really about guns. and it's on purpose, john. the point is that over time, if you're winning all the time, you know, you have to turn the volume up and the nra's been
winning for a long time in washington. and the state legislatures. they're all wired for the gun lobby, so how do you keep the money coming in? and donors pressing donate on the website? you have to raise the stakes. and really, it's not about guns or debate over the fine points of how to get guns out of the hands of the wrong people. it's about those other people, the shadowy forces who are coming to take your guns. and you have to raise the volume and change the debate back to those people to brush past these incidents and these terrible events until the next one and that's the cycle that we see over and over and over again. >> so, charlie, you wrote, i mentioned, and you mentioned that this is a -- what's happening here and our inability to move and pass legislation that, in many cases, is supported by 80%, 85%, 87% of american people. we're not talking about 53%. we're talking about high 80s, issues that, like, there's nothing in american politics that gets 86%, 87% support in america right now except for
universal background checks and yet we can't get it done. you've characterized this. here's the headline in the bulwark this morning. a crisis of guns equals a crisis of democratic governance and here i want to play chris murphy, who's been, you know, the most passionate, the kind of the single voice on this issue for a long time. but particularly since uvalde. i want to play him talking about almost exactly the same thing at a press conference in connecticut this morning. let's play that and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> because again, i said before, there's really nothing in the world that matters more than the safety of your kids. you'd give up almost anything, including your own life, to guarantee the safety of your children. so, if congress can't come together and put politics aside now, i think it will cause a lot of people to start to turn their back on the whole enterprise. i think this is a really critical moment for the country, not just for kids and parents
who are fearful about the future of their safety, but i think it's a really important moment for our democracy. >> charlie, universal background checks, red flag laws, raising the age for ownership of semiautomatic rifles, these are all issues as i said a second ago that are supported by more than 80% of americans. if we can't enact them into legislation, i would say if we couldn't enact them a decade ago but certainly after uvalde, if we can't enact them, what does it say about the state of american democracy? >> well, see, that's the challenge. and i'm really glad you raised that because i don't want to be really too dark about all this, but the great threat to democracy is its failure to deliver. if people begin to think that you don't have a government that can do its basic functions like keep your child alive, then you have a real crisis here. and you know, nick made a great point here. the debate is not over these specific pieces of legislation, because what is the case against red flag laws or against background checks? people like ted cruz say, you
know, that we need to focus more on mental health. well, okay, fine, but that's completely meaningless, then, if you don't allow background checks so police can determine whether or not somebody who is mentally ill and dangerous can get a gun. it doesn't do anything if you don't have due process in place to be able to remove that gun from the dangerously mentally ill person. and again, this is not about the details of the law. it is about the culture war. but to the point about the poll results, there is this overwhelming consensus that we need to do something about this, and if we don't get it done, it's a sign of dysfunction, because a society that cannot keep its children alive after multiple cases like this, a society that can't prevent a million americans dying from a pandemic, you know, there's a pretty fundamental dysfunction there, and i will say this. there's another sound byte, which you probably have already played, of ted cruz being confronted by a british reporter
who asked him about, you know, is there something -- american exceptionalism about the gun violence? look, i'm a believer in american exceptionalism, and i understand that other countries have also had mass killings in new zealand and norway, in great britain, but what makes us exceptional is our belief that there's nothing that we can do about it. in all of these other countries, where they have faced these catastrophes, they have reacted as if they are catastrophes. and they have passed laws that, in fact, have made them far less likely to recur. in this country, we have just decided we're going to throw up our hands and say we are absolutely helpless in the face of this carnage. and that's the new american exceptionalism, and i really do think that it raises questions about whether or not our system of government is able to function the way that we hope. so again, i think there are many, many threats to democracy, but the real threat to democracy, globally, is if people believe that it can't get stuff done. >> so, nick, i mentioned one of your specialties, which is money
in politics. the other is right-wing nut jobs and i want to focus on that because this goes to the toxic culture which is part of what bedevils our democracy. there's this politico piece talking about what happened at the nra convention. conspiracy theories abound. why'd it happen three days ago? are there forces out there somehow that are finding troubled people and nurturing them, developing them, pushing into committing these shootings? some woman who says that a shooter could have walked in there with a baseball bat and killed as many kids. all this. like the ginned up, they're going to take our guns away, exactly the thing that you talked about. what's the role -- we point to right-wing media as being problematic on a variety of levels. how much is right-wing media feeding these particular conspiracy theories related to guns and is there anything that you imagine that's going to change that? because it seems to me that is another element of this that if that part of the culture doesn't change, that's another key part of why our democracy's broken in the way charlie suggests it is.
>> well, john, it's all the conspiracy theories. it's qanon and black helicopters and great replacements. we live in an era in which people believe conspiracy theories. they're common. and the paradox here for people like us or people in the media is that this lack of trust in institutions is part of what makes it impossible for institutions to do things at these moments and the failure to do them saps further trust from institutions. it's a vicious circle. i'm not sure how you break it. i think on gun control, the answer probably has to come from the right, from republicans who will go to the primary booth and cast ballots on kind of reasonable gun safety. and counteract the votes of the single issue gun voters who really don't want any restrictions at all. it's not going to come from the left. those people are already voting for people who are for gun control. the change really has to come from within the right on this country. >> charlie, chomping at the bit.
we're going to take a break. nick confessore, thank you for spending time with us today to talk about two of your favorite subjects. charlie, hang around. when we come back, the single biggest repudiation of donald trump's post-presidency took place in georgia. we didn't talk about it because there were much more important and much more tragic things to focus on, but its effects are being felt in republican primary races all across the country. our conversation will turn to politics after a quick break. and later in the hour, ukrainians being urged to flee the eastern part of their country amid a fierce russian offensive. nbc's cal perry will join us from kyiv with the latest developments in the war. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. while wayfair is installing your new refrigerator and hauling away your old one, you're binging the latest true crime drama. while the new double oven you financed is taking care of dinner and desert, you're remembering how to tie a windsor. and while your washer
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uvalde was all we talked about last week and rightly so. most important thing and most devastating thing in the country, but that meant that we were not paying attention to a very large political story, and that would be the most thorough repudiation of donald trump, politically, during his post-presidency to date. in what "the new york times" identified as a puncture of trump's aura of untouchbility within republican politics, his much referred candidate in georgia's gubernatorial primary didn't just lose. he got shellacked, embarrassed, just pounded. former senator david perdue lost to brian kemp who famously denounced donald trump's big lie by 50, count them, 50 points. another trump endorsed candidate, john gordon, lost the
race for the attorney general nomination in georgia by a similarly huge margin and remember good old brad raffensperger, georgia republican secretary of state, who refused trump's unlawful, unconstitutional, and ridiculous request to, quote, find some 11,000 votes in the 2020 election, well, in that race, too, what former transition official chris christie called trump's personal vendetta tour, again, failed miserably. raffensperger won re-election over his trump-backed opponent by almost 20 points and avoided a runoff. we still are waiting for the most recent and still to come test of trump's continued sway over the gop. that is the pennsylvania senate race. counties in that state have now initiated a recount in the gop race -- in the gop neck and neck primary for the united states senate. nevertheless, following trump's sage advice, dr. mehmet oz has already declared victory over dave mccormick. joining our conversation, the one and only, that man who gets up so early in the morning,
jonathan lemire, white house bureau chief for politico, host of "way too early." too early for me to watch but i know you're doing a great job. plus kim atkins stohr and charlie sykes back with us, all msnbc contributors. charlie, my question to you. how big a deal is the georgia outcome? a trifecta of embarrassments. donald trump cared as much about georgia, i would argue more about georgia than any other state, put everything on the line, and got his ass kicked three times in that race. is that a real repudiation or can trump just say, yeah, i lost those races but the whole party is my party now, so whatever. >> well, he's not taking it well, as you probably saw. he's now putting out statements where he's quoting a really flakey conspiracy theorist who's suggesting nobody could have gotten 74% and therefore it must be fraudulent. i don't want to engage in wish casting here because there's a lot of evidence that he is still the dominant figure in the
republican party. look around the country at doug mastriano in pennsylvania or kerry lake in arizona, but there's no question about it. this was an ass-whooping, and the margins are absolutely staggering. you know, i don't know how many political observers thought that brad raffensperger was going to be able to survive because donald trump himself was the one who made this the centerpiece of his vendetta tour. it was donald trump who drew the red line and said, this is absolutely unacceptable. they have betrayed me in the most fundamental way possible. and yet the voters just stampeded across that red line with those margins. now, again, what do we take from that? well, look, he is still vastly influential in the republican party, but his endorsement is no longer the golden ticket. it no longer guarantees victory, and most importantly, defying him on the big lie is no longer
obviously political suicide, necessarily politically suicidal. i mean, just ask the governor. and the fact that donald trump is now down in mar-a-lago, sulking and putting out conspiracy theories and coming up with new iterations of the big lie to explain it is an indication that he hasn't quite figured out how to handle this particular repudiation. >> kim atkins stohr, i ask you this question to make the argument a little more forcefully. max boot made a similar argument about this. look at that georgia race, you know, brian kemp was accused, credibly by stacey abrams, of voter suppression in 2018 when he was secretary of state and she lost to him in the gubernatorial race. brad raffensperger, who is a hero in some eyes, and i would say we all are glad that he didn't find 11,000-whatever number votes for donald trump, but he stood up on election night and said, you know, the voting rules that made georgia are great now, everything's fantastic here, and a lot of us look at the voting bill that got
passed post the 2020 election, predicated on the big lie, that actually stripped brad raffensperger of some of his power to adjudicate the election in the way that he did in 2020. he no longer has that power and it's now hack republicans in the state legislature have that power. you look at that and think, well, okay, it's good that trump's people didn't win there, but it's not like brian kemp and in this case brad raffensperger are paragons of democracy in the way that we would like to see it practiced. so how much of a -- it's a victory, but isn't it maybe a little bit of a puric victory in georgia to have those two on the ballot? >> yeah, you anticipated my response to all of this, john, in that i'm very proud that the "boston globe" editorial board, which i'm a part of, even before january 6th, raised flags about brad raffensperger when he was being heralded all over the country for stating that election fraud did not happen in
georgia, but meanwhile, he was very supportive of suppressive voting efforts, which he based on the fact that voters, you know, they're insecure about the election, so we need to give them some sense of security, and was willing to give up some of his own power in order to pass these repressive voting laws and support them right out of the gate. so, we were raising flags about this early. i think this is the difference between repudiating trump and repudiating trumpism. the georgia gop has done the former but not the latter. they have certainly staked their future on trying to put barriers, as brian kemp has a long history of doing, and brad raffensperger, despite his reputation as a hero, has supported putting barriers in the way of voters that they don't think will vote for the gop. this is a big problem. and we see this across the
country. so even candidates in this midterm that want to distance themselves from donald trump, that don't want to stand next to him, that want to position themselves as the new trump are still embracing trumpism in a way that is dangerous, particularly when it comes to voting access, to democracy, even if they are distant -- even if they are not embracing the former president himself. so i'm less concerned about how strong donald trump's endorsement power is and more concerned about how his legacy is extending in the gop. >> john lemire, i have two questions for you. one is, what do you make of the state of play now in pennsylvania and the stakes for donald trump, the stakes for the republican party? give me kind of your sense of that and then second. how bad are you feeling about the fact that the red sox lost 3 out of 5 to the orioles over that long memorial day weekend. geez, ugly. >> i'll start with the second question. kim's also a sox fan, feels me on this. yeah, there's no excuse for that. they have been playing better of
late, but they're still under .500 and they're many games behind the yankees but that wild card in grasp. it's a long season, john. go, celtics, is my answer to you right now. >> oh, geez. >> celtics, celtics in the final. celtics in the finals. as far as pennsylvania goes, dr. oz, he did not immediately embrace trump's suggestion to claim victory but he got there eventually. he's referred to himself as the presumptive republican nominee so it's not as in your face as what we heard from trump the night of the election in 2020 when he got out there at 1:30 in the morning or so and declared that he had won the race. but you know, certainly, it's a cue from his playbook, and it's a super close race one way or the other. things look good for oz at the moment, but the recount is still under way. i do think, though, it's a mixed bag right now for the former president in terms of his endorsements. he got jd vance over the finish line. we can credibly say that in ohio. that's a win for him. obviously, though, georgia was a
huge defeat. brian kemp didn't just beat david perdue. he crushed david perdue and brad raffensperger won convincingly as well a year or so after he was given up for dead by most republicans because trump wanted him out so badly so i think two things can be true here at once, that trump's power over the gop, diminished somewhat. i think that's fair. that said, he's still by far the loudest voice in the room, and certainly, as we see possible 2024 candidates, though there are a couple of exceptions, mike pence, perhaps, one of them who might be willing to put together his owned by, even if trump were to run, most of that field would clear if the former president decides he is going to go again in 2024. he's still the 800-pound gorilla. >> we're going to talk a little bit more about trump. everyone here is sticking around. quick break for us and we'll be right back to do that. k break r right back to do that.
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there is no rino in america who has thrown in her lot with the radical left more than liz cheney. terrible. she has gone crazy. now i get it. i've been hearing all these stories for years. now i get it. she's gone totally crazy. and it's why in two months from now, the people of wyoming are going to tell her, liz, you're fired. get out of here. get out of here.
>> there he is, the former guy, this past weekend in wyoming, campaigning for the republican primary challenger to congresswoman liz cheney. we're back with our channel. charlie sykes, between now and that republican -- that republican primary in wyoming, liz cheney is going to have a moment in the sun of a kind. she's going to be probably the most prominent, most focused on member of the january 6th committee through these public hearings that we're going to see in the rest of this month. you know, trump's obsession with her is personal. it's political. it's deep. it's aggrieved. it's almost psychotic. a, do you think there's any chance that liz cheney could actually lose this primary, number one. and number two, do you think her national profile on the 1/6 committee will help her or hurt her in that cause? >> well, i think that obviously it's a very uphill fight for her. i think that it would be, again, naive to think that she -- that she is the front runner in that
particular race. but i think that her national profile is going to be separate from this because unlike so many of her colleagues, liz cheney was willing to put her seat in congress on the line. you know, she was willing to stand up for what she thought was right. this is a woman of incredible strength, incredible integrity, even if you don't like her politics, and she's willing to lose to do the right thing. and if she does lose, she's going to be able to sleep at night and she's going to be able to hold her head up, but it certainly says a lot about a republican party that treats her like a pariah and embraces marjorie taylor greene as a rock star. >> lemire, you have a -- there's a -- you were talking about about 2024 and trump's standing. i want to read to you a little bit from some reporting in the "washington post" to get your commentary on it. this is from donald trump recalibrates his standing in the republican party after primary setbacks. it says, trump has been quizzing advisors and visitors as mar-a-lago resort in south florida about his budding rivals for the 2022 republican
presidential nomination, including mike pence, and florida governor ron desantis. among his questions, according to several advisors who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity, who will actually run against him, what do the polls show? who are his potential foes meeting with? he also had revived conversations about announcing a presidential exploratory committee to try to dissuade challengers even as advisors urge him to wait until after the midterm elections. you raised some of this toward the end before the break, before. i want to go a little deeper with you on that. tell me what you're hearing. you're a very well-sourced man in the mar-a-lago precinct. what are you hearing from your sources about how trump is weighing whether to run or not and what's your current view about the likelihood of that when it comes right down to it? >> well, more than anything, trump wants unquestioned loyalty from others in the republican party. he wants his ring to be kissed and he doesn't like the idea that anyone would dare challenge
him. he privately and according to my sources, not worried about mike pence. he feels like pence is out of step with most of the republican party since most republican party are maga disciples and they hold it against him that he wouldn't want to overturn the election as opposed to what he did do, which was do his constitutional duty. desantis is a little different story. he's one who's gotten trump's attention. they're practically neighbors now since trump the a florida man and he thinks that he made desantis, that it was his endorsement that got desantis tallahassee, and he is upset that desantis dare defy him. he's not too nervous, though, about the rest of the field, i'm told, but he doesn't like the idea of anyone challenging him, and as a final thought, though certainly leaning towards a run, not committing to it publicly or privately just yet. he's doing all the things you would do as if he were going to announce a candidacy sometime in 2023, but he's giving himself an out and don't be surprised, john, if he milks this as long as he can because he knows whenever he jumps in, he'll be the favorite. >> so, kim, i want to -- this is a kind of the theme that we
talked about before, talking about it relative to georgia, which was, you know, yeah, it's -- having trump's hand-picked candidates lose is good if you care about democracy. but these candidates, the ones that won, are not particularly great for democracy. so, it's not exactly an unalloyed victory. similarly, there's a question about whether -- we're naturally obsessed with trump. he has power, and he was a danger to democracy, of course we care whether he runs for president or not. but is there not a case that trump's influence over the republican party had been so profound and the party's become so trumpified that whether trump runs or not, we're going to see trump-like candidates, potentially someone like ron desantis who people like to sometimes say is a smarter, more competent version of donald trump. how's that a win for democracy? >> yeah, it would not be. it would not be. trumpism will outlive donald trump's political career, will probably outlive him, and that is the biggest danger to democracy.
i think just building on what lemire was talking about, what i find interesting is that trump hasn't gotten into the race already. if you recall, he started his re-election campaign on january 21st, 2020, so the fact that he is waiting this long shows that he and those around him probably know that there are some, you know, there are some weaknesses there, and if he runs and loses, that's the end of trump. if he doesn't run, he can kind of ostensibly remain this ominous figure in the party so i'm waiting to see when and if he gets in and the reasons why, but trumpism, without question, will last. >> charlie sykes, kim atkins stohr, great to see you. john lemire, i have to say, on behalf of nicole and wallace and all right-thinking californians everywhere, the golden state warriors are going to wipe the floor with the boston celtics in the nba finals. i hate to tell you, pal. >> no. go celts.
>> thank you for being on the show even though you're wrong about this. always good to hear you talk about donald trump. we're going to shift gears here, talk about the war in ukraine where the fierce fighting in the eastern part of the country has led president zelenskyy to urge residents to flee. nbc's cal perry, he's in kyiv, and he will join us right after the break. e's in kyiv, and he will join us right after the break. riders! let your queries be known. uh, how come we don't call ourselves bikers anymore? i mean, "riders" is cool, but "bikers"...is really cool.
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on russian oil. the new sanctions cover 90% of russian imports and will take place at the end of the year. leaders are also discussing ways to help ukraine export their stockpiles of grain and other produce as russia continues to block major trade routes. all of this is coming as russia. as russian forces continue to barrage eastern ukraine with artillery as putin and the kremlin seek to we focus their efforts in the donetsk and luhansk region after failing to take kyiv or the second largest city in the country, kharkiv. let's bring in cal perry. what's the latest? doesn't sound like great news as far as russian forces setting up in east. what's going on there? >> reporter: as we approach the end of the week we're going to hit day 100 of the war. reality is setting in. people are settling in for a vision of the long haul. you have the fighting in the east for eight years but the fighting has never been this
heavy. towns have never been completely destroyed, shell into the oblivion the same way weave seen cities along the black sea. swier villages are disappearing william don't know how heavy they are. there's somewhere between 50 and 100 soldiers dying every day. there's concern amongst officials that they're not receiving any longer the exact kind of weapons that they need, though the amount of weapon they're getting is overwhelming when you look at historical precedent and i think there's concern the attention is going to wane. so, you have this slow methodical progress, john, being made by russian forces as they move through and destroy this area. >> we haven't heard the phrase russian advances very often in this war. part of why this has been so astonishing and heroic is
ukraine surprised us at every turn, and i wonder what that does for morale. for an underdog, morale is key. when you start hearing russian advances that can brake the will of ukraine pretty quick. >> and fighting and advancing by russian troops in ukrainian territory, right? well within the borders of ukraine. granted in the eastern part of the country, but on ukrainian territory. ukraine pushed back the russian in the north and got them moved around the other side of the border. mariupol disappeared off the face of the earth, but russian forces refocused, pivoted to the what is literally the eastern front for the ukrainian army. they have a focused front. what they call phase two. they're skipping over what was a military debacle in kyiv, and they say this was always phase two, to secure the donbas. but it's that focus, focusing all of its regimentregiments, t
allowed for the slow, steady, brutal advancement. >> we have been waiting for the eu to do the ban since the start of the war. that's the sanction that would bite most fiercely against russia. it's finally here. what are you hearing from ukrainian officials and others there about the sense of what impact that could have on the war in the short or medium term. >> reporter: that it's a good start, but not good enough. it's crude oil. 0% of crude oil, but there were exemptions. hungary wanted an exemption if the pipeline broke. it shows the fractions vladimir putin promised the show europe. because energy prices for european countries are as important as they are for any country around the rld woman as summer turns to fall and fall turns to winter you have governments like hungary worrying what the energy prices are going to be. they'll tell you it's a good
first step but want a global embargo, and that's probably not realistic. >> thank you. and stay safe, pleases. quick break for us and we'll be right back. e right back r have too many pillo! sometimes, i'm all business. a serious chair for a serious business woman! i'm always a mom- that is why you are smart and chose the durable fabric. perfect. i'm not a chef- and, don't mind if i do. but thanks to wayfair, i do love my kitchen. yes! ♪ wayfair you got just what i need. ♪ ♪ we could walk forever ♪ ( ♪♪ ) ♪ walking on ♪ ♪ walking on the moon ♪ ♪ some ♪ ♪ may say ♪ ♪ i'm wishing my days away ♪
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