tv Morning Joe MSNBC August 17, 2022 3:00am-6:00am PDT
course, are looking at last night's election results including the lopsided defeat of liz cheney, for standing up against donald trump. she delivered a concession speech not like one you heard before. more like a preview of things to come. we'll get into that all morning long. thanks to you for getting up "way too early" on this wednesday. "morning joe" starts right now. two years ago, i won this primary with 73% of the vote. i could have easily have done the same again. the path was clear. but it would have required that i go along with president trump's lie about the 2020 election. it would have required that i enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. that was a path i could not and would not take. no house seat, no office in this
land is more important than the principles that we're all sworn to protect. and i well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty. our republic relies upon the goodwill of all candidates for office to accept honorably the outcome of elections. and tonight, harriet hageman has received the most votes in this primary. she won. i called her to concede the race. this primary election is over. but now, the real work begins. she put country over party. and, joe, she paid for it politically. >> yeah. she did. but, my gosh,ful anybody's watched this show more than a couple days heard me say that in politics, sometimes, when you win, you lose. and sometimes when you lose you win. i think here is the beginning of
something much larger than being one of 435 members of the house, one of 535 members of congress. the language was remarkable. talking about in the spring of 1864, the union, after the union suffered more than 17,000 casualties in the battle of the wilderness, cheney said, general ulysses grant had a choice to retreat or keep fighting. as the fires of the battle still smoldered. grant rode to the head of the column. he rode to the intersection of brock road and orange plank road. and there as the men of his army watched and waited, instead of turning north back toward washington and safety, grant turned his horse south towards richmond and the heart of lee's army. refusing to retreat, he pressed on to victory. general grant, president abraham
lincoln and all who fought in our nation's tragic war, saved their union, their courage saved freedom. and if we listen closely, they are speaking to us down through generations. we must not idly squander what so many have fought and died for. and, willie, if somebody listening to that speech and listening to those words thinks that liz cheney is being melodramatic, well, they aren't having the conversations i'm having with friends. >> yeah. >> and family members. and people who used to be in liz cheney's party and mine -- or actually people who are still in liz cheney's party that used to be in my party. we spoke yesterday, we had two really disturbing phone calls. if people want to understand the
depths to which this anti-american sentiment is running in the republican party, i had two conversations yesterday. one with a family member. and one with a washington fixture, since the days of ronald reagan. both were talking about how the fbi was the gestapo and they needed to be stamped out. >> yeah. >> spoke of revolution. and the washington fixture, a guy who i always considered to be a mainstream conservative, a guy who in the past, at least expressed concerns about some of donald trump's extrivetties. said to me, joe, we can replace the u.s. government. it's not about the government, it's about an individual. here's a guy that said we can
throw away madisonian democracy, we can throw away the bill of rights, we can throw away the constitution. we can just get rid of a government that has fed and feeds more people, that's liberated more people throughout history. that's keeping the flames of freedom alive right now in ukraine and in central europe, than any other country on the planet. and we can replace the u.s. government. that is the depths to which this cancer has spread. among mainstream republicans. and liz cheney is right, these people are angry, and they want to destroy our country. the country where we have democratic elections. and the winners who get the most
votes are recognized. as the winners. and the losers concede to those winners. and donald trump has changed all of that now. >> yeah. and, joe, you don't have to go to the darkest corners of the internet anymore to find that argument. a couple years ago, that would have been a hard case to hear. you just have to turn on mainstream cable news channels to hear that. even last night. and the argument is, okay, a real conservative won last night in wyoming. this is what they're saying. they threw out a trump hater who is obsessed with donald trump. that's the argument against liz cheney. because she's one of the few republicans who stood up and continues to stand up and said, no what happened on january 6th what happened around the 2020 election is un-american. it's not how we do things. it's not about me hating donald trump. it's about mae trying at least to stand up to the constitution. and that is the minority view in the republican party. that is the extreme of some of these people, that liz cheney
who voted with donald trump, by the way, as much as anybody in congress, a high conservative rating as anybody in congress is not a real conservative, because she dared to cross donald trump. she paid for it last night. it wasn't a big surprise. but when you see that number up there, it really tells the story of the republican party, harriet hageman who won by nearly 40 points, 40 points, over liz cheney who got 70% of the vote. when people start to dig in and who she is. and talking about joe biden being a human trafficker, and defending the election lies. that's who she is and the people of wyoming decided that's what they wanted. yes, it's a state, joe that gave 70% of its vote in 2020 to donald trump, but what a flip in a state that liz cheney and her father dick cheney has been institutions there.
losing by nearly 40 points last night, because she stood up to the constitution. because she's standing up to donald trump. >> well, the hatred and the animosity spewed towards joe biden from these people i spoke to yesterday. said -- they said, he's a moderate -- like boring guy from delaware. like, he used do do this to aoc, you used to do this to bernie sanders. and you used to do this to nancy pelosi. and now joe biden is the radical who is destroying them? it's just -- it's nonsense. the problem is it's dangerous nonsense when they start talking about the fbi being the gestapo. and how the fbi needed to be defunded. and how the fbi needs to be wiped out. and how we can replace the u.s. government. that's treasonous talk. five years ago, that would be
considered treasonous talk. and we can replace the u.s. government -- no, no, no, we can't. and mika, the thing is if this were actually working for the republican party, i could actually -- it would be deeply offensive. you could say, well, i guess they'd rather destroy the country and win elections but it's not working for the republican party. >> no. >> the republican senate candidate in pennsylvania is losing by ten points. the republican senate candidate in ohio is losing by ten points. the republican senate candidate in arizona losing by ten points in these swing states. that we had a poll yesterday that showed in florida, the republican senate candidate in florida losing by four points. and, again, it's just one poll. and this is just a snapshot. but everything's going in the wrong direction for republicans. >> yeah. >> extremism of defunding the fbi. the extremism of attacking law
enforcement officers. the extremism forgiving and looking past people who beat the hell out of cops. and in fact, glorifying them as political prisoners. those people that battered and abused --battered and abused law enforcement offices and cops on january 6th, praising them as political prisoners, this is having an impact on republicans. again, people can say, oh, joe, you're a rino. no i'm not, if you want republicans to win elections, this is the wrong way to do it. donald trump, let me say it again, the first president since herbert hoover to lose the white house, the house of representatives and the united states senate all in one term. >> yeah. >> and he did it. and he's doing it again to republicans.
>> he's got four investigations, at least, maybe five active investigations. from his personal to his professional to his presidential actions. i mean, all of them are wrong, really, okay. so, while the republicans do what they do and say crazy things, conspiratorial things and lies about the 2020 election, you have the split screen, joe and willie, of president biden signing landmark legislation. president biden on the world stage handling the situation with ukraine, reuniting nato. i mean, it's the most -- if you're on the republican side, looking toward the future, it's a pretty pathetic split screen for you. you're jumping around, talking about, you know, conspiracy theories and trying to step up for a man who is under fbi investigation, among other
things. and has proven himself to be someone who does not tell the truth. i'm only speaking facts here. and not getting beyond any story. this is not a man that tells the truth. and this is not a man that cares about his people. and this is not a man who is loyal. >> no, certainly -- not loyal to anybody. certainly not loyal to his country. not loyal to the constitution. not loyal to constitutional norms, not loyal to the rule of law. willie, though, speaking of split screens in my first guy that talked to me about running a campaign, he said, campaigns are all about contrast. so, if you just look at yesterday's contrast. you have republicans calling the fbi gestapo. you have republicans talking about defunding the fbi. defunding law enforcement officers. talking about we can replace the u.s. government. and on the other side, you have joe biden signing a bill that's going to lower costs for drug prices.
going to help medicare recipients. it does some pretty remarkable things on climate change. does remarkable things on a number of issues that americans care about. of course, a bipartisan infrastructure bill that's going to make a difference in americans' life. the first gun control legislation passed. the gun safety legislation passed in over 20 years. you can just keep going down the list. the biggest expansion of veterans health care in well over a decade. a lot of things getting done here and that's your split screen. so if campaigns are all about contrast, you've got one party now that is obsessed and looking backwards to the 2020 election that they know was on the up and up. and you have another party that's balancing legislation looking forward. >> yeah. you have one group of people who are calling for violence in some cases against the fbi because it
executed a lawful search warranty at mar-a-lago. and then in joe biden's case, he's sitting there signing a piece of legislation that he say is going to help with legislation and it's bipartisan, joe, by the way, chips plus, veterans health care act, a lot of that was done with the republican help. jonathan lemire is with us, katty kay. and jonathan, you talk about this the way you do every day, the white house is taking great pains from distancing itself from the raid at mar-a-lago. don't want to talk about it. don't want to talk about donald trump in 2020 largely because they want to be seen as having their heads down and doing work. that's the example on the front page of all of the papers, the president signing the huge piece of legislation yesterday. >> an extraordinary amount of work capping off what has been a remarkable run for the president and his party. yes, some of this is bipartisan, the infrastructure bill of a year ago.
this yesterday, these are democratic priorities and have been for a very long time. it was finally this president with this congress that got it done. i'm mused, with the look biden gave to senator manchin. he almost said, joe, i never had a doubt. we know manchin, of course, is a late arrival to this bill. and it got done. that's why democrats feel pretty good about the midterms all of a sudden. they know the house is an uphill climb -- there's the look -- they're bullish with the senate thinking they had the minimum to keep that 50/50 tie in place. and to your point, they want nothing to do with it talking about the mar-a-lago. a bright line between the white house and the department of justice. but, of course, it shadows everything that's happening right now. it's not just a contrast from republicans and democrats to a contrast they believe as a party that moves law. and the constitution and one that doesn't. that more than two-thirds of
wyoming republican voters voted to support the big lies. voted to support undermining american democracy, that's dangerous stuff and the backdrop for this election as well. >> and katty kay, if you listened to liz cheney, she clearly loved serving her constituents. she loved her job. but this opens a whole bunch of possibilities in terms of the future. she's vowed to, you know, keep donald trump from ever coming back to the presidency. what are her options? >> yeah. she's in a very interesting moment. the speech with the hay bales, the backdrops, the wyoming flags, almost begged some bid or announcement. she even referenced lincoln saying he lost the senate races and yet he went on to win the most important race of all. it was like a cliff-hanger moment. it's very hard to imagine a world in this republican party in which liz cheney could beat
donald trump were he to run or were she to run for the nomination of the republican party. she is just not representative of where the republican movement is at the moment. but she can be a very powerful force in american politics. she could have -- as she said, her main ambition now is to make sure that joe biden -- i mean, make sure that donald trump does not become america's president again. she could have an influence in doing that. she could affect the votes and feelings of suburban women voters, for example. she spent a lot of time during the january 6th committee hearings talking specifically about the courage of women. in wyoming, to the extent that she has campaigned, she's spoken a lot to mothers and daughters, made a point. for somebody who is during her political career who has not really spoken about gender very much. in the last weeks and months there's been an uptick to which
she's done so. and she can talk powerfully to suburban women voters in philadelphia, for example, in atlanta, for example, and persuade potentially not to vote for donald trump were they the republican candidate. i don't see her being the nominee for the president but a powerful force in opposing donald trump in other ways. >> there are a lot of people i know who are very, very impressed by her from both sides of the aisle. and want to see what that next move is going to be. still ahead on "morning joe," the former president is just dying to know what the justice department has on him. as he fights to get the affidavit in the mar-a-lago search unsealed. even calling for the witnesses to be identified. we're going to set the stage for a key hearing, scheduled for tomorrow. plus, new reporting that a top trump white house lawyer tried to help the government recover materials that were improperly taken to mar-a-lago. but that trump resisted. and as we mentioned,
president biden signed his landmark climate and health package into law. we'll be joined by white house chief of staff ron klain, as the president prepares to hit the road to sell his agenda. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. moderate to severe eczema still disrupts my skin. despite treatment it disrupts my skin with itch. it disrupts my skin with rash. but now, i can disrupt eczema with rinvoq. rinvoq is not a steroid, topical, or injection. it's one pill, once a day, that's effective without topical steroids. many taking rinvoq saw clear or almost-clear skin while some saw up to 100% clear skin. plus, they felt fast itch relief some as early as 2 days. that's rinvoq relief. rinvoq can lower your ability to fight infections, including tb. serious infections and blood clots, some fatal, cancers including
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23 past the hour. a federal judge in florida has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow to decide whether to unseal the affidavit used to justify the search warrant for trump's florida home. so far, the department of justice has advised against it, arguing it could compromise what they are calling an ongoing criminal investigation. on top of serving what they've referred to as a road map for the current criminal investigation, there's also concern from doj lawyers
regarding the witnesses involved. court filings on monday read in part this, information about witnesses is particularly sensitive, given the high-profile nature of this matter and the risk that the revelation of witness identities would impact their willingness to cooperate with the investigation. disclosure of the government's affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as until other high-profile investigations. other high-profile investigations -- meanwhile, the former president's lawyer called for the names-witnesses to be released through the unsealing of the affidavit. and even implied those names should be leaked. >> the president's position, the same as i would advise him is to ask them to uncover everything so that we can see what is going on. i understand the witness
protection issue, but at the same time, these witnesses are truly not going to be concealed for very long. that's just not the nature of the doj and the fbi and unfortunately, our country. so always leaks, i've dealt with that, you know, with local law enforcement. there's leaks when there shouldn't be. so i think it's in the best interest that the country can get comfortable to see what the basis was. >> the hearing for whether to unseal the affidavit is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. we'll be watching that, willie. >> we're also getting some new reporting on who exactly the fbi interviewed before seizing those documents from mar-a-lago. "the new york times" is reporting white house counsel pat cipollone and his deputy patrick fill binn spoke about the information inside trump's home. they are the most senior people connected to the former president known to be interviewed by the justice
department. fillbin tries to interview but saying it's not theirs, it's mine, unquote. let's bring hugo lowell, with the caveat, hugo, those, of course, are not documents belonging to the president, but the to the national archives. what do we know what they may have said to the fbi that prompted the fbi to say we've got to get into mar-a-lago to get the boxes? >> we don't know exactly what they told the fbi, pat philbin. >> involved from the end of the administration trying to get the documents back to the national archives and was very unsuccessful in doing that.
the fact that he knew how management was going on in the west wing those final days i think suggests that he had intimate knowledge about how the documents were bandied about in the west wing. and might have realized he had full disclosure as he knew what was happening in mar-a-lago. >> as we try to sort out how the fbi and justice department understood it would be worth pursuing a warrant to get into mar-a-lago. some people want to see the affidavit. there will be a hearing later. from your sense, from talking to people who work in law enforcement, people who are u.s. attorneys they say it's very unlikely that an affidavit would be unsealed especially a case this high profile because now you're revealing witnesses and the past? >> the counterintelligence officials and former u.s. attorneys and the resounding sense is, if a justice is asking a judge not to unseal these documents, it's probably not
going to happen on an affidavit. especially one that shows the basis to get the search warrant. i mean it presents the probable cause, right. it shows the evidence of a potential crime being committed. they don't want to release the names of people cooperating with the fbi. or the strategies and likely that is a judge is going to unseal this but it's very, very small. >> and as my colleagues wrote today, the days were chaotic in the white house. the president admitted he wasn't going to be president again january 7th, that led them to pack them up. i wanted to ask you, we watched a clip from a trump attorney on television. we know from his previous impeachment trials, he's had trouble getting high-profile lawyers to join his team. it's never been a group of all-stars but he did just hire jim trustee. tell us about trustee, and is
this showing the level of concern in trump's aura is growing? >> i think, certainly a great name, particularly for the investigation. i think the addition of jim trusty, the former doj and evan corcoran, a former assistant district attorney shows the seriousness that trump world is giving to the investigation. i think there's concern that trump may have exposure and may be in fact facing indictment. so there's been effort from people in trump world, people like boris epshteyn, putting the team together to find good lawyers. as you said, it's been an uphill struggle. the fact that they added jim trusty is significant. >> so, hugo, it's been a week in this investigation. what happens -- we've got the hearing, what are the sign posts that you're looking for to show us where this is heading? >> well, i think in terms of a time line, you're looking at two to three weeks as the fbi kind
of sifts through the volume of materials that they retrieved from mar-a-lago. they've got to get together their teams to make sure there's no material inadvertently scooped up from mar-a-lago that is not covered by the search warrants, like the passports. those got picked up and were returned. but whether the documents pertain to statutes and whether trump had sensitive secrets down in mar-a-lago is a violation. i think the fbi and doj will be looking at that in the weeks ahead. and lawmakers expect to get a briefing from national intelligence in terms of damage assessment in terms of trump's mishandling of the documents and i think the story is still very much developing. coming up, new details surrounding the attacks in russian-controlled crimea. plus one year after the end of america's longest war, republicans are threatening to sum the state department over biden's withdrawal from
afghanistan. the decision to pull out also remains a controversial one among military members but the former commander of u.s. central command is saying about the failure in the region. also as we go to headlines, an update that we brought you late yesterday morning, the first lady jill biden testing positive for covid. yesterday, her office said she's experiencing mild symptoms and is isolating at a private home in south carolina. this follows president biden's positive test including a rebound case last month. he has since tested negative. the first lady has been prescribed paxlovid and will not return to the white house until she receives two consecutive negative tests. we'll be right back. amusement parks are like whooping cough. even ice cream is like whooping cough, it's not just for kids.
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washington, d.c. 6:35 a.m. i want to bring in richard haass to the conversation. >> oh, my goodness, richard is sporting quite a look. what is going on? >> he's grizzly adams. >> it's like "gq" meets "dad's world." >> sometimes, he gets an ax and chops down trees. >> i don't know, it's pretty good. >> all right. grizzly. let's get you for one minute here. just one minute. i don't know if you were here the top of the show, but i had several disturbing conversations yesterday with people i've known my entire life. people who voted for gerald ford, ronald reagan, bob dole, you just go down the list, george w. bush, et cetera, et
cetera, people who i consider to be mainstream conservative. yesterday, they were talking about the gestapo. there's been a rise in radicalism in them over the past five years. and they were talking about the gestapo, having to stamp out the fbi tyranny. it kept going. got to a crescendo where a conservative thought leader in washington, d.c. who's been around since reagan said, we can replace the u.s. government. actually, rip that down, as we were going back and forth. he said, as you know, joe, the u.s. is not sacrosanct. we can replace the u.s. government. started talking about revolution. richard, i wanted to talk to you about this before we got to afghanistan. because you're in an unique position, to position about where the federal government is, where the united states of america is on the world stage. and this is just absolutely
crazy. we, right now, and i know it's hard to believe because washington is so dysfunctional, we are stronger as a nation by comparison to other nations than ever before. we're the strongest economically, by far. the strongest militarily, by far. the strongest culturally by par. the strongest diplomatically by far. the strongest than any other country. stronger than 1955 when were were counterbalanced by the soviets. strong than 2000 when the rise of china was sure to overtake us. and russia. and china has lost the power in the last few years, they will be a stronger balance on the world stage but right now, nobody in china would refuse to change places with us right now on the world stage. but, the united states strong in every way.
except politically. and we have mainstream republicans saying that the u.s. government can be replaced because a moderate from delaware, won a presidential election? >> you're right, joe, in the sense that we are absolutely stronger than we've ever been. and everyone looks at russia, russia is a potentent country in many ways, the military, china has faced all sorts of headwinds, i think it explains increasingly bellicose foreign policy. it is a pretty of a political distraction as economic growth fades and fades. but our ability to function on the world stage begins with a prerequisite, with a function, a foundation, the ability of
democracy. it's our ability to get things done at home. it's our ability to essentially be able to act collectively. it's something necessary to deter foes. and something even more necessary to reassure partners and allies. they've got to operate on the assumption that we're predictable and we're trustworthy, because they put their security in our hands. and what's going on at home is a much bigger threat than anything emanating from russia or iran or north korea or climate change, you name it. the old line, we've met the enemy and it is us. >> yes. >> yeah and -- i'm sorry. >> go, go ahead. >> i'll go and -- i'll go and then you finish up, no, my bad, grizzly. you're exactly right, i will say, though, collectively, we've done a hell of a job as a country. and republicans have helped on ukraine.
you look at the legislation we passed, we've done a hell of a job in passing bipartisan legislation. this reconciliation act was passed with all democrats. but still, you look at the legislative achievements, you look at how we've come together as a country around ukraine. you look at the fact the united states is once again leading the way in protecting democracy and europe. by these metrics, the united states is functioning better than they have in quite some time. but there is, i'll say, a rump of the republican party which is -- yes, it's the dominant force. in republican primaries but it's about 38%, 39% of the electorate that want to replace the u.s. government. that want to throw away american democracy. >> here's this conversation between two former republicans. and what's so interesting is how democracy, one of its
requirements or prerequisites is a loyal opposition. and loyal oppositions have two things. one, it's good to have oppositions in a democracy. it holds those with power accountable. it forces compromise that hopefully leads to widespread public support for policy. but it's also got to be loyal. it's got to be an acceptance of the rules. and for the first time in, you know, what, more than a century and a half, we have an opposition that no longer does that. it's a qualitatively different test for united states, it's a qualitatively different challenge. and over the next years it's going to play out because you're going to find people this time around who fit the description you're talking about. who don't accept the basics. and the question is how does the political process in the next few years play out including the elections, after the 2024 elections. i don't think this is an
exaggeration to say this is potentially the most dangerous time since the turn of the century and the runup to the civil war. >> that's framing to think about. but richard, if you could stay with us for the next conversation. this week marks one year since the u.s. withdrew from afghanistan. nbc news military correspondent courtney kube joins us now. yesterday, courtney, you spoke with retired general of demand retired general mckenzie, what did he have to say? >> that's right, general mckenzie oversaw that whole mission during the withdrawal of afghanistan. he's now retired. he runs the global national security institute. and looking back on it, he admits, the withdrawal, he calls it disastrous. and he talks about the war in
afghanistan as a failure. but he says it's not just a failure on the part of the u.s. military or any institution, but he called a whole of government failure. looking back to when the military wasn't able to take out bin laden early on in the conflict. going all the way forward to the decision to announce when the u.s. would withdraw from that country which he said set in motion, an ultimate collapse of the afghan government. and the ability for the taliban to take over but i was really struck by some of the words that general mckenzie used when talking about the afghanistan withdrawal last summer. here were a couple things he had to say about it. >> it's a year later. looking back, what would you have done differently? >> well, i'll tell you, i wish we had begun to bring people out earlier. you always go back and you examine that wish we had seen that coming, i wish i would have done that different. there's all kinds of things i
would have done differently. but i would say what happened in august of last year occurred when we decided to leave completely in april of that year. and once you make that basic decision, then events took on a certain trajectory. we were completely consumed about it. since then, i think about it every day. i spend time considering, the lost opportunities what it meant, the loss of human beings, americans and others that kurd not only in the last part of the evacuation, but thes course of the 20-year war. those are big things. >> he also said that when the president -- when the administration came to him and said what do you think we should do, before president biden made the announcement to withdraw the troops, he believed and the
centkom assessment was they would be enough to shore it up. and that came with belief from president biden himself that it would take tens of thousands of troops if the u.s. decided to maintain a presence there against the doha agreement that the taliban would be constantly attacking. that they would have to be not only on an offensive effort, but also a defensive one. general mckenzie said, look, we'll never know. but he still maintains we could have had a smaller footprint that should have been enough to shore up not only the afghan government but the afghan military and police. with that presence, the u.s. would have maintained the presence in bagrambagram. he also said in the time since u.s. left, after the full withdrawal, the intelligence position in afghanistan degraded to the point where now the u.s.
only has about 2% of the intelligence capabilities in afghanistan than they had when the u.s. was there in a larger presence, joe. >> all right, nbc's courtney kube, thank you so much. greatly appreciate that important reporting. richard haass, remember back to bay of pigs, jfk my father's success is an orphan. in this case, this failure is an orphan. and it's joe biden, make no mistake of it, was told by all of his military people to not do this. told by most of the people in the white house to not withdraw those troops. 2500 u.s. troops makes a difference -- makes all the difference in the world from where we were a year ago and where we are now. you can say the same thing when trump wanted to retreat from syria. 2500 special ops people were
doing in syria was nothing short of remarkable. smaller footprint. bigger impact. but we took them out. joe biden wanted them out. he had wanted to do this since 2009. and he got his wish. and the result has been nothing but disastrous, hasn't it, richard? >> well, it's been a disaster. let me take a step back, joe. i actually think as you said, in this case, lots of people responsible for failure. i think initially most people thought what we did in afghanistan, after 9/11, removing the taliban who have been given sanctuary to the terrorists. i think then we overreached in afghanistan in many ways by trying to transform the country. we didn't have the ability to do that. i think then both trump and biden underreached. trump by signing the 2020 agreement with the taliban to get out completely. biden by implementing it. and thing general mckenzie is 100% right. the combination of a small
presence plus contractors, plus nato, was enough to maintain -- not to bring you military victory. not to bring you peace. but to keep an operational afghan government that would allow us to continue to collect intelligence on terrorists. and keep the bulk of the country out of not being a sanctuary for terrorists. so this was, again, this was a fiasco that was brought on by ourselves. i think people are spending too much time focusing on the details of the exit, rather than the lessons of the larger policy. where we got it wrong by trying to do too much. and then in the last few years by doing way too little. and the idea that we got zawahiri as good as that was the other day no one should think that's a recipe for future security in afghanistan. we can't maintain that kind of a watch on any would-be terrorist or on new cells starting up there. that was a bit of a one-off. he was a high-value target. we do not have a formula for a
threat coming from afghanistan, and the threat also coming from afghanistan to pakistan, with all of its nuclear weapons. it's way, way too soon that the biden administration withdrawal has again provided a framework for future security. it hasn't. >> of course, the taliban has returned -- not returned but always put on what it is. the pr front, we're the new taliban, women in the government. it's all wiped away as everybody believed it would be. the argument from president biden is i'm not going to put another american man or woman in harm's way. not another body bag coming home to dover. i'm not going to do that. what do you make of that case? does that hold up? or 2500 troops in bagram which they could have kept in july of last year, would that have been a safe way to go about this? >> impossible to know for sure, but when did u.s. casualties plummet in afghanistan? it wasn't after the 2020 eagreement when we promised to
get out. it was five years sooner. why? because that's when we stopped participating in combat operations. i respectfully disagree with the president here. i think we had a proven formula for five years before we got out, to maintain a presence that bunk up the afghans and u.s. casualties would be really at a low level. i actually think again the general is right here. and the president, i disagree with. again, people can't prove it, can't say if we had stayed at a couple thousand it would have succeeded. but the previous five or six years suggest we had finally come up with an approach that seemed to give a return on a modest investment. the combination of u.s. forces nato contractors which provides a physical and psychological foundation that the afghans knew. once they knew we were leaving, then the place unraveled. overnight, they all cut their
own deals with the taliban. i think the president's assumption if we stayed the cost would have gone through the ceiling. we would have had to send back tens of thousands. i've not seen analysis that supports that. >> i haven't seen that. nor have i seen anything that supported what donald trump is doing with the taliban. the deals he wanted to do. wanted to call the taliban to camp david on september 11th anniversary. >> oh, my god. >> was desperate to get out of there. so, mika, you have the last two presidents that desperately wanted to get out of afghanistan. we see, again, the big takeaway here is what 2500 u.s. troops can do. the protection that they did provide to young girls, to women. to afghans. the protection that they provided the refugees in syria. and what happens when, you know, these people that are saying, oh, let's gist get rid of the u.s. government, you know -- >> right.
>> -- the united states, whether you're talking about an afghanistan, or whether you're talking about in europe. whether you're talking about all across the world. >> yeah. >> i mean, we do remarkable things. we've done remarkable things. and the impact of 2500 people can make the difference between a young girl being able to go to school. and a young girl being beaten for trying to learn how to read. >> yesterday, we were talking about poland, and that country opening its arms to the ukrainian people. and i failed to mention a key factor in that. while i think some of the division in this country may not be prompt the same spontaneous behavior from average americans to just open their arms to millions of people from the outside, it was the u.s. military that, my brother was at the border going my god, these people are pouring in. the u.s. military showed up,
82nd airborne. oh, my god, he said it was like -- it was honestly like. >> -- liberators. >> -- saviors, the liberators had come, setting up beds. setting up medical tents, everything and anything that needs to be done. and their logistics were top-notch. they were so solid. and they were so there to represent the united states of america and what they did for these millions of ukrainians who are crossing the border with nothing, leaving their homes behind, lost. and by the way, only women and children. and elderly people. and being able to process them and help them get to their next destination. my god, it was an operation that you would think would take years to prepare for. they did it in a week. >> yeah. >> that's the united states of america. >> they're differencemakers. i will say, a lot of americans did open their arms to afghan refugees when they came over.
>> yes. >> we should allow more afghan refugees into this country. >> we should. >> richard, quickly before we go to break, let me just ask you about ukraine going into crimea with attacks. what's the impact of that? >> it reinforces the likelihood this is going to be a long war because it tells you ukraine is not going to be interested in any quote-unquote peace deal that leaves russia occupying ukrainian territory whether in donbas or the south or crimea. and you know and i know that vladimir putin is not going to give that up. so i think the biggest takeaway is this is a long, long, long war. and that's it. i don't think there's going to be a military solution anytime soon. i don't think there's going to be diplomatic solution anytime. it shows that the goals of both sides are so far apart, what they're willing to settle are so far apart, and i don't see this ending, this becomes the new normal for this part of the
world and europe. >> richard haass, thank you for coming on. great to see you. and still ahead, more on liz cheney's primary loss in wyoming. and what it means for her political future. and the future of the republican party. meanwhile, another frequent target of former president trump survived her primary in alaska. steve kornacki will be here to break down the ranked choice voting in that state. also ahead, president biden gets a ringing endorsement from his former boss after signing the inflation reduction act. landmark inflation. we'll show you that and how inflation will impact the u.s. economy. we'll be right back. or sharp, stabbing pains. ♪♪ this painful, blistering rash can disrupt your life for weeks. a pain so intense, you could miss out on family time. the virus that causes shingles
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he saved our union, and he defined our obligation as americans for all of history. speaking at gettysburg of the great task remaining before us, lincoln said that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. that this nation under god shall have a new birth of freedom and that a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth. so, i ask you tonight to join me, as we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together, republicans, democrats and independents against those who would destroy our republic. they are angry, and they are determined. but they have not seen anything like the power of americans united in defense of our constitution and committed to the cause of freedom. there is no greater power on this earth. and with god's help, we will
prevail. >> republican congresswoman liz cheney in her concession speech last night after losing her bid for re-election. in a landslide, donald trump made it his mission to defeat her. we're going to discuss what is next in her effort to defeat him and his anti-democratic values. plus, president biden calls for a season of substance for his administration. this morning, we'll speak with white house chief of staff ron klain about the landmark health and climate bill signed into law by the president yesterday. welcome back to "morning joe." it's wednesday, august 17th. politico's jonathan lemire and the bbc's katty kay are still with us. and joining the conversation we have nbc news national affairs analyst john heilemann. and staff writer at atlantic mark leibovich. he's the author of the book
"thank you for your servitude." we'll get to that in just a moment, willie. let's start, mika, with republican congresswoman liz cheney, the chair of the onetime leader of the republican party ousted last night to put it mildly in women's primary. president trump not on the ballot but he loomed large after liz cheney stood against him after the capitol attack. here's what liz cheney said after her loss. >> this is not a game. every one of us must be committed to the eternal defense to this miraculous experiment called america. and at the heart of our democratic process our elections, they are the foundational principle of our constitution. if we do not condemn the conspiracies and the lies, if we do not hold those responsible to account, we will be excusing this conduct. and it will become a feature of
all elections. america will never be the same. our nation is barreling once again towards crisis, lawsness and violence. no american should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility, where their refusal to follow the rule of law will corrupt our future. we also have an obligation to learn from the actions of those who came before. to know the stories of grit and perseverance, of the brave men and women who built and saved this union. in the lives of these great americans, we find inspiration and purpose. in may of 1864, after years of war and a string of reluctant union generals, ulysses s. grant met general lee's forces at the battle of the wilderness. in two days of heavy fighting, the union suffered over 17,000 casualties.
at the end of that battle, general grant faced a choice. most assumed he would do what previous union generals had done and retreat. on the evening of may 7th, grant began to move. as the fires of the battle still smoldered, grant rode to the head of the column. he rode to the intersection of brock road and orange plank road. and there, as the man of his army watched and waited, instead of turning north back towards washington and safety, grant turned his horse south. toward richmond and the heart of lee's army, refusing to retreat, he pressed on to victory. we must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face. and about what is required to defeat it. i have said since january 6th, that i will do whatever it takes to ensure that donald trump is never again anywhere near the oval office, and i mean it. this is a fight for all of us together.
i'm a conservative republican. i believe deeply in the principles and the ideals on which my party was founded. i love its history. and i love what our party has stood for. but i love my country more. >> so, joe, as congresswoman cheney pointed out, she won two years ago in her primary with 73% of the vote. last night, at this hour, she lost by 37 points, that margin could change as the rest of the votes come in. but a landslide last night, a state that donald trump won in 2020 by 43 points. the voters there in wyoming chose donald trump over liz cheney, and the cheney name as i've said has been an institution in the state for so long. >> as she said, she would have won by 73% this time too. maybe even more. all she had to do is go along with the lies. go along with the conspiracy theories, with th
anti-democratic ideas of january 6th. turn a blind eye. and the parallel, there's a famous moment where lincoln said to mcclellan, a beloved union general who wouldn't take the fight to lee. he basically said to mcclellan, sir, if you're not going to use your army, may i borrow them for a while? so, one feckless union general after another, until grant. and then after grant, sherman. taking total ward of the south. and doing what was required to win that war. here, this is a political battle, and we've seen one republican after another flinch, just like those union generals. in the face of anti-democratic thinking. she just wouldn't do it. and i know liz cheney, like me, a conservative. i'm sure she's aware of margaret thatcher's words, but i voted them yesterday because they're so fitting. this is what thatcher wrote in
1980, if we were to fail, freedom to be imperiled. so let us resist to the blandishness of the faint hearts. let us ignore the hallows and the threats of the extremists. let us stand together and do our duty. and we shall not fail. very fitting. a lot of historical parallels. and, john heilemann, none of them melodramatic a day after i had conversations with two republicans i've known for decades. one my entire life, that were calling law enforcement officers the gestapo. talking about revolution. one conservative thinker had been around since reagan. and some established conservative thinker, saying to me, the united states government is not sacrosanct. we can replace the u.s. government. talking about revolution. comparing a guy from delaware, a
moderate from delaware, to king george iii. saying we did it before. we can overthrow the federal government again, because -- i want to say this again, i want to say this again -- this flag-waving lee greenwood loving republicans who lose one election to a moderate from delaware who was seen as being too close to credit card companies and being too moderate by many democrats, this is a guy you revolt against? he said, we can replace the u.s. government. and family members comparing the fbi, law enforcement officers to the gestapo. the stakes are so real. there's nothing melodramatic about a thing liz cheney said last night. what does it mean, though, john, when you look at liz cheney losing.
and at the same time, luke at senate candidates that are republicans and election deniers losing by ten points in pennsylvania? losing by ten points in ohio? losing by ten points in arizona and val demings now the latest pole up four points over marco rubio in florida? >> well, i mean there's a lot in that question, joe. good morning. look, what does it mean? it means, you know, the republican party is on the same self-destructive bender that you pointed out earlier cost them the house senate and presidency in 2020. they've hitched their wagon to this guy donald trump and he's been electoral poison for them. so, but liz cheney, she kind of illustrates a particular thing, right. we talked throughout the trump era about, you know, what's trump's hold over the republican party. and oftentimes, people like me and you and others would say, you know, these republicans,
officeholders are afraid, they're afraid if they cross donald trump that he will turn on them. and the maga base will turn on them. and they get primaried. every time i hear it -- i know, i think you and i are on the same place on this -- it's like, that's what you're afraid of? the worst thing that you lose a primary? that you don't get to be in the house of representatives anymore? i know, joe, you liked the house of representatives, but it's not like you're threatened with a gun to your head. a dismal future. you'll go on and live a fine life and live to fight another day. and liz cheney said over and over, she knew she was going to lose. she said i'm at peace with that. she's like, this is a fight that's bigger than one house seat. and, you know, there are all of these republicans who in their fear, i guess of like losing a job that -- i mean, i get it's
an important job. u.s. congressman, but their fear, to lose in this way, electorally disastrous to the party. and i guess liz cheney is trying to save the republican party, both as a matter of principle to make it what she thought it was once, a conservative party. but electorally, because there have been circumstances if you look at the numbers you'd say a stand old-fashioned republican would win races that republicans haven't. a stand old-fashioned republican may have won the 2020 election in the way that donald trump didn't. and lost the two seats in georgia. you point out, the civil war thing is everywhere. online, people talking about civil law. people in europe, in esteemed category saying crazy things like that. liz cheney is not wrong to invoke it. she invoked it twice. she mentioned lincoln and grant,
our 16th and 18th presidents respectively, and she's telling us last night what's on her mind. she said those are the two people she talked about. two american presidents who saved the union. that's what she's thinking about. you can call her maniacal, for thinking that way, but she understands the stakes of that battle pretty well. >> well, mark, you spent time with liz cheney in wyoming. mark in your new piece, mark writes this, i joined cheney in the college town of laramie at a house party hosted by one of her supporters. as you'll, people were coming up to her very young people and very old people, and probably people who thought of deride her father dick cheney as darth vader.
and now they're praising darth dotting. and the terror so many of cheney's colleagues appear to have about losing their jobs. maybe they can't bear the thought of forfeiting their congressional parking spaces or fancy pins or lack the stomach to get called bad names by donald trump. they do whatever it takes to pass their tribal loyalty testings and survive their next election. they're so afraid of being called a former member of congress that they'll never know what it mean to be called courageous. there's a lost based on what liz cheney was saying last night and leading up to the loss last night, so much speculation about what she might do next. you spent a bunch of time with her, what's your suspicion? >> i think she'll run for president. i think last night's speech was not only a concession speech, it was much more of a forward looking speech. what's interesting about the speech and the way she's been talking lately is that she's
expanding her critique. now it was january 6th focus. and now it's the entire party is sick. those are her words, sick. usually when you call a party sick and you're running in that party's primary, you're probably not going to do so well in the most republican state in the country. so, yeah, she expanded the critique. talking about what her colleagues are saying about the fbi. there's been more recent texture to what she's saying, i think clearly we see the makings of critique and campaign going forward. >> reading through your piece, the contempt and the anger of colleagues in congress. many of whom she called friends. she voted with president trump almost all the time. she's among the most conservative members in congress. those were in question, but just wouldn't get behind him on his lie. now especially as she's leaving
she's got things to say about her colleagues. >> she does. i think her contempt for her colleagues is as bad if not worse than what she has for donald trump right now. she's talked about their dereliction. frankly, these are people she can run circles around intellectually, characterwise. i think you saw her on the debate stage with opponents in wyoming which was quite a sight. and we saw what happened last night. she's going whole hog here and a fascinating thing to watch. clearly, there's a lot of space for her. as there's a lot of people in her camp. >> she should have contempt for her colleagues, because without her colleagues being bsequious to donald trump, and he's a bully. and they don't know how to stand up to a bully. and they have from the very
beginning. john heilemann, let's talk about liz cheney, a three-term member of congress who's leaving but who is a national figure, known as well as any other member of congress, probably better. >> i mean, joe, think about it, with all due respect to you, also a national figure who is in the house of representatives at one point, but became a national figure because of television, how many members of congress -- i mean, you guys are both right, there are a lot of people, if you got to meet the house members you'd have contempt for, too. a lot of these people you wouldn't do that with intellectual power. how many of them are nationally known? almost none. you can count the number of house members and the numbers propelled on to a successful presidential run, you can count on fewer fingers. and those whose last name is
cheney, she got elected in 2016. this was her first job elected office. she ran once before, she ran in the primaries against mike enzi, when she took him on from the right and lost that primary is. she doesn't have -- the cheney name is famous in wyoming. she doesn't have deep roots in wyoming. she lived there for a couple years in middle school. went to high school in mclean, virginia. she got hit as a carpetbagger in 2015 because she had just moved to the state in 2012. she's a new figure in our politics, somehow, on the basis of that and principle, and making the arguments that mark was talking about that we've seen her make, she's elevated herself to the point, love her or hate her, everybody in the country knows who she is right now. that's not the kind of thing you can buy in politics. you can't buy that kind of stature. so, you know, this is a win for her. where she stands right now, having lost the race on the sake
of principle. i know she's fighting to try to stop donald trump too. that's the immediate stakes of him ever being president again. but in terms of her political future, this has been -- she emerges as a large figure with a brighter future than she's ever had before for having lost this race on the basis of fighting for principle which doesn't often happen in american politics. she's got a big future ahead, i think. >> i think there's a number of people who never in their life would consider voting for liz cheney who would vote for her today without thinking twice. meanwhile, president biden yesterday signed his party's landmark tax and health and climate bill into law. the two senators who struck the deal, chuck schumer and joe manchin, were among those at his side. before signing the bill, and then handing the pen to joe manchin, the president said, the new law will deliver results for the american people.
>> let me say, from the start, with this law, the american people won and the special interest lost. we didn't tear down. we build up. we didn't look back. we look forward. and today, today offers further proof that the sole of america is vibrant. the future of america is bright. and the promise of america is real and just beginning. let's be clear, in this historic moment, democrats sided with the american people. and every single republican in the congress sided with the special interest in this vote. every single republican in congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices. against lowering health care costs, against the tax system. every single vote voted against tackling the climate crisis,
against good paying jobs. my fellow americans, that's the choice we face. >> all right. jonathan lemire, obviously, a huge victory for this white house landmark legislation. there's no one who can say it's anything but that. but how does the white house communicate this? how does the white house take a victory lap that actually communicates to the american people who are very divided, perhaps very disgusted right now with washington, that something good happens for them? >> yeah. first of all it is certainly an extraordinarily impressive run and accomplishment here for this president who, remember, when he took office really embraced the comparisons to lbj or fdr and would put forth a sweeping agenda, stymied because he didn't have the congressional support that they did. this fuelling a lot of democratic priorities. generations in the making. it's a significant deal. the white house said they're hitting the road.
the president is back in delaware on vacation for a few days. but they want to ramp up his travel later. and they'll have cabinet members across the country. they'll be the first to admit they've not always been effective in communicating other wins. every efforts to get biden on the road has been stymied. most notably when the biden white house started a losing streak that lasted months with the withdrawal from afghanistan that we discussed earlier. that they found their footing again. they want to be able to show, hey, democrats are doing this, yes, political wins but a way to make your life better. and trying to prove the central thesis of the biden presidency. that democracy can still work an january 6. they do think they've got a winning message that can help democrats in november as well as the president's poll numbers for 2024. >> katty, that's a real contrast that jon is describing when you have so much attention, media
attention on the raid at mar-a-lago with the former president sort of hustling classified documents away to his resort. and president biden and the congress actually trying to get things done in this package, the reconciliation package that doesn't goal far enough for many progressives as elizabeth warren said, it doesn't have everything i wanted but it's a big beale on something like climate change which has been a progressive goal, especially for young voters. >> yeah. i mean, firstly, the timing of this makes it kind of implausible that the white house would have orchestrated the search of mar-a-lago when it did because they wanted to be talking about this very important bill and legislation. bit you're right on young voters and climate change. the prescription drug side of this seniors may not feel the impact of this before the midterm elections. so there may not be an immediate electoral win for democrats. because of this, they will feel it in their very important voting group but it might not be in this cycle. young voters, it's interesting.
joe biden's numbers with young voters have tanked. he'd like the support of young voters who have grown disillusioned with the white house's inabilities to get things done in the white house with priorities. the priority is climate change. evidence is everywhere. it's something that young voters take very seriously. it's something that they vote on and seeing the white house pass what is america's most important climate legislation anywhere, ever. potentially the most important climate legislation ever being passed in the world, that's a big deal for young voters. and i think the democrats can see an immediate return on that come midterm elections because of this election. more so than the prescription drug part of it. >> yeah. and as joe biden said to barack obama after signing of the affordable care act, that's a big darn deal. >> i think he said something different. >> so -- >> anyway, mark leibovich, the
chattering classes of which we're in the middle of, because we chatterincessantly. it's not the case in 2022, you look at the bipartisan bills that have been passed whether you're talking gun safety, whether you're talking expansion of veterans benefits, whether you're talking bipartisan infrastructure bill. you go down the list. you talk about the funding for ukraine. ukraine is still alive because of republicans and democrats working together with joe biden on that issue. and then of course, his reconciliation bill which were all democrat. but it's taken, all together, really does up end, what many people have said about washington for years now that
nothing can ever get done there. quite a list of legislative accomplishments over the past couple years. >> no question, but i think the bigger despair now in some ways is not so much that washington is broken, which in some ways has been a cliche for many years, it's that democracy is broken. that democracy is under some kind of a threat. i think what's happened in the republican party remains in some ways the most dangerous story certainly in politics right now if not in the country right now. look, there's no question, the biden administration has had a great summer. they've had a lot of great legislative accomplishments. you know, i live in washington, anyone who spent any time there knows it doesn't feel less broken than usual but i think larger forces are at work that are white perilous and moving in, frankly, a troubling direction. but i think come november, we'll get answers to it. places like wyoming have not necessarily representative primaries for the rest of the
country. but i think, you know, the direction of where the politics are going and where the sort of electorate is going is the bigger story right now. >> yeah, mark, i've been speaking, spoke the top of the first hour about the fact that i had two conservatives. one a family member, i've known my entire life yesterday. and one conservative i've known probably for 30 years who has been, you know, been a very large presence in the conservative movement, since ronald reagan. and both were calling the fbi the gestapo. both were talking, just extremism. talking -- talking just short of civil war. and the conservative thought leader, former conservative, said at one point, told me that the u.s. government is replaceable. the u.s. government is not
sacrosanct. the u.s. government can be replaced. called the fbi the gestapo. called law enforcement officers the gestapo. and was perfectly willing to be part of an overthrow of the united states government. now, of course, when pressed on that he started to -- he tried to back up. but you can't back up from calling law enforcement the gestapo and saying that the u.s. government can be replaced. talk about the conversations you've had with former conservatives, current republicans. who are seeing the election of a moderate from delaware as the cause for civil war. >> well, i mean, look, this is the echo chamber that a lot of the right is operating in. i mean, a lot of it is just coming right from trump. it's not like, you know, he's had a lot of opposition inside the party. i mean, he's had a lot of people who have this back as far as his mentioning goes. fox news is obviously a very
powerful force there. the internet is a very powerful force. these didn't really exist 30 years ago. so, i mean, look, you can see the force of those kind of languages and how it can become a certified message. now, the question is how dangerous does it get? do you go the next step to the point where we really do have political violence in the country? but also from a purely political standpoint which say much more sanitized way of talking about it, you know in november, how does this actually play. again, the headlines today are that liz cheney got shellacked in wyoming. the question is when you put it actually to a more representative electorate, how does this play? how does the messaging play. my guess is a lot of these independent voters, suburban voters that are sort of the battleground for a lot of these national elections are not going to take terribly well to calling the fbi the gestapo. that's not a terribly compelling message.
we'll see how it plays out but i think it's pretty dangerous. >> i think it's not playing out very well if you look at the polling. katty kay, i just don't understand the fact, you look at republicans. they saw that donald trump lost the white house because he couldn't get suburban voters voting for him, even after glenn youngkin won virginia. focus groups after that showed, the people in focus groups that voted for bind and youngkin, did not like biden's policy or leadership. voted for youngkin, then asked do you regret your vote against donald trump? they're, like, no, we're not going to vote donald trump again. suburban voters have moved away from donald trump. he works very hard to make sure republicans lose the senate. he loses the white house now you have his candidate losing by ten
points in pennsylvania. his candidate losing by ten points in ohio. his candidate losing by ten points in arizona. and even in florida, solidly red florida, in 2020, you have marco rubio losing in the latest poll by four points. just one poll. but still, the snapshot of where -- what americans think of republicans right now, pretty bad. >> yeah. i mean, you got a really split screen at the moment where in the primary process, trump-endorsed candidates are doing well by and large across the country. georgias were a bit of an anomaly there. but in arizona, clearly, wyoming, pennsylvania, people that trump has endorsed they seem to be cruising to victories. and that's kind of giving wind to the sails of the maga crowd. but then you get into the general election contest, and those candidates are too extreme for the majority of americans. it's kind of what we knew was going to happen.
we have to see how it plays not november but it's a bit like, you know, the whole mar-a-lago issue and the impact it has on trump. it probably serves trump very well in a primary campaign were he to run to have all of this. i'm so sure it serves him very well if he were the candidate in a general election, to have all of this baggage hanging over him and having all of these investigations hanging over here. there's a split here, as you said, joe, he's never really tried to expand the 30%. he's only focused on the 30%. if he wanted to expand the 30% he wouldn't be endorsing candidates like kari lake. but donald trump doesn't seem to care about the republican party. he seems to care about himself in the primary campaigns. >> and it's a grievance, mika, we've been talking about it five or six years now. why doesn't he want to expand
beyond his 40%? the grievance party? it's always been very strange. but he is what he is. it's the republican party -- the question now is why does the republican party want to keep losing? >> aren't they watching news? i mean, reading? >> why do they want to lose the presidency again? why do they want to lose in ohio? why do they want to lose in pennsylvania in a senate race there? why do they want to risk losing big in arizona, or georgia in the senate race. again, it's beyond me. the purpose of politics is winning unless, of course, you don't think elections matter anymore and you think the u.s. government is replaceable. >> joe, if the purpose of politics is winning why would you -- i think this is okay to say -- why would you affiliate yourself with a candidate that is in so much trouble, take one, two, three, all four -- five,
whatever investigations, just logically look at any of them. you might find a reason that makes you say this isn't going to end well. >> but, see, look at the trend. okay, we're going to expand a bit on this hour. i apologize that it might be the long suffering alex courson. let's take a look for the dear republican brothers and sisters watching right now. john heilemann, so donald trump. >> -- >> yeah. >> -- ten days before the election with hillary clinton which everybody thinks he's going to lose except for us and a few other people, donald trump gets a gift from james comey. gets a letter ten days before the election. and trump himself after the election says the election could have been on 30 days, i would have lost 29 of those 30 days. everything just fell right for me. and i won on that one day that i could be elected president.
okay. a little bit of actually self-reflection there, shocking. 2017, republicans get routed in elections because of donald trump. they lose in the suburbs of philly and counties like delaware county, in counties they haven't lost in over a hundred years. in 2018, they get routed, they get routed. and nancy pelosi becomes the speaker of the house again, thanks to donald trump. chuck schumer becomes majority leader thanks to donald trump -- wait, does he -- actually, no, i don't think he was majority leader then? or was he? >> no. >> i think he was in 2018. >> 2020. >> after 2020. >> anyway, but the democrats do very well in the house races. they do very well until other in other races. 2019, because of donald trump they lose governorships in
louisiana and kentucky. and then in 2020, donald trump becomes the first president since hubbert hubert who loses the house, the senate and white house in one term. and he worked very hard to lose the senate. now in 2022, his candidates are putting republicans in a position to lose again. again, he has a long, long record of losing. >> right. >> there's nothing rational about these republicans continuing to embrace a guy that keeps losing elections for them. >> well, think about it this way, joe, just in this cycle, right, we've been talking off and on on the show, you and i, for the last few months. all of these variables, a midterm election. good for republicans. there's been inflation. a slam dunk here for republicans to retake control of the house and maybe the senate. very narrowly, 50/50 senate.
good candidate choices maybe in a good place to control both houses of congress. what's happened, right, you talk about the holy trinity, you get roe v. wade, you get the uvalde shootings and trump getting highlighted in the 1-6 committee. what democrats are looking for is a unified message so they could try to get out of inflation and other things. right? they're like, how do we nationalize this message? well, republican extremism. that's the message going forward, right? between roe v. wade and the trump stuff, continuing to hold on the party you see democrats rising on the generic ballot. and what's the last thing if you're a republican at that point, if you see this happening, you see democrats doing strongly well in a midterm year on that generic ballot. you look, maybe you see what's supposed to be a runaway red
wave year, you see it tightening and tightening. what do you do? you decide that when donald trump is investigated by the fbi and the doj for potentially illegally taking top secret documents down to mar-a-lago. you rally around trump, without knowing any of the merits of it. you have no idea whether there are nuclear secrets. you have no idea what the story is. you go blindly marching into a position where you're condemning the federal bureau of investigation as the gestapo. and saying we're in a totalitarian america. joe biden is waging war. you could be next, right? they have not just stuck with trump. they've trickled down on donald trump on a moment when trump's toxicity is part of what's making it possible for democrats to achieve what have otherwise been unthinkable which is potentially having not just a decent but actually a good year in the midterms. it's amplifying the trump factor, because it's making them all seem like lunatics to all of
the swing voters. who don't think the fbi is a totalitarian, the stassi, i heard newt gingrich comparing it to the stasi. that kind of language, media, the world and capitol hill, have almost uniformly embraced it. is that really going to help the republican party in the electoral process just in the midterm elections? i say, i cannot for the life of me figure out how there would be a way that would be good for the republican party nationally. >> good work. >> john heilemann, mark leibovich, thank you both for the conversation this morning. and at the top of our next hour, white house chief of staff ron klain will join us to talk about the new bfd that president biden signed into law yesterday. plus, steve kornacki will be at the big board with the primaries
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- right on time! - of course. that makes work from home work for you. so, shall we get started? ♪♪ you're looking at new york city, the home of baseball's teams. the yankees and the -- wait a second, breaking news. >> uh-oh. >> willie, bad day actually yesterday for the yankees and the mets. the braves are just -- you know, these teams are just going on these remarkable tears. the dodgers on a crazy tear. they won 11 or 12 in a row. the braves are on a tear. taking it to the mets. and your yankees, well, we'll look at the mets first. but the braves, man, it's like last year, they won on the tear in the second half of the season as well.
with freddie freeman and they keep on keeping on. >> yeah, dodgers runaway best team in the league not close. and here come the braves, the defending world champions playing like it now. again, that goes to the category it is a long season. what's wrong with the braves -- now here they are, in the thick of it. as for the yankees, joe, last night, breaking news, i don't know if we have the banner ready, they scored a run. >> all right. >> they lost, but it came on a fielding error which is exciting. then the triple and then the fielding error in a 3-1 loss. but it's getting bad. we've lost five straight series, we've lost 11 of 13 games overall and 8-17 since the all-star break. it's bleak. but as i said, long season, aaron judge has the right perspective he said after the game, i'm glad this is happening in august. in september, we turn it around. >> well, he's exactly right,
jonathan lemire, the yankees have a huge buffer, they're going to be in the playoffs. again, if you want to have hitting problems, the red sox can tell everybody, you don't want that to happen when you're in the middle of a series in the playoffs against the astros and you're two games away from going to the world series. so, it's a very long season. it's all about timing. and i say this, in all seriousness, if the yankees are going to have problems, this is a great time for them to have problems. if the bats are going to go cold, this is a great time for the bats to go cold because when you get into september, you know, you start lining up your rotation. you start getting confidence back. you have a good couple -- you know, it usually takes one or two good hits and you get moving. but right now, obviously, the yankees having problems but as willie said, this is a marathon. >> yeah, it is. one thing concerning for the yankees they've actually been and under .500 team for almost 60 games.
but they've been pretty mediocre for a while now. they've had injuries. that said, they get guys back at the right time, healthy again in october, bats wake up a little bit, they'll be formidable. our red sox won again last night in pittsburgh, so that only counts as half a win. they have won 4 out of 5, four out of a wildcard. six, seven weeks to play. i wouldn't say i feel great about their chances but they're still within striking distance. we're seeing highlights. four in the first. really didn't do much after that. >> take this down, take this down, take this down -- we are not going to show highlights of a last place baseball team, all right. if we go ahead to the orioles, we may allow this. no, none of this, i'm not that much of a homer here. >> wow, not going to happen. >> the red sox in last place with 14 out, if we get ahead of the orioles, then we'll show highlights but no red soxful
we're competitive again. willie, by the way, varitek, jason varitek, i don't know if you know, he's a lemire fan. surprised a fan wearing his jersey in a family outing at an amusement park. here's part of a video shared by varitek's wife. >> i like your t-shirt. >> oh, thank you. >> are you a fan of his? >> yes, fully. >> he doesn't play anymore, though? >> no. >> if you go down there by the last one -- like that.
>> oh, my god! >> willie, i love red sox fans -- >> dude -- >> dude! >> wacky joe and jack scarborough both have varitek jerseys. jack wears his jerseys to the games regularly. but jonathan lemire has a varitek story, don't you, jonathan? >> i do, you'll recall in the early days of pandemic just home doing this by zoom, i had the photo of jason varitek punching alex rodriguez in the face on the ball behind me. >> american democracy. that's standing up to tyranny right there. >> liz cheney has nothing on jason varitek. i got a chance to meet the captain. i thanked him for the wins in
the world series and thanked him for punching alex rodriguez in the face. i recognized him unlike that man. >> and you as have a picture of pedro throwing the beloved elderly don zimmer to the ground. violent assaults that shocked conscience of a nation. and jeter, and mariano, they play ball, they get out in the community, they don't punch elderly citizens, those are our guys. >> you know, you know, that was a low point. i mean, zimmer watching him -- he did have it coming. and it wasn't self-defense, lemire. for people who don't know about the varitek/a-rod deal, there was no punching in the face. but the don zimmer moment from
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this administration began amid a dark time in america. as jim said a once in a century pandemic, devastating joblessness, clear and present threat to democracy and the rule of law. doubts about america's future itself. and yet, we've not wavered, we've not flinched. and we've not given in. instead, we've results for the american people. more from president biden as he signed the inflation reduction act into law. former president barack obama celebrated tweeting this is a
bfd, a reference to biden's hot mic moment when he was being supported and flashed an f-bomb. joining me columbia economist dr. jeffrey sachs. i'm so interested, in hearing your thoughts on this legislation, what the benefits are, and maybe what some challenges what some criticism you might have for it? >> could i say it's an ffd maybe. >> sure. >> okay. in a presidential way of speaking, of course. it's a small step in the right direction. it's not historic. it reflects where our country is which is nearly paralyzed. this was a straight party vote in both houses. to take some very small steps compared to what was talked about, for example, at the beginning of the biden administration. it made some steps forward.
and containing drug prices some modest steps. it takes some step forward on climate which is somewhat amazing, but they're not large steps. there's no overarching plan. and there are some tax credits that are offered for the right things, for turning to green energy. so, i would definitely have voted for this. but we should be clear that, boy, we're still stuck, we're unable to do big things in this country. so, when we do small things we celebrate them in a very big way. maybe that's fair enough. but we're not really making breakthroughs on the health cost crisis. we're not really making breakthroughs or climate policy. we're taking some small steps. one of the things, mika, that's notable is that basically all of the things that cost money, where the government was going to make investments, those are
pretty much out of this legislation because what the democrats, sinema and manchin, they said, they're not raising taxes in any significant way. and the result is a pretty small piece of legislation, but at least it's there. maybe that's how we can put it. >> well, dr. sachs, we've had quite a few people referring to this the climate piece of this legislation sweeping in numbers. where it's it in the united states, moving far closer than the paris targets. isn't that something to celebrate? >> you know, it's the first piece of legislation that actually goes in the right direction basically for 30 years, so you could celebrate that, but all of these headlines are a big exaggeration, it says
reduce the emissions by 40%. well, the study that proposes that shows that each without the legislation, the emissions go down in that model by 27%. so what's coming out of this legislation is much smaller than the headline. and then if you read the fine print which i have to do for a living and i have it in front of me, it says that nonfinancial challenges may constrain the pace of real world deployment, relative to modeled results. now, that's a lot of jargon to say it's probably exaggerated what's being claimed for this. because you need a plan, not just some tax credits. where are you going to.the solar fields? the wind towers, where are the transmission lines? the policy sides are gone. we don't have a functioning policy plan for this country.
so, yes, it's progress, it's definitely progress, but it's small. and if it becomes, well, you've already done that then we're going to be disappointed down the road, as usual. >> let's talk about the impacts on prices. democrats probably got this bill passed in part they called it the inflation reduction act. is that just a marketing tool? or will it have an impact on prices coming down? >> completely marketing tool. that was a title that seemed to work better than build back better. and so they went with that. but the inflation we're experiencing now is not addressed at all in this legislation. there are perhaps some cost containments down the road in a few years on some drug prices which will be helpful. but basically, this is isn't about inflation reduction. that's marketing. where is the inflation coming from? from the dislocation in the
world economy. and the fed back in 2020 pumping up the money supply in response to the pandemic and the other dislocations. and now we have the war, the sanctions, we have the tensions with china. we've really ginned up a bit of a mess, and this legislation doesn't address that at all. so, that's just a title. it's not really about inflation reduction. it may have some tiny effects down the road. but nothing substantial -- nothing real about our current inflationary challenges. >> dr. jeffrey sachs, always a ray of sunshine coming in. >> sorry about that. >> every morning, how are we doing in ukraine -- terrible. how is the new sweeping bill? terrible. >> it's not what i said. >> it's what you just said. thank you so much. thank you so much. greatly appreciate it, dr. sachs.
>> thank you. >> yeah, you know, we do bring dr. sachs on from time to time to tell us how grim thing are. >> the "morning joe" blanket. >> i will say, that does not, just from everything i've read, especially on climate and from some other areas it certainly does not seem to be the consensus of most experts who talked about how this is sweeping, especially in the climate area. and that's not just democrats. that's not just american journalists. that's people across the world. >> yeah. but it's also about what can be done politically. and in that sense, this was quite an achievement. >> yeah, in a 50/50 senate. >> yeah. >> in an evenly divided house. >> yeah. >> sweeping changes, especially given how divided right now we are as a country and how divided we are in congress. >> joining us now, white house chief of staff ron klain. ron, it's great to have you on
the show. dr. sachs was minimizing a bit of what he felt might not have a huge impact down the road. and especially in some areas like climate change. is there a concern that there will be down the road people, oh, we've already dealt with that, when there really is so much more that needs to be done? >> well, obviously, i have a different view than gloomy professor sachs. look, i think on climate change what is indisputable, it's the largest investment we've ever made until moving our country to a clean energy economy. we're going to build thousands of solar rays, thousands of windmills. we're going to give tax breaks and rebates to buy energy efficient dishwashers and washing machines, those kind of things. we're going to really create 8 million jobs not just deploying clean energy, but making it here
in america. that's going to be transformative. now, look, it's true, it doesn't get us all the way there. the president said it's a 50% reduction in emissions. we have more to do. the president didn't put up the mission accomplished banner at the white house. what he said, for the first time in decades we're passing legislation that stands up to the special interests that meets the climate deniers that meets the corporations on conversations that pay nothing in taxes. that meet big pharma to give help with prescription drug bills. down the line. that's the significant accomplishment, because we're showing that leadership in the white house, with support on capitol hill, can turn the tide against some of these special interests that have locked up the congress for so long. >> ron, good morning, the title the inflation reduction act, it
is that things cost too much and people have to pay too much in polling we've seen that as well. and republicans say the way to bring down inflation is certainly not to spend $1 billion and raise taxes on people. how do you answer that criticism that, actually, in the end, this doesn't bring inflation down? >> well, again, with all due respect to professor sachs, i think we should ask the senior citizens who are now paying thousands of dollars for their prescription drugs if we cap that expense at $2,000, does that help with inflation? i think they'll tell you it does. we cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month, that definitely brings down the cost of living. and lower the cost of energy efficient appliances. this reduces the deficitly $300 billion. no leading expert i know say
it's inflationary to make corporations pay their fair share which she haven't done for so long, to pay a minimum tax of 15%. that's part of the effort to bring down inflation here. last thing i'll say, willie, we're not raising taxes on individuals. we're not raising taxes on middle class folks. in fact, no one who makes less than $400,000 a year will see their taxes go up a penny under this bill. by doing tax fairness, by bringing down the definite kit, by lowering everyday costs we help fight inflation. we've seen gas prices fall every single day this summer. that's why the inflation report was down continues with the price of gas continues to fall. that's significant. we're starting to work on bringing down the price of food by creating more competition. so inflation is the biggest problem we face. we're making progress on that problem. while also not killing off the economy.
you know, we just had last months a jobs report that brought the unemployment rate down to the lowest rate in 50 years. that's a big part of our economic strategy. >> so, ron, let's talk big picture then, given everything you said, you're right about gas prices, you're right about the historically low unemployment rate you're right that there are more jobs that we could possibly fill in this country right now. we've detailed the legislationer most of it bipartisan that's moved through this summer, in addition to congress with the reconciliation package. with all of that in mind, how do you guys, behind closed doors, explain approval ratings for the president in the 30s. and long track numbers 70% or higher depending on the polls? >> i think we just signed into law the most important bill yesterday. i think it's going to take a while for people to appreciate that and react to that. i also have to be careful
because i'm standing on the white house lawn, unlike our predecessors, we take it seriously not to engage in election advocacy here on the white house lawn. i think we'll see the american people respond to the leadership they're seeing from president biden. that we'll see the american people respond to the leadership they're seeing on capitol hill. i think obviously we have a measuring stick coming in november and i think we'll see the american people respond to that. >> i want to ask you, ron, about afghanistan. this week marks the one-year anniversary since the withdrawal. our colleague, courtney kube yesterday, spoke with the former commander of the united states central command. united states general frank mckenzie. he was in charge during that withdrawal a year ago. i want you to listen to what he had to say. >> it's a year later, looking back, what would you have done differently? >> well, i'll tell you, i wish we had begun to bring people out earlier. you always go back and you examine that.
i wish we had seen that coming. i wish we would have done that different. there's all kinds of things i would do differently. but i have to say i believe what happened in august of last year occurred when we decided to leave completely in april of that year. once you make that basic decision, then events took on say certain trajectory. we were completely consumed a year ago. since then, i think about it every day. it's something that i spend a lot of time considering the lost opportunities what it meant, loss of lives, americans and others that occurred not only in the last part of the evacuation but over the course of a 20-year war. those are big things. >> you hear some regret from general mckenzie. we talked to richard haas and others this morning saying looking back, 2500 troops hanging on to bagram air base would have made a lot of sense to keep the security of avenue
zan? >> look, i have great respect for general mckenzie who led the troops with honor and led the evacuation mission. i have to say when president biden took office he made the decision to end a 20-year war. and we're now at 2022, in the first year this century where no americans are going to die tour perish in afghanistan. and the first year this century that american taxpayers are not putting $300 million a day for a government that cut and ran during the intense fighting in afghanistan last year. i think the president's decision to say, look, the american people sent their sons and daughters to this country for 20 years and paid with their lives. the american taxpayers invested in the army for 20 years. it was time for that to end. time to bring our people home. and time to end this war. and, by the way, the promise the president may at that time that
we would still keep our eyes on terrorism. and the mission we completed earlier this month when we took out the leader of al qaeda, without a single american on the ground, that's the model how to fight terrorism, how to keep the american people safe. >> so, the war in ukraine, obviously continues. the ukrainians now pushing in with attacks into crimea. obviously, the situation becomes more intense by the day. i'm curious, how far is the president of the united states willing to go to ensure the safety and security of the ukrainians and the defeats of vladimir putin in this war? >> well, as you know, joe, we have launched an unprecedented effort to help our allies in ukraine who are fighting hard for their freedom. we've given them billions of dollars of weapons in a bipartisan effort. i want to be very clear. this is something that's had strong support from republicans on capitol hill, as well as democrats. and we're grateful for that support from both sides of the
aisle. this isn't a partisan issue. so, we continue to get that security assistance to ukraine. we send more almost every single week, the ukrainians are fighting a valiant fight against the second largest army in the world. the fact that they've been able to protect their capital, protect the government, protect the bulk of their country is a major achievement of the ukrainians with the help of the american people, with the help of american expertise. and we're going to continue to do that. as the president said from the start there will be nothing decided about ukraine without ukraine. and as long as ukraine is fighting this fight, we are going to have their backs. >> is there any progress right now in the negotiations of brittney griner and paul whelan? >> i'm not going to comment on those sensitive negotiations right now. we've made it clear the russians are holding gri and whalen
improperly. we've talked about the fact we put a very significant offer on the table. a prisoner swap on the table. we're going to continue to pursue that, that's a very delicate moment and i'm not discussing specifics. >> and how concerned is the president that the iranian government has not claimed the taxi on salman rushdie? >> yeah, we're concerned about the violence that iranians are stirring up around the world. and we're concerned about any attacks of people here in the united states. that's one reason why we took action, to snuff out the plot against john bolton. so we are concerned about iranian activity. and we've got a very close eye on that. >> and, finally, ron klain, i just want to end where we began and ask one more thing about the inflation reduction act. and that would be as it pertains to politics.
the president's approval ratings are not a bfd. and democrats are getting ready for the midterms. how does the white house plan to communicate the benefits of this legislation effectively? >> yeah, mika, so i think it's very important that we do tell the american people what this bill and the bills that we've recently passed are going to do for them. we've launched a three-week crash effort to do that. we're sending the delegates all over the country. the vice president will travel around the country and then the president will travel around the country to talk about the legislation, not just to talk about it, but to show the progress we've made. and we'll culminate that big event in the white house september 6th, the day after labor day, talking about the benefits of the bill, celebrating its passage, celebrating its significance. i agree, the most important
obligation to push and get this legislation passed but we also have an obligation explaining to people, explaining to them how to get the benefits of it, how to make it worth while and meaningful in their lives and we're doing that as well. >> actually, we've got a few more questions for you. we want to have jonathan lemire jump in real quick. jonathan. >> ron, good morning. i want to skip overseas and talk about china. house speaker nancy pelosi was in taiwan a few weeks ago. china ramped up their drills, landing missiles in waters of japan, raising ire in their government. how far do you want to go to ramp-down in taiwan? and are there plans for president biden to meet in person with chinese president xi jinping for the first time since the president took office the first of this year? >> yes, first, to the reaction to nancy pelosi, we do think it
was overreaction to the trip. the speaker has visited taiwan in almost every decade. we think the trip message was uncalled for. and trying to see if we can have de-escalation here. it is our hope to have a face-to-face meeting with president biden and president xi. i have nothing to announce now. but we do think it's useful to have the leaders meet face-to-face. something we've been pursuing with the chinese government and continue to pursue. >> ron, i promise this is actually the last question. we've got you here so i do want to ask you, i was listening to the president's remarks around the passage and signing of the reconciliation law now. he ended by talking about democracy. he said there are those today who hold a dark and despairing view of this country. i'm not one of them. i believe in the future of this country. as you look at the political
landscape, as you look at liz cheney losing by 40 points in the primary just for standing up against donald trump in the events around january 6, if you look at the fealty of it in places like pennsylvania and georgia, does the president believe democracy is at risk as early as this fall? >> look, we are seeing a challenge to that now, and we saw it with a violent mob trying to disrupt the election results being tabulated on capitol hill on january 6th. lives were lost, lives of law enforcement lives and other lives on that day. and then we've seen it with the persistence of the big lie this year. you know, congresswoman cheney and i disagree i think on every single issue in american politics. i don't think there's anything we agree on. but i respect enormously her commitment to democracy.
i respect enormously that she took an oath of office to the constitution and stood behind that oath, instead of her commitment to one man. and i respect enormously the fact that she spoke out for the truth. instead of adopting the big lie. and what we saw last night when someone who won 73% of the vote last time and lost the primary by 40 points only because she wouldn't bend to the will of the ultra maga wing of this republican party and swear loyalty to donald trump, that tells you a lot about the state of the republican party in this country right now. and now extreme and how devoted to donald trump it is. and so, i do think the american people are going to have to fight for their democracy. stand up for their democracy. and make it clear where they are. and in the choice between the kind of extremism that the maga wing that the republican party represents. and the alternatives about a constitutional system of
government, where not the rule of mob, but the rule of law, decides questions in our country. >> white house chief of staff ron klain thank you very much for coming on the show this morning. >> thanks, ron. >> we appreciate it. >> thank you, thank you, guys. >> thanks. all right. a federal judge in florida has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow to decide whether to unseal the affidavit used to justify a search warrant for trump's florida home. so far, the department of justice has advised against it, arguing it could compromise what they are calling an ongoing criminal investigation. on top of serving as what they've referred to as a road map for the current criminal investigation, there's also concern from doj lawyers regarding the witnesses involved. court filings on monday read in part this, information about witnesses is particularly sensitive given the high-profile nature of this matter and the risk that the revelation of witness identities would impact
their willingness to cooperate with the investigation. disclosure of the government's affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations. the hearing for whether to unseal the affidavit is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. >> and yet, you know, willie geist, and yet, we had one of trump's lawyers talking about figuring out who those witnesses were, the possible leaking of the witnesses' names. and of course, this is a president who has a history of witness intimidation. >> right. >> we saw it in the january 6th hearing. yeah, they're pushing, trump's lawyers are pushing to get the name of potential witnesses, because, well, if the past it
prolog, they want to do something that many people thinks resembles witness tampering. >> why the justice department wants it unsealed because now you've got potential witnesses who would say i don't want to be involved in this. because we know what donald trump and his allies have done around january 6th with other witnesses. let's bring in peter baker and former operations officer with the cia. peter baker, the "times" has been at the forefront of this. what do you expect out of tomorrow's hearing? >> well, "the new york times" and other news organizations have in fact gone forward to try to get this affidavit unsealed. it's our traditional duty, you know, in the organization to try to make things more transparent. to find out the basis for what the search was, you know, the basis for the search. and what they were looking for. why they were looking for. what they have uncovered so far. as journalists that's our job to
try to figure it out. we're trying to figure it out ? of course, we do. and the reason from the filing you can understand from their point of view, their perspective, with that document, if they did release it they would have to redact it so heavily it would be a useful document for the public to understand. i'm not optimistic that it comes out and we get the answers we're looking for. if you're a witness against donald trump, he's going to figure it out eventually. fact is here, they've got override on the part of the public to understand what the former president was doing with documents that were sensitive like this in his home in mar-a-lago. what was the point of taking them? what was the point of not returning when the lawyer said he had? what was he planning to do with them? and how did the government find out about them and what did the government know about the extent
of this here, if they did know about it? i think those are important questions to answer. >> well, mark, you had a new piece in the washington examiner entitled back the blue, trust in american values and wait for the facts from mar-a-lago. you write in part this, i cringe at the notion that the unprecedented nature of the fbi search is the primary concern. the president is not a king or queen. this great republic will survive a search of a former president's residence and would even survive a criminal prosecution. take a deep breath. unfortunately, many in the gop have acted as if the end of the world has just occurred. some on the far right are even hysterically assessing that a second civil war beckons. our adversaries are surely salivating at this drama. you cannot back the blue, only when it's convenient to do so. the hypocrisy is staggering. i support my old fbi colleagues at this critical moment in time,
and simply state the obvious, let the investigation play out. there is a lot we don't know, joe. >> yeah, there's an awful lot we don't know. we don't know how this is going to end, because it's an investigation, a possible criminal investigation, marc, it's fascinating, you and i have talked about the importance of supporting law enforcement officers before this. when we heard about defunding the police. you actually drive around in some of the toughest part of american cities with law enforcement officers, with cops to support the blue, to defend the blue. and yet, my god, we've got republicans, members of the house, calling law enforcement officers, calling the fbi the gestapo. we have a former house speaker, republican house speaker and presidential candidate, national figure, calling the fbi wolves, saying these wolves want to
devour you. i've talked about conversations i had with former conservatives who still think they're conservatives, talking about the gestapo. talking about how the u.s. government can be replaced. it's not sacrosanct. talk, if you will, again, about how this provides such comfort to our enemies across the globe? >> sure. and i think there's just incredible hypocrisy here from the right. you know, as we talk about backing the blue, we have to be consistent. remember, there's other local cops i think that's what the back the blue slogan was really designed for. but fbi agent is a federal cop. so, think about where we are right now, we the fbi agency talking about unprecedented threats against fbi agents. list cheney last night talked about trump inciting violence. we had an attack on an fbi office in ohio.
and why this is so damaging and so dangerous for the united states, look what the fbi has to do right now, joe. we have, of course, iranian plots to try to kill trump-era national security officials. we have a domestic terrorism threat which is probably unprecedented. and the extent of chinese espionage activity in the united states is staggering. you have the fbi, according to christopher wray, the fbi director, opens a chinese case every several hours. it's dangerous to denigrate an officer. to say that the fbi is the last bastion, it's a tradition-based organization. you never see an fbi agent not wearing a suit. it's like rocky devers playing
with a big spot of chew. it just doesn't happen. we have to support our colleagues and let the investigation play out. >> hey, peter baker, we just had white house chief of staff ron klain on, and obviously, he was touting a lot of significant legislation. the headline even on biden's big day, he's still in trump's long shadow. there's certainly what the white house would like to be talking about in that reconciliation bill and not the search of mar-a-lago. but i put it to you this way, if the conversation is about donald trump might that actually be good for democrats come the midterms? >> yeah, that's certainly the hope for the midterms. that's going to be overshadowed by trump '. the news by trump didn't help trump. it's not like president biden out there coveting will he or
won't he be indicted chiron of his own. what i feel they need to do go out and make a contrast between, you know, producing legislation, producing policy. addressing inflation. addressing energy needs. addressing, you know, health needs. and as a contrast to the other side of the aisle and saying, you know, your choice is, voters, you know, somebody who promised to make government work. and delivering at least some of what you wanted, not everything. versus somebody who is taking home secret documents and attacking the fbi and if nothing else, just simply engaged in a constant political war that really have much to do with everyday americans' lives and struggles. that's the argument they're trying to take to the voters. will they succeed? hard to say. historically, they have an uphill battle. as you rightly pointed out with ron klain, the president's popularity numbers are historical lows maybe that will
change in the next few weeks as they sell their program. but it's really hard for a party like democrats to win in an environment in which their own president is in the 30s or 40s. and the best argument they have is contrast with president trump and the republican party. >> chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" peter baker, thank you. and former cia operations officer. thank you for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," in just over an hour, donald trump's former lawyer rudy giuliani will be appearing before a georgia grand jury. we will update you on the testimony. plus, steve kornacki will be at the big board breaking down the results from the primaries. and we have new comments from congresswoman liz cheney. and some other stories we're following this morning, former trump cfo allen weisselberg is expected to get five months in
jail as part of a plea deal. weisselberg has been charged with participating in a year's long scheme to help trump officials in the organization avoid paying taxes. other terms of the plea deal haven't been disclosed, but two sources tell nbc news that weisselberg is expected to cooperate with the investigation. but no word if he'll cooperate in the investigation against the former president. and in uvalde, texas, a date has been set to discuss potential termination of the school district's police chief pete arrendondo. officials will meet one week from today to determine if arrendondo will remain at his post or be released from his position. arrendondo have been on leave since june, after he arrived on the scene to the worst scoot
shooting in texas and waiting for over an hour before attempting to confront the shooter. the board meeting will be open to the public. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ice cream is like whooping cough, it's not just for kids. whooping cough is highly contagious for people of any age. and it can cause violent uncontrollable coughing fits. ask your doctor or pharmacist about whooping cough vaccination because it's not just for kids. moderate to severe eczema still disrupts my skin. despite treatment it disrupts my skin with itch. it disrupts my skin with rash. but now, i can disrupt eczema with rinvoq. rinvoq is not a steroid, topical, or injection. it's one pill, once a day, that's effective without topical steroids. many taking rinvoq saw clear or almost-clear skin while some saw up to 100% clear skin.
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two years ago, i won this primary with 73% of the vote. i could easily have done the same again. the path was clear. but it would have required that i go along with president trump's lie about the 2020 election, it would have required that i enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. that was a path i could not and would not take. no house seat, no office in this land, is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect. and i well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty.
our republic relies upon the goodwill of all candidates for office, to accept honorably, the outcome of elections. and tonight, harriet hageman has received the most votes in this primary. she won. i called her to concede the race. this primary election is over. but now the real work begins. >> she put country over party. and, joe, she paid for it politically. >> yeah. she did. but, my gosh, again, anybody that's watched this show more than a couple days heard me say that in politics, sometimes when you win, you lose. and sometimes, when you lose, you win. here it was something of being much larger being one of 435 members of the house, and one of 535 members of congress. the language was remarkable,
talking about in the spring of 1864, the union, after the union suffered more than 17,000 casualties in the battle of the wilderness, cheney said general ulysses grant had a choice to retreat or keep fighting as the fires of the battle still smoldered, grant rode to the head of the column. he rode to the intersection of brock road and orange plank road. and there as the men of his army watched and waits, instead of turning north back toward washington and safety, grant turned his horse south towards richmond and the heart of lee's army. refusing to retreat, he pressed on to victory. general grant, president abraham lincoln and all who fought in our nation's tragic war saved their union. their conference saved freedom. and if we listen closely, they
are speaking to us down through generations. we must not idly squander what so many have fought and died for. and, willie, if someone is listen to that speech and listening to those words thinks that liz cheney is being melodramatic, well, they aren't having the conversations i'm having with friends. >> yeah. >> and family members, and people who used to be in liz cheney's party and mine -- or actually people still in liz cheney's party but used to be in my party. i spoke yesterday, i had two really disturbing phone calls. if people don't understand the depths to which this anti-american sentiment is running in the republican party, i had two conversations yesterday. one with a family member, and one with a washington fixture, since the days of ronald reagan.
both were talking about how the fbi was the gestapo. and they needed to be stamped out. >> yeah. >> spoke of revolution. and the washington fixture, a guy who i always considered to be a mainstream conservative, a guy who in the past, at least expressed concerns about some of donald trump's extricities. it's not about the u.s. government, it's about individuals. here's a guy saying that we can throw away madisonian democracy. we can throw away checks and balances. we can throw away the bill of rights. we can throw away the constitution. we can just get rid of a
government that is fed and freed more people throughout history, that's liberated more people throughout history, that's keeping the flames of freedom alive right now in ukraine and in central europe, than any other country in the planet. and we can replace the u.s. government. that is the depths to which this cancer has spread among mainstream republicans. and liz cheney's right. these people are angry. and they want to destroy our country. the country where we have democratic elections. and the winners who get the most votes are recognized as the winners. and the losers concede to those winners. and donald trump has changed all of that now. >> yeah. and, joe, you don't have to go to the darkest corners of the
internet anymore to find that argument. a couple years ago, that would have been a hard case to hear. you just have to turn on mainstream cable news channels to hear that. even last night. and the argument is, okay, a real conservative won last night in wyoming. this is what they're saying. they threw out a trump hater who is obsessed with donald trump. that's the argument against liz cheney. because she's one of the few republicans who stood up and continues to stand up and say what happened on january 6th, what happened around the 2020 election is un-american. it's not how we do things. it's not about me hating donald trump. it's about me trying at least to stand up to the constitution. and that is the minority view in the republican party. that is the extreme and view of some of these people that liz cheney who voted with donald trump, by the way, as much as anybody in congress, who has the highest conservative rating as anybody in the congress is not a real conservative because she cared to cross donald trump.
she paid for it last night. it wasn't a big surprise. but when you see that number up there, it really tells the story of the republican party. harriet hageman who won by nearly 40 points last night. 40 points over liz cheney who had 73% of the vote last time out, joe. when people start to dig into who she is and what she believes talking about joe biden being a human trafficker. that's who she is, and the people of wyoming decided that's what they wanted. yes, it's a state that gave 72% of its vote in 2020 to donald trump but what a step that liz cheney and her father dick cheney institutions there for a very long time losing by nearly 40 points last night because she stood up to the constitution and because she's standing up to donald trump. coming up, we're going to have much more on last night's elections results in wyoming and
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♪♪ i want to bring in richard haas into the conversation. >> oh, my goodness, richard is sporting quite an interesting look. what is going on? >> he's grizzly adams. >> it's like "gq" meets "dad's world." >> sometimes, he gets an ax and chops down trees in upstate new york. >> i don't know. i think it looks pretty good. >> all right, grizzly. so, let's get serious for one minute mere, just one minute, i don't know if you heard top of
the show, but i had several disturbing conversations yesterday with people i've known my entire life. people who voted for gerald ford, ronald reagan, bob dole. you just go down the list, george w. bush, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. people that i always considered to be mainstream conservative. yesterday, they're talking about the gestapo. i mean there's been a rising radicalism in them over the past five years. and they kept talking about the gestapo. having to stomp out the fbi. tyranny. it kept going, got to a crescendo where i conservative thought leader in washington, d.c., who's been around since reagan said, we can replace the u.s. government. actually, rip that down. as we're going back and forth. he said, you know, joe, the u.s.
government is not sacrosanct. we can replace the u.s. government. and richard, i wanted to talk to you before we got to afghanistan, because you're in an unique position to comment about where the federal government is. where the united states of america is on the world stage. and this is just absolutely crazy. we, right now, and i know it's hard to believe because washington is so dysfunctional, we're stronger as a nation by comparison to other nations than ever before. we're the strongest economically, by far, the strongest militarily, by far, the strongest culturally by far, the strongest diplomatically by far, the strongest compared any other country, stronger than 1945 when we were counterbalanced by the soviets. stronger than 2000, when the rise in china was sure to
overtake us. but we know that russia is now exhausted. we know china has lost its way over the past two years. they do have a strong economy, but they will be a balance on the world straight but right now, nobody in china would refuse to change places with us would refuse to change places with us right now on the world stage. but the united states, strong in every way except politically, and we have mainstream republicans saying that the u.s. government can be replaced because a moderate from delaware won a presidential election? >> you're right, joe, in the sense that we are absolutely stronger than we've ever been.
russia has a potempkin military. china is somewhat of a political distraction as economic growth fades. but our ability to function on the world stage begins with an assumption, this is the stability of american democracy. it's our ability to get things done at home. it's our ability to essentially be able to act collectively. that's something that's necessary to deter foes and even more necessary to reassure partners and allies. they have got to operate on the assumption that we are predictable and trustworthy, because they put their security in our hands. what's going on here at home now is a much bigger threat to us than anything emanating from russia or china or north korea or iran or terrorists or climate change, you name it.
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♪♪ coming up, president trump's handling of sensitive and classified information has been in the spotlight since the search of mar-a-lago last week. ken delanian joins us with a look at an infamous 2019 incident. 2019 inc incident a pool floatie is like whooping cough, it's not just for kids. whooping cough is highly contagious for people of any age. and it can cause violent uncontrollable coughing fits.
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