tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 30, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
tuesday, i'm ayman mohyeldin alongside louis burgdorf. "morning joe" starts right now. there are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the communist world. let them come to berlin! >> freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to pre vent them from leaving us. >> all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of berlin. >> the lateader of the free wor, john f. kennedy, speaking to the
people of berlin in 1963 when the city was on the front line of the cold war. yesterday marked 100 years since kennedy's birth, he was the first of his generation to become president and upheld the bipartisan tradition of stand up for western ideals on the world's stage, a stark contrast to president trump who came home last week from his foreign trip with at least two key european allies wondering if the days of american leadership are over. who will offer america's strategic vision now is the question we're all asking this morning. good morning. it's tuesday, may 30th. with us, newly minted national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc news, john heilemann. author of the book "a world this disarray," richard haass. andrea mitchell will be joining us shortly. >> as we heard over the weekend,
so many people across this country, across washington, new york and across the world mourning your father's loss. >> we're overwhelmed by it. it's incredible. we're all a little lost still, but we appreciate all the thoughts and prayers that have come in from people around the world who were impacted by my father's service. >> we're going to be talking about dr. brzezinski in a bit. richard haass, what an extraordinary life. this is a man who spent early years with his father in germany, watching the rise of adolf hitler. his father moved to soviet union, escaped to canada right before the start of world war ii. he saw his home land toward the
shreds between the germans and the soviet union. it drove him. he was a talk when america needed a hawk and he became a dove when we needed a dove, pushing back against the iraq war. >> the consistency there is incredible, analytic skills and incredible intellectual honesty. in life you're lucky if you find someone who has tremendous ability to think and write or you find someone to get things done. what i thought made sbiz so extraordinary, he was on the short list of scholar practitioners, people who could really be intellectual and operational. the fact he could combine the two made him rare. don't forget how long ago he left government unlike so many people, he remained creative, remained relevant. he didn't need an inbox to make a difference. every day he woke up and made
his inbox. for people like me -- the other day we took out all the articles he wrote on foreign affairs. what an amazing legacy intellectually. >> just amazing. andrea mitchell, i didn't realize until i got to know him as well as i did over the past decade that he was very active during the reagan administration especially, supported george h.w. bush in 1988, was active working with bush and scowcroft. obviously the first national foreign policy leader to get out in support of barack obama. richard is right. he was just as active out of office as he was in. >> indeed, and, in fact, came out against the iraq war. so that set him apart from a lot of the conventional thinking. the fact is he was not conventional. he was original. what really touched me, and you've spoken to his relevance for decades and decades, the
fact that he became more relevant without the apparatus of power because it was the power of intellect. but also what i learned most recently, because i was a little afraid of him for years, he was such a daunting into length. >> by the way, andrea, that shows you the fact that you were fearful of him, shows just how wise you are. >> exactly. >> when i first met him, he called me stunningly superficial. one of the last times i spoke with him, i had gone into the hospital room and mika told me my father hasn't communicated in days. he's there but he's not there. i leaned over to kiss mrs. brzezinski and i felt something against my leg. it was a towel. he had thrown a towel to hit me and opened his eyes and smiled and went back to sleep. that's dr. brzezinski.
anyway, you were saying -- >> at least he never called me stunningly superficial. >> we'll always have that. >> he was so kind. i actually developed such an affection for him in later years and through mika and through being on the program with him, when you would be kind much to include me with him, i saw a different side of him completely. the fact is that he defined originality and principle in foreign policy and we don't see that, it's such a rare, rare -- >> he did that in our family as well. >> i will tell you. he always kept people off balance. bobby ghosh said the greatest compliment he had ever seen -- he wrote something i think on syria, he wrote wonderful analysis, weak conclusion. the thing about dr. brzezinski,
they would talk about sharp elbows. behind the scenes he was extraordinarily gracious and kind, he was sweet certainly whenever people close to him needed him the most, he was there and certainly, also very kind to me after the loss of my father and when i needed it the most, he showed just how kind and warm he was. >> you used the word sweet. people ask me what's mika's job like. i think we see it on the show. there's never been a more clear thinker than zbig. when he comes on the show, you can ask him about a topic and i never heard him utter the words uh or um. there was a sweetness to him, a smile at the end of the segment. he'd have a message for mika or
a shot at you, joe with a smile on his face. to me it was that mix of being a very, very serious man in his professional life and such a sweet man in his private life. >> after he threw the towel at me, he closed his eyes. mark turned around and said, did you hear what he said. i said what. he said he loved you. i said, i think you misheard that. i think he said stunningly superficial. we all know that smile. >> i was in graduate school in 1988 through 1990, so at the very end of the cold war at the kennedy school at harvard, there was a lot of big foreign policy brains around there. zbig was not there. but he was an incredibly big figure in the debates of that world. he was only out of office about eight years. he inspired more passionate agreement and disagreement than
almost anybody in the ferment of foreign policy thinkers. some people who really disagreed with him -- >> about the cold war? >> every aspect of foreign policy. he had such a grand strategic sweep. in terms of his time in office and his views about the world, extraordinary degrees of fervent admiration, some disagreement, but bipartisan wide respect. there was no one who didn't take him seriously and didn't credit the goodness of the intentions behind his views, even when they fiercely disagreed. >> i was reading this weekend, talbot had been a critic of just how fierce of a hawk dr. brzezinski had been about the soviet union. and he interviewed him after the soviet union said, that this guy
had been right all along. you go back and see all the remarkable thinks he did, the opening of china this his farmhouse in mclean, virginia. >> the panama canal treaties. >> when you say the arab-israeli situation, i was explaining to mika's daughters this weekend, he prevented, with jimmy carter's framework, together they prevented a land war in the middle east for 30 years with that agreement. >> and they brought the basic peace agreement to that part of the world with camp david. take a step back. you think about it, in the 1970s, we had henry kissinger, brent scowcroft and sbiz brzezinski.
the three national security advisers of american history, they stand out as extraordinary people of intellect and capacity. it's not surprising that they were so close and so linked. we as a country were truly fortunate at a pivotal time in history we had three such extraordinary men in that position. >> one final thing, dr. kissinger very kind, wrote a note to mika saying that people talked about us sparring in public, but we had nothing but great respect and loved each other. they built upon each other's work. >> my father had an extraordinary relationship with his wife emily, almost 60 years. he loved his boys and his favorite daughter so much. so we have a full tribute to chief coming up later on "morning joe." now, as we pivot to news, i want to read from david ignatius's piece in "the washington post."
he writes, brzezinski would have been appalled but not surprised by the results of trump's group of seven meeting on saturday after which german chancellor angela merkel said the era when america could rely on american leadership was over. brzezinski's worries about trump grew out of his belief in the interdependent world that the united states had made. having seen western values and freedoms crushed in poland, he was protective of them. trump's populism was abhorrent to this son of polish aristocracy. but it wasn't just that. brzezinski didn't think trump understood what a precious creation he was jeopardizing by so wrerecklessly challenging th institutions of the west. >> there was a lot of fallout about that foreign trip. in a tweet president trump talked about his trip being a great trip.
bob corker said it was executed to near perfection. it wasn't he added president trump should be commended for the trip's success. james mattis also defended the president's tough talk. andrea mitchell, i don't really care what politicians in washington, d.c. are saying about a trip they know was a complete disaster. >> embarrassment. >> you look at the president's actions. you look at the gestures, you look at the bullying of him pushing the newest member out of the way to get to the front of the picture, the awkward handshake with macron. but more importantly you have angela merkel and her opponent saying america treated us horribly. we can no longer depend on the united states of america. europe is going to have to worry about itself. this is -- i said yesterday, i'd be hard pressed for anybody --
if somebody can find a more disastrous foreign trip since kennedy's 1961 summit with khrushchev, i'd like to know what it was, because this was a disaster. >> you know, the european relationship, 70-plus years of the nato alliance and the borish behavior is so extraordinary, capped by his refusal -- bad enough to not explicitly say he was committed to article 5, to the mutual defense treaty at a commemoration for 9/11 which is the only time in history that nato did declare article 5, to come to the defense of the united states of america, and to not commit to the paris climate accord is just so shocking. that's the thing. he has until june 1st. he's going to make some decision this week. but the fact that they are wrestling with this, and we saw general mattis saying over the weekend, he's taking it in.
he's learned a lot. everyone trying to give him running room. but he's not going to be bullied into it by his staff. that's for sure. and for all of their bragging about riyadh and what they did -- it was an trpg experiment in riyadh, the fact that the ignored the sunni sponsored terror and then to go to europe which just experienced terror and see the reluctance to sign on, and the fact that he refused to lecture the saudis and the other arab leaders, but did lecture his nato allies in europe is just stunning. >> like we said last week, willie, he's far more comfortable hanging around autocrats, whether in turkey or russia, wherever they are, than he is with dem klatt cli elected leaders in the west. >> certainly more deferential in saudi arabia than in nato. we saw the handshake where he left president trump hanging
there. a lot of people read into that. macron said, yeah, i was sending a message by not walking up to the president of the united states first. in terms of angela merkel's comments, what would it take for her, the leader of germany, our great ally, to go out and say that in public? what do you think happened behind the scenes that put her in that position? >> this can't be exaggerated. you could hear the tectonic plates of history move the other day. this was big. i think it was a combination of just policy difference after policy difference from russia to trade to climate, you name it. fundamental differences. what andrea was getting at, the refusal to talk about article 5 coming against the backdrop where he called nato obsolete. basically what mr. trump succeeded at doing is making condition what for so long was
unconditional. thirdly it's the personal, the conversations, they're not going well, to say the least. that's not what these people expect of an american president. >> look at the handshake. he looked like a thug, looked like a goon. you look at the handshake. look at this. what a thug. what an embarrassment -- he's mauling him like an idiot. what an embarrassment to the united states. >> optics matter and so do the conversations. >> if it were followed by positive conversations, you could just say he was awkward. >> for merkel to say what she said shows they see no talent, they see nothing behind the eyes they can work with. >> again, they were so severanceal. he was so severanceal in saudi arabia, so deferential. and he was just the opposite, he was a bull this the china shop of an alliance that was first built with the blood of young
americans and people across the west by freeing the continent and then from 1947 forward, we have spent blood, sweat, tears, billions of dollars building an alliance that donald trump wants to throw away to make points with vladimir putin. >> or make points with his domestic political base which is what the european posturing seemed to be aimed at an audience at home, not the foreign policy establish or european allies, but instead playing to the crowd who voted for him. you said this thing about tectonic plates shifting. i noticed valley nasr tweeted over the weekend, less than three months in office, trump has managed to undo second decades of transatlantic relations? does that seem exaggerated orr on the nose. >> basically right.
we think of the word legacy as something that we write at the end of the presidency, but now we can write it at the beginning of the presidency. what he has done has made uncertain what was sure, what was fundamental, and in european eye, he has essentially pushed them in a direction that for 70 years we tried to prevent which was germany and europe going their own way. the whole lesson of the first half of the 20th century is the united states needed to be inextricably linked to the fate of europe. russia would find benefit for itself, germany could be cast adrift and so forth. that's what we're setting in motion. it's so interesting, we began the show today with john kennedy. he was a president who read history, wrote history, steeped in history. i think we have a president, because he's not familiar with history, literally doesn't understand how he's playing with history and setting in motion historical forces that could
have enormous consequences. >> that's something we've said here on the show, also something i warned trump officials and trump himself in the transition, and i said it preetdly, i said you people believe that history begins on january 20th, 2017. you have got to get a better understanding of what you're stepping into, because this didn't start with john kennedy. this started with harry truman, it started with the marshall plan. it started with containment. it went through ike and john kennedy, through nixon, through regan, through obama. it's gone a long time. again, in three months, all the work of those presidents to continue the line of a strong, free, safe, vibrant europe that helps the united states. we're not doing a favor for
anybody. the marshall plan wasn't to help the europeans. the marshall plan was to help in the fight for freedom so the soviets didn't take over europe just like the nazis had taken over europe. for some reason donald trump s doesn't understand? >> we haven't even gotten to jared and ivanka and champagne popsicles. >> what? that tastes good i bet. >> president jimmy carter will join us to talk about dr. brzezinski's legacy. >> two of the journalists leading the way with scoop after school on the white house, robert costa and glenn thrush. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. to not just accept what you see, but imagine something new. at invisalign®, we use the most advanced teeth straightening technology to help you find the next amazing version of yourself.
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he meant to so many people, but here is our best attempt. >> brzezinski, is feisty, aggressi, innovative. >>his task force chaired by brzezinski. >> dr. brzezinski, i can't say enough about his contribution to our country. >> in his life, he was called a peacemaker, cold warrior, hardened realist, bridge builder. others called him professor, mentor, author and friend. many called him one of the most influential foreign policy minds of our time. to those who knew him he was sbig, to my brothers and me, he was dad, to his grandchildren, chief, salute and all. >> joining us, joining us dr. b
zig knew brez sin ski. >> co-hosting this mo. >> good morning, mika. you're still a good girl. >> i was. >> i was unhinging as a child, right? >> you were very difficult. >> what are you wearing, dad? he's going to the serengeti. >> i'm sitting here in this ice box. if you were sitting here, you would be wearing a fur coat. >> she was born in warsaw, poland, in 1928 with a family legacy deeply immersed in diplomacy and some of the 20th century's most momentous challenges. his father was a polish diplomat where he witnessed the rise of adolf hitler. from 1936 to '38, tad brzezinski was posted to the soviet union during stalin's purges. in 1938 the family moved to
canada where a young brzezinski would see his homeland crushed, first by hitler's germany and then stalin's russia. a communist takeover that set a decades-long crusade against ussr. >> world war ii under the appearance of poland and the extraordinary violence in poland did affect my perception of the word. >> he earned a doctorate at harvard where he met and married his wife of almost 60 years, a young wellesley grad, painter and sculptor, amelia anna bennish. brzezinski would benied tenure and take his i'm measurable talents to -- >> offered a permanent chair as full professor. i said thank you very much, i prefer to be where i am.
>> he would teach at columbia for decades and recently received the school's prestigious global leadership award. in 1958 he became an american citizen. >> the daughters of the american revolution acame up and pinned flags to the lap pet. in my case, she drew a lot of blood. i said i have shed my blood for ameri america. >> he focused on one overriding goal, how to exploit weaknesses in the soviet system. a young senator liked what he heard, tapping brzezinski for his foreign policy task force. years later he would brief president lyndon johnson and take on a role at lbj's state department. it was the 1970 z when dr.
brzezinski was thrust on the world stage as national security adviser to president jimmy carter. the first order of business, learning how to pronounce his name. >> he sent out a handwritten note, name how to spell and pronounce -- >> dr. big knew brzezinski. >> where i screwed up, the w should be an f, they spelled it wrong on your book. >> spell that. >> z b igniew. [ bell ]. >> you are by far the best guess we have ever had as far as accumulated scrabble points. >> soon enough big knew brzezinski did big a household name, something only possible in america. >> when i was sworn in with the cabinet members, i walked from that to my new office and i said to myself, from now on, for the
next four years, everything will be dominated with what is good for america, what is good for the presidency, and i'm just going to give it my all. >> that included playing a pivotal role in the 1978 camp david accords bringing together the leaders of egypt and israel for an historic peace treaty. that same year, the u.s. established official diplomatic relations with china after months of secret talks. our family even hosted the leader of china at our farmhouse in mclean. there was a nuclear arms treaty with the soviet union and a deal to peacefully transfer control of the panama canal. but there were challenges, too. chief among them, the taking of american hostages in iran and the failed 1980 mission to save them. >> i went in to see the president. i interrupted him and said i have to speak with you immediately. we went in the or room, and i told him. i said to him, look, sometimes
in a situation like this one takes a chance. i was rather -- perhaps not responsible of me to say that to him. i did. i said why don't you ask the field commander whether he wants to proceed with the rest of the mission. the president phoned the secretary of state -- defense and we asked. he said, no, it's below the minimum. we don't go on. the order was given to go back. that's when the accident occurred, one of the helicopters -- then one of the other helicopters collided with a plane. >> and there was that 3:00 a.m. phone call when in 1979 dr. brzezinski was awoken with the news of an imminent niek lar strike against the united states. moments later, a second call. america was under all-out attack. as he prepared to wake the president and recommend a koupt strike against the soviets, a third call came, this one citing
a false alarm. it was one of the moments that helped forge a lasting bond between the president and his adviser though they didn't always see eye to eye. >> i have pictures of you jogging with the president. >> he wrote on this photograp photograph,zbig, at least once we are in step. which alludes to the fact that i would take a different position and we would discuss it. >> one day the secretary came to my office with a slight sneer on her face and had an envelope in her hand. i looked at her and i saw green stationary. that's a note from the president. i opened it and it said, zbig, don't you ever know when to stop? >> in the eyes of a daughter, the carter white house culminated in the vision of her father receiving the medal of freedom from the leader of the free world. after the 1980 election, dr.
brzezinski would return to teaching and writing. >> hi, mike, i've been here a hell of a long time. >> okay. let's get going. >> dr. brzezinski never let partisan politics get in the way of what he considered his patriotic calling, supporting a republican for president in 1988. >> george bush is one that can best fashion an effective bipartisan foreign policy. >> a democrat two decades later. >> i give you barack obama. >> his own children followed in his footsteps into public service. my brother mark was u.s. ambassador to sweden. and ian, a senior pentagon official. my career in journalism set the stage for that cringe-worthy exchange back in 2008 when my dad took issue with joe's analysis of the middle east. >> you and i both know bill clinton gave arafat and the palestinians everything he wanted. >> such a stunningly superficial
knowledge that almost went on. >> my father always spoke his mind, to friends and foes alike, both on and off camera, always driven by a strategic vision to make the country that opens its arms to his family a safer and stronger nation. dr. brzezinski, my dad, our chief, was 89 years old. i guess i was born with a crayon in my hand. i decided to see if there was a way for design to play a... ...positive role in what was going on in the world. there's a jacket that's reflective for visibility... ...a sleeping bag jacket, jackets that turn into tents. i usually do my fashion sketches on the computer. i love drawing on the screen. there's no lag time at all. it feels just like my markers. with fashion, you can dress people and help people.
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richard, going through a lot of these columns, david frum's seemed to epitomize the biggest takeaway from donald trump's trip. the headline "trump's trip was a catastrophe for u.s.-europe relations." that seemed to be most foreign policy analysts' view. >> merkel, trump and the end of the west, by gideon rockman. you think of history as something you read about in hindsight. we're actually living through it. this is one of the moments you're seeing history being made, the wrong kind of history, costly consequential history. >> we're watching it being sort of conducted by someone who has
no clue the impact he's having on decades and decades of work. >> andrea mitchell, i guess what's most disconcerting is there's absolutely no -- there is no historical context to any of this for donald trump or many people close to him. you take somebody like james mattis who understands the impact of this. that's why he says things like, if there are no such thing as na nato, we would have to end it. so the question is, are we going to be saying something different next week? is donald trump going to tweet out how important germany is? that's what's equally unsettling to our allies. >> one of the underlying problems, especially with germany and with -- well, with mexico in previous tweets and comments is i don't think he understands what the trade deficit is. maybe it's presumptuous for me to say this. but for him to criticize the trade deficit and not to understand that, first of all, german cars, many are produced
in the united states, creating jobs here in the united states in mississippi and other places in the south, we've got other foreign cars being built in tennessee. the fact is that the trade deficit does not reflect weakness of the united states. it reflects the fact that american consumers are buying german cars, and the attack on germany over trade has got to be sort of so non-sensical to someone like angela merkel, a great scientist and economical leader. >> i called bob riley when he was governor of alabama, mercedes had already sent some of its business over to the tuscaloosa plant and just announced they were sending others. i was talking to him. i said what are you doing? he said i'm watching protests
about jobs moving here. how nice, the protester coming out of germany. they don't understand -- donald trump doesn't -- kennedy said let them come to berlin. let donald trump go to tusk looser, len drt go to greenville, south carolina, to tennessee, to mississippi, to understand we are taking jobs, german jobs here building cars and it's transforming entire american communities that voted for him. >> literally, as andrea was talking about the trade deficit. donald trump tweeted the following, quote, we have a massive trade deficit with germany, plus they pay far less than they should on nato and military. very bad for u.s. this will change, writes donald trump. >> this is doubling down -- it's hard to miss the irony here. the whole post world war ii trade order was designed in large part to anchor the united
states, germany and our allies. this is a fact, if we're allowed to introduce it, not an alternative fact, 85% of the jobs decision appearing are not because of trade, foreign competition, but because of technologic technological innovation. >> he can beat up robots if he'd like. it's really extraordinary how ignorant he is of the world we live in and the world we've been living in for the last 20, 30 years. if technology was where it was in the early 1980s, we would have millions and millions more jobs right now. i do want to say one final thing before we go to break, richard. you tweeted this weekend about how the great irony, brexit, the rise of donald trump's anti europeanism, people walking in
front of cameras while we're talking, all these things might work together. you said wouldn't it be iranic if one resulted in a pro brexit and anti european trump foreign policy would be emergence of a stronger eu. it does seem to be happening. it seems some of the things donald trump is trying to tear down, some of the first principles of democracy that he has no respect for of our foreign alliances, it seems his president in the end may only restrengthen all that, it refocuses us like a laser of what built this country, strengthened our democracy and what has kept us from world war since 1945. >> to every action there's an equal and opposite reaction, we're seeing it with the media, the courts.
the but, joe, is this will be costly. the transition from whatever -- we may end up with a stronger europe, but we shouldn't kid ourselves. this is corrosive. what will happen is europeans will never again, never again trust the united states the same way. if this could happen once, it means it could happen again. has forever changed the way the united states -- >> it is corrosive. >> andrea mitchell, thank you so much for being on this morning. >> final thoughts to andrea. >> i can just hear zbig talking now, speaking, we can hear his voice. his thoughts live on in the straj teamingic vision, and the thoughts he transmitted to all of us, the inspiration he was. and what's really saddening in what we're seeing now is as europe is understand at least rhetorical attack of the u.s., the victor is vladimir putin and this newly conceived russian
empire that he imagines. as weak as russia is economically, he's doing extraordinary damage and we're seeing the fallout of that every day. >> mika, also, for the white house what has to be maddening is there are a lot of thing you can look at in the trip to saudi arabia and the trip to israel and score some of those as actually positive developments, as possibilities at the very lea least. we talked about his reaching out to the sunni world in a way united states hasn't in eight years. but europe completely eclipsed that. >> it sure does. we haven't gotten to the questions around the white house. the president's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers urged to lay low. the probe to russia inches closer to jared kushner. >> and jimmy carter is going to be calling in talking about his most difficult days, i'm sure he
will tell us. >> that's still to come on "morning joe." it's time for the "your business," entrepreneur of the week. niella has a local based tea business. she asked for a "your business" make over and is about to break through with a disruptive strategy and big-time distribution. for more, watch "your business" weekends at 7:30 on msnbc. i count on my dell small business advisor for tech advice. with one phone call, i get products that suit my needs and i get back to business. ♪ ♪
just look back at the three weeks alone. "the washington post" with the bombshell about intel to the white house to the russians inside the oval office. next day, "the times" again, revealing comey's internal memo to shut down the investigation into michael flynn. a day later, it was nbc's turn with sources naming flynn and paul manafort as key figures in the russia probe that. afternoon, flynn informed the incoming administration early on
about his secret lobbying work for turkey, but still got the job anyway. then "the washington post" again, quote, i think. and from ""the wall street journal"" russian state-run bank poured cash into a hotel deal involving trump's one-time business partner in canada. trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, met with the chairman of the sanctioned bank in december. fast forward another day, ""the new york times," saying james comey felt so uncomfortable that he literally tried to blend into the curtains to avoid him. reuters put the number of undisclosed contacts between the trump campaign and russia at 18. and "the times" reports trump
told the russians that firing the nut job would ease pressure. and "the washington post" said trump leaned on the head of the nsa to deny any existence of collusion. neither man agreed to the president's request. with michael flynn pleading the fifth, "the times" said it dated back to last summer and "the post" said a bogus document produce bid russia may have duped james comey from injecting himself into the presidential campaign. and general jeff sessions failed to disclose his contacts with the russian ambassador on the security clearance last year. doj said sessions omitted the
info on the guidance of advisers. then nbc news names names, saying jared kushner is the white house official under scrutiny. on friday, the post said the president's son-in-law had asked the russians to set up a secret back channel to moscow during the transition. later that night, reuters reporting that kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the russian ambassador. that's a lot of meetings they don't mention. >> but hold on a second. at 6:23 -- and i just got it as breaking news right now -- are you ready for another one? cnn reporting that intel community said the russians believe, according to cnn sources and intel community, the russians believe they have, quote, the ability to influence the administration through derogatory information they have regarding the financial
situation of trump and his inner circle. close advisers. really, it doesn't stop. >> this latest about jared kushner and the meetings in mid december during the transition, they have to answer those questions. whys would he in a room with a guy who runs this bank under u.s. sanctions and a spy basically working for putin? why was he in the room? why did he need that meeting with him? did he, in fact, initiate a request to have back channel communication using russian facilities not american facilities? >> this is crazy. >> that's a question he needs to answer. >> i don't know what the answer to that could be that would be positive. >> richard, we'll continue at the top of the hour. alex is yelling at us. we have to go to break. >> okay. hold that thought. >> hold that thought. >> richard will be getting in here along with "the washington post" and "the atlantic" julia
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in the end, it is not only what we do, but how we do it. whatever we do, we must act with honesty and with integrity and regardless of your chosen career, you are only as good as your word. as the saying goes, if you have integrity, nothing else matters. and if you do not have integrity, nothing else matters. there will come a time when you will be tested. you may find yourself standing alone against those you thought were trusted colleagues. you may stand to lose what you have worked for and the decision will not be an easy call. >> that was former fbi director and recently appointed justice department special counsel, robert mueller, giving a commencement speech at tabor academy in massachusetts over the weekend. welcome back to "morning joe." it is tuesday, may 30th. with us, richard haas. holding that thought. professor of the university of
michigan school of public policy harold ford jr. >> good morning. >> political reporter for "the washington post," robert costa and columnist for bloomberg view, making a special appearance this morning, al hunt. great to have you on the show. >> they had the time for ceremony. >> didn't want to do it anymore. >> put the number up on nebraska avenue but came back. give us your thoughts about sbig throughout the years. >> i think sbigniew brzezinski was probably the most insightful foreign policy thinker. when he left the carter administration, they were discredited. somewhat unfairly, but they were discredited and i think more than any of the other so-called wise men, certainly more than kissinger, gates and he has been
right about almost everything, right about the soviet union, right about the evolution of our relations with china, right about the first gulf war, the second iraq war and the bush administration, right when he endorsed, i think, obama over clinton and right about the disaster called the trump administration. >> yeah. >> pretty good record. >> i was going to say, mika, for a man who has written as many books -- dozens of books and has served as many presidents, formally and informally, written as many articles as he has written, the fact that he got the big things right time and time again. >> and early. >> he pushed on china. he was, even in his own administration, he was said to be too hawkish against the soviet union but history proved him right. he was right about the first gulf war. he was right about the second gulf war when he stood alien in the foreign policy community
other than a few others. >> al wrote me a beautiful letter that reminded me of a moment years ago. we were -- it was summer and we were at the house in maine. and my father had an interview with al that was set up down at the hotel down by the water, which is kind of like a long walk. we're like, are you really going to do this? we're on vacation. we got down there and he got on the air with you, al i was helping adjust the wires and stuff and he starts to endorse barack obama. the first foreign policy -- i think the first person to endorse -- >> first major person. >> in summer of 2007 before anyone else did, and he did it with you. >> august 2007. mika, i asked him for an interview that week about some foreign policy crisis, probably iraq. i wasn't even told about the presidential race. you were up in maine. he had this incredibly talented technician crawling underneath the table. >> me. >> making sure the wires were correct and as a throwaway i asked him about the presidential
race.heartily endorsed obama an said why he was more suitable for the times than hillary clinton. he was the first major foreign policy figure to endorse barack obama in 2007. and it was -- the obama people knew it was significant. and the clinton people, i assure you, knew it was significant because i heard from them right away. >> i bet you did. >> yeah, yeah. august 2007, if you go back, nobody was getting out front, endorsing barack obama then. >> thank you, al, very much. >> yeah. let's get back to the news. there are new question s surrounding the president's son-in-law, jared kushner and his meetings with russians during the transition. "the new york times" looks at different explanation as to why he met with the state-run russian bank. he met with the head of a major state-owned bank under sanctions
since 2014 and used to plant russian spies in the u.s. in march gorkov said bank managers met with international financial institutions to discuss promising trends and sectors, citing meetings with business circles of the u.s., including with the head of kushner companies, jared kushner. white house spokesperson hope hicks said the meetings were part of an effort to improve relations with russia and to identify areas of possible cooperation. and that kushner's personal business was not discussed during the half hour. it wasn't much of a conversation, she said, in march, adding he remains open to talking with investigators. the meeting has gained more scrutiny after friday night's "washington post" report that russian ambassador sergey kislyak told his supporters that kushner proposed a secret channel early in december, saying kushner wanted to use
russian diplomatic facilities to communicate. kislyak later set up the meeting between kushner and gorkov. >> right now i'm going with naivety and that's not very comfortable for me. what manner of ignorance, chaos, uberous, suspicion, contempt would you have to have to think that doing this with the russian ambassador was a good or an appropriate idea? >> jt from a theoretical standpoint wil tell you my dashboard warning light was clearly on and i think that was the case with all of us in the intelligence community, very concerned about the nature of these approaches to the
russians. >> i know jared. he's a great guy. decent guy. he's number one -- lot of different ways to communicate, back channel, publicly with other countries. i don't see any big issue here relative to jared. >> i know that some administration officials are saying, well, that's standard procedure. i don't think it's standard procedure prior to the inauguration of a president of the united states by someone who is not in an appointed position. >> richard, look at the contrast of the analysis between general hayden and general kelly today, whose heart didn't seem to be in that answer quite. about why someone would seek back channel communication, the way they did it.
what's your takeaway as you watch those two men speaking? >> i have two opinions. generally well-deserved reputations it's interesting how fast you can draw down on that capital. second, i worked on several transitions really. there's only one u.s. government at a time. the transition is just that. you do not set up or suggest back channels with other foreign governments. i've never heard anything like this and i do think it's appropriate. >> harold ford, this is obviously yet another layer of the story. cnn has another part out this morning that the russians actually believed that u.s. intelligence intercepted russian government officials, discussing potentially derogatory information about then presidential candidate donald trump and some of his aids.
sources, to intelligence officials, described the situation as financial in nature and the discussion was about the russians having leverage over trump's inner circle. >> first off, to meika, a lot o people when they talk about people who passed, they have to search for and be creative about their accomplishments. your father was such a giant. >> thank you. >> to build on what you and haas have said, joe, what was forgotten is that while all this was going on, there was an announced negotiation into the fact that the russians had played some role in disrupting our election system. for jared and others -- and these are all allegations. if, indeed, they were trying to create some back channel investigations or, as some have said, trying to help their own company, i find it curious that the one question -- at least the allegations suggested that jared had was that they were going to meet with some bank in russia. these all raise questions. maybe they're legitimate answers to all of these things.
on behalf of the country, i hope that there is. >> regardless, again, it is so important for us. because things come at us so quickly. it is so important to put proper context there. there was already a shadow hanging over this administration. >> and over russia. >> where does this place us in the growing crisis over this russia investigation? >> this morning, the white house is trying to start to move forward with staff changes. i've confirmed that mike dubke, the communications director at the white house, who has only been there three months, as submitted a letter of resignation. you have change as foot within the west wing. sean spicer, however, seems to have rebuilt some of his rapport with the president and with many of his colleagues. he will be at the lectern today for the press briefing. i'm told he has had a positive
trip with the president. you had the former campaign manager and the hard-charging deputy campaign manager both at the white house sunday still at talks about coming in to be tough guys, in a way, on this russia pushback for the white house. >> al hunt, it's pure insanity. donald trump wrecking things left and right, tweeting, destroying relationships across the globe, firing james comey. >> gee wee just confirmed dubke is leaving. >> being self destructive. after things blow up, predictably, he turns around and starts blaming his aides and starts shooting at his aides. it's preposterous that nobody in this white house will say, i resign. this man is losing his mind. >> i was going to say, joe, i'm the one person who was old
enough to be-thave been around 1973. this is de ja vu. we'll reshuffle the chairs. not if there's an intrinsic problem, you're not. there's an intrinsic problem here. let me pick up on what richard said a minute ago. it's easy to lose your reputation. general kelly and general mcmaster come in with really terrific reputations and there was a peace over the weekend by one of the most distinguished authors and journalists of the military, highly respected, old friend of mcmaster who said he was delighted mcmaster came in. now it's time to get out because he's getting destroyed by this white house. >> he's getting destroyed, yes. he ruins careers. >> the day trading by donald trump is just remarkable. >> ruins careers. >> he tried to do it to rod rosenstein. and he pushed back. h.r. mcmaster, one of the most
respected men in the military, who has now been sent out several times to say things that aren't accurate and that make him look like less the man and less the general that he is. and general kelly as well. what great service to this country. why are they doing donald trump's bidding. >> there will always be things you disagree with. and you rationalize it in your head. i think the balance is increasingly skewed. really good men with impeccable careers are being asked to do things and increasingly the argument is then it's time to go. it's too much of a price. you don't want to represent stuff that can't be justified. >> willie, on jared's meetings with the russians, i need more information. i need more information.
this is under investigation i would rather talk about keeping the border secure or i would rae rather talking talk about the trip we just took. they don't need to go out and say this is normal. it's not normal. it's never happened before. not this way. again, at the end of the day, there may be -- maybe it was just that jared was naive. fine. but don't go out and say something that's not true. you can say, again, listen, the investigators will get to the bottom of this. i know jared. i like jared i trust jared. but i can't really talk about that. they didn't do that. they went out and played spokespeople for donald trump. >> general kelly had the look of somebody who had been pushed physically out on the set. >> he didn't look comfortable. >> and told to say that. that's a hard thing to watch for a man who has done what he said. >> you can say no. >> you can say that for a lot of people. should sean spicer go out every day? >> no. >> step aside and they're not
willing to do that. >> either you do it or you leave. these are clearly being loyal tested. you're basically saying, joe, you say no and then have you to leave. you just not passed their loyalty. >> by the way, harold, what you do -- no. you don't leave. you saw no. if they say you're going to be -- then you say that's great. think about how much freedom i'm going to have on the other side of this white house where i can walk. no. this is the thing we said about trump from the beginning. and it frustrates me when paul ryan endorsed donald trump that day. we said you got nothing for it. you just folded and he's going to run over you. >> going to ruin your career. >> go back to the day he endorsed him and we warned him. nobody has said to trump, hey, i'm not going to go out and i'm not going to be a jackass.
by the way, if you say really stupid things, i'm not going to defend you. i will defend your policies if they're good policies. if you make a fool of yourself, i'm not going to defend it. if you fire me, i'm going to spend every waking second of my life making your life a living and breathing hell. your call, don. i'm going back to my office to work. the president, at that point, has a choice to make. and you made his life more difficult. nobody will do that to this guy. >> such wimps. >> and that's why -- >> really nice way of putting it. >> -- we find ourselves where we are right now. >> ruining our country. >> tillerson, mattis and kelly. these are not the people he had some great personal relationship predating his election to the presidency. people said he picked smart people, accomplished people, people who don't need these jobs to make themselves who they are. i thought at some point if they found themselves objecting so strenuously that three or four of them could walk in and say,
mr. president, we quit. the ripples and ramifications against intelligence circles and globally would be enormous. it appears, according to lie's point, looks like he was pushed out in many ways. i was struck by mueller's words over the weekend. honesty, integrity, reputation. if you're in the white house and did anything wrong, you have to be worried listening to him, someone who is a par agon of these things. someone who has a towering reputation. for him to reinforce it over the weekend suggests those of us who want the truth to come out and if charges have to come from there, he is prepared to do it. anyone concerned would have to be reassured. >> the truth is going to come out. maybe you can explain better. you've been around a little bit longer. what is in the drinking water in the white house?
one administration after another, whether you're talking -- i didn't see the nixon administration up close but certainly the clinton administration, the bush administration, and this administration where people are willing to be as flexible with the truth. >> now it's at a fever pitch. >> no, it has been at a fever pitch before. why? why do they sacrifice their reputations that they built up their entire life for a job that is temporary at best? >> in almost all white houses, the staff is a mirror reflection, ultimately, of the president. if the president is good or doing good things and is honest, that's okay. maybe, as richard said, you fudge on a few views. but if the president has the kind of problems that it appear this is president has, i just don't see how a mcmaster, kelly, those people with those sterling
reputations can survive. i think it's impossible. >> by the way, add mike pence to the list. he has been asked to go out and say things that are untrue. how many more times does he take that order? >> and the administration sk caught in lie after lie after lie. >> there is a disconnect there. and americans. how to get along with people they can't stand privately. power brings the party together. people like to be in power, including those in the white house. what i'm hearing is that there's
all this talk. and i pointed out all weekend about the shakeup. he never grew close to president trump. was only there a few months. a lot of things fluid right now in the west wing because the president hasn't made any firm decisions. a lot of people aren't entirely sure for financial reasons, personal, political reasons why they really want to come into this white house right now. >> the only way this white house will work, you know it, al knows it anybody that's been around washington knows it, you need the chief of staff that has the power to hire and fire. not the president. the chief of staff that has complete control of the white house and says to the president, i'll run the white house. you run the world. let's go. >> this president, like all presidents, is getting the white house staff he wants, not the one he needs. something robert costa said. zbig brzezinski's memoir "power and principle." and they have to be willing to
speak truth to power. >> it's a good book. robert costa, stay with us. al hunt, thank you so, so much for being on this morning. >> thank you, al. still ahead on "morning joe," president jimmy carter will join us live. plus -- >> i think he is the premier and most important threat more than isis. i think isis can do terrible things but it's the russians who are trying to destroy the very fundamental of democracy, to change the outcome of an american election. i view the russians as the far greatest challenge that we have. coming up, moscow's strategy in all of this. and france's new president not afraid to speak truth to power, whether it's traditional allies like the u.s. or rising adversaries like the russian. even when he's standing right next to vladimir putin. you're watching "morning joe." >> doesn't look happy. >> we'll be right back. ♪
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so as we were discussing, nbc news can now confirm that the communications director mike dubke has resigned. axios first reported that a long-time operative resigned may 18th. he offered to stay through the overseas trip and has continued working at the white house in the interim. peter alexander joins us from the white house. what can you tell us about how this came about? >> reporter: willie, good morning to you. there's been all kinds of talks about changes, specifically in the communications department. initially sean spicer, press secretary, was also communications director. even after they brought in a xhupgss director, there were still challenges, at best, in delivering the president's message. the president wants to get on the road more to speak to his core supporters out the beltway
where he thinks he would be more effective delivering his message. of course, we're keeping a close eye on all things russia as the president tries to push back on investigations involving russia. the plan is a crisis management unit, war room as it's described to deal with all things russia related. jared kushner, steve bannon and reince priebus. all those headlines emerged, raising questions about kushner's contacts with russia. he was looking to a direct line to vladimir putin in december during the transition. mr. trump telling "the times" he has total confidence in his son-in-law. "the washington post" reports he asked about using russian diplomatic facilities to try to shield them from u.s. surveillance. the white house hasn't commented publicly.
kellyanne conway was on fox news. she said i'm not going to comment objen any of this, beca there isn't any reason to. the president himself has commented on twitter, tweeting russian officials must be laughing at the u.s. and how a lame excuse for why the democrats lost the election has taken over the fake news. nbc news first to report that 36-year-old political newcomer is under fbi scrutiny right now on collusion because of the campaign and russia. aides concede right now, as i spoke to them over the weekend, they're preparing for a new reality, willie, joe and mika. as for the war room, finally, names that could be brought in to help, corey lewandowski. >> familiar name. thank you very much. staff writer at "the atlantic," julia ioffi.
you're an expert on russia. let's talk about what peter just referenced. what they must be thinking as they watch these stories unfold. and europe peeling away, at least publicly, angela merkel, and president macron in france, from the united states after the g7 and nato meetings. >> good morning. first of all, mika, i wanted to just offer my condolences. it's a great loss for the country and i'm sure for you as well. >> i'll pass it on. thank you. >> so, you know, the russian news media has not really been covering the scandal surrounding jared kushner, the trump administration. i think not because they're laughing at it, but because i think they find it deeply worrying and frustrating. they were really hoping that because of such alleged actions, they could open a direct channel to trump and establish some kind of rapport, some kind of
personal chemistry which, we know, works well with donald trump. if you can establish some kind of personal connection with him, things go your way much more. so, i think that this is very worrying for moscow, that they're not able to do this. what the russian media is covering, though, is what happened in brussels, what happened in cicely. and merkel's statement at the end of those days of meetings, this is great for russia. this is how the news media is covering it. official kremlin channels are approvingly saying trump has turned nato into a house of cards. this is what russia has been wanting for a really long time. they see nato as a kind of anti-deluvian thing that doesn't exist because the soviet union isn't there anymore and all it's there for is to hold russia in check and threaten russia. they're very happy to see all of
this -- the transatlantic alliance peeling apart. >> thank you so much for the kind words about my father. lovely. >> so, julia, let me ask you this. we, of course, are getting these reports this morning. cnn had another report that the russians thought they were passing information around in their intel community, that they thought they had financial information they could use to leverage trump in his inner circle. i want to ask you, when you hear these reports from russian intel agencies back and forth, that we intercept, how much of this do you take seriously how much do you think maybe they're exaggerating? how many do you think the russians may be playing us? we, of course, hear this. it's picked up. we take it at face value. but i'm just wondering, could the russians be playing us this
way as well? >> they could be, of course. anything is possible. that said, i think we really think of russia as this perfect mastermind that vladimir putin sits there, hatches a perfect long-time, multistep plan, very elaborate plan and executes it perfectly. that's just not true. russia is like any other country. in fact, it's much messier. and they're trying to figure things out as they go along. they didn't plan for this. they didn't even plan for donald trump to get elected. they thought they were just going to hobble a clinton presidency going in. they're trying to figure this out as they go along, too. and i think they're trying to figure out what leverage they have on this man. and for somebody who did a lot of -- who does real estate in new york and florida, both awash with russian money, that businessmen are trying to store outside of russia, because russian courts are so skrupt, because your assets can be
seized at any time for any reason. you know, he has connections that probably were valuable to them at one point for a different reason, so they could spy on their own people. and why they're stashing money abroad and trying to find leverage that way. now they're trying to see if they can use it in the reverse, if it can be leveraged again the current administration. they're trying to find ways into this. >> richard? >> julia, there were all sorts of protest ace few weeks ago in russia. what sort of situation now does putin face at home? how does what we're talking about here how does it affect his situation at home? >> i don't think it affects his situation at home that much. that's an excellent question. the thing about protests in russia, they come and go and are pretty effectively crushed by the state. that undercurrent of discontent never quite goes away. this is what we don't realize about russia. we see them as this all-powerful actor. putin's regime is quite fragile.
it's stable today and tomorrow. in the long term what happens? presidential elections are coming up next year. he's probably going to run again. he's probably most likely going to win a fourth term. he is a mortal person. he is going to die at some point. >> does he know that? >> you know, i think he knows that. and people around him know that. people in the russian business community know that. so, while it's stable right now and russia looks great and swaggering and strong on the world stage there's a lot of worry about home about where this is all going and how the transfer of power takes place. >> can i ask you quickly about that? i remember when things were so chaotic in the 1990s in russia. and while there were a lot of people very concerned about vladimir putin taking power, for many reasons, there was a quiet sense of relief that you would have a strong man that would help slow down the nuclear
proliferation, take control of nuclear weapons and other things of concern. do we have reason to be concerned after putin leaves power that it could return to the chaotic situation it was before putin? we've been critical of putin here. i don't want anyone to misinterpret this but anyone that remembers the chaos after the collapse of the soviet union, it was a grave concern. should we be deeply concerned moving forward? >> absolutely. the russians are, too. and vladimir putin is, too. it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. that's why moammar gadhafi and saddam hussein resonate so strongly with him. hauling out institutions so extensively, they have to stay
in control but they're mortal. so it becomes less stable once they're gone. you are starting to get the undercurrent of worry among the elites and the business communities, the people who are closer to the kremlin. they're very worried about what comes next. what happens in 2024 when putin's fourth term expires? does he change the constitution stay on? what happens if he dies? and he isn't a man who has looked for an exit strategy before and you now he's starting to. julia ioffe, thank you very much. just ahead, former press secretary to president obama, josh earnest. and ""new york times" w journalist. you're watching "morning joe."
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is said to have joked with federal agents, signed autographs and even showed off his military medals but on arrival, he has said to have lost his composure, clutch aid bible and cried. >> breaking news, former dictator manuel noriega has died at the age of 83. one time he worked as an informant, ally with u.s. inntel agencies often playing multiple sides. over time, he consolidated power, eventually taking control of the country. things soon soured with washington. in 1989 after he declared war on the u.s. and when an unarmed off-duty marine was shoot and killed, the u.s. invaded panama. the largest military operation since the vietnam war. >> that didn't work out well for him there. he was banging the sword, saying americans would be caught in the jungles of panama, just like vietnam. i think it lasted about --
>> he was captured and convicted in an american court, serving years of prison. he died in his home country. >> do you know joe play aid role in that? when noriega was holed up with the representative there, joe put together the play list of the rock music blasting. >> exactly. >> okay. up next -- >> played david bowie. >> some of his band. up next, the trump administration goes back to the drawing board on everything, from their domestic agenda to their staff. we're back in just a moment. hey dad, come meet the new guy.
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also seen on "saturday night live." >> they're very mean to glenn on "saturday night live." >> no, they're not. >> they are. >> he's a pop culture figure now. >> sweet thing. >> like josh. >> sort of like the pet rock in the 1970s. >> glenn. >> chia pet. >> chia pet. >> bob costa is with us as well. a lot of in-fighting, back and forth. it's been that way for some time. i thought it was particularly humorous that the trump white house that continually blasts sources, unnamed sources, when the kusner story came out, there were not two unnamed sources, there were six unnamed sources in the white house, kicking jared about the head. >> well, he is in an interesting position, joe. i mean, you know, he has had, i
think, for the first four months or so a very stable relationship with the president. i think probably the most stable relationship with any of the president's senior advisers and i think that has changed as a result to this russia investigation. it was actually starting to shift a week or so earlier when we saw those reports of jared's sister soliciting investments in beijing, dangling, you know, the visa, the $500,000 visa in front of these potential investors. the president did not like that at all. and my sense is that in his frustration, he has finally turned the spotlight a bit on kushner. it's not really clear, ultimately, what the long-term implications are of that. if the investigation keeps moving closer to jared, that puts a lot of strain on this relationship. >> but, you know, bob, the point that i was making is that the in-fighting is so bad that when they see a chance to get a guy who was formerly untouchable --
>> prince jared. >> -- as they would call him inside, you have six people piling on here. it is lord of the flies in the rest wi west ring rig west wing right now. >> no one wants to go to war publicly with jared. he's still the president's son-in-law, works steps from the oval office. at the same time, there is a grumbling. you hear it from many aides within the white house and within the broader administration that kushner, at some days, is the shadow secretary of state, it seems, to them. other days it seems to be the director of trade for the administration. he has his fingerprints on so much. he has laid off, however, on congressional affairs, hasn't done as much on capitol hill. his portfolio is so big and for others who feel like they're walking on thin ice around president trump his presence is
alarming and disconcerting to them. >> they only bring their family link to the table. as i was being completely clueless about how to actually make this man a better president in any way when they don't seem to really know what they're doing. there's absolutely no evidence that they have idea what they are doing. >> well, president trump brought them into the west wing not because of their expertise in running the country but because of their loyalty to their father and father-in-law. >> what do they bring to the table in terms of their talent? >> i think what -- again, the president brought them on board not because of their talent but because of their loyalty to him. that is at his core, that is what he cares about. >> what attributes do they have that are productive that could be helpful? >> i think what the american people, many people in washington have thrust on them, are the hopes that they would be able to be a source of stability, a sort of ballast
from this president who careens from one crisis to another, they could sort of impose some governing on him, this idea -- >> they would have to know how to do that in order to impose it. >> well, okay, you keep -- you're asking josh something that is actually -- it's strange you're asking josh that when i think you know the answer better. i know i certainly do. >> what is the answer? >> well, jared has been seen because jared was a moderating influence on his father-in-law. he attempted to be a moderating influence on his father-in-law. and it worked many times. and ivanka tried to be a moderating influence on her father. and they were successful on many fronts. >> i'm sorry -- >> as we move further into this white house, three months into it, willie, it's not having as much of an impact anymore. donald trump in looking for someone to blame is now turning -- turning to jared to
blame. now going back to being more supportive of steve bannon, which is what donald trump does. he likes corey, he fires kocore. he hires corey, he calls corey, he doesn't. his family is not only immune to this. >> i think it was wishful thinking ivanka trump and jared kushner were going to moderate donald trump. >> there's not one instance. >> you can flesh this out about what's taken place inside the white house. we were talking about the need to have someone in the west wing who can say no to the president, who can deliver the bad news. who is that person right now if such a person exists in the trump white house? >> nobody. you know, it's funny, everything we're talking about this morning, the resignation of key as communications adviser, the war room they're going to -- they're going to build. maybe they should build a peace room first, right?
everything they're shuffling around points to one issue, which is the president's management of the white house, which is idiosyncratic, and he moves -- >> do you mean that positively or negatively, glenn? >> i mean that neutrally. >> yes. go ahead. >> you're asking what does jared do. i think his role, his best role is a convener, bringing in talent, good talent. the problem is he's taken on such a vague portfolio, my reporting and reporting of of my colleague bears out sometimes he doesn't know what he doesn't know. he shares some of his attributes of his father-in-law. he's not a deep study on issues. i think a lot of times he enters situation in which he's somewhat out of his depth with the sense he's in full control. >> i want to point out he didn't bring in dina powell.
>> right. >> he did bring in flynn and pushed flynn to the point -- >> that's not -- that's actually not correct, mika. >> he did. >> that's not correct. >> he argued flynn to the bitter end. >> donald trump decided he was going to have flynn in. he had flynn traveling around with him. nobody was going to stop donald trump from bringing flynn in. >> and jared kushner was next to him saying -- >> and ivanka, too. >> they confirmed that. you could look, harold ford, and i'm not carrying jared's case here, but you could certainly look at what happened in saudi arabia. you could look at some of the things he's been doing with talking to governments, talking to israel. certainly if the first couple days of the trip were successful, which a lot of people were saying it was, that is something you could point to and say that he had a big impact on that. obviously, the biggest problem that he has and that his father-in-law has is, they just don't know what they know.
they're two real estate guys from new york and they think everybody in washington, d.c. is stupid. >> a tale of two trips. if he were responsible for the first part of the trip, i think you can argue addition. >> more than anybody else in the white house, he was responsible for the first leg of that trip. >> i want robert to react, to glenn's point, he's been a convener of people, brought ceos in, labor people in, tried to shape the agenda. the front pages of the "wall street journal" today suggest the tax bill reform may be off the table. it's faltering in the house. obviously, health care is stalled. if you're trying to get the big ticket items done, i'm curious what's being said in the white house? a lot of headlines this morning, do they believe they can get back to dealing with serious, substantive legislative issues in congress before congress recesses for the summer? >> that's the real question, congressman. when i was at wall street last week talking to financial people, they say the lack of action on tax reform is more alarming to them than any kind of chaos within the white house.
they don't care about the departure of mike in the business community. they see speaker ryan and donald trump moving slowly, health care stalled, tax reform -- president trump tweeted it's ahead of schedule. as someone who roams the hauls of the capitol, i find not only wall street people that are concerned, it's the lawmakers. you look at the special elections, they see democrats creeping up in percentages. they wonder if they can't get something done, what's the cost next year? >> and democrats are energized. >> they are energized. two other things we can assess about jared. first is, he is reportedly one of the leading advocates of firing jim comey, which does raise question about the quality of advice he's giving to the president of the united states. one more test coming up. there's this question whether or not the united states is going to pull out of of the climate agreeme
agreement. reportedly, ivanka and jared are advocates. we have an scientific experiment to conduct whether or not jared still has the stroke inside the west wing many people hope he would. >> well, glenn thrush -- >> have you talked this entire segment? >> i'm deferring to the science guy over here. >> alex just said this was your best segment ever. >> i'm on fire. >> 15 seconds. >> i'm with him. >> you -- >> i'm with josh. >> this is what happens when you become senior national correspondent, thing-a-maboby. >> let them come to you. >> all other smart guys talking. >> let's go to the bullpen, the closer right here. >> glenn thrush, robert costa -- >> glenn, thank you. he's a troublemaker. how would you like those two coming off, thrush and costa? it's like butch cassidy and the sundance kid. angela merkel after meeting with president trump, the german
chancellor says europe has to go it alone. we'll talk about the radically shifting relationship with our time-tested allies. we'll talk about how my dad went from polish immigrant to a key architect of u.s. foreign policy. president jimmy carter will be our guest right here on "morning joe." i count on my dell small business advisor for tech advice. with one phone call, i get products that suit my needs and i get back to business. ♪ ♪
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all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of berlin. >> the leader of the free world, john f. kennedy speaking to the people of berlin in 1963 when the city was on the front line of the cold war. yesterday marked 100 years since kennedy's birth. he was the first of his generation to become president and upheld the bipartisan tradition of standing up for western ideals on the world stage. a stark contrast to president trump who came home last week from his foreign trip with at least two key european allies wondering if the days of american leadership are over. who will offer america's strategic vision now, is the question we're all asking this morning? good morning, everyone. it's tuesday, may 30th. with us on set we have the newly minted national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, john
heilemann. the president of the council on foreign relations and author of the book "a world in disarray," richard hoss, and andrea mitchell will be joining us shortly. >> everybody here, and as we heard over the weekend, so many people across this country, across washington, new york, and across the world mourning your father's loss. >> we're overwhelmed by it, really. it's incredible. we're all a little lost still. but we appreciate all the thoughts and prayers that have come in in the most amazing letters from people around the world who were impacted by my father's service. >> we're going to be talking about dr. brzezinski a good bit. richard hoss, what an extraordinary life. this is a man who spent his early years with his father as diplomat in germany, watching the rise of adolf hitler. then his -- his father then moved to the soviet union during
stalin's great purge. they escaped to canada right before the start of world war ii. he saw his homeland torn to shreds by the germans and soviet union. it drove him. he was a hawk when america needed a hawk. and then he became a dove when we needed to have a dove, pushing back against the iraq war. >> the consistency there is incredible, analytical skills. incredible intellectual honesty. in life, you're lucky if you find someone who has tremendous ability to think and write or you find someone who gets things done. what i thought zbig to extraordinary, he was on that short, short list of scholar practitioners, people who could be intellectually creative and could be operational. the fact he was able to combine the two really made him rare. i thought it was interesting,
after he left government, people forget how long ago he left government. unlike so many people, he remained krettive. he remained relevant. he didn't need an in box. every day he woke up and made his in box. we took out all the articles he wrote on foreign affairs. what an maamazing legacy. >> andrea mitchell, i didn't realize until i got to know him as well as i did over the past decade that he was very active during the reagan administration especially. supported george h.w. bush in 1988. was active working with bush and scowcroft. obviously, the first national policy leader to get out in support of barack obama. richard's right, he was just as active out of office as he was in. >> indeed. in fact, came out against the iraq war, so that set him apart
from a lot of the conventional thinking. the fact is, he was not conventional. he was original. what really touched me, and you've spoken to his relevance for decades and decades, the fact that he became more relevant without the apparatus of power because it was the power of intellect. also what i learned most recently, because i was afraid of him for years, he was such a daunting intellect -- >> by the way, andrea, that shows you the fact that you were fearful of him, shows just how wise you are. >> right, exactly. >> when i first met him, he, of course, called me stunningly superficial. one of the last times i spoke with him, i had gone into the hospital room and mika told me, my father hasn't communicated in days. so he's there, but he's not there. i leaned over to can kiss mrs. brzezinski, ask her how she was doing. i leaned over to can kiss him, i
felt something against my leg and it was a towel. he had thrown a towel to hit me and then he opened his eyes and smiled and then went back to sleep. that's dr. brzezinski. >> i was going to say, at least he never called me stunningly superficial. >> yes, we will always have that. >> but he was so kind. i developed such an affection for him in later years and through mika and through being on the program with him when you would be kind enough to include me with him. and just saw a different side of him completely. the fact is, he defined originality and principle in foreign policy. and we don't see that. it's such a rare, rare addition. >> he did that in my family as well. my father lived a remarkable life and it's nearly impossible to boil down all that he did, the impact that he had and all that he meant to so many people, but here is our best attempt. >> someone like brzezinski is --
he's kind of feisty. he's aggressive. he's innovative. >> his task force chaired by zbig brzezinski. >> zbigniew brzezinski is with us today. >> dr. brzezinski, i can't say enough about his contribution to our country. >> in his life he was called a peacemaker, cold warrior, hardened realist, bridge builder. others called him professor, mentor, author and friend. many called him one of the most influential foreign policy minds of our time. to those who knew him, he was zbig. to my brothers and me, he was dad. to his grandchildren he would become chief, salute and all. joining us now, former national security adviser for president cater, dr. zbigniew brzezinski. hi, dad. >> also known as dad. >> and my dad, dr. zbigniew brzezinski is on the set. i'm hyperventilating. >> he's co-hosting.
>> co-hosting for free. >> good morning, mika. still a good girl. >> i am. that's what he always says. >> i was unhinging as a child, right? >> you were very difficult. >> what are you wearing, dad? he's going to the serengetti next. >> mika, i'm sitting here in this ice box. if you were sitting here, you'd be wearing a fur coat. >> zbigniew brzezinski was born in warsaw, poland, in 1928 with a family legacy deeply immersed in diplomacy and some of the 20th century's most mow men to us challenges. his father was a polish diplomat who posted to germany from 1931 to '35 where he witnessed the rise of adolf hitler. from 1936 to '38, he was posted to the soviet union during stalin's purges. in 1938 the family moved to canada, where a young brzezinski would see his homeland crushed, first by german's hitler and
stalin. a decade's long crusade against the ussr. >> world war ii under this appearance of poland and then the extraordinary violence that was perpetrated on poland did affect my perception of the world. >> he earned a doctorate where he married his wife of almost 60 years, wellsley grad, painter and sculptor. but their time at harvard was limited. brzezinski would initially be denied tenure and instead take his immeasurable talents to columbia. >> two years later, harvard offered me a permanent chair as full professor. i said, thank you very much, i prefer to be where i am. [ applause ] >> he would teach at columbia for decades. just recently received the
school's prestigious global leadership award. zbigniew brzezinski became an american citizen. >> the daughters of the american revolution came up to us and pinned american flags into our lapels. and i remember in my case, she drew a lot of blood. i said to myself, well, now i have really shed my blood for america. >> during those years, brzezinski's foreign policy work foek can cussed on one overriding goal -- how to exploit weaknesses in the soviet system. a young senator, john f. kennedy, liked what he heard, tapping dr. brzezinski for his foreign policy task force. years later, brzezinski would brief president lyndon johnson and take on a role at lbj's state department. but it was the 1970s when dr. brzezinski would be thrust yo onto the world stage as national security adviser to president jimmy carter. the first order of business, how to pronounce his name. >> the president sent out to a
handwritten note to the entire staff which said simply, name how to spell pronounce, zbigniew brzezinski. >> dr. zbigniew brzezinski rolls off the tongue. >> you know where i screwed up? the w should be an f. they spelled it wrong on your book. >> spell that. >> z-b-i-g-n-i-e-w. >> you are, by far, the best guest we have ever had in terms of accumulated scrabble points. >> very good. >> soon enough, zbigniew brzezinski did become a household name. as "newsweek" noted decades ago something only possible in america. >> when i was sworn in with the cabinet members, i walked from that to my new office, and i remember i said to myself, from now on, for the next four years, everything will be dominated by what is good for america, what is good for the presidency.
and i'm just going to give it my all. >> that included playing a pivotal role in the 1978 camp david accords bringing together the leaders of egypt and israel for an historic peace treaty. that same year, the u.s. established official diplomatic relations with china after months of secret talks. our family even hosted the leader of china at our farmhouse. there was a nuclear arms treaty with the soviet. and a deal to peacefully transfer control of the panama canal. but there were challenges, too. chief among them, the taking of american hostages in iran and the failed 1980 mission to save them. >> i went in to see the president. i interrupted him and said, i have to speak to you immediately. we went into the other room. i told him -- and then i said to him, look, sometimes in a situation like this one takes a chance. i was rather, perhaps, not responsible of me to say that to
him, but i did. i said, why don't you ask the field commander of the u.s. to proceed with the rest of the mission? and the president phoned the secretary of state -- secretary of defense and we asked and he said, no. it's below the minimum and we don't go on. the order was given, go back. that's when the accident can occurred. one of the hole helicopters -- one of the other helicopters collided with the plane. >> and there was that 3:00 a.m. phone call when in 1979 dr. brzezinski was awoken with the news of an imminent nuclear strike against the united states. moments later, a second call. america was under all out attack. as he prepared to wake the president and recommend a counterstrike against the soviets, a third call came, this one citing a false alarm. it was one of the moments that helped forge a lasting bond between the president and his adviser. though they didn't always see
eye to eye -- >> i've got pictures of you jogging with the president. >> he wrote on this photograph, zbig, at least once we are in step. which is an illusion to the fact that in private i would sometimes take a different position than his and then we would discuss it. >> i remember one day his secretary came to my office with the kind of slight sneer on her face and had an envelope in her hand. and i looked at her and i saw green stationery. that's a note from the president. i opened it and it said, zbig, don't you ever know when to stop? >> in the eyes of a daughter, the carter white house culminated with her father receiving the medal of freedom from the leader of the free world. he would return to teaching, writing, appearing on television but only on his own terms. >> hi, mika. i've been here a hell of a long time.
>> let's get going. >> dr. brzezinski never let partisan politics get in the way of what he can considered his patriotic calling. he publicly supported a republican for president in 1988. >> george bush is the one who can best fashion an effective bipartisan foreign policy. >> and a democrat two decades later. >> i give you barack obama. >> his own children followed in his foot steps into public service. my brother, mark, was u.s. ambassador to sweden. ian, a senior pentagon official. and my career in journalism set the stage for that cringe-worthy exchange back in 2008 when my dad took issue with joe's analysis of the middle east. >> you and i both know bill clinton gave air afat and the palestinians everything they could have wanted. >> you have such a stunning superficial knowledge of what went on it's almost embarrassing to listen to you. >> my father always spoke his mind, to friends and foes alike, both on and off camera.
always driven by a strategic vision to make the country that opened its arms to his family a safer and stronger nation. dr. zbigniew brzezinski, my dad, our chief, was 89 years old. i count on my dell small business advisor for tech advice. with one phone call, i get products that suit my needs and i get back to business. ♪ ♪
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i want to read david ignatius's piece saying, zbigniew brzezinski would have been appalled but not surprised by trump's group of seven meeting on saturday after which german chancellor angela merkel said that the era when europe could rely on american leadership was over to a certain extent. having seen western values and freedoms crushed in poland, he was protective of them. trump's populism was abhorrent to this son of polish
aristocracy but it wasn't just that. brzezinski didn't think trump understood what a precious creation he was jeopardizing by so recklessly challenging the institutions of the west. >> so, mika, there was a lot of fallout this weekend about that foreign trip. in a tweet president trump called his trip a great success. talked about hard work and big results. that was echoed also by republican congressmen, including bob corker, which was a bit of a surprise. he said it was executed to near perfection. >> it wasn't. >> he said president trump should be commended for the trip's success. james mattis also defended the president's tough talk. andrea mitchell, i don't really care what politicians in washington, d.c., are saying about a trip they know was a complete disaster. >> embarrassment. >> you look at the president's actions, you look at the gestures. >> the ugly american. >> you look at the bullying of him pushing the newest member
out of the way to get in front of a picture. you look at that awkward hand shake with macron. you have angela merkel and her opponent saying that america treated us horribly. we can no longer depend on the united states of america. and europe's going to have to worry about itself. this is addition this is -- i said yesterday, and i really -- would be hard-pressed for anybody, if anyone can can find a more disastrous foreign trip, i would like to know what it was because this was a disaster. >> the european relationship, 70-plus years of the nato alliance, and the borish behavior is so extraordinary. capped by his refusal -- i mean, bad enough to not explicitly say that he was committed to article 5 to the mutual defense treaty,
at a commemoration for 9/11, which was the only time in history that nato did declare article 5 to come to the defense of the united states of america. and to not commit to the paris climate accord, it's shocking. he has until june 1st, i guess. he's going to make some decision this week. but the fact they are wrestling with this. we saw general mattis saying over the weekend, well, he's taking it in, he's learned a lot. everyone trying to give him running room. but he's not going to be bullied into it by his staff, that's for sure. and for all of their bragging about riyadh and what they did. it was an interesting experiment in riyadh. the fact they ignored -- that the sunni sponsored terror and then go to europe, which has just experienced terror and see the reluctance to sign on, and the fact that he refused to lecture the saudis and other
arab leaders, but did lecture his nato allies in europe is just stunning. still ahead this morning, president jimmy carter will join us to talk about working with my dad. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. when this bell rings... ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and.
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bring in "new york times" columnist frank bruney and peter baker with his latest reporting, also president jimmy can carter. first, bill karins with a check of the forecast. >> good tuesday morning to you. rain is moving through areas of the north east. this afternoon we'll get round two and severe storms. not a lot of huge weather headlines today. the storms now racing through central new york are kind of dying off as they approach binghamton. this afternoon we'll get a new line of storms. 5 million people are at risk. i don't think we'll see hail too big. isolated chance of tornado. this is how it will look for our friends in the gloomy northeast. clouds are locked in like on memorial day. we'll stay cloudy. on this front is where the storms will form. 5:00, 6:00 p.m., so those afternoon activities are in jeopardy from central
pennsylvania up through new york and those will die off through new england this evening. other weather concerns tomorrow, we do it all over again. we'll get a little more sunshine but we are showing hints around 5:00 p.m., pretty good line of storms will roll through i-95 from d.c. up through philadelphia. i didn't mention a lot about the west because you've had the best weather by far in the country this last three-day weekend. looking very warm and beautiful. no problems at all. the southeast, your typical afternoon storms today and tomorrow from south texas along the gulf coast states. slowly settling into a summer-like pattern. the exception, the great lakes and northeast and down to washington, d.c. wasn't a great memorial day. this is what it looks like today. that's gloomy. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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actually harbor those kind of feelings that the organs of the state could be used by my predecessor to come after me or intercept my communications or disrupt my administration in a way that made it seem legitimate to me to use the secure communications facilities of a foreign power. and, oh, by the way, a foreign power that some in government alleged you were cooperating with to affect the american election. >> former cia director michael hayden reacting to reports that white house adviser jared can kushner sought to use russian channels to communicate with moscow. joining us now, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times," peter baker, column nis for "the new york times," frank bruney and former dod official and former executive of the graham commission, now a senior fellow at the atlantic counsel, dr. evelyn farkas joins us as well. >> peter, let's begin with you. chaos inside of the white house.
and the president's closest relationship and inner circle now being tested. >> well, it really is, obviously. you know, it's easy to fire staff. it's easy to dispense with them. but you have a son-in-law here who's part of the family. it's much tougher situation for any president. you're beginning to see this morning what looks to be something of a staff shakeup of other people. mike, white house communications director is stepping down. much speculation whether others will follow by the end of the week. the white house is finding a way to contain and deal with these investigations without allowing it to completely absorb all the time for governing they ought to be spending on legislation and executive orders and foreign diplomacy and the like. >> frank bruney, the trip certainly hasn't mailed things easy. >> frank writes about the body language of donald trump. he starts by saying, his words can be counterfeit, his gestures
are genuine. what do you mean by that? >> i just think if you to know the story of this trip most accurately, you just watched all of the visuals. you watched the difference in body language between when donald trump was with the saudi and when he was with the europeans. that's shocking when you think about american foreign policy and the history of it and to whom we owe allegiance and whom we don't. the fact you saw one kind of behavior, one kind of verbal and physical etiquette with the saudis in a whole different -- >> which was -- >> which was much more differential. >> appearing to bow. >> appearing to bow. not just in that gesture, but if you look at the speech and the words, we're not going to have a moral high hand with you anymore. then he goes to europe. after he leaves, merkel says i don't know if we can count on the u.s. anymore. there's a front page story in "the times," is this what we mean to be accomplishing with our foreign policy? >> speaking of body language, you had president macron of
france saying that vice grip hand shake he gave the president was, indeed, meant to send a message to the united states and the world. >> i missed one of the great ones because it happened after my deadline which is trump riding around in the golf cart while all the other leaders walked. i think that was a gesture -- >> the only country that benefits is russia. creating a division between us and our european allies has been one of the number one priorities with vladimir putin. >> right there. >> john heilemann said, question is, as national grand pubaw for national news, the question s why do republicans, republicans i respect like bob corker, say this was a fantastic trip when the fact is, you actually have 70 years of u.s. policy that we paid for in blood and sweat and tears, in gold, up-ended by donald trump. when are republicans going to come out and say, he not only embarrassed us in europe, but he set back -- >> he destroyed.
>> -- he set back the central tenet of u.s. foreign policy in a way we can't even phat mfathot now. >> if this was not in keeping with the way republicans have dealt with donald trump, in principle or policy, where he was at variance with what they believed for a long time, this has been kenconsistent, right? your party, joe, has been -- >> i don't know how much longer people are going to be able to say that. i'm dead serious. when you start saluting someone for hurting america and helping vladimir putin, i don't know how much longer people are going to be able to say that about my party. >> there's been an extraordinary tolerance of things trump has done, consistently in the leadership in the senate, leadership in the house. the question -- you and i discussed this on the air on many occasions. it's all about political self-interests. there are a lot of republicans who thought they should stick by trump because they thought he was the vehicle they would get
their agenda. when does agenda stall and trump's approval rating is so low, they no longer see a self-interest of sticking with him. >> we're not there yet? >> peter baker, it's hard to say right now but it seems republicans continue to stand by this president for the most part. >> they do for the most part. and, you know, for reasons john just talked about, obviously, there's not a political interest in breaking with him in a lot of ways. some of these messages that we hear professionals lament are not necessarily brad with the base. the idea of standing up to european allies and telling them they ought to pay more, that doesn't go badly in some parts of america who do feel like we have borne the burden of international security for a long time. why do we have to be the ones penning all that men on defense when nbls is living up to their side of the bargain. these messages are not necessarily in conflict with a
political interest here at home as well. just this morning the president went after angela merkel again on twitter. he said germany has this unfair advantage in trade deficit, doesn't pay enough for nato and that will change under his administration. he clearly sees that as a message directed abroad and also at home. >> even "the wall street journal" this morning, one of their op-ed says all these comments toward merkel is her whining about the paris climate accords and it's not -- we're making too much of this. it's not europe pulling away from america. it's her positioning herself to get trump to come aboard. is it something bigger or is this a single issue? >> that could be the case. as peter says, some of what trump is bringing up, if we're going to be fair, the substantive matter is open for debate. whether the payments are fair. can you can do this, though, in many different styles. and words he uses, the gestures shows almost content for our european allies.
can you can take issue with specific things they're doing or not doing, without giving them the middle finger, which is what i think he does with them. these countries have values much more aligned than russia's ever will be. >> he embraces an autocrat in turkey, who stands by his limousine and watches turkish thugs brutalize american citizens and doesn't say anything. he defends vladimir putin and attacks u.s. army vets who fought in iraq saying, oh, you think putin's bad for killing people. look at what we did in iraq. comparing army vets, marines, to vladimir putin. you can go -- he embraces autocrats. he's comfortable with autocrats. he's just not comfortable with elected democratic people. >> he seems to be uncomfortable with arctticulating american values and interests that have been rock solid for 70 years.
why is he not giving a resounding -- he hasn't given a major speech articulating what u.s. foreign policy objectives are, what our values are, that we stand for democracy. and i think that's intentional. it's part of why angela merkel is saying, there's no vision coming from the united states. there's no leadership. i mean, forget about leading from the front or behind. we're not leading. we're standing to the side with this president. >> where's the high-minded rhetoric we used to associate with the presidency? >> we're losing our place in the world. >> right. >> we're distancing ourselves and, frankly speaking, we're being hostile to our friends. >> in a rapid fashion. >> we had the secretary of state -- had the secretary of state saying we're no longer going to look at human rights and other values and assessing whether someone is a friend or enemy. how ironic that you actually had republicans, conservatives, now for the most part hypocrites, attacking barack obama for eight years, and i attacked barack
obama for eight years, being far kinder to our enemies, bending over backwards to iran than our traditional allies. now where are these hypocrites when donald trump is doing that ten times over? >> we have played this game over and over again. can you imagine what would have happened if barack obama had a president with the philippines, the transcript had been released of barack obama saying the same thing to the president of philippines that donald trump said? can you imagine the outcry from republicans? in this case, silence. >> republicans being hypocritical and saying absolutely nothing. we're told we have on the phone president jimmy carter. mr. president, a great honor to have you with us this morning. >> thank you. >> one of the things -- one of the most remarkable things about zbig brzezinski is how fiercely loyal he was to you. we know washington figures that love to talk about how they would have done things differently. i can tell you in all the years
i've known him, all the years mika has known him, all he's done is said wonderful things about you in public, and more importantly, in private. >> well, the feeling was mutual. identify often said of all the people in government, there was no one more loyal to me than brzezinski was. even when he disagreed with me, he kind of stayed quiet, which was often. that's when we were in the white house together and also afterwards. he was a great public servant is and one of the best i've known. he was innovative and full of humor. we started out the morning at 8:00 every morning for four years. it was a pleasure to looking forward to meeting with brzezinski and learning what he thought and also getting his wonderful ideas. >> and now let's talk about the other side of -- meek can ka can can be a real pain at times. >> no. >> he was a pain to other people. he never was a pain to me. although, you know, he often
disagreed with me, sometimes within our own staff meetings. but that was part of the value that he brought to me and also to the country. >> so, i thank you so much for joining us this morning. i had the honor of spending time with you in the white house and at camp david playing with your daughter amy. i watched you and my father interact. what are some of your fondest memories of time with my father? >> well, he would always start out a day with a joke or some funny thing that had happened with him in the white house. and he would have maybe ten new ideas every morning and about two or three of them would be, you know, accessible to pursue. quite often in the state department they would disagree with the one i chose but zbig never did. i enjoyed playing tennis with him, jogging with him. there was nobody in the white house with whom i felt more at home and friendly than zbig.
we had an intense and close personal friendship for the four years. and he was the originator of some of the best ideas i had. no one ever suggested to me that we have a peace talks between israel and egypt except zbig. but he thought it was a good idea. even though the public never thought about it nor any of the people who were very interested in the middle east. so, zbig was always in the forefront of new ideas and good ideas. he was also extremely effective when i sent him on foreign trips. he always got a lot of criticism from "the washington post" and other news media when he went on a trip with me, the state department and others, but one of the times when we wanted to normalize diplomatic relations with china, when i sent the secretary of state over, it was kind of a complete flop as far as the trip was can concerned. so, i decided to send zbig over. he had an instant friendship
with peng and the chinese leaders and that broke the ice to bring about normalization of relations with china. i think you mentioned earlier, when peng can came to the united states, he spent the first night eating supper with you and your family in your own home. >> that was an incredible memory, for sure. i was just looking at that incredible -- the story of the chess match between my father at camp david. i was actually there, if you can believe it, trying not to get in the way. not todoing well at that. you mentioned tennis, mr. president. >> yes. >> did he cheat at tennis ever? >> well, zbig used to get angry with me sometimes when i would call a football on him. we played singles against each other. around the white house we had a nice court there and also up at camp david.
we not only played tennis but we also jogged and rode bikes together and things like that. it was a very intense and national personal friendship. >> willie geist. >> mr. president, it's willie geist, an honor to have you on this morning. i would ask you in context with all we've been talking about with the current white house. that is this, what was the value to you you of having someone as smart and opinionated as dr. brzezinski to walk into your office every day and perhaps tell you uncomfortable truths or tell you something maybe you thought to be right was actually wrong? how did you see that? >> well, it's extremely valuable to me. quite often the news media didn't give zbig credit for being so positive. everything he ever proposed, which quite often was innovative and something no one else had ever thought of, you know, about having a nuclear arms agreement with the soviet and normalizing relations with china, which i already mentioned, and peace between egypt and israel and the panama canal treaties, it was
very good to have somebody i knew would always tell me the truth, always say what he thought, even if it disagreed with what i thought. and pursue his objective as long as he could. once i made a decision, though, even if it was something with which zbig disagreed, he went along with it and supported my opinion wholeheartedly. so, quite often, i had to choose between the state department and zbig's staff. ordinarily, i came down on the right side, that was brzezinski's staff. >> mr. president, i was -- i was talking to mika's daughters this weekend. and trying to explain the impact that you all had on the world and talked about the middle east. you hear about the middle east peace. but you know president carter's peace efforts between israel and egypt prevented a ground war in
the middle east for 40 years. and you look at china. the breakthrough in china and getting them over to the united states and really pursuing that. it's completely changed the world that we live in. live in. even now, is it, with hindsight of 40, 50 years, what are your thoughts on your enduring achievements and the great impact it's had on this world? >> i would say there are four things that troubled us when i went into the white house, and brzezinski and i, you know, had an intimate conversation about them. one was, the long-lasting war between egypt and israel. they had had three major conflicts spanning 25 years before we got there. we solved that. the next thing was the nuclear arms agreement with the soviet union and we worked out the agreement with british help and also the next thing we had had
35 years of alienation between us and what was going to be the leading economic powerhouse in the world and that was china. . and it was a very serious human rights policy and the way we treated the panamanians on the panama canal. we solved four of those things with biz's influence. >> thank you so much for being on the show this morning and helping remember my father. no one better. >> thank you, mika. it's a pleasure to talk to you personally. i talked to ian, your brother, the night before last and your mother. in fact, the whole family was just friends with the carter family and it's been one of the most valuable things in my life, the relationship that i enjoy with dr. brzezinski and i think one of the best things that ever happened to the united states of america was having him in the forefront of shaping our foreign
policy and the book he wrote and interviews on television and the times of crisis were always positive and sound and good judgment. he was the most brilliant person that i have ever known. he was completely dedicated to serving the united states of america and very loyal to me personally, so he was a great friend and you can be truly proud of him. >> i am. thank you so much. very generous. >> bye-bye. >> bye-bye. on our website we're posting information on the charities my dad would have wanted people to support including the carter center. we'll have more in the next day or two. >> what's -- it was remarkable. >> that was remarkable. >> what president carter said, just remarkable. frank, i want to underline something that was one of my greatest impressions and one of the reasons why i respected dr. brzezinski so much over the past decade, after we got past the stunningly superficial remark. >> there was that. >> was because we've all been around, we've all talked to
secretaries of states and to national security advisors and you name it, government officials, they get out of power, they're sitting around, they're behind closed doors, and there's always a little punch at the person they served and that didn't work and that didn't work because of this and that didn't work because of that. dr. brzezinski and the 10, 12 years that i knew him in private, when it was just dr. brzezinski and myself and i was trying to figure out how did you feel about this, when the tragedy in the desert in 1980, whose fault, i heard it was an inner agency fault he said no, my fault. i said was that the low point of your service. he said no, that was the low point of my life. he always took it -- even in private, he was always fiercely loyal to the president he served. i never seen that in many other people. >> that's something that i think
is sadly missing from public life today and that observation is larger than just the trump administration. >> yeah. >> all right. final thoughts after a break. we'll be right back with more from our round table. and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪ there's nothing more than my vacation.me so when i need to book a hotel room, i want someone that makes it easy to find what i want. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. now i can start relaxing even before the vacation begins. your vacation is very important.
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loved us unconditionally. he took us on all of his trips, wanted to expose us and contribute and be a part of everything he did, but his most remarkable achievement, he had help with and that is his marriage to my mom. chief in bumba as we called them, the grand kids called them, almost 60 years, they loved each other so much and their relationship is really indescribable. it was powerful. and we all miss him and we are around her. >> and what a great balancing, you know, he was in public very tough, in private he was very kind, very sweet. and when his children -- >> he had a dark humor. >> children and family needed him the most he would push, push, push really hard. but willie, when his children or wife or family needed him the most, he immediately threw himself in to help in any way, unconditionally. >> whatever he was coming on
this show to talk about the gravest issues in the world, when mika introduced him or said good-bye and we saw it on the tape you played earlier, he had a twinkle in his eye, a smile came across his face, the sweetness of the man who could be talking about north korea or iraq or iran and have a twijle for his daughter. we heard from the former president of the united states that zbigniew brzezinski was the, quote, most brilliant person i've ever known. >> not to take the greatness off dr. brzezinski but to hear people talk about him over the course of the last three hours, where are the dr. brzezinskis of today. >> we're looking. >> look around and see anyone who is close. >> if i could end with some of his words, although i know frank wants to say something, his last op-ed what we need to hear from our president is why america is important to the world and why the world needs america. >> amen. >> this is a show mostly about public life. we all write about public lives. private lives are just as important and the way we treat the people in our families and
closest to us matters every bit as much as the way we behave publicly. >> a lesson to the current occupant of the white house if you treat people well, and you are loyal to people around you, they return that loyalty ten fold and we just heard that from the president of the united states. the 39th president. peter baker, final thoughts. >> well, everything you guys said is correct. i think he's a model, obviously, as a public servant that this white house and every white house could take in on board and we haven't seen as much of that in recent years. but i remember he was kind enough to do a blush about the book we did about russia and to journalists to help us understand the world around and generous to presidents and public policymakers. it's a loss for washington and a sense of time changing and a city changing. >> and i know we're over and i hope stephanie ruhle