tv Kasie DC MSNBC May 13, 2018 4:00pm-6:00pm PDT
/s welcome to "kasie d.c." i'm kasie hunt. we are live every sunday from washington from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. tonight, be cool. it will all workout. that is the president of the united states talking about china. plus, leaks and the leaking leakers who leak them. inside the art of sabotage in the trump white house. and i talk with senator joe manchin about the looming fight he faces. later carlos curbelo and others taking things into their hands
to deal with immigration. but first the senior senator from arizona has endured insult after insult this week. at one point labelled songbird john, a reference to his time as a p.o.w. and while discussing votes for cia director gina haspel who mccain opposes, white house special assistant kelly sadler said, quote, it doesn't matter, he's dying anyway. here's the white house's apology for those comments. >> does the white house not think you need to condemn these remarks or comments -- >> again, i'm not going to validate a leak one way or the other out of an internal staff meeting. >> are you saying she didn't say this? >> again, i'm not going to validate a leak out of an internal staff meeting one way or the other. >> no, no, sorry, here's the white house apology. >> i think the remarks are awful, but let's look at this in context. that was said in a private meeting inside the white house. that's not like -- you might say something really nasty about me off the air, it doesn't have
that much impact. you come on air and say it officially that's a problem. this is a private meeting inside the white house, it was a joke, a badly considered joke, an awful joke she said fell flat. you have to have some freedom to speak in a private meeting candidly. we've all said things in a small group we would never say publicly. >> that's not either. something is clearly wrong with our control room. hopefully this is actually the right thing, the white house apology. >> those comments, whether they were made or not made, some reports in there obviously, too, about the internal workings of that meeting that just shouldn't be made public. >> sadler reportedly did apologize to meghan mccain over the phone, but still hasn't followed through on a promise to do it in public. and jonathan swan at axios reports that huddled behind closed doors with the communications staff, sarah huckabee sanders said sadler's comments were wrong. quote, a visibly upset and furious press secretary sarah sanders told the group, quote, i
am sure this conversation is going to leak, too. and that's just disgusting, according to a source in the room. cue, lindsey graham. >> are you satisfied with how the white house has responded? >> no, not really. it's pretty disgusting thing to say. if it was a joke, it was a terrible joke. i just wish somebody from the white house would tell the country that was inappropriate, that's not who we are, and the trump administration and john mccain can be criticized for any political decision he's ever made or any vote he's ever cast, but he's an american hero. and i think most americans would like to see the trump administration do better in situations like this. it doesn't hurt you at all to do the right thing and to be big. >> that's what they could have said publicly on thursday. word for word, and simply ended this whole thing. joining me on set chief correspondent for the washington post dan balls, washington bureau chief for vice news,
shawna thomas. political analyst eli stokols. former advisor to jeb bush and former spokesman for boehner michael steele. and joining the conversation from nashville, msnbc contributor and author of the new book the soul of america, the battle for our better angels, historian john meacham. john meacham, i want to start with you. the overarching question i have every time this president says anything, it seems, about john mccain, is i wonder does he have any sense of history. >> no. i could go on if you like. [ laughter ] >> please, continue. >> no. no, i mean, it's the anti-joe biden answer. no, he doesn't. and remember, what's happened here is the presidency has become a tabloid media culture where you throw a punch. if somebody might seem to be about to throw a punch at you, you punch again and again and
again. it's the war of against all. that's the way trump views the world. it's the way the white house unquestionably views the world because every white house takes on the characteristics and character of the person at the top. it's inevitable. every, every court since the dawn of time has reflected the character of the person in charge. and unquestionably, this view of senator mccain -- i think one of the reasons we've had a couple of shots at mccain is because mccain is in many ways the anti-trump. he is someone who has served virtually his entire life. he's a flawed guy. he'd be the first one to tell you that. he has a great sense of tragedy, great sense of history, and understands that he's going to get some things right and some things wrong which, therefore, makes him the un-trump. and so i think that president trump looks at that, i think his people look at that and it makes them uncomfortable. i think the bush family is a lot
like that for them. they see other people doing what they, in their heart of hearts know they ought to be doing, and i think out of that resentment comes this kind of really, not inexcusable because if the person apologized we could move on. but the incapacity to admit you made a mistake is a troubling thing. >> dan balls, one of the things that was mentioned also in jonathan swan's reporting out tonight is this idea that we learn more about what goes on behind the scenes in the trump white house through these leaks than we would in weeks, months, years of another administration. having covered many of these -- are you surprised by the degree of information that comes out of the white house and allows us to learn about things like what was said? >> not so much any more. i think at the beginning we were all surprised by how leaky this administration was, certainly this white house was. and part of the reason in the early stages as you well know was that you had real infighting, real faxctional
problems and they were trying to settle it in a public way by leaking. supposedly that was going to begin to end when john kelly came in. it didn't. it is part of the culture of this white house. people, people want to be able to separate themselves from some of the things that are going on and, therefore, they take it out in public, not by standing behind their own words, but by leaking to reporters. and it is a constant stream which continues to put the white house in a terrible light and situation. >> and shawna thomas, now that this of course is out there, the white house seems to have a responsibility to be held accountable for this. but they don't seem to agree. >> no, they don't seem to agree. and i think one of the things that we were talking about, we say a lot of uncomfortable colorful jokes in the newsroom. all of us have been part of newsrooms where you say things you wouldn't want to say in public. when they come out publicly we have to answer for it. the company has to answer for it. that's the thing that happened here.
something got said, it was off color, and this white house knows it's out there. they have not actually said it didn't happen. they apparently aren't going with that defense. therefore they have to say something. instead of us talking about the fact that president trump helped get three people out of a north korean prison this week, we are starting the show off talking about the fact they denigrated someone who is a war hero. so, they're getting in front of their own message, too. >> right. michael steele, i have to say i've had -- well, close to a dozen conversations with republicans since this happened, and republicans on the hill who, yes, john mccain has -- i could use some very colorful language to describe the feelings people have had at various times about john mccain, what he said, what he did, voted for. he's kind of a guy who one minute can be joking and really fun, and the next minute can be essentially biting your head off in the hallway because you asked him what he deems to be a stupid question. but right now the entire, the
entire hill is, you know, thinking about this man in the terms of the small place where they work and really lion izing the contributions he's made. republicans are so angry at the white house for this. >> john has lived a life of service. they are upset about the leaks. he is an american hero, he is a states man, and he is somebody who deserves respect. at this point, this is the wrong cross to die on. this is a ridiculous position for the white house to stick with. they need to apologize. i could hear my fellow episcopalian. >> you want to jump in there? >> there is an old rule, you have to pick which hill to die on. is this really the hill the trump white house wants to take bullets on? you just made a really interesting point, which is they're not calling this fake news, which is interesting. you know, and so i think part of it is they feel if they
apologize, maybe it opens the door to having to actually be accountable for what they do going forward. and that's a hell of a prospect. >> is this possibly a situation, john, where, i mean, when trump's campaign first started everybody thought that his criticism of john mccake as a p.o.w. would be the hill trump died on. the lesson they learned, he's not going to die on this hill. >> that is absolutely right. how you began almost always dictates how you finish. one of the first -- you're exactly right. one of the first moments where we realized kryptonite -- the ordinary political kryptonite didn't work on donald trump was the first mccain comment. and so in their experience, they can get away with taking shots at establishment figures because that's what the base loves. >> eli stokols, your view? >> i think that's right. they look at everything, no matter how sacrosanct, whether it's a war hero in the twilight of his life, a gold star family -- we can revisit that
whole saga as well because it's very similar. they don't ever apologize. as john said a few minutes ago, the culture, the organization that starts from the top. donald trump before he was ever in politics decided i'm not that kind of person. i'm not going to apologize. nobody at the white house will either. and it's true, they have -- we're in this place now of almost absolute tribalism in our politics. and i think that they believe that no matter what they've said or done, they're just going to turn around, weapon eyes it, they're going to look at this and say the elites are trying to scold us, they're getting on their moral high horse. it is quite a parallel to draw to that situation last summer when you had the gold star family, the president made the condolence call. they said he was upset. john kelly tried to come out and explain it, ended up exacerbating the entire thing by attacking the congresswoman, lying about her background. they just have a hard time getting out of their own way because the president himself can never admit that he or anybody on his staff is wrong. >> uh-huh. in that axios sneak peek tonight we were talking about earlier, jonathan swan asked some of what he calls the white house's most
prolific leakers and he asked them what motivates them to do it. one of senior officials told him that they usually come after someone loses an internal decision and they want to jen up some public blow back. you have to realize that working here is like being in a never ending mexican standoff. everyone has leaks, pointed at each ooh it's only a matter of time before someone shoots. there is rarely a peaceful conclusion so you might as well shoot first. to cover my tracks, i usually pay attention to other staffers i had i don staffer's i hdioms and that thrs it off me. shawna? >> you don't want to get blamed for something. >> for sure. but you remember, you covered the obama administration as well. we talk about how this white house gets angry about leaks. in the obama administration, leaking was a cardinal sin.
but it also didn't happen as much. and they would argue, i think, that it's because people believed in the boss and they would probably explain the leaking in the trump white house as in some ways a lack of loyalty. do you think that's what's going on? >> i think also the obama white house, or people who had worked for president obama, would say that they had each other's backs as well. they didn't feel like they were in a, to use the term that jonathan swan used, mexican standoff. that they were all in it together and they also, i think, had a pretty good idea of what the boss wanted to achieve with specific goals. and there wasn't as much confusion about what he would want and, therefore, there wasn't as much to leak about, about like internal disputes. i think there is a lot of confusion even when the president talks and tweets, we who are publicly -- who are publicly getting his information, we don't necessarily know what he wants. and if they don't know what he wants, they don't know who is backing them up. they don't know if they're backed up by people they work with. it creates a situation where
everyone is scared and kind of willing to talk. i don't sense that with the obama administration. >> i think there is possibly a sense you can use leaked information to influence the president because it gets on television. >> right. you get a president who reads news coverage but not internal memos or documents or goes to meetings and all this. if you're trying to achieve a policy result, the media is often the best mechanism. >> people were leaking to espn or something like that, i don't know. >> i think so much of this leaking has very little to do with that. it's not like these are policy debates and people are arguing those positions. this gets personal. it gets nasty. >> ugly. >> it's petty. and i think the other factor that's true about this administration compared to many others is that most of the people in the white house do not have a long history with donald trump. most white houses certainly in the first two years are populated by people who had gone through a campaign, who had developed a bond among themselves, who had developed a loyalty to the canndidate and then the president. that is absent in this
administration and in this white house and i think that contributes to it. >> and we've seen 40% or higher turnover already in this administration which is unprecedented. and the dysfunction, the backbiting i think is a big reason for it. >> still to come, a historic moment for the president and korea. that was overshadowed by everything we were just talking about. plus i'm going to talk with congressman joaquin castro who sits on the less than functional house intelligence committee. and as we go to break, a quick note from the sports pages vladimir putin scored five goals in his annual exhibition hockey game. that's down from seven goals last year. could the 65-year-old forward be losing a step? "kasie d.c." back after this. mom? dad? hi! i had a very minor fender bender tonight in an unreasonably narrow fast food drive thru lane. but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled. i already spoke to our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part.
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welcome back. i want to talk for a minute about a piece just out from the washington post giving the lay of the land of the mueller probe as it approaches its one year anniversary coming up this thursday. the post reports that trump has increasingly been plotting out his plans with his new lawyer, rudy giuliani, who is quoted in the piece as saying, we're only same wavelength. we've gone from defense to offense. the piece also contains this other detail. one confidant tells the paper the president vents to associates about the fbi raids on his personal attorney, michael cohen, as often as 20 times a day. trump reportedly gripes that he needs better, quote, tv lawyers to defend him on cable news.
i guess, shawna thomas, that's what rudy giuliani is, maybe. >> i mean, yes, and people call him, they book him, he goes on television, he defends the president. i'm not sure president trump needs a tv lawyer. i think president trump needs a really good lawyer to just instruct him how to go through what he is currently going through. and i think as we saw over the last couple of weeks, it seems that rudy giuliani makes the problems worse. >> right. >> and i don't think you want be that from your lawyer. i don't know how much rudy giuliani is getting paid, but i'm not sure he's worth the money. in terms of making interesting television, he does do that. >> it does seem, michael steele, to be a bit of a disconnect talksing about this tv watching president. bob mueller isn't going to end up potentially finding something that would condemn this president on tv. >> no, i mean, he doesn't need better surrogates, he needs a better set of facts. there is no indication here bob mueller is fiendishly tuned into
fox news or other any other cable news channel to see any argument that vindicates the president from a television lawyer. everything we're seeing publicly ought to scare the hell out of people in the white house and around the president. >> 20 times he's talked about the michael cohen raid. you covered clinton when he was under siege. what's it like behind the scenes in the white house when you have a president that is totally preoccupied with something like this? >> it's interesting. on the one hand it's debilitating, on the other hand if a white house has a good operation, i'm not saying this one necessarily does, there is an ability to compartmentalize. there is an ability to do work, they're preparing for a summit with the north korean president in singapore. they're able to do that. if you have a president as obsessed as he is with the mueller investigation and the raid and all of that, it makes it entirely difficult for anybody else to really do serious work. and it sets -- it casts a pall
over everything else going on. this president, even more than president clinton, is obsessed with this particular investigation and it consumes him -- >> bill clinton wasn't? >> i think clinton was, but because this president is as volatile as he is and because this president happens to have something called twitter, bill clinton never -- >> right. >> -- never had, we are able to see the emotion that's therein side him day after day after day. >> instead of it being hidden, okay. it was of course a major week for the trump administration in terms of foreign policy. on tuesday the president announced he's pulling the u.s. out of the iran nuclear deal. in the early hours of thursday morning, he welcomed home three americans who had been detained in north korea. and that same morning we learned the date and the location of the summit between the president and kim jong-un. and this weak a friend of the show philip rucker wrote a piece in the washington post posing this question. can the president's efforts on foreign policy erase the
political damage of those scandals facing him here at home? at least one past president hoped that they would for him. phil pointed to a news conference that richard nixon held just a week after the saturday night massacre. listen to what he had to say at the beginning. >> we now come up close to the critical time in terms of the future of the mid east. and here, the outlook is far more hopeful than what we have been through this past week. i think i could safely say that the chances for not just a cease fire which we presently have and which, of course, we have had in the mid east for sometime, but the outlook for a permanent peace is the best that it has been in 20 years. >> john meacham, those comments coming as quite literally the political world around richard nixon was crumbling. >> absolutely. ten months later he would be back in san clement ee having
resigned. one of the things about the maelstrom of the presidency and one of the things we know from the nixon tapes is every investigation that poses a potentially existential threat to a president's future is consuming. it just is. but the best ones, even under siege, do manage to remember that they have a job to do, and that if they get that job right, somehow or another, maybe the other stuff goes away or works out. i think the issue now, and trump is very much in this genre right now, the issue now is whether or not he can focus on substantive achievements that in the event director mueller comes back with things that don't reach all the way to trump, he can say, i did the people's business, i made america great again, whatever it is, while all this was going on. my problem, my suspicion is that he will be less able to do that, in part because, as
mrs. obama said in the 2016 campaign, the presidency doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. and president trump is a puncher, and he just punches. that's the way he breathes. >> yeah, very interesting points. when we come back, congressman carlos curbelo joins me live. he and other house republicans are bucking party leadership to get something done on immigration policy. "kasie d.c." back after this. ♪
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this week a group of house republicans announced a new push to force a vote on immigration policy. their pathway to making that happen a maneuver known in congress as a discharge petition, it is a procedural move if successful would allow for a vote without the support of house leadership. this does not appear to be sitting well with house speaker paul ryan. >> going down a path and having some kind of a spec consolidate on the floor that results in a veto doesn't solve a problem. we actually would like to solve this problem that is why i think it is important for us to come up with a solution that the president can support. >> joining me now, one of the signatories of that discharge petition and a key force behind it, republican congressman carlos curbelo of florida. congressman, thanks so much for being here tonight. i really appreciate it. >> kasie, good evening from miami. it's good to be with you. >> let's start with what the house speaker had to say. he spoke at some length earlier this week during his regular
news conference, essentially saying he does not agree with the tact that you are taking with your colleagues. have you spoken to speaker paul ryan and what do you have to say in response to him? >> the speaker is a friend. we spoke numerous times right up until the point where we filed the discharge petition. and what i would tell him is that no one here is interested in a spectacle. we are interested in having a debate. we are actually interested in answering the president's call to action in september of last year when he challenged congress to come up with a bipartisan solution to this immigration question in our country. every time the immigration issue comes up, congress -- if not congress, the house -- responds with paralysis and we're tired of that. we want to have a debate. we want members to bring their bills to the floor. and, by the way, this discharge petition process is probably the most constructive ever because we're not bringing forward one bill.
we're offering the opportunity for four bills to come to the floor including one that is backed by immigration hard liners, and another that would be drafted and filed by the speaker of the house. so, we're actually offering all members the opportunity to participate in this debate and to convince their colleagues. and, yes, our goal is also to get a law passed, so we would like to pass something that this president can sign. >> congressman, how angry are you with house leadership for -- they have essentially chosen the views and path of the right wing of the house republican conference on this issue, over those of you wlho are facing vey tough districts who care about this issue and have different feelings? >> well, the most frustrating parliame part is the speaker says he wants a bill the president will sign. but in order for the president to sign a bill, it needs to get to his desk and that means it needs to pass the house and it needs to pass the senate with 60 votes.
the bill that they have invested, i would say wasted months whipping is a bill that probably cannot pass the house because if it could it would have come to the floor already. and certainly cannot pass the senate. so, what i would argue -- and i have argued to the speaker -- is let's get a bipartisan bill done. i think he's coming around on that. and the process that we have proposed offers him the opportunity to file such a bill that can get the president's support. and by the way, let's be clear here. the white house has put in paper a proposal that includes a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million young immigrants brought to this country as children known commonly as dreamers. so, the president who is without question considered the most hard line public figure on immigration in this country, is that that position, the process that he's -- some of these house conservatives have proposed of a
bill is completely divorced to what the white house has put forward. >> i'm glad you brought up the white house because i also want to ask you. you say that the president is perceived to be one of the most -- the hardest line. but there are some people who work for him who are influencing his thinking who we've seen potentially take a harder line than the president. one of them is john kelly. he made these comments earlier. let's take a look and talk about it. >> let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into the united states are not bad people. they're not criminals, they're not ms13. but they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the united states. they are overwhelmingly rural people and the countries they come from, 4th, 5th, 6th grade education is the norm. they're coming here for a reason and i sympathize with the reason, but the laws are the laws. >> congressman, in your view, should john kelly clarify or perhaps apologize for making those comments about immigrants? >> i think he should clarify. general kelly lived here in
miami for five years. he knows what an immigrant community looks like. he knows that a lot of these immigrants who are in our country may not be -- may not have college degrees, for example, but they do care for american children. they do care for older americans who might be sick. they are fundamental to the lives of a lot of american families all over this country, not just in miami. now, general kelly is right in saying that we should not promote illegal immigration, and he's also right in saying that most of these people are good people who want to work in our country. and, by the way, something else that general kelly said is that we should provide a path to citizenship for those under the protections of the tps program, which i agree with him as well. so, the point is there's a lot of room to work together here. there is definitely an achievable compromise. and what we want is for speaker ryan to allow the house to work its will to build that compromise and to get it to the
president's desk. we have been debating the immigration issue in this country, kasie, for 12 years since president bush first proposed immigration reform in 2005-2006. let's get something done. we have nothing to show for this debate after 12 years. >> congressman carlos curbelo, thanks very much for your time. looking forward to seeing you on the hill this week i'm sure. this will be very much in the focus in the coming days. thank you. >> that's right, kasie, good night. >> meanwhile immigration policy aimed at preserving american jobs is instead jeopardizing them on maryland's eastern shore. and with them, a beloved, by me and many others who have family who grew up in maryland, a beloved summer tradition. in annapolis, maryland crab season is in full swing as locals and tourists come to take a crack at blue crabs. 80 miles away in hoopers island? >> i take 12,000 pound a day. >> the heart of the crab
industry is feeling crushed. >> this is the picking room. as you can see it's empty. >> the island has been using h 2 b visas to hire crab pickers for decades, mostly from mexico. a trump many posed cap on the visas and lottery system means hoopers island is missing an estimated 40% of their seasonal workers. >> i got lucky obviously, but it's not right for this company to have them and the rest of the other companies not to get them. >> half a mile down the road, harry phillips can't hire enough people. >> this is the busiest time of the season. every restaurant wants crab meat on mother's day. it's going to affect us to the point we may have to totally close. >> in 2016 president trump won this district by 14 points. in part because of his promise to help american workers and crackdown on immigration. but now in this community, built around crabbing, nearly everyone is grappling with the consequence. >> our businesses very much suffered because of the loss of the people here, the trucks aren't running, the boats aren't
working. our hours are less. >> i voted for trump because he was a businessman. i voted for him because that's what i am. i'm a small business operator. i just don't think donald trump knows what's going on down here right now. because he's for business, then you're putting businesses out of work here. >> as people make for the beach, prices forz crab meat are expected to spike. >> crab meat will be very expensive. yep, it sure will because there's not going to be enough around. >> and the community is asking to save american businesses and an american tradition by protecting migrant workers. >> there's no americans that apply for it. >> no american is going to do that job. >> i do not have any americans that wants to do this job. >> they're not like the illegal people trying to sneak in. >> they're not illegals. they don't climb over walls. they come here, they work like six, seven months, they go back home to mexico, 99% of them. >> still asked if they would vote for trump again, it was a unanimous yes. >> yes, i probably vote for mr. trump right now. i think this needs to be brought to mr. trump's attention.
a lot of companies depend on these people come here that have seasonal jobs. and without them we'll all be out of business. >> it's worth mentioning the difficulty with the visas dates back to the obama administration. and one more thing. according to the baltimore sun, congressman andy harris says federal immigration officials have agreed to approve thousands more guest worker visas. but maryland is only going to have access to a portion of those and the people who run the plants are saying that it is probably not enough. some great reporting there by our intrepid producer kendall bright man. when we come back i talk to senator joe manchin about being in the fight of his life in a state that overwhelmingly went for president trump. plus, dan balls spent months in the midwest. we're going to unpack his epic report on the voters there and how their opinions are evolving over time. that's up next. es right. es right. but if that's not enough, we have more than 8000 allys looking out for one thing: you. call in the next ten minutes... and if that's not enough, we'll look after your every dollar.
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little bit of a sigh of relief for the gop in one race. ex-coal executive and ex-convict don blankenship was dee veeted in west virginia by attorney general patrick mori si. i caught up with senator joe manchin to ask him whether he was concerned about the contentious upcoming race for his seat. >> you either run scared or unopposed. every opponent i have is a worthy opponent. they wouldn't have gotten to that level if he this weren't. they all have smomething to brig to the table. i look at it from a learning curve, if there is something i missed. i never run against anybody, i just run for the office. if people want to run against me because i haven't done a good enough job, let's talk about it. tell me what i've done, give me a thought process to the conclusion i vote the way i did. i don't vote because of a democrat party or republican party. i vote for what i think is good for our country and what helps the state of west virginia. i think 36 years of service proves that. >> are you confident you can win? >> absolutely.
and here's -- let me say this, too, about don blankenship. and i have said this. there is only -- we only have one person on the republican side that was running that was a true conservative west virginia republican. i've known don blankenship for a long time. we've had our problems and our challenges with each other. i acknowledge that. but as far you cannot deny the man was not a pure true conservative republican and a west virginian. >> did you think the ads that he ran at the end of the campaign were more racist? >> i don't know -- you know, i would not -- i like to think it wasn't. the terms he used how he used them, i would never take that course. and if don felt that that was not -- he was explaining it from his, his upbringing or basically the culture where he comes from, that's not how we talk where i come from in west virginia. and don is on that kentucky/west virginia border. i can't say. i have not heard that before in
those -- italian americans, chinese americans, japanese americans, you know, we're all ethnic of some derivative. but the way it was said, it was taken in the connotation it might not have been flattering to a person who is a proud american no matter what their descent may be. >> is there any circumstance you would take a position in the trump cabinet instead of seeing your election bid through? >> you know, i looked -- i want to serve the state of west virginia, the people of america. i really don't -- >> so you're all in on your reelection no matter what >> oh, i am. i'm here to fight. i know i'm in a fight. i know how it is. i know my state has changed but the state knows me. they don't look at joe manchin as a democrat, they look at joe manchin as an american. i hope it stays that way. >> he talked to chuck todd and what he said about mitch mcconnell. i don't condone any of that, i think it's horrific. it would of course be an
understatement to say mansichins in the heart of trump country. dan balls, loyalty and unease among trump's base in the midwest. dan spent the past 15 months tracing the arc of how trump voters in formerly democratic strong holds view this presidency. dan, what a project to be able to have the chance to spend so much time doing this. what was your overall take away about where these voters in the midwest who gave this election to donald trump feel now about his presidency? >> i put them into three categories. the first category is still all-in. that's a significant percentage of the people who voted for him. they think he speaks to them, of them, for them. they like the policies he's trying to put in place and the degree to which they think he's not been successful they blame others. >> it's somebody else's fault. >> right. they think he's doing what he was promising to do and they believe that in the end he'll be as successful as the swamp will
allow. there is a second category which i would say is not that big, but these are people who voted for him and they've had it. they -- they've watched him in action. they don't like what they have seen. more in terms of the way he conducts himself, and they say, i won't vote for him again. and then there is that group in the middle. i think these are the people who really hold the key to his future. these are what i call the conflicted trump supporters. they backed him, they may not have been for him initially in their republican primaries. many of them weren't, but they decided he was better than the alternative, hillary clinton. they thought that he would shake things up. they wanted change. but as they have watched him, they're unnerved by the way he handles himself. nobody likes the tweets. or almost nobody likes the tweets, we know that. it goes beyond that. it's a sense of a presidency that is so volatile that he doesn't have control of his own emotions.
and as one of them said to me, we kind of know how this kind of thing ends and it doesn't necessarily end well. >> what do you think that this means for republicans who are facing voters here in a handful of months? >> it's hard to say. it's the hardest question for me to answer, is to extrapolate from what people think about donald trump at this point. i would say two things. one is we know from president obama that it's very difficult to transfer your coalition to a group of republican candidates in a midterm election. >> sure. >> so that's one thing. i think the other is the degree to which you have people who are conflicted about donald trump, how enthusiastic are they going to be to turn out in the fall. some of them will be. you know, they're loyal republicans and they're going to go out and vote republican, but others may not be. that's the hard part for me to measure. >> shawna thomas, what is your key question in this context is this >> i think you said the smallest
of your three buckets is the people who said i'm done with donald trump. how republicans use that in 2018, how far can they go for the president or against the president? it seems like he still has a lot of people who are in his corner who think he will make their lives better. did you get any sense from people if a republican tries to run a little bit against president trump and chart their own path, will that be successful? >> i think that's a perilous course for most of the republicans. and you see very few republican candidates doing that. >> willing to do that. >> one of the people i talked to who's been active in the party over the years said he sees two groups of republicans now, those who are running for office, they're behind donald trump and they're promoting donald trump and they're trying -- they may not be exactly like donald trump, but they're not trying to put any distance. then he said there are others who are uncomfortable with trump. and he said they're kind of -- they're pulling away from the party a little bit. they're less active in the party. so, that's the difference. i mean, this sort of i will call
it this middle group. some are conflicted but still with him because of the policies, and some are conflicted and they're much less with him because of the conduct. they haven't broken with him yet. most of them don't say, i'm not going to vote for him. i don't know where they're going to be in 2020. as i said, it's very difficult to know exactly how they'll turnout in 2018. >> dan balls, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. very much enjoyed, commend the report to all of you as well in the washington post. shawna thomas, eli stoke always, michael steele, great to have you. "kasie d.c." is back right after this.
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what we need in the united states is not division, what we need in the united states is not hatred, what we need in the united states is not lawless but is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another. and a feeling of justice to those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black. >> that was newly declared presidential candidate robert kennedy speaking on the back of a flatbed truck in indianapolis on the night that dr. martin luther king jr. was killed in 1968. it's just one of the countless historical snapshots included in john meacham's new book, "the soul of america: the battle for our better angels."
and john, there's no question that this president is blowing through norm after norm after norm. these structures that have defined and kind of held our government together. my question for you is, how resilient is our country? how did you -- you walk through that in some ways in this new book. >> we're incredibly resilient. and we're going to get through this. my message, my argument from history is not a partisan point is not that we should relax because we've gotten through tough times in the past. it's that we have to get to work and learn from what happened before and how we got through it. in many ways, the presidency has been a force for good. and sometimes it's been a force for ill. and if the presidency is often the table or on the wrong side of history, then it's up to the people, it's up to the press, it's up to the congress, it's up to the courts, to answer what lincoln called our better
angels. we always become stronger the wider we have opened our arms. and that is not a partisan point. whenever we've looked at the jeff jeffers jeffersonian insertion, the more stronger our country has become. there's a white ethnic politician, a boston irish catholic speaking to an african-american crowd in indianapolis telling them that he was breaking the news to them that martin luther king had been assassinated. that was from his heart. and i would hope that we all have the same capacity in our hearts and despite the tweets and despite the chaos that we stick to those angels, we make the case, we protest, we resist and we move forward. >> you like to say that character is destiny. what do you think of the character of president trump? how does that stack up to the character of those who have led
before him? >> well, everyone is flawed. we live in a fallen world. it is not perfectible. we seek a more perfect union. it is unquestionable this is the most unconventional. and, in many ways, perhaps the most volatile president we have ever had. these are perilous times. again, not arguing that we have cultural zoloft from history. but we can look back and see that the country was not always what we wanted it to be and we have to keep working. >> the book is "the soul of america." i'm sorry i don't have it in studio, it's already home on my bookshelf to get started next weekend. thank you so much, jon, for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. in our next hour, the trump administration prepares to open the new american embassy in jerusalem as tensions flare. we'll talk to israel's ambassador to the u.n. and the kasie dvr.
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president trump is trying to keep the focus on his major international moves. >> the u.s. opens its embassy in jerusalem tomorrow. >> tensions are rising in the mideast. >> and, of course, we saw that historic prisoner release on thursday. >> the president pulls out of an agreement with iran. >> the rationale for getting out of the deal was contrary to national security interests.
>> i hope we can find a new deal. >> i worked hard over that. the short time i've been the secretary of state to fix the deal, we couldn't reach agreement. >> you have been secretary of state for barely two weeks now. >> i think getting out of the deal says to iran, those happy days are over. >> let's turn to north korea. >> this meeting is unprecedented. >> of course, the president is both optimistic but realistic at the same time. >> a reversible denuclearization. >> do you agree on all this in one day? >> i put the odds of the immediate success as very low. >> high risk, high reward opportunity. >> our eyes are wide open with respect to the risks. >> if the talks fail, the downsides are potentially really significant. >> welcome to our second hour here of "kasie dc." with me onset, john hudson, chief political correspondent for politico magazine, tim alberta, the white house co corresponde correspondent, anita kumar, and dave benetedetti.
you can probably find lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who will tell you it was a good week for the united states on the world stage. consider some of these images. this one, president trump coming, welcoming home three americans just freed by north korea. or this of secretaries of state mike pompeo meeting yet again with kim jong-un ahead of the trump/kim summit set for june. or this, of the president withdrawing the u.s. from the iran nuclear deal, which every republican and four senators voted against back in 201. or this, of a make israel great again sign in tel aviv ahead of the opening of the u.s. embassy in jerusalem tomorrow. so let's talk a little bit about this significant of all this. because earlier in the show, john hudson, we were focused more on, quite frankly, what has been a distraction from all of these changes on the world stage. all of the white house, john mccain, michael cohen, other
things. but this was really a very significant week. and this summit has incredibly high stakes that quite frankly could put his crowds yelling for a nobel peace prize for this president. >> absolutely. there are a million things that could go wrong and the security experts are worried about when trump and kim jong u.n. get in a room together and start talking and chewing the fat. but the reality is, any time you get three prisoners released and you don't actually give anything up in advance, is a good thing. and it makes sense that pompeo and bolton would be out on tv touting this achievement as something that is successful. it also created some good-will ahead of the summit to show the koreans were making concessions ahead of time. at the same time, it doesn't prove that there's going to be any sort of success. and absolutely this is going to be a huge heavy lift when it comes to the full denuclearization of the peninsula, which is the goal.
>> right. and anita kumar, behind the scenes at the white house, where are they on kind of how all of these things are interacting? is there frustration behind the scenes there hasn't been more focus on the foreign policy accomplishments in light of what has happened the last few days? >> definitely. they feel like they had a really good week. just the couple days where you could disagree with the policy on the iran nuclear deal, but the fact he made good on a campaign deal he said he was going to do, they felt good about it and thought the supporters would like it. and again, he said he's very into making good of his campaign promises. the next day, the hostages or the prisoners released and then they announced the summit. so they feel like it was a really, really good week on foreign policy. and they were very frustrated, i think sarah sanders said on fox the other day, she got as many questions on michael cohen as she did on north korea that day at the briefing and she was not happy about it. >> yeah. tim alberta, one interesting
change i felt like on capitol hill as i was reporting last week is that, yes, a lot of these republicans, in particular, opposed the deal with iran. but a lot of them actually were saying this past week that this was not the right move. that we needed to be seen as sticking with our agreements. >> i think a little more caution, yeah, more recently than you would have heard 18 months ago or 24 months ago from republicans on capitol hill. that's probably in part, kasie, because a lot of these folks talk to the president a lot and out front trying to defend him in the congressional districts and see that the white house has bitten off a lot and are trying to chew a lot. and when they get the political hotspots that they are in the middle right now, that things could get really complicated. >> very good point. >> yeah. so it's understandable why they are a little more hesitant, maybe, than they once were. but i would say that, yeah, domestically, the politics of this look really, really good.
and if the white house could only, to anita's point, stop with the self-inflicted wounds, et cetera, et cetera, that the john mccain comment from kelly sadler, i think that the white house wake loould be looking at congressional ballots tightening. as you see life for republicans whereas a couple months ago it looked very bleak. >> if there's one thing we learned from the sunday shows, it's interesting insight into north korean leader kim jong-un. >> he's very knowledgeable in the sense that he knows the files. he's very capable of engaging in complex set of discussions. when i ask him a question about something that's a little off, he answers it. there's no notecards. it is chairman kim n this case, interacting with me directly. having a robust discussion about what the outlines of a successful negotiation between our two countries might ultimately be. >> gabe, let's talk a second about, it really is, i feel
like, with all the, again, breathless set of news cycles from last week, i have not had enough time to sit and think through the fact that they have now scheduled this meeting with the two men sitting face-to-face, kim jong-un and president donald trump. and quite frankly, the man that pompeo was describing there sounds very different than our president. >> yeah, and what you were saying is a good point. it's not that the last few days have been slightly crazy news-wise, but what you're feeling in washington is a lot of people facing up to the fact that, wait a minute, donald trump is about to go and meet face-to-face with kim jong-un and don't know what to expect from this meeting. but it is not just as pompeo said, kim jong-un is different than what we thought he would be behind closed door. we don't know what they are going to negotiate over when they do this. you have the president saying, don't worry, the next few weeks are all about prepping for this, but the reality is no one has idea what to expect. and the expectation setting from the secretary of state kind of has been catching a lot of people off guard.
>> what kind of prep needs to go into this at this point, john? >> well, these are incredible amount of preparation for a leadership meeting for a level of this kind. and there are all these unknowns that need to be addressed. this has never happened. there's never been an american president that has met the leader of north korea. it's the most closed society in the world. and it is an extremely opaque regime. so american diplomats are reaching out to former american officials to get any sort of insight on what you do when you set up a meeting of this type. and we are already seeing very interesting signs of how the trump administration is trying to preview what it sees as like a grand bargain, a deal to denuclearize. on friday, secretary of state pompeo was talking about, you know, north korea could become this amazing economic success story. but that was quickly walked back when people made suggestion that is the u.s. would be making some sort of economic assistance package to north korea, which
they were making sure was not on the i believe a. that's what we saw on the sunday show appearances today. >> okay. so speaking of this, you know, long, long, long list of things that are going on in foreign policy-wise in addition to here in the u.s., i want to talk about another one. the american embassy opening in jerusalem tomorrow morning. joining me from new york city is israel's ambassador to the united nations. mr. ambassador, thank you for your time tonight. >> good evening, kasie. >> we have already seen tensions flaring around this. what do you anticipate the reaction to the opening of this embassy to be on the ground, and in your view, should israel be taking any steps to try and contain that? >> well, we are grateful for another -- of president trump. people said, well, it's not the right timing, let's wait. for us, there's no right timing to move into the embassy. we will celebrate the event
tomorrow. and it is a great thing for the people of israel. we do hear the voices coming from the palestinian leadership, especially for the hamas looking to mobilize thousands of people to the fence between gaza and israel. we are ready for that and hope it will be quiet, peaceful demonstrations. but from what i will see, they will not. they will put women and children in the front line and attach the fence and cross the fence. i hope it will be peaceful demonstrations, but we are getting ready for all scenarios. >> there's been some criticism from members of congress about this decision that what you called this bold decision that you thanked president trump for, essentially, giving up too much. for removing the kind of piece of leverage for the playing table for americans trying to work on crafting some sort of broader peace deal. this is something the president and his son-in-law jared kushner have been working very hard on. how do you view that in context to the broader negotiations? >> jerusalem has been the
capital since king david. domestic-wise, president trump made a promise during his campaign like many other presidents and now he's delivering his promise. but i think of the peace process, it's the right decision. because everybody knows that jerusalem would stay the capital of israel. so now when it's off the table, we can move on. we can negotiate with the palestinians the same way we do with the egyptians and the jordanians, it will be easier in the future for negotiations when we are telling the palestinians that it's a reality check. let's move on to the real issues. >> where does this leave hopes for a two-state solution to this? is that still a possibility? >> we are willing to negotiate. prime minister netanyahu is clearly willing to come to new york. but unfortunately, we don't find a viable partner who is willing to suggest down and negotiate. and look at what they are saying today about the embassy move and the u.s., they are not willing to consider the proposal of president trump. we are saying we are willing to
hear the proposal, we are willing to negotiate any proposal, and fortunately, that's not the case among the palestineian palestinians. >> i want to change gears here. president trump is announcing he's going to remove the united states from the jcpoa, something that was greeted by your prime minister with some enthusiasm. but then, of course, in the days after, we have seen serious military back-and-forth, you know, strikes in israel, response in syria from you, from the israelis, how has this impacted the situation in a positive way? >> well, we have seen for the document that we expositived a few weeks ago, a very indirect approach. they want to take over the entire middle east from the persian gulf to the mediterranean, syria and lebanon. and they are using their proxy in syria in order to counter israel. can you imagine what we would be in five, six years if they would
acquire nuclear capabilities? it would be a nightmare. many of the ambassadors to the u.n. share the same feelings that i do. we need to fix this agreement so in the future you have an agreement and know what to expect. you want to stop with the ballistic missile program and have a place with no expiration date. that's something that in this agreement you don't have. so in the future, hopefully the u.s. and other countries will apply more pressure. you will see changes to that agreement. >> ambassador, thank you for your time. >> thank you, kasie. we'll talk more about this, this decision that the president has made that i think is going to obviously be something we are focused on very much tomorrow. there does seem to be criticism from republicans and democrats that tim alberta is essentially removing leverage that the u.s. has in trying to negotiate a broader peace deal. >> and i think inherent to that
point, in the next breath, a lot of the same folks will sort of acknowledge either publicly or more likely privately, but a peace deal is never going to happen anyway. right? i think that's what a lot of republicans will say, they will look at this and say, sure, in a perfect world when the president and his son-in-law and our ambassadors are actually getting close to a peace deal, that this could hurt it, this could remove a valuable piece of leverage. but let's be real. we were never going to see a broad constructed peace deal between the israelis and the palestinians during the first couple years of the trump presidency. >> has the white house seated that position? this was supposed to be jared kushner's main project. >> you have not seen the point, but you have seen in general that jared kushner's star has fallen, i guess. he was out front on so many issues in the beginning of the administration. now as he's been caught up in the mueller investigation and other things, you have kind of seen him on the back burner. they still talk about it, though. they still talk about how he's
working on it and doing things. obviously, he's there in jerusalem right now but they have not talked about it much lately. >> john hudson, very quickly before i let you go, your take on this move tomorrow, what we're going to be talking about tomorrow as this opens. >> obviously, the ambassador is zligt delighted. and obviously, the pro-israel gop donor class. the difficulty is the skepticism that tim laid out is very real from a look inside the peace plan that was not going anywhere. but, of course, the president himself outlined this as this was going to be the huge deal. people have thought this was so difficult, but maybe we can make it happen. here's the one who built up the expectations. but with this, you know, very sensitive designation of an embassy in jerusalem, it's touched on the most sensitive part of the peace deal. and right now, the talks are dead in the water. everybody acknowledges that palestinians won't meet with u.s. officials to discuss this. so it has not only taken out a
piece of leverage, but it's also sort of ensured that the peace deal is dead in the water. that we're still waiting on the white house to release its peace plan. that keeps getting pushed back. so while it's certainly a political win where the talks are going is unknown. >> very sun new and opt mystic -- optimistic panel on this topic. still to come tonight on "kasie dc," we'll talk about the latest wave in the open yesterday crisis in america. and withjoaquin castro join show live talking about a sacrifice fly for the p. you're watching "kasie dc." o) what if ? what if our car... could stop itself? in iihs front-end crash prevention testing,
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welcome back. a brewing battle between devin nunez and the department of justice seems to have cooled off a little bit, for now, anyway, nunez was at the justice department along with trey gowdy to meet with officials over top concerns they have over nunez documents related to the investigation. nunes said it was, quote, productivity and look forward to continuing their dialogue next week. what remains a mystery is what significance the documents may have. joining me is democratic congressman joaquin castro.
thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me, kasie. >> what do you know at this point where this stands? we know there are threats to potentially hold jeff sessions or rod rosenstein in contempt of congress over all of this. the white house seems to agree with the doj in a rare move to say this would compromise an intelligent source. what are you hearing behind the scenes where this stands? >> well, this is usually the part where i would say that certain things are classified and i can't talk about them. but in this case, we have a situation where devin nunes literally has not explained to the committee either what he's looking for or the reason he's looking for this information. he did this, i guess, about a week ago when all of us were back home in our districts. and since then, has not come in front of the committee and laid out his case about what this information is and why he needs it. so not only has he kept the american people in the dark, but he's kept the committee in the
dark. >> is there anything you can do as democrats on the committee to demand that he tell you any of these things or not really? >> no, certainly we will. and i know that adam schiff, our ranking member, has been doing that. our committee staff have been doing that. but remember, this is a chairman who has basically gone rogue from the first time he did that midnight run, sharing information and receiving information from the white house, he's basically been in the service of president trump and done everything that he can, i think, to prop up the president rather than doing what he should be doing, which is being the chairman of the committee that has oversight over the executive branch. >> congressman, on another topic, politics, the generic ballot, there's been some polling in the last week or so that shows that, quite frankly, democrats are losing some ground to republicans. we had almost started operating under the assumption it may have been a foregone conclusion for democrats to take back the house. but the data seems to be a little difficult and viewers are
able to see it on their screens, 47% in may were backing democrats in february. that was 54%. so a pretty significant drop. what do you attribute that to? what are democrats doing wrong? >> well, i don't know it is anything democrats are doing wrong, but i do think it will ebb and flow as we get closer to november. but i do think that there have been strong indicators for democrats in the special election that is have been held that every level of government from the congressional races to state legislative races, for example, so i still think we'll have a strong november. i do think that honestly the president is getting a bump from the fact that north korea seems to be turning out in a promising way, you know, it still remains to be seen whether anything productivity or historic comes from that because remember, we have been to this point before with north korea. and everything fell apart. in 1994 and in 2005, they made promises to denuclearize and then basically went back on the promises. they have also released american
hostages over the years and have continued their behavior, their bad behavior after that. so it is historic that the president is meeting face-to-face with kim jong-un on june 12th in singapore. but we'll see whether something truly historic and meaningful comes of this meeting. >> so you're essentially say you attribute some of this to that story, very interesting. what do you think -- there's been something of a split in -- among democrats that i'm talking to on exactly what it is that democrats need to offer their constituents in the fall. there are people who believe that running against president trump will simply be enough, that the anti-trump sentiment in the country is so strong that all you need to do is get out of the way. others say, no, that's not the case. we have to run on the positive economic message of some sort. where do you come down on that? >> i don't think any republican or democrat should only make it about the other side. yes, there's a lot of anti-trump sentiment out there, but it's not enough and really it
shouldn't be enough. democrats have to put forward a compelling vision for the future of this country. we have to talk about building an infrastructure of opportunity for all americans so that people can achieve their american dreams. and when i look at our candidates across the country, that's what i see them talking about. and that is why i think you have seen democrats ahead in so many races, in competitive races, across the country. like i said, i think the numbers on the generic ballot will ebb and flow in november. but i'm equipmented democrats will have a strong november. if we do everything we're doing now, i believe we'll take back the house in november. >> i also want to follow-up on something we were talking about earlier in the show with your colleague congressman curbello. the discharge petition would create a king of the heel spectacle on the floor, if you will, with immigration-related legislation, including fixes for dreamers. republicans would need 25 signatories on that. but that, of course, assumes that all democrats would sign this discharge petition. do you believe that is an
assumption that can be made? have you talked about it in the democratic caucus? and do you think all democrats will sign the discharge petition? >> you're right. you need 25 republicans, if all democrats sign. and you asked a great question, which is, will all democrats get on there? ultimately, i think the answer will be yes. we have had many conversations about it. and it's always tough too get every single person to sign on to something, even within your caucus or conference. but i think we can get there. >> so you don't think this will be a situation where there may be some democrats who argue, hey, it would be better for us in the midterm elections if this issue was still hanging out there? >> no, i don't think so. i think people want to resolve this issue. this issue should have been resolved years ago. we came close in 2014 when the senate passed comprehensive immigration reform by flying colors. and john boehner speaker at the time was scared of losing his job, so he didn't put the bill up for a vote, even though there were enough democrats and republicans who said they would
be supportive of comprehensive reform. my sense is that people up don't want to lose a second major opportunity. and i'm hoping that republicans can get to their 25. if they can do that, you'll see every single democrat sign on to the discharge petition. >> congressman joaquin castro, thank you for your time. see you on the hill coming up this week. >> thank you. when we return, i'm joined by pulitzer prize novelist and writer jennifer eagan. this week's new york times cover is the untold story of mothers fighting opioid addiction. back after this. sfx: muffled whistle text alert. i'm your phone, stuck down here between your seat and your console, playing a little hide-n-seek. cold... warmer...
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only one candidate for governor when students were stuck in failing schools, led the fight to turn them around. as mayor of l.a., antonio villaraigosa invested in classrooms and security. graduation rates soared. antonio for governor. the open yesterday crisis here in the u.s. is no secret, but the impact on pregnant mothers and their children has been overlooked. and that's the subject of the latest new york times cover story focusing on several women who have become pregnant while also battling addiction. joining us now for more on this is the pulitzer prize winner author of that story, jennifer egan. her latest novel is "manhattan beach" and on book shelves now. jennifer, thank you for being with us tonight. this is a very emotional and
frankly difficult read. you went and talked to these mothers, what do you feel like people need to know about the unique and very painful struggles that women who are dealing with this are facing? >> i think that the thing that most surprised me was how many of the people i spoke with actually ended up staying in freemont. in other words, for this, many of them had substance problems for quite a long time. the discovery they were pregnant, the decision to keep the baby, the process of being pregnant and then giving birth, was really sort of a life-changing thing for them. i mean, anyone that knows a child knows that's true. but in this case, it seemed to have offered a window of opportunity to break the cycle of addiction. and i think that was something i hadn't expected. >> what is the choice that mothers face as they try to navigate this treatment? because there are different ramifications for babies, right, in the case of treatments for their mothers.
>> well, the standard of care for a woman with opioid aga dependen dependency, meaning prescription bills and/or heroin is to go on medication-assisted treatment. meaning an opioid replacement drug, methadone or something to stabilize the woman during pregnancy shown not to hurt the fetus, which ends the compulsion for drugs, which can be so damaging during a pregnancy and can lead to all kinds of other health problems, early delivery, miscarriage, underweight babies. women who stay on the medication assisted treatment tend to have normal babies, babies born in the normal birthrates. the downside is that the babies could have a syndrome, meaning they are born with an opioid dependency and have to have medication-assisted treatment to withdraw from that. that tends to be a pretty seamless process. i mean, i witnessed it in more than one child. the results of any of this in
the long-term we don't know yet. but what i really saw was these are women who were dealing with all the stresses of having a baby, in the case of many of these women, their first baby, but on top of that, they have mental health issues and substance issues. and they're often not getting support from the society around them. >> yeah, one of the most things interesting in your piece, you note that as the epidemic engulfed the country, we're starting to treat people who are addicted to drugs differently instead as perpetrators and people battling an illness. but you write the more generous experience rarely extends to pregnant women who are still widely seen as perpetrators. >> that's true. there's the feeling that they are hurting the child within them. but i think what we have to remember is that the reason addiction is a mental illness is that it is a compulsion that really forces someone that
changes the brain and forces someone to do things they do not want to do. and that are not part of their personalities. so to turn to a woman who is addicted to opioids and say, you're hurting your baby by satisfying this addiction, is just asking if impossible. what we need to do is get them into treatment, get them stabilized and on medication that makes their pregnancies healthier, which they can then wean off once the babies are born. >> i want to expand this conversation out to our panel. and gabe, one thing i took note of on capitol hill over this week, that flew under the radar given the massive news stories we are confronting every day, but the number of chairman and chief executives of drug companies came before a congressional committee and were asked, do you bare responsibility for this? and only one of them, only one said the drug companies bore any responsibility for this
epidemic. do you think that is going to change politically? >> i hope so, certainly, but one of the unfortunate realities we have seen over the last few years is that as people have realized this is a massive problem across our country, there has been this broader realization, but there's been not so much policy activity. in fact, a lot of people that are from the states most heavily affected, including the leadership, are very disappointed you have the leadership on capitol hill and in the white house saying, we're going to tackle this opioid problem, we're going to do concrete things and not much has happened. you saw when the president made a big announcement a few months back about starting his new push on the open yesterdioid epidemi. a lot of people said, too little, too late. will more people pay attention? sure. >> tim alberta, my question is will this evolve the way big tobacco evolved. asking congress to send money to fix the problem, frankly, the companies were forced to change
the way they do business. do you see that as potential? i know you spent a lot of time reporting out in places very hard-hit by this. do you think there ultimately will be pressure in that direction? >> you would think so. the key is to forget about policymakers because politicians are reactionaries and not leaders. these are people reacting to what they see and hear and feel and touch in their congressional districts and in their states and backyards. but yeah, ultimately, to see significant and lasting change, this has to be more organic. it can't be, you know, hauling a couple of executives in front of congress and putting the bright lights on them and having the photographer snapping the pictures and hoping to get them to say something candid. to that point you made a minute ago, what we saw on the hill just recently, i do think that like with big tobacco, what you would hope to see is an organic bottom-up sustained effort by individuals, citizens, activist leaders, o organizations,
advocates on the ground who had to try to make sense of the entire communities ravaged by this. kasie, you covered the presidential campaign and traveled the country, just speaking for myself, i was so blown away in 2016 in the rust belt and in new hampshire, some of these areas in the country where you talk to people where it is not just the opioid epidemic itself, but the ramifications of it as it relates to employment and marriages and families falling apart and so many other things as collateral damage. >> it is absolutely ripping communities apart. you're right. the article is on the cover of "the new york times" magazine. jennifer egan, thank you so much. i do commend our viewers to take a look at this. it is quite a moving piece, thank you. >> thank you for having me on the show. when we come back, rudy giuliani reverses course on a controversial claim: plus, the michael cohen money trail. you're watching "kasie dc." adsie helped him to fix his flat so he could get home safely.
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in an interview with nbc news, rudy giuliani is walking back a controversial claim that president trump intervened in the at&t/time warner merger. that followed the release of an interview giuliani did with "the huffington post" where he said the president did deny that merger. that cleanup after reports of a at&t paid michael cohen $600,000 advise on a potential merger with time warner and for insights into the new trump administration. according to a document released by stormy daniels' attorney, michael avenatti, $4.4 million
flowed through the same company cohen created in october of 2016 that was used to pay daniels that $130,000 in hush money. okay. i'm not even sure i know where to start with this, anita kumar, but initially, the president's lawyer said he is getting paid by at&t. then rudy giuliani says he made a mistake. no, the president didn't do that. >> this is not the first time rudy giuliani has walked something back, right? it's been two weeks that he's been his attorney. and he keeps saying things out there, he's much like donald trump, he's just kind of off-the-cuff saying things and walking them back. we have kind of been waiting the see how long this would go on, when he will not be out front giving interviews left and right but it just continues on. >> and the president seems to be saying he needs more tv lawyers, that i assume rudy giuliani
falls into that category. but tim alberta, how much of a potential problem is this? politically, legally, as well, we seem to be in new unchartered territory as we learn the special counsel was looking into this for months. >> it's a good distinction to make politically and legally. legally, all of it is usually problematic and there are enormous implications. and we have probably seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the implications are. politically, i'm getting to the point where i question if it has any impact politically. you can see the congressional ballot tightening. you talk to folks, i've been in iowa and wisconsin, you talk to voters, and that whole rundown you just did, which you were struggling to make sense of it just to go through it in a linear way. >> it is super complicated. >> super complicated. we are told to pay attention to it every day. do we think people doing their jobs, taking their kids to soblger practice, trying to meet the needs every day, do we think they are chronically missing
this with the same urgency we are? i tend to doubt it. >> certainly not. but i think what a lot of democrats are betting right now is that people are paying some attention to this. they are certainly not reading to paragraph four or five. but looking at the headlines, if this is going to matter, it's not a question of corruption or any of that stuff. this looks awfully swampy. and this goes exactly against what the president campaigned against when he said drain the swamp. you know, what we're talking about here is some sort of a level of influence peddling, which really voters are not necessarily going to go into the deep dives and talk about how there may be some violations here or lobbying disclosure violences. but what democrats are trying to make the case of is there's an overall aura that just stinks of the political campaign. >> the white house is counting on people just tuning it out. when you get outside of washington and get to other
states, new hampshire and wisconsin, and iowa, they want to know about the economy. they are interested in foreign economy. >> and they kroucounting on the president who regularly tweet that is, of course, none of this is going on. just ahead, our series is on the wave of women running for office. an open seat in maryland makes it a jump ball. re subaru outbac owners always smiling? because they've chosen the industry leader. subaru outback holds its value better than any other vehicle in its class, according to alg. better than rav4. better than grand cherokee. better than edge. make every adventure a happy one with subaru outback. get 0% apr financing on the 2018 subaru outback.
kyle, we talked about this. there's no monsters. but you said they'd be watching us all the time. no, no. no, honey, we meant that progressive would be protecting us 24/7. we just bundled home and auto and saved money. that's nothing to be afraid of. -but -- -good night, kyle. [ switch clicks, door closes ] ♪ i told you i was just checking the wiring in here, kyle. he's never like this. i think something's going on at school. -[ sighs ] -he's not engaging. welcome back to "kasie dc."
with maryland congressman john delay knee leaving congress to run for president in 2020, that's a whole other story, more than half a dozen democrats are clambering for the nomination in maryland's sixth district. one of those hopefuls, state delegate aruna miller who is joining me now onset. thank you so much for taking the time to be with us tonight. i really appreciate it. one thing i learned that i had not stopped to think about as i was preparing for this segment with you is that democrats have fielded an all male congressional delegate in the state of maryland? >> that's correct. >> so this if you win would make you the only woman, only woman democrat to serve in the state of maryland. >> that's right. and this is the first time it's happened in 45 years. prior to that, we had many women representatives. senator murkolski and many others. >> and what, at this point, makes you want to jump into the frame? quite frankly, i talk to people every day in the halls of congress which are disillusioned
of what they are capable of getting done here. >> i have to tell you, one of the things i enjoy is getting up every morning and knowing what i do can have a positive effect on people's lives. currently i'm a maryland legislator and that is what we do in the general assembly. we pass laws that benefit the overall public at large. and i see this as another opportunity to do so. >> you've been endorsed by emily's list. you have clearly gotten support from groups who have been working on this for a long time. what do you think is -- how would you evaluate the length of time the democrats have had the same leaders in power? how has the democratic establishment here in d.c. doing? would you, for example, back nancy pelosi for speaker? >> that's a really good question. i think that ultimately it's not the part of the leader that has the greatest impact on whether voters are going to decide to vote for a democratic candidate. it's really the message that you give. so as candidates, what are we doing for the public?
what kind of issues are we going to fight for? would you support nancy pelosi? >> i think nancy pelosi has done a great job in supporting our par to. she certainly generates a lot of revenue for the party. but being an engineer myself, up tend to be a little bit more, i guess, pragmatic about how i approach things. i need to know who the other candidate is that would be running against her. and is that person going to have the vision that i'm looking for? so until we get to that point and know who all the players are, i'm not really ready to make a decision like that. >> so we'll put you down as a maybe. >> right. >> okay, fair enough. one of the other issues that has cropped up, particularly among democratic activists, is the question of impeachment of this president. and nancy pelosi has said publicly she doesn't think that that's where the conversation should be. where are you on this question? do you think there is, at this point, informs about this
president that you believe means he needs to be impeached? >> look, first off, i just want to say for the record, i didn't vote for donald trump, right? i would love to have secretary clinton be the president right now. that's not the case. do i believe there is concerns with mr. trump as far as impeachment issues goes? i do. there are a couple things, right? there's obstruction of justice. there's violation of the emolument's clause. and there's the undermining of the freedom of press. but ultimately, we need to go through a legal process. and at the conclusion of that, it's if determined that the president should be impeached, well, then that's what we need to do. so right now, i think what congress needs to do is make sure that prosecutor mueller is able to do what he's been assigned to do. and again, at the end of that conclusion of the legal process, if it's determined that the president is impeachable, well, i believe that no one is above the law, including the president
of the united states. >> more broadly, i want to talk to you a little bit about, you mentioned secretary clinton and how you would like to see her been president. obviously, you're a female politician in public life, what is your advice to, you know, young women and girls who are, you know, watching, they are seeing she failed very publicly against barack obama. and now, what do you saw to them about your own experience? what should they try to remember as they're deciding whether this would be a path they could take? >> well, one thing i've learned, kasie, is that policymaking has a tremendous impact on our lives. from the moment we wake up to the moment we close our eyes, i think that every citizen in the united states be engaged in the political process. never take that off the table, absolutely you should consider that in the future. i know myself when i first started, democracy is complicated. it's difficult to understand. it took me many years to really understand it.
i started off as a volunteer. i helped other candidates get elected. i was a precinct official and got elected on the central committee and ran for public office. and i found that the public office is a great instrument to bring positive change to people's lives. so i think every citizen of the united states should be engaged in the process, whether they run for office, whether they volunteer, whether they help other candidates get elected. >> aruna miller, thank you for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thank you very having me. >> we'll continue to watch your race. when we return, what to watch for in the week ahead. with claim rateguard your rates won't go up just beacuase of a claim. i totally could've... (wife) nope! switching to allstate is worth it.
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before we go we'll talk about what our panelists are watching in the week ahead. >> sure, i'm looking for president trump to go to capitol hill this week to have lunch with senate republicans. and it comes at this really interesting time after this john mccain thing you talked about in the first part of the show. >> that means my life will be much more logistically complicated this week. i forgot about that. tim? >> watching four primaries on tuesday, pennsylvania, idaho, nebraska, oregon. a lot to look for there in terms of voter enthusiasm and other things as we try to e gauge where we are at this point in the cycle. >> and with all the attention on the other side, i think what i'll be looking for is on tuesday as well, a lot of the democrats who may be running for president in 2020 will be gathering for a conference. i will be looking for them to lay it out to distinguish
themselves from each other. >> we all said something for tuesday. >> tuesday is going to be quite a big day. i personally want to take a privilege to say happy mother's day to my mother, chris de hunt. that's my grandmother, happy mother's day to her as well. that does it for me on "kasie dc." for now, good night from washington. she's met 12 american presidents so far and has reigned as queen with grace and strength. >> she's the boss. she runs the firm. >> i obviously think if we lived a thousand years, we should never see anything like it again. my whole life, whether it's been long or short, shall be devoted to your service. >> she's often said to insiders, we need to be seen to be believed. >> queen busine