tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC August 26, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
facebook.com/politicsnation and follow us on twitter at politics nation. i'll see you back here next sunday. now to my colleague, alex witt. >> hey, there, rev. miss you here in the studio, we'll welcome you back soon. but very poignant comments about john mccain and aretha franklin. two giants. thank you, rev. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters here in new york. 9:00 a.m. in the east, 6:00 a.m. out here in the west. reflection and remembrance pouring in to the memory of senator john mccain. >> senator mccain was always an outsider, he was always a maverick. >> he was a statesman. a walking, talking, living legend of a statesman. zp >> independent, courageous, profile in courage. we want these people to be great people, we want them to be grand. and he was. >> a look back at mccain's sweeping life from the military to a prisoner of war camp to a
senate seat to a presidential nominee. new recollections to a live of consequence. also new, the trump white house, concerns about what the next week might bring after a bruising few days, next here on msnbc live. but of course, we begin this hour with one of the day's most profound images. the august 26th, 2008, front page of senator john mccain's hometown paper, paying tribute to him, as a political giant, an arizona legend. at the white house this hour, the u.s. flag flying at half-staff, honoring the life of the longtime senator. just one of the first visible public tributes. lawmakers on capitol hill doing the same to pay homage to an american hero who established himself after more than 35 years in office as the maverick of the senate. nbc's kelly o'donnell, who covered senator mccain for many years, has more on his life and legacy. >> reporter: a spirited young
aviator. the fierce campaigner. >> we face many dangerous threats in this dangerous world. but i'm not afraid of them. i'm prepared for them. >> reporter: an irascible statesman. >> we never hide from history! we make history! >> reporter: through it all, john mccain carried himself as a joyful warrior. >> i have enjoyed pi eed it. every single day of it. the good ones and the not-so-good ones. i've been inspired by the service of better patriots than me. >> reporter: patriotism rooted in family. his father and grandfather both admirals passed down his name and his navy career. more than 50 years ago, on his 23rd mission over vietnam, enemy fire downed his plane. >> three american planes were shut down and at least two of their pilots captured. one of them was lieutenant commander john mccain iii. >> reporter: a prisoner of war for almost 2,000 days, tortured
and beaten. >> taken to the hospital where i almost died. >> reporter: mccain refused early release to deny communist north vietnam a propaganda victory. in 1973, a celebrated welcome home. courage in war that forged his national identity. >> i fell in love with my country when i was aprisoner in someone else's. >> reporter: when mccain remarried in 1980, wife cindy's home state of arizona became his political base, elected to congress and six terms in the u.s. senate, where he became known as the maverick. mccain often angered conservatives over issues like immigration, railed against washington's penchant for pork barrel spending, and challenged his own party's president, george w. bush, to change strategy in the iraq war. >> early on, i came out and said, this could be not only a long struggle, but a losing one,
unless we change the strategy. >> reporter: mccain's presidential ambition boarded his straight talk express twice. in 2000, winning the new hampshire primary, but having to wait another eight years to become the republican candidate for president. >> i fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. >> reporter: trailing barack obama, mccain rattled the race by propelling sarah palin on to the ticket. but history had another plan. mccain returned to the senate and remained a prominent voice. >> probably, i'm proudest of being able to contribute to the security of this country and the men and women who serve it. are you okay? can i get you anything? >> reporter: his fame led to fun. cameos and comedies. >> sorry. i hope everything's okay. >> reporter: mccain loved to get a laugh. he often referred to himself as an imperfect public servant, facing a dire diagnose like
brain cancer fired his independent streak, calling out a gridlocked senate. >> we're getting nothing done, my friends. we're getting nothing done. >> reporter: the fighter also turned reflective. >> i celebrate what a guy who stood fifth from the bottom of his class at the naval academy has been able to do. i am so grateful. every night when i go to sleep, i am just filled with gratitude. >> reporter: with hard-earned scars and an enduring wit, john mccain made service to country the cause of his life. >> and kelly is join us right now. of course, kelly, you're in sedona, arizona, very close to where john mccain lived and loved that place, that's for sure. one of his favorite places in the whole world. you covered him and know him in a way, from your time on capitol hill, on the campaign trail with him. talk about that and what's happened since his passing? >> well, you can see by the
spectacular backdrop why john mccain and his family have loved sedona and loved arizona as their home. he often told me that as the son of the navy, that he as a child had moved around so much. he didn't feel rooted in any one place. so when he married cindy, arizona became something he had never really had, a home. and so it has meant so much to him. he has spent the last several months at the ranch near sedona, convalescing, going through his treatment and so forth. it was striking, with a really lengthy motorcade and a police escort and crowds lining the route, a two-hour drive from this area to phoenix, where john mccain will be honored in the state capital will be also remembered by people who were his constituents and his community for all of these years. it was so striking, his death came at 4:28 in the afternoon local time here. and a few hours later, as the sun was setting in sedona, the
lights and sirens carrying this man who had served his country for 60 years, from the time he entered the naval academy, his navy career in public office and so forth. people in arizona who have known him wanted to at least in those initial hours acknowledge him. so we saw the flags waving, we saw signs that were made. over the next few days, alex, we will see remembrances that will be based in arizona, then ultimately in washington, d.c. and he made the choice that he wanted his final resting place to be at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis. so that will be part of the end story of john mccain, to go back to a place where his service to country began and where he'll be remembered for a long time to come. what i am struck by over and over again and reflecting on his life over these months and certainly in the last few days, when we knew that his cancer treatment was ended and the course of this terribly, terribly difficult brain cancer was coming to its final stages, he was someone who enjoyed the
fight and engaged in the fight. politically sparring, rhetorically, fighting over policy, fighting over issues, fighting over things he would believe in. at times, aggravating and angering his colleagues in the senate and others. frustrating conservatives, at times. tussling with reporters. very spirited all the way through. and somebody who was not passive about anything that he did. and so often funny. my favorite memories are all about him teasing me, joshing with me, saying funny things in the hallways. he was not someone who would walk by you with his head down or looking at the phone. he was always wanting to talk. a very social person in a business where those skills are sometimes put to the test. a lot of times people are criticized for saying what they think. he made that sort of his brand. and did it, took certainly plenty of criticism, but also had a lot of people who remember him with warmth and with admiration at this difficult
time. alex? >> and i think we'll add affection as well, as i listen to you talk about him, which is something that by that description and his personal relationship with you and everybody else, that would stand to reason. so kelly o., i'm sorry for your loss, as well, because i know you very much enjoyed covering him. we'll get more reaction now to his death. president trump, who has certainly openly sparred with senator mccain, tweeted his condolences last night saying, "my deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of senator john mccain. our hearts and prayers are with you." meanwhile, president obama, who developed a friendship with mccain after running against him in the 2008 election, issued this statement. "all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. at john's best, he showed us what that means. and for that, we are all in his debt." and we're also hearing from senator mccain's family, to which of course we send our profound support and condolences. his wife, cindy, tweeted last night, "my heart is broken. i'm so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years."
and one of his duaughters, meghan, with an equally emotional tweet, "i love you forever, my beloved father." in a statement, she said in part, "all that i am is thanks to him. now that he is gone, the task of my lifetime is to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love." let's bring in kori schake who worked as senior policy adviser to the mccain 2008 campaign and frank donatelli who was tapped by senator mccain to serve as the deputy chair of the rnc during his 2008 campaign bid. with a welcome to you both -- >> thank you. >> -- kori, i found an article you penned from last summer shortly after the cancer diagnoses. and i want to read in part your description of john mccain. he can be irascible, exhibits no compunction at disparaging those he considers failing in their responsibilities and this is his way through problems by arguing about them with voluble tenacity. but what was so charming about
that is that you talked then about how you admired him more at the end of the campaign than when you took the position. talk about that. >> it's really true. as i grieve john's passing, i think about the novelist john eliot who wrote, the important work of moving the world forward doesn't wait happily to be done by perfect men. john wasn't a perfect man and he didn't want to be one, but he rel reveled in the challenges of strengthening the country, of helping people advance the cause of freedom. he modeled behavior that he wanted others to adopt, of being generous to his adversaries, of being kind to people who were struggling. he was just an enormous force for good. and for those who say he could have been a better example, he
would have been the first to agree. but he would also challenge us all to go out and be a better example than he was. >> yeah. frank, i'm curious how you remember him, as well. >> well, i worked on senator mccain's campaign in 2008. and the campaign lasted for a year and a half. and i think we were ahead for about ten days. so it was difficult at times, but senator mccain went forward all the time. i think what i remember most was very early in that campaign. the situation in iraq was getting worse and president trump launched what's now known as the surge and mccain was urged by some advisers to stay away from that policy. instead, he doubled down and embrace embrace the surge. he went around the country talking to audiences. and his justification was, i would rather lose an election than see the united states lose a war. and i think that really
summarizes his approach to public policy issues. he always looked for what, in his opinion, was in the best interest of the united states. >> mm-hmm, mm-hmm. putting his country first, always. always. how would you, kori, describe john mccain? because you saw him after he lost the presidential bid. and then leading up to this past year in congress, as he battled this illness. describe that phase of his life. >> you know, he felt so strongly about the dangers that donald trump poses for the country and represents about the country that in some ways, it was a great blessing that at the end of his life, he felt a new challenge to help the country right itself. >> yep, he did. and he did not hold back. he seemed to be absolutely fearless in the face of, you know, a lot of criticism. it was really quite extraordinary, that way. but frank, overall, john
mccain -- >> you know -- >> oh, kori, go ahead and finish. >> you know, i was going to say, i think his experience early in his life as a prisoner of war gave him his steeliness, because he understand everybody had a break point and it made him sympathetic for people who did break, but he also had the liberation of knowing what he believed in and knowing who he was and standing tall and helping others do the same. >> yep. in terms of his place in the gop history books, frank, where does john mccain fit there? >> well, there are -- there are individuals who don't achieve the ultimate prize, but still are revered in our history. and i think the entire -- the entire career of john mccain puts him in that category. he was conservative, but he was always willing to look across the partisan divide and try to find common ground with the other side.
also, i think later in life, as the consensus frayed, he became the prime defender in america of the trans-atlantic alliance and the idea that the world has responsibilities through trade and through alliances. i think he felt very, very strongly about that, as critics of both the left and the right chipped away from that. so the fact that he did not achieve his ultimate goal, i don't think by any means, will distract from a very, very towering performance and a very, very strong career. >> mm-hmm. kori, it's obviously this is an emotional day for you, and i understand, because you had so much, clearly, admiration and affection for john mccain, based on your tenure in working with him, but a lot of people have described him as being wickedly funny. do you have any recollections of that? even during challenging times, were there things that you can remember and you think, oh, i mean, where did he pull that one
from? >> yeah. the way i remember john will be cackling at his own jokes. that -- that is, you know, in bad times, a lot of the leadership he showed was self-deprecating jokes. one of my favorites was the day that the bumidian decision came down from the supreme court. i was new on the campaign and he called in to the group of advisers just furious, steaming about, about how much this decision endangered the united states. and right before he hung up the phone, after telling all of us we were going to spend the day talking to the media about it, right before he hung up the phone, he said, and, just to make your job fun, i just told everybody this is the worst decision in the history of the supreme court. >> you're probably, thanks! great. here we go.
the last word to you, frank. >> yeah, one of the best applause lines in the campaign, we were always short of money, and he would begin by talking to an audience and he said, the good news is, i have plenty of money to run my campaign. the bad news is that most of it still in your pockets. >> well, he was an extraordinary man. and i thank you both so much, frank and kori, both of you, for sharing your recollections with him. much appreciated. mccain ran for the presidency twice in his career, and coming up, one journalist who knows what it was like to cover him on the campaign trail. >> he went through a lot, as a veteran, and, you know, a prisoner of war and, you know, it's -- he had a really sad life and turned it into something really triumphant and, you know, politics aside, i think that's something really honorable. ♪
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how do you want the american people to remember you? >> he served his country. and not always right. made a lot of mistakes. made a lot of errors. but served his country and i hope we could add "honorably." >> we can. senator mccain in one of his final interviews last year on how he wants to be remembered. joining me now, jonathan alter, msnbc contributor and "daily beast" columnist. jonathan knew senator mccain for decades, dating back to when he covered his presidential
campaign back in 2000. we have a picture there of you, jonathan, interviewing senator mccain. but you wrote about that and i told you when i saw you here in the studio, that it was a beautiful tribute, your recollections, such great color. i want to quote something that you wrote, which i want you to then jump off on, your description of him. up close, mccain was a throwback to that loveably irascible 1950s dad who told you to get off his lawn before offering you a beer and a war story you wouldn't soon forget. you know, a contradiction in some ways. >> yeah, but you used a word earlier, alex, they really think was right. and that's affection. i have to say, and this maybe isn't so terrific for a reporter who's covering politicians to say, but i had enormous affection for senator mccain from the period when i first met him in the mid-1990s, when he was providing cover for
president clinton to recognize vietnam. and i went to vietnam and with his help saw a lot of people involved with that issue. and you have to understand that after five and a half years of captivity, john mccain came home with no bitterness. and he -- toward anti-war protesters. and he sat at the deathbed of an anti-war protester named david ipchin when he was dying of cancer and he went to the hospital every day, the same way he did with democrat morris udall, another good friend. and there was this generosity of spirit that he had, which we really saw up close, those of us fortunate enough to be on the now legendary straight talk express in 2000, which is where that picture comes from. we saw and understood not just a sense of honor, not just jaw-dropping stories about his
time in solitary confinement and anything else that we wanted to ask him about, but a fundamental decency underneath that irascible exterior, so that when he would tease us, as he did, we took it in the spirit it was intended. i have just to tell you one quick story. on the "today" show, i was interviewing him live on the "today" show, off of this straight talk express, and i said, good morning, senator mccain. and he said, good morning, you communist! >> i know! i remember that. as a member of the liberal media. >> but we loved it! and tom brokaw was saying last night, the same thing happened to him in that campaign. we loved it, because it was fun. and he was a tremendous amount of fun to talk to. and it -- the other thing that's just so important is that he
would acknowledge when he made a mistake. if anything, he sometimes apologized too much, but -- >> as he felt he had done by not speaking out about the confederate flag flying over the state capitol of south carolina. because he wanted to not do anything to encumber getting the votes. >> that's right. and there were a number of instances when he did that. i think one of the most important was, he was involved in a real scandal, the keating five, it was called. he got too close to an arizona banker who was involved in the savings and loan scandal of the early '90s and he got sort of tarred by it for a while. but his reaction to it, rather than being defensive and, you know, making a lot of excuses was to say, i really messed up and i'm going to work for the rest of my career to do something about being money and politics. and he did. he got the mccain/feingold bill passed.
and he, he, you know, also recognized that other people can serve in ways that didn't necessarily involve military service. so he was always a very strong supporter of things like americorps, of getting young people to do something that was larger than their own self-interests. to get that idea of service and how were and love of country for -- when it was right and wrong. it wasn't america, love it or leave. it was make america better by working hard to do so. and i disagreed with him on many issues over the years, and we would have very candid conversations about it. but i always respected not just his love of country, but his deep understanding of what made this country great. >> can i ask you just very quickly before we let you go, the end of the straight talk express, you talk about a dinner that he hosted at his home. he was the guy doing the grill. >> yeah. >> and he said that were he to
get to the white house, he would replace the putting green maybe with barbecue grills. he loved to grill, that was his thing, the way he loved to entertain. >> so when he was captured in vietnam, he broke both of his arms, badly, and he could not raise his arms above his shoulders. he had to have somebody comb his hair every day for the rest of his life. so he could do sports. he loved sports. he was a sports nut. his sport was grilling. and his specialty was grilled chicken. and when we'd be out there at his ranch near sedona, which is where he was when he died, he would have three or even four grills going at once, and talking about the different, you know, marinades he had and, you know, that was his competitive sport. he had been a tremendous wrestler and boxer when he was young, but he couldn't take part in sports after the vietnamese
captivity. >> i think it was spicy chicken that he loved the most. jonathan alter, thank you for sharing a very personal side of john mccain. we have many accolades and we have presidential historians that are going to put this all in perspective, journalists like you, but got to say, we love the nugget stories. they're great. thank you, jonathan. >> thanks, alex. in just a moment, early word on plans for the final farewell for the maverick of the senate. >> john mccain was one of the greatest men i have met. you don't meet too many great men. he was one of them. got directions to the nightclub here. and if you get lost, just hit me on the old horn. man: tom's my best friend, but ever since he bought a new house...
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it's tough to imagine a senate without him. it's tough to imagine politics without john mccain, but we need to go on. >> stoic comments there. here with me now, nbc's mike viqueira. mike, with a good morning to you. so we must look ahead to funeral arrangements. what have we heard about them regarding senator mccain? >> reporter: you're absolutely right, alex, and good morning, the capitol doesn't seem the same without john mccain prowling these halls. and before we get to know about john mccain, the late senator, lying in state in the capitol rotunda, i want to point out that i'm standing in the russell building, just down the hall from me is john mccain's senate office. it's just across constitution avenue in the capitol, in the capitol rotunda, where he will lie in state. but it's named after a senator from georgia, richard russell, a known segregationist in the 1920s, fought civil rights legislation, backed strom
thurmond in the 1948 election, when strom thurmond ran as a so-called dixiecrat on a platform of segregation. chuck schumer, now the democratic leader in the senate, wants to rename this building in favor of john mccain. and we'll see if that initiative does get some legs. i suspect that it will. john mccain, as we've heard from kelly o'donnell and others with john mccain and his family in arizona now making their way to phoenix, where there will be an observance and a service before john mccain, his remains come here to andrews -- joint base andrews, formerly known as andrews air force base, just outside of washington, not far from where we're standing now. it is expected that he will lie in state in the capitol, only the 33rd time in american history when that will happen. he'll be there for a couple of days. a lot of ceremonies surrounding that high honor before a service will be held when his remains are moved just uptown to the national cathedral, where
luminaries from american politics and around the world are expected to attend the service and speak, alex. >> you know, it's extraordinary, you mentioned democrat chuck schumer proposing that honor of renaming the russell senate building to being the mccain senate building. that is extraordinary in itself. with regard to the funeral, mike, has there been any discussion as to whether or not the president will attend? theirs was certainly a contentious relationship. >> reporter: well, we have reports, not confirmed so far as i know by msnbc or nbc news, alex, that john mccain actually said in his last days that he did not want president trump to speak at his funeral. we do expect president obama, former president obama, former president bush to speak there. i haven't heard anything about former president clinton and his plans, but this is what we're hearing. obviously, the acrimony and the bad feeling between president trump and the 2008 nominee for the republican presidential nominee for his party, john
mccain, a lot of bad blood there and acrimony, alex. >> and i believe that, vice president mike pence may also as well be trying to prepare a eulogy. joining me now, nbc presidential historian, michael beschloss. so good to see you and i love your perspective in these moments and poignant times. and when you think of senator mccain and his character, certainly being known as a maverick, being known as an independent voice, is there another historic figure that comes to mind that's like him? >> oh, alex, theodore roosevelt, whom mccain admired very much. and in certain ways, they really were alike. they were both fighters. they loved conflict. like the founders of this country, they felt that, you know, fighting and conflict and intense debates, that leads to the best policies. but at the same time, even though mccain, like tr, loved to fight, he never demeaned his opponents. he always, you know, at the end of the day, the founders always thought they wanted the senate
to be a place where people would have big debates, you know, big fights, but at the end of the day they'd have a tankard of ale together. that was very much mccain's view. and when you look back on mccain, you can list the things he did in the senate. you can mention the enormous grace and courage and moral stature that came from those five and a half years in the hanoi hilton, and what comes out most of all, i think, is character. this is someone that we can look back on as a leader in american history, that we would like our children to be like. >> you know, you talk about what the founding fathers wanted and for them all to debate vigorously and get, as you say, a tank of ale later together -- >> or something else. >> or something else, right. the timing of john mccain's passing, though, it comes at a time there is ample political, ample social discord here in this country, and really a multi-layer of controversy surrounding the current administration. john mccain was not able to be
as involved as he wanted to be, i should think, during this time. was he disappointed, do you think? was he frustrated to be sick at a time like this? >> it was actually, it was a moment that was perfect for john mccain, which was to speak truth to power, truth to president trump. as recently as that helsinki summit where almost alone, nearly alone among republican senators, he said, this is my language, not his, that what president trump said at the side of vladimir putin in helsinki was an outrage. you know, he had that kind of stature. he was very happy to be the one to tell president trump he wasn't measuring up. i'm not sure who's going to do that now that he's gone. >> michael beschloss, we will keep you around for some time to come and get your sage thoughts on all of this. thank you so much. >> thanks, alex. lovely to be with you. >> thank you. well, to politics and a new poll on the president and truth. that's next. ent and truth. that's next. nna be late! hold on, don't worry, there's another way
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now to a new poll on perceptions of president trump's responses to the special counsel's investigation. the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll finds that 56% of voters say trump has not been honest and truthful about the mueller probe. let's bring in adrian elrod, former director of strategic communications for hillary clinton's campaign and republican political consultant, shermichael singleton. good to see you both. >> good morning. >> since you're the republican here, shermichael, how does that reflect on the white house and the republican party, that
number? 56% saying, this president isn't dg truth f -- being truthful. >> well, you look at that number, but despite that number, the base, registered republican voters who supported donald trump, that number has not wavered. so i think for the president and the administration, they're probably not going to be surprised at the fact that a significant portion of americans believe he's not being truthful. but what they're going to focus on is where he stands with the individuals who supported not only him, but the individuals who will support republicans come november. that's a much more important number. >> okay. interpret the number from your perspective, adrian. >> yeah, look, i think what this number denser, ultimately, is that donald trump's base is solidly with him. alex, you'll recall during the campaign, when donald trump said i could stand on fifth avenue and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose votes, i mean, his base is going to stay with him. what this poll does show, however, is that independents, moderate republicans, those swing voters that are obviously needed by republicans in some of
these tough districts to win in 2018 and donald trump will need those voters going to 2020 to get re-elected. this poll shows his base solidly with him no matter what he does, and that also has to do with the outcome of the mueller investigation. but his independence and motor republicans are the ones that he has to really worry about. >> yeah. i want to stay on this issue of honesty with you, shermichael. because michael cohen's plea del certainly ignited a round of questions about what the president knew about the hush payments of both stormy daniels and karen mcdougal, which he now says he knew about later on. take a listen to the exchange with white house press secretary sarah sanders on this subject. here it is. >> so many people now look back at that tape of him on air force one saying he knew nothing about these payments, when in fact we now know he knew everything about these payments. so has he lied? >> again, look, i think that's a ridiculous accusation. the president in this matter has done nothing wrong and there are no charges against him. >> what do you make of that response? and why aren't republicans
calling for the president, just speak the truth, clear this all up. have they lost their handle on being a voice of moral authority? >> well, that was lost a long time ago, i think, when donald trump was nominated as the nominee of the republican party. there's an audiotape where donald trump is talking to michael cohen about this payment. and there you just see the press secretary essentially stating, reiterating that the president knew nothing about it, yet there's audio with the president talking about that very payment. so i don't understand if these folks believe that we're somehow sleeping under a rock and perhaps we're not just following this. but it's really embarrassing, i would argue for the republican party, because here we have the party that's argued we're the party of values, of morals, we're the party of justice -- >> voter value summits, you have, right? >> precisely! and yet all of those things, in my opinion, now means absolutely nothing, because we have become the party of donald trump, even when we know the president is acting in a manner that is not
consistent, whatsoever, with even the most basic of conservative principles and values. we say nothing. why? because too many of those individuals are afraid of a twitter tantrum. too many of those individuals are afraid of losing support from the base. well, alex, i've got to tell you, what the hell does the base even matter if the country is going down because you're saying nothing about this president? i think there's a point in time where people in this dcountry have to say, republicans, we gave you a shot, you dropped the ball, you failed, now perhaps is the time to give democrats an opportunity to at least check the things that my party have failed to do. >> let me remind everyone, you are republicans saying all of this. but we appreciate your candor and truthfulness and the way you truly feel about this, not pulling any political punches. so americans are very forgiving nation. and in this piece, it argues that trump should confess his affairs, admit he wanted to keep them quiet and apologize to the public for his deception.
were that to happen, if this president managed to come clean, would he be better or worse off? >> that's actually a great question. and i certainly appreciate the sentiment of this opinion piece, but it's not going to happen. donald trump is the never going to apologize for all the things that we know he has done. he's had multiple affairs. he has paid hush money to multiple women to cover up these affairs. we all know this to be fact. he will absolutely, however, never come clean. so, you know, i think we could sit here all day long and pontificate, would he be better off if he came -- if he told the truth? would he not? would he be better off continuously lying? you know, who knows? but the bottom line is, he's not going to ever come clean. even though we all know for a fact that he has committed these affairs and he's paid this hush money. >> well, for the record, i could pontificate a lot longer with the both of you. adrian and shermichael, i would love to do it, but unfortunately we don't have the time to do it today. another time.
>> thanks, alex. >> thanks, alex. new advice for president trump, be like spiro agnew and resign. the former vice president's attorney joins me next. and ahead on "a.m. joy," the ever-more-complicated case of supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. f supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. that's why we created expedia's add-on advantage. now after booking your flight, you unlock discounts on select hotels right until the day you leave. ♪ add-on advantage. discounted hotel rates when you add on to your trip. only when you book with expedia. i couldn't catch my breath. it was the last song of the night. it felt like my heart was skipping beats. they said i had afib. what's afib? i knew that meant i was at a greater risk of stroke. i needed answers.
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congressman denny heck is making a bold prediction for president trump after a week of legal troubles for the president's associates. >> the president is going to become increasingly isolated. as we know from history, this can be very traumatic psychologically from the occupant of the oval office. i think at some point the president will resign his office for the good of the country. >> joining me now, martin london, former lawyer to nixon's first of two vice presidents, spiro agnew and author of the book "the client decides, a litigator's life." martin, welcome. i want to look at what you wrote in "time" magazine where you said the president should consider resigning. is that an option?
>> if he decides to do it he needs to do it as part of a transaction otherwise there would be not much point in doing it. he wants relief from criminal exposure of himself and his children and he would have to negotiate that with mueller and i don't think even mueller has the power to do it. it's a question of whether rosenstein or sessions might be involved because there are non-russia criminal allegations here so it's a very complicated matter. he's right about one thing, i don't agree with a lot of the things he says but the president said the other day -- of course he called it a witch-hunt but he said it's bad for the country
and he's right about that. it is and it was terrible when the department of justice was investigating vice president spiro agnew at a time when watergate was cooking and we sat down with elliot richardson and he said i nknow this is going t take two to three years to resolve. this turmoil is awful. as the process goes forward and more and more people turn against him and now he has
weisselberg and pecker as well as flynn and gates and papadopoulos and mcgahn spending 30 hours with the prosecutor. as more and more people turn, it will get worse and the deal will get worse. >> you mentioned legally speaking it would be part of a big deal. you mentioned his children. are they vulnerable? if so, to what degree. >> i know only a tiny part of what mr. mueller knows but from what i read in the newspaper and see on television, donald jr. is in this thing up to his ear tips. the russian meeting in june was many my judgment a violation of the statute you just have to
solicit adverse information from a foreign power and then they get the clown act and giuliani says he didn't know they were russians. of course he knew they were russians. the e-mail setting up the meeting said they were representatives of the russians. >> do you see how this is going to play out? can you predict that? >> i predict it's going to be bad. to make a resignation deal takes a lot of contemplation, intelligence, good advice. i don't know that this president has those capacities. if he's going to rely on the likes of rudy giuliani then nothing good is going to happen.
it's very difficult. it's very hard to say. you have to whole pardon question. the manafort question. it can only go downhill from here and the longer he waits, the worse it's going to be. >> martin london, thank you so much. your experience and insight is much valued here. appreciate your time. still ahead for all of you on "a.m. joy," chris matthews and andrea mitchell share their thoughts on the passing of john mccain. cancer ... it's very personal.
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