Skip to main content

tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  March 3, 2019 3:00am-4:00am PST

3:00 am
>> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. good morning. i'm phillip mena at msnbc world headquarters in new york. it is 6:00 in the east, 3 out west and here's what's happening. the president unleashed at a conservative conference going after the special counsel, democrats and the green new deal. >> these people are sick. they're sick. democrat lawmakers are now embracing socialism. socialist takeover. they know the game and they play it dirty, dirtier than anybody's ever played the game. >> the new report about michael cohen and whether it could be a game changer on obstruction of justice. >> your help, we are going to transform this country.
3:01 am
>> campaign kickoff. the democratic field for 2020 gets more crowded and moves more to the left. plus -- >> the chairman. good afternoon to you. you lying piece of human trash! >> well, thank you. i really appreciate that. >> where are you looking? i'm right here! >> "saturday night live's" take on the michael cohen hearing. and developing this morning, a new fallout after the president let loose in the longest speech of his presidency. 2:02:26. the president rallying up a sympathetic crowd. it was mostly off script. a stream of consciousness soliloquy after a bruising week, both at home and abroad that included no deal after his much tauted summit with north korea. bipartisan criticism after siding with kim jong-un on the death of an american student and after saying he ordered a topku
3:02 am
testimony of michael cohen. after all of that, the president appeared to release frustration in his talk. here are four notable points. doubling down against the green new deal exaggerating the proposal. >> the new green deal or whatever the hell they call it. no planes, no energy, when the wind stops blowing that's the end of your electric. darling -- darling, is the wind blowing today? i'd like to watch television, darling. >> then the president downplayed his infamous campaign press conference when he called on russia to hack hillary's e-mails. the counsel said the russians the same day in july of 2016 made the first attempt to hack her servers. >> if you tell a joke, if your a sarcast
3:03 am
sarcastic, if you're like saying, russia, if you please, if you can get us hillary clinton e-mails and then that fake cnn and others say, he asked russia to go get the e-mails. horrible. then later he slammed robert mueller and revealed a conversation he had before firing then fbi director james comey. >> all of a sudden they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ]. robert mueller put 13 of the angriest democrats in the history of our country on the commission. i had a nasty business transaction with rob letter beuhler a number of years ago. when i fired comey, i said, you know, first lady, i said, melania, i'm doing something today, i'm doing it because it really has to be done. >> to top it off, the president again framed 2020 democrats as socialists. >> this is the new democrat platform. socialism is not about the
3:04 am
environment, it's not about justice, it's not about virtue. socialism is about only one thing, it's called power for the ruling class. america will never be a socialist country. >> a lot to digest there. let's go to the white house and nbc's mike vacara. mike, what is the reaction there following that marathon speech he just made? >> reporter: marathon speech, phillip. that was 19th century politician proportions there or maybe even certain leaders from the lattin american world would speak for that long. you know, it appears to have its intended effect. obviously the audience there at cpac, that is the core base audience of president trump and his followers. i mean, we've seen the president hold forth in these streams of consciousness before on the campaign trail and at the rallies he's had across the country but nothing quite of
3:05 am
this magnitude. really, just pinging all of the greatest hits past and present. it was red meat for a salivating base. you're absolutely right to point out that it came after a difficult week. it's important to point out that context. the president in the past has been known to want to change the subject to reinvigorate his base when the chips are down both politically and in this case perhaps even legally. there was the situation where he came home empty handed from hanoi after the summit with kim jong-un. the situation with the security clearance of his son-in-law and top advisor jared kushner. there was reports that he interfered to get him that clearance. and michael cohen, the testimony of michael cohen and the president said it shows his testimony was a total lie. pundants should only use it. then another tweet, virtually everything that failed lawyer
3:06 am
michael cohen said in his sworn testimony last week is totally contradicted in his just released manuscript for a book about me. it's a total new love letter to trump and the polls, one l, must use it now rather than his lies for sentence reduction. so the president taking out after his enemies. unclear what he's referring to in 12e7sentence reduction. michael cohen's already been sentenced. unclear what he's talking about in his book manuscript. a tumultuous 24 hours. >> it sure was, mike. you mentioned jared kushner. the white house is facing a deadline when it comes to his security clearances. what can we expect there? >> reporter: i think we can expect more stonewalling. elija cummings, we saw him on wednesday in the hearing. the democrat from baltimore. chairman of the house oversight committee. on january 23rd, phillip, he wrote to the white house asking for documentation trying to
3:07 am
outline and take into account or build a narrative around what happened in some of these security clearances, obviously the jared kushner clearance has been a bone of contention for some time. the white house has not been forthcoming in those documents. elija cummings says they have until tomorrow, monday, to comfort wicome forth with those documents. it's unclear if they'll come forward. >> thanks. joining me now. deanna lowe. commentary writer for "the washington examiner" and sodem chef. deanna, why did the president go off script here like he did? what do you think motivated the longest speech of his presidency? >> obviously this was a disaster of a week for trump. politically he came back with a moral and strategic failure in vietnam negotiating with kim
3:08 am
jong-un and then resolving him of guilt for the otto warmbier crisis. trump was really in his element. cpac is a good venue for him. he reads a room well. when he goes off script in the rose garden, it is not effective. however, when he's with his people, when he knows what the audience wants to hear, that's when clearly he thrives. >> yesterday my colleague alex witt spoke with congressman jerry conley who had this to say about the president's speech. >> i think he's a little bit unhinged. i think he's had maybe the most abysmal week of his presidency and one of the most abysmal weeks of any presidency and there's more to follow. remember, what really has him upset is one hearing. one. we still have a long way to go and so much came out of that hearing that is a direct threat
3:09 am
to him. >> does he have a point there? is it plausible the president is react to go what cohen said in his testimony? >> absolutely. i think that was the most notable part of the speech. it wasn't so much what trump said but what he didn't say. he didn't bring up michael cohen even once. that was unusual for a president who, as we've seen, has a tendency to go very off script, has -- you know, does these freewheeling rallies like tianna mentions. he reads the room. he knows what his audience wants to hear. one could imagine they expected him to rip into michael cohen the way he's done on twitter and michael cohen before. michael cohen was conspicuously absent. >> what did you find? >> naturally i think that his declaration that he will be signing an executive order that college campuses must enforce
3:10 am
free speech. it was an effective moment, one that i think legal mientsds wnd have to see if it's an abuse of power depending on what he touches. the one thing that trump has always done successfully is keep one finger on the pulse of the base's anger and the campus free speech issue is a big one. it is one where if taxpayers are funding these universities, then there should be some expectation that the principles of the first amendment are being followed. that being said, is this something going through congress versus the president, that remains to be seen. >> what did you find most striking? >> i think it was his contention that when he asked russia to find 30,000 missing hillary clinton e-mails that it was a joke and his kind of disbelief at the fact that commentators and investigators would see that as a significant statement. he just seemed like he didn't really understand why people would be -- would be focusing on
3:11 am
it because he was joking. i can tell you that i've never joked about a hostile foreign power internearing an election so it was surprising to me that he would be surprised by that. >> not many people have. robert costa with the washington post writes, acquiescing to trump is now the defining trait of the republican party. let's hear about republicans who are critical of him. >> everyone in this great country right now because of our great new economy is doing well except, of course, for the never trumpers, but they are on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. mouth to mouth. >> all right. tianna, have republican members shown that they're willing to stabbed against the president or are they following him on these
3:12 am
controversial reactions because they're facing tough re-elections come 2020. >> notably i think that we're now seeing some republicans stepping away from the party line when it comes specifically to opposing trump's emergency declaration because while it may be legal, it is not necessarily constitutional and i think that we are seeing a proper amount of push back. i mean, trump's straw man of never trumperism i think is salacious. people that are never trump in 2016 are now trump skeptics calling balls and strikes. the house caucus turning a blind eye to what trump is doing, they will be apoplectic. that is the most disappointing and hackish routine in congress now. >> what do you think? what is the record now? >> i think that republicans had already been urging trump not to declare a national emergency and
3:13 am
he just kind of made it harder for himself a couple of weeks ago. he said he didn't have to do it, he did it for political expediency. any republicans that might have been on the line about supporting him on that, that was a deciding factor for them to step away and to maybe consider if they're up for a tough re-election, maybe siding with the president on usurping congress's power of the purse might not be the best move politically for them. >> a lot of them are going to have to reveal themselves soon enough when it comes to that resolution on the national emergency. i want to talk now about bernie sanders who had his kickoff 2020 campaign rally yesterday. let's listen a bit to bernie sanders talking about his upbringing. >> my experience as a child living in a family that struggled economically powerfully influenced my life and my values. i know where i came from!
3:14 am
and that is something i never will forget. >> did bernie succeed there in differentiating himself from other democrats by emphasizing his life story there? >> i understand what the attempt is because this is in a -- this will be a primary season driven by identity politics, but i don't think -- i mean, still for the most part, 90% of bernie's speech was the typical bernie stump speech that he's been giving for his entire political career but since 2015. >> what do you think about that, whether bernie was setting himself apart from the pack? especially since so many have shifted his way on several issues. >> right. i think that's what makes it a little bit more complicated this time around. during the 2016 campaign bernie ras running against hillary clinton who was very much -- she was closer to the sen interpret than selves. he was kind of a standout
3:15 am
candidate compared to the rest of the field. as you mentioned, this time we're seeing a lot of candidates move further to the left so i don't know if he was as successful at differentiating himself. >> thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. the new report about michael cohen and whether he was involved in talks about possible pardons. this is nice. mmmm how did you make the dip so rich and creamy? oh, it's a philadelphia- -family recipe. can i see it? no. new philadelphia dips. so good, you'll take all the credit.
3:16 am
3:17 am
[ ding ] show me just add magic. hey toothless. [ ding ] [ gurgling ] [ ding ] show me cartoons on netflix. [ ding ] [ cooing ]
3:18 am
[ door closes ] [ cooing ] ♪ [ ding ] show me fish on youtube. say it and see it with the x1voice remote. from netflix, prime video,youtube and even movie tickets. just say get "dragon tickets". new insight this morning
3:19 am
behind michael cohen's closed door hearing before the house intel committee on thursday that's being considered a game change ber by cohen's attorney. a new washington post report said they were checking into whether he was involved in pardon discussions. katie fang, thank you for joining me this morning. >> reporter: good morning. >> the washington post also mentions part of the hearing where cohen discussed his last conversation with the president. let's take a listen. >> when was the last communication with president trump or someone acting on his behalf. >> i don't have the specific date but it was a while ago. >> and what did he or his agent communicate to you? >> unfortunately, this topic is actually something that's being investigated right now by the southern district of new york. >> is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of by donald trump that we haven't discussed today? >> yes, and again those are part of the investigation that's
3:20 am
currently being looked at by the southern district of new york. >> katie, could those two be linked or is that too much of a stretch? >> oh, no, those are very important questions that stand on their own two feet and, you know, phillip, this just really emphasizes the importance of asking the right kind of question. we go through trainings, people do this as lawyers. a lot of those people that are sitting in congress are lawyers themselves. if you know to ask the right question, you get an answer like that. so starting with the first question that michael cohen answered, there is this conversation that cohen had with trump right after his offices, his hotel room and his house were raided with search warrants for the southern district of new york and the fact that he can't get into the specifics means that the southern district of new york prosecutors told him, buddy, that area is off limits. you can't talk about it, which suggests that they're looking into that. the second question that he answered about that about whether or not there was any ongoing investigations with the federal government involving trump specifically and any illegal action, wrongdoing was huge.
3:21 am
literally jaw dropping huge answer from michael cohen. the fact that he said there are investigations going on and that he can't talk about them signified and highlighted that he should be worried about the southern district more than mueller. >> why does it matter that it's now under investigation? >> well, cohen's talked about other conversations he's had with donald trump. we heard congressional testimony. he talked about the hush money payments. he talked about the fact that trump kept on emphasizing it's a, quote, witch hunt which is always the popular refrain but cohen couldn't talk about that because somebody told him he couldn't and that somebody was the southern district of new york. >> and a former top prosecutor at the southern district said that prosecutors could in fact indict the president based on a policy that could be, quote, bent and broken while he's president. do you think there's enough evidence from what we know that will lead the southern district to indict a sitting president?
3:22 am
>> i'm a big fan of timing is everything. everybody's been talking about all the rumor mill is that the robert mueller investigation is soon to come to a close. we don't know. robert mueller is playing everything close to the vest, but what this important thing happened this week with michael cohen's congressional testimony in front of the house oversight committee. the fact that it was public and we as the american people were able to listen, see, judge the credibility of michael cohen, president trump's long time fixer is this. let's say it comes to conclusion next week. that doesn't mean that the southern district of new york or any other federal prosecutors or even state prosecutors that are looking into donald trump and his alleged illegal acts, doesn't mean that those guys are done in terms of their investigations and possible indictments and prosecutions of donald trump. if you look into what the allegations are, phillip, there's allegations that donald trump, his children, his businesses and people related to donald trump, business and otherwise, that they've been
3:23 am
involved in wrongdoing for years. putting aside whether or not there's a statute of limitations iss issue, that alone could mean that somebody like donald trump could be indicted. the underlying footnote is the fact that he's sitting as the president of the united states and whether or not federal prosecutors will abide by a long-time memo from years ago that suggests that you cannot indict a sitting president of the united states. >> that is the major question. i want to play something else for you here. former governor of new jersey christie as well as a former prosecutor said he's confident the southern district is building a case against the president. >> bob mueller is not what you should be concerned about, it's the southern district of new york. what they're doing, i'm confident, is building a case, for two things. one, to go after those around the president who may have committed crimes and, two, to build a case, if they have one, i don't think they have one at the moment, but if they were -- they're trying to build one, against the president for when
3:24 am
he leaves office. >> so do you think indicting the president as soon as he leaves is going to be the first thing prosecutors are going to do? >> listen, it depends on the most important thing in front of the fdny that happens when donald trump leaves office. i disagree with chris christie. if you remember that michael cohen indictment last year, unindicted co-con spiritor was donald trump. another person that could do in donald trump other than michael cohen who we haven't heard from yet is allen wiseleberg. he has immunity given to him by the sdny, which is exactly the agency that chris christie has been talking about in terms of building up a case against donald trump. wiseleberg knows. he's been the money man for donald trump since 1973. he knows where all of the literal financial bodies have been buried.
3:25 am
someone likewiseleberg is supposed to testify before congress as well, he's going to be grilled about his familiarity with donald trump's financial dealings. remember, it doesn't just have to be russian collusion. it doesn't just have to be like that. it can be violations of campaign finance law as well as other laws. >> back to the old navigator of follow the money. katie fang, thank you. the republican party becoming the party of trump. how they're reading this later. folks on saturd"saturday ni live" they could not resist. >> good afternoon to you, you lying piece of human trash! >> well, thank you. i really appreciate that. >> where are you looking? i'm right here? >> oh, great. thank you. >> mr. chairman, you're right that i'm angry. i'm angry that i have to sit here through this two bit dirt bag flee circus.
3:26 am
i'm so angry i couldn't even wear a jacket today. and you know something, mr. cohen, i've never even heard of you. >> your mother has. >> hey, hey. this is the story of john smith. not this john smith. or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address
3:27 am
his own specific health needs. at humana, we take a personal approach to your health, to provide care that's just as unique as you are. no matter what your name is. ♪ you
3:28 am
with fidelity wealth management you get straightforward advice, tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies, and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management.
3:29 am
3:30 am
big threats, big egos and bad bets. those are just three of the ingredients to blame for the failed summit between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un according to a new op ed in "the new york times." it says in interviews with half a dozen participants it is clear mr. trump's failed gallmbit was the culmination of two years. joining me is world news editor at "the daily beast," christopher dickey. christopher, thank you for joining us. first off, let me just ask you point blank. was the north korea subject an abject failure? >> it certainly was an abject failure if you believe, as trump seemed to think, that his gut, his instinct could see him through to a nuclear deal. it was also really a reality
3:31 am
check because both trump and kim jong-un discovered that the basis for their talks in singapore last year wasn't going to work when it came to real deals, really settling the nuclear issue. >> in that "new york times" op ed they write that several of mr. trump's own aides led by national security advisor john bolt continue and mike pompeo thought the chances for total nuclear disarmament were zero. some discussion whether the summit should go forward. christopher, why did the summit go forward? >> because trump wanted it and kim jong-un wanted it. what happened before this summit was that kim jong-un's people basically wouldn't talk to trump's people. there were no serious negotiations. eventually the situation degenerated to one where the only thing they were talking about seriously was whether there would be a trump kim summit or not because both
3:32 am
leaders thought they could get something out of that. trump imagined foolishly that with almost no preparation he could go in and get a deal on the strength of his personality and kim jong-un thought he could take advantage of trump this time around the way he did in singapore. both of those leaders found that those assumptions were wrong. now we may have a better situation because now maybe both sides will decide to let the real professionals at the negotiating level figure out how to move forward with this process. it's not going to be done in summitry, it's got to be done by people who know the details and can work things out. >> i want to ask you about some fallout. the president made headlines in regards to culpability in the death of otto warmbier. the president said his words were misinterpreted. that reminded me of the helsinki summit. he didn't see why it would be russia that interfered and then he came home and said he was
3:33 am
misinterpreted. what is it about the president that makes him change his tune once he gets back home? >> i think that he thinks that he wants to talk nice to adversaries or people who might be adversaries. i think he also really does admire strong men, dictators and tyrants. that's pretty obvious. when he's appearing next to them, well, i'll take them at their word no matter what they have done, no matter how many people they have murdered or what kind of risks they pose to the united states. in the case of the warmbier case, you can see trump floundering around on the state when he said he took kim's word that he didn't know about what was happening to warmbier, he then threw in, well the other hostages came back and they were extremely healthy. really? really, mr. president? what a thing to say about an american who's been tortured to
3:34 am
death. >> he seems to say what everybody wants to hear in the moment. the u.s. is planning to announce some large scale military drills with south korea in the hopes to ease tensions with north koreans. what is the united states here getting in return, christopher? >> it's not really getting anything in return and this is another one of those very suspicious kinds of incidents where trump gets up and he talks about how expensive these operations, these joint exercises are and vastly inflates what that expense is. he seems to have no idea to figure out how they go into a durable alliance but most importantly, this is a demand that north korea has made again and again and again, most recently in january very clearly when kim jong-un in his january speech and in his press reports from his press afterwards were saying, we've got to do away with these exercises. they're too provocative.
3:35 am
a word that trump uses. and they are a threat to peace. well, they're not a threat to peace. they're a way to reinforce it. >> do you think it could be a good faith first step in trying to secure a third summit? >> we don't need a third summit until there's real serious negotiations on the core question of denuclearizatiodenu. what kim is trying to get is a situation where there is step by step supposed confidence building measures where he takes out a few nuclear facilities, sanctions are lifted maybe entirely or greatly, and we keep going ahead with that kind of process. at the end of the day, he'll create a situation where sanctions have been mostly lifted, his economy is able to prosper more than it has prospered but not the way trump talks about it, but he keeps the nuclear weapons. it's a fairly obvious scenario
3:36 am
and the united states is going to have to learn to live with that, but even all that is going to take really detailed negotiations, and that's not the kind of thing you do in a summit. >> all right. as always, we thank you for your insights. joining us from paris this morning. as democrats hit the campaign trail, one of the nation's foremost experts on elections has issued his first pro jektd shuns in the battle for the white house. a quick programming note, msnbc is live every saturday and sunday at 6 a.m. eesh. we're back in a moment. 300 miles an hour, that's where i feel normal. having an annuity tells me my retirement is protected. learn more at retire your risk dot org.
3:37 am
3:38 am
ensure max protein... to give you the protein you need with less of the sugar you don't. (straining) i'll take that. (cheers) 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. ensure max protein. in two great flavors. woman 1: this... woman 2: ...this... man 1: ...this is my body of proof. man 2: proof of less joint pain... woman 3: ...and clearer skin. man 3: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 4: ...with humira. woman 5: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the number one prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. (avo): humira can lower your ability to fight infections.
3:39 am
serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. woman 6: ask your rheumatologist about humira. woman 7: go to to see proof in action.
3:40 am
2020. new signs that former new york mayor mike bloomberg is getting ready for a presidential run. cnbc reports that bloomberg's closest advisors are interviewing aids in iowa and new hampshire. if he does run, cnbc says he is prepared to spend $100 million on his campaign. a really, really early projection for the battle to the white house this morning coming to us from larry sabato's crystal ball. he sees the races pretty much a dead heat. 248 republican, 244 democratic and 46 tossup. 14 presidential democrats are running in 2020. vermont senator bernie sanders is one to officially throw his hat in the race. a new pole from university of
3:41 am
new hampshire shows the wind at sanders back. 26%. joe biden has not announced closely follows at 22%. here's a sound check 2020 of what candidates said this past week. >> what's your first big domestic legislation? the first big bill the president moves? >> anti-corruption. the problem we've got in washington right now is that money is influencing basically every decision that goes on. >> as president you will be willing to lead a conversation on what reparations of black people look like? >> yeah, including what we should be doing, undiagnosed and untreated trauma. what kind of resources are we going to put in communities to help folks heal and be on an equal footing? you cannot tell me that everyone is equal in a society when
3:42 am
everyone doesn't have an equal path to opportunity for success. >> today i met with leaders from the building trades and we are committed to a major infrastructure investment, and that is everything from roads and bridges to rail, to our electric grid. it is about rural broadband and really making sure not only that we have people that have good paying jobs but also that our country is able to bring goods to market and we're able to get to work without being in a bunch of traffic jams. it's time to invest in infrastructure again. >> we need to get big money out of politics. >> yeah. >> i'm not taking any money from pacs, super pacs or otherwise and i'm not taking any money from federal lobbyists. i do think that we need to find a way to overturn citizens
3:43 am
united. >> yes. >> house of representatives, we finally passed a background check bill which is due to a lot of activity getting involved in the election. this was a bipartisan bill which reflects the truth that over 95% of americans believe in common sense comprehensive background checks. >> we're the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we're the last that can do something about it. we went to the moon and created technologies that have changed the world. our country's next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time, defeating climate change. >> that is why we are going to make colleges and universities tuition free and why we are going to substantially lower the outrageous level of student debt
3:44 am
in this country. >> bernie sanders in brooklyn there. coming up, preaching to the choir. what did we learn from the president's record setting cpac love fest? >> i'm going to regret this speech. this speech should have been delivered one year from now, not now, dam mitt! has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today. not having a good breakfast can make you feel like your day never started. get going with carnation breakfast essentials®. it has protein, plus 21 vitamins and minerals
3:45 am
including calcium and vitamin d, to help your family be their best. carnation breakfast essentials®.
3:46 am
3:47 am
to help your family be their best. ♪ don't fence me in. ♪ let me be by myself ♪ in the evenin' breeze, ♪ listen to the murmur of the tall concrete, ♪ ♪ send me off forever, but i ask you please ♪ ♪ don't fence me in. special offers available at your local mini dealer. at outback, your steak & lobster wish is our command. steak & lobster is back by popular demand, starting at only $15.99. hurry in to outback! and try our everyday lunch combos, starting at $7.99.
3:48 am
new reaction to president trump preaching to the choir at cpac yesterday. his performance raising new questions about the evolution of the republican party. here are a few moments from his two plus hour speech. >> this is how i got elected, by being off script. russia, please, if you can, get us hillary clinton's e-mails. please, russia, please. i saw little shifty shift yesterday. jim comey, lying james comey, i said, melania, i'm doing something today, i'm doing it because it really has to be done. he's bad. he's a bad, bad -- he's a bad, bad guy.
3:49 am
i have to live with crowd size. it's all a phony deal, folks. but i saw a picture just the other night of practically no people. i'm finding loopholes to get around a loophole because our congress can't act. they can't act. they just can't act. >> let's bring in democratic strategist howard franklin and republican strategist justin safy. we heard a lot of sarcasm. we heard shots at his enemies and returns to old feuds. what did you make of the president's speech? >> well, it's classic donald trump and that one sound bite that he said i got elected by being off script and unscripted, that's absolutely true. part of the appeal of president trump when he was running for election since he's the president, he doesn't talk like a normal typical politician, and that's attractive to a lot of people that have been tired of too many central casting plucked politicians who look like
3:50 am
they're -- their speeches are poll tested in a focus group. donald trump, it was classic donald trump. unscripted and unplugged. >> howard, what did you think about that speech? >> some of what justin said, ag. i would tell you that this president has through his unscripted speeches and through trolling his opponents on twitter has elevated public theater to heights previously unseen. i think the difficulty he is facing is that he learned the wrong lesson in 2016. having an enthusiastic and engaged base of supporters is necessary but not sufficient to win re-election. i don't know if he doesn't want to win re-election. maybe, you know, losing in 2020 alleviates some of his legal pressure, but i think these continued antics will certainly hurt his party and certainly puts some of those 22 republican-held senate seats into play for democrats. >> there's nothing about him that's ever suggested that he wants to lose at anything he does. but justin, i want to play another clip from cpac for you. take a listen. >> okay. >> unfortunately, you put the
3:51 am
wrong people in a couple of positions, and they leave people for a long time that shouldn't be there. and all of a sudden, they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ], okay? as you know, the attorney general says, i'm going to recuse myself. and i said, why the hell didn't he tell me that before i put him in? how do you recuse yourself? >> of course, talking about former a.g. jeff sessions there, and the audience just ate it up. they loved it. they were fully on president trump's side. although jeff sessions did do a lot to push the conservative agenda. would you say, justin, the republican party is now completely, completely the party of trump? >> well, look, the reason for a party is to win elections. donald trump beat hillary clinton, despite the fact that everybody thought that hillary clinton was going to win. so, yes, it is the party of donald trump because he won the
3:52 am
nomination and he won the election, and now he's been the president and he's done a lot of things that have made conservatives very happy. he's the most popular president amongst republicans that we've seen in at least a generation. so, it's definitely his party. the base of the party supports him. i would also point out that it's not -- trump's popularity also extends to congress, because nancy pelosi is not doing what majority of democrats in the country want, which is to begin impeachment of donald trump. the majority of democrats want that, and nancy pelosi is not doing it. part of that's because of trump's base, her fear of trump's base. >> and justin, i want to read an article for the "washington post" for you. it says that "acquiesce to trump is now the defining trait of the republican party more than two years into his presidency, overwhelming and at times erasing principles that conservatives viewed as the foundation of the party for more than a half century." is that fair. >> no, absolutely not fair. neil gorsuch and brett kavanaugh
3:53 am
are now sitting on the supreme court. that is absolutely consistent with conservative principles. we saw the passage of huge tax reform, huge tax relief and a tax cut. that's absolutely conservative with conservative principles. and if you look at the strength of our military and foreign policy, that's absolutely consistent with conservative principles. so, i think that's not fair. >> and howard, justin had said that democrats were upset with nancy pelosi for not going after impeachment. is that fair? >> i think there's plenty of time to have a conversation about impeachment. i think, obviously, the whole country is awaiting the robert mueller report, but there is additional legal jeopardy after michael cohen's testimony, after we've heard that the offices in new york are also looking into our president. so i don't think this is an issue that's going to divide the democratic party. and if anything, i think it will continue to animate both the democratic party and democratic nominees or candidates for president in 2020. >> and howard, do you think it is good for democrats that the
3:54 am
republican party is essentially thought by some to be now the party of trump? >> i don't think it's good for americans writ large that a man is leading our country and leading the republican party who doesn't have any idealistic or ideological center, but it does certainly make a more difficult field of play for republicans to defend in 2020. i think a lot of us looked at 2018 and said, hey, is this a repudiation of the president or is this just the wind behind the sails of democrats? in 2020, there will be no mistaking it. president trump will share a ballot with a number of his supporters. they will be made to answer for the decisions he's made and the votes they've taken. >> justin, going back to that "washington post" article, to quote mike simpson, a republican, publicly acknowledged what many republicans say privately, the gop is wholeheartedly accepting behavior and policies from trump that would spark outrage from a democratic president, particularly trump's attempt to use executive power in defiance
3:55 am
of congress to secure funding for a wall along the mexican border. all right, so, how are republicans you've spoken to wrestling with that? >> well, look, there is a big issue in our country of illegal immigration and the president has made -- he made that the signature of his election campaign. how many times during the campaign did he talk about the wall? and that's one of the things that he believes, and i think most people would agree, helped him win the nomination. he did not shy away from that when he ran against hillary clinton. he made that a part of his campaign. so i don't think it should come as any surprise to anybody that he's going to do what he can to make that policy come true, the same way that barack obama used his executive order with the deferred action on childhood arrivals when even barack obama said that he thought it was unconstitutional several years before for him to do that. so, i think that republicans are supporting their president the same way that the democrats supported their president. >> did president obama did not, though, however, circumvent
3:56 am
congress' intentions when it comes to what they wanted to pay for, though, right? >> well, no, dines recall that he did that, but he did something, he took an action which previously he had said himself was not how washington worked, was not constitutional. he took what he called himself unconstitutional action. >> all right. howard franklin, justin sayfie, thank you for joining us this morning. hear from a member of congress who is introducing a new bill following the report about jared kushner's security clearance. that's coming up in the next hour. clearance. that's coming up in the next hour [farmers bell] (driver) relax, it's just a bug. that's not a bug, that's not a bug! (burke) hit and drone. seen it, covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
3:57 am
petype 2 diabetesng with food family, and the pill that starts with "f." farxiga, along with diet and exercise helps lower a1c in adults with type 2 diabetes. although it's not for weight loss it may help you lose weight. do not take if allergic to farxiga. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include rash, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing. stop taking and seek medical help right away. tell your doctor right away if you have red color in urine, or pain while you urinate or a genital area infection since a rare but serious genital infection
3:58 am
may be life-threatening. do not take farxiga if you have severe kidney problems, are on dialysis or have bladder cancer. other serious side effects include dehydration, genital yeast and bacterial infections in women and men, urinary tract infections, low blood sugar, and sudden kidney problems. stop taking farxiga and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of ketoacidosis, which is serious and may lead to death. ask your doctor about farxiga and visit for savings. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. at panera, we treat soup differently. with vine ripened tomatoes, signature cheddar, simmered to perfection. with big flavors, not artificial ones. enjoy 100% clean soup today. panera. food as it should be.
3:59 am
4:00 am
that will wrap up this hour of "msnbc live." i'm phillip mena. now it's time for "weekends with alex witt." there she is! good morning, alex. >> very good morning to you. have a great day off. i appreciate the start here to the news day. thank you, phillip. good morning to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. it is 7:00 in the east, 4:00 a.m. out west. welcome, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." trump unplugged, the president delivering a raucous and marathon speech to a partisan crowd after a bruising week. >> and all of a sudden, they're trying to take you out with [ bleep ], okay? russia, please, if you can, get us hillary clinton's e-mails! please, russia, please! this phony thing that now looks like it's dying. he's bad! he's a bad, bad -- he's a bad, bad guy. that's been proven now. >>