tv First Look MSNBC May 2, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PDT
thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. . after being grilled by senators on capitol hill, attorney general bill barr is now refusing to testify before house to judiciary committee, setting the stage for a possible subpoena fight. plus mass protests continue in venezuela. opposition leader juan guaido told supporters there's no going back, despite embattled president nicolas maduro accusing protesters of serious crimes. and chaos on a college campus. a student killed at unc charlotte is being hailed as a hero for fighting the suspected gunman.
good morning, everybody. it is thursday, may 2nd. i'm yasmin vossoughian. there is so much to cover this morning on the heels of that senate testimony yesterday by attorney general bill barr. the ag dug in, defending in his handling of the russian probe after special counsel bob mueller took issue with the way the findings were put out to the public. now barr is refusing to show up for a hearing in the house later this morning. we'll show you those contentious moments yesterday involving some tough exchange involving several senators/presidential candidates. but first the justice department is also doing its part to shield the trump administration from congressional oversight, missing yesterday's deadline to comply with a house judiciary committee subpoena for the full unredacted mueller report. as attorney general bill barr pulled out of today's hearing claiming he obtuse the democrats plan to allow the committee counsel asking questions along with lawmakers. justice department stating this. chairman jerrold nadler's
insistence on having staff question an attorney general is inappropriate. the attorney general remains happy to engage directly with members on their questions regarding the report and looks forward to continue working with the committee on their oversight request. last night chairman nadler said barr is on the path to being held in contempt of congress. >> complaints with congressional subpoenas is not optional and if good faith negotiations don't result in the next day or two, next step is seeking a contempt citation against the attorney general. first thing is to get the unredacted report and we'll negotiate on that another day or two and if necessary, remember that was subpoenaed, if necessary go for a contempt citation shortly thereafter. we'll also start a process to get attorney general barr -- >> so the republican line appears to be that there is nothing more to discuss about the mueller probe.
in late night tweets sent after 11:00 p.m., president trump declared the matter over in all caps and senateiers committee lindsey graham used the word over. >> why not call for mueller to testify? >> because i'm not going to do any more, enough already. it's over. if there's any dispute about a conversation, then he'll come. but i'm not going try the case. it is over. >> even attorney general bill barr walked the party line on matters related to president trump. >> the job of the justice department is now over. everyone can decide for themselves. there's an election in 18 months. that's a very democratic process. but we're out of it. we have to stop using the criminal justice process as a political weapon. >> and we now know that the special counsel's office
complained at least four, four times in the days immediately following attorney general bill barr's march 24th four page summary on the mueller report. according to bob mueller's letter to bill barr after disclosure in "the washington post" mueller's team had a concern on the morning of march 25th, followed up with a letter to doj, suggesting redactions for immediate release. two days later mueller sent another letter to barr followed by a phone call with barr on march 28th. while it is unknown what was communicated in the time that followed this occurred before barr's testimony three weeks ago where he said he did not know of any concern from mueller's team, something that democrats pressed him about yesterday. >> why did you say you were not aware of concerns when weeks before your testimony, mr.
mueller had expressed concerns to you. that's a fairly simple -- >> i answered the question and the question was related to unidentified members who were expressing frustration over the accuracy relating to findings. i don't know what that refers to at all. i talked directly to bob mueller, not members of his team. you know, the letter is a bit snitty and i think it was written by one of his staff people. >> while being questioned by senator richard blumenthal attorney general barr said notes were taken of his phone call with robert mueller but barr said he would not make them public. >> did anyone, either you or anyone on your staff memorialize your conversation with robert mueller? >> yes. >> who did that? >> there were notes taken of the call. >> may we have those notes? >> no. >> why not? >> why should you have them?
>> and by the way, coming up on "morning joe," senate judiciary committee member kamala harris will discuss yesterday's morning. joining me here on set senior reporter for business insider, also with us msnbc legal analyst danny cevallos. i'll start with you on this one. there were so many noted interactions yesterday that stood out, i think, to people whether it was cory booker or kamala harris or blumenthal. so many things came out in that testimony yesterday and, of course, now we're hearing the attorney general is not going to testify today under the circumstances that they have been laid out for him. what is something that stood out the you yesterday in the testimony that we watched? >> how much time do we have? >> not a lot. >> one of the biggest things were the questions that barr got specifically about president trump's interactions with the former white house counsel don mcgahn, about removing the special counsel and the supposed
conflicts of interest that mueller felt trump had. one thing that stood out barr relied on semantics. he said pespecifically if trump said mueller should be fired but if he said mueller should be removed that's not obstruction. to prove obstruction you need to prove intent. it seems trump's intent would have been the special counsel can't be investigating my campaign ties with russia and he needs to go. >> he went so far to explain in a way the president's thought process in all of this in the process of wanting to fire bob mueller which seems it was an overstep by the attorney general. that wasn't his job to explain the president's thought pro se as to why he would justify in firing the special counsel. >> on the one hand it did appear at times that general barr was
sympathetic to trump. on the other hand underlying a corruption charge motive and intent are important inquiries. it could be said that barr was making a reasonable analysis of president trump's intent when he was committing these acts. directing these people to do things that as the president of the united states he may have the exclusive article ii power that no other citizen has. so it is as barr said a very unique and curious legal question. but certainly from an optics perspective it seemed barr was sympathetic to emotions and feeling of the president. >> what do you make of barr's explanation as to why he decided to make a decision on obstruction of justice versus punting it to congress as we have now learned. it seemed like bob mueller's intent was so the doj would punt
this thing to congress and have them make the decision? >> probably the easiest answer is that it was tact most consistent with the regulations. the regulations required that the confidential report would be submitted to barr and barr would submit top line conclusions to congress. the regulations didn't contemplate taking all of mueller's body of work and simply handing it over to congress for them to do what they want to do. now they can do that. they can use the barr report for impeachment proceedings, but in carrying out his duties as narrowly as he could, barr could say that i was simply following the rules. the rules say i get the confidential report. then i provide top line conclusions. and i went a step further because this confidential report i ended up releasing almost all of it publicly. >> after a full day of testimony from bill barr he said he won't be appearing today. we hear there could be a subpoena fight. jerrold nadler said he'll negotiate with barr to get the
unredacted version of the mueller report. what do you make of him not appearing today? >> i mean i think it kind of speaks to how rattled he likely was after yesterday's hearing, particularly when it comes to questions that lawmakers on the senate judiciary committee who actually had former prosecutorial experience asked him. >> kamala harris. >> kamala harris, amy klobuchar, senator whitehouse. they elicited some of the most damning answers from barr. his revelation he hadn't read the underlying evidence of the report before deciding trump didn't obstruct justice. his refusal to outright answer the question whether he had been asked to open investigations into anyone. then, of course, the trump-mcgahn interactions. >> thank you guys both. the white house is rejecting a request from house democrats for documents related to the
background check and security clearance process. they are looking into allegations they granted security clearances to some like president trump's son-in-law jared kushner. elijah cummings called the move the latest example of the president's widespreading growing obstruction of congress. white house counsel added fuel to the fire yesterday writing to elijah cummings that his committee appears to be putting public servants at riching as it seeks information on the way in which white house granted security clearances to jared kushner and others. elijah cummings responded saying the american people don't want a king in the white house they want a president who follows the law and recognizes congress legitimate role as a check and balance on the executive branch. still ahead the latest on the violent clashes in venezuela as juan guaido tries to topple nicolas maduro's presidency.
we're plus florida lawmakers pass a bill that would allow teachers to arm themselves in the classroom, but will it become a law? those stories and a check on your weather when we come back. ♪ - [woman] with shark's duo clean, i don't just clean, i deep clean carpets and floors, so i got this. yep, this too, and this, please. even long hair and pet hair are no problem,
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show me the best of amy poehler, again. this time around... now that's simple, easy, awesome. experience the entertainment you love on x1. access netflix, prime video, youtube and more, all with the sound of your voice. click, call or visit a store today. welcome back. duelling demonstrations and violent clashes in the streets occurred in venezuela between anti-protesters seeking to oust nicolas maduro and those loyal to his regime. it was the second straight day of protests and they came after opposition leader juan guaido called for an uprising and mass non-violent anti-government protests. president trump and the administration have all stated their support for the protest and juan guaido who the united states and many other nations view tass interim president. mike performance had a contentious call with his
russian part and according to the state department urged russia to cease support for nicolas maduro. they called out kremlin and cuba for their roles in protect and propping up maduro and last night president trump weighed in. >> secretary pompeo told me, sir, yesterday that maduro was ready to leave. he was packed up ready to go on the tarmac but the russians stopped him. what does that say? what are the russians doing down there? how does that change things for us or escalate, if you would, unfortunately? >> if that's the case, it's not acceptable. you hear a lot of different rumors. you hear he was leaving a different way. i'm hearing rumors about russia and i'm hearing a lot about cuba, and we'll do a very, very strong embargo and sanction on cuba. >> also one of the victims of tuesday's shooting at the
university of north carolina charlotte campus is praised as a hero. riley howell took the shooter off his feet before police officers arrived giving his life to save others according to the police chief. another student 19-year-old ellis parker were both killed in the shooting. four other students were wounded. the special was identified as a 22-year-old former student. he has been charged with two counts murder, four counts of attempted first degree murder as well as four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. police say they have not determined a motive for the attack. florida teachers could soon bring guns into their classrooms under a bill passed yesterday. the governor is expected to sign the measure which expands the state's new guardian program to allow any teacher to carry a weapon if their local school district approves and they receive a psychiatric
evaluation, drug screening and police style training. a debate over the bill reached an emotional fever pitch over two day as critics expressed fears that minority students could be unfairly targeted and argued that arming teachers would not solve the growing mass shooting problem. the guardian expansion bill passed on a party line vote after measures to add implicit bias training and firearms training were struck down. florida's guardian program has only been implemented in 25 districts. several say they will not be opting in to this expanded program. let's get a check now on your weather with nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> good thursday morning. another active morning with a lot of bad weather in the middle of the country. four tornadoes reported yesterday. no damage. this picture comes from europe. they get tornadoes too. this is from romania. how flat the terrain is in the background. look how dirty the bottom of the
tornado was. over a dusty field. sucking up the dirt. >> that's not something you normally see. >> it's an elephant trunk tornado. that's how we describe that. >> any damage that we know of? >> a little bit of tree damage but it was over an open field and that's where we like them. let's get to the forecast for today. a lot of people up in the middle of the night from dallas to shreveport, torrential rain for you. we do not need the heavy rain this morning towards the quad cities and along the mississippi river. the water levels, the second highest in 157 years in davenport and it's pouring rain. we may go up to record levels throughout the morning. 37 million people underneath these flash flood watches from dallas to chicago. detroit is under a flood watch too. just too much rain in the middle of the country. here's the rainfall forecast through friday night. another one to three inches from central texas to arkansas.
right up through the ohio valley. we may get isolated severe storms. not too many tornadoes. we could see damaging wind and hail in the ohio valley and section from austin to san antonio to del rio. a warm day in d.c., 85 degrees. enjoy that because i'll give the weekend forecast coming up. >> i got it. the pause was enough. >> sorry. kentucky derby too. >> all right. still ahead mayor pete buttigieg sits down with someone who knows a thing or two in running for the white house. that story is coming up next. s! and the all-new silverado has more trim levels than any other pickup. whoa! (laughter) oh wow! woman : there's something for all of us. man 2: it's time to upgrade. get 0% financing for 72 months on this all-new silverado. or get a total value of over $9,000 when you finance with gm financial.
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welcome back. the trump administration is officially asking for a federal appeals court to strike down the affordable care act in its entirety. in a court filing to the 5th circuit court of appeals the department of justice argued that the aca and its enforcement is no longer sustainable under a provision in the 2017 $1.25 trillion tax overhaul which eliminated tax penalties for people who don't purchase insurance. same position taken by a texas led 18 state coalition to undo the law which has extended health insurance to millions of americans since it was enacted in 2010. the aca defenders led by california have three weeks to spend. oral arguments are expected to begin in july. the law has extended health insurance to 20 million
americans. south bend, indiana mayor and 2020 democratic procedural candidate pete buttigieg met with hillary clinton. sources confirming to nbc news a spokesperson for pete buttigieg said the two met on monday while the mayor was in new york and an aide for clinton confirmed the two had met. neither camp has released an official statement about the meeting and unclear what exactly was discussed. but i guess we can take an educated guess. pete buttigieg is the latest 2020 democrat to meet with clinton as she offers advice to contenders on what she learned from her 2016 race against donald trump. she's also met with senators kamala harris, elizabeth warren, and cory booker. i would like know what they had to say. after lambasting joe biden in a twitter rage yesterday president trump relished his 2016 win as he looks forward to a 2020 match-up.
watch this. >> do you run against biden? they picked hillary who was obviously a tough bet as it turned out. >> i think biden would be easier from the standpoint that you have so much dissension in the party because it will make four years ago look like baby stuff because, you know, they are looking to see -- what they want to do they want to see -- they want to get it. they want the radical left. they want the left movement. he probably isn't there. i think you'll have tremendous dissension like hillary did. >> democratic montana governor is preparing to run for president in 2020 as well. bullock plans to announce his white house bid in two weeks time. his decision to run has been in the works since 2017 having already formed a p.a.c. and hiring staff. he has championed several successful initiatives working with the republican legislature. he was re-elected in 2016
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i'm yasmin vossoughian. it is the bottom of the hour. let's start with nong's top stories. throughout his testimony attorney general bill barr defended president trump's actions as not obstructing justice. watch this. >> attorney general barr has the president or anyone at the white house ever asked or suggested you open an investigation of anyone? >> i wouldn't -- >> yes or no? >> could you repeat that question. >> i'll repeat it. has the president or anyone at the white house ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? yes or no, please, sir. >> the president or anybody else? >> seems you would remember something like that, be able to tell us. >> yeah, but i'm trying to grapple with the word suggest. there had been discussions of matters out there that they've not asked me to open an investigation, but -- >> perhaps they suggested.
>> i don't know. i wouldn't say suggested. >> hinted? inferred? you don't know. okay. >> you think it's fully cooperating to obstruct a former aide to unrecuse himself, shut down the investigation and declare the president did nothing wrong? >> i don't think -- well, obviously since i didn't find it was obstruction i felt the evidence could not support obstruction. >> i'm not asking about obstruction. did he fully cooperate? >> yes, de. there's a distinction between someone go fire him, go fire mueller and saying, have him removed based on conflict. if, in fact, a proceeding was not well founded, if it was a groundless proceeding, if it was based on false allegations, the
president does not have to sit there stooconstitutionally and it allow it to run its course. the president could terminate that proceeding and it wouldn't be contempt because he's being falsely accused. >> attorney general barr evade questions on the conduct of president trump's team while also being grilled whether he reviewed the underlying evidence. >> we have a document that shows over 200 attempt -- a connection between a presidential campaign and a foreign adversary, sharing information that would be illegal if you did it with a super p.a.c.. >> what information was shared? >> andy poling data was shared. >> with who? >> you accepted the report as the evidence? >> yes. >> you did not question or look at the underlying evidence that supports the conclusions in the report? >> no.
>> so democratic senator whitehouse questioned barr over the word of spying. that was last month to describe, of course, surveillance on the trump campaign back in 2016. watch this exchange. >> in the entirety of your previous career in the department of justice, including as attorney general, have you ever referred to authorized department investigative activities officially or publicly as spying? i'm not asking for private conversations. >> i'm not going to -- my first job was in cia and i don't think the word spying has any perjorative connotation at all. the question is whether or not it's authorized and predicated spying. spying is a good english word that doesn't have any synomyn.
it's commonly used in the press to refer to unauthorized activity. >> it is not commonly used by the department? >> commonly used by me. so, there was more. another interesting exchange between bill barr and lindsey graham. >> did you have a problem the way comey handled the clinton email investigation? >> yes, i said so at the time. >> and barr's answer was interesting given he wrote an op-ed ahead of the 2016 election entitled james comey did the right thing. in it he wrote this the continuing refrain from hillary clinton's supporters and other observers that fbi director james comey's action was contrary to justice department
policy is flatly wrong. i think last week comey had no choice but to issue the statement de. indeed, it would have violated policy had he not done so. a big show on "morning joe". 2020 presidential candidate kamala harris will be on morning shoe. she will discuss yesterday's morning testimony with william barr. also joining us is an attorney for the northern district of alabama. joyce, one of the most interesting things to me was, of course, the exchange between kamala harris -- she knows what she's doing when it comes to questioning the attorney general. they talked about the evidence and the fact that he didn't necessarily -- he admitted he didn't read the underlying evidence. that was surprising to me. take me through the process of what the attorney general goes through when he gets a report like this one, and if it is
unprecedented to hear an attorney general say i didn't read the underlying evidence and i accepted it the way it was presented to me. >> not every case that the department of justice prosecutes going to the attorney general. a 22 month investigation, the attorney general as a practical matter can't read every piece of evidence in the case. he has to be able to rely on his team. here's when i find bill barr's, his practice in this regard surprising. it's surprising notice that having made a designate that he was, in essence, going to overrule the team on obstruction, didn't meet with them, hear their views and talk about the evidence and then decide whether it was witness testimony or pest of financial documentation he needed to go back and personally review. i don't fault him for looking at everything. he should have interacted with
the team and heard their views. the fact he didn't do that is a red flag. >> then testimony he gave after he released his four page memo where he was asked whether or not mueller agreed with his findings. he said i don't know. now we're learning there were four exchanges, four times there was contact whether by phone call or letter from bob mueller in which he explicitly stated he didn't agree what took place in the memo from the attorney general. is that, is he going to be found in contempt of congress for misleading the public in that testimony? >> it casts the attorney general's testimony, i think, in a really distasteful light. whether or not it's technically perjury because perjury is a tough charge to prove. there has to be a very specific statement and barr, i thought yesterday was very careful to try to distinguish on a very narrow basis his comments in mueller's letter. even if it's not technically perjury or some sort of a
contempt, it really isn't the kind of behavior that we should seek from an attorney general. it was disingenuous. it was an effort to mislead. that's not the attorney general's job. he shouldn't be a political actor protecting the presidency. he's there to protect the country and uphold the constitution. >> after his testimony we heard so many democrats come out and say it's time for bill barr to resign. he has to go after what we heard yesterday. what do you suspect will happen here in the coming days? i don't necessarily suspect that the attorney general is going resign. >> if anything he's digging his heels in more. you know, especially in the wake of these kinds of calls for his resign aviation. you would think he would be more wary of the optics of how he presented himself. but after the hearing he came out and said no i'm not is going to show up before the house judiciary committee tomorrow daring democrats to subpoena him. it seems like he doesn't care, you know, who is asking for him to resign. his main priority at this point
seems to be defending the president and casting him in the best light possible. >> that's thing. he said he doesn't want to show up in front of the house judiciary. if you look at history there has been special counsel that questioned individuals in this type of testimony. so the fact that he's not showing up because of congressional counsel, there's no, there's no reasoning behind it. no justification behind it. >> it's congress' prerogative to decide how they want to conduct this questioning. when we look at this five minute burst scenario that they usually use, you can see why you might want to use counsel. that said for barr to deny to testify it's petty, it's a violation of the constitution in a checks and balance. and putting congress in the position of subpoenaing him ultimately and wagering that the people to whom he's speaking, because he's clearly speaking
only to a minority of americans that they will view that fight as something that's very tough on his part, and this is just not -- it's so inconsistent with what we should be seeing from an attorney general. >> how important is it that we hear from bob mueller? >> i think at this point we have to. bill barr has made his side of the story clear. now we'll have to hear bob mueller's. >> thank you both. by the way joyce vance will be on "morning joe". president trump sets the stage for another fight with congress over the crisis at the southern border. details on the price tag trump is offering to address the issue. plus bill karins is back with another check on your forecast. - [narrator] do you have less energy than you used to?
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for another showdown over immigration between the president and house democrats who are not expected to approve the request. according to a white house official who requested anonymity to discuss the details the funding would not be used to build trump's border wall. instead it asks for $3.3 billion for humanitarian to feed, transport and care for unaccompanied migrant children. 1.1 billion would be used tore operations and support to respond to the crisis at the border. another 1278 million additional support for personnel and other resources. the situation at the border is growing more dire with apprehensions going to surpass 1 million more than double last year's levels. about 10,000 teachers and supporters assembled in south carolina's capital to protest tore improved working conditions. they used personal leave day to
ask the republican state legislature for higher wages, full funding, smaller classroom sizes and more mental health counselors in schools. the turnout matched one of the largest crowds with teachers we teach, we vote in unison with just and a week half notice the protest movement swelled in numbers forcing seven school districts to cancel classes due to a lack of substitute teachers. let's get a check on your weather with nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> good morning. difficult travel day especially in the middle of the country. getting out of dallas-ft. worth wasn't fun last night with big thunderstorms. this morning more rain and storms heading for st. louis and chicago. dallas-ft. worth, afternoon and evening storms will return later today and austin thunderstorms this morning. we have a lot of heavy rain near the squad cities. that's where the mississippi river just crested at the third
highest level in the last 157 years. really big deal. here's how the highways are looking. anyone driving on interstate 44 will have some issues, interstate 70 from st. louis to pittsburgh. so some slow downs. i was talking about the flooding problems and the flood watches along the missouri river, the mississippi river that snakes down through here and so much water out there right now and doesn't look like our weather pattern will change. this shows you where the major flooding is. purple dots that's the mississippi river. and snow belt through the dakotas. rainey weekend forecast. friday more wet weather. oklahoma to texas. more flash flooding. light rain through the ohio valley through the northeast on friday. three rainey fridays in a row. hit or miss showers in the southeast. for the kentucky derby a soggy saturday for the derby. it really doesn't look like the rain will miss. then on sunday all of that
rainey weather and a chilly rain too in areas of the northeast. so if you're in the northeast, you sneaking in a saturday afternoon. that's the best i have for you. >> if you're in the northeast. we're in the northeast. so saturday afternoon. i'm going to continue to complain about the weather. >> ayman mohyeldin is complaining somewhere. >> still ahead markets around the world are under pressure following yesterday's losses on wall street. we'll go live to london for details on the comments by jerome powell that's raising concerns among investors. raisig concerns among investors ♪ - [woman] with shark's duo clean, i don't just clean, i deep clean carpets and floors, so i got this. yep, this too, and this, please. even long hair and pet hair are no problem, but the one thing i won't have to clean is this because the shark's self-cleaning brush roll
welcome back. resisting president trump's call to cut rates, chairman jerome powell announced interest rates would remain unchanged following a two-day federal reserve meeting. however, it was his on inflation that sent markets reeling. run us, willem, what he said. >> he said given it was lower than the target, isn't it time that the federal reserve consider a rate cut. yesterday he ruled it out.
he said they were low because of transitory fax shuctions, becau lower closing prices and airf e airfar airfares. and another quote on instagram, it's going to hide the number of likes on a post as well as the number of views on a video. critics have said that is something that people look at far too much, they don't concentrate on the content itself and that can have a toks im -- toxic impact on social media. is isn't that what instagram's all about? if you don't have likes, what do you really have in life? how do you know whether people -- i'm not an instagram user but i gather that's a big thing.
>> how do you know if people even like you if you don't have likes on instagram? >> i don't know. it's one of the big issues in my life. >> and coming up, much more on william barr's appearance, with calls to resign. and coming up on "morning joe," kamala harris and adam schiff join the conversation. "morning joe" is moments away. ". you should be mad at forced camaraderie. and you should be mad at tech that makes things worse. but you're not mad, because you have e*trade, who's tech makes life easier by automatically adding technical patterns on charts
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relationship between president trump and his attorney general, bill barr. after almost two years of intense frustration with the former attorney general, jeff sessions, donald trump finally has the man he wants in this role. the president watched parts of bill barr's hearing yesterday in the private dining room adjoining the oval office on the television he has installed there and he was delighted by what he saw. >> we also know axios is looking at former vice president joe biden's comments on the campaign trail downplaying growing u.s. concerns about china. take us through that. >> well, these are very striking comments in this climate. this was in iowa city, joe biden downplayed the threat chinese competition. he said, come on, you can't tell me they're eating our lunch and we're sort of talking down the chinese but said they're not bad folks. this is really add odds with the political con sensensus in
washington. it's the one issue that chuck schumer and donald trump agree on is the urgent threat china both from an economic and national security standpoint. and it's also going to be an opportunity, i spoke to a trump adviser last night, i would watch for them to pick up on this as a theme and to hit joe biden for what they are probably going to portray as him being, quote unquote, weak on chinese. >> and the former vice president also weighed in on bill barr's testimony. talk to us about that. we are hearing that he said he is calling for the attorney general to resign. of course many other democrats after that testimony calling for bill barr to resign. what is the view on that in washington this morning? >> the new fight that's opened up is bill barr's refusal to appear before the house judiciary committee. the democrats there were wanting a committee staffer to question him and he refused. there was a heated debate inside
the democratic conference about this. some members would like to impeach bill barr, others would like to hold him in contempt. but either way the mainstream democratic position now is that he's not fit to be attorney general. that's the mainstream position across the party and joe biden is mere lily reflecting that. >> it feels like, jonathan, this is not going to be a fight that's going to go away, it's going to take us to 2020. the president's eyes are on 2020 right now. yesterday he just went off on joe biden. is there real concern from the white house looking ahead to 2020 and joe biden? >> look, it depends who you talk to. there are advisers who don't perceive him as a threat but there certainly are advisers who are close to the president who have always viewed joe biden as a threat, and they see him of all the candidates with the most, if he can get through the primary with the most potential
to peel voters away from the president in the rust belt. some of them are also worried about the fact that the president has been elevating imm in recent days. the more the president attacks him, the more chances he has of getting through that democratic primary. >> jonathan swan, good seeing you. we'll be reading axios am? ju -- in just a little bit. that does it for me on this thursday morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian. "morning joe" starts right now. >> going forward, what if a foreign adversary let's say north korea offers a presidential candidate dirt on a competitor in 2020, do you agree with me the campaign should immediately contact the fbi? >> foreign intelligence service? >> a representative of a foreign government says we have dirt on
a candidate, should they say i love it, let's meet -- >> a foreign intelligence service, yes. >> and that says it all. when asked if they need to report dirt offered on a competitor. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." along with joe, willie and me we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, former u.s. attorney for the northern district of al bam -- alabama, now an msnbc contributor joyce vance, msnbc analyst jeremy bash and chief white house correspondent for the "new york times," peter baker. we have a lot to get to this morning.