adac may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ready to treat differently with a pill? otezla. show more of you. mi thanks to my guests and most of you all for watching. it does it for us. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. if it's monday, a shake-up in the democratic primary race. kamala harris and elizabeth warren now surging while joe biden's lead is shrinking and fast. plus, after a historic meeting at the dmz is president trump about to make a historic nuclear concession? in an nbc news exclusive, the
trump administration was warned months ago about the desperate and dire conditions for migrants at a texas border station. and if it's monday, it's "meet the press daily." it's not every day we lead the show right here from the big board. but i'm here right now because we've got some big news to start the show. it is not pretty news for the democratic frontrunner joe biden. yeah, we can still call him the frontrunner, but check this out. a brand-new poll out within the last hour. this one conducted entirely after the democratic debates last week. a cnn poll, and you can see it here. joe biden still leading 5 points, just 5 points. look who's number two now on the democratic side, kamala harris. she was back in single digits in a lot of polls. heading into that debate a giant jump from kamala harris in this poll into second place. and joe biden again just 5 points ahead of harris in this race. most significant movement there involving those two candidates
take a deeper look inside the numbers. one of the gaps we've been talking about here on the democratic side and it just got worse for joe biden. age, 45 years old has been a dividing line in this democratic race. look at this. among democratic voters under the age of 45, joe biden is now sitting in this poll in fourth place, just 13% of democrats under 45 name him as their presidential choice. he does continue to lead 45 plus, but, again, his margin there shrinking. that's how you fall down to just a 5-point lead as the frontrunner. here's the other question here. here's the horse race question, and then there's the biden argument. the biden argument has been electability. i can beat donald trump. well, check this out a huffing ton post poll u.gov asked do you think these candidates are capable of beating trump. and look at this. joe biden before the debate, 70% of democrats said he was capable of beating trump after 57%. that number dropped 13 points.
the only other candidate to suffer any remotely similar drop was beto o'rourke. other candidates saw their electability number go up. so a horse race concern for biden. a potential electability concern for biden. no good polling news today for the democratic frontrunner after that debate. i'm joined now by nbc news correspondent mike memoli. he has been all over the biden story from the beginning. and nbc news political reporty ali vitalia, our road warrior. mike, i got to start with you. what is the mood in biden world today? >> reporter: well, i think we saw a little bit of the mood in biden world. and the only thing we have heard from the biden campaign today, which is a strong statement from the former vice president of north korea. this is indicative of an effort to try to turn the page very quickly to a comfort zone which is that general election argument with donald trump. i just heard from a very senior biden official, though in, terms of this new poll saying we are no more concerned about one poll
showing us dropping in the polls than we were overly confident based on the prolonged bounce that they did have after that announcement. but if you do look within the numbers, steve, as you are doing as are we here in d.c., you do see some warning signs for the vice president. one of the cornerstones of his support has been among african-american voters. we are seeing among non-white voters in the crosstabs here that kamala harris has jumped 15 points. biden is slipping a little bit among that demographic. i think the larger concern though in biden world is take away this moment with kamala harris that happened in the debate. you look at a performance from the former vice president on that debate stage before millions of people that i think mirrored what voters across the country were seeing in much smaller doses which is a candidate that's not as crisp, that's not as sharp, perhaps as the campaign believes that he can be. steve, you've heard me use this line before that biden's biggest strength is his perceived strength, and that's the concern now. you showing there in those
numbers that his electability argument may be suffering here. and voters wondering whether or not based on what they saw on the stage thursday night is he in fact the best candidate they can put up against donald trump. >> and, ali, we talk about, look, biden falling in this poll, the clear beneficiary at the moment, kamala harris. how do the other democratic candidates in campaigns look at that though? there were all these questions headed into that debate. would anybody take a shot the biden? harris clearly came ready to do that, and now look what's happened. is it open season on biden now? >> reporter: now and always i think. i mean, he came into this as the frontrunner. when you're the frontrunner, you're the one who's going to be on the receiving end of a lot of these attacks. you will remember even before the debate it was cory booker who started this argument against joe biden on the issue talking about the segregationist senators. so he wasn't on the stage. he wasn't the one who was able to draw that binary between biden and the comments that he's made and the policies he's had in the past. but kamala harris was the beneficiary of that moment clearly because she was able to
support the point that she made on stage with that tweet afterwards. so obviously that's a sign of execution there. but i'm interested to see how the field begins to treat kamala harris as she continues to rise. i haven't seen yet elizabeth warren was the last person to see sort of a polling surge. i think they've all been kind of playing nice with each other. but as we get deeper into debate season, that's going to be something i'm going to be watching. in this poll, though, there was one thing that caught my attention. of course you look at joe biden and bernie sanders. they've been a top for several months mostly because bernie sanders just ran for president in 2016. joe biden a popular former vice president. it makes sense that they would be atop the national consciousness. but when i look at the part of this poll where it says "never heard of," joe biden, bernie sanders have 5 and 4% respectively i believe of people who have never heard of them. then you look at the elizabeth warren. 19% of people never heard of her. kamala harris, 26% of people never heard of her. pete buttigieg i think it's something like 40% of people say they've never heard of him. so clearly that shows that there
is room for growth here. so when we watch the impact that the debate has, it's really bringing people to the national consciousness as more names become in the political vernacular and voters start to get more comfortable with who's actually running in this race. >> and, mike, i think you also hit on what may be the key question for biden in the immediate future in what you were saying a minute ago. that is was this performance that we saw on this debate stage a one-off. was this a rusty guy who hadn't debated in seven years and is now going to kind of wake up and we'll see the old biden everybody remembers from '08 and '12. or is this what joe biden's going to be in every one of these debates going forward? >> it's been an interesting conversation i've been having more with folks outside of the campaign who work with the vice president for years, which is maybe this is a consequence of him waiting too long to get into the race as well. we saw that he waited until the end of april to join the race. perhaps he could have benefitted by having a little bit more. they've tried to cram an awful lot into these last two months of the campaign including what was a very truncated series of
debate prep just in the week of the debate. i think we are going to see him back on the trail this week. he's going to have obviously a few more weeks to prepare for the campaign. this was actually something campaign advisers were saying on the day of the debate before that, listen, we'll have plenty of time and that he's in the process of getting more comfortable with his speech. but what i'm hearing from folks outside the campaign was maybe he did need a little bit more time before the debate to get into this race. >> all right, mike memoli, ali, thank you both for joining us. with new polls showing kamala harris surging, and with the online birther-style attack, i am joined by the national press secretary for kamala harris' presidential campaign, ian, thank you for taking a few minutes. let me ask you this. just looking at those electability numbers we just put up there, there was one theory of kamala harris in that attack on joe biden on the debate stage the other night that, in part, she was trying to show democratic voters that she is capable of leading an attack on
donald trump. let me show you how it's done against joe biden. this is how it will work against donald trump. is that part of the thinking there? >> i think what she did on that debate stage showed that she was the leader on the stage. it wasn't just the exchange with former vice president joe biden. she rose above the fray and said, look, folks, our voters don't want a food fight, they want us to talk about how to put food on the table. so what she did in that -- on that stage was command and to show the american people what's motivating her, tell her personal story, and connect her story and the stories of voters with the agenda that she's going to push. so i think that the poll that you guys have been talking about today that shows this rise in electability is cutting against this really pernicious narrative that largely unfortunately affects women in this race that somehow you have to look or sound a certain way or be and competitive in a certain place to be electability. but what thursday night showed
is anybody can be electable. all you've got to do is earn it. >> the poll showed harris' electability score is rising, biden's potentially as a consequence of that exchange has dropped. and a number of democrats saying he is capable of beating donald trump. do you think joe biden's capable of beating trump? >> well, look. i think that the polling so far has shown that democrats are well positioned going into this election. i think what people like you and i who follow the ins and outs of this every day is there was a helpful ap poll that showed last week that 22% of people know a lot about the candidates' positions. two-thirds of people aren't paying much attention to this race and i think that plays big into how the numbers are moving right now. this is a debate that 18 million people tuned in to watch. only 30 million people voted in the entire 2016 democratic primary. and so this is a moment where candidates are introducing themselves. obviously, people like vice president biden and senator sanders who've run for president before and have high name id
across the country, folks tend to have opinion of them. but what we're seeing now is people like kamala harris introducing herself to voters for the first time. and on that stage that's exactly what she did. >> the issue behind that exchange she had with the former vice president on stage, it was busing, and it brought back the politics of the 1970s, the 1980s in a lot of ways. and one of the questions that emerged from that is, is kamala harris calling for a return to the busing that we saw in the '70s and '80s. as she told my colleague vaughn hillyard yesterday, she does support busing. it seemed unclear. what is the plan? what specifically is kamala harris calling for now? >> sure. >> when it comes to busing? >> yeah. she supports busing. and, you know, she wouldn't have been in the senate in the 1970s, i don't think. but she would have supported it then. and i think that what we're talking about right now is the fact that school districts across this country remain very segregated. we need to do more to stop that and to integrate our schools. if communities use busing as a
tactic to do that, that's great. there's great legislation right now in congress from marcia fudge in the house and senator chris murphy in the senate that would allow federal investment and grant money to go towards school diversification efforts. so we're not talking about, you know, some sort of broad thing that we're talking about, what we're talking about is making sure that right now in this environment of the modern era that schools have the resources they need to diversify and ensure that kids have the best opportunity to get a good education. >> so to be clear, then, are you drawing a distinction between districts that voluntarily say they want to make busing part of their approach and supporting that with federal money, or are you talking about using the power of the federal government to try to compel districts that otherwise don't want to, to do busing? >> well, look, the idea on the table right now is what's in marcia fudge and chris murphy's bill which talks about federal investment for localities to diversify their schools. i think it's important to remember what jesse jackson said is there was no such thing in the 1960s really of voluntary
busing. what we were dealing with at the time in the '60s and '70s was localities were roelting against it. >> berkeley, california, was i think the first city -- >> yeah. >> but the story she told -- i guess i'm asking was that the model she has in mind for the country? >> you can't take a snapshot in time and apply it to the modern era. everything changes over the course of time. and right now there are new approaches we have to take. busing can be a part of that solution. but i think what's important to remember here, and i think i saw a statistic as this debate raged on that only 2% of schools at the time were voluntarily bused. i think it's important to remember that, you know, vice president biden, then senator biden, took a broad brush at this and said that busing was an asinine concept. so it wasn't the nuance of voluntary versus forced. it's not about her. she was speaking for thousands if not millions of students, black and brown students, across this country who were being bused to integrate public
schools at a time of great upheaval and at a time of trying to end this school segregation crisis. i think that in the days she got texts from people after who said i was bused to school and that meant so much for you to tell that story. this can't just be boiled down to one person and one school bus because it applied to so many people across this country. >> i want to ask you about this as well again in the wake of that debate there was some attention to some online comments that were made. we can put this one up here. this was katrina pearson on kamala harris trump campaign adviser saying kamala harris is going to get a stern talking to after the debate. can't play the race card without going all the way. obama did choose biden and no one yelled foul. obama is actually african-american, kamala harris is not. who is best to speak for the african-american community? you also had donald trump jr. tweeting something. but that is the president's son at least initially putting that out there.
is this what you're seeing online right now? are you seeing any effect on your campaign right now from this? >> frankly, i think that you're seeing all the democratic candidates. you are seeing republicans even, former rnc strategist eric erickson also joining in saying this is vile and disgusting. this is the same kind of racist crap that don jr.'s dad tried to use on barack obama and it didn't work then and it's not going to work now. so i think it's important that in this moment everyone of good conscience and good will has to say this needs to stop. and the spread of information has not been slowed since 2016. part of this is the problem of failure of action on behalf of the leaders in the senate like mitch mcconnell who are preventing efforts to shore up election security. so i think with this issue of playing these racist attacks, you know, the right wing is going to throw that stuff at kamala because frankly they don't got much else. and i think that it's just going to take everybody standing up and saying this is wrong, questioning people's identities,
another talking about the issues, not talking about substance but really going after people for who they are, that's just not going to fly in 2019 and 2020. >> thank you for taking a few minutes. >> thanks, steve. all right. ahead, new polls, new fundraising numbers and that new birther-style attack, it's a whole new ball game on the democratic side. and later the step forward that may really be a step back. the new nuclear talks with kim jong-un that could end up backfiring on the president. you. you make time... when you can. but sometimes life gets in the way, and that stubborn fat just won't go away. coolsculpting takes you further. a non-surgical treatment that targets, freezes, and eliminates treated fat cells, for good. discuss coolsculpting with your doctor. some common side-effects include temporary numbness, discomfort, and swelling. don't imagine results, see them. coolsculpting, take yourself further. our mission is to provide complete,
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welcome back. new polling, biden sliding, harris surging, and is facing birther-style attacks, which you just heard the campaign react to. we have got a lot of lot to react to ourselves. let's bring in our experts. charlie sykes. he joins us from wisconsin. here with me on set, zerlina maxwell and ben white. thanks to all of you for being
here. ben, if you were the biden campaign and you had a scale of -- this is the own john mcloughlin style -- ten is absolute panic, where are you right now? >> i'd be at an 8 looking at these numbers. we talked about this debate. i was frankly pretty shocked by how poorly he performed, not just the answers on busing and his position in the 1970s but cutting himself off in the midst of answers, not looking particularly on top of things throughout the course of that debate. and i talked to a lot of his supporters afterwards who were shocked by how bad he did. i thought he would go down, i did not think he'd go down by 10 points. that's bad. this is not a good position for him to be in. >> and zerlina, that's the question. he needs to have a stronger performance. >> right. >> folks can look back to those 2008 debates. he sort of debated his way onto obama's ticket. strong performances, well received. 2012 he went head to head with
paul ryan. is joe biden of 2019 and 2020 capable of that? >> we are going to find out. i think that -- i agree with the 8. i was thinking 8 in my head when you asked me what number i would give because i do think that there should be a lot of panic in the campaign and it's not just because of the debate performance. you see the other campaigns, compare them to biden. they are rolling out policy. they seem to be on a roll. every single day elizabeth warren has a new policy taking on a specific issue. kamala harris is doing the same thing. hul ran castro, cory booker. everybody is sort of going and they have momentum here. it feels to me like joe biden hasn't hit his stride yet like he waited a long time to jump into the race. so perhaps this is just a little bit of nerves working themselves out in the beginning here. but he's going to have to fix it quickly. because i think that there are a lot of they have alternatives to joe biden. now we have seen them on a stage with joe biden. and we see that they can take on donald trump and actually also take on vice president biden. so i think the question about
electability that has shown in the numbers today that people saw women and saw presidents. that is an important shift. >> charlie, i did think those -- those electability numbers from the ugof poll. biden and beto o'rourke both fell double digits. then harris, warren, julian casco as well. electability, what do you make of that right now? >> well, i'm going to be a little bit of an outlier because i think the level of panic should probably only be a 5. this is not the first game. it's the first inning. maybe it's just the first at-bat here. and still 57% of democrats still think that joe biden is the most electability. but i do think that democrats ought to be concerned about what happened last week in terms of how far left, how far from the mainstream some of these leading
candidates got. that cnn poll that you've been citing also found that only 21% of adult americans favor national health insurance that abolishes private insurance. school-busing has historically not just unpopular, it is overwhelmingly unpopular. so even though kamala harris had a really break-out night, there's no question about it. the this issue of school-busing i think is a kind of a time bomb in this campaign. the last time gallup did a survey on this, 80% of americans were opposed to school busing. and, again, we have to clarify whether it's involuntary school-busing. so i think there are some problems here. and i do think that there ought to be some concern among democrats whether or not they'd move to the left not just of the overall general electorate but of the democratic electorate. >> so, ben, we were talking to emc from harris' campaign. that's -- theatrically that attack on biden was devastating.
and you can say does that raise questions directly about his electability how he can handle that situation in terms of the spotlight. but in terms of busing, where is she going to go with this? what do you make of what charlie was just saying? >> no, i think charlie makes good points, that there is a danger for someone like harris getting too far to the left, both on the idea of health care and the idea of getting rid of private insurance because that's not particularly popular among people who have insurance through their employers and want to keep it. and busing is historically is quite unpopular. if you're rubbing nning -- and white communities. that's just the fact from the polling. if she could articulate more broadly our schools are still very, you know, lack of integration in our schools, there are multiple ways to go about that in terms of better teachers, better pay, not focused strictly on busing. i think that's a dangerous area
that she gets into. >> when i was trying to figure out, zerlina, in terms of assessing the politics was this voluntary-involuntary question. was this about rewarding berkeley. is it across district lines. are you saying here's an urban school district that's predominantly minority, it's predominantly low-income. so to achieve the kind of balance that's needed here, we are going to go across district lines into the suburbs. do you have a sense what she's calling for here? >> i think what she was doing was talking about something that happened in the past in her own experience to make it clear that joe biden is not able to talk about race in 2019. i don't think that moment was so that we can have a policy discussion about busing. i think that moment was about race, the larger and broader conversation. and so while, sure, i think it's important that we can get clear answers from the campaign about where she stands specifically on the issue of busing, she does
have plans to improve education and underserved communities and pay teachers more so that the quality in those school districts will go up as opposed to forcing people to bus their kids from neighborhood to neighborhood. but i think this conversation is a good one to have. i don't think any of this is sort of a side conversation. race is a central issue, not just in this campaign but in this country. and donald trump is the president of the united states. so i think throughout this campaign race is going to be something that we keep coming back to, and we can't ignore it. >> charlie, what would your advice be for the next debate? do you think he didn't take too bad of a hit right here. but if you're talking to joe biden heading into the next debate, what's your next? what should he do that he didn't do in this one? >> he lost ten points, so that is a hit. look, i think he needs to be prepared for these attacks. and that was the one surprise that he was not as prepared as he ought to have been. here's a guy with a long
history. he was president obama's side for eight years. i think the charge somehow that he is too racially retrograde or incensive is going to be a difficult one to sustain if in fact he is able to articulate what he has done, what his accomplishments are, and then pivot to what his vision for the future. one of his big problems of course is his age and the fact that he is not really a man of the times. and i do think he's going to have to strengthen that particular point. >> okay, charlie, zerlina, and ben, you are all sticking around, we are not finished with you yet. ahead, a long, strange trip for the president as he steps into north korea and potentially a heap of trouble. stay with us. h us ♪ limu emu & doug
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tremendous positivity. really great things are happening in a lot of places, but we met and we liked each other from day one, and that was very important. and it's just an honor to be with you, and it was an honor that you asked me to step over that line, and i was proud to step over the line. i want to thank you. it's been great. >> welcome back. could president trump's historic meeting with kim jong-un yesterday, full of lavish praise for the north korean dictator, be the beginning of a historic concession on the part of the white house? according to "the new york
times", the u.s. may be willing to give up on fuel denuclearization of the korean peninsula. the times reports, quote, the concept would amount to a nuclear freeze, one that essentially enshrines the status quo and tassetly accepts the north as a nuclear power. something administration officials have often said they would never stand for. national security adviser john bolton pushed back against the times reporting tweeting out neither the nsc staff nor i have discussed or heard of any desire to settle for a nuclear freeze by nk. with me now is victor, former deputy, head of the u.s. delegation to the six party talks, which were a series of meetings held in an attempt to dismantle north korea's nuclear program. he is a professor at georgetown university. let me start on this. the new york times "reporting here if this is true, if the administration is potentially looking at this idea of what
would amount to a nuclear freeze, taking the status quo right now and locking that in place, what would the threat level posed by north korea be if this was locked in right now? >> well, it would pose a threat to everything in asia, all u.s. forces in asia, possibly as far as hawaii and guam, and then possibly as far as the continental united states. they have at least -- they have scores of nuclear warheads. they have missile systems that can deliver these things pretty far. i mean, they haven't completed all of thcapabilities, but they pretty close. if "the times" report is right, it would be a total failure of u.s. policy. >> the total failure doesn't leave much room here. then i'm asking from this angle, then, given the threat level you're describing, is there any potential upside to the united states signing off on that deal? is there anything the united states could get from that deal that you could see that might make it worth considering?
>> the only thing that -- steve, the only thing that that sort of deal, and we don't know the specifics, hypothetically, the only thing that that deal could get that would be good would be a cap on further material production. if they're talking about an overall freeze of the program, that would be used plutonium and uranium that would be used for producing nuclear warheads. so that might be the only upside. but overall, unless that's in the context of an agreement for full denuclearization, unless it's in that context, it's not a deal worth taking. >> what do you make of i guess the fact of this report we have lots of questions about it, but last week or two weeks ago i should say the president seeming to walk up to the line when it came to iran, then obviously back off, try to explain that in those tweets. that seemed to put him at odds potentially with john bolton, with pompeo, with folks close to him on foreign policy questions. and here on north korea, at
least per this reporting, if something like this were under consideration and bolton's taking very strenuous position to the story, that would also put him in a different place than pompeo. >> i'm not surprised. i worked with john bolton. there is no way he would accept any sort of deal like that. it's clear that on north korea and iran, there are differences there. the thing about trump and what he did on iran, you know, pulling that strike-back at the last minute actually makes it more difficult for the north korea negotiations he just said we are going to let the working-level people work out a deal now. but if he goes and does what he says in iran, they're not going to want to talk at the working level because they know that trump at the last minute may pull the rug out from under his negotiators. so what he's doing in iran is not helping his north korea negotiation at all. >> not the idea floated in this
article of a freeze, supposedly mike pompeo is saying talks are going to resume within the next month between the united states and north korea, do you see plausibly on the horizon any path that could lead to denuclearization? >> i mean, denuclearization, steve, as we know it, as was negotiated in the last agreement means north korea gives up all of their nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. so when the administration says they don't have an agreement on the definition of denuclearization, that to me is puzzling because the north koreans have agreed to a definition in the past. i mean, i would like to believe that what trump is doing in terms of crossing into north korea and being buddy-buddy with kim jong-un is going to get us to denuclearization. but all the other things that been done in the past, lifting sanctions, security guarantees and they never got us to denuclearization. we'll see if trump's bromance can do that, but i'm not particularly confident that it can. >> thank you for taking a few
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this is not like you're going and meeting your neighbor and bringing the dictator next door a hot dish. >> why would any dictator like him have any confidence that they should enter into a nuclear agreement with the united states when this administration just violated one they made two years ago? >> i have no problem with him sitting down with kim jong-un in north korea or any place else. but i don't want it simply to be a photo opportunity. >> welcome back. as you might expect, many of the 2020 democrats are skeptical, to put it mildly, about president trump resuming nuclear negotiations with kim jong-un. joe biden of course was chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, released a statement today that reads in part, quote,
diplomacy is important, but diplomacy requires a strategy, a process, and competent leadership to deliver. after three made-for-tv summits, we still don't have a single concrete commitment from north korea. not one missile or nuclear weapon has been destroyed. if anything the situation has gotten worse. charlie, zerlina, and ben are with me. foreign policy is turf that joe biden we have seen historically is comfortable fighting on in the public square. this is a strong statement. it's a statement, a written statement here. this is not something he's delivering at a speech yet. but is this an area where biden has an opportunity to pick a fight where he might be able to showcase what he wants democratic voters to be seeing in terms of a contrast between him and trump? >> yes. and general election voters, you know, asking whether or not you actually want a president who knows what he's doing, who actually has a strategy or somebody who thinks that nuclear
diplomacy is somehow a reality tv show. in fact, i'm old enough to remember when republicans would've been absolutely appalled at the level of appeasement and sucking up to a thuggish dictator that you saw over the weekend. so, yes, this is a vulnerability for somebody like joe biden to exploit. >> that said, ben, we have the clips there. every democratic candidate had some pretty strong reservations about what's been happening overseas. the general election contrast is one thing, but is there a contrast there in the democratic primary at all for biden? >> probably. i mean, he could make the case, you know, that he has the experience, he's been there, he's done that, he's operated on the world stage. he's been involved in talks with world leaders and he's the guy who can stand up to trump, not cozy up to putin, not do these photo ops with kim jong-un, generally speaking, have a very
different. he needs to be doing speeches and maybe in another debate really hammer away at the fact that he has this foreign policy experience. that said, i'm not real sure 2020 is going to be an election that much about foreign policy. it'll be important, but a lot of other stuff is going to take precedence. >> where is the mood of the democratic base right now? look, it was two weeks ago. president of the united states on twitter said he was minutes away from ordering an attack on iran. you've got this, and we'll see, we've got this "new york times" story floating at least the possibility of what would be a very, very significant development with north korea. where does this rate the democratic voters? >> i think this rates in the bucket of we need to get rid of donald trump. so i don't know if there's a list that you're ranking in order, but i think that international incidents under this president are more terrifying than any previous president. that's because of his sheer incompetence. i think it has to do with more about whether they would prefer people be on policy towards iran
or where they stand specifically whether or not they think that did enough or was a good idea. that's a whole separate conversation from the conversation about whether or not you are comfortable going to bed every night with donald trump having the launch codes, right? and i think that, you know, i say that sort of in a flip way, but it's a really serious point because donald trump doesn't know anything about foreign policy. and in the past few years he hasn't learned anything about foreign policy that we can at least pause it from the things that he says. >> so, does that have an effect, then, if that's the level of concern that democratic voters have which is something approaching existential, does that make other issues, domestic issues, less important, subordinate them in terms of their importance to just get this guy out of there? >> yes, i think so. number one issue policy issue is getting donald trump out of the white house, right? and i think everything ranks downward from there. and i'd also say climate change is also existential. and he doesn't believe in that. so i think that it's donald trump in the form of the president that is the existential threat.
and regardless of whether or not you say it's iran or climate change or one of the other images, i think that donald trump is the one that reigns supreme in your mind. >> charlie, let me ask you, what do you think of what's going on inside the administration here? we were talking about this with victor cha in the last segment. pompeo and bolton and now potentially north korea, again, depending we'll see what happens with this "new york times" story here. but potentially the president going in some different directions than what they might like him to go. >> yeah. i mean, the chaos in this administration or internal division is not necessarily a news story. but didn't that use to be kind of a joke to say that, you know, when you're in bad odor that you've been exiled to outer mongolia? and john bolton literally was sent to mongolia at a key point in this administration. so, yeah, you're getting some -- you're getting cross leeks, you're getting cross pressure to this. you know, so far donald trump has not pulled the trigger.
i guess we ought to be thankful for that. but one of the other elements of this that i think we ought to mention is just the thorough amorality where he doesn't even pretend that we have a role of moral leader. otherwise would he be sucking up to mbs after the murder of a washington post" journalist or vladimir putin and overlooking their atrocities. and i think that's an opening for the democrats as well to say america used to actually stand for something. and i think they can appeal to a lot of voters with that. >> charlie and zerlina, ben, are making the case of democratic primary voters maybe outside of that, too, having some issues with this president's foreign policy. is there a constituency out there, though, that would look at iran and say the bottom line was he chose not to attack? >> sure. >> the bottom line was he publicly said something you don't hear from a lot of presidents, which is i'm going to consider this collateral damage, i am going to consider the number of civilians that may be killed by this.
does that strike anybody as a refreshing departure? >> i think there is a dovish nature to donald trump that resonates with some people that do not want to be engaged in endless wars in the middle east, do not want a new war with iran, do not like the ultra hawks like bolton who want to bomb everybody all the time. and trump does seem to have an inclination against that sort of, you know, pulling the trigger on a strike like that. and i think that will resonate with some people. at the same time, the larger picture of donald trump as a coddler of dictators, as somebody who does not care about the murder of journalists and kim jong-un's human rights violations, that is the picture more broadly that you get of trump. but that point that he is on the more dovish side, i think people will sympathize with that. >> thanks to you all for being with us. and new details about just how long ago the trump administration actually knew about those dire conditions at the border.
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>> this is what happens. when you call mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, this is what happens when you call asylum seekers animals and an infestation. it is only when the president has given permission to see kids put in cages or detained in tent cities like this one. >> welcome back. those were some of the 2020 democratic candidates last week speaking outside homestead as the miami area detention center holding groups of migrant children. today in an nbc news exclusive, they are reporting, quote, the government's own internal watch dog warned as far back as may that conditions in el paso, texas, border station were so bad that border agents were arming themselves against possible riots, countinger friday's assertion by a top trump official that poor conditions for migrants were unsubstantiated. let's bring in julia ainsley who
has this exclusive reporting. take us through what the document is. back in may this is an inspector general report. what exactly was this report, what did it find, who did it go to? >> that's a great question. a lot of inspector general reports do become public. this was internal. it was put together by inspectors who did drop-ins to several border stations in the el paso sector. one they found in particular when they went to they said had terrible conditions, they found that 756 migrants, steve, had to use four showers. they found children who were being processed in the parking lot and having to wait outside, not even having matts to sleep on. people who didn't have clean changes of clothes. the majority of immigrants there had to be in soiled clothes for days or even weeks. if some of those conditions sound familiar, it's because they are a lot like what we heard from lawyers who went to a facility in the same sector just a couple weeks ago. but when that happened, the dhs
secretary said those reports are unsubstantiated. we are treating people in a fair and human condition. it seems they have evidence to the contrary going back to mid may. and the other thing that really stood out to me, steve, is the fact that the agents there were so worried about the conditions that they actually expected hunger strikes or even a riot from the immigrants that they were detaining. so they started to arm their selves in places along the border in these border stations where they normally wouldn't have arms. >> what is, between this news about this report that was there in may between everything that we read the last couple weeks in the news, do you have any sense -- i know it's very difficult to get a sense of this, but do you have any sense what the conditions are like at these facilities now after this has become public? >> well, it's clear that they continued into late june because we were talking about very similar conditions in this same sector just last week, steve. we do know one thing has happened that has changed the
course and does make us a little more optimistic and that is that congress passed $4.5 billion in funding at the end of last week which will open up more space in other facilities that are for longer-term migrant care. for children to get help from health and human services and go to i.c.e. custody. those are places that are meant to have food round the clock, to have showers, toolgt brushes, beds for everyone, not like what we saw there. so that does seem to be a ray of hope. what isn't clear is that d.h.s. learned a lesson that they need more than money to fix this problem. it really came down to a management problem. when i went through this and i would encourage your viewers to go read these documents. we've published them online. a lot of these things sound like poor management. for example, two civilians at this one particular border station, civilians who were on staff, were somehow responsible for buying food every day and were spending $10,000 on their credit card to feed 1,000 people because this wasn't something that was just brought in by
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trump hitting north korea, short on planning, but big on theatrics. whether you think it's good or bad, here is a new moment in history, donald trump becoming the first american president to set foot inside north korea. there was confusion as the photographers you see scrambled to get the right picture and get out of the way. >> come on, come on. >> move. move. where are they going? they're going straight. >> that kind of chaos is unusual in any diplomatic appearance because they're usually planned in a different way with a lot more time. now, that alone is not so significant, but trump did proudly plan this on the fly, and also -- and this is where it gets more important -- was so intent on making this happen, on getting those pictures that he basically gave up this in-person meeting without any clear