tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 11, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
federal reserve chair jerome powell the central bank will cut interest rates at its next meeting late they are month. that wraps up this hour for me. i'm not done for the day. i will be back here at the 11:00 p.m. for "the 11th hour" and tomorrow 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. eastern. you can find me on social media, twitter, which is working again, facebook, instagram and snapchat and linkedin. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york, and what would represent a total capitulation from the legal strategy, donald trump has embraced since the supreme court told him it was a no go to add a citizenship to the census, the white house today signaling that they'll find another way to achieve his goals. goals nancy pelosi describes as racist. >> for a very long time we have been fighting a fight on the census. you know, make america -- the hat, make america white again. they want to make sure that
people -- certain people are counted. it's really disgraceful. and it's not what our founders had in mind. >> trump needed the fight over the citizenship to distract from the week in which his white house has been consumed by astonishing headlines, his sex traffickers and inhumane, detained children and overnight plans of mass raids of immigrant families so sweeping, even trump's own law enforcement officials are speaking out. now in less than an hour the president plans to announce an executive action of some sort to ask a citizenship question through means other than the census. okay. that's after the supreme court struck that option down. the president appearing to blink now even after threatening for more than a week to defy the supreme court's decision. threats it set up a high-stakes clash with the highest court in the land. while former senior doj official
telling me today, quote, nothing less than the legitimacy of the supreme court was on the line. today's shenanigans from the president capped a chaotic back and forth over that citizenship question in what could have resulted in an undercount of millions. "the new york times" explains, quote, government experts predicted asking the question would cause many immigrants to refuse to participate in the census, leading to an undercount of about 6.5 million people that could reduce democratic representation when districts are allocated in 2021 and affect how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending are distributed. the move is seen as trump's broader agenda to stoke fear in immigrant communities, a message ringing louder and clearer against the backdrop of new reports of mass roundups of undocumented immigrant parents and children set to begin this weekend. raids i.c.e. agents are telling "the new york times" they are uncomfortable conducting. from "the times," quote, acts
expressed apprehension about arresting babies and young children, officials have said. and that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. with us from "the new york times," chief white house correspondent peter baker n washington jeremy bash, former chief of staff of the cia and department of defense. and former chief of staff to vice president's joe biden and al gore, ron klain with us at the table. heather mcghee, former managing editor of "time" magazine and veteran of the obama administration, and my freak sidekick rick stengel. let me start with you, peter baker. part of normalizing all that is not normal is reading a sentence like they plan to jail babies and not just stopping for a minute. how is that even done? >> we're 2 1/2 years in, and every morning you wake up and you think, i can't really be surprised about anything new today. and then you're surprised by something new. we will see what the rest of the day brings. we will see what tomorrow brings.
it's been an administration that has not been afraid to shatter norms, to do things others wouldn't and to push the boundaries, if you will. the census thing is an example where it seems like the president has been thwarted in his desire. the supreme court said no, you can't add this to the main census because we think the reason we've given for doing it is contrived, that's the word the lead justice used, not a liberal. the president seemed willing to accept that ruling and but stymied because he said you cannot continue with this theme and lawyers do not any they should continue the fight. it sounds like in an hour or two he will tell us he will back down and try to find some other way forward. that's an example where for all of the bluster he does from time to time, you know, have to find ways of accepting defeat and moving on. >> ron klain, peter baker has
this sort of path through self-inflicted chaos and defeat, frankly, nailed down pretty perfectly. but i just want to show you the flashes of defiance that i believe led to the resignation or at least reassignment of several career doj lawyers. this was the president tweeting about not getting his way with adding the citizenship question to the census. he wrote this -- the news reports about the department of commerce dropping its quest to put the citizenship question on the census is incorrect or to state it differently fake. we are absolutely moving forward as we must because of the importance to the answer to this question. the doj, as peter just explained, trying to explain that away, down alice in wonderland's rabbit hole, said this to a judge -- the tweet is the first i heard of the president on this issue. i do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the president has tweeted, but obviously, as you may imagine,
i'm doing my absolute best to figure out what's going on. and then 11 lawyers from doj asked to quit, 11 lawyers from the doj asked judge jesse fuhrman from the u.s. district court on monday for permission to step down from representing the government in the dispute. ag william barr said given the department's decision to press ahead on the issue, quote, i can understand if they're not interested in participating in this phase. my question for you, ron klain, is about the carnage of the president's sort of myopic view of disenfranchising people who live here and pushing against every institution in the land. >> we are seeing the two core values of the trump administration on display here, incredible meanness and racism and incompetence. when you put them together you get the spectacle we are seeing played out right now. the president really hates immigrants. he wanted to suppress their being counted on in the census with the gamut to defy the law and supreme court to put this on the census, to depress the count
of immigrants. when he couldn't get that done, when even he had to recognize he had been blocked and stopped on that, now he's going to launch apparently massive raids this weekend to ha rs arass and arre immigrants, including babies. this is the core agenda of the trump administration. they've been blocked on one front and taking it out on another front. >> heather, it is as everyone articulates this toxic stew with complicated policies as their purpose. >> i think that's really well said. it's a lot of the reason why the majority in this country did not want a deportation-only immigration plan. remember at any moment, the united states congress could pass a bill to give people a path to citizenship who are sitting here in their homes, working, waiting for a shot at the american dream. that's always on the table. we rarely talk about it because we assume congressional
dysfunction because republicans have such an incredibly hard-line view of what they want to happen to 13 million people in this country that is a nonstarter in washington. note, it was a nonstarter even when it was just republicans running both houses of congress. >> right. >> but that could always happen and that would be better than leaving it to someone who came into office on a harshly anti-immigrant -- not just anti-immigrant but dehumanizing language and then has just done exactly what that dehumanization would lead to. jailing babies, having children die on his watch. >> not counting them is sort of the ultimate, following the thread from policies that have as their goal dehumanizing my grants, not counting them is the actual literal act of dehumanizing them. >> that's right. saying you're not visible, you have no voice and you do not matter at all. the people who represent you in congress should not even have to think about you.
you shouldn't be counted. and that's what this agenda is about and also naked partisan power. the republicans want to make their agenda and platform more appealing to the entire country, instead they're just doubling down on a demographic decision that is making them irrelevant from the future. that's their choice. >> jeremy bash, what all of this makes perfect sense in donald trump's world and donald trump's mind, but what explains the attorney general william barr siding with the president's maniacal obsession with the dehumanizing of people in this country, a count that would undercount 6.5 million americans at the cost of those 11 doj career lawyers who said, i'm not doing this? >> barr very sadly is participating in trump's attack on the rule of law. and he's decided to take the president's side and be his personal counsel and support his political agenda as opposed to standing up for the law of the land. of course, under our system when the supreme court rules, it is
the law of the land and no person, no attorney general, no president can circumvent that law or be above it. i think it actually foreshadows some interesting cases that will probably wind their way through the courts about congressional oversight, congressional subpoenas that may find themselves all the way to the supreme court. we will see whether or not the president and attorney general actually yield in the face of judicial requirements. >> so rick stengel, i'm told donald trump is right now in a rainy washington, d.c. rally against the courts. the courts he and his former white house counsel and ally in the senate mitch mcconnell has stacked with conservative judges. so is this a trump on conservative judges problem? is this a trump versus reality? is this trump's agenda too racist even for -- what are we witnessing? >> what we're witnessing, nicolle, is a toddler who's been told no who doesn't care, who has said no -- >> by the supreme court. >> if a toddler said no, it's
like i don't care if it's my mom or my dad or somebody here, i have to figure out a way to get around it. i no he that's not very hifalutin political or legal talk but he can't distinguish between the supreme court saying no, the highest law of the land. this is where the buck stops, versus just somebody in the media telling him no. so all he can do then is try to come up with some way around it. as opposed to someone saying, listen, this is the end of the road. the supreme court has ruled. the only thing that would be possible now would be congress legislating something but they basically said the executive branch is overruled on this. and speak to bill barr, the problem with bill barr is he's this avatar of the unitary executive. he thinks the executive branch has more power than any other and they should do whatever they want. whatever trump says, however insane, he just echoes because he believes if the executive says it, then it is law. >> shame on me for still being
surprised by anything barr does in that vain because you're right but you would think someone like barr, who cares about his reputation and image and reflection and conservative media circles would be embarrassed to defy the conservative u.s. supreme court. >> here's the flaw in your question, the word embarrassed and republicans never go in the same sentence anymore. they are not embarrassed by anything that donald trump does. by the wye, that was once a party that was for the rule of law and now they're not embarrassed by embracing an authoritarian president who disregards the rule of law. >> did someone try to jump in? i thought i heard somebody. >> yeah, nicolle, i want to add to be clear what chief justice roberts said in his opinion is not adding a citizenship question is address the constitution or the administration couldn't do it. what he said was you have to follow the procedures outlined in the law and they say if you make a change like this, you have to give a rational justification. what he's saying is the justification the administration gave did not float, didn't carry
water. the justification they gave was well, we want this information in order to enforce the voting rights act. basically chief justice roberts said that's not right. we don't believe that's your real reason. if you came up with a real reason, he implied, you could go ahead and put a citizenship we out there. we've had citizen questions on the form decades ago and have it currently on a survey we send out to a few million almost every year. what chief justice roberts is saying is, don't tell me some dissembling reason for why you want it but give me a valid reason and i will be willing to let you do it but you haven't told me the truth here. >> and just adding his voice to the millions who said you haven't told me the truth here. peter baker, i do want to follow up on some other excellent reporting in "the new york times," front-page stories about the planned i.c.e. raids which were the second time in as many weeks leaked. i.c.e. officials in your article and others are concerned about their own safety.
i believe the leaker last time was none other than donald j. trump, who tweeted it out. i won't put you on the spot of who the sources are for this weekend's leak, but confrontation within i.c.e. and in-fighting in the vast homeland security of the wisdom of separating families and supporting children whose parents are american citizens. take us through your reporting. >> that's right. the last time a couple weeks back he said he but it on hold at the request the nancy pelosi but there was a lot of internal fighting in the administration about this idea that was very close to jobs being lost just a couple weeks ago over this, because there are these concerns you outlined. there's uncertainty on the part of professional immigration, boa border patrol officials who don't think this is the best way to go about enforcement of law. these are not doves when it comes to immigration law but they think the raids may have a
counterproductive impact. the president is determined to show that he is absolutely firm on this. he's determined to show that he's going to be the toughest guy in the world on immigration. he promised his voters this 2 1/2 years ago. he's heading into an election year. he wants to make sure they know he's following through. it's not just build a wall. it's not just family separations we've seen at the border. he's going to now, you know, russell through some of cities to round up people, put them on transportation and head them out of the country. we will see if he follows through again. several times he's made threats that have been pretty harsh and not followed through for some reason or another, claiming victory or compromise by somebody. we will see what happens this weekend. there's a lot of concern now at the dhs department. >> ron, let me ask you about the story peter is describing. "the times" goes on to describe collateral deportations. here's some top democrats on what collateral deportations might look like.
>> collateral means kids being left, it means moms, dads, friends being torn apart. it is absolutely disgusting. >> shame, shame, shame on this awful administration. >> i'm going to appeal to the people of faith-based organizations to appeal to the president. >> this is fundamentally unfair. it has nothing to do with the security and safety of the united states. >> ron klain. >> yeah, we are going to see if trump goes for it, and i take peter's point, he threatened this before, he's backed down before, but if he goes forward, we're going to see the horrible, ghastly pictures we are now seeing on the border in new york, in chicago, in san francisco, in los angeles. trump's border war come to your hometown. the separating of families, the deportation of parents whose children are serving overseas in our armed forces who have done nothing wrong except be here without papers. and that kind of cruelty, that kind of harshness not just far
away at the texas border but in all of the major cities in this country, that is going to leave an indelible mark on our country and i hope it is the law straw for some people who still think somehow this hasn't gone out of control. it has gone out of control, and the level of cruelty and harshness here is really immeasurable. >> but that is the point. the point is the cruelty. >> you know what though, i'm tired of that conversation because here's the deal, every -- >> 2,000, that's nothing, that's symbolic. >> every republican that stands silent, every host on other channels who say we're keeping ms-16 or 13, whatever the hell they're called -- they're all participating in a lie. they're participating in what laura bush described as internment camps, babies in jail. and donald trump is acting more like the blinker in chief. will he do this? >> talking about the picture in
every local newspaper, that's precisely what they want. >> but is it working? >> it works with his base. it shows he's actually doing something, despite everybody, including the supreme court, being against him. apprehensions on the border will be roughly 5,000 people. 2,000, that's a tiny fraction of 1%. it's purely symbolic to show they're the tough guy and they're getting people out so his voters see he's doing that. >> it's also becoming purely symbolic for us to sit here day after day after day after day after day with all of these documents, all of these statistics and say cruelty is the point. to what end? where are the democrats? why aren't we marching on these facilities? "the new york times" has done extraordinariy reporting. we started the week, i think peter was here monday, talking about extraordinary reporting partnered with the local paper at the border, about what border -- what has to break? what has to break for this to
stop? >> what you're feeling right now, i share it. it's a feeling of being alive at a time of atrocity. and that's what is happening right now. it does feel like we have this slow-moving human catastrophe and it's our names as americans. he started out by saying i will protect you from criminals and gangs and rapists and instead women and children and fathers dyeing for the sake of their children to try to get into this country. >> face down in the river. >> exactly. so this is actually something that has turned the tide for many americans who are politically in the middle. you have had hundreds of thousands of people in the streets on july 2 there was a day of action. there's another one planned for tomorrow. this is actually -- i mean, in some ways i think the democrats need to be much stronger. i think the fight that's going on between nancy pelosi and the squad really broke open around this issue, from how much of a blank check are we going to give this administration? but at the same time ultimately it's going to have to be
republicans. someone in the senate in the republican party will say this can't stand. >> grow a heart or something below the belt. jeremy bash, you ran two agencies filled with national security officials. what do you think the men and women who work in the agencies like the one you ran are thinking about this topic, this crisis, this humanitarian crisis right now? >> i know what they're thinking, nicolle, they're thinking it's wholly inconsistent with american values and their oath of office and constitution they're dutybound to uphold and sworn and often give their lives to protect and defend. i think we should just think about this afternoon a father and mother who dropped their child off at day care, i.c.e. sweeps in, arrests the kid at day care and the father and mother show up to pick up the kid and the kid has disappeared. or maybe even worse, if the father and mother are disappeared and nobody picks up that child at day care and that child is basically rendered an orphan by the state, by the
united states. that is actually what we are talking about in the context of internal enforcement by i.c.e. in america's cities. >> peter baker, thank you for your paper's reporting on these i.c.e. raids this weekend. i hope it serves as a flashing alarm bell for somebody in washington. thank you for spending some time with us. after the break, donald trump's favorite news channel fox news predicts a trump cabinet official responsible for the sweetheart deal for child sex trafficking epstein, we will go into that scandal. and the democratic front runner rolling out a scathing indictment of trump's foreign policy. and some of the biggest bold-faced names in the mueller report day as head of robert mueller's planned testimony on capitol hill. all of those stories coming up. look limu. a civilian buying a new car.
i watched the press conference, obviously, and then i read the transcript of it. when you read it, it sounds lawyerly and elegant. but it was not persuasive. i don't think he persuaded anybody that he did the right thing. >> your prediction, does he go or stay. >> who? >> acosta. >> i don't think he will be around by friday. >> we shall see. >> tomorrow's friday. >> yes. >> he woke up this morning wondering just how bad it is for donald trump's labor secretary alex acosta, who negotiated a sweetheart deal for jeffrey epstein when he was miami's top prosecutor. it is so bad fox news doesn't think he will last until the
weekend. adding to acosta's political problems, his reason for the lenient sentence for epstein doesn't pass much legalness either. the three former prosecutors outline it as nonsensical and disturbing. a main point how acosta got involved in the case because it had been left to the state's attorney general office, epstein would have walked free. it was so embarrassing that palm beach state's attorney released this statement -- i can emphatically state mr. acosta's recollection of this matter is completely wrong. federal prosecutors do not take a back seat to state prosecutors, no matter how my office resolved the state charges. the u.s. attorney's office always has the ability to file its own federal charges. if mr. acosta was truly concerned with the state's case and felt he to rescue the matter, woe ha matter, he would have moved forward with the 53-page
indictment his own office drafted. mr. acosta should not be allowed to rewrite history. joining us now "vanity fair's" emily jane buck. this seems like a story that will stay on a slow burn no matter what horrors the trump white house rolls out for us to focus on day in and day out. he was doing what axios described yesterday an industrial scale pedophilia operation and snared a lot of powerful people and donald trump was once in his social circle. >> donald trump was once in his social circle, president bill clinton, the prince from england was once in his circle. >> alan dershowitz. >> there is a very thick black book with a lot of powerful people in continue i'm sure there are many of those very thick, black books. i hope this stays on our radar. i think it's our responsibility to keep it on our radar. this is someone dealing with some of the most powerful people in the universe, some of whom are in the most powerful positions currently. he was trafficking children.
this is not something we should let go. i think this is something that if democrats are smart will continue to bring up and not let the president off the hook about. they should not let the labor secretary off the hook about it either. i think this will continue to unravel but we should help it continue to stay in the news as well. >> rick, i monitor fox news, that may be an overstatement, my time spent there, but i monitor fox news to see where the president will feel pressure and to see napolitano on "fox & friends," one of the president's most favorite programs say acosta doesn't make it to the weekend has to be the single worst data point for alex acosta in the last 48 hours. >> and he's had a record of being candid where he disagreed with the president. >> napolitano? >> yes, thank you. that's correct. but the thing to keep in mind here is two things, first of
all, the victims. secondly, the reason epstein plays into everything we've been talking about for two years is he's a person whom the rule of law doesn't apply. every stage he said i can get out of it. there was a story in "the new york post" today or yesterday that the nypd didn't monitor him from the year agreement here in new york city. he's a guy who's always gotten away with stuff. that's the social circle they're in, people who get away with criminality and are not punished for it. the fact is he will get his comeuppance and he deserves it. >> what about, ron klain this, idea acosta's story didn't hold up for 12 hours? he invoked state prosecutors who are alive and kicking violent able to put out statements correcting the record. he released documents where it's not abundantly clear those meetings in private hotel rooms happened or went down at the exact time, in the timeline he suggested or had the effect or lack thereof he suggested. he's now put out a story that
already seems to be falling apart. >> right, it did not hold up 12 hours, it didn't hold up 12 minutes. as you listen to him deliver this thing, judge napolitano rightly called an extremely lawyerly defense. he didn't notify the victims as federal law requires because there was no prosecution to notify them about because he chose not to bring a prosecution. that's just a crazily legal reason to defend what i federal judge ruled was a violation of federal law in its handling of the victims. but the real truth here is alex acosta is the kind of labor secretary only someone with a history of sexual assault like donald trump would put in the job in the first place. most of the stuff was known when he was picked, when the senate confirmed him. the crimes now being investigated in new york occurred years and years ago, a lot of them did. he's trump's labor secretary and the greatest, most crazy thing at all is he's now the federal official in charge of protecting against the trafficking of young
women in many professions. so we have a guy who blinked on this before in charge of enforcing the law now. >> jeremy bash, there is a stripping and thread tragically that runs through all of these stories in tone and tenor and even if there isn't a direct line between jeffrey epstein's conduct and anything that donald trump has described in media accounts, that he had a falling out with epstein, this is still in acosta someone who saw to it to be the architect of a sweetheart deal that let him essentially get off scott free, not notify his victims. acosta, of course, has a tie to donald trump. there's never -- forget about six degrees of separation, there are always only about two. >> and building on eiran's poin, nicolle, if he thought trafficking was a problem, if he thought modern slavery was something that should be prosecuted, should be outlawed, he would have fired acosta from the moment this story was revealed by the miami press
organizations, or i should say the except of ttent of the stor revealed. we already kind of understand the vetting of the story miss this, we get this. we get a lot of incompetent, unqualified and problematic individuals came into the administration. but now that the president has in the clear light of day all of this new information late out by his own justice department in these new charges, he should relieve acosta of his job. >> i'm going to ask you, and i will ask you what "fox & friends" asked their guests, do you think acosta -- i just don't see what the vehicle will be for pushing acosta out. there's nothing about the story so far that seems to have offended donald trump or melania trump or jared or whoever else has a vote in the west wing. >> no, the problem is we have two things donald trump loves. one, men accused of sexual assault. he feels an immediate affinity for them. he put one on the supreme court
for a lifetime appointment. two, shameless. acosta did not come out and say i apologized to the victims or i'm sorry to the victims. he came out and said i did what i did, i defend it. that is the new modus operandi donald trump has been to show the republican party this is how you deal with it. if you don't apologize, the democrats and media will just keep talking about it and then they'll have nothing else to do. it is a rubicon we passed in our politics and i don't know we're ever going to get it back, a sense of shame, a sense of some kind of dignity in the office, whatever it is. whether it's labor secretary or u.s. attorney in miami or president of the united states. i don't know we can get that back and certainly not while this man, who's been credibly accused of sexual assault by dozens of women, is still there. >> i guess my question about ivanka trump, there's so much reporting and i understand some pushed out by her associates around her role and influence when children in syria were
gassed, she got daddy to bomb the empty, abandoned airstrip. could she not get daddy to fire acosta? >> it's funny how influence works. i came back last week after the trip from japan and sitting in the meeting with kim jong-un and north korea, i said she's had such a powerful role on the world stage. what is your real for advocating for women and children. here's your chance to abdicate. and there was no response back. so her advocacy and voice in the white house is selective. this is somebody who carved out a role in the west wing where she's talking about issues like human trafficking and advocating for women in the workforce. how are you going to do that with a labor secretary who is accused of letting a guy that is trafficking young children go not that long ago? it's a very difficult line to try and walk. and she's not walking it very well right now. >> and you saw comments
specifically on her position about secretary acosta? >> i have not asked about this comment about this. this is something that i absolutely want to pursue but i have pursued this kind of inquiry for four years now. i have never gotten a satisfactory answer. >> when you get it, come back here. >> and share. >> not singling her out but she's the only one who, one, pushes out stories about her influence with her father. and two, has branded herself as the country's protector of women and children. >> and she works with secretary acosta on a lot of things. she appears publicly with him. >> if she's our protector of women and children, we're bleeped. >> can i make one quick point, there is one big hero in this story and "the miami herald." >> julie k. brown, absolutely. >> they stuck with the story. it was years old. they published thousands of lines of print about it. they stayed with it. that's the importance in this administration, of this kind of investigative reporting and courage to publish it. >> we had her on monday. she and the victims, one of them
spoke out to our colleague savannah guthrie yesterday. i imagine we will continue to hear from more of them. you're absolutely right. thank you for pointing that out. emily, thank you for spending time with us. we missed you. after the break, joe biden's plan to make america welcome again on the world stage. that story next. choice. aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid and the 12-hour pain-relieving strength of aleve that dares to last into the morning. so you feel refreshed. aleve pm. there's a better choice. ♪ (music plays throughout)♪ ♪
today i stand before the united nations general assembly to share the extraordinary progress we've made. in less than two years my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. america's so true. didn't expect that reaction but that's okay. >> didn't expect to be laughed at. of course, that wasn't from today. it's my understanding at the
moment donald trump is bellowing somewhere on the 18-acre complex about the census but it's tough to find another moment that so succinctly illustrates what donald trump's done to america's reputation on the world stage. laughter at the u.n. general assembly last year is a sentiment that has permeated the trump presidency from its early days right up until this week. as an example after the british ambassador resigned yesterday following a leak of his private cables with london in which he called the administration inept and uniquely dysfunctional, among other things, "the new york times" did some asking around. they wondered how many foreign representatives feel the same way. from that piece, quote, asked members of the washington diplomatic core about the cables and their response is uniform, we wrote the same stuff. could have been any of us, what ambassador said anonymously wednesday. so today using the u.n. clip has a scene setter, joe biden laid out his foreign policy goals and how they reverse some parts of what he calls the trump
doctrine. >> american foreign policy i think has to be purposeful and inspiring, based on clear goals driven by sound strategies, not by twitter tantrums. as president of the united states, i would remind the world that we are the united states of america, and we do not coddle dictators. the united states of america gives hate no safe harbor. there will be no more charlottesvilles, no more helsinkis. >> joining our conversation, elise jordan, former aid in the george w. bush white house and statement department. jeremy and ron are back. ron, we should mention, is an adviser to the biden campaign. i will let you start. what was former vice president's biden's objective today and did he achieve it? >> i think so, nicolle. look, the objective was to put foreign policy front and center in the campaign. you and i have both been in politics in the white house.
we know foreign policy is never a big split issue but often the most important thing a president handles. we think having a reckoning on the trump foreign policy, on the fundamental issue when the world is divided between free nations and unfree nations, it seems donald trump is batting for the other team way too of on. i think vice president biden today laid out his vision, i think laid out his values about what the country should stand for, what we should believe, both here at home and overseas, and i think he did that very effectively. >> let me put up what he laid out from a policy perspective. return of the press briefing, which i know some reporters were celebrating, strict conflict of interest rules for his administration against self-dealing. kind of amazing we need to put that on a list. and family separation and the muslim ban, reaffirm the ban on torture, global democracy summit on fighting corruption and authoritarianism, and forever wars in the middle east, including saudi versus yemen. return to the iran deal if iran agrees to compliance. jump-start talks with north
korea. ron, a lot of this is double-edged it would seem for former vice president biden. it's returning to a lot of what people liked most about the obama years and it's also undoing what a lot of people -- democrats and republicans, frankly -- feel is the damage being done by donald trump. how does he grab all of that, run on that, but also project what democrats say they want, which is a vision for the future? >> well, look, i think fundamentally the future involves america standing up for what it's always stood up for. i don't think those values are changing. i don't think democrats, even progressive democrats, want those values to change. they want to see new policies and initiatives. i think most of that is on the domestic front, which is why the vice president is talking about health care and climate change and other issues we need to make progress. but if we don't stand up for democracy, for the core values this country always believed in and values traz sendant in democratic and republican
administrations, we cannot make the progress we need to make on health care and climate change and all of these other issues. >> elise? >> it was a smart tact the way biden approached the speech looking at current domestic issues and tying them into a broader foreign policy agenda. it also helped him evade talk about his previous foreign policy record, namely iraq, and his role as the point person during the obama years and the drawdown, which some say led to the rise of isis in iraq. you have some shying about the particulars of his record and then going and looking at all of the problems introduced by the trump era and voters hopefully looking to him as a beacon of stability. >> jeremy, i thought what the vice president was smart to do was to include something that you and i kind of talk around a lot of days, when will a foreign leader say hey, i'm not going on a trip to washington, d.c. until they stop caging babies?
i'm not going to the united states until they abandon all of their legal appeals of the muslim ban. i mean, he really did take on, i thought, this idea america stops being america if donald trump gets his way out of some of his most extreme domestic policy proposals. >> that's right. the way vice president biden articulated it, it really is a foreign policy that is values based. donald trump has taken realism, real politic almost to a new extreme, to a mer can tillist extreme. everything is for sale. if you flatter trump or do a deal with him or put his brand name on a hotel in your capital, afs as it was planned to be done in moscow, you could have leverage over american foreign policy. i think joe biden epitomizes experience, competence, sanity as commander in chief. i actually think nobody who's running for president is more qualified to be commander in chief than vice president biden. >> i think today, rick stengel,
is an example of biden applying his strengths. i don't think any democrat is not comforted by the idea whether it's joe biden or another democrat, they will return us to these things that sounds so normal but in the time of donald trump aren't anymore. >> yes. one of the things he was trying to do, and this will be familiar to almost all of us here, is to use this idea that secretary carey used to say, there's nothing foreign about foreign policy. foreign policy is one of biden's strength but the idea is persuade americans why should i be interested in this? why should you be interested in this? this whole immigration crisis is a foreign policy issue. that has to do with our relationship with mexico and central america. why are you paying more at the pump or whatever, that's foreign policy. why are you paying more for all of these goods you're buying from china? that's foreign policy. tariffs are foreign policy. biden wants to explain to the voters to say, you know what, it's not just some strange foreign international thing. this affects my life every day
and i want a guy in my office who understands that. that is the subtext of his message. by the way p. it's o, it's one with. >> what do you think? >> i think it's interesting with the democrats on foreign policy. elizabeth warren tied it to corruption. she talked about in a similar way the idea of free and unfree. there are regimes that are corrupt and there are regimes that are uncorrupt. we want to make sure we're not in the corrupt camp. senator sanders did a big foreign policy speech. i think it's no longer the case -- and of course a number of american veterans running in the democratic primary. i think it's no longer the case democrats feel they need so cede any ground whatsoever to the government on foreign policy. i will say i want to see more from joe biden in terms of what his vision is that's different from not just repudiating donald trump, and that was hillary clinton's strategy. the list of things donald trump that are embarrassing is very long but doesn't necessarily win every state he needs to win. >> you want to see more? >> i want to see more of his own
vision that might be different from barack obama and different from donald trump. >> all right. by the way, we will see where biden stands in the democratic field in about 13 minutes when nbc news releases the latest round of its much-anticipated poll. first the after the break, things heating up on capitol hill in advance of robert mueller's planned testimony next week where house democrats voted today to subpoena key witnesses in robert mueller's obstruction of justice investigation. we will bring you that story next. (vo) the hamsters, run hopelessly in their cage.
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more people who have already spent hours with robert mueller and spent a fortune on lawyers in so doing. how many bites at the apple do they get before working on border loopholes and asylum? they also want to interview the highly conflicted and compromised mueller again. he said he was done after his last nine-minute speech and that he had nothing more to say outside babababa, everyone's back. you didn't miss anything. >> just start saying that from now on when reporting trump. it really works i think. i think that's\you know, the level of nonsense that we are subjected to. >> he was too pithy. he didn't write that. that doesn't ring true. >> he's under pressure. he doesn't like all of his people being spoken to. but at the same time it doesn't really change his behavior because nothing is ever going to change donald trump's behavior. so we're going to see him continuing on one rant after another. he might feel like the heat is, you know, the heat's turning up. but, you know, he's megalomaniac
who is so content in his power and will do absolutely anything and so i would say it's just more antics. >> it's just another example of him not understanding how the system works. it goes back to the census question. well, the supreme court has ruled. this is what congress does. they have oversight, they investigate. they are not trying to get another bite of the apple. they are trying to get to the rotten core of the apple, which is what mueller has been signaling. he doesn't understand that that's how the system works. i'm sorry to interrupt you. >> no. i just think that it's important for us to recognize that the house democrats are finally doing their job on this. we've all been talking about mueller here, but it's not what matters. it's the united states congress. now we are finally going to get some of that hopefully unless they decide to refuse the subpoenas. >> i hear jeremy jumping out of his skin. jeremy and then ron. >> one question looming is what is the democrats' strategy? are they trying to bring forward more facts that weren't in the
mueller report because testimony could yield those facts, and those facts might actually trigger more of a basis or a foundation for an impeachment inquiry or are they simply trying to illuminate what you already know. and i think either strategy has merit. i just would like to hear a little bit more from chairman nadler exactly which direction he's going on. >> well, jeremy, you're one of the smartest people in contact with those folks. what do you recommend? >> well, i think it's really beneficial if they think there's more facts to be had. otherwise i think they should let mueller kind of tell the story of the report and then make a critical decision about whether or not they think there's a basis for high crimes and misdemeanors inquiry. >> jeremy, i have a question for you because i wake up every morning. i flip through all the websites looking for stories. what is going on? we know what the republicans are doing. they are getting ready to smear and assassinate the character of a man who spent his whole life
in combat and vietnam, prosecutor, director of the fbi and then came back basically from private practice to serve as this country's special counsel investigating the russian attack on our democracy. the republicans are getting ready to smear and assassinate his character. what are the democrats doing? >> and to have somebody with the credibility of bob mueller explain in plain language exactly what donald trump's obstructive acts were. that i think is the part that's kind of known, but he has to describe it. >> then i think there is a category of new information like what do you think of bill barr, obviously, changing your report's conclusions. and second is fundamentally going after the issue of why do you feel it wasn't your responsibility to bring a criminal decision to a head in volume ii on obstruction? i think there that's obviously a tee-up for congress. >> ron, go ahead. >> go back to what rick said
about trump not understanding how the system works. i'm afraid he's learning how the system works unless the democrats change it which is the democrats issue subpoenas, his justice department makes up fake reasons not to comply with them, and then the democrats just issue more subpoenas. we are at the fork in the road where the democrats have to go to court and enforce these subpoenas and get court orders because otherwise they've issued more than 80 subpoenas so far, zero have been complied with. they issue 12 more today unless they go to court and fight to get these subpoenas complied with, all that trump is going to learn is that the subpoenas are just empty threats, and the democrats have to push and get this testimony they say they want, they need to go to court and get orders mandating it. >> we ran out of time. do you agree, yes or no? >> yes. >> very good. women always follow the rules. all right. we have to sneak in our last break. whoa. travis in it made it. it's amazing. oh is that travis's app?
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my thanks to elise, jordan, jeremy bash, most of all to you for watching. that does it for our hour. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts now. ♪ well, if it's thursday, it's "meet the press daily." good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington. we've got a lot of breaking news happening in this hour alone, including our nbc news "wall street journal" first look of the cycle of the 2020 democratic primary. we're going to have those numbers for you live in a second. you are also looking live at the white house where at some p