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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  July 19, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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feltman, thank you very much for joining us. and that brings this hour to a close for me. thank you so much for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. hello, today is july 19th. democrats are preparing for the arrival of special counsel robert mueller on capitol hill next week. their plans for his day of wall-to-wall testimony is becoming clearer, if donald trump were anyone but the president, he would be charged with the crimes mueller uncovered. a democratic staffer on the house judiciary committee told nbc news, quote, what's important is there is truly shocking evidence of criminal
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misconduct by the president, not once but again and again and again, that would result in any other american being criminally charged in a multiple account indictment. those would include the following flashpoints in the obstruction of justice investigation where democrats are planning to focus most of their attention next week. one, donald trump repeatedly directing his white house counsel don mcgahn to fire robert mueller. two, telling mcghan to lie about being asked to fire robert mueller when the news media reported on it. three, directing former campaign aide corey lewandowski to tell jeff sessions to limit the investigation. four, telling liewandowski to lt sessions know that he would be fired if he didn't cooperate and five potentially in hot water, hope hicks. house democrats ordering her back to capitol hill to clean up
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testimony she gave as being described today as inconsistent. it's around her role and knowledge about a lesh hush money scheme that helped send michael cohen to jail. documents released yesterday show hope writing cohen in a text message about the press activity around an article around donald trump's catch-and-kill operation when it came to women. and that is where we start with some of our favorite reporters and friends. with us at the table former u.s. attorney joyce vance, former acting solicitor general neil cattal and associate editor for real clear politics, and the rev al sharpton, host of "politicsnation" here on msnbc. he's also the president of the national action network. let me start with you two on mueller. it's hard to imagine a point in time, even in this presidency when democrats would have had to work to return the country's intention back to mueller. it was such a focus for not just
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the media, not just the democrats but for trump himself in the first term of his presidency. are they approaching this the right way, and do they have the right to bring the public's attention to the criminal conduct uncovered by mueller? >> i think the good news for the president is we're not discussing right now for the last few moments is the president a racist, now it's just are you a felon. >> he's got that going for him. >> the democrats are on the right path because the mueller report, it's 448 pages and really long and the people don't want to read something that long. but this is the first time americans will watch on television this guy, former marine mueller, establishment republican figure, and his report just in plane english lays out all of these examples of the president, a sitting president acting as a felon. so i think absolutely it's going to be a devastating day for the president. i think the democrats are right to finally focus on the rule of law. this isn't about politics. it shouldn't be about politics.
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it should just be about what did the president do and what are we going to do about it? >> i'm glad you raise that. i have felt like the democrats lost the frame around this. it was never about whether politics supported impeachment. it was never about well, he got away with this so we shouldn't focus on it. it should have always been about taking that report, flipping to any page with your eyes closed, and focusing on the nation's attention on how donald trump rolls. >> exactly. i don't care if they read the report, i don't care if they thought they would all lose their seats in congress, their job is to do their duty and to say this president committed crimes and the justice department is doing nothing about it. they're letting him go. they're giving him a get out of jail free card under this weird constitutional theory. so it's all up to us. even if it hurts us in the polls, this is our job. i hope that's the conversation we will start to see over the next week. >> you're the rule of law guy. i spent more of my time on the political side.
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from the political standpoint, i actually disagree. i think voters reward you for doing the right thing. from your perspective on the rule of law side of the ledger, is it clear to you when robert mueller stood up before god and country, which actually means something to robert mueller, we're so conditioned to someone who doesn't mean what they say or say what they mean -- >> i have no idea what you're talking about. >> donald j. trump for one. when robert mueller says if i could have found that the president didn't commit crimes, i would have said so. what the normal person can take from that is donald trump did commit crimes. >> absolutely. it was remarkable because the president right after the barr summary of the mueller report came out said the report found no obstruction, no occlusion totally surrounds the president and barr's summary suggested that was all right. now that we have the report, it says the reverse on the first couple of pages. mueller says look, if i could have cleared the president of obstruction of justice, would i have. that is devastating. the implication lies in the air
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and that's what we should be talking about wednesday. >> joyce, i have always felt like it was never -- when you're elected after the country heard you about grabbing women in the bleep, you're not someone who can be knocked over by a single scandal. the country has baked in your deviance. the country has baked into the equation all of your shortcomings and they kind of met with a mystery box and picked you anyway. if you take on top of donald trump's role of orchestrating and greenlighting a racist chant, next week the country will hear from robert mueller. the country, i think 54% of americans believe trump obstructed justice. that includes a whole lot of human beings that are part of that so-called trump base. and only 42% think he didn't. i guess most of his base could end up in that 42%. you have a clear majority to think he obstructed justice or
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attempted to obstruct justice. what do you think the implications will be of this hearing? >> it's interesting because neil points -- and neil is always right. file obligated to say that sitting next to him. but the democrats really let the republicans get the jump on them on the political side of the equation when the attorney general came out and gave the public misleading information at best about what the report said. so the question for the democrats is can they now months down the road reengage the american public, get people to pay attention and turn the tide about what they believe is contained in the report. this is the opportunity to let robert mueller read his conclusions in his own words, and i think that will be powerful. i don't think people will lose the point that this is someone who believes in the country, in the rule of law and in public service. >> let me go through some of what they're going to focus on. because it's been a little while since -- we've spent a lot of time on this. but let's go through some of what democrats plan to explore
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with robert mueller. first, just reminding people what the law is that he broke. this is a description of the law around obstruction, why it's a crime to obstruct in any investigation. the attempt to remove this special counsel, that would be these efforts, these first two flash points where he tried to get his white house counsel to fire mueller, would qualify as an obstructive act, it would naturally obstruct the investigation and any grand jury proceedings that might flow from the inquiry. a fact-finder would need to consider whether the act had the potential to delay further action in the investigation, chill the actions of any replacement special counsel or otherwise impede the investigation. we know from the footnotes of the mueller report this part of the probe was going on the longest. i mean, we have an interview with don mcgahn, who is a witness in this obstruction probe a week before mueller went into the doj and said he was done. >> i think that's right. the obstruction charges, mueller
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identifies ten possible areas for obstruction. the democrats have broken that into five areas but it's really three. the effort that involves getting mcghan to fire mueller, the effort that involves having sessions unrecuse himself and present any investigation of the president. and witness intimidation and pardon dangling, these have always been very clear just based on the evidence that's contained in the report. and now mueller has a chance to tell the country about it. >> i'm done asking on this program where are the republicans. we know where they are, right. they're bruce willis, they're dead and even at this point they know it in "the sixth sense." but what is the possibility that democrats regain their mojo around this clear-cut evidence of criminality? >> see, i respect the opinion here, the great counsel, but i'm very concerned about the politics of this. and that is because the war that
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we waged when the republicans get maybe half the time or more than an hour of the time, will be on the investigation of the investigation. and mueller bashing. the attorney general bill barr has mueller bashed with the best of them. said that he didn't think his legal analysis stood up. they had to apply the right law to his findings. he blamged him fed him for not a finding, essentially blaming turley, the special counsel. and it's very unprecedented for bob mueller to put something, memorialize something that he knew would get leaked, interpreting barr's conclusion in context, nature and substance, which is a four-alarm fire. i think he needs to be questioned in the anticipation of the republicans' attack on him about this process. can he defend his process? can he defend his team?
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what about peter struck and lisa paige and on and on. i think as taxpayers, we are owed that. he needs to stand up and answer questions about his longtime friend for three decades, bill barr, and this process, how it played out and whether or not he did misinterpret the findings of the mueller report and what concerns he has. is he concerned some of the remaining investigations might be quashed for political purposes by the current attorney general. if he thought so, would he and any of his colleagues conclude would they speak out? he only wants to say as he said in the foyur corners of the report, because of the coming republican attacks, he has to answer questions about this process. it can't just be the findings in the 448 pages. >> i don't want to skim over any of that. let's unpack it together. we know the answer to some of those questions. his uncomfort of barr's description of his own report was revealed in two letters we
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know of that he wrote. so we know the answer to some of ab's questions. >> or the last word after that. >> many, many tv interviews. >> can you both suggest how some of a.b.'s concerns get addressed? >> i think one thing that's really important as you're saying is barr -- after mueller turned in the report, barr said i think actually mueller could have reached a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice. he was free to do so. so, boy, now mueller is free to answer that question. he didn't think so when he wrote the report but the circumstances changed because of what barr himself said. >> am i missing something? if mueller had been forced to make a decision he would have found the president committed crimes and recommended charging him, right? if i'm mueller, i said you want me to make a decision, fine. here you go, recommended indictment. >> barr said that to cbs last month. so now i think mueller is free to do something he couldn't do back in march when he turned in
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the report. to me that's why the hearing on wednesday is an opportunity, even if mueller wanted to stay within the four corners of the report, barr himself has invited him to go further now. >> i want to unpack one more of your points because i don't think this gets another attention. there is -- i'm sort of a dabbler in fox news editorial content. but there is a threat that has run through that network's programming in the mornings and in primetime to the better part of two years around pete strzok. they have so primed their viewers to think this process is corrupt. and there is such -- there's zero likelihood that robert mueller's process was corrupt. and it would seem all of the investigations into the investigators have turned up nada. is it going to turn up again?
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that's what concerns me. >> this is what concerns me. i don't know when the ig conclusions will be released. so far nothing bad. but there are two current probes into the probe. what barr has done -- >> but, a.b., if they found anything, are you going to tell me rudy "i leak for trump" giuliani will do anything? >> he leaked a new investigation because he intends for it to last until the next election. you can always say this is under investigation. the only person who can speak about this on the planet is robert mueller and he has to answer these questions. >> i want to get you on the record about hope hicks. it turns out she has some inconsistencies in her testimony and i watched enough "law & order" on tv to know that's fancy, legaled-up word of lying. she lied about her role in thus money team. is she in trouble?
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>> i think she has to be. when you see this text by michael cohen -- >> let's read it, by the way. >> -- who's in jail, i think inconsistency is a nice way of putting it. she will have to deal with the text and the fact she said something that was absolutely the opposite of that. and they usually call that perjury in many places. i think that she has a problem there. i think sheless h has a problem michael cohen. they could be brought back to jail to clarify what the text meant to him, what led to the text will follow the text. so michael cohen may end up still being very relevant to the process of going after hope hicks. >> this is what cohen texted hicks. this is the day after "the wall street journal" reported on donald trump and karen mcdougle and effort catch and kill that story. this came out right before the election. i think two days before the election. so cohen wrote to hicks, who was
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trump's media guru. so far i see only six stories. getting little to no traction. hicks wrote to cohen. same. keep praying. it's working. we don't know what "it's" is. >> it was working, that's the problem. the connotation from it's working two days before the election is that the intent of killing the story was to save him for the election. >> correct. >> which therefore brings you into campaign finance and it means that the hush money was not just a guy who didn't want to know his wife that was cheating, it was about that election. that is where you go over the line into criminal behavior. >> joyce, she maintains she told congress the truth. democrats don't feel that she did. but to the rev's point, if you're talking about it's working, you're referencing some sort of strategy is proving effective and that strategy is the rev saying with what seems to be tied 48 hours before
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people go to the polls to keeping something quiet before voting day. >> these affairs the president had in the last six months, they were old. if he was trying to just protect his family to your point and conceal them, it's hard to see that happening right on the eve of the election, right after that "access hollywood" tape comes out. so i think all of the evidence builds towards this being an effort to conceal as we walk into the campaign. what i think the interesting question here is why did the sdny close up shop and walk away without prosecuting hope hicks? i suspect it's because of a quirk in this particular statute, the campaign finance crime who says the government has to be able to prove the defend knew what they were doing was criminal. not, for instance, they were violating this particular statute. but it was a crime. hope hicks, the novice of politics and novice of campaigning maybe gets off on that ground but that doesn't
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favor in congress if she lied about discreet facts she would be eligible for prosecution, whether or not there would be prosecution by a trump-appointed u.s. attorney. by this attorney general is a different question. >> soy count two now people very close to donald trump, donald trump jr. and now hope hicks, who may get away with criminality because of their ignorance. do i have that right or am i missing something? >> i think that's right, those two. the jury is still out as to why the prosecution wasn't made. yes, i think joyce could be right because of what they call criminal intent, mens rea, but it's also very possible given what this attorney general has done and cleared the president on obstruction in ways that make no sense whatsoever in writing that ridiculous memo that he wrote last year, that this attorney general is acting contentiously and protecting those who protected the president. >> just because you are two of the smartest people who helped us understand what happened the first two years, the trump presidency, i wonder what your
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advice is for democratic lawmakers going into this last weekend they have to prepare for the mueller hearing. >> the way you ask a question is almost as important as the question itself. these questions need to be sequenced in a way that will let mueller tell the story in his own words of what his findings are. it's really easy if you're the president to say no collusion, no obstruction. it's a little more difficult to explain what the misconduct was. democrats have to let mueller walk through that in a way that's comprehensible without this choppy back and forth we always see and hear. >> i say to the democrats, this isn't about you. don't grandstand. get to the truth. do the right thing. every time in american history when people stand up for the rule of law to do the right thing, they get rewarded to your point earlier. that's all they have to do. it's not about them. don't go play for the cameras. just get the facts. that's all the american people want. >> i guess i want to give you the last word here, rev.
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politics are, the myrrh occurian side of the thermometer, they slip through your hands. if you grab on too hard, they slip through. what are the parameters of the possible politics next week? >> the politics is you're looking at whether or not you can really establish with a public forum that mueller could not clear the president. so with all of -- i agree with her that the republicans are going to try to tear the investigation apart. you can't say we accept he said there was no collusion but the same investigators and all were wrong to say they could not exonerate him. they've got to stay on that and they have to keep the focus on mueller and the report and not grandstand and try to win votes and facebook likes. they've got to be very clear that we are here to get the truth and you have given us this report where you clearly said that i can see beyond a shadow of the doubt my investigation does not prove collusion but we
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cannot stay the same about obstruction. if he stays right there, they raised the level that we need the public to see that this president is possibly guilty of obstruction. otherwise, he could have had cleared him of that. the republicans can't have it both ways unless they let him have it. you can't see we believe you on a but you're incompetent and corrupt on b. >> that's a great point, a.b. the man who cleared trump on obstruction and collusion is the man they're going to blast as being corrupt? it doesn't pass the common sense test. >> no, it doesn't. they will attack the process. they agree with the findings, he was not charged with obstruction. the collusion didn't meet the threshold for evidence to make it legally conspiracy. but it was a sloppy process. the fbi is an infested hellhole and so is the doj and tell us about peter strzok.
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they're definitely going to torpedo the process to change the thought bz from what the democrats will ask, if it was citizen joe smith, would he be indicted? they have to taint the process so they're going to kill the messenger a little because they're going to talk about the probe of the probe the whole time. >> democrats have to make it clear, it was the same process, the same investigator, the same people. we didn't switch from a to b. it was the same process. forget soundbites and being on the evening news. stay on point. >> i hope they're all listening. after the break, that didn't take long. donald trump walks back the half-hearted walkback on his racist chants at his rally in north carolina. more on the fallout on the president's attacks on four minority congresswomen. also ahead, the stage is set for the next democratic debate and stakes just as high for front-runners as they are for the candidates in the back of the pack. we will discuss the latest in the 2020 field and in the hot
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we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. on many sides. racism is evil. and those who call violence in its name are criminal and thugs, including kkk, neo-nazis, white
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supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as americans. i think there's blame on both sides. you look at both sides, i think there's blame on both sides. and i have no doubt about it. and you don't have any doubt about it either. >> deja vu the friday edition. we thought we would take you back to trump's whip signing statements on the wake of the deadly violence in charlottesville. just like that with that racism crisis, trump is now muddying up his half-hearted disavow of racist chants that broke out tuesday night in north carolina. mounting a dissent today to reporters after just yesterday trying to claim he kind of sort of tried or kind of sort of wished they would stop chanting send her back about a minority congresswoman. >> president trump, you said you were unhappy with the chant. however the chant was just repeating what you said in your tweet. do you take that tweet back?
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>> you know what i'm unhappy with. i'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country. i'm unhappy with the fact a congresswoman can say anti-semitic things. i'm unhappy with the fact a congresswoman, in this case a different congresswoman can call our country and our people garbage. the people in north carolina, that stadium was packed. it was a record crowd. and i could have filled it ten times as you know. those are incredible people. those are incredible patriots. >> and we're back to the size of his crowds. joining our conversation, cheap white house correspondent for "the new york times," peter baker and at the table, editor and chief lydia is back. peter baker, you have written some of the most totally depressing features this week on the front of "the new york
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times" about donald trump's full love affair, full embrace of his election strategy, which is fan the flames of racial strife in this country. where are we at this hour? are we now disavowing the half-ass disavow from yesterday, is that right? >> well, i think your comparison is an atp one. he played it on both sides, denouncing neo-nazis and ku klux klan and the next moment seems to equate them from people on the other side. defenders say no, that's a misunderstanding of what he's saying. the problem is he says so many things and he seems contradictory so it's hard to say where is he coming down. i think where he's really coming down is he doesn't really have a problem with the chant. he sat there, listened to it and soaked it in. send her back is not that different from go back, the way he framed it a couple days earlier. and he believes in drawing red lines in the sand head towards
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next year's election. this happens to be a line about what america is and how it seals itself. is the america his vision of his youth and relatively homogenous, largely white america? is it americans changing, evolving, becoming more die sflers diverse? he's playing to the resentments of the crowd. a lot of people think that's true. >> the book ends, one of your piece that went online sunday night, i believe in monday's paper, and the paragraph that i think will stick in my brain for a long time. donald trump woke up sunday morning and looked out at sort of all of the racial strife, kindling i think is the word you used, struck a match and lit it on fire. where did the rest of the week take us? >> well, he got a big can of kerosene and keeps dousing it to make sure the flames are going. he does not see race as a national wound to be healed.
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he sees race as yet another issue to be talked about, exploited, taken advantage of for political purposes. he sees a lot of resentment among his supporters towards the way america is evolving and he sees that as an advantage to his possible campaign -- his campaign for next year. and, you know, there's a country right now that is torn about how it's evolving. he's not by himself. he has a lot of people out there who do feel, you know, disenchanted or left behind or what you have, and they blame the things that have been happening in the country over the last number of years and he's appealing to those people to say i hear you, i understand what you're saying, we will mkek america great again by making america of what it was in the past. >> rev. >> i think what we're looking at first of all is every playbook on how you deal with racism and
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demagogue that uses racism. he's using everything play, playing on feelings, knowing people are feeling that we're not being protected as whites, that they are coming into our country. they're doing this, that and the other. he plays on this bigotry. he's always done it in his whole public career in new york. the only race case he ever opened his mouth for -- and i'm talking about where the whole city stood against a racial act, the only one he stood is when five young men were falsely accused and donald trump called for their execution. he is who he is. for him somebody came yesterday and said, some group and said, you got to modify this. independent voters that voted for obama and may vote for you -- >> do you buy that. >> . >> i think he tried to modify it but that's not who he is. so today said no, forget what i said yesterday. these are good people. he did charlottesville, good
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people on both sides. they became the good people again. he tried to shift from the chant of send her back, which was a blatantly racist chant, to trying to blame her and make her the anti-semite and racist. it's the same playbook every segregationist played in the south when dr. king was marching. blame them. don't blame us. the chant came from his crowd and it emanated from what he said, send them back or go back. that is the issue. the issue is not of congresswoman omar. the issue is what he said and what others said about congresswoman omar and the other three, and they said it because of who they are and what they are. >> lee, i don't question any "the times" reporting on this. there are reports in "the times" and "the washington post" there were some jitters in the republican party. i'm sure that people reported jitters. i just don't believe that they exist. >> i actually think that, you know, ivanka or somebody went to him and said, daddy, your racism
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is showing. its like when your hip fat shows. it's not like i don't have hip fat. i want the shirt to hide it. they're not upset trump is a racist and his crowd is now out and proud. i think if your lips were moving, you're a racist now too. there had to be some people in the room whose lips didn't move and i'm not calling them out. but everyone who answered the refrain, you're on the hook with this republican party and this president. but i just never bought -- at least the charlottesville disavowel brought him to a teleprompter speech. we didn't even take the disavow because i never bought it in the first place and i don't buy anyone in the republican party has any problem with what's happening. >> this is really a grand return. i mean, we had a through line on race in this country where it was at one time acceptable to basically say i don't want black people to go to school with my children. i support segregation.
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eventually that winded its way into all kinds of political and economic policies whose end result was black people were executed from opportunity, black people were absoluted from being able to be elected into office, being able to go to school where they wanted but did not have the sharp end of the stick of racism. i think what you see is the paul ryans of the world and other republicans who are appalled by this don't actually see the through line, that there's essentially been a translating of open racial politics into a set of policies that, frankly, end you up with the same thing. so what donald trump laz has done, he brought us back around to where we will just call it what it is. there's not a huge base for the republican party, selling tax cuts and things like that. bringing it home at natism, i think donald trump sees that as good politics. >> lindsey graham yesterday
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tweeted -- something i learn, if you're a republican nominee for president, you will be accused of being a racist. like that of george wallace, it come with the territory. i was on the bus when the attack from marvin lewis came out. lisa salters was on the bus as well and a few others. we didn't take off when the campaign came out because john mccain was devastated. the difference between john mccain and donald trump are too vast in the time we have remaining and meghan mccain has spoken out this week forcefully and eloquently about lindsey graham and all of his trespasses. but this one, and i thought to make a list of all of the enablers this week, again we only have an hour, this is not the same. this is not the same. i worked for george w. bush who after katrina there was a lot of racial despair directed at him. a lot of finger pointing. the difference is george w. bush and john mccain were gutted by
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the criticism and did everything to prove that their critics were wrong. donald trump is like a pig in you know what. >> this is about everyone around him saying the president is not a racist and all of the boeps in his body talk is so ludicrous, if you use race to divide people and you say racist things, you're as dangerous as a racist, if not more. maybe a quiet racist is less dangerous than you. what lindsey graham is doing, who once called him a race-baiter and things he called trump in 2015, is making up stuff to make the president feel better. this is a really -- this is a tough place for republicans. nicolle, they did actually try to tell the vice president we're in a jam, we can't defend this. where is this going? we can't let this define us. each time they go back and have a huddle with the president and disavows and disavows the next day the disavowal. but what republicans know this time, this is only the middle of
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july and they have to go to the first of november next year and this is going to get so much worse. they are just trying to see if they can mitigate it, a threat they know will consume their electoral prospects. a lot of trump voters, they're cult numbers of the trump cult, not congressman snodgrass' coalition. and this is dangerous and they know it. whether or not they confront him and have the guts to change him, we know they don't. >> before you go, he want to ask you about iran, the administration digging in against iran, warning them not to do anything, quote, foolish as tensions are escalating. what are you learning about today's developments? >> of course we have reports iraq has seized two ships, two tankers in the gulf there. one british flag and one liberian flag. this is an escalation, of course, of the events we have been seeing over the past few months. just yesterday president trump
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and the pentagon told us american forces shot down an iranian drove. so we see the ratcheting up of tensions in the gulf that's very worrisome. nobody know where's it will go. at the same time we see this very interesting dance with the president going on who told rand paul, senator from kentucky, yeah, it's okay if he wants to try to see if he can find a deal with iran. senator paul wants to talk with former ministers of iran, who we have not had real contact with since the president took office, and see if there's any kind of opening for a diplomatic negotiation. you see very interesting coddle of events, worrisome, leading to something more dangerous and the president who wants to open the door and using senator rand paul in possible tweets. >> joyce, i don't feel bad for any american adversary to figure
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out donald trump. but i feel bad for our allies. there's a flexive desire when you're in crisis to stand with america. where do we stand today? where are we? >> this is what we all feared. it's bad enough having the president in charge of the country as we deal with domestic issues t issues. the fear has always been a major conflagration and the democrats have to get through the rest of it. >> watching peter baker and wondering what's going on. peter baker, thank you for spending time with us. when we come back, the democrats get ready to take their places on the stage for the second debate. we will tell you who's standing where and what it means for the face-off. ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination. most people haven't driven a lincoln. discover the lincoln approach to craftsmanship
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the lineup for each night in the next democratic debate are now set as we saw with the performances lasts month, who you're on stage with can be crucial for creating moments that resonate with the voters.
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a few things to look for. night one will feature both bernie sanders and elizabeth warren as well as add a new face to the mix, montana governor steve bullock. night two get a chance to see joe biden and kamala harris face off or not again. this time the front-runner will be standing between harris and cory booker. both of them have challenged him on race. the stakes are high and "the washington post" writes this -- quote, the primetime democratic debate in detroit late this month could be a season finale for as many as half the candidates who have made the stage, as they struggle to meet the higher qualification requirements that go into effect for later gatherings. everyone is back. lydia, two things we should point out, no diversity on the first night, and i think harris, i don't know that she benefits with all of the focus being on will she or won't she? she should be held to a higher standard because of her performance last time.
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i don't love this arrangement. >> the bar is going to be very high for harris on that second night, right. because biden will be ready. he's going to be waiting for that to come. any race issue that comes up, you're going have an expectation that she's going to be the person that will come out swinging. i don't think now that she put herself in the upper tier, that she actually wants to do that. the other factor you have got is cory booker, who's down in the polls, really has nothing to lose. if he has breakout moment, how does she respond to that? >> that is going to be the real challenge because if i was advising harris, and i'm not, i would want her to show she can be more than one that attacks, but she can deal with policy and she can give a vision, like elizabeth warren did the first night of the last debate. but if booker attacks, does she risk looking like she's not as aggressive? does it hurt her with a lot of the voters who want to see the
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fight? so it puts in a very awkward position if i was on the team, i would not want her on the stage with biden at this time and booker. you also have to look with julian does, castro, who did come after other people -- >> also on the second night. >> the second night. and bill de blasio who kept interrupting last time and made some attacks. if i'm biden, i stand back ready for all of the attacks look like i'm taking on the whole stage. the real one -- and i agree with her who has the problem, is how does kamala harris, who everybody is going to be focused on, does she look like she's being the statewoman or look like she couldn't come for the second fight in the rematch and hit the champ. that's going to be a hard needle to thread. >> the thing is, rev, he's a very shrewd political analyst. that's exactly what i was going to say. >> wait, i have another one for you then. speak to the lack of diversity on the first night. if i'm on that stage --
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>> look, it was a random draw. it's nobody's fault. >> i'm not blaming anyone. >> the interesting thing about the first night is you have bernie and warren with a sea of moderates. i'm begging the moderates to please challenge them to the revolution versus beating trump argument that we know so many people are worried about in the party from the leaders to governors. everyone is panicked about how far left the party is going off a cliff and these litmus tests and all of this stuff that sounds really radical and is scary. so i hope on the second night there's a discussion of what i hope will be a debate in the first night about moderate versus -- appealing to the center versions a revolution. i do think the people who invested in joe biden are worried he must come out and be confident and not scared. maybe he's not quite ready. julian castro and cory booker had great nights. bill de blasio is the most annoying person on the debate stage of all time and he will
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start screaming. biden has to be ready for all of that and maybe a surprise from someone else. but i has to show confidence he lacked the first time and it very much spooked a lot of people that he doesn't really have -- i don't know if he's going to fight the progressive argument but this if you're going to be the electable one, be the electable one. don't looked spooks. >> i will say on the fif night it will be interest to see if warren is able to distinguish herself from bernie sanders saying i'm not the socialist, i'm a capital it. this is a big opportunity for her. >> how do you deal with the progressive leader? do you allow the progressive leader to be the nonsocialist? you will have several internal battles between the first and second night over who leads what silo in the democratic party. a lot of that will governor behavior. i have been on that stage in 2004. and a lot of times you're playing to the home crowd and the audience at the same time. when become back, democrats
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so but they also are buying the line. the republicans saying democrats are not helping us.
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they won't come to the table. they won't fix it. we need to have ill congratulations reform. this is going to n be a long ti till november. democrats have to come to the table on this. >> but i think that the part of the answer is you have the politics and then you have the morality and you have how we are going to be perceived by the world. elijah cummings' statement, the passion and the power stopped everybody, which stunned me was that the dhs guy had no answer. he was met with other -- somebody is accusing you directly of children having to sit in their own feces for days and can't take a shower. and you have no response? you don't even say, of course they're human beings, of course we should do something. nothing. i mean, he just sat there like -- and like so what. and that is the problem that i think that they're going to face even politically. because they're going to have to answer that if people keep doing the elijah cummings. >> we are going to sneak in our
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okay. this is really important. this sunday just three days before robert mueller testifies before congress, check out our special "the mueller report: what you need to know" right here on msnbc. in the meantime, my thanks to joyce, lydia, a.b., and most of all to you for watching all week. >> it was a tough week, right? thanks for sticking with us. that does it for this hour. i'm nicole. "mtp daily" with my friend chuck todd starts right now. ♪ if it is friday, we are taking another spin in the trump cycle. first the president disavowed the "send her back" chants at that rally. but now he is pretty much disavowing the disavowal. also democrats are dan

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