tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 22, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
and you can catch me on twitter, instagram, snapchat. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. wednesday will make 89 trips before congress that is, when robert s. mueller appears on capitol hill wednesday, it will mark his 89th appearance before congress. according to "the new york times," that's the most among initial ever. if that's the case why is everyone from the president to the democrats to mueller's closest allies so darn anxious about it? from the president the explanation comes as a close friend and ally who describes him as, quote, the sun king who loathes anyone and any moment that blocks the spotlight from him. it's also possible even the president can't predict what hours and hours live wall-to-wall coverage of robert mueller testifying about the president's efforts to obstruct the investigation into the
russian attacks on our election will do to his political standing. from mueller's allies it's a concern that mueller, who sticks to the facts and only the facts, will outmatched by the tribal politics of this moment. and for democrats the knowledge that the long-awaited testimony offers them their last and only chance to gain traction on a public message about donald trump's criminal conduct in thwarting the investigation and the trump team's 150 unexplained contacts with russians. jerry nadler, chairman of house judiciary and adam schiff, chairman of house intels, the two committees before which mueller will appear, weighed in. >> the president and attorney general lied to the american people about what's in the mueller report. i believe when people hear what's in the mueller report, we will be in a position to begin holding the president accountable. >> that's a pretty damning set of facts that most american people are not familiar with.
of course, the president keeps on trying to deceive them about those facts but who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigation himself? >> "the new york times" is out with their list of questions for mueller. here's are a few of those -- if mr. trump were an ordinary citizen, would you have found there's significant evidence to charge him with obstruction of justice? do you believe president trump cooperated with your investigation? how many witnesses refused to cooperate? and this one, did you intend for your report to serve as a referral for congress for possible impeachment proceedings? the president didn't miss an opportunity to smear mueller this morning in the oval. it was full of lies, so we will fact-check it for you on the other side but we're showing it to you because it underscores his anxiety. >> no, i'm not going to be watching, probably. maybe i will see a little bit of it. i'm not going to be watching mueller because you can't take all of those bites out of the apple. we had no collusion, no obstruction. we had no nothing.
they're wasting their time. and robert mueller, i know he's conflicted. there's a lot of conflicts he's got, including the fact his best friend is comey, but he's got conflicts with me too. he's got big conflicts with me. >> despite trump's claims to the contrary, here are the facts. robert mueller, who trump called highly conflicted, is in fact a lifelong republican with no conflicts of interest that would have excluded him as serving as the special counsel. trump's own staff has told him this is so. that's according to their on-the-record testimony which is then repeatedly cited in mueller's report. as for trump's claim mueller found no collusion, no obstruction, that's also far from the truth. here's what mueller actually concluded in his own words. >> if we had had confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. >> trump's smear machine versus the democrats' reluctant witness
is where we start with some of our favorite reporters and friends. with us at the table rick wilson, author of "everything trump touches dies." do you update that every week? >> the paperback had a lot of updating. it probably needs to be a six volume series. >> i have more. and "the new york times" white house correspondent annie karni is back and former assistant director for counterintelligence at the fbi, frank figliuzzi. frank, we start with you as we do on so many days, take us where you see this buildup, obviously anxiety building on the part of the president but i think it would be -- i think it's fair to say there's anxiety among mueller's close allies and there's some anxiety or at least recognition that the stakes are pretty high for democrats as well. >> stakes are high on both sides. and for those of us who are fans of bob mueller and understand he's a man of unquestioned integrity, i think one of the concerns we have is he's going
to get attacked. he's going to get attacked by the gop members who are more interested in trying to kill the messenger then get to the messenger's findings and i will be keeping track at home or on the air as to how many times those gop members actually ask questions that have nothing to do with mueller's findings but rather serve as a distraction to attack him or origins of the case. for the democrats, look, we've always said there's value in having mueller repeat portions of the report, but i can't emphasize enough how important it is to craft questions that get him inching outside of his report and talking about things like why there were apparently different sets of rules for him versus for the attorney general? and whether the attorney general pulled the rug out from under him or not, and what that looked like and whether or not when you say no obstruction, no collusion, whether that's actually true. so that's crucial if we're going to get beyond this confirmation bias, people simply want to hear
what they want to hear. they align themselves with people who think like him. if we're going to get beyond that on wednesday, we have to get mueller going outside of the report. >> i want to sort of crack this open and pull a little bit of this out with you, frank figliuzzi. i don't think there's any better use of our time than sort of preconditioning people to hear the spin for what it is. the same group of people who took mueller's report and celebrated that no criminal conspiracy was charged will be committing, you know, what is sort of political -- political crimes, if you will, to then impugn the credibility of mueller on other questions. i guess i'm old enough to remember when a messenger was to either be believed or discounted but not to take a messenger and sort of chop up his findings. just lay out the stakes for the republicans who have held up the fact no criminal conspiracy was charged on the collusion with
russia, made clear through the 150 contacts detailed in volume one, and to call the same messenger or same man who exonerates trump on the conspiracy with russia somehow a liar or discredit what he found on the obstruction volume. >> they got to try to strike this balance, this delicate balance between being accused of just jumping all over an american hero, decorated combat veteran, homicide prosecutor, fbi director for 12 years, assistant attorney general, you know, how much can you bash this man who served the public so honorably without getting criticized for doing it? i think they're going to stretch that envelope to the max, and i think there's a tremendous risk of it backfiring on them. the other thing to note is, look, those of us who work for mueller know he will push back. he will give you the look, he will turn the facts around on you. and i don't want to be that person because many of us have been on the other side of the
conference table in the hoover building when he's not happy, and he will win that dispute. so they need to be ready for that as well. >> annie karni, your paper had some great reporting out today and some great analysis of where the real opportunities are to get some questions. i read a few of those questions at the top. but there are still unanswered and unexplored areas around -- again, i think your paper's done some reporting on the two letters that we know about that mueller sent to back after the report came out. just talk about how vital that period is between mueller concluding his report, turning it over with that sort of nonconclusion, conclusion around obstruction. and when the actual report came out, there was a period when mueller's investigators were known to express some discomfort to allies in congress who would have appeared to have written a couple letters to barr himself, to have at least one phone call with barr that barr was asked
about. just talk about that period where we know mueller was uncomfortable or some people on mueller's team expressed discomfort with how are b.a. was talking about his findings. >> that period was incredibly important to how the report they spent two years on got framed. and mueller came out with a quick letter in which kind of set the narrative that there was no crime here committed, this is where trump got the no obstruction, no collusion rallying cry. and that set the narrative. the report came out later but the stage had already been set. mueller met with him twice. in mueller's only public statement to date is the ten-minute statement on the final days of special counsel when he gave that quote you just played saying if there had not been a crime committed, we would have said so. that seemed to be an implicit corrective for barr to blame trump's attempts of firing the special counsel out of frustration, not any criminal
intent. so there does seem to be a disagreement here on intent, and this could be some of the questions "the new york times" published today that would be good to ask him, is this daylight between him and barr an area that hasn't been explored and he might talk about. some of them are wishful thinking he will give the democrats a sound bite they want, basically saying but for a doj statute, i would have indicted the guy. that's very unlikely to happen and democrats are have been lowering expectations. no one expects that soundbite. but this area of what he told barr in private meetings, what he told barr in two meetings, one public, one wasn't, this might be where we get more answers and light. >> this is from the mueller report that seems like the kind of episode he could literally flip to any page and read from it and coming from robert mueller's mouth broadcast wall to wall would do an amount of
damage we cannot predict. we cannot predict how that little swath of the country that is not hardened in either direction will take this information. here's the passage. the president called mcghan at home that night and then around his intents and desire and will to fire mueller, the president called mcghan at home last night and then from camp david. the evidence accordingly indicated the news that an obstruction investigation had been open is what led the president to call mcghan to have his terminated. the president knew he should not have made those calls to mcghan after the media reported on the president's actions, he denies he ever ordered mcghan to have the special counsel terminated and made repeated efforts to have mcghan deny the story. all of those evidence of those two examples are detailed and footnoted and none other than chris christie is one of the witnesses in the president's for robert mueller.
my question to you is what sort of dam can break in terms of giving the democrats some momentum in calling people like chris christie, lewandowski and others named? >> i think this is going to be reticent of who knows the most about this thing and there's a risk the republicans will be too cute by half and robert mueller will chapter and verse them out of this and say no, in fact, one, two, three. no one's read this report. almost every person sitting on that panel has not read this report. robert mueller knows it. >> our viewers have read the report. i'm saving you, i'm here for you because whenever says no one's read it, i get a million emails. so my viewers have read it. >> and donald trump knows it. that little nervous moment this morning i might watch a little -- no, donald trump will
be glued to the screen with an iv dripping to a catheter. he will not move. this guy will not budge. he will watch every aspect. he's expecting his show republican allies to do the show trialing thing and skin care and rendering of garments. they need to be distracted. fox isn't covering the hearings. >> really? >> that's how scared they are about what could happen. they apparently are not taking them live. everybody else is taking them live. live tv wall to wall, things break loose. things happen. robert mueller has things in his pocket. look, i don't think he's going to say here's the smoking gun ip cot give you because of william barr but i think he's going to say bill barr put his thumb on the scale. it's evidence bill barr put his thumb on the scale. robert mueller did not write that letter because he was happy the way things came out. we have a weaponized department
of justice to protect donald trump. >> karine, i have been critical of democrats for not claiming that moment when it came out. i have been vocal on this show and private. but i think they successfully have done to things in advance for wednesday. lowering expectations to below-ground level. nancy pelosi has taken impeachment off the table. i think there are up to 90 still for impeachment but this isn't about impeachment wednesday. and lowering expectations for even the remotest possibility bob mueller goes beyond the four corners of this report. >> and that's exactly it. it will be hard to get robert mueller outside the four corners of the report. to go back to what rick said for a minute, the reason bob mueller did the nine-minute press conference is because of what william barr did and how he narrated and took over the robert mueller report. so he went out there. look, we are also going to have a reluctant witness. yes, this is mueller's 89th time
being in front of congress but he doesn't like partisanship. we're going to see some of that, especially from the gop. it is going to be really an amazing moment. it's going to be five hours. we only heard it from nine minutes before and it's going to be wall-to-wall coverage. and democrats have to be really smart about this. the questions have to be smart. they can't grandstand. they have to let him do the majority of the speaking and talking and just let mueller lay it out. yes, while the 4:00 viewers who are watching, many people have. we have seen polling that only 3% of people have read it. >> look what i wanted to do and we don't have the time so i will ask flank to ta frank to take us through some of this. the nine minutes, mueller did that as his good-bye, america. he hoped that would be the last time he had to do anything publicly. i see frank nodding.
frank, if you look at the ripple -- if you look at the mueller statement as a pebble thrown in the pond, that ripple rippled to the oval to donald trump, it rippled to congress where some of the regrets spilled out to the public about not seizing the richness of the narrative told in the mueller report, not seizing the airwaves, not telling the story and reading from his report and focusing the public's attention on all of the horrible conduct and unflattering anecdotal evidence in the mueller report. if you take those nine minutes -- and i'm not good at math, but we're going to have a factor of i don't know what, someone good at math will tweet it to me, he will be on tv for five hours. you take that ripple and draw it out. we don't know what we don't know about the effect of wednesday's testimony. >> so the time is on the side of
the questioners. by that i mean mueller's history on the hill that's been to first be reticent to answer with yes, no, i will talk to you later about it offline, that kind of answer. but when you come back at him, when the members come back at him and say no, i want to ask this a different way. or i want you to understand i have to ask this question and i need an answer, he ultimately respects that oversight. that's the difference between mueller and others we are seeing. and he will answer the question. but the members need to understand, they might have to ask it two, three times and in different ways and then implore him to answer the question. this gets to the notion of duty. one of the questions -- boy, all kinds of commentators hit all the right questions to ask. one question i want to see mueller asked is, mr. mueller, why are you here? why ultimately did you agree -- i understand there are subpoenas. i understand you may have felt like you had to do this, but
ultimately you could have said no. the attorney general said publicly if you wanted to say no, the doj would back you on it. the administration is not complying any subpoenas. why, sir, are you sitting here today? it's the notion of duty he will respond with. he will tell the american people i'm here not because i love doing this, but because i love the american people and the system and i felt it was my duty to get here and answer your questions and tell the american people what i found. that's the question he needs to be asked. >> annie karni, i just want to ask you to put moment in the contents of the stories you have been writing. last week you had a story with your colleague maggie hagerman about his ties. and at the end of last week we're searching for clues about michael cohen and how donald trump became an indicted co-conspirator in the southern district of new york for campaign finance violations and
ring of crime that helped send michael cohen to jail. the timing of this isn't great for donald trump. he might be the only person who runs a racism campaign to distract from a criminal probe. >> well, last week's rally was originally intended to be the counter programming mueller rally. >> that's right, i forgot that. that's right. >> the send her back chants, that was originally scheduled on the same day as mueller so mueller got rescheduled so the counter day rally became a regular programming day rally. now trump is dragging it in week two into the fights against the four women, congresswomen of color who call themselves the squad. he clearly thinks this fight with the squad is working for him and mueller might be actually a disruption of this. but he set this all almost accidentally on twitter now more than a week ago, and he has
continued against the advice of his daungt, against the advice of republican congressmen to continue it. he thinks this is working for him. we will see if mueller has a break in that news cycle or this is just a version of this. what i suspect will happen we will see a version of this playing on social divisions that has been a long strategy that will take different faces but he will continue throughout the election. >> we will pick up that story on the other side of this break. frank figliuzzi, thank you for spending some time with us. we will be calling on you early and often this week, i'm sure. after the break as annie was alluding to, doubling down on doubling down. donald trump and mike pence and gop throw more gasoline on the race prices they created last week. now at least they have an appropriate spokesperson. we will show you stephen miller's grilling by fox news. the puerto rican crisis. as the people of puerto rico take to the streets to demand
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oogsds you. he's done trying to explain himself, finished disavowing the disavowels. now confirmed with overwhelming pushback on his racist comments last week, he's trying a different tactic, i'm rubber and you're glue, attempting to turn the tables on twitter, including the people he attacked last week of being the real racists in the story. including an in depth look at
trump's rieshl divisions from "the new york times" to the political fallout of the self-made crisis in "the washington post" and the mad dash to contain the damage his staff undertook. "the post" writes it this way -- if i wrote new talking points and headed in reams of opposition research to the four congresswomen, focus on behavior, not identity. some would see a racist agenda, the argument went, but at least it would not be so explicit. and apparently that was the part of the report that made trump so mad. never mind both newspapers described him as racist, including in their headlines. trump got mad that they wrote he needed papers or notes or talking points, tweeting, really, does that sound like me? what advisers? there were no talking points of the reams of paper were never given to me. i made it up all myself, i'm my very own racist. not just donald trump adequately
defending his message. his surrogates can't even do it either. here's trump's mini me miller accusing trump's targets of doing it again and again and again. >> she's saying america if her view right now is garbage. >> i want to put something up on that regard. i want to put up a tweet from donald trump from 2014. he wrote -- the united states under president obama has truly become the gang that couldn't chew straight. everything he touches turns to garbage. that isn't aoc, that's donald j. trump. >> you're at this interview, chris, you're continuing to conflate. donald trump's criticisms of president obama versus aoc's deep and systemic criticisms of the country itself. >> joining our conversation, waugh nita toliver, director for campaigns -- i mean, i can't. throughout this interview, chris, who is he?
what is this? >> a racist. >> come on, go. >> pretty much he's a racist. >> when they let stephen miller slither out to a tv set, he has to come out from his den every six weeks to feed or whatever. he does such a terrible job. you know he does it because he's playing to the audience of one. he wasn't giving the president any favors there and that's what this white house particularly does. the whole line they're the racist, they're the stupid ones. no, it's always projections with trump. it's always this, i'm rubber, you're glue thing. but this is a guy who cannot stop and his minions cannot stop going out and giving it away all the time. p even david duke is calling dial back, bro. he's so far over the edge. but the trump administration has stuck with this as their leader speaker for the weekend. it's not a good look.
>> juanita? >> i think this is the thing we're going to keep hearing throughout 2020. trump is not backing down on this for a number of reasons. one, he believes it. and he has a track record of behaving this way throughout history. the discriminatory practices against his father, him leading birtherism against barack obama, calling out african-americans. i'm looking at america how are you just all now getting to the point he's a racist when the evidence's been there for decades? >> annie, this is great reporting for you and handful of your colleagues. i will read a little, over decades in business, entertainment and now politics, mr. trump approached the racial and ethnic divisions opportunistically, not as a nation's wounds to be healed but opening to achieve his goal whether they be ratings fame, money, power, without regard for adverse consequences. take us through your reporting in that piece. >> we kind of looked back
trump's career in the light of the four congresswomen and put them in context who this guy has been from his days as a real estate developer to how he approached his entertainment career on "the apprentice," to the presidency. and there's a through line. and we talked to, i don't know, there were five of us in the report. more than 20 people who have dealt with him over the years. and there's two things going on. one is -- i spoke to al sharpton and charlie rangel, these are african-american leaders in new york city who knew trump for decades and said he never said anything overtly racist to them but he never seemed to feel comfortable in gatherings of black people. it wasn't where he came from. this was a guy from queens who was not used to to being around black people in certain scenarios. on "the apprentice" he had this controversial idea of dividing teams into a black team and white team and having them compete. he knew -- he floated this idea
on "the howard stern show" and a guest there said that would start a race war. but his response was, it would be great ratings. so he sees things through a lens of opportunity and that's what we are seeing in this fight. he's not tweeting about being accused of air racist and saying they're the racist, but what he sees here is he thinks a political opportunity to have a foil, to tie the democrats to these -- to the progressive wing of the party, to make it and play with a racial fault line and we will see what happens. this is a strategy he used for decades. >> karine, one of the -- and it's difficult to sort of map the sentiments at the heart of trump's arguments in a smear like this because it's so ugly. we didn't rebroadcast them. we did not want to amplify them. but to understand where center back came from, there was a direct line for hatred of
america, you heard it from kelly owe connelly, basically as the mentor for hatred and she got right at it, we're sick and tired of america coming last. but this idea of people attacking america and, therefore, they should go back actually has its roots in donald trump's political attacks. watch this. >> you know what i'm unhappy with? i'm unhappy with the fact a congresswoman can hate our country. the american dream is dead. >> i'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-semitic things. >> i don't want your money, therefore, you're probably not going to support me. >> i'm unhappy with the fact a congresswoman, in this case a different congresswoman, can call our country and our people garbage. free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people but we have people that are stupid. that's what i'm unhappy with.
>> so, nicolle, there's one with during obama he said this country was garbage. i don't know if you remember that one. so here's the fear i have, especially watching the stephen miller interview with wallace this weekend, is that they are trying to change or move the goal posts on the definition of racism, of what it actually means. what i mean by that by saying no, you're the racist. we're not the racist. you're the racist because of x, y and z, and you're saying that to people of color, who -- and where it's coming from is from people who this administration, donald trump, people who do policies, put out policies that affect people of color. but then you're reversing it, you're turning it on its head saying that's not racist, you're just calling it racist so, therefore, you're racist. it's problematic because it's incredibly dangerous is what i'm trying to get to. >> why is it dangerous?
>> people's lives are at stake, right. hate crimes have risen in the last couple of years. so when you have the president of the united states saying these things, go back to your country, there are good people on both sides, right? denying the rights of people of color, what does that do? that stokes violence, right? that really gives okay to those people who hate people who look like me, right? people who feel like we don't belong here. so it's an incredibly dangerous -- they're moving the goal posts on what racism is. you have the president of the united states sitting in the white house doing nasty, hateful division, right, dividing us, the other ism, us between them and us, and that's the scary part to me. someone is going to get hurt. yes, we can say this is what donald trump is doing. >> people were already hurt.
heather heyer was murdered at the rally. >> this is a hard time. what i want to get to is november 2020, this country will have to make a decision on who we are and who we want to be. and that is where we're going to be in this country. because we can't have this. this is dangerous. and it's only going to get worse. >> you're the fourth person around this table in a week to say someone's going to get hurt. the fist was congresswoman bath. the second was the former assistant director to the fbi, frank figliuzzi, the third was johnson and you're the fourth and i believe a report backs that up at a federal level. i want to know, and i agree with you it is likely more people will get hurt because i think lives have already been lost, but the republicans who enable this will also have blood on their hands. i want to show you mike pence's inability to denounce are the chant.
>> were those chants appropriate? >> if you're unhappy with them, do you want to see them repeated? is this part and parcel of the 2020 echo of the trump campaign? it's a simple question. >> well, no, major. the president wasn't pleased about it. neither was i. but the president's been very clear about that. but what we're also not pleased about is the fact that there are four members of congress -- >> yes, but you know the relationship with his supporters is as close as anyone has ever had in american politics. this could all go away with one simple word or phrase or something. you have a chance to say it right now. don't do it again. is that your message? >> major, the president was very clear. >> was he? >> that he wasn't happy about it and if it happened again, he might -- he would make an effort to speak out about it. >> he will make an effort to speak out about it? >> that's what he's already said. >> so i'm going to be standing
by. i'm here all day wednesday for the mueller hearings. we can do it at 5:00. i will be here to co-anchor the address to the nation where pence said what he would do. the relationship with his supporter is as close as -- r -- and pence said as anyone ever had. you have a chance to say it right now. silence. well, say don't do it again, major says. major. what was that? >> this is the core of trumpism in the republican party. it requires you always break every moral boundary, it requires you always bend the knee, it requires donald trump never be wrong. it's the great leader theory of the republican party where it is a cult. it is something that's not ideological or political. it is an adoration cult by these people. they will not say a word.
we have made all of the jokes in the world, he can kill somebody on fifth avenue, all of this stuff, but it's true. there's nothing he can do. he can go out on that stage and say light up the torches and put a cross outside and mike pence would say the president had a point there because of these dangerous socialists. these guys will compromise and go through any intellectual or moral gymnastics to defend and protect and preserve their relationship with him. they're afraid of his tweets. they're afraid of his anger. they're afraid of his wrath. mike pence is a guy sitting up there knowing if he does one syllable long the talk will be again about nikki haley being vp instead. and they know trump is an impulsive angry individual. he's not terribly bright but he's terribly vengeful. he will go after these people if they defy him. even this weekend they were doing an elliptical, i wish the president stated it different. no, he's still mad and they know
it and they're terrified. ron johnson looked like he wanted to be in witness protection. >> they might end up there. annie karni, thank you so much for this reporting on depressing but important story over the weekend. and thank you for spending some time with us. after the break, rosie perez on the massive protests on the streets of puerto rico. the people demanding the resignation of their governor. nd i've ever known ♪ ♪ like a drifter i was-- ♪ born to walk alone! ...barb! you left me hangin' on the high harmony there. if you ride, you get it. geico motorcycle. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. crabfest is back at red lobster with 9 craveable crab creations. from the new ultimate crabfest trio with three kinds of wild-caught crab
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miles of a major highway in san juan, puerto rico, shut down today as hundreds of thousands of protesters are marching, demanding governor ricardo rossello resign after a leak exposed messages he sent between him and his closest aides where he makes profanity laced, misogynistic and homophobic comments but the governor remains defiant announcing yesterday he will not be stepping down but saying he will not seek re-election in 2020.
protesters today say that is not enough. people are still hurting from hurricane maria, the devastating disaster that took the lives of thousands of americans. at the time president trump failed to help the island in its hour of need, ignoring be then criticizing them for needing assistance. but the president gives himself a glowing review today. >> i'm the best thing that ever happened to puerto rico. i have had many puerto rican friends. i have a real understanding of puerto rico. i have had jobs in puerto rico. i had i think the most successful, i own the miss universe contests and pageants, and with had them in puerto rico twice and we had tremendous successes. i have a great relationship with puerto rico. i'm the best thing that ever happened to puerto rico. >> joining our conversation, actress and activist, my friend,
rosy per sa rosy p rosie perez. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> hilarious. >> just take us through what it's been like and what's happening this hour. melissa? do we have melissa? >> yes, i'm here. >> take us through what's happening right now. we've seen the pictures all day of protesters despite the rain. take us through what the day has been like there. >> it's been amazing and exhilarating, right, that you have hundreds of thousands of people. this is historic. probably the largest gathering in the history of the island. people regardless of party affiliation, regardless of agenda, that are coming together with one unity call. and it is important to be here. it is about turning the page and people reclaiming their
government, saying the way things have been done or not acceptable. we as a people need to be governed by responsible government and pushing back against the corruption and obviously all of the misogyny and sexism and homophobia that was expressed in those chats. it was reflective of the moral character of the governor and those that are part of it. this is an incredible defining moment for puerto rico and it really is a new day on the island. >> melissa, just for our viewers who may not -- this has been all over, the front the page of "usa today" and all of the papers, but just take us through sort of the anatomy of the scandal. there were private text messages between the governor and some of his staffers that reveal what just described, messages that are deeply racist and misogynist in nature. just take us through sort of the bombshell that exploded with those messages came out. >> sure. look, as i say this, i want people to also think when i say
rossello to also put trump in. it's a very similar dynamic which we're pushing back in. what the chats revealed basically was an extensive network of corruption, utilizing government resources to enrich your friends, to give preference to your friends using government resources to go against your opponents, to go against the press. there's a lot of conversations in there about stories that the administration did not like and trying to figure out how they can go after the reporters and undermine the reporters. how to go after a department of justice of a federal monitor that was looking into providing police reform in the puerto rican police department, which was found to be he going against constitutional rights of people that were protesting, et cetera. so there is -- there was a lot of that. it was exposed. people knew this stuff. it was brewing. not just against the rossello administration. this goes back to other
administrations as well. i think it was just that, that drop that just took it over the edge for people when they saw it all exposed and all right there in front of their eyes. and now it's about rejection. the fact the governor cannot understand -- seem to understand the effectiveness, he cannot be a leader at this point. there's no way he could put forward an agenda and be successful and people are out there in the hundreds of thousands telling him that, he's refusing to leave office. so the only other alternative right now is he refuses to leave is for impeachment proceedings to begin in the legislature and both houses are dominated and controlled by the party of the governor. so if he does not resign, the people will obviously be putting pressure on the legislature to start impeachment proceedings. there's been some hesitation. there's a commission that's been convened. it's being looked at. but that's not acceptable.
people want the governor to do what is right by the people. >> rosie, i think melissa is exactly right to bring this to trump. and i describe sort of working in the news as this way, there's so much news but not many different stories. what you can't unbraid or separate is corruption, misogyny, intolerance, from this public official. the tinder box that is his constituents and everything we've been talking about for the last week with donald trump and the crisis he created. >> yes. the parallels are very, very skashy a scary. one thing that i really want to say is that what the former counsel speaker did not address is the sexist comments. he called the former elected official of the united states a whore. let's put it out there. he said if someone put a bullet hole in car minute's head, they
would be doing him a favor. that was a tipping point for women because women have been protesting in front of the governor's residence since 2018. a lot of funds were cut after maria. the surge in domestic violence against women and children was astronomical. of course, the puerto rican government disputes those numbers because they didn't have any numbers. and i also want to state that the people, the narrative that's going out there that puerto rico is such a mess, puerto rico is a mess but the people of puerto rico are not a mess. the people of puerto rico are not corrupt. the government of puerto rico is corrupt. the government of puerto rico is a mess. and to put that on the entire island of people really makes me so angry. >> and to target someone who's responsible for drawing attention to all of the
suffering at the island. it's unclear to me without mayor carmen cruz holding that binder of what they were asking her to do, whether aid would have been rushed in at all and the fact she took trump's arrows is probably why she became a target. >> absolutely. another point is that this is not about political parties. it really is not. the reason why i believe he stepped down as president of his party is because they are nervous. because that party wants statehood. and if you zrie that party, if he brings down that party, that fight comes into question. but the people of puerto rico are not caring about that issue right now. they want things fixed. they want justice. this is not even a socialist issue. i know that's the hot push-button attack right now but it is not.
the people who are republicans on the island, who are independent, who are democrat, the tipping point was not just the misogynistic and corruption and this and that. it was the fact that he about t. he joked about feeding the dead to animals, to birds, to crows or whatever. that was in my opinion, the people that i've spoke to on the island, they said enough. >> i know what that meant. >> did you? >> we have so much more to get to. i want to press you on the power of women taking to the streets, and i think i have an op-ed from a friend of yours that we're going to dive into. we have to sneak in a break. melissa, thank you for yjumping on the phone. i know you're very busy there. come back if anything else happens while you're there today. we're going to sneak in a break. we'll be right back.
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not for the first time you made me cry with your passion and your pain over this. i want to read a little bit about what women are going through there. this is from sandra guzman. >> who writes this on cnn, women in puerto rico know all too well why jose owe must resign, encouraging violence against women elected officials. this is the tipping point for many islanders, but especially for the women. why? >> because they have been ignored for much too long. puerto rico is the highest domestic violence per capital in the world, in the world, and the police department once told a domestic violence victim, well, you like getting spanked by your husband, right? and then he hits you, what are you complaining about? there was a 13-year-old girl who was going out with an adult, and her mother wanted her to break
up with him, and he got angry, so he poured gasoline and set her on fire in front of her mother, you know. out of 20,000 per year complaints to the police department in puerto rico in regards to domestic violence against women and children, maybe 500 cases were brought to conviction. >> this is such a simple maybe stupid question, but i asked you this after the hurricane, what can people do? >> what can people do is what they're doing right now is to protest and demand change, and they also can demand there's a lot of non-for profit companies down in puerto rico that advocate for women's rights who want a whole reeducation of the island. they want to start at elementary school to really understand, let the people understand what feminism means, what equal rights means, how to respect a woman, your mother, your daughter, your sister, your friend. you know, they've been asking
this of the puerto rican government since ricky got in office. it's all falling on deaf ears, and the women are angry. they are pissed off, and they are not going away. they haven't been going away since 2018. now the island is rallying behind the women's charge, and that's what we're seeing out in the streets right now, and i'm very proud of them. >> and you can draw a parallel if you want to predict some positive change between the way women rose up in the midterms after two years of trump, the power of us as political activists is sometimes what it takes. i hope we'll keep having this conversation. thank you for being here. we're going to sneak in our last break. we'll be right back. the way it works best for you, i'll take that. wait honey, no. when you want it. you get a delivery experience you can always count on. you get your perfect find at a price to match,
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special coverage with my friend brian williams beginning right on the nose at 8:30. in the meantime, my thanks to roe p rose sor ro -- "mtp daily" with my friend steve kornacki in for chuck starts now. ♪ if it's monday, here comes mueller. we've got new reporting as the former special counsel is about to face congress on the hill. for all those democrats who want an impeachment inquiry is this their last, best hope? plus, the president lets loose on the so-called squad again as one of its members vows, quote, i'm not going anywhere until i impeach this president.