tv Deadline White House MSNBC August 10, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
of "politicsnation." up next "deadline: white house" with my friend nicolle wallace. ♪ ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. breaking news this afternoon, that the suspect accused of carrying out last weekend's massacre at the walmart in el paso, texas, was specifically targeting mexicans. that's according to law enforcement officials earlier today. and that confirmation comes on the same day that donald trump promises as he did after the parkland
shooting to do something on guns despite being warned not to by the nra. >> i have a lot of respect for the people at the nra. and i have already spoken to them on numerous occasions, numerous occasions. and, frankly, we need intelligent background checks.
>> welcomed words if they prove true. but we've heard those words before from this president in the wake of the tragic mass shooting that killed 14 high school students and three adults in parkland, florida. here's the president after that shooting. >> we'll be doing very strong background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody. and we are going to do plenty of other things. it's not going to be talk like it has been in the past. it's been going on too long, too many instances. and we're
going to get it done. >> so the press is out with a fact check of that promise after parkland for very strong background checks. ap writes this. quote, trump later re-tweeted expressing support for modest changes for the background check system. and here's the truth about trump's records on guns. the president actually threatened to veto bipartisan
background check legislation. the president scrapped a rule making it harder for the mentally ill to own guns. he's shown no interest in stronger measures such an an assault weapons ban. the sceptics have every justification for their pes missm when it comes to donald trump, and the stranglehold that the nra holds over both. here's from congressman tim ryan. >> that sounds like potomac two-step to me. their playbook, donald trump, mitch mcconnell, the national rifle association, their playbook has always been how do we slow walk this, how do we mealy mouth it until it goes away until the, you know, news cycle changes until something happens in the world or something happens in america or there's a natural disaster and then the story goes back on the backburner. and that's what i think trump is saying, oh, we'll have this conversation now. we don't want to call the senate
back to deal with this now. that's the problem, john. that's the problem that the american people are fed up with, and now people are starting to pay attention. >> and that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends from the washington post "white house bureau chief phil rucker is back. the rev al sharpton, host of "politicsnation" here on msnbc. also the president of the national action network. maria teresa kumar is here, president and ceo of vo voto latino. and fresh off a twitter brawl with the president himself tim o'brien's back all our guests lucky for us msnbc contributors. kwil ruecker, let me start with you. i think we are all accustomed to the president saying things that have no acatchment to the truth or reality. but when he says we're going to do something on gun control whether you love donald trump or hate donald trump, the vast majority of americans hope that's true. >> yeah, nicole, the polling is
completely lopsided on this issue. 80, 90% of americans think background checks is the way to go. they have thought that for years, and yet nothing has happened here in washington. the president said today he wants intelligent background checks. that's his word intelligent but it's not clear what that really means. and i think the devil is going to be in the details. what is this legislation, is it going to be the mansion to me bill of a few years back that died in the senate during the obama presidency. is it going to be something different, perhaps something even weaker that would be, you know, more appealing to the republicans in the senate? and it's unclear also how much momentum president trump is willing to put behind it. he said what he said today at the white house, but he said it as he was departing for a week-long vacation at his golf club in new jersey. senate is out for the entire month of august. so it's not clear where the leadership and momentum to do something is going to come from in the next few days. >> joyce, if you've got 80 or
90% of the american people behind something, you actually have some cross pressure for this president among his base that. includes some people in the trump base. phil rucker said the devil's in the details. the a lot of people think the devil's in the nra and their grill. politico writes trump quietly used regulations to expand gun accesses. more than half a dozen policy changes. changes that primarily through little notice, regulatory moves expand access to guns by lifting firearms bans in certain locations and limiting the names in the national database designed to keep firearms away from dangerous people. so, he talks about intelligent background checks. he's done some very, very profound things to weaken checks and balances and limits on guns getting in the hands of, you know, by this reporting, dangerous people. >> right. and i think we're also surprised
to see that he's talking out of both sides of his mouth on this issue. you know, the reality here is law enforcement has almost uniformly believed for maybe as long as i was in the justice department over 25 years that universal background checks were sort of a no-brainer because right now if you buy a gun at a gun show or online or through a person-to-person transfer, there's no background check. and that's how a lot of the guns that get used in significant violent crimes are sold. so the house has a bill, hr 8 that would close those loopholes. there are also issues with how long it takes to do checks and with the law permitting sales to go throughthose checks aren't completed within the mandatory 72 hour period. but here again the president is at fault where he could have put resources into fbi and atf so that he could complete those background checks.
instead those resources are slowly disappearing. there's no real reason to believe the president has a commitment. there's no specific plan on the table, even though there are a lot of options. >> i want to dive into the news that broke this afternoon that the law enforcement has confirmed that the killer's motive was to kill mexicans, and i want to dive into all of trump's language on guns because he explained everything from, you know, arcade games to, you know, bad moods -- or mental illness and unhappy people. but i want you to explain to me sort of the organization of donald trump's brain because i remember donald trump during the campaign at the nra convention. and we didn't pull that out, but he was i think the first and the earliest person endorsed by the nra. he has been so proud and happy to be as aligned with the nra as he is. he has been -- he has talked about it as though it is in his mind a great political
accomplishment to be as synced up with the nra as he is. but you played the video after parkland and i remember watching that event. you played the video today on departure where, in his words, no more talk, i called mitch, he was waiting for my call. we're going to do something. what do you think using your predictive powers, what happens next? >> i don't think he's going to lift a hand at all on background checks. i don't think he cares about it morally. i don't think he cares about it as policy. i don't think he cares in any way about the victims of the shootings. he looks at this very narrowly that he likes the fact that the nra came out for him early when he began running he mentioned it again on the white house lawn today. he sees that as a matter of loyalty and nothing else. he recognizes that the nra is essentially become the piggybank of the gop. they give exclusively to republican candidates and republican officeholders. he likes that about them. and when you asked who explained
the organization, in his mind there is no organization. inside his mind, there is a putter, a cheeseburger, someone else's credit card and a porn video. the rest of it is just an empty space where he's figuring out how he can occupy center stage and meet these other needs he has that are very self-centered and self-involved. he is not sophisticated about policy. he's never thought it through. he said a year ago in february of 2018 he told the members of the gop in the oval office you're scared of the nra, implying that he wasn't. that they were going to get background checks put through after parkland. and about two days after that meeting chris cox of the nra came to the white house and, poof, it disappeared. that's the power of the nra. now, since then cox was gone. the nra's in disarray. there's a smoking corruption scandal in there. there's a possibility the nra lacks the kind of muscles to flex that they once did. but i'm very pessimistic about
the idea that mitch mcconnell is suddenly going to step back and donald trump is suddenly going to see the light and the nra is going to be inconsequential. this is money and guns. it's not a moral issue for the people who need to change it. >> is donald trump afraid of the nra? >> donald trump coddles the nra. donald trump loves the nra. he has no reason to be afraid of it because he sees them as an alley. >> let me show you all the things that donald trump has attributed this epidemic of gun violence to in his career. >> mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun. we must stop the glorification of violence in our society. this includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace. the bad guys aren't giving up their guns. and you're not going to be giving up your guns either. if we had guns in california on
the other side where the bullets went into a different direction, you wouldn't have 14 or 15 people dead right now. if even in paris if they had guns on the other side going in the opposite direction, you wouldn't have 130 people plus dead. if they knew there were guns in the room it might not have happened. >> maria, where do you start? [ laughter ] >> when you have a presidential candidate that says i can shoot someone on fifth avenue and get away with it, he encompasses what violence means. and it's not the video games. and this idea that you throw the reason that someone pulls the trigger at the feet of someone that is suffering from mental illness, hate is not a mental illness. we have a perpetrator right now in the white house that does not want to take responsibility for their words, for his words. he descended from that escalator almost four years ago specifically saying that mexicans were criminal and rapists. every single latino ein this country heard that whistle.
he knew exactly who he was talking about. and the fact that we didn't take him more seriously as a country is why we are here with him because of the moment that he helped create. now he wants to absolve himself. he is not someone who is faithful to any group. right now there are rumblings that the nra is in disarray. he is asking his advisers how strong are they really because he also recognizes that the american people are so fed up that this might be an actual watershed moment that he might do the right thing only to save himself in re-election. >> to the point about this being something that he's stated. i mean, i think beto o'rourke has done a good job of putting this back on the media this week. stop asking questions you know the answer to. donald trump announced his candidaty branding, if you will, mexicans as rapists and murderers. we now have law enforcement today confirming that the killer's intended target was mexicans. a lot of language overlapped
between the president's twitter feed and the can iller's message. -- killer's message. what is sort of the basic question that democrats take to the country? >> i think when you have the law enforcement released a statement today that the shooter, we don't have to guess about -- the shooter saying he was targeting mexicans, it is a hate crime. so all of this hogwash the president is talking about, about video games and other things, hogwash, this guy did not say i was watching video games. he did not say any of the excuses the president gave. he said i came with mexicans. the who has been the orator who has been demonizing mexicans? donald trump. fast forward today, donald trump who is brash and demanding says i talked to mitch on the phone, not that i told mitch to get back here to washington and have a special session, not that i said the senate ought to be doing this and break a day in
their recess. and by the way i'm on my way to the hamptons to a fundraiser. hurry up because i've got to go over there and pick up some money. but then i'm going on an extended vacation. even though i've lied to you every time before, after that, we are going to do this. what are we going to do? we're going to do background checks. we are not even going to talk about assault weapons. the fact of the matter is that this whole tape you played where he says that there ain't no guys in there with a gun they won't come, they came. walmart is in a carry state. there was no way that 21-year-old didn't know people in that walmart didn't have guns. they sell guns at walmart. he didn't care anyway. he came in and started shooting knowing somebody could've taken a gun off the rack and shot back. he was so full of hate and determined to do it. we are in a state of emergency and we have a president that's on his way to the hamptons and
onto the golf course. >> you're on this show every week. we have a lot of conversations about donald trump. you along with tim with one of the coolest customers and just knowing what you're seeing, predicting what you're going to see before you see it. >> and i think you are speaking to the anger in this country that's boiling over not just around the question of guns but around this question around complacency around race. >> and i think that we are co-signing it by ducking it. we are talking about a president that called a group of people based on their nationality rapists. the we are talking about a president that said that those african nations in rati were s-hole countries. we are talking about sitting in front of congress under oath and said the president said have you ever seen a black person run anything, any country that worked? he is a white supremacist by his own statements and by the witnesses of his own lawyers. so why are we dancing around this trying to be analytical?
you're looking at what you're seeing. let's do something about it. >> and to underscore, it's not just his rhetoric. it is his policies. the policies that he is actually underscoring. the fact that one of the first things he did when he was president was to actually create a muslim ban. that had hundreds of thousands of people in the streets saying not on our watch. he put in a citizenship question where we have the receipt showing that it was to disenfranchise the american latino vote. we have children dying in cages. he created a denaturalization task force and the list keeps going on and on. it's like how much more do we need to know the american people that he's not a unifier? he's weaponizing race over being american. when you caulk about this idea of a majority/minority country. when we talk about minorities we have this vision in our on our that we are talking about a real small fraction of us. no, it's 132 million people strong, and we need all of us to
come together because do you know who else is in his ear? the russians. and the russians know that the stronger we are, then it's harder for them to actually resurrect themselves. they're trying to resurrect themselves at any cost and they have found someone in donald trump to do that work for them. >> and we can't be bullied. i need to just say this quickly because i know he's going through the twitter. i went through it last week. he needs to know that the democrats are not going to be bullied. what did he have on black face when i used to see him? i knew you were white, mr. trump, so how was i racist? but that's the kind of stuff he gets away with. we need to stand up or we need to get another president. >> phil rucker, i see some signs of there's no way to spin your way out of being so politically rigid. and the rigidity in his politics suggest to me that he knows he's a hostage of the nra. the president doesn't have any wiggle room on guns because he can't walk away from him. that's a sign of political
weakness. the president on air force one between stops and dayton and el paso lashing out at biden, it's more than just biden getting under his skin. biden stood at a teleprompter and delivered a speech that if everyone heard it every single day, i'm pretty sure that message, whether it's joe biden or whomever prevails in the democratic primary would prevail among all those kind of suburban women in lake county, ohio, the kind of places that tip trump over the edge. he is in a particularly perilous place. does he know that? >> he does. and i think that's why he's been lashing out so much and not only at biden but at tim and all sorts of other people this week because he's angry that he is being blamed in part for this shooting in el paso. he's angry that, you know, decades of soaking racialing divisions and in some right outright racist comments and actions are coming now to haunt him in a profound way. it's not, you know, this is a
label that could stick for him. it could be defining in the 15 months between now and the election as voters sort of form their opinions about whether or not to give him another four years. and so that's a danger. but some of trump's advisers also think it could work to their advantage that there's a danger here and democrats politicizing this. i am just telling you what they say. >> i believe you. i have worked on a few presidential campaigns. and my political advice is worth what people pay for, nothing, but racism not a way to the victory. >> well, there's a strategy here in sowing these racial divides which is why the president did those tweets about the squad, the four congresswomen of color a few weeks back and his advisers are trying to argue that by calling trump a racist by focusing on racism the democrats could potentially turn off trump voters and trump supporters. we'll see if that pans out. i'm not the strategist, they
are. >> and i think just at a strategic level, the political strategy, and it's disgusting but the strategy is to paint the democratic party as extreme in their policies. but race -- and i don't know what they tell the toddler in chief, but the actual politics of being thought of as a racist are devastating in swing counties. i think the strategy, and, again, it's disgusting. but at its best, the perception is to paint the entire democratic party. i saw some of the reporting, i think axios has it, that they have being called a priority supremacist really does suit them. >> the reality, nicole, they don't really have an option here because the president's not going to apologize. the president's not going to take back what he said. he has never apologized really for anything. so, you know, they've got to try
to argue their way out of this and come out on the other side and look for some light at the end of this tunnel. but it is a very difficult political moment for donald trump. >> joyce, could you just take me inside what being chris wray was like on this week? he testified on the 23rd of july. and a lot of that got lost in robert mueller's testimony. and he testified that domestic terrorism is a threat and that the greatest cause of domestic tear enzyme is white supremacy. describing donald trump as a white supremacist. what does the world view inside law enforcement look like right now, and how much is the president's speech, whether they can do anything about it or not of concern? >> you know, it's tough to be chris wray, the director of the fbi or anyone in law enforcement right now because on the one hand you understand there is now data that suggests that nationalist terrorism, domestic terrorism is not just on the rise, but it is the leading cause of terrorist activity in
this country that virtually all of the cases the fbi is investigating come from that threat stream. and yet at the same time you've got the man in the white house who's your boss, and he is, if not only advocating for it, then refusing to walk it back. and here's the easy path forward for donald trump. if you don't want to see violence, if you don't want people to think that you're a racist, then you simply say i am not calling for a violent solution, no one should do that in my name. trump's failure to do that makes law enforcement's job very tough. >> joyce vance and phil rucker, we're always happy to have you. when we come back, after a torrent of criticism over his rhetoric on race, more of that strategy phil rucker just reported. they think it'll help him win in 2020. we'll see. also ahead, purging the professionals, tenders her resignation as the president
pursues loyalists to lead the nation's top national security agencies, and it's either the best news of the day or the worst. the president's going on his summer vacation today where aides say he will focus on, wait for it, golf, twitter, and cable. now what could go wrong? all those stories coming up. ♪ you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances.
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rhetoric and its intersection with the hateful writings of the shooter in el paso. eight of the democrats running for president have said they believe donald trump is a white supremacist, and there is now an open debate in this country about whether the president's racist rhetoric is playing a role in the uptick of what fbi director christopher wray describes as a rise in domestic terrori terrorism inspired by white supremacy. and is often the case by the trump team and they find themselves clinging to the dark underbelly of the politics, they are hugging it. is, quote, welcoming that charge. quote, trump campaign officials and sources close to the president tell axios they believe democrats' extraordinary charge that the president as a white supremacist will help him win in 2020. these trump allies tell us that the claim by democratic opponents is not only emboldening his base but also alienating some mainstream republicans who think democrats
have gone too far. joining our conversation, ben rhodes. everyone else is still here. ben, i've got to get your thoughts on this idea. i mean, i think being called a racist is about the most horrific thing you can say about someone. you've now got eight of the democrats running to replace him calling him a white supremacist. one, do you agree, and, two, is that really good politics? >> well, i certainly agree. and, i mean, look, let's check the videotape here. this is a man who biltd his political brand saying that my old boss, the first african-american wasn't born in the united states. would he possibly be saying that if barack obama was white? no. in his first speech running for president he called mexicans rapists and on and on and on. and the idea that this massive up tick in white supremacist violence that all these white supremacists are saying on these message boards. you know, beggars' belief here,
th nicole. should democrats talk about these things or should they talk about pocketbook issues like health care? if you want to be president of the united states, you have to lead and you have to talk about everything. you have to be willing to call out these profound trends that are shaking cohesion in our society and threatening the lives of the american people. and you have to talk about pocket book issues like health care and education and other things. and so i'm glad that democrats aren't shying away from this debate. i think the american people particularly in some of those swing districts are smart enough to figure out what the character of this president is and to figure out which president they think is going to make the most difference in their lives. >> i want to impact just a couple of your points. a normal president has 30 to 50 contacts on their schedule every day. a normal president does six events before noon including an in-person intelligence briefing, a normal president that is. the idea that you train for the presidency by being able to
multitask and fight, fight, like a fight against domestic terrorism, it's hard to find everyone how far from normal we are functioning under this president. i want to get, too, on these ties to the fight against islamic terrorism because i feel like democrats are already retreating to something of a defensive posture on their agregula regression. so i want your honest assessment of what the democrats should do to stay on the offense against domestic terrorism and the ties to white supremacy that christopher wray testified to. >> this is a national security issue, a national security crisis, i would say, nicole. the number one threat to the american people right now in terms of their personal security is a threat from white supremacist terrorism. that's not just my view.
that's apparently the view of the director of the fbi. a normal president would be running meetings on this in the white house. a normal president would be putting more resources against this challenge. a normal president would have a kept of yours sincerely and the department of homeland sincerely trying to find out what the radicalization process is leading to these shootings. what we hear is the department of homeland security has scrubbed mentions of white supremacist terrorism because they don't want to upset trump. just think about that, right? that because they don't want to upset the feelings of the president of the united states, his own team is avoiding bringing to him the number one threat to the american people. if we look at the juxtaposition of guns another national security threat, white supremacist terrorism, and russian interference in our election, these are the profound national security challenges confronting the united states, and the president is willfully ignoring them. i really would like to see democrats making these national security arguments, getting
these guns off the streets, getting af these white supremacist networks that lead to violence and preventing interference in our election. that's our national security. >> i want to bring the table in but just yes or no question. is donald trump a threat to our security? ben? >> absolutely. if you have a president who is willfully preventing his own administration from defending our own democracy from election interference by going after white supremacists and how is that not a threat to our security? >> and you were talking in the break about there are countries now warning their own citizens of exactly the kind of security threats that ben just articulated. >> yeah. venezuela and uruguay both issued warnings that it's dangerous for people of color to travel to the united states. the only people who wondered whether or not donald trump's
language leads to increased violence are white people. people of color already understand this. there have been plenty of news reports of latinos in el paso who said they feel like they have a target on their back. the african-american experience in this country is one of being under surveillance and under the thumb of the law. this is not a new phenomenon. what is new about this is you have someone in the white house who is a narcissist and a racist. you saw evidence of both this week. he travels to dayton and el paso, and what comes out of that, a video that's essentially a campaign ad of him going to the hospital, it's scored to heroic music with everyone taking his picture and the president giving thumbs up. it's not about the victims. it's not about the families. it's not about the pain and the way those community have been scarred. it's about trump as a man of action. so he will take any event no matter how horrid and turn it into a stage prop for himself. that's a measure of his narcissism. today after three weeks of racial turmoil in this country
that he set in motion, he retweets katy hopkins a british racist and zenphobe. xenophobe. going back to the 1970s. he has re-tweeted katy hopkins on unaccountable times in recent months. if you care, if you're the president right now in the midst of what people of color are experiencing, and i find it painful and i'm a privileged white guy. i cannot even imagine what it feels like for people of color right now. and this man who's in the premier leadership position in the world is re-tweeting racist and racist sentiment. >> what is the appropriate response? >> well, first of all we should all have collective anger. but it goes back to his policy. as he's landing in el paso, there is the largest i.c.e. raid in american history basically tearing 688 people apart from their families. i thought it was so gross
fundamentally because it was these kids' first day of school. they were coming home excited to tell their parents what it was that they experienced that day. from now on and for forever, that is going to be a reminder for their first day of school the trauma that they felt. and we have this i think we're kind of also disallusioned about thinking that he only doesn't like people of color. he's actively doing it with his policies, putting all of us in danger. so obama right before he left into the white house, he had basically made an evaluation saying that white supremacist was one of the things that we had to be really collectively worried about. so he created the counterviolent extremist task force which everything from the department of homeland security to the department of education, hhs, fbi. it was about 13 people from different parts of the agencies to monitor this extremist. what was one of the first ing ins that donald trump zroed out last year in his budget in this program. meaning that he has no intention
of keeping any of us safe if we're not moderating. we cannot track them. we cannot find them. we cannot actually make sure that, hey, joey might be a problem. let me find out what's happening over here, let me contact the fbi so we can actually zero in on joey and his activities. that's a danger. >> he also put aside president obama's administration making it more difficult for people with mental health issues to get guns. he was talking about mental health the other day. he's the one that pushed that aside that president obama established. but i want to address this whole politics where they think it works for them politically. i dealt with the last three or four presidents. we were opposed many of us in the civil rights community to the crime bill. but no one ever said that bill clinton said we're going to put these people in cages. we had problems with george bush over katrina. there was nobody that came out and said he said, oh, have you ever seen any blakz be able to
run anything? they're a bunch of animals down there and racists. i think what they are underestimating is how when the charge of white supremacy is made here, there is little room for doubt with independent voters. many independent voters say that's too far. how do you even make the argument that it's extreme when you out of your own mouth has said things, president, and your own lawyer and confidant who you let handle your women said this is what you said. so there is no sunlight between this now. that was not true what president before that. we may have had differences with because they had dignity and they were able to sit in that office even if we disagreed with him, we knew they were presidents and we knew they were presidential. you are dealing with a guy that has no class and does not care what he says, and he says it in public. watch today they came out from law enforcement and said this killer said that he was
labelling them or after them because they were mexican. are we going to hear him make a statement about that? he can't because he has called them rapists and murderers. how does he -- >> all right. don't go anywhere. after the break sticking with national security, another top intel official resigns and leaves a strong signal on her way out the door that donald trump's war on intel is alive and kicking. we're pretty different. we're all unique in our own ways. somos muy diferentes. muy diferentes. (vo) verizon knows everyone in your family is different. there are so many of us doing so many different things. (vo) that's why verizon lets everyone mix and match different unlimited plans. sebastian's the gamer. sebastian. this is my office. (vo) and now with more plans, everyone gets what they need without paying for things they don't. new plans start at just $35. the plan is so reasonable, they could stay on for the rest of their lives. aww, did you get that on camera? thanks, dad! (vo) the network more people rely on gives you more. that's ensure max protein, with high protein and 1 gram sugar. it's a sit-up, banana! bend at the waist! i'm tryin'!
i have great confidence in my intelligence people, but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> mr. president, did you talk to your intelligent chief today about the displeasure? >> i did. they said that they were totally misquoted and it was taken out of context. what i do is i'd suggest that you call them. when my intelligence people tell me how wonderful iran is, if you don't mind, i'm going to just go by my own counsel.
>> donald trump may soon run out of intelligence officials to ignore and insult. another intelligence official stepping down. sue gordon, she's the number two intelligence official in that office, she's resigned and in a hand-written note delivered to trump gordon signaling she's not leaving voluntarily calling her resignation, quote, an act of respect and patriotism, not preference. you should have your team she wrote. the backdrop to all this news just yesterday that former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe is suing the justice department claiming he was fired, quote, for his refusal to pledge partisan allegiance to trump adding, quote, was trump's unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove doj and fbi employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him. ben and the table are back. ben, i have covered this as closely as i've covered any
threat of the trump presidency because -- i mean, you know this better than anybody. but during the bush years i worked very closely with the national security officials. and it was sort of a miracle because they're so adverse to having anything to do really with communicators because we're sort of on the softer side of things. you're laughing because you know i'm right. but after 9/11 there was a need to declassify intelligence and military information and convey that. so i have the best sense, if i have a sense of anything, to how trump's presidency has rocked and shattered lifelong public servants whose entire work has never involved even awareness of a politician's partisan leapings. these are the kinds of people who may not even know were fox news on the cable dial. talk about the decimation of professionals from our
intelligence and law enforcement agencies. >> yeah. well, look, someone like sue gordon who had decades of the intelligence community, i hadn't the slightest idea what her politics are. and i obviously overlapped with her for eight years. and the idea that the intelligence community were career people. and the way in which the meeting could function, nicole, as you know, you go in a situation room, the intelligence kick it off by telling you what the status of a situation is. and then the policymakers debate what to do. in other words, they're responsible for the facts and the analysis and the information and pulling it all together. and then the policymakers make decisions off of that. clearly what is so suburbing about this is trump doesn't want people who privilege facts. trump wants people who will tell him what he wants to hear to back up his policies. so he wants people to tell him that his north korea policy is working even though north korea is still building nuclear weapons. and he wants people to tell him
that vladimir putin's interfering with our election is correct. so this gets at the very heart of the credibility of the $100 billion annual enterprise that is the u.s. intelligence community. if we can't trust that they are guide by facts because they have a president who is basically fishing for people who will tell him whatever he wants to hear, then we're going to be far less safe and foreign intelligence services aren't going to want to cooperate with us. they are going to wonder if whether they provide the information to the united states it doesn't track what trump wants to hear, whether they will be in danger here. so this is rocking the very foundation of what the mission of the intelligence community is when someone like sue gordon who's just a career highly capable person can no longer be in her position just because she's not going to tell trump everything he wants to hear from his intelligence community. >> i also think trump benefits from part of the news cycle. everyone remembers at the end of last year i remember saying on
the air this is the least safe i have felt during the trump presidency when mattis resigned over a policy divide over the president's desire, wish, plan, musing, i don't know if i believe he backtracked on it after the country lost mattis to withdraw precipitously from syria. you now have director coats leaving his number two sue gordon leaving and a lot of rum beings with the tensions -- rumblings with the tensions at the cia. what is the full national security picture look like from where you sit? >> i think the national security picture looks like we could be headed to any number of crises, right? we have the crisis that has been boiling over with iran for some time now. we've got venezuela where maduro is still entrenched despite what trump said. we've got north korea still firing off missiles and building nuclear weapons. we need a good intelligence to
understand what is happening around these different threats to the american people including by the way the threat of white supremacist terrorism. and instead of investing that capacity, trump is hollowing it out, right? so he's disarming the capability of the u.s. government to understand what is happening either abroad or with threats that are coming here at home. and by the way this is expertise you can't get back, nicole. if you've got hundreds of years of experience walking out the door on a regular basis, you can't just replace that. so essentially we're hollowing out the state department, now the intelligence community, and we're losing expertise that we can't get back as a country. and that's going to be with us for years to come even after trump leaves. >> all right. after the break donald trump is heading on vacation today to focus on a few of his favorite things, golf, twitter, and cable. that story is true and it's next. nd it's next it can lead you on an unexpected journey... ...to discover your heritage. get your dna kit (now) for just $59 at ancestry.com.
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quote, with his poll numbers stalled, his ability to rally the country being questioned, he's being tested by an escalating trade war with china that may slow the economy. rising tensions with both iran and north korea, and in the aftermath of the latest mass shootings, pressure to act on guns and face accusations of his own role in fostering an environment of hate. add another item on that laundry list. a startlingly under the radar admission from jerry nadler. >> this is formal impeachment proceedings. we are investigating all the evidence, we are gathering evidence and we will at the conclusion of this hopefully by the end of the year vote to vote articles of impeachment to the house floor or we won't. that's a decision that we'll have to make. but that's exactly the process we are in right now. >> rob, this is either the smartest, craftiest impeachment strategy i've ever seen in my life, or not. [ laughter ] >> i'm glad you said or not.
[ laughter ] i can't figure it out either. >> okay, good. so it's not a -- club that i don't have the keys to. >> all of us i think are in that club. i can't figure out what we're doing and why. and i think that clearly, you know, the events, that week are horrific, we still need people to really focus in on we are talking about the testimony by robert mueller that we are still under threat from russian interference with our elections and we're rushing in these debates and all without ever answering how are we going to protect the integrity of the elections. and those are -- >> and who's going to protect -- >> and who's going to do it and under what method are they going to use, and are they going to be assigned by this president who acts like it's no issue at all. i mean, you have this president
that acts as though white supremacy is a hoax, and everything else is a hoax. no addressing at all the fact that we have been told by mr. mueller who he accepted exonerated him from collusion but is not going to accept that mueller said we are still under threat and we're moving forward. >> as we sit here. >> as we sit here, and we are moving forward like he never said that. >> i mean, this is the challenge is that the democrats right now are missing such an opportunity with the majority of the american people just feel unease. there is not an american that looks for the majority of them. right, there is the sliver that looks at this president that says things are not right. the level of anxiety of the american people is at an all-time high. this is a drip, drip, drip, do we impeach or do we not. the closer they get to the presidential election, the harder it is going to be. that alone should also make people feel, like, we're ready. when you make a whole group of individuals feel uncomfortable, unsafe in their communities, and you do not apologize, i'm ready. but the fact that he's not along -- willing to investigate and
provide us the resources to protect our election system, what are you hiding from, is that the only way you'll get elected? we have so many different courses that they can go for impeachment, but they are so afraid they're going to do a misstep. no, sometimes you just have to follow your gut of what you know is the right thing to do and be leaders. >> this impeachment strategy i talked to congressional reporter this week who said they're pursuing this legal strategy. now, i'm not sure about the politics as you both said, we'll see. it doesn't scream of boldness. but you've been in litigation with donald trump. maybe this is exactly the right way to get at donald trump. >> well, i suspect what's going on is literally this is this correspond choreographed dance among nancy pelosi, jerry nadler, adam schiff, maxine waters, and richard neal. those are the relevant committee heads who can get the goods on donald trump. it does feel like this is slow. they don't want to get this in front of the election. they also are building a case. they want to make a case to the american public that this man should be impeached i think
primarily for financial crimes which is not what robert mueller did. and i think this is what's in their wheelhouse right now, his taxes, his financial relationships, his business relationships. you saw this week "the wall street journal" had a very interesting story on how it leaked in which several banks in new york are giving money to house financial services and the intelligence committee. and it pertains to trump's deals in moscow when he was running for president. that's a damning deal. it shows the president compromised by a foreign powers, whether there were financial quid pro quos. if it happens after election day at this point, then trump's more vulnerable at that point if he loses. they can tag him out of office. i also as a journalist am pained by that process because he broke the law. donald trump obstructed justice. >> we don't have enough time to
do you justice here, ben, but just your thought on how these stories get lost. robert mueller did have the nation's attention in response to will herd. as we sit here right now, russia is attacking us. >> and i think russia gets better each time they should attack us. and to connect what we were talking about earlier, nicole, what happens if there is a massive russian interference in our election, what happens if they actually try to effect the vote tabulation. and there's a very close election and we're looking for the referee to tell us what happened, and the intelligence community's been kind of gutted out. he's bullied the leadership of the intelligence community into silence. who is going to throw the flag here, right? >> open questions, and they're all scary. that's why we're all going to keep talking it out. we though have to sneak in our last break. don't go anywhere, though. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. 'm sorry? -what teach here isn't telling you is that snapshot rewards safe drivers
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i could have talked to these friends for another hour. my thanks to ben rhodes, al sharpton, theres kumar. mostly allally all, thanks to you for watching. that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace. golf, twitter, and cable news. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. president trump left washington this morning, but his problems will most certainly follow him on his ten-day vacation at his new jersey golf club. as jonathan lemire of the associated press notes, his summer vacation comes as he is confronting a storm of crises. quote, his poll numbers stalled and his act to rally the questioned he is being tested by an escalating trade war with china that may slow the economy, rising tensions with iran and north korea, and in the aftermath of the l