tv Morning Joe MSNBC August 29, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PDT
yasmin vossoughian along with ayman mohyeldin. the president started back with build that wall and mexico will pay for it. so far, that is long gone. despite the information to the contrary, there is no new wall. same span, not new place. the total of repaired barrier is about 60 miles along that 2,000 mile border. the president also said in the tweet the wall is going up rapidly. it is not. as we just reported, there is no new wall. only replacement for walls in need of repair or upgrade. those are the facts. >> we trust shepard smith at fox news. president trump has to deal with the fact some at fox news aren't working for him. shep never really has.
we have come a long way from build that wall and i promise you we're going to build that wall, believe me. mexico's going to pay for it, believe me, too, as shep said, no new wall has been built. none. in fact, the only thing donald trump has done is he's rebuilt 60 miles of barack obama's wall, which really is not going to be that catchy of a chant in 2020, rebuild obama's wall, rebuild obama's wall. that's what he's doing. he has 60 miles of it. if you ask why that is, i need to underline this fact for some people who don't have the google machine, the reason why the wall was never built when republicans ran washington, d.c. the first two years of donald trump's administration is because people like lindsey graham said, made no sense, was a waste of money.
john cornyn is texas said the same thing. you can build the wall. you can go over, climb under it. republicans, mitch mcconnell had no interest, you know mitch, he can do whatever he wants to do. he kills any plans republicans and democrats have to save american democracy from russian interference. he's a pretty powerful guy in washington, d.c. yet, when republicans ran the senate and the house and white house, mitch chose not to fund the wall. just like the republicans in the house chose not to fund the wall, just like donald trump chose not to fund the wall. he didn't push for it. he had a chance actually. democrats -- this is in your google machine, if you want to check on it, democrats actually offered him $21 billion to build that wall.
in exchange for a pretty common sense popular reform plan. donald trump said no. there we are, shep, getting you up to date as shep always does get you up to date. donald trump doesn't build that wall, mexico hasn't paid for that pretend imaginary wall, but all he's done is he's fixed up 60 miles of wall that was existing under barack obama. there you have it. good morning, welcome to "morning joe." it's thursday, august 29th. i actually can tell because i'm talking so much, mika has the morning off. with us mike barnicle, political writer for the "new york times" times, and host of ""face the nation" and reverend al sharpton and washington bbc news reporter
katty kay. i have so many things to get to from the boston red sox only being five games out in the wild cart chase. you can tell how things have changed over the past years, i won't even know what nick is thinking about the new "star wars" trailer. it's very important. always want to know what rev and mike are thinking. katty, let's talk to you. what in the hell is going on in great britain? snow yeah. how long do you have, joe? >> yeah. >> boris johnson has suspended parliament. he went to the queen yesterday. the queen agreed to his request to suspend parliament. effectively what's happened is the amount of time for opponents of brexit and opponents of a no deal brexit, the harder form of brexit have much less time now in parliament. the numbers of days they would
have to discuss some kind of legislative opposition to brexit has all been shrunk. they'll have something like half the number of days, three-quarters of the number of days they were going to have and crashing up to this line of october 31st and the longest time parliament has been suspended since 1945 and very unusual and at a time of national crisis. you might think it would be good to have parliamentarians there discussing this crisis. boris johnson wants to get his no deal through. he's clearly not going to be a reactive prime minister. he's come in full guns blazing and very proactive. it will be a turbulent few month in british politics. >> very turbulent and boris johnson getting his cues from donald trump. i don't think it will work well for boris johnson. you look at the numbers.
the percentage of people that put him into the position of prime minister and see how unpopular his party is and unpopular his approach to brexit is, will be very interesting to see how long he actually survives there. let's go right now and get an update on hurricane dorian, now a category 1 storm after lashing puerto rico and the virgin islands and could grow into a cat 1 hurricane as it nears florida for the labor day weekend. je jan nessa, as a floridian, i have been through hurricanes. talk about the worst possible time ever. everybody is traveling, everybody on the road. this may cut straight through the florida peninsula and i hear
it may even hover over florida a day or two. >> you said it all, joe. the last time we've seen a hurricane like this was hurricane jean in 2004. you hit it right on the nose here. people are headed out for labor day weekend and this timing will unfortunately hit in the heat of all of that. what is going on is a major hurricane developing, and right now, we're seeing an eye that has started to develop here. puerto rico into the virgin islands in the clear here. a band of a few that will linger. the intensification faze, i like to call it a simmering faze that allows the wind speeds to really pick up. that's why the national hurricane center has issued another change in the direction of the system here. the humidity also is going to increase also. it's sitting in a body of water
that's very warm and will allow wind speeds to increase by 120 miles an hour by saturday. potential cat 3 by monday, in time for labor day. we're following this system as it makes its way on shore here. catastrophic flooding and heavy duty rain and storm surge possible all the way into tampa. watching this very closely. >> all right. thank you so much, janessa. greatly appreciate it and sure we will be back for more updates. >> as somebody who has been through so many hurricanes in my lifetime and probably go through many more, as the storm is approaching, one of the most important things to know is that your government, whether it's your governor, whether it's the president, fema, the small business association, you know that officials, government officials have your back, that
they're going to do everything they can do to make things work. it makes all the difference in the world. jeb bush was extraordinarily successful in florida in 2004, bringing florida through four hurricanes and being extremely organized. the next year, katrina came along and that was an absolute nightmare from washington, d.c. all the way down to the mayor. you need to know the government's focused and the government's on your side. katty, as puerto rico was phasing yet the possibility of another colossal hurricane, donald trump, instead of providing comfort and support, actually chose that horrible time, and it is, it is just a frightening horrible time, where you fear everything you own is going to be blown away into the ocean. donald trump used that time to
attack the people of puerto rico. it's like nothing i've ever seen. >> yeah. you've been there, joe. spare a thought for people in puerto rico yesterday. the island was mostly spared the brunt of the storm but wasn't able to shake the president's twitter feed. when it was still unclear how hard this storm would actually hit the island, donald trump continued his attack tweeting we are tracking tropical storm dorian as it heads, as usual, to puerto rico. fema and all others are ready and will do a great job. when they do, let them know it and give them a big thank you, not like last time. that includes the incompetent mayor of san juan, exclamation mark. puerto rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. their political system is broken and their politics are either incompetent or corrupt. congress approved billions of
dollars last time more than any place else has ever gotten and it is sent to crooked polls. no good. and they were only given a portion of what was sent to them. >> reverend al, they're talking about relief funds to build donald trump's imaginary wall. this is extraordinary behavior. if you look at donald trump, the arc of donald trump over the past few weeks, as we've said time and again, whether eugene robinson or atlantic or gail collins writing for the "new york times," it is hard to believe but true that donald trump is becoming even more unmoored from reality, even angrier, even more petulant, even more unsound of mind and
spirit, if you look at what he's done even over the past week. >> his meg lo mania is astounding. everything is about him, even a storm. when you look at the middle of a -- people that don't know whether or not something is going to be devastating or not, and all you can see is yourself in the eye of the storm, you can't even see the storm or the impact, you're dealing with somebody who borders losing grip with reality because this president, talking about i'm the best thing that ever happened in the middle of a pending possible catastrophe should frighten all of us. then, to take cheap shots at the people by the way, when he went down last time he threw towels at, is just astounding. i think when we look at this kind of behavior, those of us who have been critical of him
can say we'readly right about the levels of insensitivity and indignity that he has brought to his office. >> mike, i've been sketching out a list and it's growing ever longer. you can talk about donald trump attacking victims of a hurricane, and again how not only there's no president in american history that would ever do that. there aren't even politics or senators or governors who have ever done such a thing as the storm approached. again, go back to the end of last week, you have reports he wants to buy greenland, and then he denies he's wanting to buy greenland. then, he cancels a visit to a nato ally because they won't sell it. and then calls the fed chair the
enemy of the united states and calls china the enemy of the united states and calls the leader of china a wonderful and strong powerful leader and a friend. then, he shows the authority he has to order businesses out of china. the list goes on and on and on. this is just in the past 5, 6 days. >> you can add to that, joe, and build it in terms of building the wall, just go seize the land from farmers along the texas border, even though it's illegal and he'll pardon you if you get in trouble for it. you earlier, a few moments ago described this as extraordinary behavior. i would quibble with that, unfortunately for us, for our country, for the people of our country it's ordinary behavior on the part of the president of the united states. he does things like this multiple times of the day. that's our problem. he has normalized bizarre
illegal extraordinary behavior. unfortunately for us and you alluded to this, the hurricane headed towards puerto rico, this is the first time in the history of this country, first time in the history of the united states of america that a president of the united states focuses on revenge rather than healing, and he does it multiple times a day. >> focuses on revenge from people who are about to become victims of a hurricane. you know, katty, the back and forth, the blasting out of a statement or the shouting of instructions to employees, and staffers, and then the backtracking, and then, of course, the repeating of the same suggestions, playing itself out once again, and the president, following upon what mike said, ordering staffers to
do whatever it takes to seize farmers' land and if it's legal not to worry about it, he would pardon them, reminds me an awful lot what he told people in 2016 when he was talking about beating the hell out of protesters and if they got arrested not to worry about it, he would pay their legal fees. >> and then saying, it was all a joke. in a series of tweets, president trump is denying a report he has offered pardons to those who build the wall in order to fast track the border wall. in the "washington post" he said he was making extreme measures to have the wall built in time for the 2020 election. it hasn't been the first time president trump said he would consider pardons. >> i never want anybody to be above the law.
the pardons are a good thing for a president. with respect to paul manafort, i'm not taking anything off the table. we're looking at a lot of different pardons for a lot of different people. some of these soldiers are people that fought hard and long, and when they get done fighting sometime they're treated earlier. >> the power to pardon is a beautiful thing. you have to get it right and get the right people. >> he clearly likes the power of pardoning. whether to impeach the president, democrats are concerned through pardons of allies of conservatives convicted of political allies, president trump has sent signals to help those close to him escape punishment. mr. trump has issued 15 pardons so far during his presidency. speaking to the "washington post," several democrats said an investigation into trump's
pardons throughout his presidency is fair game. abuse of pardon is an abuse of presidency. a white house official told the "washington post" that trump was merely joking when preemptively floating the idea of pardoning. that's exactly the argument he used before, it was just a joke. >> dana milbank again wrote a column this morning in the "washington post" about the president's quote jokes. they end up not being jokes. jonathan jonathan omear, he often goes back to his original position, and we can expect him to do that as well. we're going to talk -- i know you're in boston -- we're going to talk about the boston red sox and looking like secretariat turning the corner at belmont and ready to do that massive charge into history.
before we do that, let's talk about the president. it's been confirmed by another media outlet the president did actually say do whatever you need to do, if you need to be pardoned, don't worry about it, i will do that later. democrat obviously are very concerned about it as are a lot of independents and moderate republicans, yet i saw a conservative writer say yesterday, this would play very well with the republicans base. was this perhaps as offensive and undemocratic as it is, as it sounds? is this the president desperate and playing to his political base? >> as noted before, the white house is spinning this as simply the president offering it as a joke, lighthearted and he doesn't mean it. when he floats things, this is the excuse he uses to walk it back.
there is some meaning to it. he said this more than once he would offer pardons to those who build the wall as soon as possible. the wall was his signature campaign promise to get it built and mexico was paying for it. it has not been built. they need to be able to point to something as 2020 heats up, they need to suggest progress has been made. they will blame the white house and the president is fighting for it. that is so often the key with this president. it's not about the concrete results, the perception he's fighting for it. that's what animates the base what we're seeing here. as far as the pardons go, it is the power of the president he loves that he can do
unilaterally and he doesn't need approval from congress or his own staff. there are times whether in the mist of the mueller investigation or not, to take the political temperature down and you shouldn't do this. that doesn't mean he won't. he is toying with something he can do regardless of legality, regardless of the perception, regardless of the bind it would put the republican party in, he's considering doing it because he thinks it will be for his political benefit. >> right now, the president is concerned about his reelection prospects next year. many people close to the president say part of the reason why he's acting even more irrational than usual over this past week are the growing concerns about the economy. when you look at this issue of the president building the wall, this was his key promise. this promise defined his
presidency. he would joke and say every time energy and the room went down wherever he was, he would just shout out, build that wall, it would be like a band playing its biggest hit. building the wall and making mexico pay for it and with a code of believe me, it's going to happen, believe me, donald trump has to know that that's going to come back to him. democrats offered him $21 billion to build his wall. he refused it. republicans didn't want the wall to be built when they controlled washington. so now he finds himself a year out from the election and the only thing he's done, as fox news reports, is he's rebuilt 60 miles of wall that were already existing under president barack obama. >> so, joe, the wall is the central symbol of his presidency, a physical
manifestation of the purpose of his presidency, which is to keep them out. instead of building the wall and making china or mexico pay for it, there is no wall yet and no money for it yet. what we have here is a problem, this was almost like a condo deal he's doing. he's sold the heck out of it, granted it, can't find the money and hasn't gotten it built yet. he's in a bind. in 2016 he wan on needing a wall although we already had a wall on the border and 2021 will be on the wall that doesn't exist. >> you talk about a failed condo project, this is like a condo project where the rough outlines were sketched it but he could never find investors. >> exactly. >> let me repeat it again for
people who don't remember this, donald trump had republicans running all of washington the first two years. look at lindsey graham's quotes and john cornyn's quotes, none supported building a wall. they said it was a stupid thing to do and a waste of money. even when the democrats gave him $21 billion to build his wall in a bipartisan, and it was a bipartisan immigration reform plan, the president said, no. here we are. he has nothing to show for it. how does he go back to the electorate. he can't blame nanybody but himself. >> you go to facebook, you see ads on promise kept. they will run on the wall regardless, a strategy. the president is a real estate guy, the idea of having
something to point to, physical edifice is particularly important to him as a person. i'm not sure if his base is going to turn on him if there isn't 100 miles of black wall with pointy spheres on them or not. it happened been clear to me if they like the wall or the idea of the wall. and there's a myth of walking along this border. there is already a wall on a big swath of the border and security in other parts. we did not have a huge crisis when he was elected. we have one now because of the conditions of the world and he himself has acknowledged it to his advisors. >> it was a vanity project. he used it as a symbol, a way to attack quote the others.
again, let's talk facts. that's what conservatives used to claim they were about. facts. facts were stubborn things, as the old saying goes. when donald trump was running for office, illegal border crossings were at a 50 year low. when donald trump was running for office in 2016, talking about building that wall, illegal border crossings were at a 50 year low. to put that in perspective, i was 3 years old and too young to play t-ball the last time illegal border crossings were as low as they were in 2016. considering how old i am, that's saying a lot. still ahead on "morning joe," senator kirsten gillibrand is bowing out of the presidential
primary. what it means for the state of the race. she says she will endorse somebody else and we will figure out who that is. plus, we're talking to another republican contender, congressman tim ryan. this shows the president hasn't built anything when it comes to the wall. the president has made border security the mainstay of his message, dating back to the campaign of build that wall and mexico will pay for it, though that last promise is long gone. despite the president's claims to the contrary, there is no new wall. same span, not new place. the total of repaired barrier is about 60 miles along that 2,000 mile border. the president also said in the tweet, the wall is going up rapidly. it is not. as we just reported, there is no new wall, only replacement for walls in need of repair or
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hey, everyone. i wanted you to hear it from me first. after eight incredible months i'm ending my presidential campaign. i know we're not going to win this race but you have to know when it's not your time. i believe i can help beat donald trump in 2020. >> senator gillibrand dropping out of the presidential race yesterday. gillibrand senior aides told nbc news she decided with her family to end her bid after she was enable to secure a spot on the september debate stage. katty, that debate stage has taken shape. >> yes. as 10 candidates have taken
place. it's all set. still 10 of them, they will all take the stage for the first time on the same night in houston. billionaire tom stire, there was some question about him, remember, he fell one poll short of qualifying after spending nearly $12 million on advertising to boost his campaign. reverend, how does it change with gillibrand getting out if she supports somebody? >> i think she brings a certain constituency even though she didn't get to a certain level in the polls. i think what is interesting, now with the houston debate, you will have everyone on the stage. we have not seen elizabeth warren and joe biden on the stage. that's going to be interesting. we've not seen all of the major players together, and what the
interaction is going to be, because we saw in the first debate, it was kamala harris going after joe biden and in the second debate, biden went after kamala harris who has never really recovered. who will they target at this debate and what do they stand for. what is coming down because we're not way early in the process, now almost labor day, what do you stand for? why are you running? are you running to be a player? are you running to represent a certain train of thought and a certain way you want to drive the country? i think they have to start defining that in the next debate. >> they will have difficulty defining that with 10 people on the stage, you will get an average of two or three minutes, some candidates? the thing that strikes me, nick,
the whole debate process with all the candidates in the field and there are still a lot of them, the democratic national committee made a mess of this. there wasn't a better way to pull these debates off to have six people at a time appearing one night. i mean, it's a mess. >> they tried to make it as democratic small d as possible and give many people a chance to rise. these 1 and 2% candidates had a bunch of chances to rise over 2% in the polls. they failed. it did deprive the whole party of a chance to see their main contenders truly on one stage at the same time and hash it out. the party kind of needs that. there's really big debates happening here. for gillibrand, i think the reason she had trouble, her brand, the thing she was known for, sexual assault in the military, women's issues, me, too.
i don't think there is a lot of debate among the candidates, all on the same page. hard to push through on that. there are big issues on the economy and race and how to organize the government and reform and candidates these candidates are not all on the same page as. warren and biden and sanders have got to be in the same place at the same time for the party to sort these things out. >> jonathan omear, the dnc has been criticized. jonathan offering criticism of how it's been run and media outlets been criticized. i go back to the candidates. you have to seize the moment when you're up there on the stage. donald trump did it in 2016, one of the most famous moments was in nashville and new hampshire back in 1980, in the 1980 race, when regarding grabbed the
microphone and said, i paid for this mike mr. green, his name was breen but it doesn't matter, one of the defining moments of the campaign. bill clinton was always good in debates doing that. i just haven't seen that with democrats in this race. some may raise their voice, some may raise. nobody has really seized the moment yet politically. >> i think that's right. senator harris probably came the closest with that moment with joe biden in the first debate but didn't seem to build off of that and the momentum seemed to dissipate quickly. the reverend is right, we will see all of them on the same stage and people want to see the interaction between warren and former vice president biden. and they want to see candidates not on the debate stage to make the same decision as senator
gillibrand did. her campaign never took off. her issues never seemed to resonate or there wasn't enough space between her and the rest of the field catch fire. we saw senator gillibrand drop out yesterday, whether it's bennett or bullock, will there, others who didn't make this race, serious people who didn't make the september stage, there is a possibility if you didn't make this stage you can make the next one. that will be hard. if you can't make the two fall debates, the other question is do you not only have enough money to stay on, perhaps voters don't want to hear what you're saying, you're not resonating or connecting and maybe it is time to fold up shop. you will see a lot of campaigns really struggle in the next few weeks. >> as kirsten gillibrand said, it may not be some of these candidates' time.
maybe this was their introduction to national politics upon maybe the next presidential run will go better for them. history is filled with examples of that happening, where somebody has a failed presidential race and four years later, america is ready for them. maybe that's the case. maybe others out there. maybe they can decide that they want to use the momentum that they have built and run for the united states senate seats. democrats certainly need that as badly as they need the white house. and speaking of that, still ahead, republican senator, johnny isakson announces his resignation, and the path for democrats to take the senate seems to be getting a little bit wider, but will somebody step up and take the challenge in the democratic party. "morning joe" is back in a moment. chair is just a chair.
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east coast. beautiful capitol there. republican johnny isakson in the senate says he will retire because of health challenges. he writes "with the mounting health challenges i am facing i have concluded that i will not be able to do the job over the long term in the manner the citizens of georgia deserve. i know it's the right thing to do for my state. he was diagnosed with parkinson's disease in july of 2015 and had a fall and four fractured ribs and had surgery to remove a growth on his kidney this week. a replacement will be announced before the end of his term. it means both of georgia's u.s. senate seats are up for grabs in 2020. but georgia democrat stacey
abrams squashed questions whether she will run for the senate. she released a statement, our thoughts are with senator isakson and his family leader. abrams focus will not change. she will lead voter production efforts in key states across the country and make sure democrats are successful in georgia. abrams had already announced she would not run for the senate to challenge david perdue back in april saying my responsibility is not simply to run because the job is available, i need to run because i want to do the job. georgia democrats are still hoping to flip both republican held seats even without abrams on the ballot, tweeting quote, the path to victory runs through georgia. georgia democrats are ready to fight and deliver both the senate and presidency for democrats.
we have been watching georgia and states trending purple and democrats hoping 2020 could be their year on the senate. >> it is yet another seat for the republicans to defend going into 2020. certainly, like stacey abrams, our thought and prayers are with senator isakson. it sound like he's battling some terrible health problems and difficulties and has for a while. we certainly hope he gets better soon. reverend al, i understand the intense focus on democrats winning back the presidency because of the president's erratic behavior. at the same time, constitutionally, there may not be a bigger prize, there may not be a more important prize in 2020 than the united states senate. the senate is going to decide quite possibly two, three for
supreme court justices to fill the court. by the end of a second trump term, if mitch mcconnell is still running the senate, there would be maybe 6, 7 out of 9 of the justices would be very conservative, it would change the court for a generation to come. you wonder what stacey abrams, somebody like stacey abrams, who has history knocking on her door right now, with two open seats, is thinking. you wonder what steve bullock, if he doesn't get above 2% is thinking about saying he would never run from montana, or what beto is thinking if beto's campaign never takes off. i hope they are doing what i would do if i were in their positions, focus on what's in front of me, not thinking about anything else. i hope when the time comes, rev, if they can't win the
presidency, they will step in and do something just as important to their country and their party. that is to step in and possibly win back those senate seats for democrats so there will be a more balanced united states senate. >> you are absolutely right. there was a movie years ago called "fatal attraction." i would hope the democrats don't engage in fatal distraction, where they're only looking at the presidential run and not looking at the u.s. senate. this president has confirmed over 140 federal judges. the seats you're talking about on the supreme court, that has to be the goal. long after donald trump has left office, these judges are going to sit on the bench. the supreme court justices will be there. every night, joe, you and i are baptists, i pray for my family, i pray for my co-workers and i
pray for ruth gader ginsburg. we are that close to seeing a reversal of everything that the last half century of dr. king and others have fought for. i don't think enough priority has been given to that by democrats. we have to stop mitch mcconnell and turn around the senate if we are to have any kind of wall between us and this whole throwback to pre-1950s america. >> you talk about fatal distractions, it hasn't just happened the past year or two. unfortunately, for the past decade or so, you've had members coming into the united states senate, young members thinking it was nothing more than a stepping stone to the presidency, not realizing that the power in washington, d.c. often rests in large part with the united states senators that go, stay, and make a difference. you can talk about jungs. what's in front of my mind right
now is a senate majority leader told by the fbi and cia and united states military the russians are interfering with american democracy, keeps killi effort by republicans and democrats to protect and defend the united states of america against these attacks on our democracy. mitch mcconnell is -- if that's what americans want in their senate majority leader, somebody that's doing the bidding of vladimir putin, somebody who refuses to listen to the republican-nominated fbi director, cia director, director of national intelligence and u.s. military intel officers, that's a curious choice for voters to make. very dangerous choice for voters
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some things are too important to do yourself. ♪ get customized security with 24/7 monitoring from xfinity home. awarded the best professionally installed system by cnet. simple. easy. awesome. call, click or visit a store today. an update on the situation in hong kong as protests against beijing continue to rock hong kong, the chinese military began sending a new group of troops into the city earlier today describing the move as routine. the state-run news agency published images of trucks carrying troops, armored personnel carriers and a small naval vessel arriving in hong kong. for three months they have endured angry and often violent protests against the government. chinese authorities warn at any moment the military could be called upon to respond to the protesters. however, the hong kong government previously denied
that it has called upon the military for assistance. those images, joe, even if they say they are routine, they're exactly the kind of images people around the world of concerned about an it's a situation that could blow up even further. >> and we think of what happened in 1989 at tiananmen square but china is far different than 1989. can you imagine the economic repercussions worldwide if we were to see a harsh military crackdown in hong kong in 2019 that resembled in any way whatsoever what happened in tiananmen square 30 years ago? >> the globe is so much more integrated, something the president has to be watching carefully, knowing there's the prospect of a recession looming. coming up now, new reporting on what former defense secretary jim mattis really thought of donald trump.
"the atlantic's" jeffrey goldberg has that. plus hurricane dorian is gaining strength as it tracks toward florida. we'll have the latest on it's path. that's all ahead on "morning joe." ♪ limu emu & doug and now for their service to the community, we present limu emu & doug with this key to the city. [ applause ] it's an honor to tell you that liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. and now we need to get back to work. [ applause and band playing ] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. you're a great example for our country right now. it's got some problems. you know it and i know it. it's got problems that we don't have in the military, and you just hold the line, my fine
young soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines. you just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it, of being friendly to one another, that americans owe to one another. we're so doggone lucky to be americans. >> doggone lucky. and lucky to have him serving this country for so long. back in 2017 general jim mattis told the troops to hold the line. that moment said a lot about how the lifelong marine viewed his role in the trump administration. the general sat down with jeffrey goldberg and "the atlantic" and jeffrey will join us to talk about that straight ahead. welcome back to "morning joe." it's thursday, august 29th. still with us we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle, political writer for "the new york times" nick confessore, host of msnbc's "politicsnation" reverend al sharpton. we've got washington anchor for
bbc world news america katty kay. white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire and political reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst robert costa. he's a moderator of "washington week" on pbs. we also have former chief of staff to the dccc and former director of strategic communications for hillary clinton's presidential campaign, adrienne elrod. mika has the morning off. bob costa, last hour we were talking about some of -- well, let's just say some of the president's more troubling behavior over the past five days. we're seeing time and again op-ed writers talking about how it's getting worse. i just jotted down, this is just since the end of last week, reports came out that the president was going to buy greenland, the president denied that. and then of course admitted to it. then he cancelled a summit with
a nato ally because they wouldn't be bullied into selling greenland. he called the fed chairman an enemy of the united states for stating policy that has been republican policy for a generation. or since herbert hoover. he called the president of china an enemy of the united states. he then ordered all american businesses out of china immediately. and then he backed down the next day, said he had second thoughts about his tariffs. then doubled down, saying that he actually wanted higher tariffs. then he said -- he cited the legal authority that he had to order u.s. businesses to come out of china. then "the washington post" reported and other news outlets have verified that he ordered aides to seize property along the border as quickly as possible and they could break the law. if they broke the law, then the
president would pardon them. and of course there are -- there's, of course, his mocking and ridiculing the people of puerto rico as hurricane dorian was bearing down on them. can you provide us some context? i know it's impossible to explain the way donald trump's mind works, but can you provide us some context for the past five, six days? why has the president become even more imbalanced and unmoored? >> joe, when you go through that list with white house officials and trump advisers and you ask them privately what's happening, their explanation is it's not about what's happening, it's about what's not happening for president trump. they say tensions are rising inside of the white house because he can't get a deal on china on trade.
usmca has stalled on capitol hill. speaker pelosi has not promised to bring it up for a vote. you have the president monitoring the stock market, news coverage which he views as negative, unable to get a lot of his signature items through. in that atmosphere he's reaching out and trying to use executive action on the border wall, seize the land he's telling aides and advisers as a way to rally his base ahead of 2020. so much of this, they say privately, is driven by his concern about 2020, seeing vice president biden continuing to lead the polls, watching closely as his base is looking for progress on the border wall. >> jonathan lemire, you also obviously cover the white house and you've followed this president for years now. this is a president who is seeing concerns about the economy skyrocket. you look at a poll from yesterday and you actually see for the first time more americans are concerned with the
direction of the economy than they are pleased with the direction of the economy. and the president in every head-to-head matchup with the top four or five democrats is getting absolutely pounded. joe biden beating him by 13, 14 points. it's apparently creating a toxic stew inside the white house. >> that's right, joe. first just to add to your list of his behavior in recent days, also remember he wants to have the next year's g-7 at his course in doral, florida, which would mean that he would profit off of that and certainly it's a move that if it were to become official congress would certainly look to investigate and raise all questions about perhaps even corruption. but yes, that is exactly right. bob is correct. what has really unhinged the president in the last few weeks, according to our reporting and the west wing aides i've talked to are the concerns about the economy. lost in so much of the rhetoric of the sort of -- the sideshows with this president is that his campaign was based on two things, immigration certainly and also the idea that he would
be america's ceo. that he would be a businessman. he inflated his business record, much more of a brander than a builder but that's his pitch to the american people. what he did for his business depicted on "the apprentice" he would do for the nation. what he's seen here with the economy slowing down, just the fact that there is a downturn, they know that undermines his number one argument for re-election. there has been cover provided to republicans or some independents who might find some of his policies divisive or rhetoric racist but as long as their small business or checkbook is the economy is doing well, they're willing to overlook that. if the economy is not doing well, they may not. that is the concern here is that he's particularly frustrated on china and on trade. if things continue to go south, he loses. >> and you know, mike, i'm glad jonathan brought up doral because that brings up, of course, all the odd behavior at the g-7, not only doral but also
other democratic leaders in the g-7 put off by the president acting as vladimir putin's lobbyist in private meetings. that he was animated, at times furious that the g-7 would exclude vladimir putin and then using, of course, the podium there to blame barack obama what, 13, 14 times for russia not being in the g-7 because he was, quote, outsmarted when in fact it was all the members of the g-7 or most of the members of the g-7 that excluded russia because they invaded crimea and they shot down a commercial aircraft. >> yeah, you know, joe, listening to bob costa and jonathan list the president's frustrations, his frustrations are all linked to his failures.
and his administration has thus been unable to keep many of the promises that he made to the country in 2016 as bizarre and unwieldy as they were. he has failed. and, nick, the failure among some people raises the specter of fear in terms of his upcoming campaign. does he go to the country and take a blow torch, an accelerant to the fires that he has already started, the racial and class fires that he has already started in order to win re-election? >> it's his only move. it's the only move in his playbook, i think. it's his brand to be the guy who fights, who pours gasoline on the fire. i don't think he has any instinct for moving towards the middle as a politician. i'm not sure he has that emotional gear trying to salve the wounds. it's not the first time we've had a base election for the
presidency. but his base is as small as it's ever been. he's the most consistently unpopular president of recent history. i think he may find that if he tries to do this base strategy all the time, it's not going to work for him. he is underwater on immigration. his immigration policies are not popular with the country. he ran on it in 2018. he got shellacked. and if he keeps going in that same vein in 2020, there's a good chance we'll see the same result. >> yeah, and another area where president trump has been speaking out recently, he appears to be souring on the coverage by his favorite media network, accusing fox news yesterday of heavily promoting the democrats while criticizing the integrity of several of the channel's anchors and calling the organization hopeless and clueless. trump also tweeted, quote, the new fox news is letting millions of great people down. we have to start looking for a
new news outlet. fox isn't working for us anymore. according to "the daily beast" the president in recent weeks has repeatedly asked media figures, friends, and political figures, what the hel lcl is go on at fox. several fox commentators pushed back against trump's suggestion that the network should work for him. while "the wall street journal" reports that actually more than 15 men and women have been affiliated with both the trump administration and fox news and another half dozen current or former administration officials have connections to fox business network or fox corp. robert, when you look at the relationship between trump and fox, it's been so cozy up until now. just in the last week or two he seems to be unhappy with it. is it only certain shows? is "fox & friends" still going to be the president's favorite program when he's not watching
"morning joe." is it anchor by anchor or the network as a whole that he thinks is souring on him? >> when you talk to people close to president trump, they say the one show he watches on fox news for the entire hour is lou dobbs' program on fox business. i spoke to president trump about this in an interview a couple of months ago and lou dobbs is his spirit guide politically on immigration, on nativism, on populism. and this is really his main go-to person. for the rest of fox news he watches it as he monitors news coverage generally. really his aides say he's drifted away from fox news ever since roger ailes passed away, that he believes it doesn't have a political center the way it did when roger ailes was running the network, someone who was running the whole spirit of the network. he's still close to sean hannity, one of the evening anchors, but it's mostly on the weekends they say when he's watching news coverage, not editorial coverage on fox news
that irritates him. >> yeah, and adrienne elrod, for the president of the united states being angry at fox news for not being sufficiently loyal, i suppose, would come as a great shock not only to hillary clinton but also to people like you who worked for hillary clinton and who have seen the channel continue to attack her even three years after she left public office. >> yeah, joe. i mean fox news has made millions, billions of dollars over the course of the last 20 years attacking hillary clinton, attacking bill clinton. they would not be a profitable network if they had not been constantly attacking the clintons and are still doing so, especially when they're trying to deviate from all the problems that donald trump has caused this country, the lack of policies that he's passed for the base that supported him in 2016. he knows he's in trouble. but what's equally disturbing here, joe, is the fact that donald trump has acted like that
he owns fox news because he's had people work in the white house who used to work at fox news. there's obviously a revolving door there. that is what is so disturbing. this is the president of the united states we are talking about, this is not the ceo of a company or a high-level executive somewhere, this is the president of the united states who believes that this is his state-owned network. so when he starts to see anchors like shep smith who of course has been pretty anti-trump or at least is willing to push back against the administration since the beginning, but other anchors who falter, it bothers him and he can't stand it. for him to go after, by the way, the communications director for the dnc yesterday on a tweet because fox news put her on, i mean that's a whole new low. she's a staffer. this is not somebody who's fair game, this is somebody whose job is to promote the democratic party, to promote what the democratic party stands for, so that was a whole new low that the president actually tweeted about the dnc communications
director. >> you know, mike barnicle, i've said for some time if you want to understand donald trump's presidency, you want to understand his foreign policy, if that's what you want to call it, you just -- you don't follow the money, you actually focus on the money because he doesn't have the money yet. but he's certainly hoping that after his presidency that the money continues to come from russia, as don junior said it did, the majority of their money in real estate investments came from russia. you certainly look at saudi arabia as donald trump bragging on the campaign trail that the saudis loved spending millions and millions of dollars buying his toys. i think i said several times during the campaign and since that his run for the presidency was a branding campaign. he didn't expect to beat jeb bush, he expected -- he expected
to be booeeaten by jeb bush and then possibly run as an independent, throwing the race to his friends, the clintons, and then he was going to start a tv news network. i've said that for years now, based on -- just based on everything that i picked up and knew at the time. people had talked even during the campaign about him teaming up with breitbart news, he and bannon, and they would start trump tv. well, let's fast forward three years. here's a guy who thinks that he could possibly lose the presidency and what's he doing? he's now using fox news as a scapegoat. why? because when he gets out, he's going to be blaming everybody, but he's going to want to blame fox news as well. so after the presidency, he can start trump tv. it's what he had planned before
and it's looking more and more like what he's planning now as a fall-back position to re-election. >> yeah, joe, look, you know this because all of us around this table were here on election day in 2016. the most surprised person in the world that he won the presidency was donald trump. followed maybe by kellyanne conway. i mean they were stunned that they won. they had made no plans, clearly, obviously in retrospect for winning the presidency. >> melania cried. melania went when she got the news that he won. nobody expected it, especially, like you said, donald trump. >> so now on the eve of another election, his re-election campaign, his history, his individual history prior to politics and during politics is he cannot accept any personal accountability. so if and when he loses, he is going to have to lash out at someone. fox news is the most obvious target for him right now because it's not going along with him, it's not working for him as he
alludes to in his tweets. they're not working for me, they're not working for his presidency. and the ultimate bottom line is that donald trump's strongest opponent historically prior to the presidency, during the presidency and during his run for re-election, his strongest opponent is always the truth. because the truth unmasks him. >> yep, it does. you know, katty, in donald trump's re-election effort, his team believes hthey're going to pick up a lot of hispanic voters. they actually believe that they're going to get up to 15%, 16% of black voters. there's no reason to believe that looking at polls, but that is what they are focusing on, especially in their social media campaigns. but a new poll is out that suggests they may be dreaming. take us through it.
>> this is really interesting. more than one-third if hispanics voters in texas cast their ballots for donald trump in 2016 but a new survey shows that his support has dimmed ahead of the 2020 election. let's bring in stephanie valencia, co-founder of equis lab, an organization working to create a better understanding of the latin american electorate. so this survey is so interesting. it looks at gender and different states, what's your takeaway from it, stephanie? >> the bottom line is that latinos will be the x factor in 2020. there will be 32 million eligible latino voters heading into 2020 and will play a really important role in the places we always have, like the mountain west, in places like new mexico, colorado and nevada where we have slowly seen those states turn blue over time. we will play a really critical role in new and emerging battleground states like arizona and texas. we'll also play a really
important role where we have a small but rapidly growing population in key battleground states of north carolina, michigan and wisconsin. and then there is always florida, right? the complicated nature of the latino community in florida is one that we need to better understand. so this research study is a ground-breaking study because we are trying to unearth the nuance of the latino community across the country. we've surveyed 8100 voters in 11 different states and really tried to understand who is the latino voter today. as we head into 2020 and beyond, we're a community that is getting bigger, not smaller, and we are not a monolith, we are not a one issue constituency and don't just care about the issue of immigration. we're a very, very diverse constituency so there are four key findings that i would pull out for you all. one is that anger at donald trump is not going to be enough. we found like a 30-point gap between motivation and excitement among latino voters, which means that folks are watching but not yet excited to
vote. that may be in part because there's not a democratic nominee to wrap our heads around yet, but that is something that we need to continue to up wa and monitor to give folks something to be excited about. the second piece is that, you know, there is a drag on donald trump's popularity even among those people who said they may have supported him in 2016. his handling of the issues of health care and immigration and the chaos and cruelty that he's created with those policies is ultimately starting to show a real drag on his support, even among those who supported him in 2016. third is a gender gap. you know, the gender gap between men and women in this community is a really big one and larger than any other of their counterparts, both white voters and african-american voters, up to two to three times larger. >> so, stephanie, i'm sure you worked on many campaigns like i have where sort of conventional wisdom is, oh, after labor day
let's throw a bunch of money up on spanish language television, on spanish language media and make a very heavy, aggressive, geo tv push with latino voters. that's sometimes worked for democrats but as republicans have tried to come in and make a dent in that latino community and pull some of those voters, especially the pro-life voters back over to their wheelhouse, how can democrats have a more sustained operation when it comes to courting the latino vote where you're not just going in the last ten weeks but you're having sort of a constant communication, level of communication with the set of voters, and do you think that's something that is necessary as democrats continue to try to hold on and expand some constituency in 2020? >> well, we absolutely cannot wait until the last three months of the election, which is why we invested in doing this study now because there is a lot of work we need to do, one to understand the nuance of the community and, two, to begin to start communicating with different parts of the community. we see huge breaks around age
and gender that's really critically important for us to understand as we develop messaging and communication to start engaging and reaching these voters. and so ultimately, you know, it will -- democrats will lose if they wait until the last three months of the election to start communicating and talking to these voters. and again, we are a complicated community and we're a complicated constituency and one that more -- continued research. one thing we will continue to do with this study, this was not a one and done study, this will be something we will continue to do between now and the election, doing monthly tracking polls to track sentiment over time so we can see where some of these issues and sentiment related to these issues, the motivation and excitement question is one that we really want to continue to track because we want to make sure latino voters are excited to participate. >> all right, stephanie valencia, thank you so much. greatly appreciate it. adrienne, i wanted to ask you really quickly and i certainly
know it's something that the clinton campaign focused on. you look at all the numbers. the president is obviously doing poorly among latino voters. in the state of florida his numbers are actually fairly high, even on the issue of immigration, the president among florida latinos is sitting around 40%. despite the fact that this president has called latinos breeders and has spent a good deal of his campaign publicly castigating latinos, whether it's a judge or whether, again, he's calling them breeders or whether it's just attacks, generalized attacks against latinos. >> yeah, it's quite stunning, joe. in 2016 when we were doing a lot of deep dives polling-wise into the latino community, we found a lot of latinos, those who
immigrated here legally have some issues with those who they feel have not gone the right course in terms of trying to immigrate. so that was an issue. we also saw that donald trump's campaign, republicans in general, were really making a play for those pro-life very strong catholic latino voters. i think we're still seeing that to an extent when you talk about donald trump's campaign saying we're going to make a play for new mexico, for example. they are looking at some of these voters, especially rural latino voters who are sort of compared to their standard demographic in terms of their supporters but who are also very pro-life. we're seeing digital efforts to target those voters by the trump campaign. that's something that i think democrats, dnc and all the democrats running this cycle have to be very careful and very wary of. there are sneaky little ways that republicans can get in there sometimes and try to persuade a very small subset of latino voters to come their way. usually on choice, usually on immigration. and it's something that
democrats have got to take a little more seriously which is why i'm glad stephanie and her team are doing this. >> yeah. robert costa, before we go, i wanted to ask you what you're working on right now, what you're focusing on right now? obviously a lot of people looking at the storm that's going into florida. as i wrote that list, i forgot to -- i forgot to put on the list the president's questions about the possibility of nuking hurricanes. but what are you working on right now? >> one issue that should be on everybody's radar, is as the president scrambles on trade and usmca and china isn't happening right now in terms of deals, he's looking across the pond for prime minister johnson who has suspended parliament. he's trying to work through a u.s./uk trade deal. vice president pence heads to europe next week, to london, to meet with boris johnson. could something be possible there as both of these nations, both of these leaders look for a deal to salvage their own political standing.
>> all right. bob costa, as always, we love having you on the show. thank you for being here. >> thank you. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> the greatest privilege of my life to serve as vice president to the president, keeping his word to the american people. >> it's great to be here an celebrate this group. >> we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda. >> mr. president, it's an honor to represent the men and women of the department of defense and we are grateful for the sacrifices our people are making in order to strengthen our military so our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength. >> back in 2017 while trump's cabinet was lavishing praise on him and showing themselves to be sad, pathetic sycophants, general jim mattis paid his respects directly to the men and the women who serve in uniform
in the armed services. the general sat down with jeffrey goldberg and "the atlantic" and jeffrey joins us to talk about it next on "morning joe." ♪ i planned each charted course ♪ ♪ each careful step ♪ along the byway ♪ much more ♪ much more than this ♪ i did it my way (announcer) verizon is america's most awarded network and the only one with the galaxy note10 5g. right now, when you buy one, you get a galaxy note10 free. that's verizon.
and we are well past wethe honeymoon phase. oooh lufa. ocupado tom. at&t, what's this i hear about you advertising a 100% fiber network? only like a fraction of my customers can get that. that's it?!? you have such a glass half-empty attitude. the glass is more than half-empty! you need to relax tom. oww!
tom, you need a little tom time. a little tt. stop living with at&t. xfinity delivers gig speeds to more homes than anyone. with us now the editor in chief of "the atlantic" magazine, jeffrey goldberg. he spent many hours over the summer with retired general jim mattis who served as president trump's secretary of defense. in the piece, the lifelong marine describes his decision to resign saying, quote, i had no choice but to leave. jeffrey writes, quote, mattis often seemed burdened in his role. his aides and friends say he found the president to be of limited cognitive ability and generally dubious character. an understatement. he goes on to describe when mattis stepped down over the decision to pull american troops from syria. mattis told the president,
you're going to have to get the next secretary of defense to lose to isis, i'm not going to do it. he handed trump his resignation letter and here we are a year or so later with the pentagon telling donald trump that isis is gaining strength. jeffrey, thanks for being with us. i've been curious how forthcoming general mattis was going to be. i've sat with him at dinner before. he's extraordinarily diplomatic, so i didn't expect him to go the full scaramucci, but i was wondering whether he would ease up to the line that robert gates crossed when he actually wrote an autobiography that was very frank and very revealing. >> yeah. that's probably the next book. he'll never go the full scaramucci, let's be clear. that's not his style or his character, however you want to phrase it.
but you know the entire book, this book that's coming out, is kind of a subtweet of the president. a very, very long subtweet. it's a book about positive leadership models. every description of a positive leadership model, you know, you have in the back of your mind, well, trump did the opposite. it's all very deliberate. and the whole book leads to the end where he just publishes his resignation letter without commentary. so it's all -- this is what a good leader looks like. anybody who follows the trump administration knows what he's saying. but again it is oblique and there are a lot of people in america, i think, certainly in the media but across the country who would like him to be blunt about what he experienced. >> yes. doesn't he have a responsibility, jeffrey, to be blunt? we have -- and i've been reading the list this morning. i've even left out the nuking -- let's say i added a few, the
nuking of hurricanes and also the trump campaign yesterday putting out a solicitation letter saying it's our country, not the country of these women of color who are in congress. how hard did you push general mattis and what was -- what was the most revealing moment during the interview for you? >> well, i pushed hard, but i knew that he was committed to this idea that he owes the country some level of silence on the particulars of trump's character and especially of his own experience in the white house. he wants this to be understood as a book about leadership and management. what i said to him is that's very fine and you have a lot to offer, but the country right now -- you know, a nation turns its lonely eyes to him in a kind of way. he has more knowledge of donald trump's character, ability, decision-making process than
almost anybody, especially on issues that truly matter, life and death issues. so i did push him hard. look, at the end, after i pushed for a while, and this is a quote in the story, he did say, and i think you referred to this, he did say, look, my silence is not forever. it's not eternal. i will break it. in his mind he has his own red lines. i think he knows that there are certain things that are so egregious that he will have to say something, i just don't know what they are. i know this is going to be a somewhat frustrating experience for people who want him to talk more. >> jeffrey, when you were with general mattis, when you're sitting across the table from him or sitting next to him or whatever, you get a vibe from the man. you get the vibe of character, integrity, honor, and accountability. >> yeah. >> during your conversations with him, did it ever come up or did you ever ask him or did he ever allude to what took him so
long to get out of there? >> oh, i think that's a fairly easy question to answer. i refer to this in the story, in "the atlantic." there was a moment before the syria decision that actually caused him to leave, there's a moment in which trump ordered troops to the border. a lot of people around mattis thought, okay, that's it. he's going to quit. but mattis believes in service and listening to the commander in chief, as one would as secretary of defense. there's nothing illegal about the order, and he did not find it immoral. troops have been deployed in the past to the border is his argument so he didn't do that. but i think there was some slippage over time. the other thing that was happening late in his pretty short term as secretary of defense was that he had reached -- someone had referred to this one as everybody has a half-life with donald trump and he'd reached his half-life. trump wasn't listening anymore. rex tillerson, his ally in a lot of these issues, was gone.
he was more or less alone. he wasn't being heard anyway, so i don't know if he was looking for the exit, but he certainly wasn't having an impact. and then the syria decision, which of course was later reversed, made it very easy for him because if there's anything that jim mattis believes, it's in sticking with your friends and fighting your enemies to the conclusion of the fight. a conclusion that leads to american victory. so when donald trump all of a sudden told him we're pulling all american troops out of the fight in syria against isis, that made it very, very easy for him to walk. >> jeffrey, one of the things -- i don't know and have never met general mattis, but i know donald trump well, good and bad experiences. but i get the impression that mattis is really committed to something and believes in something bigger than himself, basically committed to the country. did you get a sense in your conversations with him that he felt that donald trump really had no big picture goals,
beliefs, and was grounded in anything other than his own selfing aran diesment? >> i want to be careful here and not try to put myself in his mind. i probably disagree with one aspect of what he just said. i think jim mattis might think that donald trump has some big ideas. i think jim mattis just disagrees with those ideas vehemently. the biggest idea, of course, is that all foreign policy and national security is just transactional, that we don't owe anything to allies, we shouldn't have permanent allies and permanent treatietreaties. and that's of course where this all fell apart. but i guess that counts as a big idea. it's not an ideology, it's an ideology of extreme pragmatism. but it certainly is not the way jim mattis looks at the world. >> but it's tracnsactional in terms of what affects trump, not to a big purpose. >> i'm sure trump would disagree
with that and say i'm looking out for the best economic interests of america, i'm not going to have allies rip us off anymore. but that was an area -- look, the mattis/trump relationship was never going to work in the extreme long term because jim mattis came in valuing alliances, allies and friends. we know pretty clearly, the evidence is there, that donald trump does not value friends, does not value allies, does not value treaties. >> jeffrey, i guess the counterargument to keeping his silence, which he does out of loyalty, would be that there would be some consequential impact of saying what he thinks or saying what he thinks about this president in a way that is more blunt. do you think he has weighed that up -- >> yes. >> what the consequences would be and whether it would be worth going that route? >> he's thought about the consequences for himself, for the country and for the president. i mean you don't have to be a genius to understand that this is a man who resigned in protest. he disagreed with the direction
of this administration. we know from reporting, my own reporting, other people's reporting, bob woodward's reporting obviously that jim mattis did not respect the decision-making process that donald trump had instituted in this administration. i do think that what governs this decision to not go the full monte, if you will, what governs this is this idea that general officers, even retired, and certainly secretaries of defense, don't go out and credit size and, therefore, undermine a sitting president. if he goes out and says in the most blunt way possible, and you know jim mattis, he's capable of extreme bluntness. if he did it, i think he probably thinks to himself what happens the day after? it's not like donald trump stops being president. all i've done as an esteemed figure in national figure is further undermine not only the president, but the people who are in the defense department, in the state department, in the national security council right
now. i actually think this is a huge dilemma for him and he's wrestling with this, but he also is well aware of the fact that when he goes out on his big book tour, goes on your show, other shows, people will keep pressing him on this. a leadership book is great and there's some interesting stories in this book. but at this moment in american history, people want jim mattis to tell them if donald trump is fit to command -- to be the commander in chief. >> the piece is "the man who couldn't take it anymore" and it's online now and in the new issue of "the atlantic." jeffrey goldberg, as always thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> general mattis will be our guest on "morning joe" next week. still to come this morning, after lashing puerto rico and the virgin islands, hurricane dorian is now on track to hit florida early monday morning and potentially linger over the state for a day or so. we will be following the storm closely and when we come back, we're going to discuss more about jim mattis and what his
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hey, welcome back to "morning joe." new york city looking beautiful this morning. mike barnicle, we were talking about james mattis, a guy who has served this country so ably and so well for so long. just wondering, i'm sure the debate -- there will be a debate -- who responsibility does he have? does he have a responsibility to be like anthony scaramucci -- i'm glad anthony is coming out and is saying what he's saying about donald trump. or at least be like bob gates, who wrote a very blunt assessment of his time in the obama administration. what do you think, does he have a responsibility to let america and the world know what he saw up close with donald trump? >> yeah, well, that's a very interesting question, joe. hopefully when he's here with us
next week we will get to it, maybe get some solid answers from him on it. i kind of doubt it because unlike bob gates and certainly anthony scaramucci, jim mattis is different. when you're an officer in the united states marine corps or any branch of the services, an officer takes an oath. the oath is to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic. and that's an oath of office that general mattis, general dunford, still the chairman, joint chiefs of staff, mark malley, who's going to be the joint chief, they take that oath quite seriously. and jeffrey raised the critical point in terms of this discussion of this topic, joe, when he said jim mattis probably has it on his mind that donald trump is or isn't unfit to be president, he would know firsthand. but what happens if he goes on this program or any program and is asked the question is donald
trump fit to be commander in chief and he says no, what happens the next day? and that's the critical question that i bet jim mattis wrestles with each and every day of his life. >> yeah. all right. still ahead -- and we'll find out, by the way, next week when general mattis comes on "morning joe." the trade war was one thing, but another move by the white house this year could cost president trump his support among midwest farmers. we'll go live to iowa for that story next on "morning joe." we're back in two minutes. family is all together and we switched to geico; saved money on our boat insurance. how could it get any better than this? dad, i just caught a goldfish! there's no goldfish in this lake. whoa! it's pure gold. we're gonna be rich... we're gonna be rich! it only gets better when you switch and save with geico.
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beyond fast. >> i said i don't know, what do you call him? i said a wine cellar. >> yeah, you can actually hear the boos back in the corner there. agricultural secretary sonny purdue earlier this month in minnesota in an appearance intended to ease tensions after facing complaints from farmers, agriculture is, of course, under cessioning pressure amid president trump's trade war with china. farmers facing the ethanol industry due to a major hit of a number of epa waivers leading ethanol plants across the country to close. vaughn, farmers have been so
steadfast in their support for donald trump up until now. are you seeing any indication that the combination of the trade wars is having on them and these ethanol regulations, that that could be chipping away at that support? >> yeah. there's been very little over the last year and a half that has brought ease to these farmers here. we've been engaging in conversations with these farmers across the midwest for the last year and a half and you could say that there's been no more loyal base of support for president trump than farmers. they're the ones that have told you over the last year and a half that they have supported the president's trade efforts with not only our allies, but also with china saying they wanted better deals. a lot of those farms are not even breaking even. they continue to say that they have hope and faith in this president. but brent renner, who we've stayed in touch with over the last year, i want to let you hear a bit of what he told us.
>> initially, you were not holy opposed to president trump's trade efforts against china. would you say his -- have you evolved? have you changed? where are you at now? this has gone on for more than a year. >> sure. >> what would your message be to president trump? >> it's a great question. i think you're right. a majority of farmers, whatever percentage that might be, i think supported trump when he said he was going to take on china. we all know, as a farm community, that china has been taking advantage of us in the world of trade for a long time. market manipulation, several things. so it's hard to not have a sense of rah-rah when you hear somebody that's going to do that. i think the hindsight of this is we think and wish it would have been handled in a different way without the use of food as weapon in this trade war. >> now, you guys, stepping on to the farm here today and even
more so than the trade war, the conversation that is taking place is over those epa waivers. over the last three years, the trump administration, through the epa, has granted small oil refineries these waivers from having to use corn ethanol in their gasoline supply. why is this a big deal? go back to 2015 and 2016. president trump promised farmers here across the midwest that he would defend what is called the renewable fuel standards which is that law that requires the u.s. fuel supply to use a certain amount of corn ethanol. but what you've seen is a backtrack on that and there's been less corn ethanol used in the u.s. fuel supply which has brought down corn prices and closed several ethanol plant prices across the u.s. just last week. just yesterday, one up in minnesota, as well, which is causing concerns in these rural midwest communities. and you're hearing from farmers that beginning that corrosion of trust in the president's own word.
>> hey, vaughn, it's nick here. so you're saying that this policy of ethanol waivers which hurts farmers in iowa, corn farmers around the country, is actually designed to help some oil companies? >> those -- exactly. look at who is running the epa. that's what the farmers and the folks that are running these ethanol plants will tell you here. those exemptions essentially keep oil companies from having to use the corn ethanol that is produced here in the midwest. in law was put into place to not only make the fuel supply more efficient, but also help the industry here, this biodiesel fuel industry here in the midwest. and what the folks said was that they went and they looked at president trump as somebody that would keep his words and republicans, tim reynolds, the governor here in iowa, joni ernst and chuck grassley, the republican senators here from iowa have been vocal here in the last weeks calling on the administration to make this change and, quite frankly, them
along with the farmers here are baffled by the administration's move and are waiting for the president to change because they said that this is a complete backtrack on the promise that he made during the campaign. >> all right. vaughn hilliard, thank you so much for your report. and insights. we greatly appreciate it. still ahead, president trump is denying reports that he offered to pardon aides who broke the law to fast track his border wall. but it wouldn't be the first time he's dangled pardons to his allies. plus, hurricane dorian is churning through the atlantic and posing a greater danger to the state of florida. we're going to be talking to a lawmaker from the sunshine state about what's being done to prepare. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. great riches will find you when liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wow. thanks, zoltar. how can i ever repay you? maybe you could free zoltar?
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so far, despite the president's claims to build a wall and make mexico pay for it, there has been no wall. existing barriers have been replaced with new ones. the total of repaired barrier is about 60 miles along that border. the president said in a tweet that the wall is going up rapidly. it is not. as we just reported, there is no new wall. only replacement for walls which were in need of repair or upgrades. those are the facts. >> and shepherd smith with fox news proving, again, that with facts like those, donald trump has to deal with the fact that at least some at fox news aren't working for him any more. and shep never really has. but we've come a long way from build that wall and i promise you we're going to build that wall, believe me, mexico is going to pay for it, believe me,
to, as shep said, no new wall has been built. none. none. in fact, the only thing that donald trump has done is he's rebuilt 60 miles of barack obama's wall which, really, is not going to be that catchy of a chant in 2020, rebuild obama's wall. but that's what he's doing. he's got 60 miles of it, but, of course, if you ask why that is, i need to underline this fact for some people who don't have the google machine, the reason why the wall was never built when republicans ran washington, d.c. the first two years of donald trump's administration is because people like lindsey graham said made no sense. was a waste of money. john cornen of texas said the same thing. we can build a wall, but mitch
mcconnell, you can do whatever he wants to do. he kills any plan that's republicans and democrats have to save american democracy from russian interference. so he's a pretty powerful guy in washington, d.c. yet when republicans ran the senate, the house and the white house, mitch chose not to fund the wall. just like the republicans in the house chose not to fun the wall, just like donald trump chose not to fun the wall. he didn't push for it. he had a chance, actually, democrats -- and which is in your google machine if you want to check on it. democrats actually offered him $21 billion to build that wall. in exchange for a pretty common sense, pretty popular immigration reform plan. donald trump said no. so there we are, shep, getting
you up to date as shep always does get you up to date. donald trump has not only not built that wall. mexico hasn't paid for that wall, that pretend imaginary wall. but all he's done is he's fixed up 60 miles of wall that was existing under barack obama. so there you have it. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it's thursday, august 29th. as you can tell, i'm talking so much, mika has the morning off. with us, we have mike barnacle, nick confisri, reverend al sharpton, caddie kay, jonathan lamere. i have so many things to get to from the boston red sox only being five games out of the wild
card chase. you can tell how things have changed over the past five years. i won't even know what nick is thinking about, of course, the new star wars trailer. it's very important. and, of course, i always want to know what rev and mike are thinking. caddie, let's start with you. what in the hell is going on in great britain? yeah. how long do you have, joe? >> yeah. >> so boris johnson has suspended parliament. he went to the queen yesterday. the queen agreed to his request to suspend parliament. effectively what's happened is the amount of time for opponents of brexit and opponents of a no deal brexit, the hardest form of brexit, have much less time now in parliament. the numbers of days that they would have to discuss some kind of legislative opposition to a no-deal brexit, that's all been shrunk and they'll have something like half the number of days, three-quarters of the number of days they were going
to have and we are crashing up to this deadline of october 31st. it's the longest time the parliament has been suspended since 1945. so it is very unusual and it's coming at a time of frankly national political crisis. so you might think it would be good to have parliamentarians there discussing this crisis, but boris johnson want to get his no-deal approach through. he wants to take control of this. he's not going to be a reactive kind of prime minister. he's come in full guns blazing and he's going to be proactive. it will be a turbulent couple of months in british politics. >> it could be very turbulent few months and boris johnson showing he's getting his cues from donald trump. not working well for donald trump and i don't think it will work well for boris johnson. if you look at the numbers, the percentage of people in britain who put him in the position to be prime minister and see how unpopular his party is and even how unpopular his approach to brexit is, it will be very
interesting to see how long he actually survives there. let's go right now, though, and get an update on hurricane dorian that's now a category 1 storm after lashing puerto rico and the virgin islands with heavy rain and wind. dorian is now heading towards the bahamas and could grow into a powerful cat 3 hurricane while it moves towards florida over the labor day weekend. let's go right now to meteorologist janessa webb for a track on the storm's track. as a floridan, i have been through labor day hurricanes. talk about the worst possible time ever. they're just -- everybody is traveling. everybody is on the road. and this may cut straight through the florida peninsula and i hear it may hover over florida for a day or two. >> you said it all right there. the last time we saw a hurricane like this was hurricane gene in
2004. but you hit it right on the nose here. people are headed out for labor day weekend. unfortunately, the timing is going to hit in the heat of that. let's show you what's going on right now. possibility of a major hurricane that is developing. and right now, we are seeing an eye that has started to develop here. now, puerto rico into the virgin islands, they're currently in the clear here with just a few bands that are continuing to linger. what is going to happen here is that rapid intensification phase. i like to call it what's going on happen is that simmering phase that's going on allow the wind speeds to really pick up. that's is why the national hurricane center has issued another change in the direction of this system here. now, the humidity also is going to increase. also it's sitting in a body of water that's very warm. that's going to allow wind speeds to increase to 120 miles per hour by saturday. a potential cat 3 going into monday, just in time for labor day. but, joe, we're following this
system as it makes its way on shore here. catastrophic flooding. the heavy duty rain along with storm surge is really going to be possible all the way into tampa. so watching this very closely. >> all right. thank you so much, janessa. we greatly appreciate it. i'm sure we will be back for more updates. you know, somebody that has been through so many hurricanes in my lifetime and will probably go through many more, as the storm is approaching, one of the most important things to know is that your government, whether it's the president, fema, a small business association, you know government officials have your back, that they're going to do everything that they can do to make things work. because it makes all the difference in the world. jeb bush was extraordinarily successful as governor of florida going -- in 2004,
bringing florida through four hurricanes and being extraordinarily organized. and the next year, katrina came along and, of course, that was an absolute nightmare from washington, d.c. all the way down to the mayor. but the main thing is, you need to know that the government's focused and the government's on your side, but, caddie, as puerto rico is facing yet the possibility of another colossal hurricane, donald trump, instead of providing comfort and support, actually chose that horrible time -- and it is, it is just a frightening, horrible time where you fear that everything you own is going to be blown away into the ocean. donald trump used that time to attack the people of puerto rico. it's like nothing i've ever seen. >> you've been there, joe, so spare a thought for people in puerto rico yesterday. the island was mostly spared the
brunt of the storm, but it wasn't able to shake the president's twitter feed. when it was still unclear how hard this storm would actually hit the island, donald trump continued his attack tweeting this, we are tracking closely tropical storm dorian as it heads to puerto rico. fema and all others are ready and will do a great job. about they do, let them know it and give them a big thank you. not like last time. that includes from the incompetent mayor of san juan. he also tweeted this. puerto rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. their political system is broken and their politicians are either incompetent or corrupt. congress approved billions of dollars last time, more than any place has ever gotten. and it is sent to crooked polls. no good. he then came back for more. that was not enough. tweeting, quote, and by the way, i'm the best thing that's ever happened to puerto rico. of course, joe, we know those
billions of dollars approved didn't end up in puerto rico because only a small portion of it was actually sent to them. >> and, of course, now they're talking about diverting relief funds to build donald trump's imaginary wall. this is extraordinary behavior. again, if you look at donald trump, the arc of donald trump over the past few weeks, as we've said time and again whether it's eugene robinson or the atlantic or this morning gayle collins writing for the "new york times," it is hard to believe, but true, that donald trump is becoming even more un-moored from reality, even angrier, even more petulant, even more unsound of mind and spirit.moored from reality, eve angrier, even more petulant, even more unsound of mind and spirit. even over the past week. >> his you meg lalomania is
astounding, everything is about him, even a storm. when you look at the people that don't know whether or not something is going to be he devastating or not and all you can see is yourself in the eye of the storm, you're dealing with somebody who boarders losing grip with reality. because this president, talking about i'm the best thing that ever happened in the middle of a pending possible catastrophe should frighten all of us. and then to take cheap shots at the people -- people that, by the way, when he went down last time he threw towels at, is just astounding. and i think that when we look at this kind of behavior, those of us that have been critical of him can say that we are sadly right about the levels of insensitivity and indignity that he's brought to this office. still ahead on "morning
joe," historically, presidential pardons are discussed after someone convicted. but for president trump, it's apparently floating the idea preemptively, just in case someone gets busted for following his orders. that conversation ahead, on "morning joe." you've had quite the career. yeah, i've had some pretty prestigious jobs over the years. news producer, executive transport manager, and a beverage distribution supervisor. now i'm a director at a security software firm. wow, you've been at it a long time. thing is, i like working. what if my retirement plan is i don't want to retire? then let's not create a retirement plan. let's create a plan for what's next. i like that. get a plan that's right for you. td ameritrade. ♪ so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work.
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>> in a series of tweets, president trump is now deny ago report that he has offered pardons to aides who break the law in order to fast track the building of his border wall. "the washington post" first reported the story on thursday night saying he was making extreme measures to make sure the wall is built in time for the 2020 election. no surprise. it wouldn't be the first time that trump has reportedly said he would consider pardons. >> i'd never want anybody to be above the law, but the pardons
are a very positive thing for a president. the question wad asked yesterday about pardons with respect to paul manafort. i said i'm not taking anything off the table. we're looking at a lot of different pardons for a lot of different people. some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard, long and then when they fight, sometimes they get really treated very unfairly. >> the power to pardon is a beautiful thing. you've got to get it right. you have to get the right people. >> the president clearly likes the power of pardons. this comes as the house continues to weigh whether to launch impeachment proceedings against the president once lawmakers return to capitol hill next month. "the washington post" reports through his pardons of political allies, conservative offenders and others converted of federal crimes, president trump throughout his concern has sent undirect signals of his willingness to help those close to him escape punishment. mr. trump has issued 15 pardons
so far in his presidency. several democrats said an investigation into trump's pardons throughout his presidency is fair game because abuse of a pardon is an abuse of presidency. a white house official told "the washington post" that trump was merely joking when preemptively floating the idea of pardoning people. and, joe, that's exactly the argument he's used before. it was just a joke. >> time and again, dana millbank again wrote a column this morning in "the washington post" about the president's, quote, jokes. and they end up not being jokes. jonathan lamere, again, he often will say something and back off and then it always ends up with the president going back to his original position. so we can expect him to do that here, as well. we're going to talk. i know you're in boston. we're going to talk about the boston red sox and looking like secretariat, you know, turning the corner at belmont and about to do that massive charge into
history. but before we do that, let's talk about the president. it's been confirmed by another media outlet that the president said do whatever you need to do and if you need to be pardoned, don't worry about it, i'll do that later. i saw a conservative writer yesterday say they would may very well with the republican base. so was this, perhaps, as offensive and as undemocratic as it is and as it sounds, the idea, is this the president once again desperate and playing to his political base? >> as noted before, the white house is spinning this as the president offering a joke, it was light hearted, he doesn't mean it.
but time and time again, we know when he floats things, this is the excuse to try to walk it back, even though there is meaning to this. that is what the reporting has suggested once a month. there are two things going on here at once. on one hand, the wall was his signature campaign promise in 2016 that it would get built and mexico would pay for it. as 2020 heats up, they need to be able to suggest that progress has been made. they'll blame the democrats for not getting as much done as they like. that is so auveng the key for for this president. it's not about the concrete results. it's about the perception that he's fighting for, that that is what animates the base and we're seeing that here again. and as far as the pardons go,
it's something that he can do unilaterally. it's something that he doesn't need any sort of approval from, from congress or his own staff. there have been times where members ashdz him have tried to get him to take the temperature down saying this could be politically risky. he's considering doing it because he thinks it would be for his political benefit. coming up on "morning joe," is making the debate stage a prerequisite for continue ago presidential campaign? for kirsten gillibrand, it is. that's why she is dropping out. congressman tim ryan has a different viewpoint about that and he's going to join us, straight ahead. we're reporters from the new york times.
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first. we wanted to win this race. but it's important to know when it's not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country. i believe i can best serve by helping to unite us to beat donald trump in 2020. that was senator keers tin gillibrand. she decided with her family to end her bid after she was unable to secure a spot on the september debate stage. caddie, that debate stage has taken shape. >> yeah. as ten candidates now qualified for the september debate, it's all set.
after spending nearly $12 million, the billionaire fell short. reverend, how does it change things, gillibrand getting out. if she's going to endorse somebody, could that shake up the race further when she does? >> i think she brings a certain constituency, even though she didn't get to the same level in the polls. but i think what is going to be interesting is now, with the houston debate, you're going to have everyone on the stage. we have not seen elizabeth warren and joe biden on the stage. that's going to be interesting. we've not seen all of the major players together and what the interaction is going to be because we saw in the first debate, it was kamala harris going after joe biden, the second debate win after kamala harris and kind of hurt kamala harris who has kind of never
recovered. so who are they going to target in this debate and what do they stand for? i think what really is coming down because we are now almost labor day, what do you stand for? are you running to be represent a certain train of thought and a certain way you want to drive the country? and i think they're going to have to start defining that in the next debate. >> and they're going to have difficulty defining it with ten people on the stage. >> they are. >> you're going to get an average of, what, two, three minutes? but the thing that strikes me, nick, is that the whole debate process, with all the candidates in the field, and there were a lot of them and there still are a lot of them is the democratic national committee made a mess of this. i mean, there wasn't a better way to pull these debates off, to have six people at a time appearing one night. i mean, it's a mess.
>> well, they tried to make it as democratic, small d, as possible. they're main contenders, truly. and the party needs that. so there's some really big debates happening here. for gillibrand, i think the reason he she had trouble was her brand, and the thing he was known for, sexual assault in the military, women's issues, "me too," there's not a lot of diff diff differenta at this in. these candidates are not all on the same page and warren and biden, sanders, have got to be
in the same place at a time for the party to actually start to sort these things out. coming up on "morning joe," a pair of house democrats. congresswoman debbie mccarsill powell joins the conversation on the push for gun safety legislation. plus, presidential candidate tim ryan on his bid for the white house. "morning joe" will be right back. who's dog is this? it's my special friend, antonio. his luxurious fur calms my nerves when i'm worried about moving into our new apartment. why don't we just ask geico for help with renters insurance?
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dorian bringing torrential rains hitting island after island and surprising puerto rico with a sudden turn. more than 150 sheltsers are opened after officials closed all schools and ordered public workers to stay home. with dorian expected to grow stronger, concern stretching beyond the caribbean to the florida coast. >> residents in florida are bracing for hurricane dorian which is posing an increasing danger for the labor day weekend. let's go live now to miami and bring in democratic
congresswoman debbie powell of florida. she's a member of the house judiciary committee. congresswoman, what is the latest update? what is it looking like? >> good morning, everyone. i just got off the phone, actually, with the director of the emergency operations center in monroe county. i represent monroe county, the florida keys and parts of miami-dade county. we are definitely ground zero sometimes for the eye of these storms that come through the east coast of florida. but at this moment, we don't have the information as to whether it's going to hit. so we are preparing. this is not a first run for us. unfortunately, we continue to brace for these hurricanes every single summer. the storms are getting stronger. but what i can tell you is that i have full confidence in our emergency management team in monroe and in miami-dade county. i applaud governor desantis for
declaring a state of emergency in the state because it's going to low us to start moving some of the resources, not just state, but federal that we will need. unfortunately, it's too early to tell. so we don't have enough information as to where exactly this storm is going to hit, but we ask all residents to have a plan in place. there is still some time and we just need to watch closely. >> i was going to ask you about any interaction you've had with the governor's office. obviously, governor desantis, it will be his first major hurricane to hit the state of florida. he's surprised a lot of people over the last year with his leadership. i'm curious swb have you had any interactions with the the governor's office inspect what are they doing right now to prepare for this storm? >> i actually reached out yesterday. i want to be available to him and the emergency management team. but it seems like the person that he's appointed to oversee
the emergency management operation here in florida is very highly competent. and so i feel optimistic that we are going to be ready and that we will follow the right procedures so that we don't see any loss of life or any casualties relate relating to this storm. >> congresswoman, with regard to emergency management, there's been speculation that the president may or may not take as much as $200 million marked for fema for emergency management and move that money to the border for border crossings. have you heard anything about that lately? can you bring us up to date on what you've heard, if anything? and secondly, appropriations bills in the house of representatives where you have been elected to, so it would appear that he may have to do this by executive order if, indeed, he does it. but, anyway, can you bring us up to speed on what you know. >> look, the news, when i found out that this president wants to
take much needed fema funds, let me remind everyone, we are still recovering from hurricane irma. we have still not received all the reimbursements from fema that we expect. and so what i did yesterday -- i don't have many more details than that -- i sent a letter to the director of fema asking him specific questions whether he has already sent these funds to the president, whether he has been asked to allocate funds prior to the news that we received yesterday and whether they're prepared. we are bracing for this storm right now and we need fema to be with us here on the ground ready and with the appropriate funding if that storm were to hut the coast and cause severe damage. so at this moment, i'm waiting to hear back. we sent this letter yesterday. but i will keep you post odd that. >> congressman, i would like to ask you about another issue. you're on the judiciary committee. when you went back from the summer break, you said in an interview that you were still looking at the options when it
came to impeachment, that you wanted to take the inquiry seriously. it sounded like you weren't in favor of impeachment proceedings being launched against the president. now that you've been back with your constituents, is that still your position or what's your view today on impeachment proceedings? >> i think that the most important thing we need to do is allow for the american public to get all the information. most of americans have not read the mueller report. they don't understand the allegations against this president as they pertain to obstruction of justice. we just heard this president now violate the emoluments clause by suggesting that he is going to be hosting the g7 summit at his resort here in miami. so i still feel strongly that we have to play our strongest hand in the courts. which is why we are requesting all the evidence, which is also why we need to have don mcgahn, special white house counsel don
mcgahn to tell the story to the american public. more people have asked me when we are going to start impeachment proceedings. and what i tell earn everyone is justice has its own timeline. we need to follow the right steps and get that information first and give it to the american public so that they know what is happening with this administration. >> congresswoman, it's nick cnfisori. i wanted to ask you, so you and your colleagues are going to meet on september 4th to discuss a gun safety bill in the house. i wonder in the wake of yet another mass shooting in our country, if you think there is any opening for a change, for something different to happen on this gun bill that would be different from what has happened on every other gun bill that has tried to get through the house in the last two years. >> i refuse to stand by idly and do nothing. we have mitch mcconnell and the republicans in washington, d.c. who are hiding their heads in
the sand. it is the will of the american people and we must follow the will. not denying the american people for a vote for a universal background bill that we sent back in february is completely disregarding the will of 90% of americans. this is such a personal issue for me. i lost my father to gun violence and i have -- i ran and i am in this seat and i am now the judiciary committee because i will not stop until we have action. we cannot sit by and wait for another mass shooting. so i am very proud that the chairman of the committee, chairman nadler, called us back in session before our workweek starts, back in september 9th. so we will be marking up three more gun reform bills. but i have to tell you, it is not only mitch mcconnell. we need the courage and the will from republican senators who are in the majority right now to tell the senate majority leader to bring these votes to the
floor. and so i hope and i expect that showing everyone that we are coming back, we are doing our part, we are working and they have to stand with us and asking and putting pressure on the senate so that we can have these bills come to the floor. i'm optimistic. i'm not going to give up right now. >> congresswoman, in the light of coming back early, the judiciary committee, to deal with some of these issues like background check, would you hope to see an aggressive move by democrats, even on the presidential campaign with the debate coming up in houston, around pushing this issue? you're a congresswoman in a state where we had the parkland shootings, it was almost four weeks ago. we had el paso and dayton in one weekend. yet we've seen not even background checks come before this congress and senate and pass something as supportive as
you've just outlined by the majority of the american public. at what point do judiciary members say it's time to get more aggressive and go to the mat? >> that's exactly what we're doing, which is why we're going back early next week. here is the problem. and i don't understand why we continue topo lit size the safety of our communities. not only has that happened to me. i know many members in congress that have been touched by gun violence. i have met with hundreds of parents that have lost their children to senseless shootings. and i represent an area in my district that has a very high rate of gun violence among kids under the age of 18. so what i don't want is for the conversation to go away after a week of a mass shooting. we have to continue to bring
issue -- like to this issue on every single day. it's something that i talk about daily and it is something that i intend to work on. and i can tell you, like my colleague lucy mcbeth who has been a champion, she lost her son to gun violence here in the state of florida. it's going to take all of us and it's going to take the will of the people marching, screaming out loud, calling your senators. and you see passion in my voice because we can't forget that this happened just a couple of weeks ago. i don't want another mass shooting to wake up to another mass shooting and for us to, again, send thoughts and prayers. we need action. >> congressman, i was on hillary clinton's campaign in 2016 and we really tried to make gun safety issues, reforming gun safety legislation a top priority. but even with suburban swing voters, it didn't swing to manifest itself to getting them to vote in our favor.
i think in large part because of parkland and other mass shootings we saw a shift. do you think this is something that will swing suburban swing voters in the direction of democrats and against trump in 2020? in other words, if mitch mcconnell and donald trump don't do anything to pass and be leaders on gun safety reforms, do you think this may sink their re-election in 2020? >> i have to doubt. i have been all over my district and this issue comes up every single time. parents are scared to send their kids to school. people are scared to go to public places. i myself, when i send my kids every morning to school, it's in the back of my mind. groups are very active in my community in the state of florida and all over the country. and they worked very hard to get some of us elected and send us to the house of representatives. i have no doubt this is going to
be a key issue in the 2020 election. >> so congresswoman, let's end how we began and talk about this threat to your constituents and people across the state of florida. we saw during hurricane katrina local officials move too slowly. we then saw the federal government move too slowly and a real crisis came about. what is your best advice to your constituents and people throughout south and central florida that are watching this hurricane approach. could be a cat 3 which is, of course, deadly. what is your best advice on when they should make their decision on whether they need to get in their cars and head up i-95 or leave some other way? >> i think the most important thing here to keep in mind is that you have to follow the orders from your local municipality. so a lot of these orders go from
municipality to municipality depending on where this storm is going to hit. you still have time. florida, we still have time. we have a few days to get our evacuation plan in place, to get the, you know, seven days worth of medicine and food and water, put gas in your cars. let's be prepared. but the most important thing is that we have to follow the evacuation orders or the warnings that we get from the local emergency management operations center, depending on where you live. i know that it's an inconvenience for many floridans to have to evacuate. we will have shelters that will be ready and open. but i'd rather have people go through the inconvenience of having to leave their home, then see casualties after the storm. so it's -- you know, our officials are prepared. we are ready to handle the storm. it is up to the rvents to follow the evacuation orders and to have a plan in place. >> all right. congresswoman debbie powell, thank you so much for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me.
coming up next, presidential candidate and congressman tim ryan is here. he's going to talk about his campaign's next step after learning he's not going to be in the september debate. we'll talk to him about that and much more, when "morning joe" returns. i have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. 3 out of 4 people achieved... ...90% clearer skin at 4 months... ...after just 2 doses. skyrizi may increase your risk of infections... ...and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection... ...or symptoms such as fevers,... ...sweats, chills, muscle aches or coughs... ...or if you plan to or recently received a vaccine. i feel free to bare my skin. visit skyrizi.com. his life is pretty comfortable. then, he laid on a serta and realized his life was only just sorta comfortable. i've been living a lie. (laughs) the serta icomfort hybrid mattress. not just sorta comfortable, serta comfortable.
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democratic presidential candidate congressman tim ryan from ohio. i guess i could start by asking you about the browns but i'll ask you the question everybody wants to hear about. the browns by the way, what an exciting story. >> yes. what a thrill. >> let's talk about the question everybody else is going to ask so i'll get it out of the way. what is your reaction to not being on the debate stage for the september debate? how do you move forward with that reality facing you and your campaign? >> obviously you want on but we're moving forward. this is not going to stop us at all. the metrics are such an artificial barrier, i think, to the natural flow of the campaign. we're picking up endorsements left and right in places like south carolina, joe. we got reverend richburg who is helping us, representative fletcher smith, pastor courtney adams, some really strong players. brandon brown, who was joe biden's deputy campaign person
in south carolina. most of these people are joe biden people, just within the last week they've all come onboard to my campaign. so i'm doing it the old fashioned way. i'm on the ground. we're meeting people. we're going to churches. we're shaking hands. we're going to universities. we went to payne college in augusta, georgia the other day, pulled out 15 volunteers from our town hall meeting. i think people are looking for something different. in new hampshire we're doing very, very well with endorsements as well. heavy hitters in the city of manchester. top vote getting alderman dan o'neil. we're moving on the ground and we've got time and money to keep going, so this race is just starting not ending. >> i can only state it every day but i will state it again that we're still almost six months away from the first contest. >> yes. and when you think, joe, bill
clinton got into this race in 1992 in october and it's august now. so this race hasn't even started and i think to try to winnow the field or tell somebody they shouldn't run, that has no effect and no bearing on my decision. >> so talk about your frustration. obviously you're working very hard and, yet, you look at the polls that come out and they've been frozen on ice for the most part. there was a quick thaw after the first debate. kamala harris went up five, six, seven, eight points, and then the movement back down to 5%, 6%. so this field, the polls have been about the same all summer. why is that? >> well, a lot of people aren't really paying attention or they're half paying attention. a lot of it is name i.d. i think you see bernie sanders and elizabeth warren trading back and forth about 25% of the vote. i think a lot of people are kind of parking with joe biden. they know him.
he has name i.d. and so as a default, you know, when they ask you the question on the poll it's like, if the election was held tomorrow, what would you do? and so you have to say somebody. but i think it's wide open. i think it's totally fluid. about 70% of the people are saying that they're not certain who they're going to vote for. so a lot of runway left here. >> hi, congressman. historically speaking, no candidate who's been seeking the democratic nomination or any party's nomination going into labor day of the off year who is polling at 1% or less has gone on to become the party's nominee. jimmy carter received 2% in 1976 or i guess 1975 but nobody who is at 1% or less has actually gone on to be the nominee. what is your path? how do you think you'll be the person who overcomes that and actually goes on to be the nominee? >> well, you grind it out. donald trump's president.
i think all these rules are out the window at this point. i think we have social media. you have viral moments. as i said, we're working it on the ground. people are looking for a place to go. when i give a speech, like literally, i could go back to the last five speeches whether it was the afl-cio in iowa, the dnc speech in san francisco, whether it was the nea teacher union speech with 10,000 people in houston i get standing ovations and people are like, oh, my god. i never knew who you were. this is great. so i'm just going to keep going and we'll keep building it out. like i said, we're pulling endorsements in south carolina and new hampshire that are really significant. so we'll just build it out. i don't think anybody can predict the future. we've got a house party in south carolina with the former dnc chair. we are moving on the ground. you know, people want to help they can go to timryanforamerica.com. send us some money and keep us going but we'll surprise a lot of people in the fall. >> congressman, last week or
this past weekend at the g7 summit, france, the president's behavior, his actions, caused the stock market to go up and down. people started talking about the potential of recession or depression based upon his words. you represent a uniquely american paycheck to paycheck district. >> yes. >> tell me, tell us, tell whoever is watching, what you sense -- the fears, the hopes, the dreams but, principally, the fears of the working men and women of this country. >> they have no idea what the future holds. and donald trump, some people voted for him, some white people went and voted for donald trump, some african-american people stayed at home. people thought donald trump was going to help fix this. the problem with the economy that's been going on for 30 or 40 years, and he's actually made matters worse. we had a general motors plant close down and about $3 billion through the supply chain closed down. we see steel workers losing
their jobs in detroit and other places in michigan and indiana so the shine is coming off the apple and i think a lot of people think this guy has some mental health issues. he is so erratic and going to buy greenland? what the hell are we even talking about here when people are losing their jobs? he has no way to close the skills gap, no investments in education, the competitiveness, electric vehicles, solar, wind, artificial intelligence, 5g all these things where china is cleaning our clock he has no freaking plan and so people in ohio and other places are saying, what's the plan? i think this race is going to be a lot like 1992, saying you got to explain it to him? the nominee for our party has to explain to people what we're going to do moving forward and i think i'm the best person to do that. >> do you think, though, congressman, and i know you're in this and you're going to stay and i'm getting reports from south carolina you did get key endorsements going to payne college and one of my dreams is
to get joe scarborough to go with me to the brown statue in augusta, georgia. >> i just don't want to see him dance. >> i'll do the dance. but you're hanging in this. do you think the party is moving too far to what is called the left? i'm a progressive. but too far to the left to get the ohios and other places in the middle that you're representing? >> i'm worried, rev. i think some of the lead candidates have taken positions that will lose 48 states and i'm trying to figure out what the two are that we're going to win. if you are talking about free healthcare for undocumented workers and the average person in these states we have to win are busting it to pay for healthcare for their own families and paying a lot of money for it. i think decriminalizing at the border is a mistake. you have to ring the door bell if you want to go in the door. it should be a crime. the single payor idea of telling people they can't have their private health insurance, you're
going to all these union people in the industrial midwest and tell them they've negotiated away wages to get really good healthcare and we're going to take that from you because we got a better idea in washington, d.c.? i think that's a mistake. i'm running a campaign that's more in the moderate lane. tim ryan for america.com. i'm the guy who can beat donald trump in these india l states astates -- these industrial states and send him back to mar-a-lago. i look forward to doing that. >> he said tim ryan for america.com. congressman tim ryan, thank you so much. reverend al, it's a date, buddy. i can't wait. >> all right. >> that does it for us this morning. thank you so much for watching. we greatly appreciate it. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. thanks, joe. hi there. i am chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. it is thursday, august 29th. here's what's happening. hurricane dorian is growing stronger by the hour. now expected to explode into a monster category