tv MTP Daily MSNBC September 9, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
my thanks to all, most of you to watching. i'm nicole. "mtp daily," with steve kornacki in for chuck starts now. ♪ if it's monday, it's breaking news. the political storm intensifyings around that false alabama forecast. we've got a new report that a member of the trump administration threatened to fire people who contradicted the president. plus, congress is back. will impeachment be on the top of the to-do list? house democrats are escalating their probe of the president
today. and the taliban talks, bipartisan backlash and internal white house disagreement over the president's plan to meet with the terrorist group on u.s. soil. if it is monday, it is "meet the press daily," i'm steve kornacki in for chuck todd. breaking news. president trump is in north carolina where he was planning to tour some of the damage caused by hurricane dorian before heading to a campaign rally which could be a key indicator of which direction the 2020 election is heading. we'll get to that potential canary in a coal mine race later. we also learned the weather is keeping the president from touring the damage and that he will receive a previousing on air force one. a little late-breaking development. i said a lot was happening. at the same time the president is facing new questions about his administration's actions after the president warned -- falsely warned alabama remained threatened by hurricane dorian. this goes beyond the days of
digging in insisting he was right, the map doctored with a sharpie. "the new york times" reports wilbur ross threatened to fire top employees at noaa after the birmingham office contradicted the president's report that dorian might strike bam. we'll talk to that reporter. that story broke after they said the chief scientist backed the agency over its own experts on dorian. while the hurricane did make landfall in north carolina late last week, the devastation there pales in comparison to what we have seen out of the bahamas. 44 people so far were killed. the death toll is expected to rise. the u.s. has taken in more than 1,000 dorian survivors from the islands. while earlier today the acting customs and border protection chief mark morgan said he's not ruling out temporary protected
status for bahamians affected by dorian. president trump sounded less open to the idea. >> we're recovering from the hurricane also. florida did get hit. not as hard as we anticipated. you look at georgia, you look at south carolina, north carolina. but we have to be very careful. everybody needs totally proper documentation because, look, the bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the bahamas that weren't supposed to be there. i don't want to allow people that weren't supposed to be in the bahamas to come into the united states, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers. >> joining me now are cal perry and ali velshi. both have been on the ground in abaco, where the devastation, you can see right behind them there. ali, let me start with you. we mentioned the death toll. the official death count has
reached into the 40s now. certainly from the images we've seen, the stories we're absorbing, expectations it will go higher seem almost inevitable at this point. >> reporter: as cal and i have noticed -- by the way, we've seen several bodies that have been pulled and placed on trucks. that hasn't increased the death count. we're in an isolated place where there does not seem to be a whole lot of presence of authority. there seem to be aid agencies working here and ngos. i think the process of finding bodies, identifying them, registering them and increasing the death toll is probably not a particularly efficient one. i would hasten to say, we have no way of knowing what a count looks like. but it's not in the 40s. again, within an hour of landing, we had -- >> at least six bodies loaded onto trucks. >> yeah. there's a lot here. we're not in a stage where things have been cleared. wherever you look on this island -- i'm just going to ask our photographer to pan to the left there so you can see. it all looks like this. it's not like we selected this
particular spot. this was somebody's house. it all looks like this everywhere. houses destroyed, reduced to rubble. and there are bodies being found fairly constantly, steve. >> yeah. cal, again, giving us a good sense this is widespread. what are you experiencing on the ground today? just give us a sense of what it's like to be there. >> reporter: so, we got here about six hours ago. we immediately hit the ground. we wanted to go with the search and rescue teams and see the progress they were making. the progress is incredibly slow because the debris is so thick. every house was turned into lumber. it's almost like a graveyard underneath a debris field. you're talking about layers of debris. specifically in the neighborhood that was a home to 7,000 undocumented haitians. people who fled the earthquake in 2010 in haiti came here looking for a better life. and were afraid, some of them, to go into these government facilities for protection.
everything is destroyed. i'll tell you even the things that are not destroyed, you know, it's not pleasant, but some of the small structures that remain, people had defecated in them because you have to remember this storm just hovered for 36 hours. it's hard to imagine how this island will ever get back on its feet. >> reporter: immediately we have a disease problem that is looming here because there are these bodies that haven't been found and there isn't running water and we're short of gasoline. there's a fairly immediate problem that in this heat -- >> and as unpleasant as it is, the search teams when the wind changes direction, they can smell, you can smell the bodies all over this island. you can spell bodies decomposing. they smell it, go that direction and find the bodies. >> it's a horrible, horrible situation down there. cal and ali, thank you for keeping us updated. i appreciate that. i'm joined now by peter baker, chief white house
correspondent, gabe debenedetti and z erment rlina maxwell and john pod hoar tz, msnbc contributor. thanks for being with us. peter baker, we were just quoting at the top of the show from your story about this drama, this story you just broke in the last few minutes, this drama involving wilbur ross and the commerce secretary. it is the commerce department that has jurisdiction over noaa. take us through what you are reporting happened there over the last few days. >> exactly. we all remember the birmingham office of the national weather service contradicted the president when he said alabama most likely would be hit. five days later, the national -- noaa, the parent agency issued an unusual statement chastising that office saying they spoke with too much certainty and basically, in effect admonishing
them for contradicting the president. turns out that statement came after the commerce secretary, wi wilbur ross, who oversees noaa got in touch with the acting noaa director and said he had to fix this situation. this contradiction is not something that could stand between the president and the agency of the government. he basically made clear, according to sources who talked to us, that he would be fired or other people around him would be fired if this didn't happen. >> is there any indication that ross was told this by the president to do this? >> that's a good question. one we're asking about. obviously the white house had a certain interest in this. one administration official i talked to said, you know, it would be perfectly appropriate for noaa to rein in what they consider to be a rogue office. that's rogue only because they contradicted the president.
their argument is that speaking with so much certitude that the office was playing with politics. doesn't seem to be real evidence of that. not like the birmingham office is a hot bed of known political actors. clearly the white house feels besieged. they're trying to justify the president's statement. they're trying to undercut any contradiction of him and the most important contradiction was that statement, that tweet that was put out by those forecasters in alabama. >> let me bring the panel in on this. gabe, when this statement from -- it was noaa, the national oceanic atmospheric agency. when the statement came out, there was no name on it, it was unsigned. there was speculation that there would be reporting that shed this kind of light on it. in that sense, that's filling in blanks that were apparent from the beginning. >> it was very clear from the beginning that there was pushback from the administration that was essentially saying what's not important is the
truth, the safety of the people of alabama but the president's narrative. this is the institutionalization of a regime of not telling the truth or making sure the president's word is more important than the truth. you know, we've been talking about this for the last few days. again, the most important thing, once again, is that the people of alabama were misinformed and many cases, or some cases, potentially, put in danger over the misinformation coming from the president here. but the fact that you have a cabinet official essentially taking it upon himself apparently, though we don't yet know or there's no indication that this came from the president, to correct lower level functionaries for doing their jobs correctly. that's really not something we've seen in quite some time. it's justifiably going to be the subject of quite a few investigations, i would suspect, on the hill. it's yet another scandal because you have cabinet secretaries trying to suck up to the. the. >> what do you make of this? >> i think this is the most terrifying thing that's happened thus far. the reason why is because when the president lies about something when life is in the balance, it matters. and in this case, thankfully, he
was wrong about where the hurricane was going and so he's telling people, you know, they're in danger when they, in fact, are not in danger. imagine the reverse, though. and i think the fact that the president cannot cop to having made a mistake, when everybody would have been like, okay, you made an error. you read, you know -- you misread something on the original map or you misheard something in the briefings you were getting leading up to your public statements. but you made a mistake, you need to correct it because this is life and death. this is not a game. this is not just politics. there are moments in the administration where things rise just above the political conversation. while it's important to understand the process through which this statement was put out by the birmingham office, we also need to understand that it is not just the process story but the life and death story about having a president we can trust when it comes to issues of national security and potentially life and death like an act of god. >> what do you make of this? we're talking about something that played out -- started on
the president's twitter feed well over a week ago and we're still talking about it now. >> okay. if you give him an out, what happened here is the president was unnerved, white house was unneshu unnerved by the push back from the media. what's he talking about? there's no pam balabama. yes, there is. yes, there was. look at the chart. he drew with a sharpie, whatever. so by friday then this turns into, you got to shut up the people in birmingham. because he's upset with "the washington post." not upset with the people in birmingham. wilbur ross is not upset with the people in birmingham. the people in birmingham have been made a scapegoat in this world in which trump trained at the knee of his con sillary roy cohn, you never back down, you fight back. makes this blunder. he doubles down on it.
and where i think it's scary is not necessarily that life was, you know, in the balance, but the punching down. trump likes to punch down. he was hitting at the 1% during the primaries. here he's hitting -- or the administration is hitting gs-13 civil serve aantsservants. they're not the ones that can get fired. there are only three or four political appointees that serve at the will of the president and can be removed at will. the others are civil servants and there are protections for them. in is the most powerful man in the world pumpbing back at not a low level but a civil servant who should not be in his line of fire. that's disgraceful. >> that's scarier than -- >> i want to bring in peter beck. this is your reporting we're talking about here.
correct me if i'm wrong, what i understood from your reporting, the concern wasn't that what birmingham had put out on twitter was necessarily inaccurate information. it was a sense that what the birmingham station had done was try to embarrass the president. that was the sin? >> yeah, that -- the administration official said they perceived the birmingham weather office to be political. there was an intent on the part of the forecasters there to embarrass the president. they didn't say why they believed that other than the fact that their tweet did embarrass the president. there's no -- there's no particular evidence of that. that's the way they explained it. that's the way they clearly feel. i should add, by the way, all weekend we asked the white house to discuss with us, you know, any reporting we had that there had been an order to noaa to put out this statement over the
object je objections and noaa declined or denied that. when we asked the comment department the same thing when secretary ross had, in fact, heard noaa leadership to put out a statement like this, they declined to comment. i did get a fresh email from the commerce department saying the part about firing did not happen but they didn't elaborate. we feel confident about our sources. i just wanted to make sure we put that out there. >> can i just say the tweet from birmingham was very emphatic, right? it said, we have no reason to believe or the chart doesn't say, it was in capital letters, as i recall -- >> it's up on the screen right now. >> okay. that's why it's embarrassing. it's wonderful the president is so concerned about alabama, but thank the lord the storm is going to pass, is going to leave alabama alone. it was more like, we have to correct this, alabama's not in danger, right? >> because we're talking about
life and death. i'm sorry if the president was embarrassed because he was wrong, but he was wrong. when we're talking about something this serious, it's not -- i do feel empathy for those civil servants but i feel a lot more empathy for the dead people in the bahamas and those that have long all their belongings. i think in this moment we need to have more clarity on the fact that the mistake here was not that he was embarrassed or was mean to some civil servants but he was incorrect about scientific information that had lives hanging in the balance. peter baker, appreciate you -- breaking news in the last few hours. you got here and filled us in. and gabe, zerlina and john are staying with us. congress is back on the hill. first on some democrats' agenda,s impeachment. now a critical judiciary vote is just days away. days away >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we really pride ourselves on making it easy for you to get your windshield fixed. with safelite, you can see exactly when we'll be there. saving you time for what you love most.
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democrats on the subject of impeachment today. the house judiciary committee laying out the parameters for what it calls, quote, an ongoing impeachment investigation of president trump. a vote is expected thursday on those parameters. the details of which are less important than what they signify. the first effort that acknowledges, in earnest, that the judiciary committee is consider i considering impeach. . with me is a member of the house judiciary committee, steve cohen. thank you for joining us. i want to get to all of this. i want to start on what we were talking about in the last segment. clearly you're indicating you are. new reporting from "the new york times" that last friday the commerce secretary, wilbur ross, whose department has jurisdiction over noaa, called the agency's acting administrator and said that if the birmingham office tweet was not contradicted publicly, there would be firings. what's your reaction to that?
>> it's just more insanity. the sharpie thing is amazing. when they asked him at his press conference and he gave the same look when he was asked about paying off stormy daniels, checks, the doe in the headlights look of, i have no idea who did it, but he never did say, i'm going to find out who did it. he's done about as much to find out who did the sharpie thing as o.j. simpson has done to find out the murderers. >> let me turn to the subject of impeachment we set up in the introduction. your committee is voting this week on -- is this an impeachment inquiry you're formalizing? what exactly will this week's vote do? >> it will formalize having an impeachment inquiry. we've had hearings that have, in essence, been the background on this. my subcommittee, which is constitution civil liberties and civil rights. we've had hearings on pardon power, the limits of pardon
power. that will be incorporated into an impeachment vote we might take. this is formalizing it. it's making it clear to the courts that we are in impeachment inquiry and the court should honor and support us to get testimony and documents the congress has obstructed us from getting and they should comply and work with us. we're setting up the same standards as were in the clinton impeachment and nixon impeachment and that is counsel have 30 minutes on each side after members have done questioning, that sequential follow-up questioning is so important. and we also give the president due process. and we have certain parameters when we'll go in camera on certain grand jury testimony that hopefully the courts will give us because it's necessary to conduct the defense of due process, really the rule of law and democracy, which is at stake. >> now, at the end of this process you're outlining, there will be an up/down vote on
articles of impeachment, is that where this is heading? >> there will be a decision at some point on whether there will be an up/down vote. there could be a decision by leadership there won't even be a vote. some public listened to the mueller testify, the five cases, five which seem more complete. there were definitely five, possibly ten. and the fact they worked with the russians in over 150 times, i think it was, to try to get information and they sought information and welcomed information from the russians interfering in our elections, they were doing as mr. mueller spoke and they're doing so now. that information is there. it will come out from lewandowski, deerborn, mcgahn. if they say what they told mueller, the public will be convinced, except those that overdosed on the kool-aid that
this president has committed several cases of obstruction of justice. the emoluments hearing for what he has done not just trying to get business for the doral country club and his golf courses, but what he does every day at trump hotel, trump tower, taking money from saudis, taking money from chinese, all kinds of foreign folks and welcoming it. these are violations to the constitution. they are emoluments clause violations. when this news comes out and other information, whether it's stormy daniels and karen mcdugle, the presideayoffs. every single day we have a president who would be in jail with michael cohen for a felony, getting the office of the president of the united states and he is in office. the only way he'll avoid
prosecution is if he gets re-elected. >> you said there may be a decision by leadership not to have a vote. are you talking about the leadership of this committee or democratic leadership? there's one read on what your committee's doing. nancy pelosi is publicly noncommittal on impeachment. there's reporting that privately she's told democrats, "the new york times" reported privately she's told democrats the public isn't there yet and that your committee is essentially trying to force her hand and force democrats' hands on this. >> we're trying to produce the evidence that is, i think, clear, there have been multiple violations that will warrant impeachment. if we do such, the public will come up, like nixon hearings, over 60% when the hearings were concluded, is there a smoking gun? i think there's an arsenal, a garrison. but, yes, if we bring the public opinion up greater, i think the leadership will be for us having a vote and maybe even taking action. it depends on what we deduce
through these hearings and what the public's response is. i can't speak for leader pelosi. all i know is where i think we're going. i think if the proof is out there we'll be in a good spot in december, the public will find they've been taken for a ride. >> quickly, i just heard you say by december. there's probably about 40 days, i think that's the reporting out there, about 40 days of sessions -- of session days left before the end of the year. do you have to -- you say you have to turn public opinion around. is that the deadline, basically end of this year? >> probably give or take. i'm not sure if there's a certain deadline but it could be give or take. i would like to think we could go until january 2020, at least, the third anniversary of the horror of this man becoming president. >> steve cohen, member of the house judiciary committee. thank you for taking a few minute. >> you're welcome. steves of america. 2020 is almost here but we're still watching the last of the races of 2018. voters in north carolina are going to go to the polls tomorrow. you could call it the last
election of the 2018 cycle. you could also call it a good lead-off to 2020. why this race could be an important indicator of what's to come. over to the big board after this. d after this i am royalty of racing, i am the twisting thundercloud. raise your steins to the king of speed. back then, we checked ...zero times a day. times change. eyes haven't. that's why there's ocuvite. screen light... sunlight... longer hours... eyes today are stressed! but ocuvite has vital nutrients... ...that help protect them. ocuvite. eye nutrition for today. they're america's biopharmaceutical researchers. pursuing life-changing cures in a country that fosters innovation here, they find breakthroughs... like a way to fight cancer by arming a patient's own t-cells... because it's not just about the next breakthrough...
♪ ♪ ♪ applebee's handcrafted burgers now starting at $7.99 now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. now starting at $7.99 i am royalty of racing, i am the twisting thundercloud. raise your steins to the king of speed. welcome back. in 2020 vision, the special election tomorrow in north carolina, it is technically the final race of the 2018 midterms,
for all intents and purposes, though, this is the first big race of the 2020 cycle. we are 421 days, in fact, away from election day 2020. we are 307 days past last year's midterm. as we say, this election in the ninth district of north carolina, a special election to fill a house seat that has been open since last year, it is going to be a key indicator for 2020. this is the district. this is sort of the charlotte suburbs and beyond. the southern part of north carolina here. this is a republican district. mitt romney in 2012, he carried this district by 12 points. donald trump, he carried it by 12 points. but in the 2018 midterm here, mark hair rishrris, the republi slightly led on election night but this lead was never certified as a victory because there were revelations of election fraud on harris' behalf. this result was invalidated.
the seat was declared vacant and the stage was set for this new election that's now going to take place. dan bishop replaces harris as the republican candidate. dan mccready, the democrat who ran last year, is running again. hasn't been a lot are of polling out there for this race. a couple of partisan polls have been made public. they suggest the race is very close. a district donald trump won by 12 points. a district romney won by 12 points. republicans had hoped maybe democrats taking control of the house, nancy pelosi becoming speaker, democrats starting to put agenda items of their own together, might be able to bring that republican base back together for them. if they're still struggling in a district like this, if they're still struggling there in the fall of 2019, that could be a bad sign for president trump. remember, the president carried north carolina by a little less than four points in 2016. but if there is still slack in that trump republican base in the ninth district of north carolina, there could still be slack in it elsewhere in north
carolina. that could endanger -- if the democrats were to win this tomorrow, that could be a sign trump's in trouble potentially in north carolina. if trump's in trouble in north carolina, he's probably in trouble in a lot of other places. you think back, these special elections, sometimes we can overread them. sometimes that's true. the last president who was a single-term president, who was defeated for re-election was george h.w. bush in 1992. a year before that there was a special election in pennsylvania. bush's party, the republican candidate, was supposed to win easily. instead he lost by ten points. after that election, that republican came to the white house and said i'm the canary and there's trouble in that coal mine. it was a warning to bush in '91. it was a harbinger for what was to. is this a canary in the coal mine in north carolina? we'll find out. i'll be here with all the results as they come in. if you need more proof for just how high the stakes are for republicans, the president is
headlining a rally in north carolina tonight. we'll take you there live in just a moment. plus, the latest on another kind of 2020 challenge for president trump. >> i think the party would be made stronger. i think the eventual nominee would be made stronger rather than saying we picked our horse, we're sticking with it. rse, we're sticking with it in town. [ soft piano music playing ] mm, uh, what do you do for fun? -not this. ♪ -oh, what am i into? mostly progressive's name your price tool. helps people find coverage options based on their budget. flo has it, i want it, it's a whole thing, and she's right there. -yeah, she's my ride. this date's lame. he has pics of you on his phone. -they're very tasteful. eh, not enough fiber... chocolate would be good... snacking should be sweet and simple. the delicious taste of glucerna gives you the sweetness you
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the '18 election, the big thing was i was not rubbing. people say, oh, it was a referendum on trump. i wasn't running. >> that was president trump late this afternoon claiming the 2018 midterms were not a referendum on his presidency because he wasn't on the pal lot. he made the remarks on the way to north carolina, where judge just a few minutes he'll hold a rally for the republican candidate in tomorrow's special election. we were just talking about it, in north carolina's ninth
congressional district. joining me from north carolina is my msnbc colleague leigh ann caldwell. leigh ann, i can hear them getting ready for that rally behind you there. the president says, hey, if i'm not on the ballot, it's want about me. clearly he has -- he and the white house have a sense he can be a big service to this republican candidate in what may be a close riace with the risk f embarrassment if a democrat were to win this one. >> reporter: steve, that's absolutely right. the president is putting in a lot of resources into this race. he's having this election eve rally tonight. the vice president was here as well. but when you talk to his campaign folks, they are pa parroting the same message of the clip you just played. they're saying, we should not read too much into what happens in this election into what's going to happen in 2020. they're saying the president is not on the ballot and that's a
big deal. they gave me this stat, steve. they said there were 8 million people who voted for president trump in 2016 that did not vote in the 2018 elections. they're confident those people will come back again in the 2020 elections and put him over the finish line. but still the president is in north carolina right now trying to ensure that the republican, dan bishop, wins this race tomorrow. because as you also said, you laid out how conservative this district is. there's one more point that i want to make. there has not been a democrat who has sat in congress in this district since 1963. so it would be a huge deal if democrat dan mccready wins tomorrow. >> yeah. gabe, it is interesting to see the white house -- of course, president trump does like having his rallies. he does like getting involved in these elections. you look at the wave the democrats had last year, the suburban districts.
this district has a suburban component to it but this is a more republican-friendly district than you saw generally going to the democrats last november. >> that's right. and, of course, that was ultimately the result. it was very close and there were a number of strange things that happened in this race, which is why we have a new one in the first place. obviously democrats don't feel as strongly about this races they did during the 2018 midterms when you saw more resources going into it relative it to what the situation is. most democrats are not trying to make the case this is going to be a bellwether specifically because there hasn't been this wave of support thrown in there. it's clearly the case that, yes, the president enjoys doing these kind of rallies and he's also seeing this and looking at this as some sort of indicator of what's going to happen in 2020 or else he would not go in there and try to lend his support. what we just heard there from the white house, from the president's team, which is there were 8 million people that voted for the. the in 2016 that didn't show up in 2018. they're using that as a good thing. they're trying to make the case that, yeah, of course
republicans are going to show up for the president in a way they didn't last time. democrats are going to hear that and say, yeah, because things have changed since 2016. in that sense there might actually be a few lessons we can learn here. let's not forget, north carolina is one of the single most important presidential swing states but it's also home to a number of very close house races and a senate race and a gubernatorial election all in 2020. >> and a national political convention, too. the republicans will be there next year. the other thing that's going on here, we talk about trump's re-election, john, the other news over the last couple of days, a third republican has stepped forward, mark sanford who says he's now going to challenge the president. is there any -- you can look at trump's approval rating and say these challenges are going nowhere. is there any scenario you could imagine where there is rising concern among republicans maybe if a democrat wins this special elections tomorrow, maybe if trump's overall approval rating ticks down a little bit, where
electability concerns build a market for that? >> i don't think so. i think two things are going on. in north carolina, i think we have a situation in which likely the democrat will not win. but if the margin is really close, something's going on in washington. republicans are retiring in droves. we have 13 retirements so far meaning house members who are not going to run for re-election in 2020. that's a very large number for this point in the cycle. if people really feel like it looks bad, the headwinds are bad for them, that's a harbinger of trouble for the president as well. the other is if -- if sanford, walsh and weld in the race. there's a weird twitter storm today by carly feiorina that suggests she might be looking at something. if you have four people running,
they could stage some dog and pony shows. they could have debates without trump there. they could have town halls without trump there that might be of interest for people to broadcast. while i don't think they can -- any of them can beat him, win a state or even win a delegate, necessarily, they could create -- they could kick up some dust. what the result of that dust is, it could be totally meaningless or it could suggest themes that democrats will jump on to try to appeal to moderates and disaffected republicans. >> from the democratic standpoint looking at this special election tomorrow, how do they look at this? you had the buildup to the 2018 midterms. we had a number of special elections and you looked at them and democrats were overperforming relative to 2016. there's been some sense since the 2018 midterm that that overperformance in the few special elections we've seen hasn't been as pronounced. if they were to win this one tomorrow, that would be as significant in overperformance. >> yeah. but i think we look at every
special election in this case as an organizing opportunity. i think that's actually what you're going to see. you're going to see it used as a spring board to go to the next election. maybe you close that margin and it is a lot closer than before. showing there is, obviously, change going on in washington and people are not totally co-signed with donald trump. i would go back to the original premise of this segment. i don't think -- donald trump wasn't on the ballot in 2018 but his initiative was on the ballot in 2018. for him to say, my name wasn't on the ballot but his name and the. the presidency and the chaos was on the ballot. the american people said, no, we want to hold you accountable which is why the house is now going forward with impeachment proceedings. the main indicator after this type of special election is the energy, is the turnout higher, is the margin closer. and then you use those folks who participated in that election and you propel them to the next one. you use it as an organizing
opportunity. democrats believe in that. i think that's what they will use the special election -- >> there's a terrifying bit for the republicans here that that spin is terrible. the 8 million people didn't vote because 8 million people didn't vote for -- who voted for trump, but 92%, the turnout for democrats nationwide was 92% of hillary's turnout. that is unprecedented. so if you're looking at what the parties did in 2018 that should frighten the other party, it's want the missing 8 million voters. >> right. >> it's the fact that 62 million people voted for a democrat when 65 million people voted for hillary clinton. >> overall turnout in the 2018 midterms was about 114 million, 115 million compared to about 85 million to 90 million a couple years ago. the 2018 was an explosion of turnout for a midterm election. leigh ann, appreciate that. ahead, bipartisan backlash
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all for just $10.99. hurry in! wednesdays are for outback. outback steakhouse. aussie rules. welcome back. president trump said late this afternoon that peace talks with the taliban are dead, but he's defending his decision to invite taliban leaders and disinvite taliban leaders to a meeting at camp david. >> i like the idea of meeting.
i've met with a lot of bad people and a lot of good people during the course of the last almost three years. and i think meeting is a great thing. camp david's held meetings with a lot of people that would have been perceived as being pretty tough customers and pretty bad people. there have been plenty of so-called bad people brought up to camp david for meetings. and the alternative was the white house. and you wouldn't have been happy with that either. >> critics of the meeting say inviting the taliban to camp david is a slap in the face for the 14,000 u.s. troops still deployed in afghanistan, and for all of those who fought and died in america's longest war, not to mention on 9/11. there was deep division even within the president's inner circle. msnbc senior foreign affairs analyst brett mcguirk joins me now. he is also the presidential envoy for the coalition to defeat the isis threat. thank you for joining us. let me take this in a couple of different pieces. there is the broader question of
talks with the taliban and there is this more narrow and immediate question of should the president have been entertaining, inviting taliban leaders to camp david under any circumstances? >> this whole thing is quite bizarre. but it's emmatic of trump's entire foreign policy, really seat of the pants. but this is really quite serious. we fundamentally know the taliban should never step foot in washington, let alone camp david on the eve of the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks. it's just something there is really bipartisan consensus this is a bad idea. but look, these talks have been going on for eighth months. they have been leading a process of negotiations with the taliban for eight months. and there was never a ceasefire associated while the talks were under way. the taliban has been conducting attacks throughout this period. almost 16 americans have been killed. so the question is where was president trump when these talks were going on? was there any process which was a check in with him so he
understands what's happening? because highways happened now is he has injected himself and basically blown up the entire process. so the big question now is where do we go in afghanistan. what are we trying to achieve, what are our interests? what are we trying to do. and he said today this entire process is dead. so then what? but i think it's actually a very dangerous spot. look, these are matters of war and peace, life and death. these are the most consequential decisions a president can make and you can't really fly by the seat of your pants like this. >> it's been reported for a few months there has been reporting that the u.s. has been in talks with the taliban. there was the potential of a peace deal. the camp david peace had not been known, but the potential for some kind of deal with the taliban was out there. take american laymen like me when you hear the taliban, you think of 9/11. you think of the folks who gave safe hasher to the people who attacked this country on 9/11. and now you fast forward about two decades and say well, if you want to get these 10,000 plus american troops out of afghanistan, there has to be some kind of deal struck with
the taliban. how do you do that with a group like that? >> well, it's very difficult. president bush after the 9/11 attacks told the taliban you have to give up osama bin laden, give up al qaeda otherwise we're coming into afghanistan, and they wouldn't do that. the principle behind these talks, and i think it was worth a shot was that the taliban would actually agree at the end of the day to work with the afghan government in some sort of peace arrangement to de-escalate the overall level of violence in afghanistan and reduce the act of al qaeda terrorists to have safe haven in that country. i mean, that's the core idea. that's difficult. that's hard. i give ambassador khalilzad tremendous credit for trying to move it as far as he could. but i think he got ahead of his skis because the president clearly didn't have his back for whatever he was trying to negotiate. at the end of the day, you have to have some sort of peace arrangement between the afghan government that we've been supporting and the taliban to try to de-escalate the overall
level of violence in afghanistan. that's very difficult. this is hard diplomatic work. but the president just injected himself into this process here, and now it seems to be all the way back at square zero. and the big question is where do we go now in afghanistan. take pompeo is talking about kind of escalating the war now. is that really what we want to do? i think we got to step back. this is all theatrics. this is crazy. this is a war going on with americans fighting and dying, and question have to think about what are we trying to i achieve? what are the resources we as a country, that means the white house, the congress has to be part of this conversation. what resources are we willing to dedicate? what are our allies prepared to do? and try to have some coherence to this. otherwise, the war could escalate and get even worse. >> very quickly, next month marks the 18th air force, 18-year anniversary of the start of the war with afghanistan. can you envision a time in the near future when the war in afghanistan is in the past tense? >> well, afghanistan is always going to be a violent place.
it's afghanistan. we have to remind ourselves of that. it is afghanistan. it's going to be violent. the question is what are we trying to achieve there. i think we want to make sure that al qaeda isis groups like that cannot have safe haven in which they can plan and plot attacks against us. i think we want to make sure that the government that we've been supporting for a long time that has grown in capacity does not collapse and we open up a vacuum and back to where we were before the attacks of 9/11 that would be a real disaster. we are not expending american lives in afghanistan anymore, but we are there to support the afghans. we're there to provide them some logistics and intelligence support. and i think there is a mission set that you can do that. and it does not require the taliban to come to camp david. we have to work with our afghan partners and really try to think our way through this. and that's not happening inside the administration. >> all right, brett mcguirk, thank you for taking a few minutes. >> thanks. when we come back, i'm going make you an offer you can't refuse.
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and gender equality. go to nbcnews.com/mtpfilm and get your tickets. we hope to see you there. that is all for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more with more "meet the press daily. good evening, yasmin. >> new reporting raising alarms over military stop overs at a trump golf resort. also, the right wing revolt is growing with now a third primary challenger to trump. and outrage after over 100 bahamians fleeing the destruction were forced off of a rescue boat. but we start tonight with an escalation. the democrats impeachment investigation. for the first time ever today, democrats taking formal steps towards impeachment. the house judiciary committee laying out specific procedures governing hearings moving forward. the house judiciary committee expected to vote on thursday, calling it the, quote, next
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