tv Deadline White House MSNBC August 24, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
records that were taken by the twice-impeached ex-president when he left office in january 2021. the new reporting also details team trump's months of resistance led by the ex-president himself to handing over records containing some of the country's most important and guarded national security secrets. it reveals that the search of trump's private resident was actually many months in the making and really just the latest chapter in a long, simmering investigation. here's what happened when the national archives got their hands on the first batch of documents from mar-a-lago back in january according to this new reporting in "the washington post," quote, when archives employees began opening up and sifting the material they noticed an immediate problem. the boxes arrived without logs and inventories to describe their content according to a person familiar with the recovery. instead they contained a hodgepodge of documents including some that didn't come from trump's time in office, but some of the white house records had obvious markings indicating
they were classified. what followed was months of back and forth with trump's attorneys. once again from this washington post report. quote, donald trump's lawyers received ominous news in an april 12th email from the national archives. the fbi would soon examine sensitive documents the former president had reluctantly returned to the government from his florida club three months earlier. within weeks, trump had had new lawyers to deal with the documents and the fbi's attention would shift from top-secret material trump returned to the archives they believe would be kept in florida. "the washington post" would go on to report that as the criminal probe gained steam in the spring, trump was deeply involved in making sure what records had gone with him to mar-a-lago. quote, the fbi proceeded with interviews with others in trump's orbit including valets and former white house staffers.
agents were told that trump was a pack rat that had been personally overseeing his collection of white house records since even before leaving washington. they'd been reluctant to return anything. the fbi became increasingly convinced that the former president continued to hold classified documents in florida. "the washington post" also reports that in the months before the search of mar-a-lago not once did trump's lawyers attempt to argue that donald trump at some undisclosed and unknown point in his term in office had declassified the documents that were in his possession. it is a point that his attorneys and allies had been making over and over again in right-wing media appearances for weeks. that claim has been a big part of the slap dash attempt at forming some kind of coherent legal strategy of the ex-president. as "the new york times" quotes, even as he fuels outrage in media outlets and he tries to turn the attention to president
biden and the deep state, claiming executive privilege still applies to him even though he's out of office and maintaining he had a sweeping, standing order to declassify some documents which his aides have declined to produce. donald trump's flailing legal defense struggling in the face of the facts of the investigation into his handeling of classified material is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. betsy woodruff swann, political national correspondent and also msnbc contributor. pete strzok is also here, former fbi counter intelligence agent. naftali former new york state prosecutor and now msnbc legal analyst. betsy, i start with you. i know that grasping at straws is sort of a pattern that we recognize from trump, but it seems that the rubber may meet the road in that his senior aides and former lawyers are the witnesses testifying to his
handling of classified material in this case. >> it's without a doubt a real and serious problem for him. one of the things that i found most striking about this new reporting from the post was the detail indicating that trump himself was very much involved personally in a hands-on way in deciding which documents or at least some of which documents he wanted to take with him to mar-a-lago. one of the arguments that sort of emerged from the concept of conversations that had been going on since the mar-a-lago raid is this notion that, well, they are packing so fast. it was such a mess. things were so chaotic during the final case of the trump precedence they no one could really be held responsible for oh, oops, classified stuff ended up at mar-a-lago. this reporting seems to be the clearest rebuttal yet of the vague notion that's been in the
ether. if this reporting bears out what it would indicate is that trump knew the materials were classified and it wasn't supposed to happen and took them to mar-a-lago anyway and that's something that the fbi wire interested in assessing because it would speak to his intent and the reasoning behind not just taking these highly sensitive materials to mar-a-lago and then keeping them there despite efforts by federal law enforcement officials to get them back. >> pete strzok, we began this yesterday with frank figliuzzi and amy stoddard and mike schmit and joyce vance. i'd like to speak to you about the other piece of this. there's so much, i think, focused on a criminal investigation into donald trump's handling of classified documents and that is appropriate, but there are also these giant national security questions about the espionage act and about the damage state secrets could have been done in
the many, many months that trump's hand-picked classified material didn't just sit at mar-a-lago and it's clear that the security footage that the fbi had shows that it was moved around and repackaged and moved around in their new containers and tell me what your concerns are from the national security perspective. >> nicole, there are huge national security implications to what the material -- what happened to it and how it was handled. everything from the moment it was boxed up, the question of who was boxing it up and what moving company was used and certainly when it landed at mar-a-lago and who might have had access to the room and there's an indication that a variety of people were coming and going into the room and who else might have had access to the time that cctv footage was available? did other guests have access? did an electrician have access and all of these questions and in particularly in light of the fact that there's some reporting that there doesn't seem to be a visitor log at mar-a-lago lace
lays out particularly if you're a russian intelligence agent or a chinese officer at mar-a-lago a former president's residence is a collection, and we are talking about it appears over 1,000 pages and counting, the question is who had access and who was targeting that and it seems that the fbi appears to be aware that materials weren't returned. so now the question that comes up in my mind is are in these thousand-plus pages could they be at trump tower in manhattan? could they be at bedminster and there are so many questions separate and distinct from anything in a criminal context that counterintelligence have real reason to be worried about. >> pete, when you go to what we know about trump and the
narratives that we let slide, i think those are in -- in conflict in this story, as well. one is that he was so haphazard, he was a pack rat. there were, you know, tickets to wrestling matches mixed in with the pdb. i don't buy it. i just don't buy it. he doesn't give a rat's behind about pdb and multiple people struggled to get him him part pdb and kushner were the only regular consumers of the pdb. when you go as an fbi agent and you have the classified materials badly boxed and handled and who knows who's going in and out of the room, you start to try to figure out why. what are the questions about motive. why do you think they're there? >> nicole, that's the biggest question. for someone as you indicated, avoided paying anything in the intelligence community and why
on earth did he take it? in my mind, based on the character of the man and the way we've seen him act as well as the reporting that's occurred there are probably three big buckets and the first is he thought it was neat. he thought it was something that he'd want to show off at mar-a-lago that he thought it was cool and a failed irk rainian nuclear test or something else. he just liked it because he has this mentality of a 7-year-old kid. the other thing, i think, that was a real possibility is he saw it as advantageous to a business deal. whether he could use it to leverage some sort of licensing deal that he saw he had in the future and finally the third bucket based on more reporting over the weekend, i think there's a very real chance that he took stuff that he thought he could use to discredit people and get back at people and settle grudges that he felt had crossed him whether that was
foreign leaders like the president of france or the federal government and deep state employees. if he saw something that he thought was juicy and there's little doubt in my mind that he probably held on to that, too. a variety of motivations and none of them are reasonable and none of them are legal and it is the main question at the end of the day. >> so, tali, i accept pete's motives that he would use them as show and tell, leverage for information and use it to discredit critics, but all three of those potential paths involve disclosing it and sharing them. you can't have a neat show and tell unless you reveal it. you can't leverage it against anyone unless you reveal it and you can't use it to discredit your critics unless you sthar it. all of this is a ticking time bomb of revealing state secrets. what do we do about that?
? nicole, recall that the search warrant listed three statutes that the government had in mind when they went to the judge and asked to do this search and again, they may have been thinking about ten statutes, but they listed three of them and one of them, the espionage act citation involved the possibility of transmitting defense information and information important to the security of others and that might cover the kinds of scenarios that they've laid out and there were also charges in there about hoarding and mutilating and destroying sensitive information and obstruction of government investigation that do not depend on those scenarios playing out, and so if criminal charges were to come out of this investigation and were there not yet, the government would not have to prove in order to make a criminal case that he did, in fact, hope to or had plans to
transmit this information to somebody else. there are plenty of crimes that he is exposed to that don't require all of that, although i have to agree that they are pretty plausible explanations and the silence has been deafening. he and his people have put forward lots of quasi legal arguments or really weak, legal arguments for why he had this stuff, but nowhere has he said as best we can tell why he took them and what he wanted to do with them. >> and as weak and lame as his legal defense has been, i want to show you, betsy, the republican attempt to cover up for him. this is sort of a mash of some of the folks that have had the audacity to go out on tv and defend his possession of classified materials. >> what use could a former president have for classified and top secret information once
he's left office. >> every former president his access to documents. >> i still haven't seen any evidence that he was even asked to give these documents back. do we believe that donald trump is reading his nuclear secrets on his bedside at night? >> i mean, what's so, i guess, insulting is that, you know, assumes that none of us have worked for a former president and known how they handle their records and george w. bush sort of famously met up with the obama administration and everything was turned over and everything was transition said and not just dumped in the archives and president obama did the same thing and president clinton did the same thing and the platitudes that are out there had real consequences and they're real threats and for these republicans to be out there lying about the president without having any of the facts feels like this escalation in this already fraught moment, betsy. >> and the fbi and dhs have warned, think, that those
threats and actual violent act could become worse and even more dangerous if there's further legal action related to unnamed people connected to the mar-a-lago search warrant being executed and that's one of the things that makes the commentary from some of these republican members of congress so genuinely headscratching. trump is not the first president who has perhaps considered writing a memoir. he's not the first president who has had interesting papers from his presidency that he wanted to review. the process for this is very standardized and it's -- it's standardized through law. it's been in place for decades and decades. it's not complicated, and frankly, it's the type of process that is so boring and normal that we pretty much never talk about it before. this idea that some republicans are pushing that trump found himself in an unusual spot is
totally relied by the former entire history of the presidency. the presidents who want to write the memoirs can write the memoirs and they don't have to hide classified material and stick it in the basement room of a private club in palm beach. it's unnecessary. it's abnormal and the fbi taken at face value when it comes to the way they've handled this search warrant, it is also something that seriously jeopardized u.s. national security. >> so, pete, i know we don't look for the bottom anymore. i know what you experienced through and lived through the politicization of law enforcement and the fbi, but tell me, just sort of inject this with some fact. what is the fbi actually doing? donald trump didn't create any of the classified documents and the government knows what's missing. it's not a whodunit. they know where the documents are, but tell me what the process looks like when they get something back?
do they knit back to the intelligence community and ask about the damages? tell me what the fbi is doing right now. >> sure, well, a couple of things and it relates to the documents, it relates to the documents and the forensic process into the documents and whether or not there are things like looking for fingerprints and other trace evidence to see who handled it to track back the fingerprints that don't belong to a clearance hold or there and that's sort of the day in, day out investigative lead forensically is going on. there's also more than likely sharing going on with the u.s. intelligence community and that's going on for a couple of reasons. one, the fbi is going on along with doj, is classified information and whether it's appropriately classified and whether or not who that belongs to so that the various agencies that it does belong to can say yes, this is, in fact, top secret information belonging to the access program and 17 people knew about it and that is known.
at the same time it's important because all of those agencies are doing equity reviews to figure out, do we have a human source at risk in moscow and haff nah in beijing and tehran. >> do we have a satellite system that might have the capability that is at risk of being degraded. are we getting information because it potentially is at risk and that is measuring any sort of response needed by the intelligence community as well and there's a whole host of the investigation and when it comes to the documents and that's the sort of thing that's going on right now. >> that is adjacent to examining whether any laws were broken with the secrets being jeopardized and shared. >> what part of that process would you guess the government is at? >> well, i think that that is an ongoinges is. as i mentioned, nicole, even to
arrive at the point where you're going up to a federal magistrate and ask for a search warrant you have to identify the criminal statutes that you think might have been broken and why you think the evidence of those having been broken are on the premises you want to search. a number of thresholds were crossed quite some time ago before they got here, and i -- it remains to be seen, of course, what is inside of the things that he took, but i think that at this point the question is not so much whether crimes were committed, but whether the justice department is going to use its discretion to go ahead and charge those crimes. that's part of what makes some of those defenses of mr. trump that you played earlier so troubling because some of the buzz factors that prosecutors think about is not intent in the legal sense of did he intent to keep these documents, but were
there innocent reasons for them? like wanting to do extra work at home, and it seems like we are way past that when you look at the time line and the number of exchanges that he had and his lawyers had with the government over the course of many months this past spring in which he was told repeatedly this is damaging to the nation. you cannot hold on to them. you should not have these documents and they just threw one reason after another back at the government for wanting to hold on to them. >> and notably, not one of them was he wanted to work at home on anything substantively. betsy woodruff swann, tali weinstein, thank you very much. pete strzok sticks around. breaking news on another one of trump's flashing legal woes of the past. the release just in the last few minutes of an unredacted memo from top trump doj officials to former attorney general bill barr. it was something he used around questions of obstruction of
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stephen engel and callahan. bill barr held this memo held secret until moments ago to justify his decision to not charge donald trump with the crimes of obstruction of justice outlined in the 23 month-long investigation led by robert mueller and his team from the mueller probe. this memo was written by two senior doj officials for attorney general barr both political appointees. they argue that the mueller report had not established a case to charge trump with obstruction. the justice department had fought to keep this memo hidden, but last week an appeals court ordered its release agreeing with an earlier decision by a judge that doj had been, quote, disingenuous in withholding the memo. let's bring in andrew weissmann, former doj prosecutor and senior member of the special counsel investigation and he is now an msnbc legal analyst. with us still is pete strzok, former fbi counterintelligence agent who also worked on the mueller investigation and my
colleague nbc news justice reporter ryan riley. ryan, you've been reading through it. tell me your top line observations. >> essentially it lays out a lot of what was redacted and we know it was a heavily redacted form of this before and it lays out the basis. it does seem to be making what amounts to a defense argument for trump in a lot of these cases. there's one line in here regarding the line where this was comey telling the president that he hoped that he could let this go, and they actually write in here that there was not -- it was not directing a, quote, clearly directed particular action in the investigation and comey did not react at the time as though he had received the direct order from the president. it's just overall it seems a pretty defensive mechanism and remember, these were two top officials from the trump administration who were making this case, but they were essentially making the case for what barr had determined which was that he was not going to charge the president.
the other line -- the other argument that sticks out here is just this idea that donald trump wasn't necessarily motivated by his desire to cover up wrongdoing. it was more that he was just getting impacted by in the political realm and this was impacting his political abilities is basically the argument that would sort of justify a lot of his actions is what this memo sort of lays out. overall it reads as a defensive document of donald trump in a lot of ways. >> andrew weissmann, i don't know how much of it you've read, but it has a whole lot of clintonesque it depends on what the definition of "is" is. and the real threat if we go back to donald trump was criminal obstruction of justice and by the time the report was on the precipice of coming out it really was your successful prosecution and others that there was a sense in trump's circle that that wasn't going to touch him, but they waiteded
with bated breath that the obstruction was going to come out and until bill barr came into town saying the president can't be guilty of obstruction there was a lot of -- >> i have read it quickly just as it came out. remember we gave the report to bill barr and his senior staff at the end of march 2019 and then in two days bill barr issued his alleged summary where he concluded that -- that we had decided not to make a recommendation with respect to whether the president had committed obstruction and thus left it to bill barr to make that conclusion and his letter said that we hadn't found any crimes and that he, the attorney general concluded that there was no obstruction. this memo, as you said, is a
doozy because it had been kept under wraps and the department of justice thought even giving it to the district court for her to read, there is a reason when she read it that her decision was that this needs to be made public. the court of appeals agreed with her. now to the substance. why did they try and keep this under wraps? there is a sentence in here that is astounding to me. the two senior staff say to bill barr that the reason he should make the decision is because if the memo comes out it might be read to imply that the president committed obstruction. let me just repeat that. that the reason bill barr needs to say something is because if the memo -- if the report comes out it could be read to say that the president committed obstruction. so what is really noticeable is there is no discussion in this
memorandum about bill barr simply telling the special counsel, you know what? i want you to conclude whether he committed obstruction or not and the reason that bill barr, we now know clearly from his memo did not send it back to mueller who reported to him was because he knew exactly what the answer would be because it says in black and white that this memo could be read to conclude that the president committed obstruction, and then there's a legal point that's just also dead wrong. they say that the president essentially didn't commit obstruction because there's no precedent for finding that somebody commits obstruction unless they're also guilty of the underlying crime for which they obstructed. that is legally wrong. our report actually addresses that. we cite all cases including the arthur anderson case which i know very well and this memo simply does not successfully, at least in my view, address the
legal precedents, and it is not the case that you cannot be guilty of obstruction if you didn't commit the underlying crime and just to bear with me, the final point is the memo really gets the mueller report wrong because they seem to think that we found that there was no evidence of the underlying crime meaning conspiracy with the russians. that's not what our report said. it said that there's evidence. it's just that we didn't think there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. so the sort of upshot, nicole is, i can understand why the department has fought long ask hard and not to end the day and it's quite a shocking document. >> i want to stay with you, andrew weissmann. i found some of this language, and i want you to take me back and do your best to explain why
ed o' callahan and steve engel decided not to answer. they write this in the second page of the memo to bill barr. although the special counsel has declined to reach a conclusion, we think the department should reach a judgement on this matter. on traditional principles of prosecution the department either brings charges or it does not. because the department brings charges against an individual only the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, any uncertainty concerning the facts and law underlying a proposed prosecution ultimately must be resolved in favor of that individual. the principle does not change simply because the subject of the investigation is the president. that's not what the special counsel found at all and they found all of the evidence and the six acts for the criminal destruction of justice. what robert mueller said if i could say laws had been broken i would. why did they distort the basic
fact of volume 2 of the mueller probe report? >> so, you know, robert mueller acted out of principle whether you agreed with it or not and his view because the department of justice had a policy that he was bound to follow that you could not indict a sitting president. he thought it was unfair to say that person committed a crime because they would not have their day in court to vindicate themselves. there might be an impeachment and there might later be a prosecution for obstruction, but that was as the report lays out robert mueller's principled thinking. as i said, whether you agree with it or not. it was, of course, within the discretion of the attorney general to say, you know what, bob? i disagree with you. you need to come to a conclusion. i actually think that's wrong. this memo makes it clear that the reason that bill barr did
not ask robert mueller to simply come to a conclusion because as it said here, the report could be read to find that indeed, he did commit obstruction. as you said, nicole, robert mueller's way of saying that, but not saying it was to say, okay, in volume one, dealing with the underlying conspiracy we conclude that there's not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and we won't take that in saying in any way we are absolving the president of obstruction. this is just bill barr clearly taking advantage of and playing robert muler and just to put a fine point on it as i've said in the past and was public manage and bill barr was a personal friend of robert mueller and it
was particularly egregious that he wouldn't have said to robert mueller why don't you reach a conclusion since i think it's important to do that. it's notable that callahan and steve engel do not address that at all. that silence speaks volumes. why didn't they want to ask robert mule tore reach a conclusion? because they didn't want the answer. that's why. >> andrew, who are -- who are ed o'callahan and stephen engel? >> stephen engel was the head of the office of legal counsel and that is an extremely important position in the department of justice and they essentially decide the law for the purposes of all of the federal governments. when they pronounce that you can or cannot do something that is abiding the president saying he's not going to follow it. for anyone that is an underling you follow what legal counsel says and that's a very, very
senior position and ed o' callahan was the number two that was the pay dad and only doj has the kind of crazy acronyms and that is the number two to the deputy attorney general, and so he reported to rod rosen stein at the time and again, two very, very senior people and we dealt with ed o' callahan saying we want you to make should decision and this memo made it very clear why. i would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when amy berman jackson who was the district court judge who was overseeing this and had the doj prosecutors and it was a fly on the wall when she read what was here. so quite an unusual document.
>> do you -- this calls for you to speculate, andrew weissmann and you have a firm approach from which to do so. do you believe these two men, knowing what they knew of the evidence -- ed, i think, met weekly or every other week with one of robert mueller's deputies, right? he knew everything that was happening. he knew the evidence being developed. i think he knew the witnesses that were end component the on and the incidents reported out and the tampering with witnesses and the threats to fire robert mueller. what do you think -- do you think he wrote this memo with steve engel out of his own volition or do you think bill barr asked for it? >> i don't know the answer to that, nicole. there's ney question that the
conclusion is certainly one that i think all three democrat knew they were going to conclude and as i said, if they were looking at this objectively and not trying to come to a certain conclusion they would have asked the special counsel to do it. that was the whole reason was to have the idea that this was going to be removed from the sort of political people in the department of justice, all of whom, by the way, barr, engel, and ed o'callahan were political appointees and that was the whole reason to have a special counsel and they should have sent it back to robert mueller and it's noticeable that they did not. what the individual motives that are unclear to me, but i think that the conclusion is clear as to what they were going to reach. and even just reading this again on a cursory level, it also reads very much that everything
is skewed from the sort of defense perspective. when you're on the defense side you try and separate each piece of evidence and you don't try to look at it holistically. what are the odds of all of that evidence being true, that this happened and this happened and this happened and all of that has an innocent explanation so here the memo separates each and every instance and doesn't look at the whole panoply of evidence that the president's obstructive conduct. i have to say the weakest part of this memo is in addition to the legal point i made is you remember the don mcgahn evidence where he was instructed by president trump to create a false memo that said that he, in fact, that he, the president, never ordered that robert mueller be fired and don mcgahn
said that. if you look at the memo it says, it is really unclear what the evidence is. he was going to resign as his position as white house counsel. you don't do that if you believe that the evidence is ambiguous. >> let me read that part for you pete strzok. this is conduct related to witnesses and this is from the blockbuster new memo that has just been released according to the wishes of the barr justice department and this was written by barr's two top political deputies steve engel and ed o callahan. conduct related to witnesses, it describes a variety of other actions taken by the president that could have had some effect in potential witnesses to the investigation it includes the president's public and private comments, potential witnesses including the president's effort to encourage the white house counsel, don mcgahn to deny newspaper reports that the president had directed mcgahn to fire thes special counsel.
his responding to media interest in the trump tower meeting and concerning witnesses which he appeared to praise or condemn based again they were fighting the charges against the investigation. they more directly implicate the concerns of the statute. if the president were to perjure himself, tamper with testimony or corrupt evidence, we do not believe that any of these actions described in the report would meet such a standard. none of these instances the president sought to conceal criminal conduct, nor is there to provide investigations to the april doubt. i believe don mcgahn was snuck in and out of the dock, and mcgahn spent 30 hours testifying, donald trump fired him. i don't know if they had access to the reports well before the rest of us did, but what are they talking about, pete strzok?
>> some of their interpretations of the facts is strained credulity. when trump was railing against potential witnesses flipping and that they shouldn't flip. he didn't mean that he didn't want them cooperating with the government that that statement should interpret to mean that he didn't want them to be encouraged to tell a lie. he was encouraging them to tell the truth. >> nobody has any, and when he really wants 100% of the rauth and not allow this is a clearly rushed from fact. . the unfortunate reality is the this do you want exists and to the extent there are questions of whether it stifts today about whether the whether the department of justice will pursue any investigations or
charge any of the incidents that were clearly laid out in volume 2. this document is out there. so any defense attorney for former president trump is going to be able to point to this and say, look, these very senior people at the department of justice have given a very clear opinion that none of this be on struksz, however ridiculous that opinion might be, it does present a challenge and hurdle to any prosecution on those obstruction justice. that train may have left a station a year '+ ago and it is interpret igsz of factual events in the context and he was trying to get his attorneys to call mike flinn's attorneys to get to know what flinn was saying in special counsel. time and time and time again, trump engaged in behavior that was obstructive in nature. to read this tortured thought process by the ioc is difficult
to read and unfortunately, it's also unsurprising. >> pete strzok, if mueller's case was so weak why write the memo in the first place? >> i think that's exactly the point and i think andrew is exactly right. the reason they had to write it was gosh, reasonable people will read this and say trump be on obstructed justice and we need to get out in front of the naur tiff, change the narrative so people don't come up to the correct conclusion that trump indeed obstructed justice probably numerous times. the reason you write the memo is to obscure the fact of what actually occurred and what trump actually did. >> andrew weissmann, i'll give you the last word. >> just to follow up on something pete said. if you are concerned about witnesses because if they tell the truth it will implicate you
then you try and deter them from coming in. but if you think you did nothing wrong why are you telling people not to flip? i mean, the whole idea -- if it was me and i heard that pete strzok was going to go in and talk about me i'd be, like, great. because i have nothing to worry about. go ahead, tell the truth. here, the whole idea that this memo could say oh, he's trying to deter people from coming in and cooperating with law enforcement. the justice department didn't have any nefarious reason. he wasn't trying to obstruct the investigation is shocking to me that it is coming from the number two person if the deputy attorney general's office and the head of the office of legal counsel. >> well, as bob woodward said a few months ago -- >> the truth always emerge, and
robert mueller's 23-month investigation was so distorted and weeks before any of us saw it by bill barr. a big piece of that united states. el it has been answered today. i know we were all flipping, reading and talking and thank you for multitasking with me. >> up next, switching gears the historic biden loan forgiveness announcement which means americans will feel the biggest impact in the new relief measures. we'll talk about that next. ef measures we'll talk about that next they stood with their 38 million members and said, "enough." enough of the highest prescription drug prices in the world. together, we forced the big drug companies to lower prices and save americans money. we won this fight, but big pharma won't stop. so neither will aarp.
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i believe my plan is responsible and fair. it focuses the benefit on middl. it helps both current and future borrowers and will fix a badly broken system. people can start to finally crawl out from under that mountain of debt, on top of their rent and utilities to finally think about buying a home or starting a family or starting a business. and by the way, when this happens, the whole economy is better off. >> president biden moments ago on his new executive action to help americans tackle student loan debt. the action will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation for pell grant recipients and $10,000 for all other borrowers. this will be capped at an annual
income of $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families filing jointly. the president today announcing one last student loan freeze noting, however, that borrowers should expect to resume payments in january 2023. joining us now keisha lance bottoms, a senior adviser to president biden for public engagement. it's nice to see you in your new role. tell us about who this is designed to help and what you make of some of the blowback. it feels like good news for a whole lot of people. >> good news for 34 million people across this country and as you've said, $10,000 in relief for those making less than $125,000 a year, for families $250,000 a year, and $20,000 in relief for those who are pell grant eligible. i was a pell grant recipient and i borrowed student loans so this would have been a game changer for me. so i know that it's a game changer for so many across this country. and there were some who wanted
more, but this is a significant step, and it is a commitment that the president made when he was a candidate. he said that he felt that there should be relief for student loan borrowers. he has kept that commitment, this applies to students who are currently in school. so this is a game changer for 43 million people across this country and many of whom will have their student debt completely wiped out. >> it feels sort of quintessentially biden. he didn't do as much as the left on his, you know, sort of folks to the left of him would want him to do, but he didn't do nothing. tell me how he arrived at this policy that he announced today. >> well, the president has been very deliberate in considering what, if anything, should be done as it relate s to student
loan debt. he has huddled with his economic advisers. we know that he's given it a lot of thought. there were many who wanted him to make an announcement immediately, but what we know is that president biden is often thoughtful and deliberate, and when he is thoughtful and deliberate, it benefits the american people, and what this debt relief has shown us is that the president has been a man of his word. he said that he would put the american people first and he has done that from the relief that we are seeing with the student debt cancellation to what we have seen with the legislation that we have seen over the past month, and i am just very excited for so many families that this will make a difference. it will allow families to send other kids to college. i even heard a story today of someone who was trying to qualify to buy a home, and he was having a difficult time qualifying with this relief, he
was a pell grant recipient. his relief will be completely canceled. he can now qualify to buy his first home, and that is why president biden ran for president. he wanted to make a difference in the lives of american families, and he's done that once again. >> before you were in your current role, you really had an ear to the ground. i'm sure you still do, of our political wins. i wonder what you make of the way the winds seemed to blow last night. >> well, what we know is that people across america are paying attention. they paid attention to what we've seen with the roe decision. they are paying attention to what president biden is doing for families across america, and we know that people are going to turn out in november, probably likely in significant numbers higher than we normally see in midterm elections, and i know anemia will remember what president biden has done and what he will continue to do for american families and what can be done when you have a congress that supports the american
people. >> i know from talking on tv and off to lots of your colleagues that sometimes it is -- i don't know if it's frustraing is the right word or exasperation. tell me how you counseled him on ways to do that. >> well, i often say that i use my mother and my son as bookends. my mother is probably watching me right now on msnbc. my 20-year-old son is not. so what i say often is that we've got to communicate in different ways, and we have to meet people where they are. i know that for my 20-year-old son, hearing that there's student loan relief for so many of his friends is significant, and again, this is for 43 million people across america, many of whom are still college students. so this is the type of policy
that president biden ran on from the inflation reduction act to what we've seen happen in cities with the american rescue fund, and i think that's often overlooked as well. people don't understand that even with the american rescue funds, as mayor, i was struggling to figure out how we were going to make ends meet with our operating budget, to allow us to be able to continue to pay our sanitation workers and our firefighters, et cetera, and we have to continue to get that messaging out, so whether it's on msnbc or on whatever platform my son is on this week, we'll continue to push that message, but i know the student loan cancellation is resonating with young people especially across the country and many families across the country. 43 million of them are getting this message today i'm sure. >> keisha lance bottom s, it's
very nice to see you again. >> thank you. coming up in the 5:00 hour, charlie crist fresh off a victory in his primary race for florida governor, officially set to face off against ron desantis in november. he'll join us on his race and last night's game changer for the democratic party nationwide. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a quick break. don't go anywhere. where. sometimes i'm all business. wooo! i'm a momma 24/7. seriously with the marker? i'm a bit of a foodie. perfect. but not much of a chef. yes! ♪ wayfair you've got just what i need. ♪ a monster was attacking but the team remained calm. because with miro, they could problem solve together, and find the answer that was right under their nose. or... his nose.
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man 1: have you noticed the world is on fire? record heat waves? does that worry you? well, it should. because this climate thing is your problem. man 2: 40 years ago, when our own scientists at big oil predicted that burning fossil fuels could lead to catastrophic effects, we spent billions to sweep it under the rug. man 3: so we're going to be fine. but you might want to start a compost pile, turn down the ac. you got a lot of work to do because your kids are going to need it. we reduce homelessness, address mental health, provide spaces for addiction to be broken, create spaces of healing and restoration. for the first time ever, prop 27 will provide
permanent funding for organizations like ours. saying yes to prop 27 means more people get the assistance that they nee they get someone to partner in such a way to see transformation come to them. yes on prop 27, because there's no place like home. in a midterm climate that the republicans have been saying all year that we live in, in a strong republican midterm climate, this special election would have been a layup for the republicans, it would have been a layup for molnar roe, instead
the democrats haven't just made it close, they are going to outright win this election. it is possible, in fact, that ryan is going to win this district by a larger margin than joe biden carried it in 2020. and so i think this is the clearest, this is the strongest piece of evidence yet, and there have been other pieces of evidence in the last few weeks to suggest that the national political climate has shifted away from a republican advantage. this is not the result you would get, you would expect to see in a strongly republican political climate. >> how about them apples. hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in the east. a huge political shock wave last night has democrats feeling much more confident heading into november. democratic candidates pat ryan beat republican mark molinaro. last night that true swing district won by president barack
obama in 2012, donald trump in 2016, and president joe biden in 2020 showing that the political landscape has shifted again following the supreme court's decision to overturn roe versus wade. ryan made portion rights a center piece of his campaign there, while his opponent focused on inflation and crime. ryan's win becomes the fourth special election in the u.s. house of representatives since the supreme court's dod's decision where democrats have outperformed president joe biden. in his first one on one interview after his victory, ryan told our colleague dasha burns what to take away from his win. >> i think the message is when fundamental rights and freedoms are under attack, we have to stand up. we have to fight, we have to be strong and clear, and when you do that, people rally. i mean, the issues at stake, reproductive rights, abortion access, are fundamental rights that transcend partisanship, we saw it in kansas, we saw it last night here in new york. i think we're going to continue to see it. we just saw polling that the
number one concern for people in this country are threats to democracy. that is real. that is visceral, and that is what i really centered this campaign about. >> democrats now head to the midterms with some momentum as "politico" reports, quote, ryan's victory in the marginal swing district suggests that democrats have a chance of bucking both traditional midterm losses from the party that controls the white house and an economy that many voters still say they believe is heading in the wrong direction. dccc chair who also won his own primary last night against a progressive challenger, sean patrick maloney, says last night's win in new york's 19th district means big things for democrats. watch. >> that is an earthquake and should send shivers down the spine of kevin mccarthy and tom emmer because their dreams of a big republican wave just went up in flames. >> momentum for democrats after last night's special election is where we begin the hour, with
some of our most favorite reporters and friends. joining us matt dowd, political strategist and an msnbc political analyst, also joining us, cornell belcher, pollster, president of brilliant corners research as well as an msnbc political analyst, and tara set meyer, senior adviser to the lincoln project and resident scholar at uva center of politics. matt, i have to start with you, you've been saying it's democracy stupid for many months. cornell and i hoped you were right. alas once again, 20 years later, you're still right. >> well, i'm not always right, but at least i'm confident when i'm saying it. i mean, as you know, i noticed this when you looked at the data before this really started to happen, when you looked at the data back in april and may when you started seeing this, as i've talked about this group of voters who don't like donald trump and somewhat disapprove of joe biden were breaking for the democrats on generic ballot,
which meant when the comparison took effect, even though they didn't like the economy, were upset about inflation, and there were some things about biden they didn't like, that the comparison between what the republicans stood for and what the democrats stood for, which really is fundamentally democracy and freedom as new democratic congressman ryan laid out, i think he ran the perfect campaign, which i hope other democrats pay attention to, sets up this situation now where the democrats now are the odds on favorite today, now we're a little less than 80 days out. odds on favorite to keep or expand the senate, and the house now is in realistic play about which direction -- i think it's a jump ball today, which direction the house will go towards, which two months ago nobody was saying it would even be close to a jump ball. and so if the democrats broadly run the right kind of campaign, talk about the big issues, talk about what really matters to the voters, which is this fear and threats to our democracy and their freedoms and what it means to be an american in their minds, what it means to be
somebody that follows the constitution, it sets up an opportunity which i actually think is necessary, and i know cornell will agree with that, it's absolutely necessary for the sake of our constitutional democracy that the democrats prevail in this, but it does put the democrats in a much better place of mind, and then you add to it, nicole, the data that's also come out the majority of new registrants that have come out in the last 60 days are women. the money being raised by the democrats in this is outpacing the republicans as we've seen over the course of this. so it's setting it up for a very exciting final two and a half months of election day, but the democrats today are in a vastly, vastly improved position than they were in march or april. >> cornell, the democrats that can do what you and matt have been sort of putting on the table, and it wasn't clear to me that candidates could do it. it's clear that they can and they are and that it works, is
to put the decision to overturn settled law, to overturn roe versus wade in the context of freedom, and, you know, this race showcased that effort, and it is this gut thing. it's this thing that republicans often have working to their advantage. they're nowhere near it now. there is no defense for overturning roe versus wade that i've heard that resonates even with republican voters or moderate voters. that's why it failed in kansas. what do you make of sort of the gut issues being on the side of democrats? >> well, it is like, you know, what we've been saying is you've got to make the campaign about bigger things, and when the campaign is about bigger things, you know, i like the democrats' chances. look, i think what you've seen is, you know, with both guns, with overturning roe v. wade and just, you know, trump constantly in the news, like trump is the most dominant figure in the media right now, and mitch mcconnell must be pulling his hair out about that because
their ability to make this election a referendum on joe biden and democrats is handcuffed because trump won't get out of the news, right? so increasingly, like we saw in california where gavin newsom, you know, governor newsom looked to be in trouble early on, that turned into a referendum not on the governor but a referendum on republican extremism, and i think what you're seeing right now is this is turning from a referendum on biden, which mitch mcconnell and republican leaders wanted it to be and, quite frankly, is being dominated and turning to a referendum on donald trump and maga. the other last point about this, and you touched on this a little bit, we're seeing in polling data right now that you've got a quarter or more of even republican women who are not necessarily for abortion rights
but not supportive of overturning roe v. wade and taking away those freedoms. counting this as a freedom does cross pressure even in conservative voters. that's why you see the numbers you see in some of these races. it's not just a democrat mobilizing issue, but it's also an issue that cross pressures a lot of voters that are the middle of the road who aren't necessarily pro-choice but are pro freedom. >> those numbers have been available to republicans since before roe was overturned, since the texas whack a doo vigilante law was first introduced. the bans that states are ushering in are opposed by 80, 90% of americans. they're borks bans even in the case of rape and incest, which forced a 10-year-old to travel across state lines. there are abortion bans backed
by republicans, pushed by republicans when roe fell that would ban abortions even in the case of health of the mother. what people are recoiling from isn't simply the taking away of a right that has existed for 50 years. it's what they're being replaced with. abortion bans that are so extreme, 83% of all americans support exceptions for rape and incest, 93% of all americans support exceptions for life of the mother, and republicans are going in the opposite direction of 80 and 90% of public opinion. >> yeah, it's astonishing, but it highlights the fact that it's not about actually good governance or good public policy. it's about power. it's about extremism. the republican party is no longer pragmatic. any pragmatic republicans that are trying to legislate good policy get kicked out because it's all about the maga agenda. it's all about what donald trump wants, it's all about the
extremism. this turn toward authoritarianism, this undermining of our democratic norms and institutions. that's the republican platform because they really don't have anything else. that's evidenced by the type of candidates that you see republicans putting forth. talk about mitch mcconnell, i haven't seen mitch mcconnell this defeat ed in a long time. the last couple of interviews he had he seemed awfully sullen and in the dumps. he's looking at the candidate quality of some of the senate candidates out there, and he's going looks like i'm going to be spending a couple more years as senate minority leader. that's good for democracy at this point. and the issue of abortion has animated so many voters to your point, it's not just become a left right issue anymore. people even if you are pro-life and even if you have moral disagreements with abortion, i don't -- many people didn't think that the law would actually be overturned or that a right would be taken away. we just saw recently a south carolina state senator republican who voted for south carolina's very strict abortion laws there and south carolina's
another state to add to the list looking to make it more restrictive. he said that he heard the story of a 19-year-old woman and what she went through having a miscarriage at 15 weeks and the inability to have an abortion to prevent that and how she could lose her uterus and become sterile because of the laws that were in place. it was an absolute nightmare for him. that impacted him. he said you know what? i voted for that law, and i regret that and i don't want to do that again. those types of stories and those types of -- and personalizing the actual impact of these extremist laws i think really resonates with voters, and you're seeing that now reflected in some of these special elections and primaries. >> matthew, it's grotesque that women had to bear the brunt and the consequences of getting to this point, but do you think this shifts the tides in what have sort of traditionally been more difficult political arenas for democrats, state legislatures and some of the governor's races? >> well, i've said all along and i know you and i have talked about this, i actually think for
too long the indicates have abdicated in this what people have called a culture war. they've -- republicaned launched a culture war, and it's been going on for 20 years or so on all these issues, choice, guns, you know, prayer in schools, all these issues that they've launched on, and democrats would basically say i want to talk about x, y, and z. i want to talk about education. i want to talk about this over here, and i always thought they should have made a very forthright formal argument about what side of that culture war they were on, that they stood for freedom, that they stood for facts. they stood for truth. they stood for democracy in the course of this, and i think it's almost as if the timing, the time forced the democrats to do what they always should have been done, which is win the hearts and minds of and guts of the american public about what it means to be an american in a constitutional freedom loving system, and they've not done that well, and sometimes they've
not done it at all, and so i think -- i mean, the michigan governor's race to me is a perfect example of this, that was -- greaten whitmire has been the number one target for a long period of time for the republicans to take out in very swing, very purple michigan. in the aftermath of what happened in dobbs and the decision, she's now taken a double-digit lead and she's running against another one of these maga crazies, tudor dixon who believes that a 14-year-old who's raped and having the child is actually a good thing for the child. she said that is a good thing for the child, and that race to me has gone from a race of the margin to a race where right now gretchen whitmer has a comfortable lead. two women running against each other, one representing a cultural war that has been launched of the white christian nationalist, and the other one who basically wants to protect women's freedoms and protect people in michigan in this time. so thank god the issue was
forced on how to answer this, and i hope over the next 70 whatever days it is, the democrats make a resolute argument, a resolute argument in this to push back on what's been going on by the republicans for the last 20 years. >> cornell, i want to show you something that i thought was cool. this is maxwell frost. he won his primary last night. >> i think this win shows the country don't count us out. don't count out young people. you know, i'm the former national organizing director for march for our lives, a movement that helped change the way we think about gun violence, the way we think about advocacy, is i'm going to take what i learned at march for our lives, take what i learned at the aclu, bring it to congress, but also keep it here in florida as we build power to ensure that we can flip this state, that we can bring people together behind shared values. >> i don't care what party you're in, everyone should be happy that a 25-year-old wants to be in congress.
>> yeah, i'm so glad you showed that because that was one of the stories i was watching. he's a gen z. he is an example of what we love most about america, so. >> this young man who can pull himself up by his boot straps, i think he was driving uber, right? and out of nowhere can put together this campaign and this movement and he's probably got -- and he's probably going to end up sitting in congress. you know, we got a lot of o'problems with our democracy. we've got people trying to overthrow our democracy, but my god, if we hold onto this, there's so much of our democracy that is better than any other democracy on the world, and that young man is a case example of the power and the beauty of our democracy and the uplift of our democracy, and you're right, nicolle, whether you are on the left or the right, if you're an
american and you believe in democracy, he is an example of what -- of democracy working. >> and he will get there, and he'll tell everyone what it's like to have done active shooter drills since he was 4 years old. i want to show you something that congressman sean patrick maloney said on "morning joe" this morning. >> what's clear is that if you do trump toxicity without trump turnout, you have a problem. if you rip away 50 years of reproductive freedom from americans, if you ignore the gun violence in our schools, on our streets, if you ignore the attacks on our democracy, both on january 6th and the extraordinary actions by the president now in spiriting away classified information, swing voters don't like it. voters in swing districts have common sense. democrats are putting forth common sense candidates. we are occupying the center right now of american politics.
>> so tara, i remember all the conversations that took place ahead of the january 6th public hearings. oh, the people that need to hear them won't hear them. they won't be on fox news. in the end a lot of them were on fox news. you just needed to resemble the coalition of sane americans and patriotic americans that voted in '18 and '20 and chose democrats by and large, and i think what sean patrick maloney is saying there about trump toxicity without trump turnout being a death knell is something a lot of us hoping to see the republicans purge all that toxicity out party, are rooting for, the toxicity without the turnout. >> yes, but we haven't seen it thus far. i'm not sure who is going to exercise the toxicity other than liz cheney and adam kinzinger. they're the only ones who have shown any spine this this area. i'm thrilled to see as a former republican who has battled
democrats for years and is no longer a part of the party and has been very frustrated with democratic messaging, i'm thrilled to see democrats finally getting it because republicans have been so much better at this, ask they've been better at nationalizing elections on a handful of issues, whether it applies to that specific district or not. you know, whether it's going after nancy pelosi, even if it doesn't have anything to do with california or whatever, republicans were always very good at nationalizing election. and democrats have finally caught up somewhat it seems. they're right, in these swing districts, these are the districts that will make the difference between who controls congress and who doesn't. they have to make sure they are catering a message to the swing voters that matters. and they do not like the crazy that's coming out of maga. and we saw an nbc poll this week that the number one issue currently right now is threats to democracy. voters are paying attention. the january 6th committee hearings are having an impact. the economy is getting better.
gas prices are coming down. these are all good things for democratic momentum, and the more that they capitalize on that messaging, making sure people understand there is a binary choice here in november, i think the democrats will do well and to matt's point they are better positioned today than they were a couple of weeks ago based on all the political activity we've seen this summer. a week is an eternity in politics, so we'll see where the political winds shift after labor day. the winds are good for democrats right now. >> nicolle, i know we're out of time. i just want to say one quick thing. >> go ahead. >> don't underestimate as i said this to my two republican friends, don't underestimate the democrats' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. >> we'll see what happens, they're doing well right now. keep it up. >> please don't, please don't. >> you have three ex-republicans begging you not to do that cornell, help us help you said cuba gooding to jerry mcguire.
let me end by reading this one more time. you couldn't make a campaign, if you set out and wanted to run the best campaign against republicans that you could, you couldn't make this up, if you rip away 350 years of reproductive freedom from americans if you ignore the gun violence in schools, if you ignore the attacks on our democracy on january 6th and the extraordinary actions by the president in spiriting classified information, turns out swing voters don't like it. cornell, please don't do what you just said you could do. matthew dowd, cornell, to be continued. and when we come back, democrats in florida would like nothing more than to defeat ron desantis. they're turning to former governor and former republican charlie crist who will be our guest. don't go anywhere. later in the hour, brand new reporting on the january 6th committee's investigation into those chitchats among cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment to remove the disgraced ex-president. we'll bring you that new
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#. the top of the list of the high profile races that will be watched closely until november. florida democrat's primary for governor last night, the result was quite definitive. the state's former republican governor turned democratic congressman charlie crist surged past nikki fried, florida's more progressive agricultural commissioner. it will be crist challenging ron desantis in november. desantis obviously holds a
robust national right wing profile, but a potential republican challenger to trump in 2024 and is a poster boy for so many of those republican culture war battles. charlie crist chose to highlight some of those issues in a brand new ad. watch. >> florida is my home. there's so much to be proud of, but this doesn't represent us. >> you are pushing false narratives. >> don't say gay bill. >> to pick a big fight with disney. >> a 15-week abortion ban. no exception for rape or incest. >> representing high school students who raised him. >> widely expected to run for president in 2024. >> it's a strange phenomenon that's happened in the age of trump which is displays like that are somehow viewed as strength. >> joining us now, florida democratic nominee for governor, congress minnesota charlie crist. we've known each other since we
were both republicans, and you are now your state's standard bearer for the top job as a democrat. talk about what strategic advantages that gives you in defeating ron desantis. >> well, i think it gives the opportunity to have crossover frankly, and nicolle, i will tell you that in the past few weeks, i won't want to say republican every day, aren't you charlie crist? well, i'm a republican. i'm voting for you. i'm fed up with this guy. i don't like how he treats kids. i don't like how he treats lgbtq, i think it's wrong the way that he has made our state unaffordable to live in anymore. you know, forbes magazine said that florida is the most expensive state to live in now, more than california, more than new york. and it's because desantis has his eye off the ball. he is laser focused on trying to get that republican nomination for president in '24, you alluded to, and in the process, last week he was in new mexico, he was in ohio, he was in
pennsylvania. i mean, he's all over the place except florida and floridians are suffering from it. middle income floridians are getting squeezed and crunched in this economy. good luck buying a home in the sunshine state it's so expensive. or good luck renting an apartment, serving in congress as i do, had an apartment i rented in downtown st. petersburg, my home. the one more expensive, the one in st. pete. it's unbelievable how he's let it go. our property insurance is through the roof. it's ridiculous. >> your ad that we just played is a character attack, and democrats don't often run character campaigns against republicans. it's a real jujitsu, but his character has been revealed in the merciless attack and weaponization of gay and lesbian students and teachers, his don't say gay bill, chasten buttigieg tweeted that people will die
because of this. talk about the effects of his really craven political moves on the people of florida. >> well, he's mean. i mean, he's just a mean spirited guy, and you know, i'm the opposite of that. i'm a happy warrior. i love people, and he spews hate all the time. i mean, you know, we've literally had, you know, neo-nazis running around the state carrying his flag, and he doesn't denounce it or address it in any way, and there's all this anti-semitic material that's being distributed throughout our state and others, and it's horrible, and the notion that this guy who went to harvard and yale has no more couth than he does, i mean, he made a commercial the other day where he's trying to be, you know, top gun or whatever that was. you know, and he's no tom cruise. it's weird. i mean, it's just weird, nicolle. it really is, and i think floridians have had his act
enough. they're ready to move on. i think they're ready to have someone experienced who has been governor. as a republican i vetoed an antiabortion bill, somebody who's a decent human being, which i strive to be. i wear these yellow wristbands every day, i don't know if you can see them, but they talk about what's called the golden rule. you know, do unto others as you would have done unto you, and that's how my mom and dad raised me and my three sisters here in st. pete. i'm an only son and i think that goodness and decency, people are yearning for that in our political square. we just don't see it anymore. we see it in joe biden, frankly, president biden i should say. he's a good, decent man. i strive to be that and treat people by the golden rule. it's my north sta star, and i think that's what we all should strive to live by, be better people, be better citizens and have a better future for my sunshine state, and bring the sunshine back to the sunshine state. it's been pretty dark under
desantis. >> a lot of the conventional wisdom is that florida has been getting redder, that it's been getting tougher for democrats to win statewide in florida. you know, one, do you accept that, and two, do you think the overturning of roe versus wade shuffles the deck a little bit on that question? >> no question about it on both fronts. you know, i really believe -- i'm wearing a purple tie, not by accident -- florida is purple. we're about a third registered republican, about a third democratic and a third independent. that's almost the definition of purple or swing state if you will. you've got to remember back to desantis's victory in 2013, he barely got elected governor of our state. he won by 0.4 of 1%, 32,000 votes out of almost 9 million cast. this guy's a paper tiger. i really believe that. people in the media have made him out to be some kind of giant
like he's goliath. if he's goliath, happy to take the role. i know who won that battle. it's david. i think it's important people understand this is going to be an interesting race. i think it's the most important race in fact country. i better think that, it's about my florida after all, but we need to fight for our teachers, public education, protect our environment, you know, and protect a woman's right to choose. i've already committed, nicolle on the first day of my administration, i will sign an executive order protecting and defending a woman's right to choose. where's the governor on this? he's already signed a barbaric law that's a 15-week law, and it says that there are no exceptions for rape or incest. that's unconscionable, and you know, i just can't understand why that would be. that's what it is. >> i have to acknowledge that you have faded to black in your background, but it looks good. it looks like we're on 60 minutes or something. it's not a terrible look. >> that's pretty cool. i think it looks good too. well, you're very kind. >> just keep rolling with it.
>> this is the home of the tampa bay lightning hockey team, and we've got a lightning storm going on right now, and i'm in a mobile booth. it does look like 60 minutes, doesn't it? it's kind of cool. >> it's not bad. we'll both do it behind a bhak screen next time. >> it makes the white hair stand out, doesn't it? >> exactly. you don't have to convince me that florida is really important and your race is one to watch. we'll keep an eye on it. just wave whenever you want to come and fill us in. congressman charlie crist, thank you so much for spending time with us. >> that's very kind, if anybody wants to help, charliecrist.com. thank you, good to see you, nicolle. >> take care. ahead for us, the january 6th committee is learning more about efforts by members of donald trump's cabinet to get rid of him by invoking the 25th amendment, which would of course have removed him from office in the days after the capital insurrection. we'll bring you that brand new reporting after a quick break. stay with us.
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have the conversation, mr. meadow, and casey having heard the discussions amongst cabinet secretaries. >> there's a large concern of 25th amendment potentially being invoked, think about what might happen in the final 15 days of your presidency if we don't do this. >> even by trump standards it was a pretty big bomb shell when we heard it there, members of the ex-president's cabinet were talking about whether he needed to be removed from office using
the 25th amendment after his role in the deadly capitol insurrection. brand new reporting this week tells us that the january 6th can select committee has been spending their august recess digging deeper into what exactly those discussions were comprised of and asking former cabinet members directly about them. from "the new york times," the panel has been holding closed door interviews. in an effort to uncover more, and january 20th when president joe biden was sworn in including talks about invoking the 25th amendment. it follows a series of high profile interviews. the latest was former national security adviser robert o'brien which the times said lasted several hours yesterday. the reporting also reveals committee investigators asked ex-secretary of state mike pompeo in his testimony earlier this month, this, quote, about
the former president's state of mind around the time of the attack, his fitness for office and discussions that he reportedly had with treasury secretary steve mnuchin about the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment after the attack. joining us now, luke broadwater, "new york times" congressional reporter, and dana milbank, "washington post" opinion columnist and the author of the new book "the destructionist: the 25-year crackup of the republican party", luke first to you in this reporting. i know that just because it's quiet in terms of public hearing, doesn't mean it's quiet for the committee or for you, so tell us what they've been looking into. >> right, the january 6th committee has been sort of out of the headlines for a little while, partially because there's been so much focus on the justice department and the search at mar-a-lago. but they have been quietly working behind the scenes this month particularly focusing on preparing hearings for next month. and one of the lines of questioning has been the top trump administration officials
about these discussions. we heard cassidy hutchinson talk about, about were there serious plans to try to force donald trump out by invoking the 25th amendment, and one of the things we understand they're asking people is how much of an influence that was on donald trump and that speech he gave the next day where he said he would agree to a peaceful transfer of power. so we've had mr. o'brien come in yesterday, elaine chao has come in for interviews, for an interview. we've had -- they're in talks with betsy devos, and obviously mike pompeo who, according to one source i spoke with on the committee, was quite evasive in answering the questions, specifically about the 25th amendment. i know he gave some comments to fox news that he felt it was -- that they were chasing witches. so but we are going to see, i think, some more revelations about this, probably next month
at the public hearings. >> mike pompeo, whose political ambitions seep out of every pore of his being. >> you write that investigators reviewed some documentary footage. they viewed video footage recorded as danish filmmakers tracked mr. stone after the 2020 election, including the day of january 6th. the filmmakers have 170 hours of footage of stone's activities while the committee investigators may find the documentary film footage entertaining, they'll find no evidence of wrongdoing jones said in a statement on tuesday. jones has been pardoned i'm not sure why he's worried about his own wrongdoing. this was part of that thread of investigation into violence and knowledge and how far into trump's inner circle, right? is that what they're still pursuing and investigating stone for? >> yes, the committee is very
interested in the role roger stone played. there's some suspicion that he -- because he was in connection with the oath keepers and the proud boys and also in connection with donald trump and people inside the trump administration that there could be a connection there and he could be connective tissue between the politicians and the violence. so you know, again, these -- they have not slowed down at all. they sent a team to europe last week to look at this footage of this unreleased documentary, 170 hours, and my understanding is they were able to review footage of january 6th in the weeks, the weeks just before it, and one other thing i'd like to point out is the committee says they've received more than 4,000 calls to their tip line since they began the hearings in june, so they're getting a lot of information and, you know, we had thought maybe they would
wrap up their work by next month, but i think they're going to keep going until the end of the year because they are getting so much information as they keep this investigation alive. >> yeah, luke, let's listen to liz cheney's interviews since she lost her race there. it's clear that she views this work as not just legacy making but as the important investigative work and perhaps the last time congress will have a chance, last night suggests it won't be the last, but potentially the last time to investigate this period of time. dana, i want to bring you in. you and i have been around and around, and we're both old enough to remember when republican bad behavior did not include looking into whether a guy's ties to the oath keepers who are charged with seditious conspiracy reached into the oval office, but here we are. what do you make of sort of the turn that the republicans have taken into this authoritarian force in american life?
>> well, it's breathtaking, nicolle, when you look back at it all. i know, you know, in the book, i spent a lot of time going back to the days of newt gingrich, so the antecedents who created the environment for this. that doesn't mean all republicans did. i remember spending a lot of time on the plane and the bus back in the george w. bush days, and i think even then you were a force for good. there was -- we can see if we look back in history that there were reasons to expect the sort of things that would be coming. there were continuing assaults on the truth. there were continuing assaults on the functioning of government. there was a continuing breakdown of civility, and there were these authoritarian tendencies, whether that was in the run up to the oklahoma city bombing, whether that was, you know, in the now infamous brook brothers
riot in the days of the tea party having a nearly violent action on capitol hill, so we can see these antecedents if we go back and look at it. i think donald trump in many ways built upon that. he saw where things were going. he's an opportunist. he sensed possibilities for him. he changed his whole political ideology. he went from pro-choice, for universal health care, and suddenly became the trump we know today. so you know, he's an opportunist. he didn't create this environment. he just made it a whole lot worse. >> and continues to do so. i'm going to ask beth of you to stick around through a short break, and then i want to talk about your new book. don't go anywhere. about your new book. don't go anywhere.
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after last night's elections, intrigue for the upcoming midterms has risen to new highs, and predictions of a red wave seem to be at least for the moment dashed. republicans have put themselves at a serious disadvantage after the supreme court's decision on roe as well as after amassing a roster of candidates for this year's election that range from nut jobs to unelectable, so much so that senate majority leader mitch mcconnell thinks that this year's poor candidate quality, his words not mine, may keep the gop are from taking back the senate. the republican party's dissent over the last 25 years is
chronicled in a brilliant new book by our friend "washington post" op-ed columnist dana milbank titled "the destructionist: the 25-year crackup of the republican party," a look at how the republicans attempt to rile up the american people the america in the process destroy democracy itself. as dana writes, quote, oats true moderates are a vajsing breed, but the problem isn't polarization. the problem is one of our two major political parties has ceased good faith participation in the democratic process. only one party is embracing violence. only one party is sabotaging the norms and institutions of american government. we're back with dana milbank. you do dwoe back to the forces that have been around for a long time. and what i like to hope is different they're all now front and center and almost all bad faith actors. >> yeah, that's exactly right. look, there are always people
and for that matter in both parties who believed in conspiracy theories. there have always been racists in american culture. there have always been violent people in american culture. what started to happen i would argue at the beginning the revolution in '94 is they were brought more and more into the mainstream. now, there were exceptions like this like when george w. bush admirably stood up after 9/11 and said, no, islam is not the enemy. by and large those voices were replaced in the republican party by people who are doing quite the opposite, bringing them in more and more. now what you're seeing is the fringe is now the republican establishment. all you need to do is look at the line-up, for example, in arizona of candidates for governor, senate, attorney general, secretary of state, right down the line. they are what once called nut jobs but they're the republican establishment. there's nobody left to push back
against it, and that's what mcconnell is talking about in terms of candidate quality. of course he had a lot to do with this, of driving people of quality and caliber out of the republican party. >> yeah, look, i want to ask you about just that. mcconnell's on a bit of a -- it trand snds expectation lowering because donors don't want to hear mcconnell thinks the candidates suck. and mcconnell has been out all week talking about poor candidate quality. i guess you have to level up when you've got jd vance who says women have to stay in violent marriages on the ticket, and hershp walker who daniel has got a great piece about his too many trees in america, new little message. luke. >> oh, sorry. >> that's okay. what's behind all his sort of straight talk about the
republican senate candidates? >> i mean mitch mcconnell is a in an interesting situation. a few years ago he wassert of the darth vader of democrats and nowadays he looks like kind of the moderate of the party with how far it's shifted to the right. and he had sort of warned many people in the party about going down this donald trump path, and now he's in this situation where he has all these candidates that are going to be very difficult to elect. the republicans are not going to be able -- doesn't seem like to take over the senate the way they thought they were going to. and now these people are coming back hat in hand asking for mitch mcconnell to bail them out and pump a ton of money into their races. and, you know, i think he will do that. i think they're going to spend a ton of money to try to take the senate back. but i do think he wants to reset expectations and let people know
this is not going to be easy, and it's not his fault. it's donald trump's fault for backing these candidates who have much less chance of success in a general election. >> so close watchers of this program will note this conversation with the two of you started with a picture of mitch mcconnell's own wife being invited to talk to the 1/6 committee about invoking the 25th amendment and ended with the conversation about the other half of that partnership being resigned to the trumpian candidates. dana's new book is out now. we need to sneak in a quick break, but we'll be right back. break, but we'll be right back some like a little comfort, to balance out the risk. others want immediate gratification... and long-term gratification,too. they have their own interests, but at the end of the day there's nothing like being...
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six-month mark of its historic defiant defense against the ongoing war with russia and the russian invasion. there were fears russia would use today to send a message. tragically we are monitoring a new attack at this very moment. ukrainian president zelenskyy says 15 people are dead, 50 others injured after a russian missile hit a train station in ukraine. we'll continue to monitor you and update on that situation as it evolves. quick break for us and we'll be right back. quick break for us and we'll be right back >> customer and grandkids: bye! >> tech: bye! don't wait, schedule now. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these truly extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi, ari. >> high, nicolle, thanks so much. welcome to "the beat." susan rice has served at the highest levels for presidents obama and biden. today she's touting this white house break through on student debt, and she is our guest later tonight. we also have
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