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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  July 29, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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quick -- >> okay, thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> whoa. i thought her voice was an important voice, but i know nothing about her. yesterday's coronavirus briefing by the president should have put to bed any notion of another promised pivot toward actually listening to scientists, real scientists. good morning, and welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, july 29th. joe's off this morning, but along with willie and me, we have msnbc national affairs analyst, co-host of showtime's "the circus" and executive editor of "the recount," john heilemann, former u.s. senator, now an nbc news and msnbc political analyst, claire mccaskill, white house reporter for the "associated press," jonathan lamire, and professor at princeton university and author of "begin again: james bald kin's america and its urgent lessons for our own," eddie glaude jr. we'll have more from the president's briefing yesterday.
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covid-19 has now killed more than 150,000 americans. the number is staggering. but the president declared large portions of the country to be corona-free, and he also laments why he doesn't have as high an approval rating as dr. fauci. again, we have passed the 150,000 mark for deaths due to the coronavirus. but first, a staggering interview from national political reporter for axios, jonathan swan. you just saw a little bit of it. he sat down with president trump for axios on hbo, where, for the very first time, a reporter presses him on the story that intelligence showed russia was paying the taliban bounties to kill u.s. soldiers in afghanistan. there have been a lot of people who have tried to ask the president about this, but in a briefing or on his way to a helicopter, he always is able to blow them off. here, the president is cornered.
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and jonathan swan does not stop. here's the full exchange, and it is very revealing. >> it's been widely reported that the u.s. has intelligence indicating that russia paid bounties, or offered to pay bounties, to taliban fighters to kill american soldiers. >> right, right. >> you had a phone call with vladimir putin on july 23rd. did you bring up this issue? >> no, that was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly, that's an issue that many people said was fake news. >> who said it was fake news? >> i think a lot of people. if you look at some of the wonderful folks from the bush administration, some of them, not any friends of mine, were saying that it's a fake issue, but a lot of people said it's a fake issue. >> there was intelligence -- >> well, we had a call talking about nuclear proliferation, which is a very big subject where they would like to do something and so would i. we discussed numerous things. we did not discuss that, no. >> and you've never discussed it did with him. >> i have never discussed it with him, no. i would. i have no problem with it -- >> but you don't believe the
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intelligence. >> but you don't -- >> it's because you don't believe the intelligence. that's why. >> everything -- you know, it's interesting. nobody brings up china. they always bring up russia, russia, russia. if we can do something with russia in terms of nuclear proliferation, which is a very big problem, bigger problem than global warming, a much bigger problem than global warming in terms of the real world, that would be a great thing. no, it never reached my desk. you know why? because they didn't think -- intelligence -- they didn't think it was real. >> it was in your written brief, though. >> they didn't think it was worthy of -- i wouldn't mind -- if it reached my desk, i would have done something about it. it never reached my desk because -- >> do you read your written brief? >> yeah, i read a lot. they like to say i don't read. i read a lot. i comprehend extraordinarily well, probably better than anybody that you've interviewed in a long time. i read a lot. i spend a lot of time at meetings. usually it's once a day or at least two or three times a week, intelligence briefings, spoken about india, talking about with
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the problems with china, talking about so many different elements of the world. the world is a very angry place, if you look, all over the world. we call up, i get -- i see 22 soldiers were killed in india, with china, fighting over the border. it's been raging for many, many decades, and they've been fighting and back and forth. i have so many briefings on so many different countries. but this one didn't reach my desk. >> the reason i say this is, even if you don't believe this particular piece of intelligence -- and there is dispute, no doubt, there is dispute in the intelligence community about it -- your former -- john nicholson, former head of forces in afghanistan said, when he was working for you, that russia is supplying weapons to the taliban. isn't that enough to challenge putin over the killings of u.s. soldiers? >> well, we supplied weapons when they were fighting russia, too. you know, when they were fighting with the taliban in afghanistan -- >> that's a different era. >> well, i'm just saying, yes --
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>> but how -- >> i'm just saying, we did that, too. i don't know. i didn't ask nicholson about that. he was there for a long time, didn't have great success because you know, he was there before me, then ultimately, i made a change. >> you surely heard that, right? i mean, it's well known in the intelligence community that they're arming the taliban, russia. >> i don't know. when you say arming, is the taliban paying or -- >> russia is supplying weapons and money to the taliban. >> i have heard that, but it's never reached -- again, it's never reached my desk. >> i mean, he said it on the record when he was in -- >> hey, russia doesn't want anything to do with afghanistan. let me just tell you about russia. russia used to be a thing called the soviet union. because of afghanistan, they went bankrupt. they became russia, just so you do understand, okay? the last thing that russia wants to do is get too much involved with afghanistan. they tried that once. it didn't work out. >> wow. jonathan swan, great job. so many different ways there. the president seemed extremely uncomfortable and didn't have an answer for you.
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also, russia was supplying weapons. we did that, too. we did that, too. where have we heard that before? i can tell you where we've heard that before, during the campaign. it was december 18th, 2015, when joe said to donald trump on an interview on "morning joe," but president putin, he kills journalists, donald. and donald responds, "well, we kill people, too." we'll show that to you later. but the bottom line is, this is his go-to answer when he is cornered. tell us more about the interview. >> well, i mean, you saw it there. and i think it's important. i'm glad you playedcontext, bec ways, the most shocking part of that clip is actually not the first part where he admits for the first time on the record that he hasn't raised the issue of the bounties with vladimir putin. that's the least shocking part of that call, because actually, frankly, you know, you could have a debate within policy circles about whether it's the appropriate thing, i mean, that
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there are dissenting opinions within the intelligence community about this intelligence. it certainly is serious intelligence, being taken seriously by the allies, and there is a very good argument for why the president should raise it with putin. but the second question is actually more important, which is, fine, you don't believe this intelligence, or you're skeptical of it. let's try and take the most good-faith terminatiinterpretat. but you know that russia has been supplying weapons and money to the taliban because the man who ran your forces in afghanistan, john nicholson, under your administration, said this on the record when he worked for you. and for him to say then, well, i didn't -- i don't know if i've heard about this, never reached my desk, and by the way, we gave them weapons, too. i mean, like in a different era. i just -- honestly, it was one of the most shocking -- i've covered president trump for five years. i think it's one of the most shocking exchanges i've ever had with him.
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>> hey, jonathan, it's willie. it was staggering to watch him bend over backwards to side with the dissenting opinion on the intelligence, in other words, not even to consider the possibility that the intelligence, yes, did reach his desk in the president's daily brief, as you pointed out, could be true and it's something to consider and it's something to confront vladimir putin with. we all knew and we all assumed that he hadn't brought it up on the call. you confirmed that from the president. but could you be clear for our viewers again, as we've reported over the last month or so, what exactly was in the president's daily brief? what did reach his desk? whether or not he read it is another matter, but it did, in fact, reach his desk. >> well, i should be clear, i haven't seen what was in the written daily intelligence briefing. it's been widely reported that it was in that document. >> right. >> but it's not one call with vladimir putin. it's eight. it's eight phone calls since that intelligence reportedly was in the written document. and you know, you made a really
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important point as you addressed that, which is, it's not so much, okay, fine, you can come to this from a good-faith position and say, you know, i'm a bit skeptical about this. should we really take the word of captured taliban fighters? are they maybe feeding us disinformation, et cetera, et cetera. that's a reasonable position. but what you saw in that clip is a lack of desire to even investigate the claim, and on its face, dismissing it as fake news when, you know, the pentagon's not dismissing it in that way. they're taking it seriously. they're saying we don't yet have evidence linking it to an explicit death of a u.s. soldier, but they've described it as very worrisome intelligence. then you could just see, this does not compute with his world view in the way that he thinks about putin and russia. so, i think, again, it's a very revealing exchange on multiple levels. >> and i ask this in all seriousness, jonathan swan -- did you see that he computed
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that this was extremely revealing and that he was cornered and seemed almost confused or in some ways had nowhere to go, when usually he can quickly find some corner to run to in his words, in his answers? what was his body language like? what was it like after the interview? did he understand how revealing, and quite frankly, bad this was for him? >> no, i don't think he felt confused or anything of the sort. i think he felt that he was expressing his own natural opinions, and i didn't get any sense that he felt particularly cornered or that he was revealing anything of great import. >> wow. >> it was almost as natural as breathing. >> jonathan lamire, let's bring you in on this conversation. obviously, you've been covering this story for the last month or so, along with the rest of us, as you cover the white house behind you there. just, to me, a staggering
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exchange, what jonathan swan elicited from the president there, calling this report from his intelligence agencies that intelligence viewed as so important that it reached the president's daily brief, which not everything does, as you know, that he dismissed it as fake news and that he twisted himself in knots to take the other side, that it was not real, that a lot of people doubted it, the people in the bush administration doubted it as well. the president clearly, clearly does not want to confront vladimir putin on something any other president would. >> reporter: that's right, willie. when this story first broke, it was so explosive that the white house shielded the president from reporters for about two weeks. we had no opportunities to ask him any sort of questions whatsoever, you know, despite efforts on the south lawn, on air force one, even at news conferences where he would not take questions as he customarily would. so, kudos to jonathan swan for this interview. it is, indeed, very revealing. and you hit it on the head here. this is a reflexive instinct for
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the president, first of all, to dismiss stories from news outlets he doesn't like. the bounty story broke first in "the new york times," so he's able to deride it as fake news. his instinct is always to side with vladimir putin and dismiss u.s. intelligence. most famously, of course, he did so in helsinki, when he would not condemn or even acknowledge russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. there have been other moments since where he has also, when it would be a negative viewpoint on russia, he has dismissed the intelligence, even -- and yes, there is to be some debate as to how reliable all of this intelligence was, but it was clearly important enough to be brought up in the highest levels of government. and what we're seeing here is, again, the president unwilling to confront vladimir putin on a number of occasions on some of -- including in this case -- not just on u.s. intelligence, but on the lives of american soldiers. >> john heilemann, your take on this interview.
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>> well, first of all, i'll join the chorus of congratulating swan for doing a really nice job and not letting the president bob and weave and evade the question and staying on top of it, because few, very so few people are given a chance in front of donald trump will stay on one topic. and often, they get distracted by news of day. this is important. and i think that all the things that have been said here make a lot of sense to me and comport with the view, but i think there's something even -- i hear jonathan say, you know, well, to be fair, if the president were to say, i didn't take this intelligence seriously because a captured taliban fighter might be feeding us misinformation, there are dissenting views. i just want to be clear, that's a generous view of what the president did here. i mean, in the sense that you're making allowance for that possibility. >> no, no, no -- >> didn't hear the president say anything like that. >> no, no -- >> jonathan, no, i'm on your side here. i'm saying, i appreciate that we were saying, there's a world in
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which donald trump could say those things, but he doesn't say those things here, as you know. all he's basically saying is, hey, it's fake news. and i think it's amazing the lack of intellectual curiosity. i think jonathan and i are saying the same thing here. the extraordinary lack of intellectual curiosity, the lack of depth, the simplicity, the superficiality. this is a president -- i mean, he's lecturing jonathan on a piece of history about the russians dealing with afghanistan that is something like any high school student knows. and the president sounds as though he's just discovered this. hey, you know what? you know, russia used to be the soviet union, and they were involved in afghanistan, and that's why they're now russia. it made them bankrupt. you're like, are you kidding? this is the level of conversation we're having on this subject? i find the thing, mika, to your point, i find the totality of the interview to be as revealing about how the president thinks about the world, this part of the world, and vladimir putin in general, as any on-camera interview we've seen. so again, i think it's a really
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valuable piece of video and i'm really glad it's out there. >> 100%. >> thank you, john. i really appreciate it. and just to be clear, john and i are not saying different things on this subject. i was hypothesizing about a magical, separate world in which a leader might have described the intelligence in that way. he very evidently disbelieved it on its face, made that very, very clear. >> right. >> in the interview. >> totally. >> claire mccaskill, among the other wild things about this interview and disconcerting things about this interview, as mika pointed to briefly at the top, was the equivalence, the immediate quiv lanequivalence, jonathan confronted him with the fact that russia was arming the taliban against the united states, he immediately goes to, we did that, too. we did that, too, back in the '80s, instead of saying, yes, i'm troubled about that and i also confronted putin about that. we've been saying it how many
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years now, claire? there is something about vladimir putin, there is something about russia, where the president will not confront this man. >> yeah. i wish we could get america's military all in one room and watch this interview, because this is a president who gives lip service to caring about our military. he wants to lie all the time about how it was completed until he got to office. this is an explosive allegation that putin is putting a bounty on the heads of american soldiers. it's explosive. it would be explosive to any president. it did reach his desk in a briefing, and he has done nothing. he's not said a word. and by the way, this allegation didn't come from "the new york times." this allegation didn't come from the media. this allegation came from people in the intelligence community, the vast majority of which are either active military or retired military. so, it is coming from his people, from the people he gives
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lip service to. but always, he takes the side of putin. there is something really rotten with this, and i'm hoping that everyone sees this. jonathan, congratulations. all of us have been frustrated that we have not been able to pin him down. now you have pointed out, he's talked to putin eight times and never mentioned it. i hope everybody watches your interview in total on monday on hbo. >> i appreciate it. thank you. >> and the context -- yeah. in context with what we have seen from this president along the way, from his side meetings with vladimir putin, with no readouts, everything we have seen. but now let's go back to december 18th, 2015. we have a short clip. this was president trump, then candidate trump, on "morning joe." we're talking with him. we're talking about russia. we're talking about putin. watch my face change. i mean, this was a turning point. read joe's "washington post"
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articles in the lead-up after this. everything changed in terms of the tone with donald trump. people asked what changed? this was it. take a look. it was the same way he answered swan's questions. there's never a legitimate answer. it's always, well, we do it, too, but no real clarification on what that means. take a look. >> but again, he kills journalists that don't agree with him. >> well, i think our country does plenty of killing also, joe, so, you know. >> eddie glaude, he's always got this moral equivalency thing going. your take on the interview? >> well, it was a stunning interview on a number of different levels. one is, to echo hileman's point -- it's just clear, cultivated ignorance. i mean, he just wallowes in it. it's stunning, actually. but i think the other point is what jonathan swan just laid
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out. what was stunning to me is when jonathan asked him about the taliban and russia supplying arms to the taliban, and he moved to this equivalence, he made the equivalence move, mika, the second thing he did was in some ways to attack general nicholson, right? so, he quotes nicholson, and then he says, well, nicholson wasn't very successful and then did da, da, da, da. so, his instincts in this moment are really not in some ways to protect u.s. interests. he will even turn on, you know, a military figure, as celebrated as nicholson in some ways, in order to justify his point. so, it's cultivated ignorance. and then, what he really and truly values in that moment. it's so stunning on so many different levels, mika. >> so, jonathan swan, before we let you go -- and we appreciate you coming in early and getting this on the air with us, because it is so important for the people to see this -- i just want to be clear one more time. i know you haven't seen the president's daily brief, but
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according to intelligence sources we've talked to, according to intelligence that we've seen, first broken by "the new york times," this intelligence did rise to the level of appearance in the president's daily brief. and i ask that to underline the fact that, yes, this did reach the president's desk. is that fair? >> no, i have no reason to disbelieve the reporting. i was just saying that i personally haven't -- and again, i don't cover the intelligence community, so it's more a reflection on my sourcing than just, than casting doubt on the reporting. i believe it. the white house has not disputed that this reached the president's written daily brief. they have been asked about it repeatedly, and they have not challenged that fact. so, i endorse what you just s d said. >> jonathan swan, thank you very. for that interview and for coming in this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," will the president lose the white house if he loses a close election? the attorney general offered little assurance that he would. we will play his remarks.
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it was a big day yesterday on capitol hill. plus, joe biden says he'll announce his running mate next week, and this photo of him holding notes with talking points about kamala harris has a lot of people talking. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the open road is open again. and wherever you're headed, choice hotels is there. book direct at choicehotels.com. ♪ and t-mobile doesn't just have a bigger network, at choicehotels.com. but a better one than ever before,
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i have to have you respond to first of all these tweets from donald trump taken down overnight. first, on the one that says you don't need a mask, "there is a cure, it's called hydroxychloroquine," can you clarify for our viewers the best guidance we have on masks and on hydroxychloroquine? >> we should all be wearing masks outside. there's no question about that. so, that's something that's not really arguable. >> how about hydroxychloroquine? the president promoting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. we know the fda has recommended against emergency use.
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>> right. right. exactly. and then i go along with the fda. the overwhelming, prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease. >> and one of the retweets from the president also accuses you of misleading the public on many issues. you've been at the nih since 1984. you've advised six presidents. can you continue to do your job when the president of the united states is publicly questioning your credibility in this way? >> you know, george, i don't know how to address that. i'm just going to certainly continue doing my job. >> to the charge you've been misleading the american public? >> i have not been misleading the american public under any circumstances. >> i have a very good relationship with dr. fauci. you know, it's sort of interesting, we've listened to dr. fauci. i haven't always agreed with him, and that's i think pretty standard. that's okay. he did not want us to ban
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this -- put up the ban to china, when china was heavily infected, very badly, wuhan. he didn't want to do that, and i did, and other things. and he told me i was right and that i saved tens of thousands of lives, which was generous, but you know, i think it's a fact that i did the ban on europe. but i get along with him very well, and i agree with a lot of what he said. so, you know, it's interesting. he's got a very good approval rating, and i like that. it's good. because remember, he's working for this administration. he's working with us, john. we could have gotten other people. we could have gotten somebody else. it didn't have to be dr. fauci. he's working with our administration. and for the most part, we've done pretty much what he and others, dr. birx and others, who are terrific, recommended. and he's got this high approval rating. so, why don't i have a high approval rating with respect -- and the administration -- with respect to the virus? so, it sort of is curious. a man works for us, with us,
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very closely, dr. fauci, and dr. birx, also highly thought of, and yet, they're highly thought of, but nobody likes me. it can only be my personality. >> well, i just -- you know, i feel compelled to answer his question. he wants to know why he doesn't have a high approval rating on the coronavirus? okay. well, in january, he was blowing it off. one person coming in from china. i think joe biden had an op ed in "usa today" warning the country, warning the administration that a pandemic was coming. he did not listen. the president said it would magically go away. he went to the nih, refused to wear a mask, and said if anybody wants a test, they can get a test, and now he wants to actually stop testing because he thinks more testing means more cases. that is correct. we need to know where they are and contact trace them, mr. president. and donald, the reason your approval rating on the coronavirus is so low is because
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you have botched this from the start on every level and you have actually pushed disinformation on the coronavirus, you have pushed quack cures that have been proven as not tested enough, ineffective, and even dangerous. you haven't nationalized testing. you haven't helped the states fight this pandemic. you haven't been able to do it like other countries, or some of the governors in this country have done a better job than you. so, that might explain your poor approval ratings on the coronavirus. but willie, the bigger question is, why at this point, at 150,000 deaths and more to come, does the president keep pushing hydroxychloroquine and spreading misinformation about doctors, and even making fun of masks still? why does he push things that lead to the deaths of people? >> he wants a magic cure.
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he said this is going to go away magically. he's hoping this pill that, as dr. fauci said, does not work, has not shown effective in trials, has not shown effective in studies by the nih, in a study that was published in the "new england journal of medicine." it's not effective, but the president continues to push it in the absence of any other plan to address the problem. and after more than a dozen retweets monday night of a viral video that spread disinformation about the coronavirus, specifically referring to hydroxychloroquine as a cure, president trump yesterday spoke highly of the doctors featured in that video, a video that now has been removed from a number of social media platforms because of its false claims. >> can you clarify your position on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine after you retweeted a video making claims that it is effective? >> i wasn't making claims. the recommendations of many other people, including doctors. many doctors think it is
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extremely successful, the hydroxychloroquine, coupled with the zinc, and perhaps the azithromycin. but many doctors think it's extremely good, and some people don't. some people, i think it's become very political. i happen to believe in it. i would take it. as you know, i took it for a 14-day period, and i'm here, right? i'm here. i happen to think it's -- it works in the early stages. i think frontline medical people believe that, too. it's safe. it doesn't cause problems. i had no problem. i had absolutely no problem, felt no different, didn't feel good, bad, or indifferent. and i tested, as you know. it didn't get me, and it's not goi going to, hope floey, put everybody. there was a large group of doctors put on the internet, and for some reason, the internet
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wanted to take them down and took them off. i think twitter took them off, and i think facebook took them off. i don't know why. i think they're very respected doctors. there was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it, that she's had tremendous success with it. and they took her voice off. >> the woman that you said was a great doctor in that video that you retweeted last night said that masks don't work and there is a cure for covid-19, both of which health experts say is not true. she's also made videos saying that doctors make medicine using dna from aliens and that they're trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious. >> well, maybe it's -- maybe it's not, but i can tell you this -- >> retweet that -- >> she was on air, along with many other doctors. they were big fans of hydroxychloroquine. and i thought she was very impressive in the sense that from where she came -- i don't know what country she came from, but she said she's had success
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from hundreds of patients and i thought her voice was an important voice, but i know nothing about her. go ahead. >> last week, you said masks -- >> okay, thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> oh, my gosh. >> and that was the end of the briefing. jonathan lamire, you were in the room. we saw you in that shot right there as the question was being asked. the doctor that the president is praising as, quote, spectacular, saying "i thought she was very impressive." we heard the reporter there saying some of the other claims made by the doctor. i will add to that -- not being glib here, it's just something she believes -- that gynecological problems are caused by having sex with demons and witches in your dreams. this is the doctor that the president is touting when he talks about hydroxychloroquine, talks about not wearing masks, which was also in that video. that's why it was pulled down. he was curious why, because she was spreading false information here. the president of the united states, again, leaning into hydroxychloroquine. and i can't help but think, jonathan, what a colossal waste of time to spend a briefing talking about that, when the problem is so big and there
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still is no national program, there is no national plan to address it. >> reporter: willie, i'm going to skip offering a fact-check on that claim about sex with demons. in terms of the briefing -- >> good call, yeah. >> in terms of the briefing yesterday, wearing a mask probably helped cover the look of surprise on my face as the president doubled and tripled down on this claim with doctors offering, frankly, junk science, that were immediately taken down from social media sites. again, promoting the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, which is dubious at best. a lot of studies suggest that it has not been helpful. but it comes, frankly, of a piece of that entire briefing yesterday. the president was in an extraordinarily defensive posture. the opening statements were about the defense production act, the dpa, which, of course, he was widely criticized for not using very much during the early weeks of this pandemic, and it was to tout the times he had used it, including one more time yesterday he invoked it. although to be clear, he's been using it mostly in terms of federal loans, not compelling
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these companies to actually manufacture and distribute items that are so important to first responders, hospitals, and so on. and this comes, willie, as the white house is nervously watching caseloads of the infection throughout the country. they are seeing -- we know the hotspots right now. it's florida, it's texas, where the president is going later today. i will be with him for an event there. it's arizona. it's california. they feel like things are stabilizing a little bit, particularly in arizona, in texas, and feeling better about that, but there are new states they're growing very concerned about. in fact, we reported yesterday, there's a new focus on some midwest states, including minnesota, wisconsin, ohio, indiana, as well as colorado, where they're seeing early signs of outbreaks there, potential surges, and they feel like these next two weeks will be vital in those states, some of them in vital -- very important swing states, the election. the next two weeks will be key to try to prevent a devastating surge there that could be
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reminiscent of the pain and suffering and illness we're seeing in places like texas, florida, and arizona now. >> claire mccaskill, as you watched that news briefing and you watch what the president is talking about, whether he's tweeting about twitter trends ignoring him and being negative about him, or he's worried that anthony fauci's approval rating is higher than his and wondering why that is, there's just a lack of seriousness, there's a lack of urgency about, as we showed that map, a country where states are on fire with coronavirus. they just are, and people are worried about their jobs and they're worried about whether or not their kids are going to go back to school. and you see a president standing there who doesn't grasp that, who's not handling that, who's hoping that this magic bullet, a pill called hydroxychloroquine, which has been proven not to be effective, as dr. fauci said, will somehow, as he has said, magically make this all disappear. >> yeah, willie, i can answer the president's question. he wants to know why his approval ratings are so low.
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it's because he's a dangerous, incompetent jerk. it's not any more complicated than that. i really am interested on this hydroxychloroquine. i'm interested to ask jonathan lamire, as he's in the press room and as he's working his sources and his news agency is working sources, i'm assuming there is investigative types out there following the money on hydroxy, because it's the only thing that makes sense, you know. you know, does putin have a stake in hydroxy? you know. is the deutsche bank backing hydroxy? there really -- it is baffling to me that there is such a chorus within the trump base and the trump media outlets and trump about this drug. it's just -- it has to be money. is somebody looking at that? is there any hope that we're
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going to find that there's somebody who's making real money off this? >> certainly, claire, there's a lot of -- been a lot of reporting into this. there was a discovery early on, when the president first was touting this drug, that found that the trump organization, i believe, had a small stake in some very small company, but there wasn't something, at least initially, as significant that he would be reaping significant windfall from this. and it has always been curious that -- and i think willie's point is what it was, is the idea of latching onto some sort of miracle drug, a miracle cure, something that would make this go away. then it's become a flashpoint and they see usefulness, the president and his allies, in fighting the media, fighting, sometimes, respected health professionals, over this medication, that they feel like this is yet another issue just to sort of muddy the waters and distract from the headlines. and the headlines, of course, are the mounting death total, the crippled economy, and everything else that has stemmed from what this president has, how he's managed this pandemic, one that, obviously, as we see
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in polls reflected every day, the american people thinks he's done a very poor job. >> well, i mean, also another option could be that this president just wants this to, poof, go away, he wants some magic cure, he wants it to end like an episode of "the apprentice," where it's all fixed by him, "you're fired." it's not going to happen at this point. and also, he just -- he cannot admit he's wrong. it's a problem for him. he's had that problem for a long time. his national security adviser has it now. and this virus is running rampant in several states where the governors and other members of leadership did not really enforce mitigation measures as well as they could have, didn't set an example. look at this. this is not going to be good in november. but even more importantly, this is a danger to the lives of the
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american people, where the numbers are now at 150,000 dead. and those are the ones that are accounted for. i want to bring in "morning joe" chief medical correspondent dr. dave campbell and director of the harvard global health institute, dr. ajeesh shah, practicing physician and director of medicine at harvard medical school. dr. dave, i know you have new, interesting information out of south florida, but i want to start with both of you, dr. shah and dr. dave, on -- and i know we don't want to get political here, but what are the health dangers, medically speaking, posed by a president that at this point in this pandemic is pushing hydroxychloroquine, retweeting things that say masks don't work, and is also pushing quack doctors during his briefings? what is the health danger to americans? dr. shah, i'll begin with you. >> yes, good morning, and thank
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you for having me on. look, we're in a very difficult situation in our country, and we're in the middle of this pandemic. 150,000 americans have died. and what most americans are focused on right now is, as you guys have been saying, how do we get kids back to school? how do we stop 1,000 americans from dying every day? and instead of focusing on the agenda of the american people, i feel like, you know, the president's political conversations -- or his conversations -- have become about a medicine that we are now pretty sure doesn't work with very good scientific evidence, pushing kind of story lines about dr. fauci. like, let's focus here. under the best of circumstances, this would be a difficult situation. but when our political leaders are distracting us with things that are really not germane to the agenda of the american people, it's incredibly frustrating for those of us who are trying to figure out how to stop this public health crisis. >> absolutely. and dr. dave, focusing in on florida, where the governor there has been criticized a lot
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for leadership there, you're looking at what's happening inside some of these hospitals. how are they doing with supplies and room for covid patients? >> it really starts with intensive care unit bed availability and capacity. so, if we go down to miami-dade county, jackson memorial hospital, my alma mater, and look at how the intensive care units are essentially full -- they can move patients around a little bit, when needed, and co-opt rooms that aren't critical care rooms and turn them into icus, and then this swath of patients that are critical are moving north to broward county, where seven of the hospitals in broward county, their icus are full, to capacity. five more hospitals in that county, just south of where i am, have three or fewer icu beds available. and a lot of patients, we hear, are being shifted from the
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hospitals that are full up to hospitals that aren't full, and i'm to the next county north, palm beach county, where we see just yesterday 21 deaths, a new record for palm beach county for covid-19. and this trend is miami-dade, broward, and now palm beach county are taking the brunt of new cases and hospitalizations and also, mika, i might point out that the number of children in florida, new cases in florida, 34% up. the number of kids in hospitals -- there are 303 children in the hospital today in florida for covid-19. that is about a 23% increase over the past few days. it's horrendous right now, mika. >> dr. jha, it's willie. you've been telling us about testing for six months or so, since we first started having these conversations about
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coronavirus. the president touting that this country's done 55 million tests, says we're doing it better than anybody in the world. we talked on the air last week. i had a coronavirus test a couple of weeks ago. it took ten days to come back negative. as you know, rendering that result really meaningless, given the fact that i had other interactions in the space of those ten days. so, where are we as a country on testing? and can you just underline one more time as we sit here in late july, about why that is so important? >> yeah. so, willie, testing is fundamental. it's not the only thing, but you can't really do much else without testing, because if you can't figure out who's infected and who's not, it's very, very difficult to control this virus. it's very difficult to control any infectious disease without testing. look, we created an infrastructure, we had an infrastructure that was not ever really set up to deliver testing for the american people in a way that was needed. and your experience is really indicative of that testing infrastructure now really
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starting to feel strains, and in some ways, beginning to collapse. and i don't really have much hope that this administration is going to revamp that infrastructure, invoke the dpa, build the supply chain. i think, you know, i've been saying that for four months, five months. obviously, that's not happening. so, a lot of us have been thinking about, well, what else can we do? are there new testing modalities? and the answer is, there are new testing modalities coming online. the problem is, if we just leave it to the market, it will take, you know, months or years for those tests to become widely available. and so, again, it would be really helpful to have engaged federal government that tries to bring those new testing modalities online and make it available. we have technology now where people can get tested on an ongoing basis and get results back in 15 minutes. that exists. but it's going to take a while for that to become available, unless we get our government really involved in helping get the manufacturing and getting the distribution. and i'm just not convinced that we're going to get that from the
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federal government. >> well, the president refuses to use the defense production act to boost testing and get it to the people. and in florida, where, as dr. dave described it, the situation is literally horrendous, with now a growing number of children getting coronavirus, there are people who cannot get their test results for a week, maybe even more, which, obviously, then prevents the ability to do contact tracing. it prevents the ability to mitigate this virus. it's one of our very few tools, and it's not working in florida. dr. dave, news out of florida as well -- it appears 17 members of the florida marlins baseball team have tested positive for covid-19. i guess this is another example as businesses are struggling to figure out how to reopen, how to regroup and deal with this virus, how contagious this virus is, how difficult it is to keep
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a business going. does it appear the newly restarted mlb season is already in jeopardy? >> it is certainly in jeopardy in florida. so, there is a roster of, i think, 30 players, 15 of whom tested positive, and a couple of coaches and administrative support. and those folks are now hunkered down in philadelphia, to my understanding, and have been suspended from playing now until next week. and i believe the phillies are going to come to miami next week to play. but can you imagine if you were a philadelphia philly thinking about going to miami, where community spread is like wildfire right now? it should be frightening. the commissioner for the baseball, mlb, has come out and said that so far, so far, the season is not in jeopardy, but everybody that is a baseball fan is on pins and needles right
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now, mika. >> doctors dave campbell and ashish jha, thank you very much for being on the show. still ahead, we'll talk about attorney general william barr's contentious congressional hearing yesterday. he clashed with democrats over the issue of sending federal agents into u.s. cities, mail-in voting, and whether a president should accept foreign help in an election and more. yes, that was a question. it was actually a question. he had a very fascinating answer. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is coming right back from prom dresses... ...to soccer practices... ...and new adventures. you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past... they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. let's help protect them together. because missing menb vaccination could mean missing out on a whole lot more.
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yes or no, have you discussed the president's re-election campaign with the president or with any white house official or any surrogate of the president? >> well, i'm not going to get into my discussions with the president -- >> well, have you discussed that topic with him, yes or no? >> not in relation to this program. >> i didn't ask that. i asked if you dusted that --
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>> i'm a member of the cabinet and there's an election going on, obviously the topic comes up. >> then yes. >> well, the topic comes up in cabinet meetings and other things. it shouldn't be surprised that it's a topic of the election -- >> i wasn't surprised. i just asked if you had done that. so, as part of those conversations with the president or his people about the re-election campaign, have you discussed the deployment of future law enforcement. >> in connection with what? >> in connection with what you just said, in connection with your discussions with the president or with other people around him of his re-election campaign, have you discussed the current or future deployment of federal law enforcement? >> as i say, i'm not going to get into my discussions with the president, but i've made it clear that i would like to pick the cities based on law enforcement need and based on neutral criteria -- >> but you can't tell me whether you've discussed -- >> no, i'm not going to discuss what i discussed with the president. >> can you -- >> the unrest in portland was a major topic during the contentious five-hour grilling
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of attorney general william barr by democrats on the house judiciary committee. he called the violence outside of the federal courthouse an assault on the government of the united states. jonathan lamire, what are you looking at here? might there be some sort of agreement as to how we move forward and where exactly federal agents can and cannot be? >> reporter: mika, rereported last night at the "ap," that there have been some back-channel talks between the trump administration -- namely, department of homeland security -- and the governor of oregon's office, about the situation there, about potentially drawing down some of the federal presence in portland. but if, and only if, the trump administration insists that oregon itself, the state of oregon, ups their own law enforcement response. this is reminiscent of what we saw in the early days of the george floyd protests, those first weeks where, among the widespread protests, which, let's be clear, were widely
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peaceful, there were some outbreaks of violence. and the president, you'll recall, really pushed these governors and big-city mayors to clamp down, to crack down. he kept threatening to send the national guard, basically suggesting -- and federal law enforcement -- suggesting that if you can't handle this, we will. and that's, borne of that moment is when he took his infamous walk across lafayette square just to my right, when they cleared that park and he had that photo op with the bible in front of the church. these are preliminary talks. it's unclear where they will go. and the administration has also sent the signal to oregon's governor that if they do draw down and the violence picks back up again, they will immediately return the federal presence that has been so controversial to so many and that many on the ground in portland believe their presence has really enflamed the situation. but this is, as a final point, mika, what the administration believes is a political win. they still feel like that every time the democrats are talking about portland, it makes them, according to trump advisers, look weak. they think that this is something that will resonate
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among suburban voters, among senior voters who don't like seeing these scenes of chaos, these violent clashes, and they're going to, as the attorney general said yesterday in his testimony, this is something they're still eyeing about deploying in other cities, too. >> let's bring into the conversation now nbc news correspondent julia ainsley. she covers the justice department for us. julia, good morning. i want to get your take on another exchange yesterday, when congressman eric swalwell asked attorney general barr why the president is not being investigated for commuting the sentence of roger stone. >> you would agree that it's a federal crime to lie under oath. is that right? >> yes. >> it's a crime for you. it's a crime for me. and it's certainly a crime for the president of the united states. is that right? >> yes. >> so, if donald trump lied to the mueller investigators, which you agree would be a crime, then roger stone was in a position to expose donald trump's lies. are you familiar with the december 3rd, 2018 tweet, where donald trump said roger stone had shown guts by not testifying against him?
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>> no, i'm not familiar with that. >> you don't read the president's tweets? >> no. >> well, there's a lot of evidence in the president's tweets, mr. attorney general. i think you should start reading them. because he said mr. stone showed guts. but on july 10 of this year, roger stone declared to a reporter, "i had 29 or 30 conversations with trump during the campaign period. trump knows i was under enormous pressure to turn on him. it would have eased my situation considerably, but i didn't. the prosecutors wanted me to play judas. i refused." are you familiar with that stone statement? >> actually, i'm not. >> so, how can you sit here and tell us, why should i investigate the president of the united states, if you're not even aware of the facts concerning the president using the pardon or commutation power to swap the silence of a witness? >> because we require, you know, a reliable predicate before we open a criminal investigation. >> and i just gave to you, sir -- >> i don't consider it. i consider it a very rube
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goldberg theory that you have. >> it sounds like you're hearing this for the first time today and -- >> there would be a lot more people under investigation. >> so, julia, there's a lot to comb through there with roger stone and also michael flynn, the charges being dropped after he pleaded guilty to them. attorney general barr has said recently that he doesn't necessarily agree with the commutation of roger stone's sentence, but of course, the justice department did step in to reduce his sentence. what did you take away from that exchange? >> well, over and over again yesterday, willie, we saw the attorney general defend decisions that he made, saying that this can be done. he kept going back to roger stone's age, as if that was a big reason to try to keep his prison sentence reduced. but he distanced himself from being a trump loyalist. i think the thing that wasn't addressed, and either it's because the questioning wasn't there or bar himself was just good at walking around this, is the perception of the attorney general. when you add up all of these
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incidents and you add up how he did the summary of the mueller report a month before we were able to see the redacted version, when you add up what he's done on the michael flynn case, pulling out of the prosecution, when you add up his ve very, his hand in all of this, his overreach, you would say, to reach into things like the stone case -- how is that perceived, even if he can separate himself from the president? and i think what we saw over and over again was his defense of the presidency. william barr is something who in his speech, willie, i was reminded of this yesterday, he said that the revolutionary war was against parliament, not the monarchy. he said that last year in a speech at notre dame. that is the way this attorney general views the presidency, and this is a president who he has defended over and over again. and so, when he talks about trying to ignore the president's tweets, he's trying to set himself up as someone who is following the rule of law and not being a loyalist. but he also couldn't say
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definitively, or at least walked around whether or not a president should accept help from a foreign government in an election, and he said that he could -- of course would discuss the presidential re-election as a member of the cabinet. there were time and time again where we did see how the relationship was close together. so, it's hard to see how he would be putting on blinders and ignoring these tweets that clearly lays out what the president prefers and highly encourages in each of these prosecutions. >> as you say, there was a lot of ground covered in that hearing, including mail-in voting. attorney general william barr expressing some skepticism about what might happen if there is widespread mail-in voting. he was also pressed about what was happening in the upcoming election. >> what will you do if donald trump loses the election on november 3rd but refuses to leave office on january 20th? >> if the results are clear, i
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would leave office. >> do you believe that there is any basis or legitimacy to donald trump's recent claim that he can't provide an answer as to whether he would leave office? >> i really am not familiar with these comments. >> congressman hakeem jeffries, questioning the attorney general there. john heilemann, obviously, we've heard president trump sort of lay this predicate that the election could be rigged or will be rigged, if there's widespread mail-in voting, which there is likely to be, and attorney general william barr seemed to support that, saying yesterday that if there is a lot of mail-in voting, who knows what's going to happen. open to fraud. >> yeah, i don't think he seemed to support it, willie. i think he basically said that he thought if there was wholesale mail-in voting, that that was very susceptible to fraud. he's on the president's side in this question. and i'll point out, as i point
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out every time we have this discussion, more than 40 million people voted by mail in 2016. 40 million people. we're going to have more -- we're going to have wholesale mail-in voting in this election. we had it in the last election. we're going to have it even more so in this election because people, rightly, are going to be concerned about not putting themselves in harm's way by going and standing in massive lines on election day. so there's going to be a huge movement for people to vote early, a huge movement in many of the key states. every battleground state, willie, every battleground state has mail-in voting. so, the election is going to be determined in states that have mail-in voting. and the president of the united states has said mail-in voting is corrupt. the attorney general has now sided with the president of the united states in saying that wholesale mail-in voting is susceptible to corruption. and i think if anybody watching -- there are a lot of lessons to take, a lot of headlines out of barr's testimony yesterday, but the totality of it on this question, which is, is william barr, the attorney general of the united states, in the conduct of this
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election as we go forward, between now and election day, and in the crucial period after election day and up until january 20th, is the attorney general taking pains to communicate to america and the congress that he is going to be a neutral player, enforcing the rule of law, or is he going to be what he has been so far, which is a political actor behaving on behalf of the president? there is no question, if you watch watched his testimony yesterday that he is happy, perfectly willing, and is clear that he is happy to have us all think the latter, that he's going to be acting as a political agent of the president, not as someone who's trying to enforce the integrity of the american election or on the side of the american rule of law and the american people. and i think if you think what the traditional role of the attorney general is, barr has done many things that trouble people who see him deviating from that, but he is now telegraphing to us in this testimony that we have a lot more to worry about between now
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and election day. and as i said, again, in that crucial period after election day and before the inauguration in 2021. >> so, claire mccaskill, a related question, and it's a question that often i asked about president trump. but in terms of what happened yesterday, the attorney general's testimony on capitol hill and all the moments where democrats were able to reveal something or, ooh, psych, this happened. what goes beyond yesterday? what actually has oversight? what actually has consequences? what was revealed yesterday that then will change the course of how some believe things are going right now, which is an incredibly corrupt fashion? because we have dramatic testimony, dramatic headlines, we have dramatic interviews, but it seems like nothing happens to actually change a wrong, to make it a right. are there constructs from anything that we've heard yesterday in our system to
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provide some oversight to the attorney general? >> well, typically, mika, when you have -- frankly, this is unprecedented, to have an attorney general in the tank -- >> it's all unprecedented. >> -- like this. >> yeah. >> i mean, he's in the tank. he is not what we expect our attorney general to be. he is a political actor through and through. now, the problem is -- i mean, the best example of that yesterday, the law says clearly that you cannot accept or solicit foreign assistance in a federal election. the fact that he had to dance around that question is all you need to know, because that's the law. so, here's the problem. to make something happen against this attorney general, you need the help and assistance of congress. and what is blocking the help and assistance and accountability in congress are the republicans in the senate
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who are also in the tank. look no further than lindsey graham, the chairman of the judiciary committee in the senate. look no further than ron johnson, the chairman of the committee that should be looking into what is happening to the people they're pulling off the streets by unmarked federal agents. where are they going? have they been charged? he is busy talking about hunter biden, for gosh sakes. i mean, it is unbelievable! so, the problem here is we will not get real action against barr, because the republicans in the senate are also in the tank. >> julia ainsley, before we let you go this morning, i want to get to some of your new reporting we're expecting today, according to your sources, for the department of homeland security to announce news on daca. obviously, the administration suffered defeat in the supreme court on that question, the issue of daca recipients. what exactly is this new position by the trump administration that will come out today?
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>> well, the new position, willie, is to simply ignore what the courts have said about daca. as we know, the supreme court late last month said that the way the trump administration went about dismantling daca was illegal. and then a maryland judge, a federal court, said that they could not continue -- that they needed to go back to status quo, which is the way that the obama administration implemented daca. instead, we understand now the department of homeland security will be rejecting all new daca applications while they begin an extensive, lengthy, comprehensive review. senior administration officials saying that they have no definite timeline on when that review will end, so in the meantime, they will be rejecting all new applications. and anyone who renews will not be able to renew for a two-year period but will only be given a one-year renewal. this is really getting to the heart of exactly what the plaintiffs were objecting to in the original daca case that went to the supreme court. these were colleges, employers, who wanted to know if they could bring on dreamers and actually
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know that they could stay with them, that they could stay in their schools, that they could stay employed. and not to mention the dreamers themselves, who are now in a state of confusion, thinking that they had a win in the courts and now being told that this will be rejected. i asked an administration official yesterday, do you expect court challenges if you're going to defy that order? and they just said, yes, of course. so, again, this administration is going back, throwing things at the wall, seeing what they can do before a court will enjoin them. and i will say, the way that they say they are getting around this is by releasing a new memo, they say, that would supersede those obama administration memos or any memo they've put out on daca. so, now we're in memo soup. it's very bureaucratic, but it has real impacts on over 700,000 dreamers. >> nbc's julia ainsley, thank you so much for your reporting. and now we want to play for you president trump's revealing interview yesterday with national political reporter for axios, jonathan swan.
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three minutes of the president of the united states putting russian interests over those of the united states. >> it's been widely reported that the u.s. has intelligence indicating that russia paid bounties or offered to pay bounties to taliban fighters to kill american soldiers. >> right, right. >> you had a phone call with vladimir putin on july 23rd. did you bring up this issue? >> no. that was a phone call to discuss other things. and frankly, that's an issue that many people said was fake news. >> who said it was fake news? >> i think a lot of people. if you look at some of the wonderful folks from the bush administration, some of them -- not any friends of mine -- were saying that it's a fake issue. but a lot of people said that it was a fake issue. >> well -- >> we had a call talking about nuclear proliferation, which is a very big subject, where they would like to do something and so would i. we discussed numerous things. we did not discuss that, no. >> and you've never discussed it with him. >> i have never discussed it with him, no. i would. i have no problem with it,
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but -- >> it's because you don't believe the intelligence. that's why. >> everything -- you know, it's interesting, nobody ever brings up china. they always bring russia, russia, russia. if we can do something with russia in terms of nuclear proliferation, which is a very big problem, bigger problem than global warming, a much bigger problem than global warming in terms of the real world, that would be a great thing. no, it never reached my desk. you know why? because they didn't think it was -- intelligence -- they didn't think it was real. >> it was in your written brief, though. >> they didn't think it was worthy of reading. i didn't mind -- if it reached my desk, i would have done something about it. it never reached my desk because -- >> do you read your written brief? >> i do. i read a lot. you know, i read a lot. they like to say i don't read. i read a lot. >> you read your daily intelligence brief? >> i comprehend extraordinarily well, probably better than anybody you've interviewed in a long time. i read a lot. i spend a lot of time at meetings. usually it's once a day or at least two or three times a week, intelligence briefings, spoken about -- >> but this was --
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>> -- india, talking about with the problems with china, talking about so many different elements of the world. the world is a very angry place, if you look all over the world. we call up, i get -- i see 22 soldiers were killed in india, with china, fighting over the border. it's been raging for many, many decades, and they've been fighting and back and forth. i have so many briefings on so many different countries, but this one didn't reach my desk. >> the reason i say this is, is even if you don't believe this particular piece of intelligence -- and there is dispute, no doubt, there is dispute in the intelligence community about it -- your former -- john nicholson, former head of -- afghanistan said -- this is when he was working for you -- that russia is supplying weapons to the taliban. isn't that enough to challenge putin over the killings of u.s. soldiers? >> well, we supplied weapons when they were fighting russia, too. you know, when they were fighting with the taliban in afghanistan -- >> that's a different era. >> well, it's a different -- i'm just saying, yes --
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>> but how -- >> i'm just saying, we do that, too. >> but how does that -- >> i didn't ask nicholson about that. he was there for a long time, didn't have great success, because you know, he was there before me and then ultimately i made a change. >> but you surely heard that, right? i mean, it's well known in the intelligence community that they are arming the taliban, russia. >> i don't know. when you say arming, is the taliban -- >> supplying weapons. >> is russia paying? >> supplying weapons to the taliban. >> i have heard that, but again, it's never reached my desk. >> i mean, he said it on the record when he was in -- >> hey, russia doesn't want anything to do with afghanistan. let me just tell you about russia. russia used to be a thing called the soviet union. because of afghanistan, they went bankrupt. they became russia, just so you do understand, okay? the last thing that russia wants to do is get too much involved with afghanistan. they tried that once. it didn't work out. >> let's bring in national security expert, columnist at "usa today" and author of the book "the death of expertise," tom nichols. former aide to the george w.
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bush white house and state department, elise jordan, and senior writer at politico and co-author of "the playbook," jake sherman and princeton's eddie guard jr. and claire mccaskill with us still as well. tom nichols, expert on russia, your take on that incredibly revealing interview. >> my take is that he's had a lot of conversations with putin and he has completely internalized the kremlin's talking points. his entire interview there is a recitation of russian defenses, of russian excuses. and as jonathan swan tried to get him to admit, a slap at the american intelligence community. he starts by saying it's fake news, it didn't happen. maybe it happened, but nobody told me. all right, they told me, but i didn't read it. well, i did read it. you know, this is somebody who is nonfunctional as a chief executive at defending american interests. this is somebody who knows how
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to repeat russia's talking points, in part, again, because, i think, the one consistent aspect of this administration, of this president, is that he is terrified of vladimir putin, and he will go to any length not to antagonize or anger putin in any way. that was a shameful performance. those three minutes are among the most shameful performances in foreign policy and just a continuation of the horrifying display we saw in helsinki a few years ago. >> at what point can one say with clarity that this president, president donald trump, is not working to protect american interests? >> i think we could have said that starting three or four years ago when he made it clear that he had no problem with taking rustance cy ancrussian ae
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election, again, when he went to helsinki, which i think perhaps was one of the lowest points. of course, we've always found that there is a new low that this president is capable of, but helsinki was really a shocking low in the history of the american presidency, and i think all he did yesterday was reaffirm that when it comes to russian interests or american interests, he will choose russian interests, not because he has any particular affinity for russia, but because he is terrified of the man in the kremlin. he is willing to put russian interests first because that puts his interest first, rather than antagonize the kremlin. >> you heard jonathan swan in that interview refer to former commander in afghanistan,nicholo publicly raised concerns about russia arming the taliban. this from a bbc interview from march of 2018. >> we've had stories written by
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the taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy. we've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by afghan leaders and said, this was given by the russians to the taliban. we know that the russians are involved. again, i mentioned the misinformation campaign, which will be familiar to anyone who's observed the russian behavior elsewhere around the world. >> so, elise jordan, when the president was confronted with that, about general nicholson, by jonathan swan, he just dismissed general nicholson out of hand. he didn't do a good job, that's why i got rid of him. he was from the obama era. didn't really address the concern directly. but more to the point, when the president says this didn't reach my desk, that's plainly untrue. if it's in the president's daily brief, that by definition has reached the president's desk. you, who worked in foreign policy for a very long time, what's your reaction listening to those 3 1/2 minutes? >> well, first of all, i know general nicholson and have great respect for him.
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he has served for many years in afghanistan with such dedication, all over the country, rising to become the overall commander. and for donald trump to just dismiss out of hand his objective assessment of the situation on the ground is really disturbing. and overall, i think it just points to how donald trump has had loose talking points about foreign policy, about wanting to get out, about wanting to, you know, seize the oil. and it's just all hollow and never backed up with anything. and at the end of the day, his transactional foreign policy is all about himself, whether it comes to russia, whether it comes to the saudis. this is -- it's really sad that the american public -- we have over -- i believe around 8,000 troops, under 10,000 american troops in afghanistan right now.
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it's sad that this isn't more of an issue, that the president's sacred duty to do whatever he can to protect american servicemen and women, that he sends into combat, that donald trump is just so dismissive and ready to take vladimir putin's word about what's going on in the battle space. >> jake sherman, as you cover capitol hill every day, does this come up as an issue? this is the first time, finally, we got the president of the united states to talk about it, to admit that he knew about it, to admit that he hasn't talked to president putin about it. but when you talked to senators who are obviously always concerned about troops abroad and talk about the military a great deal, are they worried about this question? are they looking into it? it's one thing, and understandable, to be skeptical about the intelligence, but it's a completely other thing, as the president seems to be incurious
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about allegations, not from the media, from the intelligence community, that russia is paying bounties to kill american soldiers in afghanistan? >> well, a few things. number one, what you said there is important, which is what senators are going to fall back on, which is, they are going to say that this is disputed intelligence and it's not 100% certain, and there are different people who have different views of this, and that's what the president was trying to say. that's what we'll see here. and indeed, senators have already sent to me, on and off the record, yes, russia pays the taliban bounties, but -- or pays the taliban money, but doesn't directly connect that to killing u.s. service members. so, that is the response that you're going to hear across the board today, because this is going to drive the news cycle. i think the more concerning thing -- or maybe not the more concerning thing, but a concerning thing for republican senators who are desperately trying to keep their majority, and most trying to keep the white house in their control, is
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that this is just illustrates to me and to a lot of other people just some questionable strategies, communication strategies, by the white house. why would they be rehashing this? why is the president still saying this? i mean, it's befuddling to me, and for a white house that keeps trying to tell us time and time again that the president is going to get on message, he's going to talk about things that helps him, he's going to tighten up and get a strategy in place that would help him keep the senate and win the white house. he hasn't done that in any way, shape or form. and that's going to be concerning to a lot of republicans. >> eddie glaude, in terms of helping himself, this president just seems to be almost just openly, wildly self-destructive and destructive to the american people as it pertains to the coronavirus, his lack of response, his lack of action, his lack of nationalizing the
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response to it, to get people the testing they need, to get them the ppe in the beginning, to try and bring these numbers down, literally, botching every step of the way. no action that is positive against this coronavirus from the president. on race. it seems that he royals the animus, he stirs it up. he doesn't bring it down. he doesn't want to bring peace to the streets of america, some would say, in terms of his reactions and actions. and now this with russia. once again, with russia. what is it with russia? what was your take on the interview? >> well, i thought the interview was extraordinary and stunning on a number of different levels. one of the things -- even if you disagree with the intelligence, if you concede that the intelligence was disputed, it seems to me that we should hear at least some kind of outrage at the very idea that russia had
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put bounties on the u.s. soldiers' heads. have we heard any outrage from donald trump in that moment, right? in the interview, could he just have expressed that if anyone threatened the u.s. soldier in this way, there would be hell to pay? we haven't heard that at all. and then the move to equivalence, as we talked about in the last segment, right? at the moment in which jonathan pressed him on, you know, well, we do know the taliban -- russia has funded the taliban, x, y, and z. but we have funded x, y, and z. in this moment, when it comes to russia and putin, it seems that donald trump is willing -- at least it seems to me -- willing to subordinate u.s. interests to whatever he seems to perceive as his interests in relation to vladimir putin. so, you get this lack of outrage on the one hand and this subordination of u.s. interests on the other, which leads me to conclude, not only, you know, i think reasonably, it seems to me, that this is a very dangerous moment and that we should dive deeper into it. and this goes to what willie said earlier as well. i think we've noticed a lack of
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seriousness, a lack of urgency, a lack of empathy with regards to how donald trump has responded to covid-19, and we understand that it's all driven by his own preoccupation with his own political well-being, even if his instincts seems to be, at least to me, wildly misguided. he's always acting in the interest of donald trump, as he understands them. and that's not necessarily in alignment with the interests of the united states. >> jake sherman, give us the latest, then, on capitol hill, when it comes to the coronavirus and the president's handling of it and some sort of stimulus that may get to the american people, in light of the economic struggles that they will be facing. >> well, mika, we're in the middle of a massive negotiation over what is expected to be at least $1 trillion of stimulus for coronavirus at some point in the next month or six weeks. i mean, the administration had
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hoped to finish it by friday, but the two sides are nowhere. they're haggling over unemployment insurance, over money for schools, state and local money. i mean, there's almost no agreement on anything at this point, and it's wednesday, and enhanced unemployment benefits end on friday, and it seems like they're going to end. it seems like these benefits, $600 a month extra from the federal government -- those payments are going to stop in the middle of what is the worst public health crisis in our world's history. so, i would expect over the next couple of weeks that these negotiations will continue to drag on. and the pressure's going to build on both republicans and democrats, mostly, frankly, republicans who are, again, in control of the senate and have a number of seats that are up in very competitive re-election campaigns. people are going to be saying -- people like thom tillis, cory gardner, martha mcsally, who are in tough races, we need to get the unemployment benefits in order and out the door. this is something steve mnuchin and mark meadows are in
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negotiations with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer over. so, a really, really high-wire negotiation, trying to do, basically as we put it in "playbook" this morning, backflips on dental floss. that's how froth these negotiations have become. >> there's an image for you. nicely done. jake, let me ask you about the new polling you guys have out this morning, politico and morning consult, about the vice presidential choice that joe biden is getting ready to make. he said this week that it will come in the first week of august, which, by my math, is next week. i don't know if that's exactly when they're going to do it, but the convention is just a couple weeks away. so it is imminent. he was seen yesterday with a piece of paper that he had in his front coat pocket with some descriptions of kamala harris. i don't hold a grudge, some other things, talking points about kamala harris. he said, obviously, it's going to be a woman. a lot of people in the democratic party would like to see it be a woman of color. what does the polling tell you about how important this choice is for joe biden? >> well, not important at all, willie. i think that with the polling that we have, the politico
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morning consult poll this morning indicates that 20% of democrats say it will change their vote. i mean, this is -- the vice presidential choice has turned into a do-no-harm proposition over the last couple cycles. the last dispositive choice -- i guess sarah palin was dispositive to john mccain. joe biden helped barack obama around the margins. but here, again, we see democrats are with joe biden and really don't believe that this choice is going to make much of a difference in their vote. i would note something, as we consider both kamala harris, who appears to be the front-runner, if you look at joe biden's note card, and val demings, the congresswoman from orlando, florida, both of whom have law enforcement backgrounds. just 38% of democrats, according to our poll, want a vice president with a law enforcement background. obviously, the recent troubles with police and the protests probably play into that. and i'd just keep that in mind as we get to the next week, because this pick is coming, willie, by the end of next week. we're getting into that hot zone of when things are going to
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start leaking out and people are going to start framing their minds around who could be the next number two. and i just want to make one more point. the way democrats are talking about this on capitol hill is joe biden is choosing a likely successor, a likely next standard-bearer for the democratic party. so incredibly important from a political aspect. >> mm-hmm. jake sherman, thank you very, very much. and still ahead on "morning joe," new reporting on the group that funded that viral video of doctors spreading disinformation about the coronavirus that was shared by the president. plus, recode's kara swisher on the swift action by social media companies to take the video down. and as we go to break, another reminder for those predicting that donald trump will somehow change his tone. it's not going to happen. >> but again, he kills journalists that don't agree with him. >> well, i think our country does plenty of killing also,
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joe, so, you know. >> russia is supplying weapons to the taliban. isn't that enough to challenge putin over the killings of u.s. soldiers? >> well, we supplied weapons when they were fighting russia, too. >> president putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. every u.s. intelligence agency has concluded that russia did. what, who -- my first question for you, sir, is who do you believe? >> i have great confidence in my intelligence people, but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> it's because you don't believe the intelligence, that's why. >> everything -- you know, it's interesting. nobody ever brings up china. they always bring russia, russia, russia. china. they always bring russia, russia, russia [♪]
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mr. president, the woman that you said was a great doctor in that video that you retweeted last night said that masks don't work and there is a cure for covid-19, both of which health experts say is not true. she's also made videos saying
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that doctors make medicine using dna from aliens and that they're trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious. >> but she said that she's had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients. and i thought her voice was an important voice, but i know nothing about her. >> went to say, i thought she was very impressive, that doctor. joining us, reporter ben collins, editor at large of "new york magazine," kara swisher, also an nbc news and msnbc contributor. welcome to you both. ben, you've got some new reporting this morning about that video that the president amplified and sent out of this group of doctors. they were standing in lab coats in washington, d.c., saying that there is a cure for covid and that it's hydroxychloroquine. that's not true. saying that masks don't work. that's not true. and then everything else you just heard about alien dna and, well, demons and witches. so, what exactly is that video? where did it come from? who are these people?
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>> yeah. so, if you haven't heard of the group behind it, which is called america's frontline doctors, there's a good reason for it -- it's less than two weeks old. they registered their domain name 12 days ago. but the group that's behind that, you probably have heard of. it's called tea party patriots. it's a pac based on the old tea party from a decade ago that has raised $24 million in the last six years. this is their second shot at trying to sort of move the needle towards reopening on facebook and twitter and creating a stir on social media. didn't work the first time. the first time, their group was called the second opinion project. so, they moved this over to a different place. and this time, it really works. if you put people in lab coats and simulate a press conference, there are more people participating in this press conference than watching in person in real life. but on facebook, there were 20 million people watching, because it looked very official. it looked very real. breitbart live streamed it at
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the time and that's where it really took off. and people sort of got the bat signal that this was the thing they were going to push. there were things like queanon groups that put things out to their people and in 24 hours, it had 20 million views. that's a lot of work. it took over the internet there for a few hours. >> and ben, at another time, we would laugh off a doctor talking about alien dna, talking about demons and witches and making a vaccine against being religious or something. i can't even make heads or tails of what she was talking about. but as you point out, 20 million people on facebook watched it, and the president of the united states elevated it with retweets. this is this universe you live in, this universe you cover, that now has taken a real hold in social media. >> yeah, and his son also retweeted it with an endorsement. that got his account locked out for about 12 hours on twitter,
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which they said was social media censorship. this is a real problem that facebook specifically has to deal with and twitter as well. you know, if you have a good camera, if you have a good setup, if you have a lot of money and coordination, you can get to those 20 million views very easily. this is how the algorithm works. it's one of those things that is great for small businesses. things can go viral very easily. if you have a good idea, it can go viral very easily. it can change the world. but if you have a really bad idea that's, you know, really bad for public health, but it's gutsied up in this specific way, it can do a lot of damage quickly. facebook took this down after a few hours, but the dang wmage w done. this is the second time in the last few months that this really dangerous information shot with a good camera, with a professional lens, really changed people's minds very quickly. and it changed people's minds in a very dangerous way. >> kara swisher, this is your
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wheelhouse. you've been following how these tech companies deal with misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and you've seen the struggle over how exactly, what exactly is their responsibility. how did social media companies respond to this information yesterday? and how is it different from the past and what does it portend for the future? >> well, it's not different. i mean, he said it's the second time in a while. it's the second time in the last 14 seconds that people have done this. if you remember the shootings in new zealand. these things tend to go viral very quickly on these platforms because they were built this way, in order to create virality in an open platform, where anybody can take advantage of it. and so, this is not a fresh, new thing to happen. it's just them applying it over and over and over again, and then using the echo chamber, the right-wing echo chamber, to then send it out. so, they have a plan and they do it every time. and i think there is very little that a lot of these companies can do for it quickly because they don't have any edit
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function, or they try to pretend they don't have an edit function. this is something you and i have talked about a lot. like, this can just go viral and then it's very hard to start. and they should have anticipated this would happen, but they try to push themselves away from editorial so that they're not doing anything. and what it really brings to mind is it's not the political advertising that's the problem, it's the content. and that's where the real game is going, whether it's covid misinformation, whether it's hate speech, whether it's anything like this. it's perfectly architected to do exactly what it's doing right now. so, none of us should be surprised. >> exactly. well, and as they try and push themselves away from editorial, it's actually impossible to have it both ways on that front. >> yes. yes, it is. >> i just, at some point, i really hope that they are forced to take more responsibility for the damage caused and the pain caused on their platforms. kara, today, tech companies will be appearing before congress. what do you expect to come out
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of that? >> yes. very little. i think it's going to be -- it's a difficult time. there's a lot of news going on. i don't think anything significant's going to happen for a while. and it depends on the election, of course. if biden wins, they're in a tougher position. but it will be interesting to see if congress can stick to the issues, which is about power and not bring in donald trump jr. being sidelined for 12 hours, which he entirely deserved for doing this. and so, i think you're going to see, hopefully, some discussion about power and the limits of power. it depends on -- each company is different, by the way, which makes this difficult. each company has a different issue around power and the use of power and too much power. and i think the problem is that you're going to have, you know, one of the republican congressmen start to talk about first amendment stuff, which this hearing is not about, and not about when companies are too big, which leads to all of this. like, it's all systemic. and that's the problem. hopefully, it will stick on point to the power of these companies to make these decisions that lead to things like this.
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but it probably won't. my guess is they will try to sideline it into some discussion about this absolutely unqualified doctor to talk about these things, or this doctor that's putting out misinformation. she may think she's qualified, but in fact, it's misinformation is what they're putting out about covid. >> yeah, all right. kara swisher and ben collins. thank you both very much for being on the show this morning. and tom nichols, the briefing yesterday, you called it a train wreck and you hope it happens every day. tell us why. >> i think it's really important for the public to see the president flailing and lying, and you know, just trying to throw everything against the wall to see what sticks as he fights for his self-preservat n self-preservation, rather than for the good of the american public. i think when the president goes on tv and when he tweets, although the attorney general claims that he doesn't pay
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attention to tweets, even though the president's tweets are, in fact, policy, the american people get a direct, unfiltered view of what their president is doing and not through kayleigh mcenany or any of the official representatives whose job primarily is to always clean up after the elephant. and so, when people are concerned and saying, what is the president doing tweeting about this disaster, this pandemic that is killing thousands of americans? they can see for themselves. he's doubling down on people talking about alien dna and witches and sex with demons. that's what he does. and i think it's clear in those briefings, and the american people can see it for themselves, without having to listen to you or me or any other intermediary, that he will put out as much misinformation as he thinks is necessary to burn down any kind of criticism against him, even if it means putting
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people's lives directly at risk. >> tom nichols, thank you very much. and up next, we'll talk to independent senator angus king. he is blasting republicans for waiting until the last minute to introduce a pandemic relief package that he says comes up short. "morning joe" will be right back. " will be right back hey, can i... hold on one second... sure. okay... okay! safe drivers save 40%!!! guys! guys! check it out. safe drivers save 40%!!!
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welcome back to "morning joe." beautiful live picture of the united states capitol at 7:46 in the morning in washington. joining us now, member of the intelligence committee, independent senator angus king of maine. senator king, good morning. it's good to have you with us. we want to talk about your view and your criticisms of the republican proposal for coronavirus relief and how you think we can do better on this. but i want to ask you first, as a member of the intelligence committee, for your reaction to the interview just out this morning, jonathan swan of axios, the president of the united states, sitting down.
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jonathan swan asked the president about this enterel, about the program from urbana, the gru, to put out bounties on american soldiers in afghanistan. here's what the president said. >> it's been widely reported that the u.s. has intelligence indicating that russia paid bounties or offered to pay bounties to taliban fighters to kill american soldiers. >> right, right. >> you had a phone call with vladimir putin on july 23rd. did you bring up this snish. >> no. that was a phone call to discuss other things. and frankly, that's an issue that many people said was fake news. >> who said it was fake news? >> i think a lot of people. if you look at some of the wonderful folks from the bush administration, some of them -- not any friends of mine -- were saying that it's a fake issue. but a lot of people said it's a fake issue. >> there was intelligence -- >> well, we had a call talking about nuclear proliferation, which is a very big subject, where they would like to do something, and so would i. we discussed numerous things. we did not discuss that, no. >> and you've never discussed it
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with him. >> i think never discussed it with him, no. >> so, senator king, the president said he has not discussed that issue with president putin on any of the many phone calls he's had since then. you sit on the intelligence committee. is it your assessment that that interl is fake news, as the president puts it? >> no. how's that for a short answer? i've seen the intelligence. in my opinion, it's not fake news. it's not a hoax. it's serious. and later in that interview, which i heard earlier on your program, the president said something about that -- well, i didn't know about it, or i didn't see it or it didn't come to my desk. well, it was on the front page of "the new york times" within a few days, and there was nothing keeping the president from -- i'm quite sure he knew about that story and still didn't raise it with president putin. i find it just absolutely astonishing. and the president still hasn't even -- the interview you just
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mentioned i think is the first time he's actually responded to the story. basical basically, he sort of shrugged his shoulders and said, well, i didn't see it, no big deal, putin and i are talking about other things. i don't know what could be more important than the russians providing incentives to take the lives of americans. >> and as you know, senator, it wasn't just "the new york times." it appeared in the president's daily brief. that's how important intel officials said it was. you say the intelligence is solid based on what you've seen. how do you explain, then, the president reflexively taking the side of putin, taking the side of the dissenters on this intelligence? >> i don't have any explanation, except it's part of a pattern. it is no surprise to anybody that the president has been very reluctant to cross president putin, going back to helsinki and before. there's no real explanation for it. and you know, what -- here's what bothers me, and i get into this dilemma where the president makes some kind of statement
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like that, and i know better, but i can't talk about it. and i'm not going to talk about the specific intelligence. i'm only going to say that, in my opinion, it's not fake news. but if the president says it never got to my my desk, then could approve that by showing the daily briefs he got for late february when this was current, didn't mention it. i don't think he's going to do that. >> so, senator is anything being done to push back on this as far as you're aware? we know the president isn't pushing back on it, but as you say, there's solid intelligence that russia is paying taliban-linked militants to kill american soldiers in afghanistan. is there any pushback on that? >> well, first, you just made a very assertive statement that i didn't. i'm not necessarily agreeing with every phrase that you just said. but the answer to your question is, foreign policy is largely in
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the hands of the president now, we could have hearings on this and try to bring the facts out, but that gets into the difficult situation of not betraying sources and methods of how we learn things. so, it's very difficult to have a public hearing on a matter of this nature, but, you know, the president has said what he said. you saw it in the interview. basically -- and then when he started -- when general nicholson talked about there were -- this is nothing new for the russians, he sort of blew that off and denigrated a decorated american general. so, i just -- i don't know where you go with this. >> claire mccaskill, i'll take that question to you and then you can take it to the senator. but what indication do we have from what we have seen from president trump that he's not to take it a step further, almost
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coordinating with russia in some way? because nothing explains this. and i wonder if we should be looking at this with a much more critical eye. >> i can assure you there are many people in washington, d.c., both currently involved in foreign intelligence and formerly involved, that see trump as a form of russian operative in the united states. there's been a consistent pattern with this president. and it is beyond troubling. angus, good morning. i've got a question for you about the coronavirus aid bill. it seems to me, looking at it from the outside at this moment, that mitch mcconnell has a crisis that is fairly rare for him. that is, he doesn't have a unified caucus on this. there is real dissension among republicans as to how to move forward and it's my understanding, he didn't even show up yesterday for the
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negotiation on the bill. it's beginning to feel, looking at it, that there may not be a bill. what does it feel like there? is this, in fact, mitch mcconnell finally having the wheels come off in terms of keeping his troops all gathered together? >> well, i think there will be a bill because the american people are going to demand it. and as someone pointed out last night, i can't imagine being one of those endangered republican senators going home and saying, well, we just didn't do anything when people are leaving their extended unemployment benefits, s.n.a.p. benefits are not being increased, evictions are going to start again in a big way. this crisis isn't over. and two preliminary points, claire. one is we shouldn't even be having this discussion. look, we should be moving out of the pandemic now instead of back into the teeth of it.
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it was the failure of this administration to have, a, a plan, and, b, to not build the infrastructure, particularly for testing and tracing that could have allowed us to handle this as it's been handled in every place in the world. i saw a graph the other day in the eu, which is about the same size as the u.s. democracy, industrialized countries. they're having 5,000 or 6,000 cases a day. we're having 60,000. we have 4% of the world's population. we've had 23% of the deaths. there's no other explanation for that other than our government is completely failed us on that. the second point is, we ought to be having this discussion about the next round of relief, because we need it, a month ago. or at least two or three weeks ago. to wait until now, when the deadline is this friday for the expiration of these benefits, i don't get it. everybody knows what the issues
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are. mitch mcconnell was talking about liability, you know, a month and six weeks ago. why they waited this long and now, as you say, they don't have a unified caucus, but i think there will be a bill. i think you'll find a combination of republicans that feel they have to do something and democrats who feel they have to do something. i think there's going to be enough in the senate to put together a bill along with -- they'll have to negotiate with the white house. but this is like, you know, you see the train coming and, you know, you're still playing tiddliwinks on the tracks. they knew these were coming, the cliffs were coming on unemployment insurance, and didn't open negotiations, didn't respond to letters, calls, anything else. it's the antithesis of responsible governing. >> eddie glaude, jump in. >> i really appreciate your
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comments. i want to pan out. as we know the american people are suffering. we know the circumstances around rent, the circumstances around unemployment insurance. all of this is coming to a head and it's coming to a head immediately. as you see this process, as you're participating in this process, what would you describe as the values animating the republican side? what is being revealed about what they care most about that the american people should know in this moment? >> well, i think you can start with what they don't seem to be too worried about, which is all those people losing unemployment insurance. in maine it's 72,000 people they wanted to cut from $600 to $200, i did the math, it's almost $30 million a week out of the pockets of the people who desperately need it. i've been talking to them. it's also $30 million a week out of the maine economy. this is bad both for the recipients but also for the
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economy. there's a new-found deficit hawkness in the republican caucus. people who are suddenly saying, how can we spend all that money? i was walking about a republican senator yesterday getting on the elevator and he was saying we can't spend all this money. we don't have -- i shouted, i said, so, why did you vote for the tax bill? well, i didn't get any answer to that. you know, that was totally unfunded and added significantly over $1 trillion to the deficit. but they don't want to spend money to help people make their rent. maybe it's because they just don't know anybody who can't pay their rent. you know, maybe it's because of the circles they travel in. i don't know what it is. but this is not the time -- listen, i hate the deficit. and i think we ought to be chipping away at it. we should have been doing it in good times. a time like this is not the time for taking that concern and
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having it override the needs of real people. the economic result of not doing something will be worse for the deficit in the long run than if we do something. we learned that at the beginning of the great depression. and we just can't have this -- you know, this drama about the deficit when this is -- this is a national hurricane, if you will, that's destroying the country, and we've got to respond to it and realize there are people that just, through no fault of their own, are absolutely hurting for food, for rent, for medicine, for just ordinary able to live and to be doving around the way we have been for the last couple of weeks without any action on this from senator mcconnell is, i think -- i can't remember my phrase, but i think i said it's not responsible governing. >> senator angus king, thank you very much for being on this morning. still ahead, inside yesterday's contentious hearing
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with attorney general william barr before the house judiciary committee. congressman joe neguse will be our guest who had a line of questioning about barr's removal of manhattan's top federal prosecutor. we're back in two minutes. fedel prosecutor we're back in two minutes. from prom dresses... ...to soccer practices... ...and new adventures. you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis
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in the past... they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. let's help protect them together. because missing menb vaccination could mean missing out on a whole lot more. ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination.
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there was a group of doctors yesterday, a large group, that were put on the internet. for some reason the internet wanted to take them down. and took them off. i guess twitter took them off and i think facebook took them off. i don't know why. i think they're very respected doctors. there was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it, that she's had tremendous success with it. and they took her voice off. >> the woman you said is a great doctor, in the video you retweeted last night, said masks don't work and there's a cure for covid-19, both of which health experts say is not true.
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she's also made videos saying doctors make medicine using dna from aliens and they're trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious. >> maybe it's -- i can tell you this, she was on air along with many other doctors. they were big fans of hydroxychloroquine. and i thought she was very impressive in the sense that from where she came, i don't know from which country she comes from, but she said she's had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients and i thought her voice was an important voice, but i know nothing about her. >> she said -- last week -- real quick. >> thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> whoa. i thought her voice was an important voice, but i know nothing about her. yesterday's coronavirus briefing by the president should have put to bed any notion of another promised pivot towards actually listening to scientists, real scientists. good morning and welcome to
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"morning joe." it is wednesday, july 29th. joe's off this morning. but along with willie and me we have msnbc national affairs analyst, executive editor of "the recount," john heilemann. former u.s. senator, now nbc news and msnbc political analyst, claire mccaskill. white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lemire. and professor at princeton university and author of "begin again: james baldwin's america and its urgent lessons for our own," eddie glaude jr. we'll have a lot more from the president's briefing yesterday. covid-19 has now killed more than 150,000 americans. the number is staggering. but the president declared large portions of the country to be corona-free. he also laments why he doesn't have as high an approval rating as dr. fauci. again, we have passed the
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150,000 mark for deaths due to the coronavirus. first, a staggering interview from national political reporter for axios, jonathan swan. you just saw a little bit of it, who sat down with president trump for axios on hbo where, for the very first time, a reporter presses him on the story that intelligence showed russia was paying the taliban bounties to kill u.s. soldiers in afghanistan. there have been a lot of people who have tried to ask the president about this, but in a briefing or on his way to a helicopter, he is always able to blow them off. here the president is cornered and jonathan swan does not stop. here is the full exchange and it is very revealing. >> it's been widely reported that the u.s. has intelligence indicating that russia paid bounties or offered to paid bounties to taliban fighters to kill american soldiers. you had a phone call with vladimir putin on july 23rd. did you bring up this issue? >> no, that was a phone call to
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discuss other things. frankly, that's an issue that many people said was fake news. >> who said it was fake news? >> i think a lot of people. if you look at some of the wonderful folks from the bush administration, some of them, not any friends of mine, were saying that it's a fake issue, but a lot of people said it's a fake issue. we had a call -- we had a call talking about nuclear proliferation, which is a very big subject where they would like to do something and so would i. we discussed numerous things. we did not discuss that, no. >> and you've never discussed it with him? >> i've never discussed it with him, no. i would. i have no problem with -- >> you don't believe the intelligence, that's why. >> everything -- you know it's interesting. nobody brings up china. they always bring russia, russia, russia. if we can do something with russia in terms of nuclear proliferation, which is a very big problem, bigger problem than global warming, a much bigger problem than global warming in terms of the real world, that would be a great thing.
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no, it never reached my desk. you know why? because they didn't think -- intelligence. they didn't think it was real. >> it was in your brief. >> they didn't think it was worthy. i wouldn't mind -- if it reached my desk, i would have done something about it. it never reached my desk because -- >> do you read your brief? >> i do. i read a lot. they like to say i don't read. i read a lot. >> you read the intelligence daily briefing? >> i handle it extraordinarily well. probably better than anybody you've interviewed in a long time. i read a lot. i spend a lot of time with -- at meetings. usually it's once a day or at least two or three times a week intelligence -- >> this was -- >> talking about india, talking about the problems with china, talking about so many different elements of the world. the world is very an angry place. if you look all over the world. we call up -- we get -- i see 22 soldiers were killed in india with china fighting over the border. it's been raging for many, many
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decades. they've been fighting and back and forth. i have so many briefings on so many countries, but this one didn't reach my desk. >> the reason i say this, even if you don't believe this particular piece of the intelligence, and there is dispute, no doubt there is dispute in the intelligence community about it, your former head of forces in afghanistan said, and this is when he was working for you, that russia is supplying weapons to the taliban. isn't that enough to challenge putin over the killings of soldiers? >> we supplied weapons when they were fighting russia, too. when they were fighting -- the taliban in afghanistan -- >> it's a different era. >> i'm just saying, yes. >> but we -- >> i'm just saying we did that, too. i didn't ask nicholson about that. he had great success. he was there before me and ultimately i made a change. >> you have heard that. it's well known in the intelligence community that they're arming the taliban, russia. >> i don't know. when you say arming, are they paying -- >> russia is paying money to
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send to the taliban. >> i have heard that but, again, it's never reached my desk. >> he said it on the record when he was in -- >> russia doesn't want anything to do with acfghanistan. let me just say about russia, russia used to be a thing called the soviet union. because of afghanistan they went bankrupt and became russia. just so you do understand, okay? the last thing russia wants to do is get too much involved with afghanistan. they tried that once. it didn't work out. >> wow. jonathan swan, great job. so many different ways there the president seemed extremely uncomfortable and didn't have an answer for you. also, russia was supplying weapons. we did that, too. where have we heard that before? i can tell you where we've thaerd that before. during the campaign. december 18, 2018 when joe said to donald trump on an interview on "morning joe," but, president putin, he kills journalists, donald. and donald responds, well, we kill people, too.
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we'll show that to you later. the bottom line is, this is his go-to answer. when he is cornered. tell us more about the interview. >> you saw it there. i think it's important. i'm glad you played it in its full context. in some ways the most shocking part of that clip is actually not the first part where he admits for the first time on the record that he hasn't raised the issue of the bounties with vladimir putin. that's the least shocking part of that call because actually, frankly, you know, you can have a debate within policy circles about whether it's the right thing. there are dissenting opinions within the intelligence community about this intelligence. it is serious intelligence being taken seriously by the allies. there's a very good argument for why the president should raise it with putin. the second question is actually more important, which is, fine, you don't believe this intelligence or you're skeptical of it.
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let's try and take the most good faith interpretation of it. but you know that russia has been supplying weapons and money to the taliban because the man who ran your forces in afghanistan, john nicholson, said this on the record, when he worked for you. for him to say, i don't know if i heard about this, never reached my desk and we -- by the way, we gave them weapons, too. i mean, like in a different era. i just -- honestly, it was one of the most shocking -- i've covered president trump for five years. i think it's one of the most shocking exchanges i've had with him. >> jonathan, it's willie. it was staggering to watch him bend over backwards to side with the dissenting opinion on the intelligence. in other words, not even to consider the possibility that the intelligence did reach his desk in the president's daily brief, as you pointed out, could be true and it's something to consider and something to confront vladimir putin with. we all knew and we all assume
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that he hadn't brought it up on the call. you got that confirmed from the president. could you be clear for our viewers again, as we've reported over the last month or so, what exactly was in the president's daily brief? what did reach his desk? whether or not he read it is another matter but it did, in fact, reach his desk. >> i should be clear. i haven't seen what was in the written daily intelligence briefing. it's been widely reported that it was in that document but it's not one call with vladimir putin. it's eight. it's eight phone calls since that intelligence reportedly was in the written document. and you made a really important point, as you address that, which is, it's not so much -- okay, fine, you can come to this from a good faith position and say, i'm a bit skeptical about this, should we really take the word of captured taliban fighters. are they maybe feeding us disinformation, et cetera, et cetera. that's a reasonable position. but what you saw in that clip is
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a lack of desire to even investigate the claim and on its face dismissing it as fake news when, you know, the pentagon is not dismissing it in that way. they're taking it seriously. they're saying we don't yet have evidence linking it to the death of a u.s. soldier but described it as very worrisome intelligence. you could just see, this does not compute with his world view in the way that he thinks about putin and russia. so i think, again, it's a very revealing exchange on multiple levels. >> and i -- i asked this in all seriousness, jonathan swan. did you see that he computed that this was extremely revealing and that he was cornered and seemed almost confused or in some ways had nowhere to go when usually he can quickly find some corner to run to, in his words, in his answers. what was his body language like? what was it like after the interview?
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did he understand how revealing and, frankly, bad this was for him? >> no, i don't think he felt confused or anything of the sort. i think he felt he was expressing his own natural opinions and i didn't get any sense that he felt particularly cornered or that he was revealing anything of any great import. it was almost as natural as breathing. still ahead on "morning joe," as the u.s. hits 150,000 deaths from coronavirus, and more states break records for new infections, the president continues to make false claims about the virus while asking, why dr. fauci has better approval ratings than him. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ book two separate qualifying stays and earn a free night.
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respond to the tweets from prt taken count. the first one that said, you don't need mask, there is a cure called hydroxychloroquine. can you just clarify for our viewers the best scientific guidance we have on masks and hydroxychloroquine? >> we should all be wearing masks outside. there's no question about that. that's something that's not really arguable. >> how about hydroxychloroquine. the president promoting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. we know the fda has recommended against emergency use. >> right. right. exactly. and i go along with the fda. the overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease. >> and one of the retweets from the president also accused you of misleading the public on many issues. you've been at the nih since 1984. you've advised six presidents.
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can you continue to do your job when the president of the united states is publicly questioning your credibility in this way? >> you know, george, i don't know how to address that. i'm just going to certainly continue doing my job. >> to the charge you've been misleading the american public? >> i have not been misleading the american public under any circumstances. >> i have a very good relationship with dr. fauci. it's sort of interesting. we've listened to dr. fauci. i haven't always agreed with him. that's standard. it's okay. he did not want us to ban this -- put up the ban to china when china was heavily infected very badly, wuhan. he didn't want to do that and i did and other things. he told me i was right and he told me i saved tens of thousands of lives, which was generous, but i think it's fact. and i did the ban on europe. but i get along with him very well. and i agree with a lot of what he said. it's interesting. he's got a very good approval
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rating. i like that. it's good. he's working for this administration. he's working with us, john. we could have gotten other people. we could have gotten somebody else. it didn't have to be dr. fauci. he's working with our administration. for the most part, we've done pretty much what he and others, dr. birx and others, who are terrific, recommended. and he's got this high approval rating. so, why don't i have a high approval rating with respect -- and the administration with respect to the virus? it sort of is curious. a man works with us, for us, very closely, dr. fauci, and dr. birx, also highly thought of. they're highly thought of and not me. it can only be my personality. >> i just -- you know, i feel compelled to answer his question. he wants to know why he doesn't have a high approval rating on the coronavirus? okay. well, in january, he was blowing it off. one person coming in from china.
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i think joe biden had an op-ed in "usa today" warning the country, warning the administration that a pandemic was coming. he did not listen. the president said it would magically go away. he went to the nih, refused to wear a mask and said, if anybody wants a test, they can get a test. now he wants to actually stop testing because he thinks more testing means more cases. that is correct. we need to know where they are and contact trace them, mr. president. and, donald, the reason your approval rating on the coronavirus is so low is because you have botched this from the start on every level and you have actually pushed disinformation on the coronavirus. you have pushed quack cures that have been proven as not tested enough, ineffective and even dangerous. you haven't nashtionalized testing. you haven't helped the states fight this pandemic. you haven't been able to do it like other countries or some of
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the governors in this country have done a better jo be than you. that might explain your poor approval ratings on the coronavirus. willie, the bigger question is, why at this point, at 150,000 deaths and more to come, does the president keep pushing hydroxychloroquine and spreading misinformation about doctors, and even making fun of masks still? why does he push things that lead to the deaths of people? >> he wants a magic cure. he said this is going to go away magically. he's hoping this bill, as dr. fauci said, does not work, has not shown effective in trials, has not shown effective in studies by the nih, in a study published in the new england journal of medicine, it's want effective, but the president continues to push it in the absence of any other plan to address the problem. up next, the president isn't the only one spreading disinformation about the coronavirus. it's also the people he is retweeting on twitter, including
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one of the doctors featured in a video that has now been removed from a number of social media platforms because of its false claims. that's straight ahead on "morning joe." ning joe." ♪ book two separate qualifying stays and earn a free night. the open road is open again. and wherever you're headed, choice hotels is there. book direct at choicehotels.com.
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after more than a dozen retweets monday night of a viral video that spread disinformation about the coronavirus, specifically referring to hydroxychloroquine as a cure, president trump yesterday spoke highly of the doctors featured in that video. a video that's now been removed from a number of social media platforms because of its false claims. >> can you clarify your position on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine after you retweeted a video making claims that it is effective? >> i wasn't making claims. it's recommendations of many of the people, including doctors. many doctors think it is extremely successful. the hydroxychloroquine, coupled with the zinc and, perhaps, the zithromax. but many doctors think it's he extremely good and some people don't. some people, i think, it's
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become very political. i happen to believe in it. i would take it. as you know, i took it for a 14-day period. and i'm here, right? i'm here. i happen to think it works in the early stages. i think front line medical people believe that, too. it's safe. it doesn't cause problems. i had no problem. i had absolutely no problem. fels no different. didn't feel good, bad or indifferent. and i tested, as you know. it didn't get me and it's not going to hopefully hurt anybody. there was a group of doctors yesterday, a large group, that were put on the internet. for some reason the internet wanted to take them down and took them off. i guess twitter took them off. and i think facebook took them off. i don't know why. i think they're very respected doctors. there was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it, that she's had tremendous success with it.
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and it took her -- >> the woman you said is a great doctor, in that video you retweeted last night said masks don't work and there is a cure for covid-19. both of which health experts say is not true. she's also made videos saying that doctors make medicine using dna from aliens and that they're trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious. >> maybe it's the same, maybe it's not. i can tell you this -- >> what do you think about that? >> she was on air along with many other doctors. they were big fans of hydroxychloroquine. and i thought she was very impressive in the sense that from where she came, i don't know from dh country she comes from, but she said she's had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients and i thought her voice was an important voice but i know nothing about her. >> i think you said masks -- last week -- real quick. you -- >> thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> oh, my gosh. >> that was the end of the briefing. jonathan lemire, you were in the
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room. we saw you in that shot right there. the doctor the president is praising as, quote, spectacular, i thought she was very impressive. we heard the reporter saying some of the other claims made by the doctor. i will add to that, and i'm not being glib, this is just something she believes. gynecological problems are caused by having sex with demons and witches in your dreams. this is the president the president touts about taking hydroxychloroquine and not wearing masks. that's why it was pulled down. he wondered why. because she was spreading false information. the president of the united states again leaning into hydroxychloroquine. i can't help but think, jonathan, what a colossal waste of time to spend a briefing talking about that when there is no national program, no national plan to address it. >> i'm going to skip offering a fact-check on the claim sex with demons. >> good call. >> in the briefing, wearing a
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mask -- like at the surprise on my face as the president doubled and tripled down on this claim with doctors offering frankly, junk science taken down from social media sites. again, promoting the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, which is dubious at best. a lot of studies suggest it is not helpful. it comes, frankly, of a piece of what that entire briefing was yesterday. the president was in an extraordinary defensive posture. the opening statements were about the defense production act, which he was widely criticized for not using very much during the early weeks of this pandemic. it was to tout the times he had used it, including one more time yesterday. he invoked it. though, to be clear, he's been using it mostly in terms of federal loans, not compelling these companies to actually manufacture and distribute items so important to first responders, hospitals and so on. this comes, willie, as the white house is nervously watching case loads of the infection throughout the country. we know the hot spots right now.
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it's florida. it's texas where the president is going later today. i'll be with him for an event there. it's arizona, california. they feel like things are stabilizing a little bit, particularly in arizona. in texas, feeling better about that. there are new states growing very concerned about. in fact, we reported yesterday, there's a new focus on some midwest states, including minnesota, wisconsin, ohio, indiana, as well as colorado, where they're seeing early signs of outbreaks there. potential surges. they feel like these next two weeks will be vital in those states. some of them in vital -- in very important swing states, the election. the next two weeks will be key to try to prevent a devastating surge there that could be reminiscent of the pain and suffering and illness in places like we're seeing in texas and flori florida. one of the members of congress who grilled bill barr yesterday on capitol hill, member of the house judiciary committee, democratic
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and wheyou turn 40 andaded, choieverything goes.re. tell me about it. you know, it's made me think, i'm closer to my retirement days than i am my college days. hm. i'm thinking... will i have enough? should i change something? well, you're asking the right questions. i just want to know, am i gonna be okay? i know people who specialize in "am i going to be okay." i like that. you may need glasses though.
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yeah. guidance to help you stay on track, no matter what comes next. ♪ live look at new york city at 37 past the hour. it's time now for the bell with cnbc's sara eisen. the four tech ceos are meeting before congress today. can we expect anything? >> well, we can expect fireworks. good morning, mika. this is a huge question of our day right now. is excessive power in the hands of just a handful of giant technology companies? that's the question of the day. we are expecting to hear from apple ceo tim cook, the head of google, mark zuckerberg, the head of facebook and remarkably
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for his first ever congressional hearing, jeff bezos, the head of amazon. they'll be questioned together remotely, via video conference today. for all of these companies, the stakes are high. they're all under some sort of federal and in many cases state investigations into their power. are there questions about whether anti-trust rules need to be re-examined during this technology age. and for all of these companies, the questions are specific and unique. for apple, for instance, is their app store too powerful for startups. to google, do their shopping and travel stores compete with companies that advertise on their platforms? for facebook, is it doing enough to prohibit hate speech and enough to regulate political advertising? for amazon, of course, is it using the data from third-party sellers and treating its workers fairly? expect the companies and their ceos, according to the prepared statements we got last night, to emphasize they are all uniquely american, they represent
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pictures of entrepreneurship and that consumers love them. expect them to emphasize they have plenty of competition they face and that they do not need stronger regulation. the biggest question is will lawmakers stay on topic and work toward solutions that could actually look at the size and scope of these companies' power. if you add them up, along with microsoft, they are the most valuable u.s. companies. these are some of the richest people in the world. it's enormous power and influence. we'll be glued to what they say. as far as other major news events today, we also have a federal reserve meeting this afternoon. no change expected in terms of fed policy but it's going to be very important for investors to listen to chairman jay powell. he gives his news conference, takes reporters' questions because they are pumping trillions of dollars into this economy to try to combat the steep recession and the double digit unemployment we have in this country as a result of the pandemic. it's no panacea.
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they can't provide a vaccine. however, they can provide confidence, which they have done for the markets and in the form of zero interest rates, which has helped places of the economy like housing. so, any signal powell gives about what more can they do and are they willing to do more, given the fact that millions of americans are still out of work is going to be hugely market-moving and newsworthy. >> sara, thank you very much. willie? joining us now, member of the house judiciary committee, democratic congressman joe neguse of colorado. with us, former senior adviser for house oversight and government reform committee, kurt bardella, "usa today" opinion columnist, "morning joe" contributor and adviser to the lincoln project. good morning. congressman, we'll get to the anti-trust hearing later today because you'll be in the room for that asking questions as well. you've had a busy week. yesterday you questioned attorney general william barr. i want to play part of your exchange for our audience and
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we'll talk on the other side. >> mr. attorney general, on june 18th of this year the department of justice issued a statement saying that mr. berman, a former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york had, quote, stepped down. you're aware of that statement being released by the department,y ekt? >> yes. >> do you testify today that that statement was true at the time the department issued it? >> he may not have known it, but he was stepping down. >> he may not have known that he was stepping down, that's your testimony today? >> he was being removed. >> mr. attorney general, the statement did not say that he was being removed. it did not say that he was being fired. it said that he was stepping down. apparently your testimony today is that that was, in fact, accurate when mr. berman has testified under oath to this committee that it, in fact, was not. i want to talk -- >> no, no, he was removed. he was removed. i wanted an opportunity to offer him another job. >> i understand your rationalization for your answer but the american people -- >> it's not a rationalization. >> will let the answer speak for
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itself. >> congressman, talking about mr. berman in the southern district of new york being removed from his job, he said he was removed. he didn't resign. he was given the choice to resign or be fired. what were you getting at specifically with attorney general barr there? what do you think was underlying the attorney general's decision in that case? >> good morning, willie. it's good to see you. look, i think the attorney general, to be honest, i was surprised he would attempt to rationalize the misrepresentation his department made previously about the depa are tour of geoffrey berman. it's the pattern under this attorney general with respect to the comment they made regarding the white house fully cooperating with the special council's investigation when we know that is inconsistent with the facts. at the end of the day, my concern and the concern of so many of my colleagues is that the attorney general really has functioned more like the president's personal lawyer as opposed to being the chief law
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enforcement officer of the united states. while yesterday's hearing was contentious, it was important for the american people to get a sense of some of the ways in which the department is being politicized and ultimately i don't think the attorney general really represented, you know, himself well with respect to answering those particular questions. you know, it will be the american people's judgment as to deciding the veracity of his answers and whether or not they were full in context. >> congressman, you were in that room for all five hours of the attorney general's testimony. did anything he say change your mind on any questions you may have had? what was your general impression coming out of it? >> no. if anything, willie, i came away even more concerned about what is happening at the department of justice. look, the department of justice is charged with enforcing the law, right? equal justice under the law. it is important that the chief law enforcement officer of the united states see his role through that prism and not see the role as doing the president's personal political
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bidding. unfortunately, in, you know, answer after answer to some of my colleagues' very incises ive and serious and thoughtful questioning, it became very clear that the attorney general sees the job very different than the way in which all of his predecessors have seen his important role. so, look, i thought his answers were deeply problematic. i am very, very concerned about what is happening in the department of justice. in particular, the way in which the attorney general is interfering in some of these potential criminal matters in different u.s. attorney offices across the country. there's more oversight for the committee to do. we intend to do it. >> yeah. speaking of oversight, kurt bardel bardella, what was your takeaway from the hearing yesterday? what goes beyond yesterday? there's a consequence where something happens and then you can take the question to the congressman. >> sure, mika. you know, i hope everybody on that committee paid attention to the congressman's line of questioning because that's exactly how you should question
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what is really a hostile witness in the attorney general, with short, concise, contextual questions. it drives me nuts to watch certain members when they preamble for a minute and a half before they get to a question. there's a finite amount of time. the only way you can gain ground in a hearing like this is if you pursue a line of questioning that is thought out, that is direct, succinct and doesn't allow the attorney general to try to filibuster the response. i think, big picture, listen, after this election, i think we're going to find out a lot of information about the decisions that have been made by this justice department, how this justice department has moved forward, the abuses of power, the encroachment on sovereignty that's happening right now in cities like portland, kansas city, chicago, albuquerque. and i think that this -- having the attorney general on record with definitive yes or no answers to these questions is something that's going to be used against him one day and i hope it comes very soon. congressman, what i'm curious about, as we watch this hearing
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unfold yesterday, we saw republicans led by jim jordan do their predictable song and dance conspiracy theories, trying to relitigate from 2016. i was wondering, what was your impression of your colleagues as you're asking important questions, the committee's trying to get answers about social justice, the justice department flat out saying they don't believe there's inequality, racial issue in law enforcement. what was going through your mind as you were hearing your colleagues question the attorney general? >> well, first and foremost, thanks for the kind remarks, kurt, given be your many years of experience on capitol hill. that certainly means quite a bit. look, i would say this. i, of course, was disappointed by the lines of questioning that some of my republican colleagues pursued at the hearing. i wish they would have spent more time on the substantive matters that the committee has to consider with respect to mr. barr's conduct and what's happening in the department of justice. they chose to focus on conspiracy theories which has been the bulk of many of their lines of questioning at prior
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hearings similar to this one. that's their choice. again, the american people will judge for themselves. i will say one thing i was surprised by personally, as you know, i represent the great state of colorado. i was shocked that the attorney general did not know about elijah mcclain and his tragic death in aurora, colorado, as miss bass questioned him on that point. that just, again, is very disappointing, particularly at this moment in time in our country as we face this reckoning with respect to making equality and justice under law, the reality for americans across this land. so, clearly, more to do at the department of justice. >> congressman, as i mentioned earlier, you will be in the room again today for a very different kind of hearing. anti-trust subcommittee, how judiciary committee. you'll have four of the most powerful men on the face of the earth, four of 9 most powerful and wealthiest men on the face of the earth in front of you with some of the most successful companies on the planet.
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do you believe there is an anti-trust issue with a company like facebook? is there an anti-trust issue with a company like amazon? do you see them as too big? >> yes. that answer is yes. i think the hearing today will be an important step forward in terms of resolving where we go from here with respect to answering that question. i thought sara did a great job of summarizing the status of the hearing and kind of the questions i believe will likely be posed. really the hearing is a cullpy nation of two years of work by the anti-trust subcommittee led by my colleague, who you know, dav from rhode island. we have done comprehensive work, propounded by the committee and we'll have an opportunity to question the decision-makers at these large technology companies in way content has been digitized to the marketplace. my concern is some of these companies, you mentioned facebook, are perhaps leveraging
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their mondopoly leverage power o shield from the collateral consequences you all have articulated just today on your program in terms of the rise of disinformation, the way in which these platforms can subvert democracy. all of that, in my view, flows from this fundamental question of whether the companies are -- simply have too much market power. there are real ramifications for american consumers, the kill zones for small businesses and so forth. a lot of questions for them to answer today. >> kurt bardella, your thoughts on this hearing. do you think it's productive, a waste of time? what's your gut? >> you know, i worry about these kind of hearings, mika, only because you have four of the smartest people in the world going before congress and, frankly, in my time in congress and, due respect to the congressman here, they're not exactly the most tech-savvy bunch. all the while you'll have republicans to contend with who will use this hearing to drive
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conspiracy theories about the role of social media being biased against conservatives. i think it can quickly dissolve into a food fight which the republicans' goal on these hearings is. if i were the democrat majority, i would be using every minute of every day to of every day to either talk about the abuses of power of this government and the trump administration or talking about the coronavirus. something like this feels like a distraction from the things that i wish the democrat majority would be talking about. >> all right. congressman joe neguse, thank you so much for being on, and kurt bardella, thank you as well. up next, the importance of an arts recovery for the overcall american economy. award winning actor, billy porter joins us to discuss his campaign to get emergency unemployment benefits extended for arts workers. keep it right here on "morning joe." workers keep it right heren o"morning joe. no matter where you live, where you live has never mattered more. for over 100 years, realtors® have been providing expert guidance, helping people find new places to dream and thrive.
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the senate is debating another stimulus package as expanded unemployment benefitsibenefits expire by august 1st. the arts campaign is looking to pass emergency relief for arts workers. joining us now is emmy, tony, and award winning actor, singer, director and composer, he's a little bit talented, billy porter. he's an emmy nominee for outstanding lead actor for his role in the drama series "pose."
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so billy, explain what is the status of arts workers now? are they getting any relief? >> elwell, the relief runs out august 1st, like everyone else, and be an arts hero is an intersectional grass roots campaign to get the u.s. senate to pass emergency arts relief by august 1st that's in line with everyone else. you know, what i think people don't really truly understand is that the arts and culture are the second largest economic driver in the nation. 877 billion in value to u.s. economy. that's 4.5% of the gdp. this is language that the gop understands because this is about money. you know, the arts employs the main economic driver in new york
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city in 2019, probably sold more tickets than all of the new york sports teams combined, creating a revenue of 1 pn.8 billion in tickets. it includes, restaurants, shopping, child care, hotels, it's 68% of tourism is cultural. and right now, 94% of arts workers report income loss. 62% of arts workers have been fully unemployed. 12,000 institutions are confidently not going to survive the pandemic. 40% have no target date for reopening. this is unacceptable. and congress needs to act. >> eddie glaude, jump in. >> first of all, let me thank you for all that you do and for the extraordinary work, the body of work that you have done over the course of your career. >> thank you. >> you know, in march, germany
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passed a staggering 50 billion euro package for artists and galleries. we know this this moment where unemployment benefits are lapsing, rent relief is lapsing, that in some ways the congress and particularly the republican party seems to not be shall we say concerned about the pending crisis that americans are facing. how might you convince them beyond the raw numbers that you just put out, how might you convince them that this issue ought to be at the top of their agenda at this moment? >> well, you know, as i said, the arts is the life's blood of a culture. you know, artists have always been in that position. i can speak to the moment that we're in inside of this pandemic. where is the first place that people go when they're in their
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homes, stuck in their homes, where is the first place they go to be entertained? to be entertained on netflix or hulu or hbo or, you know what i mean, so it's like we are important to the culture. it's like we're propping up the entire culture. and we feed to be taken care of just like everybody else. you know, everybody's losing everything. you know, medical insurance will be gone as of friday, and this is not just arts people, you know. i am here speaking for the arts community specifically theater people, because it looks as if those of us who have been blessed to be in film and television will possibly be coming back sooner than theater. and movie theaters and concert venues and things like that,
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where the pandemic can't be as well contained. you know, just go to beanartshero.com, call your senators and let them know. take action, and let them know that we are important and we are in need, and it is the government's responsibility to take care of its people. and that's not happeningme. across the board, it's not happening. >> hey, billy, it's willie geist, great to see you this morning. congratulations on your emmy nomination yesterday. >> thank you. >> you get to come back and defend your title. that will be nice to see. i think it's important to put out there for people who aren't around entertainment, when they think of entertainment, they think of you, they think of movie stars and they think, okay, these people are fine, right, they're successful people, but could you talk a little bit about what goes into a show like pose or a broadway show from the person who's making the food to all the people who work on that crew who
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really are struggling right now? >> yeah, these are hundreds of thousands of workers. you know, in a broadway show, you see the finished product, but there are backstage members, there are costume people, there are hair and makeup people. there are front of house ushers. there are operations people. in film and television, you have the camera workers, you have the grips, you have the lighting designers, you have the costume people as well. you have, you know security. i mean, all of these people are out of work. everybody's out of work. it's a trickle down effect. let's use that term. the tricking down of nothing. that's what's happening right now. >> billy porter, thank you so much. again, the campaign is "be an
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art's hero." so go to the web site, help out, as pilbilly tells you to. thank you so much. >> thank you, guys, for having me. >> congratulations, billy. >> really appreciate the passion as well. willie geist, final thoughts this morning? >> well, we had two exthe record the -- extraordinary clips that we played for you this morning, one president trump defending a snake oil salesmen on medical expertise that he has been peddling, re-tweeting, and also with jonathan swan's new interview, eddie, dismissing the intelligence that says russia is paying taliban linked militants to kill american soldiers as fake news . >> in the midst of it all, 150,000 of our fellow americans are dead. we have lost 150,000 people, people we love, people we can't say good-bye to properly. in the midst of all of this nonsense, we've lost over 150,000 people. we can never forget that.
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>> eddie, thank you. and that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle, it is wednesday, july 29th. and we have got a lot going on this morning. any minute now, president trump will be leaving the white house for a trip to midland, texas. at the very same time, we're watching a ceremony at the capitol as the body of congressman john lewis is transported to georgia where he will lie in state for thursday's funeral service. i want to take a look at the facts you need to know this hour on the coronavirus. we begin with the president falsely claiming that most of the country is free of the coronavirus. that is a flat out lie. he said that on the same day his administration was circulating a report showing 21 states in the red zone due to severe outbreaks. only one state is considered to be in the

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