tv Morning Joe MSNBC July 17, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
>> quoting u.s. senators from both parties. donald trump's actions yesterday were "appalling and shameful." "shocking and sad." "damaging and a threat to american democracy." or as john mccain put it, one of the most disgraceful performs by an american president in memory. good morning, and welcome to "morning joe." today is tuesday, july the 17th, and what we saw yesterday was shocking. it was appalling. jon meacham, yesterday we had a president who stood on the world stage and he an opportunity to show loyalty to our republican
ininstead, fecklessness. he showed cowardice on the world stage where the president looked like a weak, dupy stooge to a kgb spy. he had a chance to show loyalty toy the men and women of uniform of america's military and intel community, and instead he betrayed them. time and again. and instead he said that he trusted vladimir putin's word, and by extension, the word of russia's spy community which attacked the united states of america. so many things were said yesterday, jon. so many concerns, not only by the usual suspects in the democratic party but also by an awful lot of people and what is now the trump party, the republican party. i know there's no way to ask you for a parallel, because there is
no parallel. fdr, after pearl harbor, didn't deny there was an attack. george w. bush didn't deny al qaeda's attack on september 11th, but vladimir putin attacked american democracy. we've got the forensic evidence. it's there for all the world to see. every reasonable, rational person looks at that material just like they can see the dna on a gun and they know who did it, when they did it, how they did it, why they did it. you could actually take judicial notice in every court in america that vladimir putin's russian spy agencies tried to undermine american democracy, an dan coats, the president dni director on a daily basis, and yet yesterday donald trump defended vladimir putin's spoy
agencies instead of his own. where are we right now in the summer of 2018? >> there's a live and open question whether the president of the united states is putting the national interests of our -- our national interests ahead of that of a foreign power who may have leverage over him in some way, and without -- without that explanation you have to wonder what possibly could be going on. what -- what is the possible motivations along the way. was it simply pride? does he simply not have the capacity to see beyond his, the, in his own mind, the so-called legitimacy of his own election? or is there some larger issue here? and my chief fear is that this is the middle of the journey, not the beginning and not the end. because vladimir putin has a
huge check in his pocket ready to cash. from donald trump. and i don't think it's simply going to be cashed for a congenial press conference. i think there must be some other shoe to drop, i don't news that image, there must be some other country to invade, there must be some other attempt here by russians to expand their influence at the expense of the western, the expense of the western alliance and we have seen over the last -- not just the last 24 hours but the last six, seven days that the president of the united states does not have the interests, historic interests, of the western alliance and of the united states front and center. >> and willie geist, my father grew up reading books, a series of books called "none dare call it treason." none -- may dare to call what donald trump did yesterday treason, but one thing we can say is this -- faced with overwhelming evidence
that, again, any court in america would take judicial notice of that vladimir putin tried to undermine american democracy in 2016 and continues to act in abohorrent ways, that our director of intelligence says poses a threat for the upcoming election, donald trump sat there and was obsequious to vladimir putin. i've asked, i won't bring you in on this, i've been asking, but we all know that vladimir putin is holding something over donald trump. we do not know what it is. but we know it must be something extraordinary, because no rational politician, no rational president would act this way if he weren't being blackmailed on some level. >> well that may be true, and we have to entertain that possibility now. the other part of it is what jon alluded to, the vanity question,
which is that any implication or suggestion or evidence that shows that president trump's election in 2016 was anything other than legitimate is a blow to the president's ego and he can't stand that and is willing to stand next to the president of russia and say i take your word over that of my intel community so it doesn't undermine my election. >> right, willie, but here's the thing. it wasn't just about the 2016 election. we first here on "morning joe," in the december -- in december of 2015, a year before the results of that election were called into question, we asked limb repeatedly why he said, vladimir putin was a strong leader. i said, he assassinates journalists, assassinates politicians, assassinates others. donald trump's defense of vladimir putin was, well, american soldiers in iraq killed a lot of people, too. so even before the election was
called into question, he was a -- like a scared child, afraid to criticize vladimir putin. that was three years ago. >> yeah. there's no question about it. in the context of yesterday's press conference, though, asking about that, i think, again, he can't say anything that makes his election look anything other than legitimate, because it's about his ego, and i want to be clear for our viewers again, joe. what exactly the intelligence community assessment stated. dated january 6, 2017. this is what the president says he does not believe. "we as russian president vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the u.s. presidential election, plain and simple." so yesterday, dni, director of national intelligence, dan coats, had to put out another statement of his own after what the president said reiterating that the intel community believes russia and has
evidence, russia interfered in the elections and irnterfered i the 2016 election. the evidence is all there. the president cheeses not to believe so and said so, joe, yesterday. >> willie, the thing is -- and we also saw it when the intel chiefs went to capitol hill. >> yep. >> and i know -- i know that even donald trump supporters know by this point that vladimir putin has something over trump. i know they know that. they may try -- some of them tried, may be trying to deny it. not many, but what's so telling is, while, let's just say, the last holdouts are talking about the deep state here, it was donald trump's intel chiefs that donald trump appointed himself. >> that's right. >> -- that drew that conclusion on the hill. it was the fbi director that donald trump appointed himself. it was the director of national intelligence that donald trump
appointed himself. it was the then cia director that donald trump appointed himself. mike pompeo. it was -- you name it, all of the intel chiefs that drew this conclusion, they were all appointed by donald trump, and they were all confirmed by republicans in the united states senate. there is no doubt. there is no question, especially after friday's indictment, that the russians tried to subvert american democracy, and we have all of the evidence. forget about csi new york. this is csi moscow and we have all of the dna, and it's all over vladimir putin's bloody hands. >> and by the way, the dni, dan coats, said all this on friday before the summit hoping to avoid what we saw yesterday. he said, the red lights are flashing, they're blinking. we know what's happening. russia continues to interfere in our elections. bring in our panel, joe.
msnbc contributor mike barnicle, washington anchor for bbc news in america, katty kay, president and council on world, richard haas, columness and associate eder david ignatius and nbc news national political reporter heidi przybilla. your initial reaction. a lot of people, ambassador mcfaul, u.s. ambassador to rush went over the course of the day from outrage to sadness. the united states president would stand next to a tyrant who's been proven to be interfering in our democratic process and not standing up to him and giving him the higher ground. >> particularly, willie, when you, not just look at yesterday but you take a step back and look at the preceding week. this was a week in which self-interest took precedence over the national interest. in which america first gave way to russia first, and this is a president who basically was unwilling to take on russia, but was more than willing to take on
nato. the eu. >> yep. >> and the uk. the so-called special relationship was essentially discarded. so the contrast between the kid gloves with which he dealt with mr. putin and the frontal assaults on our closest allies for 70 years have been an integral part of america's relationship with the world was in contrast. a bad week for the united states and foreign policy. yesterday capped it off. >> katty kay, we heard across europe yesterday discouraging words from american allies that stood with us through a generational cold war with the soviet union. it was constantly being pushed to do more by american presidents, to push back against russia. yesterday, in britain, in germany, across the continent, we had one leader after another say we can no longer trust the united states of america. >> yeah. it was the german foreign
minister, one of the first to come out and say, this means we can't trust the white house anymore after that press conference. remember, those european allies are right up against russia's borders some of them as well and feel this very intensely. they know what russian meddling looks like. some of those countries experienced it firsthand. what it's like to have russian troops on their soil and to be occupied by the soviet union. no one's thinking we're going back to that, joe, but everybody in europe is looking at, well what do we do now? how do we protect ourselves, if the united states is going to withdraw this completely and not just withdraw but if the u.s. is now going to side with the power that we have long seen as our enemy and who has re-emerged as an aggressive actor on the world stage just in the last few years. the timing of donald trump reaching out to russia like this, opening the door for russia to walk back in from the cold, and reassume a place on the world stage like this with
no positive implications. it's worth looking forward after this summit, there was not a single thing said during the course of that press conference that would lead us to believe that russian behavior is now going to improve. not a single thing. not in ukraine, not in syria. not in election meddling, not in the baltics. if you could come out of that press conference and say, well, yes, maybe that two-hour-long meeting behind closed doors had throwed a better relationship and now president trump could influence putin to act better on the world stage that would be one thing, but nothing was said to make us think that was the case. >> you looked, just looked at the visuals yesterday, and even if you weren't listening to the sound, even if you look at the pictures, donald trump looked like a scared child. he was -- he was could youtail iyoutail -- cowtails to president putin
and not only disappointing as an american to see a u.s. president and what he said, it was disappointing to see an american president look as weak as donald trump looked, as fearful as donald trump looked, as out of control as donald trump looked, as owned as donald trump looked. vladimir putin owned -- look at that picture. vladimir putin owns donald trump, and both of the men know it and david ignatius, i -- i cannot imagine what it's like being dan coats this morning, or being somebody in america's intel agencies that have delivered the goods to the commander in chief. have proven the attacks took place and where the attacks came from, and -- how they -- how they were launched. in fact, who specifically launched them and from what
buildings half way across the world they've been launched in. this should be a moment in america's intel community for celebration. they got a chance to prove that they are the best and the brightest on the planet. instead they have a president who yesterday defended vladimir putin and his spy agencies against forensic evidence that cannot be denied. what -- how do they go to work this morning? what do they do? what is their attitude? >> joe, i think this was a tipping point. i wrote yesterday, you could almost hear the fabric of trump's presidency ripping after he said those words. i made a point of talking to a number of former intelligence officers after he made those comments, and to be honest, they were shocked. mike hayden, who ran the agency said he was stunned to hear the
words. he imagined all of the one-word expletives up and down the corridors at the agencies, at the nsa and people watched their screens and saw what happened, that the president sided with our adversary against their intelligence. will herd, a republican congressman from texas, a courageous operations officer said he was stunned that an american president would let himself get played by a russian president that way. dan hoffman, our station chief in moscow said trump's behavior was like asking a criminal to solve a crime. just a sampling of the responses from the intelligence people who have been on the front lines, as they watched their president do this. the reaction from republicans we'll talk about, but i felt that we were beginning to hear from people who have refrained from criticism. one obvious example is newt gingrich. newt gingrich said this is the worst mistake of your presidency. you need to do something quickly
about it. and that's just one sign that donald trump went in to a space with the whole world watching that was different yesterday and we awe saw it all saw it and ac differently today. >> and joe used another word. disappointing. this is not a political statement. a statement as an american. it's disappointing to watch your president stand up there next to an obvious foe, someone who has tried to change our country by invading the democratic process. it's disappointing. it's sad to watch a president not stand up, and in most basic terms stick up for your country and the world stage standing next to that guy to not stick up for his own country. >> willie, you know, to use a phrase. yesterday really was a day to cry for the country. this great republic that means so much to so many around the world. to see the president of the
united states, mr. trump, shrink -- shrink -- next to vladimir putin, to drop his oath of office, to drop his duty on a world stage to protect and defend the constitution of the united states, and then to have so many here in this country on -- on tv programs like this one say, what a surprise. no. this was not a surprise. this was mr. trump in full view of the world. this is who he is. ignorant, narcissistic, all involved with himself. his priority is himself. not the country. not the presidency. he is unaware of histories. he was unaware certainly yesterday of anything that this republic has stood for through the ages. the only thing he was aware of clearly was that he was in putin's pocket. >> i don't know if ignorant is
so much the word as scared. you look at the visuals. you listen to every interview donald trump has ever given, and he is clearly scared of vladimir putin. he is clearly afraid to ever cross the russian leader. he is clearly -- clearly -- in his pocket. who else -- and we talked about our interview with donald trump in december of 2015 soon after, i think, during the super bowl he was -- or maybe it was in 2017 for the super bowl? but i remember he got interviewed by bill o'reilly, and said the same thing. that vladimir putin was a strong leader, and when oh riley brought up the fact that putin killed people, donald trump said, yeah, well, our soldiers killed people in iraq as well.
so donald trump is showing immoral equivalency between the men and women in uniform and a dictator that's invaded two countries in a decade, shot down a passenger airliner, poisoned and killed a mother in england, and has committed one atrocity after another atrocity over the past decade. and yet donald trump continues to play straight out of vladimir putin's pocket. dan baltz in the "washington post" wrote this morning that the president refused to stand for the country he was elected to represent and protect time and time again. that certainly was obvious for republicans and democrats alike, for trump supporters and trump antagonists yesterday, who saw vladimir putin own the american president. heidi, we did hear some
criticism from republicans on capitol hill. but the question is, what is next? do they continue criticizing him? what about the republicans who seem to be doing vladimir putin's bidding who are desperate to stop robert mueller and the justice department's investigation, which is uncovering which russian spies, which russian agents, which russian agencies are still trying to subvert american democracy. does yesterday's shameful performance change any dynamics on capitol hill? >> john brennan i think had the most compelling question for these same members of congress when he said, republican patriots, where are you? it was within the following hours that we got some answers, joe, and i will just say at the top, though what we got was varying degrees of words, but words -- >> heidi, we've lost your mike and will come back to you in a
second. a little problem to work out there. joe, something to cving watched the president in full view out in public in in press conference cower next to president putin is, why did he want to be alone in that room for two hours with vladimir putin? why didn't he want dan coats or mike pompeo or someone like that in that room? what did he need to say to vladimir putin in private that he didn't want anyone else to hear? i think that's a new and interesting question given the we saw he behaved out in public with vladimir putin yesterday. >> well, and willie, the follow-up question is -- what did vladimir putin want to say to donald trump? >> right. >> what message did he want to deliver? what order did he want to give? >> hmm. >> what instruction did he want to give to donald trump? this is -- this is jon meacham, yet another time where donald trump is absolutely insistent that these two gentlemen be
alone. there has been some question for some time. it's just -- for reasonable, rational americans it's no longer a question. donald trump, for some reason, is owned by vladimir putin. vladimir putin has him in his pocket, as mike barnicle said. the question is, what's the payoff? as you said, what vladimir putin has, when a kgb agent owns somebody, through compromising information, it's -- it's -- it's -- the payoff is not a cheery press conference where you make the american president look like a bumbling, weak, fat fool. >> right. >> the payoff is something, unfortunately, always far graver. >> well, there are a couple of thoughts here. one is, if for some reason putin
in his neo-czarist, neo-soviet way wants to say, take the baltic states back, which they lost in '90-91, at that point after, given again, not just yesterday but go back four, five days. given the way the president talked about nato, does the president refuse to project power under article 5, thereby shattering the western alliance, not just because of what he talked about or is talking to erdogan on the photo op. we're talking about a serious question of actual failure to live up to our treaty obligations. that is a hyperbolic point to make. i didn't think in all of the madness in the last three years or so, since the escalator that i would be saying that, because i always thought, for a long time i have thought that we were hyperventilating a bit about the russia connection. i now don't think so. >> hmm. >> and the only thing -- and the
other seemingly hyperbolic but now totally data-driven point i would make is that when john brennan made that statement yesterday about it meets the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, with all respect, i would say actually what it, the definition it meets is the first word of the impeachment article in the constitution, which is, treason bribery at high crimes of misdemeanors. has the president of the united states now in a sufficient way shown that he's given aid and comfort to an enemy? and that's the question that the congress of the united states without looking at their polls, without getting their briefings about what their base thinks, they actually have to, at this point, live up to an oath that they took. >> yeah. they certainly do, and, willie, you know, if you look at what donald trump has said over the past week, it's not just that he has given vladimir putin
everything vladimir putin has wanted. he has undermined america's closest alliances. he called, when asked who america's greatest foe was, he said the european union first. >> yep. >> he went to britain. he attacked theresa may. he constantly attacks angela merkel. this is a guy who, again, it's been a two-stop process. it's not just been kowtowing and being a blubbering idiot in front of vladimir putin on the world stage. he completely undermined america's democratic allies, who we have been working with for the past 50 years, to keep russia in russia. >> and by the way, has been since he became president going after our allies in way he never goes after vladimir putin. i want to go back to heidi przybilla. he smik womike is working, talk about republican reaction.
almost to a man and woman republicans on capitol hill came out against the president's performance yesterday and in almost every corner fox news i point out, with notable sections we'll point out including an interview with the president and sean hannity. what do republican doss now, though? angry, sad tweets are nice on day one, but is there something they're willing to do to intervene here? >> right. john brennan, willie, said republican patriots, where are you? within the ensuing hours we saw there were a lot of republicans who were willing to speak out in various degrees, but in the end it was all words. a lot of words. we didn't hear from republicans about a lot of actions. for instance, i would group one category as the leadership with kevin mccarthy, senator mcconnell, senator cornyn, coming out in strong defense of u.s. intelligence agencies, but stopping short of actually condemning the president. then you saw another group much more forceful led by john mccain, for instance, who called
this display actually disgraceful, and you saw a number of members who weren't just the usual retiring variety of republicans, including lisa murkowski, who also used similar language. however what i did not hear was a lot of republicans proposing specific action. actually, one of the only ones was senator toomey who said, unless vladimir putin is prepared to extradite these 12 russians, we should consider additional sanctions. and just to be clear, there is, in fact, a lot of things that this republican congress could do. starting with bringing in the president's national security team to sit for hearings, to answer what exactly happened on the sidelines. none of them actually know, none of us know what happened in the one-to-one except that nice looking lady with the note pad who was the translator, but they may be able to provide some more clues as to what was the president's statement of mind
before, what was the debriefing after, and we're not hearing from any republicans about their intentions to do that. there is, right now, a movement in the house to try and water down some of these sanctions. is that going to stop? is the display, for example, that we saw in the house, in that house hearing with trey gowdy bashing the fbi, bashing the justice department going to stop? we don't have any specific vows to take any action like that yet. they're just coming back today to capitol hill. so we'll see what happens. >> yeah. we'll see. i would be shocked if anybody -- shocked. shocked by the president's performance yesterday, but shocked if any republican at this stage is going to use their position to try to gain a little favor with donald trump, a man who obviously is owned by vladimir putin? whether they're really now going to be bashing the director of the fbi. >> hmm. >> and the justice department,
and robert mueller over an investigation that is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that russia did try to impact the election, and one thing we haven't noted yet, willie, about -- and i think -- i think great ideas by heidi. i think every member of the president's foreign policy team should be called before the united states senate as soon as possible and testify on exactly what happened in helsinki and the helsinki debacle, but one thing the "washington post" does report is that the foreign policy team gave donald trump a script to go by. believed that they was going to talk tough to vladimir putin, and then were shocked as they watched from the sidelines as the president just cowered and completely withered in front of the russian leader. >> well, that's the thing about it. we can call them before congress. the question is, do they even know what happened in those two
hours in that room? it was just the two men. they may have had a plan. we don't know if donald trump executed the plan. it certainly didn't look at it as they came out. we got to go to break. lots more to say. one quote from the president yesterday at that news conference that distills this whole thing. "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." think about that as we head to break this morning. on "morning joe," we'll talk to the two u.s. reporters who held the president's feet to the fire yesterday. john thin lnathan lamere is wit madeleine albright and john brennan and top democrat on the house intel congress adam schiff, getting started on a busy morning here on "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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denied having anything to do with the election interneerns 2016. every u.s. intelligence agency concluded that russia did. what, who, my first question for you, sir, is, who do you believe? my second question is, would you now with the whole world watching tell president putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again? >> so let me just say that we have two thoughts. you have groups that are wondering why the fbi never took the server. why haven't they taken the server? with that being said, all i can do is ask the question, my people came to me, dan coats came to me, and some others, they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be, but i really do want to see the server. 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, and -- >> did you want president trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> translator: yes, i did. yes, i did. because he talked about bringing the u.s.-russia relationship back to normal. >> there are the moments yesterday. joining us, two u.s. reporters who asked president trump and russian president vladimir putin those questions at yesterday's news conference. white house reporter for associated press jonathan lamere and white house correspondent for reuters jeff mason. gentlemen, good morning. great to have you both with us and great job yesterday. let me start with you, jonathan. take us inside the room. we were all watching on television. it struck as as extraordinary and unprecedented. all the things said this morning. what was it like being in the room? >> a lot of energy in the room, a tense spot. coming after the two leaders had a two-hour meeting that ran longer than expected followed by
a short meeting with advisers. a sense of anticipation what would happen in the room, and it was packed with security as i expect 3 expect. even an incident a reporter acting as an activist was thrown out by security at some point, holding a sign. a lot of sort of chaos in the room before they came out. any presidential press conference is a big deal, serious event, always prepared for it but this had larger stakes. vladimir putin does not take questions from american journalists often. donald trump standing a few feet away as he said they tried to help trump win, a fact donald trump seems to refuse to acknowledge. the questions that needed to be asked. we know time and time again trump shied away from agreeing with the intelligence communities, shied away from condemning russia and felt it was the woman and jeff add i did put him on the spot in front of
vladimir putin. >> when you asked the question, whether or not president putin, if he wanted donald trump to win and directed his intelligence services to impact the election he quickly jumped in and said, yes, yes i did. causing confusion whether he was addressing your first or second question or both, perhaps? >> i agree. i suspect that it was, directed more towards the first question, only because he had spent a good chunk of that press conference denying any collusion between russia, just as the president did. and saying that russia had not interve intervened. the fact he came out of the barn there with such a quick answer, yes, i did, was -- it was remarkable, and it's something that in many ways democrats and others have said, we know this, but to hear the president of russia say, yes. this is the candidate i wanted to win, was pretty remarkable and interesting -- it was -- great to have a chance to actually ask him that directly,
and, boy, did he give an answer. >> mike barnicle, think about the week that was. there you have the president of the united states standing in front of a tyrant who has assassinated journalists, and the president of the united states, mike, this past week called the free press in america the enemy of the people, borrowing the stalinist phrase. that even the soviets refused to use after josef stalin died. you had the president of the united states attacking the european union as america's chief foe. you had the president of the united states attacking the prime minister of great britain, our special relationship there. you had the president of the united states attacking, our democratic alliances across the world. and there yesterday we heard in return the former kgb agent
saying, yes, of course i wanted donald trump to be elected president of the united states. that's all happened, by the way, in less than a week. >> it's been quite a week, joe. i mean, the president's trip through europe, i mean, dismantling and disrupting alliances that have been established for 70 to 75 years, helping ensure peace and prosperity in europe and throughout the world, actually, and then topped off by yesterday's performance, standing alongside vladimir putin and the president acting as if he were there for his quarterly review from his boss, mr. putin. but one of the things that occurred yesterday, and we just spoke to it briefly, but you asked another question, jonathan, of vladimir putin having to do with basically, did the russians have anything on donald trump? and as you know from what you do for a living, eye contact is
really essential in asking these questions because you get a lot from eye content. tell us about the question you asked and the response from vladimir putin. >> sure. the way these work are american reporters get to ask two questions. one for your president and one for the other foreign leader. i asked president trump first and moved over to putin, and i asked, of course, a question about crimea and moved on to whether the russian government had any compromising material, compromising on president trump or members of his family, and his response was endlessly fascinating. first he did, you said, eye contact. fixed me with a stare and did not let go and sort of -- obviously, something of intimidating character. that was a little disquieting, and he proceeded to sort of brush it off and seemed sort of annoyed by the question, but seemed to -- almost on logistical terms. there are prem nent american businessmen here all the time. we can't commandeer all of them, but never actually said he didn't have any on donald trump.
tried to dismiss the idea. a waste's time to consider it but never flat out said he didn't and the president not then slated to speak, president trump jumped in, because if it had been out there, if such exists it would have been releaseed by now and pivoted to attack on the justice department again. which i think is another illuminatie ining thing how he responds. whether hillary the e-mail servers or a pakistani tech gentleman who worked for the dnc he brought up yesterday. any time it feels the russian investigation is gathering steam he grabs to something else to distract. >> how interesting when asked if russia had any compromising information on him, he changed the subject. and said it would have already been used by now. no, no, actually it wouldn't. the compromising information is still being held by vladimir putin, and as jon meacham said,
a former kgb agent who is now a president of russia who kills journalists and political opponents that he disagrees with -- he doesn't give up compromising information simply for a positive press conference. he holds it for something much bigger. when he cashes it in, he'll get much more for it. katty kay, in great britain, of course, you have the prime minister, the prime minister's cabinet and the shadow cabinet. it seems a bit foreign to americans. may not understand what that looks like or at least it used to. now we know exactly what that looks like, because the president's own cabinet, the president's own foreign policy team, has turned into donald trump's shadow cabinet. he makes a statement. and then his own cabinet agency heads and his foreign policy team says just the opposite to
reassure the rest of the world. how bizarre? >> yes. and this has to be the question for dan coats, for john bolton, fiona hill, sitting in on that meeting as well, the later meeting with president putin is, what do they do now? having made their own positions clear, having produced, we're told, 100 pages of documents so that the president could go in and have a tough meeting with vladimir putin and raise issues like crimea and put the u.s.' position on crimea and had that dizar moment in the press conference yesterday where we had vladimir putin putting donald trump's position on crimea. donald trump didn't even put his own position on cry mimea and w do all of those people do? in the face of fair criticism from the republican party and the republican establishment, even the "wall street journal" says today this was a personal, a national embarrassment in their editorial, that trump
couldn't even bring limbs to hi say he believed in our own intelligence advisors describing putin as cool and matter of fact. here's the "wall street journal." trump was described as besieging. that's a very damning phrase from a newspaper that is generally seen as supporting donald trump and where does that leave foreign policy advisors, to the president? >> and an editorial page that as it pertains to russia, and as it pertains to the mueller investigation has been kowtowing to donald trump. besieging of vladimir putin, obviously, well -- it's just accurate. richard haass -- kmplts i pi >> can i pick up on that, joe? >> sure. >> one point i'd like to make, sorry, picking up from what katty said, in the run-up to this trip president trump's advisors used over and over the
word "maligned activitactivity" describe russia. my first question to the president yesterday, i asked him -- he started the day blaming u.s. foolishness, u.s. stupidity and the witch hundt for thewitch-hunt. do you hold russia accountable for anything? a whole list of things to say and his advisors encouraged him to say. crimea, intervention in ukraine, in the u.s. election and none of those things came to mind when he answered. >> hmm. >> amazing. >> two invasions in ten years. >> yeah. >> the poisoning of -- of people on british soil. you're exactly right. it's -- it's inexplicable, and that's the thing, richard haass. his own foreign policy team time and time again tries to get donald trump to do the right thing. and when i say to do the right
thing, to actually just state fact, and not live in this alternate reality. so what do you do? if you're mike pompeo? if the president made a fool of himself and by extension you. what do you do if you're john bolton? neoconservative who has spent his entire life actually warning about the dangers of russia and even saying that vladimir putin was a threat to america's constitution? what do you do if donald trump makes a fool of himself and you by extension in front of the entire world? what do you do if you're on that foreign policy team today? >> well, joe, let me make one point before i answer that. this is not a one-off. it's only a month or so sing the singapore summit and it's a pattern here. the president has a one-on-one. his staff seems to have no impact. after the summit the president brags about all that he
accomplished. and in the case of north korea, the odds we're going to see anything remotely looking like denuclearization, i think shall we say are somewhere between zero and nil. again, this is not, shall we say, unique. it you're on the team and what all of them tend to do is justify their continued service on the basis however bad it looks it would be worse without me. that is essentially the rationalization that everyone makes, and i think one is they've got to really persuade themselves that that's true rather than self-serving, because few, if any, people emerge from working in this administration, anything but diminished. i think you've got to speak truth to power. the question is, something we've talked about a year and a half. when will the senior people in the cabinet join together to confront this president? secretary of defense, secretary of state, national adviser of security and say mr. president what are you doing is bad for the national security of this
country we cherish. if you continue down this path your legacy will be to leave the united states in a condition and in a situation in which we are far worse off. we cannot be party to that. this is what we you to start doing. this is what we're asking you to stop doing. you're the president. you don't have to listen to you. if you do not, we're going to resign en masse. short of that type of collective intervention, the aides to the president are just that. they work for him. congress is slightly more independent position. journalists obviously do and so forth but when it comes to foreign policy, the constitution granted the executive branch and the commander-in-chief extraordinary initiative. the preponderance of the power is in his hand. the real power of his aides in addition in speaking truth to
power that's making a political statement and that's resignation. >> we heard from dan coates before and after this summit rebutting the president's case. we'll see if anybody else follows. onthan and jeff asked clear direct questions of the president of the u.n. yesterday about russian meddling. let's listen some more how the president took it with his answer. >> it was a clean campaign. i beat hillary clinton easily and, frankly, we beat her and i'm not even saying from the standpoint, we won that race, and it's a shame that there can be even a little bit of a cloud over it. people know that. people under it. but the main thing and we discussed this also, zero collusion. it has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world. we have 90% of nuclear power between the two countries. it's ridiculous. it's ridiculous what's going on with the probe.
>> for president putin, could i follow up as well. why should americans and why should president trump believe your statement that russia did not intervene in the 2016 election, given the evidence that u.s. intelligence agencies have provided and will you consider extraditing the 12 russian officials that were indicted last week by usa grand jury? >> i'll let the president answer the second part of that question, but, as you know, the whole concept of that came up, perhaps, a little bit before. but it came out as a reason why the democrats lost an election, which, frankly, they should have been able to win because the electoral college is much more advantageous for democrats, as you know, than it is to republicans. we won the electoral college by a lot, 306-223, i believe, and that was a well fought -- that was a well fought battle. we did a great job.
you have groups that are wondering why the fbi never took the server. why haven't they taken the server? where is the server? what is the server saying? i really do want to see the server. what happened to the server? what happened to the servers of the pakistani gentleman that worked on the dnc. what happened to hillary clinton's emails? >> so, jonathan, just about nothing addressing russian interference. in fact, he started his answer talking about the fbi not taking the dnc server, he talked about this pakistani gentleman he vaguely referenced. he went on and on and like everything else he turn it into a defers of his victory. this is personal to him because the very existence of this conversation about russian interference suggests that somehow his election, his rise to the presidency was not on the up and up. >> he's internalized this. it's not a question of what happened in 2016 or preventing from it happening again which is
something i asked him about yesterday it's about his own victory. he feels if there's even a suggestion there was any interfere rern it cheapens it. it makes him an illegitimate president. that's a defining characteristic of donald trump. this real estate developer trying to break into the manhattan circles but not accepted by the elite. he's always tried to work to try to be accepted by people that, you know, were a status above him. here he is, the highest office in the land but still besieged by these doukbts because of thee election interference. that's part of why he's so quick to always downplay this matter, this russian meddling happened. you saw yesterday, there was no attempt for a direct answer and when given on a tee, that was the question, take this moment, tell put knock it off, never do
it again, didn't touch it. >> so, jeff mason, did you get any sense afterwards talking to your sources around the president, talking to people in the white house that this went badly? i mean, may not listen to people in the press typically but they do listen to fox news. they do listen to republican leaders. do they know how bad this was yesterday? >> i think so. i mean both jonathan and i were in the pool yesterday with the president, so we flew back on air force one. we did not have a whole lot of interaction with white house officials on that plane. the press is in a cabin towards the back. we saw two white house aides. neither of them when they came back were chatty. so i think that's a sign that upfront in the plane they were working on damage control. and i suspect that that's what we'll start seeing today and going forward the rest of the week as the white house figures out how to move on. i mean, this has the potential to be a charlottesville in terms
of crisis management. it's a story that has legs. a lot of stories don't with donald trump. a lot of things he says and does often, you know, even if people consider it outrageous don't end up sticking. i think this one will. i would like to pick up on one thing that onthan was saying in response to your last question. one thing president trump doesn't see a difference between is collusion and meddling. you're right, everyone just referred to this point that he takes it very personally as the suggestion his election may be in some ways illegitimate and prevents him and you see that in his answers meddling may have happened even though my election was, in fact, legit. >> jeff mason, thanks so much for being with us this morning. thank you for what you did in that room yesterday. you and jonathan reminding us the simplest, clearest question can make history. joe, one minor note. the president again, in his
remarks that the electoral college spread wrong again. >> once again, at least he didn't bring up wisconsin for the 14th time. i do want to bring up, again, a lot of people say the president won't criticize vladimir putin because it undermines his election. again, just reminding people that were not with us at the top of the show, we had donald trump here in december of 2015, three months before the first republican primary, and he was still defending vladimir putin as a strong leader and justifying him murdering, assassinating journalists and assassinating political opponents saying well at least he gets things done. david ignatius, i wanted to -- so after watching the press conference yesterday, i did what i rarely do, i picked up the phone and i started calling friends get their reaction, because i don't like to talk politics with friends outside
of -- outside of the show. i was so thrown off by what i saw i picked up the phone and called three friends and said what do you think? one friend who tells me that the press is always too tough on donald trump, and is always biassed against donald trump, and i suspect voted for donald trump as an independent, told me it was the worst thing that has happened to this country since september 11th. it was our worst moment. i heard some people last night saying that what they saw yesterday was even more indescribable than watching cities burn in the 1960s, because you could at least understand the rage that fueled those fires. yesterday, i think what was so jarring because we can't understand exactly what happened, why it happened, and where it ends. >> i had the same experience,
joe, calling people i know around washington, around the country. and i heard similar responses. this was a visceral moment. you couldn't watch it and feel the same way. the air seemed to go out of the room, thanks to the questioning from jonathan and jeffrey and i think people begin to look at trump in a different way. i had one former cia officer say it was time for people to think about resigning. series of comments expressing shock, insistence that people had to keep doing their jobs more aggressively. there was one thing in that afternoon, joe, that really stood out for me. in the middle of the afternoon, around 2:30 or 3:00, dan coates, mild mannered, director of national intelligence, not a guy who makes a lot of waves, issued a one paragraph statement.
he essentially, i think, stood for the republic and said the u.s. intelligence community will continue to do its job, gathering evidence of russian interference in our election. the persistent perilous work that they have been doing to undermine us. and i thought with that statement, he really reminded us why the country, despite trump, despite the chaos, remains strong. it's because we have people like this who stand up for their agencies pup have to through throughout the bureaucracy yesterday afternoon there were similar reactions of people who were saying i have to think about my oath of office. this is a crisis, this is different and we need to behave as professionals. >> this is a moment of crisis, and we have many americans that have stepped forward during this time of crisis to show that
their priorities are still in the right place. we are at the top of the hour, continuing to talk about what happened yesterday when donald trump in helsinki was given the opportunity time and again to defend the country that he took an oath to protect, and instead of defending that country, instead of defending the men and women in the u.s. military, and in the intel agencies who caught the russians trying to undermine our elections in 2016, chose instead to defend a former kgb spy and a murderer and the intel agencies that he now runs. and, john meacham, after that press conference, that joint press conference that had a lot of americans so concerned, you wrote this. you tweeted this. quoting lincoln. i quoted lincoln a little bit later. lincoln seemed to be a go to
american hero yesterday afternoon to remind us, to remind us that we have been through far worse, and we have gotten through it. but you said, you quoted lincoln when he said fellow citizens, we cannot escape history, we will be remembered in spite of ourselves, the fiery trial through which we pass will lay us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation, and, john, dan coates certainly, has david ignatius said, will be remembered as the first person to step into the fray. after donald trump kowtowed to the president of russia. >> we remember people who do the right thing. it's not that complicated here. the choice to do the right thing, given the multiplicity of
forces given ambition and appetite and trying to get through a day and believing you're essential to saving the republic even if you aren't particularly is critical. it's why we have the united states senate, by the way. they are freed up a bit from the moment to moment concerns. and two points. one is if you're a united states senator right now you want to be margaret chase-smith. you want to be the woman, the republican from maine who stood up in 1950 and said to joe mccarthy's tyranny would stand. only six senators joined her. mccarthy dismissed them as snow white and the six dwarfs. those are the people we remember. not people who look at the polls, can't be that bad, can't do much. this is one thing to say, i think that makes the moment, at least survivable, is jeremy benton said publicity is the
very soul of justice. the fact of the near universal reaction to this, including from the far theft pathest parts of right-wing, there should give people some hope there's a hope that self-government will win out. >> let's bring in madeleine albright. she's author of a new book "fascism, a new warning." as somebody who has been on stages like that, sat in rooms with the russian president, someone who has sat across from adversaries, what was your impression? >> i have to say many impressions but mostly stunned, disbelief at the behavior of the president of the united states in terms of not defending our country, and really bending to the kinds of things that putin really wanted. i think trump is the gift that keeps giving to putin.
>> and, secretary albright, what do you suspect as you watched that? you may speculate as you wish or not but what's going on here? what are we looking at when we see a president not willing to defend the united states and not willing to back up his own intelligence agencies against an adversary like putin? >> i find it very hard to get inside president trump's mind. i'm not a shrink. but i really do think that there are other things going on in terms of what his desires are, or that he doesn't understand what the responsibilities are of the president of the united states. and what worries me -- there are many parts that worries me but what really does worry me what went on in that meeting where nobody of. i found very interesting in the picture before they go into their private meeting, is putin is sitting there with a pad of paper. i've been with putin. he takes notes. he's very smart. and there's no idea about what president trump did in there and
what he promised and revealed. >> it's a question we've been asking, and continue to ask, why did president trump insist on being alone in a room for two hours with put, without a secretary of state, without his national security adviser, the people you typically see there. >> because he was meeting with vladimir putin. you can be assured there's a transcript somewhere and it's probably in moscow. madam secretary, when you were secretary of state, one of the functions of the secretary of state is to appear before various house and senate committees multiple times and therefore you appeared before members of the senate foreign relations committee, house foreign relations committee who are well versed in international affairs. are you surprised, given what has happened, not just yesterday, but repeatedly in lesser volume over the past several months over the trump presidency that there has been such muted response or reaction or criticism of what this man, mr. trump, is doing to this
country's image abroad? >> i am surprised that congress is not reacting more, because they do represent the people. i have to say that those hearings you prepare for, you think about, and you are prepared for some tough questions, and i do think that there needs be more action by our congress. article i is about the role of congress across the board but especially in foreign policy. so i do hope that there's more call for explanation by the representatives of the people. >> madeleine albright, great to have you here. madam secretary, let me ask you what would your advice be to mike pompeo today, someone who has spoken out as cia director against what russia did in 2016, someone who has spoken out against russian aggression and
even since then. what advice do you have for him this morning after the president of the united states humiliated himself in front of the world. >> well, it's very hard to advise somebody that doesn't consult, but i think basically it is important for them to understand all the people that work for president trump, what their responsibilities are. but i do think that people need to recognize that they took an oath of office themselves to protect the constitution, and i think everybody has to make up their own minds about how they are going to react. i do think -- i can't visualize what the meetings must be like something like this after this. does anybody say to him, to the president what in god's name were you thinking about when you did that. somebody needs to make it clear to president trump that his behavior in that press conference was unamerican, outrageous, ridiculous, stupid.
i can't even think of all the adjectives that i think should really be attributed to that behavior. >> madam secretary, richard haas here. good morning. what would you now say that the president of the united states or u.s. government now more broadly should say to president putin. what should we do in retaliation against russian interference and what should we threaten mr. putin with in order to deter future interference in our politics? >> i do think -- first of all, i do think there should be conversations with the russians. even in the worst circumstances diplomacy is important and to have those conversations at a variety of different levels. i think that our best tool at the moment continues to be sanctions. and i think that we need to make clear that not only are the ones that are on will stay on but there might be tougher ones given southeast thing that have come up with and to keep the
pressure on. and i think that we do need to have more outpouring of outrage by members of congress on this, and just generally talking about the fact that we need to keep the pressure on the russians, but not to say that we'll never talk to them. that's ridiculous. i've been in many tough meetings, and i was with putin, and i think one has to push back, not just agree oh, you're so smart and thank you so much for helping and a variety of things that are unacceptable for an american president to ever say especially on foreign soil standing next to the man who has, in fact, undermine you're electoral process. >> should we try weaken putin's process. should we try to influence russian politic? >> i think we need to figure out generally how we operate in the cyber field, but we do need to understand as some of you have already said is that putin is a kgb agent.
he's better at propaganda than anybody, and also at lying. i think that the important part is for us to look at what tools we have and try to figure out how to explain why democracy works and why you don't congratulate somebody who has won an election without an opponent that can have any voice to speak. and i think we need to talk about the importance of the press and not agree that the press is the enemy of the people. >> madam secretary, it's katty kay here. i've had diplomats over the course of the last few days suggests to me the transatlantic alliance can survive four years of donald trump but probably not in eight years. in the context of what happened yesterday with vladimir putin, where does this leave you now? what should european countries be doing to fortify their own security? the germans suggested they can't rely on america any more. >> that's a tragedy when our allies say they can't rely on us. i've spent a lot of time in
europe generally and just before all this took place and i think our allies had trouble explaining what was going on before. i do think it's possible for the europeans to have a strong european defense and try to sort out what the eu should be doing, but i don't think they should give up on america. i think that there are a number of ways that those of us that have been involved in this before need to keep restating that we are an alliance, generally in terms of our values, that we need to continue to work together, and that we are all resilient and we ridiculous get over from the, but we cannot normalize the behavior of president trump. i thank you for mentioning my book, joe, and i really do think that i have said that it is a warning that one of the things -- the best quote in my book is from moussilini who says
if you plug the feathers from a chicken one at a time nobody will notice. so we need to make clear president trump over plucked and we need to make clear what's going on. >> dr. brzezinski and mrs. brzezinski's experience, two close friends of yours throughout their entire lives puts so much into sharp relief especially considering that you and dr. brzezinski spent your adult lives fighting against the spread of russian influence in central and eastern europe. that must put comments of yesterday to put more in stark relief. >> no question. i do think -- putin has a plan. he wants to undermine democracy. he wants to separate us from our allies in europe. he wants to reassert influence in the middle east.
and our president is a help in all of this. there is a term that the russians use, it's called useful idiot. i do think that whatever president trump thought he was saying, he definitely helped putin's plans for getting back into the game and for undermining democracy in europe. we cannot allow that to happen. >> madam secretary, thank you for being with us. mika sends her best. and is reading halfway through your book "fascism, a warning" by madeleine albright. thank you so much, madam secretary. >> thank you. give her my best. >> i will do that. willie. >> let's bring in president and ceo of the atlantic council and founder of eurasia group and editor-at-large for "time" magazine. gentlemen thank you for being about us. fred, let megyn with you and talk about the implications of
the president's statements. we talked about the shock of what he said. what does it mean? what follows from this now? >> absolutely. the real world consequences here, first of all. secretary albright, trump has over plucked that's got to be one of the best quotes of the last two days. here's the real world consequences in a larger sense it's about the world space order we created after 1945. that's at stake. this is a turning point probably as important as 1919 or 1945. we got it more right than wrong after 1945 when we created the institutions, united nations, nato. after world war i we got it tragically wrong and ended up with 20 million dead, ended up with fascist and the holocaust. in a narrower sense you're sending a message to assad in syria, sending a message to putin and ukraine and what he can do in ukraine at a time when we already saw this week japan
signing a trade deal with tehe eu, removing 90% of tariffs. eu meeting with china trying to reach a trade deal to counteract to a certain extent president trump. so there's very large consequences. then very narrow immediate consequences. >> it's onthan. i want to get your opinion on what you saw yesterday. what was said. but also what was unsaid. how little discussion there was about syria and ukraine. reflect upon the idea not president putin to voice donald trump's stance on that issue. what are the ramifications you're seeing on those policies in the days and weeks ahead, the fallout from yesterday don't settle. >> probably not much. madeleine albright is right that the impact on u.s.-led multi-lateral institution and liberal democracy as a force of example is significant over time. it's been eroding and trump is
jumping on it, breaking it more. he clearly has shown not only does he have time for those kind of institutions and architecture he doesn't like democracies. he would rather deal with authoritarian regimes. we see that on display all the time. in particular yesterday. what did the u.s.-russia relationship actually gain? in terms of the concrete thing that putin would be looking for, trump did not recognize crimea as a part of russia. he certainly could have. he's not taking sanctions off of russia. he probably can't do that. over the course of this year congress is likely to intensify those sanctions. didn't say he was going to pull u.s. troops out of syria. didn't say he was going to suspend military exercises in the baltics. certainly only expanding u.s. military spending, which putin, obviously, wouldn't like. if you asked me as angry as we should legitimately be with an american president that has such
blatant disregard for american values, american institutions and even american power, we should recognize that the actual u.s.-russia relationship at the end of 2018 is likely to continue to be worse than it actually was when trump came into power. >> fred, good morning, it's richard haas. you spent a lot of your life living in western europe so, here we are, the president has called the eu a foe, talked about the special relationship that doesn't look as special as it used to. what is it now you would like to see the united states do that would persuade europe they can still trust us or have we basically entered a new era where europe is on its own even though europe is increasingly divided given brexit, what the italians are up to and the rest. how do you see this playing out? >> so i was just at the nato summit in brussels and there was a lot of good news and a lot of
bad blood. the good news is nato signing of on a declaration which was as good as any they've done before. you have two new command units. you got troops based on a rotating basis in u.s. and poland, other nato allies in the baltics. you got defensive weapons going to you cran to yukraine. there's good news and bad blood. the issue is can we deal with three things at the same time. one is donald trump's words towards europe and nato, the second is can we help europe deal with some of the issues it's got to deal with rather than fuel some of the flames by backing brexit and talking about the eu as a foe. can we come up with a new
project. look what the japanese just did? 99% of tariffs gone. president trump talked about going in that direction at the g7. it would be smart for the europeans to pick it up, for us to pick it up and start a new project with europe that might help us overcome some of this. >> it's katty kay here. i'm afraid to hear that the relationship to get worse. this idea of whether the relationship can survive four years or eight years of trump, which is what i'm starting to hear questions of from european diplomats, do you think there's a quantifiable difference if the president serves just one term does that make a difference in the transatlantic relationship compared to eight years. >> i think it does. you talk to all of the european allies, and every day that they are dealing with trump and the administration is a day when they think about should they be hedging to a greater degree with the chinese despite all of their
differences. but let's keep in mind they don't feel like they have many option and europe is also getting weaker, irrespective of trump. the brexit vote can damage europe internationally happened before trump was elected. the election of the italian government wasn't a reaction to what happened in the united states. the challenges you have with poland right now and hungary, anti-liberalism. as much as in the united states we focus so much on if we can just get rid of trump we can go back to normalcy. the trump phenomenon is something much deeper, much broader, much more structural across all of the advanced industrial democracies in the world. the europeans are feeling it. even if trump is gone in four years those challenges are still growing. final point is, we recognize this is happening in a global economy, u.s. economy, european
economy that's grown faster. what happens at the end of trump's first year, how does the transatlantic relationship respond. we're in a much rockier road than just the reaction to trump. >> great to have you both here. thanks so much. still ahead on morning apology, fewer officials have a deeper background than john brennan. he's standing by with his pointed criticism of donald trump's performance yesterday which brennan called quote nothing short of treasonous. we'll go to the words of rb in his evil empire speech how to treat a leader like we see in putin and those who might appease him. >> during my first press conference as president in answer to a direct question i pointed out that as good marxist leninists the soviet leaders
have openly and publicly declared the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause which is world revolution. they sometimes speak in soothing tones ever brotherhood and peace because like other dictators before them they are making their final territorial demand. some would have us accept them at their word and accommodate ourselves to their aggressive impulse. if history teaches anything, it teaches that simple minded apiecement or wishful thinking about our opponents is foley. it means the squandering of our freedom. i urge your to speak out against those who would place the united states in a position of military and moral inferr inferiority.
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thank you so much for being with us. yesterday you had suggested, mr. brennan, that loyal republicans, that patriotic republicans speak out. some actually did, begin to speak out, my former party, not as many as i would have liked, but it seems that yesterday was a moment that triggered many to finally say the president had gone too far. what do you believe in the best interest, not only of america's intel agencies, but also in the best interest of america's national security that those patriotic republicans need to do today on the hill? >> well, i think there's a big question, first of all, in terms of those who are on mr. trump's national security team. whether they can continue to serve in good conscience an individual that betrayed them.
but leaders need to ask what they ned to do to protect this country's liberties and freedom despite having mr. trump in the oval office. so, i think the outcry needs be strong. it needs to endure. and they need to then also take action whether it's censure or decide this is not the republican party that they once knew, they need to step away it from like did you. this is not what ronald reagan said or meant when he said to mr. gorbachev bring down that wall. i heard the words that was just said in the film clip about simple minded appeasement is follo toll -- folly. republicans need to put pressure on mr. trump and send a clear signal this is intolerable and they are going to act upon it. obviously dan coates
yesterday moved quickly, and honorably to stand up for the men and the women who have given their entire adult lives to america's intel agency. also the men and women in uniform that helped in uncovering the interference in america's democratic process in 2016. would you recommend, do you believe that it's actually necessary for other members of donald trump's foreign policy team and intel community like mike pompeo, like the secretary of defense, general mattis to come out today with similar statements supporting and defending the men and women who sacrificed everything often in defending this country? >> well, good on dan coat to stand up for men and women of the intelligence community, and those who are going to be silent in this administration are
complicit, so they need to be able to speak out very strongly. but what mr. trump did yesterday was to betray the women and men of the fbi, the cia and nsa and others and betray the american public. that's why i use the term this was nothing short of treason jaws because it is a betrayal of the nation. he's giving aid and comfort to the enemy. it need to stop. mr. trump needs to understand there will be consequences for him too. i hope those that voted for mr. trump in good conscience will see he's leading us down a very dangerous path. what we don't want is mr. put wynn to walk away from that meeting thinking he can get away with whatever he wants. i still shake my head trying to understand what was discussed during the two hour one-on-one. what was discussed between the two sides in their bilateral meeting. we only saw what mr. trump said during the press conference. i can't even imagine what he said behind closed doors.
i can't imagine what he said to mr. putin directly. i am very concerned about what type of impact it might have on our intelligence community and on this country. >> you know, mike barnacle, yesterday many republicans attacked donald trump, said that his statements and his actions in helsinki kowtowing to putin were disgusting. i think all of those adjectives could, all the adjectives that were used could also be applied to mike pence who shamefully, shamefully defended the president of the united states last night in the strongest terms, shamefully defended his performance, shamefully defended his kowtowing to a former kgb agent, shamefully defended donald trump's whitewashing of the russian's interference in the 2016 election. >> yeah, you're correct, joe. you're correct.
a shameful moment from the vice president this time. but director brennan, intelligence gathering, as you certainly know, is an art. and the art is sometimes incredibly dangerous and sometimes lethal to the gatherer. so yesterday we had a meeting that we know very little about, two hour closed door meeting between the president putin, a kgb agent, kgb director and the president of the united states. what could happen, in your mine, the most dangerous thing that could happen, in your mind, in that meeting when you have president putin, a skilled interrogator, questioning, talking with the president of the united states who is so limited in his knowledge of the world and his knowledge of what intelligence truly means? >> well, as you point out mr. putin is a skilled and trained kgb officer, a master manipulate
orwho has decades of experience. mr. trump is way, way out of his depth when he goes into a one-on-one with mr. putin. as you point out u.s. intelligence capabilities are exceptionally precious but also exceptionally delicate. i don't know what mr. trump might have said in that meeting that could have compromised or impacted those capabilities. i don't know. i still don't understand why he didn't trust john bolton, mike pompeo to be in that meeting and to hear what he said and what mr. putin said. that raises the cockles on my back. then when i saw the p.m. in the press conference where company have done what was minimally acceptable, which is to say that russia interfered in the election, we need to address that and we need to move on even but we'll hold russia to account. he suicide mr. putin and threw the intelligence community, the fbi, the department of justice
and others fully under the bus. >> it is likely, mr. director, the russians recorded that two hour conversation? >> i would find it unbelievable if they didn't. in some manner, yes. >> did americans record it as well, do you suspect? >> i have no idea. >> but either way it's somewhere there exists a recording of what happened in that room. >> have mr. trump said in that meeting with mr. putin is memorialized on russian tape and will be utilized by putin against trump. >> mr. trump knew there was a chance the russians were recording that. >> i'm sure he was told that. whether he would have known that is something else. whether he accepts by what was said by the men and women of the cia, i don't know. >> i understand as a former cia director, classified information you're not going to share with us on national television but the question now has to be asked based on what we saw yesterday and even madeleine albright
raised it a few minutes ago, does vladimir putin, does the russian government have something personally on donald trump? >> well donald trump knows what he has done and he has no -- he knows what might the russians are aware of. so i think his actions towards mr. putin may reflect that concern in term of what is in donald trump's past that the russians have and might use against him. >> is there anything you can characterize for us that perhaps russia might have on donald trump? >> i'm not going to go into that at all. >> but it does exist? >> i'm not saying it exists at all. i'm saying trump knows and that's why he's so desperate to top the mueller investigation, because clearly he's concerned and very, i think fearful about what might be exposed during that investigation. >> given the behavior and the danger that accrues to people who are in the intelligence gathering business, and given their obligation to report this intelligence to the leaders of
this country, but given the attitude of the president of the united states towards the intelligence community, and the behavior and the intellect of the president of the united states, would there be a tendency for intelligent gatherers, briefers to withhold now some vital intelligence to the president >> there very well might be. there might be. out of concern. there are things that as director of cia i wouldn't share details with the president of the united states or individuals outside of cia because you're trying to protect the capabilities and you don't want to give anybody any information that they don't need. so i don't know whether or not mr. trump has been questioning his intelligence briefers about the capabilities and how he's going to handle and protect that information. i don't know. but i think these are questions that the intelligence community is asking itself, what is mr. trump up to when he meets -- as an intelligence officer we were not allowed to meet privately
with any russian much less a russian official. it's something we don't do unless there's some type of formal approval. meeting one-on-one with a russian intelligence officer, that's something that cia officers are well trained to be able to be aware of what they might try to do, to exploit that relationship. >> john, what do you see now as russian foreign policy goes what do you think putin's definition of success is and how close after this week, how close do you think he is to realizing success? >> well, i think he is very confident and comfortable now that mr. trump will not hold mr. putin and the russians to account for interference in the election. i think they are rejoicing at how well the helsinki summit went. mr. putin might be concerned that trump went beyond where he should have gone and now it's making it very difficult for trump to continue in this, you know, with this relationship because of the outcry from both sides of the aisle. so i think mr. putin is thinking
that trump has gone well beyond what was seen as acceptable. >> do you take it in any way he was made nervous by the mueller indictments, the specificity about the gru. >> that's a good question. the intel community did an excellent job not just tracing forensics but doing it in a manner that won't compromise collection methods. it sends a signal to putin. you think you're good at cyber we're better than you are. i wish that trump would say, you try to rattle our case again and we'll rattle your cages beyond what you even thought we could do. we need to make it clear to mr. putin he can do this and get away with it. that's why dan coates and others need to be on top of their game and speak truth to power and make sure trump doesn't get away with this. >> director, brennan thank you
for being with us. we great lie appreciate it. thank you for your insights. richard, let me ask you really quickly the same question i asked of madeleine albright what would you recommend to mike pompeo today, as secretary of state? should he release a similar statement as dan coates? should he hold a press conference? obviously, he as cia director when he testified before the senate said that russia tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. should he reaffirm that today after the debacle in helsinki? >> good question. i think more important than what he just publicly is what he does privately and if i were advising the secretary of state i would say, mike the time has come to have a one-on-one with this president. be straight up. essentially capture the kind of conversation we've had here on the set today. talk about the damage that was,
that was done yesterday and talk about what needs to be done to begin to repair it. not in terms of pr, but in terms of foreign policy. what sort of messages need to be sent to the russians about deterrence, getting a little bit what john brennan was saying. what kind of threats we make about information up to, about putin's wealth, things that might weaken his political position at home, what additional sanctions we should introduce or threaten. if i was mike pompeo i would say mr. president, because he wasn't in on the one-on-one eritrea. besides getting a full understanding of what was said he should demand that from the president. he needs to put forward a complete plan on how we begin the difficult long term process of digging ourselves out of the hole. we got to stop digging and have to gin to recouping. that to me is more important that private conversation than anything he does in public. >> you might be wondering what the president is saying this morning. we're a couple of hours into executive time. no tweets yet from the president
of the united states. coming up next top demonstrate on the house intelligence committee, congressman adam schiff joins us. "morning joe" will come right back. let's begin. yes or no? do you want the same tools and seamless experience across web and tablet? do you want $4.95 commissions for stocks, $0.50 options contracts? $1.50 futures contracts? what about a dedicated service team of trading specialists? did you say yes? good, then it's time for power e*trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. looks like we have a couple seconds left. let's do some card twirling twirling cards e*trade. the original place to invest online. until her laptop crashed this morning. her salon was booked for weeks, having it problems? ask a business advisor how to get on demand tech support for as little as $15 a month.
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mike, yesterday you commented on john kelly, the position he's in, a man who has given his life in protect and defending the united states, serving honorably, losing a son in uniform, now finding himself in a position where he's grimacing as donald trump undermines our nato allies, our european allies and yesterday in helsinki defending the indefensible, that is a kgb agent's interference in american democracy. how much longer does john kelly stay in the white house as the situation worsens by the moment? >> that's a good question, joe. it's unanswerable. i can't answer it. i don't think general kelly can answer it either. he has a real moral dilemma here. there are people around this country who clearly disagree with his convictions on immigration, things like that, that's understandable. but john kelly is a man of honor and integrity who has sworn his
life in allegiance to the united states of america. i imagine today he's very troubled at the fact that he sat and witnessed yesterday the president of the united states, his boss, the commander-in-chief, betray the country in front of the world. so general kelly's choice is going to have to be made and then he falls into what we were talking about earlier, joe, am i sovy all the as to the nation that if i leave i'll be replaced by somebody, a lesser individual than me? that mindset can take hold in any number of people. general kelly's decision is a tough one but he's got to make it. >> joining us now, ranking member of the house intelligence committee, adam schiff of california with us here on set professor the columbia university dr. jeffrey sachs. congressman schiff, let me talk
to you first as the ranking member on the intel committee you know a lot. you've seen a lot of information with what's happening with the russian interference in the 2016 election and beyond. you watched yesterday's press conference. damaging, shameful and cowardly you called it. were you even surprised by what you saw yesterday despite all you know about this president? >> i was surprised and i think many of us thought we lost the capacity to be shocked any more. but it was a stunning betrayal of the country. whether there this compliment on the president, we don't know. we're trying to find out. but he certainly acts like a president that is compromised. and what ultimately matters to the country is how he acts and he acts like the russians have something on him. the only thing i'll say that runs in the opposite direction is that if he were a long time asset of the kgb, as was
possibsaid in the "new york" magazine a week ago his handlers would say slow down you'll give yourself away. hard to imagine him with a more damaging performance than we saw this week and if i could just comment on your last question, i do think this is time for people in this administration to say that they are resigning and not just resigning in silence but saying they are resigning because they can't be -- they can't enable this kind of conduct, and maybe through their resignation they can prompt some change in the president, but i think for many people in the administration now they need to think about the bigger service to the country by resigning in protest. >> lost in all of yesterday's news another indictment handed down by the special counsel after 12 came down on friday. congressman uses the word damaging. brennan used the word dangerous. why was it dangerous and damaging to see what the president did yesterday? >> well, i think we're out of
control on foreign policy and it's in the hands of one completely unstable and unfit person. we don't know whether what we're seeing is dementia, psychopathy, compromise, but what we are seeing is extraordinary. he is breaking the alliances. he is breaking international trade. congress, nobody has restrained him. what we saw yesterday was truly shocking, but it has been now several weeks, one day after the next of absolutely shocking actions. i think his psychological state is really in question. there's a lot of signs of dementia. there's a lot of signs of deep personality disorder traits, and it is extraordinarily worrisome. i would ask congressman schiff, who has tdone such a wonderful
job trying to keep track, will the republican side finally acknowledge how dangerous our situation is, stop being an enabler of this danger, support the mueller investigation, which is utterly professional and clearly finding some very, very stark things? are we going to get hold of this or is this going to be a one-man show of an utterly unstable personality? >> well, i think sadly that you can't really count on the congress, and what we saw over the last 24 hours is, yes, there were some very strong statements from the usual suspects, from john mccain and jeff flake and ben sasse. apart from that though, you had what passes for political courage these days. you had republicans saying this was a missed opportunity or kind of a statement saying i believe our intelligence agencies. that's not exactly political
backbone, and certainly not the caliber of courage that we need to see from republican members of congress. at the end of the day, we could assert our institutional responsibility and stand up to this president, but there's little sign of that happening. you do see some of the members paddle from one side of the canoe. they're questioning peter strzok and attacking him like it is a benghazi hearing all over again, and the next day they paddle from the other side of the canoe and say, well, we support our nato alliance. that's not going to cut it with a president this dangerous. >> congressman, katty here, i want to ask you from what you know of the way these things are conducted. would you think there would be some record, some recording of that two-hour meeting from donald trump -- between donald trump and vladimir putin, either from the russian side or even potentially from the american side? >> i would certainly think that there would be a recording of
this by the russian side. now, i don't know what the circumstances were on the american side, but from the russian point of view, if the president was saying that kind of stuff in public, you can imagine how much worse it would be in private. and if they can have a recorded conversation of that, that's more compromise for the russians. first and foremost they want to study it to see what insights it shows into his character, his personality, any of the psychological issues that were just mentioned, but they also might want it because they can throw it back in his face either publicly or privately should he deviate from russian interests. so i would certainly expect the russians to have some kind of recording. whether we do as well might depend on what this president was willing to allow. >> all right. thank you so much, congressman adam schiff. greatly appreciate you being here today. jeffrey sacks, layout, if you will, your concerns, your greatest concerns about where a
trump presidency leads us as it pertains to america's alliances abroad and its national defense at home. >> well, i think the starting point is trump, the man and his psychological state. he is unstable. he shows very deep signs of personali personality disorders. many people that i speak with, experts, think that he's evidencing dementia. and what is alarming about all of this is the extent to which our nation has become a one-person game, because as congressman schiff just said, congress doesn't do anything but enable. the republican side should see right now it is not a partisan game. this is putting our entire nation at risk. the way that the republicans have been enabling this man.
we have a one-person wrecking ball right now that is going to destroy global trade through his individual ignorance and whims. we have a one-person wrecking ball who is undermining every alliance, and the public's abroad -- and i am traveling relentli relentlessly in europe and asia, and they're stunned. he is breaking alliances. he is endangering our security and economy, and he is psychologically absolutely unfit for office. and, for god's sake, it is time that the republicans in congress understand that by enabling this they are putting the entire country at jeopardy. >> we will see if they provide more than tweets today and follow up on it.
dr. jeffrey sacks, thank you very much. coming up on "morning joe", another extraordinary moment from the joint news conference, president trump endorsing vladimir putin's idea for bob mueller to team up with russia to investigate russia's election meddling. of course, putin's suggestion came with a catch. plus, former cia director john brennan told us that the president's meeting with putin almost certainly was recorded by russia to use if and when the kremlin chooses. we will go live to moscow where nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is on the ground. he joins us straight ahead on "morning joe."
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and sad, damaging and a threat to american democracy. or as john mccain put it, one of the most disgraceful performances by an american president in memory. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." today is tuesday, july 17th. and what we saw yesterday was shocking, it was appalling. john meachem, yesterday we had a president who stood on the world stage and he had an opportunity to show fealty to our republican. instead, what he showed was fecklessness towards russia. he had a hachance to show coura in the face of a tyrant. instead, he showed cowardice on the world stage, where the president looked like a week,
du dumpy stooge to a kgb spy. he had a chance to show loyalty to america's men and women in uniform and the intel community, and instead he betrayed them time and again. instead, he said that he trusted vladimir putin's word and by extension the word of russia's spy community, which attacked the united states of america. so many things were said yesterday, john. so many concerns, not only by the usual suspects in the democratic party but also by an awful lot of people in what is now the trump party, the republican party. i know there's no way to ask you for a parallel because there is no parallel. f.d.r. after pearl harbor at any time deny there was an attack.
george w. bush didn't deny al qaeda's attack on september 11th september 11th, but vladimir putin attacked american tms. we have the forensic testimony. it is there for all of the world to see. every reasonable, rational person looks at that material like they can see the dna on a gun and they know who did it, when they did it, how they did it, why they did it. you could actually take judicial notice in every court in america that vladimir putin's russian spy agencies tried to undermine american democracy. as dan coates says, the president's dni director, on a daily basis, and yet donald trump defended vladimir putin's spy agencies instead of his own. where are we right now in the summer of 2018? >> there's a live and open question whether the president
of the united states is putting the national interests of -- our national interests ahead of that of a foreign power who may have leverage over him in some way, and without -- without that explanation, you have to wonder what possibly could be going on. what could the possible motivations along the way? was it simply pride? does he simply not have the capacity to see beyond the -- in his own mind, the so-called legitimacy of his own election, or is there some larger issue here? my chief fear is that this is the middle of the journey, not the beginning and not the end, because vladimir putin has a huge check in his pocket ready to cash from donald trump, and i don't think it is simply going to be cashed for a con jean rge
press conference. i think there must be some other shoe to drop, to use that image. there must be some other country to invade. there may be some other attempt here by the russians to expand their influence at the expense of the west, at the expense of the western alliance, and we have seen over the last -- not just the last 24 hours, but the last six, seven days that the president of the united states does not have the interests, historic interests of the western alliance and of the united states front and center. >> and willie geist, my father, grew up reading a series of books called "none dare call it treason." no none may dare to call what donald trump did yesterday treason, but what we can say is this. faced with overwhelming evidence that, again, any court in america would take judicial notice of, that vladimir putin tried to undermine american
democracy in 2016 and continues to act in abhorrent ways that our director of national intelligence says poses a threat for the upcoming election, donald trump sat there and was oba obsequious to vladimir putin. as i have been asking on this show, i won't bring you in on this, but we all know that vladimir putin is holding something over donald trump. we do not know what it is. but we know it must be something extraordinary because no rationale politician, no rationale president would act this way if he weren't being blackmailed on some level. well, that may be true, and we have to entertain that possibility now. the other part of it is what john alluded to, is the vanity question. which is that any implication or any suggestion or any evidence that shows that president trump's election in 2016 was anything other than legitimate is a blow to the president's ego
and he can't stand that, and he's willing to stand next to the president of russia and say i take your word over that of my intel community so it doesn't undermine my election. >> right. but, willie, here is the thing. it wasn't just about the 2016 election. we first here on "morning joe" in december of 2015, a year before the results of that election were called in to question, we asked him repeatedly why he said vladimir putin was a strong leader. i said, he assassinates journalists, he assassinates politicians, he assassinates others. donald trump's defense of vladimir putin was, well, american soldiers in iraq killed a lot of people, too. so even before the election was called into question, he was a -- like a scared child, afraid to criticize vladimir putin.
that was three years ago. >> yeah, there's no question about it. in the context of yesterday's press conference though, asking about that, i think, again, he can't say anything that makes his election look anything other than legitimate because it is about his ego. i want to be clear for our viewers again, joe. what exactly the intelligence community assessment stated, it was dated january 6, 2017. this is what the president says he does not believe. quote, we assess russian president vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the u.s. presidential election. plain and simple. so yesterday dni, director of national intelligence dan coates, had to put out another statement of his own after what the president said, reiterating that the intel community believes that russia interferes and has evidence that russia interferes in elections and specifical specifically interfered in the 2016 presidential election. so the evidence is all there. the president of the united states chooses not to believe it and said so, joe, yesterday.
>> well, you know, willie, the thing is this is -- and we also saw it when the intel chiefs went to capitol hill. >> yeah. >> and i know -- i know that even donald trump supporters know by this point that vladimir putin has something over trump. i know they know that. they may try -- some of them may be trying to deny it -- not many. but what is so telling is while -- while, let's just say the last holdouts are talking about the deep state here, it was donald trump's intel chiefs that donald trump appointed himself -- >> that's right. >> -- that drew that conclusion on the hill. it was the fbi director that donald trump appointed himself. it was the director of national intelligence that donald trump appointed himself. it was the then-cia director that donald trump appointed himself, mike pompeo. it was -- you name it. all of the intel chiefs that
drew this conclusion, they were all appointed by donald trump and they were all confirmed by republicans in the united states senate. there is no doubt, there is no question, especially after friday's indictment, that the russians tried to subvert american democracy and we have all of the evidence. forget about csi new york. this is csi moscow, and we have all of the dna and it is all over vladimir putin's bloody hands. >> and, by the way, the dni dan coates said all of this on friday before the summit, hoping to avoid what we saw yesterday. he said the red lights are flashing, they're blinking, we know what is happening, russia continues to interfere in our elections. richard, let me just get your initial reaction to what we saw. i think a lot of people -- you know, ambassador mcfall, who is u.s. ambassador to russia, said he went over the course of outrage to sadness, that the
united states president would stand next to a tyrant proven to be interfering in our democratic process and not standing up to him and giving him the higher ground. >> particularly, willie, when you look at not just yesterday but step back and look at the preceding week. this is a week when self-interest took precedence over the national interest, in which america first gave way to russia first. this is a president who basically was unwilling to take on russia but was more than willing to take on nato. >> yeah. >> the eu and the uk, the so-called special relationship was essentially discarded. so the contrast between the kid gloves with which he dealt with mr. putin and the frontal assaults on our closest allies who for 70 years have been an integral part of america's relationship with the world, that contrast was in stark relief yesterday. it was a bad week for the united states and for american foreign policy. yesterday capped it off. >> and, katty kay, we heard
across europe yesterday discouraging words from american allies that stood with us through a generational cold war with the soviet union, who is constantly being pushed to do more by american presidents to push back against russia. yesterday britain and germany, across the continent, we had one leader after another say, we can no longer trust the united states of america. >> yeah, it was the german foreign minister was one of the first to come out and say, this means we can't trust the white house anymore after that press conference. remember, the european allies are up against russia's border, some of them as well, so they feel this very intensely. they know what russian meddling looks like. some of those countries have experienced firsthand what it is like to have russian troops on their soil and to be occupied by the soviet union. no one is thinking we're going back to that, joe, but everybody in europe is looking at what do we do now, how do we protect
ourselves if the united states is going to withdraw this completely, and not just withdraw but if the u.s. is now going to side with the power that we have long seen as our enemy and who has re-emerged as an aggressive actor on the world stage just in the last few years. the timing of donald trump reaching out to russia like this, opening the door for russia to walk back in from the cold and reassume a place on the world stage like this, with no positive implications -- and i think it is worth looking forward after this summit. there was not a single thing that was said during the course of that press conference that would lead us to believe that russian behavior is now going to improve. not a single thing. not in ukraine, not in syria, not in election meddling, not in the baltics. if you could come out of that press conference and say, well, yes, maybe that two-hour long meeting behind closed doors had led to a better relationship, and now president trump could influence putin to act better on
the world stage, that would be one thing. but nothing was said that would make us think that was the case. >> still ahead on "morning joe", we will talk to the united states reporters who held the president's feet to the fire yesterday, the ap's jonathan la mere and reuters' jeff mason. you are watching "morning joe." we will be right back. and now for the rings. (♪) i'm a four-year-old ring bearer with a bad habit of swallowing stuff. still won't eat my broccoli, though. and if you don't have the right overage, you could be paying for that pricey love band yourself. so get an allstate agent, and be better protected from mayhem. like me. can a ring bearer get a snack around here?
just now, 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? my second question is would you now with the whole world watching tell president putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again? >> so let me just say that we have two thoughts. you have groups that are wondering why the fbi never took the server. why haven't they taken the
server? with that being said, all i can do is ask the question. my people came to me, dan coates came to me and some others. they said they think it's russia. i have president putin, he just said it is not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be, but i really do want to see the server. 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. >> did you want president trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that? >> interpreter: yes, i did. yes, i did, because he talked about bringing the u.s./russia relationship back to normal. >> there are the moments yesterday. joining us now the two u.s. reporters who asked president trump and russian president vladimir putin those questions at yesterday's news conference, white house reporter for the
"associated press" jonathan lemire and white house correspondent for reuters, jeff mason. gentlemen, good morning. good to have you both with us and great job yesterday. jonathan, take us inside the room. we were all watching on television. it struck us as extraordinary and unprecedented. what was it like to be in the room? >> there was a lot of energy in the room. it was a tense spot. it comes after the two leaders that had a two-hour one-on-one meeting that ran longer than expected followed bay short meeting with advisors. there was a sense of anticipation about what might happen in that room. we had an instance with reporters, a reporter acting as an activist was thrown out by security at some point. he was holding a sign. so there was a lot of sort of chaos in the room before they came out. any presidential press conference, of course, is a big deal. it is a serious event. you are always prepared for it but this one had larger stakes. vladimir putin does not take
questions from american journalists have often. donald trump would be standing a few feet away from the man that u.s. intelligence agencies concluded he and his government tried to help trump win, a fact donald trump refuses to acknowledge. it was that moment. it felt like those were the questions that needed to be asked. we know time and time again trump has shied away from agreeing with the intelligence agencies, shied away from condemning russia. >> let me ask you, you asked this directly to president putin, if he wanted donald trump to win and if he directed his intelligence services to impact the election in any way. he quickly jumped in and said yes, yes, i did. i think it caused confusion whether he was addressing your first question, your second question or both perhaps. >> i agree. i suspect it was directed more towards the first question only because he had spent a good chunk of that press conference denying any collusion between russia, just as the president
did, and saying that russia had not intervened. but the fact that he came out of the barn there with such a quick answer, yes, i did, was -- it was remarkable. and it is something that in many ways, democrats and others have said we know this, but to hear the president of russia say, yes, this is the candidate i wanted to win, was pretty remarkable. it was interesting to -- it was great to have a hans chance to actually ask him that directly, and, boy, did he give an answer. >> you asked another question, jonathan, of vladimir putin having to do with basically did the russians have anything on donald trump, and as you know from what you do for a living, eye contact is really essential in asking these questions because you get a lot from eye contact. tell us about the question you asked and the response from vladimir putin. >> sure. the way these work are, you know, the american reporters get to ask two questions, one for your president and one for the
other foreign leader. so i asked president trump first and then moved over to putin. and i asked, of course, a question about crimea and moved on to whether the russian government had any compromising material on president trump or any members of his family. and his response was endlessly fascinating. first of all he did, as you said, eye contact. he fixed me with a stare and did not let go. obviously somewhat of an intimidating character so it was a little disquieting. he proceeded to sort of brush it off and seemed sort of annoyed by the question, but he seemed to do it almost on logistical terms, like, well, there are prominent american business men here all the time, we can't gather about all of this. but he never said he didn't have any on donald trump. he dismissed the idea saying it was a waste of time to consider it but at any time say he didn't. then president trump who wasn't slated to speak said, if such a thing did exist it already would have been released by now.
he proceeded to pivot to attack on the justice department again and the fbi agents and peter strzok and so on, which i think is another illuminating moment how he respond to the crisis, that trump tower is looking for the next bright, shiny object, whether it is uranium one or hillary clinton's e-mail servers or the man that worked for the dnc he brought up yesterday. any time he feels they are gathering steam he grabs something to distract. >> we go to richard engel who has reaction from some of russia's top officials, including one who called the trump summit, quote, fabulous and better than super. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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are you ready to take your then you need xfinity xfi.? a more powerful way to stay connected. it gives you super fast speeds for all your devices, provides the most wifi coverage for your home, and lets you control your network with the xfi app. it's the ultimate wifi experience. xfinity xfi, simple, easy, awesome. is it likely, mr. director, that the russians recorded that two-hour conversation? >> oh, i would find it unbelievable if they didn't. in some manner, yes. >> and did americans record as well to you suspect? >> i have no idea. >> but either way, it is likely somewhere there exists a recording of what happened in that room? >> i think whatever mr. trump said in that meeting with mr.
putin is now memorialized on russian tape, and it will be used as necessary by mr. putin against mr. trump. >> the question now has to be asked based on what we saw yesterday, and madeleine albright even raised it a few minutes ago, does vladimir putin, does the russian government have something personally on donald trump? >> well, donald trump knows what he has done and he has known -- he knows what might the russians be aware of, and so i think his actions towards mr. putin may reflect that concern in terms of what is in donald trump's past that the russians have and might use against him. >> is there anything you can characterize for us that perhaps russia might have on donald trump? >> i'm not going to go into that at all. >> that was former cia director and nbc analyst john brennan on "morning joe" in our last hour. the kremlin reacting to the trump/putin summit, russian state-run media reports sergei
lavrov described the summit as, quote, fabulous and better than super. let's bring in nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel live from moscow. good to see you. what is the reaction there? >> the initial reaction was they were overjoyed. the reaction you just mentioned with sergei lavrov calling it beyond super, fabulous. the television headlines in the immediate aftermath were that president putin is a master negotiator, a master of rhetoric, that he was more skillful than president trump. today, however, it is much more subdued. it seems like the russians have taken an active decision not to gloat. they're not saying that putin was the winner, that trump was the loser. they aren't saying that this was good for everyone, that this was win/win, that the two superpowers are now meeting as equals and that they are meeting to resolve the world's problems. they did not and are not
focusing however on any of the stuff that we are focusing on, the indictment, the allegations that russia was trying to hack, or charges now that russia hacked the democratic national -- the dnc. so they're not talking about any of that, just talking about how the world leaders were sharing a stage together and that this was about time that they did that. >> richard, while they did indeed share a stage together, there was an amazing lack of specifics about various regions in the world that are in points of contention, syria, iran, the middle east, israel. is there anything more in terms of specifics that you're hearing from the moscow end? because we hear very little here in washington. >> reporter: we're not hearing any specifics. there were -- there was all of this talk that they were going to come out with maybe a deal on syria, maybe they would -- the u.s. would recognize the russian takeover of crimea, maybe the
u.s. would agree to freeze military activities in syria or even pull out troops. none of that happened. instead, we just saw this display of friendship on the world stage, which they were both dismissing this mueller investigation as a witch-hunt. but one thing that did come out, that has been highlighted here is this offer by russia to help in the investigation. president trump, if you remember during that press conference, called it a good offer. called it a remarkable offer, that russia said it would be willing to have mueller or a member of his team come over here and interrogate these 12 russian military intelligence officials who are supposedly responsible for the dnc hack. of cost, it had a lot of conditions. the condition was that the united states would have to cooperate with russian investigators, giving them access to anyone russia accuses of meddling in internal affairs in this country, which is a very
long list indeed. russians are highlighting that. but i must say that is the same offer that we heard from natalia veselnitskaya when we interviewed her. she, of course, is the russian lawyer who was present at the trump tower meeting. she made the same offer to us, and our reporting proved that she is deeply tied, hand in glove with the russian prosecutor. it is also, by the way, almost the same offer that the russians offered to the uk to investigate the poisoning of sergei skripal, the double agent spy and his daughter yulia. >> and as you point -- >> reporter: an offer the british tushd do british turned down. >> as you pointed out, the president of the united states in the news conference touting it as an offer. yes, the president denied interference in the election, and now look at the offer he is giving us, maybe it is something we should look into. do you pick up that president putin and russian officials were perhaps even surprised by the extent to when president trump went along with their narrative, their story of what happened or
did not happen according to them in the 2016 election? >> reporter: i think -- i think yes, and i think you can see that from the reaction. last night there was in emotional reaction, almost like -- and i'm going to use a soccer reference because the world cup was just here, someone had just scored a goal and they were all screaming, and you had that reaction from sergei lavrov where he said it was fabulous, beyond super, and the television headlines are calling putin a genius, a master. now, today they're dialing it back, saying, well, everybody won. there's no real winner here. we're all just members of the global community, and this is how two superpowers would react. so i think in the immediate aftermath they did get even more than they expected, and they always knew frankly this would be well. they always had high hopes from president trump. there were literally parties here in moscow, we film some of them, on the night when president trump was elected. so they knew this would go well, but i don't think they knew it
would go as well as it did from russia's perspective. >> they knew this would go well. very telling. nbc's richard engel on a windy afternoon in moscow. thanks so much, richard. we appreciate it. coming up next, a message from ruth marcus to anyone who works for the president. she says, quit now. she joins us along with her colleague at "the washington post", eugene rollins. plus historian when "morning joe" comes back. >> what he did is an incredible offer. he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. i think that's an incredible offer. okay. how do you win at business?
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he said there was no collusion whatsoever. i guess he said as strongly as you can say it. they have no information on trump. it was an interesting statement, too. you know, many years ago when i was there -- what was it, 13, 14, a long time ago. he said there were many, many businesspeople there. in all fairness, i was a very
successful businessman but i was one of a lot of people. and one thing you know, if they had it, it would have been out. >> putin confirmed today he didn't have such information on you apparently? >> he knew exactly about it. it makes him angry when he sees it. it is interesting. i don't know if you could see it. he was incensed even talking about it, but he is willing to take those 12 people -- there is no extradition, but he's willing to let robert mueller's people go over there and bring a big investigation of those people, working together with russian investigators. >> we've had a phoney witch-hunt deal drive us apart. >> this is the biggest wedge. this was the biggest wedge. >> i think it is the thing that he told me when he went in. he said, what a shame. he felt it was very hard for me to make a deal because of, you know, all of this nonsense in much of the case. >> use the word nonsense.
>> you have to understand. you take a look and look at all of the people. some were hackers. you know, 14 people, and then they have 12 people. these aren't 12 people involved in the campaign, and then you had many other people. some told -- you look at flynn. it is a shame. but the fbi didn't think it was lying. with paul manafort, who really is a nice man. you look at what is going on with him. it is like al capone. >> 2005 tax case. >> on a case that, i guess, is very old. it is just a sad thing. it is a very sad thing for our country. a lot to unpack there. president trump in an interview with "fox news" that was taped after the news conference and aired last night. joining us now to discuss it, professor of history at tulane university, walter isaacson, staff writer at the new yorkerer, masha gesson. ruth marcus. and pulitzer prize winner and
associate editor of "the washington post", eugene robertson. let me begin with you. you are our resident putin and russia expert, someone who has courageously taken on vladimir putin at risk to your own safety. what did you think as you watched the president of the united states standing at that news conference yesterday? >> you know, it was remarkable. it was as though they were both doing the same thing, it is just putin is much better at it. he is much better at obfuscation, better lying confrontationally. he is much better at sort of drowning you out with irrelevant information and creating a sense of unreal reality. trump is like an apprentice to him in that sense. >> did you get a sense watching that display yesterday that while mr. trump is much bigger physically than is vladimir putin, he seemed to shrink as he stood next to him. >> i think that's a great description. no, no, it looked like putin was
in control. of course, he was in control going in because he stood to win simply by the very fact of the summit. and trump was going in naked, with no agenda, nothing to deliver from the summit. so he had lost before he had gone in. >> because you have the long view of russian history, can you sort of layout for people watching today what putin wants right now and what he is getting and just the two or so years we've seen president trump on the stage? >> putin is getting exactly what he wants. putin does not actually want, you know, sanctions lifted. putin does not necessarily want the united states to recognize the russian occupation of crimea, although that will be next. he is perfectly happy with things as they are. a lot of his legitimacy in russia is actually based on the image of the united states as an enemy. but what he really needs to project is something that he's been striving for for the last 18 years that he's been in
power, which is to recreate a sense of a bipolar world where the united states and russia sit down to sort of divvy up the world. and he advanced so much toward that goal yesterday, just, you know, having that press conference where he is clearly in control of a conversation with the american president, demonstrated to russians he has made russia great again. >> to say nothing of the week that preceded it, which are divisions at nato, president trump going after germany, angela merkel, demanding more money from nato allies, going after theresa may in an interview. this all helps putin, does it not? >> yes, putin has fights with his foes and comes home to russia. >> walter isaacson, let's go back to the interview we saw a clip with sean hannity interviewing president trump, the president touting as he did at the news conference yesterday this deal that's proposed by vladimir putin as if it is sort of a win for the united states, a takeaway, that that's something we ought to sink our
teeth into, letting bob mueller go to russia to interview people as long as russian intelligence can come interview american intelligence as well. >> yes, trump called it incredible. in some ways he was right using the word incredible, meaning it is totally not credible. they want to take on bill browder who was among other things crown fellow of the aspen institute, but russia wants to have him arrested. i think the important thing here is to put it into context is that ronald reagan won the cold war. after a whole series of presidents from harry truman onward stood firm. what happened last week was donald trump just surrendered the cold war. he did it by throwing america under the bus in helsinki. he did it by throwing nato under the bus in brussels and throwing the united kingdom under the bus. and that causes us to think, why would he do it? is he just unhinged?
is it because he is so unhinged and demented about the election? is it because he has fears of russia, that they have compromising material on him? something i never even considered to be true until this past week when so many credible people are saying it. so that leads us to say if all of those are still questions, everybody should stand up and say, let the mueller investigation continue to see whether it was a financial thing, to see whether it was compromising material, to see if anything happened. and all of the republicans who have come out now and been ring irtheir hands abo ing their hands about he shouldn't have been saying that in helsinki, there's just one question to answer, which is will you support now the continuation of the mueller investigation so we can get to the bottom of this. >> ruth marcus, as you know, everyone in america begins their day by reading either you or gene in "the washington post", and your latest -- >> let's hope so. >> your latest column, if you
work for trump, quit now. obviously we get the gist of it, but explain how that's going to be done to you think or how it could be done when so many people in the thrall of the white house itself get to think that they are so vital, that if they leave they will be replaced by someone lesser than they, less important that they are, less influential than they are. so what's going to happen here? >> well, first of all, i'm not grandiose enough to think that hordes of people in the trump administration will be somehow heeding my call. it is a somewhat over-the-top suggestion, but that's because we are living in this breaking case of emergency, over-the-top times. there has been a legitimate argument throughout the trump administration that it is better to be inside, better to be constraining him, better to be containing his worst impulses.
the problem, and it came on incredibly disturbing display yesterday, is that that doesn't succeed. what did we constrain him from doing? if we can't get him to agree in public standing next to vladimir putin with his own intelligence agency's assessment of russian behavior, what is the point of being there? more than what is the point of being there, what is the responsibility of senior officials to sound the alarm about what's going on? we have a supine and feckless congress. they're not willing to stand up to donald trump. somebody needs to do something to jolt this congress and to jolt the country, even the trump voters, into a recognition we are living in this alarming moment. this is my kind of modest proposal. we'll see if it has any effect. >> all right. let's continue our tour now of "the washington post" editorial page with gene robinson. gene's new column in "the post" is titled "trump is a putin
fanboy. some day we'll know why." he writes, trump's summit in helsinki went a long way to achieving putin's most cherished goal, which is to return his vast and complicated nation to the kpaulted geopolitical status it long enjoyed as part of the soviet union. the most charitable announcement is that trump for putin is a useful idiot. the other is that putin knows something trump desperately does not want revealed, something perhaps about trump's attempt to build a skyscraper in moscow, his business dealings with wealthy russians, his behavior on russian soil or his actual collusion in the election meddling. it is not paranoid to point out no world leader benefits more from trump's foreign policy. some day, and i hope it is soon, we will learn why. we may have to wait for bob mueller to finish his investigation. >> yeah, i think we do have to wait for bob mueller to finish his investigation. and, yes, i mean there should be not just criticism coming from
congress, not just these expressions of shock, horror and dismay, but there should be resolve and concrete action if necessary to ensure that mueller's allowed to get to the bottom of this. because now we know, there is a this. i mean, after the past week, you can't just dismiss this -- the idea that putin has something on trump. you can't just dismiss it as being some sort of paranoid fantasy. because everything we've seen is consistent with that thesis. it's just a thesis, but we don't know. and that interview with fox later, i mean, it is a shame what happened to al capone, right? i mean, it's just -- it's just absolutely breathtaking, the lengths to which the president will go to try to discredit the
investigation and to try to, frankly, help vladimir putin. it's just astounding. >> i believe you said earlier that putin does not necessarily want an end to sanctions. did you say that? >> that's what i said. >> why? >> he's not personally affected by the sanctions. the sense of the country being under siege, in war with the united states, very much the way russian television portrays it, is actually something that shores up his power. >> one of the things you point out masha is something we've been talking about this morning, the truth is, we may never know what happened in that room. director brennan suggested the rugs li russianing likely recorded it. so maybe we'll know down the road. regardless of what trump tells his national security team, we, the public, may never know what was agreed to there. >> as a matter of fact, we have two men who habitually lie. so we can be pretty sure that
whatever they did after the meeting had very little to do with accounting to the public about what happened in the meeting. if anything, that's the most disturbing thing that happened yesterday. is that we have a democratically elected president of the united states who's in no way and explicitly in no way accountable to the american public. >> two different versions of the story coming out of that room. masha, thank you for being here. we appreciate it. coming up next, while america and the world saw the united states president siding with president putin over the united states intelligence, vice president mike pence saw something different. next on "morning joe." thank you clients? well jd power did just rank them highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms...again. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service. it's impossible. it's like having your cake and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs. how am i going to explain this? if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab.
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and got them back on track. get started at fastsigns.com. disagreements between our countries were discussed at length. but what the world saw what the american people saw is that president donald trump will always put the prosperity and security of america first. >> that's vice president mike pence, what seems to be the dissenting view of the president's appearance and performance yesterday in his joint news conference with russian's president vladimir putin where he sided with putin's opinion of the case of the interference of the 2016 election over his own intelligence services. jean robinson, final minute, here, putting this into context. as we move out of this, we've heard the cia director john brennan, the former director, calling the appearance yesterday damaging and dangerous. what happens now? what happens from here?
>> well, big question, because if you look at -- if you look at the past week, the past being prologue to what, he's damaged nato. weakened and damaged nato, weakened and damaged our relationship with the united kingdom. he has waded into the immigration question in europe, which is extremely divisive, and, and tends to do nothing but create conflict and turmoil. and he has sided with vladimir putin over dan coats on the question of russian meddling. none of this is in the u.s. interest. can this be repaired? can the people around him somehow sort of put the -- put the pieces back together? i don't see how they can. the president gets to make
foreign policy. and so what has to happen but probably won't is that congress needs to step up and assert its constitutional role. and this congress won't do that. we have to elect a congress in november that will. >> walter isaacson, a like from the piece in the journal today. after what he saw yesterday in helsinki, he writes, there's no rational explanation for trump's surrender to russian designs. perhaps mueller will supply some sort of unexpected, unsavory reason. the key that will eventually explain the refusal of an an american president to defend american interests. do you think differently about president trump and his relationship to russia than you did 24 hours ago? >> i certainly think differently than i did three or four days ago because it wasn't just helsinki, it was this whole week of, you know, vice president pens said he put america first,
but he didn't. day after day, he put russia's interests first. and he put his own weird, you know, whatever thing russia has over him, he put his own personal interests ahead of america's interests, and he did it by slopering all over vladimir putin and saying that vladimir putin is as believable as our intelligence services are, and he did it by undermining nato, which is the main goal that putin and russia have had for 60 years. >> ruth, i've got about 30 seconds left. your final thoughts this morning? >> i think the trump roller coaster has some hills and valleys ahead, and so this is going to be like the post-charlottesville moment as some of the staff tries to get him to mitigate the damage and he goes along a little bit and then reverts to type. so buckle up, everybody. >> we will wait to see if we hear anything from the president today as he's watching all this
reaction play out. ruth marcus, gene robinson, thank you, as always. mike barnicle, see you tomorrow? >> i hope so. >> all right, stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> good morning, everyone, i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today, starting with the president returning to washington to a nuclear level fallout from his meeting with vladimir putin. his comments defending russia over united states intelligence agencies, are drawing bipartisan rebuke. >> i was very disappointed and saddened. >> it's bewildering, mind-blowing. >> today was a terrible day for the american brand, for the american people and for all of our allies. >> but not everyone thought it went so poorly. >> i thought it was a really amazing time. >> all of this coming on the same day a woman who tried to set