tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC August 14, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT
managers. and nbc news confirms a vice news report that the postal service has removed sorting machines from facilities around the country without any official explanation and also that the postal service warned election officials in michigan and pennsylvania that their mail-in balloting deadlines could be too tight to meet delivery standards, telling pennsylvania, it is unlikely there will be enough time to complete the process in time for election day. we will hear more from the president in the next hour. we begin with nbc white house correspondent and "weekend today" co-host kristen welker, nbc's mike memoli covering the biden campaign, we're expecting them shortly, nbc white house correspondent geoff bennett, and "usa today" washington bureau chief susan page. i should be clear that joe biden and kamala harris will be filing their official papers for the democratic convention momentarily. mike memoli will of course bring all of that to you as well. kristen, first, i want to ask you about the question that you asked the president yesterday. he suggested earlier in the day
a connection or closely connected, suggested a link between his opposition to mail-in balloting and the election to come. i think you're going to play that for us so we can ask you about it on the other side. >> yeah, it's a remarkable, andrea, that president trump is digging in, refusing democrats' demands for billions of dollars for the postal service and for mail-in ballots. he is trying to make the case that that would lead to fraud. of course there is nothing to suggest that that is the case. and in fact independent fact checkers have said that's not true. now, there are some concerns about potential delays. this is going to be an unprecedented election, people voting against the backdrop of a pandemic. so there will be an increase in mail-in ballots. i asked the president what is he doing to make sure that we do have a free, safe, and fair election. take a look at that exchange. what are you doing at president to make sure there is a free and fair election? >> so everyone talks about russia, russia, russia.
they talk about china, china. they talk about all these different countries that come in and run our elections which is false. but what they don't talk about are things like very loose mail-in ballots, universal in nature, that frankly russia, china, north korea, iran, all of these countries that we are reading about, hearing about, and in some cases they're writing about intelligence-wise, these countries can grab those ballots or print forgeries of those ballots and they would go out and they would have a field day. >> now, of course, andrea, foreign interference is certainly a critical issue and one that the intelligence community is focused on. but it's a separate issue, because the question becomes how can people vote both safely and securely in the election that is coming up. and what is this administration doing to make sure that happens and to make sure that the u.s. postal service has the funds and
the resources that it needs in order to make that happen. so we still didn't get a direct answer to that question yesterday. we're going to have another stab at it. as you point out, the president is going to be holding a press conference in just about an hour from now, andrea. >> and geoff, you've been reporting on all of the ins and outs of this new postmaster general who has been doing cuts and taking a number of steps, including not considering political mail first class mail, so if it becomes bulk mail, it takes much long and her and isn tracked as closely, when the postal service is so overwhelmed. >> you're right about that, andrea, and so many states send out ballots at that lower rate, the bulk mail rate. the postal service now emphasizing, telling the states that moving forward, they will get the service that they pay for, and that could create another delay. one of the fundamental questions we're focused on is are these
changes put in place by louis dejoy, this prolific republican donor turned postmaster general who when he was appointed had no direct experience working at the postal service unlike his predecessors, are the changes he put in place, the cuts in overtimes, all the things that caused the delays, are those overtly linked to the election? is he in effect doing president trump's bidding? or are his efforts to make the postal service solvent more efficient, more effective, is all of that sort of oddly, coincidentally timed, all of it unfolding now at a time when the president is ramping up his unfounded attacks and conspiracymongering about mail-in voting? in a way it doesn't make a difference because the end result is the same. the postmaster general has put in place changes that have resulted in a two- to three-day delay for first class mail. and there are people who rely on the mail for their prescription
drugs, for their paychecks, a whole host of things, andrea. >> and mike memoli, you're in wilmington, delaware, where joe biden and kamala harris are going to trying to stay on message but they're certainly going to fight back against a lot of the attacks, and one of the attacks that has been percolating since she was named, online, and that the president did not knock down, was this racist conspiracy theory, the birther theory. it's what he had done against barack obama. he was asked about it, it had been bubbling up online and then a "news weweek" column by a conservative lawyer who has long believed that birth right citizenship is not legal, a very outlier position. kamala harris was born in 1964 in oakland, california, of immigrant parents. she is a legal citizen, having been born here. there's no question about it according to any of the mainstream legal experts. but when the president was asked about this, he didn't knock it
down, he said, well, this is a really great lawyer and i understand he's very credible and i assume the democrats would have considered that. he left it hanging out there. the response from the biden campaign, we know that perhaps there will be a question to kamala harris, a shouted question from the pool, coming up very shortly when they see her. >> that's right, andrea, we just got the two-minute warning from the reporters inside the hotel behind me so we should see those pictures very soon of joe biden and kamala harris signing that formal paperwork to get themselves officially as the nominees for the democratic party for president and vice president. and it's worth noting, andrea, there there have ever only been two people of color to be on a presidential ticket, barack obama in 2008 and now kamala harris in 2020. joe biden was on the ticket with both of them so he's very familiar with these racially-tinged attacks. the campaign has responded,
calling it abhorrent, saying it's an attempt by the president to distract from his failed handling of the covid pandemic. every message from the biden campaign goes back to the president and his handling of the pandemic. we hope to hear from either joe biden or kamala harris shortlily ourselves. but what we'll see is another attempt by the campaign to showcase the personal chemistry of this new ticket. remarkable that it's all happening in the same hotel ballroom we saw yesterday, the pandemic affecting their ability to do the kind of rallies you would traditionally see at this point. we just learned joe biden, kamala harris, and another important player in joe biden's life, his sister valerie, enjoyed a private lunch at his home, so this ticket is really beginning to go to work. as to the issue of mail-in voting, a real concern of the biden concern, we heard joe biden yesterday tell a reporter that this was classic trump, that he does not want an election. the biden campaign has been working to address this from early stages, but in a different
way than many democrats might think. democrats are saying every voter needs to have the ability to vote by mail. the biden campaign certainly wants to make sure that is an option for voters but they're also working very closely with state and local officials who obviously run the elections to make sure they have the variety of options including in-person voting that they feel is also essential, andrea. >> we'll come back you to, of course, when we see the vice president. susan page, we both have covered a lot of conventions, democratic and republican administrations, and we've watched a lot of acceptance speeches and covered a lot of white houses. there are norms as well as a law that prevents political events on government property. now we learn the president wants to give an acceptance speech at the white house, on one of the lawns. >> there are a variety of people who say it's not right, it's not
appropriate. but it's not clear that it's not legal, because as you said, the law does exempt the president and vice president, and the private quarters, the east wing, is treated differently than the west wing, so i think it's not clear that anyone is going to stop the president from doing this. this is all part of some of the blurring of the lines that president trump has done between official things and governmental things. we see that also with the post office, frankly, we see the weaponization of the post office in a way that previous administrations in modern times have never done, andrea. >> and i want to also circle back to one other interaction in the briefing that stood out yesterday, pretty extraordinary. take a look at this question and non-answer. >> i heard today that she doesn't meet the requirements, uh, and by the way, the lawyer who wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented
lawyer. i have no idea if that's right. i would have assumed the democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president. >> and that was the wrong piece of tape, we apologize, that was of course the president commenting on that "newsweek" column and certainly not knocking it down even though he surely knows better. but i was going to ask you about that exchange, but let's first go to joe biden, he's now appeared in that hotel. >> and then you guys down the room where we can get all the states and territories. so thank you. ready, set, go. >> go. >> that's it! >> they make you sign a lot more in delaware. >> reporter: senator harris, what do you make of president
trump and the republicans' attacks on you since you became the running mate? >> i'm signing this because i am in this race to win. and with that guy right there. and we're going to get it done. >> come on, you guys, let's go, thank you. come on, guys, thank you. >> and you can see that there was one question from reporters. i didn't quite hear, i heard the word "attacks." mike memoli, did you hear it more clearly than i did? >> no, i didn't hear them specifically addressing this question of whether she's eligible or not. but you heard her response, she was clearly prepared to say very little if anything, but that she was ready and in it to win with this guy, pointing to the former vice president as well. we would of course like to have heard more from both of them on this topic. we haven't had the opportunity
to ask too many questions, only in these kind of pool sprays, as we call them. certainly that will change over time as eventually we expect to see them at least in public in more forums than just this. >> and back to you, susan page. i wasn't sure, maybe you heard it better than i, he definitely asked about attacks. one of the other attacks was the president attacking joe biden and the campaign's proposals yesterday to have governors around the nation, all 50 states, have universal, nationwide masking, wearing a mask in place because of the pandemic. and the president chose to attack joe biden, saying that he supports all sorts of things he doesn't support, but saying that he was, you know, demanding a nationwide executive order that the president would do that. that was not what they proposed. so it was quite a mixup on that as well yesterday. >> but very clearly this is, from the democrats' point of
view, this is the pandemic campaign. you've had a very consistent message for some time that they're focused on what they see as trump's mishandling of the pandemic, the terrible cost to americans' health and to the national economy, and what joe biden would do differently. so coming up with something very specific yesterday and having that really be the only thing they wanted to talk about is a sign that that is the discipline of this campaign, that's the theme of this campaign, whereas president trump has a variety of things he talked about yesterday, generally including attacking vice president biden on the proposal to have governors impose mask requirements for the next three months. these two candidates have different approaches to following this campaign, and we'll see if biden can continue with the kind of discipline we saw in the last 36 hours. >> it's certainly been notable.
susan page, thank you so much. mike memoli, our man in wilmington, and of course to kristen welker and geoff bennett as well. we want to bring in washington governor and former democratic presidential candidate jay inslee, joining us now. governor, thank you very much, thanks for waiting. >> thank you. >> i want to talk about mail-in voting. this is something your state has had in place at least since 2005. you expanded it in 2011. it's worked smoothly. tell us the problem that you may have anticipated, although you had time to work it out, work the rough edges out. is there enough time with just two months, with congress still not funding any additional money for the states? >> if we have a functioning postal service, we'll be great. i have to tell you, the only thing we love more than mail-in ballots is maybe the seattle seahaw seahawks. republicans, democrats, independents, we've embraced it. we consider it almost a constitutional right, and it is. you can vote from the comfort of your home. we've had infinitesimal
difficulties of any nature with it. that's why republicans and democrats are strenuously supporting mail-in ballots. we would suggest it for any state. and i think americans are embracing this, signing up for mail-in ballots across the country. it's really gratifying to see that. and what we have seen, unfortunately, though, as donald trump has done on so many occasions, he's afraid of losing, he's afraid of kamala harris and joe biden, and he's trying to reduce the effectiveness of this. and i think it was very remarkable the other day, you know, most people, when they rob banks, don't confess it in public. but that's what donald trump did the other day when he confessed that he wants to disable the postal service to degrade the ability to have mail-in ballots for anybody except his friends. i see he signed up for one the other day. and so this won't stand. we need all of us to stand up for the postal service to make sure that it functions.
>> what can people do if congress, because of the republican opposition, does not come together behind funding for the postal service, now they're not, supposedly not to come back until september when they're working on the overall budget and a continuing resolution. can it be fixed in time? what can voters and people around the country do to get their government to do something over the president's objections? >> there is a possibility of seeing judicial relief from this outrage. that's something our attorney general has given consideration to, has not made decisions. there is certainly the need for americans to stand up against this. on a bipartisan basis. i think that's important to say. you can't overstate the unique situation of how many unity there is between republican and democratic and independent voters in my state. we all believe this is necessary
to a functioning democracy. speaking up is something we can do. we ought to and republican senators to speak up and fix this problem. it is fixable in time to do this. we cannot allow the outrage of donald trump's -- one of his chief fundraisers making the state of washington pay six times more to try to get people to have the right to vote. that's what's apparently going on right now. these shenanigans they're pulling in the postal service. so it is fixable. but all of us need to speak up. this is a foundation. look, the postal service is important. it delivers veterans' medical. they get their pills through the va system through the postal service. it's important in our personal lives. but in this case, it is foundation to the functioning of democracy. that's worth fighting for. >> i want to ask you about the president's refusal to end any discussion about the lie about kamala harris' citizenship.
he didn't knock it down, he even praised the writer of that opinion piece. what do you think is going on here? it's clearly a racist conspiracy theory. >> you have to realize something about donald trump. his political existence depends on a racially-charged lie. he started his political career with his birther conspiracy theories against barack obama. in the middle of his career, he had given aid and comfort to those who would sow hatred from the disturbances that happened in the south. and in the end of his career, what i believe will be the end of his career, he is again resort to ing to what he did agt barack obama, unsuccessfully. so i think it is one of the darkest chapters for anybody in political history to try and tell an outright lie about kamala harris, who was born in oakland, california, who is as
american, and i would argue more american than donald trump, because she has never stooped to that loathsome, evil, un-american activity that he's involved in. now, why is this? well, it's because donald trump is always afraid of strong women and it's because he understands he's on the verge of losing. instead of focusing on his job of helping the states beat the covid epidemic, he's focusing on distraction. and we cannot be distracted. we have got to vote in droves to see this man out the exit. >> i also want to ask you about joe biden's proposal yesterday that governors in all 50 statesman date masks. you wear masks in washington state. how realistic is it to think the other governors would follow? >> many governors are following. we were one of the earlier ones who have a mask requirement. and it's being very successful in my state, many states. in some of our areas, in fact very republican areas of our
state, we have 90 to 95% compliance, because we were the first state to actually require businesses to require their patrons to wear a mask. and people are complying with that, both businesses and patrons. and as a result, we have some encouraging news. in yakima county, which was one of our hotspots, an agricultural area in central washington, we have knocked down the incidence of the pandemic. it's showing signs of working. so not only do we have broad public acceptance from republicans and democrats alike, but we're showing that it's actually working. and so i'm appreciative that we have a real leader standing up, which is joe biden, he's standing up and showing something that is based on science and is based on health, and it's based on common sense. and the more of us who do this, the faster we'll knock down this pandemic. there was research done by a research group at the university of washington a few weeks ago
that showed we could save tens of thousands of lives if we mask up across the united states. that's something worth doing. a very simple, very acceptable, a very safe protocol. so i would encourage it. i'm glad we got a leader, joseph biden, instead of going awol. you couldn't have a greater contrast. a person, instead of attacking this pandemic, instead of ignoring this pandemic, who is still saying it's going to go away next monday, in contrast, we have a leader that actually had science behind him, and i feel good about that. >> governor inslee, good to see you, thank you so much for being with us. millions of kids are headed back to class in coming weeks. many teachers are giving a failing grade to the school districts who are planning a hybrid approach to in-class and remote learning. we'll have more on this coming up. stay with us. s coming up stay with us
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more than 5 million people in this country have been infected by covid-19 and the death toll is fast approaching 170,000. here are the facts at this hour. texas, florida, georgia, tennessee, and california are reporting the most new cases, as california becomes the first state with more than 600,000 cases. this as at least 22 states report a drop in testing, reporting to the ap that
americans continue to deal with delays in getting their test results. and boston is delaying the start of school until late september as teachers and principals in new york city are calling on officials to postpone in-person school reopenings. nbc news correspondent antonio hilton is in new york city at the department of education. anton antonia, thanks for being with us. there is real pushback now from the teachers. >> reporter: yes, andrea, that's exactly right. i've spoken to a number of teachers in the last couple of days. what i keep hearing is many of them are anxious and angry with the mayor's office and also in some cases with the new york city schools chancellor. they feel like there is a disconnect between the protocols and assurances they're receiving from city leaders and the reality of what they're experiencing on the ground with their fellow teachers and in their districts. so for example, they still haven't heard enough information about the cleaning supplies that they'll receive, social
distancing guidelines for the structure of their specific schools. many teachers told me the qu custodians they work with still have not received proper training on how to kill the virus and keep classrooms clean. many teachers feel four weeks is not enough to sort all that out. that's how one special education teacher i spoke to feels. >> i'm pissed off. they're disconnected from reality. my personal fear is one of my students would get it and die or somebody would contract it and spread it to their families. >> we have 300,000 families who have elected to start the year remote learning. they're saying, as of right now, we'll go to a blended learning environment. >> reporter: so what you just heard right there is from the new york city schools
chancellor. what i find interesting is there is a bit of tension there, right? he and city leaders feel they have an obligation to the majority of parents who want to get their kids back into class and who are worried about their students falling behind this year but then of course the teachers feel an obligation to hold the city accountable. we'll see how all of this plays out in the next days and weeks, andrea. >> thank you so much, antonia hylton, that really is a conflict there. watch antonia's full story on her weekend report on your quibi app. joining me now, dr. manny ramirez. dr. ramirez, it's good to see you. first of all, this patchwork approach, does this work or does it become even more confusing and potentially more dangerous? >> no, it's a real problem,
andrea. i think you started the piece off talking a little bit about the decreasing testing in places like texas and florida. and i think that is a result of the problem that we're having with this sort of disjointed approach. compared to early july, the amount of testing done in texas is down 45%. in florida it's down 22%. but the test positivity rate in those places is up to 20%. that test positivity needs to be around 5% for proper surveillance. so we know we're not doing enough testing. these places are all reporting the data in different and disjointed ways. it's almost impossible for us to give health professionals sound advice because we don't know what the data really shows and that's the direct result of this misjointed approach. >> why are those test results -- why, rather, are the tests declining in numbers? >> you know, honestly, there is
a lot of uncertainty about what's causing it, andrea. some folks are having a hard time receiving all of the reagents that they need. there are other folks having a hard time assigning technicians to run all the tests. and on the bureaucratic side, there is a holdup in texas about assigning the cases to a particular county, meaning of the tests that are positive, they haven't been assigned to a specific location that they originated from. what that all means, right, is that we can't run the right number of tests in the right place. and the reason that's happening is because this hasn't been coordinated at the federal level. with all of these states trying to piece together their own solutions in piecemeal fashion, there are going to be some winners and losers in the hunt for all these supplies so it's impossible for us to get good data out of that. >> and six months into the pandemic, and this is still the case. dr. ramirez, thank you very much. it really is scandalous. the president is bringing the republican national convention to the white house, a move that would shatter political precedents.
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lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are raising questions over the president's unprecedented plan to hold his acceptance speech for the republican national convention at the white house. there are big concerns about whether the election can be even held given the reliance on mail-in balloting by many voters during the pandemic and the drastic cutbacks by the president's newly-appointed postmaster general.
that's where we start the day with hogan gidley, the national press secretary for the trump campaign joining me now. good to see you, hogan, thanks very much for joining us. from our reporting, holding his acceptance speech is not against the law, he's exempted from the hatch act. but what speaker pelosi told us that none of his staff can work on it for him. are you planning on having everything done by rnc people who come into the white house? >> look, i'm not an attorney, i imagine the campaign can work on this, it doesn't have to be white house staff, as you just mentioned. it's not a violation of the hatch act. i do love the fact that this president, donald trump, can live rent-free in the heads of the democrats. they didn't want him speaking at mt. rushmore, they pitched a fit when he spoke in the rose garden and now they're furious that he's going to speak at the white house. the common theme is they don't want him speaking anywhere because they know his message without the filter of the mainstream media actually
resonates with the american people and when you compare and contrast that with the message from joe biden we think we're in pretty good shape. >> hogan, i think the democratic position would be, let him speak anywhere that's not on federal property, that doesn't politicize especially the white house. he can go to a hotel, you know, in wilmington, as joe biden is, or a convention center, and speak without a crowd. so it's not the speech that is being criticized, what's being criticized is the venue. the white house has never been used for politics until his very frequent speeches and news conferences where he gets very political, attacks his opponent in the rose garden, in the briefing room. that's usually not been done, it's only been done in political rallies. >> well, a couple of things. first, to pretend as though the white house has never been used for political purposes isn't necessarily true. we all remember bill clinton when he was raising money from people from china in the white house and that whole fiasco. that's actually illegal. >> he was criticized for that.
>> he was criticized, yes, but that was illegal. that's a big difference. this is not. and i would also argue the fact that if the president got on marine one, got on air force one, and flew to another town, the democrats would say, wait a minute, not only is he using taxpayer funds to get there, now he's created some type of super spreader event for coronavirus. so the president says, okay, i'm going to save some money, i'm not going to leave, i'm just going to do it from here and they say, wait a minute, taxpayer dollars go to that place too. it doesn't matter what this president does, they're just going to be against it and that's fine. that's their position. what they're most concerned about, i think, is that when you put joe biden out there, unscripted, unedited, you hear crazy claims and weird comments about children who love to rub his leg hair and how arizona is a great city and how african-americans all think alike. that's what they're concerned about, is letting him out there unleashed and unfetterred, whereas this president, they're also scared of him speaking, but
it's for a much different reason because the forgotten men and women of this country have been forgotten no more. when you see the outstanding economy that this president has put in place with his policies that benefit all americans regardless of race, religion, color, or creed, they're concerned about that. when you see joe biden wanting to raise taxes by $4 trillion on the american people, he saw hillary clinton's number of $2 trillion and said, two, hold me beer, i'm going to double it, then tack on to that that he's also going to add amnesty for tens of millions of illegals as we're trying to -- >> time out, hogan. there's a lot of fact checking that needs to be done about all of those claims. let's just take it back, reel it all back, and let me ask you about the mail-in balloting. the president certainly made a connection between his opposition to mail-in balloting and the election. what is he so afraid of? there's no evidence of fraud, there have been delays, that's why they need the money, they
need the money to make this work. people want mail-in balloting. i just interviewed the governor of washington state, they've been doing it for years without a flaw. it takes some time to get it working, that's why if the president and mitch mcconnell weren't objecting to the voting in congress, they could get the money to do it right. >> well, a couple of things. uh, we are for absentee voting, we think that's important, it's a safe way to do it, the governor of washington was on your show just before i was and he's right, there are four or five states in this country who have done it now for years so they understand it. what democrats are trying to do is change the entire way we run elections three months before the election. that is completely unacceptable. we look at a state like nevada, we're just don't send out universal mail-in voting whether a person wants the ballot or not, and leave polling places open on election day? it is rife with the potential for fraud and abuse. it's going to cause chaos, delays. everyone knows this is a perfect storm heading into the election
season. and i think quite frankly, as democrats now have moved to legalize voting after election day in at least ten states, up to and including nevada, it's going to make this election very difficult to certify in a timely manner. you say it's delays, fine. i say it's fraud and delays. it's not an either/or. it's a both/and. and the american people's election deserves to be protected and that's what this president is trying to do. >> it wouldn't be three months or two months before if the republicans had not obtained to at each point in the negotiation. the democrats have been calling for this for months because of the pandemic. look what happened in wisconsin. people are afraid to vote. there aren't enough people to man the polls because they're afraid to go and do that job. >> the states have been conducting elections in this country for quite some time and they've been doing a pretty good job for the most part. let's be clear - >> not in a pandemic, hogan. not in a pandemic. >> correct. that is correct.
but every other business in this country that's opened up and done so successfully can adapt. we saw the election in wisconsin, you just mentioned. they did distancing, they did it with masks, it went off pretty well, is my understanding, i don't know if there are any coronavirus cases coming out of that election. there are $10 billion tucked away in that package that this administration is trying to get through congress right now set for the post office. in fact it was set up as a loan, now it is a straight grant. the post office has billions of dollars of cash on hand right now and they're trying to add $10 billion to that so that it can be ready. the fact is it's the democrats who have held up this process. they're not bringing it forward. they don't want to have a conversation about it. they would rather bask in the glory of the chaos and that's where we differ. we want the election to actually be free and actually be fair. and you cannot do it. changing the way we vote in this country just three months before the election. >> hogan gidley, great to see
you, nice to have your voice on our program, come on back. and there's breaking news, on an fbi lawyer who plans to plead guilty in connection to the robert mueller investigation. nbc's pete williams has the details. >> reporter: this comes out of the probe last year, the attorney general asked john durham to look into the origins of the fbi examination into russian meddling and whether anyone in the trump campaign is involved. this lawyer, kevin klein smith, what he's plead guilty to is altering a renewal for a fisa application to keep the surveillance going on carter page who had been a former trump campaign adviser. he has shown his intent in a court document that's been filed here in washington that he will admit he altered an email to
make it seem like carter page had not been or was not known to have been a source for another u.s. intelligence agency when in fact page said he had done some work for the cia. now, that could have been important to the fisa court in knowing whether this person whose activities were under scrutiny was perhaps doing some work for another agency and should get a second look. in any event, it's been a huge flashpoint for critics of the fbi's investigation. this is what's known as an information that was filed in court, and that's what you file when your client intends to plead guilty. his lawyers had said he very much regrets it, didn't mean to mislead the fisa court, and will plead guilty, andrea. >> pete williams with that important update from the justice department. thank you very much, pete. a potential shift of power, balance of power, in the middle east, as israel and the united arab emirates strike an historic
agreement to establish official d diplomatic relations. joining me now, richard haass, author of "the world: a brief introduction." richard, you were part of so many middle east negotiations over the years. this is a net plus. there are a couple of caveats, but it's clearly also the uae's agreement to come out of the closet, if you will, with this open diplomacy rather than the longstanding relationship they had privately with israel. the key to this was israel supposedly giving up its claim to take the west bank palestinian territories and make it part of israel, take it away from the palestinians. >> that's absolutely right, andrea. it's a plus both in what it
brought about, the third arab country to normalize rehabilitations with israel, and at the same time it put brakes on annexation. that would have killed whatever chances remain for a palestinian state and a two-state solution. i think it could have brought about instability in jordan, possibly ending the israeli-jordanian peace agreement. it changed the dynamics and something good has come of it. >> do you think any other arab states might join, might follow morocco, oman? could this become the start of something big? >> i can see a few more, bahrain possibly. you mentioned some others. qatar, even. any of that is conceivable. i think people are going to be watching to see what happens with saudi arabia. they're possibly in the midst of a succession crisis.
i think there is something of an ext strategic opportunity here. the idea of associating themselves more closely with israel, possibly receiving greater amounts of american weaponry, in return for normalizing relations with israel. >> and certainly the saudis, despite all of the criticism of what mbs has done, the killing of khashoggi, despite all of that, congressional objections, by partisan objections and a resolution, the saudis have gotten the arms they want, they've gotten the arms deal. it has not at all slowed that. >> a lot of arms they've gotten, there's more they want. the saudis have an enormous population, they have to be careful. mbs obviously wants there to become king and doesn't want popular uprisings.
there's still a lot of support for the palestinians in saudi arabia. my hunch is saudi arabia will tread more slowly. but that's ultimately the big prize for israel, given saudi arabia's unique position not just in the arab world but in the islamic world. >> do you think that we can trust that netanyahu will not renege on the promise to not try to annex those palestinian lands? >> the question is for how long will he commit not to annex. right now his domestic politics, he's got bigger problems including his own corruption trial, the possibility of yet more elections. i don't think anyone can go to the bank on the idea that israel will not annex at any time down the road. i think the uae decision bought us some time, i think a couple of years. i think annexation is on the back burner but not off the stove. >> and the palestinians are objecting, they feel they've been betrayed by the uae. where do they stand?
they've had no power, no leverage at all in any of this. >> you're right, the palestinians are weakened by the fact that they continue to be divided, they don't have clear leadership. the rest of the world is in some ways moving on without them. the palestinians have to be careful essentially that they don't keep isolating themselves. they need to put something on the table. they need to offer an alternative. they have essentially failed to do that. and time has not been their friend. and they now have less to deal with, they have less prospects than they had five, ten, 20, 30 years ago. i hope they draw a lesson from that. >> richard haass, the world is "the world," a bestseller, of course. thank you very much. taking on the most powerful republican in the senate may seem like an impossible task but this woman says she's up to it, a former marine fighter pilot, amy mcgrath, saying she's ready for the fight.
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on senate republican leader mitch mcconnell who's seeking his 17th term. joining me now amy mcgrath. thank you very much for being with us. i want to ask you about the stalemate in congress, if you were in the senate, i'm pretty sure i know what you would do, but mitch mcconnell is almost single handedly because he's not part of the negotiations and isn't able to deliver republican votes holding up any real agreement. right now there are only three sides in the room. >> well, it's really just a dereliction of duty. i mean, he is missing in action right now, and this really hurts kentucky. we have 100 or a million unemployed right now. we have 300,000 kentucky ians without health insurance. the house passed this bill in may to provide more relief for americans. mitch mcconnell does nothing over the summer, waits until the last minute and puts up a bill
that is woefully inadequate and walks away. it's dereliction of duty. that is just one of the reasons we have got to get rid of him. >> i mean, the race is close. you had a very tough primary, but he is going for his seventh term. he's a republican leader. he's got the republican money behind him. you've been a good fundraiser as well. how do you try to, you know, flip this seat, which is really been so much in republican hands? >> well, i think for my fellow kentuckyians, many of them for the first time, they are seeing the reality of mitch mcconnell, the fact that he is bought off by special interests, the fact that he really represents the washington swamp and the wealthiest 1% more than he represents kentucky. kentucky is hurting right now with coronavirus in a big way and people, you know, they're saying, hey, what about the dysfunction? why can't we get anything done? why can't we provide aid? you are the leader of the senate, you're supposed to be, but the reality is he's not
caring about kentucky, and he hasn't been for a long, long time. you know, we're a state that has some of the highest cancer rates, some of the highest rates of diabetes. we have some of the lowest wages in the country, and mitch mcconnell has gone off to washington and really, again, for many years has represented the special interests and the wealthiest 1% more than he represents us. and the thing is with coronavirus, i think it's shining a light on all of the dysfunction and gridlock and how much it's hurting kentucky. my message is, hey, we got to get leaders that put our country above their political party, get into power, get things done. the fact that he's been there 36 years, you know, people just don't think somebody should be there that long. we need new leaders. we definitely need them now. >> well, amy mcgrath, good luck out there on the trail. i know it's not easy under a pandemic to meet the voters, but thank you very much for being with us today. and we should note we of course have invited senator mcconnell to appear on our show. we're hoping his team can make
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now that's simple, easy, awesome. switch and save up to $400 a year on your wireless bill. plus, get $400 off when you pre-order the new samsung galaxy note20 ultra 5g. good afternoon. i'm chuck todd. we have exclusive new developments in the warnings that the postal service is issuing to some key swing states in november. president trump is scheduled to deliver a news conference at the
white house this hour. it comes amid heightened concern over the president's war on mail-in voting, the reason he is blocking funds to the postal service. he himself admits it. and in an act of total contradiction nbc news confirms that the president and the first lady melania trump requested, that's right, mail-in ballots for themselves on wednesday. and now we're exclusively learning that the postal service issued formal warnings to north carolina, minnesota, and maine that their mail-in ballots may be delivered too late to be counted in the election. postal service general council and executive president thomas marshal wrote this to the state of north carolina. quote, under our reading of your state's election laws, there is a significant risk that ballots may be requested in a manner that is consistent with your election rules and returned promptly and yet not be returned in time to be counted. other states that have received similar letters include pennsylvania, michigan,