President rooting for a shutdown. TRANSCRIPT: 2/6/2018, MTP Daily
Show: MTP DAILY
Date: February 6, 2018
Guest: Jim Cramer, Shane Harris, Alfonso Aguilar, Jennifer Palmieri
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: We`re all out of time. My thanks to Jonathan
Lemire, John Heilemann, and Sara Fagen.
That does it for our hour. I`m Nicolle Wallace. MTP DAILY starts right
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. We`re trying to figure out
seriously, literally, figuratively, transactionally – we`re confused by
WALLACE: You`re confused?
TODD: I know.
WALLACE: Heilemann can break it down. He`s good.
TODD: Yes, that`s what I hear.
TODD: If it`s Tuesday, we can`t take the President literally and that`s a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TODD (voice-over): The President seems to be once again rooting for a
shutdown. Should we take this seriously?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`d love to see a shutdown
if we don`t get this stuff taken care of.
TODD (voice-over): Plus bubble, bubble. The toil and trouble of tying
political capital to the always-volatile stock market.
STEVEN MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: Again, markets move in both
directions, and they`re functioning very well.
TODD (voice-over): And later treasonable doubt.
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Have we arrived at such a place of numb
acceptance that we have nothing to say when the President of the United
States casually suggests that those who choose not to stand or applaud his
speech are guilty of treason?
TODD (voice-over): This is MTP DAILY and it starts now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Good evening. I`m Chuck Todd here in Washington and welcome to a
Tuesday edition of MTP DAILY.
Folks, we`ve hit the point where you can`t take anything this president
says seriously or literally. Not on Russia, not on immigration, Russia,
and not on the economy.
Now, we`ve got news and updates on all of those things today, but we begin
with the President throwing a bit of a grenade into negotiations again to
keep the government from shutting down again.
He repeatedly called for a shut down for some reason if Congress doesn`t
act to seriously toughen up immigration laws.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If we don`t change it, let`s have a shutdown. We`ll do a shutdown,
and it`s worth it for our country. I`d love to see a shutdown if we don`t
get this stuff taken care of.
If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don`t want safety and,
unrelated but still related, they don`t want to take care of our military?
Then shut it down. We`ll go with another shut down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: I heard six or seven versions of the word in case you were unclear
if he just sort of spoke, you know, haphazardly about it.
Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock tried to reason with the
President, but he wasn`t having any of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BARBARA COMSTOCK (R), VIRGINIA: We don`t need a government shutdown
on this. We really do not – I think both sides have learned that a
government shutdown was bad. It wasn`t good for them, and we do have
bipartisan support on these things.
The people know, on a bipartisan basis, this problem and we can –
TRUMP: But, Barbara, we are not getting support from the Democrats. And
you can say what you want, we`re not getting support from the Democrats on
COMSTOCK: Well, I think if you put this bill up in the Senate, you will
see a lot of –
TRUMP: Well, we`ll see. That`s one bill.
TRUMP: We have to get that. They are not supporting us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Well, Barbara Comstock`s got to be happy that her disagreeing with
the President is caught on camera given that she is in a swing district in
But, folks, in roughly an hour, the House is supposed to actually vote on a
short-term deal to prevent the government from shutting down tomorrow.
The Republicans have wanted to separate DACA from government funding. But,
apparently, the President doesn`t want to do that because this deal
includes none of what the President seemingly just demanded.
So what does any of this mean? Did the President just blow up that deal?
Will there be a shutdown tomorrow night? Who knows? Because, like I just
said, we can`t take the President seriously or literally anymore.
But don`t take my word for it. Just moments after the President advocated
for a shutdown, you knew the White House would revise things a little bit,
and they insisted he wasn`t advocating for a shutdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you then clarify, would the President rather see
a shutdown or a short-term spending fix this week?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, I – again, we
are not advocating for the shutdown. That`s the fault of the Democrats not
being willing to do their jobs.
The President wants a long-term deal and he wants to get a deal on
immigration, and we hope that Democrats will come to the table and get
those things done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Again, Republicans just got Chuck Schumer to separate DACA from the
budget, and now the President is reconnecting DACA and the budget.
Anyway, folks, how many times have seen this? The President says one
thing, then we`re told not to take it literally or seriously.
But if you`re one of the estimated 700,000 DACA recipients whose fate
actually depends on these negotiations, can you risk taking this seriously
from this White House?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you saying that if they essentially stay out of
trouble, even if that deadline is passed without some congressional
solution, they will not –
JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: They`re not a –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: – be at risk of deportation?
KELLY: They are not a priority for deportation.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
TODD: Whatever the phrase “priority for deportation” means, folks, we`re
being told not to take the President literally everywhere we look.
Two weeks we go, the President said he would absolutely speak with Special
Counsel Bob Mueller, quote, under oath. Now, his lawyers are reportedly
urging him to refuse an interview because they`re worried Mueller might nab
him with perjury. Translation: Mueller shouldn`t take what the President
Just last week at the State of the Union, the President talked about
extending an open hand to work with Democrats. But put him before a crowd
of supporters in Ohio and he suggests that Democrats committed treason for
not applauding him.
The White House response? Don`t take him literally. He was being, quote,
tongue in cheek.
So whether you`re Bob Mueller, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer,
or anyone else – from world leaders to local politicians – the message is
clear. Don`t take anything he says literally.
The result? Chaos, confusion, and finger-pointing.
So does the words – the President`s words have any impact anymore? We`re
going to find out right now. Let me go to my Capitol Hill correspondent
All right. You`re obviously the host of “KASIE D.C.” on MSNBC on Sundays.
Even against the Super Bowl, you should be watching that. And I know a lot
of people did.
KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: I tried to go.
TODD: Kasie, do the President`s words have any impact anymore? Is there
chaos down here in Capitol Hill? Is this boat going to happen, or are
people literally ignoring the President`s words today?
HUNT: I`m going to go with the latter of those two, Chuck. At this point,
it`s all basically just noise.
I mean, Republicans and Democrats have learned the hard way, multiple
times, under different scenarios. I would say Republicans absorbed this
lesson first, followed by Chuck and Nancy, quote/unquote, that often times
the President says something, either publicly or in a one-on-one meeting,
and immediately his staff says something else.
And I do think that, positively, for everybody who is looking for the
country`s kind of government to continue to function properly, there is no
sense here on Capitol Hill that a shutdown is in the offing.
You`re correct that Chuck Schumer and Democrats on the Senate side have
separated this out. They said today they`re very close to a major budget
caps deal, is what we would refer to it here, that will set budget spending
for the Defense Department and for domestic programs.
That`s a huge deal, and they have not yet come to an agreement on DACA. So
it is significant that they are saying, OK, we can do this big thing
without doing immigration. But the reality here –
TODD: But, Kasie, let me ask you this.
TODD: Why wouldn`t Democrats change their tune here if the President is
sending the message to his base he`ll shut down if he doesn`t get the
immigration deal he wants? Aren`t –
HUNT: Yes. I`m sorry, go ahead.
TODD: – base Democrats going to say, come on, Democrats, grow a spine.
The President is willing to shut down the government over this. Why aren`t
HUNT: I think that may be the case, Chuck, but I think that what you`re
seeing the President reflect and the lesson the Democrats learned was that,
you know, frankly, the President came out better off politically after this
weekend shut down. I don`t think Democrats felt like they came out better
for what happened.
And I think the President has clearly absorbed that and is now willing – I
mean, he has completely flipped around this argument whereas Democrats were
saying, you know, we need to help these kids, we`re willing to take a major
stand to help them.
He is now saying, well, if Democrats are going to refuse to protect our
borders, I think we should shut the whole thing down.
So at the end of the day, I don`t think this is going to have a material
impact on whether or not they`re able to figure out whether the government
shuts down this week or not.
TODD: Which basically means you`re saying Capitol Hill is treating the
President like he`s just some political pundit that lives at 1600
HUNT: We`ll see what John Kelly says behind closed doors when he comes up
here. I think that, at this point, they take more seriously what happens
in those meetings than what the President says in public.
TODD: That`s amazing.
HUNT: I mean, you remember, Chuck, that entire public meeting back and
forth across the table.
HUNT: Everybody thought they had a deal and then, you know, two days
later, it falls completely apart. You`re right, it`s very hard to figure
out exactly what is real anymore up here with the President.
TODD: All right, Kasie Hunt trying her best trying to figure this out. I
guess Congress is going along. Anyway, thanks very much.
HUNT: Thanks, Chuck.
TODD: All right. So just to clarify, any shutdown would be Thursday night
at midnight, not tomorrow.
Let me bring in tonight`s panel. Shane Harris, an intelligence and
national security correspondent with “The Washington Post”; Alfonso Aguilar
is the executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative
Principles; and Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for the Clinton
campaign and the Obama White House.
All right. Shane, I think the most remarkable thing of what Kasie Hunt
reported is that, really, the President strongly advocated for a shutdown
on immigration and, you know, House Republicans are like, OK.
SHANE HARRIS, STAFF WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right, it seems –
TODD: We`re just going to keep – they are now ignoring them. They`re
like, eh, I`m sure it will change tomorrow so let`s ignore it.
HARRIS: Right, and I don`t feel – I feel like this is not the first time
that lawmakers have been ignoring him in this or trying to sort of silence
him. I remember even Lindsey Graham coming out and saying, a few weeks
ago, we don`t have a reliable negotiating partner in the White House.
I think Trump, in his mind, believes that the shutdown is sort of this
threat that he can push out there to get his way and probably because he
thinks that he won, which is, to Kasie`s point –
TODD: Right now, it`s like –
HARRIS: Yes. The last time was good for me.
TODD: – he`s thinking, oh, shutdown is good for me.
HARRIS: Let`s do it again. This is a good thing, push that button again.
Do over. But I don`t think he really understands how the stakes and the
contours keep changing all the time in this town.
TODD: Alfonso, I mean, look, just politically, OK –
ALFONSO AGUILAR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LATINO PARTNERSHIP FOR CONSERVATIVE
TODD: Look, this is – people`s lives are at stake. They`re trying to
figure this out. But just politically, it just seems – it`s as if he`s
not paying attention.
AGUILAR: Well, we`ve been saying this since he started running for office,
right, that what he says affects his legislative agenda, getting support
from Republicans and Democrats.
But I think this is the – you know, how do you legislate and govern in the
era of Trump? And I think the key to that is to – you have to put aside
whatever he says, whatever he tweets, and really focus on the policy
proposals and what is said in meetings in private with his cabinet.
TODD: That John Kelly is a more effective messenger to Congress.
AGUILAR: I was –
TODD: You take his word over the President?
AGUILAR: I was at a meeting with John Kelly yesterday discussing
immigration. They`re committed to the Dreamers. The President has
proposed a path to citizenship, the 1.8 million individuals. They really
care about that.
They`re really – I understand the President is frustrated because the
reality is the Democrats are not responding to his framework. Democrats
continue to talk to the Republicans of choice – McCain, Graham, Flake –
who really cannot sway the majority of the Republican caucus in the Senate.
I understand that frustration, but in terms of the shutdown, nobody in the
White House wants a shutdown. We`ve actually finally detached the issue of
the shutdown from immigration. We want that so we can really focus on
So at this point, I`d say let`s not pay attention to him and just really
focus on the policy discussion. And I know it`s very difficult –
TODD: No –
AGUILAR: – but for the good of the country. He has three years left.
TODD: But, Alfonso, everything you say, I – you`re absolutely – you`re
making a very rational case here. But it is amazing to me that, basically,
you`re saying and you`re advocating the same strategy that the House –
just don`t – ignore the President for now. We`ll worry about him when we
absolutely have to get him to sign a bill. That`s essentially what you`re
JENNIFER PALMIERI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yes.
AGUILAR: We have to magnanimous.
TODD: So the Democrats, I mean, I`m going to have a deeper discussion
about this. I don`t know what you do here because there is –
PALMIERI: So –
TODD: There`s rough seas ahead no matter if you try to work with him or
you don`t work with him.
PALMIERI: Well, I think that you can`t rely on his word so you have to
know where your own – like where your own ground is about what you`re
really – what you`re willing to give up and what you`re – what you can
And I think what the Democrats needed to prove in the first shutdown is
they couldn`t live without DACA getting addressed in some way and that they
are willing to shut the government down over that. So they have
established that as a baseline.
I think the best that can come out of this, ultimately, you know, they`ll
probably pass some sort of C.R. that gets us through a few weeks.
PALMIERI: They`ll go – next week, they`ll go back. They`ll try to pass
some immigration bill so there will not be 60 votes for anything. There
probably won`t be 218 votes for anything.
And eventually, we will get some kind of bridge that protects the Dreamers,
protects DACA for at least another year, and that`s what Democrats had to
have. And they needed a shutdown in order to get that baseline.
TODD: By the way, you talked about John Kelly being a reliable partner.
John Kelly said something today about Dreamers that I`m guessing – do we
have any audio of that?
I`m going to play it here. This is what the Chief of Staff in a reference
about those who had signed up for DACA and those who didn`t. Take a
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KELLY: The difference between 690 and 1.8 million were people that some
would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get
off their asses but they didn`t sign up.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
TODD: Words, word choices.
AGUILAR: While General Kelly, I think, is a great patriot, a great
American, he is not politically correct. I can tell you that. But he
actually cares. Yes, I don`t agree with that statement, but –
TODD: Would you say that most – the people that didn`t sign up for DACA
did it out of concern about giving the government their information?
AGUILAR: That`s part of it. I don`t think it was the main reason. I
think some people just didn`t pay attention to it and just didn`t do it. I
have a problem with the comment just saying that those who didn`t do it –
AGUILAR: – didn`t do it is because they were lazy. But, you know, I will
give them a pass.
PALMIERI: They went out of the way to make that an opaque process. It was
very hard for people to understand what they needed to do in order to file
again just like they made it an easy process for people. And I think
whatever, you know, the – it really betrays a lot about how they talk
behind the scenes when you hear the White House Chief of Staff speak that
TODD: It`s not helpful because you combine that chain with the s-hole
stuff, all this other –
TODD: – where they`ve been trying to say, no, no, no, no, that was taken
out of context.
HARRIS: It`s rough, it`s unsympathetic. And if what you`re trying to do
right now is encourage these people to be part of this deal – and as John
Kelly said, don`t worry they won`t be a priority for deportation – but
then the President is saying what he is now saying and then Kelly is
saying, you`re all lazy, would you come forward right now in this moment?
I mean, I certainly wouldn`t if I were in that position.
AGUILAR: Well, you know, from my experience with Dreamers – and, you
know, we hear a lot about Dreamers and there`s the Dreamers that go to the
Hill and make a lot of noise. I don`t know if they`re representative of
the entire Dreamer community.
The majority of Dreamers are hardworking. They`re students. If you give
them a path to legal status and a path to citizenship, they`ll be very
happy and they`ll take that opportunity.
HARRIS: You have to believe it`s real though, too.
TODD: Sending the message overall, though, to the public that the
President`s word can`t be trusted, I feel like, is being a flashing neon
sign now when we have this argument about Mueller.
TODD: Take a listen to people that are supportive of the President of the
United States about the President speaking to Mueller. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: Robert Mueller is not
someone to be trifled with, and he`s not someone who takes lightly the
words of anybody who he is looking at.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: Should the President sit down with
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I actually
don`t want him to testify because as a lawyer, I don`t want him caught in a
got you moment where someone accuses him of lying where he may not remember
RUSH LIMBAUGH, HOST, “THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW”: I wouldn`t let him get
anywhere near this. Trump improvises as he goes. I just think it`s a
rotten idea. I think this is a perjury trap. Even if Mueller is not
setting it up as a perjury trap, it still is one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should the President sit down with Mueller for an
interview if he asks for one?
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: I would say that the President ought to
listen to his lawyers on that point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Here we`re talking about, do you take the President seriously or
literally, and we`re saying we don`t know any time to take his word for it.
And the President`s own lawyers don`t trust him.
HARRIS: Right. I mean the –
TODD: I mean, to me, this puts an exclamation point on this issue.
HARRIS: Sure. And, look, the President is saying, I`m happy to sit down
with him, can`t wait to do it, I`ll do it under oath, because he wants to
seem like he has nothing to hide in this.
His lawyers may not think he has anything to hide, let`s be clear about
that, but they are not going to let him sit down with Bob Mueller. And
John Dowd, his chief lawyer, has already come out and said I will decide
when my – when the President sits down with Bob Mueller.
He may not be trying to set a perjury trap. He may just be trying to set
the facts. But in Trump, you have a client who riffs and who improvs and
will, perhaps, choke himself into some kind of trap.
TODD: I`m just disappointed that we`re all so comfortable just casually
acknowledging, yes, our President can`t tell the truth.
PALMIERI: We`re talking about it.
TODD: Yes, and that –
TODD: We`re not casually acknowledging it, you know.
AGUILAR: Right. Right.
TODD: No, but you know what I mean? Like it`s a – but we`re like
conditioned to it.
PALMIERI: But it –
TODD: Like we`re having to govern around it.
PALMIERI: We are having to govern around it, going –
TODD: Like we`re governing around this issue.
TODD: That he`s not a straight shooter.
PALMIERI: Yes. I mean, and the only question really is whatever – now,
because he can`t – his words can`t be trusted is, what is the majority
party in Congress going to do about it? I think in this, in the case of
the Dreamers and in the case of the C.R., they`re going to ignore him.
They`re going to make it work –
TODD: Well, Alfonso just laid out, like, look, you`ve got to –
PALMIERI: Yes, what they`re going to go –
TODD: You`ve learned –
PALMIERI: They`re going to go forward.
TODD: You`ve learned to –
PALMIERI: But with Mueller, what are they going to –
TODD: You have to believe in compartmentalizing.
PALMIERI: You know, where are they going to –
AGUILAR: Let`s accept this. I mean, Trump is a –
PALMIERI: – where are they going to rise to the occasion then?
AGUILAR: – is a completely different kind of politician. And I know it`s
hard to accept that and that he`s going to say things that may not be
truthful or they`re going to be offensive.
At the end, he survives if he is able to deliver in his policies and really
make big changes for the American people. That`s a reality. People are
frustrated with Washington.
AGUILAR: They`re so frustrated that they`re even willing to consider
TODD: I know.
AGUILAR: If he delivers.
TODD: It`s all true. It`s all fair game here. All right, guys, our
through the looking glass episode will continue here so stick around.
Up ahead, how far are Democrats willing to go to protect DACA? Will they
risk another government shutdown over it? We`ll take a closer look at the
Democratic Party`s dilemma. That`s coming up next.
TODD: Welcome back. How is this for an election strategy? If you don`t
like the game, let`s change the rules. West Virginia Democratic Senator
Joe Manchin unveiled a pledge today, urging his fellow senators to not
campaign or fundraise against their sitting colleagues of either party.
Manchin`s message seems like a little more than a plea for Republican
senators to avoid beating up on vulnerable Democrats. Vulnerable Democrats
like, say, Joe Manchin of West Virginia. It
As “The Washington Post” put it, Manchin`s idea is being met mostly by
sarcasm or silence. After all, it`s an election year.
Do you think leaders like McConnell and Schumer are going to sign a pledge
like that? Not to mention in the age of #MeToo?
Do the American people really want U.S. senators pledging to protect every
member of their little exclusive club? Seriously, guys. For so many
reasons, this doesn`t strike me as a very good idea.
We`ll be right back.
TODD: Welcome back. Democrats are dealing with a dilemma these days.
What is the cost of doing business with the President and what`s the cost
of not doing business with the President? And nowhere is that dilemma more
stark than when it comes to immigration.
Can Democrats afford to have struck a deal and shut down the government
over DACA? And can they afford not to? And what about the President`s new
idea today, which is shut down the government if you don`t get a deal on
Well, joining me now is the Democratic Caucus Chair, Congressman Joe
Crowley of New York.
And, Congressman Crowley, I had one idea when I was going to interview you
earlier today about what our topic was going to be, but the President is
talking shutdown. Let me get you to react to that.
REP. JOE CROWLEY (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES: Well, I think this, you know, idea of a shutdown is
really a Republican notion or idea. Democrats are for government. We
believe in keeping the government open.
We know what a government shutdown does and who it hurts, and it hurts the
people in this country. And we`re not about that.
TODD: So you regret – so let me pause there. It was – revising history,
big mistake to shut down the government over DACA in hindsight?
CROWLEY: I think, Chuck, you have to remember also that five Republicans
voted against that bill. They could not even get a simple majority to
support that bill in the first place. But if the –
TODD: I understand but you get my drift.
CROWLEY: What I`m going to say to you, though, is if they want to pass a
bill, a bipartisan bill with Democrats, it needs to incorporate Democratic
principles, things that care about, things we are concerned about.
And that`s certainly the case here in the House. I can`t speak for the
Senate. I can certainly speak for the House of Representatives. If they
want our votes, they have to come to meet with us and give us the things
that we`re looking for on that bill.
TODD: How many Democrats are voting on – are going to end up voting for
this House compromise tonight?
CROWLEY: Well, it remains to see what the compromise is. It remains to
see what the text is and what it`s about. It`s hard to say at this point
if there are any Democrats who support it.
They have the overwhelming majority in the House and the Senate. Certainly
here in the House, if they want to pass the bill, they`ve done it before,
they can do it on their own. If it doesn`t reflect the principles of our
caucus, I think very little, if any, votes.
TODD: Right. But at what point do you have to – I hear you on principles
of your caucus, but you`re not in the majority. They do. It is a – Marco
Rubio has made this point. Hey, it`s a Republican White House, a
Republican House, a Republican Senate. This immigration deal –
CROWLEY: Make a motion to do the budgets.
TODD: – is going to come from a Republican point of view. Now, don`t you
have to go a little bit further under those circumstances?
CROWLEY: Chuck, if they actually pass something. They have never put an
immigration bill on the – for the House of Representatives.
They may have done some magic in the Senate on occasion. In fact, they
have passed a bill a number of years ago. Chuck Schumer led that effort.
CROWLEY: With John McCain. That bill was never taken up in the House of
Representatives. I`ve been here for years and they have never taken up,
not even a small bill, to address the issues of comprehensive immigration
reform. Nothing has been done here in the House.
TODD: Well, given what the President said, he wants to reconnect the
immigration with the funding bill, do you?
CROWLEY: Well, look, I think, at the end of the day, well, we`ve talked
about a number of things that Democrats are concerned about including DISH
payment, disproportionate share payments, community health centers, making
sure that Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands get the funding, as well as
Texas and Florida and California, that they need to get back up on their
There are a number of things that Democrats consistently have been talking
And I`ll say this as well, Chuck, I think the issue of DACA is not just a
moral issue, it`s an economics issue. It`s for the health of our nation.
We are not a nation that can afford to shut down our borders right now to
TODD: Lindsey Graham who, obviously, has been involved in some of these
compromises or attempts at a compromise, though many Republicans in the
White House say, hey, you know, he doesn`t speak for a majority of
TODD: But he believes no deal is going to happen and that the best you can
hope for is some sort of bridge, which is extending DACA legislatively
rather than via executive order for a couple of years in exchange for some
border security money. Is that where this is headed realistically?
CROWLEY: Well, I`m glad that someone`s thought about building bridges as
opposed to building walls.
CROWLEY: But I do think it`s difficult to envision. I mean, why would we
do a bill that lasts a year for DACA when we can do something more
permanently? Why put these folks in more long-term limbo?
Many of these folks will fall out of status between now and a year from
now. They won`t be able to work, maybe even attend school. So that`s not
really addressing the issue.
TODD: But at what point is –
CROWLEY: When we need is the leaders` final decision.
TODD: – is something better than nothing? I mean, there is –
CROWLEY: Well, look, I think that`s a –
TODD: There is a path that leads to nothing.
CROWLEY: Yes. That is, again, up to the Republicans to decide. I agree
with Mr. Rubio – with Senator Rubio.
They control the Senate, they control the House, and the presidency. It`s
time for them to lead and to stop running the government from week to week
or day – or month to month and start passing real budget bills, more long-
term year or more long-term bills – and that`s not what`s happening right
now – and address the issues at hand, including DACA.
TODD: Would you like to see the House Republicans prove that they could –
the President has a plan.
TODD: Would you like to see if they could pass that on their own before
you start negotiating with them? You know, this plan that he has of
immigration, his four pillars, and see if they will vote on their own for
that bill before you negotiate with them?
CROWLEY: Well, I think they always have the opportunity to do that. I
think that it wouldn`t pass muster. I don`t think they would vote for it,
and I think that sends a very loud message.
I would welcome that. You see, we`ve already suggested that they put the
king of the hill or queen of the hill on the floor.
Put the Hurd-Aguilar Bill on the floor, put the President`s principles on
the floor, put their – any bill they want to put in on the floor and see
which one passes.
And I think if that were the case, Hurd-Aguilar would be the king or the
queen of the hill here in the House of Representatives.
TODD: How much pressure do feel from the Democratic base that doesn`t want
to do business with Donald Trump but he is your president and he is the guy
that has to sign a DACA bill?
CROWLEY: I think the issue with President Trump is that, every day, he
distances himself further and further from wanting to work with us. He is
– you know, the whole speech last week was supposed to be about
bipartisanship and bringing us closer together.
And you know, those speeches are written out. They`re preplanned. There
was very little in that speech to bring us together. It just further drove
And I think that was the missed opportunity here for this president,
someone who I think, every day, has indicated he has no interest in working
with Democrats at all, quite frankly.
TODD: Does it, at all, give you – does it help you work with Republicans
that they`re sort of ignoring his shutdown call?
CROWLEY: I think there are a lot of things that disturb me about the lack
of speaking up on Republican colleagues whether it`s on the issue of Russia
and the investigation, their failure to push back on this memo and their
failure to really Democrats to pass a budget that meets the needs of the
American people as well as our defense.
It bothers me they haven`t done more even on the issue of immigration,
something that 80 percent of the American people have said they`d like to
see the issue of DACA and the Dreamers resolved. And they have failed so
far to step up and meet those challenges.
TODD: What do you tell – I`m going to go back. You sort of – you`re
avoiding this answer. What do you tell those in the base that don`t want
you to work with him at all?
CROWLEY: Well, I think we have a responsibility as elected members of the
House of Representatives to represent our districts and do it to the best
interest of our constituents and to do what`s in the best internet of our
I don`t believe in betting against America. I will never do that. You
know, the stock market goes up, I`m happy. When the stock market goes
down, that doesn`t make me happy. It makes me uncomfortable.
We have to stop – you know, the President needs to stop, move away from
blaming or not acknowledging the advancements of the last administration
and start working and making and achieving goals for himself. And the
Republicans, quite frankly, need to do the same thing.
If they were about actually moving ahead on legislation to help the
American people, I think Democrats would step up and support that as well.
TODD: All right, Congressman Joe Crowley, a top member of the House
Democratic leadership team. Thanks for coming on, sir, and sharing your
views. Appreciate it.
CROWLEY: Thanks, Chuck. Always good to be with you. Thank you.
TODD: Up ahead, Wall Street with a severe case of stock shock. Could the
market`s wild swings have consequences for President Trump? We`ll take a
closer look at what`s really going on with my man, Jim Cramer, the biggest
Eagles` fan in the world. That`s next.
CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS DAILY SHOW HOST, NBC: Well, welcome back. One
more 2018 news today of the confirmation by non-denial variety, former
Minnesota governor and former 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty
today announced he is leaving his current gig running the financial
services round table, a lobbying trade association for some of the biggest
banks in hedge funds and Wall Street.
A former aide and long-time advisor tells NBC News he is considering a run
for his old job as governor again. It comes after he ruled out a senate run
last month, because question may be if Pawlenty wants to run, how much
baggage will those White House ties create in this age of populism whether
on the right or on the center or the left?
And speaking of Wall Street, the reason volatility teach President Trump,
the lesson that other presidents have learned time and again, to be careful
boasting about or bashing things that might be out of your control.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Bubbles. Bubbles
aren`t pretty. We have had bubbles and when they burst it`s not a good
Believe me, we`re in a bubble.
It`s only a recovery on Wall Street and that is because it`s a big, fat
bubble that`s going to explode as soon as interest rates go up. It`s a big,
fat, ugly bubble. You watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Welcome back to “MTP Daily.” What goes up must come down and
sometimes it goes back up again which is what happened today on Wall
Street. We just showed you candidate Trump warning of a stock market
bubble, stocks went up.
But since election day in 2016, President Trump hasn`t been shy about
reminding Americans that wait, now I think stocks are a good thing when
they go up. Take a listen.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The stock market has gained almost three trillion dollars in value
since the election on November eight, a record.
We created now almost eight trillion dollars worth of value just in the
Stock market has reached an all-time high today. All-time high. Think of
it. Nobody ever talks about it.
The stock market is smashing one record after another and has added more
than seven trillion dollars in new wealth since my election.
You`re seeing what is happening with the stock market. People are
appreciating what we`re doing.
We did in fact break 25,000 very substantially, break it very easily. So I
guess our new number is 30,000.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: In fact, as Politico points out before the drop of the last week,
the president boasted about stock market once every 35 hours. Folks,
there`s a reason why most presidents don`t post about stock market gain.
You live by the Dow, you die by the Dow. Touch the stove once, don`t touch
it again. But he touches it a lot.
Anyway, President Trump just couldn`t help himself. He heard that the stove
was hot and he kept touching it anyway.
Joining me now is Jim Cramer, host of “Mad Money” on CNBC. Hi, Jim. Break
it down for me. Did this have anything to do with Washington, what we`ve
been watching over the last two weeks?
JIM CRAMER, MAD MONEY HOST, CNBC: Yes. I think first of all that we are in
a position where we found a little bit higher inflation. We had wage
increase number last Friday that was too hot. We got a Federal Reserve that
wants to tighten, doesn`t want to fall behind the curve so to speak.
And we got Washington throwing so much money basically at companies that
the stocks will move up to level where a lot of the CEOs tell me, wow, Jim,
explain to me why my stock is so high. We`re not doing that well. We`re
doing well, but please.
So you got that kind of dichotomy in Washington really helping and then
part of Washington not helping and part of Washington not helping is what
really sent things down this week.
TODD: Does – was the president obviously, I think he found out
politically how you can get burned if you tie yourself to the stock market,
because what you just explained is, the economic indicators are so good,
the stock market had to sell off.
And of course during the recession, there would be days where the economic
news are so bad, the stock market had to make huge gain, right? The markets
aren`t tied to the economic well-being of the country any more, fair?
CRAMER: Very true. It can be very counterintuitive. In fact, right now
good news showing that things are even better. Well, just turn into bad
news, Wall Street, because they will say Federal Reserve has to tight even
harder. It`s something the president not include in his calculus in part
because we were really in the midst of what I regarded as being could be a
pretty aggressive tightening cycle.
TODD: Let me ask you this. What would a government shutdown do? What are
the things that markets are going to pay attention to? They`re playing with
a little bit of Russian roulette with the shutdown of the government.
We got that debt ceiling thing coming up. We always know how Wall Street
hates and Washington place roulette with that. And then there is the debt
issue. Of those three issues, what could have the biggest impact on the
CRAMER: We really hate any debt ceiling issue which makes it so that the
government would even seem for a second it would default. That`s the one to
watch. We had declines about a government shutdown, but really nothing
serious, they were buying opportunities.
One thing I would point out, we got a new Federal Reserve chairman. I think
Jerome Powell is terrific. But I got to tell you, Chuck, I mean, this is
really not a great hand that he just got dealt.
TODD: What you`re saying is because he got to start tightening the stick
a little bit. You can`t keep throwing free money out there?
CRAMER: Exactly, and that`s really countering what the president might
want but it`s kind of natural. I mean, we got to get back to a world of
higher interest rates and Jerome Powell is going to take us there.
CRAMER: And that is certainly going to be the Nielsen ratings you want if
you`re the president.
TODD: And final question is, what about our debt issue? In the 90s, you
had essentially Bill Clinton got talked into deficit reduction as a stock
market stimulus by Rubin and the gang back in the day.
TODD: Is there – the federal government money collection ability is
shrinking by the hour, thanks to this new tax deal. Is there a point where
Wall Street doesn`t like all the debt this country is taking on?
CRAMER: Not until we see interest rates dramatically higher. Wall Street
right now still believes – listen, the 10-year treasury is very low. We
haven`t seen the impact. I wish the government sold this big bond
(INAUDIBLE) Federal Reserve. But, no, not yet, Chuck, not yet. Not until we
see more news rates much higher. Not until we see the Federal Reserve doing
say maybe five, six hikes from now.
CRAMER: That`s what they live and die by as the Federal Reserve. Not so
much the size of the debt.
TODD: And finally, are we going to have Eagles rally on the market?
Because I remember back in the day, if the NFC won the Super Bowl, the
market was going up for the year. And I know it`s your eagle, so I just
thought I would give you (INAUDIBLE) eagle.
CRAMER: Let`s put it this way. I think you have to go to Atlanta next
year, win the Super Bowl, have two year in a row, before I will believe
that we can have that kind of rally related to the Eagles.
CRAMER: But you know what? As Carson Wentz says, get used to it.
TODD: All right. Jim Cramer, you will become an inseparable fan if they
keep winning like this.
TODD: It`s more fun when there is a little tragedy in your voice.
CRAMER: I haven`t had anything since 1960, come on.
TODD: I`m teasing. Jim Cramer, as always, go make a TV show. You got to do
one in a few minutes.
CRAMER: Thank you.
TODD: Thank you, sir. Up ahead, did you catch these Democrats at last
week`s state of the union? Whether you agree with them or not, what they`re
doing is definitely not treason. That`s what I`m obsessed with tonight.
TODD: Tonight, I`m obsessed with treason, actual treason, not when your
political opponent doesn`t agree with you treason, not when your political
opponent doesn`t do something you don`t like treason, and not when your
political opponent doesn`t shower you with applause like treason.
I`m talking about actual treason. The dictionary defines treason as the
crime of betraying one`s country, especially by attempting to kill the
sovereignty or overthrow the government.
The constitution says treason against the United States shall consist only
in levying war against them or in adhering o their enemies, giving them aid
According to the U.S. code, treason can be punishable by death. Yes, death.
Treason is a capital crime. It`s not just the word you should just toss
around loosely at campaign rallies. That`s exactly what`s happening.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (voice
over): Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years
ago people would have actually been hung for those types of leaks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could rise to a level of espionage and treason.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may see a series of contacts that may rise to the
level of treason.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is moving into perjury false statements and even
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should be locked up for treason.
TRUMP: Can we call that treason? Why not. I mean, they certainly didn`t
seem to love our country very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: I`m sure most of you watched some of those and said, wait a minute,
I do belief X is treason. The point is, that kind of dialogue has been
destructive. We should not shrug our shoulders and dismiss the overuse and
the misuse of the word treason.
Even if we can`t take what the president says seriously or literally, we
still have to take ourselves seriously and literally. And treason is not a
word that should be mainstream. We should like to see a political party
might actually try to take the word back. We`ll be right back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Welcome back. Time for “The Lid.” Our panel is back. Shane Harris,
Alfonso Aguilar, Jennifer Palmieri. Before I want to actually get –
believe or not, there is 2020 news, but before we get there, this treason
business, you know, the president constant joking, but it doesn`t help. It
doesn`t help and it is just putting us down. Because what happens is
everybody says oh yes, here is real treason. It`s a downward –
SHANE HARRIS, SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: This
is also not the first time he said this. I mean, he has called the FBI
agent who got caught up in these text messages as part of the Mueller
investigation. He said he`s – he called him a traitor too.
This is the chief law enforcement of the United States, levying in
extremely serious charge, as you just pointed out, against people who are
probably not –
TODD: Capital punishment. He is basically saying, you`re worthy of the
ALFONSO AGUILAR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LATINO PARTNERSHIP FOR CONSERVATIVE
PRINCIPLES: This is a take him literally and take that seriously. It`s not
a word to be used loosely. Republicans were not treasonous when they didn`t
stand up to applaud Barack Obama, you know. So, yes, it`s out of order.
TODD: It is just getting uglier and uglier. All right, I got to ask you
about running for president in 2018. There is TV ad up in Iowa. Let me play
you an excerpt from a man – a member of Congress.
JENNIFER PALMIERI, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I
don`t know it was possible you could start running for president in 2018.
This is great news.
TODD: Apparently you can. And apparently you can start running
advertising. This ad has been running in Iowa.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Most Iowans understand the concept of
starting early. After all, there`s an awful lot of work to be done.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we bring our country together? How do we begin
to heal a fractured nation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): The work starts now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Look, John Delaney, a member of Congress, somebody who many
Democrats thought, he`s going to be a great rising star (INAUDIBLE) run for
governor. The U.S. Senate says ah, forget it, I`m running for president.
PALMIERI: Apparently anyone can be president.
TODD: Well, and I to think this is a Trump effect, right?
TODD: Where you have somebody generally a very successful businessman.
Wait a minute, I actually have a pretty good business resume, why not me?
PALMIERI: Yes, there`s literally –
TODD: There`s a lot of why not mes.
PALMIERI: Yes, because it`s very hard when Donald Trump is the president
for to tell someone that it`s crazy for them to think that they can – that
the can run. So, I think we`re going to have a very big field. I think we
have a really talented field.
TODD: I think a lot of Republicans thought that their field was really
talented, but the guy that they thought was the least talented –
PALMIERI: They won.
TODD: – ended up with the nomination.
AGUILAR: I`ll say something about Delaney, he was my congressman for some
TODD: So you know him?
AGUILAR: Well, you know, he is starting early on because people really
don`t know who he is. But what`s interesting about Delaney, he is a
moderate Democrat. And this is very important. In a field where we are
seeing a lot of democratic candidates who aren`t really to the left or to
the extreme left. Delaney I think is a kind of candidate that could be
attractive to working Americans.
TODD: Look, Alfonso, you bring up an important point here. I am curious to
see, there`s only so many people who can target the progressive base.
Somebody has to run as the centrist?
TODD: You know, Michael Bloomberg, I think – look, John Kasich did it.
(INAUDIBLE) will try to run as the centrist.
PALMIERI: – party is going to want somebody who is going – who
ultimately is going to want somebody who can not to say unite the party but
unite the country. I think by the time we get to 2019 –
TODD: You think that –
PALMIERI: That is what my party is going to be –
TODD: Somebody who –
PALMIERI: I don`t believe that person is John Delaney, but I do think that
TODD: His mindset?
PALMIERI: – I think that we are going to – you know, there is – you
know, I think if Senator Sanders runs, he`s going to have a lot of support
and he may even have a plurality early on. But I think as the time – as
time goes on, you know, Clinton won the democratic primary by a lot, right?
PALMIERI: And I think that the energy in her party and ultimately the
bigger votes are going to be with somebody who`s going to unite people.
AGUILAR: I keep mentioning Joe Biden. Biden is somebody who is
charismatic. He engages working Americans. And I thin he is interested –
TODD: You`re thinking the swing districts. The question is in a primary,
can a Joe Biden get through? Joe Biden might be able to, but Joe Biden`s
record couldn`t without Joe Biden`s charisma.
HARRIS: Right, that`s true. He`s tried before. Never been a different time
with Joe Biden.
TODD: Different. He has never been a former vice president running.
HARRIS: The question is, will they be running against Donald Trump in
2020? I don`t think it`s a forgotten conclusion that he`s the nominee or
even runs again.
TODD: But as I say, John Delaney is not the only who is saying yes, I`m
running, and I`ll even run ads to prove it. Julian Castro said I have every
interest in running. We put this up. He said this. Part of the process of
figuring out whether I`m going to run is going to listen to folks and feel
TODD: Again, I go back to he`s figuring why not?
PALMIERI: He`s figuring why not –
TODD: And why not say it publicly?
PALMIERI: Why not say it publicly, and also why not take it seriously,
right? I think before you would say, my gosh, really it`s three years out -
TODD: Early, right.
PALMIERI: It seems too early. But if running for president of the United
States is a big deal, I would like to think that people put a lot of time
and thought into it.
TODD: Does this put pressure? What I wonder is does this put pressure on
like the sort of the candidates we all expect to run?
PALMIERI: I don`t think –
HARRIS: They can announce when they`re going to run when they`re ready to
announce it. And you lose nothing by announcing like Castro. I mean, you
can throw your hat.
PALMIERI: I mean, the V.P., you know, Biden almost announced in October of
2015, very late. And that was going to be – yes, he is going to be behind
but that was going to be –
AGUILAR: It`s very early. I think it`s important for Castro to ensure that
people are talking about him. That`s it.
TODD: And look, there isn`t a major Hispanic candidate yet, and I think
some people thought Luis Gutierrez wanted to be that. I don`t know.
AGUILAR: Not going to happen.
TODD: But Julian Castro has been somebody your party has talked about for
PALMIERI: Sure. It`s always, you know, talked about (INAUDIBLE) as well.
TODD: Final quick comment, I want to make the Pennsylvania special
election. It`s complicated by a lot of things, but there is a major new
effort to tie Pelosi to the democratic nominee, even though he said he
wouldn`t support her for leader again.
If this works this time, Jennifer Palmieri, and Democrats lose the special
and thought of because of Pelosi, does that increase Democrats` frustration
with her and try to convince her not to run again?
PALMIERI: I don`t think think that`s the situation we`re going to be
PALMIERI: I think –
TODD: At some point, is there a critical –
PALMIERI: I don`t think there`s going to be before an `18. I don`t think
that is what we`re going to be facing. Shane?
HARRIS: You`re an expert.
TODD: (INAUDIBLE) all right on Jennifer`s comment there. All right, guys,
Shane, Alfonso, Jennifer, thank you very much. Up ahead, just a mannequin
in a convertible on a rocket to space. Nothing to see here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Three, two, one.
TODD: I`m a huge space geek, so I love this stuff. But SpaceX just
launched it`s Falcon Heavy rocket. Destination? Mars. And today`s launched
has been called the most significant moment for space travel since the
first space shuttle took off.
That`s pretty interesting. But what Elon Musk put on that rocket is almost
dis-interesting. Riding on board the Falcon Heavy is this cherry red Tesla
Roadster. It`s quite a gift to the Marsians. And the most literal example
of vertical integration we ever heard of.
Also there is a dummy wearing a space suit designed by SpaceX, because you
know, you need a driver for that sweet, sweet, roadster. But, by the way,
imagine, these are live photos you`re seeing of the roadster right now.
They`re not riding into space in total silence. Why would yo do that when
you can have David Bowie`s “Life on Mars” playing over the stereo on
TODD: And here`s –
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