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Trump lashes out at critics of trade war. TRANSCRIPT: 9/3/19, The 11th Hour w/ Brian Williams.

Guests: Jon Meacham, Ted Lieu, Juana Summers

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR:  We`ll be watching.  Bill Karins, thank you very much for joining us tonight.  Really appreciate that.

That is tonight`s LAST WORD.  "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight, "The Washington Post" is calling at Trump`s lost summer inside the turbulent months of division, economic uncertainty, daily thrashings on Twitter with an election looming 14 months away now.

Plus, Hurricane Doran finally on the move after spending 51 hours over the Bahamas, now it`s a slow Category 2.  Now it involves the southeast U.S. as the Carolinas prepare.

Meanwhile, Congress is coming back after their long summer break that threatens to have killed their momentum.  Now it`s back to the Trump investigations and the sad fact that 53 people were killed in a single month of mass shootings.  Do people expect anything from Washington anymore?  All of it as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this back to work Tuesday night.

Well, good evening once again from our NBC News headquarters here in New York.  This post holiday weekend back to work Tuesday night puts us at day 957 of this Trump administration.  A dark ending of summer, if you have seen the coverage of the latest mass shooting in Texas, the boat fire that killed 34 people in California, and the cause in anxiety of nothing else to millions of Americans in the warning area of an approaching storm that is already done so much damage.

And now two new pieces of journalism that point out the disaster of the summer that was for this President.  Susan Glasser of "The New Yorker" writes that, "While Trump`s performance raise raised many questions that we can`t answer about just what is going on in his head, it was also revelatory.  The 31 days of August 2019 turned out to be an extraordinary catalogue of Trump`s in-our-faces meltdown."

Her tally of his social media post comes to, "680 in August and the volume seems to have been turned up along with the frequency.  Today`s Trump is more overtly confrontational and more casually incendiary."

That was evident today as Trump weighed in on multiple topics from Hurricane Dorian to the -- into the Justice Department`s inspector general report on James Comey seem to be responding to a new report indicating his trade war is hurting American manufacturers while revealing his concerns about reelection, "We are dealing very well with our negotiations with China while I am sure they would love to be dealing with a new administration so they could continue their practice of rip off USA, 16 months plus is a long time to be hemorrhaging jobs and companies.  Think what happens to China when I win.  China`s supply chain will crumble and businesses, jobs and money will be gone."

Keep in mind that a new 15 percent tariff on arrange of Chinese imports just went into effect this past Sunday.  There was also the revival of Trump`s under going feud with the mayor of London, of all places, who criticize Trump for playing golf over the weekend after cancelling that trip to Poland to monitor Hurricane Dorian.

Trump responded with, "The incompetent mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was bothered that I played a very fast round of golf yesterday.  Many pols exercise for hours, or travel for weeks.  Kahn," misspelled, "should focus knife crime, which is totally out of control in London.  He is a terrible mayor who should stay out of our business."

Trump`s summer has included a number of controversies of his own making, Phil Rucker, of "The Washington Post" who joins us in just a moment notes that many White House officials publicly cite Trump`s July 4th event on Lamar in Washington rain not withstanding and the meeting at the DMC with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un as major achievements.

Rucker and his colleague, Ashley Parker, write that privately some of Trump`s aides and advisors look at summer as, "a period of missed opportunity and self-sabotage.  In the final lull before the 2020 campaign starts to intensify this fall, Trump could have worked strategically to solidify his position and broaden his appeal.  Instead, his words and actions this summer served to further divide the country and to harden public opinion."  A reminder of what that sounded like.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  If they`re not happy here, they can leave.  They can leave.  And you know what?  I`m sure there will be many people that won`t miss them.

I think the responsibility is the people that run Baltimore for so many years obviously headed up by Elijah Cummings.  They run Baltimore into the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What do you say to your critics that believe that it`s your rhetoric that emboldening white nationalist and inspiring this anger?

TRUMP:  So my critics are political people.

I had it with Sherrod Brown, he and the mayor, Nan Whaley.  They`re very dishonest people.

That was some crowd.  And we had twice the number outside.  And then you have this crazy Beto.  Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot.

Jay Powell should be cutting rates because every country all over the world is cutting.

I am prepared for everything.  I don`t think we are having a recession.  We are doing tremendously well.  Our consumers are rich.  China has had the worst year they`ve had in 27 years.

You know, I am not ready to make a deal unless they`re going to make the right kind of a deal.

You vote for a Democrat, you`re very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.

That having President Putin in what was the G8.  He was a member of the G8.  And I heard he was a good member of the G8.  Having him in I think is as more of an advantage.

President Putin outsmarted President Obama.


WILLIAMS:  At a new controversy just emerged today after we learned Vice President Mike Pence is staying at Trump`s hotel while on a trip to Ireland.  It puts him and his entourage, 181 miles away from where the Vice President held meetings in Dublin where there were a lot of hotels.

Today Pence`s Chief of Staff, Marc Short, explained that Trump did not so much request that Pence stay at his hotel but it was "a suggestion."  Pence is paying for family members traveling with him, but tax payers are paying for the tab for the Vice President`s staff, the Secret Service, and of course the trips by helicopter that the far away venue makes necessary.  Here is how the Vice President explained his decision to stay at a Trump property.


MIKE PENCE, (R) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  If you have a chance to get to Doonbeg, you find it`s a fairly small place.  And the opportunity to stay at Trump national in Doonbeg to accommodate the unique footprint that comes with our security details and other personnel made it logical.


WILLIAMS:  He even worked in the name of the resort.

Here for our lead off discussion on a Tuesday night, Philip Rucker, Pulitzer Prize-winning White House Bureau Chief for "The Washington Post," Annie Karni, White House Reporter with the "New York Times," and Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, presidential historian.  His latest work co-authored with Tim McGraw is "Songs of America."  Well, good evening and welcome to all of you, thank you for coming on.

Phil, having to put his summer in perspective and we saw on Twitter to his great frustration, is there a strategy for fall or is that just folly talking?

PHILIP RUCKER, WASHINGTON POST WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF:  Brian, I am not sure there is ever a full seasonal strategy in this White House or with this President.  As you know he likes to react to things that are happening in the news, to his perceived grievances of the moment.  Clearly his going to -- President Trump wants to try to make some progress on the USMCA trade deal, wants to keep the economy stable as best as he can and wants to focus on that trade deal with China potentially, the trade war rather.  But I don`t know that there is really much of a strategy.  I suspect we`re going to see him continue to acts the way he did all summer which is a sort of herky jerky mode of governing where he corrins (ph) from one crisis to the next.  And sure there are important moments and milestones such as the state dinner with the queen and the United Kingdom but there are also a ton of self-inflicted wounds that his advisers privately admit are really not helpful for him as he thinks about the reelection campaign.

WILLIAMS:  Annie Karni, to the extent that we all are.  He is and even greater, some of the parts of his environment and think about it this way, he has now said goodbye to his personal assistant, DNI, number one, DNI deputy is gone, even the ambassadors of Russia gone, his own chief of staff has an acting title.  We`re coming up on six months since the last press briefing.  I know I`ve asked you before, is this set to be a without guard rail remainder of his term?

ANNIE KARNI, THE NEW YORK TIMES WHITE HOUSE REPORTER:  The question is how much of the guardrails really prevent?  And it`s a bit unknowable.  We don`t know what he was going to do that people prevented him from doing privately.  But this whole summer, we have seen him operating without guardrails.

This -- and if they are looking at a reelection strategy, the strategy is they have to win the states they won in 2016.  That`s -- there`s a narrow path for him to do it that way except for polls show him underwater on those states against many of the top tear Democrats.  And we have seen a strategy coming from the campaign of trying to appeal to a broader swath of voters.

They sent Mike Pence to do a Latinos fro Trump event in Florida.  They have all the top women family members out there doing Women for Trump events.

And comments we have seen that have dominated the news cycle all summer long show that he is just counter acting that work and leaving a real question of what is the path or narrowing his path to reelection.  So, no guardrails and no clear agenda for the future and no obvious broadening of his path to get there either.

WILLIAMS:  Jon, to paraphrase a great writer not name Meacham, he pays no mind of the garish coming reelection campaign.  And have you ever seen this before, the absence of a strategy?  Intellectually, he knows it`s coming, but the perceived and real slights on a daily bases have him off of that.

JON MEACHAM, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN:  No.  I`ll go on.  But no, we had -- you know for some reason history tends to happen in August, it sort of fascinating when you think back on it.  The end of World War II, beginning of World War I, Nixon`s resignation, the first Gulf War, the Katrina, you know, just sort of on and on.  Things, I don`t know, but there`s the heat or what it is.  But, things do happen and patterns do get set.

And I think Ashley and Phil wrote a great piece about how this month in many ways is microcosm of what you said --

WILLIAMS:  Looks like we have lost Jon Meacham satellite feed.  Control room, have we lost -- oh. Jon Meacham is back.  Jon, you have to go on.  We were enjoying said going on.  Please go on a second time.

MEACHAM:  Yes.  That was the DNI cutting me off, by the way.


WILLIAMS:  Guns of August, indeed.

MEACHAM:  Exactly.  So, basically patterns get set in August.  Phil and Ashley wrote a great piece about this.  Your -- yes, as you said 957 days.  There is -- nothing is going to change here.  I really -- I don`t think so.  And will there be guardrails?  No.  There is a certain poetic irony, like your garish illusion.

In his attacking the mayor of London over knife crime, because he is in the political equivalent of a knife fight.  And that`s what this is.  It`s to give one more literary (ph) illusion as we start the month.

This is a state of nature.  This is hubs, the state of nature.  And the question is going to be, will the Democratic Party send their head, which is Joe Biden or their heart, which is either -- I think Warren or Sanders, probably, into this battle.  That`s going to be ferocious.  Just absolutely ferocious.

WILLIAMS:  Phil, just for a heads up.  If you bring Shakespeare to a fight with Meacham, he answers with hubs and took them and just for --

RUCKER:  I know, I love it.

WILLIAMS:  -- starters to keep the conversation lively.

Hey, Phil, and Jon brought up a great point.  And that -- it brings us to the one brand that you wrote earlier this summer that really got through to the President.  That cut him in a way, and that was racist.  And was an effort made to counter act that or just because of the flaw of daily conversations, are we off of that title, that subject line?

RUCKER:  You know, Brian, I don`t know that we`re off of that subject line because I think for a lot of Americans, that moment and I guess it was back in mid July, when the President leveled those racist attacks against the four congresswomen of color.  That moment is pretty indelible.  And I don`t think people will easily forget what happened there over the span of a few weeks where the President went after them.

What Trump has done now is he`s basically trying to, you know, say, "I am not the puppet, you are the puppet."  You know, "I am not the racist but these congresswomen are racists because of what they have had to say about America and about Israel."  And the logic doesn`t quite connect there.  But what the President did say in July was plainly racist and a lot of news organizations including "The Washington Post" called it such.  And if he were to use, you know, similar language going forward, I think we would use that term again.

WILLIAMS:  Annie Karni, in the interim, we`ve heard some of our colleague over at Fox News say that if the President is successful, he will make The Squad the face of the Democratic Party.  The problem with that for the Democrats is members of The Squad often go onto supply further ammunition to make that self-fulfilling.  At some point, though, the President is going to have an actual opponent with a D after his or her name.  Will that, do you think, focus him further or at all?

KARNI:  I think that it will focus him once he has a clear challenger in the Democratic race.  And they want to show don`t tell that The Squad is the face of the Democratic Party and makes this idea that they`re running against socialism.  More clear cut these women are progressive members of Congress.

If it`s Joe Biden and he is the Democratic front runner, the campaign will have a harder time making that case that they`re running against a socialist.  But for now, it is strategy -- it is part of their campaign strategy to say that this is a fight against socialism and these women are the face of the Democratic Party.  That just won`t be true next year when there is a nominee.

WILLIAMS:  Jon Meacham, no one needs to remind you that the last three Presidents have been two termers.  If life were to change significantly and those three were to sit down with this guy and tell them how to accomplish what they did, what do you think their advice would be?

MEACHAM:  That sounds like a "Star Wars" varsity, doesn`t it?


MEACHAM:  A remarkable meeting.  You know, and first of all, I don`t think none of the three actually would want to give him good advice which is telling an important point.  You know, President Clinton and President Bush and President Obama all ran campaigns about moving forward, right?  They actually looked ahead.

President Clinton was particularly articulate about that.  Remember, the bridge of the 21st century.  George W. Bush was talking about eliminating tyranny in the world.  President Obama wanted to build on the healthcare and push ahead from the recovery, trying to get it moving.  They talked about tomorrow.

And basically President Trump is trapped in talking about what`s happening, not just today but in this one moment.  You know, he`s an open synapse.  He just reacts, reacts, reacts, reacts.  And that doesn`t tell the kind of narrative that tends to work in presidential politics and in presidential reelections.

WILLIAMS:  To our guests, to Philip Rucker, to Annie Karni, to Jon Meacham, our great thanks in starting off this Tuesday night for us and with us.  Appreciate it greatly.

Coming up, do you remember the investigations into the President, the ones that were going on before Congress left for their summer vacation?  Well, they`re going to be back on.

Next up the Democrats will go after those hush-money payments, a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee is standing by to talk with us.

And later, Dorian devastated the Bahamas and could still batter the Carolinas.  Bill Karins has the latest forecast out just this hour as THE 11TH HOUR is just getting started on this Tuesday night.



MICHAEL STEEL, FMR. SENIOR ADVISER TO JEB BUSH & JOHN BOEHNER:  I can`t help but be overwhelmed by the inaptitude of House Democrats investigating this president.  If they have an embarrassment of riches, they are exhibiting an embarrassment of inaptitude.  How have they gotten to a place where they are investigating the President of the United States possibly involved in hush-money payments to a pornographic film actress and a Playboy model and it`s boring, it`s completely uninteresting?  This -- they have manage to make rehashing newspaper headlines from 2016, the focus of their investigation, and it is making no progress against the President who has a lot of progress to be made presumably.


WILLIAMS:  The investigation that that man, Michael Steel, calls boring concerns hush-money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model, Karen McDougal.  According to a House Judiciary Committee aide, public hearings on the President`s alleged role in those payments could come as soon as October.

Our own Ken Dilanian reports it this way, "Democrats believe the hush-money scandal is an easier and clearer case to present to the public than the question of whether Trump obstructed the Russia investigation."

President Trump`s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations over those various same hush-money payments.  Here now a reminder of some of what he told the House Oversight Committee earlier this year.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY:  I am providing the committee today with several documents.  And this includes a copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account after he became president to reimburse me for the hush-money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and to prevent damage to his campaign.


WILLIAMS:  We should note President Trump and his lawyers have long denied doing anything illegal regarding the payments.  According to our latest NBC News count 134 Democrats, one Independent support an impeachment vote or inquiry against the President.

For more, we are happy to be joined by Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu with the State of California who happens to be a member of the House Judiciary Committee.  Congressman, thank you for coming on.

Can you try to convince me taking your summer break wasn`t a complete momentum killer for Democrats in the House?  If you have to come back and say to the people watching "oh no, we`re going to tell a different story now, this one is about an adult film star, a Playboy bunny of hush-money payments.

REP. TED LIEU, (D) CALIFORNIA JUDICIARY CMTE.:  Thank you, Brian, for your question.  We would continue telling the same story with obstruction of justice.  We`re also going to be talking about these hush-money payments.  Michael Cohen is sitting in prison right now because of these hush-money payments.

Donald Trump wrote the checks that only became the source of funds that are integral for these payments.  Any other Americans who face with the same facts will be sitting in prison next to Michael Cohen.  The only reason the President is not been indicted is because of the Department of Justice policy that prevents indictment of a sitting president, wouldn`t hold hearings to bring out these facts for the American people.

WILLIAMS:  OK.  Help us out on the next front and that is, what do you call what we`re looking at right now.  We had Jerry Nadler go on this network and CNN on a random Thursday night in the middle of summer and say, "Yes, it`s kind of an impeachment inquiry."  Your speaker wants none of that as you well know.  What is this we`re witnessing exactly?

LIEU:  Thank you, Brian.  We are in impeachment inquiry.  Our court filings say we`re in impeachment inquiry.  We are holding hearings to decide whether or not we should impeach Donald Trump.

It is very clear to me that the President of the United States has committed multiple felonies, obstruction of justice, campaign finance and law violations, other felonies.  What members of Congress do with that information is up to them and their conscience and their districts.

At some point Speaker Pelosi, who I greatly respect, will make a decision with the House Democratic Caucus and I will respect that decision whatever it is.

WILLIAMS:  Do you concede that looking back on it as we`ve try to point out many times on this broadcast, perhaps the Mueller report failed in its lack of a story teller or writer cohesion.  And in the day and age we`re living, where here we are quoting two and three lines at time on Twitter.  And by the same account, would you agree that Democrats in the House of Representatives perhaps suffer for a lack of telling a cogent cohesive story to the American people?

LIEU:  So one reason that there has been some what this difficulty is because of the mass of obstruction that the White House is engaged in in preventing what this is from coming before our Judicial and other committees.  But if you look at what Robert Mueller actually said, look, he`s not going to get an Emmy Award for his performance.  But he did say yes and generally accurate and true to a whole boat load of very damming facts about the President of the United States.

Robert Mueller essentially established the crime of obstruction of justice multiple times being committed by the President.  That was actually what his testimony was when we had it before the summer recess.

WILLIAMS:  Final question, will you, Ted Lieu, be content if all we get is kind of this rolling hearing all the way up to the next presidential election.  The ball doesn`t really move into the majority of Democrats, the overwhelming support that the Speaker named as her ceiling for calling this an impeachment.  Do you think we`ll do enough to publicly remind the American people of -- even if you regard them to be high crimes and misdemeanor, violations of the President`s oath that he took at his inauguration, will that be enough for you, Congressman, of a standard to keep the story before the people?

LIEU:  I think it is important for us to continue to hold these hearings to educate the American people about the actual crimes that Donald Trump committed.  But at some point, the House Democratic Caucus is going to have to make a decision as to whether or not we go forward with articles of impeachment.  That`s going to be a decision that Speaker Pelosi will be making with the House Democratic Caucus.  And again, whatever that decision is, I am going to respect.  But in the meantime, we`re going to hold hearings in the Judiciary Committee to continue to highlight these crimes by the President of the United States to the American people.

WILLIAMS:  It will be interesting to watch.  We will watch those hearings along with you.  Congressman Ted Lieu, Democrat of California, thank you so much for your time and coming on our broadcast live tonight.

LIEU:  Thank you, Brian.

WILLIAMS:  And coming up for us, Democrats are demanding it.  Mitch McConnell is punting on it.  Donald Trump`s opinion changes constantly on it.  A look at how Walmart has decided to move ahead with the kind of form of gun control of its own.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES:  This is tragic, but they did an incredible job under the circumstances.  Another very sick person, so I just want to thank everybody involved.  And always you say, as bad as it was, it could have been worse but it was certainly bad.

This really hasn`t changed anything.  We`re doing a package and we`ll see what it all -- how it comes about.


WILLIAMS:  The President of the United States said nothing there about the victims.  Congress is due back in Washington next week and while the White House has promised the response to the spate of mass shootings, it`s still very unclear what the President will support in anything in the end.

And of course, it happened again this past weekend, again in Texas, seven more people dead and 23 more injured.  The New York Times gives us this perspective, 53 people died in mass shootings in August alone in our country.

Tomorrow morning`s Washington Post will include a full page editorial directed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with the names and ages of the mass shooting victims employing him to do something.  But McConnell made it clear today he`s not sticking his neck out until he knows what the president wants.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER:  If the President is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it, it`ll become law, I`ll put it on the floor.


WILLIAMS:  The 2020 candidates are weighing in from the campaign trail as you might expect.  Former Texas Congressman Beto O`Rourke took aim at McConnell on social media.  "What`s the point of your office and your branch of government if you have to wait for permission from the President to act?  This is not leadership, it is cowardice."

Front-runner Joe Biden who tripped off on the subject of guns this weekend, we`ll get to that later.  Today made clear his view that there`s no room for compromise on this topic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is there any compromise to be made?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  None, none on this.  I think there`s no compromise.  This is one we have to just push, push, push and push and push.  But I work with Mitch McConnell where we can agree.  But on this one, he`s not going to agree because he is where the President is, and so we just have to beat them, flat out beat him.


WILLIAMS:  Meantime, the nation`s largest cooperation made a major move today.  Walmart announced it will hold sales of some ammunition and ask shoppers not to openly carry weapons in its stores in states that allow open carry.

Here with us for more, Juana Summers, National Political Reporter for the Associated Press.  We welcome her back on the broadcast this Tuesday night.

So, Juana, we`ve learn the gunman in Texas failed a background check 2014, bought his weapon as part of a private sale, that gives you a gift-wrapped loophole, that people keep talking in our laws.  Is it conceivable that a loophole that most Democrats want to close, want to solve, that one right there is something that Mitch McConnell is ever going to put on the Senate floor.

JUANA SUMMERS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Well, Brian, that`s a great question.  And I think it goes in the heart of what you heard him say to Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio host he spoke to in a clip that you just played.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader says he will bring to the floor and debate something that he believes the President will support.  The problem here being is that what the President would actually support and what he discussed is so unclear.

We heard him in the wake of the spate of shootings in August that killed scads of people on that very traffic weekend, talking about possibly being open to idea of some kind of background check reform.

Now, in the wake of this shooting over the week, we don`t hear him talking about that.  We hear him again talking about mental health, not talking about background checks.  So it`s really just not clear where he stands on this issue and given the number of Republican lawmakers who are weary of offending, or going against the gun lobby.

Absent some leadership from the President, absent him coming out and taking a position that may be gives some political cover.  I just don`t think it`s -- I don`t think it is likely.

WILLIAMS:  And, Juana, here we are again with the issue of Democrats never knowing how to talk about guns.  I mentioned this earlier, Joe Biden over the weekend talked about how we need to ban magazines that can hold multiple bullets.  That just known as a magazine, every police officer in this country has one and most handgun owners like a nine millimeters have a magazine.  It`s a conveyance of bullets to the gun, perfectly legal.

It`s assumed the former vice president was talking abut illegal extended magazines.  But how often does this come up in your coverage of politics 2019?  You`ve got, you know, a former, a governor of Montana, a blue politician who has won in a red state, who is fluent on guns but not that many other candidates.

SUMMERS:  I think that this is an issue that is actually going to resonate with voters in rural parts of the state in the industrial Midwest places where gun owners are more common than not.  And frankly, places that Democrats say they need to win over in this election, people who felt like they were left behind.

I think it is important to point out that when you talk about Democrats, Democrats have more in common than they have what separates them on issues of guns.  All of them agree that there has to be new gun control legislation.

They made differ as you heard from that clip of Vice president Biden onto what extent they can work with Republicans to get those compromises.  Former vice president has suggested he doesn`t see space for compromise other Democrats like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren suggesting more openness out of this issue.

But it is clear that they all say that this is an issue that is urgent and it must be tackled.  And a lot of them have released plans that combat these issues.

WILLIAMS:  Juana, I know you`ve been dropping in and covering Kamala Harris.  Do most people trace her drop in the polls to debate performances, what people either saw or wish they had seen?

SUMMERS:  So, it`s really interesting.  Her camp, when I`ve talked to them, they actually don`t make much of this.  They contend that it`s very early, that the support that she has is quite elastic.

They say that other top tier of candidates which she would include herself in.  They don`t feel like the (inaudible) is well known as some household names in the race.  So that it`s natural that you would see these sort of ebbs and flows through the summer.

They said, they have been strongly building infrastructure in the early stage and that strive that I was recently out with her in Iowa and I`ll be in New Hampshire with her this week, where they are building grass root support and galvanizing volunteers.

They see that as more important than where she stands on the polls today.  And when I talk people at her rallies, many of them are curious about her.  They want to hear more from her.  They like what she`s saying but there is this kind of punditizing of the Democrat -- of Democrat, Democratic voters who are still trying to figure out who there neighbors are going to vote for.

A guy in New Hampshire wondering who, a woman in Ohio who vote for, and some of them are making their decisions that way too.

WILLIAMS:  One of the more powerful bylines covering this campaign.  National Political Reporter for Associated Press, Juana Summers, thank you for returning to the broadcast.  Always a pleasure to have you.

SUMMERS:  Thanks.

WILLIAMS:  And coming up for us tonight, the state of the storm at this hour, the latest on Hurricane Dorian`s path and intensity.  The 11:00 pm Eastern Time update is out, Meteorologist Bill Karins has it.



Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of Bahamas:  The storm essentially it would till you fell asleep, on the (inaudible).  This would have caused even more damage than you can imagine being batted by 180 to 200 miles per hour wind for an access of almost two days.  That can be very devastating.


WILLIAMS:  We are finally getting a good look at the widespread destruction, the slow moving but powerful Hurricane Dorian has left behind in the Bahamas.  And here it is.

The view from above shows what is expected to be billions of dollars of damage across the Abaco Islands, portions of Abaco.  And this is the population of center Marsh Harbor, are simply now a debris field.  Thousands of buildings, homes flatten, gone all together.  This is years of infrastructure repairs.

The record breaking storms stalled over the Northern Bahamas for two days.  The before and after satellite images of Grand Bahama Island are striking.  In so many places, the water now just occupies what was land.

Tonight, seven people confirmed dead that sadly believe that death toll will go much higher in the Bahamas.  The next move is now up to this storm, and it involves our eastern seaboard.

The latest update as we mentioned from the National Hurricane Center has been posted a few minutes ago, we are so happy to be joined by our Meteorologist Bill Karins who has been on duty all weekend long looking at this.  Bill, any changes at 11:00 Eastern?

BILL KARINS, NBC METEOROLOGIST:  We are getting more and more concern for our friends in the Carolinas.  And not concern like the picture you just saw.  I mean, I used to say those pictures are rare, but I think Irma, Maria, Michael last year, I mean we`ve done this like year after year now where we`ve had one portion of the Atlantic basin, an island, or Florida, or, you know, Puerto Rico, or now in the Northern Bahamas, just total destruction.

It`s incredible.  I mean, we have another humanitarian disaster right off the Florida East Coast.  And, you know, tomorrow will be really the first day in Grand Bahama Island where they can get in there and they can try to, you know, today they got in there to assess because the winds were so high early in the morning.  The storm will be far enough away, probably sunny tomorrow, then hopefully it`s a mass rescue effort and humanitarian effort that`s going in because they need it.

So let`s get into what`s happening now.  Tropical storm conditions on Florida.  You know, schools are cancelled for a good reason, evacuations for a good reason.  It was only a wobble of, you know, 80 miles, it would have been a lot more serious.

So, you know, air on this, a side of caution from Florida, but it`s not going to all that bad as far as damages concern.  We`re still need to go to that high tides cycle though tomorrow.

So the latest in the Hurricane Center, it`s still 110 miles per hour.  If this was like any other storm that was approaching and the winds are 110 miles per hour and land fall, it would be a huge deal.

This is almost feels like there`s little void now because it was so horrendous in the Bahamas.  It`s little weaker now.  But no one wants to go through almost a category three hurricane.  And that could happen very easily in about 20 or about 36 to 48 hours.

So here`s the path from the Hurricane Center.  And even though it`s over the warm waters in the gulf and they don`t have it intensifying, but they don`t have it weakening.  So, you know, could it click backup to category three?  Sure.  I mean, it easily could.  I mean, it`s only got to go 5 miles per hour, you know, stronger.

And then, this is the critical period here.  So tomorrow, it`s kind of still in the same motion.  You`re not going to see too many reporters.  You`re not going to see anything too bad at the beach as the high tides.  The water will be maybe doing some damage.

And then, as we get into Wednesday afternoon and evening, that`s when the northern half of the storm begins to approach South Carolina.  Here still in the cone, Charleston and Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, Wrightsville Beach all the way up to Emerald Isle, Camp Lejeune there, the Marine Base in the cone, and then (inaudible) in the Pamlico Sound.

And so -- and the storm is flying as it goes through, and it looks like the best chance of landfall will be Thursday afternoon, Thursday evening.  And, you know, I mentioned the problems that we`re going to see with high tides, this is as we go through our high tides on Wednesday afternoon, in this orange is the possibility of six to nine feet of water.

So that`s significant.  That`s almost similar to what we do with Matthew three years ago.  And some of those spots set all time high water levels.  And we`re just getting passed the king tides from this pass weekend and the water levels are little higher than normal anyways.  And as far as the high tides go further of the coast, Charleston, you know, as we go throughout the afternoon.

So, you know, Brian, in the Carolinas, we usually could see a category 2 lane for hurricane, we usually could have power outages that lasts days if not a week or two, if that center does cross land.  So for our friends in the Carolinas, you have about 24 or 36 hour to prepare.  If you haven`t, then told to evacuate already.

WILLIAMS:  Bill Karins, and again our thanks as viewers at least for your hours of coverage of the storm over the weekend as it has approached.

Coming up, live drama on live television, part of the most consequential moment for our closest allies since the Second World War.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The ayes to the right, 328.  The nos to the left, 301.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not a good start, Boris.


WILLIAMS:  It was a drama-filled day in the House of Commons where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a major defeat in his plans for Brexit, which is why he`s in office.  Lawmakers used an obscure procedural motion to take control of parliament away from the government.

It came after a member of BoJo`s own party defected to the opposition, walking across the chamber floor right in front of Johnson to sit with the Liberal Democrats.  That move right there meant Johnson`s government had lost the majority in the House of Commons.

Today`s vote clears the way for members of parliament to introduce a bill that would seek to prevent Britain from crashing out of the European Union without a deal October 31st.  The bill is expected to come up for a vote tomorrow.  It`s likely to pass.  If that happens, Brexit could be delayed until next year or not happen at all.  After today`s vote BoJo addressed parliament in another drama-filled moment.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER:  We are going to have to make a choice, Mr. Speaker.  I don`t want an election.  The public don`t want an election.  I don`t believe the (inaudible) gentleman wants an election.  But if the House votes for this bill tomorrow, the public will have to choose who goes to Brussels on October the 17th to sort this out and take this country forward.

Everybody knows that if it right on (inaudible) is the prime minister he will go to Brussels and beg for an extension.  He will accept -- you will accept -- you will accept whatever Brussels demands.  And we will have years` more arguments over Brexit.


WILLIAMS:  That`s kind of how today went.  Parliament would have to approve Johnson`s request for a new general election.  Here`s how bad it is there.

The New York Times reports tonight, "There is so little trust in British politics that Mr. Johnson`s opponents fear that he might request an election for October 14th but then switch the date until after October 31st as part of a move to lock in a no-deal withdrawal."

Times also reports, "Opponents of a no-deal Brexit argue that Mr. Johnson`s promise to leave the block without a deal if necessary would be catastrophic for the British economy.  Many experts say it could lead to shortages of food, fuel, and medicine and wreak havoc on parts of the manufacturing sector that rely on the seamless flow of goods across the English Channel.

So in plain English, it`s a mess over there.  Coming up, another one of those things that our President insists has never happened before, when we come back.


WILLIAMS:  Last thing here before we go tonight.  It`s been theorized, including a time or two on this broadcast, that the reason some of your so- called political and media and coastal elites are amazed over and over again at this President`s desire to promote his family business is because they never watched "The Apprentice."

Did they somehow think they were above it?  14 seasons of the show, produced by this network, sent out of this building, and it was watched by an audience of millions, later known as Trump`s base.

So when the President suggests his Doral Golf Resort as a logical next venue for the G7 meeting, when he suggests that Mike Pence stay at his resort in Ireland, and then when Mike Pence does just that, no one should be surprised.

This President is so brand loyal he spent 295 days of his presidency thus far at a Trump-branded property.  That includes the time spent golfing this weekend, even though he`d canceled an official trip to Poland, saying his time was needed to monitor the approaching hurricane.

Donald Trump came to the presidency having run a family business and having starred in a reality show.  To his base that was the point of Donald Trump.  But about the presidency, having done none of the reading, lacking the intellectual curiosity of others, the empathy, the institutional knowledge that past presidents have had, there are aspects of the job as it affects our world that seem to mystify this president.  And if something is new to him, he often goes on to assume or project upon us that it must be new to us as well.

Take, for instance, category 5 hurricanes.  There have been a bunch of them, with names like Hugo and Andrew and Rita and Katrina.  When Dorian reached category 5 status early on in its life, it was the fourth category 5 storm of Donald Trump`s presidency, but the idea of a category 5 hurricane remains new to him seemingly every time. 


TRUMP:  I`m not sure .  I`m not sure that I`ve ever even heard of a category 5. 

A category 5 is something that I don`t know that I`ve ever even heard the term.

They`ve never seen a category like this coming because it came in really at 5.

It was a category 5.  I never even knew that category 5 existed.

It hit as a 5, category 5 storm, which literally never happens.

And it actually touched down as a category 5.  People have never seen anything like that.

This has been a category 5, which few people have ever even heard of.

A category 5, nobody`s ever heard of a 5 hitting land.

Category 5 hurricane, category 5.  Never heard about category 5s before.  Category 5 is big stuff.


WILLIAMS:  And for the record, since it`s all about the numbers, having started life at a 5, Dorian is tonight a category 2.  Maximum sustained winds, 110 miles per hour.

That is our broadcast for tonight.  With thanks to Steve Kornacki and Ali Velshi for filling in, thank you so much for being here with us this Tuesday evening.  Goodnight from our NBC News headquarters here in New York.

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.                                                                                                     END