Entries from Jul 2017
Sink or Swim

During the conversation about President Donald J. Trump’s ongoing troubles within the West Wing, Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle explains: “It’s interesting when you think about the role that Republicans – Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Bob Corker, other respected Republicans in the Senate and House – might well have to play as this continues. They might well have to go to The White House to tell the President: ‘Mr. President you’re not only playing with fire – you are on fire. And you’ve got to stay away from Bob Mueller’.” Hear more of the discussion with Nicolle Wallace, John Heilemann, Steve Rattner and Eddie Glaude Jr. only on MSNBC.

Barnicle: POTUS is his own communications director

“His problem, the country’s problem, the world’s problem is: The president is the communications director. He’s his own communications director,” explains Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a panel discussion with The New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt about President Donald Trump’s convoluted interview with the paper and news that a new communications director is about to be named. Watch the exchange here. Only on MSNBC.

Foreign Policy Update

“Admiral, paying attention to events…under this administration, are we not in effect building a freeway from Tehran right into Damascus? Isn’t Syria going to end up an Iranian state?” asks Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Adm. James Stavridis during a conversation about the Trump Administration’s foreign policy as it applies to Iran and Syria. Listen to Stavridis’ response about the precarious status of foreign policy today.

The Latest in Syria

“Richard Haass, let’s start with Syria. A long held understated policy of arming the rebels in the south of Syria has apparently now ended. What does this mean for any strategy going forward?” asks Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard N. Haass during a conversation about the Washington Post reporting that President Donald J. Trump has ended the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, which is a move long sought by Russia. Listen to Haass’ response and the strong words of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on the topic. Read The Post’s story here: http://wapo.st/2txlXyd

Barnicle: The System is Fractured

“Jeremy used the phrase ‘palpable sense,’ and I would pose this to you: That you get a palpable sense that everybody out there this morning gassing up their automobiles on their way to work or grocery shopping or whatever — they don’t care that the Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the presidency. What they do care about, then you get a palpable sense of this, is that the entire system is broken, and it poses a threat to people of both parties. Any incumbent, I think, is in dire danger going up into the election year of next year because of the sense that the system is fractured and people on both sides of the aisle do very little to heal it,” comments Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a conversation with The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters about conservative groups pushing a campaign for tax reform. Listen to more of the discussion here.

Sen. McCain: He’s Earned Every Ounce of Respect

During the continuing conversation of the triumphs and trials of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), just diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, says Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle: “He’s earned every ounce of respect that has been attributed to him….He is a man of character, a man of honor, in an age when we see far too (few) people in public life with the same type of character and honor.” Listen in on the discussion here and host and former Congressman Joe Scarborough’s personal experiences with Sen. McCain. Only on MSNBC.

I Want to Hold Your Hand

“What do you do about the whole rationale for the interview? The interview is like mind boggling, really, when you listen to it — it’s such a winding road. But, Michael Schmidt, you were there in the room and (President Trump) started talking at one point about (French) President (Emmanuel) Macron loves to hold his hand. What do you do when you’re sitting there in front of the President of the United States and he starts talking about that stuff?” asks Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt, who with two colleagues interviewed President Donald Trump this week. Hear Schmidt describe his sit-down with POTUS.

“Incredible” NYT Interview with POTUS

“I don’t think I’ve read an interview with a sitting President of the United States as incredible as this is, given the tentacles of what he said….If you’re listening to the President in the context of everything that’s going on in this White House and has been for six months now, it seems as if the President of the United States is almost a man alone without any real friendships, other than his family,” comments Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a conversation about POTUS’ stunning interview with The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt, Peter Baker, and Maggie Haberman. Listen to more of the discussion here.

Sen. McCain: ‘An American Nobleman’

“John McCain has always symbolized character and honor. And I have been fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time with him over the course of the years. I have actually been to the Hanoi Hilton and stood in the small sheltered six-by-six area where he spent seven years as a prisoner of war. My memories of covering politics and political campaign stretches a long ways back, but it’d be hard to top the late fall, early winter of 1999, 2000 in New Hampshire when John McCain was running in the presidential primary up there. He electrified audiences. He became a cult figure. It was the most open and honest campaign in terms of access to the candidate that I have ever encountered, and today…our thoughts and prayers are with him. He is an American nobleman. He is unlike anybody we have on the political scene,” comments Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle as the panel discusses Sen. John McCain’s important contributions, following the breaking news that Sen. McCain (R-AZ) has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Listen to more of the panel’s thoughts on Sen. McCain here.

Sen. Kaine: “Facts Strike Back”

“How about hanging a banner in the Senate with the words of (Sen.) Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia: `I did not come to Washington to hurt people’,” asks Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, during a conversation about whether Republican Senators have attempted to engage in a bipartisanship effort to get their GOP health care bill passed. Listen to what Kaine has to say here.

POTUS and Russia: Ongoing

ICYMI: Hear the Morning Joe conversation with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle and Wendy Sherman about President Donald Trump’s second, undisclosed private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit, where a Kremlin interpreter translated for both presidents, according to Ian Bremmer, President of Eurasia Group and editor-at-large for Time magazine.

POTUS: Unchanged

“Prior to his assuming the presidency, a lot of people thought and would say that the presidency will certainly change Donald Trump. Well, it hasn’t. It hasn’t changed Donald Trump. And now we have an Administration with the Russia stuff, with the meeting with Putin — who (Trump) clearly has an attraction to, maybe because of Putin’s strength as a leader — we have the health care debacle, and we have the fact that this Administration is so far a mix of incompetence and indifference to almost everything before it,” says Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during the conversation about the revelation that President Donald Trump had a second, private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit, where a Kremlin interpreter translated for both presidents and was the only witness to the exchange. Listen in on more of the conversation.

Uneven Health Care Access

“Senator, one of your colleagues, John McCain, beloved by many people, is ill. He is in the hospital. Another one of your colleagues on the House side, Congressman Steve Scalise, who was shot basically because he was a Republican, nearly died, is suffering now from a series of operations because of infections, which are critically and perhaps sometimes really lethally dangerous in terms of gunshot victims. Everyone hopes that both these men succeed, gain great health, and prosper. OK….Do you think most of the people in West Virginia would go for a health insurance policy similar to the ones that Senator McCain and Congressman Scalise have? Why not put that together?” asks Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) during a conversation about the uneven access to health care that plagues the United States. What will it take to balance the scales? Listen to Manchin’s response here.

Are Security Clearances Secure?

“Could the President of the United States issue a security clearance for me, individually? Is it up to him alone?” asks Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of Ned Price, former Special Assistant to President Barack Obama during a conversation about whether the White House is bending the rules on security clearances as they apply to Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior advisor, in light of his meeting last summer with a Russian lawyer that has since become the focus of allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Hear Price’s response and explanation of how security clearances work.

The Source of Bannon’s Resentment

“Josh, help me out here. This is the most extensive portrait of Steve Bannon that we’ve had thus far, your book: ‘Devil’s Bargain.’ Given his background, given the way he was raised, given what he’s done with his life; he’s had a lot of success, a lot of opportunity, and yet, everything he seems to speak to, or about, or try to influence people with, is resentment. Where does this resentment come from?” asks Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of Bloomberg Businessweek senior national correspondent Joshua Green during a conversation about his new book, which contains extensive reporting on White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Listen to Green’s take on Bannon here.

Do Americans Care?

“You pick up the feeling out in the ordinary America where most Americans do in fact live, work, breathe, and hope for a better life…that the only people paying attention to Donald Trump and Sean Spicer are lawyers and members of the media. Other than that, people are going through their lives each and every day,” comments Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during the ongoing conversation about the White House’s shifting reasons for the Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer during the election process after being promised damaging information on then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Listen to the latest on the topic here.

GOP Health Care Failure

“You get to the point where you wish that we in the media and the United States Senators – all 100 of them – ought to be forced to answer the simple question: Do you believe in effective and affordable health insurance coverage for every American: Yes or no?” asks Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a conversation about the uncertain future of health care for Americans after the failure of the Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The Ongoing War on the Media

While the Morning Joe panel reviews President Donald Trump’s statements that defended the meeting his son – Donald Trump Jr. – had with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information on then presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, veteran columnist Mike Barnicle adds: “(POTUS) also did one other thing with that statement: He maintained his consistency in the war against the media…when he said the Russian lawyer got her visa from Attorney General Lynch. You know how you get a visa: You go to a consulate in your own country or to the American Embassy in Moscow. But there is a percentage of people who will believe that” you call the Attorney General to procure a visa. Listen in on the discussion here and watch highlights of President Trump’s statements concerning the Russia investigation here.

Trump’s Base Continues Support

While the Morning Joe panel continues to analyze how President Donald Trump has maintained a large majority of support from his base despite the ongoing Russia controversy surrounding him, senior contributor Mike Barnicle explains: “It gets tragically to the one single most outstanding success of the Trump presidency, and that’s his successful and sustained assault on the news media. That has taken hold, and there are huge numbers of Americans who choose not to believe these stories, choose not to believe that Russia may have participated in our election, which is in effect an act of war: Cyberwar against the United States on behalf of Donald Trump.” Listen to more of the discussion here.

The State of the U.S.

“Putin has already won a huge victory: He’s created chaos within the American political system. But the larger issue (is) there’s an intersection here: The diminishment of belief in the news media and the President’s behavior, his inability to stick to the truth or tell a truth,” comments Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a discussion with Random House executive editor and author Jon Meacham about the social and political landscape under President Donald Trump. Listen to Meacham’s explanation here about the current state of U.S. politics.