tv Meet the Press MSNBC January 15, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
charge from an american c this sunday that stunning charge from an american civil rights icon. >> i think the russians participated in helping this man get elected. >> my exclusive interview with congressman lewis, the national debate his comments have already inspired and reaction this morning from donald trump's incoming chief of staff, reince prieb priebus. >> growing concerns with donald trump's coziness with vladimir putin. >> should we ignore the less
sons of history and our relationship with vladimir putin. >> dine feinstein joins me to explain the scope of the first congressional probe into these allegations. >> and with the fbi's e-mail investigation under investigation itself, democrats go public with their anger against james koemy. >> the fbi director has no credibility. >> joining me is rich lawrie of the national review, he lean cooper, jeffrey goldberg of the atlantic and daniel pletka of the american enterprise constitute. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good nday morning on this martin luther king jr. weekend anth last sunday of the obama presidency. even before john lewis's explosive statements denying donald trump's legacy of
president, monday president-elect trump in effect challenged decades old laws against nep tich by hiring his son-in-law. embarrassing but unverified accounts of donald trump's accounts are published by buzzfeed. thursday, the justice department's inspector general announces a review of how james comey handled the hillary clinton e-mail investigation and lewis doesn't consider donald trump to be a legitimate president. i'll talk to reince priebus. but with john lewis's comments making headlines all weekend, we will begin with part one of my interview. >> you have forged relationships with many presidents. do you plan on trying to forge a relationship with donald trump?
>> no. i believe in forgiveness. i believe in trying to work with people. it's going to be hard. it's going to be very difficult. i don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president. >> you do not consider him a legitimate president? why is that? >> i think the russians participated in helping this man get elected. and they helped destroy the candidacy of hillary clinton. i don't plan to intend inauguration. it will be the first one that i have missed since i have been in the congress. you cannot be at home with something th you feel that is wrong. >> that's going to send a big message to a lot of people in this country, that you don't believe he's a legitimate president. >> i think there was a conspiracy on the part of the
russians and others that help him get elected. that's not right. that's not fair. that's not the open democratic process. >> you're a man of action. you have been your whole life. you believe that this president is not legitimate. what would you tell young folks, young activists to do? >> i would say to young people and i continue to say today and i am going to say it during the next few days as we sell rate and commemorate the birthday of martin luther king jr., when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have an obligation to do something. you cannot afford to be quiet or to be silent. >> so what should be done? what should nancy pelosi? what should barack obama do? >> we must not be silent. >> do you think the president
has been too silent? >> no, but those of us in position, we have to go out there and make some noise. we've got to organize. >> that is a powerful thing to say coming from you, that you do not believe he is a legitimatety elected president. what should be done? >> we have to continue to work and continue to speak up and speak out. >> how do you accept working with him under any circumstance. >> it is going to be very hard and very difficult, almost impossible for me to work with him. >> we'll have more of that interview with congressman lewis later in the program, including whether he would ever invite naldrump to selma? not surprisingly lewis's comments drew some strong reaction from both sides of the while and multiple responses from the man he criticized. >> a day after congressman lewis told me he doesn't believe trump is a legitimately elected
president, donald trump responded. >> he should respond more time on fixing his district. not to mention crime infested rather than falsely complaining about the election results. all talk, talk, talk, no action or results. sad. then late last night after many pointed out lewis's atlanta district is solidly middle class, trump tweeted again. congressman john lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner cities of the u.s. i could use all the help i could get. with five days to go, a new debate about trump's legacy, putting republicans on the defensive. >> i think he will in time feel he used his words poorly. >> and initially dividing democrats. >> john lewis is right on target in terms of how this
president-elect was elected. >> i just don't want to see this constant churning that leads to a kind of refleckive reaction every time a president gets elected who we don't light. >> but trump's eagerness to start a fight with a civil fights activist starts battles. including on the day the obama administration announced sanctions retaliating against russia for its interference on the election. >> on the very eve of the sanctions, was it right to have that conversation? >> now, trump tells the wall street journal, he would be open to lifting sanctions on russia in the future. quote, if you get along and if russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody is doing some really great things.
but three senators in his own party disagree with him, and that disagreement dominated hearings this week. >> do you believe that vad mir putin and his cronies are responsible for ordering the murder of countless journalists and political opponents. >> i do not have sufficient information to make that claim. >> none of this is classified, mr. tiller son. these people are dead. >> do you believe the russians have hacked into our election. >> i have done no research into that. >> do you think you could get briefed any time soon. >> i'll need to. >> russia has invaded cry team and crimea. intervened in syria, leaving a trail of death and distrux. >> joining me now is incoming chief of staff, reince priebus. welcome back to e program, sir. >> thank you, chuck. lete start with something
congressman amash tweeted. simply, dude, just stop. let me ask you this. did the president-elect contemplate reaching out to congressman lewis privately before tweeting? >> look, here's the thing. i think that, chuck, it's shocking that congressman lewis, who is a civil rights icon and is a person who's championed voting rights would start this firestorm. the truth is donald trump won 30 of 50 counties. he won about 128 out of the 159 counties in georgia. he flipped 200 counties that obama won and had the biggest electoral landslide on our side of the aisle since
reagan. it is irresponsible for john lewis to have done this. and the other piece of this, chuck, is that barack obama should step up as well and call it what it is. it's wrong what is happening. it's wrong how some of these democrats are treating president-elect trump. we have a great relationship with the white house. i talk to den mismcdnis mcdonna day. the transfer of power within the white house is going great. but to do this to president-elect trump five days before he puts his hands on the bible is just wrong. by the way, the democrats are fund-raising on this comment from congressman lewis right now. so they're making money on it. >> let me ask you this because one of the things that congressn lewis says that he ll never forget and possibly never forgive is when donald
trump said that vladimir putin was a stronger leader than president obama. and there will be people that respond to your comments right now and say donald trump spent five years questioning the legacy of barack obama's constitutional viability to be president of the united states with the birther controversy. do you understand why there are going to be some who look at your criticism of john lewis and say, that's hypocritical coming from somebody that works for donald trump. >> so first of all, the president-elect never said that vladimir putin was a better person. he didn't say that -- >> i said stronger leader. >> hang on. let me finish. >> my question to you was stronger leader. that's what i quoted. >> i get it. it wasn't he's a better person, i would rather have him as president of the united states. it was that characteristics of leadership can be parsed and
compared. and characteristic qualities can be a lot of things. that's what he was talking about, but certainly wouldn't prefer vladimir putin over barack obama as president of the united states. that's ridiculous. to take an old argument about where the president was born has nothing to do with whether or not in a democracy in the united states whether donald trump won the election and whether it was legitimate. james clapper of the intelligence community, i don ow if jo lewis knows more than they do, but they have concluded there is no evidence that anything was done in the course of this election by russians or whoever changed the course of this election. in fact, the only evidence there is of tampering and having a real connection to foreign leadership was the dnc paying an operative over $400,000 to meddle in the ukraine to dig up dirt on donald trump. no one is talking about the $400,000 that the dnc spent
digging up dirt with an operative in the ukraine. there is nothing here in regard to this issue in russia and all of the defense intelligence agencies have concluded that. >> when you say there is nothing here, there is -- >> i mean evidence that changed the outcome of the election. >> you're talking about -- you're not disputing that there is a lot of evidence of russia's attempts to interfere in the election? >> i'm not disputing that the russian entities hacked the dnc. but i am -- i'm not going to back to our interview of a few weeks ago. i am also going to say when you don't have any defenses on your computer system and you hand over 50,000 e-mails, obviously that makes it a whole lot easier. and i think that the clinton folks wasted a billion dollars of their donors money and they have a lot to answer for and none of this would be happening if hillary clinton didn't use a
server in violation of federal law. >> does that excuse a foreign government from attemptin to interfere in the united states election? >> of course not. all of its wrong. china is wrong. russia is wrong. iran is wrong. all of these entities are wrong for doing what they have done. but back to john lewis, for him then to say, which no intelligence official is saying, that donald trump was elected illegitimately is irresponsible. and just because he's a civil rights leader and someone that i respect as a civil rights leader and someone that i went to selma with him and many others a few years ago. >> yes, you did. >> it doesn't excuse the fact that his statement was not responsible and it's not right and it is too bad because president-elect trump is going to be a great president and this country elected him in an electoral landslide, and it is a shame. it is really a shame that five days from now he's being sworn in and we're talking about this.
>> the issue has to do with russia and there was there was another dispute and some concern on the same day that the obama administration announced new sanctions against russia for their meddling in the 2016 election that the incoming national security adviser michael flynn was on the phone multipal times with the russian ambassador of the united states. can you say there was no promises, no winks, no anything that somehow there was an acknowledgment that these sanctions will go away as quickly as possible once the inauguration takes place? >> so, chuck, almost every single day, general flynn talks to counter parts and ambassadors from around the world. that's his job. so one of his jobs is to be in constant communication with his counter parts and security
issues all over -- all over the world. the tick tok on this is that on christmas, the two of them texted each other merry christmas. a couple days later this ambassador texted general flin he wanted to talk and the next day they had a conversation that happened to be that same day. but i have talked to general flynn. none of that came up, the subject matter of sanctions or the actions taken by the obama administration did not come up with the conversation. n in fact, it was the sports team that was in an unfortunate plane accident. they talked about setting up a phone call after inauguration and they also talked about a conference in syria or conference in regard isis and syria. so those were the only subjects that came up. but there is no controversy in general flynn talking to his counter parts around the world. >> there was no challenge?
>> none. >> there is a new report out this morning from esquire magazine that includes some quotes both from the incoming press secretary but some anonymous quotes that indicate it is your intent to remove the white house press core from the white house. is that true? >> well, look. first of all -- let me explain. well, no, because the white house obviously is 18 acres, right, chuck? so the technical answer is no. we saw the news conference the other day. and i have to quarrel with you. i don't think it was a bizarre news conference. i don't think it is a fair characterization. but there was 500 to 600 reporters at that news conference. what i'm talking about and what we're talking about and the other thing that was discussed about this is whether or not you want to take that room that only holds 50 people in that very small plus room, which it looks big on tv, but it is very tiny and whether you want to go 50 feet to the eob and have for the first few weeks or the first
month or so the press conferences where you could fit three to four times the amount of time. it is about more access. >> it is not about the office space or any of that business? >> this is about quadrupling the amount of reporters that could cover our press conferences. >> but there will still be reporters every day going to work in the white house? >> well, that hasn't been determined, chuck. but as of now, the only thing and the only thing that created this story -- i just want to make it very clear -- was the question of whether or not the press briefings, at least initially are going to be in the eob. >> is this about press briefings or kicking the press out of the building altogether? >> this is about press briefings. that's what created this story. >> okay. all right. reince priebus. i will leave it there. so the press will still be going to work every day in the white house. >> how about a little go pack,
go! >> there will be a lot of that all day today, sir. thanks for coming on and sharing your views. >> all right. so much to get to in today's broadcast, including the decision by the inspector general to investigate how the fbi handles i investigation of hillary clinton's e-mas. and concerns over the relationship between the trump team and vladimir putin's russia. it's looking up not down. it's feeling up thinking up living up. it's being in motion... in body in spirit in the now. boost. it's not just nutrition. it's intelligent nutrition. with 26 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. all in 3 delicious flavors. it's choosing to go in one direction... up. boost. be up for it. hi! hey! i've made plans for later in case this date doesn't go well. same here. wouldn't it be great if everyone said what they meant?
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. welcome back and welcome our panel. welcome. jeffrey, let me start with you. this was already a tumultuous week gng to the inauguration and then john lewis versus donald trump. thoughts? >> it is this monday through saturday thing. i'm wondering, of course, if this is what the next four years are going to be like every day.
the thoughts i have about lewis is an operative one. the first thought is rex tillerson or jim maddis going to need special people to monitor trump's twitter feed. it's interesting as an operational issue. i'm curious as to how he's going to use this tool going forward because he is about to become president and he is so easily trolled. when he becomes president, if someone starts trolling him, how he is going to react? >> look, we put together, this is just i am going to scroll the list here. this is just the entities and individuals he's gone after since he won the presidency, rich. and it is a long list. john lewis is now at -- you throw on there. it was check jones at one point. you had a steel worker guy, gm. most of them have been democr s democrats. lots of members of the media,
present company included. at what point is this a problem for him? >> i think everyone needs to get used to this. this is the new abnormal. and trump is going to -- he finds this very effective and emotionally gratifying for him. his supporters love it when he tramples on politics, which with you don't hit that card against john lewis. on lewis's statement, i really see it as working through stages of grief. you know, all this russia stuff, at least a lot of it, was litigated during te election. hillary clinton lost anyway. and my guess is democrats, when they actually get traction against donald trump, it will be by acting as a normal opposition opposing a normal republican who wants to cut taxes for the rich. >> you're down playing the russian angle a little? >> i think everyone we have learned since the election could have been known prior to the election and the result very likely would have been the same. think most of the wick kkileaks
stuff was gossipy. but koemy had much of a political effect. and whatever else you think of, he is an american official. >> and he is a whole separate topic. daniel, who are you on this? >> well, i'll say something about john lewis that maybe hasn't been said. you know, truly a great american. and i think we could all agree about that. but what the russians want is not so much donald trump. okay? what the russians want is for there to be question about the legacy of everything that happens in america. this is their operative stance. that's what we see in the uk, in france. that's what we see in germany. that's what we see them doing everywhere. when congressman lewis says he doesn't believe in the results of the american election, which i think we all can agree were legitimate, what he does is he
sews that distrust that actually helps the russians. that's a shame. i don't think he means to help them anymore than i think half the people who did meant to help them. but it does. and it's not the way we should pursue it. >> i think there are people who feel trapped by all this because i think there are people that share daniel's sentiment here, that that's exactly what russia ones. >> i think that's certainly true. and i think that if you're john lewis, there is a way to go about doing this and that's in the measured way that he did with you. i think the far bigger issue against john lewis is not president-elect of the united states, donald trump is. and donald trump is about to become president. and as president, there is a way to respond and there is a way not to respond. there is a way to say i disagree with john lewis without calling atlanta a crime infest eed hell hole. there is a way to disagree with
someone as you saw reince priebus just do without going on a twitter tantrum. and that's what you do not expectrom a commander in chief. now we're now five days out from donald trump taking control of the greatest country on earth. the idea that the president of the united states is going to be having tantrums on twitter whenever somebody gets under his skin is frightening to a lot of people. >> i don't think he is going to change. >> new abnormal, that is going to be the quote of the panel here. >> the new a b normal. i don't think he's going to change. people at my age don't change. and also it works. it works. i mean, it satisfies -- >> it satisfies the base. it got him to the dance. >> the irony here is if donald trump says nothing, tweets nothing, this is a debate inside the democratic party about whether to use the l word or not. and instead it united the
democratic party and now you have some republicans uncomfortable with his tone against john lewis. >> fair enough. but i think rich is right. this is what works for donald trump. this is who he is. so a large extent, we need to all think ant how it is that the rest of the body of politic and washington reacts to this. if we all stand up and start screaming every time he drops a tweet, we're going to be very, very, very tired. at the end of the year. we need to recognize that first of all, not every twe is policy. okay? beuse this is the constitutional govnment of our country. >> i'm sorry. but when the president of united states says something, it is automatically news. we can't ignore his tweets. >> i'm not telling you to ignore them. i'm telling you not to edge toward the cliff every time you read one. that's what i mean. it's not always an object of hysteria. and it isn't going to necessarily be the policy of the united states. plus, we have a congress. we have a constitution and he has a cabinet. >> it sounds as if you are
saying this is the responsibility of the united states to act as the adult, while the president acts like a child. >> first of all, i don't want to say that he acts like a child. i say that this is who he is and he was elected being who he is. it's not what i would do, but i wasn't running. and if we are going to manage how he assess the government and how he governs, we need to actually be -- >> this is very abnormal. >> okay. >> that is a very abnormal way of looking at how the world should be organized. >> but that's what the american people chose. >> i am going to pause the conversation. i promise you it is a pause. i will hit play on a little bit. but coming up i will speak to senator dianne feinstein. she is on the intel committee that will formally investigate the potential russian interference in the election. and later more of my interview with congressman john lewis and his feelings about donald trump. >> can you imagine every sharing
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intel committee. she's the former chair and vice chair of the committee. she joins me now. welcome back. >> thank you, chuck. >> before i get to the investigation, i've got to ask you about what john lewis said and about donald trump's response and just get your response. >> well, i understand why john lewis feels the way he does. this is a very fearful and divided nation right now. and the trumps have not done anything to bring it together. i really regret the president-elect's response to what john lewis said. it's without understanding of his history of what he went through, of the fact that this is martin luther king weekend and there is so much fear in this country. i come from the biggest state. i get tens of thousands of phone calls and e-mails of people that are fearful of what's going to happen. it's the job of this new
president to reassure people that he is not just the president of his base, but he is the president of everyone, and that means a coming together. now -- >> reince priebus said he thought president obama should play a role in healing more. what did you make of that statement? >> president obama has played a role for eight years in doing just that. we're talking about the next period of four years. and the mantha's goi that's goid that needs to step up and realize he represents the whole country and he represents people of all different races and creeds who are looking for opportunity, hope and for the values tt this country carries high. >> let me go to the investigation. you have seen the unclassified verses of this intel report. do you have any doubt in your mind that russia tried to interfere in the election and then, second, do you believe it
altered the outcome? >> the answer is yes on both cases. >> you truly -- you believe? >> that's what i believe. i've had all of the major classified briefings. i have been astonished at what has been a two-year effort at russia to spear fish, to hack, to provide disinformation, propaganda wherever it really could. and i think this has been a very sophisticated effort. i think in our classified sessions, we will be able to get down to the depth and breadth of it. i hope so. i spoke yesterday twice with senator warner, who is our new vice chairman and he reviewed with me the terms of this agreement. this investigation has to be full and robust. if it isn't, both of us will go toward an outside panel. but we cannot ignore what has happened. to ignore it is really to commit
ourselves to a very bad future. >> what is the scope? i'll be honest. i read it and it comes across as an investigation into the investigation, an investigation into the intel community's assessment. is the intel community going to do its own investigation and maybe, you know -- >>. it is review of the intelligence that informed the declsified report about russia's interference in the election. now, last night i read this declassified report. the declassified report is pretty certain about what russia did. there is some particulars which are classified which are not part of it. but it's pretty clear that the hacking was in both political parties. but with the aim of hurting. >> right. >> hillary clinton. and then if hillary clinton were to win, the aim clearly was to weaken her. >> are you investigating -- but
is there a new aspect? are you investigating the specific allegations of whether or not there was trump -- any member of the trump campaign was somehow in contact with russia officials? >> well, that hasn't been discussed. and i really can't answer that question right now. i can say that it should be full and robust with respect to who gave the order to do this, who participated in it, exactly what they did and how they carried it out and what it portends for the future. that's my view of what the intelligence committee should do. >> do you truly believe, though, it is going to be a thorough enough investigation that will get to the bottom of it as far as the american public is concerned? >> we'll see. i know that we have to. if we can't this way, we will another way. but, look, i'm certainly not going to leave this in limbo because this is the future of america, it is the future of democracy. and if we can't carry out an
election without disinformation being pumped into it by another country, we have a huge destruction of our system going on. so we have to be full and robust in this look. and i trust that we are. i have worked with chairman burr for a long time. and i believe that this can happen. if it doesn't, we will sing outloud and clear. >> let me buttonhole something, though. you said you believe that russia's interference altered the outcome of the election? >> i do. it's a combination of a couple of things. i think that and i think the fbi in the october surprise, i call it an october surprise, o announcing a subsequent investigation, did have an impact. and i believe the clinton people believe it did, too. they were polling and they were up and all of that diminished. >> you brought up james comey.
is he still fit to serve as director of fbi in your opinion? >> i think that's a decision to come when everybody learns much more about what drove this. i think the inspector general's report is critical in this because there are rumors of all kinds of conflicts within the fbi that focussed on the director. the director, i think was torn. i think he did what he thought was right. in my view, it turned out very much not to be right because the fbi doesn't announce -- >> you're not ready to say he should be fired yet. >> not yet. >> by the way, quite a week. confirmation hearings, new pacemaker and right back here healthy as ever. when we come back, investigating the investigation as we were just talking about. the justice department is now looking into how the fbi handled the hillary clinton issue.
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the panel is back. we ended there on james comey. wow. james comey might be in rougher shape than any non-elected official in washington. >> it is incredible. i mean, he's had quite a week when you look at the beginning of t week and they came out with the russia dossile and there was questions about what is comey's motivation. it is amazing to me to see what the different iterations, one minute he's, you know, he's viewed as having -- or hurt hillary clinton and the next minute he's hurting donald trump. it is going to be very interesting to see how he emerges from this and now trump ends up viewing him when he becomes president. >> on the day wall street journal comes out and says comey should resign. >> yeah.
>> it is -- he has no confidence from either party. that is not a good place for the director of the fbi to be. >> if they are investigating whether he violated guidelines, we could all save a lot of time and money. yes, he did. but the democratic party violated a very important norm. they nominated a candidate under fbi investigation. that it was going to stress the system in all sorts of ways. comey never should have said anything about this publically. but i cut him some slack because as soon as loretta lynch has that meeting with bill clinton, he feels he needs to explain his decision. once you get outside the guidelines, once you start explaining and talking, there is not a good place to stop. >> i don't know how he survived this and i don't know how you get a new fbi director confirm in this atmosphere. >> i would note he's a united, not a divider.
he's brought republicans and democrats together. i would note being under investigation is not equivalent to being found guilty. so i don't want to suggestion that people who will under fbi investigation -- you and i both know, that means somebody said something anonymously to the fbi and they're looking into it. we don't want to have a standard where anybody under investigation by any body can no longer run for office. >> once you do that, the fbi director is going to be in a really tough position. and bad things might happen, and they did. and now democrats turn around and say these terrible things happened to hillary. isn't it awful? it is what she did and their decision to nominate her any way. >> let me go to the meat of what happened, and it was three republicans that set the tenor of some of these confirmation hearings. maddis's confirmation hearing
had nothing to do with maddis. where is this headed? is there going to be a show down of sanctions that will divide the senator republicans. >> i have watched more of these hearings than probably most people. and the notion that a nominee would disagree with the -- with the president-elect is basically par for the course. >> sure. >> especially when you have a president-elect who speaks in the way that donald trump does. you cannot expect that the nominees are ever going to echo his style of rhetoric, let alone the exact words he says. so i didn't feel that was so disgnadi disgnat. i think how much is actually going to be policy? because once they're confirmed, guess what, donald trump is the boss. not john mccain, not marco
rubio. >> is there going to be a show down. >> i think absolutely. >> there is going to be a new sanctions bill. congress wants to pass one. there is a majority to pass a sanctions bill against russia and put it on his desk as a test. >> i think tre is going to be a show down between president trump and the senator. there is also going to be show downs between president trump and his cabinet -- and his cabinet. i mean, i was trustruck, and i t of disagree with you, danielle, i was struck with the level of distance between maddis and tillerson about nato, europe and iran. there was a level of distance that i have not seen in confirmation hearings in the past. >> you forget that hillary clinton was nominated to be secretary of state for a president whose policies she called ni eed naive and wrong.
>> the relationship between the u.s. and its tradition of -- it's not about the relationship between america's traditional adversary. this is maybe the most interesting fight in washington, the fight inside the republican party. >> another pause here. when we come back, more of my interview with congressman john lewis. >> what happened? what role did the russians play in terming the leader of our country? i was energetic. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the resultf overactive nerves. lyrica ibeliev to these nerves. for some, lyrica can gnificantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these,
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welcome back. earlier we heard congressman john lewis make the startling statement that he does not consider donald trump to be a legitimate president. here's more of my interview with john lewis, beginning with what kind of relationship he might try to have with the incoming president. >> can you image ever sharing a state with donald trump? donald trump said i want forgiveness here. i want your trust or i want your, you know -- would you take him to selma? >> well, by going to selma, like president bush, president clinton, president obama, maybe he would learn something. maybe he would get religion. >> so you would bring him? you would do that for him if he asked? >> i would not invite h to come. >> you wouldn't invite him. but if he asked to come, would
you let him. >> i wouldn't try to do anything to prevent him from coming. >> we're going from the first african-american president, a breakthrough. at the same time we've just elected a president that you say is an illegitimate president. what does that say for race relations for the country. >> i'll say that we made a lot of progress, but we're not there yet. when the president spoke a few days ago, he said we're not a post gracious society. and some people said that. some people believed that when you were first elected. but we're not there yet. the scars and stains of race is still deeply embedded in american society. we have to continue to do all we
can to move us closer to what dr. martin luther king jr. called the society. lay down the burden of hate, separation. >> if he's not a legitimately elected president in your mind, there are tools that congress has. do you think congress should use those tools. are you one of those that believe the impeachment process should begi >> i truly believe we should find out what happened and how it happened >> john mccain wants a special committee, select committee. >> i agree with senator mccain. i think we should have a special commission to get to the bottom of what happened, what role did the russians play in terming the leader of our country. when you have someone that's been elected who said of the president or the leader of
russia is stronger or better than our own president. >> that's just something you can't forget? >> i will never forget. >> this is the weekend we commemorate dr. king. what would he say about this moment? >> he would say to all of us to never give up, never become bitter, be hopeful, be optimistic and keep pushing. >> you can see the entire interview on "meet the press" on line. you can view the "meet the press" podcast. we did one on russia. and our library also includes conversations with the likes of maureen dow. you can find us on apple. we'll be back in 45 seconds.
and kind of a unique thing that president obama said. >> coming up "meet the press" end game, brought to you by boeing. also working to build something better. whatever you're making. cheesy chipotle pork quesadillas? mmmm... ravioli lasagna bake? yeah, i don't know... grilled white chicken... grab something rich, sharp and creamy. triple cheddar stuffed sliders. sold! aim to cheese! kraft natural cheese: we make cheese for how you love cheese. mom,on my car insurance of money by switching to geico. i should take a closer look at geico... you know, geico can help you save money on your homeowners insurance too? great! geico can help insure our mountain chalet! how long have we been sawing this log? um, one hundred and fourteen years. man i thought my arm would be a lot more jacked by now.
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find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. sglrchl "meet the press" end game brought to you by boeing. >> sort of lost this week was president obama's farewell address. the guts of the speech, rich, seemed to be -- i don't know if you want to call it defense of democracy, but a warning, hey, democracy is fra gigile. what did you think of that? >> back in word war 2, there was a broad consensus in our politics. but in the broad sweep of american history, that's usually not the way it's worked. you go back to the beginning of parson politics, the federalist
thought that jeff syrians were tools of the french and tools of the monarchy and even lately they thought president bush was selected, not elected. republicans tried to get bill clinton out of the gate. so democracy very often is messy, contention, and that's the way it should be. >> so that's an interesting take. do you buy that? the post-world war ii period was anoutlier? >> i didn't think that until this past 12 months, but i'm wondering if that's the case. i think a lot of things that we thought were on the table about the nature of our politics, i think those things have been put up for question in a way. i think president obama was making that case, that we can't take these things were granted. it was also, by the way, a thought an admission that he had failed to achieve what he hoped to achieve, which is to change
the politics and not red america, blue america, but one united america. i just felt there was a through line. >> it was emotional speech for him. i was really struck afterwards by the sort of the response from people, both in the crowd in chicago. but also on social media, all over the place. you see people now changing their profile pictures on twitter and facebook to the obama family, and that sort of thing. it's been -- i thought his speech was probably one of his -- his better ones. and this is somebody who has made that an art. an art form over eight years and i thought, you know, yeah, democracy is pretty fragile, but it's also always been messy. >> the irony in farewell address is people talk about the influential ones and the irony
is we didn't heed any warning. we talked about it, but we didn't heed it. >> but the american people as a nation are so profoundly sentimental. i really -- i felt my heart warmed when he talked about his wife and kids. >> and joe biden. his deep love of joe biden. that was lovely, but let's not forget one of the reasons our nation is so divided is because of the legacy of barack obama, one of the reasons we no longer lead the world is because of barack obama. >> that's a tough charge, and i am running up against the clock. we'll leave it there. the debate will continue, i'm sure. all this week lester holt is going to take nbc "nightly news" about america, talking to americans about the state of the nation. that's all we have for today. we'll be back next week because of inauguration weekend.
hopefully, we've got another packer game to worry about. let's beat them cowboys! >> go to "meet the press" facebook page. good sunday to you. welcome to the pulse of america right here on msnbc where your voice can be heard in real-time. here are the stories we'd like to get your pulse on on this day. top trump administration officials fire back today at congressman john lewis for questioning the legacy of trump's presidency. did lewis go too far? we'll ask you that. plus the upcoming transfer of