Republicans, Russia, Democrats discussed on 1947: The Meet the Press Podcast
Good afternoon from Washington. I'm Chuck Todd and this is the Chuck Todd Cast. The Democratic Twenty twenty field lost a few players this week notably Comma Harris and Steve Bullock. But did you know the former Congressman Joe. SESTAK was running. Well Anyway. He's not now now. The field is currently dominated by four frontrunners Biden Warren Sanders and budget with booed surging into first place in Iowa according to at least one poll and possibly even a ham. Then there's of course the Michael Bloomberg experiment here era of skipping the first four states house that shaking things up this week. Democrats in Congress. Meanwhile charge forward on impeachments beating toward the possible vote of articles of impeachment before Christmas so far the pennant impeachment probe in. The House has done little to change public opinion on this particular Republican support for the president which went it up in the beginning but has since tapered off so are Democrats playing a long or short game here and is there really any upside to either decision at this point politically Likley but then again maybe Republicans are bonus joining me now to discuss magazine correspondent Julia. Yaffe who's also currently writing a book on Russian women and and Washington Post national political correspondent. Hohmann who will recognize from your inbox with the daily to welcome to you both so I'm going to get. Let's dispatch with the his. The the impeachment hearing first of all just history junkie. James I know you are Julia. I'm an assume if you're in this business you are to Sarah. I I kind of enjoyed the the oral histories of the debate about what to put in the constitution. I mean I thought that was kind of interesting James. Yeah not very often. You see on network television a long discourses on the federal papers and what. James Madison was thinking. When Jonathan Turley misquoted Alexander Hamilton by the way in federal sixty five I I noticed in his in his case against impeachment but the relevancy of these hearings? Today I'm watching them kind of with one eye and wondering wondering what you know what they add you know. The the fact witnesses were pretty explosive. They kind of showed that this was pretty much. Factually at least did not politically an open. And shut case but you know for the we've already seen that. Republicans are not moving on this at all but not a single one is going to peel off and especially given the kind of anti expert anti deep state Andrew Bureaucrat. Yeah Ethos in the Trump Republican party which is what it is now. I'm wondering who do these hearings are for it does feel. It's for the Acela corridor absolutely James. But here's what I took away. I took away two things number one. They do WANNA put bribery as one of the army. What we're learning as we're learning what they are trying to legally play right so we've taken away two things here that they WANNA do bribery? The second is the obstruction action park to the mall. Report is going to be a basis for one of the articles of impeachment. That's a significant development. It is and you're right. This is all about laying the legal predicates get for what's going to come next. They know where they're going with this. That's why they chose the witnesses they did. It's also funny to compare the Republican witnesses who testified during the Bill Clinton impeachment. It gave literally the opposite testimony. God worshipped Jonathan Turley. Who was basically a cable? TV News Royer in the ninety S. Jane Clinton's anything he got to a whole bunch of people that sort of parlayed. Oj and Clinton into some sort of legal celebrity and look Greta. They go on and on. There are a lot of these folks. But it is amazing Turley. But does that stuff goes to what you deciduous does any of this matter. Does hypocrisy matter anymore. More you know. But here's the thing. I don't know that it ever mattered in Washington. I mean I never get more crickets on twitter or when I try to pitch something to an editor. When I'm like well remember that? This politician said something different or this party used to stanton at least say it stood for something different and it's just you know snoring sounds i. It's just assumed to be so baked into how Washington and politics work that. It's it's not interesting anymore to anyone. Although I you know I think it should be you now. Bushy tailed idealist. But is it possible that we are too cynical of the public's take on all this because we sit here and we look at it and we and I've noticed some of the reporting and analysis and we've all committed some of this analysis ourselves already we're looking at the politics and the Republican wall of obstruction and going okay. What is this worth doing? You know you know. This isn't going anywhere but it didn't. We're not in this place. Organically Ganic Lee James Right. The Republican Party spent millions to basically get this status quo over the last two months. Democratic Party chose not the campaign brightness and yet the numbers numbers are break. Even you can look at that and say Oh my God. What if the Democrats actually campaigned on this? You Know Nancy. Pelosi didn't think the numbers we're going to move. That's why she was reluctant has if she should. I wonder if they've made a mistake. Not to put a little bit of money behind that. Please don't John over over you know. Don't let me man's point a no. No no it's fine I just You know to continue with the bushy tailed. Bushy tailed idealism streak streak. I think you know the politics aside. They have to do this. And I and I'm actually heartened to see that. They're referring to the second part of the Muller Report and the ten key instances says ups of obstruction of justice that muller outlined therein Because at some point it's not just about the politics I mean we saw a piece about how so I think in the post actually about how yesterday about how moderate moderate Democrats it might give them some room to vote no on some articles of impeachment and show that they're kind of an independent of Pelosi etc.. But I think this stuff has to at least be brought up for a vote. Because it's being I think has to be done for the future for institutions for our Constitution. If you just let this stand you know if you let what what was outlined in the Muller reports stand and he so clearly pundit to Congress and if they don't pick up the ball and run and at least show that they take obstruction of justice by President. Seriously I think again again. I am mostly foreign policy person and I look at this from an international perspective I was just in central Europe and The people were telling me you know we like journalists and activists there who still feel like a tinderbox. It just feels like yet this podcast. We do sides it. Just you know national. Yeah well I always do especially as a Jew but ethno-nationalism And kind of authoritarian regimes Were popular there before they were here in the last decade but You know talking to journalists and activists there I was hearing what a lot of journalists and activists in Russia were telling me which was we used to look up to you guys and we used to see you as an an example to emulate and strive for in terms of independent institutions in In terms of respect for the law in terms of how you treat Corruption and now are we see that you're just like every other country and we don't know who to look up to anymore and I think that's really important and I think this is kind of something to keep in mind you know while we count the votes oats and who's whipping who you know like we. I think we should keep the bigger picture in mind. I in the bigger picture too. I think we have to keep in mind the atmospherics yes. It's true the polls haven't moved right. I think you know some of that is is part of the kind of muddying the waters has worked for trump. and that's sweet time talking about Ukraine intervention than Russia within what Russia has been doing to the entire our world. Yeah it's it's astonishing how we all found ourselves because we couldn't believe how crazy. Oh my and so it legitimately became Hema story but we end. They accomplished what they wanted to. And they're still doing it. They've you know it's such it is it is it is and in fact there was is a vote into the night before these hearings got very little attention because it was a resolution but seventy two just fired me up so much. I can't I have an interesting. I guess coming up this weekend who is definitely Russia. Hawk cannot wait ask them. I'm excited. I'm excited to see it. You know obviously incredible interviewed last weekend with with the senator from Louisiana and and it was amazing seventy-one Republicans voted against a resolution saying that Russia shouldn't be allowed to rejoin the G.. Seven all kind of trump loyalists the resolution said until they give back Crimea. Okay that's the only one house. Republicans voted to say ass freshman. Wants to get back into the regardless of whether they return turn a stolen piece of country and this is the same party that six years ago seven years ago whatever. The number Mitt Romney the every single one of them to to a person cheered on Mitt Romney when he said Russia's our biggest strategic threat. Some of that's tribalism. Of course tribalism isn't new but it is a moment and I think oh you know. This is a big deal for putting it in their only newsletter morning minutes I'll wait to use the nugget. They trump also said this At a g seven meeting where he said you know well forget about Crimea. They all want their all russian-speakers they want to be part of Russia. which also we just kind of glossed over this was last summer summer? Kind of people were glossed over this. Like whatever and everybody everybody in Bermuda speaks English. Although there's a lot of Russia's speakers in Manhattan or not Manhattan and Brooklyn russian-speakers in Fort Lauderdale Miami okay. I do want to say that like we saw this happening. Pretty early the polls right after Trump's election right after the DNA report came out in January. Two thousand seventeen was kind of like Obama's last act as he walked out the door to Release this intelligence report that was that showed unprecedented unanimity among Intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered in the elections ends that had done so to hurt Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump win and to weaken democratic institutions here pulls immediately showed Republicans. Saying well we would be against Russian interference if it helped Democrats but when it helps Republicans. We're not I mean but that was like early twenty seventeen and So forgotten or lost or not because I think going back to my earlier point I think we in the Acela corridor especially in the age Egypt. Twitter we love zoo. We we've gotten so myopic staring at our screens and Thinking about you know the tiny blow by blow. It's not even horse race anymore or you know we're looking at and we really have to keep the big picture in mind because honestly history is watching and you know you mentioned. History Gig was a history major and I'm always thinking about. How will this be written about thirty years from now? One Hundred Years from now. And that's what we have to keep in mind the only way. Honestly it's how I think about every Sunday these days and I'm not sitting here saying that you didn't think about what would this look like a month or a year or something like that. I always think about what transcript GonNa look like in twenty five years..