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CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday, temporary truce, a short-term funding deal to end the government shutdown.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

In a short while, I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks.

CHUCK TODD:

Democrats get what they demanded, talks without a wall.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Have I not been clear I don't want a wall? Okay. No, I have been very clear on the wall.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER:

No one should ever underestimate the Speaker, as Donald Trump has learned.

CHUCK TODD:

Mr. Trump hints he may declare a national emergency to get what he wants.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

I would use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency.

CHUCK TODD:

But after 35 days, what did President Trump gain? Plus, our brand-new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll. What effect did the shutdown have on President Trump's approval ratings? And how do Americans feel about where the country is headed right now? My guests this morning, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, and Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Also, the Russia investigation, a seven-count indictment of long-time Trump ally Roger Stone details the most-direct connection yet between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.

ROGER STONE:

I will plead not guilty to these charges. I believe this is a politically motivated investigation.

CHUCK TODD:

Joining me for insight and analysis are NBC News senior correspondent Tom Brokaw; Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour; Hugh Hewitt, host on the Salem Radio Network; and NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker. Welcome to Sunday. It's Meet the Press.

ANNOUNCER:

From NBC News in Washington, the longest-running show in television history, this is Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

CHUCK TODD:

Good Sunday morning. President Trump now knows who the real leader of the Democratic Party is right now. And he can't say Nancy Pelosi didn't warn him. Remember this?

[BEGIN TAPE]

REP. NANCY PELOSI

Mr. President, please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting, as the leader of the House Democrats.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD:

That was before she was officially speaker. This week, the president learned all about that strength, first, when he backed down on giving the State of the Union address this Tuesday, and then again on Friday, when Mr. Trump gave Speaker Pelosi what she had demanded, a reopened government, talks, and no wall, at least for three weeks. That concession, by President Trump, came hours after Robert Mueller drew a clear line between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, when he indicted Mr. Trump's long-time associate, Roger Stone, on seven counts. It was, in short, a very bad week for the president. We have a brand-new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll completed before Friday's events, that indicates, despite the drawn-out shutdown, the president's base, though, has stuck with him. Mr. Trump's approval rating stands at 43%, with 54% disapproving. It's exactly where it was a month ago, before the shutdown. Obviously, we know that other polls have shown a notable drop in that time. But our poll also found a notable drop in another category. The right-direction, wrong-track numbers, they are the worst of Mr. Trump's presidency, with just barely a quarter of the country, 28%, saying that we are headed in the right direction. And that's reflected in this word cloud of how people feel about the state of America right now, with words like, "wrong track," "disappointed," and, "disaster," dominating the responses. Again, all of this was before Friday's Stone news and the end of the shutdown that was widely seen, now, as pointless. So after 35 days of pain, frustration, and anger over that shutdown, what did the president get that he could not have gotten on day one?

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown.

CHUCK TODD:

President Trump spent 34 days insisting the government would stay closed, until Congress approved billions of dollars for a border wall.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

$5.7 billion for a physical barrier. $5.7 billion.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

He's not negotiating with himself. He has said, "$5.7 billion."

CHUCK TODD:

On day 35, with his numbers sagging in some polls, air traffic control stalling, and some congressional Republicans in revolt, he backed down, at least for now.

LESTER HOLT:

President Trump in retreat.

DAVID MUIR:

Unmistakably a surrender.

JEFF GLOR:

The president gave in.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER:

No one should ever underestimate the speaker, as Donald Trump has learned.

CHUCK TODD:

And some conservative allies are calling the president a wimp, writing, "Trump blinks."

ANN COULTER:

He promised something for 18 months. And he lied about it.

LAURA INGRAHAM:

It's clear Trump did not come out on top. I'm not going to spin it for you.

CHUCK TODD :

The president fired back. "This was, in no way, a concession. If no deal is done, it's off to the races." That last reference, his threat to declare a national emergency, if negotiators don't get a deal in three weeks.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

Obviously, we're going to do the emergency. Because that's what it is. It's a national emergency.

CHUCK TODD:

And on Friday, Mr. Trump's long-time confidant, Roger Stone, was indicted and arrested, charged with seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction.

ROGER STONE:

I will plead not guilty to these charges. I will defeat them in court.

CHUCK TODD:

Stone's indictment reveals the most-direct link yet between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which distributed Democratic emails that Russian military intelligence stole from the DNC and the Clinton campaign. The indictment includes this notable sentence. "After WikiLeaks released stolen DNC emails on July 22nd, a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization One, WikiLeaks, had on the Clinton campaign."

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:

How many people could direct a senior campaign official?

CHUCK TODD:

Stone then communicated with WikiLeaks through an intermediary. Five days later…

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

Russia, if you're listening…

CHUCK TODD:

That same day, July 27th, Russian hackers tried, for the first time, to hack into servers in Clinton's personal campaign office. On October 4th, Stone told Steve Bannon, then the chief executive of Mr. Trump's campaign, that WikiLeaks had a serious security concern but would release a load every week, going forward. Three days later, WikiLeaks began selectively releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails.

ROGER STONE:

The allegation that two campaign officials instructed me or inquired of me about WikiLeaks is false.

CHUCK TODD:

And joining me now is the House Republican Leader, Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California. Congressman, welcome back to Meet the Press.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Well, Chuck, thanks for having me back.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. On day one of the shutdown, the president had a deal in front of him that was essentially a continuing resolution for three weeks, no wall. That's the deal he agreed to on day 35. What was accomplished?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Well, nobody likes to go into a shutdown. But the one thing I would see, especially if you're looking at winners and losers, I don't know why someone would celebrate a status quo. I watched the president, in every one of these meetings, offer a reasonable solution. I watched then-Leader Pelosi spend a new historical time on the floor of the House, eight hours, talking about DACA. We don't have the DACA solution solved, when we could've. We still have a problem at the border. We don't have that solved. And now, we've got three more weeks to go. I watched Speaker Pelosi sit there and would not negotiate with anything. So I give President Trump a lot of credit. He put the American people before politics. He said if you want the go —

CHUCK TODD:

After 35 days.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No, he did —

CHUCK TODD:

For 35 days, though, what did he get?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Well, I'm not celebrating getting something. Because what people are celebrating, saying Speaker Pelosi is strong, because she got status quo? That's not what the country wants. The country wants to find common ground. The president made four different offers. It was Speaker Pelosi who said, "I wouldn't talk about anything." So when you think about 35 days, we've got 35 days of Speaker Pelosi not negotiating. And the president finally said, "This is too much. If you say you'll do something else, I'll open it up, so the federal workers will be paid —

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

-- and let's see where you'll go in three weeks."

CHUCK TODD:

Well, that was her stance. She'll negotiate after you open up the government.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No. Her stance was not one dollar for a wall. We're not going to do anything, that it's immoral. And I don't believe that's where her members are, as well. Because if you listen to her own chair of Agriculture said, "Give Trump the money." Her chairman of Armed Services says, "Walls work." Even her number two says, "Walls are not immoral." She is out of step with her own base.

CHUCK TODD:

In three weeks —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

— the president is unlikely -- I mean, do you really believe you're going to get a grand compromise, that somehow, Democrats will trade something temporary for something permanent, a permanent structure for temporary relief for some of these folks? Do you really believe that'll happen in three weeks?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Well, if Democrats have always, in the past, voted for some barrier, and now, they're not going to, because it's being offered by President Trump, that's politics. That means we'd still have a crisis at our border. If, in three weeks, they said, before, "If you open it up, then we'll negotiate, they won't," they are the ones causing the problem. They have changed the course of what they voted for in the past. Speaker Pelosi had voted for a wall and barrier. Schumer had voted for a wall and barrier. But now, they will not, because it's President Trump. I think that's wrong.

CHUCK TODD:

The Gang of Eight bill, the infamous Gang of Eight bill, that you guys in the House never brought to a vote did have extra fencing in it. I believe it was 350 miles —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

— of extra fencing, had $46 billion in border security. What's wrong with Gang of Eight being the, being the beginning of the negotiations?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Last year, I spent more than a month, every single day, in my office, with Durbin, with Steny, with the chief of staff of the White House. And we tried to come together on an immigration bill. It's one of the hardest things ever to do. But when I see a crisis on the border, 500,000 people illegally enter our country, when we are the most-liberal, bringing in a million new people every year, the way we should do it, I think this is an opportunity to not only solve a border crisis, but we've got kids here dealing with DACA. They're both big issues. Solve them right now.

CHUCK TODD:

Look, the only way to make it happen is if both sides are willing to buck their base.

REP. KEVIN. McCARTHY:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

Is the president actually willing to buck his base? He's never given an indication he is. He's threatening a national emergency.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

That is not true. The president is the only one who has been reasonable in these negotiations. And Chuck, I've been in every single meeting, so I watched it. The president is the one who offered. This president is the one who, at the State of the Union, went further on immigration than I've heard from a President Clinton or even President Obama. So no, that is unfair. It was only the Democrats who would interject when the secretary of Homeland tried to talk about the current crisis. They didn't want to hear it. They didn't want to negotiate. They said nothing. It was the president that offered four different plans, yeah, that moved further than I think this party has even looked.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you this. I want to play something from you —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Please.

CHUCK TODD:

— in November of 2016.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

I always love when I get this stuff

CHUCK TODD:

I know you love this stuff. Because I think it's going to beg the question of, what the heck took you guys so long? Take a listen.

[BEGIN TAPE]

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY :

And I put together the team, actually, with the speaker and others, our staff, working on legislation now, so when we're sworn in, not waiting til when the president is sworn in, but at the very first week of January, we are able to move the legislation needed to start building the wall.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD:

At the end of the day, why should Democrats bail out your party that had two years to figure out a way forward here? You said you were going to have legislation ready to go in 2017. What happened?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

We did. If you look at the appropriations, we are building the wall right now, a portion of it. We have to go further.

CHUCK TODD:

Then why did he shut down the government?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

He did not shut down the government. Let's be very clear. We were in the House, in the majority. We moved a bill to the Senate. You know, as well as everybody else in America, it takes 60 votes. Schumer is the one who said, "No." So you put it on —

CHUCK TODD:

It is? DACA for the wall is the —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No, no, listen —

CHUCK TODD:

— thing the president backed away from.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No, no, no. We passed this at the end of last year, money for the wall, more money, because we're already building it. We put another $5 billion in there. The Senate had a different version. And Schumer said, "No," so it got shut down. Then what happened? The president stayed in Washington. The speaker then went to Hawaii. The president stayed there to negotiate. We brought meetings down. They said they wouldn't talk about anything. We got into a shutdown that lasted longer than ever before. The president made four different offers that were reasonable.

CHUCK TODD:

Not until after he shut down the government.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

He didn't shut it down.

CHUCK TODD:

He's the one that said he'd be proud to own it. Who else did it? He rejected the Senate bill to keep the government open.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No, no. The House had a bill. The Senate had a bill. Like every other piece of legislation, it takes 60 votes in the Senate. Republicans don't have 60 in the Senate. So I think it would only be fair, Chuck, to understand that, if it takes 60 votes in the Senate, there's probably blame on both sides.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, let's talk about this. In three weeks —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

— when I think you guys pass something that keeps the government open, and I'm guessing you guys don't have, you don’t want to go through another government shutdown, a bunch of senators want to, basically, make it impossible to shut down the government. Create -- Senator Portman's got a bill. Senator Warner's got a bill. But all of it is, basically, never to cancel a paycheck again for a non-political appointee. Will you support something like that?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Yeah, but I'll go further. You want to know how you'll never have a shutdown again? Let's not pay the members of Congress and Senate.

CHUCK TODD:

That's the Mark Warner Bill —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

That’s the bill —

CHUCK TODD:

— and the White House, right?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

That's the bill I would put in.

CHUCK TODD:

And all political staff. That's the bill.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

That's the amendment I would offer. Because this only harms others. But think about this. The president offered four different, reasonable tacks. The Speaker Pelosi, then leader, has the record for the longest speech on the floor, more than eight hours, just one years ago next month, about DACA. He took two issues that are a problem, and he wanted to solve it. Today, you're trying to celebrate and say, "Speaker Pelosi is some type of winner in this." No, that means status quo. That goes against everything we know and we want for America. We want to find common ground and solutions.

CHUCK TODD:

Very quickly —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

— you have not appointed all members of the House Intelligence Committee on the Republican side. Why?

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

I will next week.

CHUCK TODD:

Some people think you’re trying -- it's helping to delay the transcripts that could get sent to Mueller.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No, nothing of the sort. The reason why committees weren't already reported, the Democrats were not organized. They waited until after the speaker race, which Republicans would never do, to give us the ratios. I have just now met —

CHUCK TODD:

Intel is always the same ratio, though, in fairness —

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No —

CHUCK TODD:

— on that front.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

No, we had negotiations with the speaker changing. I just, I just met with every single individual that I'm going to appoint on Friday. So it'll come out next week.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Kevin McCarthy, Republican from California, good to see you, sir. Thanks for coming on and sharing your views.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY:

Thank you so much for having me.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Democrats have generally been careful not to taunt President Trump too much after the shutdown ended. But they are making sure the public knows that they got what they wanted.

[BEGIN TAPE]

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

We asked the president to open up government, so we would have time to have a debate on the best way to protect our border. Democrats are committed to border security. And we think we have some better ideas about how to do so that protect our border, honor our values, and are cost effective.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD:

And joining me now is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a member of the Democratic leadership on the House side. Congressman, welcome to Meet the Press.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Good morning. Good to be here.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, government's open. President Trump caved. Democrats won this fight. You heard Kevin McCarthy say, "I don't know what you won. You won status quo." So let me ask you this. In three weeks, how are we not in the same spot?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, I think it's important to understand that the legislative branch, at the end of the day, are stewards of managing public money. We can either manage that money efficiently, or we can waste taxpayer dollars. We concluded that spending billions on a medieval border wall that would be ineffective would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. That's a fifth-century solution to a 21st-century problem. What we want to support over the next few weeks is 21st-century border security. And so we're willing to invest in additional infrastructure, particularly as it relates to our legal ports of entry, which, as you know, Chuck, is the place where the majority of drugs come in. We're willing to invest in personnel. We're willing to invest in additional technology.

CHUCK TODD:

Is—Do you think a fence is medieval?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, I think that from the standpoint of building a concrete barrier from sea to shining sea--

CHUCK TODD:

He took that off the table. Is that to you progress?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

That's progress. And hopefully he'll stick to that position that he's taken. Now, in the past, we have supported, as you know, enhanced fencing. And I think that's something that's reasonable that should be on the table. But I don't want to get out ahead of the process because there's a process that has been put in place. We've appointed distinguished members of the Appropriations Committee. And as you know, Chuck, there are three types of members of Congress: Democrats, Republicans, and appropriators. I think the appropriators can get this done.

CHUCK TODD:

Obviously this is a-- it's actually harkening back to how we thought a bill was to become a law. There's a Senate bill, there's a House bill, and you see if you can come to a compromise. Let me ask you this. If that compromise is something that doesn't have a majority of Democrats but has a good chunk of them in the House, it can get through the Senate, and that's what happens, can you imagine Democrats in the House allowing a bill on the floor that a majority of Democrats didn't support but could get some-- but could get through the Senate and to the president's signature?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, the only thing that I could imagine is making sure that there's a bill that comes to the floor that's evidence-based in terms of securing our borders. And I think that has been our perspective from the very beginning, along with the principle that shutdowns are not legitimate negotiating tactics when there's a public policy disagreement between two branches of government.

CHUCK TODD:

You just heard Kevin McCarthy come out and essentially endorse a bill that would eliminate the ability to do a shutdown that would--non-political-appointee government workers. And he basically said, "You want to do it? Make sure the legislative branch doesn't get paid." And I think that's the Mark Warner bill. Is that bipartisan compromise? Is this something we could see happen? At least the never-have-a-shutdown act?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, Kevin McCarthy's a good man. But that seems to me to be a gimmick. The most important thing is making sure that we never hold hostage hardworking public servants--

CHUCK TODD:

But do you want to legislate that, to make it so it can't be done anymore?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

I think we should take a hard look at making sure that we don't pursue shutdowns as a means of trying to extract leverage, whether that's a Democratic president or a Republican president.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me go back on what I was trying to get at. The Republicans infamously had something called the Hastert Rule that referred to the idea, the former speaker of the House who’s got his own, that if a majority of the majority party didn't support a bill, they'd never put it on the floor. Do the Democrats--the new Democratic majority have that same-- is there going to be a version of an unofficial rule like that?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, we haven't taken that position. We have taken a position that we do want to work in a bipartisan way and want to do it in particular on behalf of our for-the-people agenda. We've said we're going to fight hard for lower health care costs, to increase pay for everyday Americans, strengthen the Affordable Care Act, protect people with preexisting conditions, enact a real infrastructure plan. We want to do that in a bipartisan way. Trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. We think it'll create 16 million good-paying jobs. Republicans, Democrats, even the president has supported the notion that we've got to fix our broken infrastructure.

CHUCK TODD:

So you didn't quite answer the question. You haven't decided whether that will be a rule or not?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

We have not had that discussion in caucus —

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

—but we have discussed proceeding in a strongly bipartisan way on issues of importance to the American people.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to have you see if you can respond to something that Speaker Pelosi said in response to the Roger Stone indictment. Take a listen. Or excuse me. Let me put it up here on screen. She said, "In the face of 37 indictments, the president's continued actions to undermine the special counsel investigation raise the questions: what does Putin have on the president politically, personally, or financially?" She asked that question somewhat rhetorically. There are some Democrats that are anxious to begin an impeachment inquiry today. At what point do you think it's appropriate?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, it's certainly not appropriate right now. We do have a constitutional responsibility pursuant to Article One to serve as a check and balance on an out-of-control executive branch. We take that responsibility seriously. However, we're not going to over-investigate. We're not going to over-politicize. We're not going to overreach as it relates to that solemn constitutional responsibility. What are going to do is make sure we focus on the issues of importance to the American people. That's why Elijah Cummings is having a hearing this week on how we can lower the high cost of prescription drugs. That's why Richard Neal, the chair of Ways and Means, is having a hearing this week on protecting people with preexisting conditions.

CHUCK TODD:

Right. But I think Congressman Cummings is also starting an oversight investigation on security clearances that seem to have at least some connection to the Mueller probe.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, as I mentioned, we are going to take that responsibility seriously. I think the American people want to see checks and balances. We are a separate and coequal branch of government. We don't work for Donald Trump. We work for the American people.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you this. I'm going to put up a tweet of yours. And you've been tweeting, you've been referring to the president not as the president in your tweets. You refer to him as "Individual 1." Let me put up one here, for instance, from last week. "For decades, Individual 1 made a living stiffing his workers and contractors. And now he's doing it to 800,000 federal employees and contractors. We must end reckless Trump shutdown and continue our fight for the people." You refer to him as Individual 1. Obviously it's something having to do with the Mueller probe. You called him the “grand wizard.” It seems--You're a member of leadership. What's that line in your mind? Why should the president negotiate with you if you're going to name call him? I know he name calls. Why should he negotiate with you if you're going to name call him?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Well, listen, it's colorful language. And I think that the president is going to have to own his pattern of behavior that has taken place not year after year, but decade after decade. But I do believe that we do need to find a way together to move forward, Democrats and Republicans. And in fact, Chuck, as you know, I was able to work with the administration on criminal justice reform. Democrats, Republicans, progressives, conservatives, the left, and the right. If we can do it on criminal justice reform, I think we can find a way to move forward.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you regret your language or no?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

I don't regret the use of the language, but I do think we need to move forward. Listen, America is a great country. We've come a long way on the question of race. We still have a long way to go. At the end of the day, we're a nation of immigrants. Some voluntary, others involuntary. I think it was Dr. King who said, "We all came on the same-- different ships, but we're in the same boat right now." I think that's the way to proceed.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Hakeem Jeffries, new member of the House Democratic leadership. Good to see you on the show, sir.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

Good to see you, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Thanks for coming on and sharing your views. When we come back, Mitch McConnell is fond of saying there's no education in the second kick of a mule. What about the third? What has President Trump learned after the first couple of kicks? The panel on that and the Stone indictment is next.

CHUCK TODD:Back now with the panel. Hugh Hewitt, host on the Salem Radio Network; White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, Yamiche Alcindor; Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent; and NBC News special correspondent, senior correspondent Tom Brokaw. You're special, too, and special, senior, and all those things.

TOM BROKAW:I just don't want to be the kind of, you know, special, "Isn't that special?" I am --

CHUCK TODD:

I prefer --

TOM BROKAW:

I’m unqualified in terms of being senior.

CHUCK TODD:I always prefer Grand Poobah as the official title for you. But I'm an old Flintstones kid. So anyway, let me put up these headlines, some conservative news organizations. "Trump Lost the Shutdown," says theAmerican Conservative; Daily Caller, "Trump Caves"; National Review, "Trump Blinks." Erick Erickson writes this, on Friday, in U.S.A. Today: "This is, undoubtedly, the weakest moment of President Trump's tenure in office. The president may be the commander in chief of the American military. But Nancy Pelosi now looks like the commander in chief of Donald Trump." All right, Hugh. You've been hearing from the base, I'm sure. How bad is this for the president?

HUGH HEWITT:Not that bad. This is, this is very premature. Tom and I will remember that Joe Frazier won his first fight with Muhammad Ali and lost the next two. We will remember that they went 41 out of a scheduled 42 rounds. This is the first round of a 42-round fight. And I point out that the president's approval rating is now higher than Ronald Reagan's was at the same time in his presidency and 40 points lower than George H.W. Bush's was at the time in the presidency, from the Meet the Press poll. And I looked at your word cloud, and the Meet the Press word cloud said, "Sad, no compromise." What I heard from your two guests is that there is the potential to go big and solve not just DACA, but everything.

CHUCK TODD:Kristen, though, you're at this White House. Is he ready to buck -- he got so defensive Saturday morning. "No, no, no, no, no. It's not, it’s not a cave."

KRISTEN WELKER:Right. And the White House is defiant. "This was not a cave." But the reality is he knows that his base is not going to be happy unless he gets funding for the wall. And so if you talk to a lot of allies, they say, "We don't see how this ends in any other way, other than a national emergency." Because he can't shut down the government again. Here's the lesson, I think, for President Trump. He went into this fight without any strategy, without any plan. And so every day, essentially, the president, the White House, they were looking for an off ramp, instead of trying to execute something that they'd already planned out very carefully. And I think they're, right now, huddling, trying to figure out how to do it differently, how to make a better use of the bully pulpit, Chuck. He didn't really do that in this fight.

CHUCK TODD:You'll recall, everybody that knew Trump for a long time said he actually enjoys not having a plan. He goes into battle, and plans be damned. Tom Brokaw, a month ago, we were asking the question, who's the leader of the Democratic Party? I want to put up some, I want to put up some quotes here from people that weren't always so supportive of Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker again. A.O.C., "Speaker Pelosi doesn't mess around." Tim Ryan, who challenged her, "She's definitely up to the task." And then her home state governor, Gavin Newsom, "Grateful for our champion in Washington, Speaker Pelosi." I think it's undoubt -- that Democrats have a leader. It's Nancy Pelosi.

TOM BROKAW:Well, the fact is that, going into this last election, I've known her a long time. She's obviously a very smart woman. I have wondered whether she was the best image for the Democratic Party. And a lot of people pushed back and said, "She really knows how to run things on the Hill." I think she demonstrated that this past week. You know, Donald Trump treated federal employees like poker chips, only this time, his father wasn't around to bail him out. And I think that hurt him more, by the way, than people realize. That was a whole crowd of people out there who probably voted for him, a number of them. And suddenly, they get -- what they do is get their job jerked out from under them. I spoke to a Midwestern senator who said, "Now, it's creeped into agriculture." Because at this time of the year, the farmers are dealing with government agencies to plan for next year's crop. There was no one home to do all that. So the damage was really more systemic, I think, than a lot of people realize, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:You know, Yamiche, ironically, the one piece of agreement I'm getting from everybody this morning is, I think they're going to eliminate the shutdown. I think the legislative momentum -- the good news about getting nothing for 35 days might be that.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR:I mean, this is the longest shutdown in history, 35 days. And people were, I think, at a fever pitch. The fact that the airports were starting to really show signs of stress, I think, was just the beginning of what we would've seen. I was talking to a federal worker this weekend who said, Monday, people might not have showed up to work. Thousands more people would've been like, "I cannot do this anymore." I want to think about the fact that we talk about President Trump not having a plan. Let's think about what he did for 35 days. He had a primetime special. He went down to the border. He then was possibly disseminating all this misleading information about the fact that there were drugs pouring in, that our country was being invaded. And all that, all, after all of that stuff, the president -- the polls are showing that the president was the one being blamed, because he was on video, because of Chuck Schumer, saying, "I will own the shutdown."

CHUCK TODD:Is that the lesson here for the president? The bully pulpit, for him, is starting to no longer be useful?

KRISTEN WELKER:Well, I think that's the question, right? I think part of their strategy, and you heard Leader McCarthy speak to this, they're going to try to pick off some Democrats. The White House can't name any. He named a few. And there's a lot of skepticism about that strategy actually working. But look, he didn't deliver that primetime address until halfway into the shutdown. So a lot of his allies say, "Look, if he had started off, in the weeks beforehand, really selling this, really trying to make his case, that would've helped." The question is going to be about semantics with this potential compromise they're looking for. Can they find a word or a phrase that allows him to declare victory on the wall and Democrats, as well?

CHUCK TODD:This isn't a one-story town. In the middle of this three weeks, Roger Stone happens Friday, Tom. Let me put up here, I mean, look, the people in and around the Trump campaign that have either pleaded guilty or been indicted, it's a “who's who?” of people that have been around this president: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Roger Stone now, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos. That doesn't help your bully pulpit abilities, either.

TOM BROKAW:No, especially given his image, whenever he goes on television. I've known him a long time. He's always been dealing in the kind of frenetic fringe of the Republican Party and making himself out to be more than he really is. I watched him the other day with his beret and his sunglasses on. And I thought, "Perfect person would be Marty Short to play him in some kind of a, some kind of a stage play of some kind."

CHUCK TODD:Well, they got Steve Martin to do it on “SNL” last night, so his partner in crime there.

TOM BROKAW:

Right. Right.

CHUCK TODD:

But, but Roger Stone is one of these people that you’re, sometimes you think, "Did he insert himself into this" Hugh? But then again, he knows stuff about Trump that nobody else does.

HUGH HEWITT:Yeah, the Supreme Court often takes judicial notice of what's happening. And the Trump campaign was taking judicial notice of what Roger Stone was saying. That indictment, which I read on the air on my radio show, because it broke when it came out, does not yet support but does not preclude real collusion. We have to find out who Campaign Official One and Two is, what they said. And I think those people might be going to jail, along with Roger Stone.

CHUCK TODD:Well, and a campaign official, boy, Rick Gates smells like one of them. And he may be cooperating.

KRISTEN WELKER:Absolutely. And I think it chips away at the White House, the president's argument, that this doesn't touch him. Strewn throughout that indictment are references to the Trump campaign, although not a direct link to Russia, you're absolutely right.

CHUCK TODD:All right, I want to pause this. On the other side, I want to talk about, sort of, broken politics, broken Washington. But when we come back, I'm going to be joined by a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

ANNOUNCER:Meet the Press is brought to you by Charles Schwab. Own your tomorrow.

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. President Trump is staking his reputation with his base on immigration. And he's hinting he could declare a national emergency if there's no deal for wall funding in three weeks. But if this week taught us anything, it's that the art-of-the-deal president may need to adjust his expectations. The last time Congress was close to a bipartisan immigration deal was 2013. The so-called Gang of Eight tried and ultimately failed to get it done. Only two Republicans who were in that gang still remain in the Senate. Lindsey Graham, who said it would be the end of the Trump presidency if he does not get a wall built, and my next guest, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. So, Senator, welcome back to Meet the Press, sir.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, we just went through 35 days, and the president signed a deal that was the same deal available to him on day one other than the end date of February 8th to February 15th. What did this shutdown accomplish?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Well, hopefully it teaches everyone that shutdowns are not good leverage in any negotiation. I think it's important to separate tactics from the policy aims here. There are some missed opportunities in all of this. We could have had an extension of TPS, which is a huge issue for people here in Florida, the Haitian community. We could have had a three-week extension for Nicaragua -- a three-month exten --, a three-year extension, I'm sorry, on that. We could have had people on DACA that could have had three years of certainty and that would have allowed them -- you know, it's better than what they face right now, which is they're waiting for a court ruling and what the administration is going to do. And so hopefully over the next three weeks, some of those elements can become part of what we do. But most important of all, I truly believe that if the president can get strong border security that satisfies his -- what he wants, it unlocks the opportunity to do other things on immigration that we need to do, like figure out something reasonable with the people that are not criminals that have been here a long time. But we've got to unlock that. It begins with border security. And that's one of the reasons why I think it's so important that we figure out a way to get something done that he's satisfied with, so we can move on to those other issues that he's personally expressed a willingness to be involved in.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, in fairness to you guys, the Gang of Eight in 2013, you all emphasized that you had to lead with border security. Michael Bennet was very impassioned about this, by the way, during the week. But I want to put up here, the 2013 bill had this. It doubled the number of border patrol agents. 350 miles of new fencing. Universal E-Verify system. New electronic visa tracking system. And the deal was the border security measures would go in immediately. The adjustments to immigration status for various groups would be phased in. I mean, didn't you guys have the model? Is this, is this deal worth taking off the shelf and making some minor adjustments?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Well, I think there's elements of it that we can. The problem was it was all done in one big piece of legislation. And the more stuff you put in the bill, the more reasons someone can find to be against it. You know, "I don't like that piece of it --"

CHUCK TODD:

You know, some argue the other way, Senator. Make the bill bigger, and, yes, okay, there'll be things you don't like. But that's the only way to get some things that you like.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Well, I mean, that was what they -- that was the theory that was pitched to me as opposed to why we needed to do one big comprehensive plan. So we did. And as you saw, it didn't work. And one of the arguments was the border security will never happen but the legalization part will. So there's no doubt it's a tough issue. And a lot of people who kind of looked at it in 2013 and said, "This easy. We're going to do it this way," are now figuring out how difficult this is. But ultimately, we've got to deal with it. And I just truly believe that, as you said, what the president wants is but a fraction of what that bill in 2013 did on border security. And if we can get something done that satisfies it, I am confident that the president is prepared to move forward on a bunch of other parts of immigration reform that people didn't normally associate with him or his White House. But we've got to do that part first.

CHUCK TODD:

You have said you're opposed to the national emergency option. In three weeks though, I know you guys have no appetite on either side of the aisle for another shutdown. So if that's the only way to keep the government funded, he goes national emergency, how defiant are you on this option? Will you fight the president on this or not?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

I don't think it's a good idea. I think it'll be a terrible idea. I hope he doesn't do it. I don't think it's leverage --

CHUCK TODD:

But would you fight him on it?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

-- either. Sure. Because I think that it's important. Look, I don't think we'll have to fight because I'm not sure they'll end up doing that. I know it's an option they've looked at. But now you're at the mercy of a district court somewhere and ultimately an appellate court. So it really may not even withstand if you look at some of the other rulings we've seen. The other is the precedent that it sets. And it's just not a good precedent to set in terms of action. It doesn't mean that I don't want border security. I do. I just think that's the wrong way to achieve it. It doesn't provide certainty. And you could very well wind up in sort of a theatric victory at the front end and then not getting it done. I think the best way to do it is to have a law passed that funds border security so we know it's going to happen.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to turn to Venezuela here and ask you because, first of all, you’ve been -- it's interesting. The New York Times calls you the ouster-in-chief today. But let me read you one part of this and get you to respond. "The administration has given no indication of a clear plan to protect the United States embassy and its personnel against possible retaliation. And while Mr. Rubio insists there are unspecified contingency options that he will not reveal, analysts say the Trump administration does not seem prepared with a plan B in case the leader there, Nicolas Maduro, defies the pressure and holds on to power, and essentially fights." The United States obviously has decided to recognize Mr. Guaido as the interim president. Do you want this administration to use military power if necessary to back up Mr. Guaido?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Let me answer that in three parts. Number one is I'm not the ouster-in-chief or anything like it. First of all, the credit belongs to the Venezuelan people who have taken to the streets. This is their movement, this is about them, and they're the ones that are courageous and are facing the threat of imprisonment. Number two is the decider here is the president, who has never needed any convincing on Venezuela. Do I offer ideas? Sure. He's got a great team around him. But ultimately, he has never needed convincing. And frankly, he has raised it with me, the issue of Venezuela, more than I've raised it with him. I haven't had to raise it with him. He cares about this. As far as these analysts saying that there's no plan B, how would they know? We wouldn’t - -the government -- the Trump administration's not going to publish a plan, "Here's what we're going to do to keep our folks safe." I can tell you I've been in contact with the State Department and the people that are in charge of this, and they do have a plan. And they have several contingencies to plan on. And the most important of it is no harm should ever come to these diplomats. Mike Pompeo was very clear about it yesterday. If it does, there will be severe consequences. As far as a military option, I don't know who's calling for that. I can only tell you this. And this applies to Venezuela, anywhere in the world. The United States has always had the right to defends its national security and national interest with the use of force if necessary. I'm not saying that's what's going to happen here. I'm not specifying anything -- that's not my decision to make. I'm telling you the preferred outcome here is that Maduro leaves, and that in 30 or 45 days they call an election and they elect someone democratically, and Venezuela returns to constitutional order. That's what I want.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to ask you one quick question on WikiLeaks because you were -- you stood alone among your party in 2016. Let me play a clip for you from October of 2016 where you pledged never to use anything that came from WikiLeaks. Take a listen.

[BEGIN TAPE]

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Well, I personally will not be talking about any revelations that come about solely as a result of WikiLeaks. Our intelligence officials who are not partisan people have told us that this is the work of a foreign intelligence agency.What I would say to my Republican colleagues some of whom may be disappointed by the position I’ve taken is today it’s them, tomorrow it could be us.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD:

If you work with WikiLeaks, are you working against America?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Well, look I don’t know if everybody had the same idea that I did or had access to the same information I did when I said that. Suffice it to say it should be clear by now, and I think should have been clear to people a long time ago that WikiLeaks and others like that could have been tools of foreign intelligence used to divide America. And so I do believe that anyone who is cooperating with them, wittingly or unwittingly, is doing the work of a foreign intelligence agency to harm us. But I know what you’re getting at with Roger and all that --

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

-- Stone and all that stuff. I can also tell you and frankly that I mean this you know in truth and not in the spirit of nastiness: The media was unwitting in this too because the media reported breathlessly on a lot of the revelations that were leaked that we know are now the product of the work of Russian intelligence. And I think all of us need to be wiser when we see this thing, or something hits your inbox or another reporter’s inbox from a third party source that we don’t know who it is, we have to be careful that we are not doing the work of the Russians or some other intelligence agency that’s trying to undermine us. We all need to be wiser about this moving forward.

CHUCK TODD:

Should it be a crime working with WikiLeaks?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Well it’s a good question. I think certainly if you’re wittingly doing it, it should be considered as such. I mean you’re participating in the work of a foreign intelligence agency. But one of the keys that they do is they’re unwitting. It’s not like they have a sign on the front door that says, you know, ‘We are an instrument of Russian intelligence’ or ‘We are being used by Russian intelligence for this purpose.’ But that’s why I’ve supported the special prosecutor and the work they’re doing. I think it’s important for them to finish. We’ll have all the facts before us, and then we can render judgment. I think it’s a real big mistake, trust me, to jump to any conclusions until Mr. Mueller’s work is done.

CHUCK TODD:

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican from Florida, thanks for --

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

-- coming on, sharing your views. Good to talk with you.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

When we come back, as the Democrats eye 2020, they're likely to find themselves forced to navigate big differences among their own voters. They're more divided than you might think. The three paths for Democratic candidates in 2020, that's next.

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Data Download time. We're going to use our new poll to look at some divisions within the Democratic Party up ahead of the 2020 race that will explain how the primary breaks down. We have Democrats under 55 without a college degree. It's a diverse group. Democrats under 55 with a college degree, they're whiter and more upper middle class. And then you have the other third of the party, Democrats over 55. Think of them as the old guard. It actually loosely divides up a third, a third, a third. These groups have different views on border security and on Nancy Pelosi. But we're actually going to focus on what they're looking for in a presidential candidate. Our first group is evenly split on whether they want government to keep shaking things up and make major changes, or whether they want more competence and a steadier approach. In both of those other groups, majorities believe, we need competence and a steadier approach more so than somebody to shake things up. This could shape the messages of shake-up candidates, like Elizabeth Warren, and experienced candidates, like, say, oh, Joe Biden. Look, there is one great unifier for the Democrats, however. They all dislike President Donald Trump, kind of like Republicans and Obama, if you recall that. We'll see if that's enough to keep the party from fracturing. When we come back, the entire country hasn't been this divided since the '60s. What might compromise look like then?

ANNOUNCER:

Coming up, End Game, brought to you by Boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore, and inspire.

ANNOUNCER:

End Game, brought to you by Boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire.

CHUCK TODD:

Back now with End Game. We've done a lot of who wins, who loses. I think America just feels like we all lost here. Look at this word cloud. I want to put it up again. I had it at the beginning of the show, the state of America today, "wrong track," the biggest word. And I joked a little bit, on Friday, that if we’ve broken Michael Bennet, the mild-mannered Democratic senator from Colorado, then everybody in the United States Senate needs to ask themselves how they conduct themselves. I got to play -- Michael Bennet, basically, had his Samuel L. Jackson Snakes on a Plane moment on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Take a listen.

[TAPE BEGINS]

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET:

It had $46 billion in border security in it. 46, not $5 billion for his rinky-dink wall he's talking about building.

[TAPE ENDS]

CHUCK TODD:

Yamiche?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR:

I think that's such an incredible moment, but it also is an example of how people were feeling, I think, all over the country. There were so many stories of families really trying to cobble together their last pennies. And you had this increasing feeling that the people that were part of this administration, including billionaire cabinet members, they just didn't understand what was going on. Wilbur Ross' statements that he didn't understand why people, why federal workers, would be going to food pantries, I think, really took the air out of a lot of people's lungs. Because thought there's been a growing gap between the rich and the poor in this country for a long time. But it was really on display in that moment. So I think him losing it on the Senate floor in that way was really a lot of Americans saying, "We can't take this anymore."

KRISTEN WELKER:

But I think it speaks to the fact that no one wins in a government shutdown. Yes, everyone is saying the analysis is that the president caved, and Pelosi showed how strong she was. That's the politics. But the American people don't feel that way. They're scratching their heads. They're wondering what all of this pain was for and, frankly, how it can be prevented. And that's why I do think it's significant that Leader McCarthy and Congressman Jeffries did indicate this willingness to support legislation that would prevent this from ever happening again.

TOM BROKAW:

I really didn't think that you could widen the gap between the Beltway and the rest of the country any more, until this happened. And now, it's completely gone. I mean, you know, I told you earlier that I talked to these westerners who began by saying, "Like Trump, like his policies." Then, they said, "Wish he’d stop, wish he would stop tweeting all the time." Last time I talked to them, "He's a clown. I can't stand him. But it's still the policies that we believe in." But anywhere I go, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, "Why can't they talk to each other and find common ground?" Every community in America finds a way to build a new school or to do something about downtown. But here, we can't do it, because we breathe the same air. And it's toxic, in its own way, about what needs to be done and how seriously people take their very minute positions on something.

HUGH HEWITT:

"Sad, no compromise," again, it's in the word cloud. The next three weeks allow the opportunity to go big and solve this. Jared Kushner's leading it. And it is far more important to shut down the Maduro government than our government. And I think Donald Trump is leading there. And he is winning there, because of Bolton and Pompeo going down to see Bolsonaro and Duque. That's going to happen. That's going to bring us together.

CHUCK TODD:

That is going to bring us together, getting involved in Latin American politics that -- has it ever gone well for the United States in years past?

HUGH HEWITT:

Absolutely. Because you know, Russia is against that.

CHUCK TODD:

I understand that.

HUGH HEWITT:

And Trump is for that. And that will help. That will help a lot.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR:

I think that, because there's this, there’s going to be this committee of bipartisan leaders on the Republican side, there aren’t people that are from border states, but on the Democratic side, there are, what you're going to see is people trying to actually talk about facts and, maybe, try to get on the same page. Because part of what that speech was about was this was a, quote unquote, "rinky-dink wall," is what he calls it. I interviewed the mayor of McAllen, Texas, where the president went to have his example, to say, "This is where we need the wall." The mayor said, "We don't need a wall. We have issues here. But Yamiche, I'm here to tell you that a wall is not going to solve them." So I think there's an issue here with people not understanding that facts aren't being agreed upon.

CHUCK TODD:

The problem is in Wyoming and in South Dakota, they think they need a wall. And in Texas and in Arizona, they don't.

TOM BROKAW:

I know.

CHUCK TODD:

Right? Like it’s --

TOM BROKAW:

And a lot of this, we don't want to talk about. But the fact is, on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary, important, new constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, "Well, I don't know whether I want brown grandbabies." I mean, that's also a part of it. It's the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other. I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That's one of the things I've been saying for a long time. You know, they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities. And that's going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.

KRISTEN WELKER:

And Congressman Peter King, in a conversation that I had with him, spoke to sort of this remarkable moment in which we find ourselves. And he said, "What has to happen right now, both sides need to ignore the fringes." Because you have the far right and the far left screaming, yelling the loudest, and to some extent, preventing compromise.

HUGH HEWITT:

There will be no compromise, unless there is a long, strong, double-layered fence about 700 miles long. That is the minimum that is necessary. And in exchange for that, regularization for 10 million people, not just DACA, not just TPS. There is a big deal to be had. Because the extremists should be condemned. The fringe should be ignored. And the base can get together.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR:

I would just say that we also need to adjust what we think of as America. You're talking about assimilation. I grew up in Miami, where people speak Spanish, but their kids speak English. And the idea that we think Americans can only speak English, as if Spanish and other languages wasn’t always part of America, is, in some ways, troubling.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, we'll leave it there. As somebody who grew up on ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, three generations, all Spanish, Spanglish, and all English. That's all we have for today. Thank you for watching. We'll be back next week. Because if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.