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CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday, divided Democrats: Bernie versus Biden, progressives versus traditional Democrats, highlighted by this comment from freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

REP. ILHAN OMAR:

I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.

CHUCK TODD:

Some fellow Democrats hear bigotry.

REP. TED DEUTCH:

The use of anti-Semitic language and images can never be tolerated.

CHUCK TODD:

Others rush to her defense.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB:

What I hear is her trying to uplift my grandmother in Palestine, in the West Bank.

CHUCK TODD:

The debate exposing real fissures in the Democratic Party with implications for 2020. My guests this morning, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Liz Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference. Plus, waiting for Biden, Sherrod Brown not running, Michael Bloomberg not running, both likely out, because they expect Joe Biden to get in.

JOE BIDEN:

I have not made the final decision. But don't be surprised.

CHUCK TODD:

So what is Biden waiting for? And pardon me? Did Michael Cohen ask President Trump for a pardon?

MICHAEL COHEN:

I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

That's a stone-cold lie.

CHUCK TODD:

I'll talk about that, the surprise Manafort sentencing, and the latest on the Russia investigation with the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. Joining me for insight and analysis are NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt; Robert Costa, moderator of Washington Week on PBS; Maria Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latino; and the former Republican governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory. 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. Never mind that President Trump's campaign chairman is going to prison and that Mr. Trump and Michael Cohen argued this week over which one of them is lying about a possible pardon. Our colleague, Dana Milbank, at TheWashington Post, pointed out that, with President Trump's recent struggles on North Korea, on the trade deficit, on the border wall, there's only one thing that can save him, the Democrats. And as he said, right on cue, here they come. Democrats have spent much of the last month wrestling themselves to the ground. They were embarrassed over the revelation that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam had once dressed in blackface, startled by subsequent accusations of sexual assault against Northam's lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, and chronically unsure, this week, over how to handle a comment by freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar, her second that many saw as anti-Semitic. An emerging, more-progressive cohort of elected Democrats is coming into conflict with an older generation of centrists and traditional liberals. These two Democratic factions are united and divided. They're united about the urgency of defeating President Trump next year. But at the same time, they are divided, with each side seeing the other as the reason Mr. Trump may wind up winning, after all.

REPORTER:

You apologized for your last remarks. How are these different?

CHUCK TODD:

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar drew criticism after tweeting that U.S. politicians support Israel, because, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby." She apologized but then made this comment last week.

REP. ILHAN OMAR:

I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.

REP. TED DEUTCH:

Jews have dual loyalty and can't be patriotic members of the country in which they live? Words matter.

CHUCK TODD:

Some progressives defended Omar, pointing to anti-Muslim slurs against her, like this flier in West Virginia.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB:

We think that hate and racism in our country is growing, no matter if you're Jewish, LGBTQ, Latino, immigrant, Muslim.

CHUCK TODD:

Late this week, House Democrats united around a broad resolution condemning hate, after some progressives objected to an initial draft that only rebuked anti-Semitism. The episode is among those dividing 2020 Democrats.

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET:

I think it was right in this case to demonstrate that the House of Representatives wasn't going to tolerate hateful statements, like the one that was made.

CHUCK TODD:

But several top presidential candidates, while condemning anti-Semitism, said Omar was unfairly targeted. The debate is exposing ideological, generational, and racial divides in the Democratic Party, as the progressive left is showing its strength.

SEN ELIZABETH WARREN:

It is time to break up America's tech giants.

CHUCK TODD:

Some 2020 Democrats are reluctant to embrace capitalism.

JOHN HICKENLOOPER:

You know, again, the labels, I'm not sure any of them fit.

CHUCK TODD:

Championing the Green New Deal.

SUNNY HOSTIN:

Does the Green New Deal go too far?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:

No. You cannot go too far on the issue of climate change.

CHUCK TODD:

And calling for Medicare for All.

KASIE HUNT:

Do you think eliminating private insurance would be a socialist idea?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS:

No. Okay, so I strongly believe that we need to have Medicare for All.

CHUCK TODD:

Can a more-centrist candidate break through in a party that is shifting to the left?

KARA SWISHER:

Why should we elect a candidate who says, "No, that's not possible, to do everything progressives want?"

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR:

Because I'm being honest.

CHUCK TODD:

This week, both former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said, "No thanks," to a presidential run, with former Vice President Joe Biden poised to jump into the race.

JOE BIDEN:

I have not made the final decision. But don't be surprised.

CHUCK TODD:

Even before his run is official, Biden is already explaining a decades-long record, including his role in passing the now-controversial 1994 Crime Bill, his vote for the Iraq war, skepticism of Anita Hill, and past comments on busing to desegregate schools.

JOE BIDEN:

You know, I've been in this fight for a long time. I haven't always been right. I know we haven't always gotten things right. But I've always tried.

CHUCK TODD:

And joining me now, from Cleveland, is Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who announced this week, to the surprise of many, that he had decided not to run for president in 2020. Senator Brown, welcome back to Meet the Press. Senator --

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Good to be back. Thanks.

CHUCK TODD:

-- color us very surprised. In fact, the last time you were on, my executive producer noted, "He was speaking about his presidential campaign in the present tense." It was so -- it seemed so imminent to us. So you did surprise a lot of people. You had even begun to hire some people. What changed your mind?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Well, I -- as you know, Chuck, this all started off, because I don't think Democrats were talking to working-class Americans of all races enough. If you, if you love your country, you fight for the people who make it work. We began our Dignity of Work tour in four states. Yes, we hired people to help us with that tour and to be ready. And that -- our goal was to inform the narrative, in the Democratic Party, so that Democratsbeginto talk more to workers and talk about the dignity of work. A number of candidates have already done that, have been talking about the dignity of work. I predict that the Democratic nominee is the one that talks to workers the best. And I'm not just talking about workers in the industrial Midwest. I'm talking about the physical therapist in Nevada, and the construction worker in New Hampshire and the hospital worker in Baltimore. And I would predict, if I could do this, that, come January 20, 2021, that, in the inaugural -- when, when either when the Democratic president elect raises her or his right hand, they will launch into a speech. Their inaugural speech will talk about the dignity of work. Because that’s, that’s, it’s not just, it's not just a slogan. It's who I am. It's what we fight for. But most importantly, it's how we govern. In the end.

CHUCK TODD:

Actually, to reinforce, to reinforce what you're saying, we put together a collection of folks that stole your line. Take a listen.

[BEGIN TAPE]

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR:

We have to reward and recognize the dignity of work, right?

SEN. CORY BOOKER:

There is dignity in all work and career professionals.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS:

We've got to give it the dignity of the work that is being performed.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD:

So Senator, your message, in some ways, you're doing something that many presidential candidates wish could've happened to them. Your initial message begins to resonate to the point where you've got competitors stealing your lines. So let me ask you this, how do you not run? It was resonating. And you still said, "No."

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Well, it was resonating. And I'd say, "Mission accomplished." But I'm not done yet. I can, I can do that better now, from the Senate. I mean, we spent three months talking about the dignity of work. I'll continue to do that. I went to the floor, right after I announced I wasn't going to run, and talked about civil rights and voting rights and worker rights and a Supreme Court that puts its thumb on the scales of justice in, in, in favoring corporations over workers and health insurance company over sick people and Wall Street over consumers. I will continue that economic-populist fight, always through the eyes of workers. It's what we are, as a party. I think I can drive that better from the Senate than I can as one out of 15, 20 presidential candidates. But in that sense, we’re --

CHUCK TODD:

When was the last, I'm curious. When was the last time you talked to Joe Biden?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

October.

CHUCK TODD:

So you haven't talked to him recently. This wasn't him calling around, letting people know he's running.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

It was none of that. I know that that's been reported. But the people that reported that never called me, never called Connie, never called Sarah Benzing, my chief of staff, never called Jenny, my communications director. I like Joe Biden. I just haven't talked to him. And people ask me, in almost every one of these states, "Is Joe Biden getting in having any impact on your decision?" And my answer was always, "Zero."

CHUCK TODD:

So when people were assessing your candidacy, you were seen as one of these folks that could bridge this divide. You're a guy that figured out how to win in a red state but also had kept to some progressive principles. In fact, here's what you told The Nation in an interview very recently, just before you decided not to run. You said, "If I run, I'll be the only Democrat on the stage who will have voted against the Iraq War, who will have voted against the Defense of Marriage Act," which means and for marriage equality, "and who will be pro-choice, 100%, over the years." What was interesting there, it seemed to me, it was your way of saying, "Hey, I'm an experienced Democrat. But I'm also on the progressive side of the lane in ways that other Democrats," perhaps you're referring to Joe Biden, were not.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

I was referring to nobody in particular. I was just saying that I've been a strong progressive for years. I will carry that back to the Senate. I will be part of this presidential campaign, in terms of calling out this president for his phony populism. Populism is never racist and anti-Semitic. Populism doesn't divide people. Populists don't give tax cuts to the richest people in the country and then try to cut Medicare and Head Start. And I will point out how this president has betrayed the auto workers in Lordstown and betrayed hospital workers in Van Wert. And I will continue to make that case from the floor of the Senate, from travels around the country, by not yet supporting any presidential candidate but moving the debate forward about dignity of work.

CHUCK TODD:

But let me ask you this. Do you think there's a danger of going too far to the left, that it might scare some voters, say, in Ohio?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Well, I, I, I hear these stories that are -- that's the story of the day, about Democrats moving to the left. I think the more-important story is how Republicans continue to move to the right. How President Trump extols -- betrays workers and utters racist, anti-Semitic rhetoric. And nobody in their party calls him out. They don't have divisions. They've all followed his racist actions and betrayal of workers. They've followed it like lemmings off the cliff. That's the story, not some degrees of differences between and among Democrats. That's the real story.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you this, though. What is fair game? You, in that interview, had said, "Hey, in 1996," essentially, when it wasn't a popular thing to do, you voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, for instance. Joe Biden has comments about busing and desegregation of schools that are popping up, some quotes from him in the '70s. You could make an argument, that was the mainstream, Democratic Party position, perhaps, in the '70s. Should those comments matter to voters in Iowa, to Democrats in Iowa, in the 21st century?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Well, it doesn't really matter what Chuck Todd or Sherrod Brown thinks about whether they matter to voters in Iowa. If --

CHUCK TODD:

Do they matter to you?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Well, it matters -- records matter to me. The candidate that is talking -- I mean, I go back to, what are they going to do about talking to workers and the dignity of work? I want to see dignity of work not just part of this campaign, not just a slogan, not just who these candidates, --what these candidates talk about. I want to make sure they govern based on the dignity of work. And, and so regardless of the kind of work you do, it's about wages, it's about benefits, it's about workplace safety, it's about childcare. In Nevada, in the Culinary Workers Union Hall in Las Vegas, Connie and I were there three or four weeks ago, their slogan is, "One job should be enough." I want to hear workers start talking about that, that one living-wage job should be enough, with healthcare, with retirement, with childcare, with safety in the workplace. That's everything to me in this race, and that's a winning message. And it's the way we should govern, starting in 2021.

CHUCK TODD:

Senator, I'm going to close with the same question I asked you at the beginning. I still didn't really hear an answer for why you didn't run. Is it simply you didn't want to do it?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

I think we were successful in moving forward, as we have. I, I, you know, I was talking to some people about this. And you know, you can run three different ways. You can run as Eeyore, where you get up every day and, "Oh, my God. I gotta to do this." And I didn't want to be that. You can run as the angry candidate. I didn't want to be that. Or you can run as the sort of optimist, joyful candidate, the way I try to do my job in the Senate. I think I can do that better in the Senate, in continuing to inform this presidential race.

CHUCK TODD:

Senator, you're saying you can't run for president joyfully. That’s quite the -- that’s what I just heard. Sorry I mean that’s a --

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

I think I can do it -- I think I can do it better in the Senate.

CHUCK TODD:

Fair enough.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Leave it at that, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Senator Sherrod Brown.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Your show -- it's always joyful, being on your show.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, that, I appreciate. It's Sunday morning, cup of coffee, and you've sprung forward. That, I appreciate.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

Even when the time changes, and you make me get up an hour earlier.

CHUCK TODD:

Senator, I will leave it there.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

And then you broadcast it later. And people don't know how early we got up so, on Sunday. Anyway, thank you, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Man, you and your Ohio colleague, John Kasich, man, you guys, you guys know how to talk to your Ohio voters. Thank you, sir, much appreciated.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN:

All right, thanks.

CHUCK TODD:

Joining me now is the chair of the House Republican Conference, Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Congresswoman Cheney, welcome back to Meet the Press.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Thank you, Todd. Great to be back with you.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to start with what happened in the House this week because it was a bit of a surprise. You were, you voted against this broad resolution. And while your criticism of the resolution I totally understand, but you were in the minority in your party. Did your fellow House Republicans make a mistake by voting with the Democrats on this resolution?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

No. Look, I think that were two ways we could have gone. Some of the people in our conference clearly looked at it and said, "There's nothing objectionable in the resolution." My statement made clear that that was my view as well. But I decided to vote against it because I think it was really clearly an effort to actually protect Ilhan Omar, to cover up her bigotry and anti-Semitism by refusing to name her. The Democrats have yet to take any action to remove her from her committee. And they've got a real problem. I mean, the extent to which they are now abiding by anti-Semitism, enabling anti-Semitism in their party is something we watched them struggle with but something that's very dangerous for the country. So I'm hopeful that they will be able to stand up and do the right thing on this.

CHUCK TODD:

I am curious. There was a bit of criticism. Politico noted their, “Republican sources were quite peeved at Cheney,” referring to you, “to say the least. The thinking among most top Republicans is this. When you're part of a leadership team, you stick together. Period.” Criticism being since you're a member of leadership, that you should have spoken with one voice.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Well, look, I think that, you know, you know how the Hill works. There are always those anonymous sources who are out there sniping. But I think the important thing for us to be focused on and to remember, the Democrats have been in charge now for about two and a half months in the House. And in that time they've become the party of anti-Semitism, the party of infanticide, the party of Socialism. They've passed legislation that's violated the First Amendment, the Second Amendment. It's really time for the Democrats, the leadership in that party to stop it, to stand up, and to act worthy frankly of the trust the American people have placed in them.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to--

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

It's crucial for the nation.

CHUCK TODD:

I want to unpack a couple things you just said there. First on the issue of -- you said you think Congresswoman Omar should lose her committee assignments. You led the fight to get Congressman Steve King, a Republican, to have him stripped of his committee assignment.Let me ask you this. Why is this -- why should congressional leaders do that? If the voters are going to send these folks, the voters in western Iowa know Steve King, for better or for worse. And the voters in Minnesota knew -- her comments were very, very much well pop -- well publicized. If they send them there, should congressional leaders really be telling, stripping -- not allowing them on committees?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Yeah. You know, I think the point is voters send them there. Nobody is saying we're going to expel them. We respect the decision the voters have made. But there are certain things that shouldn't be part of our public discourse. White supremacy is one of those. And anti-Semitism, the history in terms of what happens when you don't stand up to the evil, the history in terms of how quickly words turn into something much more horrible when it comes to anti-Semitism, as a nation we must at all times stand up to it. And the kind of anti-Semitism that you're seeing now from Ilhan Omar and that has been supported by her colleagues is the kind of anti-Semitism that really has the ability to creep in and become normalized in our discourse. And we have an absolute obligation not to let that happen.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, there's actually anti-Semitism that has crept into our discourse. Look at George Soros, okay? The Republican and conservative attacks on George Soros over the years. In fact, Kevin McCarthy had to pull one tweet that implied that he was essentially trying to buy this or buy that. That's gotten mainstreamed in ways for years to the point where George Soros had a -- had some guy that was trying to pipe bomb him. This whataboutism, can I just tell you--

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

No, no, no, no.

CHUCK TODD:

Congresswoman, this whataboutism --

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Yeah, no. I -- Whataboutism -- I’m not going to --

CHUCK TODD:

--that everybody tries to point to the other side--

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Chuck, Chuck --

CHUCK TODD:

-- and it’s getting a little old.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

-- The whataboutism absolutely should not go on. And everyone, including Leader McCarthy, has stood up absolutely firmly to condemn anti-Semitism. The, the thing that people need to be focused on here though is that the Democrats in the House of Representatives and even some of the Democrats themselves are completely frustrated with the fact that the leadership is -- they are protecting her. You know, this isn't just being silent. They are protecting her by failing to put a resolution on the floor that names her and that strips of her committee assignment. Instead, they put a resolution on the floor which she then went out and said, "This is a tremendous victory for me." Now, if we are not going to be in a position where you say the kind of language that she has said again, and again, and again is absolutely unacceptable and has no place in our discourse, then, then those people who won't condemn it are enabling it.

CHUCK TODD:

There was concern by singling her out you only make her a target. And they pointed to that West Virginia Republican Party flier.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Chuck, I'm sorry, but you don't --

CHUCK TODD:

This is getting -- but my point is we are getting --

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

You can describe it that way--

CHUCK TODD:

We're getting--

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

-- Chuck. You can describe it that way--

CHUCK TODD:

-- in a very dangerous way though --

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

-- but you’re wrong.

CHUCK TODD:

-- if we do this.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

You can describe it that way but you are wrong. When you have a situation in this country and around the world where have seen a global rise in anti-Semitic attacks, when we have had the kinds of attacks that you had on the synagogue here in the United States recently, that is a moment when you absolutely --

CHUCK TODD:

A motive on the right. That guy was motivated by right-wing fringe ideology.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

--absolutely was anti-Semitic.

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Anti-Semitic no matter where it comes from is wrong. And when you're in a situation where you are an elected official, where we are in a situation where we have the history that we have, what happens when you don't stand up and say, "This is evil," and call it what it is, we all have an obligation to do that. And I think it is absolutely shameful that Nancy Pelosi, and Leader Hoyer, and the Democratic leaders --

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

-- will not put her name in a resolution on the floor, and condemn her remarks, and remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you feel comfortable that President Trump's done enough to tamp down this right-wing fringe anti-Semitism that's been --

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Look.

CHUCK TODD:

--rising up?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

I don't believe this is right or left. I think that this is an issue on which all of us should come together, particularly elected officials, the president, the vice president, members of the Senate and the House no matter what your party is. Stand up and say in today's world when anti-Semitism is on the rise, when we have the history that we have, when we know what happens when people remain silent, every single one of us must at all times stand against it.

CHUCK TODD:

I -- There's a couple of foreign policy headlines I wanted to get at you. First, this was the president on Friday about North Korea.

[BEGIN TAPE]

PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

I have a feeling that our relationship with North Korea, Kim Jong-un and myself, Chairman Kim, I think it's a very good one. I think it remains good. I would be surprised in a negative way if he did anything that was not per our understanding.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD:

This is what we've learned just this week. He's accelerating the rocket program again. He's enriched more uranium between the two summits. And more importantly, they were reconstituting the programs while the summit, second summit was taking place --

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

-- with the president there. You can't take him at his word on this, can you?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

We have, we have watched Kim Jong-un, and his father, and his grandfather operate the same way now for decades. And I would say that Republican and Democratic administrations got taken by him. I hope this president won't. I think that, you know, their efforts are absolutely clear.

CHUCK TODD:

Haven’t we -- Hasn't he already gotten more --

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

And I think--

CHUCK TODD:

--out of this president by simply getting respect on the world stage?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

No, you know what, I think the fact that the president walked away from the summit in Vietnam is a very positive thing. I think that that was the right thing to do. We don't want a bad deal that makes us less safe.

CHUCK TODD:

And before I let you go, the president's going to roll out a budget, and there's going to be something in there that's going to be quite alarming to some allies. The president's going to advocate perhaps wherever we have troops overseas, think Japan, South Korea, Germany he's going to ask for cost plus fifty. Essentially tax countries over and above where we have bases. What does that do to the diplomacy, of this -- for this country?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

I think it would be absolutely devastating. We benefit tremendously. If you look at the last 70 years, we have been able to benefit both from the perspective of freedom, prosperity, security, safety because of our bases and our cooperation with our allies. The notion that we are somehow now going to charge them cost plus fifty, is really -- it's wrongheaded and it would be devastating to the security of the nation

CHUCK TODD:

Do you imagine --

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

-- and our allies.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think your Republican Party will support this?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

I won't.

CHUCK TODD:

But your -- the party might.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Well, I think it's going to be very important for us to make sure that people understand the danger that that will do to our relationships and to our fundamental security. Our security, we've been able to protect it because of our alliances and because we've been able to work with countries. And we should not look at this as though somehow we need to charge them rent or for the privilege of having our forces there because that does us a huge benefit as well.

CHUCK TODD:

Congresswoman Liz Cheney, Republican from Wyoming, thanks for coming on.

REP. LIZ CHENEY:

Thank you, Chuck. Good to be with you.

CHUCK TODD:

Good to see you here. When we come back, Democrats are going through the same growing pains Republicans did when the Tea Party emerged. It's hard to keep competing factions happy. That and the waiting for Biden campaign. The panel is next.

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Panel is here. Pat McCrory, the former Republican Governor of North Carolina; María Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latino; Kasie Hunt, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent and host of Kasie DC on MSNBC; and Robert Costa, the moderator of Washington Week on PBS. Kasie, let's unpack, first, the Hill, before we get to the presidential race. Because the Hill debate is going to animate the presidential race. Let me play Nancy Pelosi on Omar, from Friday.

(BEGIN TAPE)

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

The incident that happened was -- I don't think our colleague is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn't understand that some of them are fraught with meaning that she didn't realize but, nonetheless, that we had to address.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

I will say this. Speaker Pelosi has given me my new favorite excuse. "She has a different experience in the use of words." That -- that is -- that is easily, now, going to be one of my favorite -- favorite new phrases. She -- this is not easy.

KASIE HUNT:

It's not easy, Chuck. I think the one thing, when you speak with, you know, members of the Democratic Party, who are frustrated with how their own party handled this -- there are a lot of Jewish and non-Jewish Democrats, frankly, who are upset that this resolution was as broad as it was. You know, they'll say, "This is the third time this has happened." You know, she has used -- she said Israel was hypnotizing the world, in a tweet before she was in office. She had that, you know, Benjamins tweet --

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah.

KASIE HUNT:

-- you showed the audience at the top of the show. And now, she had this. And so you know, every single time, she has pled ignorance of these tropes. But you know, they're tropes for a reason. She's picking up on, you know, language that is used that is anti-Semitic, quite frankly. So you know, I think Nancy Pelosi is doing what she has very carefully done, since this, you know, new caucus has come together, which is try to very carefully thread that needle and try to sew these two very disparate generations together. And it's getting harder.

ROBERT COSTA:

But there's only so much Speaker Pelosi can do. I met with some House Democrats, seasoned veterans, over the weekend and late last week. And they said, in this day and age of social media, where someone like Representative Omar or Representative Ocasio-Cortez can have millions of followers, that the old rules don't apply. And so Speaker Pelosi may try to cobble together legislation to send a message to voters. But the people who have political capital inside this party are those with a social media following.

CHUCK TODD:

Is -- OK, if you get off social media, the world looks normal.

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

Fairly different.

CHUCK TODD:

But if you live on social media, I mean, you know -- I don't mean to, like, carry this over. The NBA is having a problem. Its players make all this money, and they're depressed all the time, because they live on social media and feel every negative comment and live it and all of this. This is what's happening to this younger generation.

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

Exactly right. And part of it is, too, that you actually don't even know who is really tweeting you. Are they bots? Or are they real people, when it comes to, basically, filling this. And I think that the challenge is that President Trump has really done a fantastic job communicating to a broader audience, based on his tweets. And it's toe to toe, now, with a generation that actually expects that they're going to have their breaking news not on the front page of The New York Times but through a tweet. And then you don't know how to actually have the accurate literacy of, is this actually accurate? And that's a challenge.

PAT MCCRORY:

As a former mayor and former governor, I always thought resolutions without actions were empty gestures. And this resolution was an empty gesture which tried to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one. But the problem, for the Democrats, with these new millennials, I call them the AOC millennials, is not only do the millennials think they have all the answers, they think they already have wisdom. And the Nancy Pelosis of the world have wisdom. And they're trying to explain to these younger people, "Wait a minute. I'm the old person. And you cannot make that argument."

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

I --

KASIE HUNT:

I’m not sure --

CHUCK TODD:

All right.

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

-- but I think --

CHUCK TODD:

Bring it on! There you go. Bring it on, Kasie.

KASIE HUNT:

I mean, honestly, I think the leaders can learn something from these -- from the newer -- I take your point that, you know, they have not had the kind of experience in government. And I think, to a certain extent, there are going to be consequences for some of the actions they take on social media in, kind of, the universe of trying to get things done. But on the other hand, I think the old guard doesn't really understand the power of what they bring.

CHUCK TODD:

By the way, guys, I want to insert somebody into here, really quickly. First of all, the Times set it up really well. The Times said, this is the debate in the Democratic Party, what you guys are arguing about. "Do Americans simply pine for a pre-Trump equilibrium, less chaos and more consensus? Or do the yawning disparities of these times call out for a more-transformational administration?"

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

That -- that --

KASIE HUNT:

And I think that's absolutely valid.

CHUCK TODD:

Now, listen to AOC yesterday.

PAT MCCRORY:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

Pat, listen to this.

PAT MCCRORY:

Yeah.

(BEGIN TAPE)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ:

Moderate is not a stance. It's just an attitude toward life of, like, meh. The meh is, like, worshipped now for what?

(END TAPE)

PAT MCCRORY:

I rest my case. But the point I want to make is there's another issue that brought out the AOC Millennials against the traditional, liberal Democrats. That was Amazon. Cuomo and one of the most liberal mayors of New York City we've ever had gave tax breaks to a major multibillion-dollar company. AOC fought it and said, "Well, we can spend that $2 billion elsewhere." Well, the $2 billion didn't exist. She didn't have the knowledge necessary of the economy. Now, philosophy, that's a good argument. That's also showing the division in the Democratic Party.

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

Right. But I actually think that what Millennials are feeling is that they are feeling from their experience. They know that something is off. They know that their experience of -- that they're going to have a guaranteed brighter future than their parents is just not going to happen.

KASIE HUNT:

It's broken.

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

It's broken. And the fact that --

KASIE HUNT:

The compact is broken.

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

Absolutely.

KASIE HUNT:

It used to be that, if you worked hard, and you followed the ethics of your parents, you would end up working for a company that would take care of you for a long time. That is not the case anymore.

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

And it --

KASIE HUNT:

It is simply not the case.

ROBERT COSTA:

It’s bigger than --

KASIE HUNT:

-- and resent it.

ROBERT COSTA:

It's bigger than age. I mean, the point Representative Ocasio-Cortez is making is that the Democratic Party needs to move to the left. If you look at this 2020 presidential race, where is the energy? Fundraising, Senator Bernie Sanders, crowds, Senator Bernie Sanders. He's in his upper 70s. Yet, he's the runner up from '16. And he's saying, to people like the representative from New York, "I'm your type of candidate. I'm not a meh candidate," to use her term.

CHUCK TODD:

The Bernie-Biden -- by the way, it takes two 75-plus-year-old guys, I guess, to have this argument, between this generational argument here. Are they -- by the way, are they placeholders for now, until the younger generation gets more --

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

Look, I --

CHUCK TODD:

-- grassroots support?

MARÍA TERESA KUMAR:

Well, I actually think that everybody's waiting in the wings, in large part, because they're waiting for Beto to announce. And unlike all of the other Democrats that are trying to move as far to the left, to say, "I am your person," he has not, necessarily, said that he is. And he's much more palatable to a lot of the independents. And he's done that in a very interesting way. Because again, if you ask him where his policies are, they're not on the -- on the left.

CHUCK TODD:

He's all things to all people.

KASIE HUNT:

If there’s a criticism -- right. If there's a criticism of Beto, it's that he doesn't know where he stands --

PAT MCCRORY:

But all these left-wing --

KASIE HUNT:

-- on a lot of things, if you read some of those interviews.

PAT MCCRORY:

But all these left-wing stances, the green plan especially, where the millennials are going to realize, they have to have energy and power at an affordable price. They're going to find out energy is not cheap. And you need energy to survive. And the reality's going to wake them up sometime down the road.

CHUCK TODD:

This is a conversation that needs more time. And I might actually give it more time. But when we come back, President Trump says Michael Cohen is lying about asking for a pardon. Cohen says it's Mr. Trump who's lying. All right, so what does Adam Schiff think? Because Michael Cohen has lied to him, too. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee joins me next.

CHUCK TODD:Welcome back. This was a week in which we saw President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort get sentenced to prison. Think about that for a moment. The man who made sure Donald Trump secured the nomination at the Republican convention was sentenced to 47 months in prison, with sentencing in another case coming this week. We also saw Mr. Trump and Michael Cohen each call the other a liar over whether Cohen sought a pardon from the president. There's a lot to chew on. We're going to turn to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, who joins me now from Los Angeles. And on spring-forward day, I'm very grateful for you getting up that extra hour early. Congressman Schiff, welcome back to Meet the Press, sir.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:Let me just start with a basic question here. Who's lying, the president or Michael Cohen, when it comes to whether Michael Cohen asked for a pardon? And more importantly, did Michael Cohen lie to Congress again?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:Well, the central question of our investigation is: Why did Michael Cohen lie before our committee about Moscow Trump Tower? Why would this be in his interest? Was this something that he did alone? Or were there others involved in it? And there are reasons to believe that this was not a lone decision of Michael Cohen. What we are looking for is corroborative evidence. And the reason why this, this whole Moscow Trump Tower issue is so central to our investigation is that it explains or potentially explains the president's bizarre affinity for Vladimir Putin. And that is that he stood to make more money from this transaction than any deal in his life and sought the Kremlin's help to make it happen while concealing this from the public. That still may be an animating principle for the president. He may believe that when he leaves office --

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:

-- that he still wants to build this tower. And while that may not be criminal, it is nonetheless corrupt and distorts our policy. So, you know, that is certainly the central question for us. In terms of who's telling the truth between Michael Cohen and the president, we know that the president has made probably over a thousand false statements about the Russia issues. And here we're going to simply have to find what corroboration we can to find out where the truth lies.

CHUCK TODD:I was just going to say is it safe to say you can't take Michael Cohen at his word on anything?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:I don't think in terms of making the case to the public, and here we're not making the case to a jury, about what took place that we can rely solely on the testimony of Michael Cohen. We're going to need corroboration. You know, to me in looking at what Michael Cohen said in the open hearing and then what his lawyers said afterwards, it was very much like what Donald Trump did when he said that he had no knowledge of these payments to Stormy Daniels and then Rudy Giuliani said, "Oh yes, he did." Well, where is the truth there? We asked Michael Cohen about this extensively. Those transcripts will be made public. The public can evaluate his credibility themselves.

CHUCK TODD:You know, it looks like, we don't know this for sure. But it looks like Robert Mueller's going to complete his investigation without subpoenaing the president before the grand jury or coming up with a way to have him interviewed before the grand jury. President Clinton went before Ken Starr's grand jury. In hind-- If indeed Mr. Mueller decides not to issue that subpoena or figure out how to get the president in front of that grand jury, is that going to have been a mistake considering we have so many questions about who -- whose testimony should you believe: Michael Cohen's or Donald Trump's?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:Yes, I think it is a mistake. And I've said all along that I don't think Bob Mueller should rely on written answers. When you get written answers from a witness, it's really the lawyers' answers as much as the client's answer. And here you need to be able to ask follow-up questions in real time. But I think the constraint that Bob Mueller's operating under is he had an acting attorney general who was appointed because he would be hostile to a subpoena on the president. And now he has a permanent attorney general who was chosen for the same hostility to his investigation, who would likely oppose that step. I also think that the special counsel feels some time pressure to conclude his work. And knowing that the White House would drag out a fight over the subpoena, that may be an issue as well. But I do think ultimately it's a mistake because probably the best way to get the truth would be to put the president under oath. Because as he's made plain in the past, he feels it's perfectly fine to lie to the public. After all, he has said, "It's not like I'm talking before a magistrate." Well, maybe he should talk before a magistrate.

CHUCK TODD:I want to move to something that was a bit confusing. Erik Prince, who is the brother of the secretary of education but also has been sort of before your committee having to do with some odd meetings that he had set up in the Seychelles, he was on Al Jazeera and he was asked about some testimony to your committee and about whether he lied or not. Take a listen.

[BEGIN TAPE]

ERIK PRINCE:We were there to talk about Iran policy.

MEDHI HASAN:You were there to talk about Iran policy?

ERIK PRINCE:Uh-huh.

MEDHI HASAN:Don't you think that's something important to disclose to the House Intelligence Committee while you're under oath?

ERIK PRINCE:I did.

MEDHI HASAN:You didn't. We just went through the testimony. There's no mention of the Trump Tower meeting August 2016. Why not?

ERIK PRINCE:I don't know if they got the transcript wrong.

[END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD:So this was about another meeting that Erik Prince had I believe with some other -- perhaps with some other representatives of some other countries in Trump Tower, the so-called second Trump Tower meeting of less significance. Not with Russians, with other foreign countries. Based on what you heard there, is Mr. Prince telling the truth? Is your transcript wrong?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:Well, he's certainly not telling the truth in that interview. There's nothing wrong with our transcript. There was nothing wrong with the reporter who transcribed his testimony. He did not disclose that meeting to our committee. And in fact, as you can see from the published transcript of his interview, he was asked what kind of role he played, if any, in the campaign, and he said he had no role apart from on his own submitting written papers, hanging a yard sign, or making a contribution. And he was also asked about any substantive policy conversations that he might have had. So his, you know, interview certainly looks inconsistent with his testimony. Bob Mueller has that testimony already. And Bob Mueller will have to make the decision about whether that rises to a level of deliberate falsehood. But we had questions at the time of his testimony about his candor and his and his --

CHUCK TODD:What's your --

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:-- how forthcoming he was. And those questions have only been heightened now.

CHUCK TODD:What's your concern about what he was doing?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:Well, the concern is that, you know, this is another concealed meeting. This is another discussion that took place in the context of the meeting that he had in the Seychelles. There have been persistent questions about whether the U.A.E. was playing a backchannel role to the Russians during the campaign. And those were a lot of the questions that we were asking him about. So clearly this meeting at Trump Tower with these players was of direct interest to our committee. So why conceal it? Why withhold that information if there was nothing improper, no improper purpose in it? There are a lot of deeply concerning and unanswered questions around Erik Prince and his involvement with the campaign.

CHUCK TODD:All right. Adam Schiff, I will leave it there. The Democratic lead on the House Intelligence Committee, the chairman. Thanks very much for coming on, getting up early, and sharing your views with us this morning.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF:Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:When we come back, the state the Democrats have on their minds for 2020. Could it be the game changer that gets them over 270?

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Data Download time. Heading into the 2020 election, Democrats are excited about the opportunity for an electoral pickup. It's not Texas. it's not Arizona but Georgia. That's right, a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since Bill Clinton in 1992. Let's look to Cobb County. It's a suburb of Atlanta, part of which, Newt Gingrich represented, and the rapidly changing politics of the last few years. In 2012, Cobb County voted for Republican Mitt Romney for president by a whopping 12 points. Just four years later, it swung to Hillary Clinton. And she won the county by just two points. And before you say, "Oh, that's just a Donald Trump anomaly," realize that this past November, Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor, won Cobb County by nearly 10 points, so a 22-point swing in just six years. What's going on? We went down to Cobb County to figure it out.

(BEGIN TAPE)

SUE ROBINSON:

There's change in Cobb County. It once was Republican. And now, we’ve had a lot of move-ins. And it's getting a mixture now. Like, Georgia's becoming a mixture. You know, I sort of liked it when, you know, the Republican part of it.

CHUCK TODD:

It's true. Cobb County has seen a ton of people move in the last few years. Between 2010 and 2017, Cobb County's population grew 9.8 percent, outpacing growth in Georgia, as a whole. In that same time, Cobb County has grown more diverse, with increases to both the African American and Hispanic populations. More residents also have college degrees. And median household income has gone from $66,000 to $72,000 per year. The more telling data may be where the transplants to Cobb County are coming from. Of the top 20 counties that people move to Cobb from, since 2012, 13 are from outside the state of Georgia. And 15 of those counties voted for Hillary Clinton, including Queens, New York, LA County, and Miami-Dade.This is just Cobb County, of course. But you can see a lot of these changes in the other suburban counties, where the vote has also swung towards the Democrats in and around Atlanta. So is Georgia ready to be a swing state again?

(BEGIN TAPE)

BOBBY THOMAS:

The younger crowd is definitely going to go toward this.

MICHAEL OWENS:

I have no doubt that a progressive candidate could win, statewide.

JASON SHEPHARD:

I think Georgia's been a swing state before. I think it's moving towards that way again.

LOREN MARTIN:

I just can't imagine not being a red state. I really can't.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

We'll find out soon enough. Coming up, Paul Manafort, a controversial sentence and that claim that he's lived an otherwise blameless life.

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CHUCK TODD:

Back now with End Game. When the Des Moines Register found out we were leading with the Democratic divide, they, of course, decided, "Oh, we should hurry up and get our poll in the field." I don't think that was the order of events. But let me put up the Des Moines Register poll that's out this morning because it's going to have everybody talking. And it's both meaningful and meaningless all at the same time. We see who the top-two candidates are: Biden and Sanders. Only one's in double digits. Warren at 9%, Harris at 7%, and in case you're wondering, right below Harris is Beto, at 5%, Booker and Klobuchar the only other two over 1%. What is interesting there, Robert Costa, is the fact that you can tell that buzz is everything. Bernie's numbers went up six points from the last time it went down. And what's the difference between last time and this time? Bernie's in the middle of an announcement tour. So these things will continue to move as announcement tours happen.

ROBERT COSTA:

And Senator Sanders, if you watch him closely right now, he's running as a movement politician. He's gotten rid of his traditional consultants, like Tad Devine. He has built a movement from his 2016 campaign. And you look at Senator Warren, she has a message. Break up the big companies. Go after tech. But it's a crowded space on that left side of the Democratic Party.

KASIE HUNT:

You know, Chuck, one of the most-interesting things, I think, is in that poll is that -- If you look at the numbers for Biden, the biggest chunk of them, if you ask who their second choice is, the answer's Bernie Sanders, which is pretty remarkable. And, you know, I do think--

CHUCK TODD:

I thought so, too. It shows you they're the mainstream of the party, the two of them together.

KASIE HUNT:

Potentially, yes. And frankly, Bernie Sanders' fundraising means that he is going to be a factor. I mean, he has a core of supporters, you know? I'm not sure it's big enough to win him any big states. But if he pulls, you know, 20%, 25% consistently, he's going to have the money to go the distance. Mark my words. You're going to see him at the convention.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR:

And Bernie Sanders is one of the few people who never stopped campaigning. He does Facebook Lives, where he has 35,000 people, just on the spot, watching him and following him. And what folks don't realize is that he really appeals to a lot of young voters. For the very first time, young voters are going to outweigh, potentially, the Millennials -- excuse me, the Baby Boomers. For the very first time, they're going to actually have more eligible voters than we've ever seen.

PAT MCCRORY:

Well, therefore, I'd like to apologize and do a resolution.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR:

Are you running?

PAT MCCRORY:

Based upon what I said about the Millennials. But I would like to say this. The more these candidates get out, we're going to see Trump numbers go up. Because there is going to be a comparison. And it's already happening. And I think, also, the more Congressman Schiff talks about investigations and continuing these investigations after the Mueller report, I think Trump numbers will go up. I think the Democrats are going to put Trump in office.

CHUCK TODD:

Speaking of the president. I want to play what he said about Paul Manafort. Because there's a part of the empathy that I really don't get, when it comes the to being the sitting president of the United States. Take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it's been a very, very tough time for him. But if you notice, both his lawyer, a highly respected man, and a very highly respected judge, the judge said there was no collusion with Russia.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Well, the judge did not say that, though the judge did say this about Manafort. "I think the sentencing range is excessive. Manafort has been a good friend to others, a generous person. He has lived an otherwise blameless life." What I don't understand Robert Costa, is why the president is praising and feeling sorry for a man that defrauded American taxpayers for at least $6 million.

ROBERT COSTA:

You know who else wonders that? Many Trump advisors. Talking to them, in recent days, they wish the president would actually be quiet about Paul Manafort. They wish Judge Ellis, of Alexandria, would be their spokesman.

CHUCK TODD:

Could've been.

ROBERT COSTA:

Because they say he's the person who's actually making the best case for this administration. Bill Shine, the deputy chief of staff, out as the communication head, the president going on and on, talking about possible pardons. They wish all that would just be noise. It's the Ellis case, diminishing the Mueller probe, that's what the White House really wants. But they can't stay on message.

CHUCK TODD:

Because of Manafort.

PAT MCCRORY:

There's a video right now, a famous video, of a whale almost swallowing a person swimming in the ocean. And he spits him out. Trump needs to spit Manafort out. And the chairman of the Intelligence Committee needs to get rid of Cohen. Stay away from both of them. They're not good for either party.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR:

I think, first, we need to clarify that what he was getting sentenced for was not for Russian collusion. So that we have to set the table for --

CHUCK TODD:

No, but it was ripping off the American government over 30 years of lobbying.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR:

Exactly right. Exactly right. And so one of the conversations that people are having is that how unjust the sentence was for this type of crime. And we can look at other judges. But if we look, particularly, at this judge, this judge threw the book at Representative Jefferson, from Louisiana.

CHUCK TODD:

William Jefferson, an African American Democrat from New Orleans.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR:

Right, who basically said, who basically was found to have embezzled close to $400,000.

CHUCK TODD:

The freezer cash. The infamous freezer cash.

KASIE HUNT:

Those numbers are so much lower than what Paul Manafort was dealing with.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR:

Well, and this is where you talk about, is there justice, when it comes to white-collar crime? Manafort is incredibly connected. Did he -- He was basically verging, teetering, on treason, when it comes to this. Was that fair? And that is where we actually have to unpack the sentence that he's serving.

CHUCK TODD:

There's more--- there is more sentencing coming for Mr. Manafort. The Spinal Tap drummer position of the White House, I mean, the communications director position at the White House.

PAT MCCRORY:

Wow, that's an inside joke. I love it.

CHUCK TODD:

I mean, you brought up Bill Shine. Who will take it? I mean, the president --

KASIE HUNT:

Would you want to be the White House communications director, Chuck?

CHUCK TODD:

The president is now the communications director again. What does this mean, Kasie?

KASIE HUNT:

Well, I think it means, you know, to Bob's earlier point, that we're going to see more of the same. I mean, you know, I certainly wouldn't want to be the person that needs to tell the president of the United States how to communicate with the American people. I mean, good luck. He's been doing it himself, literally, his entire life.

CHUCK TODD:

How much did the New Yorker piece have to do with Shine's quick release?

ROBERT COSTA:

The president was frustrated with Bill Shine not bring all of the Fox News expertise and helping to elevate his image with the press. The most-revealing speech of the most-recent weeks, President Trump at CPAC.

CHUCK TODD:

Oh, yeah.

ROBERT COSTA:

Two hours.

CHUCK TODD:

Unpack that.

PAT MCCRORY:

The volume --What was it at? 11 for President Trump, during that speech.

CHUCK TODD:

That's all I have for today. Thank you for watching. Thank you for springing forward with us. We'll be back next week. Because if it's Sunday, no matter the hour, it's Meet the Press.