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How President Donald Trump Is 'Unmaking The Presidency' | Morning Joe | MSNBC

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>>> ALL RIGHT >>> ALL RIGHT

AT 29 PAST THE HOUR, A LIVE LOOK AT 29 PAST THE HOUR, A LIVE LOOK AT THE WHITE HOUSE AS THE SUN AT THE WHITE HOUSE AS THE SUN HAS YET TO COME UP OVER HAS YET TO COME UP OVER WASHINGTON WASHINGTON BEN WITTES, TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW BEN WITTES, TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK "UNMAKING THE PRESIDENCY: BOOK "UNMAKING THE PRESIDENCY: DONALD TRUMP’S WAR ON THE DONALD TRUMP’S WAR ON THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL OFFICE" WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL OFFICE" >> BEN, YOU AND SUSAN HENNESSY >> BEN, YOU AND SUSAN HENNESSY HAVE DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB WITH HAVE DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB WITH THIS BOOK

THIS BOOK I LOVE IT I LOVE IT AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LOVE ABOUT IT IS THAT YOU REALLY LOVE ABOUT IT IS THAT YOU REALLY TAKE THE READERS THROUGH THE TAKE THE READERS THROUGH THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS, THE PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS, THE CONSEQUENCES OF THOSE ACTIONS, CONSEQUENCES OF THOSE ACTIONS, AND THEN YOU TRY ANSWERING THE AND THEN YOU TRY ANSWERING THE QUESTION OF, WHAT THE IMPACT IS QUESTION OF, WHAT THE IMPACT IS GOING TO BE, AND SO LET ME ASK GOING TO BE, AND SO LET ME ASK YOU YOU

WITH A PRESIDENT WHO SAYS WITH A PRESIDENT WHO SAYS ARTICLE 2 GIVES HIM THE POWER TO ARTICLE 2 GIVES HIM THE POWER TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HE WANTS TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HE WANTS TO DO, WITH WHITE HOUSE AIDES GOING DO, WITH WHITE HOUSE AIDES GOING ON SUNDAY SHOWS SAYING THE ON SUNDAY SHOWS SAYING THE PRESIDENT’S AUTHORITY IS NOT TO PRESIDENT’S AUTHORITY IS NOT TO BE QUESTIONED,

TELL US, WHEN WE BE QUESTIONED, TELL US, WHEN WE READ THIS BOOK, WILL WE LEARN READ THIS BOOK, WILL WE LEARN THAT THIS IS JUST SOMETHING THAT THAT THIS IS JUST SOMETHING THAT OFFENDS OUR DEMOCRATIC OFFENDS OUR DEMOCRATIC SENSIBILITIESES? SENSIBILITIESES? THAT WILL PASS IN TIME? THAT WILL PASS IN TIME? OR IS THE PRESIDENT RESHAPING OR IS THE PRESIDENT RESHAPING THE PRESIDENCY IN A WAY THAT THE PRESIDENCY IN A WAY THAT WILL HAVE FAR MORE LASTING WILL HAVE FAR MORE LASTING DAMAGE FOR YEARS TO COME? DAMAGE FOR YEARS TO COME? >> FIRST OF ALL, THANKS FOR THE >> FIRST OF ALL, THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS ABOUT THE BOOK KIND WORDS ABOUT THE BOOK LOOK, I THINK THE ANSWER TO THAT LOOK, I THINK THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION IS THAT DONALD TRUMP IS QUESTION IS THAT DONALD TRUMP IS PROPOSING TO RESHAPE THE PROPOSING TO RESHAPE THE PRESIDENCY, AND YOU KNOW, WE PRESIDENCY, AND YOU KNOW, WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THESE NORMS TALK A LOT ABOUT THESE NORMS VIOLATIONS VIOLATIONS YOU KNOW, THE WORD "NORM YOU KNOW, THE WORD "NORM VIOLATION" HAS BECOME SOMETHING VIOLATION" HAS BECOME SOMETHING OF A CLICHE IN THE TRUMP ERA AND OF A CLICHE IN THE TRUMP ERA AND SOMEBODY TRAMPLING ON SO MANY SOMEBODY TRAMPLING ON SO MANY DIFFERENT NORMS OF THE DIFFERENT NORMS OF THE TRADITIONAL PRESIDENCY, YOU HAVE TRADITIONAL PRESIDENCY, YOU HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION, IS HE TO ASK THE QUESTION, IS HE PROPOSING SOMETHING ELSE? PROPOSING SOMETHING ELSE? AND THE BASIC THESIS THAT SUSAN AND THE BASIC THESIS THAT SUSAN AND I PUT FORWARD, THOUGH HE IS AND I PUT FORWARD, THOUGH HE IS NOT A POLITICAL THEORIST, THAT NOT A POLITICAL THEORIST, THAT THIS IS NOT A SORT OF THEORIZED THIS IS NOT A SORT OF THEORIZED INNOVATION TO THE PRESIDENCY, INNOVATION TO THE PRESIDENCY, DONALD TRUMP IS ACTUALLY DONALD TRUMP IS ACTUALLY PROPOSING A DIFFERENT VISION OF PROPOSING A DIFFERENT VISION OF THE PRESIDENCY, AND IT’S ONE THE PRESIDENCY, AND IT’S ONE BUILT AROUND THE IDEA OF MERGING BUILT AROUND THE IDEA OF MERGING THE PERSON, IN THIS CASE DONALD THE PERSON, IN THIS CASE DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF, THE PERSONALITY TRUMP HIMSELF, THE PERSONALITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL, WITH THE OF THE INDIVIDUAL, WITH THE OFFICE, AND THE HIJACKING OF THE OFFICE, AND THE HIJACKING OF THE POWERS OF THE OFFICE TO BENEFIT POWERS OF THE OFFICE TO BENEFIT THE INDIVIDUAL

THE INDIVIDUAL AND, YOU KNOW, IF WE TOLERATE AND, YOU KNOW, IF

WE TOLERATE THAT, IN BRIEF ANSWER TO YOUR THAT, IN BRIEF ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, IF WE ENDORSE THAT BY QUESTION, IF WE ENDORSE THAT BY RE-ELECTING HIM, IF WE DON’T RE-ELECTING HIM, IF WE DON’T PUSH BACK ON IT, YES, THE PUSH BACK ON IT, YES, THE PRESIDENCY IS A CHANGEABLE PRESIDENCY IS A CHANGEABLE OFFICE OFFICE THIS IS A COHERENT PROPOSITION THIS IS A COHERENT PROPOSITION TO CHANGE IT, AND IT WILL CATCH TO CHANGE IT, AND IT WILL CATCH ON ON

>> WELL, SO, BENJAMIN, LET’S BIG >> WELL, SO, BENJAMIN, LET’S BIG A LITTLE DEEPER A LITTLE DEEPER VIOLATING LAWS, VIOLATING THE VIOLATING LAWS, VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION IS QUITE DIFFERENT CONSTITUTION IS QUITE DIFFERENT THAN VIOLATING NORMS THAN VIOLATING NORMS WHETHER THEY ARE POLITICAL NORMS WHETHER THEY ARE POLITICAL NORMS OR CONSTITUTIONAL NORMS

OR CONSTITUTIONAL NORMS >> YES >> YES >> SO YOUR BOOK SUGGESTS THAT >> SO YOUR BOOK SUGGESTS THAT THERE IS A FLEXIBILITY INHERENT THERE IS A FLEXIBILITY INHERENT IN THE PRESIDENCY THAT WOULD IN THE PRESIDENCY THAT WOULD ALLOW A PRESIDENT LIKE DONALD ALLOW A PRESIDENT LIKE DONALD TRUMP TO COMPLETELY RESHAPE THE TRUMP TO COMPLETELY RESHAPE THE PRESIDENT WITHOUT RUNNING AFOUL PRESIDENT WITHOUT RUNNING AFOUL OF THE CONSTITUTION, OR EXISTING OF THE CONSTITUTION, OR EXISTING LAWS LAWS

IS THAT A CORRECT READ? IS THAT A CORRECT READ? >> THAT IS EXACTLY CORRECT >> THAT IS EXACTLY CORRECT SO FIRST OF ALL, THE PRESIDENCY SO FIRST OF ALL, THE PRESIDENCY IS NOT A STATIC INSTITUTION IS NOT A STATIC INSTITUTION THE INSTITUTION THAT WE THINK OF THE INSTITUTION THAT WE THINK OF TODAY AS THE PRESIDENCY LOOKS TODAY AS THE PRESIDENCY LOOKS RELATIVELY LITTLE

RELATIVELY LITTLE LIKE THE INSTITUTION THAT LIKE THE INSTITUTION THAT CONGRESS INTERACTED WITH IN THE CONGRESS INTERACTED WITH IN THE 1790s, WHEN PRESIDENTS DIDN’T 1790s, WHEN PRESIDENTS DIDN’T HAVE STAFF HAVE STAFF THERE REALLY WEREN’T AGENCIES IN THERE REALLY WEREN’T AGENCIES IN THE SENSE THAT WE UNDERSTAND THE SENSE THAT WE UNDERSTAND THEM NOW, AND THE POWERS OF THE THEM NOW, AND THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENCY WERE GRAVELY LIMITED PRESIDENCY WERE GRAVELY LIMITED BY THINGS LIKE GEOGRAPHY AND BY THINGS LIKE GEOGRAPHY AND COMMUNICATIONS COMMUNICATIONS

SO WE SHOULDN’T THINK OF THE SO WE SHOULDN’T THINK OF THE PRESIDENCY AS AN INSTITUTION PRESIDENCY AS AN INSTITUTION THAT DOESN’T CHANGE THAT DOESN’T CHANGE IT DOES CHANGE, AND THE IT DOES CHANGE, AND THE PRESIDENTIAL POWERS AS THEY’RE PRESIDENTIAL POWERS AS THEY’RE ARTICULATED IN THE CONSTITUTION, ARTICULATED IN THE CONSTITUTION, CAN GIVE RISE TO MANY DIFFERENT CAN GIVE RISE TO MANY DIFFERENT ITERATIONS ITERATIONS FOR EXAMPLE, THE PRESIDENT IS FOR EXAMPLE, THE PRESIDENT IS OBLIGED TO GIVE US THE OBLIGED TO GIVE US THE INFORMATION TO CONGRESS ON THE INFORMATION TO CONGRESS ON THE STATE OF THE UNION PEDICALLY

RIO STATE OF THE UNION PEDICALLYRIO THAT CAN MEAN A WRITTEN THAT CAN MEAN A WRITTEN COMMUNICATION AS IT DID THROUGH COMMUNICATION AS IT DID THROUGH MOST OF THE 19th CENTURY MOST OF THE 19th CENTURY IT CAN MEAN THE MODERN STATE OF IT CAN MEAN THE MODERN STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, AS WE THINK THE UNION ADDRESS, AS WE THINK OF IT NOW, AND I SUPPOSE IT OF IT NOW, AND I SUPPOSE IT COULD ALSO MEAN A TAP DANCE AND COULD ALSO MEAN A TAP DANCE AND A SONG BY A PRESIDENT WHO WANTED A SONG BY A PRESIDENT WHO WANTED TO INTERPRET IT THAT WAY TO INTERPRET IT THAT WAY

SO WHILE WE THINK OF TRUMP AS SO WHILE WE THINK OF TRUMP AS VIOLATING THE LAW, AND IN SOME VIOLATING THE LAW, AND IN SOME AREAS HE IS, IN MOST AREAS WHAT AREAS HE IS, IN MOST AREAS WHAT WE THINK OF, OF HIS ABUSES ARE WE THINK OF, OF HIS ABUSES ARE ACTUALLY ABUSES OF POWERS HE ACTUALLY ABUSES OF POWERS HE UNDOUBTEDLY HAS, AND, FOR UNDOUBTEDLY HAS, AND, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW, HE’S ALLOWED EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW, HE’S ALLOWED TO MAKE ALL OF THESE OUTRAGEOUS TO MAKE ALL OF THESE OUTRAGEOUS PARDONS THAT HE MAKES

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