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MTP EXCLUSIVE - HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY: SPEAKER PELOSI IS “OUT OF STEP WITH HER OWN BASE,” NOT A WINNER IN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN FIGHT

ALSO - SEN. MARCO RUBIO: “TERRIBLE IDEA” TO DECLARE NATIONAL EMERGENCY FOR BORDER WALL FUNDING

PLUS – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES: IMPEACHMENT INQUIRIES ARE “NOT APPROPRIATE RIGHT NOW”

NEW NBC NEWS/WALL STREET JOURNAL POLL: 'WRONG TRACK': PUBLIC SOURS ON NATION'S DIRECTION AFTER SHUTDOWN

JAN. 27, 2019 – Today on Meet the Press, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is “out of step with her own base” and questioned the idea of her being a winner in the government shutdown fight saying she achieved the “status quo.”

When asked by moderator Chuck Todd during an exclusive interview what President Trump achieved from the 35-day government shutdown, Rep. McCarthy said, “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.”

Rep. McCarthy also accused Democrats of playing politics over border security saying, “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” and said it’s “wrong” how Democrats “have changed the course of what they've voted for in the past.”

When asked about legislation to avoid future government shutdowns, Rep. McCarthy said he supports the idea of members of Congress not being paid during any shutdowns, similar to a bill put forward by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), and said “That's the amendment I would offer because this only harms others.” Watch the full interview.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also joined the program and told Chuck Todd that it’s a “terrible idea” to declare a national emergency to build a border wall, saying he hopes President Trump doesn’t do it and that “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.”

Sen. Rubio also discussed the 2013 “Gang of Eight” bipartisan immigration deal and said President Trump only wants “a fraction of what that bill in 2013 did on border security” and that he is “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.”

When asked about the political crisis in Venezuela, Sen. Rubio said his preferred outcome is “that [Nicolás] Maduro leaves and that in 30 or 45 days they call an election, and they elect someone democratically, and Venezuela returns to constitutional order.” He also said the most important thing is “no harm should ever come to these diplomats” and that the U.S. “always had the right to defend its national security and national interest with the use of force, if necessary.”

On the news of former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone being indicted by Robert Mueller, Sen. Rubio said it “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.”

When asked if working with Wikileaks is a crime, Sen. Rubio said, “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.” Watch the full interview.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, joined the program for an exclusive interview and said on the topic of border security, “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.”

On the government shutdown, Rep. Jeffries said he supports taking a “hard look at making sure that we don’t pursue shutdowns as a means of trying to extract leverage” but said that Rep. McCarthy’s proposal of not paying members of Congress during future government shutdowns is a “gimmick.”

Also, when also asked about impeachment inquiries into President Trump, he said they are “not appropriate right now” saying “we’re not going to over-investigate.” Watch the full interview.

Plus, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that six-in-10 Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and nearly 70 percent of them have negative opinions on the state of the nation today. The poll also found that President Trump’s approval rating (43 percent of Americans approving and 47 percent who strongly disapprove) remains unchanged from last month. Read more about the poll.

White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour and NBC News Contributor Yamiche Alcindor, NBC News Senior Correspondent Tom Brokaw, Host of The Hugh Hewitt Show and NBC News Contributor Hugh Hewitt, and NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker joined the broadcast’s roundtable for insight and analysis on the week in politics. Watch the full panel.

Read the full transcript of Meet the Press this morning and follow the show on Twitter and on Facebook for the latest.

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