Matthew Dowd on Porter allegations: It's a 'moral problem' allowed to 'fester' under Trump

The Powerhouse Roundtable discusses the week in politics on "This Week."
15:51 | 02/11/18

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Transcript for Matthew Dowd on Porter allegations: It's a 'moral problem' allowed to 'fester' under Trump
Did anybody happen to see the state of the union address? You have the other side even on really positive news like that, they were like death and unamerican, unamerican. Somebody said treasonness. Why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I marvel at some of the things he says and does. Anybody that didn't stand up and clap for him unun-american. They say it was tongue and cheek. Democrats can't take a joke. He's a joke. You can be forgiven if you forgot about that. We'll get to the round table. Matthew Dodd, Megan Murphy, David Axelrod and our senior white house correspondent cecel Cecelia Vegas. Matt, you've worked in the white house. Where was the break down their in this rob porter story? Can I respond to kellyanne Conway? Whoo! Her relationship with truth is most chart B-- first of all in this day and age it should be believe the women. This is where I fault kellyanne Conway and fault general Kelly and the general counsel and this is where I fault the president. This is allowed to exist in America in every walk of life because people enable it. They decide the ends justify the means. I'll disagree with governor Christie on something. This isn't about competence. It's a moral situation that his president through his own actions and his actions over the years has allowed this to fester. We saw the reaction from the white house. Appeared to be some shock even though several staffers knew for this about weeks and months. We're back in the early chaos land of trump administration. Seeing kellyanne Conway they're still struggling what the messaging is. If the message is rob porter is out, we did the right thing, when Sarah Sanders said rob porter resigned on his own. He was not forced out. General Kelly and Sarah Sanders are both praising him. When the photos come out, general Kelly said he stood by Mr. Porter. Then the comments from the oval office which seemed extraordinary, but rm aren't when you're talking about the president coming to the defense of men in this situation. Alex, the president is pretty transparent. What we saw in the tweets is exactly what he thinks. This is what he is. This president is the predator, the T Rex the voters sent to Washington to protect him from the other smaller slimier predators. There's a reason he has problems with women. I think this president would say I never grabbed a woman I didn't respect. That's a real problem. A lot of trump voters look at this and say, wait a minute, we're going to stone this guy. Even Iran gives you a hearing the before they stone you. The mob has gathered. Charges have been made. Women die because of silence in this situation. Women die because they're not believed. Women die in these situations. I want to say to any women if you have this in your relation shup, please come forward. Do exactly as these women did. Contact your law enforcement and tell your family members. To our first responders and first responders dealing with this. Thank you. This is not about Iran. It's about women and believing them. Rob porter may be a creep who pummels -- He's more than that. He may be a reformed creep. I hope he has. Yes, let's believe. Let's also listen -- They had the information, Alex, for 13 months. By the way being removed as staff secretary is not stoning. It's destruction of life. Well, so domestic abuse. We're all against that. They had this information for 13 months. That is what is astonishing. General Kelly was brought in to make the trains run on time. He was either asleep at the switch or willfully ignored the evidence he was shown. That's in excusable. You have to wonder, what was don Mcgowan thinking when the FBI comes in and says here with the pictures. Here are the allegations not from one, but from two women. If there's no follow up investigation? To me they all could be faulted. This goes back to the president of the United States. This is not a staff problem. This is not a bad management problem. That's like saying Escobar has a staff problem because directing smugglers worked for him. Donald Trump could not get security clearance in he worked in the white house. Based on the when his first wife said she was raped by him and thenrecanted, based on the fact the guy had fraud charges against him for his trump University. We hadn't heard from the president for the first three days. He wasn't supposed to speak to reporters that day. They were brought into the oval office where he praised rob porter. That was his first message, to praise rob porter. The problem for this white house right now is what is the message they are sending to women in this country, to women who have been beaten, assaulted, to women who have been molested by men. Even if you have the evidence we don't believe you. He sent kellyanne to fix that a little bit talking about unemployment. Look we all what female in the labor force. You know the best way to do that, making policies to empower women. To be supported when they accuse people ahead of them of abuse which is what we have here. For 13 months they knew about this. It's appalling. We should not sit here and treat it as another outrage. When kellyanne said this is how a workforce treats these kinds of incidents. I would not want to work at this white house. I would love to believe that a ratcheting economy is going to help Republicans in 2018. I don't think so. I don't think the reaction to Donald Trump is about dollars and cents. It's cultural. Women are going to come out in droves in 2018. On this point, Steve Bannon talking to Michael Lewis at Bloomberg said this. It's not me too, sexual harassment. It's an anti patriot movement. This is coming. This is reel. I think you grie with this, Megan. Separate some of the rhetoric. This is real. Look at what's happened since the election in special electi elections across the country. In Virginia there has been a movement driven by women coming out in record numbers. Those marches that we saw the day after the inauguration and again this year, those are not one-day events. This is continuing into elections. I think the great threat to Republicans in the fall is what Steve Bannon is talking about. Everything indicates that is going to be a real problem. I think that -- fundamentally I agree with Steve Bannon on this. He's saying this is a bad thing. He's saying the end of the patriot is a bad thing. He's right. Men, mainly white men, have ruled our country and this civilization for thousands of years. That's coming to an end. Slowly but surely as our country transforms into a much broader country there is a major push back. Donald Trump's election was a major push back. People didn't like the fact it was coming to an end. That's the strength that he still has, that core base. Which is why he doesn't release a democratic memo. The worst thing in Donald Trump's world is show your weakness. Strength holds a dissolving world together. It's not a dissolving -- it's a growing world. Oh, my god. Look, there are tons of fantastic men out there surrounded by them right now. Men who deplore this behavior and these comments. There are fantastic bosses, husbands and people who support and empower women. I agree. Let's not -- It's an important point. It's about women and greatness. It is the end of the hierarchy. I call those the good old days. The world is changing. Men authority is the gone. One of the things you are seeing is inside this white house they're dissolving again. The culture cracking apart. They have turned on each other in the wake of these allegations. And one of the people at the center is John Kelly. He has a target on his back. Our reporting is he talked to the president and offered his willingness to resign should the president accept it. There are factions. There always has been. This kind of started to straighten itself out. Then after this story, this chaos erupted again. We have saw a photo recently of everyone from omarosa, scaramucci, porter, everyone is gone. John Kelly was brought in to be the grown up in the room. It was only a couple weeks ago he called dreamers lazy. Let's remember that. People were hoping that John Kelly would rub off on Donald Trump. The fact is Donald Trump has rubbed off on John Kelly. There is no -- just going back to what Matthew said everything in every white house flows from the top. If the president is a disfunctional personality, you'll have a dysfunctional white house. You can manage down. You've can't manage up with this president. Anyone who take it is job next, I think reince with there for 192 days, Kelly 172. Whoever there next is going to run into the same problem. The problem is the president. The scary part isn't that John Kelly hasn't done a good job, it's that he has. One thing I disagree with David on is this president has done something really well. His ability to reveal people for who they are. I don't think these people change because of Donald Trump. I think they're revealed for who they really are. Being in that white house reveals fundamentally who these people are. We've seen it over and over. We heard kellyanne deny it and he's happy with John Kelly, has full confidence in John Kelly. The president is furious with John Kelly and hope hicks. There's no doubt about it. You have to imagine somebody is called for this chief of staff job, what do they say to the president? How could he induce them to take it? You want to say to these people are you willing to did he grade your humanity and integrity and what you want to leave as a legacy. It's about what they want to project. If that's what Gary Cohn or somebody else -- There's always someone willing to say I owe it to my country, maybe I can have the impact others haven't. That's true in the job of chief of staff. You were getting to this point. John Kelly has perhaps revealed himself. There's no question a dozen times a day over the last six months he's prevented a disaster. Despite all the outrage and moral concern about this white house, half the American people saw it and said it was more of the same, the status quo, a country weak and not respected in the world and a country where the politicians put themselves ahead of what they thought was the people's interest. Neither party has changed or learned since Donald Trump was elected. Half the country did not -- That's what empowers Donald Trump. Half the country did not choose what is going on today. Donald Trump is what he is. A huge percentage of the people that voted for Donald Trump voted for Donald Trump in spite of what he was doing. Because of the alternative. A third said he wasn't competent, said he didn't have the temperament and hoped he would be different. And thought the alternative was worse. They didn't vote for misogyny. To say that again and again is wrong. Megan, they saw the "Access" hollywo Hollywood" tape. They overlooked it. Doesn't mean they condone the treatment of women. They voted for him in spice of it. They don't condone the way he treats women. They hoped he would change. Maybe it was a futile hope.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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