tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC February 20, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST
people who are not accountable and don't take questions from the media. >> i counted it the other day three deputies named or not officially nominated for the cabinet departments. that is not a lot. home alone and as you say home alone at this white house can be a little unsettling. >> ruth marcus, yamiche alcindor thank you very much. follow "andrea mitchell reports" on facebook and twitter. ali velshi is up right next, right there. there he is. >> nice to see you again, andrea. you have a fantastic afternoon. good afternoon i'm ali velshi in new york. busy presidents day for the trump administration, vice president pence trying to reassure its european allies that the u.s. supports nato. he said today that president trump stands behind the agreement. >> on saturday, as the secretary-general mentioned at the munich security conference i brought a message from president trump, the same one i bring you today. it is my privilege here at the nato headquarters to express the
strong support of president trump and the united states of america for nato and our tran transatlantic alliance. >> here at home dozens of rallies breaking out at this hour across the country billed as "not my pats day" rallies on policies. the latest on the vice presidents trip to europe and kelly o'donnell is with the president in florida, lucy cavanov, the concern about donald trump's preelection conference on reevaluating the u.s. role in nato. vice president pence trying to walk that back a little bit. >> reporter: absolutely. his goal here was to assure and reassure allies that the united states is as stable as ever. there's been a lot of concern not just necessarily the increased defense spending, that's nothing new. the fears are largely about the
contradictory statement allies had seen from president trump praising the brexit vote, questioning nato saying it is obsolete, discussing nato as an alliance for the defense of europe. it should be noted for our view viewers the only time the article five treaty was invoked in one state is attacked it is attacked by all. that's what happened in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. the job before mike pence was to send a message of stability. we did hear that, but he also did echo trump's comments in calling on member countries to pay up more. take a listen. >> president of the united states and the people expect our allies to keep their word and do more in our common defense, and
the president expects real progress by the end of 2017. >> reporter: so what he was talking about there is the idea that member states should pay at least 2% of their gdp. so far besides the united states only 4 of the 28 member states do so. he wants more. he was pressed whether there would be hard consequences for countries who daent' pay puff an he was pushed on the scandal with mike flynn, one of the reporters asked if he felt he was out of the loop by the white house in not learning earlier of the fact that mike flynn had misrepresented his comments about his contacts with russian intelligence officials with the russian ambassador. he said that he was disappointed in the information that he received from mike flynn, he supported the president's position having him resign. he took questions here in his european tour the first time he spoke out about the mike flynn incident but in terms of the larger picture, the alliances,
the relationships with europe, he certainly sent a soothing calming message, whether or not that will be taken seriously by allies, we can use mike pence's own words. actions are going to speak louder than words. that's going to go on both sides of the atlantic. >> worth noting what mike pence has said that we support nato and you all should pay up is standing u.s. policy. it's a complaint that the last several administrations have had. >> exactly. >> lucy in brussels. go to kelly o'donnell traveling with president trump in west palm beach, florida. president trump interviewing candidates for national security adviser. who is in the running? how close are we to a decision? >> we have been told by the president himself he hopes to have the decision within a few days, and advisers have backed that up but there's been really no movement on this today. the president remains at his home, he has not traveled to one of his golf clubs or other outlets in the area where he has at times conducted meetings.
we don't know what he's doing specifically today but advisers told us there are at least four names, perhaps others will be included, that are up for this very significant position in the white house, as national security adviser. you've got a mix of military experience, national security experience, among them the acting national security adviser keith kellogg, lieutenant general robert caslen, lieutenant general h.r. mcmaster and former ambassador john bolton. that list could be expanded if the president doesn't feel he's getting the right chemistry or the interview process as he would determine it. so his advisers don't want to get ahead of the president on this but they have also said that he is making a commitment to these candidates, that they would be able to hire their own staff, set their own team in place, and would not have to inherit the staff that had begun to be assembled by michael flynn, who was pulled out of the job. so that's where we are at this point.
they say there are interviews and meetings happening but no new details today. >> talk to me of sweden and tweets. donald trump on saturday talking about that thing that happened last night in sweden, had a lot of people scratching their heads. donald trump has now tweeted out about this again. >> reporter: yes, and you're referring to his campaign appearance where he was in melbourne, florida. he was sort of energized by the crowd and he included a mention of sweden, it certainly prompted curiosity from swedish officials and the white house is saying that he was speaking more generally about a rise in violence in sweden, and concerns about that. the president himself saying my statement as to what's happening in sweden was in reference to a story that was brad cost on fox news concerning immigrants in sweden, also today he is saying give the public a break, the fake news media, his frequent criticism, is trying to say that large scale immigration in sweden is working out just beautifully. not. so he is making the assertion that what he said was in the mix
of what is true, we are getting indications from officials from sweden that they view it differently, and his own campaign and i'm sorry, white house staffers are saying he was speaking more broadly, not talking about a specific incident but it did raise a loot of curiosity. it might have been one of the moments where the president was riffing a little bit. they acknowledge he saw something on tv and set it at a rally. >> he was also talking to a documentitarian doing something on the effective immigration in sweden. there was no event tucker carlson for the documentitarian were talking about happened. what an interesting day. kelly o'donnell outside where the president is in florida, in west palm beach. thousands are marking this holiday by billing it as "not my presidents day" rallies.
the demonstrations are happening right now across the country, they'll continue to grow over the course of the day, spreading across the u.s. on the other side of the atlantic they demand his visit to the united kingdom be canceled. you can see there ron allen reporting live from the rally in new york city. anti-trump and pro trump factions showed up today. what have you seen? >> this was probably not part of the plan. most of it is not my president but a small determined band of pro donald trump supporters, pro supporters of the president who infiltrated the crowd, you can tell by their red hats, taken on the protesters back and forth, a lot of confrontation and the police led one gentleman out of the crowd who had a red hat on because things were getting a bit hot. there's that as well.
here's what people in the rally had to say. >> i want to talk to trump people. why do you believe in trump? i don't understand. i want to us come together and i want us to talk and compromise because we're too divided right now. they're angry, we're angry. i admit i'm angry, too, and i just want to talk to them and say maybe we have things in common. >> reporter: i want to show you what's happening around here. you can see over there is trump tower, and there's a huge police presence in the background over there. further down the street two blocks away with the real big not my president rally. we'll show it to you, way down there but what's interesting about all this is that the police penned things off so if you come over here, and you look again there's trump tower, and we have some pictures of what's happening down there. there are literally thousands of people down there, but they can't get to this rally. they're not connected. this is how the new york police
keep things calm and keep different groups separated but again there's thousands of people down the street there. we have some b roll of pictures of it. that's the main rally, going on for several hours but here again confrontations back and forth, the people who support the president determined to have their voice heard on this day as well. ali? >> ron, thank you. of course that's the trump hotel at the corner of central park where columbus circle is, not the one that he lives on, which is around the corner from us here on fifth avenue and 56th. ron allen for us in new york. march also kicked off about an hour ago in atlanta, msnbc's mariano atencio is there. you're on the move. >> reporter: we are on the move and i think the marchers have stopped just for you. couple hundred people have taken over the sidewalk here in atlanta and i just want -- to
say the whole sidewalk over there, many calling for the impeachment of president donald trump and say many issues the donald trump policies brought them to rally here today. his immigration policies are what they call the muslim ban as well as issues with women. so let's talk to some of these marchers here today. hi sir. >> hi. >> what brought you out here today? >> i've had enough of the hate-filled voices that i've seen on social media, and elsewhere is like trying to stop the media and call it fake news. it's so wrong. >> reporter: you have a sign that says impeach trump. are people serious about calling for the impeachment of president donald trump in atlanta? >> absolutely. it's gotten to a point where all of this ridiculous executive orders, i think it's time to put a stop to it. time for republicans to stand up, not because of party but stand up for the american people. >> reporter: and here ali people are also calling for an
independent commission to investigate donald trump's alleged ties with russia, so issues including donald trump's alleged russia involvement, have brought people here to midtown atlanta. we're marching to lennox square, the financial district in atlanta because these marchers today say they want their voices heard. >> quite a distance for a march, about five miles, right, mar mariana? >> reporter: five miles and i can already start to feel it. we still have a stretch of streets to walk, ali. i'll be keeping you updated here on msnbc. >> we will check in with mariana atencio in atlanta. >> to los angeles, g gadi schwa, gathering in los angeles at city hall. >> reporter: there was a weather system threatening this demonstration. quite a few people out there,
about 500, 600 people who gathered out here, all kinds of different people with all kinds of different issues close to their heart. they say they're here because of black lives matter, they're here because of women's rights, but we see protests, protest signs all the time, here in southern california we rarely see protest umbrellas. i want to make our way over here and talk to some people and see what brings them out here. hi, the protest umbrella. how is it going? >> good. >> we're with msnbc. i want to ask you who brings you out here today? >> it's ironic that we're here at presidents day and a president who is actually dividing the nation, doing the opposite of what we would expect him to do, which is unite our nation, especially on a day like presidents day. i mean he's deliberately planning it. >> and how about you, what brings you out here today? >> the same thing. i mean, i'm opposed to so many things that he's trying to do, and i don't understand like what's the point of not having health care for everybody? what's the point of not having
clean water? just basic human things. i'm not happy about it. i don't also like the attack on the media. that to me is scary because i want truth to be out there, and he's not truthful. >> thank you guys so very much. thanks for your thoughts. that's some of what we're hearing out here in los angeles, hundreds of people out here trying right now, marking their presidents day by protesting against the president. ali, back to you. >> gadi schwartz in los angeles. still ahead, demonstrations against president trump erupted across the atlantic ocean. we'll go live to london, matt bradley is among the crowd, protesting a potential state visit from the president. i'll also talk to two outspoken critics of the president's immigration policy in the states now that draft memos from department of homeland security plan to expand deportation enforcement in this country.
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there's rallies going on outside the united states. demonstrators gathered outside parliament in a major rally against president trump's proposed state visit to britain. matt, it's dark outside. is the debate still going on in parliament? >> reporter: the debate is still going on, blind me in the house of commons paired with a protest that's a little bit different than the ones going on in the united states.
this protest outside parliament it's a little bit down the street but getting quite large. it's swelling in numbers and really this say little bit different than what we're talking witalk ing wi ing about in the state, these proper testing against a state visit by donald trump, what th're debating in particle am, asking for theresa may to disinvite donald trump from a state visit and that's what the debate is. it's not whether or not the politicians favor donald trump and his policies it's over the merit of the state visit considered here to be the ace in the holediplomacy. it brings out all the pomp and circumstance normally associated with the british royal family. the petition that pushed this debate on to article amount with 1.8 million signatures backing it, basically saying this is beneath the dignity of the queen to entertain president donald trump for dinner, and now we're having these protests and the
outside parliament and this debate going on concurrently inside so what's all the fuss about this state advise isn't it a lot of mps who are debating right now are basically saying that the queen, who this will be her 110th state visit she'd be hosting, she's hosted emperor hirohito after world war ii and the head of state of china. not all of the people who have visited britain on state visits and dined with the queen and addressed parliament have been savory characters. their argument is not over the merits of donald trump or politician or his views, they are saying do we use this state visit to warm up to donald trump to try to get him on our side when it comes to discussions about nato, about brexit, about trade deals, about things that are so important to this very small country, that has always had a very what they call special relationship with the united states. so that's the nature of the vote here and needless to say this protest we're about to see is
the fourth major protest against donald trump since his inauguration here in london. he's not very popular here. ali? >> ed bradley thanks so much. those not my presidents day rallies here in the united states continue. demonstrators rallying against president trump's policies, including immigration, as these draft memos have surfaced detailing new moves by this administration. coming up next, antonio villaraigosa and california attorney general alex padilla. two, one. >> and spacex is one step closer to mars with this weekend's historic launch at the kennedy space center. elon musk's private space flight company launched falcon 9 toward the international space station to drop off supplies. spacex hopes to colonize mars by the late 2020s. if commercial space travel was available and affordable, would you take the trip? the pulse is live, vote at pulse.msnbc.com. we'll check the results later in
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all right, we are looking at demonstrations atop right of your screen is i believe los angeles, that is the not my presidents day rally in los angeles. bottom right is new york city right here columbus circle. we're keeping an eye on the rallies across the country. drafts of revised memos written by homeland security would expand federal powers to detain and deport undocumented immigrants in the united states. the memos would direct officials to hire additional immigration and customs enforcement and border patrol agents. the documents would also order offials toork with agreeable
local police and sheriffs to enforce those newregulations. the white house has acknowledged that the documents are authentic, but not final. let's bring in antoniovil villaraigosa former democratic mayor of los angeles an announced 2018 candidate for the california governor seat and alex padilla, the california secretary of state. gentlemen, thanks to both of you for taking some time to talk to us. mayor, let me start with you. you tweeted about donald trump. you said donald trump's immigration policies create walls of division. the administration's argument is that these orders are aimed primarily at criminals who are undocumented, so what's the argument against going after criminals? >> first of all they're not going after just criminals. as you know, they picked up close to 700 undocumented people over the last few weeks, about almost 200 of them were not
criminals at all. many of the so-called criminals have not committed any serious offenses. some of those offenses could have been crossing the border multiple times, using a fake i.d. and point of fact, when you look at the context, the memos that you referred to including a memo that talks about utilizing the national guard, 100,000 members of the national guard, it's clear that they're creating a terror in these communities, and look, every one of us understands that if somebody's committed a violent crime, a serious felony, that they can and should be deported, but we're talking about people, an assault victim, a victim of domestic violence, who is in court seeking a protective order when she walks out after being tipped by the man that assaulted her, she's picked up by the
i.n.s. in seattle another case, a dreamer picked up at his father's home, they went to pick up his father, they got him, said he had alleged gang ties. no such ties existed. he had a tattoo or tattoos. this is the kind of thing that's happening across the country, and i think people are protesting that, the ban, saying no ban, no wall. what we need are bridges, bridges that bring us together. that's why we elected, that's why we elect a president, frankly, to bring us together, not to tear us apart. >> second tear padilla, let me ask you, you've been making your case on twitter ohe posing president trump's policies. you referred to the internment of japanese americans during world war ii saying targeting people based on race or religion is as unjust now as it was then. this goes to the bigger picture of the president's january 25th travel ban, which is aimed at travelers from seven mostly muslim countries, as our viewers
know that was blocked by a federal appeals court. what's the connection you're drawing between the president's tightening restrictions along the mexican border and his travel ban? >> first of all those who forget their history are destined to repeat it. here we are again. look to suggest that the trump administration's actions to date have caused fear, caused anxiety, caused stress, and worry, in the immigrant community, throughout the country is an absolute understatement. we saw the united states senate just a couple years ago pass a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform plan. if we really want to make a difference when it comes to strengthening immigration policy in the united states, help families and help the economy, there it is. there's the plan, with bipartisan support but instead what we've had over the last three or four weeks is a wall, a travel ban and massive deportation. that's not good public policy and we're starting to see the lashback because of it. >> mayor, let me ask you, some
people have called lossage le ag people have called lossage le ea sanctuary city that does not enforce immigration law. how much would they likely give immigration officials to enforce the president's crackdown that the drafts are talking about? >> first of all the policy that's in place today has been a policy in place since the 1970s in los angeles, and in fact, many of the major cities have a very similar policy. they've had it for a very, very long time. what that policy says is, one, we need to make sure that our police department has community support, that victims and witnesses are coming forward knowing that they can come forward without being reported to the immigration officials. it also starts from the proposition that our police officers aren't trained to be immigration agents, and so that policy has been in place for a long time. it's kept our cities safer.
it's the big reason why cities across the nation have employed that policy, and so to answer your question, no. los angeles, san francisco, new york, chicago, and we can go on and on, are not going to participate and act as immigration agents. that's not their job. their job is the public safety. while i was mayor, nearly 50% drop in violent crime and homicides because we had that policy. >> secretary, we can put up the video again of the rallies in los angeles and new york and the number of cities the mayor just mentioned. do you expect any of these marnz or the ones we saw last week a day without immigrants, do you expect them to have any impact on the house and the senate and the white house? >> absolutely, because our leaders at the federal level on both sides of the aisle, frankly, need to continually hear from the public about what
we really stand for. to get to the mayor's point for a second, history has shown us that attacks on immigrants is not good for public safety. it's better off from a public safety perspective to embrace and engage the immigrant community. it's certainly not good for the economy. ask the leaders not just in the agricultural sector, travel, tourism, construction, technology, on and on and on but at the end of the day it comes down to our values and our morals. it is oversimplification for the president to draw a line and say legal immigrants move to the left, undocumented immigrants move to the right because you'll be deported. in case after case from saturday toll denver to san antonio, phoenix and everywhere in between is we have a lot of blended families and clearly blended communities in the united states of america. when parents of the united states scitizens are deported b president trump and his public policies we've got a significant problem who is going to really care about that because that's at the core of this issue.
>> mayor, i'm going to ask you the same question. americans knew all of what donald trump was going to do. do you think this is going to have an impact? donald trump seems to like the fact that he made promises and he gets to carry some of these out now. >> i think it will have an impact. people voted for donald trump for a number of reasons, one was the issue of jobs, infrastructure, the economy. i've not seen him talk about jobs, the infrastructure or the economy much. what he's talked about are walls, what he's talked about are rounding up the undocumented. look, they voted in part for him to protest a broken immigration system, as secretary padilla said very well, why don't we fix the broken immigration system both democrats and republicans agree it's broken. let's fix it. this kind of stuff will only divide families, terrorize communities, disrupt our economy both here in los angeles, in
california, and across the nation, building a wall will cost us upwards of $35 billion to $40 billion and not to mention the economic impact of deporting these people, people who are working and creating wealth, people oftentimes who are paying taxes. so look, there's a good way, the right way to fix this immigration system, let's do it working together in the congress, not engage in the kind of terror that they're creating in these communities, frankly. >> and ali, we can take some of that money that instead of building a wall along our southern border, thousands of miles, we ought to be investing in our water infrastructure or california. >> i wish it were that simple they took the money they spent on some things and spend it in places a lot of people think should be spent.
the math hardly works that way. always great to talk to you, antonio villaraigosa and alex padilla. somebody on twitter said i might have called you an attorney general. i apologize for the promotion or demotion. thanks to both of you. russian report, why the kremlin is compiling a psychological dossier on donald trump. plus international murder mystery. new video allegedly shows the moment when the half brother of north korean leader kim jong-un was attacked in an malaysian airport. he died moments later. we'll head to malaysia for a moment in the latest investigation. it's the phillip!
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breaking news to report to you the russian ambassador to the united nations seen here is dead at the age of 64. are ushia's foreign ministry confirmed the news a short time ago. state controled media says vitaly cherkin passed away while in new york. he has been the secretary of state to the u.n. since 2006. moments ago susan rice tweeted vitaly was a formidable adversary but always a friend. my hearfelt condolences to his wife irina, his family and the russian commission. no date has been set for the
face-to-face historic visit between putin's people and trump. putin's people are already drafting a psychological profile of the 45th president in advance of the visit. bill neely is in moscow with the story. bill, tell us about this dossier they're drafting on president trump. this will probe his mental strengths and weaknesses, being prepared by kremlin insiders and outside political consultants for president putin in advance of the first meeting between the two presidents the date of which hasn't been announced yet, and this goes way beyond the normal briefing document that any president would get in advance of important talks. news of this was broke on it me by a former russian deputy foreign minister who spoke to me exclusive exclusively.
>> pages describing the psychology of president trump especially based on the last two or three months. >> reporter: the kremlin experts believe mr. trump can be naive. >> doesn't understand fully mr. putin. he's a tough guy. >> reporter: he picks risky fights they believe like with the media. >> he's dancing on thin ice. it's a risky game. >> reporter: and relies on his intuition more than his advisers. >> he should listen to the people especially in areas where he's weak. >> reporter: the kremlin is also watching president trump's problems over russia including losing his national security adviser with growing alarm, according to putin's former prime minister. is he laughing in the kremlin at what's happening in washington? >> absolutely not. not laughing. the situation is very serious and the whole team is very nervous. >> he's not the only one who says that putin's men are
worried and they're worried because what they want most of all is the lifting of u.s. sanctions against russia which are hurting this country and that of course was one of the ideas that candidate trump had. he wants better relations with russia, he wants to see sanctions lifted. they're worried here that president trump is being bogged down and weakened and that he will come to those talks unable to deliver any lifting of sanctions. that's what's worrying them here. >> bill, great reporting on that. thanks for joining us, bill neely in moscow. the mystery surrounding the bizarre murder of the half brother of north korea's leader continues to grow. there's new dramatic surveillance video, look at this t here, the red circled part from the malaysian airport where the attack took place last week, nbc's janice mackey freyer reports from kuala lumpur. >> reporter: the cctv footage purr importantedly shows the alleged attack on kim jong-nam
in real time, a woman aploeching him from behind appearing to smear something on his face before walking away. he then goes to ask airport workers for help and then the man believed to be kim jong-nam is taken to a clinic, only to be rolled away on a stretcher a short time later. he's plo announced dead on arrival at hospital. malaysian police are searching for four suspects all north korean men who left the country on the same day that kim jong-nam was killed. police won't say where they went but looking at flight records they could have flown through any number of countries if they were looking to get back to pyongyang. interpol is now involved to help track them down. already one north korean man along with a malaysian man and two women who are in police custody. the case here is causing a serious diplomatic rift. malaysia recalled its envoy from north korea and saying the lack of any clear evidence suggests a
politically motivated conspiracy against north korea. but what could be a major development here, there are reports that the son of kim jong-nam is expected to come forward to give the dna sample police have been looking for, so they can confirm beyond a doubt that the body is that of kim jong-nam, so every day seems to bring a new twist to the mystery. back to you. >> janice mackey freyer in kuala lumpur thanks a lot. still ahead as protesters fill the streets in london the status of a presidential visit to the united kingdom is debated in parliament. the media and democracy get a strong defense from a senior member of congress. >> if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press, and without it, i'm afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. that's how dictators get
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mps dewaiting whether whether to downgrade a state visit by mr. trump. christopher hill former ambassador to iraq under president obama and former secretary of state under president bush. jon finer chief of staff to then secretary of state john kerry. good to see both of you. thank you for being with us. ambassador, let me play something for you that vice president pence say while he was in brussels meeting with nato, referring to fighting in ukraine. listen. >> be assured the united states as well will continue to hold russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground which president trump firmly believes can be found. >> let's discuss how we've done this for the last several years. you often saw john kerry and sergey lavrov together, working
are russia on iran, a little less on syria and certainly not at all on ukraine but this is kind of what we do. what do you think of what he said? >> first of all i think he's trying to reassure our a y allies who are wondering what in the world is going on in washington, especially with regard to the russian relationship. i mean, after all, donald trump doesn't shrink from criticisms of anyone. and yet there's this kind of strange silence when he talks about russia. so, i think it was an attempt to kind of put his policy on russia into a more traditional mode. look, we'd like to find common ground, you know, maybe press a reset button, if you will. but, you know, we have -- we have real problems with what they've done in ukraine. so, i think it's kind of an effort to calm things down. whether they buy it in europe is another matter. but i think there's -- he -- both vice president and secretary of defense mattis has been doing this.
to some extent we've seen our secretary of state do it as well. the real problem is it's home alone, very little staffing that goes out and very little sense of what does this president going to say next? you never know. >> on the left of your screen is a protest going on in london outside of parliament related to the debate going on inside of parliament. john, you worked with john kerry. and i always like to bring this up, that there were months on end where on a regular basis you would see john kerry and sergey lavrov, the russian foreign minister walking out of a meeting together. the relationship with russia, as strained as people say it is, from a diplomatic perspective, is actually really strong. both are nuclear armed country who is have not escalated their disputes to the point until repeatedly that we've even talked about nuclear things. so, the relationship with russia, while we have disagreements, they're adversaries. it's not broken. >> look, what i would say is
that over time the united states and russia have had a very complicated relationship. that was true during the obama administration as well. but what we came to realize is there were certain big global problems,ite ran nuclear threat, the ukraine crisis, the conflict in syria, that russia was so enmeshed in that it was impossible to address them without working with russia. our theory was we would work with them where we had to, when it was consistent with our interests, and oppose them -- >> that's exactly what vice president pence said today. in other words, that's the policy you've been snolg. >> the context, though s critical here. and i think chris -- ambassador hill made a very important point. this all comes in the context of swirling questions back here in washington about what the nature of the ties is between not just the president but many members of his inner circles and russians. until those things are clarifi d clarified, i don't think the rest of the world is going to be comfortable shifting policy in the direction of the russians. >> you made some reference to home alone, not having full staff in washington, some
departments. really a critical issue people are asking is mike pence says this in brussels about supporting nato, but everybody should pay their part. which, by the way, the last several presidents have all had that position officially. >> correct. >> mattis, defense secretary, lands in baghdad and says, we're not here to steal anybody's oil. and everybody's saying, do i listen to you guys or am i listening to the president? >> well, i think clearly the president said some things that are -- just cannot stand. you know, this is not a basis for an iraqi policy to say that somehow we should have taken their oil. so, clearly, someone has to walk that back. and i think having jim mattis go out to iraq, talk to the leadership there, see how the mosul operations are going after all they've just launched a new offensive to try to retake western mosul. i think it's important to set that in context. also, there are a lot of iraqis who are not at all happy to have been included in this muslim ban.
i mean, after all, this is one country that's actually on the front lines, quite literally, fighting isis. here they are being told they need not apply for visas. we really need some damage repair there. and i think this secretary of defense we have is a pretty good person to do that. >> let me ask you this. there's some candidates for national security adviser, seems to be down to a few generals and a former ambassador. john bolton's name is back. bolton is the most controversial of them. his name surfaced for a few things in the past few months. he's shown a bit of disdain for international law and treaties. he still seems to be a holdout in terms of saying that the war in iraq was a good idea. and he's a remarkable russia hawk. what's your take on john bolton? >> well, yeah, it doesn't seem to be a terribly good fit. i gather there are people in the trump administration who think the way john bolton does. but, you know, i would point out that one of the things really lacking here, and some
commentators have noted this, is what is the president's vision? what does he want to do in the world? and until we have a better sense of that, then we can get a better sense of who might be a national security adviser because he has people all over the map with completely different points of view. and we don't know which one to take seriously because, frankly, we don't know what the president really wants to do in the world. >> john, i want to ask you real quickly. foreign policy magazine's new report card on president trump says for all the big talk, major shift in national security policy have yet to be seen. maybe this is because of incompetence, lack of bandwidth or white house in-fighting or like so much else, trump has talked his way into these policies with no desire to follow through. your quick analysis of that. >> i think what's interesting is that the administration's first month in office on foreign policy has been marked by a series of flare-ups and crises. that's not uncommon in a complicated world. what is unusual about the crise that has happened in the first months is these have all bee
generated by the the administration themselves, by statements by the president, by contradictory statements by senior officials. and what i think is the real concern is when the world starts throwing up challenges, which is will, given the state of disorder and confusion in washington, are they going to be ready to address those and meet those? that's a big concern a lot of us have had. >> thanks for your time. john finer, former chief of staff to john kerry and ambassador chris hill, former ambassador to iraq under president obama. take a look at the left side of your screen. that's the protest in london. let's see what you're saying about today's microsoft pulse question. we're asking if commercial space travel was affordable, would you take the trip? i sure would. 72% say you wouldn't mind joining me. now that you know i'm going, you're not that interested. 28% of you say no way. there's still time to weigh in. pulse.msnbc.com. i was active.
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that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live" on this busy holiday monday. my colleague katy tur picks things up now. >> i'm usually the one that's tongue-tied and -- >> you have an all-guest panel and it's making me nervous. >> then you should leave and we'll take over. >> all yours. >> kidding. welcome here with me, everyone. across the
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