tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC February 21, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PST
that's it for me. thanks for watching this hour of "msnbc live." i'm ali velshi. right now on msnbc, "andrea mitchell reports." good afternoon, andrea. >> good afternoon, and thank you. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," take two. the trump administration prepares a redo of the controversial travel ban. currently stalled in the federal courts. the president speaking this morning in an nba news exclusive with craig melvin at the national museum of african-american history about the imgration plans. >> we have to have people come in that are going to love the country, not people that are going to harm the country and i think a lot of people agree with me on that. >> righting the ship. president trump about to lead his first national security council meeting today, now that he has a new national security adviser, general h.r. mcmaster, recommended to the president by a rising freshman senator who served under the general in iraq.
>> he's a legendary officer in the army. he's never marched to the beat of the army drum so to speak. >> and the homefront, republican congressmembers getting an earful back home as they prepare to rollout their plan to repeal obamacare. >> how are you going to tell these families how they're going to make it work on $35,000 a year? [ applause ] we need some -- don't repeal obamacare. improve it, forgod's sakes. [ cheers and applause ] >> good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington where this morning msnbc's craig melvin spoke exclusively to president trump at the national museum of african-american history and culture today. hitting some big topics,
including the president's immigration ban, upcoming executive orders and the rash of anti-semitic threats against jewish centers across america. >> will you denounce anti-semitism once and for all, just to clear up the confusion? >> i do all the time. i do all the time. i think it's terrible, i think it's horrible, whether it's anti-semitism or racism or anything you want to think about having to do with the divide, anti-semitism is likewise just terrible and you don't know where it's coming but i certainly hope they catch the people. i think you maybe have had it for longer than people think and maybe it get brought up a little bit more, but i will tell you that anti-semitism is horrible, and it's going to stop, and it has to stop. >> you're denouncing it once and for all? >> of course, i do it whenever a get a chance to do it. >> craig joins me back from his exclusive interview and
alongside kristen welker at the white house. craig, this was fascinating because of the venue, this new museum, which has gotten so many important rave reviews taken has become a centerpiece of washington in its infancy really and here the president going and you interviewing him and talking about some of the most controversial issues of race, of immigrati immigration, and of ethnicity and religion. >> the president, one of the things that struck me andrea, was that he seemed genuinely moved by what he had seen at the museum ahead of our conversation. he spent about an hour walking around the museum, asking questions of the folks there, and really you know, his tone, if you will. we've heard the president at times full of bluster. there was none of that today. last question i want to talk to
you about the violence at jewish centers across the country. >> you were talking with him, and in talking with him he seems much more reflective and he also said that he speaks out on these things whenever he can. we haven't really heard him do that. >> no, no, we did not and we got roughly five minutes with him today so we didn't want to go down the rabbit hole of you know, mr. president you really didn't say this. so he said that he had been speaking out against anti-semiti anti-semitism. we have not necessarily been able to find those speeches, but today, and you have to wonder whether he was moved by his daughter's tweet yesterday, we know ivanka spoke out yesterday after the cemetery in missouri was defaced, and also hillary clinton this morning. the president, as we know, is quite plugged in with regards to who is saying what about the news of the day, so you have to wonder whether he was moved to finally speak out in a
definitive way about anti-semitism by those two things. >> and also, kristen welker, the context of recent interviews when benjamin netanyahu was here, that issue did come up and again at the thursday news conference, kristen, that you were at, he was asked by an orthodox jewish reporter from a blog about anti-semitism and the president seemed to take offense at the question, and hadn't really, you know, responded to th question two days in a row. let's play a little bit of that sound. i want to get your reaction on the other side. >> there are people who are committing anti-semitic acts or threatening to -- >> he said he was going to ask a very simple, easy question. okay, sit down, i understand the rest of your question. so here's the story, folks. number one, i am the least anti-semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. quiet, quiet, quiet. >> so kristen that was an awkward moment to say the least.
the reporter was very upset afterwards because we been trying to from his perspective ask really a neutral or friendly question the way he framed it, just quoting that reporter. what do you think is going on here? >> reporter: i think there's a little bit of a reset happening, andrea. part of what you heard today both in craig's interview with the president and then in the remarks that the president made afterwards from the podium, speaking from the museum, he was much more definitive in terms of denouncing anti-semitism. as you point out in that initial exchange with the reporter last week at the press conference, he became defensive, he said i'm the least anti-semitic person. today was a very different message and a very different tone. he said i condemn anti-semitism. i condemn these acts, this uptick in threats we have seen against jewish community centers. he was very clear about the fact that he's not going to tolerate that type of behavior. i do think that this is a white house that has acknowledged that
they need to do a better job of reaching out to some minority communities, both in terms of the jewish community and then of course the african-american community. this visit came agast the backdrop of african-american history month, andrea, but also against the backdrop of that awkward exchange that he had with our colleague april ryan when she asked if he could set up a meeting with the cbc. they're trying to set a reset on the cultural avenues to try to sort of make up for what has been somewhat rocky relationship with these groups, andrea. >> and also peter alexander is reporting, which catalogued how reluctant he seemed to be to condemn these threats against jewish community centers around the country, and unprecedented number of threats to these schools and community centers, which really frightened the jewish community in all parts of the country. i want to ask you about the reset also on the immigration orders on the deportation orders
that we are expecting today, and also the executive orders which are being rewritten to try to meet the standard, the constitutional standard of the court. >> first in terms of what we learned today, andrea, the department of homeland security putting out a set of guidelines to implement executive orders that the president signed several days ago. these guidelines effectively say that undocumented immigrants who are here can be deported. you're seeing a tougher take in terms of deporting folks who are here. it's going to call for 10,000 more i.c.e. agents and also calls for those who cross the border to be detained, as well as potentially prosecution for parents who pay smugglers to bring their kids across the border. what it doesn't do, andrea, it leaves in place the obama era daca executive action, which essentially allows safe haven for young people who are here,
who are studying, who are trying to complete their education, but there's no doubt thathis is a marked shift in terms of how deportations are going to be carried out. separately, we are waiting for the administration to release a new executive order, likely at the end of this week. that will be a new travel ban, if you will, andrea, and we're still waiting for the final details of that to be hammered out as you rightfully point out the first version of that executive order got held up in the courts. >> kristen welker and craig you asked the president about the droom dreamers, the young people covered under daca, if they're going in college, military service could stay if they came with their parents many, many years ago and become eligible for citizenship down the road. >> that was the last question as he was walking off and he said today and he said in the past that we've got to figure that part out. we've got to figure that part out. so precisely what that means remains to be seen as is the case with a number of other things he said today.
>> well, more of course of your exclusive interview coming up in the next hour which you will be anchoring right here so i'll see you shortly and thanks for sharing. >> no, thanks for having me. >> always good to see craig melvin right here, and this afternoon the president will chair his first formal national security council meeting, sitting at the head of the table in the situation room along with his new national security adviser general h.r. mcmaster. the choice of general mcmaster is getting rave reviews from both sides of the aisle as he prepares to take on big challenges that i had national security has to face, these challenges not only around the world but among competing power centers on the white house staff. joining me is "washington post" national political reporter robe costa and retired four-star army general barry mccaffrey, an msnbc military analyst. first to you, general. let's talk about general mcmaster what he brings to the table. the reviews are stunning from all quarters. >> and well deserved.
this fellow has a very strong moral core. he's also an intellectual. i anticipated downed line he would have been president of one of the great universities. he's got a book out that will get studied for the next 100 years "dereliction of duty" which as a captain he excoriates the jcfs for their behavior during the veem namm era and finally an exceptionally aggressive, well-qualified battle commander, but one who also figured out counter insurgency along with dave petraeus and stand mccrystal in iraq. he'll be a real asset to the united states in this job. >> general, you said something last night to brian williams at 11:00 that caught my attention, when you said that your only quibble would be you would have
preferred that he take off the uniform, and be a civilian leader of the nsc, that would give him more flexibility, not that it's unprecedented, colin powell preceded had imin uniform but explain what you mean. >> well, first of all, i'm sure hr mcmaster would prefer to stay in uniform, to stay in the armed forces but having said that, look, i faced a similar quandary going into the clinton administration, and they wanted me to stay in uniform, and in discussion with a lot of people i sorted out much better, it would give me much more leverage to be a civilian and not constrained by military culture, obedience, ucmj,t cetera. but having said that, look, h.r. will do well in any capacity, and i might add, there have been a lot of speculation on tv, did he tell the president "i demand to have my own staff." military officers don't bring their team with them. they take the unit that's there,
and provide good leadership. so i wouldn't expect he's going to get in there and bring in his coterie. he'll work with the people there and if they don't live up to his expectations he'll replace them. >> hang in, while we bring in bob costa. bob, you've watched this president so well. what does it say about donald trump he's now bringing in someone whose hallmark has been independence and being able to tell truth to power? that's not what we hear about donald trump, who vetoed elliott abrams for instance at the state department because he had written a column last may. >> it's a great question and ever since his days at new york military academy as a young man, president trump has venerated generals and military figures so it's not unusual for him to again turn to the military for top national security adviser. i'm told that within the white house it's also about melding personalities and steve bannon, the chief strategist, reince priebus, the chief of staff, jared kushner in some ways is a
shadow secretary of state seeing mcmaster a strategic thinker who would work well with them and doesn't have a particular ideological ew when i comes to world affairs, not known as a hard line hawk, and that helped him in the conversations at mar-a-lago was trump made his decision. >> you bring up the issue of steve bannon. lot of people have talked about this parallel structure to the nsc, that bannon has created with his strategic group, not only being at the table but having a staff to channel ideas up to the president, maybe go around the nsc. how challenging is that bureaucratically? >> it has raised eyebrows within the white house and the administration, but those close to bannon say he wants to be part of foreign policy and national security discussions. they acknowledge that but they also point to the fact that mattis is there, secretary of defense. you now have general mcmaster coming in as national security adviser to steve bannon isn't the lone voice but his inclusion is real in these discussions and
because of his controversial background, it makes some in the republican party and even privately in the white house a little bit uneasy. >> to general mccaffrey, the national security adviser is supposed to be a team leader who brings different points of view to the table and then puts the information before the president. is that what h.r. mcmaster can do? will he be first among equals, how does he react to general mattis, who was his superior? >> well look first of all, the national security staff are probably the most talented collection of people in this country. it's just phenomenal. the departments send over their best and brightest, they know what they're doing, they require good leadership. somebody's got to be mom or dad to bring them all together and h.r. can do that. the other thing to remind ourselves is the president is the decision-maker, not the national security adviser, so the people that are most happy abt this appointment today is the secretary of defense, the secrety of state, treasury,
justice, cia, et cetera, because i'm sure they will see in m mcmaster an objective, highly intelligent interlocotue to put objective decisions in a good way. that is what h.r. is good at. >> thanks to you, general mccaffrey and robert costa. coming up next, homeland security issuing sweeping changes for enforcing immigration laws. we'll talk to michelle liuhan grisham. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. while calf roping". yep. greatness deserves recognition. you got any trophies, cowboy? uh, yea, well, uh... well, there's this one. "best insurance mobile app"? yep, three years in a row. well i'll be! does that thing just follow you around?
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supreme court is hearing arguments today on whether mexican nationals parents can sue a u.s. border agent who they say killed their 15-year-old son along the border between el paso, texas, and juarez, mexico. this grainy cell phone video obtained by univision captured what happened. the agent in a white shirt and dark shorts detaining a second person while he fires his gun at the young boy, sergio hernandez. the border agent maintains he shot the teen in self-defense. joining me is nbc's justice correspondent pete williams. this grainy video only shows perhaps one side of the story but there is a 15-year-old dead, he ran to the mexican side of
the border. what are the legal issues? >> simple one. the border patrol agent is on the u.s. side of the border, sergio hernandez is on the mexican side. does the constitution apply to the young man, outside the united states can his parents sue the border patrol agent for using excessive force and violating the constitution? the courts are decided on the question. there didn't seem to be four votes for the parents. part of the problem where do you draw the line? if you win your case does this mean people whose families are subjected to drone attacks in iraq, how far outside the united states do you want this rule to apply? some of the liberals said this was sort of a joint area administered by both the u.s. and mexico so it ought to apply there, there didn't seem to be five votes for that, only two. there could be two outcomes if the court is tied bad news for the parents, because they lost in the lower courts or the court
could say we can't resolve this case, hold it until we get a ninth justice and then decide it. >> is it clear whether the teen was in that no man's, no person's land between the two borders. there's a 180-foot apparently between the two countries. >> reporter: those facts are sumd for the sake of the supreme court argument. he was one of five boys playing the dare game in the concrete culvert that separates el paso from juarez. they'd run from the mexican side up to the imaginary line up to the u.s. side, touch the fence and run back. the border patrol agent arrived, detained one of them and then the agent says he fired at the other, because they said some of the boys were throwing rocks and throwing rocks can cause serious head injury so lethal force was justified but those are all questions for the trial. can the parents get into court
and so far the lower courts said no. >> pete williams, thank you so much, from the supreme court. while the white house is preparing to roll out sweeping new guidelines to crack down on undocumented immigrants leaders of the congressional hispanic office are looking for answers from i.c.e. officials about hundreds of undocumented immigrants being targeted in new ways. congresswoman thank you very much for being with me. were you satisfied of the answers? what have you learned? >> no. we left that meeting frankly distressed and with many more questions. they showed us 683 people were detained and deported. we don't know where they were detained, we don't know how many were actually deported, how long that took, whether there was due process, whether they were using warrants. there was inconsistent information but it did show that 176 were not individuals that they would consider as meeting
the criminal criteria for detainment or deportation so they were picked up as well. we want more information about all of that and as you know we're unhappy about the context of that meeting as well. >> you don't know whether the threshold for a if felony is illegal entry or commit a violent crime that makes you vulnerable. >> as the raids were occurring, i.c.e. officials told us, including phone conversations with acting director homens there was not a shift between the interior deportations that were the focus of the obama administration and now the trump administration, which is that dangerous criminals, nefarious violent actors are the priorities and no one would disagree that's exactly who ought to be considered a priority for picking up,
arresting and deporting. but it was clear by the media reviews we could see that was not what was occurring, and then in the meeting agreed that there was a wider sweep, that was also consistent because you might identify someone as you were focusing on a priority suspect. that didn't meet with the data that they gave us and of course we're seeing these guidance, these memos that are being put forth by kelly in the administration that make it clear, and in fact, are consistent with what director homens left the meeting with. given how this is rolling out and given that you now constitute in the executive orders prior to these memos president trump has said you've got much greater discretion. how many of the 11 million people do you think are at risk of deportation in the united states? acting director homens said 11
million. that's consistent with what we're seeing rolling out of the administration. >> in these new orders one that is going out today we understand, do you see for instance that they're going to permit the dreamers to stay, the signal that our colleague kristen welker is getting from the white house? >> reporter: certainly we know that the president has said that and in conversations with folks on the hill and others, we know that the memos released earlier suggest that dreamers are not the focus of the expanded discretion but we know the dreamers were picked up over the raids last week. the other issue that people really i think need to think about is taking dreamers maybe in college, maybe just ending high school as they get ready for college but we're going to separate them from their families. i will tell you there's grave concerns not only by the hispanic caucus but by so many advocates and organizations that an 18-year-old without familial
support is the cruelest act i heard to impact and separate the families, in addition to the discretion sweeping changes how we treat nationals not just from mexico and other central american countries what the rules are in terms of turning them over to mexico, not current international law. >> congresswoman i hope you get better clarity going forward and continued efforts to try to get homeland to explain exactly what is happening along the border and throughout the country now. thank you very much for the update. >> i appreciate that andrea and i'm delighted to be here. we have a job to protect as many families as we can and do what we work with the trump administration to minimize the mass his tierious. i appreciate the opportunities to do that here. >> any time open door thank you. coming up next, donald trump's new team, president trump is going to lead his first national security council meeting today, the preview coming next, right here on "andrea mitchell reports," only on msnbc.
we have to have a safe country. we have to let people coming in that are going to love the country. this is about love. this building is about love and we have to have people come in that are going to love the country, not people that are going to harm the country. >> the question of course is, how do you make that decision? president trump speaking exclusively with msnbc's craig melvin about his immigration plans and national security. joining me is jake sullivan, former top state department and national security official from the obama administration, who
also served as senior adviser during hillary clinton's campaign. good to see you. you're now teaching at yale? >> that's right, happy to be here. >> let's talk about the process of all of this. sometimes process is actually policy. the fact these executive orders were issued with no input from the state department, virtually none from homeland. the travel interruptions that we saw, the effect overseas, now the first national security council meeting, why are the meetings important, why is it important to have everyone around the table and speaking out in front of the president of the united states? >> the mayhem and chaos at airports across the country is theest evidence you need for why you should be running a careful proce before you take a step like issuing an executive order on homeland security or national security. so having the national security adviser convene the top folks from each of the major agencies work through the issues, figure out what actually makes sense, and what's consistent with our
values, and then put out the order. don't do it in reverse, which is what this administration did when it put out this ill-conceived, ill-prepared and badly implemented executive order. >> the administration has complained about the slow process of confirmations, some of which was their own fault because they didn't get their paperwork up and hadn't gotten through the ethics and fbi clearance process, but the fact is that 90% of the people that they can control are not even nominated. they have so many sent up to the hill and the homeland security council staff is not subject to confirmation. what are you hearing from the national security team? has there been a brain drain of people wanting to leave and go back to their original agencies? >> let's just look at a place like the state department which currently has only two confirmed officials, secretary of state tillerson and ambassador to the united nations nikki haley.
dozens of other posts do not even have people nominated for them. that means for the top officials for europe, the middle east, nuclear nonproliferation, for counterterrorism, there's not a name sent up to the hill. that makes it difficult for the state department to effectively weigh in on the issues that matter to america's national security. if you are at the national security council and dealing with agencies, dod, the state department, the department of homeland security it becomes taxing and difficult for you to be able to do your job effectively >> there aren't deputies at state, defense, other than acting people holdovers. >> right, and that's why for example when they rolled out the initial refugee order the deputy's meeting was reportedly chaired by steven miller, a
domestic policy aid. it didn't involve any of the key people from the key agencies because folks aren't there in leadership positions. it's about priorities and what's clear is by putting people like steve bannon on the principles committee, the white house has sent a signal that politics trumps expertise for them, at least in the early days of this administration, when it comes to making senate security decisions. hopefully with the appointment of h.r. mcmaster that's going to change. >> one of their explanations for that, their defense was that david axelrod, a political adviser, had sat in at principals meetings. the distinction is he sat in the back and was an observer, not at the table with a vote. is that accurate? >> steve bannon is formally written into a presidential memorandum as a formal participant in the principles committee which is the most
important decision-making body on national security in the united states. david axelrod never held a position like that, nor did any other political adviser to president obama. >> and other people were not written in, including the head of the cia and initially the director of national intelligence. >> somebody else the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who is supposed to be the president's chief military adviser. so again, it says something about priorities. if your top political strategist is at the table, and another one of your political aides is chairing deputies meetings but you don't have the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff at every one of your principles committee meetings and you don't consult your agencies when you roll something out like the refugee executive order, that speaks volumes about the emphasis you place on politics over substance in national security decision-making. that is change russ. you have to call it out and hopefully it will stop.
>> to have the secretary of state not at the table when you are visiting heads of state, the prime minister of israel, the prime minister of canada, prime minister of japan. >> especially in the early days of the administration would you expect the secretary of state to be in the room, because it's a period of develop relationships, and developing a working r inin with the allies and partners. it is surprising secretary tillerson wasn't there for the meetings and other state department officials were shut out of the meetings. hopefully again this is something that will be corrected going forward, because if it continues indefinitely, i think it is a form of malpractice. >> he doesn't have a deputy right now. he had chosen elliott abrams, that was vetoed for obviously political reasons because abrams had written a column last may critical of donald trump. how important is it to have a deputy? >> think about it this way. secretary tillerson is going to have to travel the world representing the united states abroad. he was just in europe, meeting with the rush foreign minister
and others. when that happens, you've got to have a senior official who is managing the state department back at home. right now there is no such person, in a confirmed deputy position, and in the absence of that, the state department doesn't have the leadership and guidance necessary to be able to do its job most effectively. so the lack of even having put forward someone for that job, this late into the administration, means that diplomacy is not getting the attention that it deserves in the trump administration. >> jake sullivan, thanks so much. good to see you again. >> thanks for having me. we'll be right back. mptoms. i thought i had it covered. then i realized managing was all i was doing. when i finally told my doctor, he said humira was for people like me who have tried other medications,... but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief... ...and many achieved remission.
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this is a beginning. it's a beginning for to us spend time and discuss the principles by which i think this agency should conduct itself. and i look forward to leading this agency with these principles in mind. >> scott pruitt, the newly confirmed epa head greeting his staff as he takes over an agency he once argued should be disbanded. joining me is "new york times" investigative reporter eric lipton who reported extensively on stt pruitt. what are his principles? what are you expecting to hear from him in the days going forward, as he takes over epa? >> i mean, scott pruitt is a believer in states rights and he largely thinks that states and their own enforcement mechanisms should be allowed to make decisions about their own air and water and that the federal government should largely leave it up to for example the state
of oklahoma which has a large oil and gas industry to decide how it best should monitor the impact oil and gas have on the air and the water in its state. >> and so in particular, his view is that the borders of oklahoma, where he was attorney general, should prevent any kind of cross-border federal regulation, even though obviously air and water no know boundaries? >> right. for example, there was a rule called the regional haze article, argued coal burning power plants in his state were creating haze in the air in oklahoma, and that they were going to have to reduce the emissions from those facilities, and haze is something that, you know, emissions that cross state lines and he sued to try to force the epa to back down. he lost that lawsuit. but he was involved in 14 different pieces of litigation challenging epa regulations and now he's running the epa and some of the same rules that he
was suing, he's already made clear that he intends to repeal those rule-making processes which are not yet complete. >> and what are you hearing from the veterans at the agency, first of all, are some leaving or what alternatives do they have as they try to pursue what they had thought was the agenda of the environmental protection agency? >> there's apprehension among civil servants who worked there for their careers, concerned thr enforcement powers will be curtailed through perhaps reductions in budgeting so therefore fewer people to enforce the laws, and also there could be, you know, major eliminations of rules that they've spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours building, like the clean power plant rule, or the rule that sometimes is called the waters of the u.s., both of which we anticipate are going to be pulled back. >> eric lipton, staying on guard
as we watch what happens with scott pruitt now confirmed at the epa. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> today in washington we say good-bye to the star attraction at the national zoo, bao bao the giant panda will be traveling today to china as part of a longstanding arrangement between the u.s. and china. the pandas only stay here on loan. since bao bao was born here three years ago she's celebrated milestones from her first steps and first birthday and first frolic in the snow, all of this watched by all of the fans. at this moment bao bao is headed to dulles airport to board the plane mick named the panda express, on the 16-hour flight. plenty of her favorite snacks and her favorite keeper at the zoo to keep her company. >> i'm a very emotional person so i'm sure the last day that i'm with her, there will be some
tears but i couldn't be any prouder. >> the goal for bao bao is romance, finding a mate in china,nd hopefully producing more baby pandas. as part of a glol conservation effort to save the beloved animals officially no longer in danger but still a vulnerable species. even though three pandas remain at the zoo including her younger brother bae bae, as i reported in 2009 the last time we sent a panda back to china. it's never easy. could chai that cause a rift in diplomatic relations, what's next, could way shing try to call in our national debt? >> sad. >> reporter: why sad? >> because i liked the pandas. >> i think it would be nice for him to go to china, so he can go back to his home. [vo] quickbooks introduces jeanette.
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that will be here for you now - and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. i am totally blind. i lost my sight in afghanistan. if you're totally blind, you may also be struggling with non-24. calling 844-844-2424. or visit my24info.com. i haven't seen you for a long time. how are you doing? >> i've been busy. i'm on i'm obamacare. if it wasn't for obamacare we wouldn't be able to afford insurance. with all due respect, sir, you're the man that talked about the death panels. >> yep. >> we're going to create one great big death panel in this country that people can't afford to get insurance.
don't repeal obamacare. improve it, for god's sakes. [ cheers and applause ] >> well it is a reverse image in town halls across the country. there you are in iowa, angry constituents venting about health care. this time it isn't the tea party but it's obamacare recipients. chris cillizza and jonathan capehart. we're seeing this represented around the country but what is the peril, if any, for republican office holders? >> well, the peril is when the other side's base is very energized, and that's what you see, people who are willing to take time out of their schedule and attend a town hall, whatever time of the day it is, that is a scary thing for the other side.
there's always a tendency when you are where republicans are in control of the white house, the senate, the house, large majority of governorships, large majority of state legislative seats, there's a tendency to think people love us, that's why we have the jobs that we have. that's why we're in the majority. there's also a tendency to become complacent and changing something that people have or taking away something that people have, even if they don't love it, as in obamacare, there's a lot of political peril there, and chuck grassley as well as a number of other, jason chaffetz last week, republicans are seeing that reaction. >> we're seeing more and more, chris cillizza and jonathan, seeing the white house signaling that, well they'll let the congress devise the repeal and replace. repeal is not so difficult, it's the replace that is of course the problem, they'll see what the speaker and what mitch mcconnell come up with, rather than have the white house's fingerprints on the replace. >> because it seems as though there are people in the white
house who remember how this became law in the first place. it didn't take place in the course of three months or four months. this was like more than a year of back-and-forth, lots of political fighting, the man in that clip you showed talked about death panels, that just the mere suggestion of that almost derailed the effort eight years ago. congress is not going to be able to repeal the affordable care act in the way they've been promising over the two terms of president obama's term, and as that man said there, don't repeal it, make it better. that guy right there is going to, if senator schumer doesn't find a way to use it, house minority leader np np doesn't find a way to use it, someone's going to find a way to show that the american people like obamacare, they want to keep it and they're going to demand that congress find a way to fix it, not tear it complete lay way. >> mitch mcconnell wasn't at a town hall meeting but here he is
at a chamber of commerce meeting which is a friendly crowd. outside there were protesters. this is what he had to say today. >> this country for 240 years has been an open country where you can express your points of view, as long as you do it peacefully, and we're proud of that. so i'm proud of those folks out there. they don't much like what i'm doing, they don't cheer my agenda. >> and you can see there are plenty of people outside, they were not inside the chamber of commerce meeting. chris cillizza, this is really going to be a problem for the speaker of the house and mitch mcconnell, becausehey care about numbers, they care about deficits. they're not putting a numbe on what their plan is right now. >> yep. >> but they're not going to want to go along with all of the trump plans, because they've got to figure out how to pay for it. >> well i would say you probably give too much credit when you
say the trump plans, andrea. the truth of the matter is, we don't really know and i would say that i think mitch mcconnell and paul ryan, this is the only stretch they can pursue are going to put together a plan of their own. the problem there is, if their assumption which is that donald trump will sort of green light it, rubber stamp it, that seems good, if that doesn't happen, if he turns on it, if there's something in it he doesn't like, we've seen what's happened throughout the campaign, and now even in the first month of his presidency, that badly complicates any ability of mitch mcconnell or paul ryan to get a majority of republicans for something like that, so he's this massive wild card that they're sort of operating it will be totally fine. we'll figure it out. and they might, but he is again always the word to describe him is unpredictable. he values that, and in this situation --
>> and chris is saying the massive wildcard being the president of the you sfaunited is extremely dangerous. what you have happening here as chris said the speaker and the majority leader of both trying to do what they were sent to washington to do, that is to govern and when the president of the united states makes that impossible, then how do you actually govern when what the plans that you were trying to come up with that you hope to get on the president's desk to get him to sign and he not only won't, he'll do something to make it impossible for you even to get a bill out of congress, how do you govern the united states under these circumstances? >> that is the challenge indeed. and on the theory, gentlemen, that you can never have enough pandas, we promised pandas in the snow. >> are we commenting on this? >> no, you're just watching and enjoying, because even on a spring-like day here in washington, we need to see pandas frolicking in the snow, as bao bao flies his way back
home. and hopefully to romance. we will leave it there. more ahead on "andrea mitchell reports." we'll be right back. 00 miles. or here, when you walked away without a scratch. maybe it was the day your baby came home. or maybe the day you realized your baby was not a baby anymore. every subaru is built to earn your trust. because we know what you're trusting us with. subaru. kelley blue book's most trusted brand. and best overall brand. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. watry...duo fusiong heartburn relief? duo fusion goes to work in seconds and lasts up to 12 hours. tums only lasts up to 3. for longer lasting relief...in one chewable tablet try duo fusion from the makers of zantac
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