tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 7, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT
♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ >> hey, everybody, i'm thomas roberts in new york. high noon on the east, 9:00 out west. we start with politics. new reaction from the trump administration, it's pushing back on criticism of the republicans health care bill as it now heads over to the senate side. here's what the health and human services tom price told my colleague andrea mitchell on the issue of the nearly $1 trillion in medicaid cuts earlier on "meet the press."" >> so what we're trying to do is improve the medicaid system, make it more responsive to
patients so there are more resources to be able to be utilize for the disabled and aged. >> i think a lot of people will wonder how taking more than $800 billion out of something is going to put more resources in it. let me ask you one final question -- >> we'll have more of that coming up, plus the congressional budget office gets ready to score the health care bill this week. house speaker paul ryan talks about the controversy surrounding the millions at risk at loss of coverage. >> the 24 million statistic, what the cbo is saying and agree with, if the government is not going to force somebody to buy something they don't want to buy, they are not going to buy it. if they are not mandated by something unaffordable they are not going to do it. under this bill everybody gets a refundsable tax credit. >> here's moderate republican susan colins on the issue of preexisting conditions followed by a message of moderate
democrat joe manchin. >> so much discretion is given to the states without any guardrails. it's true under the house bill that a state that gets a waiver would still have to provide coverage to people with preexisting conditions, but that coverage might well be unaffordable. and if the coverage is unaffordable, that doesn't do any good for a child who has juvenile diabetes and going to have that her entire life and once she's no longer on her parent's policies, that's going to create problems in some states. >> if they can get rid of the word repeal, we can sit down and democrats and republicans could work through this. we know this bill needs to be fixed but you're throwing the baby out with the bath water and you fought insult to injury by giving a tax cut to the wealthiest americans and $880
million to the poorest. >> let's go to new jersey, not too far from the president's bedminister estate. the president has been tweeting about it as if this is already a done deal. >> reporter: well, the president is trying to project confidence, something that he likes to do as a tool. and from the celebration in the rose garden to his series of tweets talking about the fact that obamacare is dead when actually reit remains the law of the land because the victory on the house was one step in the process. now trying to turn some of the pressure to the senate to encourage them to get working on this but also to keep the momentum up in terms of getting the support that sort of pushed it over the edge to the favor of republicans in the house to try to carry that into the senate. the hard part will be that senators want to view this on their own terms. we just heard a series of senators talking about their concerns. for the white house chief of staff, this is a big to do list
item and something that is in many ways largely tied with how people will assess the job reince priebus is doing to help serve the president. can they get the big legislative goal across the line and make change? it will take time. on television today reince priebus said this is something he believes that senators will look at carefully and say they have to go forward based on what currently is happening with the health care law. >> first of all, he thinks that -- and i think a lot of people think this is a binary choice between what we know is a collapsing system offering no options and no coverage and getting to a place that's cal a.m. tous for americans across the country or system in place that offers coverage and lower premiums and offers options and we started the process i think faster than anyone expected in the house. we also believe it's up to the senate if there are improvements to be made to make the
improvements -- >> reporter: and so when he talks about it being faster than anyone expected. i think that again is part of the trying to show there's a rush of activity when it had been planned all along that health care would be something that he would they would tackle early. some who felt with the control the republicans have, they would be more successful at tackle teenager qukly of the even though the margin is much narrower and gets more complicated because each senator represents an entire state of constituents and the range of concerns can be different than a house member who has one district which many of those voters may be much more like minded, the way the map in the united states is drawn. for reince priebus, a big to do list for the president. expert many more tweets on this. he can try to use the bully pulpit of twitter to send the message that they are working on this, even though we know the senate has its own pace and agenda and own set of things it wants to accomplish.
we'll see how involved he gets as it gets a little further along in the process. we saw him engage personally at the end when there was a vote close to try to convince house members. we'll see if the president get that involves. he may need to give them room to work to start this. >> mitch mcconnell, senate majority leader wants to wait for the cbo score and that may be the bell weather is that describes how influential trump needs to be if he can be at all. >> reporter: well, the congressional budget office scoring is always a standard part of legislation, it was an ab whoation they voted it on the house side. on the first phase of what the house had talked about and so the additional tinkering they had done didn't affect the score that much. they also knew the score would not be a selling point because it would be costly and show millions of americans not having
health care and speaker ryan says in part because people will choose not to buy it and freedom argument that republicans make that you have the choice plays into those numbers they say. on the senate side they will want to see a score and want their own work product scored and they'll adjust some of what they are planning to reflect perhaps a more favorable score to make that more sellable. they'll have to convince some of their own members and maybe even a few democrats if they go that route to try to get passage. that will be very difficult. if they go with the most scaled back, 50 senators and the vice president for a vote, they have a little more wiggle room but even that will be challenging. >> kelly o'donnell reporting for us. kelly, real quickly, the president there at his golf resort. public events today or golf? do we know? >> reporter: we don't know. one of the differences when we were in florida covering the president there, his mar-a-lago home is separate from the golf resort he has in florida. there would be a motorcade that would drive to that.
here it's 500 acres and they have family homes on the site in addition to the golf. i think it's 36 holes -- it's a professional -- they hold professional golf matches there. he can do a lot of things on the grounds we won't see. we've had no sighting of him since we arrived. we do know he signed the bill into law, the spending package and talked to the president of peru last night. that's all we know so far until he is expected to depart early this evening tonight. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you, appreciate it. joining us now is democratic congressman member of the armed services committee. it's great to have you with me. you are quoted as saying i'm very, very scared our next president has a clue about russia is really up to. i want to talk about what's coming this week with sally yates' testimony and we have a lot to talk about with health care. but we have the former obama administration certain officials confirming their concerns the
trump transition team was in over its head in dealing with rush kbra. how do you feel about it at this point? do you think you indicated about your earlier concerns? >> not only my concerns but the fbi and all of the intelligence agencies and beyond. we're very very concerned what was going on. we do know the russian government all the way to putin on down did try to and probably did seriously influence the american election. we know they are doing the same thing in france. that's very clear to anybody that's even observing what's happening. sally yates is going to be a very important witness because first of all she's a professional. she's not into this as a partisan. she spent her life as a professional in the department of justice. her testimony about when information was known, who knew what when is going to be very, very informative. this investigation has to be carried on and frankly as i've always said from the very beginning, get this out of the
congress. put this into a nonpartisan investigation committee that can look at it in detail without all of the influence of politics on one side or the side. >> we know that she was asked to leave after she would not enforce the president's muslim ban. this came out after that. we'll have to see how the testimony unfolds this week. health care and the issue going on with that. there are many republicans out defending the work that happened over on the house side and what's anticipated for the senate side but we have reaction from certain folks at the very top of our economic wealth community in this country and billionaire investor warren buffett criticizing the trump care act passed. telling shareholders yesterday it is a huge tax cut for guys like him. some estimate it would be a $600 billion tax cut. why aren't we hearing more about that this is really just that, it's not about trump care, it's about a big tax cut for fat
cats? >> it's actually both. it is a huge tax cut, the largest transfer of wealth from the working men and women and the poor to the super wealthy that has ever taken place in any act of congress. you take a look at what's happeni happening it's well over $880 billion over ten years that will be taken literally out of the pockets of the poor who have been having additional medical services available to them through the medicaid program. and also through the medicare program. and that money together with the subsidies that are available for people who are buying insurance on the exchange, all of that money is taken away from them and given to the super wealthy. the top 1/10th of one percent will receive benefits well over $200,000 apiece for the top 400 wealthiest families in america, including president trump and four of his cabinet members,
they stand to make $7 million tax reductions per year. this is incredible tax policy, particularly in the light of the reductions and the harm that will come to 24 million people, the harm that will come to those people who are 50 to 65 years of age who are going to see perhaps a 5-fold increase in their insurance premiums from around $1500 per year that they are paying today to over $14,000 a year for insurance. this is horrible. horrible, cruel. unjustified policy that's passed out of the house of representatives. the senate better take a hard look at this. this is no way to treat americans. >> the senate saying that certain senate republicans have to wait for the cbo score. we'll see exactly where they move on from there. sir, thanks so much. health and human services secretary tom price talked about the optics of the rose garden
celebration. what he had to say when he was asked about the lack of diversity for that picture there. first, dianne feinstein on what lies ahead on the senate. >> i don't know what the 13 white men when you have five republican women excluded from that of these 13 men are supposed to sit down -- >> you're speaking of a working group. >> it's all male. poor mouth breather. allergies? stuffy nose? can't sleep? take that. a breathe right nasal strip instantly opens your nose up to 38% more than allergy medicine alone. shut your mouth and say goodnight, mouthbreathers. breathe right. hi, i'm frank. i take movantik for oic, opioid-induced constipation.
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mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. at do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. going to reward the republicans who stood up and said we're not going to see the obamacare system which is failing and collapsing continue any longer, we're going to do something better and we're going to do our job as legislators to get this thing done. i think the republican party will be rewarded.
sfwl there we have reince priebus this morning sounding pretty confident the lawmakers will prevail in the end. the president himself tweeted this morning republican senators will not let the american people down. obamacare premiums and deductibles are way up. the contributor to time magazine and jeremy peters, reporter for the "new york times." great to have you both with me. jeremy, how much of a test is this going to be for donald trump and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and their alliance? >> they are really two issues that reince priebus is getting at. one of which was laid out in the tweet, you don't know whether or not republicans are going to be rewarded for this because we don't know what they are going to do in the senate. it's totally unclear at this point whether the senate starts with its own bill and house bill and then what that looks like when they send it back to the house and what the house ultimately decides to do with it. so there's that.
second of all, once they start unraveling this vast government entitlement, the inevitable disruption that is going to cause with potentially people being kicked off of their plans and left without insurance, just ask the democrats how well it worked out for them in the next mid hit mid-term election once they pass a very controversial health care bill. >> we'll go back to the future here. we have tom price on quts meet the press and andrea mitchell was speaking to him about the lack of diversity in which the group of lawmakers were involved in crafting this bill. listen to his reaction. >> congressman diane black, the chair of the budget committee, i was sending next to her, the administrator of cms, standing next to her. -- >> out of a group of dozens and dozens of people you can cite two or three women? >> these are prominent
individuals who are leading, who are leading in this area of health care. >> we heard from dianne feinstein that the senate team leading this is going to be comprised of all men. the couple of women on the house side goes to zero on the senate side. what's going on with that? >> it is really striking. as dianne feinstein mentioned this morning, there's a really big difference in the biologies between women and men when you look at health care. there are 13 white male senators who are going to be -- some of them ted cruz, you could argue are latino, but 13 male senators going to be negotiating this bill. there has been some pressure to put susan collins on that committee so she's obviously the republican senator from maine. you can get one female voice into this process but it is rather striking and it's somewhat perplexing because women do need to be represented when you're talking about health care.
there's such different biologies of how women work and different set of concerns. having that voice is very important. >> i want to talk to you about economic impact of all of this. just speaking to congressman of california talking about this the largest transfer of wealth on our country. one of you colleagues has been writing about repealing the aca could threaten the u.s. job engine which we saw the jobs report on friday, we're in the middle of a boom right now. what type of hit? how big are we talking here? >> there's really become a double threat this legislation poses to republicans. number one is the economic threat that people do indeed start losing their jobs or paying significantly higher costs for their health care. nothing will hurt donald trump and republicans more at the ballot box than this. this is a president and party that ran on the slogan, make america great again. the last thing americans are going to feel like is great if they are getting hit in the
pocketbooks. and i would also point out it could be incredibly demoralizing to the republican base. if the health care repeal does not go through or turns out to be a mess, legislatively and the health care markets turn into more turmoil, that's going to depress turnout. even before you talk about getting to the more swing voters and states like ohio and across the rust belt, that voted for donald trump. >> when we think about what's happening is the way it's discussed, jay price was on a different network saying we strongly bled the medicaid population will be cared for in a better way. they strongly believe but they don't know, can't forecast the future. the other point here is about if premiums go up and preexisting conditions kind of knock people out or price them out, they are still going to be economic
coverage, just won't be able to afford it. >> youe seen senators starting to approach senate, there's pressure to bolster some of those provisions, add more money to them for medicaid because these states cannot afford it already. they are struggling to make ends meet. if you start to cut back medicaid and the original republican plan paul ryan's plan, the road map to america's future called for turning medicaid into a voucher system. to cut medicaid or change it fundamentally for decades but it's -- this is the first real shot at doing something like this. but they are meeting a lot of resistance from republican governors on the ground and republican local politicians because it's really scary with medicaid budgets the way they are, pressure on those states is going to be really tough. you're going to see them turning away more and more people from medicaid and turning out mental par patients when they run out of
money. that's terrifying to see thousands of mental patients on the streets of america. >> a lot of concerns moving forward with the issues of psychological help and those that are going to take the hits the hardest here. but based on cash going to folks that make the most in this country, i want your take on this, give you the last word, it's kind of picking up traction, the "washington post" and new york times reporting on this kushner family trip to china, pitching investors on their project back in new jersey and it's what's known as an investor visa and people were being hit up for about $500,000 in cash. it's an eb-5 visa, about immigration to the u.s. jared kushner's personal attorney, his family members were there. they say mr. kushner has no involvement in the operation of kushner companies and sent us a statement saying mr. kushner recused himself, no involvement
in the operation and recuses himself concerning the eb 5 visa program. the sister highlighted her brother's role in the administration and also showed a slide of president trump saying he would be overseeing how this hot potato issue because they are -- there are certain folks in d.c. concerned with this visa program, making changes to it, but this is a huge cash grab, kind of a bait and switch promise to invest in the kushner company for some kind of pay to play potentially. what are the optics? >> not very good. >> the only thing going to matter regardless of how jared kushner distances himself from this and denies his personal involvement which i believe to be the case, voters will hear one word in the campaign ads that democrats are probably already working on and that is kushner. it's this sense if voters get any whiff that donald trump and his family are trying to enrich
themselves at the expense of voters and being untrue to the central premise of the campaign, donald trump will fight for you not special interests not to enrich himself because he's wealthy enough. his credibility will suffer as a result. it's hard to know how that -- how immediate that will be but two years, three years on down the road, this could really sting. >> it is certainly not knee jerk in this country as we've been covering the president go from branded resort to branded resort where he is this weekend. great to have you on. thanks so much for your time. we're talking about the lower turnout scene in france's presidential election. it's a big day for them today. what candidate could that favor? we'll dive in next.
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good to have you back, everybody, i'm thomas roberts in new york at the half hour. this is what we're watching for you and it's big news in trans where the polls are expected to close at the top of the hour following a bitter presidential campaign. we have the centrist candidate macron facing off the far right national opponent in marine le pen. joining us is christopher dickey and world news editor for the daily beast. a lower turnout than 2012. talk about what koeb behind that and the candidate that could embolden. >> reporter: well, i don't think it's going to make a decisive situation in the election, one level of bad weather and another level it's also a holiday weekend, three-day weekend so
people -- a lot of them don't want to come back to paris or wherever the hometown is to vote. a lot of people are very unhappy about their choice in this election and many french people feel they might do the civic duty by casting a empty ballot envelope or staying away, a response to what they feel is a very bad choice. >> when you talk about the choices in the centrist kand dast macron and of the anti-immigration far right candidate in le pen. they feel almost as if they have appy thetic to who takes control? being absent is better than showing up? >> reporter: well, that's the way they justify that. frankly i find that a pretty poor excuse if you want to know a truth. there's a huge difference between the two candidates, marine le pen is a leader of a
crypto fascist party from everything from the anti-degal oas from the '60s and '70s to all kinds of racist and anti-semitic trends in the '80s and 90s. she tried to clean it up but in the last couple of weeks started to revote to type. you have emmanuel macron, some things have to change and some things won't change. he's very pro-europe, pro-nato, pro american. certainly from the point of view of an american looking at the french elections, there should be no choice. although it has to be set president trump seems to be a supporter of marine le pen. >> we know president obama is an outward supporter of macron. hopefully in a couple of hours we'll know something more decisive. >> an hour and a half. >> we're watching with you. we'll be back in touch.
tomorrow the search for proof in russian involvement in the 2016 election, talking about the justice department's investigation into nsa director mike flynn's russian contacts. joining me with more is the nbc news intelligence and national security reporter, ken, i know a lot of democrats are hoping for something explosive or earth shattering here. is that truly was expected from yates? >> well, thomas, as journalists we can watch for something explosive and earth shattering but i don't think we can expect it. i've been talking to people familiar with her thinking and she's con strained in what she can explain about this counterintelligence investigation. just her appearance and her speaking will be dramatic because thus far we've only read reports about her warning the white house that mike flynn, the national security adviser at the time was subject to blackmail and compromised because he misled the vice president and others about his discussions
about the russian ambassador rrn the sanctions that were put in place in response to the russian hacking. she should be able to talk about not exactly what she said or who she spoke to or why she felt compelled to make the warning and what happened afterwar. >> just from the point of view of the trump administration and that team, they might feel as if yates has some sort of axe to grind because of the fact she was against enforcing the travel ban, the muslim ban and was let go from that position to make way for jeff sessions. and this only came out after the fact of mike flynn's dismissal about her strong warning about those conversations between sergei kislyak and mike flynn. is there partisan issues for yates to try to avoid and float above tomorrow? >> that's right, there are people who feel that way,
although yates has a reputation as sort of a bipartisan career justice department person who plays it straight. and the interesting question tomorrow, there was a period -- she made the warning then there was a couple of weeks before anything happened. you know, until the story leaked and that's when there was pressure and then flynn was fired. so to me, now we have the latest new series of reporting that suggests even members of the trump transition were concerned about mike flynn's contact with the russian ambassador. to me that raises the biggest question of all, what did donald trump know about his national security adviser's contacts with the russian ambassador? did he authorize them? was he briefed on them? that's a real question. >> and hopefully we'll learn about who the ag had and senator jeff sessions was taking meetings with kislyak, had to recuse himself moving forward. i know it's going to be a busy beginning of the week for you sir, thankse'll talk again.
i take movantik for oic, opioid-induced constipation. had a bad back injury, my doctor prescribed opioids which helped with the chronic pain, but backed me up big-time. tried prunes, laxatives, still constipated... had to talk to my doctor. she said, "how long you been holding this in?" (laughs) that was my movantik moment. my doctor told me that movantik is specifically designed for oic and can help you go more often. don't take movantik if you have a bowel blockage or a history of them. movantik may cause serious side effects, including symptoms of opioid withdrawal, severe stomach pain and/or diarrhea, and tears in the stomach or intestine. tell your doctor about any side effects and about medicines you take. movantik may interact with them causing side effects. why hold it in? have your movantik moment. talk to your doctor about opioid-induced constipation. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
whether it's connecting one of or bringing wifi to 65,000 fans. campuses. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink. welcome back, we have more information coming up right now about what people are talking about when it comes to the political climate of the house bill and do we have that sound byte for paul ryan? we don't have it. we don't have the speaker talking about this but he was explaining that he does think that republicans will be rewarded for this because they are sticking with their word and they are governing what they campaigned on. it's taken a long time to have something successfully passed through the house side for the gop but they do have control. will the midterm elections see
some sort of backlash. susan del percio joins me right now. i apologize we don't have the speaker's sound but in trying to encapsulate and para phrase what he said, this is what they promised to deliver on, a repeal and replace of obamacare, this is really the first pass of what they need to do in a longer rae strategy. do they deliver? >> well, that's exactly right, thomas, they had to move -- they had to move to get something done. this was really about as far as politically avoiding a challenge on the right. the members are very concerned if they didn't deliver on repeal and replace of obamacare they would see primaries on the right. this doesn't mean they have to worry towards the general election. there are 14 congressional seats that hillary clinton did win so they have to be a little concern there. the first political concern was avoiding primaries on the right.
>> i have the exact quote now of paul ryan on abc with george step nop plis, people expect the elected leaders if they run on something to do it. that's what we're doing keeping our word. we would spell disaster if we go back on our record. which isn't what the cbo not putting out the score on this just yet and this big celebration in the rose garden, how vulnerable are republicans to owning what trump care means if americans are unsatisfied with what they've been able to pass? >> well, that would be making two big leaps there, thomas. one would be that we actually will see trump care approved and voted on by the house and senate. the second is assuming it's the house bill that the senate is going to approve and take forward, which is extremely unlikely. we think that the senate will most likely start from scratch as a lot of members have said and they have a lot of work to
do. they too need to bring some success to their constituents but at the same time, they have to be careful not to go too much to the moderate wing of the party, republican party, so that the freedom caucus will be on board should they be able to put something forward. >> meanwhile, it doesn't seem as if they are all out front what they've been promising of repeal and replace for so long. they should have things they go like thsh they just blow dust off and get to work. that's all they talked about since this was enacted as law. meanwhile it remains law and not dead as the president has said. i want to bring in former governor of vermont, howard dean and msnbc contributor, had to get syrup off the vermont camera, now all fixed. there are 20 districts that could turn blue in 2018. is that your hope that what
could be seen as hurtful to americans is only going to be helpful down the line to the democratic party because of some type of backlash in the mid terms? >> well, i'm hoping for 30 seats, not 20 but look, this is an enormous problem. this is only one of trump's many problems but the biggest problem with this is that the house cut about $850 billion out of medicaid -- there's no way -- lying through their teeth saying no one will lose their insurance. you can't cut that much and people won't lose insurance. it's not going to happen. a lot of people are sort of giving trump a pass right now particularly in his demographic. that's not going to happen if their neighbors start losing the health insurance. i think this is pretty serious. i'm concerned about the senate because they don't have moderates in the group. when you have ted cruz and mike lee in your health care group, you're not likely to get much of
an improvement over the house bill. we don't know how much the house bill cost and then speaker's spokes person tried to claim this was scored. it was a lie. eventually if you lie enough you'll get caught and that's the process this bill is going to unravel. >> the speaker -- the spokesperson did tweet about this saying it had been scored twice. we know a lot of people are using the former cbo score on the prior bill that never got to a floor vote to use as some type of indicator but a lot of people say only because of how this bill is defend defend yant from the other it's only going to be worse in the cbo scoring. and many people feel, governor because premiums are going to go up, a lot of people with preexisting conditions to be able to afford what this means. it's not as if they are going to be forced off by law to have access to coverage. they are just going to be economically shut out, leveraged of money. >> the other thing is is the
high risk pools don't work. they've tried this for a long time. they have simply failed and eventually go bankrupt and the states drop them. >> we also see there's another issue with the current system, i think governor dean who wasn't a huge fan of obamacare, i'm sure you fay this over with the republicans have put forward, that the central issue with what we're dealing with now and you'll see moderates like susan collins dealing with, the cost of health care versus the hekt insurance cost. we can talk about this at the edges but there's nothing more important or more of a priority or place where the white house ca get some traction on than lookto lower the cost of health care, especially when it comes to prescription drugs. that is a place that maybe they could start moving to get some consensus on. because whether your deductible is 10,000 under obamacare and 8,000 under the republican plan,
it's still unaffordable and people are not getting the care they need. >> i know you mentioned susan collins from maine, as we heard from dianne feinstein talking with andrea mitchell, there are 13 men in the senate going to be in the working group. they may get susan collins on board to do this because of criticism there is no gender diversity to the panel that's going to be working on the senate side. are you disappointed? >> of course i'm disappointed. what's even more disappointing the republicans have not learned. when you look at the white house celebration, which was horrible optics, then you turn to having 13 men deciding the fate of health care in the senate -- maybe not deciding, taking it too far but definitely not getting input from having female members, which they do have very good response members like lisa murkowski and senator collins, they should be brought into this. it is disappointing when women
make up half of the population. >> just being devil's advocate, if president trump and the others around him keep getting rewarded by governing the way they do, i don't think they are going to change their tactics much. >> i don't see the reward quite yet. where the reward comes in is in the economy takes a change and seeing more opinion in their paychecks, that's the best thing that will reward president trump. >> howard dean and susan del percio, thank you for your time. i appreciate it. >> thanks, thomas. >> coming up in honor of jfk's birthday, the 100 kt, remembering the man and presidency and kennedy's nephew will join me to talk about a new book he co-authored about his uncle and it breaks some new ground. we'll talk about it next. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. is far from the hospital, the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in ne rl time...
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bipartisanship commission on activities to mark the 100th anniversary of president jfk's birth. joining me is the co-author, along with historian douglas brinkley on the book "jfk: a vision for america." great to have you with me. i was looking at this book, which is great looking, by the way, and heavy. i was amazed at looking at the centennial edition. it's hard to believe this is where we are in celebrating nfc's 100th birthday. where do you break new ground in what you found about your uncle? >> it is hard to believe president kennedy is 100 years old and we really wanted to celebrate his life in a new way, so what we did was we asked leading thinkers from around the world to comment on his greatest speeches, and we also told his life story in words and pictures. so doug brinkley wrote the narrative and i have everyone in the book from the dalai lama to conan o'brien, to secretaries of
state, john mccain, elizabeth warren, gloria steinem, some of our nation's great writers, so we wanted to talk about the relevance of president kennedy's ideas to today and i was listening to your panelists earlier, of course, president kennedy said in his inaugural if the free society cannot save the many that are poor, it will not save the few who are rich, and he, of course, proposed medicare and medicaid, which were opposed by the republicans at the time. and so this discussion that you're having right now is very much a legacy discussion, and there are many other issues in the book that speak to our contemporary dilemmas today. >> yeah, remains so pertinent to w we treat each other in this country. through social equality and how we take care of each other, that was all born during a time that your uncle was helping to usher through. i know you just mentioned kocjan
o'brien and he wrote jfk. part of the speech jfk gave, take a look. >> matter of experience, i had announced earlier this year that if successful, i would not consider campaign contributions as a substitute for experience in appointing ambassadors. ever since i made that statement, i haven't received one single cent from my father. >> is this a sign that a lot of people remember about him, humorous side? >> yeah, so, i mean, they asked him when he was elected president if there was anything that surprised him when he got into office and he said the only thing that surprised him was the things were just as bad as he said they were. so he had a really good sense of humor and conan said that he was the funniest president except
abraham lincoln, who was also pretty funny. >> we know also the new budget that was signed in, you know, national endowment for the arts is surviving and potentially thriving. that was something also that was fostered by jfk in celebrating what we do in this country when it comes to our artists and culture and moving that for and teaching our kids about it. are you hopeful that under a president trump that we will continue to maintain the kennedy center honors, pbs, and everything else that it celebrates with the national endowment for the arts? >> yeah, so there's a speech that he gave about his tribute to robert frost where he said that the men who create power make an indispensable contribution to our nation's greatness, but the men who criticize power make an equally indispensable contribution. he was talking about artists in the city and that's relevant to the cast of "hamilton" in particular.
president kennedy had this vision for america that was a very broad vision of america as a great civilization, not only a powerful military nation, he did serve in combat, but a great civilization that was great artistically, great scientifically. the moon shot, so i think he'd be very troubled by the idea that we're going to cut science. great physically, he had the president's physical fitness challenge. in fact, my uncle bobby marched 50 miles in 20 hours, you know, to rouse the nation to become more physically fit. and so he conceived it the moon shot, the arts and humanities, civil rights act, gave one of the great speeches against religious discrimination, which the dalai lama comments on in the book, and that's really what we wanted to bring to the attention of the country, is this idea of america really great in every way, morally, not just militarily. >> thank you, sir. i'm sorry to cut you short here, because we could go on a long
time talking about the centennial edition. >> that's okay, i come from a political family, so you have to shut me up. >> steven kennedy smith, thank you, sir. don't miss the special event president obama receives a profile in courage award from the john f. kennedy museum in boston. live coverage 8:00 p.m. here on msnbc. it only takes a second for an everyday item to become dangerous. new tide pods child guard pack. helps keep your laundry pacs safe and your child safer. align, press and unzip.