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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  July 31, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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second long-range missile that experts say maybe can reach chicago. welcome to your new gig, john kelly. and welcome to our team. i want to start with kristen welker at the white house. the president and his newly sworn in chief of staff, john ce kelly. i want to play for folks what went down right before this cabinet meeting started. >> i think we're all excited. we couldn't be more excited to work for general kelly. an american patriot and no one has sacrificed more for our country. no family has sacrificed more than he has and we're excited for a new day here in the white house and get started. >> that was mark short talking about the new chief of staff, kristen. and walk us through what we heard from the president and what we heard today. kelly is kind of getting shot out of the canon on this monday.
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>> it's a busy monday. president trump praising kelly for his service so far. tough on crime and tough on illegal immigration. that's one reason why president trump thinks he's doing a good job and eyed him for this position of chief of ostaff. will the president embolden him and empower him to do a good job. what is the chain of command going to be? kellyanne conway wouldn't say if people would effectively be reporting to kelly or reporting to the president. that was one of the things that analysts believe really undercut the former chief of staff, reince priebus. take a look at the number of ousters, hallie. just to put this into perspective. reince priebus joins a long list of people. ten, high-level people who have already left the trump administration. james comey, mike dubke the former communication director, anthony scaramucci has come in to replace mike dubke.
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and it raises the stakes for the new chief of staff. as you point out, he's facing a number of challenges, not just in terms of trying to right the ship of the trump administration, but they're facing some real foreign policy challenges, hallie, which i know you'll talk about throughout the hour. north korea's recent provocations and this is a tough task and i think we do have some audio, hopefully, of president trump just a few moments ago just after general kelly was sworn in. let's take a listen. >> we don't have that audio, kristen, but we are working to get it on what is a very busy day in the briefing room. let me talk to you about this. the word of the day, the buzz word so far has been discipline. john kelly will come in and instill discipline. snu chief of staff interesting and personnel mattering so much as it comes to policy and the policy that the white house is pushing right now. all about the future of obamacare and walk us through what the president is talking about this morning out on
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twitter again today. >> he's talking about a couple of different options, hallie. one from the campaign trail, by the way, when he was out last week he said, let obamacare fail. efefectively this idea of not paying the markets to make sure that it is sustained. let me read you his recent tweet to underscore this point. if obamacare is hurting people and it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies and why should congress not be paying what public pays? he's also calling for another vote on obamacare saying that it should be passed with a simple majority. remember, hallie, he didn't get a simple majority on that so-called skinny repeal last week. it's tough to see that they can go back to the drawing board and get something done with 51 votes. i have been having conversations here behind the scenes at the white house and they're saying we want congress and we want the senate to take another stab at this. you and i know it's tough to see how the odds get better.
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but that is part of the messa messaging behind the scenes here, hallie. >> thank you for that. i want to go tasomebody who knows about the odds. garre garrett garretthaake on capitol hill. congress looks and says, we tried and it didn't work. what has the response been to these threats from the president to withhold these subsidies and payments so far? >> a threat without a tactic behind it. it would inject uncertainty of the insurance markets, potentially raising premiums for regular folks and he could put some financial pain on members of congress and their staffs, too, to also potentially raising their rates, too. the question here is to what end. the house is gone for the next month on recess. the senate has no workable plan in front of them right now that can get to 50 votes. so, it's not as though by ratcheting the pressure up high enough, congress can suddenly say, we have something here that
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we now think will work. that being said, it's not as though the issue of repeal or more importantly replace has completely disappeared from the hill. there's a lot of different groups and factions trying to angle inthis vacuum here and inject their ideas for what to do next. including a bipartisan group of lawmakers who rolled out part of their plan this morning. take a look at this. >> stabilize the individual market by insuring that the cost-sharing reduction payments are going to be brought under the appropriations process. create a stability fund. we make reforms to the employer mandate, we repeal the medical device tax and allow for states to innovate and regional compacts. >> so, that's republican representative charlie dent laying out part of this plan. but, hallie, even that plan is unlikely to get any traction because the house has made it very clear, speaker ryan has made it very clear that they considered their part of this drama over for now until the
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senate passes something that can happen on the senate side, the house is moving on from health care. >> garrett haake on capitol hill after what has been a busy week for him. talking about the president's comments and to set the table for this discussion. issues with health care and as we speak in a cabinet meeting right now along with attorney general jeff sessions, the rest of the president's top advisors. here's what the president said just moments before that cabinet meeting started. listen. >> we just swore in general kelly. he will do a spectacular job. i have no doubt, as chief of staff. what he's done in terms of homeland security is record shattering. you look at the border, you look at the tremendous results we had and you look at the spirit. and with a very controversial situation, there's been very little controversy, which is pretty amazing by itself. so, i want to congratulate you
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on having done a fantastic job, general. we look forward to if it's possible and even better job as chief of staff. >> that's right, sir. thank you. >> that is john kelly sitting next to president trump. just after that the president said he was headed to the boardroom for the cabinet meeting happening in the cabinet room, of course. i want to bring in now former white house insider to talk about all of this. chief of staff for president clinton and knows something about running the west wing. and shannon reporter for bloomberg news and kelsey snell. thank you for being here. mack, i have to kick it over to you. you've been in this job. what is your prediction and what is your sense how john kelly is starting out day one? >> i think you summed it up just right. new chief, same president. we'll see. i think general kelly is a person of standing, he's been a patriot and served our country with distinction and dedication and i think, hallie, the fact
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that he's been in the white house here at homeland security for six months is a big plus. i also think at some level president trump understands that some things are going to have to change. they're going to have to stabilize. this white house needs to look outward in their service to the american people. not inward with continuing soap operas. >> john kelly has been on the job for all of roughly laly 40 minutes at this point. and james baker at "the times" over the weekend and he said this, he said you can focus on the chief or you can focus on h the of staff. those who have focused on the of staff have done pretty well. what message should general kelly be getting from that? >> i have made that similar comment. chief of staff sounds rother regal, but it's chief of staff. the point is not to get too self-absorbed in your influence and i don't think general kelly will do that.
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focus on managing the staff and keep the priorities in focus and, also, you have to manage upward with the president. you can help guide him in the right direction. there has to be, hallie, a partnership between the president and his chief of staff. there has to be a level of trust and there has to be an ability to communicate and communicate with absolute candor, but in the right way, the right manner. that's key to any successful chief of staff's tenure. >> you talk about the of staff part. anthony scarraamucci who is a strong personality and reporting directly to the president. you have somebody like steve bannon, also kind of a strong personality. how does he handle that, right? >> well, hallie, strong personalities and strong opinions, there is nothing new about that in the white house. every white house has had that and every president has to
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balance their agenda with those competing views and you want that if you can channel those discussions in the right way. you also, frankly, have had first ladies who have had great influence on the president, as is normally and naturally the case. so, i think the key is not to cut off communication. i think that likely general kelly will be able to narrow some of the reporting and communications, but it's essential that president trump go ahead and meet with his cabinet members. that's essential. his other staff members and people from the outside. i think that's desirable. president clinton did a lot of that. but it's also important that he loop that back with his chief of staff and not undercut him. he's got to empower him and he's got to communicate with him and he can't surprise him. >> so, but, what you're saying, mack, is that this ultimately all comes down to the president. as we keep talking about it. a new chief of staff and it's still the same boss. shannon and kelsey, for all the
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things he said about john kelly, he does not have a ton of political experience here. watch for mike pence to sort of rise here when it comes to the policy perspective. john kelly is not a reince priebus in the sense that he has a lot of establishment connections. so does mark short who we saw. is this the rise of team pence here, i think? >> obviously, the pentagon has its own politics and he had experience working with the hill during his time. but, yes, the chief of staff position is not typically command and control. it's a political position and it takes someone who has savvy to deal with not only the political factions in the white house, but as you point, outside of it. like with congress. now, pence has sort of been trump's man on the hill. he really has been trump's man on the hill so far. they couldn't get health care across the field, though. i gather the sense, too, from certain factions in the white house that they would like to see a shakeup there. but, the pence team is very solid, they are very savvy and well organized and the opposite of the chaos we're seeing there.
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i think two things that kelly is going to have to face with which we haven't discussed yet. g jared and ivanka and a whole world of people outside the white house that have a line to that president from cory lewandowski, his old assistants. all people outside the white house who he will have no control over. >> how does john kelly manage it? >> we keep coming back to this idea that it's the president that doesn't change. he has the problem with the legislative agenda, as well. not that congress doesn't trust the vice president and trust mark short or trust reince priebus. they didn't have a relationship with the president where they believe he was going to stick with one side of it and help sell legislation. that was a big problem they ran into with health care. it's not going to resolved for this. >> mack, one sentence, a word of advice for the newly minted
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chief of staff. what would you tell john kelly? >> i would say focus on the staff, get it organized, but focus on what you can do for the american people. you've got to get results here from the white house and for people to feel that their lives are going to be better. you need to push it outward, not inward. >> mack, thank you for that insider's perspective. i'll ask you to stick around because we're watching to see what comes out of the cabinet meeting happening right now. everything john kelly has going on right now as the west wing watches what happens overseas. north korea's latest test launch. russia's retaliation for that sanctions bill from congress. we're doing a deep dive on the new foreign policy problems facing this president and his options, 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. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker.
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any second now we expect to get our first glimpse inside this president meeting. in this meeting, we're told the president was asked about north korea and he said we will handle it, we will handle everything. according to the pool report that has just a couple seconds ago come out about the meeting. north korea, of course, coming off that missile test that is sparking a lot of new reaction today. you have china responding to president trump's charge that they're not putting enough pressure on north korea over that show of force over the korean peninsula over the weekend. overseas russia, too. vladimir putin announcing diplomatic retaliation for those
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sanctions passed by congress. vice president pence had a very clear message to russia when he was visiting estonia this morning. >> recent diplomatic action taken by moscow will not deter the commitment of united states of america to our community, the security of oour allies and the security of freedom-loving nations around the world. >> nbc matt bradley is in london with more are vladimir putin's reaction to those sanctions. all these diplomats, hundreds of diplomatic staff, matt. what can you tell us? >> we haven't heard a reaction yet from the kremlin to what vice president pence was just saying this morning. but we don't necessarily have to expect a reaction, if you'll recall, hallie, president putin is a studied practitioner. if you remember back in december president obama when he was still president levied a punishment against russia by expelling 35 russian diplomats. in this case, president putin is
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expelling 755 u.s. diplomats who can hardly call it proportional. but back in december, vladimir putin decided to answer obama's broad side by posturing magnanimous. he said nothing so no retaliation for diplomatic expulsions and then invited all of the state department personnel in mouscow and their children to sit. and we might be hearing that now. vladimir putin coming out and really signaling a drastic de r deterrieration and this is not just a replay of the cold war. this sort of tit for tat and dip lomatic explosion and hasn't happened since the founding of the soviet union. this is major ramp up and we can expect this to go worse from here. >> matt, thank you. we are going to, in just one
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second, take a look at that cabinet meeting where president trump is joined by attorney general jeff sessions. let's listen in. >> good morning. this is our first cabinet meeting with general kelly. he will be chief of staff, as you know. we all know him. we respect him, admire what he's done. and at homeland what he has done has been nothing short of miraculous. as uknyou know, the border was tremendous problem and now close to 80% stoppage and even the president of mexico called me and said their southern border very few people are coming because they're not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment. i want to congratulate him on the great job he's done with homeland security and i have no doubt that he will be an absolutely suburb chief of staff. we were discussing a little while ago before the meeting how well we're doing, however. we have the highest stock market in history.
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we have gdp on friday. got very little mention, although i guess in the business areas it did. but got, i think, very little mention. 2.6 is a number that nobody thought they'd see for a long period of time. remember, i was saying we will hit three at some point in the not too distant future and everybody smiled and they laughed and they thought we'd be at 1 and 2.6 is an unbelievable n announced on friday. unemployment is the lowest it's been in 17 years. business enthusiasm is about as how as they've ever seen it. it is as high, the highest point in 28 years, according to a certain graph and certain chart. the manufacturers are the enthusiasm level is incredible. we have a lot of tremendous things going. we have some interesting situations that we'll handle. north korea, middle east, lots of problems that we inherited from previous administrations,
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but we'll take care of them. we'll take care of them very well. but, overall, i think we're doing incredibly well. the economy is doing incredibly well. and many other things. so, we're starting from a really good base. i predict that general kelly will go down in terms of the position of chief of staff, one of the great ever and we're going to have a good time. but much more importantly, we'll work hard and we're going to make america great, again. it's all about making america great, again. that's what we're going to do. that's what i said and that's how we won this big election and that's what we're in the process of doing and continuing and, general, it's really great tahave you onboard and thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you very much, everybody. >> mr. president -- >> we'll handle north korea. we'll be able to handle north korea. it will be handled. we handle everything. thank you very much.
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>> and you have been watching donald trump's first cabinet meeting with john kelly as chief of staff. we're looking to see who is around the table there. rick perry sitting there along with tom price, health and human services secretary and jeff sessions in the room. significant, of course, since it's the first time he's meeting face-to-face with president trump since the president called him beleaguered and slammed his ag. mattis and tillerson, interestingly. and then in the background there, jared kushner. we're told ivanka trump was also in the room. very notable. and john kelly, the new chief of staff. someone who knows general kelly very well, general mccaffrey. what stood out to you as shannon and chelsea join us on staff.
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from that cabinet meeting high praise from president trump on general kelly. on day one saying he is going to go down in history for being the best ever chief of staff. >> sure a lot of babble in washington, d.c. recently. it's astonishing. look, john kelly is one of the finest people i ever encountered in public service. he's got a tremendous amount of time in washington, d.c. for i think seven years in two different jobs he was the marine corps's congressional liaison person. he's organized. he's got integrity. good luck to all that. i don't see how, given somebody like scaramucci and kellyanne conway and two siblings. i don't see how he organizes a normal functioning white house staff. couple thousand people work there. i have been in and out of the clinton administration, the bush 41 administration. i don't see how he does it. >> what's the babble you're talking about, general? what have you heard that you think is babble?
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>> a good bit of what's said out of the white house. we talk about we're going to handle korea. north korea has now launched its second ibcm capable missile. it probably has a dozen or more nuclear weapons. they are not going to negotiate away their nukes. the chinese are not going to strangle them economically. we are not going to conduct a conventional first strike to try to eliminate their nukes. we're going to have to find some way to live with it and enhance our ballistic missile defense. i don't understand this confidence that we're going to handle it. >> when the president says it will be handled, as he very definitively said a couple minutes ago. you're not buying it? >> not at all. i think at the end of the day, we are going to have to accommodate a fact that we have a very dangerous rogue actor. north koreans want the u.s. troops out of korea. they want final victory to reunify the peninsula under
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their control. and they want to recognize the nuclear state. by the way, none of these goals are likely to achieve. they're going to end up as a target for u.s. nuclear weapons. we're going to have to watch them. we're going to have to develop direct energy weapons to try to isolate their missile capability. but at the end of the day, we are going to have to consider first strike on north korea, if we see them on the verge of launching. this is becoming more unstable, more dangerous as the years go by. >> you are the second outside analyst i heard today talk about the idea of potentially some sort of first strike against north korea. that is highly significant. how realistic is it? how close could the white house be to that? >> you know, look, if they end up as they have with submarine launch blisting.
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still clinging to the notion that they might not be able to miniaturize the weapon, nuclear weapon. that's silly, of course, in a very short order if they haven't already. so, i don't think that north korea is going to go away as an ongoing threat to regional security, south korea, australia, japan, u.s. armed forces in the pacific and now continental united states. if we saw that they were on the verge of a launch and like h minus one and holding, someone will clearly propose a first strike to eliminate the threat. we couldn't possibly absorb a nuclear strike on tokyo, seoul, los angeles, seattle, whatever. >> general, i want you to stand by for a moment because i want to get your take on other international issues that are happening today. i want to get kelsey and shannon
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to weigh in on this. you have not only north korea, although that happened at the cabinet meeting and you also have this issue with russia and the expulsion of all these diplomatic staff members as matt bradley was still talking about. they still think they will have a relationship with vladimir putin at this point. can it? >> this is what the trump administration said why they wanted to avoid sanctions with russia. and regardless of and you can argue the counterside of that, we're trying to work with them. trying to work with them in syria and ukraine and north korea. it makes it very difficult diplomatically for us to work with them when congress slaps these sanctions on them. but their hand was forced. they had to do something. and congress, you know, rightfully felt they needed to act after the elections and the hacking and the meddling and the invasion of crimia and every other shenanigan. >> i think it was notable when we were looking at the cabinet meeting the two people at the forefront of all of these
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issues. secretary mattis and secretary tillerson. very precarious moment for the administration, kelsey. the president clearly leaning on these advisors as you take a look at the video there and the guy in the background, jared kushner int kushner involved in international relations, as well. >> they are shifting the way they're thinking about this. there was a hope that congress wouldn't take action. take actions on these sanks. the congress feel like it is their only option. the only thing they can do in this situation is impose sanctions. it sets them up in a situation where they are, going, again, to be at odds with the white house. he's leaning on his advisors now who seem to be even further away from congress. i think escalating tensions here in washington over all of these things. >> a lot to unpack from the four minutes of video that we just watched, general mccaffrey. i want to watch before you go, you had strong words about what general kelly is now going to be dealing with inside the west wing. i'll ask you the question, then what advice do you have for your
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friend. what would you tell him to do. given the situation he finds himself in that is likely to not change. he has the same boss and the same kids in the room and jared and ivanka and the rest of the gang. what advice do you give him? >> one advice i have given most of these guys is it's okay to be fired, it's not okay to quit. so, i think that we're better off having a man of this integrity and good judgment in the white house than we were before. but i don't, i don't think there is going to be any change in president trump. you know, in the sense of coherence to the white house staff. the alienation from the other branches of government. the alienation from our allies, nato for god sakes at the heart and soul of u.s. national security. so, the only thing i can think of is that general kelly is an imposing, solid, you know, irish catholic working class values marine corps.
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he'll probably get treated with more respect mr. priebus was. >> have you spoken with general kelly since he was named to this new position? >> no, not at all. i wish him good luck. he's a fine man. >> naung fthank you for joininge on this show. i'll ask shannon and kelsey to hang out. we have been watching a lot overseas and here at home including with protests in venezuela expected fopd what can the u.s. do to protect democracy in the country with the biggest oil reserves on the planet? that's next. for your heart...
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we are back now with a look at your morning headlines with general john kelly now president trump's chief of staff. as of roughly an hour ago. the four-star general has a mission now, try to put order back into this chaotic west wing. in north korea, governor roy cooper plans to visit the bridge today where three pow er cables were damaged and sent two outer banks islands into the dark. this outage means 70,000 tourist husband to evacuate right at the height of the tourist season. there may not be power back for weeks after that. the u.s. department of homeland security says it's
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clee closely watching what's happening in australia. so far four people are in custody with the country's prime minister now saying airports are adding extra security. and the state department today is blasting that vote in venezuela, promising to do something strong soon and calling the whole thing flawed. but president maduras calling it a victory. a new assembly that will rewrite the copnstitution. this has been highly controversial to say the least and we have been following on this show the weeks for the deadly demonstrations in the streets. the ap is reporting that ten people were killed over the weekend in these fights between police and protesters. joining me now former u.s. ambassador patrick. thank you for being with us. you know this very well. ambassador to venezuela during the bush administration. walk us through your reaction what you have seen so far and, more importantly, what happens next? >> well, yesterday's election
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was really a sham. the venezuelan government blocked media from covering the voting. the relatively small number of venezuelans they can conjl into showing up at the polls were told to vote wherever is convenient. apparently the turnout was a fraction of what it was two weeks ago when the opposition held to reject this whole constituent assembly project. i think that's what's going on is the government is attempting to choreograph changes in the country's basic institutions in such a way that they will insulate themselves from criticism. the u.s. is threatening sanctions. >> go ahead, ambassador. i'm sorry. i want to fall on that point. you talk about the institution and then talk about sanctions what the u.s. does.
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does this mean as some have asked or questioned, is it the end of democracy here in ve venezuela. is that the end game here? >> if it has not been eradicated, it is on life support. the opposition is determined to act democratically. but the government has in a variety of ways made clear that they do not intend to risk being turned out of office. and that's why they're rewriting the constitution. that's what this is all about. to rewrite the constitution and marginalize the opposition. >> you mentioned sanctions. the u.s. will likely respond in some way or could respond in some way. are sanctions the best option? what should this administration do now? >> well, the u.s. has been sanctioning individuals to date. putting individuals on notice that they will be held
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personally responsible for violations of human rights, undermining democracy or substantial acts of corruption. now, the administration is considering broader sectoral or economic sanctions. this would suggest that the administration is looking at the oil sector, which is the only sector of the venezuelan economy that still works. but they're also working with governments around the region to try and put pressure on the maduro administration for this project and return to constitutional government. >> yeah. ambassador patrick duddy, thank you very much for that perspective from somebody who knows a thing or two about venezuela. we're headed back here to home outside the beltway going down to alabama, trum country. the home state of jeff sessions. what do folks there think about the twitter war on his attorney general in the same room? that's next.
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and choose the loan that's right for you. our average customer could lower their monthly bills by over three hundred dollars. go to right now. her long day as anne. hair stylist starts with shoulder pain when... hey joanne, want to trade the all day relief of 2 aleve with 6 tylenol? give up my 2 aleve for 6 tylenol? no thanks. for me... it's aleve. you know the cabinet meeting we have been showing you, president trump along with his top team inside the west wing? sitting across from his, his attorney general. literally face-to-face with the president for the first time since donald trump called jeff sessions beleaguered, slammed him for recusing himself from the russia investigations. sessions may not have a ton of support right now from his boss but he seems to have plenty back
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in alabama, his home state. mariana on the ground there in the home town of mobile where jeff sessions is from. you're talking with a lot of folks about this feud. some call it a one-sided feud. what are you hearing and what are people saying? >> so, hallie, almost everyone we spoke with here they defended the attorney general and quick to point out that he was the first senator to endorse donald trump as a candidate. but you'll also remember here in mobile where donald trump drew huge crowds as a candidate. he filled that stadium with 30,000 people early on. so, people here as you refer to it, they feel caught in the middle of this family feud, of this family spat. how one of the local papers referred to it over the weekend. bottom line, they want donald trump to handle this matter privately. >> i do wish that he would say drop his twitter account. and if he's got a gripe with jeff sessions, go to him. the whole world doesn't need to
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know how he and jeff might feel about a particular situation. >> so, hallie, i also spoke with the alabama republican party chair woman and she said she has been getting calls from all across the state in support of jeff sessions. she believed this stirred up the base and that is a large part of the reason why jeff sessions sti still. i want to bring in shannon and kelsey. you were just writing about jeff sessions and the leak investigations that he has now, what his department is now talking more about. how does this play out politically? >> try to get back on comfortable toucomfor comfortable turf with the president. i was told by someone close to the president that he has been trying to dial it back on the jeff sessions attack. i was waiting tasee if we started out with more jeff sessions and twitter attacks. maybe that is a step towards that direction. it was remarkable last week to see the conservatives on the hill, not just, obviously, in
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the deep south where sessions was from, but on the hill coming to his defense. people on the hill calling the white house directly saying, knock it off. conservative media rallying to jeff sessions. so, last week was a good test, you know. if the president wants to see how far can he go, i think he got his answer that the republican establishment, the hill, conservative media, they're going to rally behind jeff sessions at this point because they don't see sessions having done anything wrong. they see him as someone who has been incredibly effective at getting through a lot of the president's agenda. >> congress said they're not going to have hearings on this. not in the realm of things. >> not happening. >> they're not doing a new ag and sessions is well liked and well supported on the hill. yeah, it's not a wing argument for the president. >> the eye contact between the two guys. as we assess the situation there. an interesting moment for both of these men, particularly for the attorney general coming in likely across the table. >> it's a power move is what that is. >> what trump wants is someone
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to stand up to him. someone to look him in the eye and not back down. that was something he didn't see from reince priebus. we're talking more about the president kind of cutting ties with gop party faithfuls. not just priebus, sean spicer gone, too. dub him a president without a party. but is that a little overblown considering he is the republican president of the united states? we have the man behind that politico piece joining us next. if you have medicare
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if you just have, you know, erratic behavior unmohred from principle. >> talking about conservatism, talking about what it means to be a republican. the senator calling some of president trump's policies profoundly unconservative. after reince priebus exit from the wing there's that gulf between president and establishment republicans on the hill maybe growing deeper. today a new piece out in "politico" magazine suggesting the president is now a man without a party. joining the panel, the author of that piece and a friend of this show, tim alberta, national "politico" reporter of "politico" magazine. tim, you write about priebus, by
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firing him trump has severed a critical connection to his own party. not simply to major donors and gop congressional leaders but you write to the unruly broader constellation of affiliated organizations and individuals that priebus spent five years coraling. you see it there. strong words, my friend. so does the establishment republican party in washington really feel permanently cut off or is there a sense this still the president of the united states and he is still technically a republican. >> he is technically a republican, hallie, of course. i think what's most interesting is to talk to the congressional republicans about this. i think many of them certainly on background or off the record. but more and more of them on the record now are basically sharing the sentiment that for all intents and purposes it feels as though mike pence is the leader of the republican party. as a matter of fact i was with congressman will herd and i asked him point blank is donald trump the leader of the republican party. he used an expletive and said i
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don't know. i think that sums up the feelings of congressional republicans. i think what's important about priebus, you touched on this from the piece. he is obviously tagged as an stagment republican. that's what happens when you run the republican national committee. this somebody who on taking over rnc back in 2011 really made coalition building kind of the cornerstone of his job and really made sure he was making an effort to bring all of these disparate factions of the republican party into the tent. i think that it's really important to understand that by ousting priebus, it's not just severing that link to the establishment but losing somebody who has really been an ambassador to all corners of the republican party. that's really, really important, spectacular activists and donors. >> look ahead a little bit. what we've seen for the president's tweets, for example, references to rrps republicans as they or them. you know he's gone on attack against republicans on twitter. is this the next phase where the white house is going and attack on the establishment, not just severing ties, perhaps, with
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people who represent the establishment but going on offense here? >> i think it could be. i think that's certainly the fear of not only congressional republicans. when you talk to folks on the hill, i think for the last month or so, that fear has sort of been building. over the last couple weeks, people in the white house and i'm sure you've had similar conversations, people in the white house are now talking that same way. especially with the jeff sessions thing. i think that was a real turning point for some folks who have dismissed a lot of this as sort of, you know, hysteria and hy r hyperbole. many looking at jeff sessions, taking a step back, is this president ready to take on this new strategy of kind of a very harsh populist triangulation where he is going to willfully turn the base of the republican party against some of the politicians they already sent to washington and effectively make them choose. we saw some hints of this months
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ago, remember, when the first house health care bill failed and donald trump called out a number of house republicans by name essentially challenging their constituents to throw them out in 2018. >> let me tell you this, in your piece reporting, sparked a lot on the commercial break. kelsey, you were saying, yes, this is happening based on your reporting. >> this is absolutely happening in ranks all over congress, not just conservatives, establishment. they wonder who the president is to him. does he trust him? does he believe the same things as him. remember paul ryan during the campaign said he wasn't going to go out and defend the president anymore. now they have to be allied together. >> he's in a lonely place, congress, doj upset about jeff sessions, dod with transgender, law enforcement saying we don't want to rough anybody up. he's losing a lot of friends. the boy scouts. he's a lonely guy. >> thank you for joining us. "politico's" tim alberta, thank
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you for coming in as well. much appreciated to all of you. we'll be right back with today's big picture. so she only earns double miles on purchases she makes from that airline. what'd you earn double miles on, please? ugh. that's unfortunate. there's a better option. the capital one venture card. with venture, you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, everywhere, every day. not just airline purchases. seems like a no-brainer. what's in your wallet? rethink your allergy pills. flonase sensimist allergy relief helps block 6 key inflammatory substances with a gentle mist. most allergy pills only block one. and 6 is greater than one. flonase sensimist. ♪
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we are back with today's big picture. it's actually a bunch of small west nile. soldiers in vietnam belonging to former army medic, the first person given medal of honor from president trump. it is the highest military honor. he's receiving it after saving the lives of 10 other soldiers
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in a 1969 battle in vietnam even after he got hit by shrapnel and pul bullets. these are the pictures. the photographer for "associated press" will be covering that ceremony later today when it happens. in the mvp time i want to know your thoughts on today's big picture. hit me up on facebook, instagram, snapchat and twitter, i'll be there. i'll also be the white house which is where i'm watching now. thank you for watching this hour of "msnbc live" i'll pass it over to ali velshi. >> medal of honor are my favorite days. politics aside for a little while as we focus on real heroes. thank you, we'll see you later this afternoon. i'm ali velshi. stephanie ruhle it off. chief of staff sworn in. on this so-called american dreams meet can kelly stop the chaos after a week that's widely seen as political tm


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