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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  September 22, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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tonight the trump team and russia, new "wall street journal" reporting on after he left the campaign. an update tonight on the mueller investigation. also tonight, on the same day trump orders new sanctions on north korea, kim jong-un calls him mentally deranged and vows the u.s. president will face results beyond his expectation. and the one positive thing seven in ten americans have been able to agree upon where it comes to donald trump. that and more as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a thursday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 245 of the trump administration and we have a new look tonight at the sheer amount of information that robert mueller is said to be gathering about former trump campaign
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chairman paul manafort. a new headline from the "wall street journal" tonight reads, "the u.s. monitored manafort after he left trump campaign." the report says surveillance of manafort "didn't involve listening to mr. manafort's conversations in realtime u.s. officials are knowledge of the matter said, but armed with a warrant investigators could have conducted clandestine surveillance of mr. manafort possibly by obtaining copies of his e-mails and other electronically stored communications or by having agents follow him or conduct physical searches of his property." nbc news, we should tell you, has not verified this report. this news comes as an analysis piece in the "washington post" posed an interesting question and theory. "trump versus manafort? the white house sounds ready go to war." that got our attention today. teams from the two men appear to be engaged in a back and forth playing out in the papers.
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the piece cites last night's "post" report saying manafort offered give a kremlin-linked russian billionaire private briefings on president '16 campaign. investigators think his e-mail showed he wanted to profit from his role to the trump campaign. "bloomberg politics" reporter margaret talev spoke to trump's lawyer, ty cobb, who said, "it would be truly shocking if manafort trying to monetize his relationship with the president." a manafort spokesman quoted tonight saying "it's unclear if manafort was the objective, perhaps the real objective was donald trump." tonight we also have a new bit of information from politico, it reports that mueller requested the phone records having to do with a flight on air force one, you may recall this, a flight to the u.s. coming home from that european summit.
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it was on that flight that a statement was crafted explaining why don jr. allowed this meeting of russians at trump tower. the statement was more of a cover story as we learned the truth later. politico also reports mueller is interested in more about the firing of fbi director comey. specifically, a statement sean spicer made as the white house was reportedly gearing up to fire comey, but before it happened. and here it is. >> yesterday, the president tweeted that fbi director james comey gave hillary clinton a, quote, free pass from any bad deeds. is the president comfortable having an fbi director that gives out free passes served during his administration? >> the president has confidence in the director, but i think clearly his point was after some of the comments that were made yesterday, regarding the reason for the outcome of the election, i think he wanted to make it clear what exactly happened. >> and that man, sean spicer, himself, was in the news today. according to axios, his former
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colleagues say he filed notebook after notebook away, filled them up with copious notes during meetings and his time with the trump campaign and white house. axios indicated the notebooks could be a bonanza for robert mueller. a white house official quoted as saying, "people are going to wish they'd be nicer to sean. he was in a lot of meetings." good point to get into our leadoff panel here tonight. elisabeth bumiller for "the new york times," veteran of the beat political campaigns. robert costa, national political reporter for the "washington post." host of washington pbs. we welcome back jill wine-banks, former assistant watergate counsel. jill, you get to start tonight because you're the lawyer of the
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bunch. what stands out to you about the reports of the surveillance, if true, especially when they are said to have engaged? >> if the reports are true that a lot of this happened after he left the white house, maybe he's in trouble for things that have nothing to do with donald trump, or it could be because we also are reading that he stayed in constant touch with donald trump, that it still relates to donald trump. and certainly the list of documents that have been requested by mueller all relate to actions by donald trump. so at least it's to the documents donald trump is the center of attention and would be very interesting. >> for clarity's sake, paul manafort never made it to the white house. he was campaign chairman. jill, learning what we now know in these reports, again, if true about surveillance, knowing that it also featured a kind of
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forced entry raid search warrant of his home in virginia, does that not overscore some of this? >> it does, and, of course, using -- picking a lock to get in means that you suspect that the person whose documents you're trying to get to execute the search warrant may be someone you can't trust, someone who would flush the evidence down the toilet, is usually the case. it's usually drug dealers that you want to break in and get. so they were cooperating, supposedly, he was testifying. they must have had reason to suspect -- in order to get such a warrant, they would have had to prove to a court there was reason to suspect he might destroy the evidence if they knocked on the door. so that does look very bad and it certainly is focusing on paul manafort. >> elisabeth, let's honor a time-honored journalistic tradition and ask the question, so what have we learned? but let me limit the scope because a week is a year in this story. what have we learned this week about manafort, about the
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mueller investigation, and why this was a bad week for the white house? >> we've learned, based on a lot of the "times" reporting, that robert mueller is being extremely aggressive in this investigation. as we reported this week, he -- they did the predawn raid of mueller's house, as jill was roughing to. they broke in, photographed expensive suits in his closet as evidence to show he seemed to be making a lot of money. they told him that -- prosecutors told him he was going to be indicted. robert mueller is playing a very tough game here. in addition, we learned this week his team requested a vast number of documents from the white house as you mentioned earlier in the program, 13 different areas. many of them are focused on the president's own actions. mueller wants documents related to the president's firing of comey, the fbi director, the firing of michael flynn as first
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national security adviser. mueller wants documents related to the meeting the president had in the oval office in may with russian officials in which he that said comey was a nut job. he wants documents related to a trump tower meeting in june 2016 with russian officials and trump campaign officials and also, as you reported earlier, he wants documented related to a drafting misstatement on air force one about that meeting that was extremely misleading. this leads up to an extremely aggressive investigation, squeezing people like paul manafort and really, really, really pressuring the white house. >> robert, the journalism this week by elisabeth's paper and by your paper has cast in its sum total a heck of a chill over the white house stretching down
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pennsylvania avenue to the capitol behind you. take us wherever you wish. what has it done there? also, this notion of teams for manafort versus the white house. disturbing word that came out. >> based on my conversations this week with my sources inside and outside the west wing, you're right, brian, it's a thicket around this white house. a growing thicket that they really can't control. they're not really sure what's out there in terms of what the special counsel is going after, but they see these stories by "the new york times" and my colleagues at the "washington post" about manafort and his dealings with wealthy russian figures and wondering what else is manafort saying? wondering is mueller using manafort as a way to get more information? manafort was, of course, in the meeting with donald trump jr. to go over possible information with russian figures about secretary clinton. then that meeting in the oval office and on air force one about how to respond to the news of that meeting is also under
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the special counsel's scrutiny. all these factors are just surrounding the white house as they try to plod forward. >> and how high does the concern go? i'm asking specifically about the president. >> it's fair to say based on my reporting that president trump is paying very close attention to every russia story. he continues to insist privately, i'm told, by his confidants, that there was not collusion, but he's very aware of the burden that these stories and this investigation and the special counsel have on his presidency and his ability to govern. >> jill, is it your view, watching him and watching these stories unfold, that he is, perhaps, getting and taking the advice of counsel and he has laid off this topic on twitter? >> he certainly seems to have been quieter and that seems to
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be good because even his supporters are not happy with his tweets. as to manafort, i think it's also important to keep in mind when we look at how aggressive mueller is being that he may be trying to flip manafort. so that depends on whether manafort actually has some interesting knowledge of some of these actions. we don't know that because he wasn't there during some of the key times. but he does have, from everything that we've learned about him, some very potential legal liabilities in terms of money laundering and foreign representation that could get him in legal trouble so that there's a good way to pressure him. they have some leverage if he has knowledge. and that may be what all this is about. >> hey, elisabeth, that's quote in let's call it robert's paper, about people are going to wish they'd been nicer to sean is so washington.
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and turns out, here's a guy taking copious notes. usually when you work in the white house, an adult takes you aside and says, probably best not to write stuff down. it turns out he's done the opposite. what's the level of exposure here, because sean spicer has not been a man in this conversation until now. >> well, obviously, they want every single notebook and it will be a very, very close-in record of meetings they're very concerned and curious about. so, you know, other -- listen, other press secretaries i know have taken these kind of notes. you take the notes because you have to remember what happens so you can go out and tell the press about it, tell the press at least some about it. so that's -- you know, he was taking sort of an official record and, you know, he will be a key figure now i think. >> robert, turns out the quote was neither, it was axios news service. but at the same time, mueller's investigation has taken up a lot
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of the oxygen this week. people tend to forget that behind you at either end of that building, senate and house, there are other dual investigations. anything you can update us on the status of those? >> the congressional investigation is more about broad questions regarding russia collusion. we're seeing the congressional investigators this week looking into the involvement of social media companies like facebook, russian entities buying advertising on those platforms to potentially influence the u.s. election and the congressional investigation believes it is now separate, but somewhat intertwined, with the special counsel. in some ways, they will overlap. they're really looking more at who they can have come before them privately or publicly on capitol hill to reveal more about the collusion aspect, rather than potential obstruction of justice or the inside the white house details. >> jill, do lawyers prefer you not take copious notes in these jobs in the executive branch? >> well, prosecutor lawyers are
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very happy when it happens. >> sure. >> and in watergate, we had haldeman, who was the chief of staff, who took copious notes. and i'd like to remind the audience that one of the missing tapes, there's an 18 1/2 minute gap in one tape, and the evidence we had of what took place in that was haldeman's notes that said at that exact moment in the tape, that they were discussing watergate. >> of course. >> so we know what it was about because of those notes. >> poor rosemary woods took the fall for that up. elisabeth, a point of personal privilege here. looking back in our archives, 16 years ago today, "new york times" page 1, elisabeth bumiller. washington, date line september 20th. "president bush demanded tonight that afghanistan leaders immediately deliver osama bin laden and his network and close down every terrorist camp in the
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country." that was your lead written on deadline. think about what kind of a place our country was. september 11th had just transpired. we were still trying to figure out who and where the enemies were. what do you remember about that time and what do you make about the years since with this in mind? >> there are -- i have so many memories. september 10th, 2001, was my first day on the white house beat for "the new york times," and it was the last normal day i had on the beat. the next day i walked into the office and i saw a plane had hit the world trade center my first thought was, oh, i won't have much to do today because that's obviously a big metro story for the "times" in new york, it's a big accident. by i got up to the bureau, the second floor, a second plane hit. i knew this was terrorism. i went to the white house. by the time i got there, people were running out of the white house. it was being evacuated. i have lots and lots of memories of those days.
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i do remember -- there's a line -- i hadn't read that story for a long time until you sent it to me tonight. there's a line i remember. michael gerson, remember, bush's speechwriter, wonderful speechwriter. there's a line where the president says, "all of this happened to us and it came upon us in a single day and night fell on a different world." and that's exactly what happened. i remember jill abramson who was then the washington bureau chief of the "times," we assembled in the conference room of the bureau on september 11th and later in the afternoon, and she said to all of us assembled there, "this is what we will do now." 16 years later, she's right. that's what we did. that's what we are doing right now. >> to her point and to yours, i would argue september 10th, 2001, was the last normal day, period. elisabeth bumiller, robert costa, jill wine-banks. thanks for being with us, the three of you.
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we'll take our first break. coming up, what's the chance jimmy kimmel is going to be the man who kills the new health care bill? plus the threat of a nuclear north korea was heavy on the agenda at the united nations here in new york. much more when the hour continues. hi. i'm the one clocking in... when you're clocking out. sensing your every move and automatically adjusting to help you stay effortlessly comfortable.
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the united states has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea.
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rocketman is on a suicide mission for himself, and for his regime. >> welcome back. president trump followed up that threat to north korea with an executive order today, imposing stricter sanctions against the country, essentially banning anyone who does business with north korea from doing business with the united states. more on that in just a moment. trump made this announcement during a meeting with leaders of the countries most threatened by north korea, that would be south korea and japan, two of our strongest allies. the conversation today shifted slightly away from military options where it's been for weeks with trump leaving the door open at least to a diplomatic resolution. >> is dialogue still possible with north korea? is dialogue still possible? >> why not? >> thank you, guys. >> thank you. >> also today, north korean president kim jong-un issued a
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direct response to trump's fiery address at the u.n. this week. get comfortable for this one. in a statement to the korean state news agency, he said all this. "i am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such excentric words to trip off his tongue. whatever trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation. i will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged u.s. dotard with fire." what beyond his expectation means we cannot be sure, but the north korean foreign minister, who's here in new york for the general assembly, warned the south korean press corps tonight this, "it could be the most powerful detonation of an "h" bomb in the pacific." could be, he said. with us here tonight, andrea mitchell, our chief foreign affairs correspondent who's been covering this topic in this region for a long time.
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and joe cirincione, joe, i never -- cirincione. this is tough. i know it's late. joe cirincione, author of three relevant books for our conversation. "nuclear nightmare: securing the world before it's too late," "bomb scare: the history and future of nuclear weapons" and "deadly arsenals: nuclear, biological and chemical threats." also a veteran of the house armed services committee staff and teaches at georgetown university where they have get his name right at the completion of the term. for the record, dotard was the most searched for word of the night on websters and it means old or senile, or in my case, unable to get cirincione right. andrea, a day of real sanctions, where does this thing stand tonight. >> sort of good news and bad news. i'm not going to attempt joe's
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last name. his book covers are enough to scare the heck out of you. >> we've known him for years. >> let's talk first about perhaps the positive side, the president acknowledging there is still room for dialogue or diplomacy, and this in answer to a reporter's question, and also successful sanction announcements. i mean, whether they are carried out, whether there was cheating remains to be seen. but someone as smart as john mclaughlin, former deputy cia director whom you know well said this is real, this will bite, this is china's central bank basically agreeing to go with the system that the obama treasury used to get the international banking system known as the s.w.i.f.t. system against the rogue state. >> so it does work? >> basically means if i can
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paraphrase steve mnuchin at a briefing today, either decide if you're a nation or a bank, whether you want to trade in dollars and deal with the u.s. or deal with pyongyang's currency in pyongyang. you can't do both. so you want if deal in the world economy, which china does, which russia presumably does, you can't also deal with pyongyang. this would, if effectively monitored, actually cut off the flow of resources to north korea and cripple eventually its very expensive military system. that said, there's been a lot of cheating before. >> joe, all this military talk back and forth reaches this kind of fever dream crescendo and it's hard to walk back from that. so did you welcome the talk of diplomacy? did you welcome these new sanctions? >> it's a thin ray of hope, the president's two-word statement when asked if it's still possible to talk to north korea, he said why not. remember their strategy is maximum pressure and engagement. okay. you got the maximum pressure.
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very bellicose, going to say reckless speech at the u.n., now serious new sanctions. great. but if your strategy are sanctions, you don't have a strategy. pressure points. where are the talks, where's the engagement? if you were going to start talking to north korea, now would be a good time because the rhetoric is ratcheting up. kim's statement today was probably the most serious, coldly sober statement that he's given. it's personal. he never does that. it was written with a "to the president of the united states." if donald trump thought that he had solved this problem with a tough speech and some tough sanctions, you see them slapping high fives and spiking footballs, this game ain't over. it's just beginning. it could get ugly very quickly. >> andrea, i truly hate to say this, but in four months and change from tonight, the olympic games, the winter olympic games are supposed to take place in pyeongchang, south korea.
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>> i know. >> within artillery range of the north. did anyone think kim jong-un was not going to threaten the games? rhetorical question. i ask that because france was the first of the big nations today to say, in effect -- well, here it is. "france to stay home from winter olympics if no korea security guarantee, says sports minister." andrea, this is a big problem, you're going to have representatives from the entire free world just south of that dmz. >> absolutely, that's a lot of leverage. reminds me of 1980 when, of course, jimmy carter canceled the american participation in the moscow olympics because of the russian -- the soviet then invasion of afghanistan. look, one thing about this is north korea loves sports and they have combined marches and combined teams for the first time in recent olympics with south korea. it's the only area in which they engage other than that economic
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zone that no longer is very vibrant because of the current troubles. so there was hope that north korea would not use the olympic games as part of this escalation, but then as joe cirincione, i think i got it right, as joe says, this speech to the united nations, i believe, is the wrong counterpoint to the stick of the sanctions. the fact of deriding him as rocketman and talking about destroying another country from the podium, of a multilateral organization created and devoted to world peace and to collective action for peace, is so wrong-footed. and so the fact that he was taunting and deriding kim jong-un almost begging for this dotard slur in response. and who knows whether these are just empty words. >> joe, how does something like rocketman as a taunt, as -- intended to be a diminishing
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nickname, how does that translate? >> well, it translates into an insult to kim jong-un, so he's threatened with a serious loss of face, he has to stand up. unfortunately the president actually gave him what kim jong-un wants. he gave him the visible demonstration of the united states' threat. remember, kim's whole dynasty is built on the fact he's the defender of the country because the united states wants to destroy them. now he's got the sound bite of the century. he has the president of the united states saying we will totally destroy north korea. he just has to play that over and over again. so what does kim do? well, the foreign minister today is threatening that there could be an atmospheric test, a live test of a nuclear weapon, in the pacific. in other words, they might lob a long-range missile over japan with a nuclear warhead on it to explode in the pacific. this would be a major escalation, a major threat, but
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this is what the foreign minister said today. if they do that, what does trump do? and here you go. you've got two inexperienced, impulsive, some would say unstable presidents, playing a game of nuclear chicken in the most heavily militarized area on earth. this could go very wrong. >> and andrea, the world may be forced at some point to live with this notion, they say, is a deal breaker, a nuclear north korea. >> well, jim clapper said they will not denuclearize, that after his first visit to pyongyang in 2014, he came back absolutely persuaded north korea will be a nuclear power. containment and verification is the only solution, diplomatic solution which accepts them as a nuclear power, tries to bring them back into the world of nations. there are other nuclear powers, of course, we are one of them and not all of them are declared as you know. one other thing, there was a briefing last night by the secretary of state, rex
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tillerson, trying to explain both the iran policy and he was asked about north korea and whether breaking out of the iran agreement, which they are kind of vacillating about, to stay the least, they're trying to find an artful way to stay in while toughening it up by persuading the allies somehow to toughen it up and persuading iran to accept that which it says it won't. that said, what is the message to north korea by all this talk that they're going to break out of the iran agreement? what is the incentive for north korea -- >> yeah. >> -- to do anything at the negotiating table? when he believes that the nuclear deterrence is his survival. >> to joe's chilling point, if we get imagery like the old bikini atoll test we saw and scared the hell out of us as young kids in this country, i wonder what that will do to the free world. andrea mitchell, joe cirincione, thank you both very much. >> thank you, brian. >> sobering conversation. we'll have you both on and do it again. coming up, the fight over
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health care, as we say, this time around. and why alaska is getting so much of the attention these days. when "the 11th hour" continues.
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they claim as the president did it protects people with pre-existing conditions but it doesn't guarantee them protection. all you need to know is this. this is how the vice president,
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himself, dodged that question this morning on "fox & friends." >> with that, can you guarantee governors will make sure pre-existing conditions are covered? >> thomas jefferson said the government that governs least governs best. the question people ought to ask, who will be more responsive to the health care needs in your community, your governor and state legislature, or congressman and a president in a far off nation's capital? >> is neither an option? i would pick that. i'm pretty sure, by the way, i think he just told us we can't trust the president. their argument is it's better to put these decisions in the hands of the states. and i mean, have you seen some our states? if florida could make their own decisions, it would be legal to bring an alligator into a strip club, okay? >> welcome back to "the 11th hour." comedian jimmy kimmel on abc continued his late-night battle against the cassidy/graham health care battle. that was from tonight. "washington post" reports -- the bill's other primary
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sponsor, senator lindsey graham, republican, south carolina, defended his plan to redistribute funds from blue state to red states earlier today. >> i take them down over a ten-year period. we have a soft landing for those states. 2026, here's what i tell chris coons, every patient in every state will get the same contribution from the federal government to deal with health care, as every other state. >> let's talk about all of it. rick stengel is here with us, former undersecretary for public diplomacy, and public affairs at the u.s. state department. also the former managing editor of "time" magazine. jonathan lemire is back with us, white house reporter for the associated press. both gentlemen msnbc contributors. jonathan, we should say about jimmy kimmel he'd probably give anything not to be part of the health care debate.
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his infant son was born with a heart defect. he went on the air after that and talked about how he had every advantage. he had top-flight physicians, medical staffs at hospitals making way, doing whatever they could. and he wondered aloud what about the people who don't? that's what put him into this debate. you happen to think there is, to quote you, some life in this bill on the hill. >> first of all, you're right about jimmy kimmel, he has become, frankly, one of the more effective and widely known -- >> yeah. >> -- opponents of this legislation. but there is a possibility this thing has some legs to it. we don't know, of course, things can change. but we're at the moment now where it does seem to have momentum in the senate, where they know they have 47, 48 sort of firm votes even though the contents of the bill remain rather mysterious. opposition against it is mounting. even the insurance companies are starting to come out and say this is problematic, there's going be a cut in spending,
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people are going to lose their insurance. republicans want to forge forward, very least want to try to bring this to a vote next week to try to, you know, put some names on it. i was on "morning joe" this morning, senator flake from arizona spoke about how john mccain, who is the decisive vote last time, very well could be the key vote again. that they have been talking, certainly mccain is not committing one way or the other but lindsey graham is, of course, his best friend in the senate. that's going to play on him here. and we are learning last day or so some the sweeteners are starting to dish out for some of the senators particularly alaska where they could be almost offering them, hey, you can keep obamacare in some fashion, some of the grants, protections of obamacare, if you sign on to this plan. >> of course, rick, at that point what are you really passing? we should point out the lumber lining up against this. just tonight, all 50 state medicaid directors have come out against it. a lot of organizations and
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companies and lawmakers and governors. so there's that pressure against the republicans. there's also the question would this give the democrats at least something to run on? >> i guess so. i mean, it's -- >> a pretty cynical way of longing at -- >> yes, it is. >> sorry, i just ask the questions. >> you know, it's not repeal and replace. it's repeal and you guys figure it out. and i find the whole idea, which the republicans have had for decades, of taking medicaid and using it as block grants in the states, it's just like -- federalism is a fine thing, but federalism when it come to medical care, i don't know why doctors in north carolina are better at heart surgery than doctors in new jersey or florida or why an aspirin costs more in new jersey than it does in pennsylvania. part of the problem with the costs of our medical care system is that it hasn't been centralized. it has been devolved to the
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states. one of the virtues of obamacare, it regulated all that. what this does, it sends it back to the states. mississippi is the sickest state in the country and you want the state officials in mississippi to figure out your health care? i don't think so. >> you heard the vice president, though. >> well, i think that was a misquote. government that governs least governs best wasn't from thomas jefferson. i think that was abraham lincoln. so i wouldn't trust him with quotes. i wouldn't trust him to do my health care, either. >> more on government when we come back. we're going to fit in a break here. both guests staying with us. and coming up, the president promising he would unite the country. latest poll numbers show he's got a lot of work to do on that front, specifically. more when "the 11th hour" continues. any differently? complete the job with listerine® help prevent plaque, early gum disease, bad breath and kill up to 99.9% of germs. listerine® bring out the bold™
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welcome back to "the 11th hour." new polling from nbc news and the "wall street journal" shows americans liked president trump reaching across the aisle to
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make a spending deal with democrats, but that was about all they liked this past month. 71%, what a notable number, 71% of americans approved of the president's agreement, his reach out to his new friends, chuck and nancy, and the president saw his overall approval rating slide up by three points. however, only 36% of americans approved of the president's handling of north korea. only 20% of americans approved of president trump's handling of the violence in charlottesville, virginia. rick stengel, jonathan lemire continue with us. we researched the quote, as many of you probably did as well. it's not jefferson. we believe it's thoreau who might, it turns out, have been quoting someone else. >> always happens. >> yeah. about these numbers. jonathan lemire, how will the president see these numbers? >> first we can say the
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president will see these number. he's keenly aware of public opinion. let's remember he started nearly every rally quoted, back during the primaries. >> which he hasn't been doing for obvious numbers. will he start quoting the numbers? >> i don't think so. largely this is not great his handling of certain issues. i think the idea of the approval behind the bipartisan outreach -- >> yeah. >> -- is striking. i think he will see that. we know he enjoyed the favorable press coverage of reaching out to chuck and nancy, he frankly told chuck and nancy themselves he thought it was a really good thing he did this, he loved all the headlines. i think there's something else striking here, though, when he did do that, there are voices on the right, rush limbaughs, laura ingrahams, steve kings who said the base is going to leave him, reaching out across the aisle. not going to fulfill promises. they're going to leave him. there are a lot of republican voters who are not leaving him. which is the idea this. his base is the trump base.
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let's remember the famous quote, i can go on to 5th avenue, i can shoot someone, my supporters would stay with me. it's not a -- reaching across the aisle is is not the equivalent of shooting someone on 5th avenue in the minds of most. this is the moment where it's not the republican base that follows donald trump, it's the donald trump base that follows donald trump. a testament to people who vote for him for his personality, for his personal appeal and strength. >> rick stengel, you heard it say before, that the worst thing that happened to modern politics was mcconnell and reid because during their time in the senate, it became about them, about the game, about obstruction. the one thing people have told us through pollsters for years is, we want to see some compromise, we want to see both sides getting along. people have been consistent about that. that's why the president popped a number when he had the democrats over for dinner. >> yes, and so that number is pretty astonishing. there's another number that jumped out at me in the fine print of the poll.
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he only went up by three points among republicans. he went up a tiny bit among dems. he went up ten points among independents. >> yeah. >> that is what -- if i were a democrat, that would worry me because he has that trump base that you're talking about, but if he starts moving into independents who are -- at least this guy seems to be trying to come across the aisle, that would be worrisome for democrats and in the number will leap out for them, too. >> terrific conversation. thanks as well to henry david thoreau who couldn't be with us tonight, rick stengel, jonathan lemire could. thank you, gentlemen, for coming in. officials in puerto rico warning tonight it may be weeks, maybe months before power is restored to that island. plus the search continuing for survivors in central mexico after tuesday's deadly earthquake. all of it to come as we continue.
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[ speaking foreign language ] can you imagine your child being found after two days or worse, your child not being found in that wreckage? those were images captured by a volunteer in mexico city working to rescue small children trapped inside the collapsed school building. latest update, according to the assistant navy secretary, all of the children have been accounted for. many were killed, survivors were hospitalized, and a lot of the rescue work goes on hand. seismologist have been worried that there hasn't been as many
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aftershocks as expected. the death toll from this 7.1 earthquake stands at 273 people. most of the fatalities have been in mexico city. untold numbers still missing. mexican president said today once the immediate needs of the community are met, the basics of food, water, shelter, a census will be conducted in mexico city. in puerto rico, the entire island remains without power after hurricane maria tore across it. it'll remain that way sadly for months. most likely the gravity of the situation cannot be overstated as of yet. 3.5 million u.s. citizens living in total darkness many without a home for shelter, some lacking food and running water. heavy rain continued throughout today. tonight the entire island is under some version of a flood watch. maria continues to churn through the caribbean hitting the
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dominican republic today as a category 3. national weather service expects it to turn toward the bahamas and the turks and caicos island chain by friday. another break for us here. still ahead a member of the trump cabinet in trouble for luxury travel paid for by all of us. and no one knows how this one is going to end. we're back with more right after this. crohn's disease. you're more than just a bathroom disease. you're a life of unpredictable symptoms. crohn's, you've tried to own us. but now it's our turn to take control with stelara®
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stelara® works differently for adults with moderately to severely active crohn's disease. studies showed relief and remission, with dosing every 8 weeks. stelara® may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before or during treatment, always tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have flu-like symptoms or sores, have had cancer, or develop any new skin growths, or if anyone in your house needs or recently had a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion, and vision problems. these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions can occur. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. we're fed up with your unpredictability. remission can start with stelara®. talk to your doctor today. janssen wants to help you explore cost support options for stelara®.
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last thing before we go here tonight. our colleagues in journalism especially in washington are working hard and breaking stories every day, to wit. from the a guardian a story head line trump is assembling the most male dominated group in decades. it's four to one male, 80% of the nominations have gone to men, putting donald trump on track to assemble the most male-dominated federal government in nearly a quarter century. one of those men is former congressman tom price, he's now secretary of health and human services and he's in trouble for a politico investigation showing he has taken at least 24 flights on private charter aircraft since early may. he's always positioned himself
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as a budget cutter. here he is in 2009 calling for a end to private jets available to members of congress. >> i think we've made it halfway where we ought to, cut it from eight to four jets, now we need to cut from four to zero jets. this is another example of fiscal irresponsibility run amuck in congress. i hope they agree we should move it from four to zero. scott pruitt, head of the epa, he has a security detail for round the clock protection totaling 18 people. this is according to the washington post. that's three times roughly that of his predecessors in the job. it has required bringing epa agents in from the field, and it comes as the white house wants to cut the epa budget by nearly one-third. that is our broadcast for
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tonight. thank you for being here with us and good night from all of us at nbc news headquarters here in new york. a war of words with north korea. kim jong-un hits back against president trump's speech. plus in the aftermath of this week's deadly earthquake in mention so, survivors are still being pulled from the rubble. and hurricane maria continues to leaf a trail of destruction across the caribbean as flood waters ravage puerto rico, residents face months without power. ♪ good morning. it's friday, september 22nd. i'm here with


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