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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  October 6, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. donald trump today doubled down on his cryptic calm before the storm reference from last night. now, we have been scratching our heads to figure out what he's talking about. north korea? rex tillerson? paul manafort? it's probably just a coincidence but one hour before his first reference to the calm before the storm, this story broke. nbc news reported that bob mueller's team had traveled to interview christopher steele. steele is the former british intelligence officer who compiled the dossier. the dossier which contained some salacious material also contained unsubstantiated examples of possible collusion between donald trump's campaign and russia. we have learned in recent days that multiple investigations are working to corroborate some of the dossier's contents. this afternoon, nbc's ken delanian reported more, that steele is also in talks with the senate intelligence committee to meet with them and to assist
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them in their investigation into potential collusion between trump's campaign and russia. ken will join us in a couple minutes. with steele availing himself to mueller and to the senate intelligence committee, it becomes more likely that the contents of his original report will be further investigated and potentially some of them confirmed. for a glimpse into how that might make the president feel, here's a look at his first public reaction to the dossier. >> i saw the information. i read the information. outside of that meeting. it's all fake news. it's phony stuff. it didn't happen. and it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know, because you reported it and so did many of the other people. it was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together. >> now, there are still questions about who paid for the original report, but i spoke to a well-respected former national security official in the uk this
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morning. he said that steele was known as a quote, good operator who understood russia and who compiled the report as an intelligence product comprised largely of human intelligence. he said that the process that both mueller and potentially the senate intelligence committee are undergoing would put that raw intelligence product through the kinds of rigorous checks that it would go through if steele were still an mi6 agent, and not a businessman. he said that if that results in a corroborative product it would potentially be of great interest to the investigation. to our experts now. nbc news intelligence and national security reporter, ken delanian. michael crowley, senior foreign affairs correspondent for politico. boston herald's chief washington reporter kimberly atkins and joining us on the phone, msnbc national security analyst, jeremy bash. jeremy, let me start with you and ask you to respond to that reaction from someone who knew christopher steele's work product, someone who knew of his
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reputation in the uk, someone who knew of his knowledge and expertise when it came to russia, saying that if now this product that was created by a businessman is put through the rigors of an investigation like bob mueller's or the senate intelligence committee, that it could potentially be very significant. >> what bob mueller will do is take the statements made in the steele dossier, they were essentially statements made by steele's sources and his subsources which steele recounted in those documents, and they will begin to try to align those with specific evidence, with travel records, with e-mail, with telephone records, and they will try to figure out what checks out and that will provide additional leads and additional avenues of inquiry for the mueller investigators. it's one thing, important thing to note that bob mueller's field investigators in this investigation are fbi agents. fbi agents are the ones who are actually doing the work on behalf of the special counsel,
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and we know that christopher steele did enjoy good relationships, strong relationships, with line fbi agents in a variety of investigations. so i think there is going to be a lot of collaboration, a lot of work here as these investigative streams come together. >> ken, let me ask you to speak to the story that you broke this afternoon, that there may in fact be some sort of breakthrough, some ability for the senate intelligence committee which just a couple days ago said they had hit a wall when it came to this dossier. that wall may not be there anymore, is that right? >> well, depends on who you ask. our sources for this story were sort of taking issue with the way the chairman of the intelligence committee, richard burr, characterized the situation with steele, saying we asked to talk to him and he's refused. apparently it's more complicated than that. steele has offered to talk to the committee but they haven't been able to come to an agreement on conditions, on the circumstances, and burr made it
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pretty clear he wants to know who paid for the dossier. that is something as i understand it that steele is unwilling to discuss. he's not willing to go there. there also may be a debate about sources. steele may be zealously guarding the identities of his sources. i also want to step back and say maybe frame this a little differently about how we should understand what's happening with the dossier. don't forget, the dossier has been around, was published in january, and the fbi has had parts of it at least since last summer. so it's not like they are just now starting to investigate. they have been investigating it all along. what i find significant about mueller's team going to talk to steele now is it suggests they are still examining parts of it. they may have follow-up questions. there may be leads they are following and that they haven't discounted parts of it. that's remarkable, because as you know, this dossier makes extraordinary allegations against the president of the united states. >> and michael crowley, just to
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speak to sort of the care and caution with which i think we all exercise when we talk about it, that is largely around the explosive nature of some of the more salacious aspects but a smart man named ken dilanian told me to follow the money. i wonder if you can speak to sort of the connection between what the dossier suggests in terms of financial ties between the trump organization, the trump orbit, and russia, and where we know some of the mueller probe to be pushing and the kinds of things that have come out. there's not a lot of leaks from the mueller probe but just based on the kinds of people we know he's interested in talking to, where do you see a potential overlay? >> right. i think that it's important to remember that the dossier describes a years-long project to cultivate donald trump on the part of the kremlin, that long predates his presidential candidacy. it suggests that russia saw in
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trump a sort of potential asset on the basis of his wealth and fame many years ago, and describes various ways in which business deals, potential business deals and business relationships were a way for russia to cultivate trump. we know that mueller -- well, it appears to be the case based among other things we have heard i believe from financial institutions that there have been news stories suggesting some of their records have been summoned by mueller, that he's looking into donald trump's business records, real estate deals and i think that one can reliably or reasonably speculate that mueller is trying to figure out well, was this going on, did trump have business relationships with russia, potentially going back before the start of his presidential
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campaign, in which we would see evidence of, you know, big russian money potentially directed from the kremlin going into trump properties or trump businesses. this is all speculative right now, but it's i think somewhat more plausible than the most explosive allegations in the dossier which suggests that, you know, there could be compremat on trump based on his personal behavior in moscow which hasn't been proven but would be pretty astounding, whereas the business relationship i think is something that people are watching more closely as a potential source of trouble for him. >> kimberly, i would like you to weigh in on the fact that these two stories broke and exploded on cable news in the hour before the president held a public event with military leaders and
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their spouses, and made this bizarre comment that we were perhaps experiencing the calm before the storm. now, he could have been talking about a new golf course or a war with north korea. we don't know. but we know he watches a lot of tv. we know that the russia investigation is his raw nerve. what do you think, do you have any theories or have you picked up from your sources any theories about what he's talking about with the calm before the storm? >> yeah. you know, i think people honestly don't know even within the white house, they don't know. he was standing with military leaders, as you know. he likes to talk about the military strength of the united states. maybe he was just saying something off the cuff and bombastic which he thought fit the occasion. we don't know. perhaps he was trying to sort of lob something out there. remember when he floated the idea of taped conversations with james comey that turned out not to exist at all. perhaps he was lobbing that out there to take attention away
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from russia. who knows. but my question was if this is the calm, what's calm? he's threatening nuclear war with kim jong-un on twitter and decertifying the iran -- preparing to decertify the iran nuclear deal. if this is calm, i would hate to see the storm. >> jeremy bash, let me get you to weigh in on something you always put into two categories for me. there is an investigation into potential collusion between russia and the trump campaign. those are things that happened largely before trump became president. there is also an investigation into whether or not there's an obstruction of justice case to be brought against the president or anyone around him. can you talk to me, can you bring me back to these two new reports we have today that michael steele may be availing himself to the senate intel committee, possibly, and last night's report that we know bob mueller traveled to meet with
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steele -- christopher steele. we have a lot of michael steels who are friends of this show. christopher steele, the former british intelligence official. do you put the two developments around steele squarely into the collusion investigation oir is there any potential overlay from that obstruction of justice investigation? >> i think most of the detail in the dossier really go to the larger issue of what leverage the russian federation has over the trump organization, people inside trump's inner circle and ultimately the president of the united states. if you think very broadly, what is this investigation by the congressional intelligence committees, by the senate judiciary committee and bob mueller, what are they ultimately about? they boil down to leverage. in what ways has an adversary of the united states exerted and can they exert in the future leverage over the policy and decision making of the united states, and when someone like jim comey came to investigate
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those ties, and the president removed him from his position in hopes that would shut down the investigation, that is one of the ways you see potentially the hand of an adversary exerting leverage over the presidency. so this is a combination of criminal investigations but also very fundamentally, it is a national security investigation. i think the information in the dossier ultimately go to both. >> somebody mentioned, it might have been you, michael crowley, but this idea that the dossier contains the kind of information that the russians could have blackmailed this white house with. is that part of bob mueller's criminal investigation or is that part of sort of the larger picture of what russia's role was in meddling with our democracy? jeremy, you first, then back to you, michael. >> i think leveraging, it's really about national security, but i come back to ken's point.
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i do think that the issue of the business ties, the dossier details and we also have other information about and we know that mueller is looking at it. 's the o it's one of the reasons he raided paul manafort's home. he wanted information manaport was not going to produce between historic ties. those business ties potentially go to violation of federal criminal law and how russia has leverage. >> michael, same question to you but also weigh in on the fact that the republican chair of the senate intel committee did sort of speak to the chaix nges to t gop platform at the republican convention to reflect and put into the platform for the first time in gop party history a more pro-russia position. >> right. i think jeremy put it well in terms of criminality versus
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national security. just add one more bead which is to say if there was this effort to cultivate trump through his businesses, maybe through russian money buying condos in trump buildings, you could have criminal charges against someone in the trump company, maybe not trump himself, who knew about this and was facilitating it, was welcoming russian money knowing it was part of some effort that had a larger motive or there was a quid pro quo involved. that would be a possibility but this of course is speculative. now we are looking at this episode around the republican national convention which like a lot of the episodes swirling around out there has never really been clearly explained. why was there apparently an effort on the part of trump allies at the republican convention to deflect language from the republican platform that would have taken a much more hawkish position on ukraine and potentially arming the ukrainian government against
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russia. it's still a mystery who gave that order and apparently the senate intelligence committee is still looking into that question. >> one of the benefits of doing a volume business. was someone else trying to jump in? >> i just want to make something clear. i had an interesting conversation today with a senior law enforcement official who reminded me there is no crime of collusion. >> correct. >> so what mueller is investigating here are crimes and that's why the financial relationships are so important. because it's about -- it may be about money laundering, about tax evasion, about failure to register as a foreign lobbyist, and once he sunk his teeth into donald trump's finances including financial relationships with russia, who knows what he might find. there may be no provable collusion here but that may not mean the end of it for donald trump and the people around him. >> as you say, collusion in and of itself isn't a crime, just a national security crisis. ken and jeremy, thank you so much. when we come back, it used to be that when america sneezed the world caught a cold. what happens around the world
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when an american president teases the calm before the storm? is that what bob corker meant when he said trump lacks stability? and if it's friday, it's always possible that donald trump is sending someone packing. one week ago today during this hour, it was hhs secretary tom price. could rex tillerson be next? and presidential fury. we go inside the president's temper tantrum over being called a moron by his top diplomat. stay with us. woman: for the holidays, we get a gift for mom and dad. and every year, we split it equally. except for one of us. i write them a poem instead. and one for each of you too. woman: cool. that actually yours... that one. yeah. regardless, we're stuck with the bill. to many, words are the most valuable currency. last i checked, stores don't take words. man: some do. oh. (alert beeps) not everyone can be the poetic voice of a generation. i know, right? such a burden. settle up with your friends on october 17th with the bank of america mobile banking app.
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you guys know what this represents? the calm before the storm. >> reporter: what's the storm? >> the calm before the storm. >> reporter: what storm, mr. president? >> we have the world's great military people in this room, i will tell you that. thank you all for coming. thank you. >> reporter: what storm, mr. president? >> you'll find out. >> reporter: give us a hint. >> thank you, everybody. >> i thought this was the storm. that was the president with a cryptic, almost eerie statement yesterday. today he continued to, i don't know, build suspense by teasing the coming storm. >> thank you very much, everybody. >> reporter: mr. president, what did you mean by calm before the storm yesterday? what did you mean by that? >> thank you very much. you'll find out. >> reporter: we'll find out? >> let's bring in our panel to
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make sense of this. joining us, doug thornell, former senior adviser to the dnc, donny, we are dropping the last name. >> d-o-n-i with a heart. >> john podorhetz and donny one name, what are we watching? >> we are watching a showman. when he first said it, he had all those generals around. we know he gets very stimulated when he has the military around him. he says wait, i will read -- >> stimulated? that's gross. >> i think he gets very excited. >> like alpha? >> yeah. he's got all these guys with guns and cannons and missiles and he says i will say something tough and strong. he brought the press corps back in. you could say when he said it, three seconds afterward he literally had a smile. if you are talking about a storm of raining fire and brimstone you're not smiling. and in the interview later on,
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he literally winked. we have to stop trying to analyze what he says. it's just tourette's of silliness. that's it. that's it. there was nothing behind it. >> stephanie ruhle made this point at 9:00 a.m., if you have a kid in the military it's really not funny to see the commander in chief with a bunch of military leaders talking about the calm before the storm. it's incredibly reckless. i know the bar is so low it's buried under ground but it's incredibly reckless rhetoric to talk about the calm before the storm and to be laughing and joshing. >> here's the problem. the problem is you are right. so you say this and everybody says it and twitter goes crazy and all of that, and then he does it again, everybody goes crazy, and then nothing happens and then his defenders go you see the liberals all go crazy when he just, you know, said something off the cuff trying to be funny and you all go crazy and you can't be trusted when you talk about him. so i'm warning you, this is an
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insane cycle. trust me. this is what it will be like on sunday. >> i trust you. but i also hear the warnings not just on twitter but also from mo moms, he is the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world. let's not sit here and act like it's responsible and normal. >> it's the most irresponsible but it is normalized behavior for him. that's the reality. of course it's disgusting and irresponsible and frightening but until you normalize it, you can't manage it. otherwise if barack obama said that or jogeorge w. bush we wou be gearing up for war. normalization is the only thing that makes you able to manage through it. >> i think donny's right. those of us that have had experiences with him, good and bad throughout the decades, know that's trump. what we don't need to do and i think you're right, is we don't need to act like that's normal behavior for the president of the united states and act like oh, that's just trump. we should be saying that's trump
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and that is way out of line because of the gravity of the office that he holds. i also agree, i have to say, i think that trump will use this later, saying see, they act like i had meant all of this to use that to discount something when something does come down like mueller or somebody saying see, they told you i meant something here. you can't believe them on anything. you got to be very careful how you go. >> let me just say. he was a chaos candidate. right? >> said jeb bush. >> everything around his campaign was chaotic. you are seeing it in his administration. you mentioned the military families. also what impact does this have on financial markets. does wall street sort of discount everything he says now. something like this should, but maybe they are, to your point -- >> what did the markets do today? >> we will find out. finish your point. go ahead. >> we are not normalizing him. 63 million americans normalized him as president. the electoral college --
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>> no doubt. no doubt. >> acting as though there is some model of the presidency that he doesn't match, we all understand that for the next three and a half years he's going to be president of the united states at a minimum, in my view, though your dossier claims, people may be hoping that it will be shorter, and it is normal. this is normal. if you don't accept it as normal you are going to go bonkers. they are going to have to medicate you and strap you to a bed. >> i think the world has already gone bonkers. let me say two things. on the dossier we are simply covering the developments as they become available to us. i agree with you, i think this is how he's going to govern. i also worked for a president who once talked about catching osama bin laden dead or alive and it followed that model of when america sneezes the world catches a cold. knowing he said that catching bin laden, the mastermind of 9/11, dead or alive was outside the boundaries of proper diplomatic speak was a major public relations crisis.
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we now have a commander in chief facing crises in north korea, potentially iran, wars being fought around the world, proxy wars between iran and its enemies. saying calm before the storm could have a whole bunch of foreign policy implications or it could just be as bob corker said a man displaying he lacks the confidence and stability for the job he has. which is it? >> the bar is so low, he gets to say pretty much whatever he wants. i wouldn't discount the idea this week he had a horrible trip to puerto rico. you have this story about the secretary of state calling him a moron. you had job numbers today that weren't great. so how much of this is him trying to sort of distract away from negative news, it hasn't been a great week for him. i wouldn't put that past him. but yeah. i don't think he understands the gravity of what he says, nor does he understand sort of the power of his office. george w. bush, george h.w. bush, president clinton, president obama, if they went out there and said something like this, it would not only move markets but it would cause
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widespread i think panic among a lot of people. >> but they understood the power of the office. >> absolutely. he doesn't. >> when you talk about, nicolle, when it was said about president we want bin laden dead or alive, you did not have that person having run for president saying i could shoot somebody in the middle of fifth avenue and my people would stay with me. he ran as an abnormal person. so he is acting as the normal abnormal person that he is. but that does not mean we start normalizing abnormal behavior in the oval office, unless we are going to accept that. so fine, we shouldn't go bonkers but we shouldn't accept it and not get ready to get that mess out of the white house. >> it's not that i disagree with you. i'm just saying that the condition that we are in is you can't say, you can say whatever you want -- >> you are just further along in your therapy. >> he is the president. he talks this way. he's a jerk.
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there's nothing you can do about it. so if you don't sort of take it in and try to deal with it from where we stand instead of sitting here going this isn't the way it should be -- >> i'm not saying that. they don't put it past donald trump if the russia investigation closes in on him, to do something reckless on the world stage. >> that's when it gets scary. >> that's when i should be scared? >> at this point when he says calm before the storm and winks at you, that is what it is. let me -- it is what it is. the issue is an unstable human being, period. it's the corker statement. we know that. there is no new news today. there is nothing to react to in that statement other than what's been going on for the last six months and 18 months of the campaign and it comes back to the simple answer to your question. the answer is yes, it's what bob corker said. unstable, unequipped, not right person in that job. >> go ahead. >> what we see in trump for nine
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months, he's an unserious person. he is not a serious person. the idea maybe he would -- the idea he's just skating through this, saying are people being nice to me in puerto rico, i'm really sorry las vegas, going home, playing golf. you think he wants to start a war to distract people? that's too hard. that's not him. >> what you said is scary. >> no one's going anywhere. just hitting pause. being john kelly can't be all that it's cracked up to be. his latest management crisis, keeping the president's national security team on board as the nation grapples with north korea, iran and isis. can trump live with a secretary of state that insulted him? you wouldn't do only half
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staff john kelly called rex tillerson to the principal's office. kelly quote, abruptly scrapped plans to travel with president trump on wednesday so that he could try to contain his boss' fury and manage the fallout from new revelations about tensions between the president and secretary of state rex tillerson. according to six senior administration officials. kelly summoned tillerson and their ally, defense secretary james mattis, to the white house where the three of them huddled to discuss a path forward. cabinet members huddling up to talk survival, people calling each other morons, rumors swirling about job security. it's friday at the white house. michael crowley and kim atkins are back with us. my panel is here. kimberly, what are you hearing about i guess the question in washington really isn't if, but when rex tillerson parts ways with this white house. >> yeah. the pool has been going on for quite some time as to whether he will last until thanksgiving, let alone the end of the year because of these ongoing
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tensions. what struck me about this particular meeting that nbc reported is these are the folks who senator bob corker just said was what separated the world from chaos and they are getting together and dealing with their own internal chaos, this ongoing tension between rex tillerson and the president, also tensions between secretary tillerson and nikki haley, u.n. ambassador, which has been going on since the beginning. folks at the state department say that secretary tillerson is unhappy when nikki haley seems to go off the reservation and really push her own it seems foreign agenda policy which may, without clearing it first with the state department. of course she's not a subordinate, she doesn't have to do that, but it's adding to this intrigue, this ongoing multi-prong tension among the people in charge of diplomatic efforts on behalf of the united states. again, at a time when very big
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issues are before us involving north korea and iran. >> michael crowley, nbc news had 12 sources in that original report that the secretary of state called donald trump a moron, and that it was vice president pence who had to come in and counsel him on being respectful to the president both on air and in meetings. something that the former spokesperson to the vice president didn't deny when i pressed him about whether -- he quibbled with the word counsel and said he advises. we will let him have that. the vice president advises cabinet secretaries on how to be respectful of the president. let me ask you, if you take tillerson, what we have to assume this is honest assessment of the president as a moron, you have mattis testifying -- >> talk about normalizing. >> you have mattis testifying on the iran position different from what the white house is
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signaling is the president's instinct on the decertification potentially of that deal. you have also got tillerson disparaging or at least weighing in on nikki haley's job performance. i had held out the national security team as sort of a bright spot, an oasis in an otherwise kchaotic, dysfunctionl administration. are they just better at hiding it? >> yeah. they had a stronger immune system i think but they are starting to get infected by the chaos disease that's run through the west wing. you know, there's the old saying it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. so there is something kind of satirical about this that's actually incredibly reminiscent of an episode of "veep" or something. you can't believe the secretary of state is having to go out and address reports that he called the president a moron. if john kerry had maybe just
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used a kind of lukewarm descriptor for barack obama, we would be talking about it for days. like daylight between kerry and obama, this is amazing. here you have the secretary of state not even denying he called the president a moron. but i go back to it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. unfortunately, what's laying below all this is north korea, is iran, is nuclear weapons, is terrorism, and we have got to have our act together on this stuff. and we don't. donald trump is undercutting his top diplomat at a time when the diplomat is in china trying to broker a diplomatic solution that will avert a potentially nuclear confrontation with north korea. ultimately, it's not funny at all. it's just incredibly surreal. last quick point, you remember during the campaign all these foreign policy establishment people in the republican party signed letters saying i will never work for this guy. there were a lot of reasons for it but one of them was he just doesn't know what he's doing. he has no experience and he's
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not suited to manage american foreign policy. and you are kind of seeing that. the foreign policy is at the risk of going off the rails here and a lot of people are saying i warned you. >> donny, you know donald trump. you and the rev, i want both your thoughts on this. how does he go to work every day with people who work for him who represent him on television, which seems to be his priority, who thinks so little of him that they don't -- we should say rex tillerson's spokespeople hours after the press conference in which he did not deny calling the president a moron, denied he had ever called the president a moron but he still hasn't. >> he won't eventually. what makes a great ceo is when you hire people stronger than you. in this case, tillerson clearly from a management point of view is far superior to trump, but trump can't handle that. what tillerson is up against, even though they are both ceos, i worked for guys like tillerson. fortune ten ceos. they are serious, serious people. donald trump is a ceo but he's not a ceo. he's just not. he's talent.
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for the fact of tillerson having to work for, around, through this guy, versus the military guys that are strictly chain of command guys, you could see why it's not going to work. the problem's going to become is if you start to surround yourself with people, anybody other than military people, you are going to continue to run into the same i'm working for a moron problem. >> rex tillerson is a terrible secretary of state. they have 67 people appointed, confirmed to jobs in the state department. at this time every other president had about 150. >> right. >> agencies are going headless, divisions are going headless. >> is that all on tillerson? >> a lot is on tillerson. some of it was on bannon's personnel organization in the white house. >> he compared to donald trump, he's a much more competent. >> not the same species. >> what i'm saying, if you
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compare him to john kerry and formers secretaries of state, yes. in terms of the competence of this administration -- >> that's the joke, tillerson, his heart isn't in the job. he doesn't talk to anybody in the press. he doesn't talk to anybody at foggy bottom in the building. he sits in his office, he looks depressed. he's not into it. everyone said he was going to do some state department reorganization and let the job go so all i'm saying is the joke is we are all talking about the stability of the team. he probably shouldn't be on the team. but if he were to leave the team now it would look like a disaster. >> it might be a joke but it's not funny. when you asked donny and i, the point is with all of this, we are talking about the iran deal not recertified next week or the congress, we are talking about what's going on possibly with north korea and all, and you roll out the secretary of state to have a press conference about whether he called you a moron and he doesn't even deny it, and
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the real part, i was in ireland and south africa a week ago. the real problems around the world, they are not even debating that he's not a moron. i mean, with most presidents -- >> i feel like i'm trapped -- >> the problem is what? because it's not even beyond the discussion that he is a moron. that's the problem. >> give us the last word. >> tillerson never should have been secretary of state in the first place. he's advocated to cut his own department which republicans have pushed back on. he's fourth in line to the presidency. and look, this is just another, a continuation of the chaos in the administration. i don't know how rex tillerson sits, you know, he said he was trying to have a negotiation with north korea which was undercut by the president. how does he sit across from north korea or any country, for that matter, when they know that the president is about to basically cut his legs out from under him? >> we are going to be talking with those conflicting signals over the iran deal from the conflicted administration when we come back.
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great rates for great rides. i'm not going to get ahead of the president's announcement on the decision that he has. what i can tell you is the president isn't looking at one piece of this. he's looking at all of the bad behavior of iran, not just the nuclear deal as bad behavior but the ballistic missile testing, destabilizing of the region, number one state sponsor of terrorism, cyberattacks, illicit nuclear program. he wants to look for a broad strategy that addresses all of those problems. >> the president expected to make an official decision on the future of the iran deal next week. the "new york times" one of many organizations reporting that he's expected to decertify the agreement as part of a broader strategy to crack down on iran. everyone is back with me. doug, the concept of putting terrorism, of putting americans
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being held in iran, of putting their bad behavior in the region in the deal is not a bad one. it simply wasn't what was agreed to. so what do you make of the fact that when donald trump gets involved, things sometimes become more popular. i'm thinking of obamacare which wasn't universally popular among democrats but once donald trump came out against it, it became more popular. the iran deal was frankly controversial within the democratic caucus. you had hard liners on iran in the democratic caucus who weren't for the deal at the time. john kerry and his energy as secretary and the president had to sell it. what do you make of the fact that now the president's talking about perhaps decertifying it, it's a pretty partisan debate with democrats largely celebrating a deal that even some of them were skeptical of. >> the deal has been working. >> there have been technical violations. it's not perfect. >> his own secretary of state certified it, the iaea certified
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it. it's not perfect. it wasn't intended to accomplish everything we want to change about iran. >> well, nothing. it was just a nuclear -- >> it was to disrupt and stall the nuclear program. i think the alternative right now that i think congressional republicans are looking at is what is the alternative. do they reinstate sanctions and that could make the whole deal fall apart. i don't think republicans really want to have to deal with that. i think trump really is looking at this as this is steve bannon's white board that he had up on all the promises he made and this is a way that trump can go out and say to those folks look, i decertified the deal but there is no strategy in iran and there is no sort of what's the next step after that. i think that ultimately is going to be why probably congressional republicans, even if it is decertified don't do anything. >> let me play something for you. i want to hear from you next. let me show you how mattis responded. >> do you believe it's in our national security interest at
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the present time to remain in the jcpoa? that's a yes or no question. >> yes, senator, i do. i believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying with. >> okay. quickly, after mattis spoke and last week or the week before, i can't remember quite when, the iaea said that it could not certify that iran was not developing ballistic missiles or nuclear missiles. so i have to correct that. that's one thing. >> they have certified in the past. >> yeah, but it did not this week. it said specifically it could not do what the certification process requires in the u.s. law. the other is that the law says the president has to certify that the deal is in the national security interests of the united states. so that is a very broad thing. if he says because there are
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americans being held in iran, it is not in the national security interests of the united states, that is an interpretation the president can make. and of course the other thing is the decertification of the deal does not mean you pull out of the deal. >> the congress has to do that. >> the congress has to deal with it. the other thing i want to say is mike, warren and steve hayes of the weekly standard have a fantastic report in the current issue about how 90 days ago when he had to do it last, he told them at 10:00 in the morning i'm pulling out. then by 7:00 at night, he had been convinced not to pull out and stayed in. >> that sets up michael crowley. i want to ask you, as someone who has to cover what the white house or the administration might do in the iran deal, how difficult is it to get -- my understanding is people get a different story from every corner, every pocket of this administration. >> yeah. although i think it's starting to zero in on the conclusion that they have come to this
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solution which is that trump gets sort of the politics that he wants which is his own announcement is i think this is a bum deal and i'm not going to recertify it. then they don't press the they don't press the congress to reimpose the sanctions, which would actually constitute blowing up the deal. it is a little built of washington kabuki show where the outcome is preordained. when we talk about what the deal covers and doesn't cover, remember, iran was very close to having the capability of building a nuclear bomb when this deal was concluded. they didn't have the luxury of everything else iran was doing, they were trying to stop the nuclear program before there was a confrontation. >> thank you so much for spending time with us. up next, we'll hear from one of the loudest critics of the response to puerto rico.
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look at the president offering his support today for americans in puerto rico. >> we are also praying for the people of puerto rico. we love puerto rico. [ pronouncing it ]. >> we love you! >> and we also love puerto rico. thank you so much. thank you! so we're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff.
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president attack the victims of a natural disaster. i've never seen a president attack the elected officials on the front line of a disaster. what other words can you sane the face of this thing? >> do you feel like he's -- >> those weren't impulsive tweets on my part, just all i had to offer. >> whoo! that was hamilton cramer criticizing president trump's response to hurricane maria. it started after the mayor of san juan spoke out to the slow response to the crisis in puerto rico. trump shot back at her in a series of saturday morning tweets to which manuel replied she's been working 24/7. you're going straight to hell, fastest golf cart you ever took. overheated language for sure but you saw the president attacking one of the victims? the image that sticks in my head
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is him throwing the paper towels. mike barnicle said it best about this president, you line it up, he has no empathy. you go back to the gold star family you continue to see a man i won't diagnose any more and not use the word sociopath, who has no empathy in his soul. whether talking about a couple who lost their son to war or ravaged area he can say this is a good deal because there are only 16 people died and 16 families listening to that, that's a man with no empathy. >> no question. you have to understand what lin emanuel is talking about. people died, people are trapped in mountains. over 90% of the island no power, no electricity, people can't get food and you are in an argument with the mayor, you are talking all kind of stuff about ingreats. in that climate, i think it shows exactly what he is saying. this president has no sensitivity.
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it is repugnant at best. >> all right. 36 people have lost their lives there. we will sneak in one more break, we will be right back. lowers a1, and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes treating cardiovascular disease, victoza® is now approved to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. (avo) victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. stop taking victoza® and get medical help right away if you get symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing. serious side effects may happen, including pancreatitis.
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with the bank of america mobile banking app. >> thanks to our very lively panel. that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace. mtp daily starts right now. hi, chuck. >> only you can put the revv, donny deutche and others and say it's not a joke. >> he has some sing in him. >> i know he does. i want to keep my hour. if it's friday, is someone getting fired? tonight, after reports predicting his quick demise, rex tillerson is still on the job for now. >> i'm still learning even at this ripe old age, i learn


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