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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  October 16, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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of tension. can the two make peace and pave the way for progress on the president's legislative agenda? democrat as divided. there's a large chunk of the base, both inspired to activism by trump's election, but also feeling ignored by party establishment. i'll talk you to america's heartland for a reality check with frustrated democrats. what needs to happen to get the party back on track for 2018? and could there be criminal charge sns investigators here and the u.k. looking into explosive allegations against harvey weinstein. will the probe continue to escalate? we begin with president trump at this hour breaking bread with mitch mcconnell and the stakes are high. the president, his party with ongoing and deep seeded policy divisions and clock is ticking with the senate considering a budget resolution this week. but the president and the majority leader have had a rocky relationship to say the least. "the new york times"ing report
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in august mr. mcconnell has privately expressed uncertainty that mr. trump will be able to salvage his administration after series of summer crisis. the president has used twitter against mr. mcconnell, including this one. take a look. on his failure to repeal obamacare, blaming mcconnell for not getting it done. the pressure is on for mcconnell and the republican establishment. some conservative groups called for the majority leader to step down, when steve bannon turned up the heat this weekend. >> right now, it's a season of war against a establishment. this is not my war. this is our war. you all didn't start it. the establishment started it. but i will tell you one thing. you all are going to finish it. >> politico white house reporter
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annie joins me now. before the lunch, the president met with his cabinet for the fifth time. went through a virtual laundry list of things on his mind. what's going to be on the agenda at the lunch? >> taxes, bucket and judges. kind of a preview that i got from some people i spoke to. it's what trump and mcconnell spoke on the phone about on saturday. but the backdrop here is in that cabinet meeting we just saw, trump sort of endorsed bannon declaring war on mitch mcconnell, saying he understands why he's doing it. trump and other officials like jared kushner have privately told bannon great job when he's gone after mcconnell, so they're privately encouraging the heat to go up on mcconnell. i have been been told the relationship has gotten a little better since the "new york times" article this summer. they haven't seen each other since the famous chuck and nancy
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meeting fate to face, but talk on the phone all the time these days. >> yeah, but do we think mcconnell didn't hear the president endorsing bannon, who basically said it's civil war between us, meaning the people at the value voter's summit and mcmichel konl? >> i i think he herd it because his wife was sit iting at the table when it was said. so i'm certain he got the message before the lunch. >> thank you for that. we appreciate it. i'm going to now bring in matt welch, the editor for reason magazine. curt, political strategist for br breitbart and michael steele. so, let me start with you. we've got this -- we need a wall to get welfare reform and he's in the room with the person he's going to need to get all that
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done right now. which is mitch mcconnell. but he take as shot at him by saying he gets where steve bannon is coming from. so do we have some sort soft expectation they're going to come out of the that meeting and say hey, everything's cool and we have a legislative agenda and we know how we're going to get there? >> i don't think we'll have that, but i think we'll be mcconnell's part at least sort of bringing this down so they can figure out what this is. what mcconnell and ryan are not used to is a white house that has no clear directional point to go to. typically, in this situation, you get some keys to the white house, you could roll some things by them. they're shop and the hill are on the aim page. that's not the case here. the president is on again, off again on health care. he's on again, off again on a number of foreign policy issues. the only thing he's on about is taxes. that may be the one piece of ground in which these two gentlemen can begin to carve out a legislative space to get something done.
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>> he has as many people have put it, just about everybody, certainly last week, senator bob corker said that the white house is an adult day care center and today, sort of following up on that, "the washington post" reported on what they say is going on there right now. some trump aides spent a significant part of their time devising ways to reign in and control the impetuous president. angling to avoid outbursts that might work against him. and among those outbursts, the post scribes the president mocking senator mcconnell and house speaker paul ryan with what they called an exaggerates crossing of his arms and theatrical frowns. so you've got them. you've got flake. you've got mccain and he said by the way, that republican, some republicans should be ashamed of themselves. how do you prove forward on an ambitious legislative agenda, on
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a budget when you've got this stuff going on? >> you work with democrats eventually. i don't think republicans now have the votes for tax reform. bob corker is pointing out accurately so that current tax reform as proposed is going to blow up the deficit and debt and republicans got control of congress. the tea party generation of republicans were all about the debt and deficit and o obamacare. so they get into office and now, they're kind of blowing that all out. nick mull vainy is reversing his point of view on deficit. just a period of two years, so i think trump is counting the votes and realizing he's going to eventually play ball with democrats on things like obamacaobama twe obamacare tweaks and tax reform. i don't think we're going to get much done, period. i think we're in the pen and phone phase within his presidency within five months. >> say some democrats do come on board. you're still going to need, if you're the president of the
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united states, the republicans, your own party, to get on board as well. then you've got as we've said, steve bannon at the value's voters summit declaring war on the gop establishment. >> i think you're seeing -- all you folks that are so concerned you're going to get primaried and defeat ed you know, there's time for mea culpa. you can come to a stick and condemn senator corker and you can come to a stick, a phone, and say i am not going to vote for mitch mcconnell for majority leader. >> where does that leave the republicans? >> they're between a rock and a hard place because at the end of the day, donald trump is posturing to almost assume failure and putting that at the feet of mitch mcconnell. mcconnell is going to be the bogeyman of this election. breitbart are running against them spending more time atta attacking them than going after democrats. at the end of the day, i wonder if we're going to get to a point where mcconnell is going to say,
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you know what, i'm not going to run for leader next time. remove that talking point. >> really? you think mitch mcconnell is going to say, i'm just going to go away? >> if he cares about keeping his majority and a republican party in a reasonable position and not hijacked by the alt-right, he needs to just walk away and say i'm not going to be the focal point of this campaign. >> michael steele. >> that ain't happening. clear know nothing about him. at the end of the day, he still controls the flow of this legislation. if this administration wants anything done, it has to go through his door so the president and bannon need to get their act together and recognize that okay, fine, this is your one shot because you lose the senate. they're going to be hearings on impeachment. on investigations. all kinds of stuff they don't want that mcconnell can block now, so i suspect they need to recognize that the weight as much they hate the establishment
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and i'm no fawn of this group, but i have to work with them, at the end of the day, they control a lot more of the martials on this table than you think they do. >> if mcconnell isn't going to walk away and i agree we you 100% on that, michael, could he be forced out? because this is what we heard from lindsey graham. >> if we don't cut taxes and don't repeal and replace obamacare, then we're going to lose akroz the board in the house in 2018 and my colleagues run ng primaries in 2018 will probably get beat. it will be the end of mitch mcconnell as we know it. >> does he have a good point? >> sure. he won't be majority leader. i don't think there's a big bench of replacements here. tom cotton has floated today as being a potential cia director. so how many real trumpites are out there. steve bannon wants to reshape the republican party. blow it up into this new kind of
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aim nlg. there's a lot of people including assistant to vice president pence, who said we can have a minority here if fs a real rock solid minority. >> you wanted to say, michael, i can tell you're dying to jump in here. >> who's going to replace him? who's going to get through that legislative agenda that bannon and the president want if mitch mcconnell is not there. name me the senator. >> kurt, you're the one who thinks michel he's not going to walk away. >> last night on casey hunt's new show, floating mike lee to replace mcconnell. every single candidate that bannon is backing, he's make k them blenlg he will not support mcconnell. they're going to run this campaign in way, where republicans did so long making nancy pelosi the bogeyman in elections, they're going to do the same thing to mitch mcconnell now. so why not disarm them. i'm not saying the it's going to happen. why not just disarm them because right now, mcconnell is between a rock and a hard place.
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nothing is going to happen or pass. trump is postured to make it mcconnell's fault when that happens. >> and where does mike lee get the votes? the senate is still going to be the senate. still going to have the susan collins of the is that the in the senate. the john thunes in the senate. where does mike lee get votes that mitch mcconnell can't? >> i think that comes down to the outcome of the election. if bannon is successful in getting these candidates in office, that scare republicans into going into a different direction? what we've seen is they have no fortitude, the insane things that donald trump say every day. they're not running free election who magically found courage now. so i don't have any faith that republicans are going to magically after an election where they might see major losses from fellow incumbents, stand up to an alt-right. >> mike lee is more of an
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obstructionist to donald trump. so if you're going to replace him with a bigger one, i would love to see it because mike lee is a pretty interesting guy. but it doesn't make sense. >> you also have a situation here, matt and curt points this out, that there are people like bob corker who are not running for re-election which has sort of freed them, but is there a lesson for somebody watching and seeing somebody like jeff flake to say there is no advantage for me to be very vocal against this president or for that matter, for mitch mcconnell. >> jeff flake wrote a book two months ago about the conscious of conservative. a lot of that is confirmation votes. i agree. he hasn't taken a leadership role in opposing some things you think he might. but generally speaking, there's a lot of republicans, ten republicans did not in the nat
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did not endorse dt for president last tichl there's no love for that man in that building. so i think you can see more people locating their courage as trump's opinion numbers continue to go down. >> i want to let you go without asking you for analysis on jeff sessions, who has decided he's going to send a federal hate crimes attorney down to iowa where they had the murder of apparently a transgender student, a 16-year-old. obviously, sessions. a staunch conservative. somebody who has been rolling back rights for tra trans individuals since he became attorney general. >> i don't know what the base is going to make, but the attorney general recognizes his obligation here. and so i think yeah it goes against type. and there may be something else that hasn't been veal yet as to the why, but let's just applaud the effort and hopefully you know, they will continue to back these kinds of cases despite his
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own personal views and positions on these things. >> quickly, were surprised to hear this? >> i was. just given everything you said. >> will it hurt with the base? >> i don't think it will because i don't think it's going to be played up with that that much. you're not going to be b seeing a lot of coverage. i think it will go unnoticed. >> always good to see you. thank you, gentlemen. more than 40 women including some of the biggest movie stars now accused harvey weinstein of sexual misconduct or worse and now, police in london and the . u.k. are investigating. and people are frustrated with the president, but not seeing answers from their own party. i sat down with a group of wisconsin democrats who fear that democrats, at least the establishment, has lost its way. >> it's not enough to say marching with tiki tor f ps and the president won't say anything
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nbc news has learned the the new york police department is currently investigating two alsos of sexual assault geps harvey weinstein. they're is separate from the 2015 investigation that resulted in no charges. more than 40 women have come forward publicly with claims ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault to rape.
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nbc news has not verified the allegations and weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsentual sex. "saturday night live" has this skit. >> he doesn't need sex rehab. he needs a specialized facility with no women, metal bars and it's a prison. >> joining me now, msnbc legal analyst danny and that's what a lot of critics are saying. this should have happened before. but we saw in that previous allegation that we just mentioned in 2015 that the prosecutor said we just don't have the evidence. so what could be different this time? what are the key pieces of evidence any prosecutor would need here in the united states to build a case? >> in every state, there's a broad spectrum of sex crimes. from rape at the top to even in new york, forcible touching or sexual abuse in the third degree, which is defined as any touching of for sexual purposes for sexual gratification of any
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part of the body that would be for that purpose. it's a very light burden. however, what these lower level crime, you have shorter statutes of limitations. in new york, you'd only have two years for a misdemeanor like that. for rape in new york, there is no statute of limitations. the modern trend. in sex crimes to expand or eliminate so someone could bring a case at any time after it's happened. >> so i guess the question is what is the evident yar bar. you talk about even touching someone inappropriately. in the tape the nypd had, harvey weinstein was asked about touching a woman's breast and she asked him about it repeatedly and yet they say they didn't have the evidence. >> respectfully, i actual one of the few people that gree with the new york county district attorney's office. if you list b b back to it, as much as this is deploreable
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behavior, the question does it make out a misdemeanor touching case. he acknowledges there was touching. was there intent? >> it it happens all the time. >> sounds very deplorable on the tape, however whether it rose to the level of a misdemeanor crime, it's understanding the ny district attorney's office declined to prosecute. >> so you have a situation where everybody involved with his company is trying to distance himself, but his employment contract, which nbc has confirmed, anticipated claimed it seems of sexual misconduct. here's what it says. weinstein required to reimburse the company if he quote treated someone improperly in violation of the company's code of conduct. it said quote, you, weinstein, will pay the company liquidated damages of $250,000 for the
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first incident. $500,000 second, 750 th,000 fore third. 1 million each additional intans. to a lot of people without law degree, that sounds like says okay, if you're going to sexually assault women, you're going to have to pay for us for it. what's the risk for the weinstein company? >> there are two ways of looking at this. one, i've heard people say this. it's a ratification of bad behavior that allows him just to pay a library fine and get out of it. if that's the case, it's possible that a clause like this, when it comes the contracts, people put all kinds of whacky clauses in there and a court can find it unconscionable. on the other hand -- >> i don't know what that means. you're saying, they say that that is not -- that's not evidence of the company knowing that there was f a problem here because it's a whacky part of a contract? >> well, there's a other way of
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looking at it is that it's just a straight liquidated damages clause. you, harvey weinstein b, if you cause us monetary damages, then you owe us. you have to pay us back and we have to remember, too, that there are instances where sexual allegation, sexual harassment allegations are unfounded. there are false, there are false accusations. and if harvey dpsh -- >> if you had a culture, the culture there as they see it, proven by this contract, that there was a culture and knowledge there about this, there are people who work there who said hr was completely ineffective. then p you have a group of people who come together, is it at the very at least a hostile workplace or a dangerous workplace. >> here, there's good news for political plaintiffs. assuming they can get in with the statute of limitations. california for example has a very protective law of plaintiffs in these cases.
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and it provides for automatic, strict liability for an employer when a supervisor harasses an employee. that is something that's very favorable for plaintiffs under state law in california and new york also has some favorable state law, but it will all depend on the individual states and whether or not a federal case lies under title 7. >> danny, thank you so much. more to come on this without a doubt. democrats concerned their party will blow a real opportunity in 2018. i sat down with a fired up group of wisconsin democrats who said they don't know what the party stands for. >> i think that there's a lack of understanding of what the message is is, if there is one. >> and secretary of state tillerson again refusing to deny he call ed his boss a moron aftr a national security meeting. details on his new interview ahead. patrick woke up with back pain. but he has work to do. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now.
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in just the past few hour, seen the war with the republican party. the president siding with steve ban b against mitch mcconnell. it's a divide many democrat hoped would lead them to vktry in 2018 and beyond. but increasingly, those same
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democrats are voicing concerns the party hasn't figured out its message or a strategy. i sat down with five voters from wisconsin, a democratic leaning state, that flipped for donald trump, so get their take. >> if there's one message you could get to the national democratic leadership that they would hear, what would it be? >> you're going to have to give up the match up and dpo back to grass roots or you'll become irreleva irrelevant. >> focus your message. >> if you don't come to our opportunities and see what we're dealing with and who our choices are on the local level, then you have no idea how to reach us. >> we can't get anywhere. we can't get anywhere if we're battling one another. we just came off the postmost e election in history and you all feel ignored? >> i don't. i don't. >> i see our representatives staying up all night on the senate floor on the house floor trying desperately to keep, to
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keep republicans from lighting the house on fire. it's just so bad. >> they're so outnumbered in washington because they gave up on grass roots org nuysing. >> we can spend all our energy fighting about our differences and how u we think it should be or band together and solve a problem. >> when you see the interpartying, is is it a good thing or is it potentially a devastating thing? >> it's a dome dem strags they live in that bubble. one point it's promoegt, don't talk to conservative, don't waste your time f. you live in new york or l.a., you can say that. but we have voters here that in the first congressional district l vote for a democrat for mayor, a cat fdemocrat for state senat school board then paul ryan. >> and we have to really that there are all kinds of groups in the party or on the fringes of the party that feel completely disenfranchised and they could
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potentially help bamake this so much stronger. >> all of the more boots on the ground right that were galvanized because of the election showed up to the women's march that are still participating in these dwroups, use them. right? bring everybody together. >> a year from now, how many believe that the democrats will emerge from this divide stronger and united? >> i feel like will is a strong word. i'm solid so to say they could. >> for example, can't just rig the primaries. can be the do that. you got to open up the primaries and invite challenges. >> to the left will emerge stronger and with a clearer identity. but that doesn't have to do with the democratic party. i don't know who the democratic party is. i just don't know who they are anymore. >> for more on this, joan walsh joins me, national correspondent for the nation and msnbc
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political analyst along with jamie harrison, former chair of the south carolina democratic party and now the associate chairman of the dn krc. i don't know what the democratic party is anymore. can you tell him? jamie? >> yeah, well, chris, it's the party of the people. it's the party of working people in this country. >> so if there's one thing that i've heard going out talking to voters, democratic voters, people who stay home, people who voted for bernie sander, for hillary clinton, it's that you, this party does not represent middle america. it's driven by money on the east coast and the west coast and the economic message that donald trump successfully delivered has not been heard by the democrats. what is it they're not hearing? >> well, i would push back against that, chris. >> that's what they're telling me. >> we do -- and i'm telling you as one who represented ffr four years, a red state that would be
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called a donald trump straate. here in south korecarolina, it' democrats who are building the wall the make sure all of the negative, nasty thipg that is the republicans are trying push down our throats don't take place. right now in this party, really, really important we invest in the state parties and build the infrastructure that is keked to the people. and that's where tom as chair, that's what i've been doing as associate chair and keith ellison, of going back to our grass roots bases and investing the resources. so starting this month, every state party in the country, every one from arizona to wisconsin to wyoming, will get 10,0$10,000 a month for the vest their state party staff. >> so here's the -- here's what i, the other side of this when i talk to these folks. what they say is that i'm not talking about necessarily this
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investment in particular, but the money from this party goes into a system that has continually brought forward candidates that don't look like the people who they want to vote for them. they are largely people who know how to raise money, that me. that means they are largely people who are write, middle-ageded or older. and male. that's the complaint i hear. how do you balance that against what you're hear frg the dnc? >> i think that jamie is right. investing in people on the ground, the party is realizing the problem that it has with not necessarily looking like the people on the ground. there's much more diversity. i think chairman perez has done a reasonably good job and i think these state parties can't built built that money because one of the things i hear on the ground is a lot of state parties saying the money goes to the dnc. the money goes to the big candidates. no party building money. so the fact there is going to be party building money i think is
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really important. i think you know, the people who said she didn't have -- hillary clinton didn't have an economic message, i think we have to blame ourselves to some extent because my friends -- >> we the media. >> and definitely not us. but some in the media. because did this amazing chart sho eing the number one thing hillary clinton talked about was jobs. the word she mentioned almost 1,000 times more than others. then worker, then work, then the economy and we have this perception she was talking about you know, just identity politics or lgbt rights. her message is partly her fault it didn't get out there, but it's also, you've also seen the chart where the number one word people associated with her is e-mail. which seems in hindsight, really unfair. >> so, moving forward and not back, but if you accept jamie, those numbers that we just heard and you know i don't think there's any doubt that anybody
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who sat at any of her rallies doesn't realize that hillary clinton talked about the economy and talked about jobs. she did, but clearly for a lot of people including people within party, that message did not get there and is still not getting through for a lot of them. particularly people and this is i guess what has surprised me most. a lot of the folks that i've been talking to are people who have been energized for democratic or liberal progress causes because of donald trump and yet, they don't hear the strategy, they don't hear message, they don't see the leadership. so how do you change that going forward? because it's not obviously just money in the state parties, right? >> well, no, it's focusing on infrastructure. so the mechanism by which you get your message out, the infrastructure that you get yur message out happen ons a local level with state parties. so when state parties are strong, you can get your message to the people. when they are broken, you can't
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get that message to the people. that's why we won in 2006 when howard dean was the chair of the dnc. he invested in the infrastructure for state parties so that they sent out organizers to connect and talk with the people in those communities. and we were able to get candidates like nancy borden in kansas who nobody ever thought had a chance to win, but she won the congressional seat. so right now what we're doing is we're going back to the basics. we're investing in organizing, in the infrastructure of our state parties. tarts this week, state parties are going to be able to apply for grants out of the spear fund, which is $10 million we're setting aside for innovation, so they can go out for the 2018 cycle and connect with the voters in their communities. >> and joan, do you see a way -- again for these folks who have gotten involved in what has been a little tsunami of organizations that have been formed. either on an issue or many of them to recruit people who they say have been ignored. people who want to run and are
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not part of what you would consider the traditional party structure, which is what we're talking about when you talk b about a state democratic party. how do you bring them together? bring them in and not make them feel like sort of to be a part of this tradition, the establishment democratic party is just going to result in more of the same. >> i think that's a really excellent question. we both know what is happening on the ground is fantastic. >> it's unbelievable! it is. a number of chapters, the groups that are sister district. there's a whole group of groups right now that have focused on this idea that the democrats abandoned the state houses, which are so important in terms of redistricting. there's sister district. flipable. one for something now paying attention to that local infrastructure smart democratic party leers in the states and counties are going to hook up with those activists and learn from them. not just come in and say oh, i'm the party chair. i'm going to tell you how it's
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going to be. ipg there needs to be a lot more collaboration. >> joan walsh, jamie harrison, tomorrow, we're going to be looking at a couple of people running in one of those races in virginia, which is electing its state house. the number of democratic state houses that have been lost by democrats is astonishing, so we'll talk more about that tomorrow. but thanks the to both of you. mush appreciated. zblncht this just in. reporters have been b prove move frd the briefing room to the white house rose garden where the president and mcmcconneitch mcconnell are expected to come out. they were breaking bread today and president trump and his advisers sending mixed messages on undoing the nuclear deal with iran. is there a disconnect on the iran deal within the administration? fortunate enough to travel to many interesting places. i've always wanted to create those experiences for others.
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his top foreign policy advisers over the weekend. >> the president has said look, we're going to desert fi under the iranian review act. this is a domestic law. not a desertification. >> is it better to keep this deal in place or get rid of it? >> i think right now, we' you'r going to see us u stay in the deal. we hope we can improve the situation. right now, we're in the deal to see how we can make it better. >> well, right now, the clock is ticking because congress has less than 60 day to decide whether or o not to reimpose sanctions on iran. for more, steve clemens, washington editor of the atlantic and an msnbc contributor. so i got to start with what you thought of the president remarks about being taken advantage of. >> i found it really bizarre. he said i'm tired of being taken advantage of f in terms of the nation, wu in light of a lot of
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people who analyzed donald trump, it sounds narcissistic i, as if this is all about him personally at some level. then qulyou u ask yourself sort em peerically, what are you tired of being taken advantage of? iran has by all account, delivereded on what it promised to do. basically in conflict with a lot of analysts thought it would do. he's taking affront of this. the tomabizarre. >> he's in conflict with nicki hailley and rex tillerson. he made it clear to continue p diplomatic efforts until the first bomb drops. i'm going to steal a line from richard haas, who was on "morning joe" this morning, the weekend of diplomatic malpractice. >> yeah. >> and it's an astonishing thing. he said rex tillerson's job is
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to keep open every angle of diplomatic possibility. that the decision or action to take military action is by far, the last resort. we're in a situation though where tillerson is send iing a signal that the con the test here is really, it's a domestic issue about what congress does, so is the president negotiating with these harsh words with congress? is he sending big signals to iran in this case? i got to tell you u what privately is going on is that i've been alerted that the diplomatic and military counterparts to tillerson and mattis and haley are expressing incredible frustration from euro europe. they see this as a walk down a path that divides the transatlantic alliance, which by the way, continues to be one of the biggest goals of putin. that basically distancing ourselves from germany, france, england, over tangible national
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security objectives we had with them is something russia has been hoping for. this is unfolding in the most bizarre way. where we're in the deal. >> and worth pointing out for people who don't recall, you and i covered this very closely during the obama administration, this was a deal that was struck, led by the united states. pushed by the united states. and we're going to go back out to the rose garden. we're hearing donald trump. there he is with mitch mcconnell. >> the relationship is very good. we're fighting for the same thing. lower tax cuts, big tax cuts. the biggest in the his hi of our nation. tax reform as part of that. we are getting close to health care. it will come up in the early to mid part of next year. we're going to have a vote. i think we have the votes. we feel confident we have the votes. pretty much know what the plan is. i believe republicans and democrats are as we speak working together very hard. right now.
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working to do an intermediate plan, a short-term plan. because obamacare is a disaster. the rates have gone up. the premiums have gone up u. the deductibling have gone through the roof. it's terrible. you look at the deductibles. unless you really have a problem, you're not going to be able to use them. so, we have been working together long and hard. we think we're in good shape for the budget we hope and we hope to be in good shape with again, the largest tax cuts every passed in this country. it's going to spur business. you look at other countries. what they've done, and we're competing with other countries. when china's at 15%. when i hear that ireland is going to be reducing their corporate rates down to 8% from 12. but you have other countries also reducing. we can't be at 35% and think we're going to remain competitive in terms of companies and jobs. so we worked on that. i was very honored to see a man that i've had a lot of respect
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for, james lee whit of the clinton administration, the head of o fee ma, he gave us an a plus. i just see it just came out. i've also had respect for him. he gave us, he's the fema director. of the clinton administration gave us an a plus for how we responded to the hurricane after, all of the hurricanes and that includes puerto rico. so i just want to thank mr. whit, where ever you may be now. i want to say i really -- >> puerto rico. >> i want to thank mr. whit, where ever you may be listen, i really much appreciate because that took it out of politics out of the world of politics in that he was with the clinton administration and i'm sure remains loyal to the clinton administration. i hope he does. so just to finish off. my relationship with this gentlemen is outstanding.
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has been outstanding. we are working very hard to get the tax cuts. we will continue to work hard to get the health care completed. i'm going to be surprising some people with bill later on but i haven't even told mitch because i want to focus on tax cuts and some other things right now. one of the unspoken elements that we discussed at lunch and it just is not talked about, yes, we got a great justice, justice gorsuch, into the united states supreme court. he's going to be outstanding hopefully for many, many years. but something that people aren't talking about is how many judges we have had approved, whether it be the court of appeals, circuit judges, whether it be district judges, we have tremendous right now under review the democrats are holding them up beyond anything, beyond comprehension, they are holding them up. frankly, they have terrible, terrible policy. terrible policy.
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and perhaps they're not even good politicians but they are good at obstruction. i looked at some of these numbers. between the judges and i want to say that we will set records in terms of the number of judges and if you read the "wall street journal" i have to give them a little bit of a person, a writer, i won't mention names but you can see who has really been a really fair person, wrote an article or wrote an editorial in a sense saying how well we're doing with judges and appointments. i think it's one of the big unsung things of this administration. in addition to the fact that we have had a lot of legislation passed on the v.a. and lots of other things. but the judge story is an untold story. nobody wants to talk about it. but when you think about it, mitch and i were saying that has consequences 40 years out. depending on the age of the judge. but 40 years out. so numerous have been approved. many, many are in the pipeline.
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the level of quality is extraordinary. i just wanted to say that we are working very closely on that also and getting really great reviews from those people, and in many cases some scholars that have been studying it. there has never been anything like what we have been able to do together as judges. with that, i would like to have mitch say a few words. and if you want to do a little question and answer, we can do that also. thank you very much. thank you. >> well, thank you very much, mr. president. i want to underscore what the president said. we had the same agenda. we have been friends and acquaintances for a long time. we talk frequently. we don't give you a readout every time we have a conversation, but frequently we talk on the weekends about the issues that are before us. obviously passing the budget which enables tax reform and tax reduction comes next. then the supplemental to take adequate care of those who have
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been harmed by the natural disasters we have been afflicted with lately, and of course, the senate's unique role. it seems to me a lot of people forget we are in the personnel business. there are 1200 of the president's nominations, subject to confirmation in the senate. the house is not in the personnel business. we are. the single most significant thing this president has done to change america is the appointment of neil gorsuch to the supreme court. but it's not just the supreme court. there are a lot of vacancies at both the circuit court and district court level, as the president's indicated. young, conservative and when we say conservative about a judge, what we are talking about here are the kind of people the president's appointing to the courts believe that the role of a judge is to try to rule based upon what the law says, not what they hoped the outcome would be.
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justice scalia or as justice gorsuch put it down in my state a couple weeks ago, judges don't wear red, they don't wear blue. they wear black. those are the kind of people the president is sending up to the senate to be confirmed. many of them as he pointed out, younger. will be on the bench for a long time and have a great deal to do with what kind of country we are going to have far into the future. legislatively obviously the top priority is tax reduction and i think what the president and i would both like to say to you today, contrary to what some of you may have reported, we are together totally on this agenda to move america forward. >> reporter: mr. president, there is a timetable for tax reform. paul ryan said he wants to get
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it done by the end of the year. he would make the house stay through the christmas break in order to get it done. would you be okay if tax reform was not passed until next year? >> i would like to see it be done this year, john. i would very much like to see it be done this year. we won't go a step further. if we get it done, that's a great achievement. don't forget, it took years for the reagan administration to get taxes done. i have been here for nine months, little more than nine months. i can say the same thing for health care. if you look at obama, first of all, you look at clinton, they weren't able to get it done. you look at other administrations, they weren't able to get it done. president obama, after a long period of time, was able to finally push it through. but pushed through something that's now failed. really failing badly. but again, we are meeting democrat, republican are meeting right now and right now, they are working on something very special. but i have to tell you, i really believe that we have a very good chance and i think mitch feels
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the same way, of getting the taxes done hopefully fairly long before the end of the year. that's what we would like to see. go ahead. >> let me just add to what the president said. the goal is to get it done this calendar year. but it is important to remember that obama signed obamacare in march of year two. obama signed dodd-frank in july of year two. we are going to get this job done and the goal is to get it done by the end of the year. >> just to finish up for mitch, and we're nine months, right? so we could have a long way to go but that's okay. yes. >> reporter: do you still have confidence in [ inaudible ] and on health care, in a recent, you said the only problem i have with mitch mcconnell is after hearing repeal and replace for seven years, he failed. that should never have happened. >> let's go to the second part of your question with mitch.
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again, we have been doing health care for really seven months and probably six months if you think about it. we started in probably a total of six months. others were two and a half years and much more than that. others were eight years and they didn't get it passed. this man is going to get it done, okay? i think get it done long before anybody else. i think it's going to be great health care. as far as tom marino, so he was a very early supporter of mine, the great state of pennsylvania. he's a great guy. i did see the report, we are going to look into the report. we will take it very seriously. because we are going to have a major announcement probably next week on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem, and i want to get that absolutely right. this country frankly, the world has a drug problem. the world has a drug problem. but we have it and we are going to do something about it. so i will have a major announcement on that problem next week. we will be looking into tom.
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>> reporter: i would loik ike tk you, do you support the plan by people who previously served in your administration such as steve bannon to primary republican candidates in the 2018 election who do not support your agenda? >> i have a very good relationship as you know with steve bannon. steve has been a friend of mine for a long time. i like steve a lot. steve is doing what steve thinks is the right thing. some of the people that he may be looking at, i'm going to see, if we talk him out of that because frankly, they are great people. what mitch will tell you is that maybe with the exception of a few and that is a very small few, i have a fantastic relationship with the people in the senate and with the people in congress. i mean, our house of representatives, i have a great relationship with political people. if you read the papers, you think i'm like on one island and they're like on the other. well, it's not the way it is. we have a fantastic relationship. i'm friends with most of them. i can say and i don't think anybody could have much of a higher percentage but i'm friends with most of them. i like and respect most of them.
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i think they like and respect me. just so you understand, the republican party is very very unified. when we get things approved, we have to go through hell because we have no democrat support. we have nobody. we don't have a vote from the democrats. as an example, massive tax cuts. we may not get any democrat votes. now, we also may get three or four. but we may get no -- for massive tax cuts. we are the highest taxed country in the world. yet we may get no democrat support. and that's because they are obstructionists and they just basically want us to do badly but that's not going to happen. yes. go ahead. >> reporter: on the opioid crisis, [ inaudible ]. do you want to reverse the law that mr. marino helped pass that whistleblowers [ inaudible ] sf.
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>> we will look at that very closely. [ inaudible question ] >> well, he's a good man. i have not spoken to him but i will speak to him and make that determination. if i think it's 1% negative to doing what we want to do, i will make a change. yes. one second. >> reporter: what about declaring a national emergency for the crisis? >> we are going to be doing that next week. by the way, you know that's a big step. by the way, people have no understanding of what you just said. that is a very very big statement. it's a very important step. to get to that step, a lot of work has to be done and it's time-consuming work. we are going to be doing it next week. okay? >> reporter: did you have a chance during your lunch today to discuss the comments that steve bannon made this weekend and what do you make of those comments?


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