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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  October 19, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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think nothing's competitive with this. i'm a little biased. that's the way it is. you look at how high we pay and how much we pay and our companies. they leave because the taxes are so high. it will be hishistoric. it will be bigger than any plan ever approved ever. it will be the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country. and i can tell you we have tremendous support for this. so the budget is going probably fairly late tonight. they'll be working late tonight. could be one of those morning calls that you'll be watching your television at 3:00 in the morning. and it could be sooner than that. but i think we have the votes. right after the budget, we start with the vote on the tax cuts, and i think we're in very good shape. >> mr. president, who's going to pay for the infrastructure recovery in puerto rico? >> we're going to be working. broth we're going to be dealing with congress. we're going to be coming before any existing debt that's on the island. as you know, the island has
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massive debt. just their -- as we talk about the electrical facilities. i think they have $9 billion in debt. well, any debt that's put in will be coming before that debt. we want to make sure that we put in debt and that debt is absolutely protected. in addition to that, we're providing tremendous relief and service also right now. we'll continue to provide that for a period of time. then a new group will come in. the new group will be more building oriented. when things are perfect. so but we do have to come before the existing debt. they have by some counts $120 billion if you add everything, probably about $120 billion. certainly any money that's put in by people whether it's public or private, they're going to want to come in first position. and that's very important. i think the governor understands that. i would imagine pretty much everyone understands that in puerto rico. we're helping right now. this is costing a lot of money.
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having fema, having the military, having the first responders. and we're doing that because we have an obligation to puerto rico. to humanity. we have an obligation to ourselves. we want to continue to do a great job on that. and we're doing it. no, but at some point, there's going to have to be reconstruction. again, the biggest thing is the power plant. there's going to have to be -- you know, it's pretty bad when you have to say power plants. or almost coming before bridges. you have power plants that are needed. you have bridges that are needed. you have roadways that are needed. that's something you don't see when you go into areas hit by hurricanes or disaster of almost any kind. >> mr. president -- >> -- electricity for the island -- >> excuse me? >> how much longer for electricity? >> well, you know, it's a very good question actually. as you know, we have much of the electric is done by generators that have been brought to the island in massive numbers as i
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said before. the plant itself is going to take a while. we have to build a brand-new plant. or we have to do essentially a renovation so large it's going to be a brand-new plant. but there's never been a case where power plants were gone. so this isn't just like, you know, as i said i don't want to just fix -- you can't just fix the poles. there's never been a case where power plants were gone. >> between 1 and 10, how do you grade the white house response? >> the president has answered all the questions. this is ongoing. we're being very diligent given all the data. this is a storm centric approach to what happened. there was a massive devastation
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and catastrophe. that's why, you know, the first responder effort was there. that's why the stabilization effort is there. that's why we set some very aggressive milestones to restore energy in puerto rico. have about 30% of the energy by the end of the month. by the middle of next month, about 50%. and so on. because we want to make sure that people have that knowledge of were we want to go. what keeps -- what's going to keep the people there, what's going to keep this going, is knowing we have the backing of the white house and knowing we are going to have the backing of congress. to have the resources appropriate to attend to the storm and then be smart about it, be innovative and restore puerto rico to a better position than before. leveraging other stakeholders. people that want to innovate. this is our opportunity, again,
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to showcase that puerto rico, u.s. citizens of puerto rico, can come out of this catastrophe stronger. >> i want to ask you a question. for the spirit of these people that have worked so hard and so long, like tom and like brock and like so many others. did the united states, did our government, when we came in, did we do a great job? military? first responders? fema? did we do a great job? >> you responded immediately, sir, and you did so, you know, calm and tom and brock have been on the phone with me every day since the disaster. we recognize there are some logistical limitations. we didn't have the ports open for a couple of days. we didn't have airports working at full capacity until about a day or two ago. so that was always a very limiting step. if you consider we've gone, even
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with those obstacles, we've gone about 15,000 d.o.d. personnel in puerto rico, about 2,000 fema personnel, hhs and others. the response is there. do we need to do a lot more? of course we do. i think everybody over here recognizes there's a lot of work to be done in puerto rico. with your leadership, sir, with everybody over here, we're committed to achieving that in the long run. >> brock, in the last 50 days, though, to put this into context for america, from the virgin islands to california, we've been working in 20 different states, disasters in 20 different states. in the last 50 days under the president's administration we've registered close to 4 million americans for individual assistance. that's more than katrina, rita, wilma and sandy combined. it's been a tremendous effort. >> mr. president -- >> this was actually bigger than anything we've seen. and yet i think our response was
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better than anyone has ever seen. and, again, we were given an a-plus by the man who did this. did what you were doing for the clinton administration and while i don't know him, i would like to thank him for what he said. yes, sir. >> -- government loans to the power plant, right, not government grants? >> we're talking about possibly combinations of both. congress is working right now with the people and representatives of puerto rico. we're talking about potentially combinations of both. >> any thoughts on president bush's speech? >> i didn't see it. i didn't see it. >> sir, two days ago in the rose garden, you talked about the alexander murray plan, health care plan, as a good short-term solution. and then you seemed to back off in your evening speech to the haeritage foundation. your press secretary said you opposed it. >> i like people working on plans at all times. i think ultimately block grants is the way to go. you'll get better health care.
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you'll get it for less money. it will be more specific. a state is a smaller government and it can take better care of its people. especially where you have well-run states. where you have governors that do a great job. if you look at florida, if you look at maine. maine really was very much anxious to do that. various states, kentucky. various states really wanted that block grant money. for the most part, i think we have the vote for that. they'll be a transition period. anything they're working on will be short term. it will be absolutely short term. because it's going to be repeal and replace. so i have great respect for the senators. i don't want the insurance companies making any more money than they have to. you look at the stock prices from the insurance companies from the time of the creation of
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obamacare, with 300% and 400% and even more than that increases in their stock. they made a fortune off obamacare. the people that need obamacare are decimated. premiums are up 40%, 50%, 60%, in some cases, over 100%. in the case of alaska, premiums are up over 200%. so anything they're working on is a very short term. meaning one year to two years max. because i think we have the votes. we're certainly within one votes. when you're within one vote, we're able to get a vote. senator cochran is an example. he is not feeling great. i can tell you that. and he got on a plane in order to vote on the budget. i have great respect for that man. i think it's incredible. but votes are very fragile. we found that out. we've seen that.
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i've learned that. i thought we had it the last time and somebody came out of the blue and voted against it. so now we start the process all over again. but the block grant, the concept of blocking it out, block grants, go to states, that's what people want, and that's what the states want and that's especially what the well-run states want. because they will have health care that's so good, far better than anybody's even thought. so, again, i respect very much the two senators you're talking about. i love that they're working on it. i want them to be careful with respect to the indianapolis compa insurance companies. insurance companies are very good at making money. i want them to be careful with that. we would probably like a very short-term solution until we hit the block grants. until that all kicks in. in other words, it doesn't just kick in the following day. there's a transition period. and if they can do something like that, i'm open to it. but i don't want it to be at the
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expense of the people. i want to take care of our people. i don't want to take care of our insurance companies. they've been very well taken care of over the last number of years, believe me. okay, thank you very much, everybody. thank you very much. uranium is a big subject. if the mainstream media would cover the uranium scandal and that russia has 20% of the uranium, for whatever reason, and a lot of people understand what those reasons may be, i think that's your russia story. that's your real russia story. not a story where they talk about collusion and there was none. there was a hoax. real russia story is uranium. and how they got all of that uranium. vast percentage of what we have. that is, to me, one of the big
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stories of the decade. not just now, of the decade. the problem is that the mainstream media does not want to cover that story. because that protects people they protect. but the big story is uranium and how russia got 20% of our uranium. and frankly, it's a disgrace. it's a disgrace. that the fake news won't cover it. it's so sad. thank you very much. >> that was an epic oval office encounter with the press and president trump. at the end there talking about a story in fact we did do on nbc some years ago, political contributions involved with russia, kazakhstan and uranium. he said that is the real story. he's been tweeting about it today. not the russia collusion allegations we he said are a
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hoax. this was a lengthy meeting with the governor of puerto rico. the president grading himself with a 10. the governor praising the response from fema and from this administration. this at a time when 80% of puerto rico still does not have electricity and 20% of the people do not have clean water. the crisis continues. grants and loans will be forthcoming as the president said. that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. craig melvin is up next right here on msnbc. >> good to see you. epic indeed. craig melvin here from washington, d.c. again we just heard there from president trump. roughly 35 minutes there in the oval office. the lion's share of that back and forth devoted to the ongoing crisis in puerto rico. it was, in fact, one month, tomorrow, that hurricane maria roared ashore there. gabe gutierrez has been on the ground in puerto rico much of
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the time since the storm hit. he joins me now on the phone there from san juan. gabe, i understand that you were listening to the president there. you were listening to the governor. you probably heard president trump rate the gov's response to the crisis in puerto rico as a 10. you're on the ground there. is that accurate? >> hi there, craig. well, depends really who you talk to. there are many people on this island who do feel that the federal response has -- in some ways. a lot of people you talk to in the area where there has been -- the most power that has been restored has been in this area. however, you still talk to people here and life is still very difficult. not just in remote parts but also in san juan. this morning we talked with someone who runs a bed and breakfast. this economy is just cripple theed the ed point. he bought solar powers several
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years ago. he's been taking in power and distributing it to his neighbors. it is a daily struggle to live in parts of puerto rico. now, the president said the federal response should be a 10. the governor mentioned there has been some questions about how some of the local response, and there's investigations going on into whether local mayors have mishandled it. kind of a big picture. almost 80% of puerto rico is still without power. think about that, craig. four weeks after this storm, about 80% still without power. the island's economy has crippled. yesterday, there was a lot of talk in the news conference about how to rebuild the power grid. that is the concern among some fiscal conservatives. how much it's going to cost for the long term to rebuild the infrastructure here. yesterday i was at a power plant outside of san juan. controversial here locally. there are two massive turbines that have arrived. it's part of a contract with a jacksonville-based company, apr
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energy. those turbines are supposed to provide 60 megawatts of power and that's supposed to light up the capital city within two weeks the governor claims. i talked with the chief executive officer of the pouert rico power authority. that agency had gone bankrupt amid allegations of corruption. i asked him how in the world can local authorities fix this power grid in such a short time. here's what he had to say. >> this is extremely old technology, you know, a steam power plant with boilers. that is, you know, unheard of. most of our equipment has over 35 years of service. where useful life is 30. certainly it was a disaster. >> so, again, a massive challenge here for the local authorities.
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governor has for the last several weeks been saying he wants puerto ricans to be treated just like any other american citizen would be treated. he repeated that message to the president today. certainly lobbying for more federal aid. the house passing this aid package several days ago. $35 billion for puerto rico and other disasters. i think what we're really starting to understand here is this is going to take such a long time to even begin this. quote will be how it will be to put a patchwork solution or do you, you know, rebuild this power grid from scratch, put electrical poles underneath the ground, do the things you have to do in order to ensure that doesn't happen again. and many residents here in puerto rico are skeptical that the governor and fema and the army corps of engineers are going to be able to meet this time line the governor has put forward. as you heard, he said he expects to have 95% of the island back
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with power by mid-december. certainly a tall order. >> it was interesting, gabe, to hear the president do what he has done on a number of occasions since the storm hit. talk about how this particular storm was worse than katrina. it should be noted once again that during hurricane katrina in the aftermath, there were 1,881 people who died. the death toll not to diminish the tragedy there in puerto rico but the death toll at last check, as i understand it, was just shy of 50. going back to the grade that the president is giving the response here though, this 10, if you polled 10 people on the ground in puerto rico, would any of them give the president a 10? >> it would be very difficult to poll 10 people on the ground in port wreckco and they would give him that grade.
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puerto rican, even some of the rural areas, you do this over and over again of people you talk to. they say look, we had it bad but it could have been worse. that's what they'll say. even though some we spoke with have said they lost their home. but they're very proud. they want, you know, there's a slogan here in puerto rico. [ speaking foreign language ] there's this very -- they are eager to rise above this and to have this recovery effort move forward. craig, the situation with the power is really crippling that effort. it's just no matter how -- any way you look at this, until the power is restored here and until telecommunications are fully restored, there's been improvement in telecommunications, just in the last few days in puerto rico. but, you know, what many people here just want is to be able to start up businesses again. start up tourism again.
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obviously the pharmaceutical companies here in puerto rico that make up such a large part of the economy. so much of this island is run on generating power right now is running on fumes. a lot of people you speak with, you know, the president has rated the response so far a 10. many of them that we've spoken with say look, a lot of them haven't seen fema. we did the story a few days ago where these military veterans are going to the western part of the island. as we understand, there are many remote parts of puerto rico that haven't seen any federal aid. some volunteers from the u.s. mainland coming from all over the place. doctors, nurses, california, texas, florida. going to this remote area just north of ponsay in the southern part of the island and taking 30,000 pounds of medical supplies. these folks we spoke with in that part of the island, they hadn't seen fema. they hadn't seen the federal responders. with that said, we have also
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been with the military. they have a very large presence here. they're going on there. setting up their medical tents outside hospitals that are still without power. the first responders are working extremely extremely hard. as we reported, fema has about 1,100 workers here at hurricane maria. 4,000 in texas for hurricane harvey. you might say texas and florida have very large national guard contingencies. and they're bigger population centers. as you just heard the president say, this is a massive disaster. as you heard the top three-star general here coordinating the military relief effort. this is the worst disaster he's ever seen. so yes, there are many residents here that are frustrated with the federal response no matter what grade the president gives that response. >> gabe gutierrez, our eyes and ears on the ground for us there
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in san juan gabe, thanks, as always. we'll check in with you throughout the afternoon. now to president trump preferring to talk russian conspiracy theories rather than the controversial gold star families. even as former president george w. bush today bemoaned, quote, conspiracy theories. today on twitter, president trump appeared to allege collusion between the fbi, democrats and russians. all of this as "the washington post" reports he promised but did not send a $25,000 check to a gold star parent. gold star families are the relatives of members of the military who died in combat. this and trump alleged comments to a grieving widow also coming as senators are demanding more answers as to what happened on october 4th when four u.s. soldiers were ambushed in niger.
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nbc's kristen welker is at the white house with the latest on all this. what else the message coming out of the white house this afternoon? >> first to that tweet you mentioned. obviously you and gabe just discussed his comments on puerto rico. the day started with this. president trump tweeting workers of firm involved with the discredited and fakes do year take the fifth. who paid for it? russia the fbi or the dems or all? of course that dossier has been widely discredited by the president, has never been proven to be accurate, but seemed to have some type of damaging information about the president, and so you had intelligence communities looking into it. bottom line though, craig, the president is trying to shift the conversation away from those controversies that you talked about. the president did speak with chris baldridge. he is the father of a fallen soldier. that's when the president not only called to extend his condolences but also to say that
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he would send $25,000. now, we did check in with white house officials here. they say that check was mailed recently. you may ask what's the holdup. they say, look, it has to go through a very lengthy approval process. that's part of why it takes such a long time. they also make the point that this was a gesture that was done by the president and it's something he actually has checked up on regularly. again, he's really trying to shift the narrative away from some of these questions about his outreach to these gold star families, craig, as you point out that tweet earlier today, but then in that oval office meeting, talking about the budget and tax, striking an optimistic note, indicating he feels confident that the budget is going to get passed tonight and that ultimately they're going to get tax reform done, look, in order to get tax reform, they have to get through that big first hurdle of the budget. it really is an important vote, craig. >> not just tax reform, quote, we will have the biggest tax cuts in the history of the
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country. kristen welker from 1600 pennsylvania avenue, kristen, thanks. the detail surrounding that october 4th ambush in niger are still a mystery, even to john mccain who heads the armed service also committee. >> do you think the administration has been forthcoming about what happened there? >> of course not. >> the department of defense, their own initial investigation, to carry out -- >> there's a system, they are coequal branches of government, we should be informed at all times. >> nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nico nichols here with the latest on that. hans, in the simplest of terms what don't we know about what happened? >> we don't know about the intelligence leading into it. it happened at dusk. we also don't know who evacuated and when the u.s. casualties and the dead were evacuated, those
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first three dead, as well as the two casualties. initial reports, they were french super puma helicopters who did the evacuation. then saying actually it may have been a military contractor. we also don't know how long they were inside the village, whether or not they had been detained there or almost stalled there by the elders that they could have been in cahoots with the combatants, the radical islam t islamists, and we also don't know how long the firefight lasted and what sort of enemy damage done. initially they said yes there was enemy killed in action. they're backing away from that. the dod is launching what's called a 156 investigation. that implies a certain level of events. it's an administrative proceeding, it's not a board proceeding. you get findings after findings. you get recommendations. that's where they are at the pentagon. i suspect we'll get more throughout the day. but they'll also likely say let's wait until this investigation is complete.
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at that point, they may also start providing answers to capitol hill. craig. >> hans nichols with, again, what appears to be the beginning of the story here in niger. hans, thank you. barack is back. president obama. hitting the campaign trail for the first time since leaving office where he is and his potential impact on two tight races. we'll look at that. but first, president george w. bush this morning taking a strong stand against those who would conflate white values with american values. >> our eye dent tip identity as not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or by blood. people of every race, religion, ethnicity, can be fully american. it means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is
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some surprising news on an obamacare fix. many on capitol hill had essentially given up for dead.
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msnbc's garrett haith is with me. what do we know? >> craig, two big developments here within the last hour. the first in the senate. senate alexander revealed his list of republican co-sponsors for this bill and he's got 12 of them. the most notable, lindsey graham and bill cassidy, whose names you'll remember were the authors of the last bill, the repeal and replace obamacare. so now they have signed their names on to this effort to fix it. that's going to go a long way in encouraging support here in the senate. you just heard it. those comments from president trump. once again, signaling that this is maybe something he can get on board with if the deal is considered to be a short-term deal and if it doesn't enrich insurance companies. now, these are things that the authors of this deal will continue to work on. it's still not entirely clear how this gets to the floor. but the measure took a big step forward today. craig, just the back of the napkin math here, 12 republican
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co-sponsors plus 48 democrats will be enough to pass this in the senate if no other republicans supported it. so a big step forward here in the senate for this deal. >> garrett, really quickly, just in a nutshell, this is a bill that will do what? >> this bill provides money from congress to stabilize the individual insurance market. it pays those csr payments that the president pulled back from last week. this puts that money there. the details of which still has to be worked out is what conservatives will extract for that. it also changes things like how catastrophic plans can be bought by people older than 29 which they can't do now, loosens up some other rules. some conservatives want a little bit more but this bill would put that money in place for the next two years. >> derek haath from the dark bo
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bowels of the capitol, thanks. joining us now, will fisher, an iraq war veteran, currently director with the committee called vote vets. big thanks to all of you. ann, let me start with you. let me start with health care really quickly. what's the sense that you're getting inside the white house? again, it's difficult to gain whether president trump is for this bill since he was for it, then against it, now it seems like he might be for it again. is this a bill that the white house ultimately decides to stomach and sign? >> well, we haven't heard otherwise. so i would take that as an indication that this compromise might be one they can live with. but you're quite right, craig, the president had three different positions on this legislation or similar over the last 26, 24 to 36 hours. so it's a little hard to tell. it seems like his basic gut here is that he is in favor of a short-term fix.
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he's not crazy about some of the details here. he definitely doesn't want this to be the long-term deal. but he's in favor of a band aid. >> jennifer rubin, you wrote a piece recently. it was -- the title was small things aren't small. and in part you write, trump's moral depravity and attack on democratic norms remain critically important as does the pushback. you say the pushback is coming more frequently with more vigor. why? >> i think you see it coming from a lot of different sources. you saw it coming from the nfl when they refused to require their players to stand during the national anthem. you saw it from senator schumer yesterday who basically called the president incoherent on just the issue that ann was talking about, that he seems not to know what's in legislation, not to care, not to be coherent. you see it in instances like yesterday. when we had of course the gold star family and a united states
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congresswoman really rat him out on his completely inappropriate language. he denied it. they said they had evidence. they didn't have evidence. now it turns out he also hasn't made contact, as he has represented, with at least nine gold star families "the washington post" has reported on. from all these different places, you see his moral character being attacked. many more people feel empowered to say no, the president is lying. no, the president didn't do the right thing. >> what's the practical effect of that? what then could potentially happen to this president, to this administration? >> well, his approval ratings are already down and they could go further towards the basement and that's a problem for republicans who will be running for re-election in 2018. it also begins i think to pick up some steam from where senator corker let off. who's really questioning the president's competency. his ability to handle the requirements of the job. once that conversation begins getting up and running, i think you're going to have some more pressure on him. you're going to have more people in the republican party trying
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to run for cover. if, in fact, the house and/or the senate flips, i think you'll see some proceeding against the president. we had an interesting hearing yesterday on the clause in new york where there's a group of restaurateurs who are making an argument, hey, this guy can't be receiving money from his hotels. >> i want to play something from two gold star familyings. this is the controversy that doesn't seem to go away. both say they haven't been contacted by president trump. but both also say that's not even what's most important here. take a listen. >> what is important to you now? >> i just want jonathan's name to be remembered and all of the fallen soldiers. >> it's not really about whether or not a person may have called or did something more than the previous one. it's about what are you doing now to help those who are left behind? who have to struggle day to day? >> the veterans that you've talked to, what did they tell
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you about, you know, what's most important here? >> well, i mean, look, of course we don't need to be led astray from focusing on those who answered the call instead of those who made the call. that said, i mean, it seems like everybody i talked to who is shocked by this, i just can't help but wondering if they have some type of donald trump is unfit for office amnesia. i mean, we're talking about donald trump attacking and being disrespectful to gold star families again. mind you this is the same person who was disrespectful to gold star families during the campaign and just on military and veterans issues someone who has attacked senator mccain's service, someone who legislatively would like to destroy and privatize the va and someone who, you know, goes on twitter and speakings in a remarkably capricious way about our nuclear arsenal and endangers our active duty military on a daily basis. >> i have here, i want to ask you about niger.
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what questions do you have about what happened? >> i think there are a lot of questions and americans, especially those who are the gold star families from that action, deserve to know. and i think we're going to be seeing more members of congress following up on comments we just now heard from senator mccain saying what's the deal, because look, we do deserve to know. >> ann, shortly after president trump tweeted a few hours ago about possible collusion between the fbi, democrats and russia, this is what former president george w. bush had to say, take a listen. >> bigotry seems emboldened. our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. >> if you listen to the entire speech, it was glaringly obvious that president bush was talking about president trump without ever mentioning president trump. what do you think was behind that, ann?
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>> well, i think that certainly former president bush is -- is feeling somewhat despondent. that was the tone i took from his remarks about the tenor and quality really of politics in washington. and more importantly, republican politics. he's been gone from washington for almost nine years now. and the quality -- the place has really changed in that length of time. still doesn't love washington when he was here but he came to understand it. he led a different kind of republican party. he led a different kind of white house. and one that had a very, very different relationship both with congress and with voters. i mean certainly there was widespread opposition to president bush on the subject of the iraq war and many other things. but you could hear in his voice
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there a sense that he feels there's a disconnect between the white house, the occupant of the white house, and the rest of the country. that by extrapolation he's saying is larger and qualitatively different than it was when he was president. and he thinks that that's the wrong direction for the country. and he listed a number of places where he thinks that could go wrong. it was a very interesting speech. >> interesting indeed. ann, thank you. jennifer, will, thank you. a powerful republican stepping down. i'll ask one of his colleagues if members of his own party are the reason why. and if his departure might do budget negotiations. congressman dave bratt of virginia just over the bridge is standing by.
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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.
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and one for each of you too. thats 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." some do. not everyone can be that poetic voice of a generation. i know right? such a burden. the bank of america mobile banking app. the fast, secure and simple way to send money. a virginia is for lovers of proxy fights. later today, president obama appears on behalf of the democratic gubernatorial candidate. the republican trying to tap into the trump base for a win in virginia. for latest on that, more republican congressmen. dave bratt of virginia joins me now. congressman, always good to have you. i want to talk virginia politics. let's start with the ongoing controversy about gold star families. why did president trump have to
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seemingly invent a history about presidential phone calls as well as his own call to the widow of lieutenant david johnson that appears to not have happened the way he said? >> you'd have to ask him about the motivations there. we're in a fairly toxic environment up in the swamp right now. the democrats have been calling for his impeachment since day one. i wish we'd just get beyond that and let's talk taxes and policy and get into economics. >> are you bothered at all by the fact that the president, again, seems to have disrespected a gold star family? never mind john mccain during the campaign. never mind the kahn family. here we are again with a president embroiled in a controversy with families of men who have made the ultimate sacrifice. >> yeah, i don't think i buy the
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narrative on this round. the president's been about as loyal to the military and families and all the other parents. >> you buy the story? >> i don't think it's a story. out of respect he made the phone call, right? sometimes it's hard to do in office. he's got major responsibility. that's a big deal. these are our heroes. i don't track the minutia of all these stories but i find it fairly hard to believe. when the accuser has been calling for his impeachment on day one, i just -- i don't buy it. >> let's talk virginia politics while i have you. president trump's poll numbers have declined steadily since election day as you know. what does your crystal paball tl you about the gubernatorial race in the commonwealth? >> it's going to be neck and
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neck. gill lipsy's got a poll out positive for him. another one came out today not as good. i was down 30 and won by 10. so i think there is a silent majority hiding underneath. on just the pro-business side. the progressive caucus on the democrat party two weeks ago put in their budget. we're doing tax cuts for the middle class, for the corporations, the s-corps, the small business. the democrats put in a $10 billion tax increase. you still get more debt and deficit out of the democrat budget. so on the one hand, you know, there's a lot of drama and people are hitting republicans because we're in charge. and they should be hitting us until we get some success. but on the other hand, the choice is kind of simple. you either want a $10 trillion tax increase and halt the economy right there. it will go into recession immediately if you follow democrat policy. or you can follow gillespie wants tax cuts in virginia. we want tax cuts for business to get jobs for your kids out
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there. for me, it's about that simple. >> i want to talk to you really quickly before you go about the breaking news if you will, finding out this hour, 12 republican senators are now going to co-sponsor this bipartisan temporary obamacare fix. is that a bill, as you understand it, is that a bill that could survive the house? would you vote for it? >> no. i don't think so. it's kind of laughable really, right. so the senate does a total fail, right, a total fail on health -- on repeal. they couldn't even vote on a skinny bill which was more of a madison avenue tag line. and now they want to vote on a democrat bill. i mean, this is our republicans, right? the country's infuriated. i heard earlier commentary, it's not just president trump, it's all the way from bernie, all the way through the midwestern states, all the way through trump, right. >> why is there so many of the republican colleagues in the upper chamber, why are they on board? >> well, that's the million dollar question.
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we're all in shock, right, watching a massive fail over there on obamacare, on taxes, they're not all in, it's not all clear. hopefully we get there on taxes. but on this, i mean, in exchange for what. are we going to reduce the price for health care for virginia th income is $60,000. and the average plan for a family of four is $20,000. do the math, right? you can only be on a sugar high so long, right? the fed's got $4 trillion in high powered money. we have $700 billion deficits which the economy's on a fake sugar high, right? if you take that away, we're in trouble. >> all right. >> and we're not getting the basic accounting straight up here in the swamp. and the american people know it's rigged. we got to fix it and the senate's not doing its job. >> congressman dave bratt, always enjoy having you. talk soon. >> thank you. >> we will go live to new jersey where, again, in less than two hours president obama making that first campaign appearance since he left office. this is a live look at the line
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president barack obama back on the campaign trail for the first time since leaving the presidency. he will be making campaign appearances for two gubernatorial candidates today in new jersey and in virginia. nbc's ron allen is in newark, new jersey, where the former president will be speaking this afternoon. mr. allen, it would appear as if the crowd started gathering -- >> reporter: they did. it feels a bit like 2008 and 2012, craig, but it's not, of course. barack obama -- and that's why he's coming to the state and going to virginia later on. the irony i have to say up front this time -- democrats in state elections -- terrible. there were more than 1,000 state legisla legislators during his time in office and only 15 republican governors, but he feels like he can come here [ technical difficulties ]
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we have stacey, lauren and marcy, right? >> yeah. >> so you've been standing in line for a long time. why? >> because i'm excited to see barack obama and hear his grace and eloquence and class. i want to hear some endurance and strength from him to help me to continue to get through these next couple of weeks into the next election. >> this feels like old times a bit, yes or no? >> he's always been a voice of reason. a calmness, a soother in chief. somebody who really cares about people in general. >> you're saying that's not happening now? >> no, it's not happening now. now i wake up every morning worried. and i never had to do that when barack obama was president. >> well, you know, he can't run again. so it's over. >> we can find somebody else though. >> and that is much of what he is trying to do is recruit the next generation of leaders and all that. we'll be here, craig. back to you. >> ron allen, newark, new jersey, ron, thank you. we will be right back. ♪
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and that will wrap up this hour of msnbc live. chris jansing picking up our coverage from new york. >> craig, we miss you here in new york. come home. >> i'll be back. i'll be back tomorrow. >> okay. it is 11:00 a.m. out west. 2:00 p.m. in washington, d.c. where president trump is still facing fallout over the deaths of four u.s. soldiers in niger. he was silent for 12 days, now a new report from politico reveals a statement from the president one day after the


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