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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 12, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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having all these people from [ bleep ]hole countries come here? dick durbin from today. >> seeing it in the press, i haven't seen one that's incorrect. then this bipartisan measure, that's where he used the vile and bold comments, saying the nations are shitholes, not once, but repeatedly. >> some congresswoman like lilliana love have denounced the comments today. so far we have not heard from republican leaders. joe biden tweeted, it's not how a president should speak. it's not how a president should behave. most of all, it's not what a president should believe. we are better than this. we will be discussing what the
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president said, the political and moral implications, the foreign policy fallout and the effect on americans of all ages and colors throughout this hour. and joining me first, haiti ambassador of the united states. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> when did you hear about what the president said and how did you take it? >> i heard first about this yesterday afternoon when a reporter from the "washington post" reached out to me. my first reaction was surprise and disappointment that the president of the united states allegedly would actually make such comments about any group of people, let alone the community of haitians, among others, whom unfortunately very few times people do not understand what we as a nation have contributed to the united states as a community, as a people, over the years. haitian americans fought
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alongside by side with u.s. soldiers for the independence of this country. we've been a good neighbor, we've been a good friend, we've been a good partner of the united states over the years. up to this day, haitians and haitian americans continue to make great contributions to this country. on college campuses, there are haitian professors. in nursing homes, there are haitian nurses taking care of elders. in high school, we are teaching american kids the way of life here. the way the haitian people and american people have intertwined over the years, it was discouraging to hear such comments, unfortunately. >> now, the president did tweet today, he wrote, never said anything derogatory about haitians other than haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. never said, take them out, meaning take them out of the preferential status. i have a wonderful relationship
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with haitians. probably should record future meetings. unfortunately, no trust. there seems to be a clarification from senator durbin that the s-hole comment was a reference to the entire continent of africa. this is what dick durbin had to say as well. >> the question was raised about haitians, for example. we have a group that have temporary protective status in the united states because they were the victims of crises and disasters and political upheaval. the largest group is el salvador and the third is hondura and the third is haiti. his response to that, haitians? do we need more haitians? >> your response to that? >> keep in mind today i'm sitting here when we're supposed tobacco m be commemorating the from the earthquake in haiti.
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i thought we would be talking about the challenges haiti face, some of the progress we have made since the earthquake. unfortunately we are here discussing alleged comments made by the president of the united states. whether or not it was said, that's not the issue for us as a community, as a country. haiti, once again, is making the rounds in the news for regrettable comments. the stigma, the cliche, the stereotypes that are on haiti have got to stop. unfortunately, they can't stop at the white house, in one institution that's involved in this conversation right now. whether or not the president said this, we hope he didn't say those things. if he did, we hope he apologizes not just to the haitian community but to the american people. between last night and this morning, i received thousands and thousands of e-mails from haitian americans expressing their gratitude to the people of haiti, expressing the love and
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history that has bonded between haiti and the united states over the years. so it's regrettable that i'm sitting here having this conversation today when there are so many important things we're discussing. and unfortunately, the white house, the president of the united states and senators are going back and forth over this idea of what was said about haiti, but unfortunately, haiti becomes a victim regardless of who said what at the end of the day. we're in dismay about what was said. we are disappointed by what had been said in some ways, but also we're looking forward. we hope this can be a platform to continue to engage with the american people, also engage with the administration. there are a number of things that we as two countries, as republics in the region, that we want to make sure things are happening better for both of our countries. >> as we sit here at this moment, your president, your government has called in the
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chief of mission -- >> that's correct. >> dai-- the american top diplo. do you not have an ambassador in haiti? it's one of the countries we have not named or confirmed an ambassador. but your government is now telling the american diplomat how you feel. have you heard anything from the administration in washington? >> so far nothing. again, everything has been playing out in a public domain, in the press for the most part. we have yet to hear from the state department or from the white house on this issue. >> the state department has not called? >> unfortunately we have not heard from the state department on this issue. >> this afternoon, i believe at 4:53 in the afternoon, the time the earthquake hit eight years ago, you were already planning a commemorative occasion. >> that's right. >> 3,000 people's lives lost. we went down there and saw the buildings pancaked, the people you were trying to pull out and the people who eventually survived. the massive effort which then even led to u.n. workers
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infecting haitians with cholera. there's been so much victimization of haiti, that's one of the things that is profoundly moving to people like myself who were there in the '90s, and you have the struggles. >> by the way, the commemoration has to do with the earthquake and today. the reason of those haitians being here is the issue of trying to make progress on the ground, we hope we are extending them as we do this. it's unfortunate the conversation has moved away from the stereotypes of haiti. we're not just a country looking for charity. we're trying to stand on our own two feet. we have a plan to get the country in the right direction. we're looking at the partnership of the american government as well as the american people. so those comments, we feel they were regrettable.
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they were counter-productive in terms of strengthening the relationship between haiti and the united states. >> as an american, let me be the first to apologize here to you. we'll wait to see what our government does. thank you for being here. >> thank you very much. >> my condolen ces for everything that has transpired. kristen welker is at the white house. no apology, and the irony today we saw live the president signing a proclamation that we're not sure how necessary it was, because the martin luther king jr. holiday was enacted by an act of congress many years ago. >> reporter: that's right, a lot of people looking at today's event and really noting the contrast between honoring dr. martin luther king, and, of course, these reports about president trump referring to haitian and african immigrants and those countries as s-hole countries. the white house not denying that
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those comments were made but president trump, andrea, had disputing the characterization. let me read you one of his tweets and do some analysis on the other side. he said, the language used by me at the daca meeting but this was not the language used. he said he also did not say anything derogatory about haitians and never said "take them out." now, based on reporting from my colleagues, frank thorpe and kasie hunt, we're learning a little more about how that meeting actually went down. according to their reporting, trump and lawmakers were discussing immigrants from haiti and then they shifted to african nations. it was after that discussion of african nations that he made those vulgar comments, largely seen by many in the room as a broader commentary on immigrants from both haiti and african nations. but again, that distinction, we believe, is what is allowing the president to push back on this characterization that he made derogatory comments about
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haitians. either way, andrea, this is a political problem for the white house. this is not the first time they have dealt with racially tinged comments by this president. of course, one of the recent examples of that was in the wake of the charlottesville riots when white nationalists took to the streets, and of course it turned deadly in one instance. president trump in the wake of that said that, effectively drew a comparison between the white nationalists and the counter-protester. this is another instance of this which the white house is going to have to deal with. and from a policy perspective, andrea, it could, and i want to express that word could, it could make it more difficult for the president to sit down and negotiate with democrats over an immigration deal to get what he wants in terms of funding for the border wall, to get what he wants in terms of chain migration. democrats, of course, want to fix daca. this is a political problem on a whole range of different levels. the backlash has been bipartisan, andrea. >> kristen welker, thank you so
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much. joining me now, chuck todd, political director and moderator of "meet the press" and host of "mtp daily." and political analyst eugene robinson and columnist at the "washington post." chuck, let's talk about what we saw today, because we've seen the president after no denials yesterday and after even some reporting that the white house was not displeased that the base was modified over his compromising signals earlier in the week over daca and the d.r.e.a.m.ers. now we heard the president trying to explain it. there's still no firm denial and we have the confirmation from senator durbin. what do you think is happening here on a day when, as you saw, they made quite a big deal out of the martin luther king jr. day proclamation. >> i think it's obvious why he's trying to make a big deal out of that. he's desperately trying to see if they can preserve any hope that somehow people might look
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to him as some sort of attempt at unifying, you know, even day, not necessarily unifying figure. i'm trying to figure out which one of these rabbit holes to go down with you, andrea. i do think there is a little bit of political schizophrenia here with the president when it comes to immigration. the guy we saw on wednesday, in that 54-minute meeting, doesn't sound like the person that lindsey graham and dick durbin met with yesterday. he's clearly spooked by his base, right? if there is one thing -- you know, it's like if he's making ann coulter unhappy, the rest of the republican party feels a little more uncomfortable. if ann coulter is starting to get happier about the president's remarks on immigration, that's making everybody else in the party uncomfortable. i think he's personally struggling with this immigration issue because he fears that the
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only people left supporting him right now are the people that care about a hard-line stance on immigration. the president is not going to win over anybody if he cuts a deal. but politically he has to cut a deal if he wants rick scott to win a senate seat in the state of florida, for instance. that's the box he's in and he's only made it harder for himself now. >> eugene, you wrote today in your column, you said, in terms of racism, he's crystal clear. >> yeah, there's no schizophrenia there. it's very consistent and very clear. what's the difference between norway and african countries and haiti? you know, african countries are s-hole countries. maya angelou says when somebody shows you who they are, why don't you believe them the first time? well, this isn't the first time for president trump. this is the umpteenth time. he said all haitians have aids. it's extraordinary.
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just for the record, until recently, african immigrants were the best educated recent cohort of immigrants coming into the united states. those numbers have slipped a bit in recent years. they're still better educated than the u.s. population as a whole. so it's not, as president trump would say, the quality of the people who were coming in that he objects to, it's got to be color. >> and rich larry, this is a week that the president tried to push back the narrative reflected in "fire and fury," which is jumping off the bookshelves, and whether you find error in it or not, it shows this president was losing his grip, was childlike, was not paying attention. so he holds this 55-minute on-camera negotiation, if you will, makes a few errors along the way. he talks about earmarks, has to be corrected by kevin mccarthy but is basically engaged.
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then we see the extraordinary mistake over fisa where he leaps onto a conspiracy theory on fox news 30 minutes later despite a strong statement about the fisa reauthorization as it's going up for a final vote on the house floor. a strong statement from the white house, something that has been worked on for months and months and months by the intelligence agencies and his own security cabinet. what do we make of this president? >> he's not a policy monk, you can say that about him. and what chuck said about the immigration policy, you can either be the guy that goes into that bipartisan meeting that's televised for 55 minutes and say, i'll sign anything that congress comes up with because i trust everyone in this room so much, i'm just desperate for any deal, or you can be the guy who rejected that gang of 6 proposal in the white house last night and spoke in these vulgar terms. you can't be the same guy. at least you can't and achieve
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any sort of coherence. i think the odds of a clean daca repeal that the white house would have considered a disaster five days ago have materially increased over the last 18 hours. >> i agree. that's the irony, isn't it? >> chuck, jump in here. >> no, no, that's the irony, i think, now, because you're going to have a bunch of democrats uncomfortable with being caught in a compromise deal. you're going to have now republicans feeling as if they have no choice but to forge a compromise. look, i'm curious to see if the hill leadership on the republican side has the guts to basically say, you know what, let's cut the white house out, let's cut our own deal, shove it on the budget bill and see if he vetoes it. that could be where we're headed. some form of what rich said, the president has made it now where this immigration deal is going to make -- going to be even worse for those that wanted to
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see some new restrictions moving forward. >> it was already hard for democrats to give trump what he really needed. he needed something he could call a wall, whether it was five miles, ten miles, some solid structure somewhere. >> they doubled the fence form in this deal. donald trump could have easily said, rich, they want to call it a fence but hey, i just got them to pay for the wall. how about that? >> it just got harder for everyone. >> and jeff flake said, the words used by the president, as related to me directly following the meeting by those in attendance, were not "tough," they were abhorrent and repul repulsive. durbin and graham going in not knowing they would be joined by
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these other participants, apparently. the state department not saying we'll check into this, haiti was the only other country that joined with the united states on that jerusalem vote in the u.n. security council which was not an easy situation for them. >> what you do is you thank them for that. you thank them materially for that. that's called diplomacy. but this administration is not conducting diplomacy, as you well know. we could do a whole other show on the ambassadors who haven't been appointed and the specialists at the state department, the regional specialists who are no longer there. people who know anything about anything are no longer there. so don't expect the normal diplomatic reaction because there aren't the people there to even conduct that. >> well, i understand why trump wanted cotton and others in that meeting, because he wanted to fortify himself against durbin and graham. and what they offered him on trump's terms, and i agree with this, was a rotten deal.
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we talk about daca and the d.r.e.a.m. act, what they're proposing is a d.r.e.a.m. act with transparency as well. no deal on chain migration and only a little divisivement on the visa lottery. that was the immediate context for these remarks about the s-hole countries. >> i would argue that a lot of democrats, certainly, on the hill would say it was too sweet a deal and now it's a better deal than any he would still be getting because he has so muddied the waters. we're going to leave that there. there will be a lot more on "mtp daily" with chuck. chuck, thank you very much. i know you have a busy day. rich lowry, thank you for being here. and we can't thank you all enough for being here.
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congresswoman barbara lee of california joining us next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. how about some of the lowest options fees? are you raising your hand? good then it's time for power e*trade the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. alright one quick game of rock, paper, scissors. 1, 2, 3, go. e*trade. the original place to invest online. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home, with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection, which could lead to hospitalizations. in a key study, neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%, a 94% decrease. applied the day of chemo, neulasta onpro is designed to deliver neulasta the next day, so you can stay home. neulasta is for certain cancer patients
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the most disheartening thing to me is my belief that that was the first time words that hateful had been spoken in the oval office of the white house. i think back to presidents throughout history, and i cannot imagine a moment where a president sunk to that depth.
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that's what breaks my heart. >> senator dick durbin describing what he heard the president say in the oval office. california democratic congresswoman barbara lee is former chair of the congressional black caucus and joins me now. congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us. tell me your immediate reaction and what you and cedric richmond and the other members of the black caucus were saying to each other. >> my immediate reaction, it was just one of anger and sadness. first of all, today, andrea, is the eighth anniversary of the devastating earthquake in haiti. we're leading into the anniversary of dr. king's birthday to honor his life and his legacy, and here we have a president who has once again said racist and despicable words about african-americans, people of color and countries that really have helped build their
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descendants, and current residents have helped build america to its greatness. what he has said, of course, is that you're only welcomed in america if you're white, otherwise you're not welcome in this country. i fully believe that what congressional black caucus chairman cedric richmond said was very correct. it was exactly what needed to be said when he noted that when president trump says "make america great again," he really means "make america white again." that's exactly what we see. once again, this is really what he is. this has been a pattern and this should not shock anybody, but it does in many ways because i think congressman lou gutierrez said it so eloquently. we can't be so insensitive that we don't feel the pain of this moment. >> indeed.
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i just wanted to point out to all of the explanations, if you will, from the white house today that the president really was talking about africa when he used language s-hole or whatever that it was not about haiti, so therefore you're describing an entire continent of countries in africa? people are pointing -- i know bill crystal tweeted out the example of a bronx fireman, a hero, u.s. army national guard private emmanuel mensah. he's 28 years old, came from ghana. he ran into a bronx apartment building and saved four people before he died in the flames of that terrible fire. there is no way to mention all of the millions and millions of americans from all of these countries that have been so denigrated by the president.
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>> african-american ancestors, my ancestors come from the continent of africa. haitian ancestors, ancestors of the americas come from the continent of africa. so however he said that, it was an insult, it's despicable, and you know what, andrea? it really reflects the fact that this agenda is part of the all-right steve bannon who has at its core white supremacy. we know that, and this once again is a terrible, sad, hateful example of what this president is doing not only in terms of his attitudes and idealogy, but what he is doing in terms of his policy and how this is reflected in his legislative priorities and the policies that are emanating from the white house. speaker ryan and the republicans need to step up and not only condemn this president for what he said, but they need to do
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something and they need to do something in terms of making sure that they put him in check. because we cannot allow a president in the united states to really continue with this idealogy as reflected in his policies by making america white again, because that is exactly what he is trying to do. >> as we are speaking, congresswoman, we're seeing the president get into the suburban. he's motoring because of heavy fog to walter reed or to bethesda naval for his first physical as president of the united states. this is something we'll be talking about a little bit later, but he's heading up there for his physical exam and then on to florida where he will perhaps be greeted by a lot of people, including a lot of haitians who live down there, including a lot who work at mar-a-lago where he'll be spending the weekend. barbara lee, thank you for joining me from oakland today. >> my pleasure. down to the wire.
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facing a big deadline today on the iran nuclear deal. what the president called one of the first deals in history, coming up next. stay with us. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. ♪
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at any moment now, the white house is going to announce what president trump has decided about continuing to suspend tough economic sanctions against iran when it agreed to the international nuclear deal, or in essence blow up the nuclear agreement by reimposing sanctions today. next week the president faces a second decision whether to certify that iran is complying with the deal, something that the president refused to do in october. clearly there is a lot at stake, and as i bring in jeremy bash, the former chief of staff both at the cia and the pentagon during the obama administration, he's also an msnbc security analyst. i want to ask you about iran. there was an outcry from european leaders, including president macron, meeting with the president in brussels which infuriated the white house. they were afraid it would make the president change his mind and not agree to extend this
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agreement and blow this up today. but i think he's agreed to a tightened bill, which is very iffy, but there is a bill in congress, as well as missile development. but this is questionable in the congress because anything they do could backlash in iran. >> what the president is probably going to do is he's probably going to stay in the deal. he's probably going to try to say that iran is in compliance although he's not willing to personally satisfy it. he's going to try to tighten sanctions on iran for their support of terrorism and ballistic missile approach. i think those are good steps. i think it's also good if congress, working with the administration and working with our european partners, tries to do two things to improve the deal. first to ensure that inspectors can go to any military site and
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show up unannounced. i think it's also important that they elongate the deal so it doesn't expire in six or seven years and iran can build a weapon. it's interesting that despite his pledges, he has stayed in the deal. >> you're one of the people who drafted the fisa law back in 9/11 when you were working on the hill and in the pentagon and the cia. what we saw this week was just crazy. was it only yesterday? >> yes, it was just yesterday between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. >> he proposes something to vote on that the house has been trying to get on the floor. >> when i was working on the president george w. bush administration, there were republicans tough on intelligence and security. the democrats were trying to protect civil liberties. now you have the president, the leader of the republican party,
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virtually opposing the republican bill to extend this important capability. it has been an important capability. it's helped us conduct surveillance. the president basically gave everybody whiplash saying, hey, this is what was used to surveil me and my campaign. no, it wasn't, and b, this could interrupt the intelligence community. he really did undercut his intelligence community yesterday. >> let me ask you about race. the racism of this president and the signal that it sends, and you having been at the pentagon know that a core principal with defense secretary mattis, who made clear after charlottesville, that there is no place by matter of law in the military for racism. >> the united states department of defense, our military, is the great equalizer in our society. it's the great provider of
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opportunity to people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. 40% of the active duty personnel in our military are from racial and ethnic minorities. we have 900 members of the united states military, of the army, who are d.r.e.a.m.ers, who are actually non-citizens but are serving in uniform to risk their lives protecting all of us. if the daca bill is not allowed to be voted on in a clean way on the floor of the congress, those 900 army soldiers will be stripped of heir uniform and potentially deported. >> extraordinary. i saw one of those naturalization ceremonies on july 4th in baghdad. joe biden, i believe it was 2010, i was there watching them be sworn in. paul ryan speaking about this moments ago. let's listen. >> yeah, i read those comments later last night. so first thing that came to my mind was very unfortunate, unhelpful. but you know what i thought of right away? i thought about my own family.
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my family, like a whole lot of people, came from ireland on what they called coffin ships then. >> that's a little bit of paul ryan. i think we just lost the audio. i'm not sure we could have heard that. we'll get that back to you as well. >> but obviously he's making a very broad point, which is we teach our children about the statue of liberty, about ellis island, about welcoming immigrants to our shores, and that making us stronger. we see that in our military, we see that in our intelligence services. it's part of national security. again, just to repeat the point, we have d.r.e.a.m.ers serving in the military today. if that bill is not allowed to be on the floor, those people will be stripped of their uniform and deported from the country. we have to get the daca bill passed. >> jeremy bash, thank you for that. >> thank you. and blame game. why donald trump is inaccurately saying it is because of barack obama that he has to cancel his trip to london to open the new u.s. embassy there. the inside scoop, next.
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that goes beyond assuming beingredients are safe...ood to knowing they are. going beyond expectations... because our pets deserve it. beyond. natural pet food. president trump announcing overnight he is not going to britain to open the new u.s. embassy there a month or so from now and is inaccurately blaming this on the obama administration for the decision to move the embassy from the heart of london, a decision made by president bush more than a decade ago for security reasons. but facing likely protests, the
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president would, for his anti-muslim comments and retweets of anti-muslim racist videos. president trump tweeted, the reason i canceled my trip to london is i'm not a big fan of the obama administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in london for pea nuts only to build a new one in an off location for $1.2 billion. bad deal. wanted me to cut the ribbon. no! with me is nbc political analyst, ashley parker, nbc political analyst, and anita dunn, white house communications director for president obama. peter, first to you. what is the real story here? >> well, i have to say, i have never heard a president say he wasn't going to visit another country, much less our closest ally, because he was concerned about real estate. this is a really creative reason to cancel a trip that was problematic on so many other fronts. it was problematic because, as you said, there is a running
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rift. we had the mayor of london who is muslim who the president has gone after repeatedly. there are repeated episodes where he has criticized the british or exposed intelligence questions. at one point his white house suggested that the british had been spying on him during last year's election which the british adamantly denied and were very upset about. so hethere's a real danger, in s mind, of going because he would see protests in the streets. it would be embarrassing, he thinks, if he had to be protested like that. i think he's looking for a reason to basically call off a visit that neither side frankly wanted anymore. >> and ashley, the fact is there were going to be protests. 1.8 million british citizens signed a petition to parliament saying, do not invite this president, cancel this trip. >> there absolutely were going to be protests. it was not going to be a friendly visit.
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it was not going to be a state visit. he had been invited for a state visit and accepted, but that was not going to be this. that is the sort of visit the president prefers. we've seen on other foreign trips he likes the military bands, the red carpet, the big dinners and the lavish praise. this was going to be quite the opposite, and there is a tendency the president has to sort of preempt any potential embarrassment or slight by coming up with an excuse before they can protest him by pulling out. that's what we saw with this tweet and sort of fanciful excuse. >> as we saw when president macron laid out the red, white and blue carpet for him, he does love a parade, and this was not going to be that. and i would -- we don't have evidence of this, but i would not even be surprised if there
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were not some loyal misgivings about it. this is a different royal generation. you're about to have a woman of african-american origin become a princess and marry prince harry in march. >> yes, an american. this is an administration and certainly a president who spends a lot of time looking for a way to blame his predecessor. i would not be surprised if we don't shortly hear that his predecessor, president obama, was somehow to blame for his comments yesterday. i think that, you know -- and this is one of his favorite things to do, it's one of his favorite ways to divert attention, so i'm not surprised to hear that this visit is off. i'm less surprised to hear that he's looking for a way to blame barack obama for it. >> speaking of bloarack obama, his interview with david letterman, and i don't have the quotation in front of me, but he said something to the effect that michelle realized before he even realized that some of the
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important things a president does -- and this was taped in october, i believe, so long before this ruckus in the last 24 hours -- that the production a president has in leadership can be more important than regulations signed or bills passed. >> i think the first lady recognized that. i also think the president recognized it, that what a president does and what a president says is really critically important, and that people around the globe and around this country, kids, look at presidents and they look to see a little of themselves in it. i think that when you think about what the president said yesterday, he's giving permission to people to look at some americans a different way, and that's not what a unifyer should be doing. >> peter baker, you've lived around the world and we've had the meme of the ugly american since the vietnam years. i say that with quotation marks, but what does this do to the
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view of america? do people distinguish between the president and the rest of the country? >> well, they do. there's plenty of moments in our history where america was not very popular in certain parts of the world and yet it's really the government that they blame, not necessarily the country as a whole. i don't know whether that's going to remain the case in this instance. this president has been so out there on some of these comments and things like that that that could change that dynamic. but polls have shown around the world that the perception of american leadership has gone down substantially under president trump. clearly if you're from one of these countries in africa, if you're from haiti, from a lot of places around the world, you look at this comment with a great deal of skepticism, you look at it pretty jaundiced. i've heard people say, is it safe to go to america?
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maybe we should take our work elsewhere. it definitely has an impact even if people still hold america out as a country that is to be admired. >> the shining city on the hill. diane feinstein, i'll leave you with this, has issued a statement calling the remarks vile and despicable and saying, if the president can't control himself and lead this country with the dig nnity and leadersh it requires, he should leave as president. there is no room for racism in the white house. we'll be right back. anna, do you have those plans? yes! i just wanted to show you something i've been wor... ♪ james r. and associates. anna speaking... ♪ james r. and associates. anna. ♪
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. >> i think it's going to go very well. i'll be very surprised if it doesn't. >> no one likes to get a physical, so it's a good thing that president trump is so upbeat about the results of his first white house physical exam today at walter reed at bethesda naval hospital. as you can see, the motorcade now arriving. as a candidate, he was the oldest man taking office. he quoted his personal physical physician saying, president trump would be the healthiest individual ever elected president. joining me is dr. john torres, nbc news medical correspondent.
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thank you for being with us, doctor. clearly they're going to do the basics with him. they aren't going to do the mental evaluation, never have with presidents of the united states, that we know of. will this physical and how they read it out tell us, do you think, what will it tell us about the president of the united states? >> i think what it's going to tell you is basically what we all get when we get an annual physical examination, which is our vital signs, our heart rate, blood pressure, our physical examination of our eyes, ears, lungs, the examination of our blood work, our cholesterol level, liver levels, and immunization, medications you're on. as far as a mental health evaluation, that typically doesn't happen in these examinations except for medicare is now emphasizing the wellness examination for those above the age of 65, and he's 71. they want to you do a couple things, one is the mini mental status examination which basically says, do you know what day it is? do you know what time it is?
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can you draw a clock? and the phq9 which looks at cognition issues. any signs of dementia? from that it's a screening examination, and move on to more thorough examinations. a couple issues here, will he get those? we don't know. if he gets those and there's any issues, will we find out about that? same thing, we're not sure. >> and we've got a history here where we know that in the past, as we see the president leaving to go to the hospital, in the past the reagan white house was very circumspect about revealing details for a while. we never knew at the time how seriously he had been injured by john hinckley's bullet. they did reveal the cancer operation. they had to. they had a whole briefing. i was there when the heated of the national cancer institute came out and said the president has cancer. and mrs. reagan was very upset because she said it had been cut out, the colon cancer. there's a lot of privacy issues
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here, they believe. >> there's a lot of privacy issues. some are private privacy issues any of us would have being citizens. the other part is some issues might come about because of national security interests or political interests. in the past presidents have not told us a variety of thins. we've had presidents that have had cancer, heart attacks, polio, that we didn't know about until they were out of office. there's no standard here, there's no legislation or law that says they have to release certain information. it's basically up to the president and their staff what gets released. i think that's what we're going to find out tuesday when his doctor actually gives us a briefing on what they found, what exactly they'll give us and won't give us. >> dr. john torres, we'll talk to you tuesday. hey, dustin. grab a seat. woman: okay. moderator: nice to meet you. have you ever had car trouble in a place like this? (roaring of truck) yes and it was like the worst experience of my life. seven lanes of traffic and i was in the second lane. when i get into my car, i want to know that it's going to get me from point a to point b. well, then i have some good news. chevy is the only brand to receive j.d. power dependability awards for cars, trucks and suvs
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thanks for being with us. chris jansing takes over in new york. chris? >> andrea mitchell, thanks so much. good afternoon. we're here at msnbc headquarters in new york. we are following this rapidly developing story. vile and vulgar, a democratic senator confirms that trump called some african countries an expletive and says he does not want those immigrants in the u.s. and staying silent. of the seven lawmakers in the room, just a handful have publicly condemned the president's comments. actually, just dick durbin. lindsey graham, called out by durbin today, for confronting the

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