tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC January 15, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
another place. i think he is a racist. 38 minutes. that's how long it took to tell people a missile alert in hawaii was a false alarm, creating a wave of panic, raising questions about the possibility of an accidental war. >> i worry that north korea could see an alert like that, think that we believe an attack is imminent. they could undertake military moves, and then you have the sparks that could ignite a larger military conflict. deal or no deal. president trump says the daca deal is probably dead, blaming the democrats. will the government even shut down over the dreamer fight? >> i don't think the democrats want to make a deal. i think they talk about daca, but they don't want to help the daca people. >> is it worth shutting down the government if a daca compromise doesn't happen? >> it should not come to that. we should stop shutting this government down, and we should start doing the work the american people sent us to washington to do.
>> and good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. as the nation pause pauses to commemorate the life and legacy of martin luther king jr. first here today, we and officials in honolulu are trying to come to grips with what happened this weekend from honolulu to washington, investigating how one person's double click could trigger a false ballistic missile alert to millions of hawaiians with no all-clear for almost 40 minutes. the emergency alert sent out saturday morning said that a ballistic missile was inbound to hawaii, warning people to take immediate shelter and that it was not a drill. terrified residents and tourists scrambling for cover. it took 38 minutes for the state to issue a correction, indicating it was a false alert. the chairman of the fcc called the delay absolutely unacceptable. hawaii's governor says it was an error that would not occur
again. >> it was a procedure that occurs at the change of shift where they go through to make sure the system is working, and an employee pushed the wrong button. >> nbc's jacob was in hawaii, in the command center where the mistake took place only hours before that false alert. you join me now from honolulu. you have the story. you were there. you saw the people. obviously a lot of questions to be answered. tell us about being in that command center and how they were preparing for what then went terribly wrong. >> yeah, andrea, it was an extraordinary set of coincidences we were here. our digital video unit was working on a story about preparations for a nuclear attack, what would happen. you're looking at some of our nbc news exclusive footage right
now inside that command center. essentially, what is supposed to happen in that room is there are two state warning officers on duty at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. if the telephone inside that room rings, it's a very specific secure telephone, and u.s. pacific command is on the other line, they would get a message that would say this is u.s. pacific command, we've detected an inbound ballistic missile threat, you are the intended target. that is the only time ever that the alert that went out is supposed to go out. never in terms of a drill. in fact, the message itself said that this is not a drill. what occurred in that room is that one of the people -- potentially one of the guys i met, but we don't know for sure quite yet, double clicked an alert during a routine shift change that was supposed to be a test and instead activated the mechanism that warned residents across hawaii. we knew -- or we were suspicious at least that it wasn't a real ballistic missile inbound because we didn't hear the
sirens. there were 394 sirens across the state of hawaii that are supposed to sound in the event of a ballistic missile incoming, and the notification sounded from that center. there were no sirens sounded. it was only the text message. so it led to a lot of confusion, particularly on our part. and it was only after those very terrifies 38 minutes that they were able to get the word out again that this indeed was not a ballistic missile incoming. it was a big fat mistake. >> and i wanted to share with our viewers part of your interview with the people at that command center just, you know, before this all took place. let's watch. >> this is where the call comes in that notifies us of a ballistic missile launch. >> if a nuclear missile is launched from north korea, this is where you'll find out? >> that's right. these are state warning officers. they'll receive a call from the pacific command on a secure line and make a decision to activate the statewide siren system. >> where's the phone? >> it's right here behind us.
>> jacob, when you heard that this had happened, this false alarm, and obviously we all got alerted from the network and were all scrambling, i was calling intelligence, what were your immediate reactions? >> i have to say, andrea, totally candidly, i was in the ocean behind me. it was about 8:00 in the morning. we had wrapped up our shoot and were going to be heading home to los angeles later in that day. so we were getting a little leisure time in. when we came on to shore and were told there was an official warning b sent, that there was an inbound ballistic missile, the first thing that we said was we didn't hear a siren. there was no siren. the siren is the first line of defense. you heard david in the video we just played say that is the first thing that is supposed to happen once there is an official word from pacific command that a missile has been detected. because there was no siren, it was frankly just confusion. a lot of raw nerves. there were people running all over the place on the island, looking to take cover. you know, frankly people calling
their loved ones to say their final good-byes. we didn't feel that sense of fear because we were actually in the ocean when the alert went out. by the time we got out, word was starting to spread that something was fishy. 38 minutes, andrea, is twice the amount of time it would take for a missile to get from north korea to the hawaiian islands. the fact that nothing had happened over the course of that time was an indication that something had gone terribly wrong with the warning system. >> and while you were talking, we showed some pictures of people, parents putting their kids down manholes into the sewer system, which is incredible. let me play a few of the quick interviews that i assume you and your team did on the street. >> the hotel staff came and told me parents seek shelter, you only have 12 minutes. >> it's hard to stay calm when you don't know what's happening. >> so there's no way to get around the terror that was felt by all of these people.
now the concern, of course, is that people will not take it seriously if it were a real alarm or of course the even worse possibility that north korea would take a look at this kind of false alarm, think it's real, think they have to prepare, take steps. we don't even know if the hotline between north and south was activated. anyway, jacob, thank you for all your reporting. incredible timing. great planning i'll say. safe travels home. joining me now is a nuclear physicist and the former energy secretary and head of the nuclear threat initiative. i can't even imagine what you and all the other professionals -- you used to be in charge of keeping our nuclear weapons safe, making sure they were upgraded, under d.o.e., as the energy secretary. how would we possibly be prepared with a system that is
this prone to human error? >> well, first of all, andrea, we've been saying now for some time that the biggest risk of a nuclear weapon being used is, in fact, an accident, a miscalculation, as opposed to something with forethought and political motivation. i think the -- frankly, i spoke about this just last week in washington. unfortunately, the hawaiian episode just shows how you can spiral, potentially, out of control. north korea, for example, hearing the news, could have interpreted this as a prelude to some strike in the context of the kind of heated rhetoric that we've been hearing between the united states and north korea over these last months. so miscalculation is really an enormous issue. frankly, i think the administration's policy that will be issued on nuclear issues in a few weeks should be tested
against whether or not it helps address these questions of miscalculation. >> we also know that the administration, because of the turnover from john kelly from homeland security to becoming chief of staff and the delay in getting him replaced, that they have not had a table top exercise. they have not worked out the internal system at the principal's level at the nsc. >> that's apparently the case. again, this kind of episode showed a lack of coordination. certainly, my understanding is our military understood instantaneously that this was a false alarm, but the state is the one who needed to issue the cell phone notifications. i don't know where the department of homeland security was in this. you would think they would have a significant role. coordinating at the principal's level, coordinating as well with the states, as we saw with hawaii, is absolutely critical.
and again, communication is so important, especially in a world with cyber threats as well. apparently this of course was not a hack, but cyber threats could also lead to misinformation and the miscalculation that spirals out of control. i hate to say it, but i think the b possibility of a nuclear weapon being used today is higher than it has been since the cuban missile crisis, and the main driver of that is the possibility of miscalculation. >> now, the president was on the golf course, from all reports, and did not tweet about this. this is not something he reacted to. he was tweeting about other things, other political things, but there was no expression of presidential concern. he was briefed, we were told. should there have been some word from a president who knows how to communicate instantaneous lu? >> we -- instantaneously? >> well, i can't judge the
situation. the military certainly was aware it was a false alarm. i just don't know on that, andrea, but i think the president needs to look very, very hard at his nuclear posture review that will be coming out in a few weeks, as i said, because for one thing, the administration did issue a national security strategy in december. it touched upon some nuclear issues. some of it was pretty disquieting, potentially in terms of expanding the field of use of nuclear weapons. so i think the nuclear posture review end of this month, early february, will be a very, very important document. i think the president and the administration need to be very, very careful and ask hard questions about whether it is contributing to stability, moving us away from nuclear use, and diminishing the possible of a miscalculation leading to a nuclear exchange. >> and i would be remiss if i didn't ask you about the iran deal because the president on
friday said that this is it, that if there is not a renegotiation and a toughening of that deal, which you helped negotiate, by the europeans and some action by congress in the next 120 days, he is going to walk away from it. one wonders, especially because the europeans were meeting with foreign minister zarif on thursday in brussels and were making it very clear they do not think the iran deal per se has been violated by iran or needs any kind of upgrading or toughening. so if the europeans are not going to do what he is demanding they do, has he created a red line that he will either have to violate, which would be a show of weakness, or unilaterally walk away from a deal and what would be the impact of that. >> well, first of all, it's not just the europeans. it's our own administration, which has acknowledged that iran is in compliance with the deal. obviously on friday, the one
hand, we're still complying with the deal ourselves, but as you say, some of the desires the president expressed going forward would be very problematic. i think he is fundamentally suggesting that the europeans come together with the united states and declare that down the road they could join us in walking away from the deal even with iran in compliance. i think that's extremely unlikely to happen, and now that feeds back to our congressional discussions because i think our congress has made clear they do not want to violate the agreement with iran in co compliance, and they want to remain fully arm in arm with our european allies and friends. so these next 120 days are going to be difficult, and i think hopefully there will be some negotiation whereby we can find ways quite legitimately to turn up the heat on the other issues
we have with iran, hezbollah, syria, human rights, missiles, and the like. that's quite legitimate. in fact, the obama administration did the same thing. but we have to stay with the nuclear deal as a foundation stone for building a better security environment in the region and for the world. >> thank you very much. thanks for helping us better understand these threats we face. and msnbc political analyst josh earnest served as press secretary for president obama. josh, picking up there, he said we are now closer to the risk of an accidental nuclear exchange than at any time since the cuban missile crisis. wow. >> it's a bold statement from somebody who knows what he's talking about, having served as the secretary of energy. >> and he's not one to engage in political rhetoric. >> he's not. he's not looking to inflate the risk here. what he's talking about, i think, is worth considering a little bit, which is he's not
suggesting that somehow either the north koreans or the united states are poised to use those nuclear weapons but rather the risk of a miscalculation or an error could lead to an exchange that could escalate to the use of nuclear weapons. it does highlight how important it is for the federal government to effectively manage the communication between state officials, who apparently sent this notification in error, and individuals with the military who we know are spending time around the clock monitoring the skies over the pacific ocean, trying to detect the threat. i traveled to hawaii on a couple different occasions with president obama. i can tell you there are robust monitoring operations that are in place to collect information and to operationalize that information to ensure that the president when he was traveling in hawaii could be safe but that the people who live in hawaii could be safe as well. so we know there's a lot of planning in place. what's missing is effective communication between state and military officials that is the responsibility of the department of homeland security. there's a new secretary in
place. there was a transition period. hopefully she will recognize how important it is and this will rise to the top of their priority list. >> the president was asked about this whole incident last night down at mar-a-lago. >> well, that was a state thing, but we're going to now get involved with them. i love that they took responsibility. they took total responsibility, but we're going to get involved. their attitude and what they want to do, i think it's terrific. they took responsibility. they made a mistake. we hope it won't happen again, but part of it is that people are on edge, but maybe eventually we'll solve the problem so they won't have to be so on edge. >> just point out there was a korean airliner that was shot down by russia decades ago during the reagan administration because of mistaken communication, thinking that it was incoming rather than understanding. this was the height of the cold war. >> there are consequences for these kinds of errors,
particularly in an era where we have instant communication. there's not been an ability to communicate so quickly. so the stakes are really high. >> or instant taunting as well. >> that's for sure. >> i want to also ask you about something a lot closer to home, which is that the president had his first physical since becoming president. dr. ronny jackson, whom you know very well, who has treated two previous presidents, george w. bush and president obama, is going to be briefing the world tomorrow, but he did put out a statement saying that this president is in excellent shape. there have been questions raised about his exercise, diet, fast food. >> andrea, i do know dr. jackson well. he traveled everywhere with president obama when president obama traveled around the world. i got to know dr. jackson well. he's a professional. he is somebody who takes his medical and military responsibilities very seriously. he's a rear admiral in the navy. he also recognizes that he has a responsibility to communicate directly with the american
public, to provide as much transparency as possible about the president's health. >> it's of course up to the president. >> it is. so he's in a tough spot. i think the briefing is going to be challenging for anybody, particularly somebody like dr. jackson, who relishes staying out of the spotlight. but he's in a position where he recognizes he's got a responsibility to communicate with the american people about the health of the president of the united states, but he also has a responsibility to protect the privacy of his patient, to protect the privacy of his boss, and to protect the privacy of his commander in chief. so it will be an interesting briefing on tuesday. certainly a professional like dr. jackson, i'm confident he'll find a way to manage those responsibilities to the best of his ability. >> it's always dicey when you deal with the president's health. thank you very much. >> that's true. >> we'll all be watching. coming up, the president pushing back. donald trump declaring he's not a racist amid growing backlash about his comments about haiti and african nations. you're watching ""andrea
racist person that we have ever interviewed. president trump defending himself against charges he is a racist amid an uproar over what he called african countries. according to senator dick durbin and others reporting to nbc news, moments ago senator durbin responding to those who said he never said it. >> i stick with my original interpretation. i am stunned that this is their defense. >> joining me now is nbc kristen welker at the white house, along with rick stangle. and still with me, political analyst josh earnest, press secretary to president obama. kristin, for the president and two of his senate defenders to say this didn't happen, first of all, these are two senators who said that they couldn't remember anything. now they're saying it never happened in a very lawyerly well. we'll get more on that later in the show. but they're basically saying that dick durbin is a liar, lindsey graham, who confirmed all of this to his colleague tim
scott, and our own reporting. >> it is significant, andrea, that the account by those two republican senators has changed. initially they said they couldn't remember exactly what was said in that meeting, and then over the weekend, they said the president didn't make those comments. of course, president trump himself acknowledged that he used strong language. we've asked the white house to get specific about what strong language he used, and we haven't gotten any specifics yet. the homeland security secretary over the weekend said, i don't recall him using that phrase, but he will and will continue to use strong language. so there's that term strong language. again, bottom line, andrea, these remarks have set off a fire storm not only here in the u.s. but obviously internationally, and they could derail those critical talks over daca. democrats saying they want a fix for daca as a part of any spending bill. republicans close to getting on board with something, but the reality is this latest
controversy could potentially derail those talks. now, it's important to point out that dick durbin is also saying, look, he still wants to get a deal done on daca, so can they move beyond this moment. we'll know more after the holiday. but obviously very significant and the ripple effects continue today, andrea. >> and the deadline is friday. i wanted to share with everyone what helene cooper said on "meet the press." she came from liberia where she was 14. her comments about the president's comments, as we've all been reporting. here was this moment. >> this is a country where when my family left liberia when i was 14 years old, we could have gone anywhere. but i would never have gotten to the point that i got in my life if we had gone somewhere other than the united states. i would never have become a "new york times" reporter. it would have been a whole lot harder to do what i was able to
do here if we'd gone to europe or somewhere like that. that has always made me proud of this country. this is a country that you can come to with nothing, and you can make something of yourself. >> and now that is called into question, according to helene and other people, by what the president said. rick, you spent a lot of time in africa. you wrote such a moving biography of nelson mandela. the african union is demanding an apology. we've heard nothing from the state department, nothing from the white house in response to what haiti's ambassador told me on friday or the african union said about an entire continent of countries. >> yes. i mean, the african union statement was very powerful. one of the things they said that really wrenched my heart was the saying that, you know, we believed in the american creed of equal opportunity and now this seems to throw it all into doubt. but the thing that i would add about it in a practical sense is that we have 6,000 american troops on the african continen.,
there were four servicemen who died in niger a few months ago. members of congress didn't even realize that we have troops there. the reason we have troops there, we have national security interests there. the expansion of isis across north africa. we need to cooperate with these nations, and the final thing i'd add is that if you look at all of the investment in africa that china has made over the last decade, we're behind the eight ball now with africa. i remember once an african foreign minister saying, you talk to me about freedom of speech, and the chinese build me a superhighway. who am i going to listen to? well, who are they going to listen to now? >> and president obama was tweeting today. it is, of course, the commemoration of dr. martin luther king jr.'s birthday. this was president obama's tweet. it's really a clairon call to millennials, i think. he wrote, dr. king was 26 when the montgomery busboy cot began. he started small, rallying efforts to believed their efforts mattered, pressing on through challenges and doubts to
change our world for the better. a permanent inspiration for the rest of us to keep pushing towards justice. josh, there were moments with president obama when he was coming to grips with how much he wanted to emphasize race in the campaign and also in the first years at the white house that he was not part of the king generation because he had come after the civil rights movement in this country and because of his own background. but he is tapping into the source of strength of dr. king and saying that it resonates today in a way that we simply don't see from this white house. >> president obama throughout his life has found dr. king to be a genuine source of inspiration. and he has drawn on that inspiration in delivering remarks as wide ranging as when he received the nobel peace prize to even when he travelled to india and talked about ghandi and how ghandi and king were sources of inspiration for president obama and that he viewed them as the kind of people who had the right set of
values and pursued a vision of fairness and justice and equality that shouldn't just resonate in the hearts of african-americans but frankly should resonate in the hearts of all americans. that is, i think, so much of the essence of what president obama's leadership and what his vision for this country was all about. this was always a special holiday for president obama when he was in the white house. he used to take his wife and daughters to go and participate in a community service project here in the washington, d.c. area. the martin luther king holiday shouldn't be a day of rest but rath aerod rather a day of action. president trump has a different approach, reportedly at a golf course today. this is something president obama always prioritized, that dr. king was a man of action and this is a day that should be commemorated with action in our communities to make the world closer to the vision that dr. king so powerfully verbalized. >> josh earnest, rick stangle, kristin welker, thank you all so much. coming up, who is gary lee?
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as president trump continues to deny making derogatory remarks about immigrants, a former white house aide has told his story about how president obama dealt with immigrants like his parents. this weekend, twitter introduced us to a relatively unknown former white house staffer who served under president obama, operating under the handle who is gary lee. the former aide says he was inspired to tweet for the first time because of something president trump said ant a korean-american intelligence analyst briefing him. he shared a moving story about his interaction with president obama on lee's final day as an assistant staff secretary at the white house. gary lee joins me now by skype. gary, thank you for joining us. first of all, your tweet, it's the first time you'd ever tweeted. you told your story in a series of tweets. now 158,000 likes and 56,000 retweets. you are a social media
sensation. i don't know if you're going to stay on twitter, but this is quite a debut. first of all, tell us what inspired you. our own reporting, first of all, was we first posted the story about a korean-american young woman, analyst, who was an intelligence analyst briefing the president, and president trump kept asking, well, where are you from? she said, manhattan, like you, i'm a new yorker, like you. he said, no, where are your people from? she said, well, they're from korea. he then turned and apparently said, why isn't she briefing me on korea then, which you know, was not at all her area of expertise. so that inspired you. what happened then when you went on twitter? >> it was exactly what you just said, andrea. it was a reaction to that. i felt that i wanted to say
something about the interactions i had with president obama and how special and how different it was in contrast with what you just said. i think that -- i guess the most important thing is that it's really not about me. i think the reason why people sort of connected with it and the reason why it's done so well is that i am just one of tons of stories like that in the administration. there are daughters and sons of immigrants that would go and see president obama and that he would brief them in their parents' native language. i think that's why people are connecting with it and why i felt inspired to write my own story. >> let me share part of this link of tweets. you wrote, on my last day, i went into the oval office and potus greeted me by saying hello in korean. i'm lucky because pete sousa, the photographer who's got his best-selling book of obama
pictures now, captured that exact moment and your surprise and the pleasure that you as not a top-level white house staffer had, that the president had practiced korean to greet you on your last day working at the white house and why that was so meaningful to you. >> the president -- i guess the obama family in general, the entire community, is so tight knit. for the president to -- that's not out of his character, as josh displayed. he's inspired an entire generation of young people to go into public service. that includes josh. that includes me. we all joined the campaign in '07 and '08 for that exact reason. so it's not surprising. it's not out of character that he would do that. it caught me off guard, certainly, just because i just thought i was going in for this last photo. his arms are outstretched. he goes --
really, i gave this very embarrassing laugh and pete caught that exact moment. >> in one of your other tweets, just to share this as well, you said, in what other country is that even possible, in what other country are you allowed to dream and despite all odds pursue and achieve your dreams. in what other country kcould a chubby, '90s hip-hop and r&b loving korean kid end up in the white house for obama? so thank you. thank you for your service and sharing that with all of us. keep tweeting. state on twitter. and thank you again. gary lee. and today, of course, america is taking time to pause and remember the lessons left behind by civil rights leader dr. martin luther king jr. 50 years after his death. here in washington and all around the country, around the world, leaders and ordinary people alike taking time to honor dr. king. >> he taught us the way of peace, the way of love.
he taught us the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. he taught us never, never to hate but to respect the dignity and worth of every human being. >> the glue that holds america together is the life and teachings of dr. king. we made it this far by focusing on what we have in common. >> and we're going to continue to look to all of you and to all the communities we serve for guidance and for understanding. so together we can keep building on dr. king's legacy in the way that he has taught us. >> the question becomes what will we do as communities across america to fulfill and envision and make the dream become a reality. what i'm here to do is to look to the future to figure out how we as a nation can come together. ( ♪ )
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that the tone of that meeting was not contributory and not constructive. >> note the lawyerly answer from harvard law graduate tom cotton. persons or people. and senator lindsey graham confirming what the president said to senator tim scott and also challenging the president to his face in that very moment, something not likely fellow republicans in the oval office would forget. joining me now is editor of the weekly standard and msnbc contributor bill crystal. >> it's been a pattern of this past year for the republican party and conservatives to some degree with donald trump. >> what is it? i mean, paul ryan calling it an unfortunate comment, not questioning the comment but last week in realtime calling it, well, unfortunate. what is it? is it fear of the wave of the midterms? fear of the president? fear of his twitter account? >> a little bit of fear. i think to be fair, a lot of these elected officials will tell themselves, look, i can
pick a fight here or be a little politic or a little disingenuous, but maybe i can get things done that i care about and that are good for the country. not just tax cuts but other things, decent appointments, strengthen my ability to calm at some point and try to push the president on to a responsible path, try to strengthen the james madisons and h.r. mcmasters in the administration. you can do a lot of rationalizing as to why you don't want to so-call call out donald trump. i think you would agree you don't need to go to the mat. just say something mild. over and over again, it has a real corrupting effect. >> eric ericson tweeted yesterday, it's weird people in the room don't remember trump using the word when trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards. i spoke to one of those friends. the president thought it would play well with the base. was this all deliberate and political coming after a meeting where he was perhaps too soft on dreamers with members of the senate and house earlier in the week? >> in that public meeting that
seemed like he wanted to have a deal. i don't know he did it on purpose, but once he had done it, i think he figured, maybe my base will like this. he's the only president i've ever heard use this term, that my base likes this. he's not president of his base. he's president of the united states. obviously a deal needs to be done, legalizing the dreamers, for the border security. i would just almost take everything else out at this point. it's gotten to contentious. it would be the right thing to do. i think both sides could say that -- i mean, the dreamers -- everyone is basically in favor of them staying. everyone is in favor of some measure of increased border security. so that's a reasonable deal. at this point, it would be good for the country. everything's gotten so toxic, mostly due to donald trump, i would say, that it would be good for the country if senators graham and durbin got together and moved ahead on this deal. i think they should do it regardless of the president.
>> and lest we think this is just democrats and republicans on one side and democrats on the other side on martin luther king jr. this is an unusual situation. look at ronald reagan. 31 years ago on martin luther king jr.'s birthday, he had a mixed record and contentious disagreements on a lot of things, but watch this. >> as recent unfortunate events have demonstrated, we cannot be complacent about racism and bigotry. and i would challenge all of you to pledge yourselves to building an america where incidents of racial hatred do not happen because racism has been banned not just from the law books but from the hearts of the people. >> yeah, that's -- >> he did say it best. >> that's a different republican president. but you know, people should look at his acceptance speech at the convention in detroit in 1980 when he's not yet president. he's the republican candidate. he closes it with a statement
about how proud we should be to be in a place where immigrants from all over the world want to come for the sake of freedom. he mentions explicitly africa and haiti and several other places as well. that's his speech as the republican nominee, not even as president of the united states. so a different time. >> different time, different republican. thank you. thanks, as always, bill crystal. coming up, the president and the porn star. that tops our inside scoop next. stay with us. needles. essential for vinyl, but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling
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new questions about president trump's alleged relationship with an adult film star after "the wall street journal" reported a six-figure payment from trump's personal lawyer to the actress just before the 2016 election about an alleged relationship ten years earlier. in response trump attorney provided a letter he said was signed by daniels, stormy daniels, is the name of the actor, denying she had a relationship with trump or se d received any money. let's get the inside scoop fr.
i don't know where to start, perry, but your reporting or your analysis of the situation. >> it appears there was a settlement in the months before the election. it would have helped him to not disclose. >> it may have been after the "access hollywood" tape. >> the timing would have been problematic for him. this appears to be consensual compared to the other accusations of him sexually arasing, so those seem to be more difficult and more complicated and more important to resolve. >> margaret? >> there was a time this would have been bigger news, it seems to me. we've moved on to nonconsensual as the thing we're worried about. but isn't it curious she signed the nda stormy daniels not stephanie cutler, her real name. very curious that.
and the nda is already out of whack. it's not as if it's operative. it's all been disclosed, more or less. now all we need to do is get the check. i wonder, is there a certain amount of teflon trump has about these charges? he got through the election. it's as if he denied it and, therefore, that's the operative thing. remember, she made a distinction between senator al franken and president donald trump. well, donald trump has denied it so, therefore, that is the operative -- that's where we are here. and a denial, whether or not it's true, stands for itself and, therefore, he was elected. he denied it. and let's move on. >> it seems as though people are discounting it as baked in the cake, it's part of what people accept because they voted for him knowing of his past womanizing. >> i don't think that's true it's baked in the cake. he is at about 39% in the polls
right now. his numbers are going down. his base is not as stable as people think it is. i think another election after this whole me too movement will be different. i think people will view these charges differently than they did in 2016 in a campaign with another opponent people didn't like and hillary clinton. >> we have less than a minute left but, margaret, it's also this came out right in the middle of the whole controversy over s-holes and africa and derogatory comments about haitians. >> one explosion overcomes another so that you're not -- you move on and then it comes back. i think you have a point. when there's another election, and it will have more salience and what about the women who came forward before were pushed back by trump. will they come out again and will they, as a group, be more powerful evidence against him. >> we'll leave it there.
thank you very much. thank you, perry. more ahead. , i just put in the name of my parents and my grandparents. i was getting all these leaves and i was going back generation after generation. you start to see documents and you see signatures of people that you've never met. i mean, you don't know these people, but you feel like you do. you get connected to them. i wish that i could get into a time machine and go back 100 years, 200 years and just meet these people. being on ancestry just made me feel like i belonged somewhere. discover your story. start searching for free now at ancestry.com. [burke] abstract accident. seen ♪ video-it. covered it.c we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ every day we hear from families who partnered with a senior living advisor from a place for mom to help find the perfect place for their mom or dad thank you so much for your assistance in helping us
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thank you for being with us on this day of martin luther king jr.'s birthday, a day of service. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." world powers come together to discuss the north korea nuclear crisis. remember, follow us online on facebook and twitter. craig melvin takes over now.
>> safe travels, andrea mitchell. craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york. on this day we honor the life and legacy of the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. the president of the united states insists i am not a racist. and the divide among republicans responding to his comments on immigrants only grows. some of the president's party are defending him. now a member of his own administration seems to be calling him out. plus, four days. the clock is ticking for congress to pass a spending plan and avoid a government shutdown, but the future of 800,000 d.r.e.a.m.ers sidelined in part by these comments must be decided first. and how could this happen? a mistake sent people in hawaii scrambling thinking a ballistic missile was on its way. 38 minutes of terror. what went wrong and how? we start, though, on this martin luther king day