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news with hallie jackson. good morning to you. i hope you have a wonderful day. you extraordinary talented rule. >> right back at you. >> it is women's history month. >> wait until you see the big picture. just wait. sigh you in see you in an hour. we'll talk new developments in the gun debate, not on capitol hill with the senate back in session, but inside corporate america. another company, another new policy from the private sector, but in the political universe fallout and skepticism. after 24 hours of tur moilg tmo triggered by the president's stunning comments to lawmakers. today i'm told he is meeting with families affected by gun violence even as it seems that he is trying to walk back a bit from those policies that pit him against his own party and against the nra. we'll have that gun rights groups response next. and plus another new twist on
whether the president's public humiliation of his attorney general might have been part of a pattern to obstruct justice. we'll have that "washington post" report. and nuclear saber rattling from vladimir putin. putin saying listen to us now as he threatens the u.s. with a new line of nuclear weapons that he says the u.s. could not defend. you know it's a busy morning when russia's claim of an invincible nuclear threat is the third thing we mentioned. but let's start with the gun debate. my colleagues are on the white house and capitol hill. casey hunt is down in the hallways talking with lawmakers, democrats and hunt is down in t hallways talking with lawmakers, democrats and republicans. and they are sounding bewildered. listen to john cornyn from last night. >> we are actively soliciting the support for our bill. there are several republican
senators who voted against it in 2013 who have told me they are reconsidering. so i'm hopeful about that. i think the president is very aggressive. >> i wouldn't confuse with what he said with what can actually pass. >> what did you do next? >> i think everybody is trying to absorb what they just heard. >> that was pat toomey and an echo of skrjohn cornyn there. but i'm told that the white house fielded some pretty irritated calls from members of congress on the republican side who are going what just happened. >> reporter: i can't imagine why. no, look, this is the president scrambled this gun debate. and quite frankly, he is not where they are used to being. they are used to tracking very closely what the national rifle association is willing to assume support or not support and never been reluctant to cross them. and the president clearly made a decision yesterday that he was
going to at least present himself in opposition to a congress that he accused of being in the nra's pocket. so everyone appears trying to sort through -- think you've heard a lot of lawmakers use the phrase, well, i think the president meant x. and that is a pretty familiar dance that we've now been doing on capitol hill on a wivariety issues, this one the most emotional, the most controversial and the one where the president was pretty specific on his policy proposal, he was less specific on immigration even though he did a similar thing he where he called lawmakers down to the white house, had this wide ranging conversation in view of cameras and then seems to backtrack. in this case he clearly said we should have expanded background checks, we should have -- raise the age to buy an ar-15. so there are a lot of questions now about what republican leaders do on. this follows really in michigtc mcconnell's court. what kind of bill he will put on
the floor. john cornyn had been working on this fix n.i.c.s. bill. clearly it wasn't enough for the president. but anything else might be too much for these republicans. >> casey hu kasie hunt, appreciate that. kelly o'donnell, there will be another meeting apparently on school safety today. what do we expect from the president and what do you think we'll see? >> reporter: two key words. closed press. you think like wh unlike what we saw with lawmakers, there time it won't include cameras. and we didn't yet have a roster of those who are invited except we know from some of our reporting that there are families who have been affected by school gun violence who will be in attendance. the president has been branding this as school safety which is certainly a term that is relatable across the plilt spectrum, getting away from some of the more charged terminology of the gun debate. the president has been willing to poke even his allies as well
as seemingly court some of the democrats on this issue. when we look at what he tweeted, here is some of what he may have been doing to try to turn down the volume a bit by appearing like he is in a listening phase. many ideas, some good, some not good, emerge from the meeting on school safety. background checks are a big part of the conversation. gun-free zones are approach targets of killers. after many years, a bill should emerge. respect the second amendment. so there the president sort of tied a bow on all the sort of rough edges that were left from yesterday. also his counselor kellyanne conway tried to describe what the president likes and may be willing to work with from lawmakers who already have some things constructed in a bill form. >> he definitely said that there are elements of fix n.i.c.s. that he can support. he is having a conversation, but he also wants to hear from different points of view and
that includes the nra. >> reporter: one of the notable things that stuck out to me is when chris murphy of connecticut who has been at the forefront of this since sandy hook reminded the president you need 60 votes in the senate. typically it is the republicans trying to offer that reminder. the president clearly trying to sort of break the mold in the way he was interacting with lawmakers. we saw that before in immigration. we have to see how this plays out in the days to come. >> kelly o'donnell making that smart point. we have seen this movie before, so we'll see how it ends. kelly, thank you. i want to bring on our panel for the next 54 applicantses here. betsy woodruff and our national political reporter from bloomberg. great to have you both. and let's start with the nra's response overnight. basically calling it good tv but bad policy. watch. >> i don't know yet whether that was just a performance or whether that is actually the new position of the white house.
but i got to tell you, it shows how this debate is fundamentally shifted. >> that was actually chris murphy. i think we have the dana lash sound bite that we want to play. but i know you have new reporting on their reaction to this. >> right, so i've spoken to people familiar with the nra's meeting on this and they are in a bit of an uncomfortable position right now given the fact that there is a president who they strongly support who has been strongly supportive of their second amendment issues who is now proposing things that their members strongly oppose. what i'm told is that they are not going to back down on rising the rifle age, they won't back down manchin and toomey -- >> so no compromise? >> not on the background checks, gun show sales. only thing that they might protect is fix n.i.c.s. and perhaps bump stocks. so the president will have a major fight on his hands. >> so a lot of the conversation
relates to fix n.i.c.s. and i want to play that dana lesch sound bite. >> i thought it made for really good tv, but i thought some of what was discussed will make for really bad policy that won't protect our kids. >> the white house is listening. donald trump is listening to what the nra has to say. not necessarily just because of the money that they pump into republican campaigns, but also because of the base, the people who support the nra support donald trump. >> and that was one thing trump talked about at just about every cam pin ralpaign rally is that second amendment people were his people, he feels very loyal to them. the nra spent hormone to help trump get elected than any other presidential candidate. so if it seems to himhormone to trump get elected than any other presidential candidate. so if it seems to him like nchblt nra voters are turning, that would
be an issue. so are they more loyal to nra or donald trump? it appears some trump voters can be moved to the? are because they are so loyal to him as a personality, but the gun issues are a tough one. >> let's talk about it with a member of congress who was in that room, congresswoman elizabeth esty from connecticut. actually represents the district that includes newtown. so now that you've had a little time to let the dust settle from that meeting, what is your takeaway, where does this go next? >> well, i think with many things with this president we don't know. i mean, he said a lot of things yesterday that were very positive. he said he was willing to take on the nra. he said we need strong, very strong background check. i couldn't agree more. we do need to take this on. and the american people want this. and the parkland students couldn't be anymore clear or persuasi persuasive. he understands their media power. that is part of what is going on
i think. >> i'm old enough to remember when we watched an immigration meeting that was rather similar, lasted about an hour, the president and lawmakers and the potential for a bipartisan compromise at the end of the day, that never materialized. why is this going to be any different? >> we don't know if it will be any different . and remember trust but verify. and i think in this case don't trust and verify. you know, either we'll take action or not. we won't take action in the house and senate unless the president leans in. and if he doesn't lean in, it will be clear that those were just a bunch of words and this will be decided in congress or ballot box. >> and you will heard chris murphy where he said he thinks the conversation is fundamentally changed. or is functionaldamentally chan. do you agree? >> i do. i really do. and i think that is in part what you heard from the president. and he is in a quandary. he loves his base. but i think he understands the american people are moving and
they are moving hard and fast on this issue. and the kids are leading the way. >> are so what should democrats be willing to give on if anything in order to get for example the background checks that you are talking about? where is the room for compromise when it comes to the democratic side? >> i think fix n.i.c.s. is easy and, you know, fairly mom and apple pie. and manchin/toomey on the house side we now have 200 co-sponsors of the king thompson bill which is very similar. >> magic number is 218. >> and we're with 200 on record that have signed. it would pass if called up now. the real obstacle is republican leadership. they have been unwilling to call it up. >> do you think paul ryan will? >> no, i don't think so. i think he is afraid of what the nra will do to his folks. and i think people should be more afraid of what the voters will do. >> and we talked about the idea
that it is not capitol hill but corporate america that is actually taking it upon themselves to make these changes. so i want to get your reaction to this news that we just got in the last hour or so, kroger saying that it is raising the purchasing age for guns at its fred meyer locations for belt way folks watching, a souped up walmart. kroerg says recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers. we are raising the minimum age to 21 to purchase firearms and ammunition in all of our fred meyer locations that sell those weapons. do you see other companies following suit here and are you having conversations with cooperations, with businesses that have connecticut ties about this? >> well, connecticut has already been on the forefront on this. but again i think what you are seeing is corporate america understanding where the american people are. they understand the power of consumers who don't want to be associated with companies and brands doing bad things like
supporting irresponsible gun ownership and the power of the dollar is pretty strong. >> congresswoman, thank you for joining the program. coming up after the break, have you seen this picture? this wong jeone jeff sessions o the town last night with rod rosenstein after the 3president publicly slammed up. do you think where he might se tweets today? we'll talk about that coming up.
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. let's talk about mr. magoo because that is reportedly mr. trump's behinds scenes nickname for jeff sessions. why does in matter? the president's stewing over high school attorney general, simmering since sessions recused himself from the russia investigation way back when. anything russia related gets under the president's skin. so this next report is like a two-fer. sources are saying mueller's investigation is looking into whether the private and public attacks on sessions were part of the attempt to obstruct justice by forcing sessions to resign. so the president is mad at sessions. that is nothing new. but sessions firing back is. in a rare response publicly and then at this dinner supposedly pre-planned, but still symbolic, joined by the top two men at the doj. as if that weren't enough, there
is also our exclusive that the special counsel team is asking if candidate trump knew about the hacked e-mails before they were released. listen. >> russia, if you are listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> so sources tell us mueller is asking questions like why did the president say that. i'm joined now by political analyst phil rucker and also national security reporter ken delaney. phil, we'll start with you. your paper is reporting about the mueller investigation, focus on jeff sessions now because this is interesting. >> yeah, this is part of an effort by mueller to determine if there is a broader pattern that went on over many months of the president trying to obstruct justice in the russia probe
including the firing of jim comey and the specific thing with sessions here, mueller is digging into this period of time last summer when the president considered seriously considered firing jeff sessions as the attorney general. and whether that can fit this pattern of obstruction. >> and obvious i will the relationship between donald trump and jeff sessions is in a word rocky. right? but you had sessions doing something he doesn't normally do. and pete williams pointed this out, he said hey, listen, the fact in a jeff sessions is coming out and saying i will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor giving this rare public rebuke or a statement or response, however you want to characterize it, is remarkable. >> that is exactly right. it is extraordinary that the president treats his attorney general like a punching bag. this has been going on for the better part of a year now. and it comes in ebbs and flows. there are moments of intense heat like we're seeing this week. and then sessions sort of
dissipates from trump's radar for a couple weeks. but he is always fuming about the attorney general. he resents the fact that sessions recused himself early on last year from the russia probe. and has not been able to get over it. >> so phil and ken here, mueller we know is asking questions according to the "washington post" about jeff sessions and the comments. but, ken, we have also learned that he is asking questions about wikileaks, something the president talked about 145 times in that month before the election. here is a little taste. >> wikileaks, i love wikileaks. this wikileaks is unbelievable. what we've learned about her and her people. >> so ken, what are sources saying about the hacked democratic e-mails? >> our sources are saying that in recent weeks, mueller's investigators are asking pointed questions about whether donald trump personally was aware that these e-mails had been hacked before that became publicly
known. and they are also asking whether he trump personally played any role in coordinating the release of the e-mails by wikileaks. and also asking why donald trump took consistently favorable positions to russia and whether witnesses believed that was in any way connected to his personal business interests. and the bottom line here is a year and a half after the fbi investigation first began, the issue of collusion personally by donald trump is still on the table. the president keeps in-cy insis know come collusion, but for robert mueller, that is still an open question. >> i want to bring in part any with dorsi and whitney. nick, put the new developments together. reporting from the nbc news and the "post," what does this tell you about where the mueller investigation is going? >> first of all, with respect to the wikileaks, it tells me that the mueller investigation is looking at a possible violation
of the federal computer crime st statute, a conspiracy to hack into hillary clinton and the democratic national committee's e-mails and disseminate those in order to help trump get elected. that is a 15 year felony, a conspiracy to violate the computer fraud and abuse act. i think that is where this mueller investigation is going and it has been apparent to me from the beginning that that is possibly where this could end up with respect to all of the people surrounding this issue with the e-mails and the dissemination of these e-mails. and even the flynn plea which i think that we'll find out relates to a promise, a quid pro quo to drop all of the sanctions that the u.s. had on russia going back to the ukraine and up to the obama sanctions in return for assistance from the russia government on the campaign. with respect to jeff sessions, this whole obstruction, what it
shows is really the motive. if you take the underlying crime which is a conspiracy to violate the computer crime statute, the reason why donald trump is obstructing justice is because he has something to hide on an underlying crime. >> betsy, one thing that is important to remember is that during the campaign people close trump world had a high degree of interest in whether or not the russians or julian assange had stolen e-mails from hillary clinton. i reported a data ta firm reach out to assange and offered to help if he needed to organize the e-mails. this isn't just something that trump was talking about publicly, sort of crowing that maybe russia had stolen e-mails. behind the scenes, there were serious influential people who on were thinking how do we make sure that any e-mails that got stolen get the maximum visibility possible. >> so somebody else who was
talking a lot about russia because they have to is hope hicks because she was over on capitol hill speaking with the house intelligence committee as you know. she's been speaking with robert mueller. she interviewed with senate investigators. she is leaving the white house. we were scrambling yesterday afternoon reporting this out and reporting out some of the details. and phil, for "nightly news" with spoke with congressman peter king. and i want to play for you what he said about this idea of the white lies. because the resignation of hope hicks announcement came, what 24 hours after "times" report that had she acknowledged telling white lies as part of her job. listen. >> the whole talk about a white lie is such a bad rap and so unfair to hope hicks. she just didn't want to be in a position where someone would come back and say, oh, you told us that the president wasn't there and he really was. but she said nothing of substance, nothing at all of anything significant and certainly nothing at all involving russia or nothing involving the scope of the
committee's investigation did she ever tell an untruth. >> so no surprise that pete king perhaps is defending hope hicks, but pull back here. the president is losing somebody that has been by his side from the very beginning. he is upset. we know that he is sad but feeling relief for hope because it is a tricky job. and frankly getting more and more isolated inside that west wing. >> that's right. and it is hard to overstate hope's importance to the president. she is the communications director, but she functions in such a broader way. she is a confidant to the president. she sooths his moods. she is the person that sits right outside the oval office and can talk to him about everything from trivial nonsense to the most substantive policy discussions. and he is losing her. he has lost a lot of people around him who he has close relationships with. keith shiller, his former bodyguard for example. and now the staff in the white house are more of the professional staff who were new
in this government who didn't have a pre-existing relationship with donald trump. >> the og guys right from the very beginning. >> so he is isolated. the president is in a moment of extreme crisis right now and he doesn't have as many close people around him. >> and one of the things that is so striking to me about hope hicks is the extent to which she has floated above the fray in a trump orbit that has had back stabbing and leaks. she had a proximity to the president. she had his trust. she is not someone who craved the spotlight. she wasn't really on tv selling the white house's message. but she did have a very important role internally and that will be hard to replace. >> a pleasure to have you both on this show. i appreciate it. after the break, president trump as you know has been shocking republicans and democrats with his latest positions on gun reform. that televised meeting rounding out a pretty wild 24 hours for the white house. a friend of the president and to
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row. teachers say they are not heading back to class even after the governors and unions agreed to a 5% pay raise. we're told there is, quote, so much anger out there, so much distrust, there is no firm date on when teachers will return to class after the strike earlier in the week. and congressional oversight committee is now asking housing secretary ben carson to explain why his department decided to spend $31,000 on a new dining set for his office. ment "new york times" first reported the spending as hud faces massive program cuts for the homeless, elderly. war son carson is responding saying there has been no wrongdoing and full disclosure is coming. and wells fargo is accused of hurting fraud victims of closing their accounts. former fraud investigator says the bank fired him after he complained about hundreds of
mishandled fraud investigations. a bank spokesperson says they take the concerns seriously and will investigate adding that our goal is to protect our customers and the bank from fraud. and as we wait for the white house to reveal its next steps on school safety, republicans, nra members, other conservatives might still be wondering what to make on what the president is saying on guns. to answer some of those questions, i want to bring in matt schlapp, friend to conservatives. >> and your friend. >> i want to talk about guns for a second, but before i do, i have to ask you because your wife is mercedes schlapp, inside the west wing. you guys obviously have separate jobs, but would it be journalistjournalist ic malpractice to see if she wants to step in who-tto hope h shoes. >> i have no idea. those are big shoes to fill. she's been with the president
since the beginning. she loves her job. she is challenged bhir i don't think. t by her job. she loves the environment. she is having a blast even though it is awfully stuff. and when she comes home at night, i give her a cocktail. that is my job. >> and if the president offered her a gig? >> she'll be open to anything the president wants her to do. both she and i have been supporters of the president. we like his agenda and we're proud of what he is doing. >> you look at what is happening inside the west wing and it is kay on the tick. i don't think that you can deny that. he seems to be feeling frustrated. he is feels isolated. he is losing hope hicks his long time aide. and there are those who are bleached that he is not being well served by i don't know kelly 37. >> i get a chance to go there for meetings from time to time. i always enjoy when i'm actually in the west wing to watch coverage about how there is all this chaos and i'm watching people walk down the halls not in the fast walk -- >> nobody is saying that they are burning documents and sprinting down the hallway.
>> no one is burning documents. >> does john kelly serve this president well. >> absolutely. the chaos in this administration, the chaos meter has come down from the beginning. and a lot of that has to do with the fact that john kelly has established an order around the west wing. i also think a lofts ot of the outsiders are starting to work how it is supposed to work. even the president is figuring out how the job is. and as that happens, i see the team working more as a team. >> let me talk about the school safety -- >> can i say one other thing? the fact that these leaks aren't coming out in-saein-says dress constantly also shows you -- >> there are still a lot. >> but there are a lot of people who don't know what is going on. >> and i would say that has been similar for several months now. i think that there is still a lot of leaks happening. i have to talk about guns. and specifically the president's comments yesterday. there was one comment he made
about take the guns around first, due process second. are you good with that? >> i'm not good with that. i think due process has to be for every american on all these important issues. what the president -- i don't want to put words in his mouth. but i think what he was saying is that if we know someone is a threat to society and is willing do something like blow up a school, that police should be moving in on that person. and i think we all agree. >> respectfully, the president didn't say that. the president said something very different. there is discussion do they matter or not -- of course what the president says matters. >> you are right to ask the questions. my point on due process i think where the president goes to is a long legal process to get to the point where you can take action against someone who wishes to do violence to kids. i think it is okay to have that due process. i think there should be due process the whole time. but i think that can start instantaneously. when people are calling the fbi and local sheriffs and saying this person is a danger to society, they are making threats, law enforcement has to
come in then. they can't wait for the a xrchlt lu to litigate every aspect of this in federal court. >> one of the things the president jabbed at foot too many pat toomey was about raising age. kroger just came out saying that they will restrict that. should the president, should congress, support a bill that raises that minute plumb aimum >> my point of view is we are in listening mode. he won't say no to all these orders. >> so you are open to it? >> so you're not like the nra. >> i'm open to the package. as the father of five daughters, if someone is less than the age ev of 21 and they are living alone and someone is stalking them, they have to have the ability to protect themselves. and you know this in your line of work, people who are famous, there are weirdos out there. you have to be able to protect yourself. >> before i let you go, we have to talk about fallout from cpac because there has been some.
>> it was a lot of good, too. >> ian walters made the comments. >> it was a fabulous cpac. in all disclosure is the employee of msnbc. so that works both ways. >> so ian walters go? >> absolutely not. did you read his op-ed in the hill? because what he said is as a man of color, he strongly believes that the republican party is too cynical in their approach to minorities. he was being very critical of republican leadership. let me finish. and we don't do this right. >> i understand your point. >> so as a conservative man of color, i'm not going to silence him. he has a right to speak on these issues. >> so let me ask you about your words. because you had an exchange with michael steele where he should have grace. do you regret 234i of thany of ? >> i regret so many things. >> that specifically. >> that michael steele should have grace? the moment after the comments were uttered by ian which was a
spontaneous exchange, he called michael to apologize. and michael didn't accept his apology and i think that shows a lack of grace about that. >> so one more time, do you regret saying that to michael? >> that specific thing to having some grace? i think ian and michael who had been friends for a very long time and i've been friends with michael for a very long time, things get said in a heated political conversation. and at the end, we have to be able to continue to be friends. i don't like the fact that we're divided. but i think what ian's point of view is valid and i think there are a lot of people of color who are conservatives who believe that the republican party gets this wrong a lot and it is okay to talk about it. if we don't talk about the problems, just because you talk about race, it didn't make it race inch and the left loves to jump to that. conservatives can also talk about race. to be clear, i was asking about your thoughts on this. you have not -- >> i'm many to answer. >> do you regret telling michael steele he should have some grace? >> i think all of this 1450 hose
grace and he should too. >> was and he good rnc chairman. >> i have respect for him and the fact is almost every republican who works in republican politics agrees that he was a subpar compare man. and now you are going to defend the republican party. >> >> i'm asking you why you think he was a subpar rmpt nc chairman. >> let's look at the facts. barack obama won the presidency and after he governed as a liberal, the country thought maybe he would be more centrist. >> so it was a culture ram moment? >> i'm saying barack obama helped the republican party helped raise a lot of money. like and he will steel was deposed by his own adviser who went on to serve by almost a decade. those are just facts.
be honest about it. >> we have to leave it there. appreciate you coming on. coming up next, that stunning announcement not on domestic policy, but foreign policy overseas this morning. frankly sounds something out of the cold war. vladimir putin talking up russia's nuclear arsenal, new missiles he says can go parts than ever. wait until you see video he says proves it. but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours.
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muscle. during his annual address to lawmakers, putin showed off several brand new nuclear weapons including an intercontinental ballistic missile which he says makes other defense systems, quote, useless. he also warned the west saying a nuclear attack of any kind on russia or its allies would have an immediate response no matter what the consequences. i'm joined now by bill neely and also president of the fund. bill, we've been watching this animation play that vladimir putin played. break down what he said and what that shows. >> yeah, good morning. let's remember first of all that there were two audiences for this state of the union address. one was inside russia. the voters who will without any doubt reelect him as president in two weeks. and they weren't reassuring that russia's military isn't getting bogged down in syria, that the sanctions that came with theoved that they have a great military power again. so the flashy video display of
new weapons is designed to reassure them and also to inspire them. about y but of course the second audience is overseas principally in the united states. and here putin challenged the u.s. directly saying you didn't listen to us once. well, listen to us now. and also he said nothing i've said today is a bluff. so this was defiant putin. the u.s. he said had failed to keep russia down. and then came the weapons themselves. they are still being tested. and his claim that they can't be intercepted, well, it is simply an unproven boast. but he said one is a cruise missile with a nuclear warhead. others seem to be updated versions of icbms, that is missiles already in service capable already of reaching the u.s. so no game changers here. but his big aim was to sow doubt about missile defenses particularly in eastern europe. he says his new weapons render
america's umbrellas useless. and his defense minister said the anti-missile system in poland, romania and alaska is like an umbrella with holes in it. and finally as for his statement that russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons if it or its allies are attacked, well, that is no more than simply stating national defense policy. but of course given the very dangerous situation in syria, you can't simply brush that off. so this was putin sending another warning to the u.s. that russia is back, it is a major player. it can't be ignored. and when he says listen to us now, that is a very direct message to president trump and to washington. >> sure is. bill neely in london, thank you. and joe, as bill was talking, you were going absolutely, he is right. >> yeah, welcome to the new arms race. this is real, this is hot, this is happening. putin thinks he is responding to the three new nuclear weapons that the u.s. introduced in its
nuclear war plan just released last month. he is anticipating an expanse of u.s. missile defense systems. that should be announced by the u.s. later this month. and he is saying it doesn't matter, i can go under, over and around all these systems and he is probably right. >> so it is hot, but is it real or bluster? >> oh, no, this is real. this is the arms race. one side puts out a system, and you counter with your system. that graphic you showed of the icbm, it went over the south pole. why the south pole? well, that is because our radars are pointed north. our interceptors are up in alaska. this system he says can go around those and hit us before we can do anything about it. >> so how should the u.s. respond? >> the best way to stop weapons like this is before they are built. stop them now, get new arms control talks going. >> a pleasure to have you on. >> my pleasure. > coming up next, new reporting on
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then we'll tell you what it is all about. there is something happening at the department of homeland security. an anniversary celebration happening there. you have vice president pence speaking. you have the former homeland secretary john kelly taking the stage to make some comments to the audience, composed of dhs staffers. the moderator said to kelly, go ahead and say what you've got to say. john kelly talked about how much he misses the agency. then, he said this. >> the last thing i wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of homeland security, but i did something wrong and god punished me, i guess. >> so, kelly is joking, right, about god punishing him for walking away from that job, as i bring in betsy and sahill, back with me here. think about the timing here. kelly has been under an enormous amount of pressure since his handling of the rob porter
scandal. there are questions about who his allies really are inside the white house. people potentially out to get him, frankly. that's been no secret. now, you have john kelly, with sort of, i think, a dry sense of humor, and let's be clear, the audience laughed, talking about his position inside the west wing. >> and the john kelly ally community in the white house is not a particularly sizable group of people. he's alienated a ton of individuals, in part, because he is doing the job the way he thinks is the right way to do it. making it harder for people to bop into the oval office and give the president articles. >> our sources tell us that john kelly felt obligated to serve. he has this military background. he understands the idea of service and duty and the call to serve. that played into his decision of coming into the white house when president trump asked him to. >> he had not served in political roles before president trump asked him to be dhs secretary. he seemed to enjoy that job. then he moved to the white house. there are also reports of him
having some tension between ivanka trump, the first daughter, and jared kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser. look, it is a very, very difficult job. i can't imagine how anyone can do the job without having moments like john kelly had, wondering, am i being punished for this role? pun thing he h one thing he tried to do is limit who can put whatever article they saw on a web or blog to the president. he's not going to change his hypercombative instincts, the president. he's not going to stop the tweeting. he's not going to do all sorts of other things that people expect on a certain level, the chief of staff to do, in order to make the president more effective. >> we don't often seen john kelly in public, on-camera settings. he came to the briefing room a while back during the controversy over the gold star mother comments. he's doing this, clearly, because, again, 15th anniversary of the department of homeland security. i understand he followed
secretary ridge, who was longer tenu tenured. kelly was at dhs a short period of time. even seeing him speak and talk about his experience inside the west wing, and as chief of staff, is notable. >> it is also interesting because running dhs is not an easy or fun job. >> it's a hard gig. >> it is a huge agency. it's responsible for almost everything. you've got the secret service. >> yeah. >> you have immigration enforcement. you've got customs and border protection, the tsa. everybody who comes into the u.s. from a foreign country has an encounter with somebody from dhs. it is a massive agency. morale in dhs is extraordinarily low, depending on which year you look at. among the lowest of any federal agency. it is a huge problem. being in charge of that sprawling entity is not an easy gig. the fact that kelly misses that job and wishes he could go back to it, apparently, even jokingly, is telling. >> betsy and sahill, pleasure to have you on set for a busy 60 minutes. we'll be right back with today's
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so we're doing something a little bit different for today's big picture. that is because it is march 1st, the start of women's history month. all month long, we're going to bring you the best photographs by, for and about women. take a look at the one we're kicking it off with. this is the first african-american woman to serve as the first captain of the west point corps of cadets, the highest position at the academy. she make s sure the rest of the cadets perform their jobs.
1976, women were allowed into west point, but they only make up 20% of cadets. she's not top job. symone said, i never saw my race or gender as a roadblock. this photo from the "associated press." that does it for us. i'll see you tonight on "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. in the meantime, i'll turn you over to another extraordinary woman, stephanie ruhle, and her partner, ali velshi. >> symone, for, about, featuring, love it. my hat is off to you. i'd follow that cadet anywhere. >> see you, hallie. we'll talk to you later. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. it is the first day of march. let's get started. >> hope hicks, president trump's long-time aide, announced jerez nati -- her resignation.
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