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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  May 27, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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rushes to put himself beneath the 2-year-old child and suddenly, check it out. the toddler falls barreling through his arms knocking him out cold. amazingly, the toddler, likely because his fall was broken, suffered no serious injuries. the quick-thinking hero, minor scratches and bruises. i do not know, craig melvin if i would have been quite so brave, but, wow. good for him. >> you would have been. >> i don't know. but, hello. happy memorial day. >> yes. good to see you. >> picking up the news for us. >> thank you, chris jansing. always good to see you. and craig melvin here. coming up this hour on "msnbc live," unshakable bond. president trump heads to japan, found time to take new shots at a potential 2020 rival. we will go live to tokyo. also ahead this morning, the president's striking back at a
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freshman democrat who says the house is moving towards impeachment as the house speaker faces one of the biggest challenges yet for her. to impeach or not to impeach? and disaster in the heartland. a brief but violent tornado hits an oklahoma town leaving near total destruction in its path, and now concerns over flooding. we'll get to that in a moment. we start this hour in tokyo and the president has wrapped up another busy day in japan with a fast-moving combo of pageantry and politics that left an unexpected divide between the united states and that country's prime minister shinzo abe over one of the biggest threats in the region, if not the world. north korea. president trump breaking with his own advisers saying the rogue nation's latest missile tests really aren't that big of a deal. >> my people think it could have been a violation as you know.
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i view it differently. i view it as a man perhaps who wants to get attention. and perhaps not. who knows? it doesn't matter. >> joined now by nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson traveling with the president in japan there. former supreme commander at nato and msnbc chief international diplomacy admiral james sand au a book "the coming collapse." hallie, start with you. what did you hear before the press conference and what did you hear after? >> reporter: start with the after piece. craig, questions, right? from people back home in the united states. wondering why the president said what he said. specifically the comments about north korea not violating those united nations security council resolutions with pyongyang's recent missile test. the president didn't just dismiss and downplay those
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tests. he brushed them off altogether and also acknowledged in doing so was contradicting his own top aide, national security adviser john bolton, keep in mind, he just this weekend here in japan told reporters that he believes that, in fact, those tests do violate the u.n. resolutions. the president not just contradicting john bolton but contradicting shinzo abe, the japanese prime minister. the guy he was standing next to at the same time. now, japan, of course, neighboring north korea in the region here does see the missile tests as very much of a threat. you heard prime minister abe reiterate that. interesting, craig, though, that given this trip is all about relationships and specifically that relationship between president trump and the prime minister here, shinzo abe went out of his way to emphasize what he thought were the good pieces ar president trump's diplomatic efforts. you could call them that. with north korea. praising the way he's tried to find a new solution to this problem. certainly seemed like abe was
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trying to position himself as more friendly and more favorable to president trump, even though he was put in this position to contradict him when it came to those missile tests, craig. >> meanwhile, the president not leaving domestic politics home. this is what he said about -- >> no. >> -- about the former vice president overnight. >> kim jong-un made a statement that joe biden is a low i.q. individual. he probably is. based on his record. i think i agree with him on that. but i can tell you that joe biden was a disaster. his administration with president obama, they were basically a disaster. >> hallie, how are those comments translating on the world stage? >> reporter: i would say not well, if you look at how the reaction has been already. right? you have had, for example, republican adam kinzinger come out even in response to the tweet the president said that sparked that question say that in his view it was not ideal for president trump to be making
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these remarks about a former american vice president while on foreign soil. notable here, craig, the president as he often has done is not backing down from that tweet. given the opportunity several times by my colleague in the white house press corps here jeff mason to try to spin it. try to come back away from it, walk it back a little bit, but the president instead leaned into it. essentially siding or agreeing with kim jong-un over joe biden blasting, you heard, biden and obama both as disaster going after them on the iran nuclear deal as we've heard the president do before. i imagine throughout the day those on the campaign trail will be asked about this and something they'll respond to as well, craig? >> admiral what do you read what he heard from the president. >> start with the joe biden comment. we 2e7tend to think of vice president joe biden as the vice president.
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before that the chairman of the senate relations committee a couple of decades and knows the world extremely well. i watched him come to nato and work the room with all heads of state and government in europe. he is very well liked internationally. i don't think those comments will go down very well with our allies, partners and friends, and that's a shame. in terms of shinzo abe, he's in a very tough position here. he disagrees with the president, and he should, about these latest vooiliolations with the h koreans on the missile tests. on the other hand, he wants cooperation with the united states, help with china. and the dispute in the east -- >> hate to cut you off. we want to go to cemetery there. underway, the vice president mike pence expected to make comments here at the wreath laying. this is the presidential armed
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forces full honor guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. ♪ [ playing "the star-spangled banner" ] ♪
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[ silence ] >> present -- >> present -- >> -- arms. [ silence ]
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[ drum roll ] [ playing "taps" ]
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>> order! >> halt! [ silence ]
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there you have it. vice president mike pence participating in the annual tradition there at arlington national cemetery. a wreath being placed at the
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tomb of the unknown, as you can see members of military assembling as they do this time every year. they'll go inside for comments, we're told, from the vice president as well. let me bring in hans nichols here, who covers the white house for us, in addition to some other assignments here at the network. hans, is that what we're going to see now? the vice president heading inside for some comments? >> reporter: yes. what we expect, craig. typically these comments are subdued, not necessarily political. they're trying to take the country to a postpartisan or non-partisan place. in the past that's been the tradition. we'll see if mike pence sticks to this. we saw him standing next to patrick shanahan, acting defense secretary, nominated for that full position. something past presidents have tried to do on memorial day. last year president trump didn't do it, because he was abroad in france. there's a little criticism about that and visited in december
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and, of course, before the president left on his trip to japan on thursday, he was also out at arlington cemetery, i believe section 34, where the vice president is now. if i look down the screen, the tomb of the unknown that you see. he's going back into a different area where many members are also interned. former members. one of the challenges as arlington, the cemetery is actually running out of space. among the challenges arlington has is how to continue to serve and honor those veterans who as they see it have a right to the buried there, but they are facing space constraints. >> more than 400,000 buried there, as i understand it, on the roughly 600-plus acres. admiral, on this memorial day it is always a lot of folks associated with burgers and beer, and for guys like you especially it is about so much more than that.
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>> it is, indeed. just two examples. one is over 20 years ago i was on a destroyer in the north atlantic headed to d-day celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of d-day, craig, and i gathered the crew on the fan tail we we talked ak all the courage it took for those young men to scale the cliffs at normandy, to storm those beaches. this is a very sacred day for the military, and i am so happy to see nbc covering it and talking about it. it means the world to all of these young men and women. >> gordon, you maintain that on this day there is a group that is still very much forgotten, and often not talked about? >> at the end of fighting in the korean war, we know that the north koreans did not return at least 800 americans who we believe were alive and some people believe the number is 1,000, and there were thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of south korean soldiers not
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retained. some of these listed at m.i.a.s or k.i.a.s and we also know someone did survive. for instance, major sam logan, air force. shot down september 1950. the soviets actually showed a video of logan alive near the wreckage of his plane. and he was listed as m.i.a. he should have been listed as a prisoner of war. and other evidence indicating that logan survived. we don't know how many americans are still alive. maybe they're all dead. one thing we have not gotten, we haven't gotten defense department under any administration to pursue this with the vigor necessary, because there is firm evidence there were americans who were taken into captivity and we need to have an accounting. >> we will leave it there. gordon chang, thank you. admiral, thank you as always, sir and hans nichols on duty at the white house.
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you big thanks to you and hallie jackson traveling with the president. congress in recess this week. so time away from the hill will it quiet calls for the president's impeachment? also 2020 contender elizabeth warren outpacing the pack when it comes to policy. right now, how much does it really matter? live on the ground in iowa as well. next up -- the deal to delay some of president trump's financial documents. what the president stands to gain with his deny and delay strategy. and as we head to break another live look at the affirmation, arlington national cemetery where vice president mike pence, again, participating in a remembrance ceremony. we will continue to keep a very close eye on that. we'll be right back. 'll be righ. corey is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body.
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lawyers for president trump say they've reached a deal with congress leaders to delay the hand over of the president's banking records. the house intelligence and finance committee demands those documents under subpoena to capital one. trump's legal team tried to stop it in court but the judge ruled late last week the banks could hand over the records. house leaders since agreed to the delay while the president's attorneys appeal, but it could be a matter of time before lawmakers get what they're looking for. two other banks, well fargo and td bank have already handed over documents on their dealings with
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the president. back with me from the president, hans nickihols and chief white house ethics lawyer under george w. bush and richard payne with me as well. the legal strategy here, hans, to delay anything else, they can for as long as possible? is that the strategy? >> reporter: partly. and partly to win. look at letters flowing back and forth between the president's private lawyering as well as white house counsel, long-term strategy to delay and preserve their case to win as the cases percolate up throughout the court. yes, a little delay and don't want to hand them over immediately, clearly, but ultimately one to win. a recognition inside the white house courts will ultimately decide what is public and what is shielded. craig? >> richard, what could how democrats learn from the documents?
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why would they want to see these documents? >> find out what's in them. if the banks want to do business inside the united states they're going to turn those records over right away. this is a matter critical to our national security. president trump has financial dealings all over the world and many of some of the worst dictatorships in the word. may well be getting money from the russians, from ukraine. we have no idea where and the united states congress needs to find out right away. this is a serious throat our national security. we have a president over in japan talking about the situation in korea, diminishing the threat to the united states from missiles coming in from korea and getting together with the dictator kim jong-unen in korea to attack joe biden. 54,000 americans died in the korean war. and the president does this on memorial day. we need to know why this president is not loyal to the united states. go
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congress needs to get those documents and move towards impeachment. ap very dangerous situation for national security. >> hans, the president handed a number of legal setbacks in the last couple of weeks. last week funding blocking for the border wall. two district judges sided with congress in regards to records for the president and passing in new york, giving the state tax returns at least. is there a growing sense in the white house or among the president's legal team that the tide could be turning against him? >> reporter: not really. in part because they see the volume and the consistency of their administration and their agenda being in the courts. basically being constant. you recall from the very beginning, the president's signature campaign issues, what he tried to walk bat not a muslim ban but a ban on certain countries. seven countries i believe, and
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always a decision from the president on down many of his policies, proposals, ultimately will be decided in the court. true, a few recent setbacks but it doesn't seem to really have been affecting them, and they're also moving forward with their strategy. you see it with the don mcgahn letters what the president is trying to do. asserting absolute immunity, and still haven't invoked executive privilege but keeping it out there, preserving their ability to do so. on all of this only the president can change a lot of this when he tweets and/or speaks and has been pretty forthcoming in sharing his opinions on what he thinks should or shouldn't be public. >> and richard, the implications of these setbacks for the president and his attorneys? >> well, the american people realize, and this is a very dangerous situation for our national security. look at travel ban. the muslim ban. the countries not covered under
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that travel ban are the countries that do business with the trump organization. such as saudi arabia, where they can kill journalists at will, and president trump won't do anything about it. not subject to the travel ban. she have business dealings wit trump organization. we need to know where this president is getting lis monhis. it's coming in from all over the world. it's a serious threat to our national security. whether the situation in korea. whether it be the situation in the middle east or with russia. congress needs to get the documents, and if those banks don't cooperate, congress needs to make it clear they're not going to be doing business in the united states ever again. >> richard payne, leave it there. thank you richard, thank you, hans. president's hopeful elizabeth warren is in iowa today. touting her ideas for the future. a number of fronts. do policy specifics matter to voters just yet? we'll head to iowa, next. this time, it's his turn.
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my goal here is not to win by a smidge. not to the win by an amount that could be contested, but to win by a russia-proof majority, that
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was senator elizabeth warren on sunday telling voters she believe she has the ground game to win the 2020 general election, from free public colleges, to breaking up tech giants. warn trying to set herself apart from the candidate with a plan. but can her policies galvanize voters? joined by msnbc political news reporter out on the trail in iowa. former clinton campaign senior adviser and contributor adrienne elrod and former adviser to mitt romney and domestic policy studies, a big thanks to you all for being with me on a holiday. start with you in the hawkeye state, on the trail with senator warren. what are you hearing? what are voters telling you? >> reporter: well, craig, we're actually here in burlington, iowa, where elizabeth warren will do her last event of the swing here in the hawkeye state. people are filing in behind me getting ready to go inside.
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the past three days i've talked to iowans what's important to them and if it's important candidates get specific when it comes to substance? elizabeth warren has been doing it from the beginning, bringing out policies on a weekly basis. the way she decided to stand out. is it the way voters want to hear from candidates? the answer seems like yes based on conversations i've had like this one we had on saturday. listen. >> is there any candidate in the field that stands out at nailing it on policy. >> oh, i like elizabeth warren. i just loved what i heard with kirsten gillibrand. i love cory booker. so many good ones. >> they got have specifics. >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. >> reporter: here's the thing on policy, craig. there are so many ways to stand out in this field, and each candidate has to figure the best way for them to do that especially as voters make a decision and when they have so many options. elizabeth warren clearly leaning in hard to this policy laying,
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trying to mix her personal narrative with the way she pitches policy to voters. it matters they care and her idea of being a candidate with the plan, t-shirts say that, is percolating and voters are internalizing. so much so other voters said she feel other candidates aren't talking about policy nearly enough. that's not necessarily true. some get on the stump and talk about policies. the fact warren is percolating at the policy candidate gives her branding to stand out from the field at this early point and take it through the summer and into the fall. >> and democrats, a lot of democrats, seem to be saying they want to put policy first this election. you remember back to 2016, a lot of republicans, there are a lot of republicans running. arguably it ended up being more about personality than policy. what makes you think this election will be different? >> well, i think there's a couple of things. first of all, you have an extremely large field. you've got folks that need to
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differentiate themselves one way or the other. for elizabeth warren in particular, this is not just about policy. it's about the very essence of her candidacy being one of substance, and i think that's how she thinks she'll stand out. the other issue here for democrats is, you know, if they're trying to draw a distinction with president trump, i think the anti-trump stuff only gets you so far the reality is, there is going to be much more focus and attention paid as this primary goes on to what these people are going to do if elected president. i think you're seeing that from warren, and seeing other candidates playing catch-up as a result. >> adrian, "new york times" reporting, "senator warren has repeatedly appeared together with senator sanders." appeared together in recent days. with representative alexandria ocasio-cortez sending an unmistakable statement she intends ton pursue mr. sanders
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left-wing base. going after his base. senator sanders closing in on national polls. how worried should they be? >> very worried, because a lot of sanders supporters in 2016 supported him considering him the anti-establishment candidate. the one supporting and really advocating for income inequality, although i certainly will argue hillary clinton was, too. this time around, they want somebody that will show results. bernie sanders hasn't passed legislation during his time in the senate. elizabeth warren is somebody advocating for the same policies say i have a record of getting things done and rime goii'm goit forward policies with a good chance of passing and being signed into law. she's specific about her policy. that's why you see her cut a
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significant lead into bernie sanders' support. coupled with the fact she has almost, i think, more staff in iowa, on the ground in iowa, than any other presidential candidate on the democratic side. narying that with policy proposals and's a strong game in iowa. how she's looking to position herself in the race and hopefully do very well in iowa. >> lana, talking policy here. have you seen any policy proposals from a democratic candidate so far that might appeal to trump voters? >> well, you know, the interesting one, craig, that a lot of people talk about is this freedom dividend that andrew yang has been out there campaigning on. sort of universal bake income notion. i think a lot of people across the political spectrum thought that to be an interesting idea. you might contrast that, for example, with some of elizabeth warren's policy proposals, which, for example, free college, forgiveness of college debt. a very, very high taxes on people who have done well.
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some of that may be effective in a nor populist sense but obviously less appealing to republicans. for these candidates right now, craig, the focus i think really is on coming up with policies that will appeal to the progressive base. remember, this is a primary election. a primary electorate they're speaking to. while some of these ideas eventually they'll want to sell to a broadest audience, right now it's about getting that base support. why you're seeing warren talk about the things she's talking about in particular. >> adrian, "the washington post" reports joe biden decided to run a "campaign of limited exposure." how effective of a strategy could that be? >> well, craig i don't think this is going to serve joe biden well in the long run, because candidates have to be have to expose themselves to the people. they have to, you know, show who they truly are to voters and show their personality. when you have staff potentially
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siphoning them off and not allowing them to, you know, press the flesh as we say in politics on the campaign trail, really get to know folks, by quarantining them off it can be a dangerous trajectory. especially in a field of 24 candidates. we know iowa voters, they flirt with a lot of candidates. almost like dating. they go on a lot of dates with candidates. then they ultimately decide who they want to support, but they want to meet everybody, they want to have real conversations. i think if joe biden's team is sectioning him off from that ability, that's going to hurt him in the long run. >> leave it there. adrian, alley good to have you and lanny you as well. back live to arlington national cemetery where vice president mike pence is making remarks at the 151st national memorial day day of observance. >> -- to the united states of america. [ applause ]
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[ applause ] >> from the hour of our nation's birth our best and bravest have stepped forward to defend freedom. the unbroken cord of military service stretches into the midst of american history. from bunker hill to bella wood, from san juan hill to saipan, from the coral sea to kandahar. heroic americans have answered their nation's call. and paid the ultimate price for our freedom. their duty was to serve. our duty is to remember. history records that more than 40 million have served in the
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uniform of the united states, and nearly 1 million americans have fallen in uniform since our nation's founding. americans of every race and creed have fought and died for our freedom, but as i can tell from the faces of those gathered here, you know the numbers don't tell the story. they tell nothing of the lives of promise cut short, of dreams unfulfilled, and families shattered. words fail when heroes fall. so we do well on this day each year just to tell their stories. and to let their words and deeds speak for them. david kerr was born in louisiana in 1893. he was a student at columbia
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university, but he dropped out of college to fight in world war i. he deployed to france, volunteered to participate in an attack on saint nihal and two months before the guns fell silent at the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month, sergeant david kerr fell. after the war, the french government awarded him the cred creditair with palm for his courage. at the day of the attack sergeant kerr sent a letter to his mom. he wrote, and i quote -- "tomorrow the first totally american drive commences, and it gives me an expressible joy and pride to know that i shall be present to do my share. should i go under, i want you to know that i went without any
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terror of death, and that my chief worst my grief might bring to those so dear to me ". then he ended saying "i feel wonderful strong to do my share well for my sake. you must try and drown your sorrow in pride and sanction that i died well in so clean a cause as ours." he ended "god bless and keep you, my dear heart. be kind to little elizabeth. i love you so well. david." today we remember the service and sacrifice of sergeant david kerr. william robinson evans jr. was born in indiana in 1918. he was an eagle scout. after grade watting from college in connecticut he enlisted in the navy reserve officer pilot
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program. he earned his wings of gold and commissioned as an ensign in may of 1941. in september assigned to a torpedo squadron and at 23 he was one of the squadron's youngest pilots. on the 4th of june 1942, 15 torpedo planes from the squadron went into battle against overwhelming numbers of enemy fighters. and they were all shot down. their sacrifice and courage that day helped change the course of world history. ensign evans received a navy cross posthumously for hero imduring the air battle of midway. two moss before he was lost he wrote to a friend these words -- "many of my friends of now dead. to a man each died with a no nonchalance each would have denied was courage.
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if anything greater good is born of this war, it should not be valued in the colonies we may win or the pages historians will attempt to write, but, rather, in the youth of our country, who never trained for war. rather, almost never believed in war or who from some hidden source brought through gallantry which is home spun it is so real." then he said, "i say these things because i knew you liked and understood. and i wanted you to know they've not let you down." today we remember the service and sacrifice of ensign bill evans jr. [ applause ] >> john floyd cochran was born in michigan in 1941.
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first lieutenant cochran served in the 409th radio unit in vietnam. he led a platoon, and a man who served under him would say four decades later he was one great guy. lieutenant cochran fell to sniper fire on the 24th of october, 1966, just six days before he was scheduled to meet his wife in hawaii. on r & r. in his final letter home he wrote to his mom and dad these words -- "tonight i'm awaiting an attack. yes, that's right. your own son who you didn't raise to be stupid is 11,000 miles away from home sitting beneath a shaded coleman lantern on top of a hill waiting for a visit from our friend charlie." he later wrote, "i know why i'm here and why i couldn't be any
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other place"'s he said, "i do believe basic principles are a reason to die for. we are here because we feel our country is good enough to fight for and if necessary to die for." [ applause ] >> today we remember the service and sacrifice of first lieutenant john cochran. [ applause ] >> three men. three wars. and as we recall their sacrifices we cannot help but be inspired by their courage, and make no mistake about it. their example is inspiring a new generation of heroes every day. paul kelly was actually the son of a vietnam fighter pilot.
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he was commissioned in 1982 as an officer through the university of dayton's rotc program. served in leadership positions with the army national guard. colonel paul kelly was a man who built up all those who served around hill. he was known as a dedicated husband to his wife maria, and a proud father of his two sons, john and paul david kelly. he was nicknamed the senator, because he was always shaking soldiers' hands. no matter what the rank. he was a helicopter pilot. but he was a man on a stick on january 20, 2007 when he was lost in iraq. ten years later on july 20, 2017, ten years after his father died in iraq, his son paul david
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kelly enlisted in the virginia national guard, and private paul david kelly, his brother john, and his wonderful mother maria are here with us today. [ applause ] >> you honor us with your presence. family's three generations of service are an inspiration to us all. these stories of heroes we know from beginning to end. but it's important on this memorial day to remember that
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for some families of our fallen there is an added burden. the burden of having their loved one resting in a place known but to god. last year on this solemn occasion our president promised that we would never stop searching for the service men and whim omen who remain missin from wars and conflicts fought over the past century, and we've never stopped. last june in his first historic summit in singapore with chairman kim jong-un, president trump had our missing fallen on his heart, and as he began negotiations for the complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula, president donald trump also secured a promise for the return of the remains of all fallen u.s. service members lost in north korea. [ applause ]
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in august of last year, at hickam field in hawaii, it was our honor to be present when 55 flag-draped coffins burying the remains of americans who fought in the korean war were returned to american soil, and i must tell you. for this son of a combat veteran of the korean war, i will never be given a higher honor than to have been present when our boys were finally coming home. [ applause ] >> some of the remains have been identified, but more work remains. this is just the beginning, but
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i can assure you, and assure all families of our missing fallen, we will never rest until every soldier is accounted for, and resting on american soil. here and looking on who sacrificed more than we can comprehend, know that the hearts of every american are with you today and they'll stay with you every day as will our prayers. we mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve, but we do not grieve like those who have no hope, because our faith gives us hope.
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and heroes give us hope. for no greater love has a man than this that he should lay down his life for his friends. today on memorial day we honor americans who showed no greater love for the american people. [ applause ] we can never repay the debt of gratitude we owe to the men and women who have given all to preserve our freedom, but we can honor them, remember them, cherish their families. and this we will do not just this day but every day. so long as our nation continues to produce men and women of such selfless courage and patriotism, i know that freedom will reign for ourselves and our posterity.
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their duty was to serve. our duty is to remember. this memorial day, let every american renew our commitment to do our duty, to never fail to remember what they have done for us and never fail to honor and cherish the families they have left behind. and never fail to strive each and every day, to be worthy of the freedom that they want for us all. may god bless our heroic fallen. may those who mourn our heroes be confronted until he wipes every tear from their eyes. may god bless the men and women of our armed forces. and may god bless america. [ applause ] >> there you have it, vice
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president mike pence on this memorial day reminding us why we have this holiday, not just for the beach parties and the hot dogs, but for the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. vice president pence there at the memorial day ceremony. this is msnbc. we'll be right back. ceremony. this is msnbc. we'll be right back. i must admit. i had a few good tricks to help hide my bladder leak pad. like the old tunic tug. you know it, right? but, i don't have to with always discreet. i couldn't believe the difference. it's less bulky. and it really protects. watch this. the super absorbent core turns liquid and odor to gel. and locks it away. so i have nothing to hide. always discreet for bladder leaks.
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why do you think you can't convince a majority of house democrats that it's time to impeach him? >> i think it is moving towards that. it's going to demand it. it already is. this is not about a 2020 election. it's about doing what is right now for our country. this is going to be a precedent that we set when we don't hold this president accountable to the rule of law and to the united states constitution. >> congress may be on a recess. that has not stopped calls for impeachment proceedings against the president. let me start with you, the answer appears to be that so far the congressional recess isn't stopping this impeachment drum beat. is that a fair assessment? >> i think you will hear more from it from voters over recess. with all things congress it depends on the districts that you are talking about. for a lot of democrats feeling more pressured by this maybe from more blue districts you may be hearing from constituents.
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other districts are continuing to hear about health care, economy and infrastructure. >> could the calls for impeachment also perhaps be one of the reasons that we have seen this house speaker go after the president more aggressively, shall we say, over the past week and a half? >> absolutely. two points that i would make. i interviewed a democrat representing texas. what she told me last week was she wants to create a vehicle of sorts that would allow for there to be a more structured conversation around impeachment talks. now, to simone's point, i mean, there are many democrats who are much more progressive districts heading into august recess and their constituents are going to know precisely what is being done with these investigations. for many other districts that flipped from republican to democrat, they are much more coming at this from a policy argument.
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but the second point is that if you are speaker nancy pelosi, you would much rather be having a political back and forth with president trump than with freshman congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez in the direction of where the democratic party is going. and likewise if you are president trump you would much rather be sparring with congressional democrats and speaker pelosi than trying to have a payment fight amongst the republican caucus about how to pay for our infrastructure plan. >> i have come to wonder, though, whether some democrats just don't like the idea of talking about impeachment incessantly rather than actually beginning proceedings that would undeniably divide this country. >> a lot of them have seen it as a political trap from the white house that somewhat behooves trump to have this conversation. they don't want to get caught up in something they think will be a distraction come 20 tonot only at the presidential level but the house level. the democrats who won in the trump districts it is through
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their districts that path of majority runs through. >> we'll leave it there. thank you. always good to have you. thank you, as well. and thank you for joining us for this hour. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today." right now, my colleague andrea mitchell picking things up from washington. >> happy holiday to you and yours. right now, stand by your man. president trump backing kim jong-un over his own advisers and allies saying north korea's short range missiles do not violate u.n. resolutions even though they do. >> my people think it could have been a violation, as you know. i view it differently. >> out of bounds. donald trump attacking joe biden while on foreign soil, challenging the former vice president's iq while misspelling biden's name. and again siding with a north korean dictator. >> kim jong-un made a statement that joe biden is