tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC November 11, 2019 7:00am-8:01am PST
amd nikki haley spills secrets about the whispers in the halls of the west wing. where she said no to the recruitment effort and why washington might be missing the bigger story here. we've got an expert panel of reporters, analysts standing by all across the country on this veterans day holiday. i want to start with garrett haake on capitol hill, and geoff bennett at the white house, and pete williams who is covering a court hearing today that could affect all of the impeachment proceedings. garrett, let me start with you and set the scene. i know that it is a federal holiday, but members of congress are getting ready for a big week and we may see some new transcripts today, too. >> reporter: that's right. democrats have spent the last couple of days trying to burnish the resumes of the star witnesses. they want to talk up these are career diplomats, folks who have spent their lives in service of this country and they should be believed when they show up for the first hearing on wednesday and friday, and describe the
corruption they saw going on around them. republicans will try to poke holes in the argument. we've been talking about how none of these three witnesses had any interaction with the president, mick mulvaney or rudy giuliani. that's sort of how the arguments will be shaping up. but the other big talking point among democrats is how they want to sharpen their language about what they're targeting the president for, and that starts with ditching the latin. >> let's forget quid pro quo. quid pro quo is one of these things to muddy the works. >> we should call this for what it is, and it's the extortion and the corruption, the violation of the president's oath to office, to the constitution of the united states of america. >> we keep a using an expression quid pro quo. the actual term for what occurred is extortion, and extortion is a crime. >> so hallie, much like in the robert mueller era when all of washington spent a lot of time talking about collusion, which
wasn't a legally relevant term. here democrats want to focus on the issues of bribery and extortion. bribery is in the constitution as an impeachable offense and democrats think that's the argument that they want to try to make as clearly as possible in the open hearings starting on wednesday. >> you have the president, geoff, who is very keyed in on this i'm told by sources i've talked to over the wen, that he is watching to see what democrats and republicans have to say on tv, how they are defending him. he wants to see this blanket wrapped around him of loyal republican support. >> reporter: as you know well, president trump likes people to defend him the way he wants to be defended, and he wants republicans to defend him on the merits. so far, most of them aren't. now, the strategy that the white house is employing seems to be built so far on distraction and disinformation. earlier this morning president trump fired off a tweet, which i don't believe we have, but he accused democrats of doctoring
the transcripts. you see the tweet right there. he also says republicans should put out their own transcripts. the thing here is that there are 47 republicans on the respective committees that have been doing this closed-door interviews and we know based on reading the transcripts that have come out so far, that republicans have had equal time to question the witnesses and they've done that. and you've not heard a single republican on the committees suggest that somehow the transcripts on their own were not on the up-and-up. so come wednesday, the first day of the public impeachment hearings, we know that president trump can offering up some of his own counter-programming. he's going to have an afternoon press conference so that is his way of deflecting attention away from the impeachment proceedings that house democrats have in mind, hallie. >> and i think, geoff, we also have reaction this morning from press secretary stephanie grisham on the impeachment inquiry going public. she rarely appears on tv. what is she saying about the whole critical week ahead?
>> reporter: well, she was asked in particular about the nikki haley book, this question that haley speaks to in her book that there were two cabinet officials who suggested that she join with them to undermine the president. and stephanie grisham said she wasn't at the white house at the time, but this notion of undermiepiunde undermining the president is precisely what democrats are going with the impeachment inquiry. so that's the public messaging you're getting from the white house with the hearings set to begin in 48 hours. >> she also said that they think it's going to be more of the same essentially as this week moves forward. what is not more of the same is the way the acting chief of staff, mick mulvaney is now handling these requests, pete williams, to appear in front of house democrats. he received a subpoena. mulvaney is now trying to go to court to fight this, and he's teaming up, or trying to, with somebody who frankly is one of
his afric frenemies. >> let me show you the subpoena right here. mick mulvaney's name, signed by adam schiff. what mulvaney has done, he's gone to a judge in washington and joined an existing lawsuit that was filed by a former nsc official who said to the judge, hey, i've got an order, a subpoena from the house to testify, the white house is telling me no, i cannot testify because of executive privilege. no matter what i do, i'm going to be violating something, so you tell me, judge, what am i supposed to do. now, the weird thing about this is that the house last week dropped the subpoena, withdrew the subpoena, that caused that lawsuit to be filed against charles cupperman. the house said we don't need him anymore. this lawsuit is moot, let's get rid of it. but it wasn't gone away and that is the lawsuit that mulvaney has join. let me say one other thing about why i think this is a strange thing for mulvaney to join. what would happen if he decided simply to disobey the subpoena?
what would happen is the house doesn't have much it can do. it could refer the matter to congress, find him in contempt of congress, refer the matter to the u.s. attorney, and guess what? the u.s. attorney would do absolutely nothing. that's what usually happens in this case. it can file a civil lawsuit against him. same thing. it's one thing for kupperman. he's a former official and he has to fear being indicted by a u.s. attorney. but not a current official. and mulvaney is certainly right, that administrations of both republicans and democrats in the past have said that close advisers to the president are absolutely immune from these congressional subpoenas. so it's an interesting question here. but i don't understand, frankly, why this lawsuit wasn't dismissed, why it wasn't considered moot. there is a longstanding rule in the law that judges can still rule on something if it's likely to come up again, but likely to be -- you know, subject to repetition i think is the
phrase. so that may be why it's still alive. in any event, the judge is going to have a telephone conference call at 5:00 tonight with the lawyers for the house and for mulvaney and presumably still for kupperman, and finding out what's going to happen forward. even though the courts are closed today, this telephone conference will happen this afternoon at 5:00. >> all right. we'll be watching for that. pete williams, geoff bennett, garrett headache, thank you. i appreciate it. one of the bombshell revelations in the memoire from former u.n. ambassador, nikki haley. according to her former secretary of state rex tillerson and the white house chief of staff at the time, john kelly, tried to undermine, ignore and circumvent the president when they served in the administration. the "washington post" obtained a copy of the book, quoting, kelly and tillerson confided in me when they were resisting the president, they weren't being insubordinate, trying to save the country. it was their decisions that were in this best interest of america, they said.
the president didn't know what he was doing. with us, covers foreign affairs for the "wall street journal" and you covered nikki haley's tenure. there was an interesting response this morning and i want to pull it up from john kelly. he basically said if providing the best and most open legal and ethical staffing advice from across the government so he could make an informed decision is working against trump, kelly says, then guilty as charged. that's not a denial of what happened here. how do you read that? >> well, to be honest, i didn't find the news that surprising, because to a certain extent there's always been this narrative about officials trying to control the president's worst i in instincts, whether it's syria, where the president looks to pulling troops out of places and
other people believed this would undermine u.s. influence. so i think to a certain extent everyone has had this narrative come out. and i think perhaps the way it's expressed is more direct, but i wasn't say it's unusual from what we've seen. >> i think it is different in that it is names to faces here. and nikki haley is specifically calling out these people and saying it's not just an anonymous op ed writer from "the new york times" who is coming out with this book, who put this op ed out, it's actually the person who was the president's right hand, his chief of staff and cabinet secretary here. based on your reporting, and what you're hearing from sources, how is this being received inside the state department? >> i think the state department is already under a lot of pressure because of the impeachment inquiry that's going on and that's something that's a big focus for career officials. so between that, i think that there's probably not a lot of bandwidth to focus on this book, which is focused on things that were from the past. if you look at also, say, what
mcmaster was trying to do, he also was trying to present the president with options that would support what he thought was a better outcome. for example, pushing for more troops in afghanistan, when the president really wanted to get out of afghanistan. so i think to a certain extent, as kelly framed it, there are always people who will try to push their point of view by presenting it as the best option for the president to choose. >> jessica, thank you much for your perspective and reporting. i want to bring in ned price who served in the obama administration. he's now an msnbc national security analyst. erin blake had an interesting point in the "washington post," the headline being the real disclosure, concerns about dangerousness. he said when nikki haley tells us they spearheaded such an effort, maybe the story isn't -- she just said no. >> the story is not just that
she said no, but it is that they may be asked. in some ways i have to laugh, because all of this time for the past three years, we've been told by president trump, by his defenders, that the people out there thwarting president trump's agenda is the murky deep state, the unelected bureaucrats who are throwing gears into the system. and now we learn from nikki haley that actually the people who are undermining president trump are the people that president trump himself has hand picked to be part of his cabinet. these are people that, according toic nikki haley, told her that people will die. she said that rex tillerson said that people will die if you go along with president trump. that's pretty startling. >> the president thinks this book is going to be good things for him. he's tweeting go get your copy today, good luck, niki. >> and clearly she got the carve etd retweet. we are all focused on 2020.
i think ambassador haley is very much folk id on to 24. and i think you get a sense of that, because when you look at all of the areas where rex tillerson and john kelly tried to undermine president trump, these are areas in which ambassador haley said she actually agreed with president trump. and if you look at the verdict on all four issues, all four of them went in the direction of nikki haley and president trump. >> this is reminiscent, it seems, the way that she describes the sort of active resistance or what she characterizes as insubordination, really r reminiscent of the op ed, we still don't know who this person is, the current or former top administration official at senior levels inside the white house. do you think this renews some speculation around the whole thing? >> i a hard time caring about anonymous. you just get the sense, that anonymous in his or her initial
op said, said that he or she was working from the inside to try and undermine the system and save the current essentially. you hear the same from rex tillerson and john kelly according to nikki haley. i think these people, if they had principles, if they wanted to do the right thing, they should make that public and attach their name to it. i don't think we save the country by playing around the margins in 2019 and 2018. i think we save the country in 2020. >> ned price, i appreciate you being on. thank you very much. fringe conspiracy theory up next about a group of deep state operators secretly at war with president trump. that is now being pedaled by some 2020 congressional candidates. detail on the radical online movement. plus 2020 contender pete buttigieg hitting back after he was misquoted criticizing the former president. what the candidate is saying this morning in a new exclusive interview. that is next as we are just getting started on this veterans day. we're keeping an eye on the
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we are just getting a new exclusive interview this morning in to us with one of the 2020 candidates seeing a surge in his numbers. mayor pete buttigieg is out on the trail and he's respond to the misquote that went viral. the one that looked like the mayor was criticizing former president obama. the reporter is issuing a correction, saying he was not
referencing the failures of the obama era but the failures of the old normal. >> i just appreciate that the misquote was corrected. the reality is, despite what this president says, journalists take their obligations very seriously to make sure everything they print is accurate and you saw that in how quickly that correction took place. i'll also say that since the misquote gave the wrong impression about my views of the obama administration, you know, the achievements of the obama administration affected me personally in many ways, including the ability to serve openly and i'm an dmadmirer of president obama. >> i want to bring in josh lederman in new hampshire sure. josh, i am sure that on veterans day the mayor didn't want to talk about this misquote issue all that much. but he did want to talk about his plan for veterans and he made this interesting remark to you, i believe, where he talked
about hoping that the first female v.a. secretary would be a part of his cabinet. explain that. >> reporter: yes, so he says he doesn't want to lock himself into having or not having any particular candidate, but that he does think there needs more gender diversification in the leadership of the v.a. hopes to have a first female v.a. secretary. and in his plan that he's rolling out today, pete buttigieg is talking about ending homelessness among veterans, working to fully fund the v.a., as well as creating a new white house position that would coordinate medical records between the v.a. and department of defense. he's also talking with us in our interview about how for him as a military combat veteran, this issue is personal. >> what do you feel like as a combat veteran you understand about the veterans experience that perhaps some of your rivals don't? >> i think the most important thing is the promise that is a two-way promise made between a veteran who raised their right hand to serve this count and the united states of america.
the promises in american to take care of veterans. and that's not just while you're serving, that extends for the rest of your lifetime. it's not about doing people a favor. it is about keeping that promise. and i think about people i served with, many of whom had a lot of challenges when they came back. others don't want to be regarded as a problem to be solved, but as potential to be unlocked. >> reporter: and hallie, pete buttigieg will be appearing here at the scemetery just a little bit as he rolls out the full plan later in the day in new hampshire. >> great interview with him. i also want to ask a similar question to what you asked to pete buttigieg to you, shaquille, brewster, who is with bernie sanders's campaign. he's rolling out his own plan to reform the v.a. and help veterans and members of the military. he obviously has a different life experience as josh was talking about with pete
buttigieg. a different experience with sanders moving forward. how does he connect the two? >> reporter: what we've been hearing from senator sanders is him focusing on what he did in the senate as chairman of the veteran affairs committee and we're seeing that in this new plan that he's releasing this morning. it's aed 62 billion plan that focuses on new spending to rebuild and modernize v.a. infrastructure and it also provides cutting-edge health services and it extends the benefits. and he also pledges to fill nearly 50,000 vacancies in the v.a. he was in carson city iowa last night in a conservative district in iowa and he was asked by a veteran what is he going to do to take on veterans affairs and a conservative who didn't agree. and senator sanders defended his chairmanship, he talked about how he worked with john mccain to pass the veterans legislation.
so also senator sanders is not a military veteran himself, he does want to show that he cares about veterans and is leaning into the experience as a senator and as the chairman to make that point. >> shack brewster, live for us, pete buttigieg live in new hampshire. thank you. >> another long "time" republican lawmaker announces he will not run again. we're talking about a former gop congressman about what's behind this parade of republicans calling it quits. we're also keeping an eye on madison city where the program is happening now. president trump is set to speak in just about ten minutes from now. first on this veterans day it's a time to remember those who have served. take a look. here he is with his mother honoring his father, a marine corps veteran now buried at fort logan cemetery in colorado. aetna takes a total approach to your health and wellness
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this morning congressman peter king is talking about nbc news after suddenly announces he will end his nearly 30 years in congress next year and will not run again. so check the ticker, this means the number of republicans leaving congress next year is nearly two dozen. check out the list from people retiring and not running,
resigning, running for other stuff. king in many ways has held the center against his own party, fighting the president's tax cuts and ensuring health care funding for 9/11 first responders. with us is one of peter king's former colleagues, former congressman of florida. he's now an msnbc political analyst. and we're happy to have you on because you seem like the perfect person to talk about this. somebody who knows what it's like to serve and leave congress. king is telling kristen welker he's retiring because he wants to end the weekly commute and be home in long island. he also says the president and impeachment was not a factor and he intends to vote against impeachment and fully support the president for reelection. do you buy that that president trump wasn't part of this at all? >> hallie, good morning from miami. certainly for those who care about the institution of the house, it's hard to see people like peter king walking away. here's a consensus builder, someone for years has been a republican champion for
universal background checks. he's work with mike thompson of california. he's helped with efforts to reform immigration. so when people like this walk away, we certainly do worry about the institution of the house. and it's not just that republicans are walking away, but the types of republicans that are walking away. those who came from the party of reagan and bush. and while peter is saying that the president isn't a factor in his retirement, certainly you have to believe that it is a factor. donald trump has come to dominate the republican party, a lot of these independent-minded republicans like peter king just don't find the same degree of affinity or comfort that they used to have with the republican party. and i'm not saying it's the reason he's walking away, but you have to believe that it is a factor when you see people like him, like mack thorn bury, people who are senior statesmen in the party walking away, it's a difficult time to serve for
them. so certainly it must be a factor. >> when you talk about that and you talk about the way -- and you have worked with peter king on issues when you were in congress. he has reached across the aisle and worked with democrats. when you look at the list we have been putting up of the republicans that have decided to step away, many of them are considered more moderate here. it's sort of tough not to look at this and think is there a pattern here. what does this mean for some of these districts where these moderate republicans have done well? >> it's bad news for the house because these are the bridge-builders that try to find the compromise and there are fewer of them every day. and what's happening in the republican party is that before republicans in congress used to have their own initiatives and used to advance specific pieces of legislation. these days, and having been there for two years while donald trump was president, i can tell you it's the case the first question is, when any republican proposes any idea, the first question is what does the president think about this. and that's frustrating for these
institutionalist type republicans, who understand that the house and the congress is a co-equal branch of government, that it can have its own initiatives and it should be and is designed to be independent of the executive. quite frankly, it's unpleasant to serve under those circumstances where you just constantly have to be asking or wondering what the president is going to think about whatever you're proposing. and peter king is a champion of universal background checks. he believes in immigration reform. he wants to help dreamers. it seems like these days there's little room for those ideas in the republican party. and that's why i tell you it has to be a factor in the decision that a lot of these, especially senior republicans, are making. >> let me get your perspective, congressman, on what we are seeing right now as this very important week in the impeachment inquiry gets ready to quick avenue. the first public hearing set to be held on wednesday. we have now both sides of the aisle, democrats and republicans in this tug of war looking to
get public opinion on their side. democrats are saying skip with the quid pro quo, stop calling it that, call it extortion. you have republicans using a variety of argument, including matt tohorn bury saying i don't love what the president did, but it is not impeachable. the president doesn't like that strategy. what would you recommend to your republicans moving forward? are they taking the right tack or is the horse out of the barn here? >> republicans have to remember that they have a constitutional duty to uphold congress's independence. and to analyze objectively what it is that happened. i'm not saying that they should vote one way or the other. i think they have to keep an open mind during these hearings, and also take a look at public opinion. while a lot of americans are not yet at the point where they want the president to be impeached, most americans understand that what the president did was wrong. a lot of republicans have failed to state that in simple terms. and i think that's a big mistake
going into the 2020 elections. so i think republicans have to try to keep an open mind. the enter sha in these cases is for people to walk back to their corners. i think that would be a mistake given the gravity of what's going on. >> appreciate your perspective on the show, congressman. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> from miami to new york, any minute president trump is expected to speak here in manhattan. for the 100th anniversary of the veterans day parade. he will become the first sitting president the to speak here. hans, i think you can hear me. tell me what year expecting today. >> reporter: i can hear you over the marine corp. drum and bugle playing the hail to the chief. when the president gets here in a sec, i'm going to toss it back to you. this is the president aeft first trip on veterans day.
he's the president to participate in the parade. go ahead. >> your quickest hit ever, my friend. i apologize as we are going to listen to the president's remarks, which i believe were set to begin. the president is there, and you're right, the first sitting president to speak at this parade in new york city as the president has made his way there. let's listen in to this. >> the support of this wonderful parade. today we come together as one nation to salute the verpts of the united states armed forces. our veterans risk everything for us and now it is our duty to serve and protect them every single day of our lives. it is truly an honor to come back to new york city right here add madison square park to be the first president ever to attend america's parade.
so every veteran here with us, to the thousands preparing to march on 5th avenue, it will be really something. and to the 18 million veterans across our country, the first lady and i have come to express the everlasting love and oilily of 327 million americansme. i want to recognize the department of affairs deputy secretary, james burn, for joining us. thank you, james. great job. pleased to report that our administration and all of the work that we've done, the veterans satisfaction with the v.a. is at 90%. it's the highest rate ever recorded in the history of this particular program, and that's awfully good and we're very proud of you and the secretary. thank you very much. great job.
also with us is new york city mayor bill deblazio. thank you very much, mr. mayor. thank you. along with many other distinguished guests. thanks as well to everyone at the united war veterans council for putting on this incredible event, including bill white, doug mcgown and a very special acknowledgment to someone who has dead vadicated his life to parade, marine vince mcgown. thanks to each of you and all of the supporters whose generosity make this parade possible. tremendous amounts of work has been done and tremendous amounts of money has been donated and we appreciate it. we're very glad to be joined as well by the honorary marshal of the parade, david berger and
troy black. thank you very much. let us also show our profound appreciation to the 2019 grand marshals of the parade who have served in world war ii, korea, vietnam, the gulf war and iraq. this morning as more than 30,000 patriotic americans line the streets of manhattan, we carry on a noble tradition that began one century ago. in 1919, the people of this city filled block after block to welcome home general pershing and his 25,000 american soldiers after victory in world war i. just a few years before, many of those soldiers had boarded ships not far from here. more than 4 million americans fought in the great war and more than 116,000 made the ultimate
sacrifice. at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918, the war had come to an end, and the allies achieved a great, great victory. every year since, on november 11th, we have shared our nation's deepest praise and gratitude to every citizen who has worn the uniform of the american army, navy, air force, coast guard and marines. we are profoundly moved to have with us veterans of world war ii, including one of the grand marshals, woody williams. thank you. thank you, woody. thank you very much, woody. to each veteran of the war, the glory of your deeds will only grow greater with time.
this city is graced by your presence. this nation is forever in your debt. and we thank you all. we're also pleased to be joined by veterans of the korean war, the vietnam war, the gulf war, and the war on terror. you are the reason our hearts swell with pride, our foes tremble with fear and our nation thrives in freedom. will you please stand so we can honor your heroic service, please? [ applause ] >> thank you very much. thank you, thank you all. each year this parade highlights one branch of our military. this year we honor the elite masters of air, land and sea, the legendary leathernecks, the
feared devil dogs, the first to flight, the united states marines. let's hear it. [ applause ] >> yesterday we celebrated the marines' 244th birthday. that's pretty good. the few and the proud are always faithful and they always win. i also want to thank the marine corp. law enforcement foundation which provides scholarships to children of your fallen heros, to every gold star family, we will stand by your side forever. it is very fitting that the veterans day parade begin right here in new york city, since the earliest days of our nation, new york has exemplified the american spirit and has been at
the heart of our nation's story of daring and defiance. on july 2nd, 1776, the british armada sailed into new york harbor, numbering more than 400 ships and carrying more than 30,000 men. the british came here to snuff out when they thought was just a minor american revolution. didn't turn out to be that way. but the red coats did know, what they did know, was they were going to have a problem. but they didn't know that new york would meet them with the fearsome power of american patriots. in world war i, rejments like the lost battalion and the fighting 69th were revered all over the globe. during world war ii, 63 million tons of supplies and more than 3
million service members shipped out of new york harbor. on september 11th, 2001, the whole world saw the horror and responded to america's wicked enemies with unwaiving courage, unbreakable spirit and resolve that is deeper than oceans, fiercer than fires, and stronger than steel. last week i was honored to award the presidential citizens medal to an extraordinary american. rick enlisted in the army at the recruiting center in times square, became a great war hero in vietnam, and then became head of security at morgan stanley in the world trade center. on september 11th, he saved 2,700 lives, before giving his own. today we are immensely grateful
to be joined by rick's son trevor. thank you, trevor. thank you. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> to trevor and every 9/11 family, we pledge to never, ever forget. the towering spirit of strength that we see in this city lives within the heart of every american warrior, from the snow of valley forge, to the jungles of vietnam, from the forests, to the beaches of normandy, from the mountains of afghanistan, to the deserts of iraq, that spirit has helped our fighters defeat tyrants, conquer fascism, advantage wish communism and face down terrorism. just a few weeks ago, american special forces raided the isis compound and brought the world's
number one terrorist leader to justice. thanks to american warriors, baghdadi is dead, his second in charge is dead. we have our eyes on number three. his reign of terror is over and our enemies are running very, very scared. thank you. [ applause ] those who threaten our people don't stand a chance against the righteous might of the american military. in a few weeks we will mark the 75th anniversary of the battle of the bulge, our nation's bloodiest battle of world war ii. more than 47,000 americans were wounded and 19,000 gave their last breath for their country. we are proudly joined today by a veteran of the battle of the bulge, a native new yorker who
is 94 years old, and still going very, very strong, corporal jack foy. [ applause ] you look good, jack. you look good. jack enlisted in the army right out of high school. he fought through brutal months of the campaign in northern france. on christmas eve after marching nearly 100 miles in the snow in sub zero temperatures, he arrived outside the town of bastone in belgium. he helped push the enemy back from a critical road. at one point, a mine blew up and it destroyed his vehicle, badly hurting many. he was wounded three times, but he kept on fighting. after the allied victory at the battle of the bulge, jack fought
for the remaining nine months of the war, up the mosal river and all the way across germany until he reached the gates of the concentration camp, the first nazi camp to be lib braerated. that was a big event. as jack has said about the battle of the bulge, when the chips were down and the situation was desperate, the american soldiers stood up to be counted. for a brief moment in history, these men held our nation's destiny in their hands. we did not fail. thank you very much. [ applause ] and corporal foy, we will forever be proud of what you and your fellow sold yeiers achieve.
although with us is laurel matthews, a granddaughter of a battle of the bulge veteran who has since passed away, master sergeant evans. like so many of our veterans, he never talked about the war. laura never knew her grandfather's story until she embarked on a school project about ten years ago. rody was in the 422nd regimen, which was overwhelmed when the nazis launched their surprise assault. he and his men fought for three treacherous days before being taken as prisoners of war. after they arrived at a prison camp, the german commander said over the loud speaker, the jewish american soldiers were all told to step out of line during roll call the next day.
knowing the terrible fate that will come to his jewish comrades, rody immediately said we're not doing that. he sent orders to have every american step out of line with their jewish brothers in arms. the next morning 1,292 americans stepped forward. the german command stormed over to rody and said they cannot all be jews. rody stared right back, he said we are all jews here. at that point the german put a gun to rody's head and demanded you will order the jews to step forward immediately, or i will shoot you right now through the head. rody responded, major, you can shoot me, but you'll have to kill us all. [ applause ]
the german turned red, got very angry, but put his gun down and walked away. master sergeant edmunds saved 200 jewish american soldiers that day. so proud to be jewish and so proud of our country. lauren, thank you for being here today as we remember your grandfather's unbelievable and exceptional valor. lauren, please stand up. thank you very much. [ applause ] one of the 200 jewish american soldiers who was saved that fateful day is staff sergeant lester tanner. lester is now 96 years old. [ applause ]
he joins us here. boy, you guys are looking very good. 96, lester, you're really 96, lester? i don't believe it. you're looking good. thank you very much. thank you, also, for your very noble service and for sharing this incredible story with the world. thank you very much, lester. the men and women who have donned our nation's uniforms are the bravest, toughest, strongest, and most virtuous warriors ever to walk on earth. you left your families and fought in far-away lands. you came face to face with evil, and you did not back down. you returned home from war and you never forgot your friends who didn't return, including prisoners of war, and those missing in action. every day you think of them and pray for them. but your greatest tribute of all is the way you lived your lives
in the years since. you raised your families, you endured the wounds of war, and you endured the pains of that memory. yet, you keep going, you keep serving, you keep giving, and you keep loving. you volunteer at your local veterans post, and you keep in touch with your battle comrades. you support our gold star families, you take care of our wounded warriors, and you stand alongside of our service members when they return from war. on veterans day, rededicates itself to our most solemn duty. while we can never repay our war wars for boundless service and sacrifice we must uphold our
ob obligation to care for those who have -- the eternal light monument. as we do with god as our witness we pledge to always honor our veterans and pay immortal tribute to those who have laid down their lives so that we might be free. together we must safeguard what generations of fearless patriots gave everything to secure. we will protect our liberty, uphold our values and defend our home. we will ensure that rightoeus legacy stands as a testament from now until the end of time. to every veteran here today and all across our land you are america's greatest living heroes, and we will cherish you now, always and forever.
thank you. god bless our veterans, and god bless america. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. >> ladies and gentlemen, at this time the marine corps honor guards will carry the centennial wreath, the eternal light memorial. after the wreath is placed there will be a moment of silence followed by a rifle salute followed by the playing of taps. please rise if you are able and remain standing throughout the ceremony.
lady take part in a wreath laying and a moment of silence after the president's remarks to begin the veterans day parade. we'll watch the president shake hands and say good-bye. the former president of the veterans of america, now the host of the angry americans podcast, paul, we're running up on the end of the show here. i wanted to get your reaction to this. you were not at this event today. can you explain why that is? >> i don't want to be politicized and many veterans are staying away from this parade because they feel like it's unnecessarily politicized. everyone trump goes has become a divisive and partisan event. there are some veterans staying home today because he's there and some veterans are off site protesting and what is normally a day of tremendous unity and cohesion is now just swabbed in politics. his remarks were thankfully not that political but his very presence and the especially the last couple months, the attacks on mccain. i'm not going to be politicized.
that's a personal choice and other veterans are making the same choice today. >> i should note for viewers that some of the audible yelling is from a group of people outside in the west side, i believe, of this park, paul, but to your point obviously on a day that's meant to honor veterans, protests above the president and high rise, letters are spelled out impeach and convict. it's unavoidable even on a day like today. you also -- and i want to give you a chance to respond here, have the the president's son talking before veterans day in his new book that's been released about visiting arlington national cemetery seeing in that moment i also thought of all the attacks we'd already suffered as a family. >> it's ridiculous and insulting and part of why i'm not at the parade today. there's a total disconnect when it comes to cultural competency and a tone deafness.
being attacked politically is not the same as a war zone. they're not the same thing. if donald trump jr. wants to see the difference he should go to a war zone. he's young enough to enlist and i'm sure the military would be happy to have him. >> paul, before i let you go, arlington cemetery, new proposals being instituted to potentially limit who can be buried there. your quick response. >> they're running out of space, it's a real logistical challenge. it underscores how many world war ii veterans we're losing, thousands every month and we've got to get creative in figuring out how to honor them and really respect and protect the sacred space that is arlington. >> paul, i wish we had more time for this conversation. thank you for being with us on what i know is an important day. thank you for your service. and to all the veterans watching for their service as well and in this country. craig melvin picks up in new york now. >> hallie, thank you. craig melvin msnbc headquarters in new york city as president trump spends the day marking veterans day in manhatta