tv With All Due Respect MSNBC February 1, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
gamble. >> uh-huh. >> oh, there you go. is that comedy for the u.s. senate these days? the closest you're going to get. speaking of the super bowl, we learned this afternoon president george h.w. bush and mrs. bush will be the honorary coin flippers at the game this sunday in their hometown of houston. that's all for tonight. "for the record with greta" starts right now. breaking news. going nuclear. wow. at least politically. president trump dropping that political bomb into the brutal battle over his supreme court nomin nominee. will republicans follow the new republican president's advice and will democrats put up a bruising fight? and brace yourself for this one. are decades of tradition about to disappear overnight? also, it's not just here in washington, the politicians are raising some verbal fists. a new warning from the trump white house directed right at iran. they're putting iran on notice.
how will iran respond? and trouble ahead for a key trump cabinet pick. republicans bucking their party voting no on education nominee betsy devos. will majority leader mitch mcconnell call in vice president mike pen to help? yep, another one. y yessiree, a whirlwind day in washington, including a dramatic escalation of rhetoric against iran. we start at home, the first day of the titanic fight in the supreme court and the new nominee judge neil gorsuch. president trump had a message for both democrats and the gop leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell. >> we end up with a gridlock, i would say if you can, mitch, go nuclear. because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was caught up in the web. so i would say it's up to mitch,
but i would say go for it. >> going nuclear means to scrap senate tradition and approve a nominee with just a simple majority. 51 votes. majority leader mcconnell is not committing to a rule change. >> i think long and hard about whether we want to blow up the institution of the senate for some kind of short-term advantage. i think we can achieve the things we want to achieve for the american people without doing that. >> democrats are already lining up against gorsuch, senator elizabeth warren says "trump failed to select a consensus nominee." senator kirsten gillibrand calls gorsuch "outside the mainstream." senator jeff merkley turns up the temperature even hotter, he says it is "a stolen seat being filled by an illegitimate and extreme nominee." both sides are getting ready for a showdown. >> if this nominee cannot meet the same standard that republicans insisted upon for president obama's supreme court
nominees, 60 votes in the senate, then the problem lies not with the senate but with the nominee. >> nbc's peter alexander is at the white house. peter? >> reporter: hey, greta, good evening to you. a senior white house official here moments ago told me they're feeling very good about neil gorsuch's nomination, of cour, they're supposed to say that but specifically, they're satisfied with last night's rollout and gorsuch's meetings on the hill today. he began soliciting support among senators, meeting with some republicans including the majority leader mitch mcconnell, and several others. cornyn, gardner, from his home state of colorado. chuck grassley, chairman of the senate judiciary committee. he also met with democrat joe manchin. his guide there today was vice president mike pence who said he's hardened by seven democrats who he says are onboard with giving gorsuch a vote. it would take eight democrats to avoid changing the rules but to be very clear nbc news' reporting doesn't indicate there
are seven democrats right now in agreement. president trump, he endorses mcconnell as you noted, he said it's okay if he decides to deploy the so-called nuclear option. that significant rules change that would allow gorsuch to be confirmed with only a simple majority instead of that filibuster-proof 60 votes. bottom line, the democrats in a bind here. it appears they're going to lose this fight one way or the other. the question, the dilemma, do they go down swinging, the base wants them to stand their ground, or do they fold on this one that wouldn't change the divisions and maybe save their fire for a future supreme court fight that could change the balance of the court? democrats as you'll remember already destroyed that 60-vote threshold for cabinet picks and lower court picks back when they had the majority. getting rid of the 60-vote threshold for the supreme court pick is a big deal, would require the broad consensus to work, a check of the power of the majority. for the moment now, greta, we wait and see. >> peter, how is this kept such
a secret? i know the trump white house has referred to the press as the opposition party, but it usually leaks out. this was -- i mean, for all sents and purposes this was kept secret from us. we couldn't get it. >> reporter: you're exactly right. we were trying. even at the last minute, we knew it was down to the final two,e didn't know whether they were both in washington. i talke a senior white house official who walked me through the tick tock. neil gorsuch gef ereceived the on monday, he was congratulated, he lives in boulder, colorado. at the time, there was also a white house team that was there. gorsuch went over to a neighbor's house, that neighbor drove him on a country farm road to the starbucks as they drived it in a safeway parking lot in boulder where a white house team picked him up in secret, alongside his wife. they were flown to joint base andrews arriving at 7:00 monday night and we give you a little insight, we tried to call around all the hotels, see if anyone
had a gorsuch or hardiman checked in. we had no luck. we learned gorsuch and his wife stayed with family friends in falls church, virginia, just outside of washington, d.c. that's how they kept it a secret until the last minute. >> peter, thank you. senator orrin hatch is a republican from the great state of utah. he serves on the senate judiciary committee and chairs the senate finance committee. nice to see you, sir. >> it's nice to be with you, greta. nice to have you back. >> thank you, sir. senator, how much of a fight is the nominee, judge gorsuch, going to get on capitol hill? >> he's going to have some people against him, but he is such an outstanding candidate, i don't think they could have picked a better person to succeed justice scalia. he's brilliant, he's got the academic background that you can't really match very easily. he's a terrific judge with a big reputation, a wonderful writer.
just an all-around great human being. >> do you think you're going to get any democrats to vote for him? >> well, i think so. i would hope so. i mean, they have to acknowledge that, you know, the presidency has been won by donald trump and that trump has picked one of the finest judges in the country to elevate to the supreme court. and neil gorsuch is respected by people in both parties all over the country. and it's inexcusable to give him a rough time. >> in the event that he doesn't look like he's going to get voted and you're going to have to do something about the filibuster, are you in favor of the nuclear option? i know that president trump has said that he's in favor of it today. >> well, i prefer to not even -- i prefer not to do that. i'd rather have the senate operate as it really should operate, but the democrats have done that and that makes it fair game if the republicans have to use it, but we would like to do
this without using the nuclear option. and i'd like to avoid that as much as i can on judges. >> but i take it by your statement, i take it that you would vote to -- you'd be in favor of the nuclear option if you can't get this nominee -- if he can't win otherwise? >> well, i'd rather not even consider it because i would hope that the democrats would wake up and realize that, you know,he election's been won, this is the first nominee up. he's such an outstanding person. not only from an academic standpoint, from a legal standpoint, but also has widespread experience in government, in private practice, and is one of the truly great appellate court judges in the country today. so i'm hoping that they'll back off and acknowledge that they're getting a really, really great judge here. >> how wicked is it on capitol hill right now? i noted that democrats didn't show up at the finance committee. so how wicked is the relationship between the republicans and democrats?
>> well, it's not real good right now. you know, they -- this is the first time in the history of the finance committee, to my knowledge, that they refused to even come to the, you know, to the markup. and so we put it off a day and then this morning we just marked it up. and they were quite upset about it, but we followed the rules of the senate and did what had to be done. so those two candidates, mr. mnuchin for the treasury of the united states, and, of course, our own friend from the house, who's going to head hhs, we put both of them out and will bring them up probably next week on the floor. they'll be griping and moaning and groaning about that but it was totally legal, totally proper. especially when they wouldn't even show up for a markup. you know, that's first time i've seen that in the finance committee or really any other
committee. >> what's going to happen with the tax code? you and i have talked about this before with the tax code now that you've been chairman of the finance committee for some time, but what do you anticipate, for instance, will be the highest personal tax code rate this year? >> well, i would like to change those rates. i'd like to bring the tax rates down and broaden the base and, of course, do the things that would make the tax code much more utilizeable and much more fair for people throughout the country and much better for the government. you know, we'll have to see what we can get done with the democrats in an uproar the way they are right now, but we found on the finance committee that we can getting to a ing ttogether work together but, you know, we're willing to work with them. i hope they'll be willing to work with us. >> was ranking member senator wyden very happy with you tonight in light of the fact that you moved forward even without the democrats? >> well, he wasn't happy, but he
was pushed into pulling that stunt with the democrats by the democrat leadership who i think have acted terribly in this situation. you know, they didn't have to be this mean spirited and they didn't have to force us into a posture where we had to, you know, in essence move ahead without them. i hated to do that, but we couldn't put up with that kind of activity any longer. >> senator, thank you for joining us, sir. >> it's great to be with you. it's great to have you back, and god bless you. >> thank you, sir. with me, senator richard blumenthal, democrat from the great state of connecticut who serves on the senate judiciary committee. nice to see you, senator. >> great to see you, greta, thanks for having me. >> senator, have you made up your mind on judge gorsuch or are you going to wait to hear from him at the hearing? >> as a member of the judiciary
committee, i'm going to have the opportunity to ask him questions at the hearing and privately, equally important, i'm reviewing his record, all of his opinions and rulings. i have reached no conclusion but i do have very deep and serious concerns about his views on privacy rights, women's health care, working protection, and consumer issues and, of course, public safety. so i am going to be giving a lot of thought to how i'll vote because there is no more important decision, none, than this vote on a nominee for the highest court in the land and a lifetime appointment. >> two of your colleagues, senator elizabeth warren and senator gillibrand have said that he is outside the mainstream. how do you define what is outside the mainstream? >> well, in a sense, outside the mainstream is a little bit like the justice who said he knew
pornography when he saw it and outside the mainstream can have different meanings but for me it means that the nominee would have no real allegiance or fidelity to long-established precedent like roe v. wade and other labor protection issues, the chevron doctrine, other kinds of principles that i think ought to be at the core of a judge's decision-making processes. and i think out of the mainstream also may be an allegiance or a leaning toward one kind of interest or another. like big corporate interests which apparently is reflected in judge gorsuch's decision-making. there are other criteria as well but i think mainstream really is what we call often moderate, centrist and not ideological or extreme and i think that's what i will be looking to determine. i have reached no conclusion.
i really want to dig very deeply into the judge's record. >> i know it's no secret that if the republicans don't get the votes, if they fear the filibuster, they're going to use the nuclear option which is something that your party introduced in 2013. senator harry reid. in fact, you voted for the nuclear option at the time saying in part it's a profoundly significant step that will make the vernment workbetter. you went on to say more things to it. what's your view of the nuclear option now? >> my view of the nuclear option is it should not be invoked with respect to a supreme court nominee. and you know because of your own very distinguished legal background that the supreme court really is different. it's different from an appellate court or a district court or a cabinet nominee. it's a lifetime appointment. a court that impacts the law for
decades and maybe generations to come. and i think there should be more than just a razor-thin margin supporting a future justice. it ought to be 60 votes and that's why i will insist on a 60-vote threshold and the nuclear option, i believe, will be rejected by our republican colleagues. you just heard senator hatch, whom i respect greatly, express some reservations about it. and senator mcconnell the same. so i think we have a consensus in the senate that the nuclear option really would be inappropriate applied to a supreme court nominee. >> senator, thank you for joining us, sir. >> thank you. take care. ahead, breaking news on iran and this one was a surprise. the trump administration putting iran on notice after ballistic missile test. what does it mean to be put on notice? and what happens next? we have the insiders here to respond. also blow-back to president
trump's travel ban from inside the government and why is his former transition chief -- why is he saying this? >> he was ill-served by whoever it was who came up with the way to roll this out. not including relative people that need to be included like general kelly and others. enormously ill served. extraordinarily ill served. ill served. the failure of people around him to do that ill served the president. the president deserves to be served well. and one of president trump's key cabinet nominees in real jeopardy tonight. the drama from inside that hearing ahead.
throughout and beyond the middle east and place -- which places american lives at risk. instead of being thankful to the united states in these agreements, iran is now feeling emboldened. as of today, we are officially putting iran on notice. >> flynn blasting iran for violating the u.n. resolution. nikki haley made similar comments just yesterday. >> that is absolutely unacceptable and we wanted to bring that and we wanted to do it urgently. you will continue to see the united states act accordingly. we have said with this administration we are the not going to show a blind eye to these things that happen. we're going to act. we're going to be strong. we're going to be loud. we're going to do whatever it takes to protect the american people and the people across the world. >> jeremy bash is a former chief of staff to director of the cia and secretary of defense, leon panetta. we're also joined by major general bob scales. general, first to you, last
segment i asked -- asked the senator what the word mainstream means to define. let me ask you to define this. what does it mean to be put on notice. >> i think it's an open-ended threat. remember, now, as far as general mattis concerned and mike flynn is concerned, going back before the election, both of these men said america's number one enemy is iran. >> what do you mean to put on notice? should we be heading for the basement tonight? >> no. what he's saying essentially is that all options are open and there are several. one, of course, is to increase sanctions, i think the president will probably do that. the other is to -- is to tighten up our allies in the region, particularly saudi arabia, to get them more aggressive toward iran. the third, eventually, will be an increased u.s. presence in the persian gulf. i think all those are on the table. you'll notice when he put them on notice, he never took the military option off the table. that's very important. >> the clear implication is military force, that we will use it more aggressively and earlier
in the process and not wait for this crisis to build. >> i mean, we're going to go over and take out their sites? i mean -- >> well, in october, even under the previous president when missiles were launched toward our warship, the "u.s.s. nista" fired two missiles and took out radar sites in yemen of the houthi -- it's possible we would get into a scrape there. >> it appears to me, very organized -- this is my imagination, the fact the u.n. ambassador nikki haley saying the same thing yesterday, flynn comes out today -- seems like they're talking about this behind the scenes, this is the not just a flip remark. >> one thing i'd look for, i'd okor an increased naval presence in the region. i'd like for a more aggressive posture by the american navy and allied navy. i'd look for greater drone overflights over iran. i would look for both flynn and mattis continuing to push the
envelope with iran to get them to respond. i wouldn't be surprised by any of that. >> keep your eye on yemen, again, where our allies and partners in the region, saudi arabia, emirates engaged in a hot war with an iranian-packed proxy. u.s. special operations forces launched this raid over the last weekend to take out a terrorist hideout. >> do you factor into this at all prime minister netanyahu coming here february 15th and of course we know the rhetoric coming out of iran. used to say he's going to wipe -- >> israel off -- >> israel off the globe, rather. >> one final point, remember this missile that they tested and it failed in the air, can reach tel aviv from -- >> that's why i wonder where the israeli -- how do we factor israel into this? >> i think the israelis very much support a tougher line on iran. i'll tell you one thing, this is also going to put pressure on us, it's going to require us to keep missile defenses in europe and that's not going to go down well with putin. >> right. >> one of the tough things for the putin/trump relationship is missile defense in europe. if we're worried about this missile threat out of iran, we have to keep those defenses in
europe. >> see, i think this is a serious warning because we -- after all the things that president trump said about president clinton and the red line, all the remarks that are made, you know, big threat about the red line then the red line, we sort of -- a squishy comment. >> you'll notice there was no red line here. very important. >> no, no, no red line. >> very tough talk although there wasn't a red line, to put someone on notice from the white house podium is a greater escalation than having your ambassador in new york to the united nations saying we're going to talk and be loud and do things. >> i think so, too, the u.n. -- 2231, u.n. resolution that's violated by this. doesn't even violate the iran agreement, does it? >> it nudges up against -- >> it's the u.n. resolution. >> it's the u.n. resolution about not testing nuclear-capable missiles. you uld argue this is a nuclear-capable missile, therefore it violates 2231. >> if we military action against iran, it's not going to be predicated on no u.n. resolution but on self-defense
because they're engaging in hostile activity, this will be the argument, against our forces, our naval vessels in the area. >> let's assume if they do nothing more, it's just a standoff, that's the end of it. if they do another -- another test, is that what it is, are we now in this game of chicken with iran? >> i don't think there's any question. iran is not very good at this. most of their technology actually comes from north korea. this missile test was a failure. >> why did they do it? >> i think two things. number one, they test first and then design later. that's just the way they do it. secondly, i think it was a bit of a chest bump for this administration. >> they want to see how the new team is going to act and pushing back. that's why i think flynn won the argument internationlly to go on the white house today and -- >> i'm surprised they pushed back. >> they've had a great 24 hours on the supreme court nominee, change the dialogue away from the executive order, now to inject iran and this issue totally changes the conversation. >> you were surprised.
>> i've known mike flynn many years. this is clearly part of the beginning of a demonstration of this administration's commitment to military confrontation. we've just seen the opening act. >> we don't want military confrontation. >> if we can avoid it. >> if we can avoid it. of course. >> i think it's important to note, this has been building. thiston ju todidn't come out of right field. >> i understand that. it's been going on for quite some time. seems like a test by iran, test of the new president. >> the president had phone calls with leaders from the gulf arab countries this weekend, they said to him, we need to be tougher on iran. >> they were put on notice, whatever that means. anyway, gentlemen, thank you very much. >> thank you, greta. new protests tonight over president trump's immigration plan. i'll speak to a state attorney general suing over the mease. and why some republicans joined democrats voting against one of president trump's key nominees. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
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today a big surprise on capitol hill. two republican senators saying they'll vote against education nominee betsy devos, putting her nomination in serious jeopardy. vice president mike pence might have to break a tie, the first time that's ever happened for a cabinet pick in american history. now we're also seeing anti-trump protests again tonight in new york. democrats on capitol hill are trying to keep up the pressure from their base and from former members of the obama administration speaking out against trump agenda, but not everyone's happy about that. today, the "wall street journal" board slammed president obama for criticizing his successor after just ten days in office. let's bring in congresswoman linda sanchez, democrat from california. nice to see you. >> thank you for having me, greta. >> how long are these protests going to go on? >> i don't know, i think as long as we have bad policies being executed via executive order. you're going to see pushback from people that are unhappy. >> do you hear anything on the hill from republicans? i don't know if you talk to republicans across the aisle. >> actually, i do.
>> okay. good. whether they are in any way distressed by the fact that these are being done by executive order, as promised. president trump did say he was going to do that. instead of going to capitol hill and having it done by legislation? >> i think a lot of my republican colleagues are feeling a little unease because they're not given information before these executive orders come out. and so they're having to scramble to respond once they get inquiries about what is going on. i think there is a lot of consternation that the president is not working in a cooperative manner even with his own party in the legislative branch. and it shows that there is a real lack of cohesion on their side of the aisle. >> have you met the president? >> i met him at the inauguration as a matter of fact. >> and do you think you'll be able to talk to him? i mean, and work with him. i mean, i realize you're not going to always agree on different sides of the aisle but do you think you can work with him? >> i had hopes i could work with him on areas of mutual concern. i think there are areas of potential common ground. >> like? >> infrastructure. i think there isn't a member of
congress that wouldn't like to see our roads, bridges, improved. i personally had hoped that ivanka trump was serious about trying to get some relief and some help for working families, working women in particular. that's an area that i work a lot on on the ways & means committee. but i think what we've seen in the first ten days of his administration is not a spirit of cooperation. not a spirit of reaching out. even to his own party, to be fair. and in judging just his actions, not his words, but his actions, makes me very distrustful that there will be any degree of real attempt to work with democrats. >> how do you factor in that -- to me, you know, looking back, there's no surprise, i mean, he's doing exactly what he ran on. you know, there's absolutely no surprise and as soon as he's elected, you know, there are people who are taking to the street and protesting, which the 1st amendment right to peaceful protest, but what's the surprise?
>> well, that's a great question, but, you know, i read interview after interview of people who voted for trump bit said you're on immigrant to this country, why would you vote -- oh, he doesn't really mean he's not going to build the wall or you're a blue collar worker who he's not really going to take away my health care through obamacare. and he's doing it. i don't understand the disconnect between people who didn't listen to what he said on the campaign trail and his actions now. >> what do you -- the "wall street journal" which of course is a conservative newspaper, the editorial page is conservative. the news section is news. the editorial page blasting president obama for speaking out ten days into the administration. typically, usually, or if there's such a thing, presidents give each other a little breathing space. >> yeah, and i think president obama in his last few public speaking engagements made very clear that he intended to sort of live a quieter life once he was out of office but he did
say, there was one caveat, if he saw president trump come in and go against core american values, that he would be vocal about it and one of those areas that he talked about was immigration. and so i -- it's not a surprise to me and in fact, i think it's great that president obama is raising his voice to say this is not how america operates, these are not american values, what you're doing does not make our country stronger. what it does is it penalizes whole groups of people you paint with a broad brush and it actually jeopardizes our security. >> he dialed back the immigration thing to -- let people with green cards return home. they have a right to be here. >> that's a current status of the law. >> no, no, i'm just saying, the rollout, everyone agrees the rollout, whether you -- no matter how you feel, i think everyone probably should agree, even if you like what he did, is the rollout was bad. >> oh, many republicans agree with him and don't think there was anything wrong with it at all. and so i don't think that you can say that that's a common sentiment shared by members of congress. >> anyway, well, it's going to
be an interesting time and thank you very much for joining us. i hope you'll come back. >> i will. thank you for having me. ahead, looming brawl in the senate over the supreme court. both sides starting to dig in their heels. who blinks first? and front line of the fight over president trump's immigration order. i'll talk to a state attorney general challenging the measure in court. by switching to geico. i should take a closer look at geico... you know, geico can help you save money on your homeowners insurance too? great! geico can help insure our mountain chalet! how long have we been sawing this log? um, one hundred and fourteen years. man i thought my arm would be a lot more jacked by now. i'm not even sure this is real wood. there's no butter in this churn. do my tris look okay? take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more. i use what's already inside me to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me
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memphis, tennessee. president trump tweeting today that you can call it what you want, as he continues to defend the immigration ban, bull blt blow-back against the order that bans citizens from countries for 90 days is growing inside and outside the government. a state department letter has spread through american embassies around the world, 1,000 signatures saying the ban hurts america. states and cities are now mountings legal challenges against those immigration orderers, saying it violates the constitution. attorney general of the state of massachusetts, mara healy joins me, she's one of the first to challenge president trump's immigration order. good evening. >> great to be with you, greta. >> great to you. tell me, you challenged this order, there's so much confusion in d.c., first it's called a ban on muslims, now the white house says it's not. and so -- it's a temporary ban, it's not a personal innocent one. tell me how it impacts your state. >> well, look, greta, you're a lawyer, i'm a lawyer.
i happen to be an attorney general. one of my jobs is to enforce the constitution and uphold the rule of law. and that includes laws that are in place to protect people and protect their rights including people in my state of massachusetts. i'll tell you, the devastating effect of this executive order continues to be felt. by people who live in massachusetts, people who have left massachusetts for vacation or for business travel who now are stranded overseas and cannot get back into massachusetts. it hurts our public colleges and universities, our research institutions. so much of our massachusetts economy, greta, you know, revolves around a health care sector, tech center -- tech center, public education, higher education. so much has been impacted by this devastating order, but at bottom, greta, this order is unconstitutional and it's un-american and that's why i'm suing. >> all right. there are two different -- one is un-american, one is unconstitutional. one is un-american, we might
feel a visceral reaction to something. unconstitutional is a wholly different area and form of analysis. the office of legal counsel at the justice department reviewed it and they apparently, you know all these lawyers at the justice department, this unit, didn't think it was unconstitutional. i understand sally yates was the acting attorney general, she had your viewpoint, of course, she has been fired. i thought it was terrible two of your people who have green cards, legal residents of the united states, detained, for a short time not allowed in. what wrinkles get taken out where the people have a legal right to be here, what about those people who don't have a right to be here? >> well, that will be dealt with appropriately and you know, we've had a process for that, but let me tell you the effect of the order. you can tell me i understand that lawyers at the white house reviewed it, those lawyers sure wouldn't be working in my -- >> at justice. at justice. >> at justice. they wouldn't be working for me
unprecedented. we have never seen something like this in the history of our country. it's unconstitutional. it violates basic equal protection. you cannot discriminate against people or force a state to discriminate against people based on their national origin or their religion. second, this is something that has a direct impact on due process. we had -- i was at the airport the other night -- >> let me just ask you this question, though, let me play devil's advocate. based on national origins, does a president of the united states not have the authority under national security to temporarily protect the nation if he or she, maybe we'll have a she sometime, believes that is important, thinks for whatever reason that people are coming from a certain nation in the world that may not have the level of vetting that that president thinks is necessary to protect us. >> well, grelt ta, you and i bo
know the president and federal government has a lot of control when it comes to immigration and the borders. the president can't act in violation of the constitution th's what he did here. this is unprecedented. not just slowing down, which happened in the past, it's actually revoking visas from lawful permanent residents who happen to be overseas right now who cannot get back in. this order is unconstitutional in so many ways. violates equal protection. >> i'm with you on that one. >> bedue process. >> i'm totally you on the ones who have a right to be here, green cards. totally with you on that. i'm thinking broader, the broader issue in terms of whether or not a president can temporarily ban people from a certain region of the world on national security grounds. >> look, there have been instances in the past where there have been changes made by the federal government with respect to who is coming in, including refugees, but let's look at the impact because i want to tell you, the real impact on the ground in my state and why i sued, greta. we have people who work for the state of massachusetts who have lived in massachusetts for a long time who are not able to
make plans to leave massachusetts and leave the united states, or some who are stranded and stuck abroad. i've talked to university presidents, heads of our major teaching hospitals, heads of our major tech companies in massachusetts, who are dealing with a situation of total chaos because they actually can't get their students, research fellows, employees, back into this country and then they've got another group who just are left without any real way to make plans. tremendous uncertainty. that's a real impact on a state. that's the federal government messing with a state interest. and that also gives us a right to sue which is, again, why we took the action that we did the other day. we've got to stand up to acts that are unconstitutional. you and i both know that the president has tremendous authority, but there are times when the president overreaches. that's what dronald trump did here. >> and indeed, and it's being fought out in several states and i know that there have been tros issued against the president in
new york and virginia for starters already on this. but we'll continue to follow this. thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me, greta. the fight over the supreme court appointment heats up. will republicans go nuclear? our panel ighs in. and did you know this? your uber is about to pick you up without a driver.
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nominee merrick garland. listen to what mcconnell said then compared to what he's saying now. >> i agree with a judiciary committee's recommendation that we not have hearings, in short, there will not be action taken. i would invite democrats who spent many months insisting we need nine to join us in following through on that advice by giving the new president's nominee fair consideration and an up or down vote. >> now compare what democratic leader chuck schumer said before the election to what the senator said just a few weeks ago. >> we're in the grips of a new level of obstruction by the senate republicans. it's a sad day when the world's greatest deliberative body won't even deliberate. our message today to our republican colleagues is simple. do your job. it's hard for me to imagine a nominee that donald trump would choose that would get republican
support that we could support. >> and so you would do your best to hold the seat open? >> absolutely. >> now an all-out brawl could be looming with lawmakers picking sides figuring out just how ugly they want this fight to get. kathleen parker is a columnist for the "washington post," pulitzer prize winner, and jonathan swan, national political reporter for axios. kathleen, i sometimes wonder if these politicians don't know that we can google and get video and all sorts of things. >> you do wonder, don't you? we have recordings, we have notes, newspaper clippings. >> i know, the things they say before and now. >> here's the bottom line, they don't care because this is what we call politics in washington, greta. people say whatever is expedient in the moment. doesn't mean much. you can't hold their feet to the fire. in this case, you know, in fact, donald trump did pick somebody that republicans can support and that any reasonable democrat could support. he's a fine jurist, everyone respects him. he's a brilliant writer. he is -- >> we still haven't seen his
conduct record from first grade, though. >> no, but his writing at age 18 is considered superlative. bottom line, he said in his opening remarks, talking about gorsuch, he believes that judges are not -- are supposed to make laws, they're supposed to interpret them and enforce them. and, of course, democrats want to legislate through the courts. so -- they're going to -- basically you're going to have a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing from the democrats because they don't want to force a rules change that would really hurt them down the line. >> for the next one. >> for the next one. >> jonathan, i say this every night, i thought merrick garland, judge out of the u.s. court of appeals, d.c., should have gotten a hearing. they could have voted no, republic republicans. at least he should have gotten a hearing. don't democrats want a bloodbath because they don't want to have the nuclear option for their next nominee? >> so i had a really interesting conversation about two hours ago with a source who's familiar with the democratic senate leadership's thinking and the
source said something really interesting which was that the idea that we are afraid of appearing obstructionist on the court is ludicrous and this source a year ago thought the republicans are going to get punished at the ballot box for being obstructionist on garland, guess what, they weren't punished. that is a lesson that has sunk really deep into the democratic leadership. they're going to fight this. they're going to force 60 votes and it's going tet ugly. they're going to lose ultimately. >> here's the -- this is a conservative for conservative. scalia to gorsuch. the next one is going to be maybe for a liberal member of the court and they really don't want that nuclear option, they'd rather not have the -- they can always invoke it then. they'd like to set the bar that there's going to be no nuclear option for the next one. >> that's exactly right. you know, i don't know that it will go all the way because of that. the nuclear option, i guess, i'll let your viewers know what that means. it means it goes to a simple majority. >> 51 votes. don't need 60. >> they don't want to get there because then they really have
problems down the road. and they'll never have a shot at having not only influence but credibility. i think a lot of people would very much appreciate seeing democrats cooperate to just some extent. say what you need to say to please your people. i admire senator lindsey graham from my home state of south carolina. >> she's bragging about south carolina. >> no, because he's sane and rational. you know, he's -- >> more bragging about south carolina. >> there's so few of us, we have to brag. >> what are they saying in australia? >> australians don't even know what's going on, but let me tell you, i disagree, i think that the assumption now is that the nuclear option is a live option. i think they assume that mcconnell will use it if he needs to. >> will. >> they'll fight every time now. >> well, you might be right. >> we're going to take a quick break. >> it's safe to say. >> we'll be right back with this panel, so don't go away. that means you can take a universe of data - in your case literally - and turn it into medical discoveries, diagnostic breakthroughs... ...proof that black holes collapse into one singularity.
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we're back with live pictures from the white house where president trump is about to attend the swearing in of his secretary of state, rex tillerson. back with our panel, kathleen parker and jonathan swan. jonathan, we're seconds away from having a new secretary of state. what do you think? >> i think he impressed a lot of moderate centrist democrats as well as some more skeptical republicans with his appearance there. i think people underestimate in terms of the democratic caucus, a lot of people are sort of the idealistic approach to foreign policy and are actually craving
a more cautious businessman approach to foreign affairs and i think he really ticked a lot of boxes there. >> he's the -- i mean, this president and the secretary of state seem to look at things through a sort of a business construct. a corporate construct. >> clearly. >> clearly, right. >> clearly. if we don't get the deal, we'll just nuke them. no, tillerson is impressive. when he goes and meets these people, our congresspeople are sort of impressed when they meet somebodyho's got a lot of presence and power and is obviously brilliant and can talk about things and i think -- i think seeing people eye to eye the way you and i are right now, it's a different situation. i think when they -- same thing with gorsuch. i think when he's seated at the table and he's got such a kind of a congenial manner, you know, and he's humble. >> it's hard to say something mean in person, like on twitter where you can do it anonymously, right? you can say something awful. >> my big hope for the new secretary of state is he has some tempering influence on the president. and can say things like, no, donald. >> anyway. >> no. >> thank you, thank you, both,
for joining us. thank you for watching. see you tomorrow night right here at 6:00 p.m. eastern. if you can't watch live, set your dvr and follow me on twitter @greta. go to my facebook page for behind the scenes videos and more. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. court fight. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in miami tonight where i'm giving the lecture on leadership at the university of miami. let me start this evening with a war dispatch on the supreme court fight. it's going to take 60 votes to confirm president trump's nominee to replace antonin scalia, 60 votes or trumpb gets straightarmed on his first pick for the high court and his nominee heads back to denver. after last year's decision to bloc
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