tv MSNBC Live MSNBC February 25, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
xx. a good saturday. i'm richard lui and in atlanta, we are watching the democrats coming together to pick the new captain, but can they right the ship? outside of atlanta, the annual palooza of cpac is wrappinging up, and straw poll shows who they are most enamored with in the next couple of hours. and back at the white house, the trump administration dismissing as incomplete a document from the homeland security that seems to throw cold water on the seven
countries that the president is singling out in the travel ban. first, we will start this hour with you in atlanta where the democrats are in the midst, and live pictures here of choosing the new party chair. this is a lye look of this vote now on the second ballot, and 3:00 local time, and former labor secretary tom perez coming within a single vote of winning the job on the first ballot. congressman keith ellison of minnesota is finishing a close second in the count. joining me now live from atlanta is msnbc political reporter al a l -- alex seitz. >> well, if you like a nail biter, we have one here. tom perez fell one vote short. and now the second ballots are
being collected by the dnc staff, and they want to count them twice to to see if they are good, and any moment, when donna brazile, the interim chairwoman is going to be coming out the announce the results. many people think that tom perez has got it because he was so close, but keith ellison's team is insisting they have a chance on this, and they fell 15 votes short, and not far off themselves, and the field has been eliminated aside from the other candidates. they dropped out, and most of the votes were held by sally boynton brown who was the idaho party drirector, and maybe she can give keith ellison enough votes to win it, but it is going to be tight here, and we are waiting any minute, richard, to see what happens. >> where are the bargaining chips? where the convention will be? how well they work on the ground? back and forth? >> well, this is a unusual race, and you can see the entire voting population of it, so it is a one to one kind of situation, where there are a lot of horses traded and money is
offered and visits from the high profile vips gets offered and that is what is going on here, and they are button holing the people, and offering them, and whatever they can to get them to come into their column. >> and you know what might work there at georgia is the taco max. okay. now, thank you for following that for us, alex seitz-wald. sfwhoo a >> and now a top story where a report is rattling d.c., because the washington post is saying that officials in the west wing is sought to enlist members of the intelligence community and congress to counter reports of russia. and so they say that it started in congress, and even listed
richard burr and devin nounes wo are charged with investigating russian involvement, and any ties thathe trump campaign had. the intelligence chairman burr acknowledged that he quote had conversations about russia-related news are reports with the white house, and then engaged with news organizations to refute the story. and nunes admitted the same. kelly o'donnell is going to join us live from the white house, and big report overnight. clear conflict here sh, and wha are you hearing? >> well, it appears that white house in trying to tamp down the stories which are obviously politically damaging and talking about the connections between the trump-related officials in the campaign era and officials
in rusrussia, and the question if those figures were part of the russian apparatus there. and nbc's reporting says individual russians and not necessarily russians involved in intelligence on the russian side. that is a small distinction in words, but a big distinction in the impact. because of that, the white house which wants to say that there is nothing to see here has engaged allies on capitol hill in richard burr and devin nunes is who do have responsibility as chairs of the respective intelligence committees, and also they have the same intelligence that the department has to peer into the investigation, and it is my understanding that both of the capitol hill leaders are believing that what was reported is not factual, and they were contacting the reporters to try to give some perspective. now, democrats are saying, this is just y out of line. and it is suggests that there
should be an independent type of investigation, and not something that includes sort of the political friendships involved here. and that is the kind of the pushback that we are seeing, and this san ongoing story with different chapters published by different news organizations, but all of it comes back to the nagging connection of trump to russia. we don't have a lot of details what that was and why it is important, but we know that the u.s. government says that russia was engaged in trying to interfere with the u.s. election in 2016. so will this bubble up to a larger controversy? it has the potential for that, but at this point, these are new developments, and a new window into how the white house was engaging the allies on capitol hill. richard? >> and as you can see, kelly, in the last 24 hours, the press gaggle with sean spicer, and really, what came out of that were many loolineheadlines, cer
and he admitted that the chief of staff from the white house of president trump here spoke with the fbi about addressing the media as well. asking them or discussing how the fbi might get out in front saying no, the reports are not true. how is that being discussed in the beltway today? >> well, what we were told is that there was a meeting unrelated to any of this where the chief of staff reince priebus was in attendance, and the director of the fbi, and at the end of the meeting, the director of the fbi mentioned to priebus, and initiating it, according to the white house, and there were specific elements that the fbi did not find evidence for. and priebus then said, can you help us, and i'm paraphrasing there, but can you help to diminish the stories in the public, and the fbi declined to do that. and so part of the connection is how else could the white house look for an ally to say that the
ofishl investigation in process is not supporting these allegations. and now, the nbc contact with the intel ti sligence community that they say it is krcreating distraction story, and not helpful for the white house, and typically, you would find that there would be a real separation, and anything having to do with the ongoing investigation, there would not be any communication between the white house, and the bureau. at the same time spus icer, the press secretary said that in the longstanding custom and public affairs is that they would have a right to have these c
conversations. it is one of those things that can spin out of control, and the democrat s as are trying to capitalize on it, and say that it is not proper. >> thank you,le kelly, to standby for our viewer, and another major development that kelly is watching is with the trump immigration ban, and this friday the associated press released a homeland security report with a three-page document titled "citizenship likely unreliable ind ka kay or the." this contradicts the president's ban to focus on seven countries. the report says that by focusing on the seven countries it does not accomplish what the president wants to do to keep the country safe from terrorists, but a d.o.h. spokesperson says that it is
commentary from a single source and not an official robust document. it does not include intelligence from other source, an ink incomplete. that is the report. and specifically, the report found that of 82 people to carry out or wanting to carry out attacks only five were from the travel ban countries which is 6% of the 82, and zero percent actually committed any attacks. kelly, a quick background. what else do with nknow about te report and what may happen now? >> well, in is an example, richard, of how documents within the government where there are lots of people career employees or some political appointees who are holdovers from the previous administration, and someone in this process disagreeing with the president's policy. that is what we have here. for a three-page document to surface before the president is the to unveil a new version of the travel ban. so the white house is saying incomplete, and doesn't use
classified information and data, and they are trying to tamp it down. now, this report may be part of the larger report, and the white house saying that the seven countries were identified in the previous administration as e terrorism problems and sponsorship of the terrorism from there and the nationality alone, and the passport holder being one from one of the countries is not necessarily a determining factor of what kinds of acts of terror could happen in the united states, and those that we have seen have been, have been perpetrated by individuals who have by the numbers more likely other countries, and not these seven. so it is going the muddy the waters for the white house that says that the ban is necessary step for national security and a government within its own government undercuts that to a degree, but the white house is saying that there is more to come with additional data not
included in this. richard. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell, and as always, thank you for sharing all of that perspective on it. the rain is starting to come down as we are talking to you >> yes, it is starting. the clouds are coming in on us. >> thank you, kelly. get inside. thank you very much. related to the travel ban and the processes discussed by kelly o'donnell, another story. the son of legendary boxer muhammad ali was detained at a airport and asked if he was muslim. he arrived from jamaican earlier in the month when he was held by officers. and like his famous father, 44-year-old ali jr. is a muslim. according to the lawyer, he was released after about two hours. and the spokesman said that all trav travelers are subject to inspection. >> and coming up next, the russian connection, and a top
republican wants a prosecutor, and access denied, the major news organizations shutout of the press gaggle, and so was this retaliation of me moving forward? we will hear from the head of the white house correspondence. in a gentle mist you may not even notice. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances that cause your symptoms. most allergy pills only block one. and six is greater than one. break through your allergies. new flonase sensimist. ♪ why do so many businesses rely on the u.s. postal service? because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. ♪ that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. ♪ here, there, everywhere.
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and staying with the top story, a report says that the white house was asked to call a meeting to dispute allegations by the campaign, and a top democrat official says that he has grave concerns over this report. that comes after last night's washington post report in it the committee chair richard burr admits to talking to the reporters and asking them to push back on the stories of russia's communications. this is after the white house asked for help.
republican congressman darrell issa is also worried about this. >> we will ask the intelligence committees of the house and the senate to investigate within the special areas here. >> and independent prosecutor. >> you are right that you cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, jeff sessions, who was on the campaign, and who was an appointee. you need to use the special pros cue or thes statute in office. now, we have to work with them, but we don't have to trust them. we need to investigate the activities and do it, because they are bad people. >> and joining us is jonathan swan, the national political report for axous, and so what do we know here? >> well, we know why they are doing it, but are they making a grave miscalculation? they are doing it because they are desperate. we have got this steady stream
of the news about russia connection connections, and they feel it is inaccurate. and the fbi is wink, wink, nod, nod, this is wrong to the white hou house. and of course, if you are a human being in this situation, and someone tells you that story is wrong, you will do whatever you can to defend yourself. but what it has created is a ginwin concerns about where this is actually an independent investigation. >> ben, what is the thought here in? why is the chief of staff talking to the drirector of the fbi? that is what came out of the press gaggle, because he said, yes sh, this did happen. i did have a meeting with the dep si director as well as the chief of staff yesterday. >> well, as much as the administration likes to the dismiss russia's stories as fake news, this is a sign that they are concerned about it.
that they take it seriously, a a nd they should now that we have somebody like a house republican like darrell issa appointing an independent prosecutor, and the white house is concerned. >> and also on this, looking back to this, and burr and nunes, have they cross ad line that we now need a special prosecutor to have forced this upon the process? >> how do you sort of looking at this situation, and saying, you two have been playing defense for the administration, and leaves a side what they have been saying is accurater or not, but they have been coopted by the administration to play defense on the story, and now you turn around and say they are independent. it is a difficult leak to make. >> you are in washington and watching this and ringside seats
shall we say. when you are looking at, this ben, by allegedly doing this again, haven't the white house, and the chairman at this point now pushed it to the point, and the same question to you on this, and have they now just brought it to the end that they did not necessarily want, and this is to bring in somebody who would not quote, unquote be beholdtone what the white house wants done? >> right. we will see if a drum beat develops on the prosecution, and not enough momentum, but once you have the house republicans talking about it, it is much more real. so in this move, the move backfired on the administration who is on the defensive on enough fronts right now, and maybe they opened up a deeper hole for themselves. >> okay. ben, john sorngs like the two of you, we are watching what is
happening in atlanta, georgia. and donna brazile is waiting to bring up the candidates and waiting on the stage to make the announcement of the outcome of the second ballot and she was waiting for them to come to the stage. both labor secretary perez and minnesota representative keith ellison, and we will see what happened among others potentially, and we will see what happens in the second ballot, and the first ballot was inconclusive, because they did not have a majority. during that vote, if you were with us, tom perez, the former secretary of labor had 213.5. he missed it by half of a vote. in the first ballot, and so we understand that she is now going the give us the results of the second. let's listen if she is speaking in the microphone, and not yet. it looks like she is still trying to rally everybody to get them on stage.
o order. it is my great honor, it is -- it is now my honor -- it is my honor now to present the gavel to the next chair of the democratic national committee to mr. tom perez. mr. perez, congratulations. i hear a motion. a motion by mr. sanders. mr. sanders. mr. appleban? mr. buckley. we will hear from mr. buckley. order, please. go a hehead.
>> thank you, madam chair. for all of those who ran for this office, and for all of those who were involved in this campaign, now is the time for us to unite. so i move that we suspend the rules and cast one ballot for secretary tom perez as the next chair for the national democratic committee. >> is there a second? >> mr. applebaum? >> chairman, sisters and brothers, i'm stewart applebaum and head of the afl ceo commercial workers, and this is a great process with the amazing candidates. we have listened to each other, and we have learned from each other. and now, we must be moving
forward together. we must leave this meeting united. our country, our democracy demands it. and i'm proud to second the motion to make this election by acclimation. thank you. >> it has been moved and seconded. in favor, opposed? ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to present the next ch champion and visionary that i have enjoyed working with, mr. tom perez.
>> thank you. thank you so much. thank you so much. you know, folks, i would like to begin by making a motion. motion that i have discussed with a good friend and his name is keith ellison. and the motion i would like to make to the body is a motion suspending the rules, if i may, to appoint keith ellison deputy chair of the democratic national committee.
>> allow me to congratulate our chair. on successfully passing the first motion. but i would like to say to you that i'm very, very proud of chairman perez. in this race, he conducted himself with tremendous class, and grace. i want to say that everybody you see in front of you sh, i will l you that it is so funny, because there is a news report that our race was boring that we were not attacking each other, and we were all quite proud that we were not forming a circular firing squad, and i just want to say to you that if you came here
supporting me, and if you are wearing the keith t-shirt or any t-shirt, i am asking you to give everything that you got to support chairman perez. you, you, you love this country. you love all of the people in it. you care about each and every one of them, urban, rural, suburban and all colors and cultures and all faiths and everybody. and they are in need of your help. if we waste even a moment going at it over who supported who, we are not going to be standing up for those people. we don't have the luxury, folks to walk out of this room divided.
we don't have that luxury. and i just want to say to you that it is my honor to serve this party under the chairmanship of tom perez, and i just want to say to you that i am with a list of people to thank that is far too long for me to recite at this moment, but i will try a little bit, if you don't mind mr. chairman. i want to thank all of you who has worked hard on the campaign, and all of you who cooperate and helped and friends, and i want to thank all of my friends in the labor community, and lee saunders who is an awesome brother, and randy wine garden, and mr. rich trumka and david cox of the federal worker, and i want to thank lilly garcia, and i want to thank the entire labor community, and larry cohen, and
all of you. if i have missed you, charge it to my head and not my heart, because i love you, and i am grateful to you. and let me also say that i want to thank my family who came from far reaches to be with us here today. if i could say quickly, my b brothers brian, tony, eric, they are all here. i'd love for you guys and thank you for coming, and my sisters carla and melissa here. and i want to thank you and i have a great friend named kim who is hereb and i want to thank her and all of you for being here today. so i am about to give back the microphone to the chairman, and i just wanted to tell you that the earnest work that we must do to confront trump, yes, but even beyond that. beyond that. to establish a country in which everybody can aspire to a good
life, that country, the democratic party. we have got earnest and sincere work to do and it is going to be up der the leadership of chairman perez and all of us are going to help him and all of you are going to help him. thank you very much. >> we have been joined by two, three members of congress, stalwarts from the house of representatives and fighters by maxine water, greg meeks and anybody else? thank you so much for joining us on stage. these folks, i had the privilege of working with at the labor department and the justice department before that, and they have been such remarkable, remarkably successful people. so you know what, folks, i'd
like to have you give one more round of applause for an incredible group of folks, and that is the other candidates on this stage. because, you know what, folks -- [ applause ] i frankly found myself when i first got into the race going to the website, because i was learn learning a lot. sally and i have had lunch a number of times talking about the shared interests in building 57 state parties that wosrk. and jehmu and i had a drink at 11:00 last night talking about the shared interests to make sure that this party works in every zip code, and we have a wisconsin tie, peter and i, and mayor pete is going to be the example of how democratics win
statewide in red states. there is no doubt in my mind about that. and ray buckley, with his distinguished history of leading parties in new hampshire and his distinguish ed leadership on th aacc, and sam ronan who brought some passion to this campaign, and mayor pete and sam, thank you for your remarkable service, and my good friend jamie harrison, the pride of south carolina. jaime has game as we say, and so that is why he is up here. i want to apologize to the media, because we did talk about
issues. you know. we didn't do any of the other stuff. and that is what the democratic party is about. and people kept wondering, and i can't help but be a little bit of amused when keith and i had dinner one night, and folks were snapping photos, because, you know, keith, the congressional district that i visited the most when i was the labor secretary was keith's district, and why? because of our shared values, and because of what we work on together, and we worked to lift the wages together, and we worked to make sure that collective bargaining remained part of the american fabric, because keith and i understand that when unions succeed, america succeeds. we understand that when unions succeed, the middle-class succeeds. and that is why we spent so much time together. and that is why when we were looking in the audience here, someone was holding up a sign
that said unite and i could not agree more, and for the two of us that is easy, because we were always united in our values, and we will always continue to be united in our value, and we are united in our love for the d democratic party. our love for the diversity of the democratic party, and our love of the robust discussions that happen in the democratic party, and reminds me of thanksgiving at my house when we have extended family, and viewpoint and diversity and then we all lock hands and celebrate our shared interests. my mother was the second youngest of nine growing up in washington heights. and they had viewpoint diversity. and three of them who were yankees' fans, and three of them giants' fan, and three of them who were dodgers' fans, and that is real viewpoint diversity for
you new yorkers, and that is why they could come together, and so we can come together. i need to tell you, folks that at the outset, i know that i have more questions than answers. i told you before this morning that team tom means team. and as team, we will work together. i will be calling you with regularity and my first question is going to be, what should we be doing and i will not be simply calling the voting members of the dnc, but i will be placing house calls with so many others. this past monday, for instance, i was in seattle, and we had a remarkably spirited discussion not only with the voting members, but other spirited democrats across the spectrum of the democratic party, and that is what we need to continue to do, and make house calls, and listen to people, and get back to basics, and we need to move
forward and i am confident, my friends, and i am confident that when we lead with the values, and lead with the actions, we succeed, and that is what the democratic party is always about, and that is what we will always continue to be about, and when we commute the message of inclusion, and opportunity for everyone, the big tent that we are, that is our strength, my friends, and when we have these conversations, sometimes spirited and sometimes difficult, that is not a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength as a party, and that is what we will continue to do. as i have said and keith has said,e are at this where were u moment in our nation's history, and some day, they will study this in american history this year a study it alongside the know-nothing movement, and ask the question of all of us, where were you in 2017?
when we had the worst president in the history of the united states, and we will all be able to say, whether you are sitting here or whether you are sitting outside or whether you are looking out across america, we will will all be able to say the united democratic party led the resistance and ensured that this president was a one-term president, and elected democrats across this country from the school board to the senate to the state treasurers to the state attorneys general, and to the state secretaries of state, to senators and governors and to district six in georgia, and to new jersey and virginia and november and next year. we will have a market correction and all of these states like maryland and elsewhere, where there is no business having a democrat in the governor's race is what we will do when we lead with the values and unite as you
say. that is what we do, and that is how we will succeed. dr. king said, and you know, the road ahead will not always be smooth. there will be still be inevitable setbacks, and rocky places of frustration, and at times, our feet may grow weary, but we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. i come the you, my friends, with an unrelenting optimism in our xcapacity to move forward, because i have had the privilege and keith has had the privilege and all of us have had the privilege of getting to know you. i know that we can win the battles ahead, and we will win the battles ahead, when we put the values forward, and we lead together and mobilize the grass roots energy, because january 20th was an undeniably day, but
january 21st and beyond is far more important for america. millions of people stood up, and said, donald trump, you do not stand for america, and donald trump, we will not allow those values to the divide america, and that is what we will do as a party, leading with the values, and moving forward and that is how we will win. it is an unmitigated pleasure and privilege to take this gavel. i recognize i have a lot of work to do and i recognize that i have a lot of learning to do, and i would simply ask everyone across america whether you are a democrat or republican or unaffiliate and another party to simply listen to our message. come with an open mind. because, you know what, folks, our values of inclusion and opportunity, and we have the shared values and when we lead together, that is how we succeed. and i will be out there listening and learning a lot in
the weeks ahead. and i want to say thank you to everybody in this room regardless of who you supported, because you were supporting the values of the democratic party, and that is our strength. thank you very much. i want to relinquish the chair back to someone that i want to end by asking you to give donna brazile a remarkable hand, because donna brazile came in during a very challenging period and helped to lead the party. i want to say thank you so much, madam chair, and you will always be madam chair to me. thank you very much. there we have it, the new chair of the national democratic committee and just voted in on the second ballot. and this was after a very close first ballot are where he came
up short, the former secretary of labor in the obama administration, but on the second ballot came up 235 and he needed 218. on the ground counting the ballots and the counting the really the tone there in terms of what was getting people to go one way or another is our own alex seitz-wald. we saw the symbolic hug there, and keith ellison and tom perez, and it is really more than symbolic at least what they need there at the dnc, but tell us what happened there and what we saw? >> well, richard, a very dramatic end after a roller coast over the race, and as you said falling short of one vote, and he fell by half a vote and right to work to trying to heal the party and you can see it on the division of the front of the room, and those are the dnc members and the back of the room where there is the general p
public. the dnc members moved to vote for acclimation, so it is recorded as a unanimous vote for tom perez and they were all unified on that, and in the back of the room, the ellison supporters were saying get big money out of politic, and they were unhappy. and so with the first move as chairman he appointed keith ellison as deputy chairman and that should go a long way and unexpected. in the speech he said that he would reach out and try to heal these wound, and keith ellison making the same point, i need you come with me and we don't have the luxury of being defeated. but this is a clearly step left for the party, even though ellison did not win, perez was the most liberal member of obama's cabinet, and the party is embracing the new progressive roots, and see if the grass roots are going to come with the party. >> and the question is how they might work together those two. >> right. well, you know, the unexpected move to make keith ellison the deputy chair and we don't know what that means and maybe it is a symbolic move, but it is a
clear sign that tom perez has the new chairman wants to reach out. one key figure to watch now is bernie sanders who will be speaking tonight in kansas and if he sends a message of conciliation and unity, that could go a long way to calming what is certainly to be a negative reaction from the keith ellison grass root, but we have to see what bernie sanders does, and how his supporters react. >> there is a statement, and this is the statement issued after this vote came out, and he said, i congratulate tom perez on the nomination as chairman of the national democratic committee, and i believe it is imperative that tom understands that the same old same old is not working. and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people, and in a way that has never been done before, and now more than ever, the democratic party must make it clear that it is prepared to stand up to the 1% who lead the country for fwhard the fight for
social, racial, economic and environmental justice. jonathan capehart is here on set with us. he has been anchoring all of this morning and we kept him here because we knew it would happy today. and we want to get the statement here there, and i want to get your thoughts, jonathan, from bernie sanders and keith ellison a supporter of bernie sanders and the new energy and youth, and the statement that you saw here, and is this mean ing thin we will see a dnc going back to the old ways, because keith ellison represented the bernie sanders' energy? >> the dnc is not going back to the old ways. it is just not going to happen, and the thing that struck me as most hopeful about this dnc race is that the two leading contenders and i got to interview both of them for my podcast. >> right. >> and they come from the seemingly opposite ends of the party, and keith ellison had the backing of former vice president
biden, and attorney general holder, and yet keith ellison was the bernie sanders supporter, and the member of congress from the 5th muslim american elected to congress and the first black person ever elected in the state of washingt minnesota to go to washington. and when i interviewed them both, they had the same vision of the party and where it should go and how to get there and how the party should reach out to all communities in all territories and states, and to also do it in a way that re-built the party, and not focusing on the congressional, and the senate races, but looking at the local races and the state races, and what you have saw there with tom perez in that i think masterful move. >> did he hit the notes? >> he hit the notes and he did
the right thing by calling on by acclimation to make congressman ellison his deputy as a way of bringing the two sides together. now, here's the challenge they will have. despite the kumbaya on the stage which i believe is genuine in the interviews that i did at 2:00, i was surprised with the interviews that i did with jayne kleb, from the nebraska democratic party, and bernie sanders' campaign manager for the presidential run, and to listen to two of them, you could have sworn that we had gone back to february 2016, the middle of the democratic primary race between bernie sanders and hillary clinton and as you recall a lot of tension and animosity between the two sides and given what alex sietz-wald just reported the kumbaya of perez and ellison, they will have a tough time bridging the divide between the two seemingly
opposite ends of the party. >> we will see how bernie sanders plays a part. >> i want to bring in jamie harrison, the democrat was also in the running here to become the next chair. tell us what you think, jamie, about how the vote ended up? >> one, i want to congratulate the new chairman tom perez and also keith ellison and all of the candidates for the great race they ran. for the past three months i have been going on the road with all of the guys to talk about what s is important to rebuild the democratic party, and this is a great moment for us. i was so proud of tom when he stood there at that microphone and off ed the deputy chair to keith. it is a wonderful move about bringing this party together. today is about unity. we are calling it unity saturday. that is a great move by tom perez. >> jamie, what will unity sunday look like?
>> well, unity sunday, and you know, sunday won't be the day in which we rest. we have a lot of work to do. so i am sure that tom, and i'm sure that keith and myself and many others will start to work to put together the plan to there's a lot of work we have to do to put out our positive agenda for america. >> you put out your support behind per tiz. tom perez, the new dnc chair. the vote came out. the second ballot. tom perez, a former labor secretary under the obama administration, now the new chair of the dnc. keith ellison, the new deputy to tom perez. jamie, he mentioned at least in his remarks after he made it to the microphones and was voted the new chair, he mentioned unions and back to basics. are these the drumbeats that are needed for this unity that you are talking about?
>> it's about going back and addressing the issues that people are dealing with on a day to bay basis. we to do that. that's the trust that we have to bring back with the voters and the political party and our political leaders. >> a lot of things happening there. jamie harrison, thank you so much. south carolina democrat. thank you for stopping by and talking to us. >> thank you so much. thank you guys for covering this today. >> you bet ya. jonathan, when you look at this, tom perez, first latino american to hold this position. speaks spanish fluently. he grew up in a working class environment that keith ellison did. he ran for local positions, kwout, unquote. is he the local guy that can build this infrastructure, that big question that has been asked across the country in towns and cities and states that the
democratic party says it needs because it's been a national party, if you will, in recent years? >> right. i think as -- certainly in his work as the head of the civil rights division in the justice department in boem's first term and then coming in the second term as the labor secretary, both those -- both those entities that he ran, they are on the ground positions. they are dealing with people in their day to day lives when it comes to the civil rights division in moments when they are hurting, when they want either federal protection or they want to make sure that the law is on their side. then when it comes to labor, fighting for low wage workers, insuring that people have equal pay and things like that. >> as you have been watching the recent presidential cycles and when you look at the idea of identity politics here, and we see the activation of the african-american electorate since 2008 in ways we have never seen before, but we have not seen the same activation when it comes to latino american electorate, yet we have talked
about it each cycle. is this the guy? >> well, you know, what's interesting in this conversation about who the next democratic party chair should be, at no point do i recall anyone talking about, you know, we need a latino chairman or we need an african-american chairman or we need -- if anything, i have heard maybe we need to have a black woman chairman because let's be real here. if the african-american vote is the base of the democratic party, then the i-beam that holds that base together are african-american women. latinos are the fastest growing demographic in this country. their political power is being felt and will be felt going forward. the same with african-americans. now what we have with the democratic national committee is the chair is latino, the deputy chair is muslim-american, black from minnesota. between these two men, they can bridge the divide that is within the party, but i also think speak in ways that insures that people who might not already be
democrats but be independents will be able to talk in a way that pulls them in. >> i don't know than, lucky to have you here. we'll just make you stay here throughout the rest of the day. i know you want to enjoy your saturday because you're going to be back here tomorrow. >> back tomorrow morning. >> thank you accident jonathan. always great to have you. we're going to continue, of course, to follow what's happening out of atlanta, but we have other stories that we're watching on this day. what has happened on friday still remains a big headline here on msnbc. the white house correspondence association and other journalism groups expressing some concern over a move by the white house that froze out several news organizations from an off camera briefing by white house press secretary sean spicer yesterday. cnn, the "new york times", and politico and buzz feed were among the outlets not allowed in to this gaggle. the move came just hours after president trump escalated his attacks on the media during a blistering speech at cpac. that's the conservative political action conference that
was being held in suburban, washington. want to bring reuters white house correspondent jeff mason, president of the white house correspondents association. thanks for being with us. i've been watching you as you have been answer this question over the last 24 hours, and it's been a busy time to understand what happened and the reason that these certain members were excluded. are you satisfied with what has been told to you so far? >> well, we're not satisfied with what happened yesterday. that's for sure. and what broadly happened is the white house decided that instead of having a regular briefing, they would hold a gaggle and that's for a smaller group of reporters. tended up being instead of a gaggle about some particular issue where it might have been appropriate for a small group of reporters to attend, it ended up essentially being the daily briefing, but in his office.
as a result, a lot of jushlists that normally would have attended were not includes. the correspondents association encouraged the white house to hold that gaggle here in the briefing room even if it were off camera. that's not the decision that they made. we protested that decision, and we're in talks to insure that something like that doesn't happen again. >> you know the white house better than most reporters here, and when you look at this here, jeff, was this a diversion of the big headline, which was we had the chief of staff who had met with, again, the fbi deputy director there as well as the other development later in the evening, which is the washington post report? was this a diversion coming from the white house? >> i can't answer that.
>> in the first month of the trump administration, we actually have had many opportunities to ask questions of the president and sean spicer has been holding all of his briefings here in the press room and most of them on camera. largely, the record has been good, but yesterday was not a good development for the press corps, and that's why we raised our objections. >> we can't wait for what you do there. thank you, jeff mason, president of the white house correspondents association. thank you. >> you bet. >> i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. eastern. see you then. up next for you, a new call for an investigation into russian connections to the trump white house and what that might mean for the new administration. my colleague stephanie gosk has it all covered next on msnbc. are your allergies holding you back or is it your allergy pills? break through your allergies. introducing flonase sensimist. more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist you may not even notice. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist
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