tv MSNBC Live MSNBC February 26, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
hello. i'm ari melber. joining you from headquarters in new york the next two hours. a question facing the trump administration tonight, what is the point? homeland security department leaking report, undercutting the national security rationale for the seven countries trump targeted in his travel ban. bad news as the president prepares a new order for as early as this week. also, cracks showing among the republican alliance on russia this weekend with darryl issa saying a special prosecutor is needed to investigate russia's role in the election. >> i think that's way, way getting ahead of ourselves here, chuck. there's no allegations of any
crime occurring. there's not even indication that there's criminal investigations under way by the fbi as opposed to counterintelligence investigations, which the fbi conducts all the time as our main counter intelligence bureau. if we get down that road that's a decision that attorney general sessions can make at the time. >> we'll show you republicans on both sides of the issue. later this hour, a special interview with the reality show producer who says trump is using all the tricks of the trade in his first month of office and why good ratings could be bad for governance. tackling new reports out today that sean spicer held a meeting with staff to inspect their phones for leaks. we'll discuss the story that donald trump is not focusing on. the president addressing congress and the nation tuesday to lay out his governing priorities. the address comes as these calls are mounting for him to yield to an independent investigation on russia, as his feud with the
press intensifies and as trump's own homeland security department finds facts that undermine that travel ban. no issues define donald trump more, you could argue, than immigration. no setback has been more difficult for the white house in this first month than the federal court blocking the entire travel ban until trial. so it was another setback this weekend when a leaked member from trump's dhs revealed basic security problems with trump's ban. i want to show you three highlights. one, restricting immigration solely by citizenship unlikely to predict terror attacks. a fact two, largest source of terror attacks were by american citizens not foreign immigrants. in fact, three, most of the countries that sent terror attackers are not in trump's travel ban at all. joining me now to discuss all of this, ron fineman and political analyst, jake sherman, co-author of "the playbook" and victoria
defrancesco. the facts i read off, howard, are not new to you or our audience by bu may be new to the president in the sense that it's his dhs presenting them. >> it's as significant, ari who put this out, leaked it out and what's going on between the white house and the sprawling intelligence bureaucracy in washington. i would say it's something approaching war. i think the people in the various bureaucracies, whether it's the state department, the cia or the department of homeland security and elsewhere that you could name have professionals there who are very concerned about the over politicization, indeed the sort of hostile takeover of the intelligence committee by the trump faction in the white house. to me that's the significance of the story that the ap wrote. commonly known facts. it shows that donald trump and
his team, led by steve bannon, are only beginning the process of trying to bring those other agencies to heal, to make them see the world as the trump white house sees it which is, of course, not what the intelligence community is supposed to be doing. they're supposed to be speaking hard truth to power. >> jake, howard calls it a war. do you agree? >> i think it's probably something approaching that. the big mistake donald trump and his white housemaid here was kind of leaving congress out of the fold. i think donald trump is going to learn this as time goes on, that he needs all of washington on board so there are a lot of hands on deck. a lot of mistakes he made on a lot of fronts early in his administration could be avoided if he had professionals, the people who write legislation and write orders and who understand the law and how to implement things are on board. that is something he has not done so far and something it looks like he is inching toward
doing on a whole number of fronts as we get further down the road in this administration. >> victoria, a little more on these facts that are problematic for the president. he will have to make his case to congress this week. insufficient evidence, according to the ap's review that citizens of those seven majority countries included in the president's travel ban pose a terror threat to the united states. you can't put a finer point on it than that. there is a larger question about how to tighten immigration policy, something that does have public support. here is the dhs saying this was done, essentially, il lodge bei -- il lod illogically. >> he is lacking the moral support in addition to that. not only did he get that technical know how that you get from congress but starting to lose support from those within his party and beyond the issue of just the seven countries and the report that found that there
wasn't an increased risk, we also get into the territory of religious liberty. so, was this essentially a religious ban or was this just about terror? he is getting into all the sticky spots and it's a quagmire that he will not be able to get himself out of easily. >> we're hearing from the administration, they don't plan to change the seven countries. that might hurt them in court, as we reported on air. the judges will say if it's the same thing, it will remain blocked. right at the top, something that people are excited about. darrell issa, a pretty strong republican in terms of partisanship, weighing in on this russia issue. >> we're going to ask the intelligence committees of the house and senate to investigate within the special areas. >> independent prosecutor? >> you're right that you cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, jeff sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. you're going to need to use the
special prosecutor's statute and office. we have to work with them. we don't have to trust them. we need to investigate their activities and we need to do it because they are bad people. >> howard, you are a keen observer of washington. i have two questions. one, what about the substance of this? and, two, what do you view as the politics here? >> the substance of it, you know better than i. there is a special prosecutor statute, used to be independent council. now it's back to special prosecutor. a point that has to be made and a decision that has to be reached by attorney general sessions himself, i think, for the most part as to whether it would be appropriate for him and his agency reporting directly to him to handle this kind of investigation, which is, after all, about the 2016 campaign. that's the root issue here. democrats refuse -- a lot of democrats refuse to accept the legitimacy of donald trump as
president because they think the election was rigged by the russians. that's the cold hard colonel of this thing. >> howard, let me ask you. do you think that would be true even without russia? there are a lot of democrats who never saw donald trump as legit. >> i think that's true, but this provides them with a pretty powerful argument. at least to themselves, to their own base here. we're in a period of politics, as you know, ari, where everybody is talking to their own people and not to the middle. they're talking to their base. you talk to democrats, even members -- democratic members of the senate and house, as i have. they ask me, they say, what about this russia story? isn't this the way to go after donald trump? that's what they want to do. darrell issa is responding to that. don't forget, he is a republican and pretty strong conservative republican but also represents increasingly house constituency and narrowly won re-election. he barely survived.
in his district, hillary clinton won by a substantial margin. darrell issa is -- i know him quite well. you know, some people think he goes over the line from time to time. he is a very shrewd, very tough guy. i don't think he is likely to be dismissed by other republicans and the fact that he came out and said jeff sessions can't handle this himself is not without political significance because it will make the democrats feel they have more of a case here. >> jake, you're nodding your head. >> no, howard is right. i'll add to what he said. also, i agree with everything he said. he is from a marginal district. he is a very strong, smart guy, who i also know quite well. but he is no longer chairman of the oversight house committee. he doesn't have as much power in the house as he used to. he doesn't particularly -- i might get myself in trouble for saying this. but he doesn't particularly like the house oversight chairman
jason chaffetz from utah. >> why will you get in trouble with that? do they have a secret bromance, frenemy thing we don't know about? >> he took darrell issa's portrait down and put it somewhere outside the view of the public. it was reported at the time and hasn't been brought up since then. i have the honor to bring it up with you now, ari. but i think that issa is somebody who always wants to -- he is always looking for some -- not attention, but looking to stand outside of the group. but he is somebody who -- howard is right. he is somebody who democrats think steps over the line frequently. but he is somebody who looks at oversight as a serious member of congress, serious legislator and has been through the trenches. when he talks, people listen. republican listen. >> victoria? >> it's the drip, drip, drip.
>> exactly. >> michael flynn's resignation. and now darrell issa, not a fluffy republican, saying jeff sessions is probably going to have to recuse himself. add this to the reporting that the fbi was asked to tamp down on their investigation on talking about the russia ties. you're putting it all together and it just doesn't smell right, okay? maybe the hard core cpac base will keep ignoring it, but there is a middle. there is a moderate republican middle. and this drip, drip, drip is not going to be sitting well with them. that is the danger. >> ari? >> i don't think there is that much of a republican middle. 85%, according to polls, behind donald trump. >> i learned that darrell issa is not fluffy and his portrait is missing. howard, victoria, jake, thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you. >> thanks, ari. first month of president
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run programming for vh-1, paris hilton, ti and fi'ty cent. thank you for being here. >> pleasure. >> when you t about that difference in the reality stars you've worked with, what do you me? >> i think over the course of producing a tv show, they start confusing the produced reality and start thinking that's their real life. when these shows are over a number of them are totally fine. others of them, it feels almost like they've become addicted to the produced reality that we have put them in. and i think one of the things people don't say so much anymore but used to say all reality is fake. it's totally made up. the reality is that it's sort of made up. >> what happens on the reality shows? >> it's sort of made up but it's sort of real.
that's the difference between the reality show and scripted show. it's produced real people not actors put in somewhat artificial situations and that's what makes them interesting. they're kind of complicated, sophisticated instruments. >> that's so interesting. when you look at that as a test run or a precedent, what do you see in the way that donald trump governs? >> almost a precise mash between how trump has governed and trump as the host of "the apprentice." before trump was host of "the apprentice" he was a little bit of a has been, a bit of a punch line, a bit of a joke. >> how dare you. >> i'm sure in two months that may be a hard thing to say or who knows what will happen. his brand from the '80s was a deal guy, right? he could kind of shmooze you and make it happen. find the middle ground.
when "the apprentice" came on, he was the guy that will fire you, he was the boss, the kind of father figure. his presidency has tracked very closely to "the apprentice." >> part of what you point out is there is an obsession with creating the arc of the story. not based on what's happening, but scripting it for the story. right? there seems to be a difference between saying we found a judicial nominee who has got an incredible backstory, let's tell it. and let's create realities that become the narrative of the administration, and campaigns are often referred to as narratives but the act of governing is different. you were mentioning before thomas hardiman was rumored to be a supreme court pick. there's a video we can put up that is still unknown as to its original. as a tmz style video that emerged of him, if he was going to be trump's pick, at a gas station, right? and you were saying that that --
he wasn't ultimately the pick, but where does that come from? >> i was totally fascinated with that clip. i couldn't figure out -- >> there it is. >> was he aware that he was going to be, you know, encountered at the gas station? who told the cameraman to find him there? >> this is not a household name where tmz would show up. this video came at a time when they were trying to stoke mystery about who the pick would be. >> that's right. someone had to know he was coming along that route. maybe the whole thing was a setup. it tracks very closely with either "the apprentice" "the bachelor," "the bachelorette," the buildup of suspense as to whether hardiman or gorsuch would be ultimately nominated. the first thing that trump said after he nominated gorsuch, was that a surprise or what? >> right. >> and who cares? it's the supreme court. it kind of matters a little bit more than who gets eliminated on the bachelor. >> the 20, 30 years of juris
prudence might be more important than people knowing an hour in advance that he was going to be the pick. i'm compelled by that argument. a bit consistent and counterargument. illusions have been around as long as tv politics has been around. and so go back to kennedy, nixon, whatever example you pick. trump may be better at it, push it forward. howard beals famous breakdown in network. >> we did an illusions act. none of it is true. you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. you're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. you're beginning to think that the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. you do whatever the tube tells you. you dress like the tube, you eat like a tube, you raise your children like a tube this is
mass madness, mamaniacs. you people are the reality. we are the illusion. >> what would howard beel make of this reality show presidency? >> a, that level of anger would have made terrific reality tv. that movie not only presaged the entire reality sensibility, which is to rage and go nuts. when he goes nuts he becomes incredibly popular. >> powerful even. >> just as if i, you know, flip this table over and started throwing stuff around the set, that would be awesome television. and the content is almost irrelevant. >> so what is the antidote? >> it's very hard to say what the antidote is. a new kind of media literacy, that people can understand to watch what they're watching, to understand the donald trump show
, as david remnick, said earlier. he wants to put on what i would call performative presidency. he wants to engage in here i'm signing an executive order, a fantastic social media meme. going through the motions of performing the presidency while the substance -- there's a lot of, to my mind, awful things happening but there's a lot of nothing happening. lot of departments completely unstaffed. he seems uninterested in what's behind the performance that he's putting on. >> right. and because of his media habits we also know if it's not on television, he doesn't view it as an important part of his daily activity. >> right. and i think sort of the reality psychosis that i see in him, that i've seen in some of the people i've worked with is that he's confused about whether he's
living in, quote, unquote, reality versus actual reality. >> i think i feel worse now at the end of this segment as opposed to better. we deal in truth not emotion. i will take the truth that you offered. appreciate your time today. >> pleasure. >> president trump telling conservatives at cpac that the leaks targeting his administration are harmful to the country and challenged anonymous leakers to come show their face. is this normal or not? i will breakdown on what's going on in our segment "normal or not" coming up. stay with msnbc all day for coverage leading up to president trump's big address in a joint session of congress tuesday on msnbc.
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so you get more "life" per roll. bounty, the quicker picker upper now to a special segment "normal or not." a when the government retaliates against a free press. beyond that rhetorical fight, let's look at his claim that there are leaks targeting his administration. is that normal? trump has cast the leaks as dangerous and inaccurate.
>> i'm against people that make up stories and make up sources. they shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name. >> the source says that donald trump is a horrible, horrible human being. let them say it to my face. let there be no more sources. >> some leaks can be damaging and even illegal when they involve classified information. but most leaks do not expose classified information. they release information often in the public interest and in government it happens all the time. 42% of u.s. officials say they've leaked to the press, according to a harvard study. and that poll is a sample. consider there are over 4 million personnel at any given time. some trump officials think sharing routine information with the press like how the white house operates or how the press
shop runs is some kind of major breach. the times reported staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues after hearing trump's top adviser are considering an insider program that could result in monitoring cell phones and e-mails for leaks. sean spicer gathered his press staff for a surprise emergency meeting with white house lawyers present, where staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a phone check to prove they had nothing to hide. all right. how do we know about that meeting to crack down on leaks? from a leak by a trump aide. quote, spicer also warned the group of more problems if news of the phone checks and the meeting about leak was leaked to the immediamedia. quote, it's not the first time warnings about leaks have promptly leaked. so trump's white house is checking the phones of
communication staffers because they talk to reporters and that phone check itself is being leaked by those white house staffers. as we say in the biz, and the beat goes on. trump's beef is partly with his own hand-picked employees, in addition to the career bureaucrats he may not have selected. information merging from these leaks ranges from the mundane, like that phone check, to the pivotal, like this hour that the dhs found statistics undercutting the core rationale for trump's travel ban. these leaks are clearly frustrating and new to donald trump but are they normal? absolutely. and get used to it. coming up, now that the democrats have a new leader, what does the future hold for the party and how does this chair plan to take on president trump? so the the broom said, "sorry i'm late. i over-swept." [ laughter ] yes, even the awkward among us deserve some laughter.
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weekend. former obama official tom perez beat ellison for that job as chair. he said he will take on donald trump as a fraud. >> we lead with our values and we lead with our actions. we talk to them about how literally hours into the trump administration he was a fraud. we lead with our values as democrats and talk about what we've done to make sure we're protecting social security, protecting medicare, growing good jobs in this economy. if you want good jobs, elect a democrat. that's the message that we have to communicate. >> about those jobs, new nbc/wall street journal does show that president trump has 44% job approval. president obama took 32 months to fall into that negative territory. here now to discuss, victoria defrancesco and brian darling, former aide to senator rand paul
and senior government studies at the conservative heritage found aegs and here with me in new york, peter emerson, who served in three democratic administrations. victoria, your thoughts on this new leader and what it means for the democrats. >> i think when i think of tom perez, i think of someone who is politically bicultural. yes, keith ellison was very entrenched into that progressive bernie wing of the party but tom perez in terms of the progressive movement. let's not forget he worked in the labor -- he was labor secretary. in addition to that, fought for voting rights. was in the justice department. so, he has a grounding in both of these roles. and my hope is that he is able to bring them together going forward. so, i think with tom perez, you have someone who can attach both wings. in addition, i have to mention that he is the first latino to hold this position and latinos, for a long time, felt that they haven't been brought to the
democratic table fully and with a perez win this brings them more into the fold. >> i'm delighted that the first hispanic is now chair of the dnc. i was part of the effort, one of the only successful efforts in nevada where we elected the first female latino to the u.s. senate. the reality is that he can't do this alone. dnc is out of date. it needs to be professionalized. there's a joke in washington that you take competent people and somehow when they get in the dnc all of those skills go out the window. he has a herculean challenge. >> to the point you advised democratic presidents before. the problem with the dnc when you're out of power it's not as clear as who they are here for, current, relatively elderly democratics in the calkies, electing new people or just fighting trump and doing resistance? >> democrats have usually won in spite of the dnc. kennedy, carter, clinton. it didn't do hillary clinton a lot of good to be so closely
aaligned with the dnc. the dnc needs to look at how do they professionalize themselves going into the 21st century? otherwise they're, frankly, in my mind, relatively irrelevant. >> brian, if keith ellison had won, republicans would have had a field day saying the party was moving too far left. what do republicans say now? >> very happy. it was a great choice. it shows that the democrats haven't learned anything from the last election. a number of progressive friends who are very upset about this prois. they wanted ellison to show knew progressive leadership from the party. no one is going to take advice from me but from my perspective i'm happy with it. i think it was a big mistake and that democrats haven't learned anything. we're seeing bernie sanders will probably run his own operations outside of the party structure so he can control his own message and fund candidates that
he agrees with. i think you're already going to see a split in the party because of this choice. >> victoria, brian is throwing some shade. it may not be inaccurate shade. it certainly is the case that bernie sanders lit a fire across the country, hillary clinton did not generate the same outcome from those voters. although she got more votes. here is bernie sanders talking about all of this today. >> tom perez, a very, very good secretary of labor, has a real opportunity in his hands. and i hope he seizes it. and that is to understand that, in fact, the way the democratic party has been run for decades has not worked. we need a total transformation. >> and, victoria, the argument is that whatever people respect about tom perez as a labor secretary with limited political experience, let alone grassroots experience, he is not well positioned to do that. >> that's right. and, look, the fight about the two wings of the democratic party are going to fizzle. that's going to be what we talk
about a lot in the media. but the real work, the real work that has to be done is boring, is getting folks at the local level and especially at the state level elected to democratic posts. that is one thing the rnc has been brilliant at. one date that i have very clear in mind is 2020 because that's when the redistricting is going to happen. with tom approximate perez and everybody in the democratic party has to do is roll up their sleeves and figure out how they're going to win all of the state houses. the state houses are the ones that are going to be drawing the new congressional seats come 2020 reing. >> if i may, i'm not worried about 2020. >> that's the difference between the right and the left. >> you're not? i am. >> i'm worried about 2017 and 2018. that's where the democratic party should be facing and bernie sanders is saying he is not going to give, as he alluded to, his e-mail list to the dnc. he's smart. he saw what happened to the obama 12 million, 13 million list given to the dnc in '08.
it died. i'm worried about 2017 and 2018. >> victoria and brian? >> we is can have all the lists we want. we need logistical work getting done at the state level. how about a core formation? let's form it. then we can fight out the differences between the progressive and moderate wing of the democratic party. i can speak from experience. here in texas, the dnc, state party apparatus is basically a skeleton. that needs to be rebuilt. then we can have our fights within the party. >> brian, going to you, let me read what president trump said about all of this. congratulations to tom perez, who has been named chairman of the dnc. i could not be happier for him or the democratic party. everyone is so mean. and perez writes back call me tom and don't get too happy. we will be your worst nightmare. >> there's more to a party saying we hate donald trump and we don't agree with what he's
doing. they need to figure out how they blew it in wisconsin and with voters that were rock hard supporters of democrats for years and years and years. cycles and cycles. something happened in the cycle. if there isn't a real autopsy to figure out what happened with the democrats and they just become the party of opposition they're going to lose again in the next cycle. >> isn't that the point? donald trump's mandate may be razor thin, it might have come through a very weird scenario with russia, fbi, ton of free media. but at the end of the day, there's fact that democrats lost states like pennsylvania and wisconsin that no competent democratic nominee has lost in a long time. >> correct. it doesn't matter, donald trump won whether you agree with the electoral college or not or 3 million popular votes that went to hillary clinton above donald trump. i think victoria is absolutely right. the democrats are trying to figure out how are we going to take back the governorships and
state houses? republicans already figured out how to do that. they've been wildly successful. why don't we just adopt their strategy, adopt tactics to do it for our own standpoint and not worry about whose signature is on it? sort of like hertz and avis. if hertz is number one and winning i want to follow their path. >> frequent driver miles for this segment. new information on another important story we've been tracking this weekend, 28 people were injured in new orleans. the alleged driver, 25-year-old nielson rizzuto, attend had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. sarah, what can you tell us? >> reporter: as celebrations continue to build here in the
city toward fat tuesday we are learning more about this case, all but three people have been released from the hospital. we're told those three have injuries ranging from moderate to severe. we're learning more about the victims. at least 28 people are injured. the youngest, just 1-year-old, ranging into their 50s. these people were enjoying one of the most popular, one of the largest parades here during mardi gras yesterday when this truck jumped the median, hit several other cars, people say, including a dump truck there for clean up for the city, before plowing into the crowd of people. the driver there detained at the scene. is he now in the city jail tonight, expected to make his first appearance in court. he is facing a number of heavy charges for what he allegedly did. now, last night just chaos and confusion at the scene as people jumped into action to try to help. we want to listen to what some
of the eyewitnesses had to say about what they saw. >> safety, keep cautious. >> we were just having lunch with some friends. at first they thought it was a terrorist thing like they had in europe. but it's not. >> didn't look intentional, just a case of somebody being too drunk. >> reporter: now authorities say they did plan for crowd safety this year, keeping in mind some terrorism events of the past few months. however, they say they just did not see this one as a possibility. ari? >> sarah dallof, thank you for that update. how do president trump's compare with history? specifically president nixon. historian is in the house to give context after the break. and how rap music once embraced donald trump and whether that is changing.
well come back. sometimes the news rushes so fast we move forward without comprehending what came before. that may be true as president trump picks fights with the press. he is back saying russia talk is fake news put out by the dems, to mask the big election defeat and illegal leaks. notice that statement is partly false. nonpartisan intelligence agencies released information about russia interfering in the election not just the democrats. it is true, we should note, leaks about classified information may be illegal. and many presidents have fumed against those kind of leaks. >> we are fighting the fake news. it's fake. phony. fake. i call it the fake news, the enemy of the people. and they are.
they are the enemy of the people. they have no sources. they just make them up. they make up sources. they're very dishonest people. >> trump is not alone, though, in that. president nixon had a very confrontational relationship with the press. >> don't get the impression that you aarouse my anger. >> i have that impression. >> one can only be angry with those he respects. >> that's what we call a sick burn. i want to call in presidential historian h.w. brands and senior editor of the new yorker. mr. brands, what do you see here that is traditional or matches history and what's different? >> presidents have very often seen the press and media generally as a pain in the neck. occasionallies, presidents have waged war on the media as richard nixon did.
but president trump is the first to declare war publicly on the media. it seems as though trump is looking to continue the campaign. he campaigned against enemies but now he is in office. he can't campaign against hillary clinton or against the democrats. the republicans run everything but he thrives on creating controversy and having an enemy. he decided to call the media the enemy. the campaign continues. >> rick? >> the closest thing i can think of this historically was spiro agney, nixon's vice president. nixon did these little wise crack kind of comments like the one you just showed but agnew led the attack on the press. it felt completely different from this because agnew gave speeches mostly written by william sapphire, very witty guy who later became commerce with the "new york times." there was a certain satiric
element to it. trump, there's no irony or humor in trump's attacks on the press. they are echos of some things i the history of the 20th century. attacking the -- the enemy of the people, enemy of the people, that's a really dangerous thing to say. trump probably has no understanding of the historical resonance of that. but it is -- it goes for the old soviet union, nazi germany, back to the french revolution. >> yeah. and that -- that sort of outward complete antipathy is different from either the salute or pretense of a salute that other presidents have had. listen to president reagan trying to strike a little bit of that balance. >> what every president's epitaph should be with the press is this, he gave as good as he
got. and that i think wil make for a -- [ applause ] and that i think will make for a healthy press and a healthy presidency. >> mr. brands, that was at the white house correspondents dinner, which has changed over time, and gets much earned criticism, but it is a dinner i should note, the president now, president trump says he will not attend. >> presidents have generally figured they need the press. they can be in campaign mode had had they the campaign is on, but after they get elected, they have to govern. they tried to reach out to the middle ground. to do that, they previously had to use the press. trump gives every indication he's not trying to broaden his base. he's content to govern with just the people who elected him. and since he was elected by a minority, it is a real questionable route to getting something done. it sounds to me as though he's
preparing his supporters for when the stuff that he promised he would do doesn't get done. who is he going to point the finger of blame at? >> he has at least one big rhetorical argument, even though the polling showed hillary clinton getting more votes and that's what happened, at the broader level, the wide expectation, whether you watch this channel or any other channel, the expectation from the media was, hillary is probably going to win and lost. he has the ace in the hole, they got the biggest story of the year and the story he loves wrong. rick, take a listen to a very different tone here as we look at the history of president kennedy, who admitted, yeah, i don't like it, that's the emotional part, there is more to being president than just focusing on what you like. >> there is a terrific disadvantage not having the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily to an administration. when you have -- even though we
never like it, and even though we wish they didn't write it, even though we disapprove, still is -- there isn't any doubt we couldn't do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press. >> jack kennedy famously canceled his subscription to the new york herald tribune, which was the very respectable republican counterpart to the new york times back in those days. what is different now, the press, when we talk about the press, we're talking about a very different animal from what it used to be. if you -- as a large part of trump's base does, if you listen to talk radio for two or three hours a day, and watch fox news, you are in a completely different news universe from the so-called mainstream press. and that's really -- that's one of the things that enables trump to do what he's doing and to declare war on a press that most of his base simply has no
familiarity with. >> mr. brands, do you see the media diet as also a fairly large distinction from history? >> well, presidents, previous presidents tried to figure out a way to get around press or aspects of the media they didn't like. franklin roosevelt was opposed by most newspapers of his time, they were run by republicans, he was a democrat, he turned to radio. ronald reagan went on television to get past the people who sed him in various aspects of the media. donald trump so far has used twitter. and it worked to get him into the white house. but, again, it is not -- it doesn't seem to be broadening his base, successful presidents try to reach out for those people who didn't vote for them. and trump seems to care not a bit about that. >> right. and, rick, that goes to the question of whether venting on twitter is a good idea. and donald trump's defense, here was president truman saying something that might be similar to what he does now, quote, writing to paul hume about coverage he didn't like, i just
read your lousy review buried in the back pages. you sound like a frustrated old man who never made a success and i never met you, but if i do, you'll need a new nose, and plenty of beefsteak and perhaps a supporter below. that is as tough a tweet as you might get nowadays. the difference being, it was a letter and private and it wasn't a distraction to the rest of government. >> another big difference, it was a response to a bad review of margaret truman's piano recital. this was a dad defending his daughter. it was a -- it made him wildly popular. not because he was dumping on the republican press, for being republican, or for opposing him politically, but because of what he was doing to the wonderful margaret. >> h.w. brands, what is the historical view there of a dad defending his daughter? seems like a worthwhile thing. >> well, in fact, i think when
president trump defended his daughter, a lot of people cut him some slack for that reason. that's a very different thing from being criticized for doing your work as president. until now, it started to come with the territory. you apply for the job of president, you set yourself up to be criticized. that's part of the give and take of democratic politics. and donald trump doesn't seem to like it, and he's doing his best to try to prevent it. >> right. mr. brands, and mr. hertzburg, thank you, both. we're going to fit in a quick break before our show continues. next hour, more on the republican calls for an independent prosecutor to investigate those russia ties to trump. a look at politics with howard dean. christina greer and rick stengel and oscar preview and a special report on a part of american culture where donald trump has enjoyed long-standing support. rap music. and why that may be changing. please keep it locked right here on msnbc. liberty mutual stood with me when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate. liberty did what? yeah, with liberty mutual all i needed to do to get an estimate
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we have big updates this hour. the president hosting a governor's dinner at the white house and prepping that address to congress. what will be the point of the speech? will he tackle jobs, obamacare and russia or reprise the more vague attacks on the press and when will the new travel ban come out? here is news you may not have seen yet. the trump administration soliciting contract bids for building a border wall, but who will pay for it? and the battle over obamacare, are republicans ready to replace the aca with a viable alternative? and then we get to our special segment tonight, how donald trump was name checked in more rap songs than just about anyone ever and what is changing in that unusual relationship. i'm going to be joined by rap experts from all hip-hop.com and the nation's top rap station hot 97. bottom line, don't sleep on our hip-hop power panel. first, let's look at the big political story here, the president facing down some homework, that primetime address on tuesday night, to the joint session of congress, calls continuing for a special