tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC April 11, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
he is arriving in moscow. here he is moments ago. in the last hour we heard vladimir putin comparing talk of chemical weapons in syria to false claims of wmds in iraq. calling the u.n. to look into it. >> election day in one state. a surprisingly close race to replace cia director mike pompeo with the gop trying to save the seat. united unraveling. day two of fallout from what's now a man-handling scandal. you have seen the video by now. now members of congress furious, calling for action. we have a team of reporters and analysts here in d.c. and around the wld. bill neely in moscow. christen welker at thehite house. bill, set the scene for us. how is secretary tillerson going to be welcomed today? talk about the new reaction from vladimir putin in the last 60 minutes or so. >> good morning, hallie. rex tillerson arriving here in moscow with some pretty tough
words for russia, but president putin has been talking tough this morning as well. just before rex tillerson touched down. vladimir putin said the situation in syria, today, reminds him of iraq in 2003 and u.s. claims that iraq had weapons of mass destruction. he says, russia will appeal to the united nations over the chemical weapons attack in syria last week. but most startlingly of all, vladimir putin said that russia has information that new chemical weapons attacks are being planned, including just south of damascus, in order to discredit president assad. he didn't say who was planning those attacks and didn't cite the exact sources or any evidence for that. but pretty tough talking from vladimir putin. he says, by the way, he will also ignore western criticisms of russia's role in syria. rex tillerson is coming here with a very tough message of his
own for the russian foreign minister sergey lavrov tomorrow. that meeting off the back of the g7 meeting in italy. the message will be drop your support for president assad, he is toxic. as rex tillerson said, just as he left italy, the days of the assad rege are numbered. now, russia may not take that to heart, almost certainly won't, because it's just doubled down on its support for president assad with more military help. and of course, president assad is winning that war with russia's help. so call it a showdown, call it a challenge, call it whatever you want, but that visit by rex tillerson, that meeting tomorrow, will be a very, very crucial meeting. hallie. >> bill neely in moscow for us. bill, thank you. kristen, to you. you heard bill talk about the tough message that secretary of state tillerson is expected to deliver at the kremlin. there has been mixed messaging
from the white house about this. we know one of the president's adviser was asked about this today. fill us in. >> hallie, i am sorry. i didn't hear exactly what you said. i thought you said take a listen. sorry about that. here is the latest from the white house in terms of that mixed messaging. first, over the weekend you have secretary of state rex tillerson saying that basically it's up to the syrian people to determine the fate of syria's president bashar al assad. that conflicted with the u.n. ambassador nikki haley who said, no, assad has to go now. so we pressed press secretary sean spicer on that very point, asked him to clarify. he said, look, it is clearly a top priority for assad to leave power through a political process, but he stressed the u.s. is focused on fighting isis. he then, hallie, was pressed on where the president would consider taking more action, what might spark that. and he essentially said,look,
he is not going to tolerate the use of chemical weapons and he put barrel bombs in that category. that raised some eyebrows because of course syria has been using barrel bombs for years. >> yeah. >> spicer clarifying late last night saying, look, the policy has not changed at the white house, but that clearly chemical weapons remains a red line for this administration. the president's former lawyer, michael cohen, said it's urgent that this administration get on the same page. listen to what he had to say. >> they should be on president trump's message. so maybe they do have to get together and they have to come up with a unified statement, but it doesn't matter. the president has his own agenda. the president is going to do what the president feels is right for him, for the country, for the people that he is trying to protect. >> hallie, one more point i'll make on this. we have heard tough talk on
russia from so many top officials here within the administration, from secretary tillerson, from nikki haley. we haven't heard it from the president himself. so all eyes on this 10:45 meeting that the president will be having with some top ceos from all around the country. he'll likely get pressed on this. will he ramp up his rhetoric when it comes to russia? that's what we'll be watching for today, hallie. >> i would like you to hang out for a minute, kristen. i want to bring you back with the panel. ambassador alexander versho. former u.s. ambassador to russia and nato deputy secretary general. distinguished fellow with the atlanta council. from the "washington post" karen tumulty and political reporter for the boston globe, matt viser. >> the "new york times" has a piece out today talking about president trump's silence on this issue. you know the kremlin and understand how they think. what speaks louder to them? the lack of words here from president trump or the message
that secretary tillerson will be delivering? >> i think they're probably scratching their heads on why hasn't the president enunciated a clearer policy than he has thus far, particularly because of the mixed signals we've heard in the last feway i think tillerson was clear yesterday in the g7 meeting yesterday that chemical weapons is the priority. his message for the russians, for mr. lavrov since he is not seeing putin personally is russia has to choose. i think it's the right message. they have april bebeen shieldin as he uses every weapon he can think of to brutalize his own people as well as driving half the people out of his country as refugees. does russia really want to stand by this guy or do they want to join with the u.s. and its allies to find a political solution which ultimately has to
lead to assad's departure? >> do you see russia backing down here, given his support for assad? saying he would not support him could be seen as a sign of weakness. >> i don't expect him to back down. and it won't happen during tillerson's visit. they'll take the measure of the new u.s. secretary of state. at the end of the day they're not looking to draw the u.s. into a war with assad. i think they want the u.s. to keep focusing on isis where there is at least overlap in our positions. despite rhetoric, they may be positioning themselves to resume a somewhat more cooperative approach but it may not be enough. he may not abandon assad and then we may be in the same dilemma obama was in for several years. >>ex tillerson has gotten off the plane and iseady for the meeting. sergey lavrov is a skilled diplomat. rex tillerson has never held a diplomatic position before. how do you see the dynamic
between these two men? it's crucial to the relationship between the russia and u.s. moving toward. >> i am sure he is being prepared for being lectured, maybe even being bullied, though lo lavrov can be the gent versusal your -- gentle versus the bully. tillerson is not a baby either. i don't think he's the kind of person who will take the bait if he does get bullied. he'll give a clear, steady message of why the russians need to make a choice. >> karen, on the campaign trail he said repeatedly he wanted to work with russia. we heard the press secretary clarify yesterday, the second part of the sentence was, if we can't, then oh well. how do you see what's been happening lately as affecting that. >> something else the president said on the campaign trail.
he said the united states needed to be unpredictable. at very sensitive moments like this, that becomes a problem. when you hear people speaking in the white house, it becomes clear they don't have a good sense of where the president's bottom lines are on all of this. and if the people around him don't have this, how are our allies, how are our potential adversaries to? >> one of the things that could be useful out of these meetings is the american public gets a sense from rex tillerson what americ policy is and what we're seeking from russia. is this -- are we trying to change the regime in syria? or was this a target the response dealing specifically with just the chemical weapons attack. we don't know that yet. we don't know if our policy has shifted to something different and if president trump is shifting his views of america in the world. >> we have heard from rex tillerson even this morning in italy. he held a news conference, the sit-down with reporters and
talked specifically about the unreliable partner, he called it, in bashar al assad that russia has sought out. we'll play the sound bite and bring in christen on the other side. >> i hope the russian government concludes they've aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in bashar al assad. assad has made the russians not look so good under these circumstances. >> that's likely the message he is delivering to sergey lavrov. looking at this in the context of what happened in syria last week, the influence of ivanka trump. we heard from eric trump about this, walk us through this new development. >> eric trump making headlines of his own this morning, hallie. you're right. let me read you what he told the telegraph. he said ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. i am sure she said, listen, this is horrible stuff.
my father will act in times like that. so that raises the question, to what extent was this an emotional reaction from this president. look, i think this adds another layer to what we already know and what we saw last week, hallie. we saw the president speak openly about the fact that he was moved by the horrifying, devastating pictures coming out of syria in the wake of that chemical weapons attack. we pressed administration officials on whether this was a knee-jerk response in reaction to those emotions that he had. they pushed back forcefully against that saying he was briefed on a range of different options and possibilities and he chose a strike that was limited and very targeted. but that certainly he was honest about the fact that this was personal for him when he saw those images of children. so i think what we're learning this morning from eric trump is really another layer, and the extent to -- ivanka trump is one of his top advisers but also his
daughter. >> you've served on presidents on both sides of the aisle. if you were advising president trump, his man in moscow, if you will, what would you be telling him? >> i think he needs to define a clear policy for the american people. >> himself. not via secretary of state rex tillerson or nikki haley. >> the buck stops there. he has to do that. it will help to strengthen tillerson's hands. >> do you think we'll hear from him in half an hour? >> if he takes questions, i'm sure that will be question number one. i hope that's the case. beyond that, he has to clarify whether we are going to war with the assad regime, which would be a fundamental shift in policy and i think, ultimately would be a mistake as much as i detest what the assad regime has done. there is still an unfinished campaign against isis. we don't want the russians to start pointing their weapons at us on the verge of raqqa being
taken. we have to figure out how do we put the fear of god into the russians. they may see him as an unreliable partner. they don't like to see regime change being carried out by the u.s. they were mad about gadhafi being overthrown yanukovych in ukraine. they're going to be stubborn at least in tomorrow's conversations. hopefully the president can set some guidelines that tillerson can use in his meeting to get the russians to start thinking and rethinking their policy. >> thank you so much for joining us here on set. karen and matt, stick around. much more to discuss coming up. coming up we do have discussions about this post-presidential proxy fight happening in reliably red kansas right now. today's election for the seat of now cia director mike pompeo should be a gop cake walk, right? maybe not. we'll go live to wichita next where republicans are pulling out all the stops. a live look at one of the polling spaces to hold off
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. today a new push from president trump as republicans scramble to stay ahead in a surprisingly close congressional race in southern kansas .s voters are heading to the polls in the fourth district to decide who gets cia director mike pompeo's open house seat. a democratic arm is making last minute calls to thousands of voters and the president is
tweeting support for the gop candidate ron estes saying he is wonderful guy and needs help on tax cuts and health care. >> we're going to do things really great for our country. our country needs help. ron is going to be helping us big league. but i need republicans like ron estes to help me get the job done. >> nbc's jacob rascon is on the ground in wichita, kansas, for us. jacob. tons of attention on this race in the last 24 hours. it looks as though it could be closer than people expected. what are you hearing from voters there? >> you know who else is scrambling? election workers. they haven't had a special election like this in nearly 70 yea. they have these new machines that they rolled out. they weren'txpecting to use them until much later but had to rush to do that. it's been a steady stream of folks. we still have folks here right now. i've talked to dozens of people.
you get a ickmix. most people say this is kansas. we vote republican. we're going to do it again. that's how it works. some have a different opinion. i saw one gentleman who said he voted for donald trump but is going to switch over and hopes the democrat will win. this is marlene, a registered independent. tell me your reasoning, your hoping that this race goes to the democrat mr. thompson but why? >> i am an independent voter, but i don't like our governor either, and i feel like we need to have a different perspective, and i think mr. thompson will do that. >> thank you marlene. we've heard that, by the way, several times from other folks who are registered democrats. over here we're different. how do you think this election will turn out and why? >> you first. >> all i can say is i am hoping it's republican. we don't need any more roadblocks in the government. we need to work together.
and i am afraid, if the democrat party wins, it will just be a constant battle of trying to get things accomplished. >> a lot of times there is a lot of anti-trump talk, protests, but here in kansas, here where you live, do you hear that, do you feel that? do you see that? >> not as much as in other parts of theorld and in other parts of the country. i think this election will and should go down party lines to help another voice get on board with president trump and give him a chance. he is less than 100 days in. >> you're happy with what -- >> i don't think he's getting a fair chance. we're very happy with him. >> thank you to the rowe family and marlene. vice president mike pence, ted cruz was here yesterday and the robo call. they're really coming out wanting to make sure this is not a close race. they want to win like they
usually win, a land slide. hallie. >> jacob rascon back on the campaign trail for us. our favorite road warrior. one of them. back to karen and matt. interesting things from the voters there. i want to start with what marlene said, that she does not like the governor. there is a great piece in "the post" today saying the governor's name has the force of an epithet. how is that playing out today? >> he is. his popularity is below 25%. the republican party itself is pretty deeply split going into this election. and that's going to be a big factor. the national press is definitely going to be tempted to read this as some kind of referendum on trump. this remains a very deeply conservative area. wichita is the hometown of koch industries. >> to the point, matt, this is a safe republican seat. mr. trump won the district by 27 points, roughly. we're not -- it's not going to
flip, necessarily. there are no signs pointing towards that but it's looking closer than people thought. you see that with president trump making these robo calls. what does that tell you? >> we can over-interpret special elections sometimes but this does have the feel a lot of 2010. i was covering scott brown at the time. lost -- he won over a democrat in a very safe state of massachusetts. it had this feeling of a referendum on health care. ironically, we're also now seeing seven years later another referendum on health care a little bit in a lot of these special elections which are very close and unexpectedly close in safe places where you are seeing ted cruz fly in all of a sudden to wichita. the republicans are sort of all rallying kind of at the last minute to try and prop up the republican. in a district where they're safe and they're starting to spend money that could be spent elsewhere. >> it's not as though the democrats are pumping in aen to -- a ton of money in this race.
are democrats hoping they get lucky on this one? >> maybe draw a little blood, i think so. the georgia race is much more of a national barometer of what is likely to happen in the mid-terms. >> why is that? explain that. >> well, because georgia is a state that because of a number of forces, among them largely demographic. democrats are hoping there is a long-term trend toward moving it from such a solidly red category into at least purple. >> republicans in kansas, in the fourth district, are predicting a double-digit win. do you think they will? >> i don't know. their reactions late in the game seem otherwise. there does seem to be a degree of nervousness of try to go protect this seat. >> you have the president tweeting. hour of a tweet. >> which we saw obama do some too. he would sort of weigh in late in the game, do robocalls and things to try to hel out a democrat late in the game.
>> do we think the president's persuave powers will have an impact here? >> i think that's what we'll all interpret, whether or not it does. >> if they pull it out on a big margin, guaranteed he'll take credit for it. >> excellent prediction. karen and matt. stay with me. up next, we're talking about north korea. going back overseas, pyongyang is going ballistic and threatening to go nuclear. president trump says north korea is looking for trouble and he will, quote, solve the problem with or without china's help. are we at a tipping point? we'd head live to that region next. ♪ ♪
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back now with a quick check of the morning headlines. alabama's new governor on her first full day on the job on robert bentley resigned monday to avoid impeachment. we told you about the hearing this year yesterday. later in the day he pleaded guilty to violating two counts of violating state campaig laws after an alleged aair with his former adviser. a federal judge ruled lawmakers have purposely discriminated against black and latino voters. the law required limited forms of photo identification for in-person voting. the justice administration under
the obama administration opposed law. a suspected russian hacker being held in spain after the u.s. accused him of running a major hacking ring. since 2010 officials say he has been in charge of a global computer network that's been sending hundreds of millions of spam e-mails all around the world. a spanish court will decide whether he'll be extradited to the u.s. or not. tensions now escalating after new tough talk from north korea this morning. the pentagon is redirecting the uss carl vinson aircraft carrier and its fleet to the korean peninsula. more tough talk on the other side from president trump as well. this morning he sent out this tweet. north korea is looking for trouble. if china decides to help, that would be great. if not, we will solve the problem without them. usa. nbc's janice fryer joins us from seoul, south korea. back with me. "washington post's" karen tumulty and the boston globe's matt viser.
tell us what you're hearing from north korea officials as a reaction. it's pretty extreme. >> well, they're fairly direct. north korea is warning of catastrophic consequences as their response to this u.s. decision to have the uss carl nson strike group head toward the korean peninsula. the regime's state ns agency quoting the foreign ministry said, we will hold the u.s. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous action. north korea is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the u.s. now, we're used to this sort of rhetoric from the regime in pyongyang. but this is an important month for north korea to mark key anniversaries. in the past it has done so with tests or other provocations. for weeks there has been mounting speculation and to a degree some evidence that kim jong-un may be preparing for a sixth nuclear test. so this definitely adds a new
dynamic to the pressure with having the aircraft carrier heading to the region. obviously as a message and a show of force to north korea, but perhaps a message to china as well. >> janice in seoul for us. thank you, janice. turning to matt and karen here. the tweets the president has sent out. another one talked about china in context of a trade deal. he said i explained to the president of china that a trade deal would be far better for them if they solve the north korea problem. >> yeah. i don't think -- once again, we're getting back to the question of coherence out of this administration. not out of the administration, out of the guy at the top of the administration. because he is essentially saying, getting a good trade deal is linked to china doing what the u.s. wants them to in north korea. it really confuses what's our strategic priority here. is it trade? is it national security? are we willing to trade off one for the other? this, again, goes back to a
problem that i think a lot of other countries are having trying to read just what -- where exactly this administration is taking foreign policy. >> if china doesn't get involved, matt, what are the options then for the u.s.? >> it's a tough scenario. this is the first time also in about a week that president trump has tweeted something provocative. he spent the past week sort of, you know, typically his twitter account read almost like president obama's did, sort of pictures of him with neil gorsuch -- >> meet and greet. whatever. >> he was sort of a little bit quiet. now he's back sort of to what we typically expect from him. we know from president obama that north korea was the situation that he was most worried about in his talks about president trump as he was incoming, worried about that scenario. now you have sort of two very unpredictable leaders, you know, in a very dicey scenario, sort of what happens and what are those talks like. where does this lead. >> what do you make of the timing here of sending this
aircraft carrier group towards the korean peninsula here just a couple of days after -- the meeting with pixi jinping was o friday. not that long ago. >> you have to wonder what he's thinking as he leaves. the visuals out of the meeting was that it was very friendly, you know, ivanka trump's kids singing and dancing, and then all of a sudden you see this sort of hostile posture emerge. >> a message clearly. >> yeah. and trying to gain the upper happened somehow in this, which in the meeting last week was largely overshadowed with the strikes in syria. so, you know, by most accounts is looked pretty rosy. it looked like they got along, had some good talks. and now we are seeing sort of what is the -- how does the chinese leader react to seeing these tweets, you know, afterwards. that's not the donald trump that he probably met with. >> certainly something to be watching over the coming weeks. matt and karen, thank you very much. coming up we'll talk more about this fight or flight issue. could and should united's
passenger fiasco lead to a congressional investigation? that's right, we have the latest reaction coming up next live from washington. think again. this is the new new york. we are building new airports all across the state. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment. new lower taxes. and new university partnerships to grow the businesses of tomorrow today. learn more at esd.ny.gov
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we are back now in the nation's capital where lawmakers are demanding answers after the pr disaster for united airlines. the transportation department is doing its own review. i know you've seen the video by now that's blown up on social media. recap. united airlines passenger was draggef literally dragged off the overbooked flight sunday after he was picked to give up his seat and did not. he said he is a doctor and couldn't be bumped because he had to see patients in the morning. not only is united now taking a beating in the court of public opinion but it's also getting clobbered on wall street. shares down more than 4% of united, just over three -- 4.27% now an hour into the trading day. tom costello covers the airline industry for nbc news. karen and matt back with me. tom, starting with you here. talk us through any new reaction from united. they have to be watching the stock market and keeping an eye on a lot of the bad press they've been facing. >> at the moment we have radio silence. they're not responding to our
e-mail requests or phone calls. i think the stock price will surely get their attention. i have talked to a lot of people who are in the industry, who work for competing airlines, even senior flight attendants who have something to do with united airlines. and pr reps who think this thing has just been an absolute disaster and a lesson in how not to cover -- how not to handle, i should say, a serious incident like this because, not only was the management apparently in such a state that they failed to recognize at the boarding gate that they needed to bring four passengers out of the queue, they let the people sit down on the plane and then started taking people out of their seats. that was failure number one. then, unable to get four volunteers, and then when somebody said, i am a doctor and you can't pick me, they called in the we now believe security, not police, despite the fact that they have police on their jackets, we think these guys were security, who literally pulled him out and gave him a bloody face.
by some accounts, he was knocked unconscious. so, what's happening at this moment? well, here is why part of this reaction has gotten even worse. because of the statement from the ceo to the employees of the airline. here is what oscar munoz said. he said our employees followed established protocols. the situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused. he then went on to say, while i deeply regret this situation arose i want to emphatically stand behind all of you and commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right. he went on to say that, in fact, treating customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are. and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation. he also says the following. our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. well, the concern is, on the one hand, he hasn't apologized toed
individual passenger. >> right. >> he went on to suggest that the passenger himself was responsible for bad behavior, and they were forced to call in security. and then he defended the actions of the employees. so the concern here now, as their stock is down 4%, as they are being pillered online and across the world really. this has gone viral in asia because this gentleman claims he was asian and profiled because he was asian. you cannot buy worse public relations right now than this. the question is why haven't they come out and said, regardless of how this went down, we apologize and we are going to take steps to correct it. >> tom, i truly don't mean to sound snarky but i'm struck by the phrase "established procedures" by united. on what planet is this procedure? >> ahreirlines have the right t
ask you to leave. if they nee he some people removebecause thehave to have a priority for other passenge, they have e right to do that, but they must compensate you. they don't necessarily have the right to yank you out and, it would seem, by the video, assault a passenger and then pull them down the aisle. we understand that that was a security officer, that's not united airlines, but the trouble is for united in terms of a public relations mess, they are the ones who called security. >> right. >> it does not appear that this was law enforcement. it appears this was, in fact, security. i have talked to executives from other airlines this morning who are shaking their heads and saying, there but for the grace of god go i, however, this would not have happened at our airline because we have to anticipated before they ever got on the plane that we needed to create four seats if we absolutely had to get a crew to another city. >> you mentioned this is going viral. there is a hash tag new united airlines mottos. it's trending on twitter. one, for example, giving new
meaning for fight or flight. one passenger at a time. people getting online and expressing how concerned they are. do you think the stock price drop is going to, as you say, get the attention of the united ceo? might we hear more from him over the next 12, 24 hours? >> you know, listen, i guess i am surprised at the way that the airline has handled it thus far. and i would think that, given the bleeding and now quite literally in terms of the stock price, there has to be some talk within the airline that maybe they need to take another step. this is costing them a boatload of money in terms of public perception worldwide. i need to tell you, hallie, there are several online tabloids reporti the name of this doctor who is a 69-year-old man from kentucky, they claim, an internist who, by the way, he himself according to the tabloid reports may have had run-ins with the law. we have not independent confirmed that and therefore are not reporting it and therefore
we're not identifying the name of the doctor yet as well. >> tom costello from the d.c. bureau following this story. bringing in karen and matt. we talked about lawmakers now want answers. some saying they want united to come in front of a congressional panel to talk about this. department of transportation is reviewing this, saying to us, quote, the d.o.t. remains committed to protecting the rights of consumers and is reviewing the involuntary denied boarding of passengers from the flight to determine whether the airline complied with the over sales rule, the over booking rule. do you see the government being able to step in and create change or lawmakers trying to capitalize on what's undoubtedly the story of the last 24 hours? >> it's an interesting moment for free-market republicans. do they -- is united sort of already paying the price for what they did, or is there some sort of government role? president trump has said, we're doing away with regulations, we're not creating new ones. so i don't know sort of what the government response might be
other than having hearings or having united come and sort of admonish them from -- >> scold them publicly, if you were. >> theater. theater. i think what is happening to united in the mark market place a moreerful motivator for them and other airlines in the future. the ceo's response where he portrays the passenger as the victim, i think it will be studied for decades in management schools. at one point he referred to the passenger as having been reaccommodated. it's extraordinary. >> bottom line. do you see, though, if somebody wants to fly two months from now to wherever, tampa, pick your spot, right, united has the cheapest flight, gets them there the day they want to get there, do you see consumers in a couple of months boycotting united as there has been discussion of right now? >> maybe. if that's the price you have to pay to travel to tampa, you might be dragged out, you know, forcefully off the plane, you know, maybe it sort of goes into
your own account. >> gives you second thoughts? >> i also have a feeling that united's behavior in the future will be a lot different. >> i wonder if we'll be hearing from the ceo in the next couple of days -- >> i think you've got to. >> this ceo. by the way, took over fairly recently in the middle of another scandal because united had been essentially building routes to accommodate powerful people and the previous ceo had to resign. >> is there anything congress can do about the overbooking issue? is what they have enough? >> some of what they've -- this happened to me where they were overbooked and can't get you on a flight for a certain number of times and have to pay you a certain amount of money based on how many hours you'll be delayed. you know, so i think there are certain sort of regulations that they currently follow. i don't know whether there is going to be a demand for more at a time when trump is trying to sort of say get rid of the consumer financial protection bureau which is an agency which
would handle some of that. >> couldn't united have said, we'll give you x amount of money -- >> if they had said we're a up to $1,000 they would have gotten four people. they would have gotten me? >> we need to know the sequencing of it. >> guys, thank you very much. coming up we'll turn back to politics and the bargaining chip democrats believe could maybe give them a legislative edge in the next battle with the white house. talking about tax reform. that and much more when we com back overlooking the nation's capital on this beautiful spring morning.
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i like it start your used car search at carfax.com all right. so the west wing is trying to get its legislative agenda back on track after last month's health care defeat. they're turning to an issue that may open an old can of worms for president trump. taxes. some democrats say the trump administration wants to move ahead on tax reform, they'll need to see the president's own filings first. you see the "new york times" piece there. the author, the economic policy reporter, alan, is joining me now. how are democrats ghe s gearingr the fight? walk us through the setup. >> tax reform has been on the table a while but democrats have been in the dark for the last few months.
republicans in the white house and in congress are finally starting to engage them to see if it might be possible to get some sort of bipartisan deal done. but they're pretty far apart in terms of what they want. democrats would like to see -- they're open to middle class tax cuts, and they're open to closing some corporate tax loopholes, but they're also interested in tying this together into an infrastructure package. they're very much against tax cuts for the rich, which are part of the republican plans. >> that's a massive package. could it separate out? it seems it might be a tough sell. >> it's possible. there's talk about doing corporate taxes and individual taxes separately. republicans very much want to do corporate and individual together as part of an overall, comprehensive tax reform package. this is their opportunity to get something done. it hasn't happened in 30 years. >> it is a priority for president trump. walk us through the idea that democrats are trying to use his own taxes as a bargaining chip here. realistic? >> it's a red herring.
shows you the distrust between democrats and president trump. they're very concerned that he wants big tax cuts for the rich, big tax cuts for companies and he's trying to help out his rich friends. it is another opportunity to vent their frustration, that they haven't seen his tax returns. he never released them during the campaign, and he is in this for himself. some are saying we're not going to move forward on this until he shows us how it is going to affect him. >> alan, when you look at the idea of the president potentially releases his own taxes, obviously, tax day is coming up in a few days. a lot of americans are dealing with theirs. doesn't this make it harder for democrats to come to some sort of terms with the white house and with republican leadership, given that tax reform is a priority for speaker ryan? >> kbakt exactly. it shows how difficult a bipartisan deal is going to be, especially if they're using this at the early stages of negotiations. he's made it clear he is not interested in releasing his tax returns. he's used the excuse of an audit before and also said the american public doesn't care
since they elected him. i think it'll come up during the negotiations. people will keep asking, how does this help the president? how does this help his rich friends and aides? >> alan in the "new york times" bureau. thank you for joining us here. we should also note that despite president trump saying americans don't care about his tax returns, polling shows a majority of americans do care. sean spicer talked about the timing of a tax reform plan. >> what you put out on the campaign trail, is that the backbone of what he wants to see get done? >> that's the backbone. i think what you're seeing is us going through this process. obviously, that still would be a great opportunity before they lee for august recess, but we're going to make sure we do this right and we do it with the input of all the individuals, groups and members of congress that have had a long time interest in doing this. >> that's sean spicer talking about tax reform being a priority, working with members of congress. sounds like what we heard about health care over the last few months. why is this going to be
different? >> because thele lesson of the x reform effort, the most recent one was 30 years ago, is it has to be bipartisan from the beginning and the president has to go out to the country and make the case of what exactly he's trying to achieve with this. >> we'll see him on the campaign trail talking taxes? it could open a can of worms for him. >> maybe. also, what did the white house learn about the health care debacle in congress and how do they change it? president trump is all about leverage in a negotiation. his leverage now isn't that great with democrats. i think that there's some work to be done there. maybe by, you know, trying infrastructure, trying something different than taxes first to get some buy-in from democrats. >> that seems like the more likely option where there could be outreach across the aisle, infrastructure. >> a trust building exercise. >> alan called this idea of a bargaining chip. the democrats want to see president trump's tax returns as a red herring. it could be a roadblock.
i imagine it will cause the administration to dig in more. >> it is a bit of trawling by the democrats on president trump. i don't think he'll go along with it. >> thank you for joining us on this stunning, spring morning. appreciate it. much more ahead on msnbc, including the meeting on white house grounds. president trump is about to hold it with ceos. wel brg it to you as soon as it happens. stick around. >> announcer: time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. danielle will never sell online. the owner of the yarn store fiber space in alexandria, virginia, doesn't want to process web orders. she wants to connect with k customers at her store. using social media, she entices people to come in and buy. for more, watch your business, sunday morning at 7:30 on msnbc. >> brought by american express open. visit open forum.com for ideas to help you grow your business. n help you take on a new job,
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of msnbc live. i'm heading back to the white house where i will be snapping up a storm. i'm hallie nbc there. also on insta, twitter, facebook. say hello. we will say hello to ali velshi with a lot to discuss. >> you spped sometng of us i'm on your crazy sp chat, which is much more productive th my own. great to see you. great show and we'll see you this afternoon. >> sounds good. mission in moscow. rex tillerson, secretary of state, has arrived in russia for his first face-to-face meeting with russia leaders since u.s. strikes on syria. president putin says the strikes remind him of the weapons of mass destruction claims in iraq. russia's foreign minister says relations between russia and the u.s. are in their worst period since the end of the cold war. plus, cat strastrophic consequences. that's north korea's threat if the u.s. makes another military move. outrage after a man i