tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC April 24, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
we miss him already. good night, tom. "the 11th hour" starts now. tonight, pressure mounting on the senate committee investigating possible ties between team trump and russia. another day, another campaign promise in doubt. news tonight about that big, beautiful wall donald trump promised to build. and pushback from his own party. and the vacation's over for the country's 44th president. his former press secretary weighs in tonight on a harsh new critique from a fellow democrat. "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. i'm micolle wallace. brian has the night off. it's day 95th trump presidency and this white house is still dogged by questions about its ties to russia. it's at the story we've devoted more time to here than any other since inauguration. and after a messy change of
leadership and the house russ investigation, the expectation was that things would go more smoothly in the senate. but we are learning tonight that the senate committee doesn't have a single full-time staffer assigned to the russia inquiry. according to two new reports democrats on the committee are demanding immediate changes. all this as donald trump nears the 100-day mark with some of the lowest approval numbers ever recorded at this point in a presidency. let's bring in tonight's panel, john hilemon, is the cocreator, executive producer and co-host of showtime's the circus. there is an emmy in there soon, right? yes. eli stokels is a white house reporter for the "wall street journal." and jeremy barb joins us from washington, d.c., former chief of staff at the pentagon and cia. jeremy, i'm going to start with you. one of your other jobs was on the house intel committee and you have been in contact that people that might be involved and might be sharing some of the consternation about the senate intel committee's slow pace, if
you will. >> good evening, nicole. i have been chatting with folks familiar with the investigation. here's what the thinking is. the investigation in the senate is moving into a very active, quiet but active phase here. a little bit out of the public limelight. but the staff is working in really two phases. first phase is to go to the intelligence community and look at what they have on russian meddling, what were the most sensitive pieces of information that they collected about russian operations to interfere in the 2016 election. and second, is what were the ties between trump campaign and the russian federation, and the kremlin, if any. it's really on that second phase where there has not been total align men between democrats and republicans between the chairman richard byrd. they are aligned on the first phase. they are making good progress there. on the second phase they have a witness list. they are on the cusp of propounding document requests to witnesses. there is some consternation by
democrats on the committee but some folks i talked to expressed confidence that they will, they will get after these document requests. and then and only then will they make decisions about immunity, regarding flynn, manafort, page and others and bring them before the committee for questioning. >> jerry, what possible explanation could there be? you were involved in sensitive interrogations during the bush presidency. what explanation is there for ignoring the optic. they are over there, they watched the house that was the house's efforts to start their investigation. what possible explanation is there just simply for the optics of not having a single full-time staffer toer a single lawyer or a single person assigned fulltype to the russian inquiry? >> i think they unquestionably have to get more people devoted to this. they have got to up their game. they will have to devote full-time staff to this. they know that.
i have talked to people there. they understand that. they are also conscious of the optics and they want to put forward the notion this is a by part san investigation. i think, nicole, they are feeling confident they will move out quickly. but these satisfactions always take alonger than people think. it's kind of like a three legged race when you are tied together with the opposition party you are going to move slower but oouch eventually get over the finish line. >> eli, do you pick that up, do you feel like they are run a three legged race? >> sometimes it feels like they are. they are frustrated it's not going more quickly. they can't sweep these things away. a lot of times in trying to move past these things they betrayed a sense of are had he thiding something. they have betrayed the optics and looked more like they have something to hide instead of saying we want a bipartisan investigation to go forth because then they will be cleared. but there has to be faith in a fair and independent process.
the house and the senate have been so polluted with partisan politics. >> polluted and incompetent. >> right. you remember the first time that bird and warner came out before the cameras. it was like a buddy comedy. they were kmumy. and they said we are not basically going to be like those folks in the house where nunes and schiff are at each other's throats and issuing statements and nunes looks like he is doing white house's dirty work. we are not going to be like that. burr said i'm going to get to the bottom of it we will follow the facts wherever they lead. that's probably what they still intend to did but when you hear there is friction between the two top members and it falls down party lines how -- are we going to give immunity to this person, how are we going to handle this, it play into the feeling in a a lot of people have about these investigations beg conducted and sort of polluted bipartisan politics, not being independent at the end of the day if people don't really believe whatever the findings are. that's a problem.
>> you have discovered the russia story. makes its way into the circus every week. what do you think the explanation is for how some of the people that we know to speak truth to donald trump, people like jared kushner. why don't they say to him, mr. president let's take control of our narrative. let's ask baker and jordan, let's take it out of the incompetence of congress and have independent -- maybe put some business people on there. why don't we throw open the doors and show them there is no there there. >> that depends whether there is a there there. >> do you think there is a there there? >> i can't same i'm waiting for the investigation results. >> with no full time staffers. wait long time. >> if you are going to argue for white house transparency you have to be confident you have a good story to tell. we don't know they have a good story to tell. there is circumstantial evidence that there is some there there. incompetence and partisan politics is what the white house is relying on. they would like to see the hearings get bogged down.
the chaos for those wanting to get at the truth, it's bad news. for anyone with something to hide it's good news. on the senate side, the argument for people who wanted this committee be the repository of sound governance and investigation is that as opposed to doing a select committee, a 9/11 style committee, that this would move faster. a 9/11 style committee would take two or three years we have to get to the bottom of thing quicker. right now they are moving so quickly if they don't move faster the human cry to move to a select commission is going to get louder. if they don't have public hearings, some kind of tangible momentum. not just for optics, but for substance. there are a lot of people on capitol hill who are frustrated
that the house committee essentially blew up is and the senate committee seems to be doing nothing. >> jeremy, take me through the conversations taking place between intel committee, which has certainly suffered its schaeffer indigiies between the swearing of in a president who was skeptical of their findings and the continued skepticism of some of the community's observations or as john calls them, circumstantial pieces of evidence that they have shared with this committee so far. what's the conversation, or what are those talks sounding like between the intel community and people on the committee who are trying to seek the truth john talks about? >> folks inside the intelligence community are very concerned because they fundamentally believe that the white house is in denial, that the president is in denial about the fact that russia meddled in the election. it's not a finding that he even accepts. and we understand why he doesn't accept it. but they believe, and they have said this in a consensus finding
in early january in unclassified statements and they have said it now publicly that they believe that russia interfered. they favored trump, they trind to undermine trump's opponent and that this operation continues. and this is a really important point, nicole, that i think is lost on everyone. it's not that the russians engaged in an operation that ended on election day when trump won. this operation by the russians to favor trump torque bolster him and to undermine any opposition, including opposition criticism from democrats, from the news media, this operation is underway at this hour. it continues. this is view of the intelligence community and this is not something that this white house is willing to accept. >> eli, do you think there is any capacity on donald trump's part to hold these two thoughts in his head, that yes what jeremy barb just said is true, that russia interfered in our elections and he would have won those states anyway. can he hold those two tauts thoughts in his head and be aggressive as the intelligence community want him to be, as aggressive as americans wanted him to be on these issues?
>> i think he can. when he tweets he tweets about the popular vote and the electoral college. he tweeted this weekend that he upon the popular vote. he didn't. he confuses a lot of these things in his heads. the intelligence community says russia meddled in the election. i don't know if i believe it. we'll set that over there. even if i did, i would have won those states anyway. look how many votes i got this the electoral college. that's -- he is a narrator, a myth maker of his own mythology. he has been successful in reality tv. he can spin a story and get a lot of people to believe it. whether it passes muster with people beyond his base, whether it's really believable i think will depend on what comes of a lot of these investigations when we assess the legitimacy this presidency. john is right, the more it gets muddied up with flits and the
more it gets confused if there is something to hide they can hide behind that. >> in the end, the question is was there collusion or not. the reality is that we'll never know how much russia fwaekted the outcome of the election. we'll never know how much jim comy affected hillary clinton's chances. if the fbi discovers true evidence of collusion, paul manafort, roger stone arc variety of different people, if they gets proven it will cast a pal on trump's victory that history will mark forever. >> he knows that sning he does know that. that's why he is so defensive about this because all these arguments i won pennsylvania or wisconsin or this or that. who cares? in the end, was there collusion in an american election, we now all accept it happened. to what effect, we don't know. but it happened.
if it happened and there was aid and comfort given by the trump campaign, that is a big, big deal and it will make the election seem imlegitimate to people if, huge if still, if it's proven. >> go ahead jeremy. >> john's question is right, that's an important question, about collusion, but that's the question about the political optic. from the national security optic, custom is something i focus on and people who i talk to focus on there is a bigger question, which is what is russia doing to american national security. >> yes. >> and can we count on a president -- a commander in chief to listen to the intelligence dmupt and accept facts. because this implicates terrorism. this implicates north korea. this implicates all the national security challenges we have. in some ways it is a bigger issue. he's the president. he would tn election. no one is disputing that. pals, no pals, dark clouds, whatever. but the fact is that to keep our country safe he and his team have to be willing to accept facts.
but a 2200 mile wall doesn't make a whole lot of sense. there is not a big appetite for that. but fencing and walls are part of the plan. >> but will the wall become the latest campaign promise that president trump struggles to keep? right now, law make remembers trying to hammer out a spending deal to prevent a government shutdown. a senior white house official says tonight that the president is backing down from his position that border wall funding has to be in that dial. john mooil hilemon and eli stokels are here. and josh earnest joins us. you will be up in five hours with me on the "today" show. thank you for staying up with us. >> i'm looking forward to it. >> when president bush became president there was a skit about how hard it was to be president. do you remember this? president hard, president hard. i wonder what president obama thinks when he thinks president trump say oh, my god who knew how hard health care is, and who knew how difficult it would be to get a muslim ban thrown out of court, twice.
>> he has certainly made it look hard in his first hundred days in office. >> in fairness, it is hard. >>? it's different than running a family business. i think that is something he and his team didn't fully appreciate on their way in the door. i think they appreciate it at least a little more now. i think there is no place in which that is more exposed than in this administration's dealing with congress. >> yeah. >> they don't have a good sense of the rythyms of that place. it's clear that after 95 days they have not figured out exactly how to get things done on capitol hill. even though their party is in control of both the house and the senate. this is -- this week actually will pose a significant challenge both for them, but also for the republican leadership in congress who recognizes that their members who are on the ballot in 2018 don't want to preside over a government shutdown a couple of months of having control of the government. >> when they control all three branches. do you thinks in any peril for
democrats if they refuse to work with donald trump on something like infrastructure spending? >> politically i don't know if there is. >> really? people love bridges and tunnels and roads. >> they do, but it's not as if republicans over the last couple of years have been dying -- >> donald trump isn't any republican. if he went to chuck schumer let's do infrastructure, i like to build stuff, do you think it's wise for democrats to say nah. >> what i think is there is no downside for mcconnell and ryan repeatedly shooting down barack obama coming to them with proposals that they had previously supported. >> you are talking about the stimulus ancht bunch of things. it was truf immigration and a bunch of other things. the point is there was a strategy that was put in place by mcconnell to block everything that barack obama wanted to do. that was enormously frustrating to president obama and those who worked for him. it did prove to be a political strategy. we are sitting in a place where republicans are in charge.
politically, i don't know the democrats would have a price to pay. i hope they don't do that. it wasn't good for the country when mitch mcconnell did it and it wouldn't be good for the country if democrats did it in this case. i'm not suggesting they should fold like a cheap suit and do exactly what trump wants to do. but if there is common ground to be seized they should do the responsible thing and do the right thing for the country. >> the question is, it depends on what is the infrastructure bill look like? you bring up the stimulus. part of the reason obama administration had trouble selling the stimulus is they an argument that it was not about infrastructure. you can argue the merits but there is political i think a goelz. obama obama was in trouble when he said who knew that -- >> shovel ready. >> shovel ready is a fantasy. these are -- infrastructure is
not -- it sounds great, let's build a bridge but a lot of it looks like boondoggles and kickback and profiteering. inside a lot of things that could happen on the infrastructure bill. there are ways democrats could pay a price or capitalize. >> they couldn't get 216 votes in a republican controlled house to repeal obamacare which they said they were going to do for six or seven years. >> and what's the explanation. >> the white house didn't understand the deep division in the caucus. >> how is that possible? do they have alleged affairs department. >> they do. but they are surprised that the freedom caucus and the tuesday group are so far apart. >> have they met john boehner? >> that's the thing. if they are in the position of nooetd he had. >>ing democratic votes to pass their agenda they are not going to get any when it comes the repealing obamacare not going to get any when it comes to lowering the tax rate to 15%. it's misunderstanding leverage.
something he would thought donald trump was a exert on. when you are trying to demanded money in the cr you arend dmaing money for the border wall and you think you are going to bring democrats to the table to let obamacare die and choke off, it doesn't make sense. i think they are frustrated. they want to get big thing done but dot know how to do it yet. >> i bet you have symp for their frustration? >> in some moments i do. i think what is true is that in his business career. in his business career, president trump used to get his way by bullying people. that doesn't fly so well in congress. members of congress say we are a coequal branch of government and you are actually going to do it our way. we have our own opinions about how this should get down. if you want to walk away from the negotiating table that's going to hurt you more than it's going to hurt us. i think that's the other place where this -- figuring out how
they are going the work with congress, even memberer their own party is going to be a steep learning curve. >> back to "snl." it's harder than it looks. hold that thought. we will keep up the conversation about your old boss, who stepped back onto the stage today. >> sounds good. >> he is shovel ready. >> what's been going on while i've been gone? my daughter is... ...studying to be a dentist and she gave me advice. she said dad... ... go pro with crest pro-health. 4 out of 5 dentists confirm these crest pro-health products... &help maintain a professional clean. crest pro-health... ...really brought my mouth... ...to the next level. go pro with crest pro-health
president obama just made his first public appearance as a former president. a little more than three months after leaving the white house, he moderated a forum at the university of chicago. >> because of things like political gerrymandering, our parties have moved further and further apart, and it's harder and harder to find common ground. because of money and politics, special interests dominate the debates in washington in ways that don't match up with what the broad majority of americans feel. because of changes in the media, we now have a situation in which everybody's listening to people who already agree with them and are further and further reinforcing their own realities to the neglect of a common reality, that allows us to have
a healthy debate, and then try to find common ground and actually move solutions forward. >> he is as wise and deliberate as always. 53 trz approval rating, 52% of americans have a very positive or somewhat positive feeling about him. that has to feel good for him and for you to see him out there trying to make the public debate better without mentioning trump. what do you think of that strategy? >> it is true to who he is. it is true to what has animate his desire to be involved in public snfr the first place. >> you don't think easy dying to say this guy? you don't think he is dying so say something about donald trump. >> i'm sure he thinks that. i think he recognizes there is no upside of him saying that publicly. he doesn't get anything out of it other than a 48 hour is your fluffel on cable news. >> we would spend more time than that.
>> 72 hours on cable news that would rile up the current president that would rile his base to some sort of -- i don't know where it would end up, but he would try to capitalize on it. and i don't know what president obama would get out of that. >> i am convinced he is acutely aware that it would help donald trump. i think president obama has a theory of the case. the theory of the case is that the thing that would benefit donald trump most in any wags situation is to be seen as a normal republican. he is not a normal republican. a fight between barack obama and donald trump is a fight that americans will see as just another political fight. as season as donald trump is seen as another republican, democrats lost their letchage. if you are going to hold trump back it is going to be by painting him as a not normal anything, that he is an abnormal president. i think president obama is keenly aware that any time he engages or if he were ever to engage with donald trump it would look like old politics.
>> he can send that message by speaking calm and measured and speaking in complete sentences. he can do that in subtle ways. >> i'm sorry. talked to a friend who worked for obama, you know, and listened to the speech today. and said i don't know i think that was kind of flat. i think it was kind of a dud looking for some sort of ka rtd thattic stem winder because the guy can give a speech. but john's right. i mean, that doesn't benefit president obama. that place into donald trump's handled. and i think the democrats as a party are hungry for someone who is going to sort of be the leader of that party post obama but it can be him anymore. so he has to sort of recede, even if no one really does take his place. >> he also got a pretty harsh critique. it surprised me, from keith ellison.
i think we have it here. >> barack obama could have been a party leader given that we did not -- we lost a lot of state house steets, governorship, secretaries of states. his true legacy the ins in danger i don't think he can say that he wasn't part of those losses. >> what deputy chairman ellison just said is true. barack obama didn't run to be a party leader. barack obama ran to be president of the united states to debt things done. he took on health care reform. the most unpolitical thing that he do. not because of the politics but in spite of the politics. he recognized there was an opportunity to do something that presidents had tried to do for a hundred years but didn't succeed in doing. he did succeed in getting that done. he is proud of his legacy. his disappointed that it has contributed to greater division this the country, there is certainly no denying that. but barack obama's aim when he took the oath of office on january 20th, 2009 was not the
cement the status of the democratic apparent his goal was to help avoid a second great depression, to put the economy on sounder footing, to end two wars, to bring about health care reform, to make sure that we were doing something to actually confront climate change for the first time. he succeeded in doing all of those things. >> there is not a by father choice, there are democrats and republicans who see the president as two things. one is to be the president and the other is to be the party leader and lead their party in a stronger place. one of the undercurrents of criticism that president obama threw foutd for eight years though it was mutded, in many democrats' view he was a great president but he neglected the party building function that other presidents have taken to more warmly than he did, fair. >> i was in sack with folks saturday before the election who said that part what have
animated his enthusiastic campaigning in the final days for hillary clinton was the acknowledge that the party suffered devastating losses. i have heard from colleagues this was on his mind as his presidency wound down. >> it was on his mind partly because of what ellison said, there are consequences for this deterioration of democratic strength across the country for the president's legacy. there is no doubt the legacy would be on stronger footing if hillary clinton were sitting in the white house right now. but she's not. and so look, what is also tritrue, and i think one thing that does sort of cut against what ellison said, it's not just that the democratic party lost a lot of seats while president obama was in office, there are a left democrats that took office and won elections in 2008 that they hadn't previously expected to win. in terms of assessing the numbers here. >> then they went and lost them. we can keep having this debate. we can pick it up tomorrow morning on the "today" show. >> it's true but there was a lot of president obama's message that resonated.
>> i understand. they came in on his wave and they couldn't hold it there. we are going to keep having this conferring because i think the party is emmeshed in the process of building, and some of them think it's on the shoulders of your old boss. >> i think they are attempting to rebuild and find strength, that's not something that i would deny i'll see new the morning. >> sounds worse than it is. we are both on the "today" show. >> coming up, the former ambassador to france and the french bureau chief help us make sense out of the election results. "the 11th hour" is back after this.
i'm joined by former u.s. ambassador to france jane hartly and elaine show leano former paris bureau chief pour the "new york times" and the author of "the only street in paris". elaine, let me start with you. can you tell us who the voters of france are left with and how that came to be? >> could have been a much worse scenario. basically, france has the choice between a 39-year-old globalist who is running on a campaign of hope of looking towards the outside, looking towards europe. he's a centrist. he's a former economics minister. he's a former investment banker. he went to the right schools.
he went to the administrative finishing school that all the great diplomats go to. he's opposed marine le pen, right wing, far right. she's been around forever. she is really not a political novice. she's one of the smartest french politicians i've ever met. and she's a lawyer. she's a mother of three. she lives with her boyfriend. this is not an issue in france. and she's as tough as they come. >> and how -- what is the -- is there a sigh of relief? sustained alarm that she came in second? what is the reaction in france about the outcome so far? >> well, it's interesting you asked that question because unlike what happened in the united states or what happened in britain with brexit, the polls in france were right. >> we should hire them here! good pollsters. >> they do polling differently in france. they don't do it by telephone. they do it on line, and they use sort of demographic distribution patterns and the polls got it right. the polls predicted he would
come in first, she would come in second and the other candidates would fall behind. so there is a sigh of relief because macron is someone who believes in europe. he believes in france as part of nato, as an important member of the united nations security council. he believes in immigration, and all the things that have made france great in the last several decades. >> ambassador, you were in france, and maybe felt the aftershocks of the nice attacks and the attacks in paris. how much of this was response, like what we saw in this country after 9/11 to sort of le pen's message of nationalism and of closing down the borders and of sort of looking within. >> i don't think it really was much of a response to that. know, when i was there, i was there through all of the terror attacks, as you said. and after november 13th which
was the bataclan, there were elections like three weeks later and i don't think the issue itself had a huge amount of effect on the vote. but what' manual macron and marine le pen have done is extraordinary because in france you have a runoff -- when we call a runoff. they call it a second rounds of two candidates, neither of them are from establishment parties. and in their own way, they are also running on change. >> take me down the two paths. i know that the accurate polls elaine talked about suggests that le pen is at this point a long shot. but what are the two different paths that u.s./french relations would go down depending on the outcome next month? >> oh, they would be very, very different. i think you said today president eye lon endorsed macron.
melenchon hasn't endorsed him. fillon endorsed him before the polls were closed. the socialist candidate also endorsed him and the president today gave a strong endorsement and said he thought it was the future of france's role in the world. so it would be a huge, huge difference. le pen in terms of economic things we would probably be seeing a frexit, similar to brexit. she has talked about going back to the franc, leaving the euro. obviously closing borders. and as elaine said, emmanuel macron, he's quite sophisticated among other thing. i dealt with him quite a bit when i was ambassador and he was economics minister. he understands -- he understands what -- how it's foreign for
france to play a role, not just militarily, not just in terms of intelligence, which i dealt with a lot also when i was from and france was out in front in a positive way on that. but also that france had to compete in the world. and one of the things emmanuel macron talked about a lot when he was economics minister was changing some labor flexibility, things like that. but really, as elaine said, a hopeful version. why france can succeed, why france can move forward. but in a positive way. more in terms of education, more in terms of training. >> opportunity. >> opportunity. and not closing borders and not closing off france from the world. >> elaine, does france deserve the credit for breaking the brexit/trump/populism fever? >> i wouldn't go that far. it ain't over until it's over. i want to jump on something my friend jane hartly said.
neither candidate has really laid out a sophisticated plan a workable plan for solving france's problems. this is what the french voter has to zichld you have got 10% unemployment in france. and up to 40% in some of the troubled suburbs. you have got a morose economy that needs to be jump started. you do have the scourge of terrorism that ambassador hartly, that jane had to deal with, you know, fir hand, dealing with intelligence matters and intelligence sharing with the french. i used to be the terrorism correspondent for europe for the "new york times." terrorism is with us. no one can close borders and prevent terrorism when all you need to carry out a terrorist attack is a heavy truck or a few kalashnikovs. finally, you have got the
problem of an underclass some of which is muslim and of arab decent. and no one is talking about this group. this is group that rioted in 2005 and has to somehow be included and to be made to feel part of france. i mean what we're dealing with is no less than what is france and what does it mean to be french and what is the french identity today. >> and i -- favorite thing i heard all night is it isn't over until it's over. for that we will call on both of you again. thank you both for staying up so late with us. coming up, just what did the trump family have in mind when they were scouting vp candidates? when "the 11th hour" continues. welcome back to "the 11th hour." in his new memoir john kasich
you remember this spot. donald trump suhr has denied saying this to john kasich but kasich goes on to write his interpretation of the call. trump would leave the running of the country to someone else and keep his focus on the smoke in mirrors aspect of the job of being president. helping americans feel he was somehow making their lives better just by being at the helm. wow. john and eli are with me. joining us here at the studio is alley very well she. what do you think of that? >> we knew he needed somebody with experience. >> and the family was involved in the search. >> ohio would have been more helpful in the end thannd in. whether or not it's true it speaks to the fact that john kasich held out for a very long time on the fact that he didn't
think that donald trump was suitable material to become the president of the united not sur serves very well in the end but it does fit the narrative of what many americans, particularly fiscal conservatives, those who couldn't find it in their hearts to vote for donald trump wanted to believe that john kasich was a principled, fiscal servative, center right sort of guy. >> what's kasich's play on this? >> here's the essence of the story. the punch line is left out in that recounting which is that john jr. supposedly said, this is what you get. and the aide comes back and the aide says, what is donald trump going to do? he's going to focus on making america great again. whether that story actually took place this way, who knows. but the essence of it, which is that trump -- we talked about this earlier in the show. what's his conception of being president? i think largely he thought of it as a branding exercise and a
figuring head to restore pride in the country, to get the mood of the country go not as an administrative job or a policy job. not as an executive job. >> read his own health bill. >> not the thick that being president is but more of a national cheerleader kind of thing. i think the essence of it there's fundamental truth to the story. it conveyed something about how trump misperceived the nature of the job before he got it. >> in a way what's happening, he got pence, a former congress person. donald trump is a little involved with some of these things. he's saying i want this and tax reform, go make it happen in two days. he's pushing these buttons and reaching in and playing with some of these things saying i want this and that. i don't know that he really cares about what an obamacare replacement looks like. people said what your going to do? he said we're going to have a great bill.
he does not care what's in these bills. he just wants wins. to a large degree whoever the running mate wound up being, this is sort of how he's acting as president thus far. >> although sort of funny because pence is not -- i thought pence would have a much bigger role in policy making than he's had. compared for example on foreign policy to the emerging cadre around trump which is very influential, pence is actually been somewhat less -- has left less of a mark on the administration -- >> legislative ambassador. the most public role that i see him playing. >> totally. >> and what -- is there a role for someone in the white house to be in charge of, i guess, branding is what donald trump had in mind? >> on his -- yeah, it is a problem. and i think eli identified it very well in that the branding actually emanates from the work you do. and the problem here, for instance, we're talking about tax reform coming down on wednesday. did they learn no lesson from
health care that it hurts your branding when you drop these bills. you don't measure how they're going to go over and you don't explain them. it looks like they're going to do it the same way again. the theory of hiring someone who would get the legislative stuff done would help you. but if you're not getting that done with mike pence, then you have to concentrate on it. it does take some reading and work and whipping to get it -- >> it's like you're talking to my 5-year-old. can a toothpaste do everything well?
let your reign begin. ♪ evony, the mobile game. download now. welcome back to the 11th hour. we're back for our final moments with john, eli and ali. i want to start with you, ali. this ap interview that donald trump did posted sunday night. and i read through the whole thing. it was something. but here's something from that interview. he's talking about john dickerson, the host of "face the nation." john dickerson had a 5.2 million person audience. the highest for "face the nation" or as i call it "deface the nation." it's the highest for "deface the nation" since the world trade center. since the world trade center came down. it's a tremendous advantage. what's the most generous explanation you can offer for a president drawing on the most tragic and horrific event of modern american history to talk about television ratings. what is wrong with him? >> the only thing -- the most generous explanation is that in other recent interviews he's spoken, when asked a direct
question about the future, his road map for success and legislative stuff, he's talked about the election. and i am suspecting some of his advisers said stop referring to the election when people ask you specific questions about your successes. so he has shifted to his other most favorite topic, the fact he's a big ratings getter. >> his press secretary just dug himself out of a very deep hole by talking about the holocaust. why would the president harken back to our darkest day? >> the same thing. when asked in that interview, or in other places about sean spicer, his response is that sean spicer gets great ratings. that dominates everything. and everybody has figured this out. while i really like the people watch cable news, it's good for us, i would never advise -- >> not for that. >> i would never advise anybody who is a policymaker or a head of a company to get their principle information from cable
news. so this overdependence on cable news is a very dangerous thing for the president. he gets too much of his news from it and boasts too much about his effect on it. >> do what brian always does and give you 20 seconds. talk about the spicer comment. >> this is the same product who the night he became president gave that speech to the joint session of congress when the navy s.e.a.l.s wife was getting applause he said we just set a record for applause. he's always going to be. he sits in the oval office every day and watches television, calls people he sees on television. he's not going to change. >> what's our hope? give me hope. give me something. >> our hope is that he wants to win. we all acknowledge this. he wants to win. and our hope is that, you know, that after 100 days that have been brutal for him that he'll look back on these 100 days and learn a little bit of something that the way he's doing now is not winning.
>> thank you all for watching. see you tomorrow. tonight on "all in". >> who is going to pay for the wall? >> mexico. >> the white house makes its demand, fund the wall or the government shuts down. >> can you not guarantee that there will not be a government shutdown? >> i cannot guarantee. >> the latest on the most consequential fight of the trump presidency. then general brown for massive corporate tax cuts. new reports that republicans in the senate are slowing down the russia investigation. >> we're going to get it right. >> how the state department is showcasing trump's so-called winter white house. >> the president will be shifting the operation of the white house down to the winter white house at mar-a-lago. "all in" starts right now.