tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 27, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
going to be. i guess we have to wait a little bit. >> it's bring your kids to work day. kids all over the place here. >> the place is calling with kids. >> nice kids on top. >> that does it for us on this thursday. i'm alex witt alongside richard lui and louis burgdorf. "morning joe" starts right now. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the morning off. boy do we have a lot to tell you about this morning. president trump still not releasing his taxes, but he did release a tax plan for the rest of us, at least the he going of one. the promised cuts will be big, but no real details on how to pay for them. will the government will open to deal with it? with a saturday shutdown looming, congress looking to buy time before the lights go out in washington. new details on the revised push to reform health care. there may be daylight with the most conservative members now in congress. we'll talk to a couple of them. later, that unusual trip to the road trip for the united states
senate. what did the president personally tell the senators about north korea when he breezed into a meeting at the white house? we'll talk to two members who were inside that meeting. it's thursday, april 27th. we have with us msnbc contributor mike barnicle, political writer for "the new york times," nick confessore. katty kay and economic analyst steve rattner. in washington former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele and senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc mark halperin. good morning everybody. a few house and a lot to talk about. before we get into these details, mark, let me go to you first. on the laundry list, tax reform, health care, government shutdown looming, the odd north korea meeting, the potential and maybe not the potential that president trump wants to withdraw from nafta and he said he's looking closely at breaking up the ninth circuit court. what are you looking at right now?
>> it's been a huge "newsweek," parly by design and partly by this device the media created of the 100 days. the next 72 hours is going to be monstrous. on particularly the government shutdown, particularly on whether there will be a health care vote, we'll see a real test whether the president can work with democrats, whether he can simultaneously work with democrats and republicans in the house, and the question of whether there will be a health care vote is a huge symbolic -- personally important to the president. the biggest question is has he moved along the learning curve to get things done? that's going to be tested in this question of whether there's a house vote and whether they can finesse not keeping the government from shutting down. >> his allies in the health care fight have flipped. the freedom caucus saying they're behind it and moderates saying they can't get behind it. with the threat of a government shutdown looming, house republicans introduced a stopgap spending bill to keep the government up another week. the bill would give lawmakers
until may 5th to keep the lights on through the end of september. top republicans say lawmakers are close to a longer lasting agreement. earlier in the day house speaker paul ryan told reporters lawmakers are getting down to the final details. >> we're getting really close, the administration, omb, along with our appropriators are down to the final things. we're making good progress. >> one of the final sticking point is dispute over obamacare subsidies. the white house made a concession to democrats saying it would continue paying cost sharing subsidies. lawmakers have until midnight this friday to pass the bill and prevent a shutdown. nick confessore, let me go to you. how does this play out? any chance the government shuts down this week? >> probably not. the odds are pretty good. i think the obamacare subsidies
was a sticking point that remains. the wall is another sticking point. we're heading toward tieing this over for a few more months. we're seeing the president trying to fact a responsible way. it's his government right now. if it shuts down, it's on him. >> especially with the 100 days looming, the last thing he wants, katty kay, is a government shutdown to talk about. >> right. as coincidence would have it, it would have coincided with the 100th day which would have been the worst optics he wanted. he couldn't blame it on the democrats. as nick said, it's his government. there were things the government doesn't like either in this. he's reacted in a way that's remarkably normal. let's look at the next thing on the table, the white house putting out a one-page outline on tax reform with the goal of simplifying the code and reducing rates across the board. it reduces the tax brackets for personal incomes from 7 to 3,
10%, 25% and 35% on the personal. while the brackets have not yet been defined, we know the top income tax bracket will fall from 39.6% to 35%. there are rollbacks coming, repealing the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax. standard deductions plan to double letting married couples increase deductions to $24,000, mortgage interest and retirement savings, it will eliminate most other deductions including for state and local taxes. businesses would see a major deduction, the top marginal tax rate dropping from 35% to 15%, bringing down the rate for small businesses hit by individual taxes known as pass-throughs or s corporations from 39.6. national economic council director gary cohn touted the cuts as historic. >> the president is leading the most significant tax reform
legislation since 1986 and one of the biggest tax cuts in the american history. >> however, the lack of specifics in the proposal did leave questions. the one-page document provided only contained about 230 words, including just seven numbers. potential revenue loss to the federal government would be $3 to $7 trillion according to the non-partisan committee on responsible federal budget. they stress there's not enough information to make a complete estimate. secretary of treasury steve mnuchin said the impact on the national debt will be offset. >> as it are e lates to will it pay for itself, as we said, we're working on lots of details, we have over 100 people in the treasury working on tax and scoring lots of different scenarios. this will pay for itself with growth and with reduction of different deductions and closing
loopholes. >> realistically, one page, an outline, who is going to pay for this tax cut? >> it's not going to get paid for. part of why you got what you got yesterday -- i've seen a lot of tax proposals over the years, usually they have more than one page and a few more than seven numbers. why you got what you got yesterday is probably this 100-day thing. secondly it doesn't pay for itself. the treasury secretary almost admitted -- he's saying, well, maybe we get to 3% growth, but you need 4.5% growth to pay for this thing. that's not going to happen. there is no paid for. it's basically a $5.5 trillion unpaid for tax cut, relying on the old reagan doctrine of supply side economics which has been discredited. >> michael steele we have democrats shaking their heads today, but is his larger problem probably a group of republicans
who are frightened to death of what's going to happen to the national debt? >> michael, michael, michael, that debt thing. that little pesky debt thing. what debt? we don't have a debt. i can't believe what i'm hearing coming out of republican corn s corners, when they talk about the level of spending the administration has in its head. we've gone from a trillion in infrastructure to almost $2 trillion in the president's own words. you have the health care piece, a lot of the mandates in obamacare will stay there, in the new health care bill there's a tax cut to that. the reality of 1986 -- biggest tax cut since 1986. great, but remember what happened? we continued to spend above the level of revenue. the idea that you make these tax cuts and then the next day you're going to have growth is just ludicrous. it doesn't work like that. the economy doesn't turn on a dime like that. it's going to take time for those tax cuts to settle in to
the business and the personal income realities of people and then have that translate while at the same time you're continuing to increase spending. yes, michael, it's going to have a huge impact on the debt and the deficit and republicans are going to be held accountable for that, the same fiscal conservatives we helped elect in 2010 to stop the spending by the federal government are now a party to it. >> mark halperin, the white house says yes, sure, this is a brief document. it's the framework, the beginning of a conversation, not a final plan. paul ryan came out yesterday and said, yes, this is along the lines of what house republicans are thinking in terms of tax reform and this might be our one big chance this generation to get it done. >> along the lines of what the president proposed in the campaign and what ryan and the house republicans proposed, lower rates, corporate and individual and broaden the base, there's going to be a fight, as congress goes forward here about what they do with deductions.
i think they would be politically smart and probably sub stanley smart to let it skew less towards the rich and more towards the working class. there's lots of ways to reduce the deficit. cutting spending is one of them. but there needs to be faster growth. republicans believe that faster growth comes with lower rates, broadening the base. the "wall street journal" loves what they put out yesterday. they may be wrong. i don't think there's any doubt that at 2% growth we're never going to reduce the debt. it's a little counterintuitive. not pure supply side. it's a fact. you need faster growth rate. even some democrats would say lower corporate tax rates, lower individual rates could lead to more economic growth. it's the biggest problem in the country today. 2% growth. some people believe that's all we can do. if that's all we can do, we'll never get rid of the deficit and the debt. >> republicans sconsistently believe you cut taxes and produce more growth. what's the history on this and what's the global evidence of
this? >> the history is it does produce more growth. if you pump more money, people will spend it. >> will we get from 2 to 3%? >> no. what makes the economy grow is one, more people working and, two, people working and producing more stuff. some of this will help in that dwreks. a lot of them have nothing to do with that. we have a labor force that's aging, productivity that's been slow for a whole variety of reasons. one of the things that was interesting to me, things that were never mentioned yesterday was infrastructurement intrastricture is one thing that would make the economy grow faster. yet it has disappeared from the president's lexicon. i would just say one other thing about paul ryan. paul ryan's plan is somewhat similar. remember he had that border adjustment tax which would have raised a trillion dollars. this goes back to what michael steele was saying, it's not obvious that the republicans on the hill, the deficit hawks will
think it's a great idea to add $5.5 trillion on top of it. this won't produce the kind of growth we need to pay for this thing. it is basically a way, frankly, to help business and held a lot of very wealthy people. >> through it all, it still remains amazing that the president is able or doesn't care about the pressure brought to bear by the public to release his tax return. it's just amazing. >> we know already from the one-page tax return that rachel maddow had, he would get a -- would have gotten in that year a $25 or $30 million tax cut from this proposal. now to health care, a deal to hoefr all health care in the midst of all this appears closer than ever. conservative members of the freedom caucus who oppose the last version came out in support of a new agreement. the new amendment is an attempt to appease some conservatives by a allowing states to get a
waiver for regulations on insurance companies that protect patients, coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and the so-called essential health benefits which include things like er visits and maternity care. states would have to show people with high health care costs would be covered either through a high-risk pool or federal cost sharing program. >> if the amendment goes in as drafted, i'm go into support it. the freedom caucus has taken an official position which means the vast majority of our members will support it as well. we think we made a bill much better. it's not full repeal, i'll be honest. it's as good as we think we can get right now. let's get it to the senate. >> the question whether the tuesday group is going to be on board, tuesday group being the liberal wing of the republican conference. if they are staying on board, we could have a vote as soon as the house leadership wants to schedule it. >> that's the question right there, whether or not rank and file republicans, in particular moderates will fall in line. politico reports some members of the moderate tuesday group are
griping that tom macarthur negotiating the amendment has done so much without the wider group's blessing. others have reservations about the amendment itself. >> you've gone from yes to ma e maybe. >> yes. >> i'm a no. >> do you think it puts more pressure on the moderates to come along? >> i always vote my conscience and what's best for the district i serve. >> my concern of what's going to happen with seniors, allowing them to charge them five times as much wasn't addressed in any of these. the con verns i have have not been addressed. >> are you a no now? >> i haven't decided. i need a thorough explanation and analysis of how this works and how it continues -- keeps our commitment to those with pre-existing conditions. >> i think the bill has gotten better. if this is the final form we have, i certainly would support it. >> fascinating to watch, nick, isn't it? it's a flip of what we saw a month or so ago.
we'll have charlie dent on, the republican from pennsylvania. he effectively said if you roll back the medicaid expansion that was in obamacare, he can't vote for it. that's the moderate wing saying we can't abide by some of the things in this that are good for the freedom caucus. >> the focus until now has been the freedom caucus. the focus now is going to move to the tuesday group, the moderate block. we'll have the same vote counting and careful attention to their votes on this because it is hard to square the goals of the republicans. it's hard to not have these coverage rules, hard to cut back medicaid and get the vote to the moderates. you can't do both. >> the president and vice president has done a huge job courting the freedom caucus. the members of the freedom caucus i've spoken with said they're impressed by their ability to negotiate and that's what got them to yes. the question is even if you get
the tuesday group in, where does it go in the senate? >> it seems o to exempt congress itself from the waivers of these rul rules. >> how do they put themselves back in? >> they were go into protect themselves from some of these provisions and then they realized that was an incredibly insane thing to do. >> it's a tell. >> remember, the overarching point here in part is obamacare has become popular with the public. the president's tax plan, this is even a worse version of what he's proposed, is unpopular with the public. they've not only fighting internal politics on the hill, they'll be fighting public opinion as well. >> michael steele, your party, the republican party, is on the verge, if they're successful in this, basically telling people your health is going to depend on what state you happen to be born in. that's the state of national
health care right now. >> well, it is, at least that's what the trend line is. i think it's one of the dynamics that republicans are going to have to develop an argument for. how do you go out to the american people and sort of sell this notion that this state may or may not have the level of coverage that you may want so you may have to move. unless you have provisions to allow for cross-border insurance which is problematic of itself. there's that. there's also, michael, the reality that was noted in the piece there that this is not a full repeal. that's not what was sold to the core base of the republican party over the last seven years and especially in this campaign. we wanted a full repeal. you presented a full repeal bill to the president of the united states, baem, you have not done that with the republican president, president trump. the reality is reconciliation headaches that much harder to do.
so the senate, especially in the house, are coming to grips with the new reality of obamacare. it will be here in some form. there will not be a full repeal because you can't get to a full repeal. and republicans are having to dance on that pin head and come this fall the and especially next year, have to go out to the constituents, the core constituencies to try to avoid being primary, et cetera, and explain to them why this is a better deal than the full repeal bill they sold for seven years. >> as katty points out, this might be another intermural fight where they're fighting amongst themselves, they get it out and the senate says we or not passing this. we will come back to all this. another big story this morning, in an interview with "the washington examiner," president trump says he's considering proposaled to disband the court of appeals. he tweeted first the ninth
circuit rules against the ban and now it hits again on sanctuary cities, both ridiculous rulings, see you in the supreme court. an important clarification, tuesday's ruling on funding for sanctuary cities did not come from the ninth circuit but rather from a federal district court in san francisco. if the white house repeals that ruling, it then would go to the ninth circuit. joins us from capitol hill, white house reporter from "the washington examiner" sarah westwood. it's good to have you with us. how would the president of the united states go about breaking up, as he said, the ninth circuit court of appeals? what does that even mean? >> the president himself couldn't break up the neengt circuit. this is not a new idea, something republicans have been trying to achieve legislatively for years now. it's backed by even moderate republicans like john mccain and
jeff flake. president trump said he supports those existing proposals that have been introduced in the senate. republicans have been pushing to create a 12th circuit out of states correctly under the appellate jurisdiction of the nieng. republicans have run into trouble with this proposal when they couch it in terms of partisan politics and not on logistics, on the bureaucratic logjams created by having such a large circuit. president trump he did lean more towards criticizing the ninth circuit for its political leanings rather than its unwheel difficult size. >> the goal here is to carve off the mountain states on the map from california, oregon, washington? >> right. it's to create a 12th circuit. the ninth circuit serves 20% of the u.s. population, it has nine states and two u.s. territories
in it, so it is very large. there's an argument to be made that cases brought before the ninth circuit languish longer than cases brought in other circuits, but republicans have struggled to push this just because there's such a high concentration of democratically appointed judges on the ninth circuit that they are easily accused of trying to break this up for political reasons. >> you're right to point out that republicans long have been frustrated with this court and saying this court shopping goes on, that people travel out there just to get their rulings upheld. let me ask you about something else the president said in your interview yesterday. he said, quote, we don't want to fill all the vacancies in the federal government. he's been criticized for leaving so many seats open, some of them very important seats. how did he explain that comment? >> president trump was saying he had taken a look at staffing levels, looked at the way secretary of state rex tillerson was starting to reorganize the
state department, consolidating offices. he said these jobs, so many in washington, i ran on draining the swamp, so to speak. he's wanted to shrink the size of the federal government i thought it was interesting, i noted to him, he had lifted the federal hiring freeze that he imposed shortly after inauguration day and that allowed the government to start hiring for some of the jobs that aren't political opiniappointme. >> still hundreds of jobs requiring senate confirmation remaining open three months into his presidency. washington examiner's sarah westwood, everyone check out that interview. thank you, sarah. >> thank you. still ahead on "morning joe," on the wheels of the briefing of the white house, senators dan sullivan and ed markey are with us. what the administration said about the nuclear threat from north korea. conservative congressman jim jordan and republican
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i'm nauseous. >> everyone settle down. >> what's the matter? >> i'm wet. >> you're what? >> i wet my pants. the seat's all wet. >> hey! >> who threw that? >> i'll turn this damn bus around, that will end your precious little field trip pretty damn quick. >> you going on the bus? >> it was okay. >> some enthusiasm. >> it was okay. >> all i can think about that is how much i miss chris farley, so funny. in a moment we'll bring in senator dan sullivan of alaska to discuss what happened in the briefing after that bus ride yesterday as senators travel to the white house. first, joining us live from london, nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel who is looking at how the world is reacting to president trump's first 100 days. richard, good morning.
>> good morning. so we've been asking people around the world what do they think of the first 100 days. what do they think of the new administration, of the new president. obviously he's very different than his predecessor. so far the reviews have not been very good. >> reporter: around the world for nearly 100 days, the top story has been president trump, and he's being watched with more than a bit of concern. >> quite a few people are saying, well, we're still here. i think there was a genuine fear. >> that's the bar. that's good. we're still alive. >> there isn't all-out nuclear conflict but it's openly talked about. >> allaster stewart at britain's itv news has been observing foreign affairs for over 40 years. >> there is a genuine, real and tangible concerned. it's based not so much on the
idle threats of putting people in their place, but based on that perception of ineptitude. >> reporter: around the globe we found a similar feeling that president trump is careening from crisis to crisis without a foreign policy strategy. in south korea -- >> he's starting the old fights with everyone. >> reporter: to the west bank. >> he doesn't know what he's doing. >> reporter: to germany. >> he doesn't really think about what he does. maybe he thinks about it a lot, but he seems rude, harsh and not -- just not presidential. >> reporter: people don't seem to know what to expect or believe from president trump as he plays brinksmanship with the nuclear armed and highlier rad dick north korea, punishes america's neighbors, mexico and canada, normally considered essential allies, and flip-flops on syria, lobbing a few dozen missiles at a regime his administration seemed to back a few days before. nearly 100 days of president
trump have passed. if the best international observers can say is we lived through it, these are truly uncharted times. >> i think our view here, observing it as impartial reporters is like a school report that says the start wasn't quite as bad as it might have been, wu can do and must do bett better. >> one thing we heard consistently is there were questions about credibility. people don't know if what the administration say, what the president says can be believed, and that is a major, major obstacle when you're talking about foreign policy, when you're talking about defense and the ability to conduct affairs of state. >> all right. nbc's richard engel in london this morning. thanks so much. we get the itv side. we need the bbc side, katty. is that assessment reflective of what you're hearing in great britain? >> it sounds like people around the world feel like americans when it comes to the president's credibility and honesty.
we have new polls out 37% on trustworthy and honest here in the yate the united states along with an element of confusion, that the administration speaks with different voices, and there are different policies on different days. that es the situation that mostly allies who deal with the united states would like to see normalized because they can't plan their own strategies. there's a feeling that you've got the united states, you have to deal with the united states but everybody is tiptoeing trying to figure out how to carry on foreign policy and global policy without ruffling too many feathers in washington. they don't know how to deal with the white house. >> one of the areas the world is watching is north korea. let's get to yesterday's meeting at the white house on north korea, the white house hosted all senators for a briefing by multiple top officials including secretary of state rex tillerson and defense secretary james mattis. nbc news learned that the president stopped by at the top of the briefing for just a few minutes. joining us from capitol hill,
member of the armed services committee, republican senator dan sullivan of alaska. also with us, nbc news national security analyst jeremy bash, a former chief of staff at the cia and department of defense. take us inside that meeting. why did the president summon you to the whougs yesterday? >> i thought it was actually useful but a sobering meeting. i think the threat with regard to north korea has moved to a different level, a more direct level. thor rad dick behavior of the leader is continuing, but it's been stated publicly and it was stated again. it's not a matter of the, but when he's likely to have the capability to launch enter continental ballistic nuclear missile that can reach the united states. from the perspective of trying to get a common understanding with all the senators, of course we have a role to play. we're most effective in terms of foreign policy when the executive branch, the
legislative branch, democrats and republicans are working together on serious national security threats. that was the goal. from that perspective, i think it was useful. >> obviously you as senator of alaska have certain concerns about this given your proximity to asia. >> correct. >> do you have now intelligence -- did you hear something inside that meeting that made you more concerned than you were going into the meeting? we've heard the rhetoric from the white house, heard them ratchet up the threat from north korea in the way they've spoken. did you hear actual tangible evidence that made you think we all should be more concerned about north korea? >> obviously i can't speak to confidential intelligence from any kind of briefing. being on the armed services committee and as you mentioned, willie, being the senator from alaska who is much closer to north korea than any other state with the exception of hawaii, i've been getting updates on the intelligence briefings with regard to this threat on an
almost daily basis. we'll have admiral harris testify in front of the committee -- armed services committee today. what was the focus yesterday which i thought was important, was looking at what the strategy is going to be. your previous piece talked about integrating u.s. foreign policy in terms of broad strategy. you had all the key players of our foreign policy towards north korea and the focus on how it's going to be intensified, how it's going to be a real focus on china bringing in its weight, capacity, leverage. the one -- some people are saying, hey, there's nothing new there. i do think there's something new. the promise of this moment and it's a very difficult situation, there's no doubt. the economic, political and even military might of the united states, china and our allies working together, that could bring about a different change to a difficult situation. it remains very, very troubling.
>> senator, we're showing shots of general dunford as he approaches the white house yesterday. who else spoke? what was the roster of speak? >> it started with the vice president, the president, h.r. mcmaster, general zun ford, dan coates, the director of national intelligence, rex tillerson and secretary mattis. that is a strong foreign policy team by any measure. >> director pom pie i don't from the cia was not there? >> no. the dni oversees the director of the cia. senator coates was there. >> jeremy, you've been in meeting likes this. what is the objective to call all 100 senators, get them on a bus and get them to the white house rather than a skewer room at the capitol?
>> this is a discussion with 535 people. it's got going to depart any sensitive or intelligence. it's an action forcing move for the executive branch to get its message on north korea straight because there have been mixed messages, some of our cabinet officials said we should give north korea the silent treatment and you had some match cho or bravado from the president talking about taking care of the problem our sfls. it sounds like they've ruled out regime change for now, ruled out a preemptive military strike. what they're going to do is basically try to tighten the diplomatic and economic screws with sanctions. that's kind of the obama playbook. it's a little more of the same. >> jeremy, there seems to be some debate amongst observers of north korea here in the united states about whether the administration is doing the right thing by ratcheting up the pressure like this. others who say it would be more sensible to tone down some of
the rhetoric at the moment because you exacerbate the risks of some kind of mistake if you keep on making things as hot as they are at the moment. which side do you fall on? >> i think we are very prone to miscalculation. if we tell kim jong un we're coming in to take you out, which is some of the message from washington. he could miss calculate and say they're on our doorstep, i want to detonate a nuclear device, then it's game on and war on the peninsula. >> when the vice president goes to japan and says to u.s. troops you've got to be ready, there could be some kind of action. is that helpful? >> that's standard rhetoric. the motto of u.s. forces there is fight tonight. that's standard things that the military says. >> at the end of the day, we seem to be, as you say, narrowing in on a place we or going to go which is maybe more sanctions, trying to get the chinese to help, a somewhat enhanced version of the obama-bush playbook.
the $64,000 question is will it work? >> i think the analysis given to the senators yesterday was that maybe it won't and we may be faced with that tough choice about whether to take preemptive military action, but we're not there yet. that's the sober part. weave tried this before, it hasn't worked. we'll take one more run of it. we may be back talking to you senators about military options in the not-to-distant future. >> senator, president trump has been optimistic of the role china can play. after his meeting with president xi he came out confident. do you have confidence that china will step out and put the heat on north korea as only china can so that the united states does not have to act militarily? >> look, it's the key question. it was discussed yesterday. you're right, the president emphasized that. the relationship between the president and president xi
jinping seems to be off to a good start. the chinese have focused on the -- stopping the exports of coal which is something new. but at the same time they're bullying different south korean companies because of the deployment of the t.h.a.d. missile defense system? south korea which is meant to protect our troops. the chinese know that. i think it remains to be seen with regard to how engaged they'll be. that is the difference. the president is publicly saying they need to do more. if they do -- if they bring their full diplomatic and economic weight and leverage to this problem which they haven't in the past, that could be the difference. i think that's where this strategy is different and has some promise. >> what's the incentive, jeremy, for china to behave that way, in a way it hasn't historically in the past? >> they want stability on the peninsula. they do not want the regime to fall and refugees to stream over the border. in some ways it's a counterbalance to us. one policy option available,
advanced to people like david cohen, to actually sanction chinese banks that do business with north korea. that would put the screws to the north korean financial system, cut them off from their access to cash. >> jeremy bash, senator dan sullivan, thank you very much. appreciate it. coming up, how do the past 100 days compare with the last republican administration. former chief of staff to president bush andy card joins the conversation straight ahead on "morning joe." '4 time's up, insufficient we're on prenatal care.es. and administrative paperwork... your days of drowning people are numbered.
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trump gave a shout-out to maine governor paul lep page yesterday. listen to what he is had to say. >> governor lepage of maine who has lost a lot of weight. i knew him when he was heavy, now i know him when he's thin. now i like him both ways. up next, is president trump softening his stance on nafta? what he told the leaders of mexico and canada last night about the trade deal. "morning joe" back in a moment. let's go, she's a dog.
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be softening his stance on nafta, telling the leaders and not pull out of the deal, at least at this point. the white house made the surprise announcement last night just hours after officials there had said the president was considering drafting an executive order to scrap nafta. in a readout of calls between mr. trump, the mexican president and canadian prime minister the white house said, quote, president trump agreed not to terminate nafta at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly according to their required internal procedures to enable the renegotiation of the nafta deal to the benefit of all three countries. the end result will make all three countries stronger and better. the decision came days after the administration announced it would slap hefty tariffs on certain lumber being imported from canada.
let me start with you, steve. the white house just yesterday was all over the place on nafta. is nafta going anywhere? >> i don't think it's going anywhere at its core. i think there may be some tweaking, some renegotiations, whatever. if you got rid of nafta, the price of an average pickup truck in this country would go up by $3,000. nafta has produced enormous benefits for many americans, admittedly at a cost for some who lost their jobs or took a cut in pay. so i think at the end of the day we're talking about a renegotiation. i'd add one other thing. this canadian tariff everybody talks about has actually been in the works for years. if you want a fun fact to take home, the first tariff we ever put on in this country was 1789 on canadian timber, the same issue we are discussing at this moment. >> a fun fact of the morning by
steve rattner. >> so you have to separate all this out. look, at the end of the day trump said he was going to get rid of nafta in the first 100 days. now when the peso and canadian dollar started to collapse, he realized that wasn't such a good idea. >> we kept being told yesterday speaking to economists' office, this is just trump's negotiating style. he puts out something like this. he leaks to the press they're drawing up an executive order with steve bannon to pull america out of nafta. what happens is steve says the markets in canada and in mexico fall. the peso and the canadian dollar fall. if this was a negotiating tactic, it's a pretty rash one. if you're going to move countries' currencies and move markets because of some kind of negotiating tactic, at least be aware that's what's going to happen. >> can i ask you a question? did halperin go out for breakfast? >> no, he's waiting patiently. >> there he is, there he is.
doing a little in-seat workout there. so which position should we believe, the one we heard around noon time that he was considering an executive order to get rid of nafta or the one that we heard last night that nafta is staying right where it is. >> well, whether it was by design or not, i think it's pretty much the same thing we saw the president do with nato, which is talk very tough about radical change and then ratchet it down. i think the bigger thing if you think about the learning curve of the last 100 days, we now know one thing the president does is talk to a lot of business people and take their input. as steve suggested, most business people, not all, but most business people in the united states say the benefits from nafta for business and its integrated notion of trade between the three countries has been good overall and i think the president has modified his position in part based on hearing that. getting rid of nafta would be bad for the u.s. economy. >> michael steele, isn't that something president trump probably knew already, having worked in business for the
entirety of his adult life, that nafta has helped more than it's hurt? >> yeah, i think there's a fundamental understanding of that, but the political hot rhetoric of a campaign drew the president to basically play on the fears and concerns that people had that have been real for some time around issues like nafta. you know, to the point that jobs have been lost and compensation has been reduced for some workers out there, for many workers. that resonated. that rhetoric resonated. but now here we are in the reality of currency changes and markets that respond to your policies as president of the united states. not your rhetoric as a candidate, but to the actual policies that you want to implement. i think that's a harsh eye-opener for the administration. again, i go back to another point, which is for me at least, is how do you now in the next election cycle go back to that
base voter and said, yeah, i said i'd get rid of nafta but it's still here. yes, i said i'd get rid of obamacare but it is still largely in place and these things have not materialized. i'm not concerned about the first 100 days, i'm concerned about the next 365 because that's for the administration going to be the real challenge, to rationalize and bring along a core base of 35% or 40% of whom really believe that the president is going to do these things. it's not enough to say, you know, well, you know, he doesn't mean this and he does mean that. take him seriously on that and don't take him seriously on that. it's got to be rational to these voters. still ahead, we're following several fast-moving developments out of washington. congress up against the clock again racing to keep the government open past tomorrow night. plus, reaction to the president's new tax proposal. conservatives like the cuts, but can they stomach the possible damage to the deficit? and are republicans close again
to voting on a new health care bill? we'll talk to the founding chairman of the house freedom caucus, jim jordan, and moderate republican congressman charlie dent. also with us, democrat elijah cummings, ranking member of the oversight committee. a busy morning. "morning joe" back in a moment. ♪ la quinta presents, how to win at business. step one: ask the presenter to "go back a slide." well played. you just tossed a mind grenade into into your colleagues' dulled senses. look at them, "what did i miss?" he one-upped me once again. step two: choose la quinta. and your la quinta reward points can be redeemed for everyday purchases on the go so you can win at business. learn more at lq.com today.
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joe and mika have the morning off. there's a lot going on as we head into a key 72-hour period for washington. the white house reveals a dramatic plan to lower rates but some of the specifics still a mystery. plus with the threat of a shutdown looming lawmakers unveil a bill to extend their deadline by a week. we have new details as well on the revised push to revive health care. with us we've got mike barnicle, political writer for "the new york times," nick confessore, katty kay, former treasury official steve rattner, mark halperin, former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele and joining the conversation, former chief of staff to president george w. bush, andy card. andy, welcome to the conversation. good to see you. >> great to be with you. thanks for having me. >> before we dive into all of this, just your broad assessment as someone who's gone through
this with a president. >> this is the first time that the test of performance during 100 days is really your ratings. donald trump's ratings are very high. people pay attention. so if it's the same measure that you would use in the media, he's had a phenomenal 100-day run. >> you're talking about tv ratings, i assume. >> not political ratings. and it's less about judging who's a sinner and who's a saint and more about watching the event. lots of people are watching the event. i think in terms of performance at the white house, the trains have been running on time, so the white house performance itself has been very good. the luggage doesn't get lost, the trips to mar-a-lago have gone well, the teleprompter works. the white house is functioning well. in terms of policy, the process hasn't been that good because unintended consequences ended up defining more policy than the policy itself. and that means you need a better
process, but they're making progress there. and in terms of marketing and selling, he's marketing the heck out of what he's planning to do, but everybody hasn't bought it yet. but it's still in the marketplace and i think that he is probably doing a lot better than the pundits are likely to say. i give him kind of a b plus. >> that's a high grade. i think your tongue was in cheek a little bit, they haven't lost the luggage and done some of the fundamental things okay. would you agree he doesn't have a ton to show for it yet. obviously getting neil gorsuch on the supreme court was a huge victory and one of the reasons many voted for him in fact to fill that supreme court vacancy. beyond that, what would you point to as his best success? >> well, he has clearly changed the temperament of washington. he's shaking things up. one of the things that he promised to do is not do things the way they used to be done so he's definitely changed the game. i'm not sure we understand how the game is even played now. we don't know what the rules are. the rules have even changed. >> have they changed for the
better, andy? >> i'm not sure they have, but again, that's a work in progress. people are paying more attention, and we do want more people in america to pay attention to what's happening in washington, d.c. for a long time washington, d.c., was a black box that nobody could look into. at least he's shining the spotlight on congress and what they're doing or not doing, and i'm disappointed that he hasn't put good people in place all around the agencies. he's got to do a better job inside the administration to nominate people but he's also got to challenge the senate to confirm the people that are up there. he needs more people around him. we need more people speaking truth to power in the executive branch of government. i would say get the team in place. he still doesn't have the team in place. he did do something that has never been done before during the first 100 days of a presidential tenure, he announced his candidacy for re-election. >> andy, as chief of staff, as a former chief of staff, where would you rank as a former chief of staff the idea of imposing
some sense of discipline within the oval office, access to the president and a schedule that the president sticks to? >> again, the functioning of the white house has actually gone very well, but that is very different than is the white house functioning well as it does its job. i think there are too many people that do have too much access to the president. time is a very difficult thing to control and the chief of staff has responsibility for controlling the president's time. and time you run out of, so you have to manage the time. you also have to manage the space in the president's head, and that's really difficult to do if you don't have the support of the president. so i think there are too many people who have too many access to the president. he should see anybody he needs to see, but not everybody he wants to see. the same thing goes for the people that want to see him. they shouldn't be allowed to see him if they just want to see him. they should only be allowed to see him if they need to see him. the need is not their need, it's
the need of the country. so i do give poor marks for the discipline at the white house, high marks for how they're executing the day-to-day operations. >> we're going to come back to that. let's get into some of the things he's trying to get done that he hasn't been able to do yet. a deal to overhaul health care policy in america appears to be getting a bit closer. conservative members of the freedom caucus came out in support of the new agreement. the new amendment is an attempt to appease some conservatives by allowing states to get a waiver for regulations on insurance companies that protect patients like coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and so-called essential health benefits, which include things like e.r. visits and maternity care. states would have to show that people with high health care costs will be covered either through a high risk pool or federal cost-sharing program. joining us now, republican congressman jim jordan of ohio, a founding member of the house freedom caucus and served as its first chairman. congressman jordan, good to have you with us this morning. >> it's good to be with you all.
>> so you have moved into yes on this vote. you can get behind it. it does not give you the full repeal of obamacare that you sought, the repeal of obamacare that president trump promised so why are you getting behind this? >> it gives some states to opt out of the regulations driving up premiums. you're right, this is not full repeal, but i am convinced we have made a bill better because of our engagement, because we held out on this bill. i'm also convinced that if states get this waiver, premiums will come down for those families who happen to be in those states. so i think this is the best we're going to get right now in the house but we've got more work to do. so let's see if this -- and again, you preface it by saying this appeases conservatives. the motivation is to bring down premiums. if this amendment goes in and states do the option, i think premiums will come down for families across the country that happen to be in those respective states. >> congressman, what has changed specifically for you from the last proposed bill that didn't even get a vote to this bill?
what flipped you? >> we've always been focused on bringing down premiums. we now have work requirements for those able-bodied individuals in the medicaid expansion population. the initial draft kept obamacare tax increases for a while. we get rid of those tax increases and we're at least going to give the option for some states who will get this waiver to lower premiums. in the end we said, look, just the makeup of congress right now, we're not going to get the full repeal we told the voters. so we've got more work to do but we believe this is the best plan we can get out of the house right now. we'll send it to the senate and some of our conservative colleagues will have more work to do to actually accomplish what the voters sent us here to do. >> the poll numbers in obamacare are rising as this process unfolds. how is it that more and more americans are coming to support the old program as you and your colleague are debating how to dismantle the program? >> part of it is driven by the legislation that was rolled out and the lack of process that was
employed with the bill. you know, the bill -- the american health care act only had 17% of the population supported it, so it's a good thing we did engage and try to make this legislation better. i think part of it is driven by that. so, you know, when you get into these debates, they're pretty contentious sometimes, but what we told the american people was that we would get rid of this law. everyone knows obamacare has been a problem. all the things we are initially told about this law that turned out to be false, like your plan, keep your plan, like your doctor, keep your doctor, premiums will decline, that we were told initially the website would work, the website was secure, on and on and on. let's do the best we can right now and we think with this amendment this is the best we're going to get. let's pass it, move it over to the senate and keep working. >> mark halperin has a question for you. >> congressman, good morning. how close are you now as part of someone who wants to pass this to a majority and when do you
think the vote would be? >> i think we're close. you'd have to ask the whip team and the leadership but i think we're real close. when that happens is when we have the votes, so we will see. i think we're close to getting an agreement and we can get it to the senate and the host of other things to deal, with securing the border, reforming the tax bill. >> are you troubled by the fact that this vote will take place without an estimate from cbo and members and the public won't know what this bill is about? >> look, you can -- cbo has been right many times and also been wrong sometimes. i'm more focused on what this le legislation is going to do for the american people, bringing down premiums for families. we should keep working to fully repeal all of obamacare so that's my focus. i hope we get a cbo score, but if we don't, let's get focused on the things that matter to american families. that's where i put my emphasis. >> congressman, you and the
governor of your state, john kasich, have disagreed adamantly on the health care debate particularly about medicaid expansion which he signed on for for the state of ohio and said it's critical to many hundreds of thousands of people. what do you say to those people that might not get that coverage? >> we're trying to bring back affordable coverage. this is a big difference between some of us who believe success should be bringing back affordable coverage in the private sector where people can shop and buy the policy that fits their family's needs and signing up for a government program. i define success as lowering the premiums so people can choose the plan that fits their needs and fits their family. that's what we want to bring back, affordable insurance, lower health care costs. and choice for american families, not just signing people up for a government program. >> can you guarantee if this bill becomes law that those covered by medicaid expansion will be taken care of and
covered? they have nothing to worry about this morning? >> the law allows for the medicaid expansion to continue. it flat out does that. not necessarily something i agree with, but it's in the legislation. what we chose to focus on is the things i said before, conservatives engaged in this debate. we got work requirements for some of those same people you're talking about, mark. we also have tax increases under obamacare going right away and now we have the option in this bill for states to seek that waiver and lower premiums in their state. those are three good things that will help american families. >> do you think this gets through before i let you go? do you think it will pass the house? >> i think it will pass the house. i don't know if we're there yet, but i think we're close. >> congressman jim jordan, thank you so much, sir, appreciate your time. >> thank you. the white house put out a one-page outryline on tax refor. in revealing the plan so far it reduces the tax brackets for personal incomes from seven to three. 10%, 25% and 35%.
the brackets have not yet been defined. we do know the top income tax bracket will fall from 39.6% to 35%. there are also rollbacks coming. repealing the estate tax, the alternative minimum tax and standard deductions of planned to double, letting married couples increase their deductions to $24,000 and preserve deductions for charitable giving, mortgage interest and retirement savings, it will eliminate some other deductions, including for state and local taxes. and businesses will see a major reduction in the top marginal tax rate dropping from 35% to 15%. and steve has some charts to fill in some of these numbers left out. what's the bottom line here, steve? >> yes, we do. the bottom line is that this is a massive tax cut. not the largest in history, third largest, but still huge. when you look at the breakdown of where this $5.5 trillion is going, you can see that 67% of it, two-thirds of it is going to business. the combination of the corporate rate tax cut and allowing people
to operate through these pass-throughs to be taxed at a 15% rate. the average person is actually getting far less, because the average person is getting this change in the tax brackets that we talked about, although they haven't specified all the details, this higher standard deduction, which is a good thing, but repealing most deductions is a deduct. so the average person is actually getting a much smaller share of this tax cut than business. the state and local tax thing, which you mentioned but has not gotten a huge amount of attention is a really big deal. it's half of that $2 trillion. that's going to come from people sitting around this table who live in high tax states. >> steve, i still don't really understand that. can you spell that out a little bit? >> right now we all get to deduct our state and local taxes against our federal. if you're in the top tax bracket, you get about 40% of your state and local taxes back. president trump wants to eliminate that and you'd bear
the full cost of your state and local taxes. >> so people in new york and california that didn't vote for trump will have their taxes go up. >> i want to get on to the other stuff but it's also true the high tax states send more washington than they get back. so there are arguments on both sides but let's talk about whether it can pay for itself. treasury secretary mnuchin has said that this would pay for itself. yesterday he said he was hoping for 3% growth relative to the roughly 2%, a little less than we've been having. you need 4.5% growth in order to pay for this tax cut. >> which is a huge number. >> which is a huge number relative to where we are now. you can see the line drawn at that 4.5 level, a level we have not hit except briefly at the end of the '90s since the '80s and even then in a kind of helter-skelter way. and in the most recent years as the labor force has -- growth
has diminished and productivity has been weak, you can see what we've been growing at. and this tax cut is not going to bring us to 4.5%. no way, no how or even probably to 3%. >> do they know that? are they being disingenuous? >> yeah, somewhat disingenuous. even republican economists under president bush said at best tax cuts pay for about a third of themselves. that's what the math works out to be. lastly, if you take a look at what's happening to the debt under this plan, you can see if you use more reasonable assumptions for economic growth, roughly our current 2%, our debt level which is now at 78%, which is the highest other than world war ii that it's ever been at would continue to rise and would go up to 111% over the next ten years. and so this is -- the deficit hawks, and there are many republicans on the hill who are deficit hawks as well who worry about the debt and the deficit should be terrified by this.
>> we just had one on, jim jordan. >> we just had one on. >> andy card, if you take a step back and look at all the things in the stew, tax reform, another bite at the health care apple, we're trying to avoid a government shutdown by saturday morning, which of these is the most likely to get through? are we going to see health care get through here? is there a senate that's going to vote for the plan being talked about right now? is this tax reform here or the framework of it, is that going to make it through? in other words, is any of this actually going to come to fruition? >> the process is starting. candidly, i think it's going to be a very, very heavy lift on health care and a tougher lift on true tax reform but the process is starting. i do hope they get to the point where they have a budget, that means a real budget for america and we can keep the country moving and we don't have to go back and forth. remember, we come to debt ceiling votes and we don't want to meet our obligations to the world. so there's a lot of work that has to be done and congress is
going to be very busy. i think the toughest job in town is the speaker of the house. you've got to manage the house and then you've got to deal with what they pass being considered by the senate. so it's going to be very difficult. but the leadership has to come from the president. if the president is not leading in that process, it's very easy for congress to be distracted and not do its job. >> andy, it's katty here. one thing people have suggested might help, you talked about the functioning of the white house, you said it was good. but one thing people have said might help it function even better is somebody like yourself. that they need somebody who has a very good understanding of the hill and can get processes through. would you be interested? >> first of all, i'm old, irrelevant and gone. but candidly, you know, it's important to understand the swamp even while you're trying to drain it. never go into the swamp without a guide. so i do think it's a challenge for the administration to understand how congress works.
if they don't have people in the administration that have worked with congress. so i really do believe that having teams in place at the agencies as well as at the white house are critically important, and that's why i want to see those people assigned to the number two, three, four, five positions at the departments and agencies that need to be senate confirmed. tell the senate to confirm those people. get them in accompliplace. give people leadership positions in government so the government can function. the president cannot be expected to micromanage the agencies and departments around washington, d.c. he needs people in place. >> michael steele, we just heard andy card say that the speaker of the house has the toughest job in that town, your town. we just sat through steve's charts, which pointed to an amazing, ballooning deficit. >> right. >> how does paul ryan handle all of this? i mean this is pie in the sky stuff, this tax stuff.
sounds great, one page, sounds terrific. but i mean the republican party, they're not going to go for this. >> they're not. i don't see how they do, mike, i really don't, because the numbers are huge and they will just get bigger as the realization of policy becomes legislation. and the negotiations. take, for example, just on the deductions and the tax area. you really think all those lobbyists in this town that have banked their careers on protecting some of these deductions are just going to roll over and let them go away into that good night? it's not going to happen. so the speaker is going to have to manage that. he's going to have to manage the whims, the wiles and the wishes of the white house who's going to want to push forward a very aggressive, i think less republican agenda because this president has the ability by his very nature to play both sides against the middle, against his
ultimate goal. he can go to democrats on infrastructure if he feels he needs to. he can go to them on some of the tax stuff. so that's going to be a real management effort by this speaker to sort of deal with his caucus members. he's got the tuesday group, he's got the freedom caucus and lord knows what other caucus may pop up over the next succeeding months that he's going to have to manage internally. and then there's nancy pelosi and what the democrats want to do or will not do. >> let's throw another item on the congressional docket this morning while we're at it. house republicans introduced a stopgap spending bill that will keep the government open another week. it gives lawmakers until may 5th to strike a deal to keep the lights on through september. top republicans say lawmakers are close to a longer lasting agreement. lawmakers have until midnight this friday to pass a bill and prevent a shutdown. all that going on just today. andy card, always good to see you, sir. you've given us a new standard for the first 100 days.
they haven't lost the luggage on the way to mar-a-lago. andy, thanks. >> thank you. still ahead we'll talk to charlie dent, a moderate republican still opposed to the health bill. and later elijah cummings on what happens now that lawmakers say former national security advisor michael flynn may have broken the law. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. safety isn't a list of boxes to check. it's taking the best technologies out there and adapting them to work for you. the ultrasound that can see inside patients, can also detect early signs of corrosion at our refineries. high-tech military cameras that see through walls, can inspect our pipelines to prevent leaks. remote-controlled aircraft, can help us identify potential problems and stop them in their tracks. at bp, safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
welcome back to "morning joe." 7:25 here on the east coast. joining us now from capitol hill, member of the house appropriations committee, republican congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania. here on set the news and finance anchor at yahoo!. bianna, good to see you. congressman, welcome. let's get right into it on the health care bill. you've come out and said you are a no on this new version. we just had jim jordan, leader of the freedom caucus say he is
now a yes as compared to the last time this conversation took place a month or so ago. why can't you get to yes? >> because the underlying bill and now the amendment fail to address the concerns i've been raising. there is not a soft enough landing for states like mine that expanded medicaid. that's the first issue. there's insufficient support in my view for too many low and moderate income americans, they won't be able to afford insurance. those are i guess some of my principal concerns. too many americans will be without coverage. the underlying amendment does not deal with that. in fact i would argue that the amendment that's being proposed actually takes us in the wrong direction and further weakens protection for people with pre-existing conditions. >> can you explain, congressman, just in real world terms what would happen say in your state of pennsylvania if that expansion of medicaid were rolled back? >> well, 700,000 people would be impacted. i understand that we have to make changes to medicaid, don't misunderstand me, but the problem is people on medicaid, you know, who are going to be taken off, say, by 2020 are
going to have a problem because they're going to be forced into the exchanges. and then the maximum tax credit right now is about $4,000. so many of them will not be able to afford health insurance. therefore, they will go naked or bare and be uninsured. i've been working with republican governors trying to develop a better medicaid proposal. governor kasich has been very outspoken on this, i've spoken to him at length. there's a proposal that i think we ought to take seriously as part of this health care reform. >> congressman, we have had several members of the freedom caucus on this program in talking about this particular piece of legislation, and they continually fall back on the phrase, this will give states the right to opt out of certain provisions. opt out, like an accountant's phrase. could you humanize the phrase "opt out"? what would they me -- what would the menu show that they would have the decision to opt out of? >> well, they'd be opting out of some protections, particularly
for people with mental health, behavioral health issues. but bottom line is most seriously i think a number of people who have pre-existing conditions. those protection would likely be removed. as republicans, we have stated very clearly that we want to make sure that any american who has a pre-existing condition or illness will have access to affordable insurance and they will be covered. so i think that is my -- that is my principal concern with this amendment. it moves us in the wrong direction. >> well, could they opt out of opioid treatment state by state if they chose to? >> i believe they could because i believe they'd be able to opt out of some of the drug and alcohol behavioral health. >> that's kind of interesting. >> go ahead. >> no, you go ahead. >> okay. hey, i'm still working on a few hours' sleep, i just returned from south korea, but, no, i'm good. but those are my issues, that the underlying amendment doesn't
address these very principal concerns that i've been articulating for some time, that we need a softer landing on medicaid, we need to make sure that those tax credits are sufficient. too many low and moderate income americans aren't going to be able to afford insurance. the amendment actually makes things work. >> congressman, we've been seeing town halls across the country with voters really expressing outrage, republican voters expressing outrage at their congressmen and their leaders saying that you promised us that you would have a better plan, that you would repeal the affordable care act. you had seven years to come up with a plan at the very least. are you hearing that same outrage? and given that you are not in line with this current plan, are you in line with what paul ryan had said a few weeks ago, that the affordable care act for now is the law of the land? >> well, let me say this. well, it is the law of the land. we have a health care infrastructure in this country, national health care infrastructure, flawed as it is, and we have to make it work better. at the end of the day i think there are parts of this law that
need to be repealed, parts that need to be replaced, and parts that will be retained. i think we should enter this dialogue from that perspective. i don't think we've done that. i've had a town hall meeting too on march 31st and it was pretty well attended. i was treated respectfully. you know, cheers and jeers but that's just the nature of the beast. but bottom line is the law -- it is the law of the land and we're going to have to figure out a way to reform it and overhaul it and try -- i think we have to try to work this bill from the center out to be honest with you. we need to pass a durable, sustainable health reform and we're not going to be able to do that on a partisan basis. the democrats made a huge mistake in 2010. i was here when they jammed this thing through, muscled it through on a partisan basis. we've been fighting about this law ever since. i think republicans, we shouldn't make that same mistake. let's make some reforms to the individual market. we all know that needs to be fixed. it was bad -- it was problematic before obamacare, it's now worse because of obamacare. let us fix that. and there are some of the taxes that all of us agree need to go.
those that add to cost. taxes on health insurance premiums, medical devices. the democrats detest the cadillac tax. we can find some areas of agreement. i think that's where we should start this. >> congressman, mark halperin has a question for you. >> congressman, when do you think there might be a vote on this measure and what do you think its chances of passage is despite your opposition? >> oh, i don't know. i suspect there will be a vote when there are enough votes to pass it. as of this moment, i suspect the votes still aren't there. this measure hasn't -- or this amendment really hasn't brought a lot of people from the center right onboard. in fact it's probably peeled a few people off. >> congressman, it's katty kay here. you just came back from south korea, as you mentioned. how concerned are you that there might be the risk of some kind of mistake on the peninsula, whether it's with conventional weapons or, god forbid, with nuclear weapons, just because rhetoric is so hot on both sides at the moment?
>> look, we all know kim jong-un is an erratic actor. i am worried about asymmetrical attacks. i oversee military construction projects for the appropriations committee. we are trying to move our troops out of seoul and points north of the dmz and we're getting them out of the line of artillery fire. i do not believe that kim jong-un would necessarily launch a preemptive conventional attack on the south. i don't think he can sustain a war against south korea. i think he would lose and he would lose his regime as a result. i bottam worried about asymmetr attacks. that regime is very fragile in north korea. so while he is erratic, i don't think he is completely irra irrational either. he knows that he's in a tenuous position. sooner or later there's an inevitability of that regime
collapsing and some unification of the korean paneninsula. >> congressman charlie dent from pennsylvania just back from south korea. as of right now, a no on the proposed health care bill. thank you, congressman, f beior being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you, willie. in just a few minutes we'll speak live with elijah cummings. also in the wake of that alarming video aboard united airlines, sweeping changes this morning on how the company does business and how much money they'll be will to pay if overbooked again. lester holt spoke with the company's ceo. we'll have some of that interview next on "morning joe." ♪ ouch! skin-flex™, anna!
welcome back to "morning joe." united airlines announced a slew of new guidelines for its employees and company as a whole following that incident involving the forcible removal of dr. david dao from one of its flights. nbc's lester holt has the details and spoke exclusively with united ceo oscar munoz. >> we breached public trust, and a serious breach. >> oscar munoz knows sorry is
not enough. the image of a bloody dr. david dao dragged from a united flight speaks for itself. >> it was a system failure across the board, and i own the policies and procedures and the common sense and the empowerment, if you will, of those people to do the right things because a circumstance like we've all witnessed should have never happened. >> this morning, united is listing what it says were its failures that day, including booking four seats for a flight crew on an already oversold flight at the last minute. not offering enough compensation to entice passengers to voluntarily give up their seats. and -- >> police to charlie 3. >> calling law enforcement to get dr. dao to leave his seat. >> do you think those officers overstepped their bounds once they were onboard that airplane? >> our policies and procedures put all of those folks involved that day in impossible situations. we've got to stop from doing that. do i believe that what the law enforcement folks did was wrong? yeah. but again, it was i and we that put them in that situation.
>> did your folks essentially say this guy has got to get off the airplane and do whatever you have to do to get him off the airplane? >> i don't know that the specific instructions was do anything. we have unfortunately had to do this before. most folks in the face of law enforcement would get up. we did not and do not give specific instructions as to what you saw. >> the report also finds the airline failed to offer other modes of transportation and front line employees lacked training for denied boarding situations. munoz believes new policies need to focus on the passenger experience. >> they're dated and they're built on a structure of discipline and rigor in running an operation. >> in addition to limiting the use of police to safety and security issues, united today announced additional training for front line employees to deal with difficult situations, allowing them to make on-the-spot decisions. an automated system that will ask you at check-in if you want to volunteer to give up your seat, and offering up to $10,000
to a passenger to willingly take another flight. >> one of the things in this report you talk about becoming more customer focused. isn't customer service, putting the customer first, isn't that a given? >> it is. but we make sure half a million people every single day get to somewhere safely. it's a complicated process. when you have a complicated process like that, the operational mindset becomes front and center and we forget sometimes that the people that you're carrying are human and have interests and have desires as to where they're going. connecting people. simple word. what they mean is connecting you to the things that are important to you, regardless of where you're sitting. >> that was nbc's lester holt reporting for us. steve, we talked about this at the time of the incident, whether or not the airline industry actually is capable of change and how we got to where we are right now. mr. munoz there talking about some new rules. are airlines really incentivized to change the way they do business? >> it's a fine line. as we talked about last time, they're under enormous cost
pressure. airplane travelers are incredibly cost sensitive. they're switch in a moment to a cheaper airline so they try to cut costs. on the other hand, people say no mas and united crossed that so now they have to find their way back to the other side of the line and do even more as he was describing to try to get people back. >> will it ever be a pleasant experience or is this what it's going to be? >> it's probably what it's going to be. honestly, willie, it's frankly what people want in that they want the cheapest fares and they don't want to pay more to be on a better airline. coming up next, the justice department's number two is now in place overseeing the russia investigation after the attorney general's recusal. congressional elijah cummings knows the dnew deputy ag very well. he joins us with his thoughts on that and more, next. e's a dog.
[ whimpers ] find ping-pong. okay, let's go. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. that's amazing! welcome back to "morning joe." joining us now from capitol hill, the ranking member of the committee oversight and government reform, democratic congressman elijah cummings of maryland. congressman, always good to see
you, sir. thanks for being with us. >> good morning. >> let's pick up on an issue you've been talking about for some time now and that is michael flynn. you're looking at ties between russia and the trump campaign, potential ties anyway. you've been trying to get these documents from the white house. sean spicer said from the briefing room two days ago, we don't have the documents. these are things that took place before we were in the white house. can you still get your hands on them, and if so, how? >> well, i'm hoping that we will be able to get our hands on them. clearly the white house is stonewalling. and i don't use that word frequently. because i try to give the benefit of the doubt. but they have not given us one shred of paper, not one syllable, after a bipartisan request was made for any contacts that the general had with the russians or the turkish government and any kind of information that would lead us
to understand how he was vetted and what the process was. and so we are still looking for those documents. our next step, since they have now refused to give us anything, is hopefully to sit down with the white house counsel and others to actually go through the documents that we want and hopefully we'll be able to come to some resolution. if we can't, then hopefully chairman chaffetz will go along with a subpoena, because, again, he is the person who holds that ultimate responsibility. >> so, congressman, obviously general flynn is long gone from the white house. he's no longer the national security advisor. it's hard to see why the white house would have an interest in protecting him. so what or whom do you think they are protecting by not sharing these documents? >> i don't know what they are trying to do. and i agree with you, that the -- this situation is one
which leaves me baffled. here's a man that the president fired. come on, now, fired because he lied to the vice president, but yet still it seems as if they have circled the wagons around him. i don't know where or what this is all about, but i can tell you one thing, it leads those of us who are looking into it -- it makes us even more anxious to get information and then it makes me wonder what, if anything, is being hidden. it just seems like over and over and over again there is a hiding effort on the part of this administration. we just cannot have it. and we won't have it. >> congressman, it's bianna. sean spicer also tried to distance himself and the campaign from michael flynn, saying that they didn't know about any of these payments that he received and that this didn't happen while actually he had been in office throughout the
administration. let me ask you, given what you've seen, given what you know, given what we've reported and given the fact that he was one of the closest advisers vis-a-vis foreign policy that the president had, do you believe sean spicer? >> no, i don't. and i think that they are doing -- all you've got to do is watch him and listen to him. keep in mind, the white house has told us -- given us every excuse under the sun. they told us they had documents, then they said they didn't have them. then they said they couldn't give them to us. then they said certain things happened before the inauguration, then some things happened after the inauguration. they have given us every excuse under the sun, but this is unprecedented and the american people need to watch this very carefully because, again, i've said it and i'll say it over and over again. it seems like there is an effort to do harm to our democracy. it starts with this whole russia issue, and that's why i think we need to get to the bottom of it.
and i would say to the white house, that if you don't have anything to hide, stop blocking us from getting the information that we need. we simply want to do our jobs. we have a job to defend the constitution united states and the people of this country and there is a separation of powers and we have a job to oversee the executive branch and we're going to do it. >> congressman michael steel has a question for you. >> good to see you. >> there's no doubt that your republican colleagues in the house and certainly the white house have given democrats a lot to talk about and to go after but a little bit closer to home we witnessed last week a unity tour that quite honestly was not that unanimous and certainly didn't really speak to unity among democrats between what bernie sanders said about not being a democrat and yet being championed as a leader of the democratic party and the
chairman of the party himself trying to reconcile that. how in spite of everything else that's going on, how do democrats get themselves on the same page to speak consistently and coherently about policy going into the next election when they can't even agree on what it means to be a democrat? >> the first thing we've got to do is we've got to realize that we've got to have a big tent and that is, as you know when we were in the majority we had something called blue dogs. they've been almost now extinct. those are conservative democrats. we need to accept that. number two, you got to give bernie credit. he really did have tremendous impact, particularly amongst young people, so you don't want to leave those out from under that big tenlt. we have to really -- we as democrats have over and over again spoken and tried to address the issues that confront americans on a day-to-day basis
but our message has not been clear enough. we got to clarify our message, mike. it's not that complicated but we've got to do it. as i've said before the republicans do an excellent job of it. they stay on message. >> congressman, it's in this case. the president's tax plan or a version is now out, is there anything in this tax plan for the democrats to vote for right now? >> not to me. i'm not impressed with it. >> so it's all republican votes on this one. >> yep. that was simple. thank you. >> that was a very straightforward answer. thank you. >> congressman, back to the documents search, specifically what kinds of documents are you requesting? >> we are looking for anything that has to do with general flynn and his -- the vetting process, what they looked at when they decided that he was going to be the national security adviser, any documents
that may be related to turkey. you got to remember that here's a man that filled out certain documents and didn't even mention, didn't even mention, that he had been to russia, did not mention the payments. we want to see whether he disclosed anywhere -- now so far we have not find any document that says he was in compliance with the clause of the constitution that says he has to get permission to go to these foreign places and receive payments from them. there's nothing that we've seen so far. we're trying to make sure that those documents do not exist or do exist. >> congressman, why is the murder rate in baltimore gotten so high this year and what could washington do to help or what could baltimore be doing better? >> i think that's a very complex question. i think when you have a
situation where you have a high level of drug use and there you have the gang fights, you have retaliation fights, you have those -- a lot of this stuff is related to drugs and so we have to do what we've been doing, that is try to sit down with -- i've actually sat down with some of the gang members and others trying to get them to realize that there are other ways. and working with our federal partners. i'm so glad to see rod rosenstein be an appointed dep thank you attorney general but i think he will -- he's very sensitive to what we're going through in baltimore and the other thing we need is jobs. we've been working very hard with our new mayor to bring in skrobz because a lot of these crimes, people are selling drugs because they cannot find drugs. we've been working with under arm-mile-per-hour and other companies to bring jobs and work
on training but the federal government could help us with all of those things. >> all right. congressman cummings covering a lot of ground for us this morning. appreciate your time as always, sir. >> thank you very much. >> still ahead moments ago president trump injected himself again into the congressional fight over a government shutdown with the new tweet targeting democrats. we'll talk about what's at stake with less than 48 hours with the deadline. plus president trump says he wants both health care and tax reform but does he have the votes to do either. that conversation straight ahead on "morning joe." and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. just to know this is what i'm made of, this is where my ancestors came from. and i absolutely want to know more about my native american heritage. it's opened up a whole new world for me. discover the story only your dna can tell.
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absolutely ageless® from aveeno®. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." boy, do we have a lot to tell you about this morning. president trump still not releasing his taxes but he did release a tax plan for the rest of us, at least beginning of one. the promised cuts are going to be big but still no real details yet on how to pay for them. mean while will the government even be open to deal with them? >> we've also got new details on the revised push to repeal health care and later that unusual rode trips to the white house for the united states senate, what did the president personally tell the senators about north korea when he breezed into a meeting at the white house. it is thursday, april 27th. with us we have contributor mike
barnicle, political writer for the new york times -- "the new york times", steve rat nnor and michael steel and mark hal prpr >> on that laundry list, tax reform, government shutdown looming, the odd north korea meeting, the potential and then maybe not the potential that president trump wants to withdraw from nafta and that he said he's looking closely at breaking up the ninth circuit court. what are you looking at right now? >> it's been a huge news week partly by design and partly by this device of the immediate wra created of the 100 days. the next 72 hours is going to be monstrous, though, particularly on whether there's going to be a
government shutdown or health care vote, there's going to be a real test where he could work with democrats and republicans in the house and the question of whether they'll be a health care vote now is a huge symbolic. it's personal important to the president and the buggest question is has he learned how to deal with congress? has he moved along the learning curve to get things done that's going to be tested and whether they can fee nes keeping the government open. >> they can't get behind it. let's get in to it, though. with the threat of the government shutdown looming, the bill would give lawmakers until may 5th to strike a deal to keep the lights on through the end of september. top republicans in both chambers say lawmakers are close to a longer lasting agreement. paul ryan told lawmakers are
getting down to the final details. >> we're getting really close. the administration o&b. i think we're making really good progress. >> one of the final sticking points in negotiations has been an dispute over obamacare subsidies. the white house made a concession saying it would continue to paying affordable care act subsidies using the fear that some issues would hold up talks. they have until this friday to pass a bill and prevent a shutdown. let me go to you. how does this play out? is there any chance that the government shuts down this week? >> probably not. the odds are pretty good right now. i think that the obamacare subsidy were the big sticking point, we're headed now towards a relatively clean extender here to tied us over for a few more months. what we're seeing is the president trying to act in a responsible way. its his government right now so
if it shuts down its on his. >> especially with the 100 days looming here, the last thing he wants to talk about at that big rally he has planned. >> that would have coincided with the 100th day which would have been the worse op tiks. there were things that the republicans didn't like either in this. so he's acted in a way that looks remarkable, dare i say, normal. >> let's look at the next thing that we have on the table here which is a white house putting a one page outline with tax reform with the goal of simplifying the code and reducing rates across the board. what they're revealing so far is it reduces the tax brackets from seven to 3, 10%, 25% and 35%. while the brackets have not yet been defined the top income tax bracket will fall from 39.6% to 35%.
repealing the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax. standard deductions planning to double letting married couples jees their deductible while it will preserve deductions for charitable giving, mortgage interest and retirement savings. it will eliminate most other deductions and businesses would see a major reduction. the top marginal tax rate dropping from 35 to 15% while also bringing down the rate for some businesses hit by individual taxes known as pass-thrus or s corporation from 39.6. national gary cohen touted the cuts as historic. >> the president is going to seize this opportunity by leading the most significant tax reform legislation since 1986 and one of the biggest tax cuts in the american history. >> however the lack of specifics in the proposal does leave some question. the one-page document the white house provided only contained about 230 words including just
seven numbers. >> the potential revenue lost to the federal government would be 3 to $7 trillion over a decade according to the nonpartisan committee for responsible federal budget, though they stress there's not enough information to make a complete estimate. steve mnuchin said the impact on the deficit and national debt will be offset. >> as it relates to will it pay for itself, again, i think as we've said we're working on lots of details as to this. we have over a 100 people in the treasury that have been working on tax and scoring lots of different scenarios. this will pay for itself with growth and with reduction of different deductions and closing loopholes. >> realistically, one page, an outline, how do they feel that hole? whose going to fay for this tax cut? >> i think part of what you got what you've got yesterday, i've seen a lot of these over the years and they do have more than one page and i think what you
got what you got is this 100 day thing. the president really wants to get this stuff out before a 100 days before it's ready tor primetime or not. it doesn't pay for itself. the treasury secretary almost admitted, but he's saying maybe we get to 3% growth you really neat 4.5% growth to pay for this thing so there is no pay for it. it's basically a $5.5 trillion unpaid for tax cut relying on the old reagan doctrine which i think has been discredited. >> we have democrats shaking their heads in both houses of congress over the one page proposal to cut everyone's taxes. is his larger problem perhaps a group of republicans who are like frightened to death of what's going to happen to the national debt? >> michael, michael, yeah. that debt thing, that little pesky debt thing. what debt? we don't have a debt. i can't believe what i'm hearing coming out of republican corners
when they talk about the level of spending that the administration has in its head. we've gone from a trillion dollars in infrastructure to almost $2 trillion by the president's own words, you got the whole health care piece. a lot of the mandates that are in obamacare will stay there in the new health care bill. there's a tax consequence to that. the reality of 1986, they're talking about the biggest tax cut since 1986, great, but remember what happened. we continued to spend above the level of revenue. the idea of that, you know, you make these tax cuts and then the next day you're going to have growth is just ludicrous. it doesn't work like that. the economy doesn't turn on a dime like that. it's going to take time for those tax cuts to settle in to the business and the personal income realities of people and then have that translate while at the same time you're continued increase spending, so yes, it's going to have a huge impact on the debt and deficit
and the republicans will be held accountable for that. the same fiscal conservatives we elected in 2010 are now a party to it and it's an amazing turn of events. >> the white house says, yeah, sure it's the brief document. it's just the framework. it's the beginning of a conversation and paul ryan came out yesterday and said, yeah this is along the lines of what house republicans are thinking in terms of tax reform and this might be our one big chance this generation to get it done. >> it's along the lines both of what the president proposed in the campaign and what ryan proposed, lower rates and corporate and individual and broaden the base. there's going to be a fight as congress proposes that goes forward here about what they do with deductions. i think they'd be politically smart and probably smart to make it skew less favorably toward the rich and more toward the middle class. there's lots of ways to reduce the deficit, cutting spending is one of them but their needs to
be faster growth and republicans believe that faster growth comes with lower rates, broadening the base. the "the wall street journal" loves what they put out yesterday. that may be wrong. at 2% growth we're never going to reduce the debt. it's a little bit counter intuitive. you need faster growth rates and even some democrats would say lower corporate tax rates, lower individual rates that can lead to more economic growth. it's the biggest problem in the country today. 2% growth. some people do that's all we can do. if that's all we can do we'll never get rid of the deficits and the debt. >> if you cut taxes and you produce more growth, what's the history on this and what's the global evidence on this? >> the history on this is that it does produce some growth if you put more money in the economy, people will spend it and so forth. >> will we get from 2 to 3%? >> no. what makes an economy grow is two things, one more people
working and more people working efficiently productive and producing more stuff. and some of these tax elements would help in that direction but a lot of them have nothing to do with that and we have a labor force that's aging. we have productivity that's been very slow for a whole variety of reasons. one of the things that was interesting to me, the things that were never mentioned yesterday like infrastructure. infrastructure is one thing that would make the economy grow faster but yet it has disappeared from the president's lexicon. one other thing about paul ryan. paul ryan's plan is somewhat similar. he had that border adjustment tax in and this goes back to what michael steel was saying, it's not obvious that the republicans on the hill, the deficit hawks are going to think it's a great idea to add $5 trillion tax cuts on top of it. this is not going to produce the kind of growth that we need to pay for this thing. it is basically a way, frankly, to help business and help a lot of very wealthy people.
>> still ahead. house republicans try to resuscitate the health care overhaul that died without ever getting a vote. does this version have a better shot of making it through the house? and later, senator ed markey of massachusetts joins us live but first bill with a check on the forecast. >> yesterday we had a severe weather threat. we thought we could even have an outbreak with tornadoes. we had zero tornadoes. the storms did not go into the severe mode where we had tornadoes. we had some flooding problems and roads washed out in arkansas, here's one of those pictures. someone captured it giving away as the dirt beneath was just gone and this video's from montreal how about that for storms washing out part of an embankment. >> not a pretty morning in wisconsin. the northern portion of the state is snowing and it is a cold rain right now from milwaukee to green bay. there's some good today, washington, d.c. eventually will get out of the clouds and toast you up in a hurry.
it's 97 today in orlando. this is what we're going to have some issues. friday severe weather threat, large hail and maybe even very large hail, baseball sized hail from oklahoma into arkansas spreading into the ohio valley. it looks like friday night into the overnight hours and another storm in this same location saturday into sunday. we could talk four to five inches of rain to st. louis, all of this region is in a flash flood watch. finally, april can be cruel in the rockies with snow. this is a snow map hitting hard in wyoming, colorado and denver. so pretty decent day today but as we get to the weekend a lot more active weather across the nation. it's been a struggle to get a sunshine in the northeast. we'll try to get it slowly during the day today. not making any promises but i'm hopeful for the afternoon. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. liberty mutual stood with me
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. a deal to overhaul health care in the midst of all this appears closer than ever at least in the house for now. conservative members of the freedom caucus who opposed the last version came out in support of the new amendment. it's allowing states to get a waiver for regulations on insurance companies that protect patients like coverage for those with preexisting conditions and the so-called essential health benefits which include things like er visits and maternity care. things with high health care costs westbound covered with a cost sharing program. earlier this morning we talked to jim jordan of the freedom caucus. so you have moved into yes on this vote. you can get behind it. it does not give you the full repeal of paerk that you sought, the full repeal of obamacare that president trump promised during the campaign so why you getting behind this? >> at least it gives some states
the chance to opt out of those regulations driving up premiums. this is not full repeal and we got to keep working. i'm convinced we have made a bill better because of our engagement, because we held out on this bill and i'm also convinced if states get this waiver premiums will come down for those families who happen to be in those states. i think this is the best we'll get right now but we got more work to do. you preface it by saying this apieces conservatives. that's not the motivation, the motivation is to bring down premiums if this amendment goes in, i think premiums will come down for families across the country who been in those states. >> others have reservations about the amendment itself like charlie dent who we talked to moments ago. why can't you get to yes? >> because the underlying bill and now the amendment failed to address the concerns i've been raising. there's not a soft enough landing for states like mine that expanded medicaid.
that's the first issue. there's insufficient support in my view for low and moderate income americans that won't be able to afford insurance. and those are some of my principal concerns and too many americans are going to be without coverage and the underlying amendment does not deal with that. i would argue that the amendment that's been proposed takes us into the wrong condition. >> so that's the moderate wing now saying we can't abide some of the things that are in this that are good for the freedom caucus. >> the focus until now has been the freedom caucus. this one block. the focus now is going to move to the tuesday group which is the moderate block while the same careful attention to the votes on this because it is hard to square the goals of these republicans. it's hard to not have these coverage rules, it's hard to cut back medicaid and get the votes of those moderate. >> the president and the vice president have done a huge job
courting the freedom caucus. they were impressed by their ability to negotiate and that's what got them to yes. the question is still even if you did manage to get the tuesday group on, where does this go in the senate? you're asking members of the tuesday group, the moderates to sign on to something that may still be dead in the senate. >> it exempts congress itself from the waivers of these rules which -- >> they actually put themselves back in. >> how did they do that? >> they covered themselves out so they took out the language -- they were going to protect themselves from some of these provisions and they thought that was insane thing to do so they put themselves back in. >> remember, the overarching point here obamacare has become popular with the public. the president's tax plan of which this is even a worse version than what we originally pros posed is unpopular with the public. they're going to be fighting public opinion on this as well. >> coming up on "morning joe," president trump goes global.
he hasn't been overseas yet as president but his agenda precedes him. richard angle has new reporting on hour our allies are reacting to the president's first few months. plus jake sherman with all the movement today on capitol hill and sara eisen on how markets are reacting to the blueprint for tax reform. mr. wise man ... ... you wish to know how to protect your sterling credit score. my credit is off to a good start, but knowing so many things can go wrong with it... kinda freaks me out. well, unfreak yourself out... and download the free creditwise app from capital one. creditwise gives you a credit score,
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heart monitors. ok, maybe not heart monitors. two. our shows and movies. we want them when we want them. so they should go with us. anywhere? you got that right, kid show thing. three. nothing beats live. so we want to stream all that sweet live stuff. like football. red carpets and yelling. wait! what are we yelling about, guys? four. we don't just want unlimited data. we want unlimited entertainment. like unlimited hbo. can i stop dying now mark? c'mon man. it's unlimited. last thing. we just want all our stuff... the way we want all our stuff. that's not too much to ask is it? at&t brings you directv, internet and wireless. all on your terms. it's entertainment your way. at crowne plaza we know business travel isn't just business. there's this. 'a bit of this. why not? your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do. which is what we do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly. at bp's cooper river plant,
100 days later the trump administration is trying to prove it's made headway. joining us live from london we've got richard engle whose looking at how the world is reacting to president trump's first 100 days in office good morning. >> so we've been asking people around the world what do they think of the first 100 days? what do they think of the new administration, what do they think of the new president? obviously he's very different and so far the reviews have not been very good.
>> reporter: around the world for nearly 100 days the top story has been president trump and he's being watched with more than a bit of concern. >> quite a few people are saying well, we're still here. there was a genuine fear. >> reporter: and that's the bar. that's good. >> there isn't all out nuclear conflict all though it is openly talked about. >> reporter: stuart has been observing foreign affairs for over 40 years. >> there is a genuine real and tangible concern and it's based not so much on the idle threats of putting people in their place it is based upon that perception of ineptitude. >> reporter: around the globe we found a similar feeling that president trump is careening from crisis to cry success without a foreign policy strategy. in south korea. >> he's like starting a fight with everyone. >> reporter: to the west bank.
>> he doesn't know what he's doing. >> reporter: to germany. >> he doesn't really think about what he does. maybe he thinks about it a lot but he seems rude, harsh and not -- just not presidential. >> reporter: people don't seem to know what to expect or believe from president trump as he plays brinkmanship with the nuclear armed and highly erratic north korea. punishes america's neighbors, mexico and canada, normally considered essential allies and flip-flops on syria, lobbing a few dozen missiles that his regime seemed to back a few days before. nearly 100 days of president trump have passed and if the best international observers can say is, we lived through it, these are truly uncharted times. >> i think our view here observing it as impartial reporters is like a school report that says, the start wasn't quite as bad as it might have been but can do and must do
better. >> reporter: one thing we heard consistently was that there were questions about credibility. people don't know if what the administration says, what the president says can be believed and that is a major, major obstacle when you're talking about foreign policy and defense and the ability to conduct affairs of state. >> all right. richard engle in london. thanks so much. we need the bbc side. is that assessment reflective of what you're hearing in great britain? >> it sounds like people around the world feel pretty much like americans when it comes to the president's credibility and honesty. it's at 37% on trustworthy and honest here in the united states and that's exactly what i hear. along with an element of confusion that the administration speaks with different voices so whose actually speaking for the president and that there are different policies on different days and that's the situation i think mostly that allies who deal with the united states
would like to see normalized because they can't plan their own strategies. there's this feeling that you got the united states, you have to deal with the united states but everybody's tiptoeing around the trump white house, trying to figure out how they can carry on foreign policy without roughling too many feathers in washington. >> senator ed markey was at the white house yesterday for that briefing on north korea. does the administration agree with his call for diplomacy first, military escalation last. we'll be right back on "morning joe." can
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nafta is the worse trade deal, maybe ever signed anywhere but certainly ever signed in this country. >> that was then candidate donald trump rallying against nafta the first presidential debate back in september. now he appears to be softening his stance somewhat. joining us now from the white house national correspondent peter alexander with the details. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. memories, nice to turn back the clock. this was a pretty significant and frankly a surprising shift bring the president at least for now abandoning any plan to withdraw from the nafta. president trump up early this morning tweeting about his conversations with his nafta counter parts on this topic. i received calls from the president of mexico and the prime minister of canada asking to renegotiate nafta rather than terminate. i agreed, he says. subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate nafta. relationships are good, he says. deal very possible, exclamation point. the white house describing those calls with the two leaders as
pleasant and productive. just hours before this, administration officials had said the president was considering a draft executive order to withdraw from nafta. they said it was one of several options being discussed, privately some aides here has been pushing for movement on this issue to try to fulfill a campaign promise before the end of his first 100 days. >> those two positions in the space of just a few hours. sit tight for one second. i want to bring in sara iceen. good morning. so what are the market implications of this nafta talk and is the market heartened by the most recent comments that nafta will remain in place for now? >> reporter: there is a sigh of release in the markets on this idea that president trump will not immediately withdraw. that was seen as harsh and a road to uncertainly, potentially raising the prospect of tariffs between canada and mexico. nafta, of course, implemented in 1994 mostly eliminated tariff
trade and trade has boomd among the three nations to more than a trillion dollars tripling since 1994. >> reporter: you saw the biggest market reaction in the currency market where yesterday on word of withdraw the canadian dollar and the mexican peso got slammed. the idea there their economies get hurt the most if the u.s. withdraws from nafta, both of those currencies are rising but it does effect u.s. stocks, assets and even commodities like corn. corn actually sold off a lot of a lot. it's now coming back this morning and the idea here, guys is corn is the biggest export from the united states to mexico. canada and mexico are the u.s.'s two biggest export customers. the president talks about increasing our exports. canada and mexico buy a third of total u.s. exports. incredible important economically. but for the united states as
well, supporters say, it supports millions of jobs in this country. >> we'll ping-pong from you back to the white house for a second. we'll get back to you in just a moment. let's move over to that question on taxes. yesterday, the white house saying it's the biggest tax increase in history. steve rat nor took some exception to that. it was the third biggest tax cut in history. it's an outline really, it's not a full plan but a start of a conversation. >> reporter: the white house is really taken the reigns on this one of the lessons that they learned from health care that they left in the house of house republicans that they want to be in control of it. a lot of details still left to be sorted out. slim to no chance of going anywhere. on the topic specifically, the white house today is of course deflecting questions about how this plan would effect the president's own taxes. in 2005 from what we know, the
alternative minimum tax that year alone that the president wants to kill cost him $31 million. the treasury secretary, steve mnuchin said wednesday during the briefing that the president had no intention to release his tax returns before he sort of appeared to catch himself and he was asked about this issue this morning on today. >> doesn't it make your job harder to go out and sell a tax plan that's going to impact every american's tax returns when the president of the united states has not been transparent with his own tax returns? >> not at all. i think the american public is comfortable with the financial information that the president has released and this is about the impact on not one taxpayer, this is about the impact on american taxpayers and american business. >> with secretary mnuchin and gary cohen, i asked mr. mnuchin whether president trump would end up paying more or less in terms of taxes under this plan.
you'll remember during the course of the campaign he insisted that he believed in taxing the wealthy more. he insists that he can't answer the question about what the president will pay whether it's more or less because he doesn't have access to the president's tax situation which would put him in the same boat as the rest of america. >> still twisting and turning at the white house. thanks so much. let's get back to sara eisen. the tax plan said it counts on 3% growth to make up the lost revenue. i'll say it again our economic analyst steve rat nnor said it' probably like 4.5% growth you need which is an astronomical number. >> one we have not seen in years. no question about it. wall street is excited about lower corporate taxes. but interesting to see that after the unveiling of some of the key bullets in the president's plan from his team, very muted reaction here on wall street and that's being chocked up to the fact that 15%, that was what the white house was
proposing as the corporate tax rate almost having what it is now, that's seen as a little aggressive and just an opening gambit not too realistic. wall street is playing a wait and see game on how much can get through congress and how much of the president's plan is going to come to fruition. it's already rallied the stock market more than 10% since the election. part of it is on the promise of lower corporate tax rates, which would boost earnings. the question now is just what numbers realistic and another number we didn't learn was what the repat creation tax would be getting all over overseas earnings, trillions of dollars worth back to the u.s. we know that the white house wants to do that. we don't know at what rate. we get earnings this afternoon from microsoft, amazon and google and we'll be listening for any commentary about whether they're planning to bring that cash back from overseas. >> sara eisen at the new york stock exchange. >> joining us now from
washington members of the foreign relations committee, ed markey of massachusetts. i had a number of questions for you but mike barnicle wants to speak massachusetts to massachusetts so i'll turn it over to him. >> senator, yesterday you were on the tour. you went down to the white house, all i think 100 members of the united states senate or close to a hundred. did you get the impression that anything with regard to the united states mill tailer strategically anything was imminent. >> no, not at all. they gave us a presentation, but we didn't really get any sense that there is still even a plan that is in place that can be effective. one of the things that i left being concerned about is the communication that we have with north korea. we have military maneuvers going on by the americans and by the north koreans. we really aren't in constant
communications with the north koreans and my concern is that we could actually have an accidental war. we could actually cross a trip wire that induces a paranoia in north korea that could lead very rapidly to an escalation and so that's a problem, i think, that they have to solve and secondly, they say that they're engaging the chinese more, but at the same time there was a 37% increase in trade between north korea and china from january of 2016 to january of 2017. so there's no evidence yet that the chinese are actually doing anything to put a strangle hold on the north korean economy that could advance the goal of having real meaningful negotiations. >> so two issues that you just raised, senator, in that answer, one is the rhetoric back and forth on the issue of north korea and what's going to happen. do you think the rhetoric is in danger of become too overheated?
and the second question is with regard to trade and china and north korea, is there anything we can do further in terms of sanctions against chinese banks or any other banks that are still continuing to do business with north korea? >> well, when china had a 37% increase in trade with north korea over a one-year period, up until today, this clearly -- there's clearly a lot that china that we have to do to convince china to be our partner. china wants us to engage in direct negotiations with the north koreans to resolve this issue. i agree with that a 100%. there is no military solution to this problem. it can only be negotiated, but we're going to need those sanctions to be put in place by the chinese. they are not doing it and we're going to have to be a lot tougher with the chinese if we are going to reach a point where one on one negotiations between
the united states and north korea can occur in a way that reduces the threat that is now being posed to south korea and to potentially the united states. >> senator, it's beana, there are a number of players and countries involved in this crisis, two of them south korea and japan and obviously u.s. allies. we spent a lot of time talking about china as well and what china can do regarding more sanctions and what have you, increasing might against north korea. china not a u.s. ally. another country i'd bring into the mix is russia. have you heard anything from the administration regarding any conversations that the united states has been having with russia? we know russia is sort of distancing itself from multilateral agreements. are you concerned at all about what role russia has, if any, regarding north korea? >> well, obviously, we would want all parties, all nations to be able to help in isolating
north korea, but at the same time we're in conflict with them and ukraine and crimea, in syria and ultimately we need to be imposing sanctions upon the russians as well. the export is the export company that sends the arms into syria, so we should be having a discussion about imposing sanctions upon the russians but with regard to what they're doing to prop up assad as well. so whether or not we can receive cooperation from russia on north korea while we should be seriously talking about being much tougher with them and syria becomes, i think, very problematic. >> senator mark hal pren has a question for you. >> 98 days in here, what is president trump in your view better at than he was when he started being president? >> we've had him in a remedial
constitutional lock horse and soy think he better understands the role of the judiciary as a check upon the executive and congressional branches. i think he understands the role of congress a lot better, that they just don't roll over when an executive announces that he wants something to happen. so i think we're making some progress. i think he also is beginning to understand that if he wants to call china a currency manipulator that that might harm his ability to accomplish other goals or if he's just going to tear up nafta that that might have an adverse effect on the american markets or upon our relationship with canada and mexico. so i think each one of these days has been a lesson to him about how our government works and hopefully over time it will make it more possible for him to work in a bipartisan fashion to be able to accomplish big things for the american people.
i would have to say that he has not yet figured out how the political system in our country works so that we can accomplish those great things for our people. >> as we pass it around, michael steel has a question. >> hey. i know there's been a lot going on in the world but a little bit closer to home for democrats and i asked your colleague in the house elijah cummings, this sense of unity among democrats right now. you had the chairman of the party tom perez, you had senator sanders on a road trip that apparently didn't go as well as one had hoped or at least a scripted. how do democrats now in the face of trying to push against the republicans on big policy ideas and issues decide amongst themselves what it means to be a democrat in this new trump era? >> well, the difference between democrats is minuscule compared to the difference between all democrats and donald trump. and that's really the
fundamental question. so on health care, on this huge tax proposal which the trump administration released later, on cuts to education, to the epa, to new clean energy initiatives, the democrats are going to be sticking together. on the question of income inequality, the democrats are going to be sticking together. the trump administration is far from any position that could be called a centrist position so i don't think anyone should have any doubt that the democratic party is going to be united. i would say that donald trump is a uniter and not a divider and he has united the democratic party in a way i have not seen. >> do you believe there's a place for pro-life democrats? >> absolutely and that's the way it has always been and that's the way that it is always going
to be. on the fundamental economic issues, there is a complete and total unity. when it comes to people's own personal fundamental moral beliefs, people have a right to have their own views. >> so was it a mistake for dnc chair tom perez to suggest there was not a place for pro-life democrats? >> my fundamental belief is that when it comes to people's deepest personal beliefs that they have a right to maintain them and still be good democrats. >> all right. thank you. we appreciate it. up next on "morning joe," health care reform. a tax overhaul, the budget showdown. just some of the major issues playing out at the same time right now as we approach the end of the president's first 100 days. we'll bring in the coauthor of the political playbook jake sherman plus the president says he may dismantle the appeals
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rubles. >> you said you would replace me with garland. >> 100 days, we are 6.8% of the way home. paid for by anybody else 2020. >> so that's the simpson's take on the first 100 days. in an interview with the washington examiner, president trump is considering proposals to disband the ninth circuit court of appeals which has ruled against part of his agenda. he fired off a series of tweets yesterday slamming the court including one that read first the ninth circuit rules against the ban and now it hits again on sank waresy cities. see you in the supreme court. important clarification, tuesday's ruling on so-called funding for sank warty citys did not come from that ninth circuit but from a court in san francisco. if the white house appeals the ruling it then will go to the ninth circuit. joining us from washington, is co-author of "the playbook" jake sherman, on set author and attorney sophia nelson, former counsel for the house government
reform and oversight committee. great to have you with us on set, first time in new york. >> absolutely. >> talk about the ninth circuit. a lot to talk about, but donald trump saying in the interview he thinks it's a good idea to break it up. it's big news coming from the president but not necessarily a new idea. people have been talking about this for years because they believe people go court shopping to that ninth circuit to get a favorable ruling. >> a couple things. i think representative markey said it best,s the president has been in remedial training as he called it on the constitution, et cetera. this is a perfect example of how he's failing that remedial training. one, the president cannot disband any courts in this country. that's not the way our constitution works. it's called articles 1, 2, 3. it is a federal judge. all he has to do is go through the process and take it to the supreme court. it's simple. that's where this needs to be anyway from the ban to the immigration sanctuary cities. let the supreme court decide this. that's their constitutional
role. >> is this another case of donald trump answering a question in an interview talking off the top of his head or something that was considered in the white house? >> i don't think it was considered and i don't think he has any juice on capitol hill to get it done. a health care bill that has stalled, a government funding bill being punted another week, a tax reform bill that won't be brought up for a vote. i think he would be best served, according to the many members of congress we talk to every day, by concentrating on his priorities and not, you know, lighting up a flair every time something happens that he doesn't like. >> jake, i agree with you, but couldn't you argue the president knows what he's doing in the sense he's talking to his base specifically on this issue. the first issue he really campaigned on when he announced he was going to be running for president, immigration. do you think that he thinks he's appealing to his base and thus will continue especially regarding this particular issue? >> yeah. definitely. but appealing to your base is not how you govern, especially when you need democrats to do
practically everything significant that he wants to do. it doesn't have any immediate impact, right. like people aren't going to vote against him because he says something that's widely considered a illogical about the ninth circuit, but to the extent that he is popping off and not focusing on the things he needs to be focused on according to the republican leaders on capitol hill, it might have a little impact. it's a political issue for him. >> so sophia, the real issue that court here, right, is that conservatives in the mountain states are sick of getting rulings against them from the ninth circuit. what are the consequences on important court cases if the circuit is actually split by legislation somehow going forward? is it about efficiency or politics and ideology? >> i go back to the constitution. i don't see it happening, number one. the ninth circuit has been a thorn in the flesh of republicans and conservatives for a really long time. they're going to continue to be. you know, i live in the rocket docket, more conservative than the virginia region, et cetera.
you've got different regions of this country that have judges that reflect the regions of that country, but i think that ultimately this can't happen. i think that it's not efficient. i think it's unconstitutional frankly. i think that trump administration has to get disciplined and they have to stop shooting from the hip, particularly when it comes to the balance in the separation of powers under the constitution, that has to be represented from the executive. it has to be. he's our leader. and so i think that it won't happen. i think he has no juice like you said and i think it's a moot point. he just has to take this through the process. >> jake, you know, normal people do not care about the 100 days thing and none of us are normal. that's why we're talking about the 100 days thing. do you get the sense in talking to people in washington on both sides, the house and the senate, that they are measuring the 100 days of this administration sort of like dog years to them? it's so exhausting, it's been going on so long? >> yeah. on capitol hill, where i spend
almost all my time, you're right, the construct is seen as phony. even people in the white house see it as phony. but it does, according to many people i've talked to, really feel like it's been a year. i mean think about it, health care bill has already flamed out, coming back again, and that kind of process is very taxing. and i know from talking to leadership folks in the republican party yesterday, the pressure that they're getting to put a vote up on this health care bill, this week, so that's today or tomorrow or saturday, even, is tremendous and it's only because of this 100 days construct. there's no other reason not to come back at it next week when they have a more solid vote count. they pretend they're not interested in things they are plainly interested in. they care about the 100-day construct and in washington they are the only ones. >> i have five seconds. does this health care bill get out of the house? >> i don't know, but i don't
think so. >> jake sherman, sophia nelson, come back soon. that does it for us on "morning joe." stefan eny ruhle picks up our coverage. >> thanks so much. good morning, i'm stephanie ruhle. a big day ahead. here's the question, in or out. the white house suggesting they're going to pull out of nafta. >> it's a disaster. it's a trading disaster. >> but then the president tells north american leaders last night, don't worry, guys, we're staying in. and the hard sell, the president and his team in a full-court press to push their tax plan, but new questions this morning, what's actually in that thing? >> when we have an agreement we will release the details. >> we will be back with lots of details. >> we're working on form details. >> get your paddles out it's resuscitated, a republican health care bill back