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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  August 2, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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hi, everyone. it's 4:00 and the president who promised so much winning has at least one data point to bolster his case at this hour. the dow closed above 22,000, and this is a record. moments ago some explosive exchanges on the subject of immigration. steven miller taking his turn at the podium. >> let's also use common sense. at the end of the day, why do special interests want to bring in more low skilled workers and -- >> may i ask you -- >> i think it's very clear -- >> how many -- >> if i could answer -- if i could answer your question. i named the study, glenn. glenn, glenn, glenn -- i named the studies. >> the but whole notion they have to learn english before they get to the united states, are we going to bring in people from great britain and australia? >> i want to say, i am shocked
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at your statement. that you think that only people from great britain and australia would know english. it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking disagree. >> and when it comes to the russia sanctions bill that president trump was essentially boxed in on, he signed it with not one but two official statements pointing to the bill's flaws and his own superiority as a deal maker. let's show you one. the bill encroaches on the executive branch's authority to negotiate. congress should not -- could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking. by limiting the executive flexibility this bill makes it harder for the u.s. to strike good deals with the executive flexibility. this bill makes it harder for the united states to strike good deals for the american people and will drive china, russia and north korea much closer together. the president went on, i built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. that is a big part of the reason i was elected.
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as president i can make far better deals with foreign countries than congress. but for his protests, his signing of the bill was his only choice and the way he did it invited renewed scrutiny from one senator. >> i'm glad he signed the bill. we'd override the veto if he didn't. but secretary tillerson had some things about russia that are unnerving. he basically said it's a mistake to sanction russia. it hurts his act to re-engage russia. president putin has done something that no one else in america could do, unite the congress. so the fact he does this kind of quietly i think reinforces the narrative that the trump administration is not really serious about pushing back on russia. and i think that is the mistake too because putin will see this as a sign of weakness. >> white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders on the president's not so enthusiastic
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signing statement. >> why would he sign the bill if he felt so strongly that the bill inhibits his ability to act as the commander in chief and to carry out his duties as president? >> i think i spoke on this already, but primarily because the president favors tough measures to punish and deter the bad behaviors of the rogue regimes and we won't tolerate tolerance in our democratic process by russia. he signed it in the interest of national unity and in support of -- there's no question that there isn't support for the principals of of the bill. let's place some of the processes. >> all right. let's start with nbc's kristen welker in the white house briefing room. two briefings and one shiny object. but seems like sarah finally admitted that with signing this statement the president acknowledges as he did in poland russian meddling in our election, acknowledged they would sign the sanctions bill
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and then shining object of the day seems to be some weird mix of xenophobia and reporter bombast from presidential adviser steven miller. tell us what went down in that room. >> well, to your first point, nicolle, sarah huckabee sanders tried to explain why president trump did in fact move forward with signing that piece of legislation, despite the fact that of course in those two statements he underscores that he thinks parts of the legislation are unconstitutional. there's of course a real political reason for this as well. in addition to the reasons that sarah sander laid out, which is that the bill passed overwhelmingly in the house and the senate and the president was boxed in on this issue. add to the fact that the optics would have been horrible if you have the legislation passing overwhelmingly in congress for the president not to sign the bill to force essentially congress to override his veto when you have these investigations on capitol hill. the special counsel looking into whether there was any collusion
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between the trump campaign and russia. so politically it was the smart thing to do on paper. he said it was about bringing unity to the congress. i can tell you though, the administration does think they won some concessions in the final language of the bill. some protection for american businesses. they were concerned would be hurt by those sanctions. they think that ultimately made this okay for them to move forward with the legislation. in terms of the immigration portion and some of the fire works that we saw during the briefing i think it undercores, highlights, how hot this topic this is. how much of flash point it continues to be and of course what we saw today was president trump standing with senators purdue and tom cotton pushing this legislation forward that would effectively cut the number of legal immigrants in half within the next ten years and would have much stricter definitions for who could come into this country legally. he got push back on that in terms of the practicality, will
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it actually help what economy? a lot of ceos who say it will do the opposite, so miller robustly pushing back against that. but not being able to cite specifics as you just showed there in your opening clip. then again getting a number of questions about whether or not this goes against the spirit of the country. and you saw the other reporter from cnn pushing him on that very vigorously. so this is a bill though i think the reality check there, nicolle, it has been stalled in the senate for quite some time. not clear that the president will get the bipartisan support he needs to move this forward. one more point i'll make. i think it also shows that this administration doesn't think it can get comprehensive immigration reform done, at least not right now. >> do you think it's a coincidence that on the day that the president looked so politically impotent, he was able to do nothing to slow the sanctions to russia, he wasn't able to charm his way out of it.
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he wasn't able to slow it down after it came out of the senate to the house. do you think it was a coincidence he chose today to trot out some very trump-based pleasing policies on immigration? >> well, it may have been. certainly he was very aware of the optics of it. that's for sure. in something that his base is going to like. this is an issue that he campaigned on so i think you're right about that. i'll also point out that at that event in which he lent his is support to this legislation that's being introduced by senator cotton that he also talked about the strength of the economy, the fact that the markets are doing better than they have ever done. they are breaking all sorts of records so i think he's keenly aware of the optics undoubtedly trying to get some wins on this day when he's also getting a lot of obviously push back over this russia sanctions bill, nicolle. >> kristen welker, thank you so much for spending some time with
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us. joining me at the table, white house reporter eli sill coast and my friend mike barnicle and keir simmons. let me start with you, keir, on kristen's point about the fact that this sort of perceived personal relationship that he pined for so publicly has now been squashed or dampened or the flame at least temporarily snuffed out by the sanctions. >> the president -- referring to president putin. >> right. >> reading what the kremlin is saying i think that the kremlin thinks that personal relationship hasn't gone away yet. i think it's fascinating to see what pass cover had said about the sanctions -- >> who's that? >> he's putin's spokesperson in the kremlin. >> he's the spicer/sarah huckabee -- >> yeah. he said this isn't news. it was going to automatically expect law with or without the president's signature.
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it tells you that the kremlin is watching very closely what's happening inside the beltway. it knows -- it can see it, and the other thing is and we have talked about this, i believe the kremlin still believes that it has a friend in president trump and what i mean is somebody who does want to change the relationship with russia. whether -- but he's surrounded by people who don't want that. what i'm interested to see is whether at some point that changes. that position in moscow changes and they decide they no longer have an ally in trump. as we discussed, everything is interconnected. if the u.s. takes action in north korea and you saw that in president trump's statement, talking about russia and north korea and china being pushed closer together if the u.s. took action in north korea you might see russia at that point decide, okay, game over. we know that no longer -- we no longer think that president trump is in some ways on our side and would like us -- would like the sanctions lifted, give us back our diplomatic
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compounds. do all the things we would like to do to reset to use the unfortunate phrase -- that relationship. >> the honey do list for the president. we have talked for years now about donald trump's respect -- not only for the man but the way he governs. it seems like some of the president's exasperations today was american style checks and balances. he ranted in those statements against congress checking his authority. that's a kind of the authority that putin enjoys. >> yeah. the irony is that they came into office with, you know, steve bannon's theory about redoing all elements of government. downsizing the state government. reordering gender equality in the military. destroying the existing health care bill and coming up with another health care piece of legislation. but what's happened is that every day, every single day, either by tweets, actual
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verbiage or actual action, donald trump has redefined and downsized the presidency both in congress and i think among large elements of the large public. i don't know what the definition of the presidency and the way that the people think of the presidency will remain the same. >> eli, you covered this white house. you missed what looked like a showstopper of a briefing, sorry for that. we had you here. but let me ask you, so the white house press secretary from the podium today had to affirm that in signing this bill, the president does indeed acknowledge and recognize russia's role in meddling in our elections. how is it possible that they're still fielding questions about the meddling in the election? >> because their words are undercut by the actions of the president. she has to say, oh, guys, you know he said this in the press conference when he was overseas. today, the white house had to put out two statements explaining this. probably because the president
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wasn't satisfied with the first one that was kind of in legal terms. he wanted something to communicate to the base. but those statements were not talking about why they're doing this and putting sanctions on vladimir putin and russia. he was as you pointed out complaining about the powers of congress to check his authority. the word purports was in the lawyer statement three times expressing in not trump's vernacular but in legalese his dissatisfaction with the fact that congress had boxed him in. he doesn't like that. he's complaining about signing a bill that only had two defections out of 100 senators. two people opposing the bill. he's also sitting there today in the white house with the remarks he gave on the immigration bill and sending miller to the podium, pushing a bill that would be lucky to get 20 senators to vote for it. they're pushing the same white identity politics we saw throughout the campaign. the engaging with the different
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reporters with costa and others. we might say that's a train wreck but i think the white house likes mixing it up with the press because it riles up their base. this is a white house that -- it's okay if this country remains divided. the words the president -- >> helping to divide it. >> the boy scouts were divisive a week ago. so it's sort of -- it plays into -- they want to keep the country divided. >> and part of what russia wants. while we have you here, the chinese state run media articulated something about the president's twitter habits i never heard articulated this efficiently. i think we can put it up. do we have that? the chinese -- here it is. trump is quite a personality. this is from the chinese state run media. trump is quite a personality and he likes to tweet. but emotional venting cannot become a guiding policy for solving the nuclear issue on the
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peninsula. so never in my wildest dreams did i think we'd be taking our cues about that which is productive and not productive when it comes to the really scary threat posed by the north korea nuclear crisis. >> right. well, we know about china and president xi and they're trying to position themselves as the new leaders of the free world in a country that isn't free. >> are we helping them? >> i guess. what's helpful is to clarify -- pull this out if you like. there are two narratives here. one is what's happening in washington the divisions in washington. the battle that is happening in washington over russia's intervention in the election. and the other is what's happening around the world. the number of foreign crises that are coming down the tracks. most importantly, perhaps north korea but we don't need to -- we don't have time to talk about syria and iran. so the two things don't necessarily work together. in some ways, russia would be useful if it had a better
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relationship with washington in some of those -- you know, theaters of conflict. but we can't get over the problem of russia's intervention in the u.s. elections. >> the -- another interesting element of that is that clearly putin achieved one thing that he was after. he achieved total chaos in the american political system but the flip side of it is, i don't think he planned -- i mean, who am i to say this, but i don't think he ever planned on the reaction in congress to what he has done. and to your point about, you know what's coming down the road, you have north korea, you have syria, you have the entire middle east, the china problem. you have nothing in the state department to deal with it. >> we talk about russia as being incredibly clever and smart and tactical. actually, much of what's happened here has backfired on them. >> you said earlier that he's a better tactician than strategist. explain that. >> exactly. he moves very -- in a very sophisticated way. you know, kind of month to
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month. but that's a perfect example. really very easy to argue that intervening in the u.s. elections caused all those problems you talked about. but russia is actually ended up -- >> let me -- let me play something for both of you. for everybody here. hr mcmaster in an interview with hugh hewitt talked about the threat we face from north korea. >> look at the nature of that regime if they had nuclear weapons and threatening the united states. it's intolerable from the president's perspective. so of course we have to provide all options to do that. and that includes a military option. now, would we like to resolve it short of what would be a very costly war in terms of the suffering of mainly the south korean people, the ability of that north korean regime to hold the south hostage to conventional fires, capabilities, artillery and so forth and seoul being so forth, we're cognizant of that. so what we have to do is everything we can to pressure this regime.
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to pressure kim jong un around them. >> eli, i'm going to say something that maybe is too provocative for the times we're in, but the last time i heard a white house national security adviser talk about gathering threats like that in public was when we were talking about the threat posed by iraq. when we thought they possessed weapons of mass destruction. that's shocking language from a sitting national security adviser. >> it is, but it exists in the day of noise that the white house creates. i mean, it's hard for i think the country to sort of fixate on that and recognize what he's talking about and the seriousness of it when you have a president who not all that serious day to day in other matters. and, you know, i think the nfc is trying to figure out what the options are. >> so it's almost like two worlds. they're dealing with these
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threats and the rest of the staff is dealing with the president's tweets. >> you talk to a lot of people in washington as do you, and you find they're down to three elements. the secretary of defense, down to general mcmaster and the national security adviser and john kelly. that's it. >> how is it possible for the u.s. to intervene militarily in north korea and know that america isn't going to get pulled into the war on the korean peninsula? i don't believe it's possible you can strike and you can know how kim jong un is going to react and you can know that america is not going to find itself in a war in a place where we have thousands of service men and women. >> right there. >> it's there already. >> they don't need -- they're right there. >> technically the korean war never ended. >> there are never good options when it comes to north korea and the president during the campaign continued to tell his supporters and the country that
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this was going to be easy. we'll just get china to do it. we'll press them i'm a great deal making. china is needling the president about twitter. >> keir, we know you have to catch an airplane. please come back. all your uplifting thoughts, got us thinking. when we come back, do all of donald trump's big little lies and his refusal to ever back down take a toll on the president's credibility? or is it just how he rolls. also all of the president's women, how they withstand the chaos as the men around him drop like flies. and going rogue. tired of being harassed on twitter and undermined by the president's swerving policy pronouncements members of congress take matters into their own hands.
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why does the president received he said a phone call from the leader of the boy scouts and the president of mexico, did he lie? >> in terms of the boy scouts, multiple members of the leadership following his speech there that day congratulated him, praised him and offered quite -- i'm looking for the word. quite powerful compliments following his speech and that's what the references were about. >> he received a phone call from
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the president of mexico -- >> they were direct phone calls not -- >> so he lied? >> i wouldn't say he's a lie. that's kind of a bold accusation. but the conversations took pl e place. they simply didn't take place over a phone call. he had them in person. >> so if you're president, you're facing threats from multiple fronts wouldn't you value your credibility enough not to squander it about whether you nailed your performance at a speech to teenage boy scouts? not if you're president trump, who in the face of the official apology for the freewheeling an inappropriately partisan remarks insists that reviews of his performance were not mixed. quote, i'd be the first to admit mixed he says. i'm a guy that will tell you mixed. there was no mix there. that was a standing ovation from the time i walked out to the time i left. and for five minutes after i had already gone. there was no mix. he added, i got a call from the head of the boy scouts saying it
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was the greatest speech ever made to them and they were very thankful so there was -- there was no mix. we now know that's not true. sarah huckabee sanders has repeated that today. joining us is npr white house correspondent tamara keith and glenn thrush, also an msnbc analyst. around whom i could have built today's rundown. i keep coming up with explanations to make parallels to children, but i don't even know that a child would be to rewrite history to suggest that there was no mixed reception to a speech where he talked about the hottest people in new york being at cocktail parties, staggering off yachts. i guess to the broader point we heard a clip from mcmaster and this is day eight of the white house podium being used to beat down reviews over a speech the
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president gave to boy scouts a week ago. what is going on? >> what's going on is i think somebody put lsd in my wheaties every morning before i go into work. the split screen is incredible. trump -- i wouldn't compare him to the kid. i'd compare him to donald trump. i think he's become the point of comparison. you can compare your kid to donald trump. i think he -- you know, that -- this particular sin which i guess was made during his discussion during -- a leaked transcript from his discussion with the wall street board members i think fares into the category of a fishing -- i think falls into the category of a fishing tale, but you saw sarah huckabee sanders having to defend this. and what was really interesting with sarah on this, if you are attuned to the nuances of this
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stuff is like sean spicer before her, she a couple of weeks ago probably would have come out and blasted this thing out of the water. today she was much more circumspect. she realizes this is a marathon, not a sprint and the president will say more stuff that's questionable and she better hold her fire. >> she did say that this phone call never happened. for a group of people -- i wouldn't put sarah in this category, but there are a lot of people around donald trump who took it upon themselves to prosecute bill clinton's parsing during the time of his impeachment. that's the crowd that donald trump surrounds himself with, in and out of the white house. but it is at best a parsing to say that it wasn't a lie when donald trump suggested that somebody called him to tell him it was the best speech they had ever heard, again to a crowd full of 12 to 18-year-old
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teenage boys. >> yeah. so there have been a lot of things from this podium where they say, well, what we said wasn't technically untrue. it's just -- it just wasn't the whole truth. you know, that misleading statement was technically true. it was with regards to the donald trump jr. statement. so you know it's challenging to be a spokesperson for president trump. and to go to president trump's history, i mean, going back to the art of the deal which he co-wrote or maybe was just written by someone else, but in the "art of the deal" he talks about truthful hyperbole. he talks about not necessarily putting the whole truth out there. but put -- telling a story that people want to hear and in the case of the boy scouts, that's a story that president trump wants to hear. he -- you know, he throughout the campaign talked about the size of the crowds. always there are people outside
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waiting in line that couldn't get in. you know, with your very own eyes you could say that there was no line. so this is a pattern that -- the challenge what does this mean for policy? if the president calls up a senator and says, senator, believe me, there is no way that i will sign that skinny repeal into law. you can vote for it, it's okay. does the senator believe him? >> all right. both of you are staying with us. joining us at the table is former clinton campaign director jen palmieri and commentator and msnbc analyst charles sykes. let me start with you, about the big little lies. it's not a big deal, right? i mean, look, i have been to this boy scout jamboree. they are so excited by the whole spectacle of an american president. frankly any american president but don't tell trump. but the idea he's on day eight fighting over how he was received is ludicrous, is it
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not? >> well, look, these are not just lies. these are like diarrheas of lies and i think it's contributing to this trump -- this on set of trump fatigue that we're seeing here. but what's extraordinary about it is how petty and unnecessary and easily verifiable the lies are. you know, so how fragile must his ego be that he has to continually make up the stories? the real problem as you're touching on, while some are pretty and really ultimately insignificant, some of the lies are purposeful. they're consequential and some of them are deeply ugly. i think that again this is going to affect obviously his relationship on capitol hill. but i also think it's starting to show up in the polls where people are rolling their eyes like what not yet again, but what happens if you have a serious crisis? a man who lies about anything, will he be trusted?
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>> i had a conversation about the first eight months of the bush presidency before 9/11 and 9/11 is something i hope never to see repeated in this country. everybody does, but what he had done in the months leading up to it, after winning in the historically bizarre way, the florida recount was to have passed education reform with ted kennedy as his partner. signed the tax reform with max baucus next to him. he had made an effort to work across the aisle and then obviously when the nation was faced with this extraordinary tragedy and test, the entire country criticized it. but if this white house is tested there have been no efforts not only to tell the truth, but there have been no efforts to build credibility among democrats or republicans. >> no credibility to build credibility only among those who support him. there's a hurricane you need to tell people how to handle or a national security crisis it will be a big problem. what i worry the most about is the impact -- you know, health
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care we were able to stop. right, we were able to stop the repeal of obamacare, but the impact -- >> but a big assist from john mccain. >> right. but the impact of having a president of the united states who consistently lies and the impact that has on the standing of the united states and the post trump era, whatever that may be, the impact it has on the standing in the united states and the impact it has on the american's ability to believe in their president and believe in democracy. i think it's deeply cynical. and it can really erode that trust. everything in this presidency, like that is -- people don't appreciate how important the credibility of the word of the president of the united states is. he just erodes that credibility every day. >> well, you know, the reality is that we are all as american citizens living in donald's world and in donald's world as opposed to harry truman's word that he had a thing at his desk that said the buck stops here, donald has something in his mind
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it's not a lie if i believe it. the danger to that i fear is that it fuels within him and within certain of his acolytes in the administration, what eli was talking about earlier. there's a division in this country. so he says what he says to the boy scouts about the boy scouts. it's proven to be a lie. he says what he says about calling the president of mexico. it's proved to be untrue. what is it? it's the fake media calling them on it. that's the one successful i think that i fear he has done. he has injected such a level of cynicism into the american blood stream about the media, about what we do in print and electronically that it's frightening. >> eli, a quick last word. it was an interview in "the wall street journal" where he said my reviews weren't mixed. >> i think mike is right. this presidency a stress test on our institutions and it's troubling for that reason. i was at the jamboree, if he drove off, how does he know that
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the cheers went on for five minutes? i mean, he's just -- he's telling these stories to himself. >> good point. >> and in these interviews -- i mean, you get the sense he's watching his staff -- stephen miller up is there performing again as we like to say for an audience of one. >> i was hitting pause because that's the topic when we come back. we'll be right back and get back to that contentious, contentious moment in today's briefing. don't go anywhere.
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ykeep you that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. let's all use common sense, folks. at the end of the day why do special interests want to bring in more low skilled workers and why historically -- >> i'm not asking for comments. i'm asking for specific -- >> i think it's clear, glenn, you're not asking for common sense. but if i can answer your question. i named -- i named the study, glenn. glenn, glenn -- >> tell me --
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>> i named the studies. >> but the whole notion they have to learn english before they come to the united states, are we just bringing in people from great britain and australia? >> i want to say, i am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from great britain and australia would know english. it's actually -- it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree. >> i'm shocked that stephen miller is shocked. and glenn thrush, i love, i'm going to make your a t-shirt that says, quote, i'm not asking for common sense because we all know that that is gone, right? i mean, what was this exchange about? and why did stephen miller get so mad at you? >> i don't think miller got mad. i think stephen miller got air time. and i think he enjoyed it immen immensely. he was not getting off that stage. sarah huckabee sanders was
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standing around long enough to have charged him rent. >> i thought she'd hook him after a while. he was the guy who kept going and going. it wasn't going well but he kept going anyway. >> it was scaramucciesque. >> right. it was in the mold of scaramucci. you're right. >> that's right. i mean, interesting contrast in the kinds of performances that both of those guys gave. look, all i was trying to get out of stephen who was personalizing stuff and talking about common sense and trying to pivot on it was anybody can call anything common sense, right? what i was trying to get at is you're talking about a new policy, what he claims is a radical policy change. it's not very clear whether or not any of these changes would be all that radical. we haven't seen details. but the point i was making was we didn't see a fact sheet telling us what the problem was. identifying the statistical benchmarks that they're attempting to attack with this policy. that wasn't provided to us prior
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to the briefing. it wasn't provided prior to the unrolling of this policy. when i asked him for specific studies he cited a few they have used before. what i wanted was some statistic that proved the point of the policy which is can you prove to me that the importation of low income workers suppresses wages? now, it is my understanding having covered this issue for a while that the information on what is mixed but i think -- on that is mixed but i think as a policy official for this administration, he ought to have had that information at his fingertips and not have resorted to having made jokes about the new york times. >> we know what john kelly thought of scaramucci and his historic tenure. what do you think his tolerance will be for how deeply personal, how unprofessional this performance was in that room today? >> i don't know. i mean, john kelly is used to dealing with men and women who have some caliber and some
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nobility. so i don't know what his estimation will be of performances like you saw from stephen miller today. i watched the performance as we all did. i don't know stephen miller but it smacked to me he was looking for a thumbs up from the oval office which i'm sure he got. good job, stephen, you did it. you threw it right back at them and also just visually and verbally it struck me as someone taking the podium, a young guy, who in his earlier life i don't how many times he probably had his lunch stolen from him, you know? give me the twinkies too. this is his get back moment. >> yeah. serious point here, jen, i think that he is using the presidency to exact revenge, to use his power in a deeply -- i'll tell you the answer to the question about why -- if anyone that works in the bush white house had used the podium to personalize their responses. they were asking for details on
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a policy proposal that the white house rolled out today. my theory is they looked small and weak and impotent that they had to sign the sanctions bill, so let's roll out a policy that we can steam roll over the most vulnerable people in our country. that's just a theory. what do you make of the performance at the podium? >> i think your theory is good one and to use the podium to personally berate reporters, not on a substantive thing is probably what want trumps wants to see and unprecedented behavior in other white houses. what i find troubling though about what miller -- what they were proposing today, it really is unraveling the way we think about immigration in this country. and you know while there's all this drama that happens in the white house bannon and miller are two people in this white house that have a philosophy. and they are -- >> that's right. >> they are following that. >> they're plugging away. >> more so than trump even. they're plugging away and making progress and changing the
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country in disturbing way. >> tamara, the final word on that. we do get distracted by shiny objects but they're making progress on a controversial agenda when it comes to their crackdown on immigration. >> yes, they are. john kelly was part of that and now he's in the white house. what stephen miller was able to do here is have a very big platform, you know, broadcast to the nation. talking about legislation that has very little support in congress and has very little likelihood of becoming the law of the land. >> all right. thank you. we're simply hitting pause here and when we come back, we're going to dive into another glenn thrush exchange in that briefing room yesterday it was on asking tough questions about the white house's role in a brand-new lawsuit. we'll be right back. ♪ whatever you want to do...
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did the president know about the free publication and did he have a way on how it was written? >> he didn't know about the story and it's untrue about the involvement in the story. >> was there a allegation out there and sean spicer admitted meeting the two individuals that this was discussed in your white house? >> he met with members of the media. i don't find that to be a strange thing. you guys are all members of the media. >> but the story that was later retracted because it was false. he met with that reporter and he
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met with a campaign director. does it disturb you, say anything about this white house that he would entertain that kind of story? >> it doesn't bother me that the press secretary would take a meeting with somebody involved in the media about a story. none of that was disclosed. they had a conversation and that was the end of it. >> welcome back to the glenn thrush hour. that was a intense back and forth yesterday with glenn thrush and sarah huckabee sanders. my question is do you have any more clarity on to the question as to whether or not it disturbed them they were meeting with folks about a story later retracted by that network? >> no, i don't think there's an ounce of contrition in my -- and my sense is that the general feeling was that it was part of the interaction that they often have with conservative media. you know, steve bannon sits in the west wing as obviously the former chairman of breitbart. he has communication, it's been reported well that he has done that.
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and josh green's excellent book he talks about bannon having conversations with roger ailes and rupert murdoch. i think those kind of interactions are standard for this white house and the larger context important to understand is this president and his staff have been relentless -- relentless, in fact sarah was blasting the press for the russia obsession. they had been relentless us of accusing us of being light on hillary clinton or colluding with the democrats. the coordination that's occurred and it's documented over and over again is between the white house, fox news, where they had the interactions and the president tweets every single morning about "fox & friends" and breitbart or over conservative news organizations including sinclair media with whom jared kushner cut a deal.
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i think that's the dominant news story, sort of the news politics nexus story that people need to focus on and i think example of coordination. >> let me bring in someone to help me unravel the legal side of this story. joining us is carry core der oh, former associate general counsel for the officials of the director of national intelligence and someone to help me understand and continue this thread, again. carry, you read the whole lawsuit. just explain to me what the lawsuit is about and who the players are. >> sure. so this is a standard civil lawsuit brought in the southern district of new york in federal court. it's a defamation lawsuit. so basically it's an assertion by someone that they were slandered, that false statements were made about them. and the individual in question is a either current or former, it's una little unclear, fox news contributor by the last name of wheeler. he was a detective, a former
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detective and now is a private invest or and has been a fox news contributor for some time. he alleges, basically that fox news and a reporter and someone affiliated, another unpaid contributor, basically made up quotes that were used in a story regarding the seth rich former dnc staff who was killed conspiracy theory. and so he alleges that in a story that fox news carried, which they have since retracted, that two quotes were attributed to him in a written story that he now says in his lawsuit were incorrect and he never said. and so what he's alleging is that that therefore harms his reputation, has caused irreparable danl to his reputation, has affected his earnings and so he's suing in civil court to obtain damages and to get a judgment in his favor. >> paul, bring the white house piece back into relief for us.
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because the reason this was a topic in the white house briefing room, this is a young man who lost his life. this is a family grieving over the loss of their son, his friends. but talk about how this young man's death was sort of became chum in the water, if you will, in this current media landscape. >> well, this fed a great conspiracy theory among the far right and many trump supporters that there was a conspiracy to murder seth rich by pro democratic people because it was pay back for seth rich leaking e-mails that were embarrassing to hillary clinton to wikileaks, which then published them. there is no evidence that he actually did that, and that's where the kind of slander comes in in all of this. that he was never -- there is no
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evidence to support that position. yet this has been a conspiracy like the common ping-pong conspiracy that keeps circulating. and fox pushed that idea. >> jen, you're familiar with this young man and the work that he did at the dnc. just talk about this story and the media climate in which we're all processing this lawsuit. >> yeah. it is -- it's really, i mean, it's literally sickening because this poor family has been very public about the fact that they want these conspiracy theories to stop. and they do real damage. i mean, you saw what happened with comment ping-pong, a very misguided soul walked into that place with an assault weapon. but is it fantastic to think that the president was involved in -- at making to the report on that? we know it's not. we know that there is a history of him retweeting great reporting from fox news that's
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clearly national security information that was leaked to them. so, you know, it's not -- i think we see these moments and think they're the whole story as opposed to stepping back to looking at the pattern at how trump reacts to fox news. >> i heard someone trying to jump in. was that you, paul? >> i think we can go really too far with the trump angle here. there's no evidence that president trump knew about this fos news story and had encouraged it. that is an allegation that's in the lawsuit, but there isn't a whole lot of evidence to suggest it. rob wheeler, who brought this lawsuit says his former associate says the president was aware of this and encouraged it. but again, that's hearsay, and there really isn't solid proof that the president even knew about it. the only thing we do know about the white house is that rod wheeler and he had bu to you ski told sean spicer in a meeting in april that this story was coming. we don't know whether sean
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spicer went to the president and told him. sean spicer then in may denied knowing about the story after it was published. in fact, he did know about it because he was told about it in april. but the president's involvement, still unclear. >> and glen flush, that was just real wick quickly what you were trying to get for the bottom of yesterday in the briefing, right? >> that's right. so sarah -- yeah. it was a two-part question. did the president know about it and did the president influence the story. sarah unequivocally in the first answer answered no, the president didn't know about it. and she was broader in her response saying no one in the white house sought to influence it. but here is the question, we're going to see visit or logs at some point in time. we're going to potentially see e-mails through the process of discovery. i think the answer that she gave yesterday, we'll see if it holds up over the next couple of months. >> all right. thank you very much for spending some time with us. we will be right back. ♪ you're gonna have dizziness, nausea, and sweaty eyelids. ♪
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we're back. we're going to spend the last moment of this program with charlie sieks. charlie, talk a little about the theme of the day, this president strange his credibility and in some cases over seemingly unimportant things at a time when we face really scary stuff. >> and sometimes it's on very consequential things like the seth rich lie, which is really exposes not just the inner workings of trump world, but also the corruption of the pro trump, the conservative media, the way they ran with this story, fox news, sean hannity, people like newt gingrich who exploitd and defamed this dead young man, played upon the grief
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of his family, all in order to try to put out the fake narrative, you know, to, you know, take attention away from the russian hacking. it is an ugly chapter. >> it's an ugly chapter. we're going to pick this up tomorrow, keep having this conversation, because it's an important one. thank you very much, charlie sieks. thanks to my entire panel for being with me. we're going to turn things over to "mtp daily" with chuck todd. hi, chuck. >> how are you doing, nicole? boy, that credibility crisis it keeps growing from our friends in washington. >> sad. >> thank you. if it's wednesday, we've come a long way from george washington and that cherry tree. tonight, the white house credibility crisis deep ens. >> i don't think it's appropriate to lie from the podium or any other place. >> more cases of team trump's taste for fake news. but are they misstatements, miss directions or simply mistakes? >> jerry, just remember, it's not a lie


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