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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  August 7, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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donald trump did not have a rain plan in bedminster where he's spending a 17-day working vacation. he hit twitter early and hard in a tweet storm that encompassed the known triggers. the size of his base, quote, the trump base is far bigger and stronger than ever before. despite some phony fake news polling. look at rallies in pennsylvania, iowa, ohio and west virginia. the fact is that the fake russian news collusion story, record stock market, border security, military strength, jobs, supreme court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation and so much more have driven the base even closer together. will never change. at 7:18 a.m. he moved on to his disdain for the press, quote, hard to believe that with 24/7 fake news on cnn, abc, nbc, cbs, ny times, "washington post" the trump base getting stronger.
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then at 7:47 a.m., a time when general kelly may forever more think twice about leaving the president alone he tweeted this. quote, interesting to watch senator blumenthal of connecticut talking about hoax/russian collusion when he was a phony vietnam con artist. no one has defrauded voters like blumenthal. he told stories about battles and conquests, how brave he was and it was all a lie. he cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child and uno he judges collusion. end tweet. we'll get to everything that's wrong with the final series of tweets but a quick and necessary fact check first. years ago, blumenthal did misrepresent his military service, conflating his time in the marine reserves with those who served overseas in vietnam. there's no evidence that blumenthal bragged as trump claimed or that he cried when the record was corrected. joining us today, nbc's peter
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alexander with the president. and shannon pettypiece, and many politicians lie, but trump has elevated the art of fabrication, my favorite title of the year. and jeremy bash, an nbc and msnbc national security analyst. peter, to you first. i'm guessing that in bedminster no one will acknowledge the tweets were anything other than what they had planned for the first monday of the president's vacation. but not exactly what we associate with this new buttoned down, more professional west wing we have been hearing about. >> yeah. looks like the president sort of broke out on this rainy day here outside of bedminster before 8:00 a.m., nine separate tweets and all the reporting about how the new chief of staff kelly has been successful. bringing the new order and discipline, even if he's able to finesse the president and make sure that the information that gets in front of the president is good information he hasn't taken away the remote control as
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evidenced by the comments about dick blumenthal moments after he appeared on an interview on another cable network. the bottom line, the president as you said from the start, believes he's his own best messenger. that's one thing no matter who you put in the white house i don't think you'll be able to disrupt. the president tried to get out ahead of this. what's notable saying his base was growing that comes even as "the new york times" comes out with the report where they reported the fact that mike pence was looking to sort of -- in their words create an independent power base of his own. so while he was probably talking about the bigger base structure that supports him could have been a little shot at the reporting on mike pence as well. >> shannon, as peter says everything is code for something else. so attacking "the new york times" is usually a code for complaining about a story he didn't like. the truth is, his base is strong and enthusiastic in their
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support of him but they're shrinking, some might say collapsing in size. the comments from senator blumenthal are actually comments that have been made ever since news broke last thursday that bob mueller, special counsel, now has at his disposal two grand juries to hear evidence should the investigation require him to do so. so the attacks on the russia investigation, the attacks on the media are always some form of projection for this president. >> and i guess what i think that has been going on with the tweets based on our reporting is not necessarily that anyone's pressuring the president to stop tweeting or to seriously curtail his tweeting but people are getting him to, you know, get a little bit of review, and have people know what he's going to tweet before he actually tweets it. so they can at least advise him to say, hey, if you tweet this, this is the repercussions for that. this is what you could be stepping in.
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the tweets that blumenthal, i don't know for a fact if someone saw them but i can hear someone say that's going to create a distraction but go ahead. i felt like the tweets over the past week and even today were relatively tame from what we have seen in the past. that's one thing to go after a democratic senator. i mean, he wasn't attacking his own cabinet members. talk about a distraction or announcing a defense department policy on north korea via twitter. i'm getting the sense that the kelly effect is happening in the west wing. you know, despite trump still -- he's going to be trump on twitter, but it was relatively tame. >> peter, let me come to you on that. is the bar so low that the effect of adding a general as the chief of staff is that you simply attack a sitting senator for his military service instead of a sitting member of your cabinet? >> it is kind of remarkable, right, it did at least for a
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moment feel like a deja vu all over again to hear the president going after a specific target like that. and the fact that it wasn't jeff sessions i guess is a good thing for the cabinet secretaries who notably were now told some of the senior policymaker, even the vice president will be making stops up at bedminster over the course of the next week. the president will go to new york for some meetings though he didn't say what they are. next week is significant because a lot of the voices in the president's head aren't just the voices that surround him, but the voices that answer the phone call. so if he's in new york and gets to see some of the old friends who knows what exactly advice they'll be providing face-to-face. >> i want to bring cheryl into this conversation because you have a wonderful piece out today in that you pulled back the lens and i want to read this from your piece. trump's pattern of lies. quote, from his days peddling the false notion that former president barack obama was born in kenya to his inflated claims about how many people attended his inauguration to his
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description just last week of receiving two phone calls, one from the president of mexico, and another from the head of the boy scout, that never happened, mr. trump is trafficking in hyperbole, distortion and fabrication, on practically a daily basis. the piece goes through and makes the point that other presidents have -- to be honest, you write about how my former boss, president bush, with the iraq war was obviously caught in a situation where the case he had made for the war turned out not to be true. there were no weapons of mass destruction but you look at this historical look and it's more shocking in the way that donald trump communicates. >> that's right. he's certainly not the first president to misrepresent the truth as far as back as 1960, dwight eisenhower lied to the public when the soviets shot down an airplane. a spy plane. eisenhower told the public it was a weather aircraft and then eventually the truth came out and he had to fess up. he was very chagrinned and upset
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that he had to do that. he felt his reputation was injured but the difference between that and some of the misrepresentations we have seen from the current president is that some of the things donald trump says are just head scratchers. they're kind of exaggerations according to one republican strategist seemingly to puff up his ego. >> and cheryl, you know, when you -- you go through pretty meticulous fashion some of these little lies that are so easily disproven. and i wonder what the impact is on a national security apparatus facing an undeniable urgent and perhaps imminent threat from north korea. complicated picture in the mideast. you know, homeland security crises that seem to pop up by the week. what is the effect for the people that have to govern under the banner of the trump cabinet or the trump administration when the commander in chief seems to
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lie with reckless abandon? >> well, you know, i think the concern is that small lies can lead to sort of an undermining of the public trust. and that leads to questions about, you know, what policies are made. if you can't really trust what the president is saying to be truthful and accurate, on little things, how can you trust what he's saying on big things? >> jeremy bash, let me bring you into this because if we look at the pattern of lies, sometimes all of the projections and all of the attacks and all of the little lies seem to coincide at least in time and space with developments in the russia investigation which we all know gets under his skin and turns him sometimes an irrational actor, by firing james comey and telling our lester holt that he planned to do that all along. it triggers behavior when this
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investigation has him feeling more alarmed. >> presidential credibility is one of our most important tools in our arsenal, nicolle. if you think about it, our allies will not believe us, our adversaries will not fear us if they can't take the word of the commander in chief. you're right, in the context of the russia investigation, think of it. the whole rationale for the coney firing was what he had done during the 2016 election when in reality it was as the president admitted to alleviate pressure on trump because comey was investigating the russian collusion issue. and to say i wasn't under investigation, we know there's a grand jury impaneled in washington, d.c. and the issues of collusion very much in the crosshairs of bob mueller. >> and jeremy, there's so mu much -- not reportable information, but there is a low rumble, a low roar about the
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developments and someone that was as close to donald trump as anyone, mike flynn. there are reports every day about the kinds of questions he might be getting about his financial ties, about what he was doing on the side while in the campaign and we know that flynn was a real pressure point for the president. you and i talked many times at 4:00 and at 11:00 and other times of day about that attempted intervention with sally yates. but talk about whether the timing of more and more drips drips drips about flynn and donald trump's agitation on twitter. >> there's no question that flynn is the kronton it's for this president. he clears the room, he asks the attorney -- excuse me the fbi director to go easy on him. remember, it was the justice department that warned the white house that flynn could be blackmailed by the russians and that was kept a secret until "the washington post" revealed
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that. that was the original leak, if you will, that has now prompted this whole wider war on leaks. everything this administration has done from lying about the investigation and launching a war on leaks somehow links back to mike flynn and his relationships with the russians. >> shannon, let me bring you back into the conversation and ask you about another at best mistruth or a lie. when he talks about the size of his base it is undeniable. i think we have a poll that's out this morning from firehouse strategies that shows that only -- you know, that the numbers have dropped almost ten points since april, that whether it is his base growing weary of the lack of progress on an agenda that they felt they were owed or that they signed up for, i think a lot of his working class voters i covered them in the beginning of the year in january and february, march in the battleground states of michigan, wisconsin and ohio. they were looking for us to pull out a nafta, they were looking
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for plans in their towns -- plants in their towns to open and their family members go back to work. that hasn't happened as quickly as donald trump suggested it might. and the collapse of his poll numbers is real. now, he may be right, in that for his hard core base he can still shoot someone on fifth avenue, but that base is shrinking. >> i think you're right, nicolle. it depends on of course what you consider your base. there has been weakening in poll numbers among republicans. kellyanne conway was on tv recently who even acknowledged that and kelly ann a pollster. she knows this better than most. she knows the numbers. seeing the weakening support among republicans, weakening support among independents. of course, not picking up any support from democrats but there is that tried and true base, maybe 30, 35% whatever poll you want to go to are sticking by him. but the question is does that matter? you know, is that an influential up in group of people? of course it's not -- you need
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more than 35% to win an election if that's only two people running. but even as that base is a strong enough force to be able to help get republicans elected in 2018, are they enough to get republicans who haven't been supportive of this president to get pro trump candidates in there? that's the question i'm interested in. >> go ahead, peter. >> only thing i would add to this, i was up in wilkes-barre, pennsylvania, trying to meet in one of the critical counties where it flipped from obama to trump and before my visit there i spoke to some white house officials behind the scenes about what their internal poll numbers say. i think it's streaking what we heard about what kellyanne conway is conceding about some of the challenges that i are facing. but what they told me to my face, the bottom line they said of the ten states they think they need to win again in 2020, they have to be successful in, they said their numbers, they claim, have grown in six of them. they say they are even in three of them. there's only one, at least as the white house is casting it, where they say they have lost traction.
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where their numbers have gone down. so at least internally those are the numbers they were pointing to. >> we know that they will say anything. so we'll keep an eye on our own polls. all right, my thanks to peter alexander, shannon pettypiece and cheryl stole berg. we may need to get used to seeing this man wage a war against cosmopolitan values from behind the podium. and why even the most loyal backers are eyeing the next con test. and the investigation that's decidedly not on vacation. bob mueller's case gets serious with two grand juries available to hear evidence. ] ♪ sailin' away on the crest of a wave, it's like magic ♪ ♪ rollin' and ridin' and slippin' and slidin' ♪
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this whole notion of they -- they have to learn english before they get to the united states, are we just going to bring in people from great britain and australia? >> jim, i can honestly say i'm 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 that in your mind -- no, this is an amazing moment. this an amazing moment, that you think only people from great britain or australia would speak english. it's so insulting to millions of hard working immigrants who do speak english from all over the world. >> could that be the next white house communications director? a man known to play for the all important audience of one. i want to bring in our panel joining us at the table today, associated press white house
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reporter jonathan what mere. donna edwards from a senior fellow. jason johnson from root and an msnbc contributor and bloomberg business week it or the, megan murphy. you have a new piece out about the search for a new white house communications director. >> well, what we saw from stephen miller was viewed upon in the west wing and the oval office as a star turn. the president is fond of miller. he was the opening act for many campaign rallies where he would deliver fiery denunciations of hillary clinton and he's shaped a lot of policy within the white house. he's a protege of jeff sessions who is sort of back in the president's good graces again. while he may not be necessarily the next communications director, let's remember the president has cycled through three of those already, at the very least he going to ply play -- play a larger role. but they liked this, they liked this fight. i don't think it's a coincidence
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that the two media outlets he picked on last week was "newsweek" and cnn. >> kellyanne conway has some of the responsibilities, hope hicks has some of the responsibilities, before he resigned sean spicer was doing some of that work and that stephen miller has some of that work. but what it tell us about donald trump if this is the man he wants to shape his message? because the message seems to be locked and loaded with that 33% of americans that will be with him no matter what. but stephen miller doesn't seem like the figure inside the west wing who can do what donald trump wants, which is to broaden -- i mean, with 33% you can't get pass any laws or get re-elected and you can't make sure that the house doesn't turn democratic and prevent your own impeachment so it gets you nothing. it's weak and small.
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what does he think miller can do for him? >> it seems unlikely to grow your base. i would agree with you that. but miller is doubling down to the base. he gave voice last week about some immigration stuff which the president of course made a centerpiece of his campaign but has done very little on since he's taken office. i think the president also as we well know he's a counterpuncher and he feels like in his mind he is unfairly under attack from the media, from the russia investigation, and this is someone he thinks can hit back. >> can i break that down a little bit. that wasn't a policy that donald trump had been a centerpiece of his campaign. this is radically slashing not illegal immigration, but legal immigration. >> exactly. >> taking it down, separating families, looking at people who come into this country on a legal basis to get jobs and the most interesting thing is his base doesn't even support a lot of that policy and it won't affect the economy in the way it does. there's no evidence showing that it will take up wages of lower
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income workers. that's actually happening by itself in the economy. again, i think it's an what example of the misjudging, like the transgender ban, getting out ahead of their own base. i'm not sure we thought we'd be in that situation. >> well, my issue with stephen miller, i want to be very clear about this. the word racist gets thrown around a lot. i think sometimes unfairly. miller associates himself with white nationalists. those are terrorist supervisors, people like richard spencer. they believe that america is a white country -- >> tick through the evidence for some of our viewers. because it's a serious charge. >> his long history in history of giving speeches about black and brown people being there to serve him. his writings about the problem of people with color and dangers of multiculturism. and somehow diminishing what makes america great. and his long association with spencer who is the head of the
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white nationalists today. that's a dangerous person to have in the white house. >> you know what i think says a lot about him, he came into trump's orbit because he was an aide for jeff sessions. jeff sessions was attacked by donald trump viciously. if there was one man that i expected to walk out the door of the west wing when his boss, when his key to the kingdom was thrown under the bus by the president it was this guy. >> in fact, i didn't expect him to walk out, because if you look at jeff sessions, jeff sessions is in the department of justice doing all the things that he wanted to do all along on voter suppression, on criminal justice. >> but the agenda -- if you have any loyalty -- i mean, in politics you know the expression dance with the one who brung you. the one who brought him to the party is jeff sessions. >> he knew he couldn't get rid of jeff sessions. you can see that building in the congress. jeff sessions is exactly where he wants to be, i think for all the wrong reasons and look, miller isn't being touted because he is great on message.
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you could see that that in his press conference, what he's being touted for he's in for the fight. he's going to wage that fight on behalf of this. i won't call it a base anymore because 28% ain't a base. >> no. >> last point? >> and despite taking some blow back for the botched immigration ban, the initial rollout, miller has played the western politics very well. he's close to a number of different factions in the building including jared kushner and ivanka trump. >> power players to say the least. when we come back, john mccain shows why he's known as the straight talker, describing public jockeying for the republicans in 2020 -- they see weakness in this president. big question, does that include mike pence? your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish,
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hypothetically, if the president were for whatever
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reason decides not to run in 2020 which is something that could not happen, are you saying that mike pence would not step up to take the role? >> i don't talk about hypotheticals -- >> but we talk about hypotheticals all the time. are you ruling out that possibility? >> i'm talking about we are operating under the assumption every day that the president is seeking re-election in 2020. that is our goal. that's our focus on delivering his agenda and making sure that we are in a position where the president can be re-elected and continue to lead this country. >> it's no secret that even among the president's supporters it's not a take it to the bank fact that donald trump will run for re-election. for one thing, there's no way to know how the russia investigation will turn out. there's also the fact that donald trump has himself remarked on multiple occasions that he had a very good life before he was president. that may be what fueled speculation over the weekend about his vice president mike pence making a run for the white house if donald trump chooses not to.
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"the new york times" piece also chronicled travel by cotton and ben sasse. i want to bring in the president of the american action forum and former director of the cbo. let me start with you, doug. would republicans on capitol hill where you spent a lot of time prefer a president pence? >> i don't think they'll say it that way, but i think they'd prefer a style of mike pence. i think they're frustrated by the white house. they haven't got a lot of legislative accomplishments to show for it and i think some of the blame belongs on pennsylvania avenue in the way that the president has conducted things on twitter and changed strategies and objectives on a day to day basis. >> he speaks more diplomatically than i do. i think the truth is hell yes, a lot of republicans would much rather be doing business with mike pence. i think there are two categories of people that are looking at 2020. and i saw tom cotton's name in
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that piece. i think that mike pence and tom cotton are unfailingly loyal to donald trump and they mere in the category of -- more in the category of donald trump and might run if donald trump choose z not to. but jeff flake is out on a book tour. he's making an anti-trump and anti-trumpism case. let's watch a little jeff flake. >> i do think that we have seen more people ready to stand up. i wish that we as party would have stood up for example when the birtherism thing was going along. a lot of people did stand up, but not enough. >> did you do enough? i'm curious -- >> on that i think i did. but on other things as well. i mean, when our party, i wonder, you know, during rallies when the chants lock her up, you know, we shouldn't be the party for jailing your political opponents. and anybody at that rally -- anybody at those rallies ought
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to stand up and say that's inappropriate. we shouldn't be doing that. i wish we as a party and elected officials would do more of that. or when particularly ugly conspiracy stories come out or fake news, we ought to say that's not right. >> i cannot articulate how -- i guess relief is the best way to describe how i feel listening to that. and i wonder if jeff flake has opened the door for more republicans to talk about how a lot of people who aren't governing in the time of trump feel about what president trump has done to the republican party. >> that's right. there's certainly a deal of never trumpers who are there. john kasich has come out repeatedly against the president. not only his policies but how he's carried himself. between that and we are seeing with vice president pence who of course no one expects to make a primary run at the president -- when the president will run again, but there are possibilities this could be a wide open field in 2020.
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having said that, it is striking to me how quickly the vice president and his people have come attacking that new york times story saying there's nothing to this. even releasing a statement that night. the phrase audience of one. >> exactly. let me read the statement. so he said today's article in "the new york times" is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team. the allegations in this article are categorically false and represent the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration. well, okay, on the other hand you have a pac. you know a little bit -- a pac is used to raise money for campaigns. in his case it was for other's campaigns. but it wasn't a conspiracy theory made up by the media. he's done things that looks like he's protecting his prerogative to run. >> over the last several weeks and months i mean you see the vice president on a number of occasions whether he's traveling abroad or around the country really keeping an arm's length with the president. i have to tell you this. i think if i were mike pence with that kind of statement, i'd
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get out of the way of the bus. >> i have to be honest, as much as i would love the machiavellian imagery of pence measuring the curtains in the white house and getting caught by trump -- >> i thought you were gone. i you were in bedminster. >> we thought you were in vacation. most of the guys have demonstrated themselves to be spineless when it comes to this president. and i think these moves now -- i think they're less about actually preparing for 2020 and possibly certainly when its comes to flake and the other members of congress, preparing themselves to say i'm somewhat independent during these midterm elections in 2018. 2020 is far off. the likelihood that this president is going to be gone is very slim. >> doug? >> nicolle, i think there are two different things going on here. one is with regard to the president, you cannot run a gu rill what campaign for re-election. the best example of that is john mccain. once he became a member of the establishment it was an uncomfortable fit. he can't do that again. he has to run with the accomplishments. there's a real fear he won't
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have them and the pence wing is getting ready to step in should he bow out because he can't manage to re-elect. >> doug, what do you think the -- i mean, you lay out a really dispassionate case for that. no accomplishments, he might bow out. are you hearing that? >> i think that's a real possibility. i mean, his style of campaign is to just, you know, blame the swamp, blame people. he'll have only himself to blame in four years. >> but doug -- >> that's not going to fit very well. and so i think the pence/cotton kinds of thing, okay, we can find ourselves in the position where we have to pick up the mantel and go forward. i think jeff flake and kasich that's a battle for the soul of the republican party and that existed in 2016 and it existed in 2018, it's going to be there. that's an ongoing battle for what will conservatives stand for and will they control the republican party the way they want to. >> it's either -- this is the issue. what we're talking about here is
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what drives americans crazy. we are not a society that all is about electing, but we have to be about governing and this is an important battle. i think we underestimate sometimes conservatives who really believe in conservative principles. conservative legislation who look at the disaster that happened with health care, something they had promised to repeal and replace. not because it was an obama initiative, but because they believe in more competition and more choice. they see that very core of republican ideas, true conservatives are looking at tax reform, the debt ceiling, the budget, things that now in the senate, in the house and the white house, they thought they finally had a legitimate credible shot at putting in their principles. their idea of what america should be and that breeds -- >> and the first people that peeled off were the policy folks, people animated by the
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free market policies. see, we have consensus. thank you. please come back. early and often. up next, president trump is defending his national security adviser despite growing pressure from the right to oust him. we'll look at what's behind those attacks. ♪
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with renters insurance. because all his belongings went up in flames. jack got full replacement and now has new pants he ordered from banana republic. visit geico.com and see how affordable renters insurance can be. president trump's national security adviser mcmaster has found himself in the crosshairs facing attacks from the far right with conservative sites like breitbart with headlines. report hr mcmaster volatile and he blows his top. he worked in a think tank backed by a soros funded group. that line of messaging has gained traction on twitter where the #fire mcmaster trended over the weekend. the call for his job got so loud
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that the president felt the need to give an official on the record quote to "the new york times" telling them quote, me and general mcmaster are working well together. joining us right now is a national security analyst and jerry bash is still with us. juan, i have talked to folks inside the national security apparatus, you know lots of folks, more than i do. they are confident that with the arrival of general kelly, hr mcmaster's job is safe. but i wonder how it looks to you knowing so many of the players that there are people inside the west wing who still seem to have the freedom to launch attacks and to launch campaigns against the sitting national security adviser of the united states. >> well, nicolle, first of all, i have told you this before, i know hr mcmaster personally. i'm a huge fan of his, i love him professionally and personally and my bias is on the table out front.
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>> you know what, let me just -- put your bias aside tell you about him. you don't have to be biased to understand how important he is to our country. >> yeah. >> he's a three star general, he was awarded the silver star, bronze star, defense superior serious medal, he was a captain of the eagle group in the gulf war. this is a man of unquestioned integrity and frankly, the only time he's ever come close to doing anything that anyone wondered might tarnish his sterling credentials is when he went to work for donald trump. >> and in defense of the president, exactly right. his credentials speak for themselves. he's a true american patriot. he's fought in multiple wars, multiple theaters of battle. he's led men and women with distinction. he's an intellectual warrior. he is exactly what the administration needs. so that's the first point. he's a man of great integrity and we're lucky to have him in
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the position he's and the president as well. i think what his -- what has helped him not what the president has said in defense of him. but the attacks have been over the top. i think what these kinds of attacks do is to -- they tend to galvanize the national security council staff, especially the senior staff that will circle the wagons a bit around him, especially with general kelly there who has a great deal of respect for general mcmaster. there are no doubt there are policy differences, nicolle. questions as to how to proceed with the iran deal, what the next best steps are. what to do in afghanistan with hr being much more aggressive in terms of wanting to have a preserved force on the ground to support our allies. but no question that hr has not only america's best interests at heart but is trying to find ways to help this administration formulate coherent strategies and he's trying to present options to the president, so the president can make the best decisions for the country. i'm in full defense of mcmaster, i think we should be very proud
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that he's serving as our national security adviser. >> jeremy bash, in the context of the threat we face from north korea and the vote over the weekend in the u.n. security council to sanction north korea, i wonder what you think about just sort of the optics of having a white house in which the national security adviser has to field attacks from wit n within, from i think everybody knows that they come from forces aligned with steve bannon. hour does that play around the world when we're trying to rally the world to deal with an imminent threat from north korea? >> it's dangerous, nicolle, because as you and juan know having both served in the white house these jobs are hard enough on even the best of days. even when things are going you way. when you're dealing with true national security crises like the fact that north korea flight tested twice in july, an icbm with the potential range to hit the main land of the united states. you want your national security team firing on all cylinders and unified. there can be policy differences.
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we expect that. we want that. that's why they gather in the interagency process around hash things out. but to have people leaking on mcmaster, attacking him, sanctioned attacks against him, i would like to see the president and the senior leadership of the white house say exactly what juan just said. he's a hero, he's capable, he's our national security adviser, cut it out. >> cut it out or walk out the door of the west wing. they want to catch the leakers they should catch the leakers undermining our national security adviser. let me read to you what north korea said. they said they're ready to teach the u.s. a severe lesson with their nuclear strategic force if we take military action that in response perhaps to some of the messaging coming from hr in an interview with our hugh hewitt talking about, you know, what we're prepared to do in some of the options that may be getting prepared for the u.s. government. what do you make of the turn
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that this standoff has taken over the weekend? >> well, first of all, we can expect this kind of belligerent kind of braggadocio from the north koreans. it's pretty typical. but this set of sanctions is important. important note, 15-0, the chinese and the russians are on board. these are more severe. they're restricting export of coal, iron ore which is critical to their economy. this is a significant ratcheting up of financial pressure. it matches with the additional pressure that the trump administration is trying to play, not just on north korea but on china to try to restrict pyongyang and give them a harsh choice which is continue with your missile and nuclear program, you're going to face more international isolation, more financial hardship. if you want to talk, we're willing to talk. but certainly the sanctions are in intended to try to squeeze the north koreans.
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the trick, nicolle, will the chinese in particular enforce the sanctions effectively and you will see a continuous drum beat not just of the implementation of these sanctions but others to restrict what north korea does and to pressure china to implement the sanctions. >> when we come back, the latest on robert mueller's investigation and why it's reaching a more serious phase. b, i was on the go. i kept on top of things. then the chronic, widespread pain slowed me down. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worse depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, swelling, trouble breathing, rash,
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one year later, rather than turning that investigation off, rather than concluding, we've looked at this for a yeefr, there's really nothing to see here, as the president would claim. instead, if these allegations are true, it's moving into a new phase with the impaneling of a grand jury. that wouldn't be taking place if there was really no evidentiary basis to move forward. and of course, we can see justin what's come out in the last month why that investigation is probably closer to the beginning than the end. >> it's only the beginning. the ranking chairman of the house intel committee congressman adam shiff says or is it the beginning of the end. witch-hunt, fake news, phoney, they're all words the president uses to did he cry the russia probe. as the "washington post" notes, the russia investigation is getting very, very real. jeremy bash, take us through what for none lawyers, what it means for an investigation to get serious. >> well, first of all, it means
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there's enough evidence that exists that bob mueller, who is investigating this, can now take the evidence to a grand jury. and ultimately if the grand jury agrees on a probable cause standard, basically meaning there's enough to fit that crime may have been committed, they can indict and they can return a bill of indictment. really it means that the investigators are compiling their evidence, they're going to be able to compel witnesses. they're going to be able to get documents, and they can begin to build a case against one or more individuals, including people in the president's inner circle. >> talk about the paralysis that might exist among america's national security agencies when they work for a president who constantly denies the fact that russia meddled in the 2016 election. >> well, i think you have a couple of challenges. one, you have when the president challenges the underlying findings of the intelligence community a real questioning of the telling community's credibility and the data behind
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it. and i think that's a challenge and certainly every time he comes out and questions the findings, certainly something the intelligence community has to grapple with, maybe has to double down internally to reconvince the president or to demonstrate further evidence and information that would convince him. so there's sort of this internal struggle. externally, though, it's incredibly damaging, potentially, because in the age of these kinds of hybrid attacks and hybrid warfare, nchgs warfare, the question of evidence and how we prove and attribute these kinds of attacks is actually central to our national security. it's a question of how do we determine who is behind these attacks but it's also pay question how we respond as a nation. and to the extent you have the president calling the baseline of the information into question, you then begin to hamper the ability of the national security community to actually formulate policies to respond as vigorously as possible. you also give folks like
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vladimir putin further ammunition because his classic line is prove it, prove to me that i was behind it, that the russians were behind it. and he knows, quite clearly, that we're not going to reveal our most secret sources and methods. and we're not going to do that. and so it plays to our disadvantage to question the evidence behind those findings. >> jeremy bash, real quickly, it looked like bob mueller got a little bit of cover from rod rosenstein. he said over the weekend that we don't engage in fishing expe digsz and said to chris wallace of fox news sunday that if bob mueller finds evidence of a crime that's within the appropriate scope of the investigation, then he can look at whatever he needs to look at. where do you think based on those comments this investigation is turning? a lot of people speculate it's turning to financial dealings of donald trump and his companies. >> yeah. quickly, nicole, look, i think as i referenced earlier, if mike flynn has been one type of
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crypto night the other is his long history of financial relationships between the trump administration and the russia federation. it goes to how much lench does russian have over this president and this team. >> all right. thank you, jeremy bash and juan czar at that take. jonathan, you've been tracking the president. it is obviously still raining. his vacation day plans have been flartd. and he is still tweeting about jor blumenthal and about "the new york times" writing, how much longer will the failing -- i missed that one. i think senator blum that will should take a nice long vacation in vietnam so he can say he's been there. about "the new york times," how much longer will the filing -- these are moving foofs tore me to read. any way, the point being we end where we started with the president raging away with twitter on this rainy monday. >> lashing out at some of his most favorite targets. we see the president do this a
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lot, attacking someplace where he knows he himself is weak. >> i need a degree in psychology. he projects. >> the idea some of the attacks on hillary clinton about this here he did not of course serve in vietnam. that's what he seize z upon with the senator and even lying ted which is my favorite of the campaign nicknames. for ted cruz. we know the president sometimes has an uneasy with the truth. >> what this demonstrates is all this hope that kelly was going to put him under control, you cannot control this president. it's a rainy day give him some elmeasures glue, some construction paper. he is incapable of demonstrating the kind of discipline a president should have and i don't think anyone is going to be able to control him. >> this is over wrought point, right, that general -- they had an 8020 problem. the 20% from the staff.
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they've still dpot their 80% problem. >> we like to laugh and joke about this. but it is very serious. and here is why. i can tell you who doesn't care about "the new york times" failing sales. it's the american people. we may care about it. they certainly do not. they care about is he advancing the agenda that he went to campaign on, that he told them he was going to do. so far that has been a spectacular failure so far. he hasn't been able to push forward anything. and what is so bizarre about these tweets and this mafr is given an opportunity to actually advance in particular an economic agenda on wages, on jobs, on manufacturing, so restricting illegal immigration, he has chosen the opposite path. that is what is so frustrating to republicans. that is why they're deserting him and that is why, yes, mike pence is eyeing twept 20. >> look at the things he didn't tweet about. we had three marines who have apparently lost their lives in -- off the coast of australia. we have two service members who
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died in afghanistan. we have a bombing apparent domestic terrorist afak in minnesota. floods in new orleans. all of these things that any other president actually should be speaking to the american people about and working on, and this president starting at before 7 this morning with a dozen tweets is focused on himself. he is the most selfish president who has ever occupied the oval office. >> and why do you think that -- i mean, no president is perfect, but usually they're surrounded by people that go to them and make the points you just made. i mean, two men lost their lives in afghanistan on a day a story came out that his afghan policy process was a mess. i mean, why not the self-awareness that you might be causing more pain to people who have kids fighting by just the sheer chaos of your administration. >> well, clearly if they're there, the president doesn't listen to the people who are around him. and i think that that is why, thinking that general kelly is going to come in and magicly impose some discipline on the
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white house, when he can't impose discipline on the occupant of the oval office. >> and here is where this all sort of goes back to our 2020 conversation we started with. no matter how bad this is, no matter what lack of discipline or teshlg people he hires or inability to pass any policy, unless the democrats have somebody better, he's going to get re-elected. and that's the key. because no one runs in a vacuum. so his base can say i'm really, really disappointed in him, but unless they have another option, unless they like jeff flake or whoever the democrats put up, donald trump is going to get re-elected. >> the democrats are going to have their back. i mean, i think the tell will be in the 2018 election. >> kick last word? >> i think that you're going to see more of the same the next couple of days depending on the weather in bedminster, but i'd also suspect that the white house will attempt to make the president, you know, be busy. we'll see more public images of him acting and governing. >> it's a remarkable conversation every day. thank you.
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wait to see, right. thank you to my panel. that does it for this hour. i'm nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> watch the forecast, nicole. that's going to be really telling, right? >> if it is monday, surrender to the flow. tonight, divided sky, the wind blows high in gop country. how can the party in power get back to track after its 200-day agenda goes down? plus, kim jong-un's end game as pyongyang promises retaliation for u.s. sanctions. what further action is the u.s. ready to take? >> stop these missile launches. >> and seeking sanctions waer. will california take the feds to court over immigration enforcement. >> resolve in in a judicial forum rather than the rhetoric of p

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