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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  August 8, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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jersey. kristen, when you talk through what is happening in north korea, the president clearly wants the focus to be on this, but even just this morning on "today" show the u.n. ambassador said, listen, we don't know if this thing will actually work. >> that's right. the strategy right now the united states ramping up its words and its actions. we know president trump had an hour-long conversation with his secretary of state rex tillerson and his newly installed chief of staff, john kelly, yesterday to talk about the crisis in north korea. and that came on the heels of the united nations unanimously agreeing to impose an unprecedented billion dollars worth of sanctions on north korea. but as you point out, the big question, will north korea listen? will they heed this stern warning and this international response. what is significant is that the united states got china and russia onboard with those new round of sanctions and u.s. ambassador nikki haley had this stern warning on "today" show.
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take a listen. >> we don't know that they're going to work this time. it was something we needed to do. we said on saturday when we took the vote that this wasn't going to stop our north korea problem. what this is going to do is send a very strong message and a united message. it was a strong day for the united states. it was a strong day for the united nations. >> now, president trump touting the new sanctions on twitter as a diplomatic victory. at the same time today, hallie, he retweeted a story that cites unanimous sources. let me read you the headlines of that story. u.s. spy satellites detect north korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to control both. what is significant about this is that president trump has stories that rely on anonymous sources and, of course, his attorney general has vowed to crack down on leakers. so, all of this, the backdrop, as the president prepares to monitor the situation in north korea for yet another day, hallie. >> kristen welker there in
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bridgewater, new jersey. we'll ask you to come back in a couple minutes to talk through some other headlines of the day if you don't mind. first, courtney who is at the pentagon. courtney, we were talking about north korea. obviously, a focus of the day. also some new news we mentioned on afghanistan, on another area of critical international concern. walk us through what the pentagon is looking at, how many more troops we're talking about. what are we looking at here? >> just under 100 marines that are going into southwestern afghanistan to helman province. of course earlier this year the u.s. sent 300 more marines there and established a task force called task force southwest. soon after they arrived there the commanding general said he needed more troops. he needed some more marines for both internal security, which is securing the additional marines who are there already and some more trainers and advisors. the head of u.s. central command approved that request, but those marines have not yet moved in. so, i think one of the questions
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on everyone's mind is, is this part of this new strategy that the white house has been working on for some time now. this south asia strategy and the answer is no. this is something the commander on the ground needed an additional capability, he requested it and it was approved. this also is not part of what general mattis got. president trump, as you well know, halli, gave secretary mattis the ability to destroy war troop without white house approval. this is not part of that new authority, as well. this is something that is an inherent right of the central command commander to move troops around within his region, within the central command region. >> courtney, you got a by line on another critical piece out today talking aboutthe fight against isis as it relates to the philippines. we'll talk about that later on in the show, too. >> i think a lot of americans would be surprised to know there is a big isis problem in the
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philippines. it has been a problem for several months. the u.s. has provided them some additional intelligence access, some cessnas and a couple of drones recently. but now there's talk of doing several things. number one, providing them, naming an operation, naming a u.s. military operation which has some implications. what it would also potentially mean is giving some, providing some armed drones. the u.s., of course, would control the armed drones, but they would share some inof the intelligence and it would mean the u.s. taking air strikes against isis in the philippines which would be, of course, the u.s. military striking against isis in another country around the world. >> like i said, we're diving into that with bill neely and others in the show. thank you for that. with me, jamie as well as a senior state department adviser and now a senior fellow at the
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atlantic counsel and white house reporter ken thomas and npr and host of the npr politics podcast tamra. jamie, i want to start with you, you know a thing or two about north korea. can you blame them? what is his incentive for coming to the negotiating table? >> well, north korea has one big goal, that is to develop nuclear weapons. to maintain the position of their regime. so, they are going to hold on to power and they see nuclear weapons as essential for doing that. having said that, once they have established their nuclear deterrent and they're pretty close to that, they would like to have negotiations, particularly direct negotiations with the united states. so, that's their goal. if they can keep nuclear weapons and negotiate with the united states, that's a big win for them. >> nikki haley was out on "today" show this morning and she was talking about this. giving stark acknowledgments about what is and what is not realistic on the ground, jamie. i want you to listen to what the
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u.n. ambassador had to say. >> he may not negotiate now. i think what we did we sent a message and now we have gone directly after their hard currency. think about it, all the revenue that comes into north korea. it dozen go to feeding their people. the human rights there are terrible. what it does go to is a ballistic missile program. they no longer will have the amount of money to do that. >> but the question that matt lauer was about to press to nikki haley, is it too late? are the capabilities as such it doesn't matter what you do with the revenue straem coming in? >> for sure they have come a long way in developing their nuclear weapons and missile capabilities. on top of this, this is among their highest priorities as a country. even if we squeeze them more, how are they allocating even more resources that they have. and it's still going to go toward developing these capabilities. it may be that as a result of these sanctions and particularly as a result of russia and, more
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importantly, china, joining in that there could be a pause in missile tests. but they've already come a long way. so, in many ways, north korea starting with a very bad hand is negotiating extremely well and they have been trying to see what's the limit? how far can they go? they've gone a long way and both a lot of tests of missiles and nuclear capabilities. if there is a pause and nuclear negotiati negotiations, in many ways, that is a win for them. >> i saw them nodding that same time at what you're saying regarding some of these issues, particularly in north korea and coming to the negotiating table with a weak hand. >> right. i think the question here is how patient is the president going to be in trying to get china and russia to help these sanctions get implemented. we saw him in june tweet that, you know, we've tried to work with him on this issue and it's not working out. how patient will he be. >> he tweeted that, but then there wasn't necessarily action
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backing up that tweet. we still have a dialogue with the u.s. and china. >> it it seems like china's response to all the tweeting, yeah, okay. the tweets we're going to look for action from the united states and, ultimately, they did agree to this u.n. security counsel resolution along with russia. which is sort of a victory for president trump and especially for u.n. ambassador nikki haley. >> when it comes to china, jamie, you have made the point that others have made. ally to the u.s. is china's nightmare and the view from china might be changing because the benefits of a divided north korea might be changing. >> what i mean for china right now they have a strong, historic relation with north korea. north korea wouldn't exist but for china's intervention and north korea is kept alive by their trade and essentially aid that they get from china. having said that, the costs to china of north korea's nuclear weapons program are great. it justifies stronger u.s.
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relations with south korea and japan. it justifies nuclear missile shields that harm china. it just, it undermines the nuclear nonproliferation treaty that china benefits from as it becomes more important international actor. and it potentially would justify the development of nuclear weapons by south korea and maybe even some day japan. so, a lot of costs to china as those costs go up, china will be forced to make some difficult decisions they haven't beignet forced to make. >> very quickly i want to touch on what kristen welker brought up. we know he wants to talk about the sanctions against north korea and retweeting this fox report, by the way, citing unnamed sources potentially it appears based on leaks. he doesn't like leaks, but he likes this article. explain this to me. what is going on? >> he just retweets stuff. he read the article and it had unnamed sources. he saw a headline and he retweeted it.
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he retweets fox news several times a day. >> do you think it will blow over, ken? >> i think this is how he operates. and ying ti think we'll have to how these things are implemented and whether there could be an attempt to reach some sort of agreement. >> i'll ask you to hang out for a little bit longer. jamie, thank you for joining us from new york. i'm asking you all to stick around because president trump in the last 24 hours hummable bragging about his base being stronger than before. fact check. not so much. brand-new polls just out today. the president set to talk today with his team from new jersey. up next, the one big question we have about what could come out of it. your brain is an amazing thing. but as you get older, it naturally begins to change, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish.
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so, later this afternoon we will see president trump publicly for the first time on his working vacation when he talks with his health secretary about the opioid crisis in this country. something, as you know, we have covered quite a bit on this show. i want to bring kristen welker who has been so kind to hang out with us here for a few minutes. looking ahead to this afternoon the president is speaking about his health secretary about the opioid crisis. is he going to make this declaration of a national emergency that his opioid commission wants him to. do we know? >> at this point, no indication that that is going to happen, hallie. i wouldn't rule it out. as you point out, that is
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something that is certainly on the table. what we do expect is for tom price to brief the president on efforts to crack down on the opioi crisis. as you know the president created a panel to deal with this led by chris christie. we just learned moments ago that the first lady is going to attend this meeting. her spokesperson telling us opioid abuse is affecting thousands of families across the country and the well being of our children is a priority of the first lady. she requested to attend today's briefing. tap to put this into broader context, back in 200515,000 americans died of opioid addiction and in 2015 that number skyrocketed to 33,000. this is a national epidemic and hard-hit areas include places like ohio. it also comes on the heels of last week the leaked conversations that president trump had with foreign leaders
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he won new hampshire because a drug infested den. damage control also today, hallie. we expect the president will make some brief remarks after he meets with his hhs secretary, hallie. >> we're going to hit three topics with them. we want you to hang out, we have two more to discuss regarding the president's day in bedminister. we want to bring in michael steele and former chairman of the rnc and friend of this program and back with me npr tamra. michael, i'll go first to you. the president calling new hampshire a drug infested den. he brought chris christie in for this commission. do you see movement or action in august on this and how will that play over on the hill. >> i think there will be some movement. i think the president is looking for anything that will be a positive reset for him. he will take the time at his summer retreat to sort of regroup in that sense and this is a good way to do that. it's a national conversation that's ongoing. he can now be a part of that conversation. sort of direct it.
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he's been very clear about this during the campaign. it's something that chris christie certainly brought to the attention of a lot of people during the political process. so, i think the president will take advantage of it. for the folks on the hill, yeah, everybody will have a wait and see. see exactly what this means. the first lady getting involved, that's news. that's an important elevation of this topic. >> that's exactly why it's so important for her to step out on this. >> you have done a lot of reporting on the opioid crisis. >> the drug czar will be there for this briefing. members of staffs of a couple of senators, bipartisan, both sides of the aisle have asked them about this. and they say that both of these senate staff say, you know, the senators just don't really know in practical terms what this emergency declaration would mean. but they also emphasize that the time for talking and writing nice reports is over. and action is absolutely necessary. one item in that report in the
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opioid commission report that is just stunning says that every three weeks the death toll from overdoses in this country is another 9/11. >> it's stunning numbers. it's something that clearly has the president's attention. as you mention, michael, he's looking for kind of an august reset, if you will. and that is sort of in stark contrast of what we're seeing across america with frankly his poll numbers. kristen welker will come back and join us now for point number two. the president has been talking just this week while on his working vacation that his base is bigger and stronger than ever before. is that actually true based on new polling that seems to suggest that it's kind of the opposite. >> it does seem to suggest it's the opposite, hallie. let's take a look at the numbers and then discuss them on the other side. this is according to a cnn poll that finds that strong support from republicans is down 14% since february. among whites without college debrd degrees. remember, that's an important trump group.
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their support down 12%. overall, 38%. approve of the president's job performance. that's down six points since april. also the lowest number for the president in this particular poll so far. now over the weekend kellyanne conway was asked about these poll numbers more broadly. she acknowledged more broadly that the numbers were down in the trump base and she said, look, the bottom line is his agenda isn't getting through. she sort of put the blame on congress but there is no doubt that the stalled efforts in health care reform fed into this and then you have a lot of voters saying they're frustrated by the president's tweets. so, i do think in terms of that august reset, he could be looking for that, particularly when it comes tahis legislative agenda, hallie. >> support for republicans, down 14% since february. you heard kristen mention health care is a part of that. sarah huckabee sanders said to me, yeah, because congress is holding things up. not about the president and his trustworthness or credibility, the fact that members of
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congress aren't getting it done. >> that's just crazy lala talk because the fact of the matter is what is driving a lot of that is how people feel about the president. yes, agenda is part of it. that is not a big driver for this administration because they have not led with their strength. which is tax reform. which they're hoping to get to at the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall. but, up to this point, you're looking at negative numbers on the president, not necessarily the agenda. so, that 56%, which is now up, you know, up to disapproving of the president's handling of his job has very little to do with the lack of an agenda and more how people are seeing and perceiving what this administration is doing overall. >> it's focusing on the president's job. what does this mean for 2018? >> it means a lot. folks are already beginning to assess how much water, baggage, whatever you want to call it they'll carry for this white house going into 2018. if you're a candidate on the ballot and you're looging at
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these numbers. the president is at 56% disapproval overall, he's about, you know, about that in my district. my conversation is not -- >> there is also a direct correlation between these numbers and losing seats in the house. republicans have a lot of gerrymander districts and it will help them hold on. the senate map seems to be better for republicans. but you just can't defy expectations if you're at like 38% approval. >> there's only so many from having a gerrymander seat. the base showing the softness there, as well as independent voters who are drivers also in a lot of these elections. they're going to be interesting to watch. >> meanwhile, the president is referring to republicans as they. and republicans in congress as those guys over there. well, you know, the american voters gave republicans complete control of the government.
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they gave them the presidency, the house and the senate. and there was at least some expectation that that would lead to action. and, thus far, there has been very little to show for it. >> when you look at some of the things the president campaigned on. he had crucial promises that have not been delivered upon. health care first and foremost among them. some things he promised on the campaign trail that he did do. paris climate accord. a new report out in "new york times" and "washington post" talk about this government report on climate change. kristen welker, third time is a charm. walk us through this new reporting here and this apparent leak of this study, this sort of document put together by federal agencies. >> right. this is 13 federal agencies have essentially found, hallie, that americans are feeling the effect and people are feeling the effect globally of climate change now. and that temperatures have been warming significantly since 1980s.
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now, nikki haley again on "today" show was pressed on this and whether the trump administration would accept the finding. look, i haven't seen the report and i have no indication and no reason not to accept it. the issue is to balance business with fighting climate change. as you know, hallie, president trump when he was a citizen at one point referred to climate change as a hoax. he sort of walked those comments back. but his top officials have been pressed on whether he still sees climate change in that way. we haven't gotten a real definitive response. of course, as you just pointed out, he pulled out of the paris climate agreement. some real question marks about what, if any, action they will take after seeing this report, hallie. >> there are questionmarks as to whether or not the president will accept had fithe findings his own agencies. >> his work began before he came into office. there is that part, you know, there is --
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>> he leads them now. >> but, again, you know, the president's views and philosophies and policy positions ultimately goes into shaping these reports. so, this is, you know, these things don't happen out of a whole cloth where independent agencies are out there sort of finding climate change or whatever. so, there's that, that's going to be the president's pushback to the extent and i think you saw hedging from nikki haley saying we will take a look at it. we don't know what is in this thing. >> why wouldn't the administration back it? >> that's nikki haley's view. the ultimate view is the president and the president is very clear on the record what he thinks about climate change. >> i don't think he has been very clear -- >> as clear as he can be. >> it can definitely force the president's hand. his own government is pressing this report. don't forget the timing. this is coming at the start of hurricane season. if we had a major hurricane in this country in the next month or so, that could even make that more powerful. >> that's going to tick donald
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trump off because he'll see that people want to use this report as a leverage against him if something like that happens and, of course, you know, he's not going to be happy about that. >> dthis draft did not leak accidentally. this came out for a reason because somebody was afraid it wouldn't come out during the regular channel. >> michael stele, always a pleasure. thank you. a belated thank you for kristen welker. next up, head to ohio to talk health care where 20 counties were at risk of having no insurers at all and then the state stepped in. next up, we're taking a closer look at what exactly ohio did to get all those counties covered and what other states might be able to take away from it all. headed to flag city usa after the break. hey!
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we are back now with a look at your morning's headlines. the marines have identified three of their own now killed in a crash off the coast of australia. benjamin cross of maine and reuben vulas co of california died when the osprey they were in tried to land on a ship during military exercises. the marines are trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. in the tech world, have you heard about this?
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google fired a software engineer whose controversial memo criticizing the company's diversity policies set off quite a bit of controversy. nbc news has not verified the firing but the google manifesto argued in part that women were not suited for high-pressure jobs like those in tech because they can't handle stress. google says portions of the memo crossed the line and violated the company's code of conduct. and we're also looking ahead to 2018 where the senate's most vulnerable republican is now getting a primary challenger. businessman danny turkanian will run against dean heller in nevada. this is something to watch. heller has been in the headlines a ton because of his position on health care. even drawn fire from president trump for that. that is going to be critical over the next year or so as is what we're about to talk about next. check out these live pictures from georgia.
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why are we showing them to you? buddy carter holding a town hall right now. he's one of several lawmakers, democrat and republican, talking with voters during the august recess and if this past week's town hall hasn't been any indication, health care reform alive and kicking in the minds of many people including the guy at one california town hall who told his congressman may you die in pain. it is getting intense this august. >> trillions of dollars, not billions of dollars. so when we're starting to see that, it has to be a tax -- >> on the rich. >> well, let me -- >> congressman mark meadows health care a big issue in places like ohio, in particular. people found themselves with no insurance companies to cover them until the state stepped in. our own garrett haake is talking with folks really affected by all of this.
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garrett i want to talk about the trust level between insurance companies and the state and also we what went down through this whole process. >> right now the trust level is really low. this is a reliably republican county in northwest ohio. these are people who have been voting for the repeal of obamacare and the replace and repeal of obamacare and then voted with president trump kind of promising great health care for everyone and they don't feel like they're getting what they are voting for. we spent the day talking to a lot of different folks who care on obamacare plans in the exchanges. people have gotten used to this. the plans have become incredibly ingrained in communities like this one. take a listen. >> i would love to see changes because i'm not real happy with the plans we have right now and the way things are going. but if we can get -- i have to have something. what i've got now, i'm happy with. if it can get better, i'm all for it. >> that's sort of incapsulates
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what we heard here yesterday, halli. the plans aren't great or loved but they're necessary. the republican lawmakers try to figure out what to do about repealing and replacing obamacare. >> i'll peel back the curt analytal bit for our viewers. i called you about something else, something coming up in a couple weeks. you were sitting in a diner with your producer and we were chatting about what you're doing out there. can you give us a sense of when you speak to people beyond the beltway because you spent a lot of time on the hill. what is the mood like there? are people feeling frustrated and angry at the media and at the president? what is your sense from these conversations? >> sort of all the above. there's a real sense of disconnect from the people we talked to. we were at a pizza place yesterday where everyone from the owner to the delivery guys have obamacare plans. if they can afford plans at all. they feel in large part their elected representatives aren't having the conversations they
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would like us to have. we aren't necessarily giving the message back. the feedback loop between politicians, people in media isn't really connecting and there's just a very low level of trust here that anything is being done to address their concerns. someone said, look, this isn't rocket science to fix this. people need to talk. and the parties need to work together. in ohio, this problem where you had insurers pulling out of 20 of these counties the way they fixed it wasn't rocket science either. insurance calling providers in other counties saying, hey, i have a plan in this county and pick up these people in the county next door and just sort of reaching out to people to find solutions at a local level. i think that sort of blown up at a macro level is what people want to see get done. >> always a pleasure to have you on. thank you. i appreciate it. tamara and ken, will we see more of this? the president has to make a decision on these csrs, these payments, essentially for federal subsidies for insurers.
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given that he has hinted to withholding those, might we see more states doing exactly what ohio did here? >> it seems to be a factor in the nevada decision today along anthem and the question is, do they try to use it as a bargaining chip, perhaps, to get something, another vote in the senate. or is there a decision to just keep paying it and see where the marketplace goes? but just the notion that you might withhold those payments is causing a disruption in the marketplace to begin with. >> insurers will say that instability is part of why they have to raise rates. now, health care costs are rising. that's one reason. but another reason is sort of this uncertainty and stability that is partially bred by the president sort of on a month-by-month basis saying will i pay this, not pay this. there is some bipartisan movement in the senate to potentially do legislation that would make these payments happen to increase and stabilize the marketplace.
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a death spiral does not happen on its own, according to all the analysts. but the uncertainty is causing problems. is causing insurers to pull out of states and pull out of certain counties. >> i want you guys to stay in your seats where you are right now. coming up, we'll switch from domestic policy to foreign policy. secretary of state rex tillerson just in the philippines, right. a country that hosts several u.s. military bases but it's also struggling with the uprising of isis militants. next up, we'll talking about new, exclusive details about the air strikes to protect allies from the threat of isis over there. stick around. no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no. the running of the bulldogs? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money aleia saved by switching to geico.
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with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica. three years after the u.s. started its war against isis in iraq and syria, a new front has opened against the extremist organization in the fill panes. nbc chief bill neely is on the front lines. >> reporter: it could be the middle east, the city under siege. under isis rule and under ferocious air strikes. but this isn't iraq or syria, it's the philippines and isis captured it three months ago. in spite of these air strikes and attacks by 3,000 troops with american help, isis still holds this city. american spy planes and special
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forces helping an army in trouble. the main danger here is from isis snipers and they're just across that bridge. and they've killed more than 100 of these soldiers. >> really a street by street and house by house. >> house by house and street by street. >> reporter: local islamests took the city dozens still dug in. >> their snipers are very good. >> reporter: they make grisly videos, destroy churches, beh d trained in the middle east says this former militant. in saudi arabia, 12 men have been trained there to make bombs. >> yeah. >> reporter: the danger here is isis using this as a spring board into asia. opening up a totally new battleground as it loses ground in the middle east. tonight, rex tillerson pledged more help to philippines president duterte.
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more planes and drones. but isis is holding hostages here and holding out a dark warning to the world. >> and that was bill neely reporting from the southern philippines. joining us doug alavant and former director of iraq at the national security counsel. thank you for being here. you watched that report from bill neely and read the report of the potential for more military action there. as you heard bill say, the question now is whether isis is using the philippines as a spring board essentially to the rest of asia as they lose ground in the middle east. pentagon spokesperson reminds nbc news that we had a military presence there for more than a decade. why now? why the escalation now? >> well, two reasons. look, they have been there a long time. abu saffaf has been there since 2001. they pledge loyalty to isis in
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2014 and since then they increased their capability, just as the isis we see in 2014 didn't look much like the insurgents that we had seen a decade earlier. now, with isis losing ground in iraq and syria, the fear is that we're going to start seeing a lot of the expertise and tactics and so on shifting to the philippines. >> you talk about that being the fear. do you think that is the reality we're seeing right now, or are we still a little ways away from that? >> we're seeing the leading edge of it. as bill's piece said, their game has improved. they're using their communications better. there are rumors that we're seeing a lot of foreign fighters. some locally, some just indonesians and australians and also perhaps some coming russia and the caucuses. >> we talk so much about russia a we forget isis controls the city. >> this is a muslim town in a largely catholic country. so, it's no surprise that there's an insurgency here.
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but, the type of isis capability it's command and control and tactics coming and, again, raising the game of this long-standing group is a real concern. >> so, then pull back for a second and talk about u.s. presence there. because, as you know, we've been talking about this reporting that we have that the military is considering the authority to strike isis targets. we pull it up here as part of collective self-defense which could be granted as part of an official military operation adding the strikes would likely be conducted by armed drones. this is not nothing. >> it's not nothing. >> put this into context. this is u.s. troops moving to another escalating the fight in another country. >> it is. now, all that said, the u.s. troops would probably be safely behind lines. these predators can be largely flown from the united states. you just need a small ground crew and country that can be safely behind the wire. that said, flying predators, as you say, is not nothing. >> what does it mean for americans who are looking at this going, what about america first and not getting involved
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in these kind of fights? >> when we can do it at small costs, it makes sense. australian tourists or british tourists being captured, beheaded and/or held for ransom and then more money going to this group. if we can do this at fairly low cost, that makes sense. >> we love having you on this program. >> my pleasure. what exactly goes down a little closer to home. yeah, the lobby of donald trump's d.c.'s hotel. the "washington post" camped out there every single day for a month to find out. the reporter behind that story joins us next. ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through? maybe it's time for otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,... ...with reduced redness,... ...thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has...
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it's time we took notice. so, let's take a little trip down memory lane. remember this? two weeks between election day and then candidate trump took a little pit stop. he joined his wife and kids for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new trump international hotel here in washington, d.c. i was in the press risers just behind the camera trying to shout questions at him to no avail. that was two weeks before election day. here we are now, nine months later. the trump hotel is a focal point for critics who argue that he might be violating some of these constitutional clauses. jonathan o'donnell is the author
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of that piece. jonathan is with us now. thank you for being here. you are part of the team of reporters who was on the rotation spending every day for a month at trump international hotel. walk us why you decided to do t story. >> the president still owns the hotel effectively while he's the president. everybody spending money in the hotel, staying overnight and booking rooms and meetings, all of that money could be a way to influence the president or curry favor with the administration. so we tried to just go every day and figure out who was spending money there and hanging out there and who is trying to get an in with the president or his inner circle. i can't tell you how much more we ran into than i thought we might. >> let's talk about that, we have a list of folks you bumped into in the span of a month. you call it a safe space for republicans in washington.
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is it like the satellite campus, white house west or whatever? >> it feels like that. it's amazing, if you were to go down there tonight or any night of the week you could run into rudy giuliani or newt gingrich or a press -- we had a reporter hanging out at the bar in the morning and ran into the president of romania with his wife having breakfast. in particular, a concern for the hotel from a legal perspective when foreign leaders or foreign governments spend money there. >> the hotel promised to donate profits to the u.s. government. do we think that will happen? what are your thoughts? >> there have been crickets about how that will work. >> it is another example of how unprecedented the trump presidency is. this is a place where everyone goes, you go to hotel after a
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big event, bound to see someone. >> you are nodding as jonathan talks about folks he sees there. what should the takeaways be for those who wonder about the fact it is down pennsylvania avenue from the white house? >> barring something happening in the course that prevents the continue from continuing to own the hotel. americans have to decide if they are okay with this. every single breakfast, dinner, reception, every dollar spent in the hotel goes to the president's company which he still owns. and people will have to decide whether they are okay with that. >> jonathan o'connell from the "washington post." thanks very much. thanks too to ken thomas and tamara keith for sticking around for the last 22 minutes. we're talking about president trump's spending august in new jersey while crews work to spruce up the white house. we were lucky enough to get an up close look at the renovations yesterday. i'll show it to you after the break. plus you don't want to miss today's big picture. we'll be right back.
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>> i've got to tell you most of the washington feels deserted this week. it's us here on set. the white house practically empty with president trump and press corps and a lot of staffers moving up to bed minister new jersey over next few weeks. even though president trump may be on the working vacation, for the white house the renovations kramd in the next two weeks, crews are just working. >> at the west wing, the pace
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picking up with three weeks to flip this house. workers trading suits for safety vests to clear out the oval office, removing pictures and relocating furniture and renovating america's most famous address. the biggest project, it's air conditioning system. after 27 years of swamp y summes in waugs, all of that wear and tear means it's closer to 81 in ac years and outside, another step up for the stairs at the south portico. they've even the arrivals of presidents and princes and even the easter bunny, finally getting a fix now after more than six decades since the last repair. add a new mess hall and new carpet and fresh coat of paint and the final cost comes to more than $3 million. not cheap, but not unexpected. >> i just think that everybody e everything in the white house should be the best. >> since even before the days of
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jackie kennedy's first te teleadvised tour -- the people's house has gone through public changes. there's the bowling alley in 1947 by president truman, still enjoyed by president trump's grand kids today. and remember the swimming pool put in by fdr, it became one of president nixon's cover-ups, covering it over to install the modern day briefing room. jimny carter added solar panels and michelle obama added a garden. each first family putting their own personal stamp on the president's residence, for the trumps, a flat screen for the first time in the dining room and a chandelier the president purchased himself. small tweaks ahead of the big ones this month as a president campaigned for change in washington finds it happening now closer to home. >> today's big picture comes to us from kenya today. take a look.
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i want you to see this group of men talking under a tree after casting ballots today in the presidential election there. why is this election so important? remember, the next president will take over one of africa's most important economies with kenya base beingalically an isl the photograph here jerome delay for ap. we would love to hear your thoughts on today's big picture and the whole rest of the show too. you would think it is slow, still busy next too with i my colleagues ali velshi and stephanie ruhle in new york. >> here's an interesting thing, i was born in kenya. born in nairobi. just moments ago i found out that stephanie ruhle did some studying in kenya and lived there. >> entire semester. >> you are like soul mates. >> we should have a show together. >> warriors, me and ali.
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you left her speechless. hallie jackson, we'll catch up with her later. >> i'm ali velshi. >> it is tuesday august 8 kt, let's get started. >> a new poll out just last night shows that the vast majority of americans do not trust the information they are getting out of the white house. >> the poll shows 59% of republicans approve strongly. that is down 14 points since february. >> one that concerns me the most is the level of support and intensity among his base. it seems to be falling a great deal. >> if i were a political consultant looking at the candidate with these kind of numbers, i'd have him on 24 hour suicide watch. >> the trump administration weighing options with north korea after the harsh response to new u.n. sanctions. >> president trump is waking up with a serious foreign policy showdown on his hands. >> he's prepared to do whate


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