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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 9, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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mitchell reports," game on. north korea agrees to send olympics to south korea after breakthrough talks between the two countries. >> yeah, this is good. and i think we'll have a little hiatus, obviously, between now and the olympics, but the hard stuff will come after, and the question is, can we build on this? let's hope so, because i would say there is still a significant 10% kind of chance of a war on the korean peninsula. face to face. nbc news learns that donald trump could meet with special counsel robert mueller within a matter of weeks. but is that a smart move for the president? >> no responsible lawyer should want president trump to testify in front of a grand jury without his lawyer present. >> prosecutors want a live body in front of them for lots of reasons, including they want to be able to assess tone and inflection. >> coming up, we'll talk to the top democrat on the senate
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intelligence committee about what is at stake for the president. at this hour president trump meeting with democratic and republican lawmakers on a deal to protect dreamers. but he's demanding his $18 billion proposal for that wall. >> we've got to protect these kids, and obviously there's going to be a border security element of that. there are some things that we can do, but the list that was sent over from the white house suggests that we're going to do a comprehensive reform bill, and there's just no time for that. and fire and fury. the author of the book that has upended the white house. michael wolff joins me right here on "andrea mitchell reports." and good day, everyone. thanks for being with us. i'm andrea mitchell in washington where president trump and top lawmakers from both parties are at this hour trying to negotiate an immigration deal. as democrats keep demanding protection for the dreamers, the president keeps insisting on $18 billion to build that wall. so how do they bridge that
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divide before hundreds of thousands of young people face forced deportation? joining me now, nbc correspondent peter alexander at the white house and national political reporter jonathan swann here with me. peter, i believe the pool is still in with the president, and the lawmakers have been talking for a while, so we don't know what's coming out of that yet. but there is a big divide between both sides. we're talking about a smaller immigration deal, but bottom line, the democrats and the republicans who need their votes are demanding something for the dreamers. >> reporter: andrea, you know where the sticky points have been, obviously, toward that border wall. the president saying $18 billion toward the border wall. democrats saying we have to resolve that issue of the 80,000 so-called immigrants, people brought to this country when they were children. as the president was speaking, i was there in the cabinet room.
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we'll play that in a moment, but let me give you the highlights. the president, specifically on daca, quote, i would like to see this get done. what it would need to be is is a, quote, bill of love. one of the things the president is talking about for a deal over daca is that desire for a border wall. he also wants the end of chain migration and an end to the visa lottery program. as he said, basically countries are getting rid of the people they don't want and we are taking them in. this is the position from the white house. the democrats have been, in effect, trying to use the spending bill deadline, the deadline for a budget deadline, about 10 days away. in some ways saying you're not going to get any help on that spending bill unless you do anything on daca. the president is is saying you're not going to get anything on daca unless you add the wall. that's really the wall jamb that exists right now. that conversation happening behind closed doors in the cabinet room. we'll be able to play a portion of it for you momentarily,
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andrea. >> as we wait for that tape to come back, the president saying he wants to do something for the dreamers. he said this before, the democrats feel they've been misled, then he comes out with a budget for $18 billion for the wall. >> the president doesn't want this to happen this year. he's told people privately that he gave them until march to cut a deal. he told one member of congress that he'll just renew it, anyway. he doesn't want the images of these people being deported. so he does want to deal on daca, but what he's offering -- unless it's just putting a stake in the ground, that's not really real, but the democrats are not going to agree to it. we could be looking at a government shutdown. people are saying it's not going to happen, but if he does stick to this demand, that's what's going to happen. >> one point that has been made by republican and democratic former homeland security secretaries, predecessors to the current va secretary say, you've
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got to do it before march. there's so much paperwork to protect these people from forced deportati deportation, you have to do it this month. >> the president wants it part of the spending bill. january 19 is the deadline. >> thank you very much. while we wait for the tape, let's bring in democratic senator mark warner, the top democrat on the intelligence committee joining me now. there's been a lot of reporting by nbc news exclusively in the last 48 hours that the mueller people and donald trump's personal lawyers have been talking about a meeting, face-to-face meeting, possibly within weeks. from chuck rosenberg and other experts we know that mueller will want this to be face to face, not submitted questions. you're ta your take on this? >> andrea, the president keeps saying there is nothing there, so i would think he would want to sit down with mr. mueller. i don't know the state of those negotiations. i do know that last february, then-president trump said he or
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his organization and campaign had no contacts with russians. we know that wasn't true. we know that national security adviser had to get fired because of his extensive contacts with russians. we know that his campaign ad, a, mr. papadopoulos, pled guilty because of his lying to the fbi about contacts with russians. we know that his campaign manager, his son-in-law and his son, met with russians about getting dirt on hillary clinton. so clearly there was enormous amount of contact between the russians and trump organizations. we know the intelligence community said the russians weighed in favoring mr. trump over clinton. and so if there's things that mr. trump can add to clear up some of these discrepancies, i would think he might want to go ahead and meet with mr. mueller. >> are you at all concerned about the tenure of jeff sessions as attorney general? he's one of the only top cabinet
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members not invited to that camp david summit this weekend. >> trying to see who is up and who is down within the trump cabinet. i'll leave that to better sleuth sayers than me. i do know while i don't agree with a lot of actions of the attorney general, i do think the act of him recusing himself because of his contact with russians, being involved in this russian investigation, was the right thing to do. i tried to draw a pretty bright line before the holidays that if this president tried to fire mueller or fire rosenstein or go out and pardon individuals who have already pled guilty who may be subject of further indictments that he may be crossing a red line that will put us in a deep, deep crisis. >> do you believe the president or his lawyers have any legal ground to reject a subpoena for his testimony if it's under oath? >> andrea, i went to law school
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but never practiced a day of law, so i would not be the right guy to weigh in on that question. i would weigh in on the fact, though, that mr. trump has said there is nothing there, and if there's nothing there, i would think he should have no problem talking with mr. mueller. but i'll leave the legal experts to weigh whether there is an actual requirement. >> meanwhile, some of your colleagues on the judiciary committee, both senators grassley and lindsey graham, are both demanding a second special counsel to investigate the clinton foundation, also a criminal referral to go after the author christopher steele, the former british intelligence officer who was the author of the dossier. is this troubling to you? do you think it's an attempt to distract from the mueller investigation? does it impede upon the investigation or can they coexist? >> it absolutely is an attempt to impede, obstruct, obfiscate.
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it seems like my colleagues are throwing as much stuff against the wall as possible and seeing what sticks. the clinton foundation has been investigated before. these new efforts or this i've tried to follow the logic in their claim about mr. steele who is not even an american citizen to make some of these charges, which doesn't, in my mind, pass any kind of smell test. i think one of the things that's the most remarkable, though, is let's look again at the contents of this dossier which have, if even a portion of which are true, it would spell real problems for this presidency. >> and it's been one year, january 6 was one year since the intelligence community came out with their assessment that russia was behind the attempts to interfere in the american election. the president still not accepting that. >> andrea, and that's a real problem. not only did the intelligence community assessment say russia interfered, but it also said
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russia came in with the attempt to tilt the balance towards mr. trump over hillary clinton. even if we put all of that behind us, the fact that the president doesn't acknowledge this is a problem means that there is not somebody having a whole of government approach to make sure that, one, our electoral systems are better prepared by future injection by russia and other factors. we've got work to do there. the fact there is no one in the white house saying, hey, we need to look at how social media has been used and abused by foreign actors to try to so discontent and division in our country. we need policies. luckily these companies like facebook, twitter and others have taken some action. i think we need a more whole of government approach. the concern i have is, i can assure you, whether it's russians or others, they did not stop trying to mess with not only our electoral systems but our personal information, our state and local governments. none of those efforts stopped on
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november of '16. they continue, and by not having this president acknowledge that threat, i'm not sure we're protecting ourselves in a sufficient way. >> and briefly, as the president is meeting with some of your colleagues now on immigration, on the dreamers, are democrats, as far as you know, willing to give him $18 billion for that wall in order to get protection for the dreamers. >> andrea, for a long time we've said, as part of major immigration reform or even as part of giving this immediate relief to these dreamers, 97%, are either serving in school or the military. they are integral to our country. we would be open to some level of border enhancement security. some of that might be fences, some might be increased drones, some might be electronic
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surveillance. remember, when the president said he wanted the wall, he said it would be entirely funded by mexico. so if we build a wall, bring along a check from mexico and i think we would be in agreement with that. >> general swann still with me. you reported about executive time. the president's schedule, we've confirmed, is much shorter than it was initially. spending less time in the oval office, he's coming down later. what is your reporting telling you about what he's doing upstairs in the residence? >> he's largely up there from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. earlier, actually. he gets up quite early. watching tv, tweeting, making phone calls. but his first meeting of the day is 11:00. early on in the administration, his schedule was quite different. they had early morning breakfast
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meetings, they had business leaders into the roosevelt room. it was actually quite a crammed schedule and trump was complaining about that. it started later and later. they started having the briefing meeting around 10:30, now the first meeting of the day is 11:00. there are two schedules, right? there's the sanitized schedule that's released out to the public, and there's the real schedule which is the one i saw and reported this. it actually says in the schedule executive time. in the oval office, it's from 3:00 to 11:00, but he has a three-hour block marked off. >> thank you very much. coming up, fireworks. details in the west wing from house speaker paul ryan just days after the election. plus explosive new details of the book "fire and fury." you're watching "andrea mitchell
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oh, are you happy you voted for me. you are so lucky that i gave you that privilege. >> classic trump. president trump taking a victory lap last night in tennessee still in campaign mode. a break from the white house is unprecedented. week-long counterattack against "fire and fury," the new book taking the country by storm. joining me now is michael wolff, the author of that book, "fire and fury inside the trump white
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house." michael, thank you for joining me. congratulations on your best-seller. >> thank you for having me. >> let's talk about a couple things breaking in recent days. executive time. this report from axio, we've confirmed part of it. not necessarily what he's doing, but certainly there is a new schedule. he's working less. is this a good sign, from what you know inside the white house and the chaos of the opening months you were covering so intensively? is it better now that he has more time to himself and it's more comfortable, perhaps, with something that approximates trump tower? >> quite possibly. i talk a lot in the book about the kind of repetitiveness of his conversation, and many of the people around him -- there is a whole kind of speculation on what caused this, and among the things was sleeplessness, the tension, a whole range of issues including the presence of his wife or the presence not of
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his wife. i call them environmental issues rather than the other charge, which is that something was going wrong. but i do think -- i think, yeah, i would say the more relaxed trump is, the more -- the less he is prone to trumpian tantrums. >> the twitter feed, and the fact that he's tweeting for so many hours in the morning watching tv, you write that he's semi-literate. we'll get to that in a moment. he just tweeted a few moments ago from the white house, and he's in the middle of a meeting with bipartisan leaders. so clearly he's not sitting there using his phone. someone else is on that twitter feed, maybe dan scovino. but that just shows you this continued percussive social media presence, which has been
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very effective for him. getting to your book, you write that, trump didn't read. he didn't really even skim. if it was print, it might as well not exist. some believe for for all practi paralympic purposes, he was semiliterate. some thought him dyslexic. certainly his comprehension was limited. others concluded that he didn't read because he just didn't have to, and that in fact this was one of the key attributes as a populist. can you break that down? >> one of the crises of this administration is how do you get information to this man? because not only does he not not read, and this is at a level, certainly, we have never seen before in the white house, of
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someone who just won't consume written information, language, doesn't want it. but that's not the only problem. the other problem is that he doesn't listen. so the man doesn't read information and won't listen to the information that you give him. so literally how do you communicate? how do you convince him of anything? how do you make him understand the facts that he needs to know in order to do his job? i would say nobody has yet successfully answered that question. >> one of his closest advisers, his economic adviser acknowledges his dyslexia. what is the evidence, if any, that he could be dyslexic, and because of his personality, is not willing to admit that, is not able to acknowledge something that rockefeller and others have had this reading
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problem? >> i don't know if he's dyslexic because he doesn't talk about these kinds of things. it's just the speculation of the people around him. the literal question, why doesn't he read? you know, i once asked him. i said, this is kind of a presidential question, what's your favorite book? i saw the look in his eye was first kind of a little bit of panic and then a little bit of, okay, you got me, and then he came back with -- and you knew that he reached back into his sophomore year in high school, a book he probably didn't even read then, but there he was, he said, "all quiet on the western front." >> that hasn't been on reading lists in quite a while, you're right. ivanka trump has tweeted about oprah in the last 24 hours. she tweeted last night, just saw
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oprah's empowering and inspiring speech at last night's golden globes. let's all come together, women and men, and say time's up, united. >> ivanka's stuff was, does she understand who her father is? does she understand why he was elected? does she understand what this white house theoretically stands for? i think the answer for most people was she has no idea. >> speaking of staff, you write about the way he talks about his staff. obviously a lot of this book is influenced by your access to steve bannon who gave you the entre to the white house, and you quote him very liberally. but you also point out the relationship between the two is as conflicted as the relationship between donald trump and a lot of people close to him. you write that bannon was disloyal, not to mention he always looks like -- expletive
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deleted -- prescriiebus was weat to mention he was short, a midget. kushner was a suck-up. spicer was stupid and looks terrible, too. conway was a crybaby. jared and ivanka should never have come to washington. >> he can't give anything to anybody, any sense that anybody is realizing advantage at his expense, he can't tolerate it. he has to chip somebody down. and he will tell anybody. so, you know, he told me at one point, he literally said, how much influence do you think steve bannon has on me? and then he repeated that question three times. and then he answered it three times. zero. zero. zero. for some reason in his very
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soul, i mean, he can't give anything to anybody. >> his relationship with women. why, for instance, does he seem obsessed with hillary? why can't he give up the fact that that election was over and that he won? >> you know, i think, again, because he thinks that somehow they are still taking something from him. he wants it all. and hillary, because she won the popular vote, because she still has a following, it just rankles. and he perceives other people as being loved more than he is loved. and that's intolerable. >> this extended, as you write, to a certain kind of woman, you say, who would immediately rub trump the wrong way. obama women being a good tipoff,
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hillary women. later this would be extended to doj women. why would they, or anyone, be a government employee? they max out at what? >> i don't think it's a surprise that donald trump is not only a sexist, but he's the olympian of sexism. you know, this is -- his -- much of his life has been about treating women in ways that few people now find acceptable. >> there are a couple of nuggets in here that i hadn't seen written about in the last couple of days. as you've been discussing this, perhaps i just missed it. but paul ryan, a few days after the election, steve bannon told the president-elect that they have the votes to replace paul
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ryan of the house , with mark meadows, member of the tea party. nearly as much as winning the presidency itself, removing ryan, indeed, humiliating him, was an ultimate expression of the bannon era. was it just because, in his exquisite leadership, he started playing up to the president? >> paul ryan did come back to the white house in a very exa ll trt lted capacity. paul ryan not only promised to deliver a health care bill, but said he would write it, essentially do all the work on a health care bill. like they described in the white house, he suddenly had carte
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blanche access to the president. it's interesting on another level given where steve bannon is, because if the president once detested paul ryan and then brought him back, i think it's very possible that steve bannon could come back. >> i was going to ask you that, because bannon on breitbart radio today, on sirius radio, was praising the president, saying he unleashed the animal spirits. can bannon work his way back into the inner circle after being excommunicated? >> trump is transactional. he's a salesman. if you're not buying what trump has to sell, he has no use for you. but if you come back into the dealership and are willing to buy that car, you can bet he's going to sell it to you. >> you described the early months under reince priebus.
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you've got kushner, you've got priebus, you've got bannon. it was dysfunctional covering ronald reagan in the early '80s, but this dysfunction reflected in the oval office, people scoped around without clear purpose, bannon found a reason to study papers in the corner to have the last word, kushner ktas and whereabouts on the others. maybe twitter is not under control, but they did get a tax bill done. the economy, arguably because of what happened under obama, but the economy is cooking along. he could come out of this. >> i'll give you a note of caution of that, and i think john kelly is a man who has brought some discipline to this white house. but along the way, all of the professionals who came into this
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white house with the president, and whatever you think of them, they were people who have at least a substantial amount of experience. the president's two seniormost advisers at this point are hopix, who is 28 or 29 now, a former fashion pr person, and stephen miller, who i think everybody saw this weekend. these are people who are -- it's extraordinary that these two people of this caliber are now the president's senior advisers. >> i wanted to take issue with something you said to my colleague katy tur where you said if it looks true, it is true. then the "new york times," more
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anti-trumpers seem to be telling themselves a madness of king george narrative. trump is a semiliterate and intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us. i'd like to think it's possible to be fervently anti-trump. >> 70% of his staff, people who have to work with him every day, describe him as childlike and believe he can't function in this role. that is absolutely true. everybody who is covering this white house with nyaany access proximity knows it, because everybody says it. the people in the white house who are -- have been good
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people, ambitious people, competent people have in some way have to explain themselves. they see -- the donald trump that we see is the donald trump that they see up close. he's magnified and they know that this is a deep fundamental intractable problem. >> but at the same time, isn't it fair to say that he can accomplish things that the people who know him best can work around this, depending, of course, on the legal challenges? >> yes, everybody hopes that, hopes we can work around this, we can work with this guy. he was elected president. that is absolutely true. but he's the one who then frustrates us at every point. yes, if he would go away, if he
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would stay in the residence and let these people do their jobs, yeah, everyone would probably be in better shape. but he is a person who wants what he wants when he wants it. it's all about his immediate gratification. he's going to tweet and then that's going to blow up whatever was supposed to happen that day. or he's going to sue me, for instance. i mean, what could have been on his mind? >> a quick question. knowing what you know about him from talking to people, from being on that couch, from being a fly on the wall, what do you think is going to happen if he sits down? will he sit down with robert mueller? will he be able to resist that, list ton his lawyers, or will he end up being interviewed by robert mueller? >> i would say it would probably be a dangerous thing for donald trump to be interviewed by the special counsel. i mean, you know, this requires
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enormous discipline. when this all happened after the comey thing when mueller was appointed, steve bannon said, this is how you have to handle this. and you establish a group of people outside of the white house who can address these things, and you, mr. president, you never address this again. you act presidential, let your lawyers deal with this. and steve said to me, this is an incredibly strong plan. the only thing it requires is discipline, and that's the only thing we do not have. >> well, a fascinating tale. thank you very much. thank you, michael wolff. we will be hearing from the president shortly from this photo opportunity. we'll see how disciplined he is in that arena. coming up, the art of the deal. can the president actually get bipartisan support for his campaign promises on the wall?
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is she considering it? >> no, i absolutely don't think
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that her position has changed, i don't. i was up talking to her very late last night. i do think this, though, guys. i do think she's intrigued by the idea, i do think that. >> gayle king, best friend to oprah winfrey, of course, talking this morning on cbs about whether or not oprah would run. joining me now, senior aide to presidents clinton and obama and spokesman for house speaker john baynor. welcome, both. the president had an open meeting right now was just asked about oprah hundredin irunning, thinks he could beat her in a race but he doesn't think she will run. he knows her well, talked to her back in 1989 when he was a democrat. getting a deal in the next couple days, really, and getting
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past this objestacle of do you protect the dreamers? do you spend $18 billion on the wall? do you spend on the wall? is there a compromise in there? >> there might be a compromise with a president that isn't so xe xenophobic, but we have a president who seems to have no real interest in compromise and can't get out of his own way to get a compromise. so i'm very skeptical that there will be a compromise before january 19. maybe they'll kick the can down the road a bit in terms of a short-term spending bill, but the idea that democrats and congress and this white house will reach a deal about daca and immigration, i think, is very, very low. >> you've been in a lot of these negotiations, michael steele, when you're working with john baynor. sometimes it worked, sometimes not so much. >> i think if democrats can get to yes, there is a path here for increased border security and an accommodation for these folks. i think there is no question it can be done. i think it will probably take a
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little more time. but if democrats are willing to say yes -- >> yes to what, though? >> yes to enhancement of border security. they've voted for it in the past, whether that's in some places a fill cal barrie physic a wall, and where it doesn't make sense, some form of border protection. >> i think his entire presidency is driven by hatred toward immigrants. i think that's the first thing he did as president, i think he's doing it every day. the decision to deny tps status to 297 salvadorans is what motivates this presidency. i just think thgs nis is not a president who will get to yes on this issue. >> at the same time you have the whole backdraft of the wolff book, the chaos in the white house. a lot of questions being raised about the reporting, the attributions, but the general
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narrative does ring true to a lot of people who cover this white house and this president. >> i think that's exactly right. i think it's unfortunate that mr. wolff is a sloppy reporter. i think the book has some sloppiness to it that could have been fixed just with copy editi editing, but i haven't spoken to anyone who disputes that the president is very disengaged and improverbial to the facts a lot of the time. >> with the staff in and out of the oval office, nobody really in charge, and that was also true during the campaign, is it possible this whole russia mess was something that they stumbled into not realizing -- mike flynn certainly realized, but for the kushners and the novices in the white house not realizing what they were doing? >> i think that almost any person, even a novice, should know that if russian agents show up at your office and offer to help you win a presidential
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election, you should call the fbi. i mean, after all, a midlevel diplomat in australia found out about this and knew to call the fbi. >> ignorance is no defense. >> ignorance is certainly to defense. >> i think that's exactly right. it may be that the president had never run, had never governed before, nobody around him had experience in this arena. i think a lot of mistakes were made through ignorance, but that doesn't make it okay. >> do you see now a white house that seems to be getting back on track? >> i do think they are functioning better. ironically and oddly, by essentially taking donald trump out of the picture. they gave him less impact on the tax bill that he had on the health care bill. they are giving him lots of executive time in the morning, basically keeping him out of the oval office, out of governing. i think that can work for a while, andrea. in the long run, the president is the president. i don't think you'll have a presidency without a president, and i think donald trump is his own worst enemy. >> and the president right now speaking about a half hour ago.
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>> and you don't need it. okay? >> it seems to me not much has actually changed here in terms of your positions? >> i think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with. i am very much reliant on the people in this room. i know most of the people on both sides, i have a lot of respect for the people on both sides, and what i approve is going to be very much reliant on what the people in this room come to me with. i have great confidence. if they come to me with things that i'm not in love with, i'm going to do it, because i respect them. thank you all very much. thank you. it will prove to be a lot of fun. i know her very well. i did one of her last shows. she had donald trump, this was before politics, her last week, and she had donald trump and my family. it was very nice. i like oprah.
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i don't think she's going to run. i don't think she's going to run. i know her very well. >> let's wait a moment for the press to leave. >> it's phase 2. i think comprehensive will be phase 2. i think -- i really agree with dick. i think we get the one thing done and go into comprehensive the following day. i think it will happen. let's wait one second. thank you all very much. i hope we gave you enough material. this should cover you for about two weeks. >> donald trump. i like oprah, saying that he likes her but he doesn't think she's going to run. and hallie jackson on the north lawn. hallie, he's also talking about phasing in immigration. the dreamers and the wall first or part 1 of the wall? >> part 1 of what he wants to see on immigration, andrea, and
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part 2. let me tick through the highlights on that and what you didn't see in the roughly 53 minutes that was a pool spray. on immigration, the president did reiterate daca will be attached to the border wall. he did acknowledge at one point that it did not have to be a 2,000-mile coast to coast structure, because almost nobody, including republicans on capitol hill speaking with us just this morning, believes that is realistic logisticalllogisti political until any way that you'll have a fence from sea to shining sea. i think that's interesting. the other part that's interesting on immigration is the president's explanation of immigration can be done if they get that program of daca. that is a break from what the
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conservatives in the president's base would want to see. you heard the president say at the end, i think i've given you enough material for two weeks. that's because the pool was in there for 55 minutes. let me explain what that means. normally when we would go in, as reporters there's that small group that goes in to cover, take some video, take some photos of the president's meeting, then they leave. one minute, two minutes, five minutes. sometimes it's 20 minutes and that's significant. this was, we are told, nearly the entire meeting. so as one of our colleagues who was in the pool phrased it, this was literally almost fly on the wall. you were there watching the interactions happening, watching the discussions. i don't think we're going to play the full 55 minutes right now, but i think it is interesting that you saw, for example, dick durbin say what he wanted to see. you heard pushback, for example, from tom cotton saying how there needs to be a rebuilding of trust throughout this meeting. this is really, to a degree, watching some of the sausage get made over the last hour or so.
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in the end the questions to the president, and i would be remiss turning it back over to you, andrea, if i did not mention oprah. the president is talking about her, everybody is talking about her, the president saying he does not think oprah is going to run, that he likes oprah. clip and save come 2019 just in case oprah does decide to change her mind, and as her best friend gayle king said today, decided her intrigue about running could turn into some sort of reality. what you're going to see here on the white house driveway might be some lawmakers coming out and speaking to reporters about what they believe came out of this. the question is -- and there was no expectation, andrea, coming into this meeting that you would walk out and everybody would be holding hands saying, we got a deal and everything is done. that was not the expectation. the expectation was they would at least get the dialogue going. remember what happens on january 19, that funding deadline, and then march the expiration date for daca, andrea. >> hallie, thank you so much,
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and as we wait for dick durbin and the others to come out, let's listen to the president from the top of this meeting talking about immigration. >> when it doesn't work out very well, many of those people aren't doing us right. i think a lot of the people in the room, and i can't speak for everybody, but i think a lot of people in this room want to see chain migration ended. we have a recent case along the west side highway having to do with chain migration where a man ran over, killed eight people and many people injured badly. loss of arms, loss of legs. horrible thing happened. then you look at the chain and all the people that came in because of him. terrible situation. and the others canceled a lottery program. they call it visa lottery. i just call it lottery, where countries come in and they put names in a hopper. they're not giving you their best names. common sense says they're not giving you their best names.
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they're taking them out of a bowl. i'm probably watching the hand of the worst of the worst. they pull people they don't want into a lottery and the people. and, again, going back to that same person, he came in through the lottery program. what they visited, this neighborhood, and the people in the neighborhood said oh, my god, we suffered with this man, the rudeness, the horrible way he treated us right from the beginning. so we don't want the lottery system or the visa lottery system. we want it ended. so those three things are paramount. these are measures that will make our community safer and more prosperous. these reforms are supported by the overwhelming majority of americans, from every standpoint, from every poll. and they're being requested by law enforcement officers. i had the big meeting with i.c.e. last week. the big meeting with the border patrol agents last week. nobody knows it better than them.
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they say, sir, we desperately need the wall. we don't need a 2,000 mile wall. we don't need a wall where you have rivers and mountains and everything else protecting. but we do need a wall for a fairly good portion. we also, as you know, it was passed in 2006, a essentially similar thing. a fence. a very substantial fence was passed. unfortunately, i don't know, they never got it done, but they need it. i'm appealing to everyone in the room to put the country before party and to sit down and negotiate and compromise and let's see if we can get something done. i really think, dick, that we have a chance to do it. i think it's very important. you're talking about 800,000 people. you're talking about lots of other people also affected including people who live in our country. that's from a security standpoint. so maybe the press can stay for a little while and a couple of folks can make statements. we can have this as a very open forum. i will say, though, that i
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really do believe democrat and republican, the people sitting around this table want to get something done in good faith. i think we're on our way to do it. this is an idea i had last week. i was sitting with some of our great republican senators. and we all agreed on everything. it was a great meeting. david, right? we had a great meeting. it was perfect. then i said, we'd like to get some democrat support. what do they say? i say let's have the same meeting but let's add the democrats. and that's what we've done. and i think we're going to come up with an answer. i hope we're going to come up with an answer for daca. and then we go further than that later on down the road. perhaps you'd like to say a few words? >> thanks, mr. president, for inviting us. we're all honored to be part of this conversation. september the 5th, you challenged us. you challenged congress. you said we're going to end daca, now replace it. as of today, we've not done that. we face a deadline of march 5th which you've created with your elimination of daca and we know that in the meantime there have
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been efforts under way. by senator graham and i. sat down with a bipartisan group of senators. we have worked long and hard many hours put into it. and we feel that we can put together a combination of the future of daca. as well as border security. but there are elements you're going to find democrats support when it comes to border security. we want a safe border in america, period. both when it comes to the issues of illegal migration but also when it comes to drugs. and all these other areas. now, i will say that there is a sense of urgency that's felt by many of us when it comes to this issue. there are many of these young people who are losing the protection of daca on a daily basis. as of march 5th, 1,000 a day will lose daca protection. 900 of them are members of the u.s. military. 20,000 of them are school teachers. in my state of illinois and in the city of chicago, there are 25 of them in medical school who
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can't apply for residency if they lose their daca status. so lives are hanging in the balance of our getting the job done. we've got the time to do it. in a manner of days, literally of days, we can come together and reach an agreement. and when that happens, i think good things will happen in other places. and we'll see some more progress in washington. >> i agree with that. i very much agree with that. tom, would you like to see something? tom cotton. >> thank you for inviting us all here. i'm glad to be here with democrats and with house members as well. i think on this issue there's a lack of trust. there has been for many years. lack of trust between republicans and democrats. a lack of trust among republicans. most fundamentally, a lack of trust between the american people and our elect leaders. on not delivering a solution for many, many years about some of these problems. and i hope that this meeting can be the beginning of building trust between our parties, between member, because i know for a fact all the republicans around the table are committed to finding a solution.
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i believe all the democrats are as well. so i think this is a good first step in building the steps we need in building a bill that will achieve the objectives you stated. thank you for the invitation. >> mr. president, thank you very much for having us down here. i agree with tom cotton that the american public are very frustrated with us. one of the reasons they're frustrated with us, because we continue to couple things which we have large agreement with things on which we do not agree. this is a perfect example of that. 86% of the american people in the most recent poll are for ensuring, as you have said, not providing for daca protected kids to go to a place that they
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don't know, they don't grow up in and it's not their home. they're americans. they don't have a piece of paper that says they're americans, but they're americans. and it seems to me, mr. president if we're going to move ahead in a constructive way, that we take that which we agree. pass it. the american public will be pleased with all of us if we do that. just as in september, you recall, we did the extension of a cr. no drama. we were all for it. you, four leaders met. we came to an agreement. and we passed that cr. in my view, we can pass the protection in the -- what i understand your position is, procedurally, it was not done correctly. you thenned an di ed anthen, as challenged us, pass it correctly.
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if it's put on the floor, mr. president, i believe it will have the overwhelming majority in both the house and senator graham thinks it will have a substantial majority in the united states senate as well. that i think is the first step, tom, to creating some degree of confidence. democrats are for security at the borders. i want to state that emphatically. there's not a democrat that's not for having secure borders. there's obviously differences how you effect that. you just indicated that yourself. and you indicated this would be a first step and then we continue to talk as we're talking today about how we best secure the border. so i would urge that we move forward on protecting the daca protected individuals.
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young adults as you pointed out in your statements. who are productive parts of our community. that we protect them and get that done. and then, because i think everybody around the table, as you pointed out, is for security. and then the issue going to be how do we best effect that border security. i would urge us to move as senator durbin has urged us to move, on the daca. the speaker said we need to solve the daca issue. we need to solve it in a way that is permanent, not temporary. i agree with them on that issue. >> interestingly, when you said that president obama, when he signed the executive order, actually said he doesn't have the right to do this. you do have to go through congress. whether he does, whether he doesn't, let's assume he does it. you said it and that was a temporary stop gap. i don't think we want that. we want a permanent solution to this. i think everybody in this room
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feels that way and feels very strongly. >> what happened, mr. president, is the senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill, as you know. we did not consider it in the house so we didn't reach those issues. very frankly on border security, the chairman of the committee reported out a unanimous security solution, which we then included in the bill that we filed on comprehensive immigration reform. so i think we can reach agreement. >> i also think after we do daca, and i really believe we should be able to be successful, i really think we should look in terms of your permanent solution and the whole situation with immigration. i think a lot of people in this room would agree to that also. we'll do it in steps. most people agree with that i think. we'll do it in steps. even you say let's do this and then we go phase two. kevin, what would you like to say? >> first, i want to thank you for bringing everybody together. you got the senate, you got the house, you got both parties. i like the exchange of ideas. i think everybody has a point here.
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the one thing i don't want to have happen here is what i saw in the past. there were former bills that were passed on border security years ago that never got finished. there are immigration bills passed that were right back at the table with the same problem. let's make a commitment to each one and most importantly to the american people. that when we get done and come to an agreement, that we're not back at this problem three, four years from now. that's why yes, we've got to do daca, and i agree 100%. but if we do not do something with security, if we do not do something with the chain migration, we are fooling each other that we solved add problem. you know how difficult this issue is. so let's collectively, we're here at the table together, i'll be the first one to tell you we're all going to have to give a little. i'll be the first one willing to. but let's solve the problem. but let's not tell the american public at the end that it's solved when it's not. >> well, i think a good


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