tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC February 8, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST
i'm stephanie ruhle. coming up right now is more news and i'm going to point out how sad this is. my dear friend halle jackson is in philadelphia for the eagles parade and who fills in for her, none other than than a die hard pats fan. steve kornacki. that's twisted. i love seeing you. that's twisted on every level. >> our bosses are rough around here. this is like salt in the wounds. i come in monday morning, i'm in mourning over the super bowl, by the way, halley wants to go celebrate, you do her job for her on thursday. >> that's amazing. phil griffin, you're wicked. >> here we go. stephanie nice to see you. good morning. i am in for halle jackson who is in philadelphia this thursday morning and right now, well a day supposed to showcase bipartisanship, instead over shadowed once again by a white house scandal. another top west wing aide, this time it is rob porter heading for the exit. this morning it's chief-of-staff john kelly under fire, sources
telling nbc news that he knew the staff secretary had been accused of abuse by his ex-wives, despite his statement overnight saying he was shocked by the allegations. what exactly the chief-of-staff knew and when did he know it? we will get into that. also drama on capitol hill today. there will be votes taking place on that bipartisan budget break through. it is expected to sail through the senate. then it goes to the house and things there may be a little bit more uncertain. what about nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, did that record setting speech on the house floor actually accomplish anything? how could it impact the vote in that chamber that's just hours away. we're also talking about nbc news exclusive, the u.s. official in charge of securing american elections with a russia bombshell telling us they hacked voter registration rolls before the 2016 election. what that means for the mid-terms which in our less than
nine months away. there is a lot to talk about. let's begin at the white house. kelly o'donnell, we are learning that rob porter, the staff secretary, accused of domestic violence by his ex-wives that he could be out as early as today, is that correct? >> reporter: that's our reporting and the issue is that rob porter offered his resignation and sarah huckabee sanders said there would be an extended time of transition, where he would be able to help facilitate a successor. that has changed in the sense that there has been a lot of controversy around this, a lot of attention drawn to the two former wives of rob porter. the statements they have made publicly alleging verbal abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse and porter has said that these are smears. he has said that these are baseless allegations and a coordinated campaign against him. we saw a shift, in fact, that at first, members of the white house senior team including chief-of-staff john kelly were very supportive of porter and he
was described as a man of true integrity and character. that has changed with john kelly coming forward to say, that he was concerned about the issue of the photos that have been raised and the reports. there is an issue changing the statements of john kelly who is worked very closely with rob porter over the many months of this administration. why is this so critical? the porter situation is that he does not have a full clearance based on all of the reporting that our team has done. he has daily access to the president. that of course has put him right into the inner circle and these allegations are of a serious nature, especially culturally at this point with the me too campaign and all of the concerns that have been raised. porter says he's not responsible for domestic abuse. his former wives have detailed to first the daily mail.com and confirming their accounts to nbc news. they have said that these
abusive situations did occur and that they reported them to the fbi, which is a standard part of a background check where members of the fbi interview those in the life and family of anyone who is up for clearance especially for a high level job at the white house. so porter denies this. he may be out as early as today based on the changing nature of how this story has been received, how it's been perceived and even changes among those that had been initially supportive of him. >> that's the other question. is i don't kn if there was an issue with his security clearance and if this at least by the fbi some of the accusations here were known, i see you're -- doesn't look like kelly's hearing me. we'll ask somebody else the question. we got other folks joining us who are very knowledge being. joined now by beth reiner. she conducted the interviews
with the ex-wives, and i'm joined by peter baker and our panel, matt welsh, along with catherine ram pel. thanks for all of you for being with us, peter, let me start with you. the big question is politically in the fallout from this, is the question about the chief-of-staff, john kelly, who was initially supportive now you see porter headed for the kpits, the question of what did john kelly know about this and how far back did he know it? >> that's exactly right. our reporting shows that he was told as recently as last fall. in a statement he put out last night, he said he was shocked to learn about the details of this. it's possible he knew the general gist of it without knowing the level detail that came out particularly, that photograph of rob porter's ex-wife. it's been a really interesting and tough week for john kelly,
this on top of the comments he made earlier in the week criticizing at least some immigrants of being too lazy to go about applying for status, the obama era daca program and raising a lot of questions both inside the white house and outside about john kelly as the chief-of-staff. if he didn't know about one of his top people being compromised in the way that rob porter seems to have been, if he's willing to make the kind of comments he made on capitol hill in the midst of sensitive negotiations, what does that tell us about the way he's leading this white house for president trump? >> let's bring beth reiner in. you talked to rob porter's ex-wives, the genesis of this story, let me play a clip here from your interview then ask you a question about it. take a listen. >> during one of these fights we were both yelling at each other. i disengaged and removed myself from the fight to go take a shower.
and rob wasn't finished fighting, i suppose, at that point. he was still angry. so he came and grabbed me by the shoulders here and pulled me out of the shower in a rage. >> so beth, let me ask you about the time line from their standpoint. they're going public now but there's the question here of why these fbi checks are playing out for porter to get him those security clearances for the white house, were his ex-wives contacted, what were they saying then? did they talk to anybody in the white house, were they talking to him before they went public? what's the timeline? >> so rob porter's ex-wives were both contacted by the fbi over a year ago january 2017 as you would expect for a background check of a high level white house aide and they both provided the fbi with a lot of information about his verbal and
physical abuse, colby provided the fbi with the pictures you've seen of her with the black eye, jennie provided the fbi with the protective order she had filed in 2010 and then they -- they did not hear anything until several months later. jennie got a call from rob in september asking about, you know, what had you told the fbi? they're holding up my security clearance. so rob porter knew, you know, as of september and we presume other folks in the white house knew as well that there was a problem with these allegations were causing him a problem in terms of getting a security clearance. >> peter, let me ask you, the position that rob porter occupied, staff secretary, one of those people here they're not exactly sure what the
responsibilities are, what i'm understanding is john kelly the chief-of-staff was very reliant on rob porter. his mandate was to bring some order to the white house, that porter may be part of the defense here, the reason the chief-of-staff was so initially supportive was that rob porter has been crucial to the operation. what was he doing there behind the scenes in terms of running the white house? >> sorry. >> sorry. >> peter, go ahead. i asked you. i'll bring beth in after. >> i apologize. the term staff secretary doesn't convey how important that position really is. it's the key office in any white house for paper work and decisions that are made bill the president. any paper work that goes to president in theory goes to the staff secretary, any decision the president signs goes back through the staff secretary, the staff secretary say hugely important job. people like john podesta, brett kavanagh and others.
in this white house, rob porter's probably even more important than the typical staff secretary because john kelly did rely on him so much. porter was seen as one of the few genuinely professional and talented and seasoned people in that white house. i would say if you had to come up with a list of the most important staffers in that west wing he would certainly be on any list like that. for this to happen is a big blow to this white house and you're right. he had been very close to john kelly as an ally and a right arm of his, so you can see that the chief-of-staff clearly, you know, took this in a personal way. >> you mentioned some of those names from past administrations, people harriet myers, george w. bush tried to put her on the supreme court but there was a pushback to that. beth you were going to say. >> sorry. i was adding to answer your question about the time line. both of these ex-wives did not
come forward, so to speak. they were contacted by reporters and i think somewhat reluctantly shared their stories after they knew that this was all coming out. so i just wanted to make that clear as far as the time line. >> let me bring the panel in here. this is i think one of the questions here we find ourselves asking a lot with this administration is would this event have happened in a past administration and i think this is one of those where, you know, look you can have an unfortunate circumstance where you find out somebody's been accused of something. that can happen in any administration. this does seem to speak to a level of some dysfunction behind the scenes there. >> one of the appalling details is that this week john kelly and also orrin hatch basically came out and accused the women, the ex-wives of conducting a vial smear campaign. that's the first instinct that this is a smear campaign even though they weren't making this a campaign at all.
they only came out with this now. they've been interviewed with the fbi last year including the question of do you think that is vulnerable potentially to blackmail. that was a question they said yes, he is because of this path that hasn't been disclosed. so to accuse them just a reflexively of conducting a smear campaign is what we had seen similarly with judge roy moore, with donald trump himself. it's as if -- this is what we'll do. we can weather the storm by doing this. let's step back and call that for what it is. these are two women, ex-wives, and there's a third girlfriend too, an ex-girlfriend who contacted the white house afterwards and say, i think there's a problem with this guy. you should check it out. there was plenty of knowledge there and to go back and try to smear those women of conducting a smear campaign that says something really bad about the cultural of the white house. >> it's an interesting point. you think back to the "access hollywood" tape in the 2016 campaign. i think politically i wonder if the president himself and the
folks around him took a political lesson from that, hey, look, if two, three weeks before the election you can endure that kind of scandal and still win, maybe we don't have to worry about anything we're hit with. >> even if there is evidence, even if there are photos, if there is a video with audio in which donald trump himself is acknowledging that he likes to or is able to grab women by the genitals, they think they can get away with it. this is an administration that has defended neo-nazi, an accused child molester and now multiple wife beaters. one of the nominees last year for the cabinet for the labor secretary was also accused of abusing a spouse. so this is not some anomaly. this is a pattern for them. all they care about is just circling the wagons and saying we're going to charge forward and we're going to just deny and gas light the american public even when there is photographic evidence or video evidence proving otherwise. >> okay. peter baker, beth reiner, thanks
to both of you. matt and katherine are saying with minimum throughout the hour. all eyes are turning to the u.s. senate first today. there's where lawmakers are getting ready to vote on a budget deal that would fund the government for the next two years. not so fast. the fate of that bill is very much up in the air when it comes to the house where it's also going to have to pass. the sticking points for both parties as that shutdown clock keeps ticking. ♪ one is the only number ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance. it's about the one bold choice you make, that moves you forward. ( ♪ ) the one and only cadillac escalade. come in now for this exceptional offer on the cadillac escalade. get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac escalade from around $879 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer. on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your ideal comfort, your sleep number setting.
back now with a live look the house floor. that's the outside of the capitol hill right now but on the house floor inside that building there is going to be lots of drama today before that, though, on the senate side, the senate expected to prove that two year budget at some point today. that will then kick off the drama on the house side. leadership trying to make that senate vote happen as soon as possible. what happens in the house, this is an uncertain question right now. democrats are upset that this agreement does not address the issue of immigration and the status of the dreamers. conservatives say all the new spending would blow a big hole in the deficit. the vote will be narrow at best. also lawmakers have about 14 hours to get all of this done or the government shuts down again. casey hunt is on capitol hill that's where the drama is. the house side here. you've got objections you can look at from both sides. democrats saying what about the dreamers. republicans saying what about all this spending. the bottom line, 218 votes,
what's the status right now? can they deliver that? >> reporter: steve, at this particular point in time it does look like the moderate middle is going to win the day over the objections of both the left and the right. of course nancy pelosi taking to the house floor yesterday, a historic eight plus hour speech, the longest in at least a century from what we could figure out. she told her members or rather told reporters but sends a signal to her members this morning at a press conference where she said she will vote against the budget deal. that was a surprise considering that she was involved behind the scenes in these negotiations, not necessarily a surprise in the context of that floor speech, but the critical thing that she also said, she was asked if she is whipping against the budget deal so essentially is she going to go to all the members of her conference and say, don't do this and nancy pelosi is very good at holding her conference together and she
said, quote, i'm just telling people why i'm voting the way i'm voting. so the translation there is that they are not -- it does not seem whipping against this bill, that lines up with what we have been hearing privately. so that suggests that combined with republican votes that this deal should be good on the house floor. paul ryan's problem of course the conservatives on the right of his caucus who think that this spends too much money, paul ryan talked to our colleague hugh hewitt on his radio show earlier today. here's what he had to say. >> i feel good. part of it depends on the democrats. this is a bipartisan bill. it's going to need bipartisan support. we are going to deliver our share of support. i feel very good about republicans. >> reporter: so he says he feels very good about republicans. everything right now is pointing to this getting through both the senate and the house. you mentioned the timing at the temporomandibular of the show. we expect the senate to vote first. once all the is are dotted and ts are crossed. the house to follow suit.
we'll be tracking any unexpected developments here but right now and this is steve a pretty rare thing or has become a pretty rare thing, this bipartisan budget deal is on track because the reality is, congress can do things when both parties are on board. steve? >> we got the shutdown clock ticking away in the lower right. main it won't get to zero this. >> reporter: i think everyone is still scarred from weeks ago. >> thank you for that. with us now is lonnie chen now the director of domestic policy at stanford university. matt and katherine still here with me. lonnie let me bring you in from a republican standpoint. we talk about this budget deal and to go back in time here and to put this into perspective, what's happening here when we talk about this increased domestic spending is that the limits that were put in place when republicans got control of congress after the 2010 midterms, that pea party upriding was taking place, that
big standoff and ryan and obama. they put all these -- all these limits went in place then they are now being lifted. the deficit just next year alone, it looks like it'll jump up another trillion dollars. when you think back to that time in the tea party and you will all the concerns about the deficit, how is this acceptable? >> well, i guess all the fiscal hawks have flown away. it's pretty clear that fiscal discipline is not the paramount value for republicans in congress any more. there are some republicans in the house who are holding firm. i think there's a few in the senate who are saying, we can't possibly sign off on the increased spending. a lot of republicans liked the increased spending on the defense side of the ledger but they had to agree to these massive spending increases on the domestic discretionary side of the ledger. what you're seeing as you noted earlier is a $1.2 trillion deficit in 2019 and deficits that may be over $2 trillion by the time we get to 2027 if the
trump tax cuts are made permanent. this is a lot of spending and it's really against character and form but i guess we're in a day and age in washington where fiscal discipline, fiscal responsibility, those values don't matter as much as any more. >> i wonder just to go back, we see this tea party movement, that label was so prominent, we don't say tea parties much any more, it seems to me what we used to call the tea party in a lot of ways became the trump base. did we misunderstand back then what was really animating the tea party when we said it was all about spending and deficits? >> that's a great point. what we actually saw was that many republican voters are much more comfortable with larger government than we thought. for many, many years republicans were out there arguing for the need for a restrained central government when, in fact, a lot of voters were really saying, look, in theory we like the idea of smaller government but in reality, there are all these things government does that we
like maybe more than we thought. i think it's very difficult also to overstate the role that obamacare played in that 2010 wave. that continues to be an animating force. the sheer notion of fiscal discipline, the notion that government has to restrain spending. that is something that is more of a talking point than actual reality. >> let me bring my panel in here. on this question of the size of government, government spending, was there less of an appetite there on the right all along for that? >> this is the death of the tea party. the final ceremonial could have finn through the stake, stake through the heart of the tea party one of the animating things back then was the mythical trillion dollars deficit figure. my god, a trillion dollars deficit, are we really going to do this? this happened of course after the bailout and the stimulus. that's a big thing to swallow there. people were talking -- this is a sign that we have to put a curb
on the debt ceiling. americans actually supported using the debt ceilings in negotiationings. they hate government shutdowns. but they think we're spending too much money. that kind of stuff, all that's gone. we'll get to the $1 trillion level probably this year and stretching around forever and there's a very smart comment about that from my libertarian point of view back then. when you have debt that high it's going to eventually put a damper on economic growth particularly as borrowing costs increase. what's happening right now? borrowing costs have gotten to a four year high recently. that's one of the reasons we have the tumble on the stock market. this is reckless at a time and yet there are a handful of tea partyish people left quick story, thomas massy a tea party guy talked about, he thought back in the day, it was great. all these people like limited government and he tried to campaign for rand paul and iowa and discovered they all love
donald trump. they thought we were the craziest people in the room. >> we have to remember that part of the reason we'll have a trillion dollars deficit this year is also because of tax cuts. it's not only on the spending side. it's also on the tax side where we're being fiscally reckless. republicans care about deficits only when there's a democrat in the white house. an important thing to remember, by the way, is not only should we dare about the thakt that we'll have a trillion dollars deficit right now and probably $2 trillion down the line, we shouldn't care about it only because its hypocritical. it's also supremely ill timed. it's just doesn't make sense. what you want to do is you want to have greater government spending during the great recession, during when you're on the brink of falling into the precipice of a depression. when the tea party was animated was the time when actually it would make more sense from that perspective to spend more money
to go into greater deficits. right now is exactly the opposite time. it's the wrong time to do this. >> the interesting thing, we throw all these different numbers around for people. in the first 200 years of this country's existence, the entire debt that was wracked up, you total up the deficit every single years for 200 years the entire debt was about $1 trillion. we're now talking bay one year deficit of trillion dollars. that's how fast this stuff has accelerated. thank you for joining us. u.s. officials they are sounding the alarm about russian election meddling just months away from the midterm elections. what we are learning about the kremlin's interference in 2016 and the odds that something similar could happen this year? . but imagine something new. at invisalign®, we use the most advanced teeth straightening technology to help you find the next amazing version of yourself.
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former president george w. bush is the latest to point the finger at russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. >> there's pretty clear evidence that the russians meddled. whether they affected the outcome is another question. but they meddled and that's dangerous for democracy. >> the new comments from bush 43
at a summit come on the heels of our nbc news exclusive that the russians successfully hacked into the voter registration rolls of several states just prior to the presidential election. here's senior investigative correspondent cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: a senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the top secret report says several states had their voting registration system successfully compromised by the russian government. this after u.s. officials had previously revealed 21 states were targeted. we asked homeland security's chief of cybersecurity about that secret document. >> i can't talk about classified information publicly. we saw targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of that 21 were actually successfully penetrated. >> reporter: the fear, russia would remove voters names from the roles creating chaos, potentially swinging the election. >> we were able to determine
that the scanning and probing of voter registration databases was coming from the russian government. >> reporter: jay johnson was dhs secretary when these russian intertrugss were taking place. u.s. intelligence knew by the summer of 2016 the hacking originated from russia. two months later, they told the public. >> should you have done it before october 7th? >> any time you make a difficult national security decision, somebody says, why did you do that and somebody else says, why didn't you do it sooner? >> reporter: it turned out voters names were not removed in 2016 but what about this year? >> my worry is that since that time a lot of states have done little to nothing to actually harden their cybersecurity. >> i would not agree with that assessment. i would say they have all taking it very seriously. >> reporter: nbc news reached out to those 21 states. california and texas, among others, saying their voter system was never attacked. >> i stand by the list. this was a snapshot in time with
visibility that the department had at the time. >> again, our cynthia mcfadden with a troubling report. catherine, there's a disconnect here in terms of the response. ultimately it is up to these individual states to be managing their voter rolls, to be managing election security. the role at the federal level, the role for the president, what should that be here? >> they're very conflicted at this point because this president is invested in the idea that there was no russian meddling in the election. he has said this multiple times despite the fact that our intelligence agencies and other officials at homeland security, et cetera, have said, yes, russia tried to meddle, they did meddle on facebook and elsewhere and apparently with our voter rolls, at least they attempted to. the roll of the white house is complicated because from the president's perspective, it's important to play this down but from the perspective of the democracy of our republic it's
important to be very aggressive and make sure that this does not happen again but how do you do that? how do you straggize and before looking when there's this state of denial that there was any foreign influence or attempted foreign influence within our election. >> people i think are familiar with this but when this subject is raised, when he's asked about it, this is how the president talks about this question of russia interference. >> i think it's important we just continue to say to russia, if you think we don't see what you're doing, we do see it and you need to stop. >> those who would threaten americans experiment in democracy, if you challenge us it will be your longest and your worst day. >> yes, russia did meddle in our elections. >> this threats not going to go away. the russians have been at it a long time and they'll continue to be at it. >> i believe that president putin really feels and he feels strongly that he did not meddle
in our election. what he believes is what he believes. what i believe is that we have to get to work. >> you saw members of the administration saying, yes, russia meddled then you have the president not wanting to that way. with trump too, in his mind at least it seems this cannot be separated from democrats saying you're not a legitimate president. >> keep in mind that the president created a presidential commission on election integrity last year. this is a contested election. there are these incredible allegations that russia is trying to hack into voter roles and other things like that, so what was this commission about? it wasn't about this. it was about looking for illegal immigrants. trying to prove the baseless conspiracy theory that donald trump didn't get or hillary clinton got 3 million votes from illegal immigrants. it was run by chris coback who's the biggest conspiracy theorist
in america. so his mind seems to be operating on i'm going to prove this thing about my own personal fortunes which have -- from his point of view russia has nothing to do with that. it's remarkable that they had a chance to take a role or look into that and they went into the opposite direction. >> the wording that former president bush used there was interesting. russia meddled. now whether that affected the election is another question. so he's making an effort to say, i'm not immediately connecting whatever interference happened to the fact that trump won. those folks in the administration who want to talk about this as we just showed in that clip, is there a way for them to present it in a similar way that would get the president publicly to take it more seriously? >> i think it's very challenging. trump makes everything about him. he makes a gold star widows tragedy about him. he makes the military about him. that's how -- that's his lens through which he sees the world,
whether things are good or bad for him. it's going to be very challenging to get him to say publicly what all of these members of his administration have been saying is we need to take this threat seriously. he's going to feel insecure and feel like, well, if you're cuesing russia of meddling in our elections, that's casting doubt on the legitimacy of myself, of my own presidency. >> it should be pointed out that george w bush is the right way to talk about it. they talked about the election got hacked. that's not accurate. >> we are just a few hours away from that senate vote on that big bipartisan spending deal that would keep the government funded and forestall a shutdown. key groups are fighting against it including the freedom caucus. a member of that caucus warn davidson, he is going to way in. stay tuned. which is why we're helping to replenish the mighty rio grande
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still be no. >> i just think it's a bad deal. i think it's unfortunate that this is where it goes. >> this spending bill is a debt junky's dream. >> i'm not only a no, i'm a hell, no. >> he is a hell, no on this. i'm joined by warren davidson of ohio. let me ask you, are you also a no on this? >> i'll be voting no on this bill. i agree. it's just too much spending. there's no shortage of good ideas up here. there's a lot of good causes but the amount of money to pay for it is not unlimited. we need to show some fiscal discipline here. >> if you think that no vote is going to end up mattering because the speak of the house paul ryan was on with hugh hewitt and his radio show and he said, we, we the republicans, have the votes we need on this. do you think that assessment is correct? >> i assume the speaker and the whip have an accurate whip count
before they did the deal. i think they had to know what it was going to take to get this across the finish line or they wouldn't have been able to commit to a deal. i assume they have it but i assume that there will be a pretty large number of republicans that vote no on it. >> the fact, though, the speaker, the house speaker and paul ryan of course his issue, one of his major issue at least in the past has been taming budget deficits, cutting spending, austerity, that type of emphasis in the past. this agreement would see the deficit just next year alone exceed a trillion dollars. what is happening in a republican party that a few years ago when it first won control of the house nearly forced a shutdown over the issue of government spending that now many of your colleagues, including the speaker are willing to support a trillion dollars deficit next year. >> you point out a real disconnect between what our brand has been and certainly what the speaker's brand has been. people have really dealt with that all year.
the house passed a more discipline plan back in september and we've been in cr after cr. we did increase spending for the military in part because of just the real readiness issues we faced over the past year. unfortunately, we've had more training fatalities than combat fatalities in a year where we had a fair bit of compat. i think it's, you know, readily apparent to the american public that we got readiness issues and we've got ships crashing into one another out in the ocean. that goes to understaffing and our crews and lack of crews. we wanted to get the money to our military. it's been held up in the senate largely over daca. the house senate bill over just this week that funded our military but held the line on nondefense spending, unfortunately when it came back from the senate it's got a lot more of everything. it's not that they're bad causes, we do really have a constraint in terms of how much things we can pay for. >> the question there you
mentioned, the status of the dreamers, the folks brought to this country by their parents years ago have been living here. the senate working on some legislation. let me ask you from your standpoint to get permanent legal protection for the dreamers enshrined in law, are you asking for concessions in return and what are those concessions? >> i think the house bill that's got the most traction is bob goodlatte's bill and i'm taking a look at that. that spans a large cross section of republicans. we're hoping that some democrats will see that as the vehicle that will move in the house. the senate's working on a different path. i'm pushing to make sure the federal law which is the only body of law on immigration states don't have state jurisdiction over immigration, that states are clearly premted in their actions related to immigration by federal statute. it does good things, like, you
know, deal with -- deal with the border security issues. not just a wall but overall security reforms there like the ability to return people to come here illegally at the border. the ability to address chain migration and shift to a more merit based system and it ends the visa lottery. >> warren davidson from ohio. a no vote on that budget agreement. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. former vice president joe biden sitting down for a one-on-one interview with our own andea mitchell and weighing in on that latest scandal to hit the white house. that is next. a little to the left. 1, 2, 3, push! easy! easy! easy! (horn honking) alright! alright! we've all got places to go! we've all got places to go! washington crossing the delaware turnpike?
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come in now for this exceptional offer on the cadillac ct6. get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac ct6 from around $549 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer. moments ago, in a one-on-one interview with andrea mitchell, former vice president joe biden weighed in on white house staff secretary rob porter's pending departure from the white house. he is the white house aide who resigned yesterday amid allegations of domestic abuse. here's what biden told andrea mitchell within the last hour. >> how do you explain his access to the president of the united states and the chief of staff, frankly, in the last 24 hours,
describing him as a man of personal integrity? >> i can't explain it. it is long past due that he's departed. if you look at it from the perspective of one thing, the fbi didn't think he should get a permanent security clearance. >> they had to know that. >> sure they knew that. they still did it. look, the culture is changing, and thank god, but not fast enough. the idea that this would happen in the oval office. now, i don't know. i heard when i was briefed on the way in when the president found out about it, he said, go. if that's the case, the president never knew about it, good for the president for saying that. >> how could the president not know one of his closest advisers did not have a top security clearance? what does that say about the president and this white house? >> oh, andrea. look, i'm having enormous difficu difficulty understanding how
this white house functions. >> again, that's joe biden just in the last hour with our own andrea mitchell. joining me is national political correspondent for the "washington post." also, my panel is back with me. karen, we've been talking this hour, obviously, about the situation with rob porter. one of the questions here, you see andrea raising it, too, is the question of who knew what and who knew it when inside the white house. specifically with john kelly. do you think that this scandal calls into question at all john kelly's status as chief of staff? >> i think it does. i think the questions are going to continue. right now, it looks like there are only two options here. either this was a case of massive mismanagement, or they knew this and decided it didn't matter. >> let me ask you, too, changing gears here, we have some reporting -- and you wrote a column about this -- the
democratic congressional campaign committee are going to announce today 101 republican targets in their battle to get control of the house in 2018. that would be the largest battlefield democrats are envisioning in a decade, since they were sort of the house majority back under nancy pelosi. you were writing this week about some of the potential worry spots for democrats, even though the landscape looks favorable. what do you see the worry spots to be? >> one big one is that the assumption that donald trump and his unpopularity is going to do all their work for them. i talked to a number of democrats who are concerned that the democratic message, they have not honed their own message. there is also a downside to this extraordinary number of democratic candidates that we see this year. it is probably going to be a record. that means that we're going to have to -- we're going to have to see them go through some messy, potentially rocky primaries ahead, too. that could also weaken their
hand. the target list is not so -- it is not determinative. meaning, by this fall, they probably will not be spending money in over 100 districts. but this is sort of an early cut on places where they do see some potential. the big lesson, i think, democrats have learned in, for instance, virginia, is that they really need to be looking at a broad field. some of their opportunities may not be in obvious places. >> interesting. you see all the special elections, and some are so obscure, but it is showing high democratic energy. if you have that in the mid-terms, who knows what it could lead to. thank you for the abbreviated visit. thank you, all, for being with us this hour. you can see much more from former vice president joe biden's interview we just showed you a clip of. that'll be on "andrea mitchell reports" tonight at noon eastern only on msnbc. we'll be right back with today's
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all right. it is time for today's big picture. this one is going to be a little painful for me. we are going to go to the city of brotherly love, down to philadelphia. there you go, you know who that is. that is the host of this show. that's my colleague, hallie jackson. that is her dad with her there. you can see their hats. you know what this is all about. they are celebrating their beloved philadelphia eagles at the championship parade today. i am, of course, a patriots fan from massachusetts, forced to sit in for hallie while she goes
and enjoys the super bowl that my team should have won. as happy as i am for her, this is still a painful moment for me. still, quite a day there in philadelphia. congratulations to the eagles. stay safe, everybody. i know the philadelphia fans can be a little rough sometimes. thank you for watching thismsnb. right now, more news with my colleagues, ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. >> ali is a philadelphia guy. he loves the football. >> if a philly fan comes at you, give them a cheesesteak. it is all over. should have taken him off the list to sub for somebody in this instance. >> wicked company. >> punishing. >> fly, eagles, fly. i'm ali velshi. >> he just learned that. >> last week. it was excellent. >> i am stephanie ruhle. psyched to be back here with my partner. let's get started. >> wasn't finished fighting, i suppose. at that
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