hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 6:00 p.m. in london and 2:30 in pyongyang, north korea. wherever you're watching around the world, thank you very much for joining us. president trump igniting a culture war by attacking nfl athletes who kneel for the national anthem. an agreement on obamacare gets more dire. will 11 hours change the bill's fate? remember, 75 million people
in puerto rico without power, food and water. the trump administration being criticized for not doing enough. all of that, we begin with breaking news. a very, very dangerous accusation just moments ago. a top north korean official now says president trump has declared war on north korea. over the weekend, the president tweeted, quote, just heard the foreign minister of north korea speak at the u.n. if he echoes thoughts of little rocket man, they won't be around much longer, closed quote. in light of that tweet, the foreign minister says all countermeasures are now on the table, and he says that includes the right to shoot down u.s. bombers flying over the korean peninsula, even if they do not enter north korean air space. let's bring in colonel steve warren, retired u.s. army, to talk about this. he's a former spokesman for the defense secretary, james mattis,
and cnn military analyst. how serious are the foreign minister's comments? how seriously should the u.s. military be taking those words? >> wolf, we have to take these words very seriously. what went under if not completely ignored is that on friday the u.s. sent a b-1 bomber and some f-15c's off the coast of north korea. so his comments were really addressing something that had just happened. we have a combination of his comments, plus the president's tweet, plus the american flight north of the dmz, although outside of korean air space. what we see here is several events kind of coming together at the same time in the same place. let's be clear, the united states has not and never has declared war on north korea here in the last few weeks. but what is also clear is this war of words that you mentioned is becoming more and more serious. >> the pentagon just responded
with a statement, steve. let me read it to you and our viewers. the military will take all options to make sure we safeguard our allies, our partners and our homeland, so if north korea does not stop their provocative actions, we'll make sure we provide options to the president to deal with north korea. so what kind of military options is the pentagon talking about right now? because clearly this crisis is escalating quickly and dramatically. >> the crisis is escalating quickly and dramatically. wolf, there is a range of options and some of them that we saw, for example, just on friday, which is to fly some strategic bombers and some fighter aircraft ever closer and closer to north korea. this is kind of loud sabre rattling. we could of course move and position more forces both sea and air based closer to the north dori korean country, to t korean peninsula, and we could
reinforce our military. more kinetic options are on the table. we hope it never gets to that. >> we know in the past there have been confrontations between north korea and south korea. a few years ago there was even a shooting of a missile that destroyed a south korean warship, killing about 50 or 60 south korean sailors. that was a very tense moment. if something like that were to happen now, is there an escalation that would immediately result in war? because this is a very, very tense situation. >> this is a very tense situation, and we always hope that cooler heads would prevail. if we fly more strategic aircraft near the koreans and they decide to shoot one of those down, this could be a flash point. if the north koreans feel they're overly threatened and
decide to shoot some rockets, missile, artillery into south korea and strike american forces -- we have just over 30,000 u.s. forces stationed in korea -- this could become a flash point which would lead to greater trouble. so this is a powder keg right now, wolf, and this is something that we need cooler heads on both sides to be really beginning to prevail here. >> steve warren, thanks so much for that analysis. much more on that story coming up, but i also want to get to the battle raging between president trump and pro athletes. they say the president is clearly out of bounds, but the president standing by his explosive comments about players protesting during the national anthem. athletes and owners across the league, they responded by protesting the president, what he had to say. some even refused to stand while others locked arms in a clear show of solidarity. the president set off the firestorm by calling on owners to fire, quote, the s.o.b.s who
don't stand during the national anthem. an emotional miami dolphin safety michael thomas had something to say about that. >> i have to stand for the american flag. as a man in the nfl, yeah, i took it personally, but at the same time like i said in my twitter post, it's bigger than me. i got a daughter. she's going to have to live in this world, you know what i'm saying. i'm going to do whatever i got to do to make sure, you know, she can look at her dad and be like, hey, you tried to bring attention to it. >> let's bring in our panel to discuss all these dramatic words. a writer for "the undefeated,
mike wise, "the undefeated" brenda white. this has escalated dramatically over the past few days. were you surprised? >> i wasn't, wolf, for this reason. nfl players are aware of what happened in charlottesville. they're aware of the comments that the president made about very fine people. and then they see that and they hear that, and then you look at their situation, and they're called sons of b's for essentially just protesting peacefully, exercising their first amendment right, and people were actually involved in committing violence are said to be very fine people. i wasn't surprised at all. actually, on friday night when this thing started to break, i had several nfl coaches, assistants and players who were texting me through the day on saturday saying they had never seen such a show of anger among the players. >> it's not just the players,
it's the coaches and the owners. you've been covering this for a period of time. >> donald trump has essentially galvanized owners and players over the same issue. there is a very big divide between not just whether colin kaepernick is resigned and whether or not this whole anthem protest is going to work or not, but most owners would prefer these athletes stood and didn't alienate any of their customer base. now they're locking arms with them, another shocking development. the nfl players association president, demoore smith and roger goodell are on the same page. everybody is bonding with the common enemy, and the common enemy happens to be the president of the united states. >> how do you feel? you've covered the nfl for a long time, and pro sports. we heard what the president had to say about steph curry and the
warriors. >> he has met his mitch as far as twitter level. this is your area and we've had issues over the last eight or nichb months of trump taking on certain groups. he's never met a force like the football establishment and the nba establishment. that's the difference here. they can answer back. they are answering back. as i said, they're unified. they've got fans not just in blue states but in red states. so the breakdown we have in sports, we've had it almost a million times from this panel. that brings in people who otherwise aren't in these conversations and that's why i think the football players the nfl won the weekend and donald trump lost the weekend. >> but there are plenty of americans, nima, who think it's ridiculous that players get down on a knee while the national anthem is playing during a game. >> that's why the president
thinks he's right on this. there is a protest for a reason. they're not parades that are typically met with cheers. if you look back on the march on washington, people didn't agree with that, either. i think 60% of the public didn't agree with that. i think the question now for the country is, what does it mean that the country has a president that so willingly wants to play politics with race. he really want to wallow in a white grieve an politics. in talking to some republicans, particularly conservative republicans, they feel like this works for the base. i talked to some black gop who at the state and local level leave the party. it's a real question, i think, for president trump politically, not only does it work around the country. >> i think we were lockstep on this.
it bothers us having talked tie lot of athletes that somehow the notion that this is a protest has become a referendum over your feelings about the anthem and the flag when it's been completely reframed. a lot of these athletes, i talked to john carlos for a column in "the undefeated" today. john carlos who raised his fist in mexico city in 1968 said, we were about human rights. we did not hate america, we wanted america to do better. until people can open their hearts to some of these players and realize that they only want america to do better, they don't hate the country. i think that's a big dimfferenc. it's a big difference. >> and that's a form of patriotism, too, i mean, asking the country to live up to his ideals. it isn't just that soldiers are patriots and first responders are patriots, there are other forms of patriotism as well. >> this is a first amendment
rig right. >> people whomp booing the players, the reality is they're exercising their first amendment rights. they're not against the nfl cba, so when we talking about what these players are doing, you can have a problem with their politics, but you can't have a problem that what they're doing is against the want. that's not what the u.s. constitution is about. >> look at the ratings. the ratings went up, right? people tuned in like crazy to the pre-game shows. that's obviously both ways, right? >> so colin kaepernick can now make people money? >> by the way, colin kaepernick is your problem? i don't think so. i do think it's interesting, because one of trump's main arguments is is.
they made more money yesterday. >> isn't there a racial issue? i think about 70% of the nfl players are african-american. i think about 80% of the nba players are african-american. how do you see this? because some have suggested -- the president says this has nothing to do with race but others have suggested it does have something to do with race. >> i know just based on my reporting and talking to african-american players in the nfl, they feel it's totally about race. the initial reason that colin kaepernick knelt, or sat and then knelt, was to draw attention to the oppression of black people and brown people in the u.s. if you can't get on the same page that there are differences within the black community, how people are treated, police issues, criminal justice issues. so when you talk about is this issue around race? of course it's around race. >> and the guys who are protesting are almost 99%
african-american. when you're calling them s.o.b.s and you're questioning their employment and you talk about their mothers in that quote, i mean, it's like lorenzo alexander, a guy on the buffalo bills, he was totally offended by this and trump got him to kneel yesterday. >> a few tweets from the president. the issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. it is about respect for our country, flag and national anthem. nfl must respect this. >> this idea that it's not about race, he also tweeted about nascar, right, praising the sport of nascar, praising the fans, and of course nascar is overwhelmingly white, the drivers as well as the fans. >> this is a tweet. so proud of nascar, its supporters and fans. they won't put up with disrespecting our country and
flag. that's why it's hard kind of conversation that. >> you see that in the flags. >> the confederate flags. a lot of tailgaters still use them. >> look what we just talked about. race related, whether it's history, civil war and confederate flags, which is of course nascar. who is he praising coming to the white house? the pittsburgh penguins, the nhl team. that's fantastic if they want to go. but the nhl is probably 80% white. >> and the warriors have been disinvited. >> and they're from the nba which is 78% african-american. every single point we're making here, there is kind of a common denominator. >> you wanted to say something, jason? >> i just think when you look at
the nfl and you look at where things are in the league, the level of anger has never been higher. i go back to charlottesville. if the comments hadn't been made about very fine people, and on this end you have comments, these guys are are thoughtful and they do think about things. it's very difficult for them to accept that what is being talked about is not what's being talked about. >> all right, guys, a good conversation, good discussion. this conversation, though, is not going away. jason reed, christine brennan, mike wise, michael henderson, thap thanks to you. the white house briefing moments from now. we'll have live coverage right here on cnn. stand by for that. plus, as more republicans come out against the latest
health care plan, i'll speak live with one of the bill's co-sponsors, senator bill cassidy. he's standing by live. is he closing in on a surprise 11th hour deal to try and pass it? and breaking news out of puerto rico right now. there is a human catastrophe unfolding right now. a dam on the verge of collapsing. millions of americans, 3.5 million americans are puerto rico right now. they are all u.s. citizens. they are begging the trump administration for more help. cnn is on the ground. we'll update you on that when we come back. so the incredibly minor accident that i had tonight... four weeks without the car. okay, yep. good night. with accident forgiveness, your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
>> i will lend my voice, i will lend my passion, i will lend my resources to my youth in my inner city and outside my inner city to let these kids know that there is hope. there is greater walks of life. and not one individual, no matter if it's the president of the united states or if it's someone in your household, can stop your dreams from becoming a reality. it's that simple. or maybe not that simple if you can't appreciate it. >> lebron, tom weathers again. is there any regret you got into a name-calling situation with the president? >> no. the name calling? what did i say? >> you called him a bum. >> that's not a name call.
it's a -- you bum. me and my friends call each other that all the time. i'm not his friend, though. i don't want to see that on a note. he's not my friend. when i woke up and saw what he said about steph curry, first of all, it's so funny because it's like you inviting me to your party, right? as a matter of fact, it's not like you invited me, it's almost like, tom, hey, i'm not going to be able to make it. i'm not coming. and he's like, lebron, guess what, you're not invited. i was coming, anyway. so that was funny to me when i woke up and saw that. my first initial response was, you bum. first of all, you don't understand the magnitude, you don't understand -- he doesn't understand the power that he has for being a leader of this beautiful country. he doesn't understand how many kids, no matter the race, look
up to the president of the united states for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. he doesn't understand that. and that's what makes me more -- that's what makes me more sick than anything, that we have this is the number one position in the world. do you guys agree? being the president of the united states is the most powerful position in the world. i don't know of another one. if you can find one, let me know. it's the most powerful position in the world and we are at a time where the most powerful position in the world has an opportunity to bring us closer together as a people and inspire the youth and put the youth at ease on saying that it is okay for me to walk down the street and not be judged because of the color of my skin or because of my race. and he has no recollection of
that. he doesn't even care. maybe he does. but he doesn't care. so do i take away, do i just say take away "you bum" off my tw t tweet? >> is there a positive in all of this, lebron, that he's awakened people and the conversation is happening? >> absolutely. me, melo and dewayne stood on the biggest night in sports at the espys. where all our colleagues and champions and people who have been praised all over the world for their accomplishment over that last year, and we stood on stage and we understood the magnitude that we were headed into. so i love the fact that the conversation has started. i watched sunday countdown yesterday at 10:00. and for the first 20 minutes,
charles woodson, rex ryan, randy moss, those guys all sat up there and talked about it for 30 minutes. and rex ryan, if you guys saw it, said he supported trump in the beginning. he voted for trump and gave trump money and actually had a rally for trump. and he said he don't know if he made the right choice. so the conversation is being had. >> scott sergeant, dfny. you started off your kind of presentation about the unifying measures in the nfl and how proud you were to see that. a lot can change between now and october 17, but do you see more of that trickling down in the nba? >> i wouldn't be surprised if some trickled down to the nba if no change happened between now and the 17th.
so i wouldn't be surprised. >> so there he is, lebron james of the cleveland cavaliers speaking out against president trump and this latest uproar that has developed about some of the nfl players kneeling during the national anthem, the president going after them, calling them friday night in that speech in alabama s.o.b.s. we're going to continue to watch this story, but there's other important news we're watching right now as well, including a last-minute attempt to get their health care bill off the critical list. we're talking about republicans. they have now unveiled a new version that includes provisions designed to try to win over holdout lawmakers in the states of alaska and maine. senator lisa murkowski and susan collins has said their vote is unlikely but not completely impossible. john mccain and paul rand have both said they will not support this legislation.
senator john mccain was called out for his no vote. >> without john mccain, we already have the health care. it would have been very good, by the way. >> the bill appears to have a little popular support out there. a new cbs poll shows only about 20% of americans back this bill. 52% say they can't support it. i want to bring in senator bill cassidy. he's the co-sponsor of the bill, he's also a physician himself. senator, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> as you heard, there are several of your republican colleagues who say they are unlikely to support this bill. senator mccain, senator paul, maybe senator mike lee, maybe senator ted cruz. is it over right now? because you got to get this done by the end of the week. can you bring them on board? >> absolutely. the basic principles that we give the patient the power and give states the resources to
provide care for those they don't have. mike lee loves that. and susan collins is always bringing health care to low-income earners. her state will get a billion dollars more, not just because we specifically put something together for maine, but we did the same thing for virginia. they're not going to vote for us, but they can provide more for low-income mainers. we think that will get folks to vote for it. >> your critics are pointing out these latest changes only announced last night, the latest version accommodates alaska, for example, you're looking to lisa murkowski and telling her alaskans can have a medicaid expansion. why was this so important? >> native americans have always been treated differently than others when it comes to medicaid with the federal government paying 100% of their costs.
we preserve that. secondly, hawaii and alaska have costs that are about 1.5 times the rest of our country. we gave hawaii and alaska the same thing. if the reimbursement is going to reflect cost, it should reflect cost of care than that that are in the other 48 states. that's also for hawaii. i don't think they're going to vote for us even though it's great policy for hawaii. >> how are you going to guarantee that those with preexisting conditions, americans with preexisting conditions will have the assuran assuran insurance they need that is affordable to them after this bill becomes law? experts are saying these people are going to be potentially in deep trouble if your legislation were, in fact, signed into law. >> they absolutely would have protection in three ways. the legislation says if the state wants to do things differently, the state has to first show that those who have preexisting conditions have
access to affordable and adequate coverage. affordable means you can afford it. secondly, governors, most states have stronger protections in the federal government but governors are elected. those just assume that governors are scheming to take money away from folks elected to office. that typically does not occur. and people can afford policies on the individual exchange now. if you're not getting a subsidy, you're paying 30 to $40,000 a year and you're about to see a 15 to 20% increase depending on where you live. that's not affordable. we're trying to replace that with something that works. >> but you know, senator, and oou seen you've seen it, a lot of these expert organizations are saying you're wrong. they're opposing your version of health care, for example, the american medical association, the aarp, the american heart association and a whole lot more. we have a whole bunch of other medical organizations up on the
screen who say you're wrong, this is a horrible deal, it's worse for the american people. how do you respond to these medical associations like the american medical association and the aarp? >> let's first talk about something they base their analysis on, a study by avaleer which scored our bill over 20 years. the bill is only for 10 years. avaleer says we got $3.2 trillion but that's over 20 years. folks saw that and said, oh, my gosh, they're cutting all this money. avaleer totally, totally -- >> let me interrupt you for a second, senator. the congressional budget office, which is supposed to score this report, can't even do that because they don't have time to elicit a partial report. but something like 50% of the local economy, something that affects so many millions of americans, and john mccain keeps making this point, shouldn't there be extensive hearings,
extensive discussion and not simply rush into this as you're trying to do before the end of the week? >> if i may, wolf, first, it does not affect a fifth of the question. we don't touch medicare, we don't touch the va. we don't touch that at all. it it's a medicaid expansion. >> but health care in general affects the economy. >> health care in general but not our bill, and that's an important distinction. second the cdc has to understand that we don't contribute to the budget. we actually lower spending. as regards kovrcoverage, the cb bases its decision on coverage as to whether there is an individual mandate. the american people hate the individual mandate. we repeal that which, by the way, has been shown to have no effect upon coverage. so the coverage numbers won't be valid because they're using something in which jonathan gruger, who wrote the aca, says is not valid which is the individual mandate has an
effect, which it does not. >> why not do what senator patty murray has been doing the last couple weeks, trying to forge some bipartisan cooperation to work out some repairing of the current law, the affordable care act? why not work together with democrats and come up with some significant improvements to the current system as opposed to just, on a very, very narrow partisan basis, making these changes? >> for the last three years i've been going to democratic senators with a bill that i wrote with susan collins that would allow the blue state, if you will, to keep obamacare if they wished, and the red state to do something different if the individual market were failing. ten different senators i spoke to. none would cooperate. none, not one. >> but you would be cooperating with senator lamar alexander right now. he's the chairman of that committee. >> that's falling apart. >> it may be falling apart, but if you got involved, if the
president got involved, maybe and you the democrats could forge some sort of compromise. he's willing to work with the democratic leadership on the d.r.e.a.m.ers, for example. i suspect he'd be willing to work in a cooperative venture down the road on health care if your latest effort fails. >> if our latest effort fails, i presume, but it takes two to tang tango. if the world were ifs, ands and butts, we would all have a merry christmas. people in my state are paying 30 to $40,000 a year for premiums. they're about to get a 20% increase and i haven't been able to get a single democrat to help me. i'm not going to quit fighting for my people. it's not just my folks, it's folks all across the nation. for whatever reason there has not been a decision to collaborate with republicans on this. this republican will fight for this. >> if it fails at the end of the week, what will you do? >> i'll keep working because the
fact is premiums are rising by 20% every year in my state. >> will you try to forge a deal with democrats again? >> for three years i've been trying to forge a deal with democrats. i wish this were bipartisan. under the legislation we had, we let democrats keep obamacare. >> i just to want point out to my viewers here in the united states and around the world, senator, after this week, if you fail this week, you don't just need 50 votes, you need 60 votes, 40 republicans inspect the senate, 38 democrats. do you think there is a possibility rand paul will still support you? >> i can't tell you what's in rand paul's mind, but revision 4 gives an employee mandate, repeals taxes and gets a savings of $148 billion for the federal taxpayer. that's a good thing. hopefully he will vote for that. >> if you lose susan collins,
it's over, right? >> yes, it is, but people in maine, there will be a billion dollars for mainers who are lower income to have coverage they don't have. on the other hand, susan collins knows a smart governor who knows insurance like she does could do a heck of a lot to provide coverage for people in maine. >> your critics say you're trying to buy her off. and your response is with a billion dollars you're trying to get her vote. >> no, absolutely not, because we're also giving 4 billion to alaska. two senators who we know won't vote for us, we're giving 5 billion to missouri. i doubt lisa murkowski will vote for that money to go to her state. $55,000 to provide lower coverage for floridians. this attempt to make sure people in maine, florida or missouri have the same resources as someone in ohio or new york. and why shouldn't they? where you live shouldn't dictate
the amount of generosity you receive from the federal tax payer? we try to even it off. that's a good thing. it's not a bribe. for the american people, it's what is right. whether you live in virginia where we won't get your vote even if it's good policy, or in maine, we're trying to do what's right. >> senator cassidy, in addition to being a senator, you're also a physician. i know you're very passionate on this. thank you very much for joining us. even if you fail this week, i'm sure the subject is by no means going to go away. i want to alert our viewers to make sure not to miss tonight's cnn special on the health care debate. republicans lindsey graham and bill cassidy, you just saw him there, they will debate their health care bill against two of its fiercest critics, senator bernie sanders and amy klobuchar. that airs tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn, the critically important debate.
dana bash and jake tapper will co-deba hi co-moderate this debate. millions of americans are living in, quote, on pock lapoc conditions. they're begging the president for help. the president's controversial remarks about the nfl. we're waiting for a live briefing at the white house. much more after this. adjusting to help you stay effortlessly comfortable. there. i can also help with this. does your bed do that? oh. i don't actually talk. though i'm smart enough to. i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store.
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in danger of failing. officials told 75,000 people to leave the area. after the hurricane, it might as well be a world away. bill? >> wolf, i'd like to show you around what is left of what once was one of the most scenic neighborhoods in good baura tow8 miles south of san juan. it looks like a bomb went off. this is lush tropical greenery. imagine the flowers and foliage. it's like a lawn mower from the sky came down. it's like that across the island. it's so beautiful up here and this is diana and her husband miguel. she's okay. her son miguel and the little dog. he's doing okay. they survived, thankfully, but they're very worried. her husband miguel, who is a
vietnam war veteran, is bedridden inside. he needs insulin and refrigeration is a matter of life or death, and the power is out in puerto rico. here's why. one of the main towers crushed this home. thankfully the man who lives here evacuated the storm. he's in a shelter. only 20,000 evacuated. most rode it out and search and rescue teams aren't available to check on everyone. this will take months. as we follow the line across, imagine this scene is being played across puerto rico and the need is so desperate. i just spoke with the mayor here, javier, and he told me there were no deaths during the storm but six after the storm, including a 45-year-old man who died of a heart attack at the hospital because the hospital had no power. they couldn't help him. he says they need water and they need power. they need all the bare
essentials, but he did say i have a message for puerto ricans in new york and boston, we have a strong heart, a noble heart, and we will rebuild. if there is any indication, and wre we're just getting started today exploring, they will recover but they will need a lot of help and a lot of time. >>. how will the white house respond to a lot of the criticism that the u.s. isn't doing much to help? the trump administration is not there, not doing enough. the president of the united states, why has he not gone yet to puerto rico to show his solidarity with the 3.5 million american citizens who are there? those are some of the questions that will no doubt come up at the white house briefing just moments away. we'll have live coverage. meanwhile, president obama personally warned facebook
there's only one egg that gives you better taste and better nutrition in so many varieties. classic. cage free. and organic. only eggland's best. north korea's foreign minister says president trump has declared war on pyongyang by tweeting over the weekend that north korean leaders wouldn't be around much longer if they continued their rhetoric. let's go to pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, what are you learning about this dramatic escalation in the rhetoric? >> one of the key things the north korean said, wolf, is this mounted, as far as they were concerned, to a declaration of war by the united states. the state department rapidly pushing back saying there is no declaration of war on north
korea by the trump administration. the pentagon also taking the opportunity to one more time trying to impress upon the north koreans, if they can, that there are options for dealing with them and their weapons program. the pentagon chief spokesman, colonel robert manning, saying, and i quote, the military will take all options to make sure that we safeguard our allies, our partners and our homeland so that if north korea does not stop their provocative actions, we will make sure we provide options to the president to deal with north korea. again sending that message that there are options. the u the u.s. military can take those options if the north koreans continue down this path of rhetoric, wolf. >> thank you, barbara starr at the pentagon. we're now learning that facebook founder mark zuckerberg was warned about the danger of fake news and its role in the
2016 presidential race. that warning came from no other than then-president barack obama. the source confirms a report that zuckerberg and obama had a discussion last fall about facebook and fake news. zuckerberg apparently shrugged off the then-president's warning. cnn political analyst gloria borger is with us, and cnn correspondent for bloomberg news and rachel bay, reporter for bloomberg news. gloria, what do you make of the initial reaction from the facebook owner? >> i think when the president of the united states goes out of his way to warn you about russian infiltration into your organization, you ought to pay attention to it. and i think what you see zuckerberg doing now is realizing that he should have paid more attention to it at the time, and so they're sort of playing catch-up.
but what else would inspire an outgoing president to talk to a ceo like this unless it were really, really serious? >> and as you know, margaret, the house and senate investigators, they're saying the 3,000 or so facebook ads sold by a russian-linked -- bought by a russian-linked account may just be the tip of the iceberg, that there potentially were a lot more that we don't know enough about yet, and that there are serious ramifications going down that's right. i know i'm still struck even though this is all news how under the radar president obama trieded to stay under the election season probably because he didn't want to look like he was trying to intervene on hillary clinton's behalf. that was a mistake and president trump and his team now are faced with kind of a different, but a similar set of problems which is the president does not want to legitimize criticism or doubts about his election, but this is
a major problem, and not just in terms of the private messaging and policy, wo, but in terms of the public face the president puts on this. so far he's been more than understated and almost shrugging it off and this is a pivot point for the president to decide what he want his public message is today. >> rachel, i think you agree that from president obama on down including the democratic presidential nominee hillary clinton, they just assumed she was going to win and why create this huge uproar and this huge issue if he were to more dramatically talk about russian interference in the u.s. presidential election. >> it was certainly political calculation at that point in time. i think this whole facebook phenomenon we're seeing with the russian ads is with the broader fall from grace which was always put on a pedestal in washington. you have the facebook ads on russia, fake news, et cetera and you have conservative accusing
them of suppressing conservative voices and opinions and you have those on the tech industry about child sex trafficking. for a long time i would say iss washington had a light touch with the facebook industry and the fake news will rev that up. >> another thing involving the president's son-in-law jared kushner, senior adviser to the president, all of a sudden we are learning that he was using a private e-mail to send trump administration business after involving hillary clinton's private e-mail. >> i would have to say oops to that, as his lawyer abbe lowell points out these are 100 e-mails and none of them involve classified information which is the key, i know, we're all laughing. none of it involved classified information which was the whole thing for the hillary clinton brouhaha. so i think that they have to be
careful. this is the president who is leading rallies of lock her up because of her private e-mail server. nobody is accusing jared kushner of using a private e-mail server. nobody is accusing him of sending classified, mails. his lawyer says he was sending mostly clips and he was responding to people who e-mailed him on his gmail account, but when you run a campaign that is based on lock her up about private e-mails, you open yourself to the charges of hypocrisy, i would say, at the very least and they understand that. >> getting to the other very sensitive story, an issue that's unfolding right now, the president's decision friday night at that rally in alabama, speak out about nfl players who are kneeling during the national anthem and then continue it all through the weekend including today, and continuing to tweet about it. why is he doing this? >> i think we'll hear a ton of questions about this at the
briefing coming up shortly. look, it may have seemed like the right message for that audience and kind of a friday night lights crowd and it's always been the president's instinct to double down and it may be more strategic a few days out of this, it's obvious from the white house team to the policy folks that had has become this cloud that's obscured everything else. the debate on taxes and healthcare, if that's not by design then they have an opportunity now to pull back, but it is, you know, across the board has been the divisive issue across racial groups, across sports teams and turning the president's own political allies away from him. >> because some are suggesting there may be a political logic here and he wants to change the subject on health care and maybe his candidate in alabama will lose so he's trying to change the subject. you've heard that suggestion. >> obviously, we've heard rumors on that right now. i can tell you most of the
republicans on the hill, yes, they're bracing themselves to fail this week and they probably don't want their noses rubbed in that at this point in time, but this is supposed to be a big week on tax reform and the president is supposed to go out and campaign for it and i can tell you from talking to republicans on the hill, a lot of them are banging their heads on the wall right now that the headlines are looking at this and they 100% blame trump for this. i had a republican source say to me a couple of hours ago, before this weekend there were just a few players doing this and most of these headlines had sort of faded. trump came out attacking predominantly black players, right? and just a couple of weeks after charlottesville and now you have the culture war taking over the front pages and that's not what we want to talk about right now. >> this is how donald trump thrives. he thrives on division. he's not a president interested in uniting the country unless he's reading from teleprompter. this is someone who was in alabama giving a speech and knew exactly what he was saying to
that audience. he's somebody who viscerally feels the audience in front of him,s and what he's done instead of unite the country, is he's created another culture war, as you say, and maybe in the end as lebron james was saying earlier that this starts the conversation and that people can actually continue it in a more civil way. >> all right, guys. thank you very, very much. gloria, margaret and rachel. moments from now the white house will face reporters in the briefing room. the first time since the president's attacks on nfl players. will white house officials double down? stand by. it's fine, 'cause i t a safe driving bonus check every six months i'm accident-free. and i don't share it with mom. right, mom? right. safe driving bonus checks, only from allstate. switching to allstate is worth it.
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thanks for joining me. i'm pamela brown in for brooke bolduan on what's shaping up to be a very busy monday. president trump accused of inciting a culture war nfl players for protesting the national anthem. players and team owners say the president is out of bounds, slamming his comments as, quote, divisive after he ranted about the league while speaking to a predominantly white crowd in alabama. >> to see one of these nfl owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now out. he's fired. he's fired! >> so that comment right there in alabama not sitting well with the nfl, or the president's own chief of staff, john