tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC July 20, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT
arrival of the official nominee, donald j. trump. breaking news at this hour, the speech writer coming forward, taking the blame for his wife melania's controversial monday speech which appeared to contain passages from that speech that michelle obama gave eight years ago. halle jackson covering this story very closely. halle, what do we know that the point? what are your sources inside the campaign telling you? >> reporter: he's telling me he plans to emphasize the why and governor mike pence giving his big headlining remarks as well. >> do we have halle jackson? halle jackson standing by for us, halle, what can you tell us about all of this? what are you hearing from inside the campaign? >> reporter: so listen what we're hearing from inside the campaign is what we've been reporting on as well. i'm going to drop you out of our
ear piece. when you look at the statement that came out, it's interesting in a couple of ways, number one it is directly from the source herself. this staff writer, remember, working for not the campaign, but for the trump organization essentially falling on the sword, trump and his team saying they will not accept a resignation. the loyalty factor incredibly important. you've also got donald trump talking about how any press is good press. and this is something that i find interesting. the melania trump speech happened yesterday we've seen donald trump jr. speech. we've seen tiffany trump speak. we saw that chris christie coming out with that prosecution if you will of hillary clinton on the convention floor last night. it seemed as though the news cycle had begun to move on when donald trump brought this back up again. so the campaign now out with the statement, really answering the question though that had been on the minds of a lot of folks which was who was responsible for some of those passages that were incredibly similar to president obama in 2008. the bigger picture though, what
do you say about the campaign. something could happen and what was melania trump's biggest night. she is not a political spouse who we often see on the campaign trail. who goes out like for example, heidi cruz and does her own fundraising ooefbts or headlines her own functions. she's somebody who has stood by her husband on some big nights, this was her moment in the spotlight, and so, the question that we're trying to get to is how does the campaign function and what does this say about the campaign's function when something like this could happen on one of melania trump's biggest nights? now again the campaign would push back and say listen, they are organized, they feel ready and point to perhaps the children's speeches and the speeches from surrogates as well that we're seeing, but i'll tell you, it certainly put the trump children now under a fair amount of scrutiny as we heard from don jr. and tiffany last night, eric set to speak tonight andive van ka introducing her father tomorrow night. >> halle, stand by. i want to let our viewers an
listeners and just a portion of the statement here. this coming from meredith mcgiver. she's an in-house staff writer. long time friend and admirer of the family as well, she says in part, in working with melania trump on her recent first lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her. messages she wanted to share with the american people. a person she's always liked is michelle obama. over the phone, she read, she read me some passages from mrs. obama's speech, i wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. i did not check mrs. obama's speeches, this was my mistake and i feel terrible for the chaos i have caused melania and the trumps as well as mrs. obama no harm. here's the thing, here's the thing, halle, this does not jive at all with what we have been hearing from the campaign over the past 48 hours. they had been insisting that it was not plagiarism.
chris christie saying 93% of the speech was her own. rnc standing by the speech as well, and now you've got a staefer coming forward and essentially saying, you know what, i did plagiarize it, i'm sorry, i'm sorry about that. so i believe we just lost halle jackson, katie tur standing by for us. katie tur at the science center in the shadow of the q for that trump-pence rally that is scheduled to start in about an hour. i'll pose the question to you, you've been covering the trump campaign from the very beginning. why the disconnect between the statement the staffer, and the official line from the campaign? >> oftentimes the statements are not coordinated with the campaign. donald trump does often go against what his own staffers say in in public. paul manafort has said publicly they are going to walk back the muslim ban, donald trump said he never said that. paul manafort said they wouldn't choose a woman because it could
be viewed as pandering, donald trump said paul manafort was misquoted. there is no coherence between donald trump and his staffers. that's because donald trump ultimately does what he wants. he's the ceo of his corporation, he's the ceo of his campaign, and we've seen that play out within, after these controversies, especially. so the fact that paul manafort said this was not plagiarism, shouldn't be surprising that the campaign is essentially coming out and saying that yes, it is plagiarism. that she didn't look at michelle obama's speeches and said taking word for word what melania told her over the phone and used them and did not go back and check that. so there is a disconnect. and it does play into this narrative that the campaign is not well oiled. it is not a smoothly functioning machine. does it matter though, craig? i know i keep saying this, i sound a bit like a broken record, so far, it has not mattered for the campaign.
they are close with hillary clinton in the polls. we're going to see if this changes things over the next few weeks with, but you have to imagine that at some point down the line after controversy after controversy, that there might be a fracture in his otherwise very solid support, and if it there's not a fracture a in the otherwise very solid support, is he going to be able to convince those swing voters, those undecided voters that they want to entrust him to be essentially the ceo of america? the person who's running america. are they going to look at this campaign and think to themselves, he didn't run the campaign very well. how can he run the country very well? or are they going to think to themselves, he's the anti-politician, he didn't do things a traditional way, he's going to go in there and shake things up. i don't care if his campaign came off as smoothly as say a ted cruz campaign did or a mitt romney campaign did. or a barack obama campaign did. it might not matter to voters who say that they feel very frustrated with washington right
now. but in terms it of this news cycle, donald trump said it, you heard halle mention it a moment ago, no news is bad news. no press is bad press. he said it in his 1989 book, no press is bad press, that phrase was essentially coined for donald trump. the "daily news" is out with all of their front page donald trump covers today. and they are oftentimes not great news covers. this has worked for him over his lifetime. and it would not be surprising if he felt like it was working for him right now. >> katie tur, standing by for us there again. in about an hour, donald trump, mike pence appearing a the a rally not far from where we sit. it'll be the first time we've seen them together since that announcement. katie we'll come back to you later. meanwhile, we should note we have indiana senator dan coates standing by, senator, we're coming to you in just a bit. my colleague thomas roberts meanwhile just talked to donald trump jr. in an exclusive one on one, what did he tell you?
>> reporter: which was just in the last hour. on the way there, we didn't have the donald trump tweets. by the time i got there, we had the tweets that donald trump sent out about melania's speech. this was good press. in meeting with don jr., i spoke to him about the reaction he's gotten last night at his speech from the rnc, but then also about what they're doing specially to figure out what happened with melania's speech. we now have this statement that donald trump just tweeted out as well four minutes ago from meredith mckiver, admitting to the mistakes. here was don jr. talking about it in what they felt was a dead horse. >> i think he's having fun with it, more importantly with her, she got up on stage, and this is someone that's avoided the public light. she hasn't shown up. she wants to raise her kids. to be able to get up on that stage and not doing this day in and day out and deliver a speech, she did it, it was phenomenal. i think she did an amazing job. couldn't have been more impressed. >> when it comes to when paul manafort was talking about it and still defending how it was
crafted, is there an active investigation going on inside -- >> yeah, they're looking at it. i heard stuff earlier today. i imagine they'll put stuff out about how it happened. just a couple of mistakes and really didn't have as much to do with paul. melania worked with one other individual and it's not about a campaign thing. other people have been trying to say that, that's not what it is. we're focussed on what's ahead and getting through the convention. we're now there, and we've just got a long sprint until november. >> talking about the fact they had vetting going on to figure out exactly how this happened. and by the time we got back here, craig, this news had broken about meredith's part in all of this. and how they're trying to button this up before they move on with the rally coming up here in the next hour with mike pence. >> thomas, thaungs. chris jansing standing by for us. i understand you've got priebus there on the floor. >> reporter: well, i just tried to get reince priebus to react, and he said no, i've got business that is going on, and
he walked away. no surprise. you'll remember what reince priebus had is to say yesterday when he was asked about this whole controversy yesterday morning. and he said, essentially, look, you know, we want it to be over by the afternoon, it should be over by the afternoon. in fact, he said somebody should be fired for it. if you're a republican who wants donald trump to be the next president, if you want a republican back in the white house, this is not what you want from your convention. you want the momentum to build, you want the excitement to build, there was a pretty widespread agreement that the first night did not go well at all last night. a lot of it was focussed on hillary clinton. you have to build an affirmative case for your person. and so far, other arguably than his son and his daughter last night that hasn't happened. so now you have yet another full news cycle where we're talking about melania trump's speech. something that frankly should have been a big positive for this campaign. and so i'm not surprised when i
went up to reince priebus who i've known for a long time, he said i don't know anything about it. he was doing his walk through now. and so, no comment from him. but i can tell you that this morning when chris christie was on "morning joe," he echoed what are republicans are saying, it's time to make that turn. it's time to make the turn from what happened during the primaries to sort of a more professional, more traditional campaign. when you see things like this, it's not happening. and, the people frankly who have to speak tonight, you have mike pence, this is the biggest, most important speech he's ever going to give, all of this a distraction for people who should be focussing on what they're going to do on that stage. >> chris, i do want to the show this tweet again for folks who might be joining us. this is donald trump, roughly an hour or so ago, good news is melania's speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics, especially
in you believe in all press is good press. here's the thing, chris, you've got to wonder, does the staffer that's coming forward now, the staffer, presumably knew what happened an hour or two after all the hubbub started, why not come forward then and nip it in the bud instead of having the story drag on for three days? >> reporter: look, first of all, this really isn't a staffer. i think more than anything, this is somebody whose been described at least in the "new york times" article and they did extensive reporting on this and a ballet dancer and a english writer and had become a family friend. somebody that melania trump trusted. and this is part of it, they'd like to keep this inner circle vr tight. they trust the people that they trust. there is a basic belief within that campaign that politics as usual hasn't worked. they are trying to do it in a very different way.
the problem obviously, craig, with that is when you have something like this, a very standard practice. and it's not just in politics, anybody who writes speeches will tell you, you feed it into a program now, it's very easy, and you look for those places, you know, maybe even subconsciously something that has slipped in that would be considered, you know, somebody else's work. it just doesn't happen. and so, this is, again, you know, we're on day three of a story that could have been stopped, and i'll tell you this quickly, craig. i talked to mark sanford, the former governor who is now a state representative who, rather, a congressman, who has been through controversy of his own. and he was puzzled by the fact that why don't you just come out within the first couple of hours, you know what happened, to make your point, craig, you know what happened, you know who did this, and get it -- rip the ban aid off and they chose not toot that and they're paying the price. >> chris for us inside the q,
let us know if you get mr. priebus, we'll put him on. meanwhile again, thomas roberts with that exclusive with donald trump junior. more of that in the next hour. quickly, what else did he tell you about what we could expect. >> we talked about the fact that, you know, this speech is kind of dragging back from moving on with the convention, although he's got an lot of praise for the work he did. his speech last night, also the fact that people were asking him whether or not he's going to throw his hat in the ring for something, advice for his brother and sister, oh, it's a piece of cake and made a joke about that. but the fact is, when it comes to what melania trump spoke about and she said she wanted to use the role as first lady to talk about american education. and this is a big hiccup for the fact that part of the speech that she's trying to promote to get to know donald trump, to get to know her, potentially on the press pous. being first lady, the fact that they would not come out and surrender the point that this was plagiarism. i know you spoke to sean spicer
24 hours ago yesterday, they were talking about my little pony. >> never the crime, always the cover hip. >> and now everybody that's defending the indefensible is looking at this and meredith mckiver is explaining what people knew. >> thomas roberts, that full interview. 2:00, josherness happ ernest ta what we've been talking about. i believe we can listen in. >> i'm not sure if they're aware of it right now. >> to follow-up on yesterday's meeting the president had with the attorney general and others, police matters, he talked about departments around the country needing resources for things like bullet proof vests and training and other items. can you say if if he's preparing to ask congress for money to provide police departments with those things? >> josh ernest there, white
house briefing, daily white house briefing, spending some time talking about all of this. we'll keep a close eye on that if he says something news worthy, we'll bring it to you. meanwhile back here in cleveland, ohio, once again, donald trump j. trump the official nominee for president of the united states. set to land here in cleveland any moment. there's a look at the tarmac, we're told that's going to happen any moment now. we'd love for you to be a part of conversation as well. today's microsoft pulse question, did the trump campaign make the right choice by not accepting meredith mckiver's resignation? the pulse is live, pulse.msnbc.com to cast your vote. if you have medicare
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live look inside quicken loans arena there. newt gingrich, former speaker of the house for the better part of a week or so, he was that close to becoming perhaps the vp nominee. he and his wife set to speak tonight before the crowd assembled there. they are doing their official walk through. again newt gingrich and his wife there. meanwhile back here, everyone still talking of course about the revelation here within the past 30, 45 minutes or so that it was a self-proclaimed in-house staffer, her words, meredith mciver, falling on the tword saying it was her -- it was her responsible for plagiarizing that portion of the speech. melania's speech on monday night. dan coates is the republican senator from indiana, he joins me now. let's -- obviously i want to talk about your fellow hoosier mike pence in just a moment.
i want to get your reaction to this news that's breaking that it was in fact a portion of the speech that was plagiarized, and you got the staffer now. not so much that part of the story, but the reaction from the campaign and what that might tell us about how they will govern this country. >> i'm not sure you're going to invite me back after what i'm going to say. i cannot believe the focus on -- you think melania had committed some kind of capital crime here. the focus on this, breaking news, heads are being cut off by isis, cops are getting shot in the street, europe is coming apart and the focus is on this -- now listen, i've said words like this in a dozen -- >> plagiarized speeches yourself. >> everybody says, do your best, you're the leader, my graduation speeches sound like this. here you've got an immigrant coming from europe -- >> how is, how is that relevant to it being plagiarized? don't pretend -- >> you know there's not one
person speaking in this convention or the democratic convention that doesn't have writers giving them something to say. you look at the teleprompter and say what they tell you. >> we wouldn't be talking about this. however, again -- >> gave her a speech and some writer -- >> going back to what you just said -- >> stuff that's said every day. >> it's not about the speech. it's not about the speech, it's about how it was handled. it's about a campaign that said for 48 hours, it wasn't plagiarized. and now all the sudden, a staffer says, it was. that's what it's about. it's not about -- it's not about the speech. again, it's not about the crime, it's about the cover-up. >> this is about the 50th time that the media has responded to something that -- >> don't do that. >> and you spent three days, three days on a paragraph that someone said that the words come out that i've said at graduation speeches, i've heard others say, let's go back and look at everything barack obama has said and see -- >> so your position is that the campaign handled this extraordinarily.
this was handled well. or it's the media's fault? >> i'm just saying you guys are making much to do about very, very little when the people of this country, the people on this street are more worried about their security and their safety and the future of america than they are about some little something from someone from a foreign country and said something with words that all of us have said. to graduations -- >> i really don't know how that's germane to the conversation. but let's move forward. let's talk about your colleagues, mike pence taking -- >> positive note on this one. >> yeah, let's talk about senator pence and what can you expect to him? is he going to be the voice that makes his convention start to sound like something other than gloom or doom? >> well first of all, it hasn't been doom or gloom, it's -- >> hillary clinton's name was mentioned more than a dozen times more than donald trump's last night. >> and what do you think the democrats are -- >> lock her up more than a dozen times. >> so are you saying that in the
democratic convention, they're not going to mention donald trump's name? >> i'm not there, but if they do, we'll call them on it as well. you would concede that the first two or three days of the convention have not been as forward-thinking -- >> it's the most exciting convention i've been to and i've been to a lot of them. there's a dynamic out here that the press doesn't seem to be picking up. people do not want more of hillary clinton, they do not want more of barack obama, do not want eight more years of dysfunction, weakness abroad, and a tepid economy here at home. donald trump has tapped into that change. mike pence has knead happen in indiana, our state has been taken from the deficit, democrat-led state to a surplus it is the place to go to for new businesses. it's growing like business. you said indianapolis is a dynamic place -- >> that's one of my favorite cities. >> and donald trump looked at indianapolis, looked at the character of mike pence and he said, this is a guy that can unite our ticket and i like him personally, i love his family, we've interacted.
we're going to go forward with this ticket. it's going to be a tough ticket to beat for the democrats. because they're the old, we're the new. >> i want to call your attention to, again, we're talking about the tone and tenor of the convention, we've got this comment that came out, this is a delegate from new hampshire this is one of donald trump's veteran's advisors. representative, state representative al baladarzo is hz his name. hillary clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason. the campaign saying moments ago that trump is not feel this way. the rhetoric. the rhetoric that we've heard -- >> i don't agree with that rhetoric at all. i condemn, republican, democrat, liberal, conservative -- >> but last night, chris christie chanting lock her up. people going wild. what does that do? how does that make america great? >> well, listen, if you're going to use melania trump's words -- >> just asked about chris christie last night chanting lock her up.
>> and -- you're not going to talk about what this being said by the democrats relative to all of this. let's have apples to apples, oranges to oranges here. >> senator -- >> like i said, you're not going to want me back. >> that's not true. you have an open invitation. >> i appreciate it. >> good enough. >> again, his colleague, mike pence, the number two set to take the stage here in if cleveland any moment now for his walk through. meanwhile, south carolina lieutenant governor mcmaster taking center stage last night. officially helping to nominate donald trump as the republican presidential pick. he'll weigh in on governor pence's big night and we'll talk about the party finally unifying behind trump as well. and quick reminder here, for complete coverage live from the rnc, stay with msnbc always. ugh. heartburn.
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back live here in cleveland, ohio, day three of the republican national convention. msnbc's jacob silverof joins me now from outside the hall. you've been talking to delegates, jacob, getting their reaction to the news of the day. what are they saying? >> reporter: i'm here with two delegates from minnesota. this is jen and susan. everybody's hearing about this news that melania trump's speech writer has offered her resignation and donald trump has refused to accept that resignation. jen, let me ask you first, what did you make of that and should the speech writer resign. >> i've done campaigns before, and a lot of things they need to be handled internally on the campaign. so i don't know how all the details shook out, and we probably won't either, i really don't think that it's fair for anybody to have an opinion on whether or not the speech writer should be fired or not. >> reporter: susan, you told me, and you hear people out here saying, craig, that they should be fired. this is susan, these were both delegates for marco rubio before
they decided to support trump. is this going to affect how you will support donald trump going forward? >> not in the least, there are many politicians that ends up, giving speeches that are similar to other barack obama has done the same thing. melania trump did a great job. she's not a politician's wife, this is the first time she's presented herself to the delegation and america in general. she did a fabulous job and it'll not at all change my support. >> reporter: tonight is a huge night, mike pence coming out here as the vice presidential nominee. do you support him as donald trump's running mate? >> i absolutely support him as donald trump, but nominee, but willing to hear more. i'm not familiar with governor pence, but i want to understand how the two are going to work together. >> reporter: as someone who originally supported marco rubio, mike pence has been called an extremist by the left, by the democratic party, are you worried of choice, on issues like immigration? >> i'm not at all worried. e and i'm not surprised that the left would call any conservative
extreme to be honest with you, but i don't know what those positions are yet entirely because i haven't heard from mike pence before. >> reporter: and let me get jen on here. mike pence and be careful for the sign as we continue, craig, down towards you. what do you think about the mike pence vp pick? >> i think it seems a little exciting. i want to hear more about mike, i want to hear more about how his, you know, his stances and his policies and donald trump's will either work together, how they'll kind of work that out between the two of them, but i think governor pence seems like a really smart pick for donald trump just because they seem to have different strengths and they seem to have different areas where maybe they're going to be able to challenge each other and grow together. >> reporter: all right craig, similar theme we continue to hear is the delegates don't care about the melania trump speech controversy, but they are focussed as they said on the vice presidential nomination and the speech tonight. >> jacob, the best walker and talker on television, a bigger kudos to your photographer who spent the better part of half a
mile walking backwards in downtown cleveland. msnbc's kelly o'donnell inside the q, cleveland's own kelly o'donnell inside the arena there again where mike pence is set to as we understand it do a bit of a rehearsal perhaps. is that right, kelly o.? >> reporter: well, i was just on the phone, sorry for being a little behind here trying to work sources about that. of course governor pence has a very big night here. and he has. option of walking through kind of a term of art conventions to get a feel for the electorate up there, get a sense of the stage see where his home indiana delegation would be sitting. there's an expectation he may be at the welcome event for donald trump today arriving in cleveland. so mike pence has a full schedule. he has been in town. we've seen him in the family box the last couple of nights. and there's a lot of behind the scenes work. there's been a great deal of expectation here, watching this stage to see if who will be kind of walking out and giving us a look. we did see newt gingrich and his wife ka list that a short time
ago, tonight is a night of former rivals in a way. we'll have scott walker of wisconsin, newt gingrich speaking, then of course, the continuation of the family influence. eric trump will be speaking tonight. and he will again try to give a more personal side of donald trump. his sister tiffany who spoke last night did a bit of that as well. she's just 22, freshly graduated from college. she had a more personal view than don jr. who had a more politically-driven speech, talking about his father certainly as his best friend and mentor, but more about the hard knuckle politics as well. and wanting to get this convention to get behind him and of course, it was don jr. who helped new york put donald trump over the top with delegates. eric trump expected to take a somewhat different tone, a bit more personal, again, trying to bring the voting public and those here in the convention hall who were delegates a sense of the man that perhaps we have not seen as a candidate. so there's a lot going on this
afternoon, some of it is sort of on the down low, we don't know exactly when or exactly who will come in. so that's part of the interest in being here in these hours, way before the delegates arrive to see if we can pick up some clues by who comes on the stage, craig. >> kelly o., again, let's looking ahead to pence's speech tonight, have you gotten any reaction from the pence campaign folks about this revelation from the trump staffer that she did in fact plagiarize part of that speech? >> reporter: no, they are taking a position that tonight is about mike pence, his chance to introduce himself to a much broader audience, they're focussed on that. they have a list of tasks they want to get done and part of it is to enhance the rollout that some questioned as maybe not as smooth or as favorable as wanted by team pence, that is certainly my sense of it. but no comment from them on that. they would certainly refer us
back to donald trump's team. part of what governor pence brings to the donald trump campaign is an existing campaign staff. you know, craig, he was running for reelection in indiana, he had a team ready to go. within that, they had his position papers and his points of view and his issues and a lot of the behind the scenes mechanics, the paper, the strategy, the planning that is so essential on a campaign, certainly on a state level for reelection campaign, worlds apart, but he brings a campaign staff to join this trump team and that may, we may see that continuing to fuse over the next days. but for now, no comment on the melania speech, the only speech they care about right now, i'm presuming here is the one mike pence is going to deliver tonight, craig. >> kelly o'donnell for us there inside the q here in cleveland, kelly, thanks as always. we'll come back to you later as well. again, any moment now, donald j. trump, the republican nominee for president set to land here in cleveland, ohio.
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of pence's big speech tonight in prime time. and visiting professor at the university of michigan school of public policy, we're also joined by south carolina lieutenant governor henry mcmaster, he's here on set. you are of course very instrumental in getting trump the win in south carolina before you were lieutenant governor, attorney general as well, you've been in south carolina politics a long time. i want to start with the news of the day, and not, again, not just the speech, but how it was handled. you had a number of trump stachers saying for days, much to do about nothing. nothing to see here. not plagiarism, and now a staffer coming forward who said, you know what, i made a mistake, it was me falling on the sword. >> what about it? >> what do you make of how that campaign handled it? >> i say this is a typical campaign where all kind of thing goes wrong. i've been in a lot of them. i've never seen one very smooth, but i don't think that's, i don't think it's very important
point, frankly. >> harold ford, do you agree? >> i think there's been a lot of attention to it. i think it does speak to perhaps a slowness on the part of the campaign to respond to put something that was minor behind them. i thought the speech was a good speech. it's clear they took words from mrs. obama from first lady obama and should have moved on from it. i'm more interested in tonight because i think mr. pence has a big responsibility before him. he's got to demonstrate preparedness. i think the last few nights republicans have focussed a lot on hillary clinton, in fact, that's really been the only substantive focus. newt gingrich, scott walker, obviously young eric trump, and pence being the highlight of the evening. he's got to demonstrate to the country, a substance and a preparedness this i think is going to have to be different from what we've seen the first two nights. >> there are a number of highlights on the convention floor last night. one of them was from henry mcmaster. i think we have the tape of --
this is a video of you last night. there you are. introducing, or making the nomination, making it formal there. looking good in prime time. here's the thing though, i watched last night, and you had governor christie, you know, chanting lock her up, you had ben carson who likened hillary clinton to lucifer. there's been a lot of red meat tossed to the base, there have not been a lot of speeches, lieutenant governor, that seem to be aimed at broadening the base. making the tent a little bit bigger. would you agree with that or disagree with that? >> i thought mine was good. >> your speech notwithstanding. there was far more of a focus on hillary clinton last night than donald trump. >> well, that's how conventions work, as you know, i've only been to seven of them. so maybe a lot of other who work in a different fashion. that's always what happens in the convention. you've got to get, you've got to
throw red meat out. you have to get people revved up. people are very excited. i don't think the strong words are necessarily the things that are propelling the thought processes that are going on, but also, the big speeches are yet to come. you've got mike pence and you also have donald trump. that's the one people ought to be listening to. >> you think the tone shifts? >> oh sure, yeah. and i couldn't hear what mr. ford said. with this ear piece, i tell you, when melania trump read those words, in my view, i was watching, she's a beautiful, talented woman and my feeling was that she made those words her own. and she meant what she said. >> never mind the fact they weren't her own, toward the end. >> if you ga back and look at everybody's speeches from in all these conventions over time, including president obama's you'd find out that a lot of words are drifting in from other
places. >> and when that happened, harold ford, correct me if i'm wrong, he was, the president was called for, you know, ripping apart, taking a part of patrick's speeches. one of the speeches back in '07 and the president's response was, i did, i apologize. >> look, i think that the real challenge here, and i don't disagree with what the lieutenant governor said this, the real challenge here what you learn from the trump campaign is how they responded. i mean this is really a nothing issue, just to admit it, you had a person that was not a professional speech writer. pull some words for her. but again, i'm equally interested tonight in seeing how governor pence comes across. i served with him in congress and have a personal like for him. i'm not supporting him, but i'm going to see how he can conducts himself tonight. i think there's an ord nant amount of pressure on him this evening to overcome all the things that have taken place over the last two nights and to introduce himself to the not only to the party, as i listen to those two young party republican party women that
spoke with jacob a while ago, introduce himself to the country. craig, that you talked about, he's got to help broaden the base. >> harold ford jr., always good, henry mcmaster, do you have something to add. >> i want to say to mr. ford, i'm sorry i couldn't hear a word he said. i know it was very important. i couldn't hear -- >> it's very loud here. >> motorcycle back there. >> motorcycles, people screaming. >> not as bad as the ayes at the convention. >> henry mcmaster is a nice guy. >> i appreciate that. >> thank you so much. when we come back, lots more from cleveland, ohio. including the arrival of donald j. trump, that plane again set to touch down here in cleveland at the aurpt. that's just a few blocks from here. set to touch down any moment now he'll be arriving back in cleveland. scheduled to appear with mike pence at some point this afternoon before pence's big speech tonight. when that happens, we will of course bring it live. this is msnbc, we'll be right
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welcome back today three of the republican national convention. again, all eyes right now inside the cue. mike pence expected to take the stage any moment. donald trump expected to land any moment here in cleveland. thomas roberts just talked to donald trump jr. in an exclusive interview. you talked to him about that speech last night, which was well received. >> yeah, a lot of people gave don jr. great reaction to his speech. but still, everybody is focused on the speech that was delivered by melania trump and how it was originated. we have had a lot of movement about what happened with melania's speech and now her aid
coming out saying that it was her fault and asking for people to forgive her over it. but don jr. said he was doing their inside look into the campaign about how this happened. and he wouldn't go on the record about whether or not this was plagiarism or not, but felt like everybody was beating a dead horse. >> how are you feeling after last night? >> nice to have it over with. it was great. i had an amazing time. it was a pretty intense day. sur veal experience getting to throw my father over the top of the delegate count earlier. that was emotional and something we talked very lightly about. we don't get that emotional that often about stuff like that. but being able to give the speech last night and hi a great time with it. >> it feels like the pressure is off. yesterday was a big day having to throw new york into the pile for your dad to get him over the nomination in your big speech. e reaction has been great. and now just moments ago, we had
your dad on twitter responding to folks about melania's speech. he said good news is her speech got more publicity in the history of any in politics if you believe all the press is good press. why would your dad take to twitter now ahead of the rally with mike pence? >> i think he's having fun with it. she got up on stage. this is someone that's avoided the public light. she wants to be a mother and raise her kids and do a great job and she has. so to be able to get on the stage not doing this day in and day out and deliver a speech, it was phenomenal. i think she did an amazing job. >> paul manafort was talking about it and still defending how it was crafted. is there an active investigation? >> i heard some stuff earlier today. i imagine they will put something out about how it happened, but just a couple mistakes and really didn't have as much to do with paul.
it's not about a campaign thing. other people have been trying to say that. but we're focused on what's ahead. and getting through to convention. we're now there. we just have a long sprint until november. >> this has been a little bit of distraction here in cleveland right now. party unity is a big deal. how do you express to the undecided voter that's watching and seeing the drama and excitement that's playing out that there really is a structure to this campaign and there will be party unity? >> there's party unity. i was on the floor yesterday and got to throw him over the top. when i hear the chants of people screaming "trump", what i saw in terms of disunity, i u saw three or four guys searching for a camera and take their credent l credentials and throw them off in a dramatic fashion. they would scramble and do the same thing. they are looking for five minutes of air time.
it's really not the case. i saw everyone in that packed house chanting and screaming talking about the big picture, which is getting this country back, putting it in the right direction, wanting my father to do that. and i'm excited to be a part of it. >> we are in ohio. he's saying that out of conscience he can't support your dad. what do you say to that and how that is a show of concern for unity because no republican has won the white house without ohio. >> i think we're doing well in ohio and we haven't started spending money here. the people of this state are people we're talking to directly. the people whose jobs have been shipped abroad and struggling. combat iting us, we haven't started that process yet. i think we're doing well. when you look at the swing states or states that aren't even swing states.
republicans vnlt been in contention in years. that says a lot. that says a lot about what my father is saying and what his message is. >> i know for your family, you have made a a good case for your dad. a lot of other speakers have made the case against hillary clinton. a lot of people saying she hasn't been honest with them. when it goes back to the issue of the speech, an integral part of your father's campaign has been about honesty, trying to tell it like it is. so will there be a recognition of the fact that this does appear to be word for word copied? >> i thiimagine there's going te something coming out about how that happened, but i don't think it's a reflection of the campaign process. we have done what the other side has done with one tenth the staff and one tenth the money. imagine challennnelling that efficiency into this country. imagine we could give our children good educations and take care of our vets.
i think there's a lot of stuff we can do. we're dealing with the ultimate in typical politicians in what we're running against. >> for a good education, that was also part of melania's speech. she would focus on american education. you spoke about that last night in your speech. but what does it say to kids that are looking at this and have concerns about -- >> it doesn't say anything about it. it doesn't say anything about it. it's a speech that someone has never given a major speech before. it says nothing about that. >> did you do side by side comparisons? >> at this point, it's irrelevant. we're beating a dead horse. >> so when it comes to what we have tonight in the speakers, ted cruz is line ed up. what do you hope he says about your dad and the bigger picture for the gop moving forward?
>> it's going to be important. ultimately the big picture is making sure we have someone that believes in conservative values and run a government. someone that's not about crony capitalism and use it as a path to personal enrichment. and realizing that it should be anyone but hillary. he's the only one that has people depending on his companies. he's going to do a phenomenal job? >> what's the advice to your siblings? >> it's a piece of cake. don't worry about it. now that it's over with, it's done. now it's easy. i can rib them a little bit. >> you set the bar high. >> i got up and gave a speech. i spent time on it. and it was a venue and something i feel important about. i saw so many of the other speeches. kids of the candidates running and they talk about the jokes
and the situation we're in is a serious one. i didn't want to squader that opportunity and just talk about fluffy jokes about sitting around a christmas dinner table. the situation is too important for that. that's the way my father is. their comes a time you have to have a serious conversation. you have to address real issues. >> a lot of people said you helped personalize your dad because you are a great reflection as a child of who your dadded and with your siblings. maybe don jr. has a future in politics. would you want to do this? >> it's pretty brutal. i keep hearing that apparently. i should be running for governor from a lot of people. i don't know. i have a a lot to do in my career. my father has accomplished everything. i have some other stuff to do. when i get the kids out of the house, i can do what he's doing.
>> when it comes to being an important part of your dad's campaign. you and your brother and sisters are the kitchen cabinet of advice. how often does he take the advice? >> the one thing my father said is i believe it. he listens to everyone. and specifically, not just the guys with the fancy acronyms behind their names. he listens to the guys on construction sites. he spent his whole career. the reason he did better and more efficiently. he spent time with the guys putting up the sheet rock. he listened to them, asked for their opinions and valued those opinions as much as the executives. he's always going to form his own opinion. he's going to hear everyone's opinion and use all that judgment. not just talking about these guys in theory. the guys that are there on the ground. i think all our politicians do. that conversation moments ago. thomas roberts with donald trump jr.
as you can see there, the trump plane preparing to land here in cleveland. during the course of the conversation, we also found out that mike pence will not be doing a walk-through. he's going to the joint rally with trump. we'll bring it to you live here on msnbc. meanwhile, thomas roberts picking things up right now. >> good afternoon to everybody at home. we remain live here in cleveland. on the right-hand side of your screen, that's donald trump's plane. he's about to land here in cleveland. we are moments away from that where we expect his rally coming up this hour with governor mike pence. chuck todd, our political director, joins us now. what do you make ofmelania's sp? >> it's how long it took to get to this point. i have talked to someone in the trump campaign and i simply asked, it was a question i asked on twier