tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC September 16, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
skeptical and very, very critical. >> robert costa who spent the better part of eight hours with donald trump earlier this week. his reporting, part of the impetus for the conversation we're having. always good to have you, robert. thank you so much for your time. bob shrum, democratic strategist out there for us in california. rick tyler, msnbc political analyst. yunisha cinder with the new york times. and katy tur is not accessible but donald trump expected to take to the podium any moment now for this major statement. i'll hand over things to my colleague, peter alexander in washington, dc. pete? >> thank you. we are awaiting donald trump as we have been telling you to speak at his washington, dc hotel. the trump international hotel as it's being billed is opening up
this week. he promised to make what he describes as a major announcement. that announcement, we believe, expected to address the fire storm that he has reignited in a new interview with "the washington post" published just last night when he refused to admit that president obama was born in america. the campaign issued a statement late last night saying, quote, mr. trump believes president obama was born in the united states. the statement also claiming trump did, kwoequote, a great service to the country and in 2011 by compelling president obama to release his birth certificate. after falsely accusing hillary clinton's 2008 campaign, first raising the birther issue. secretary clinton fired back just within the last hour. it happened in washington just blocks away. she was speaking at the black women's agenda symposium. take a listen to the former secretary of state. >> for five years, he has led the birther movement to
delegitimize our first black president. his campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. there is no erasing it in history. just yesterday, trump again refused to say with his own words that the president was born in the united states. now, donald's advisors had the temerity to say he's doing the country a service by pushing these lies. no. he isn't. he is feeding in to the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country. barack obama was born in america, plain and simple. and donald trump owes him and the american people an apology.
>> that was hillary clinton speaking with him the last hour. my colleague, nbc's katy tur who has been covering the trump campaign from the very start is at donald trump's hotel. moments ago, we saw the lieutenant general michael flynn speaking on behalf of donald trump. i want to ask you this about this, and maybe we can walk into the calculus behind this, the motive for this conversation happening right now. it comes barely two weeks away from the first debate and it seems the strategy would be in the eyes of advisors to try as best they think they may be able to to put this to bed so it isn't an issue that haunts him when tens of millions of people are watching september 26th. >> reporter: there are 53 days until the election, peter, and senior aides have already said they now say that donald trump understands why the birther issue may have been so offensive to so many people in this
country, specifically, african-americans. we'd like to ask that directly but that's what senior aides are saying. also, as you said a moment ago in a statement last night and i'll stop talking about it because mr. trump will be taking the stage. peter? >> we can see donald trump now entering the stage. this is being billed as an event, a campaign event honoring veterans. there are at least two medal of honor rescipients in attendance today. one of donald trump's top surrogates, lieutenant general michael flynn among those sbroousi introducing him. here's republican nominee donald trump. >> thank you everybody, please sit down. nice hotel. under budget and ahead of schedule. isn't that nice? now, it is a great honor. this is a brand new ballroom. only see a small piece of it
because we have it broken down, but this is it. the hotel is completed. we'll be having our opening ceremony in october, and it's going to be something very special. it's such an honor to have our first event. this is our first event. [ applause ] and it's such an honor to have our first event for medal of honor winners. i mean, they are the finest and you get so many endorsements from the medal of honor winners, it's incredible. i look forward to spending a lot of time here. i'm going to have a lot more courage tonight, i will say that, all the time. but it is such an honor to have this particular ceremony be the first ceremony because i think when the hotel opens officially,
it will be one of the great hotels anywhere in the world, and i want to thank the gsa general services. they have been spectacular. these are spectacular people. these are tremendously talented people. all of the workers, all of the construction folks, all of the managers, the hotel staff, amazing, amazing how good our country can do when we want to do it. but we have put in tremendous amounts of work and energy and money and i really believe, i said this will be the best hotel in washington. i think it may be one of the great hotels anywhere in the world. that's the way it turned out. so really honored to have this as our first event. so i'm pleased to be here this morning with two medal of honor recipients and a six flags, okay, six flag and general offices. we have a tremendous amount of
respect, general kellogg, general flynn, the room is stacked with generals and talented people and leaders. i love leaders. the great people represent 120 flag and general officer endorsements. 120. and that number is going up very rapidly. and now 17 medal of honor res recipien recipients, in addition, that's a tremendous amount of very brave people, in addition, i'm honored to be joined by the many veterans that are supporting us all throughout the room. thank you very much for being here. [ applause ] i'm also honored to have a gold star wife, jane horton here, and jane is with us this morning.
jane? where is jane? please stand. thank you, jane. thank you. [ applause ] incredible. jane lost her husband, specialist chris horton in afghanistan on september 9th, 2011, and jane, it's such an honor to have you here, and i hear so many things about chris and he was a winner and thank you very much on behalf of the country, thank you. it's incredibly humbling to be in the company of these real and true heroes. i had the privilege to introduce our first medal of honor
recipient, mike thornton. a retired navy seal, a tough cookie and a recipient of the united states military highest decoration, the medal of honor, for his actions in vietnam, the vietnam war. in addition, he is the recipient of a silver star, 3 bronze stars, and a purple heart. i'm proud to have him on my team, such a great honor from me, and also, fellow recipient bob patterson, who, likewise, has the medal of honor. who was also here. we have 17 medal of honor recipients and they've all endorsed me for president of the united states, and i had been endorsed by generals and many of the generals have become very good friends of mine. we seem to have a very good chemistry together.
but even the generals admit there is something very special about medal of honor recipients. so mike, if i might ask you to just come up and say a couple of words and thank you very much for being here. [ applause ] >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. whoa, stop. we don't need anymore of that. this is about getting the word out there. i have known mr. trump since 1986 and when it wasn't fashionable to support the military in 1986, some great people like donald trump and zack fisher, the uss intrepid there and he supports us in that period of time. the medal of honor i wear so proudly throughout my neck, never deserve the medal but it belongs to every man and woman who served our great nation of america because, ladies and gentlemen, freedom is not free.
[ applause ] we, right now, today is the most trying time in my life, which life is very short. but i've been around for almost 70 years but, you know, this election means so much. we do not need anymore bureaucratic leadership from washington, dc. [ applause ] we need true leadership from the top. mr. trump has never failed in anything because he listens to his advisors, he listens to his people. for the last eight years, our president hasn't listened to anybody, and that's the reason why we've lost cia directors. we've lost secretary of defense, and many, many general officers that have dropped out or resigned because of his leadership. we cannot stand for four more
years of leadership like that. we need somebody that's going to lead from the front like donald trump. [ applause ] so thank you very much for having us here. god bless you. god bless america, and god bless donald trump. [ applause ] >> i'm supposed to introduce bob patterson, my good friend for 45 years. >> can't admit the army's better. i'm here to tell you something right now. i spent 26 years of my life defending this country and after that, i spent another 17 years taking care of those veterans who i served with and were still
serving because worked with 17 years for the v.a. before i finally retired. i watched our country take a complete turnaround from where it was. we used to be the shining star on the hill, and we're getting dimmer and dimmer and dimmer. and it's all because of all the bureaucrats here in washington, dc. and it's time we send somebody to washington that knows how to say, you're fired! [ applause ] the gentleman i'm going to introduce is the major general zapenta. ceo and president of mexican chamber of commerce here in washington, dc. he's held service, served on many commissions under
presidents nixon, ford, reagan, and both the bushes. general zaponta entered the military in 1964. and he has numerous awards and decorations including silver star, five bronze stars with valor and a purple heart. [ applause ] >> what bob just did to me, he made me older than anybody up here. mr. trump, thank god for you. and your leadership. you know, being a vietnam veteran and serving all the way through the iraq and afghanistan war in the department of defense as the chairman of the reserve
forces policy board, half of the military we deployed to that region 15 years ago and we're still there. national guard and reservists. they couldn't use the v.a. at home because they were still part of their reserve and national guard unit. i know the next president of the united states, donald trump, will fix that. [ applause ] i also would like to say, you know, deplorables are also deployables. ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor for me to be here in supporting the next president of the united states, who will lead from the front who has the kind of leadership that we need is not afraid to make that decision. ladies and gentlemen, i'm really honored to be with donald trump.
i actually probably did this on purpose because this next fellow is really a personal friend and have an immense respect for him. he won his silver star in korea when the north koreans tried to take over our location there on the dmz. so he's a very special lawyer. it's my honor to introduce you to major general burt misozawa. >> thank you, al. duo go way back but i don't really go back to the korean war but that's indeed where i was awarded the silver star. after 40 years of serving this nation in uniform and four combat deployments, i've become convinced our nation needs a
multi-disciplinary interagency approach to defeat our enemies and to secure the long-term fruits of victory. in essence, what we need is some fresh thinking, innovative approaches and strong leadership. it's been my privilege to have spent quality time with mr. trump on and off the campaign trail over the past few months. and i have been extremely impressed with this gentleman's stamina. if any of you were privy to his schedule, you would be totally amazed at what he's been able to do. [ applause ] in addition to his stamina, i've been very impressed with his intellectual curiosity and his raw intelligence and his energy and his enthusiasm and yes indeed, his temperament. he's got the right temperament that we immedianeed in the whit.
[ applause ] but the thing that i've been most impressed with is his absolute love for the men and women in uniform and the support that he's going to give them from the white house. [ applause ] and i can guarantee you, overseas and their families may get home will not be in vain in addition to the billions of taxpayer dollars we spend supporting them and that's why i stand by mr. trump to be our next commander in chief. now it's my pleasure to introduce a fellow comrade arms admiral don warren. he's the naval academy class of '74. commanded a missile frigt and
the naval forces europe and ended a brilliant career as strategic plans and policy and covered russia/africa nato. so it's my pleasure. [ applause ] >> well, thank you everyone. we are a group of national security professionals who dedicated our lives to the security of our nation, as deplorable as we are. we are not a political group, but we are a national security group that has chosen to support a political candidate. the series of discussions you've all listened to mr. trump have deal with national security. national security is not solely about the military. it's comprised of many facets, defense, diplomacy, development, economic security, energy
security, border security, cyber security, homeland security. [ applause ] the logical policy presentations that mr. trump has delivered over the last few weeks lay out a sound strategic approach to providing the security of the nation and the security of all americans. these policies comprise a holistic approach to the facets of security in a complex and increasingly dangerous international world. more over, trump combines this approach to our security with a pronounced commitment to those in uniform serving our nation today. and in fact, all veterans who have worn the cloth of the nation. and that commitment extends to the families of those who have
served for as all of us in this room know, their sacrifice has been as equally difficult if not more so than our own. george washington said the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war no matter how justified shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and are appreciated by our nation. [ applause ] mr. trump has embraced those words of our first president. mr. trump has also shown an extreme dedication to those that have shouldered the wounds of battle in the service to our nation and we have several of those people with us today. and he has committed himself to
the words of president abraham lincoln, words em blazened in the motto of our department of veteran affairs to care for him who shall have born the battle and for his widow and orphan. this is why all of us here are assembled to support donald trump for president. we have -- [ applause ] we have lived national security for a large part of our lives. we understand how a strong economy, cooperative governance combined with skill deploiploma and united american public all defended by a well trained appropriately funded fully committed and technologically unsurpassed military come together to make america strong and make the world a safer
place. [ applause ] and finally, finally, all of us on this stage, all of you in the audience who have served, you took an oath. you pledged, seemed with taled honor, an oath not only to our country, our flag, a chain of command or not to a commander in chief, but an oath to a piece of paper, a piece of parchment upon which is written those ideals in which we believe, those values that define us as a nation, those very virtues that those who have served before us defended with their lives. an oath to defend the constitution of the united states from all enemies foreign and domestic and bear true faith
and allegiance, to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, to promote the general welfare and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. that oath is important to all of us here today. [ applause ] that oath remains the cornerstone of our lives long after we have taken off the uniform. that oath is important to donald trump, and he, in fact, will take that very same oath on january 20th, 2017. [ applause ] that's why we assembled in this room along with many other veterans and their military families, all support his candidacy for president of the
united states of america. together, we will all make america great again. thank every single one of you for your service to our nation and may god continue to bless our united states of america. [ applause ] it's my pleasure now to introduce lieutenant general tom mcnerney. he joined the air force, completed pilot training and went on to a long distinguished military career including assistant vice chief of staff, headquarters u.s. airport. awards are numerous including the distinguished service medal, legion of merit, distinguished flying cross, bronze star, a true good american hero, tom
mcinerney. >> thank you, don. it's very simple. we all warriors here are supporting mr. trump because he has the only budget, the only economic plan that can rebuild the military. if you elect hillary clinton, you're going to get 1% growth. you're going to get 3.5% to 6.5% growth with this administration because he knows how to take the handcuffs off america's economy. we need that. [applause ] make it very clear to the american people there is only one candidate that can rebuild the united states military, and make us great again, now, it's my distinct pleasure to
introduce lieutenant general keith kellogg who is on the national security part of mr. trump's team. he is doing the transition team for defense and v.a. affairs. keith had two tours in vietnam with the 101st airborne division and then with special forces. he has a very distinguished career culminating in the commander of the 82nd airborne division, the all american division and finally, finishing up as a j-6 in the joint staff because the chairman wanted a warrior. keith is a warrior. god bless you mr. trump and god bless america, keith kellogg. [ applause ] >> thank you. i'm honored to be on the stage today with these great americans. donald trump to be our commander in chief. these are men who know the
meaning of courage, sacrifice and character and they're with us. i want to identify as mr. trump said earlier, mr. jane horton, gold star wife of chris horton. chris was a great young sniper with the 45th infantry division, the thunder birds of oklahoma and god bless you and god bless what he has done as well. to be with these great veterans behind me who served our nation so well. there were 88 who signed. 165 today. these are men and women who have led at all levels of leadership and believe deeply in his temperament, his leadership, his vision, and his guts to be our commander in chief. [ applause ] for those of you watching, let me tell you a little bit about
the people who support him. the people behind me and the people who are not here and the millions of americans who hopefully are watching. these are commanders who fought in afghanistan and fought in iraq, they fought in mobadishu, fought in panama. we have leaders who have been wounded fighting for this nation. hunted down saddam hussein. >> we've been watching this campaign event held by donald trump right now as he introduced two medal of honor recipients and other individuals who proudly served the united states of america. as soon as donald trump is speaking with the new conversation focused on the comments that even he himself said he would hope to address soon. the topic of birtherism. we'll go back to this. i'll join robert costa, the national political reporter and mark halperin, bloomberg politics and host of "with all due respect" airing at 6:00 p.m. eastern time on msnbc. i want to start with you, if i
can. we've witnessed in the course of these 20 minutes as we've watched live, people praising, donald trump is the effectiveness of this brash showman to lure all this attention and then in an event that sort of was reminiscent of the golf course in scotland to praise the suites, allowed people to speak about him finally. >> we don't know how purposeful it was and as with most things involving not just donald trump but any campaign, to set the balance, standing back and judging their professional competence with making a judgment of what they've done is appropriate. certainly a lot of the reporters at this event thought they would come to a press conference where donald trump would start with the statement about the president's birthplace and instead, they just got, i wouldn't put a dollar value on it but plenty coverage for a message that measure like to drive, that donald trump being supported by a lot of folks in the military. >> i'm going to interrupt you
briefly. and here is donald trump. >> thank you, everybody. thank you, everybody. please sit down. thank you. this is such an amazing honor, and the differences is we all want to get back to work. we have to get back to work. we have a lot of work to do. we've been very much left behind, speaking with the admirals and the generals and all of the military people. we talk about the word depletion. the military has been so badly treated in terms of its equipment and the money being spent. and this is a time where we need our military perhaps more than ever. when you look at the number of ships, you look at the number of military personnel, you look at the numbers that are setting records for all time lows, we can't have that. there's a world out there and it's not nice to say, but there
are a lot of very, very evil people heading up some potentially very strong countries. we have to be prepared. we have to keep our country so great and so strong, and that's why to have all the support from so many generals, admirals, people i respect so much, they're smart. they're tough. they know what's happening. and i believe in them totally and that's why the fact that they believe in me is one of the great honors of my life. so i want to thank everybody. thank you. [ applause ] now, not to mention her in the same breadth, but hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. i finished it.
i finished it. you know what i mean. president barack obama was born in the united states period. now, we all want to get back to making america strong and great again. thank you, thank you very much. thank you. thank you. >> and that alone wraps up donald trump's remarks, highly anticipated, about the issue of birtherism. in effect, trying to take credit for barack obama putting out his birth certificate suggesting this was something started by hillary clinton and her campaign in 2008, it's a very quick fact check. let's be clear. neither hillary clinton nor her campaign began the issue of birtherism. it's fair to say some of her die hard supporters in 2008 at times made suggestions to that effect but that, of course, ended
2008. donald trump has been speaking about this for years, five or six years. he spoke about it routinely over the course of the last several years. even after president obama put out his birth certificate, but as we witnessed here today, he believes this is an issue that he hopes he can put away. mark halperin and bob costa. i want to get from you first. in a sentence, is he able to erase that insinuation, for in effect, trying to delegitimatize the president of the united states, the first african-american president of this country? >> on wednesday when i interviewed trump, he did not have an answer for this particular question. today, he did have an answer. we'll have to see where voters go. his history on this issue remains he is someone who led the charge on the birther front for many years and it was part of how he captured the imagination of some activists. he's trying to move forward, i
guess, in a general election. >> bob, let's be clear. this is what launched him into national politics. it was this topic that day at the white house correspondents dinner. seth myers and president obama in effect taking turns criticizing donald trump on this topic as his face turned beet red. this propelled him publicly over the course of the last several years. so did he accomplish today what he needs to do to end it? the hope is before the first debate in the eyes of his aides
or is he now, unfortunately, going to have to answer hr questi more questions? >> the questions will continue. his statement was very brief. he mentioned the assertion that he has made before that secretary clinton was responsible for starting this controversy. that has been ruled false by many news organizations including "the washington post" that this was not started by secretary clinton. he was the leader of the birther
movement. he had not taken questions so far on this about his new position. his aides have been pushing him to do this and he's been reluctant. they've taken different positions from him for weeks now. >> you watched what we just watched. was it effective, sincere, end it? >> he said three things. first two were false. hillary clinton started it. and he ended it. and one thing that's true, president obama was born in the united states. i think he's gotten away with telling false and saying falsehoods about things far more serious than the impacts of lives of people. this has emotional and symbolic resonance for millions of americans. those who cared about this before will still care about it. it's a stark reality of politics. we've seen how much this week things have changed already. i suspect he'll have to answer questions about it but i suspect this will not dominate the conversation and the campaign's goal of taking off the table but
it's too serious an issue to erase the past for tens of millions of people. >> this is an issue he's talked about routinely. he tweeted about it as recently as within the last 18 months and more recent than that, he's refused to say what he said today, not that he believes the president was born in the u.s. but a fact that he was. i want to bring in a democrat from new york, member of the congressional black caucus and happens to be a supporter of hillary clinton's campaign for president. congressman jeffries, your reaction from donald trump. >> donald trump has spent his career as a racial arsonist fanning the flames of racism and bigotry. no credibility despite the charade we just saw as a potential commander in chief. he's a hater in chief. exhibit a. as it relates to that is the fact he's led for years the birther movement challenging the citizenship of the first
african-american president of the united states of america. and he did it by capitalizing on fear, anxiety, and racial hatred among those who were part of the birther movement. no matter what we have seen, it's a day late and it's a dollar short. he's got no credibility on this birther issue. he can run from it, but he will not be able to hide. >> obviously, at the end of the day like so many of these presidential elections, it will come down to turnout. is this an issue now reignited that will reinvest that core coalition of supporters, african-american women in particular, other people of color across this country to come out in large numbers not just for hillary clinton, but against donald trump? does this, is this a motivating force? >> this is part of a parade of horribles that we've seen from donald trump both prior to this campaign and on the campaign trail going all the way back to the 1970s where his company had engaged in housing
discrimination against african-americans and latinos, the way he attacked the central park five and the lynch mob designed to impose the death penalty on those wrongfully convicted. the birther movement and the way he mischaracterized immigrants from mexico as criminals and rapists, the comments he's made that has attracted, we know, people like david duke and the kkk and white supremacists and racists and bigots and hoe homeb homophobes and xenophobes. >> i'm sure we'll revisit this conversation with you soon. i want to take our audience into that room that donald trump's hotel where really he said very little. he was effectively endorsed by many former members of the military including recipients of
the medal of honor and in less than a minute tried to put to rest an issue that has driven him for the last several years. katy tur is inside the room, of course, where she's been covering this campaign. your impressions on that and whether you think that successfully resolves an issue that you experience on a day-to-day basis does motivate a lot of his supporters. he may have said it today but a lot of his supporters still don't necessarily believe that. >> reporter: it depends what you're talking about when you say resolve. his supporters aren't going to change their minds about that because donald trump got on stage and said that. i don't think they're going to do that, at least, from what i've heard them say about it. my impression from how they've reacted in the past would be they would say he was pressured to do that. we'll have to wait and see and i know our colleague, hallie jackson, is in florida asking this question of donald trump supporters as we speak. so she'll have answers for us soon but is it going to resolve it to say that donald trump is
now no longer a birther? i guess you can say that but he did make a false statement on that stage by saying hillary clinton started it and he ended it. hillary clinton did not start that issue, and he did not end it. he sent investigators to hawaii and they came up with nothing. you could say he helped pressure president obama to release it certainly but i wouldn't say you could credit donald trump to end it. he harped years after that tweeting he didn't really believe it and the guy who verified president obama's birth certificate died in a plane crash and he was the only one who died, implying maybe there was a cover-up or murder involved there. it was just, i don't know what exactly he was trying to get at there but donald trump certainly has not let this issue go over the years. and he didn't let this issue go this morning on fox business saying he wanted to keep the suspense up.
throughout his campaign, repeatedly said he doesn't want to talk about it. so the one sentence, going to tamp down on the criticism? i don't think so. is it going to stop the questioning? nope. we didn't find out exactly when he decided to do this and i'm not sure if you were able to see this but originally to us, this was billed as a news conference where reporters would be able to ask mr. trump a little bit more about maybe this idea and a few others, when did he decide that president obama was born in the u.s.? and what motivated him to accept that? does he know maybe he offended millions of americans when he said those words, especially when they were about the first african-american president? there were a number of questions the media planned to ask him to get a larger picture of how he came to this conclusion since it was such a big issue for him in the past few years and it is such a big part of this campaign. donald trump didn't take questions. in fact, the news media here and the donald trump press corps,
the people that have been following him for 15 months stood on the chairs here and yelled for about five minutes, please take questions. and he just stood there and looked at us and shook some hands and left. so we're not any clearer on this issue than we were this morning. but we do have donald trump on the record now saying that he believes president obama was born in the u.s. >> certainly, critics of the coverage of this issue say the focus should not be on birtherism but the economy as people observed today like you and i, this campaign recognize how this has been such a central part of his political identity for so long. katy tur, we'll ask you to stay with us. i want to get to the white house right now. ron allen is there and president obama today anticipating as we all did that donald trump would try to put to rest this, what was in effect a feud with the president. at least a one-sided feud absent that day that the correspondents dinner where the president sort of bashed him back. what did president obama say
about this today and is this an issue that we think we'll hear over the course of this day? michelle obama will be on the campaign trail on behalf of hillary clinton later. >> reporter: exactly, peter, yes. hillary clinton said in her remarks to the dnc the other night that she, part of her job here at the white house is to tell our children to ignore people who question the president's citizenship and faith. interestingly, president obama took a question about the trump comments before he essentially disavowed them, mr. trump. he was asked, he was told that mr. trump has finally acknowledged he's a citizen and not questioning his birthright. so here's what the president had to say when asked this earlier today. >> donald trump is now finally acknowledging that yes, you were born in america. >> i, jonathan, have no reaction and i'm shocked that a question like that would come up at a
time when we've got so many other things to do. well, i'm not that shocked actually. it's fairly typical. we've got other business to attend to. i was pretty confident about where i was born. i think most people were as well. and my hope would be that the presidential election reflects more serious issues than that. >> reporter: well, the president has tried to dismiss this but his supporters out there sees this issue as something that defines donald trump but the president has tried to downplay this. they didn't engage at the white house when this started yesterday but it will be out there and continue. we'll see how the white house, how the president and the first lady address this or don't in private fundraisers, you know, the president often talked about this issue. he's dismissive and sarcastic about it but you have to imagine
some place, he feels strongly about this that someone would question his legitimately in office. >> ron, i appreciate it very much. as you were speaking, ron, getting new information from trump's hotel right now. we are told that he is taking some members of the press on a tour of this brand new hotel recognizing the timing of this for the brash showman. this is the same week the new hotel is opening up and also told there is no print reporter or broadcast producer in that press pool as it's described which obviously would mean that there's no questions being asked of donald trump. so for now, the questions remain unanswered about an apology and when he came to this conclusion. the headline today, of course, that donald trump finally admitted that president obama was born in this country but falsely claimed that hillary clinton started those rumors. two experts on hillary clinton and this campaign cycle, johnathan allen, coauthor of hrc the rebirth of hillary clinton and nbc's kristen welker, i can
barely say it after all this time, it should be easy. you've been with hillary clinton most of this time. i want to ask both of you on this moment. first of all, jonathan, your reaction to that but what its impact will be and how hillary clinton's campaign is already trying to use this as a moment to fuel the frerocity to help motivators on her behalf. >> let's take a step back here. this is an amazing moment where we're spending all this attention and of course, we should because this has been a question for so long, but spending all this time and attention on essentially a lunatic fringe effort to discredit and delegitimize the president of the united states that the now republican nominee for president engaged in for years and years and years and is now seeking credit for the victory of president obama having produced his birth certificate several years ago. >> by the way, since that time, he tweeted asking hackers to try to check it. it's not like he put this thing to rest. he's been talking about it ever
since. >> and it's not now. this is the same sort of question for the people most motivated by this, barack obama's core supporters and i think you're talking about african-americans, i think you're talking about a good number of latinos, white libe l libera liberals. they're still going to hold this against donald trump but what you saw today is not going to make them any less excited about going out to vote against donald trump. it's going to make them more excited to vote against donald trump. not only did he come out now and admit he was wrong but did it in such a dishonest way, not only an attack on hillary clinton which is ridiculous but also crediting himself with this which is insane. >> i think the headline that we heard today from secretary clinton, she was speaking at a black leadership forum this morning is that she's not letting this go. she said, he owes the president an apology and i think when you think about the upcoming debates, press conferences, this is the question he's going to have to answer.
is he going to apologize to president obama? if you heard his tone, he's not going to apologize. absolutely. >> will you apologize? you're looking at hillary clinton, you accused her of being the one who started this. it's going to be fireworks. >> fireworks and when you talk about getting out the vote, i've been on the trail with secretary clinton and she's inincreacreas talking about the importance of voter turnout and i think this will energize the obama coalition and i talked to one of her top aides and said, are you going to tell surrogates to mention this on the campaign trail and the response was, we don't need to. there's no issue that energizes and that angers democrats more than this birther issue because they think it's dripping with racism. >> when she really started to take the lead in the democratic primary, when things turned around for her, it was that moment she started to paint bernie sanders as somebody who was against president obama and didn't think he'd done good enough of a job and that's what brought a lot of voters to her side and got them out for her.
>> peter, when you look at the polls, donald trump right now has 6% support among african-americans. >> he claims it's going up like a rocket ship. that's as much as mitt romney got four years ago so that rocket ship, in his example, lost. >>ago. >> the calculation when you talk to democrats is, look, secretary clinton doesn't have to expand her base significantly. she needs the obama coalition to turn out. if this can enjainneenergize tht she's got it. >> roland there was a tweet put out by one of secretary clinton's advisers who said trump used shameful claims about the president's birth and now is trying to use it for votes. deplorable. what adjectives do you use? >> shameful, sickening, pathetic. media got played by donald trump
again. for the last three, four hours he hi jacked the news cycle and he gave a 20-second statement. look at the free media, attention he got. the fact is donald trump stood there and lied. his actions have been shameful. he could have easily disavowed this long ago. the breaking news is that donald trump revealed what america has known for eight years. that's actually the breaking news. at some point we must be willing to call this what it is. the actions of a sick individual who is willing to lie his way to the white house. that's what it is. i heard what kristen said in terms of, yes, this is angering supporters of president obama. if they are sitting in brooklyn, they better listen to donna brazil, melanie campbell and others who have been telling
them that, you know what? you better put the resources and boots on the ground because young african-americans aren't feeling hillary clinton. i don't think this alone will fire up the obama base. loosen the purse strings. you have an intensity problem. trump's people are intense. this is their issue. clinton has a problem here. >> as you say this is their issue. striking that a poll that came out said 41% of republican voters believe what donald trump had at least until this point believed that president obama may not have been born in this country. >> that's a low poll, peter. a previous poll showed 59% of trump supporters believe that. >> the point is you know this motivates republicans and the challenge for democrats is to be equally motivated on the other side. what does it need to look like? i recognize your language that for 25 minutes we watched donald trump receive the praise of medal of honor recipients.
for the next 24 to 72 hours there could be a loop of sound bites fact-checking donald trump, demonstrating it was a lie usuggesting hillary clinton started this and see him attacking the first african-american president. >> no. they hate obama so much. they hate hillary clinton so much it doesn't matter what donald trump says. he started with birther, i attacked senator john mccain. he's done anything that would kill another candidate. more republicans are agreeing with this. his people despise president obama and clinton so much it doesn't matter. this is simple what the election has to be for hillary clinton. you are either for me or against me. it is us or them. the clinton campaign has no time to soften her image. they have to show the contrast. she has to say that man cannot be allowed to sit in the oval office. i don't understand why the clinton campaign isn't, as congressman jeffrey said,
featuring the central park five. imagine someone saying if donald trump had his way i would be dead. he called for the death penalty and we were exonerated. they must play hardball. the clinton campaign is sitting there with laptops saying we could pick up this piece and this piece, we can win this state. no. you have an intensity problem. young african-americans, young whites and latinos supporting sanders aren't hearing it from clinton. paint the picture of what america will look like if that man is president. otherwise she'll be a bridesmaid for the second time when it comes to the white house. >> we appreciate the sharp words. i'm sure the people of brooklyn are listening. >> they better. >> hans nichols is live outside the rnc today. another item i think on the schedule for donald trump is to thank some of the campaign workers within the republican national committee. what do we know about donald
trump's plans and the visit there today? >> peter, donald trump is coming to the rnc, as you mentioned to thank some of his supporters. some of the workers here. it is a focus and reminder to what extent donald trump is relying on this building behind me. he's still wrapping up the tour at the hotel. he'll come here, thank some of the supporters. it is an indication he needs the rnc. they have close to a thousand ground operators. boots on the ground. people operating in key states like ohio and florida. compare that to what mitt romney did four years ago. only 500. this is the crucial distinction. that 500 around the mitt romney hat was a mix of the romney campaign and the rnc. this time trump is entirely relying on the rnc. this is the ground game he'll need to get across the line in key battleground states. a question over laying this. to what extent is the air war? donald trump's strategy of
living off the land, giving news conferences, making statements like earlier today. to what extent will that cloud the ground garjs fuzzy the waters and make the job difficult for operators to take orders from this building. hillary clinton hasn't released everybody she has working but the obama campaign had 3,000. >> give us a breakdown if you can. the biggest vulnerabilities for hillary clinton. where are the place where is the republicans are growing numbers that they better get boots on the ground on the democratic side to compete. places like ohio, florida. what do we know? >> florida, ohio. republicans will say they started this before donald trump, it became clear he would be the nominee. they started opening field offices in florida, ohio. i want to say close to 70 in florida. ohio, similar amounts. these are ground game places
where every four years it is a slug it out effort. these are must win states. when you look at the map they are must win states for donald trump. it becomes difficult if donald trump doesn't win and take and hold states like florida and ohio. >> hans is outside the rnc now. to the audience just joining us within the last hour donald trump for the first time admitted that president obama was born in the united states. within the same thought lied, falsely claiming hillary clinton was the person behind these rumors starting back in the 2008 campaign. the fact-check on that simple while die hard clinton supporters in that fierce campaign helped fan some of the rumors. donald trump became the face of birtherism over the course of the last five years. his campaign said he takes credit for president obama being forced to release, as he describes it, his birth certificate. after the release in 2011 donald
trump has spoken about this, tweeted and as recently as 36 hours ago he refused to admit president obama was born in this country. andrea mitchell is joining us. on tap today, first lady michelle obama will be speaking at a campaign event. in effect he thinks the issue has been solved. he believes most americans believe. it is michelle obama who spoke at the democratic condition only a short time ago. trying to describe to sasha and malia why some people would suggest their dad wasn't born here. andrea mitchell takes it over now. >> thank you, peter. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" born in the usa. donald trump finally says it.
>> president obama was born in the united states, period. now we all want to get back to making america strong and great again. and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. i finished it. >> earlier hillary clinton unloading on her opponent and upping the ante. >> he is feeding in to the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country. barack obama was born in america, plain and simple. donald trump owes him and the american people an apology. >> first person. president obama reacting to the day's birther flare-up with a
hope for this year's election. >> i'm shocked that a question like that would come up at a time when we have so many other things to do. not that shocked actually. i was pretty confident about where i was born. i think most people were as well. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. after 30 minutes of promoting the hotel and donald trump finally after five years of conspiracy theories and questionable comments states that president obama was born in the united states. trump tried to pin birtherism on hillary clinton and the 2008 campaign. despite all evidence to the contrary. in fact, it was trump, not clinton who rode the wave of birtherism to prominence. kristen welker covering the campaign