tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC January 26, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST
he is very active. he is engaged. and there have been bumps along the way. and he's got a great platform now to speak his piece. we'll be hearing from him. you can see the podium. he is going to be addressing the republican retreat in philadelphia. a lot on his plate today with the cancellation of the mexican visit and also the wall, how to pay for the wall, what to do about obamacare, repeal and replace? we don't know yet. and the confirmations still to come for some of his critical cabinet appointees. and what the democrats are going to do in response. so our thanks to all of you, to chris alyssa, and of course jean cummings as well. craig melvin is up next here on msnbc? >> andrea mitchell good to see you. good afternoon. i'm craig melvin here in new york. a lot of breaking news this hour. at any moment president trump will be addressing kong republicans at their philadelphia retreat.
when it happens we will take you to the podium. we are told he is in the. radio. that could happen any moment now. meanwhile, the mexican president cancelling a trip to washington to meet with trump just hours after president trump doubled down on demands for mexico to pay for a border wall. another world leader, british prime minister theresa may also arriving in philadelphia this hour for her first meeting with president trump. can she cement that special relationship between the united states and the united kingdom? can she cement that with the new administration? we'll get to all that in just a moment. let's start at the republican retreat in philadelphia. president trump about to speak. any moment now. all of this following some news -- some news following him to the city of brotherly love as well. a possible executive order on voter fraud. let's go the our reporters. casey hunt, kristen welker, pete williams also standing by for
us. casey, let me start with you there at the retreat. set this up for us, this speech by president trump. how is he going to address these policy divisions that have emerged? or will he address them at all? >> reporter: well, i have got to tell you, craig, that is the question on the minds of all of the republican lawmakers that i have talked to over the course of this retreat. there is quite frankly a lot of surprise on the part of a lot of these members because they are really not finding out very much in advance about what this president is doing. sometimes they will get a heads up the night before. but it's all changing and moving very quickly. so i think that they are going to have questions, especially around his plans for repealing and replacing the health care law. that's a topic they really want to talk about and one where they are waiting for the administration to put a plan forward. they have sort of ping-ponged back and forth on that when the president -- his president secretary has been asked about that, they have said the president is going to meet with
paul ryan. when you ask paul ryan, he says i have got to wait for the administration. we are going to have an plasm i think that's very much too much mind for a lot of members here. another gop priority, reforming the tax code. it sounds like we are going to hear today more about issues that a lot of the republican lawmakers don't want to be talking about. they don't want to be talking about torture for example. they don't want to be talking for the most part about voter fraud. jason chef, et cetera says his committee has no investigation of investigating whether there was voter fraud in this election and that the president can use the justice department if he so chooses to conduct that investigation. others have said there is no evidence of massive voter fraud in the election. just today we have shawn spicer confirming that he plans to sign -- donald trump plans to sign an executive order relate to the this. it will be interesting to hear if he offers more of a defense of why he feels this way to these law makers and per pet
waits something that frankly they want to put behind them. >> pete, i want to come to you now and get more on the resignation by the border patrol chief. >> reporter: we believe that's what it is, a resignation. that's we've heard from a couple of people familiar with the decision by mark morgan to step down as the head of the border patrol. he has been on the job six months. he came in this summer. he was somewhat controversial within the rank and file. they wanted somebody who was within the agency to be promoted. he spent most of his career, 20 plus years as the fbi as an assistant director, most recently in charge of training at quantico. but he was brought in because the obama administration decided that the border patrol needed some fresh thinking about how to run the affairs. but he has never been popular with the agency's unions who
have endorsed donald trump partly because he did support the obama administration immigration policy which wasn't in some quarters popular with the unions. but secondly as i said because they wanted one of their own to be the man in charge of the border patrol. instead they got somebody from the fbi and there is always feelings some feelings about when the fbi comes in to run other agencies. that doesn't go down so well with some of the rank and file. what we are told is that this is a decision that he made on his own. that's the early read. >> mark morgan is out -- pete, while of you here, going back to what casey just talked about, the voter fraud conversation that continues in this country. this is a boat that you have followed for a number of years here at the network. what do we know, pete, about voter fraud in this country? >> reporter: well, i don't know that i have a lot of new thing to say about it. one question we are curious about is if there is to be a federal investigation, how is it
going to be conducted? if it's going to be assigned to the justice department or the fbi, they reason is heard yet, i'm told. if it's another federal agency, i don't know who that would be, would it be a government investigation led by one of the traditional agencies or would as sometimes has been done in the past would it be an outside commission that would study it have people on it who understand how the election process works? everything we've been told, including by the people who did the studies that the president has referred to talked mainly about the well-known problem with voter registration rolls. there is no question that the voter registration rolls in many communities are a bit of a jumble. they have -- they are outdated. the data systems are not up to date. people are on there who have moved away or who have died or who are no longer eligible to vote. but taking from that problem to whether any of those names that are on there who are no longer
eligible to vote, even though their names are on the list, whether they in turn decided to vote, on that there is no evidence that i've seen. even the authors of the study say that the president has talked about the few studies say all we looked at is the registration problem. we didn't look at the question of whether those people went on to vote improperly. so you -- what they say is you can't assume that any percentage of the people who were on the voter registration rls and are ineligible to vote voted anyway. that's the question that i guess the investigation would look into. >> we are again, for our viewers and listeners as well, we are waiting on president trump to address this assembly in philadelphia. this is a congressional gathering. this is a strategy retreat, if you will. and you will notice there flanking the podium, teleprompter screens. this appears to be a screech that is going to be from prepared text. although we know based on past
performance, that occasionally the president has been known to veer off script. so lots of interest here in terms of what the president might say and what he might not say as well. kristen welker standing by for us as well in washington. kristen let's talk about this breaking news of sorts coming out of mexico. the president there saying he is not coming to the united states anymore to meet with president trump. what was the impetus? if we can't get him to show up for a meeting, how are we going to get them to pay for a wall? >> reporter: that becomes the critical question, craig. there is no doubt about that. we are going to try to put that to president trump the next time we can ask him questions. in terms of how this came about, first to just understand the context within mexico for a moment. the mexican president's approval ratings are low. he was under enormous pressure to sho strength in the face of president trump signing that executive order yesterday
effectively greenlighting the construction of building that wall. and so he came out last night with that video statement saying that he was disappointed, and how offensive it was to him, to the people of mexico. so this is not entirely a surprise, craig, that he has now decided to cancel his visit here. and of course early this morning we woke up to these tweets from president trump saying that maybe it would be better to cancel the meeting. sort of preempting i think what the white house knew was come. what is the significance of this? that is the question. how will it impact the united states' relationship with mexico. craig, mexico is the third largest trading partner to the united states. they have an important bilateral relationship. and of course they worked together on a whole host of issues. not just trade but also of course immigration and drug cartels coming across the border. so there are a whole host of issues that they work together
on. and so how will this complicate that critical relationship? that is the question at this point in time. mexico continues to insist it is not going the weigh pay for the wall. president trump continues to insist that mexico will pay for the wall. is this the opening cell though in what the president hopes will be some type of deal making? those are the questions we will try to put to the president. i was talking to senior administration first who didn't seem entirely surprised by the fact this trip was canceled. but it's hard to remember any other moment in modern history in which a foreign leader cancels a meeting with the president, particularly within his first few weeks in office. so this is striking, craig, and really unprecedented in modern history. >> something els that a bit striking to a number of folks while we have been having this conversation over the past few minutes on the hair. another poll has come out, another approval poll, if you will, i believe this one is from pugh there -- it is excuse me,
quinn peaiac university poll. trump approval right now, it is at 36%. 44 disapprove, 36 -- just to give you perspective, president obama in the same poll just north of 50% when they took it a week into his second term. kristen, do we expect any sort of response from the administration with regards to this poll? >> reporter: i think so. i was just speaking with them. i think they were working on that. i said are we going to hear from the president on this when he takes the podium at the gop retreat? they said no plans for that in the scripted remarks, craig, but we know that scripted remarks don't always stick with this president. i wouldn't be surprised if he commented on imt but they are not signaling if we are going to hear from him on this. we will get some type of reaction though today from the administration. shawn spicer making the point when he was asked about this during the flit over on air
force one, the maiden voyage on the plane for this president -- he said we are keeping lines of communication open and potentially trying to find the possibility for a future visit. i think they are very much trying to keep the door open. they understand the importance of this relationship. any understand the extent to which this complicates the relationship. and of course casey is there in philadelphia as they have been discussing this topic. and you have paul ryan saying, look, we are looking for the funding to build this wall, something will cost us several billions of dollars. they are hoping to find preexisting funds and not ruling out the possibility that it could add to the definite simpson. this is a contentious controversial issue that the president campaigned on. now he is trying to move forward with it. the devil is this the details. it's going to be complicated to try to build a wall and difficult. >> oklahoma senator jim langford by the way leaving the podium. he was a republican from oklahoma there opening with
prayer. again, we know that president trump is in the room. speaker paul ryan heading to the podium right now. we of course heard from paul ryan last night on our air. he spent some time with greta vansustren talking about the aforementioned wallach knowledging that congress is likely going to have to pony up the billions of dollars up front but spent some time talking about how mexico would then in turn end up paying for it in the en. paul ryan there. we imagine that senator mitch mcconnell probably not far behind in terms of introductions. kristen welker at the white house. kristen i apologize in advance. i will a cut you off when president trump starts. i wanted to see if you had new information on the reports of resignations at the state department? anything new on that? >> reporter: we are being told that these are first who were asked to resign. not sbrirl surprising given it is a new administration coming
in. you do have some duz behind the scenes that there were some -- some buzz behind the scenes that there were some concerns about the agenda of the trump administration. but the sense this was not a sense of a protest. this was not people walking out. instead this is sort of a part of the normal transfer that occurs sometimes when you do get a new administration coming in and taking over. but we continue to drill down on this, craig. this is still very new. it's still breaking. shawn spicer asked about this as well aboard air force one. he didn't comment. he said, look, he hadn't been briefed on that yet. so we are still waiting for an initial reaction from within the white house. >> let's listen in. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell introducing president done trump in philadelphia. >> for 40 years, from washington down to john quincy adams, and
then andrew jackson came along. he was the voice of the people. and regular people sent this new president to the oval office, to the white house, and he made history by serving two terms and changing america. my first visit to our new president in the oval office the other day i looked up behind his desk and there was a sculpture of andrew jackson. how appropriate. join me in welcoming the next president who is going to make history and turn america around, donald trump. [ applause ]
>> thank you very much, mitch. so nice. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. so nice. nice to win. do we agree? it's been a while. it's been a while since we had this position. nice to win. and i want to thank everybody in the room. so many friends. thank you very much. sit down, everybody. let's enjoy ourselves. it's great to be in philadelphia. i went to school in philadelphia. this is a very special place in our nation's history. it's the place where we launched our american independence, the state of pennsylvania is very special to me for lots of reasons. especially from a couple of months ago. remember? pennsylvania cannot be won.
remember? pennsylvania cannot be won. right, congressman? there is no path to victory for trump in pennsylvania. except we won. now, it has been long time since you guys did this, but it was just a great victory. it was a greatly evening. it was a great evening. i will tell you. but it sort of started in pennsylvania. they all said that pennsylvania was the bride that got away. that it was the state that everybody from the republican party that ran in pennsylvania for 38 years thought they won. except they never won. and i thought i won, too. but i was afraid to say it, mitch, because it just seemed that it wasn't working out. i said you know what, i think we did great. let's see what happens. good things happened. we love this state, and we will see it many times again. now is the dawn of a new era of american independence, a
rededication to the idea that the people are in charge of their own destiny. i want to thank majority leader mcconnell. great guy. and speaker paul ryan. very, very special. and he is writing his heart out, right? and we are actually going to sign the stuff that you are writing. you are not wasting your time. [ applause ] he would write it, he would send it up, and nothing would happen. but now it's going to happen. for their leadership, and for inviting me here today. thank you very much. and thank you leader mccarthy, senator cornyn, congressman scalise, congresswoman cathy mcmorris rogers, and congressman messer for your leadership as well. it's been terrific. this congress is going to be the
busiest congress we've had in decades -- maybe ever. maybe ever. think of that. and think of everything we can achieve. and remember who we must achieve it for. wary here now because tens of millions of americans have placed their hopes in us to transfer power from washington, d.c. and give it back to the people. [ applause ] so important. now we have to deliver. enough all talk no action. we have to deliver. this is ourhance to achieve great and lasting change for our ved nation. since taking office, i have taken major contractual steps to restore the rule of law and to return power to everyday
americans. [ applause ] and even though it's only a few days, we've done it in record numbers. we have issued executive orders to build the keystone and dakota pipelines. and issued a new requirement for american pipelines to be made with american steel and fabricated in the united states. and i was sitting at my desk, and i'm getting ready to sign keystone and dakota. i say, where is the pipe coming from? and i won't tell you where. but you wouldn't be happy. i say why is it we build pipelines and we are not using pipe that's made in our country? i say, let's put that little clause in, like it's a one-sentence clause, but that clause is going to attract a lot of people. and we're going to make that pipe right here in america.
okay? if people want to build pipelines in our land we want the pipe to be manufactured -- not only that. manufactured here, but you will see a level of quality that you are not going to see when they bring pipe from far distances, have to bring it in sll chunks and then fabricate it on the land. give me a break. we can do much better than that. and we're going to do it much better. and it's going to end up costing less money, believe me. we have reinstated the mexico city policy, a long standing policy -- [ applause ] nice. by the way, on friday, a lot of
people are going to be showing up to washington, right mike? a lot of people. you know, the press never gives them the credit that they did he ever. they will have 300, 400, 500, 600,000 people. he won't even read about it. when other people show up, you read bigtime about it. right? so it's not fair, but nothing fair about the media. nothing. a long standing policy to ensure taxpayer dollars do to the fund abortion services overseas. we've issued executive orders to remove wasteful regulations that slow down commerce and delay infrastructure which we desperately need. the very beginning of a massive evident to reduce the crushing
regulations on our economy. and we are going to reduce regulations big time. we've also withdrawn from the trans-pacific partnership, paving the way for new one on one trade deals that protect and defend the american worker. and believe me we are going to have a lot of trade deals. mitch, don't worry about it. just give me a little -- but they will be one on one. they won't be a whole big mash pot. they will be one on one deals. and if that particular country doesn't treat us fairly, we send them a 30-day termination -- notice of termination and then they will come and say please don't do that and we'll negotiate a better deal during that 30-day period. the other way you can't get out of it. it's like quicksand. plus we are going to have very, very strong controls over monetary manipulation and devaluation, which they didn't have in tpp. so this is going to be so much better. and we're already on it.
i would like to have my commerce secretary, wilbur, approved because i larry he did fantastically well but they are to the quick with the pen on signing these people. because we will like to have him approved as soon as possible. mitch says it will be done. and it will be. they could move faster on the other side, i will say that. could move faster. [ applause ] i mean, i'm meeting with the prime minister tomorrow, as you know, great britain. so i'm meeting with her tomorrow. i don't have my commerce secretary and they want to talk trade. so i'll have to handle it myself. which is okay. we put in place the first steps in our immigration plan ordering the immediate construction of the border wall, putting an end to catch and release, expediting the removal of criminal -- this is so important to me.
from day one i've said it. and i mean the immediate removal of criminal aliens. they are going to be gone, fast. and finally, at long last, cracking down on sanctuary cities. [ applause ] it's time to restore the civil rights of the americans to protect their jobs, their hopes, and their dreams for a much better future. congress passed these laws to serve our citizens. and it's about time those laws were properly enforced. they are not enforced. the hour of justice for the american worker has arrived. border security is a serious, serious national issue and problem. a lack of security poses a
substantial threat to the sovereignty and safety of the united states of america and its citizens. most illegal immigration is coming from our southern border. i've said many times that the american people will not pay for the wall. and i've made that clear to the government of mexico. nafta has been a terrible deal, a total disaster, for the united states from its inception, costing us as much as $60 billion a year with mexico alone in trade deficits. you say who -- who negotiates these deals? not to mention, millions of jobs, and thousands and thousands of factories and plants closing down all over our country. on top of that are the trillions of dollars the u.s. taxpayers have spent to pay the cost of
illegal immigration. much of it is then been sent back, and much of it goes back to other countries. and oftentimes because they don't respect us, the other countries will not accept the criminals that w send back to them that are illegally in our country. i promise you, they will start accepting them again. quickly. we're not going to have them any longer. i will not allow the taxpayers or the citizens of this united states to pay the cost of this defective transaction, nafta, one that should have been renegotiated many years ago except that the politicians were too preoccupied to do so. now these people are not in that category. you understand that. this is a different group. i think. right? to that end, the president of mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting
scheduled for next week. unless mexico is going to treat the united states fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless, and i want to go a different route. we have no choice. paul ryan and other leaders in congress and i, and mike pence, who, by the way -- how good a choice was vice president mike pence? [ applause ] stand up. everybody loves him. [ applause ] in fact, any time i got myself into a jam early -- you know, i haven't been doing this stuff too long, right. but any time i got myself into a jam, oftentimes they would say on television, yeah, but look, he picked mike pence. so he's got to have something going, right?
so mike really help me a lot. well, we're working on a tax reform bill that will reduce our trade defici, increase american rts, a will generate revenue from mexico that will pay for the wall if we decide to go that route. it is time that the american people had a president fighting as hard for its citizens as other countries do for theirs. and that's exactly what i'm going to do for you. believe me. thank you. [ applause ] thank you. it's time that somebody fought for our country and didn't let anyone take advantage of us anymore. the world has taken advantage of us for many years of it's not going to happen anymore. we will have an ambitious legislative agenda as well. our legislative work starts with repealing and replacing
obamacare. removing families from the catastrophic rise in premiums and debilitating loss of choice and just about everything else. remember this, for this room in particular. obamacare is a disaster. the democrats are up and they are saying oh, they are putting up signs like it's wonderful. it's a disaster. i actually talked with paul and the group about just doing nothing for two years. and the dems would come begging to do something. because '17 is going to be catastrophic price increases, your deductibles are through the roof, you can't use it. can't use it. and they would come to us -- except we have one problem. we have to take care of the american people immediately. so we can't wait. but every time they tell you about obamacare -- we're taking them out of a big jam. big jam.
we are putting ourselves at risk, to a certain extent, because we are taking it off their platter. but i think, ngme i think we have no choice. i think we have no choice. we have to get it going. i'm serious. if we waited two years it's going to explode like you've never seen an explosion. nobody is going to be able to afford it. it's a disaster. and that's politically what we should do. but we don't want to do that. we want to get something done and get it done right. and by the way, tom price is going to do a phenomenal job. i don't know if he's here, but he's going to do a phenomenal job. on my first day in office i signed an executive order to roll back the burdens of obamacare and pave the way for real reform, like health savings accounts that empower individuals to choose the customized plan that is truly right for them. going to have so many choices. tom price will soon be leading health and human services.
he is a true advocate for patients. he is going to do a phenomenal job. we have no doubt about that he joins an all-star roster that includes many of your colleagues. ryan, zinke, mick mull veiny. these guys had a pretty tough time in congress, too, they -- in the senate, but actually came out pretty well. mike pompeo. is mike here? mike? mike pompeo, phenomenal guy. and jeff sessions. jeff is fine person. jeff was one of my earliest endorsers. never endorsed a presidential candidate before, and he was one of my earliest endorsers. respected by everybody. and did unbelievably in front of committee. unbelievable. in addition to fixing our health care, we are going to pursue new trade deals that create higher wages and more opportunities for american workers, bringing back the magnificent words, made in
the u.s.a. we used to have that. we don't have it anymore. it's going to be america first again. we will create millions of new good-paying jobs by removing the economic burdens that cripple our ability to compete. at the center of that agenda is bold tax reform that massively lowers taxes for our middle class and for all american businesses. we will also pursue financial reform that will help striving americans get the credit they need to realize their dreams. republicans have always been the party of american industry and the american worker. we must embrace that heritage, rebuilding this country with american goods and american labor. and we've started. believe me. over the last couple of months. i don't know, i'd like to say i did about as much as anybody or
more in terms of getting industry to start coming back to our country before i took office. but we have a lot of great news with ford and general motors, and fiat/chrysler and so many others. we have a lot of great news. lockheed is adding a let of additional people. boeing. we have a lot of positive things happening. and it's really going to start bursting out. you are going to start seeing it really soon. we want to get our people off of welfare and back to work. so important. it's out of control. it's out of control. and we believe that the world's best country you had at to have the world's best infrastructure. it's what our people deserve. and it's what we will ensure they get. our infrastcture is in serious trouble. we will build new roads and highways and tunnels and airports and realwailways acrose igs in a. we will fix our existing product before we building anything
brand-new, however. we have to fix what we have. it's a mess. so we are going to pick it first. the thing i do best in life is build. we will fix it first. because we have a lot of things that are in bad shape. and we will rebuild our military and take care of our great vetera veterans. [ applause ] thank you. we are working hard with the veterans. we are going to do something very special with the veterans. it's time. at the same time, we will unleash the full power of american energy, ending the job-killing restrictions on shale, oil, natural gas, and clean, beautiful coal. and we are going to put our coal miners back to work.
[ applause ] thank you. and we will protect our farmers, our ranchers, our hunters, our anglers, and all who enjoy the outdoors. but to be a rich country, we must also be a safe country. right now, too many families don't feel secure. just look at the 30 largest cities. in the last year alone, the murder rate has increased by an estimated 14%. here in philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady -- i mean, just terribly increasing. and then you look at chicago. what's going on in chicago? i said the other day, what the hell is going on? >> democrats! >> lot of truth there. that is why we will continue to stand with the incredible men and women of law enforcement.
[ applause ] yesterday i had the honor of swearing in general john kelly as our secretary of homeland security. he's going to be amazing. tomorrow, i will swear in general james mattis as our new secretary of defense. these men have devoted their lives to defending america. and now i look forward to working with them along with our great new head of the cs -- we have so many different people that we are putting in office. i think it's the group of allstars like really nobody has seen before.
right? where is pompeo? where the hell is he? did he ever come here? >> he is working. >> oh, he's working? he is -- he is so -- he is going to be another one of the big stars. i have to mention him every single time he's going to be great. one of you. and with you in congress to keep our country safe from the many threats we face today, that includes protecting americans from radical islamic terrorism. [ applause ] we also need to keep the ballot box safe from illegal voting. and believe me, you take a look at what's registering, folks. they like to say oh, trump, trump, trump. take a look at what's registering. we are going to protect the integrity of the ballot box. and we are going to defend the votes of the american citizens. so important.
all of us here today for the same reason, to serve the citizens of our country. we are not here for ourselves. we are here for them. we are here for the people. we are blessed by divinity and honored by history with the task of preserving this great republic and expanding its blessings to every single american. [ applause ] thank you. thank you. all of us are joined in this effort. all of us are bound by duty and bound by god to give our full devotion to this country and its people. that obligation forms the moral foundation of our agenda. that agenda includes a lean,
efficient government, appointing supreme court justices -- so important -- who will uphold and defend our constitution, reducing taxation and regulation, fair trade that creates a level playing field as opposed to what we have right now, and fostering respect for our country and its flag. we are now only at the beginning of this incredible journey together. i am honored to be your partner in this amazing quest. i am privileged to stand with you shoulder to shoulder as we work every single day to make america great again. thank you. god bless you. and god bless america. it's a great honor to be here. thank you very much. thank you. [ applause ] >> and there you have it. president donald trump addressing congressional, and members there -- republican
congressional members obviously in philadelphia. that's the scene inside. i want to show you the scene outside. this is the scene that has followed the president to philadelphia. you can see protesters calmly in the streets there. they have been gathering there for some time in philadelphia. we do not have a read yet precisely on who is behin this particular protest or how large it has become. but we can tell you and i've seen some pictures overhead as well, the size has been swelling here over the past hour or so in philadelphia. engo, you just heard donald trump inside that room talking about a myriad things. everything from trade deals, renegotiating nafta. he spent some time talking about immigration reform. specifically building that wall. once again saying that we are going to build the wall, and mexico is going to pay for it. talked about infrastructure. also, we found it especially
interesting his -- his description of the canceled meeting with mexico's president, pena nieto. of course we spent time at the beginning of the broadcast here talking about president nieto's decision to cancel that meeting. he actually put out a video explaining that decision. but then we heard president trump just a few minutes ago saying that we've agreed to cancel our meeting. president trump saying that it was a mutual decision. we are trying to get some clarity there at the white house on who's version is likely most accurate. casey hunt is inside that room, i believe. casey, it seemed as if this was a speech that went over very well? >> reporter: it did seem like there was a warm atmosphere in the room. we couldn't hear from our vantage point all of the back and forth. but it was clear that trump was at points interacting with the kong leadership who were seated to his right and left on the stage. there were a couple of moments
of levity. he for example, turned around and asked where his cia director mike pompeo, now a former congressman, was. he was looking for him in the crowd. pompeo of course now has a new job day to day. he is no longer congressman. i will note, craig, that this speech largely steered clear of some of the things that have been the most difficult for members of congress in grappling with this new president over the course of the last couple of days. we didn't hear an extended discussion about voter fraud for example. although we did here of course a reminder that a lot of people said that donald trump could never have witness to state of pennsylvania, where we are today. so trump going there right of a the bat. but staying away from that more controversial subject of the popular vote. so i think that will come likely as a relief to a lot of the people here at this retreat. >> he also didn't -- >> he also steered clear. i'm sorry, go ahead.
>> i think you were just going to assay torture. this was something we didn't hear come up as well. >> reporter: yes, exactly. that has been something that the president focus on yesterday and that there has been a lot of very intense reaction from republicans here. you saw paul ryan say very definitively torture is not legal and we think it should stay that way. so trump steered clear of that on the stage here, which i think we will seen as a positive move from a lot of these republicans. he did of course talk about and you mentioned that visit from the mexican president, pena nieto and its cancellations. he of course kags it as a decision that was made joently. that's not how the mexican president had characterized it earlier in the day in announcing that cancellation. so that is a topic that came up. but i do think, you know, stylistically, craig, we had a really kind of fascinating display of how donald trump is going to interact with lawmakers who are used to everything being very formal. i mean, these are men who use
and introduce each other with formal titles. when we had speaker ryan and leader mcconnell here earlier today they both introduced each other that day. donald trump up there, say, hey, paul, you are going to write that bill for me and i'm going to sign it. >> casey hunt there for us. thank you. rick tyler, former spokesman for senator ted cruz. victoria defran chez coa professor. two notes here, rick. one of the -- i would argue the most awkward moment in the room was when the president once again was talking about the violence and legitimate carnage that is happening in the city of chicago. at up with point he said what the hell is happening in chicago once again. and someone in the room, presumably a lawmaker, scream out democrats. and the president chuckles and says something to the effect of, yeah you are right, probably
right. that was uncomfortable to watch and listen to, rick. he started that speech -- the very first words out of his mouth, it's nice to win. and he precedes, rick tyler, to go on for another few minutes about pennsylvania and how no one thought they were going to win pennsylvania. at what point does this president accept the fact that he won and move on with it? >> well, i'll cut him slack in this one. he's addressing the gop caucuses of both the house and the senate and he has not had the chance to have them all together and celebrate their victory. i'll look at. that craig, i would say that was a broad sweeping speech with a lot ofgenda items. many of them were designed for base. don't forget, this is strategic. he is dividing democrats. if you look at the xl pipeline, the nevada pipeline, remember, he is saying those pipes will be built here in america, assembled by americans which will create jobs.
those are typically democrat issues and democrat voters. yet on the other side you have the environmental movement is which is going to be trying to stop this pipeline. again, that divides democrats. he is dividing them also on trade, on immigration. over and over again, even though most blue collar working americans who typically voted democrat -- he is appealing to them when he says he is going to renegotiate nafta. he is going to get better one on one trade deals that he's not going to allow our countries to run rough shot over the united states and he is going to build a wall which they perceive as taking their jobs. i think the speech was remarkably strategic reflective of a state of the union address. >> victoria, let's talk a little bit about the wall and immigration here perhaps each on a macro level. what do you make of what we heard there from the president in that room in philadelphia a few moments ago? >> i'm not surprised that president nieto canceled his trip. it's interesting the he said she said about whether it was a
mutual decision or not. pena nieto is facing so much pressure in mexico. we have been talking about the low approval ratings that president trump has. that's nothing compared to what the mexican president has. a record low of 12% in the latest poll by reforma. so he has that. he also has protests because of the rise of gas prices. to give you a sense, craig, in mexico, a gallon of gas costs the same as a daily minimum wage in mexico. so that ties into the bigger picture of trade. trump says he wants to renegotiate nafta and all these different trade issues. but the fact is that the cost of labor in a country like mexico is so much lower and so much competitive than here in the united states that we are going to have to see a massive renegotiation or massive tariffs with regards to the u.s. and mexico and other countries. and in getting to the iue of the wall, which we saw yesterday come up, and it keeps on going, we can build all the walls we
want. but if american demand for mexican labor and immigrant labor continues, it doesn't matter. and i have yet to see trump talk about immigration pull. he talked about the push from mexico. >> yeah. >> but ultimately people come because they get hired here. >> rick, while i ask you i want to ask you about something else. the president as you know signed a number of executive actions. by my count, 12 in six days. he is averaging two per day. republicans spent the better part of the last eight years calling the previous president everything from an imperialist to someone who just had no regard for law -- and now you see so many republicans standing there applauding now that there is a republican who is signing so many executive orders. does this concern you at all that he hags signed so many so far and it appears as if he is ready to do even more? >> a little bit. but, remember, the money for the wall has already been negotiated. it's already been appropriated.
it just needs to be done. and look i don't like the order of executive acts either by obama or the president. and the problem with executive action is just what we are seeing. is they can be undone. it's much better seeing they can be undone. it's much better to are the legislative force of law as much as legislative ashgctions. >> victorivictoria, thank you. i want to bring in steve beshear. governor, you heard herd what he said about obamacare. and he was urging his republican governor to not just let it crumble on its own. what is your reaction what you heard from the president? >> well, if it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable. up know, here we have in the affordable care act, an approach that is trying to cover every american for the first time. and very extensively with all fine benefits that you get.
and he's saying now, that, well, we're going to have a huge replacement. april stupendous replacement and it's going to be great. that's the way he describes everything that he does. and if they do that, that would be wonderful. every plan that they're talking about right now is really going back to the way things were. there were 20 million americans recovered. there were thousands of kentuckians. and everything that they're talking about so far is basically going to take that health care coverage away from all of those people. and that's unconscionable. >> there is this plan, as i'm sure you're aware, republican susan caollins. she's one of the co-authors of this bill that would essentially let states opt in or opt out of obamacare. is that something that might be a panacea, or not?
>> well, if you look at how the affordable care act works, you have to have that marketplace out there that's got to include everybody. so dividing it up and saying, oh, do it if you want to. they know what will happen, they know that no insureds will participate on that kind of basis. the only reason that the market place is a little rocky right now is because of the uncertainty that's been brought up by the republicans of saying, repeal and replace. repeal and replace. well, the insureds know just like i know, all they've given ten minutes thought to is repealing, not replacing. they're like the dog that's caught the car. all they know they've got to do something and, boy, are they scrambling. there are 20 million americans out there and make sure that they continue to have as good as coverage they have right now, if they think politically, they can
get away with that happening, i think they've got another thing coming. >> steve beshear, kentucky governor, thanks for coming in. we'd love to have you back. >> thank you. president trump spoke moments ago about his executive actions about the pipelines. after the president's decision to access the dakota and keystone pipelinpipelines. kyle perry is back with the protesters back there. what are you seeing and hearing? >> so, craig, we were mentioning early back in december when there were 12,000 here. there are only 500 people left in this camp. we're just speaking to organizers who asking people to not come here. they want to fight this in the courts. whether or not people come on their own that's a different question but a few variables
have changed. first, on february 19th, they're going to start worrying about flooding. this is below a flood plain that you're looking at right now, the camping, and if it gets warmer which i don't see that happening for a couple weeks, the snow will melt. more snow than a decade. they've hired private security guards which at times, and we saw this two nights ago are clashing with the 500 protesters who still remain at this camp. one of the other things, craig, very interesting that we're hearing inside the camp people are worried that some kind of a deal is being instruct. when you listen to president donald trump the language he used about renegotiating the deal and making everybody happy. some of the water protectors here, that's what the protesters call themselves, water protector, they're worried that maybe the sioux tribe is going to cut their own deal with the executive branch that would allow this to be completed.
it's important to note that the dakota pipeline, unlike the keystone is almost done. there's only a thousand feet that needs to be finished. on the dakota pipeline where i am now, that won't make a difference, it's almost completed. the americanteel really only fi with that keystone pipeline, craig. kyle perry with a very informative report here. anytime we come on standing rock, though, we always have to get a weather report. >> reporter: yeah, it's 20 degrees with a real feel temperature of minus 10. so i laugh consistently, my crew enjoys it and i say i watched the local news this morning and they say a cold front is on the way. >> kyle perry for us at standing rock camp. stay warm, my friend. thank you. >> reporter: thank you. >> we will bring you more of gop
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and that's going to do it for this hour of msnbc live. i'm craig mallvin. we're looking at breaking news where the president is talking about that wall. and the ongoing feud with mexico's president about who will pay for it. >> president of mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week. unless mexico is going to treat the united states fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless. and i want to go a different route. >> trump also at odds with america's closest ally over the issue of torture and undercutting pentagon officials
by doing it. what does it say about the future of national security in this country? and the president dinged about focusing on himself about the inauguration crowd size. he did it again today. it was one of the first things he said at the gop retreat. >> pennsylvania cannot be won, do you remember? pennsylvania cannot be won, right, congressman? there is no path to victory for trump. in pennsylvania. except -- >> we begin with president trump's comments minutes ago at the republican retreat in philadelphia. the president ticked through his actions that he's made over the first few days in office, spending a good deal of time on his executive orders. on immigration. >> the hour of justice for the american worker has arrived. i've said many times, that the american people will not pay for the wall. we're going to have a lot of trade deals which don't worry about it. ma