tv MSNBC Live MSNBC January 31, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
live with my colleague tamron hall in new york. >> thank you very much. speaker of the house paul ryan and republicans leaders are taking heat on president trump's decision to fire the acting attorney general. president trump said sally yates, quote, betrayed the justice department. and jeff sessions is facing a senate committee vote right now. plus lawsuit filed. washington state becomes the first state to sue president trump over that immigration ban. i'll talk live with the washington state attorney general who argues the executive order is hurting populations and the economy. i'm tamron hall coming to the live from our msnbc
headquarters. >> president trump met with the drug company executives. late last night the president firing acting attorney general sally yates, her dismissal coming just hours after see defiantly ordered the justice department not to defend the president's controversial executive order on immigration. the white house accusing her of betrayal and insubordination. now, the president naming a new acting nomination, dana boente, until his nominee, jeff signatures sessions, can be confirmed. it was 1973 when president richard nixon fired his attorney general and deputy attorney general for refusing to dismiss
the federal prosecutor in the watergate case. >> we had a monday night massacre, sally yates, a person of great integrity, who follows the law, was fired by the president. she was fired because she would not enact, pursue the executive order on the belief it was illegal, perhaps unconstitutional. >> and former president obama also speaking out against trump's travel ban saying it fundamentally -- and also saying he's heartened by the level of engagement taking place around this country. kristen welker joins us live now with what we're hearing from the white house. kristen? >> reporter: tamron, there is continuing fallout in the wake
of president trump preplacing sally yates last night. it wasn't a surprise that once he dug in and said she wouldn't support his immigration order that he replaced her but we're seeing both sides flock to their position, president trump taking to twitter to say he doesn't have any own attorney general in place, senator jeff sessions getting a committee vote today. the expectation is he'll be confirmed within a matter of days but take a listen to what trump tweeted earlier. "when will the democrats give us our attorney general and rest of cabinet? they should be ashamed of themselves. and nancy pelosi and fake tears chuck schumer held a rally at the steps of the supreme court and mic did not work, just like
the dem party, a mess. and of course the last text was a reference to the fact that you had democrats protesting on the steps of the supreme court, this executive order, tamron, which continues to spark protests nationwide. we saw last night in ohio some of the demonstrators were pepper sprayed. so there has been a swift backlash and part of it is that there's a sense that not everyone who needed to be briefed on this executive order was briefed and you had a rocky roll-out and that escalated some of these protests. paul ryan even acknowledging that the roll-out could have been smoother. so sean spicer is going to brief today and of course here tonight, the big event here at the white house, the president's supreme court nomination. >> and just in the last hour, the house speaker acknowledging the roll-out could have been
smoother here. when we heard from the president, kristen, and his team, they seemed to be not ready to acknowledge his protest, the president saying just the other day that the roll-out went beautifully and things were delayed at the airport because of a computer glitch with one of the airlines. have they acknowledged from your sources some of the images of people protesting. >> privately they acknowledge there has been some rockiness. publicly there was nothing to see here, 109 people were detained. i really pressed sean spicer on that point and i said one of the people who was detained over the weekend was a 5-year-old who was detained for hours separated from his mother who is from iran. so clearly there's a sense here that some of those optics were problematic. they are doing their best to damage control and try to turn the page.
i think that's why you have that tweet storm from the president today and have him also trying to shift the message, "meeting with pharma executives today." you're right, the messaging doesn't exactly line up with some of those images we saw over the weekend and into last night. we'll have to see if they continue throughout this week. there has been a sharp backlash to this executive order and no indication it's going to slow down. >> for more on the firing of acting attorney general sally yat yates, you know as soon as the name sally yates popped up, people tried to find out who see is, what's her background. you've found out information as well. >> she was a prosecutor in atlanta, she worked on the eric rudolph case, the olympic park bomber case, was brought here to
work in the justice department. the move to fire her came less this afternoon three hours after she said justice department lawyers wouldn't be defending the immigration orders now being challenged in court. but that statement was in many ways symbolic. she was the acting attorney general, she was a holdover for the respiration, intended to be on the job until her successor could be confirmed. she sent a letter to d.o.j. employees last night. she said she had a solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right. she said defending the immigration order would not be consistent with that duty adding, nor am i convinced that the executive order is lawful. at her confirmation hearing to be deputy attorney general two years ago, senator sessions asked her about that duty. do you think the attorney general has a responsibility to say no to the president if he asks for something that's improper? the views the president wants
tto execute are unlawful, shut the attorney general or deputy attorney general say no? >> i believe the attorney general and deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and give an independent answer to the president. >> despite her letter, justice department lawyers did defend the order in court over the weekend when that first round of emergency challenges went into court and the heavy lifting in federal court won't come for several more weeks. that's what the legal briefs are do you know on whether this action violates the constitution and federal law. >> joining me is bob ferguson, who filed suit over the executive order. what is your argument here
against this so-called travel ban or immigration ban? >> thanks for having me on. >> of course. >> we have multiple claims we filed in federal court yesterday. in a nut shell we allege that the president and the administration is violating the first amendment, the fifth amendment, equal protection and then specific statutes as well. it's multiple claims and we're confident that we have firm grounding and nobody is above the law and that includes the president. >> amazon, expedia -- >> i appreciate you saying that. over the weekend i reached out to those entities and say are you willing to support us with a declaration, expedia and amazon
responded immediately. at the highest levels of their organization, they understand how this hurts them as a business for recruiting and hiring employees and as an attorney general for the state of washington i really appreciate them being willing to add their declarations to our filing in federal court yesterday afternoon. >> i know you've not spoken with miss yates since she was relieved of her duties. nevertheless you have the critics saying this was her job, it's a part of the responsibility of the acting attorney general to let people like yourself know that the law has to be carried out until it is challenged and if it is eventually deemed unconstitutional. what are your feelings about her stance and now that some see her as a political creature and not one protecting the law? >> sure. well, tamron, i think this executive order is a hard, hard order to defend in court. and, frankly, sally yates has it right. it is unconstitutional.
in her response to senator sessions hit it right on the mark. you've got a duty to follow the law and go where the law takes you. that's not political. that's not politics. that's the rule of law in our country and it's the foundation for our country. so i respect the position she took. >> is there a balance here between what we've heard from this administration and what you would be willing to support? >> say that one more time? >> is there a balance between this travel ban, immigration ban the administration has in order now and what you perhaps would see as something you could legally back? >> all i can say is there is no room for compromise on the president's executive order. it is unconstitutional and, look, the good news, tamron, in that a court of law, the loudest voice does not prevail. it's the constitution. and right now that order is unconstitutional and we're confident we'll get a federal court here in washington state to agree and that will have the impact of essentially declaring
the key provisions of that executive order unconstitutional on a national base and so it would not be allowed to go forward at all. >> rudy giuliani said he was contacted by the administration regarding constructing this muslim ban, which were the words that the then candidate trump said on the campaign trail. he called it a muslim ban, not a travel ban. you made the point statements made by trump and rudy giuliani about a muslim ban may play a role and potentially if this goes through the courts? >> that's right. in our complaint your viewers can go to washington state attorney general web site we list statement after statement from president trump, he made it clear he wanted this to be a muslim ban. this is thinly disguised what this is all about and you simply can't do that under the constitution in the united states. we're a country of laws and one has to follow those, again even if you are the president.
>> thank you very much. we greatly appreciate you joining us. >> new details this morning about the first military aid carried out under president trump. two americans were killed. a senior official identifies the other as an 8-year-old nora al-awaki, the daughter of -- >> tamron, it was authorized by president trump. it's always difficult reporting the two sides of the story. here's what the pentagon is saying. we have confirmed the 8-year-old american was killed. her grandfather is also speaking
to nbc confirming that. the u.s. side says three americans were wounded when they made this raid on this compound. one was killed. later they had an osprey fixed wing helicopter come in that had a hard landing and you had three more wounded. here's how the white house is couching all of this. sean spicer speaking yesterday said it was a success. >> we carried out a very successful raid against al qaeda and the arabian peninsula which resulted in the death a 14 aqap intelligence that will better enable us to counter future terrorist plots. >> the reason they did a raid with seal team 6 is because they wanted to gather and capture that intelligence. otherwise this is what usually gets done by drone, if the intent was to kill militants. they're also saying is that some of the militants that fired on
them with small arm fires were females. they're saying some of the female casualties could be as high as 59, 60. first authorization from president trump but started under a previous administration. in the last five days of president obama's a presidency, there was a raid in libya which killed a hundred, raid in syria that killed 80 and drone strikes in yemen. they went in with ground troops and special operators and the mission had some problems. >> u.s. officials have requested that iran be added to the agenda for today's u.n. security council meeting, after two military sources say they tested a ballistic missile sunday and the test was a failure, flying only 450 nautical miles before crashing. it's not immediately clear in
the launch would be a violation of the u.n. security council resolution that bans iran capable of delivering nuclear weapons. >> and happening now, we're monitoring senate committee votes on two of the president's cabinet nominees. they are discussing the nominee of betsy devos to education secretary and senator jeff sessions to be the next attorney general. coming up, the a.p. is now reporting on officials from the cabinet, the intelligence community and congress will, quote, left largely in the dark about the president's immigration order. this as politico reports several house aides, secretly helped craft the directive without telling their bosses, republican leaders. they reportedly signed confidentiality forms. up next, what officials are saying this morning.
welcome back, everyone. there is new reporting that top cabinet members, lawmakers and intelligence officials were left in the dark about president trump's executive order on travel and immigration. defense secretary james mattis, secretary john kelly and rex tillerson all reportedly left out. each of these men, quote, have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time trump signed it. the same report says that although mattis stood next to the president during friday's signing ceremony, mattis is said to be particularly incensed. some lawmakers said they were left out of the planning stages. aides confirmed neither house,
homeland security mccall or been bob goodlatte were consulted, and some on goodlatte's staffers were involved. according to reports, trump made the staffers sign nondisclosure agreements. let's start with the staffers who reportedly were working on this without the knowledge of their superiors and their bosses. when are we looking at the timeline when this all started rolling here? >> there's new information a little bit go, bob goodlatte told a closed meeting of house
republicans that his staffers were in fact working during the transition period and helped on some of this policy and on some of this language, which is a new development, because these are capitol hill employees, like you said, who signed nondisclosure agreements and helped craft this policy that the speaker of the house didn't know about, the judiciary chairman didn't know about and the homeland security chairman didn't know about. the judiciary committee will not comment at all about the nondisclosures. this is extraordinarily rare. i've been covering congress for a long time, i've never heard of a congressional staffer steining a nondisclosure to help the executive branch do its job. >> we know in the trump organization, nondisclosures are often signed with his employees and we also know some of the member of the campaign then candidate trump was running some of the individuals had
nondisclosure forms as well. that's unprecedentunprecedented. here you have secretary mattis, you have leadership left out of this. what is the status here? >> we need to keep in mind and this is going to be a continuing narrative that we see in washington over the next couple of years i would imagine. donald trump ran on being a business man and running a company. he's not running a company anymore. he's running a government where there's checks and balances, where people want to be kept in the loop because they have expertise on something. james mattis is a general, a defense secretary. i imagine he would want to know when dealing with our allies abroad that we're having a ban on immigration from countries. there are chairman on capitol hill who might have added or beneficial comments for the white house before they do something like this. again, donald trump is not running a company, he's running a government. that's a different thing.
people on capitol hill are quickly growing frustrated with a white house that is pretty clmed up and not inclusive of top people in government. >> if they are being excluded, who is then being included? >> it's been well reported that stephen miller and steven bannon have been intricately involved in some of these things but the speaker of the house said this morning that he was not aware of the order before it came down. and that's pretty stunning because i would imagine during the obama administration even, the house majority, the speaker of the house was generally kept in the loop when there was sweeping policy changes enacted by executive order. >> if there are going to be ramifications here, you have members of the cabinets, some confirmed, others not. we talked about the wealth of
people. donald trump has said he doesn't want people who needed for the paycheck, he wanted people doing it for the love of country. if they have to stand alongside this president depending orders, how long can some of these individuals put their credibility and their names behind these actions, including general mattis? >> we'll have to see. i don't think anybody would say publicly at this point what their threshold for pain, so to speak, is. >> there are small signs on taint that it homeland security secretary kelly is coming to capitol hill to brief house and senate members on this immigration order. so i think you're beginning to see signs that they're getting it but it's difficult to say if this is a lasting narrative that we'll see or if this is just a
moment terry recognition that they need to be more inclusive of capitol hill. >> jake, such an interesting report. on a usual day it would be one of those things we'd say it's the report of the day but with so many moving parts, it's one of the many investigations happening in this new administration. thank you so much, jake. coming up, senate democrats are boycotting today's committee votes on two of the president's cabinet nominee ps we'nominees. we'll take you live to capitol hill to focus on this part of the story and the day. so with our ally cashback credit card, you get rewarded for buying stuff. like what? like a second bee helmet with protective netting. or like a balm? you know? or a cooling ointment for the skin. how about a motorcycle? or some bee repellant. i'm just spit-balling here.
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committee is arguing over whether or not to push through senator jeff sessions for attorney general. oo lot to cover on this front. kelly o'donnell is covering the developments. >> reporter: we are outside in the hallway on the hearing for the jeff sessions committee hearing. a long line of members of the senate have been waiting to get a seat. we've seen a handful of protesters removed by u.s. capitol police. there's a lot of emotion here but there won't be a lot of suspension. jeff sessions, we expect it will be a party line vote where republicans will support him, democrats will not. but what is different today is in the news of the last evening where the president has relieved from her duties the acting attorney general sally yates, that is sort of the domain of this committee as well and we're
talking about a vacancy at the department of justice that it would be jeff sessions who would fill. so democrats really want to weigh in on this and so what would typically be perhaps a swift moving hearing where they take the committee vote, it goes on to the full 100 senators to consider, they're using this time to lay out their concerns, both about jeff sessions from a democrat's point of view, not wanting him to be confirmed and also dealing with this news from the trump white house. to give you an idea about that, senator dianne feinstein of california weighed in on sally yates' decision to not support the trump executive order and here's how she described the context of the future of jeff sessions. >> yesterday early in the evening we truly saw what a truly independent attorney general does. that statement took a steel spine to stand up and say no. that is what an attorney general
must be willing and able to do. i have no confidence that senator sessions will do that. >> reporter: that's a very strong statement for someone who hoose been a colleague of jeff sessions for many years as they have both served in the senate. also interesting, the senate judiciary committee will play a very large role in the supreme court nomination selection we'll learn about in eight or nine hours now from president trump. and i've been told that the president has invited key members of congressional lead leadership to a reception this evening at the white house to meet that nominee. of course we're waiting to learn who that will be. and at the same time these hearings are proceeding, the cabinet positions are not being filled as quickly as we saw with the obama white house and there are new issues that are popping up. you referenced the senate finance committee putting the brakes on from the democrat side, steve mnuchin for treasury
and dr. tom price, members of house for health and humans services. they're using their power to boycott a political hearing and that grinds this to a halt until they get their questions answered. >> thank you very. and coming up, the fourth straight night of protests against the president's executive order on immigration is planned in several cities. but what power do democrats have in congress? a congress that have controlled by republicans. up next i'll talk live with jerry nadler who was live at the rally. >> we must overcome this little man in the white house who is disgracing our history and disgracing our traditions. (sfx: park rides, music and crowd sounds)
for a third night in a row, protesters gathered around the country to protest president trump's executive order. democrat members of congress led a rally against the order. >> when the president signed his dangerously stupid executive order friday afternoon, you knew it was unconstitutional, discemetediskre discriminatory and mildly reprehensible. i did not know people all over the country would join together so quickly to fight this outrageous policy and help those in need. >> that was congressman jerold nadler. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> what we saw with sally yates being fired by the president after taking a stand against this executive order, something
she could not defend legally, you can't resign from congress. how do you fight this legal battle? >> sally yates did the exact right thing. attorney general is supposed to be independent of the president and is supposed to not enforce unlawful commands and she has to make that judgment. in fact, senator sessions at her confirmation hearing asked her if she were ordered by the president to do something which she thought unlawful, would she do it and she said no. senator sessions said that's the right answer. so she did exactly the right thing and the president in calling her action a betrayal betrayed an absolute misunderstanding of the legal -- of the way we handle law and respect for law in this country. what we can do in congress is we have to push back against this clearly unconstitutional and
illegal order. we have to see -- now the democrats are in the minority, but the fact is republicans also take an oath to the constitution and we have to see if there are enough republicans who have the spine to stand up to a president who is ordering clearly unconstitutional and illegal action. hopefully we'll find enough republicans with the spines to obey their oaths to the constitution. >> when you refer to some republicans not having a spine, you have house speaker ryan earlier saying that the roll-out was rocky, having some issues but not taking a strong stand against this. you also now have this extraordinary report that hill staffers, aides to members of congress, worked privately with the trump administration to craft the language for this executive order. and -- >> without telling the members of congress they worked for. >> exactly. >> and also reportedly signing a
nondisclosure agreement with the administration, which by all reports so far would be unprecedented, no one can point specifically to another time that this has happened. >> that would be unprecedented and for congressional employees to work with the executive branch without telling their employers, the congress members or the committee chair or whoever what they were doing and to then sign a nondisclosure agreement that we're going to work outside for the executive branch against the congress, that should be a firing offense frankly. congress is a separate branch of government. and our staff is not supposed to work for the executive branch. >> and so if these reports are true, what are then the ramifications for this? >> well, if i were a republican congressman, a committee chairman and i found out that my staff had worked on this without telling me, i'd fire them because i have to have staff that i can depend on and who are going to follow my requests.
i'm the elected official. the member of congress, the committee chairman are elected by the people. staff people have to follow their direction. members are responsible to the public, not the staff members. they have to be responsible for the members. they can't go off and be working at the executive branch against perhaps what the members of congress think is proper. >> congressman, thank you so much for your time. i appreciate it today. >> coming up, what's next for the refugees banned from the u.s. under president trump's executive order? and how could our enemies react to this? up next, i'll talk live with the head of the rescue committee who calls the order a, quote, gift to terrorists.
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this is japan, demonstrators rallying near the u.s. embassy in tokyo. plus -- last night thousands gathered in london protesting a planned state visit by president trump, many saying they were outraged over his executive order. joining me, president and ceo of the international rescue committee, which launched an emergency appeal to help refugees here in the united states. thank you so much in your time. >> thank you for having me on. >> let's talk about the outreach for people who anticipate they will need your help. >> we're an international humanitarian organization working in war zones and we resettle refugees in 29 u.s. cities. we face a situation where, one, there are divided families. parent are here but kids are stuck outside the country, kids as young as 4. we have today, civilians working in iraq for the u.s. military as translators wondering whether or not they're going to be able to get into the country and there
are 60,000 refugees around the world, who have been lithrough e u.s. vetting, there already is extreme vetting in the u.s., they've got through and now that dream has been shattered. they're the people we're concerned about. >> we're hearing from a number of religious organizations who are not normally political but who have gotten involved because they have made it a part of their cause to provide homes and assistance to these refugees as well. they are joining in the outrage. >> that's a good point because we're not a political organization either. the churches, the synagogues, mosques are all speaking out saying, look, america for so many decades has upheld standards for people who are caught up in wars. and when the churches are saying christians are already able to claim refugee status, about 30% of those coming to this country from iraq are christians
actually, but political dissident, they deserve refugee status, too. it's been wonderful to see the outpouring of support. that seems to be to be the beating heart of america that the administration needs to listen to. >> we quoted you as saying you were concerned this could be a propaganda gift for all of those who would do harm to the united states. just in his briefing, speaker of the house paul ryan was asked if this could be used as propaganda. he said yes. there's no evidence of that. anything could potentially be used if someone is hell bent on harming the u.s. but you make the point this is different than just an anecdotal or a conversation that we're just pulling out of the air, there is proof to point to this. >> it's very significant if speaker ryan is saying this is a propaganda gift. >> he said it could be used. >> i know from my time as foreign minister in the u.k. that the worst aspects of the extremist threat are partly
killings but also the attempt to create a clash between the islam ek world and western world. we should not be playing into their hands. an executive order that bans refugees and doesn't let them could to america to join with their families or start a new life, that plays into the narrative of the jihadists who says america doesn't want you. >> extreme vetting, we still don't know what this administration means by that. there have been reports of reviewing individual's social media when they come into the country. and manpower would prevent that -- >> there is extreme vetting now. it takes 18 to 24 months on average, 12 to 15 government agencies, bio metric tests, to check you are who you say you are, interviews to make sure you are able to abide by american law and i think it's important that americans take pride in the refugee resettlement system here because it has set a standard
for the wider world. that's something that is tragic to see thrown away. >> thank you so much for your time. >> thank you very much. >> we're following breaking news on capitol hill, the senate health, labor and pensions committee just voted to approve president trump's nominee for education, 12 yeas, 11 nays, with democrats rejecting the billionaire leader. and up next, the important voices in d.c. who have been silent on the ban. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think?
countries. the latest column by my next guest jonathan capehart, also msnbc contributor his column "protesting a muslim ban that is un-american and does nothing to make us safe." jonathan, thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you, tamron. >> the headline one of them coming out of speaker ryan's news conference today. he says i think the rhetoric surrounding this, meaning the ban, could be used as a recruiting tool and i think that's dangerous. those are new comments from speaker ryan on this ban. >> interesting, because when you listen to people in the foreign policy community, people in the legal community that actually what president trump has proposed and what this executive order does is something that actually a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations that want to do us harm. when you ban people from this country who have put their lives on the line in countries like
iraq, to be interpreters, to be people on the ground to help american troops who have been over there for more than a decade, when you make it impossible for them to come here to seek refuge, to live in the united states, after serving this country at the detriment to their own lives, and you prevent them from doing that, why would anyone in any other country want to work with the united states or work with the cia or work with u.s. officials to further our national security interests? that it will i think in the end make us less safe. >> and looking at just some of the response from president trump supporters, the "new york times" has a piece out, joe scarborough read quotes from individuals he said that are in his family that supported trump, and they see this as him following through on what he proposed. the interesting note here, what he proposed was a muslim ban.
what he is saying now is a description of something that he calls a travel ban. >> right, and so what he's trying to do rhetorically and linguistically is to get around the constitutional problem that he would have with a muslim ban. it's unconstitutional to single people out based on their religion from entry into this country, and also it goes against -- that's the unconstitutional part. the immoral part is denying people entry to this country after they have put their lives on the line in service of this country, and also let's talk about the legality of all of this. you've got former mayor giuliani, rudy giuliani on television saying that then candidate trump went to him and said i want a muslim ban but we've got to do it in a way that's legal, so he put together a task force to then i guess ultimately became this executive order that's wreaked havoc
around the globe. there's no way around no matter what they say at the white house, there's no way around what this executive order does. it is a muslim ban of people from majority muslim countries from coming into the country, and we need to make one other point here, none of the countries on the list have anything to do with terrorist attacks that have happened in the united states. >> all right, jonathan capehart, thank you, appreciate it. we'll be right back. ress open cn help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. find oa heart attack doesn't expreor how healthy you look.
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>> thank you for watching this hour of "msnbc live." i'm tamron hall. now we turn it over to "andrea mitchell reports." >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports" breaking news. moments from now the new secretary of homeland security john kelly speaking out for the first time about that botched immigration ban rollout and how he plans to fix it. after being shut out of the decision making by the trump white house. our guest a child refugee herself, former secretary of
state madeleine albright. the president firing the acting attorney general when she refuses to carry out his immigration order. and supreme pick, hours from now donald trump announcing his choice for the supreme court likely setting off an epic bat well senate democrats. good day everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington, awaiting general john kelly's first press conference as secretary of homeland security. the cloud of controversy regarding the travel ban and reports of top cabinet secretaries being kept out of the loop will be front and center. joining me is peter alexander at the white house, nbc justice correspondent pete williams in our newsroom. peter, we have a situation steve bannon and steve miller, the two top white house aides along with other top