tv MSNBC Live MSNBC January 31, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> that wraps things up for me this hour. thank you for joining me. i'm katie tur -- i almost got through the whole show. take. away. >> katey and kate. good afternoon. i'm kate snow. here are our top stories right now. in a matter of minutes president trump expected to sign yet another executive order. this one we are told is about cyber security. we will bring you the sign examining the specifics in a moment. a few hours from now the big announcement in primetime. president trump makes a show of revealing his choice for the supreme court. and on capitol hill this hour, democrats digging in their heels, procedural tactics, delaying cabinet votes, even a full on boycott for two high level positions. but will any of it actually stop the confirmations to president trump's cabinet? let's start out at white house this afternoon. it's becoming a habit. halle jackson was at the sean
spicer briefing this afternoon. halle had a moment where she asked some questions of sean spicer about whether the trump administration is targeting the families of terrorists. >> the president has previously indicated that he would encourage the targeting of families of terror suspects. is that still his current position? >> when did he say that. >> on fox. he said the other thing with terrorists you have to take out their families. >> i think he has been clear when it comes to seeking out isis and other terrorists he is going to lean on direct or pompeo and general mattis and seek their opinion. >> halle's question was about civilians being targeted by the administration in anti-terror raid. and zeke's question was about al acty's daughter. let me ask you, is the president's mission to kpil and target american citizens even minor just because their family members are terrorists? >> no american citizens will ever be targeted. >> just an hour and a half ago. halle jackson was asking the
questions. let's bring her in. what's the latest on that and what -- that part of the briefing and also let's get to supreme court nominations. >> let me clarify i missed the very first part of the question. i was having a tech issue. but i think you were asking about an interaction that happened in the press automatic are sean spicer. >> yes, with you. >> yes. that was theish you of the raid in yemen and the question of whether the president or as he said he would do -- as he indicated he would be open to in december of 2015 of essentially targeting the families of terrorists. you heard the exchange, the back and forth there, and sean spicer the press sec was very clear, no americans will be targeted and that that is the policy this administration. a definitive answer from spicer after a couple of follow up questions from reporters in the room i think that's notable at this moment in time. at these briefings there are so
many storylines to follow. so many things to watch. that was of course one them. we are watching the supreme court pick. and kate there is a lot of information coming out about that. i think the administration is trying to keep that under wraps as much as possible until the -- what you might call reveal tonight. we know it will be in the east room. we learned that for sure. happening right in primetime, just after 8:00. we will be there and we will bring it to you life. i also want to touch on one other topic as well. i think there is a sense of frustration inside the administration and you saw it publicly expressed into sean spicer about reporting that perhaps john kelly was not up to speed on the immigration executive order as critics felt he should have been been. just got off the phone with an administration official. you heard john kelly say during his u.n. news conference that we carried live during the noon hour he had seen two drafts of the executive orders prior to friday. i am being told there was one briefing for john kelly after
his confirmation hearing but prior to his confirmation vogt and another before the inauguration where john kelly was briefed about this and where he and his staff received what ultimately became that executive order. auto i'm told it was almost very, very similar to what would be the final draft. 95% similar in that. i was also shared with mental of the national security council and members of the homeland security. i think that is the sort of question that the administration would like to redirect. it raised questions about communication between president trump the cabinet his west wing team and members like kelly, mattis and pompeo and how in the circle, sort of in the know they are with these types of things. i think you will see some questions coming out tonight and tomorrow about how this all impacts the supreme court pick. questions from democrats for example, about how much the supreme court pick, you know would have had any discussions
about this executive order if possible. there will also be seen questions being raised about jeff sessions the pick for the attorney general who has been part of his own drama today. i'm told by a source close to senator sessions when he was asked how much involvement he had in drafting the executive order his answer was none. that he didn't have a role in drafting execution of the eo but said that my policies and actions in the past have been known for a while. jeff sessions has been tough on immigration policy and expressed his views of the president during the campaign. senator sessions was one of the first backers of president trump back when he first started running for president. so i think there are some question marks surrounding the influence of jeff sessions if not directly in drafting the eo at least indirectly kate. as always at the white house running up from the briefing room for you lots of news.
forgive me for being out of breath and out of shape. >> i covered the white house for a time and i get it completely. as we were playing that sound earlier of halle and sean spicer she was literally running and on the phone. this is up to the minute reporting that you are bringing us. we appreciate it. >> let me ask you about one other heated moment if you will at the press briefing today. that was when spicer was asked about his comments yesterday from the podium where he said anybody who basically anybody who doesn't like it and doesn't want to support the president should get out of the administration. and he was asked, has that had a chilling effect on those who remain in the administration? did he ever answer that question? >> here's what he said to that specific question. this idea about dissent and whether the president would tolerate dissent. and sean spieser said and i'm quoting this is not about joining the government to execute your ideas or your initiatives pointing out that the president was very clear during the campaign about what his ajn de would be adding later on in his quote that if they don't like it they shouldn't
take the job. but it is the president' agenda we are fulfilling. this dissent cable or his disaccident memo has been circulating. we are working to nail down how many signatures it has. at least in that agency concern about this latest executive order immigration action and some of the other kpds taken by the administration. >> halle jackson at the white house. let's check in at kmil. halle mentioned some drama with jeff sessions and his nomination hearing before a committee this morning. president trump's cabinet picks as a whole are really being put through the ringer today. senate democrats now executing a bold new strategy saying they are going to boycott the confirmation votes for the head of trump's health and human services department and also the treasury department. tom price and steve mnuchin. they are accusing them of lying.
alain chow, perry and zinke advanced through the process. it is been a crazy busy day on the hill. let's get words from senate bloomenthal. thank you for being with us. appreciate night thank you, kate, good to be with you. >> talk the me first about jeff sessions. the way i understand it democrats have now sort of succeeded in prooul procedurally pushing this off until tomorrow. so he doesn't get vote today before the committee? >> this nomination really deserves very, very sewers scrutiny especially after the administration's executive orders that essentially adopt the ban that jeff sessions advocated from the very start of the campaign. he was one of the most outspoken and vigor use advocates of a ban which now has been stayed by four judges, clearly
demonstrating by the administration a disregard for the rule of law, even contempt for the constitution. so this nomination really deserves very, very close consideration. that's what we are giving it. that's why there was so such robust debate today in the judiciary committee. >> let me ask about some of the sharp criticism that democrats are getting. we heard orrin hatch the senator from utah, his word was stupid senator. he called democrats stupid. sean spicer just laid into democrats saying you are doing but blocking, doing nobody but stopping the nominees from taking their positions in a cabinet that quickly needs to have full -- you know full force of people in it. that's swaun spicer's view, the white house view. what about the idea that democrats are obstructing? and that's exactly what you accused the republicans of doing for the past eight years? >> like so many comments coming out of the administration the name calling is really a distraction. we have approved general mattis, general kelly, mike pompeo for
significant positions, elaine chao just today. jeff sessions really merits scrutiny. in fact, i'm opposing him because he has fail to be a champion for the rights and liberties that are directly endangered by this executive order in fact banning muslims and actually jeopardizing our national security. so this kind of consideration is very appropriate. accountability is important. the attorney general of the united states is not the president's lawyer. he's the lawyer for the united states of america. and a day longer to scrutinize this nomination, calling it stupid? i don't think so. >> let's talk about what happened last night. you were, by the way a former attorney general yourself for the state of connecticut. you know a thing or two about this job. the acting attorney general sally yates of the u.s. as you know last night left her position after objecting to the executive order on immigration. i want to play to you something
the white house press secretary sean spicer said this afternoon. he was asked about her and also about cabinet members in general not following the president's directives. take a listen. >> this isn't about joining the government to execute your ideas or your initiatives. the president was very clear during the campaign whether it was economic security or national security that he has an agenda that he articulated very clearly to the american people. >> which -- >> hold on. thank you. and that it is his job to lay that vision out and that the people that he appoints and nominates and announces as staff members or cabinet level members or agency heads their job is to fulfill that. if they don't like it they shouldn't take the job but it is the president's agenda we are fulfilling here. >> senator what do you make of that. last night they called what she did a betrayal. did they have a point? >> no. i was not only attorney general in my state of concop. but i was also the u.s.
attorney, the chief federal prosecutor in the state of connecticut. i can tell you the department of justice has the responsibility to uphold the rule of law. that's a very solemn and significant responsibility. and sally yates was acting in the highest traditions of the deputy of justice, consistent with the way elliot richardson did when he refused to implement an unlawful and unconstitutional order and by the way that james comey refused to do as well and went to the white house. and george bush, then president, modified his views as a result of comey's standing up to hmm. that's the principle that's at stake in jeff session's nomination. i am against his nomination because i believe he will not have the grit to take on the president of the united states, to stand up when the president, consistent with his campaign agenda, may want to do something that's unconstitutional. and therefore naufl. that is the responsibility of the attorney general of the
united states. >> are you concerned, senator, that this is creating beyond just the attorney general and the department of justice -- are you concerned about kind of the atmosphere that they are creating where they are demanding loyalty and demanding that everyone execute exactly what they say? >> on these kpexecutive orders d on firing sally yates i am very fearful that we are careening toward a constitutional crisis, literally a legal nightmare because these orders have been stayed by four judges indicating whatever donald trump thinks and whatever richard 'em bloomenthal thinks there is a serious question here and i believe that the attorney general of the united states ought to be someone with a legal conscience to say no to the president of the united states when he does something that's ununconstitutional or if he's acting with conflicts of interest that deserve an independent or special prosecutor which unfortunately i think we are going to see in this administration with controversy with ethics that are
unprecedented in our history. >> that is a very strong system, that we are careening toward a constitutional crisis, sir. >> i think that's exactly what is happening if the president of the united states fires an attorney general who is a career prosecutor, a professional, legal litigator who as a matter of conscience says this order is unlawful and the united states of america has a responsibility to the constitution of the united states as does the department of justice. and i think that will create a constitutional crisis if the president disobeys the constitution. >> senator, i can't let you go without asking about the news we are going to get at 8:00 on the at the white house. they are promising they will reveal the president's choice for supreme court nominee. you are on senate judiciary. you will have a say in this person. from everything you've heard, can you imagine a scenario where you and your fellow democrats could support someone that president trump chooses?
>> i can certainly imagine a nominee who has the qualifications and background on the merits who deserves our support. and there will be a 60-vote threshold, just as there was for president obama's nominees. speaking for myself i'm going to consider the individual intellect, integrity, backgrounds, record of anyone the president nominates and consider them on the merits. and i will support having a hearing, which our republican colleagues did not accord to merit garland. i will support having a hearing and a vote because i think the president's nominee deserves that consideration. and i will consider it with very close scrutiny because this decision will probably be one of the most serious and significant that i will make as a united states senator. >> senator richard bloomenthal from connecticut we appreciate your time on as abouty
afternoon. let's dig down more on senator jeff sessions. he was of course one offess president trump's earliest supporters. as the "washington post" is reporting this week the alabama senator is the, quote intellectual godfather of president trump's hardline actions. joining me now is one of the reporters hype that story, "washington post" national political reporter and msnbc political analyst robert costa is with us. nice to see you. >> great to join you. >> it is quite a story you have written. you write about the influence of senator sessions and you say he has had a hand in virtually all of the actions we've seen in these first ten days, including executive orders. but i want to point out as halle was reporting earlier at the judiciary committee session this morning chairman chuck grassley read from comments that were submitted by senator sessions in which he said to the committee, i had nothing to do with any of the these executive orders. so help us understand what your reporting is. >> great to be with you kate.
forrally and technically speaking senator sessions sense he has been nominated for attorney general has not been involved in drafting the executive orders. that's based on numerous conversations with sources within the white house. however, before he was nominated for attorney general, he was and in many ways the intellectual godfather, the populist and conservative behind much of what donald trump is doing. often this week i get the questions from readers how do you explain what is happening in washington the rapid pace the hardline actions? the answer is really to trace it back to senator session's lemgs lative career, the kind of policies he has been pushing for in 20 years including in conversations with president trump they are now becoming policy. >> you write in part about steve bannon. you write about a lot of people in the administration. it was interesting he wrote an e-mail to you at the "washington post" and wrote, quote, throughout the campaign sessions has been the fiercest, most dedicated most loyal promoteer in congress of trump's agenda
and has played a critical role for policy and philosophy to undergird the implementation of that agenda. what we are witnessing is the birlgtd of a new political order. he is talking to you about a movement. help us understand who are the people behind this movement. who is pulling the strings, if you will, inside the white house? maybe that's not the right term but who is orchestrating all of this? >> sessions has many, many allies within the trump white house. not only steve bannon, but steven miller the policy adviser who has been writing many of they executive orders. rick dearborne the presidentdep of staff. and jeff sessions. what we are seeing now is sessions has railed what he calls coast the master's of the universe. he railed against what he calls
soulless globalists. he sees goble institutions corporate exits, political institution as a threat to the united states. and he has been on the fringes of the republican party for many years. now he is in power. >> one question about that, i notice you did not mention the soirnl of the president, jared kushner in your answer. is he part of -- is he playing a large role at this point or not. >> he is and he has actually developed a bond with senator sessions through their travels on the trump campaign plane. kushner is a media executive ran the new york observer for years isn't what i would call a natural pop you list but he has recognized privately based on my conversations with sources that sessions does represent his faernl's world view has a real connection with the political instincts of his faernl and he has been working with sessions to help implement that. >> robert, i don't know if you have been able to work the phones about tonight at all. i don't know to put you on the spot the we are all working the phones. >> we are all trying to find out
what is happening on 8:00. any insight on either the packageanry we expect or the substance? >> i'm told the president himself really wanted to do it in the evening. most of the time presidents announce supreme court picks in the morning. trump wants the feeder of an 8:00 unveiling a of the the white house. i'm told he has been torn between gorsuch and hardiman. he likes marredman's blue collar philosophy. at the same time gorsuch is seen as an echo of scalia in terms of his legal impulse. i think at this point a lot of people around the white house are telling me probably gorsuch but trump could have a wild card up his sleeve. >> you think, a wild card? it could happen. >> i've been toll that judge pryor from alabama he has been popular because sessions and pence see him very well.
again, wh gorsuch and hardiman, pryor not so much. >> thanks for the reporting. for viewers who don't know those two names so well don't worry. we are going to do a whole segment about who those two men are, the names being thrown around about who may or may not be the nominees for the supreme court. the president was supposed to be signing an executive order this hour. we had been given that guidance this morning. we have learned he is not going to be signing an executive order that has to do with cyber security. we just saw him meet with cyber security experts inside the white house. again, the signing apparently not happening at this hour. we'll bring you more information about that as soon as we have it. stay with us.
3:24 eastern time. president trump met with cyber security experts this the past hour. we saw some video of that. he was then expected this hour, at 3:15, to sign an executive order. we were given a brief -- our white house colleagues were given a brief about it earlier today saying that it would be about cyber security. but we just learned in the last five or ten minutes that that signing has been delayed. i'm joined now by ari schwartz. former senior director for cyber security on the national security council serving under president obama. niece to see you again. it's different than we thought. we asked you to be with us because we thought we would be seeing another signing ceremony and learn who was in the executive order but it's not actually happening this hour. let's talk about what could be done. because i know in your community people have been talking probably about a week about what it is the president is trying to do to help reinforce cyber security. the white house told us earlier it was built on recommendations
initially from your administration, from the obama administration. what would you like to see in any executive order that has to do with cyber security? how do we strengthen our defenses? >> there was a draft actually leaked to the "washington post" of this. we have a sense of what might be in there although there might be changes to it. they are having a lot of reports from agencies, which is good, because the agencies have done a lot of work in this space. so getting that to up -- and getting the information about what the agencies actually know is going to be useful instead of just making policy like we've seen in other spaces earlier in this administration. i think it's going to be very helpful to have those reports out. offensely building on this work of the commission that you mentioned -- obviously, building on this work of the commission that you mentioned, a bipartisan commission to build on what the obama administration had already done. the fact they are using that is very helpful. the third thing we have heard is they are making the cabinet secretaries responsible from the beginning of the administration. this is a problem that we've seen -- it was a problem in the
last few administrations, the bush administration had this problem, the obama administration had the problem where secretaries would go and they would think they were doing their job of providing health care, of protecting the national parks, et cetera, but then they find out that cyber security is part of that job later on after they have already figure you had out what their priorities are. trying to build cyber security as a priority is key. they say that's what they are doing and making the secretaries accountable. that's good thing. >> one of the things the white house said the my colleagues at the white house earlier today is that they would have in the executive order the white house would order the department of homeland security to quote engage on critical infrastructure. i'm trying to imagine what that means for all the corporations, for silicon valley. what does it mean if you have the department of homeland security engaging on critical infrastructu infrastructure. >> it's already in law the department of homeland security already has to engage with
critical infrastructure. that's already the case. the question is what does that mean today? as we saw in the election case, right, there was a debate within the government about whether election systems were considered critical infrastructure under the law. and so adding something like that makes a different as well. as you say critical infrastructure in the u.s. is mostly owned by the companies. >> private sector. >> yeah. so it does mean engaging directly with companies. and the question is, are companies at the point where they are engaging with government? it is a very difficult thing to do to get companies to invest in this space, to build cyber security in and to trust the government especially when we've seen that the government sometimes uses that information for other purposes or does other things with that information raising concerns from the private sector. and this has been the case going back for many, many years. and so -- and in this administration can they build that kind of trust up? we have to see whether that's the case. >> so ari, how about we do this,
once he signs it and we have the policy and we can read it we will have you back. >> that would be great. >> ari schwartz, former director for cyber security under president obama. coming up new details on the military raid in yemen that killed a navy s.e.a.l. one official tells msnbc that quote almost everything went wrong. details on that after a quick break.
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the main goal was information on hard drives it wasn't a high value detainee. we have navy s.e.a.l. team six in yemen. they encounter small arms resistance. three wounded, three die. one of those appears to be an 8-year-old girl, the daughter of awlaki who was killed in 2011. the daughter, the 8-year-old, her gran father told the news she perished. we are getting conflicting reports how many civilians perished. but we know there was 14 al qaeda militants killed. numbers of civilians others are saying in the field is close to 60. we also know that donald trump had to make the first gold star kaufl his presidency. listen to how sean spicer put it earlier today. >> the president also had a very somber and lengthy conversation with the family of chief petty officer william ryan owens.
the president offered his sincerest condolences to officer owens' wife, his father and their three children. chief owens was on his 12th deployment. we can never repay the debt of gratitude we owe him. the freedom that he fought for and the sacrifice that he made as well as the other members of his union who were injured in this operation. >> now, what's clear is that this was long in the planning. it was planned under the previous president. authorized by this one. we don't know whether or not president obama declined to authorize or not. we do know operationally it seems like the time was right. in terms of additional attacks or continuation in raids, the last five days of obama's presidency we had 100 killed in libya, b-2s flown from missouri 34 hours. we had a big strike in syria against al qaeda. remember al qaeda and isis, sworn enemies. and you also i believe the last day of the president's -- the
last president's presidency you had draughn attacks in yemen. don't think of this as a departure. don't think of this as president trump is being more aggressive. this seems a continuation of old policies and that is to find the potential terrorists and find what they are plotting and planning and take them out. >> hans nichols we will let you keep reporting. thank you so much. appreciate it. we will take a break and be right back. the future of business in new york state is already in motion. companies across the state are growing the economy, with the help of the lowest taxes in decades, a talented workforce, and world-class innovations.
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from the homeland security secretary today, kelly, saying this is not a ban and it is about keeping americans safe? >> listen, understand when you want to use a sledgehammer when a scalpel can do, given the fact that a skap pell would have been far better here, kate. the american people are justifiably apprehensive about radical islamic terror. but there are many things the trump administration could have done if it had more policy reviews over what is really the art of the possible. first example is threaten threat is not coming from syrian refugees who have been vetted, vetted again and vetted even up to ten times under existing laws and therefore probably represent the safest body of refugees that could enter the united states but for example, most of the homegrown terror community in the united states are radicals who radicalized on line boo you tube sermons of anwar awlaki or
people who have gone to some of these countries that are subject to for example, this blockade of refugees and who are eligible because they are carrying dual passports under the visa waver program. for example, a british national who travelled to pakistan can make it into the united states under the visa waver program. that visa waver program needs to be studied more effectively. and number two, we need to spend more money to put more immigration officers at airports around the world to prevet and preclear these visa waver citizens. >> what you are saying right now doesn't sound on its face all that different from what we heard from secretary kelly a short time ago. we said we need a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system. do you agree? >> no, i don't agree necessarily in this what i would call this blanket across the board cut at
these countries. because there are people for example, who have green cards. there are people who are students who are eligible for entry into the united states. i would be far more interested in knowing which isis fighters have made their way from raqqah as well as from mosul and have traveled to europe through turkey and who may have u.s. nationality. you know just for example, most of -- under the obama administration 25,000 people were denied entry into the united states who were stopped at airports because they did not pass the clearance of immigration officers in many of these airports. so i want to make sure we understand. let's try to do this right, not use a sledgehammer to accomplish something that is not going to make the country safer. >> former ambassador mark ginsburg, u.s. ambassador to morocco. thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, we are now just hours away from president trump announcing his supreme court
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there's no butter in this churn. do my tris look okay? take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more. election season is now over. we have a new president. we each have a responsibility to be serious and move from campaign mode to governing mode. it's my sincere hope that our friends across the i will will join us in thoughtfully reviewing and considering the next supreme court justice. >> that was senate majority leader mitch mcconnell on the senate floor this afternoon ahead of president trump's announce men tonight of who he will nominate for the supreme court vacancy. that pick, custom is president says he will reveal at 8:p.m. eastern time is believed to be either neil gorsuch or thomas hardiman. but we should say anything is possible.
those are the names we think it is a down to. dalia lift wick joins us. nice to have your expertise. as say, that's our reporting. we think it's those two gentlemen. let's start with what we know about this emneil gorsuch. he is a circuit judge on the 10th circuit court of appeals in denver amount of fourth generation coloradoan. what about his style, conservative, i keep seeing the word textualist. what does that mean? >> it means he is probably in terms of his approach to the law, kate, absolutely in lock step with justice antonin scalia who he would be replacing if he gets the pick. he really believes that legislatures write laws and judges back way off and interpret them. and textualism is essentially the notion that you do not impute your own views and values as a judge into the text. you simply look at the original public meaning of the text and interpret it. so it's a kind of way of talking
about balls and strikes. it's a way of talking about judicial minimalism, judicial humility saying we only really look at the words on the page and i say that with the huge caveat that we all know it's never quite that simple. >> yeah. other name we are hearing a lot is thomas hardiman. an appeals judge for the third circuit which includes pennsylvania, new jersey, delaware and the virgin island. he lives in suburban pittsburgh. it was interesting to read his back story. first in his family to go to college. i see you cheer. >> i'm doing the taxi. i mean, everybody knows that he drove a taxi. >> you were doing this. >> that's his thing. he drove a taxi. >> he drove a taxi. >> it makes him, you know, if you want to call neil gorsuch blue blood, oxford and harvard, hardiman is blue collar. he is really from a working class. his dad drove a cab. he drove a cab. so you really i think got that
array of you know, trump could be either picking really really what looks like a pa trishian pick or somebody who you know he says he wants to put on the court an every day working guy. >> hardiman i think would be the first justice on the bench to not have an ivy league de agree. i would note he went to georgetown. one of my alma maters. what's his take on the law? what would we expect in terms of decisions from this justice? >> by the book, very conservative. there are a lot of things we don't know. we don't know his thoughts on abortion. we don't know his thoughts on religion in a lot of senses. in some ways easy not easy to track. we know he's got a very, very -- i think even stronger than the scalia position pro-gun position in heller from 2008. he has been extremely permissive about guns. we know he has been very permissive about strip searches in prisons, sort of pretty
dismissive, i think of prisoner rights. he is in many, many ways though, i think he is a bit of a black box on a lot of issues that sort of federalist society types would like to have more certainty about. >> are you ready for 8:00 tonight, dalia? >> they are both flying in. it's going to be like a rose ceremony. could i be more excited. >> i was going to see who was going to be the first person to say that. it has the hallmarks of a reality tv show, the way they are staging it at 8:02 p.m. tonight. dalia thanks for your time. coming up the president's picture for education secretary betsy devos triggered controversy. after the break we will hear from parents of chicago students on what matters to them the most. when your pain reliever stops working, your whole day stops. (sighs sadly) try this.
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a senate committee today approved betsy devos's nomination by a 12-11 vote right along party lines. joining me now with more on who she is and where the battle stands is nbc news education correspondent. it prompted so many e-mails and phone calls we're hearing from republicans and democrats that they heard a lot in favor and against for betsy devos, you talked to people, to parents. >> we did. we went to chicago and the spirit of charter school in chicago let us use their space and gave us an opportunity to talk with parents. one with kids in public school, charter school, and religious school, take a listen to what they had to say. >> betsy devos is a strong advocate for school choice. charter schools and vouchers. claudia, do you think there should be more choice in education? >> i think there should be. >> why? >> because you don't want to limit our children.
we want them to have all the choices that other privileged children may have in terms of, for example, i can't afford a private school. and so i want to make sure that if my children go to cps, that they're also getting the best. >> i myself had to make a sacrifice to private education, but when i looked at the options that i had, i felt limited. so i think it's important to give families options. >> do you think that the government should subsidize that choice? >> i think in some sense it would help. i have talked to a lot of parents that want to put their kids in private school, but they can't afford it. >> i think that we need to refocus resources and access to resources within the public sector. i think that there is no reason why our public schools should never be equal to any private
institution that is out there. and when i look at, you know, taking public tax payer money and putting it towards either for profit schools that are run by for profit management companies or even private schools, it doesn't feel right to me. >> eric, do you think there should be more choice in education? >> i would have to say no. i think that every school should just have what all students need. school choice has been the answer to people have been trying to give us for the last 30 something years. and it hasn't worked. and then if you want to add vouchers on that, that would be like school choice on steroids. >> these parents were very divided in their opinions about what should happen. one thing i should say, they all agreed on, and that is that there is a need to improve public education for all of our countries, students, regardless of whether there is an opportunity for people to choose where they want their child to go to school. >> so interesting to hear the
diversion opinions and it reflects. you and i are both moms. it reflects the conversation that i'm hearing in my town from people. is there a sense for how much betty devos could change, assuming the senate does confirm her and she takes over as head of education? >> it's interesting you ask that question because i asked that question of the parents. i asked them to raise your hand if you have high hopes that betsy devos is going to bring about a substantive change. not one changed their hands. they think this is a much bigger problem that one secretary of education can solve in a four-year term. and so, they said, maybe in small pieces, maybe in small doses, maybe one school at a time. in terms of solving the problem for 50 million public school students, they don't think it's going to happy they certainty doenl think the that america schools are going to turn into charter schools for 50 million kids. how do you fake one school after another. it's a big problem. the nations report card says right now, only one-third of
america's eighth graders are proficient in reading and math. that's not a good report card. so it's clear, and everybody agrees, something has to be done. >> i'm attempted to say something about my own eighth grader, i won't as he might be watching. thank you so much. always like talking about this. we're both passionate about this issue. we will be right back after a quick break. american express open cards can 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.
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