tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 1, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PST
mitchell reports. >>. two speeches for the price of one. president trump calls for unity. >> the time for small thinking is over. the time for trivial fights is behind us. we just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts. everything that is broken in our country can be figures fixed. every hurting family can find healing and hope. >> the people turned out by the millions and were united by one crucial demand, that america must put its own citizens first. we want all americans to
succeed. >> it was a speech long on promises and short on details. >> my economic team is developing an historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rates on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. it will be a big, big cut. at the same time, we will provide mass tif tax relief for the middle class. >> the women suffrage not buying it. >> everyone has forgotten his inaugural speech. he's got to actually do something, not for special interests as he's been doing but for working people, plain and
simple. and on paying tribute to a fallen navy s.e.a.l., the president honoring ryan williams and his wife was a guest in the white house chamber. >> his memory is etched into eternity. thank you. [ applause ] and good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington where president trump has canceled a scheduled announcement in order to do a victory lap. the white house wanting to live longer in the moment. the moment of praise for the new tone that elevated the president's speech to congress. now the hard part, translating his words into action. facing challenges on trade and budget cuts and taxes even from within his own party. the action starts this hour as the president hosts republican leaders at the white house.
last night's outreach to democrats is already a memory and they were not included. hallie jackson is joining us now. this is a strategy session with republicans. he knows he's facing united opposition from the democrats? >> reporter: that's exactly right. interestingly, we have learned in the last couple of minutes that after the lunch with leader in both the house and senate, republican leadership, they are heading back to capitol hill for a meeting specifically focused on health care reforms, specifically focused on the plan to repeal and replace and likely to include a discussion about this draft proposal that's been circulated on capitol hill a. proposal we have been asking the white house about, given that you're starting to see these divisions drawn within the gop, people who do support this draft plan, people who don't. the white house line is this. hey, listen, this is just a draft, just a conversation starter. it is opening the discussion.
there is still more work to be done. that much is certainly clear, andrea, specifically after the president's speech last night, in which he really didn't provide very clear guidance or sort of nitty, gritty guidance on what he wants to see in this kind of health care replacement bill that he's been talking about for months on the campaign trail. >> and you and i were together with chuck todd and lester and tom brokaw on the hill during the speech and when he said access for people to health care, people with pre-existing conditions, that doesn't mean the insurance companies would be required as they are under the aca. >> reporter: and this is sort of the needle that the president is trying to thread here. remember, he was very explicit on his campaign, even during his transition, that he wanted this coverage for people with pre-existing conditions to continue despite the repeal of obamacare that he had been pushing. so now we heard that speech and, you're right, we all looked at
each other and said, hmm, access. that's not a guarantee of coverage. there was broad language surrounding medicaid expansion for governo in these states, not much guidance there either about what they should do with regards to that policy. lots to discuss on health care, one of the many topics, andrea. pick your popouri. >> it's the paul ryan approach to deviseing this health care compromise. everyone is reporting yesterday that the white house was indicating that the president was going to go over the justice department and announced the revised executive order on immigration. now they're saying it's a work in progress? >> well, here's the deal. that was the plan before the speech, to head over to the justice department today, according to a senior administration official. after the speech, the plan was
very different. i asked, why is that? what's the reasoning here? and the response from a senior administration official was, hey, listen, we want this speech to have a moment to breathe. essentially -- and i'm paraphrasing here -- but drive this narrative. you look at the polling come out overnight, this is a time for the president to potentially take a little bit of a victory lap, the administration not wanting to step on that message from this revereised executive order. on the way back from the capitol, i'm told from a senior administration official that the president felt he had connected, he felt like his speech worked. that's part of the reason why you're seeing the executive order pushed a little bit. the other part could be that the administration is trying to cross those t's and dot those i's to make sure that this eo doesn't get caught up in court like the other one. >> and riding to and from the
motor raid with ivanka and jared kushner. in the writing with steve miller. you had the ying and yang of donald trump. you know it better than anyone having been on that campaign. but it was really a split personality, if you will, in that speech last night. >> you can hear a bit of his advisers, steve bannon and paul ryan and reince priebus and a little of ivanka trump with more focus on women care and child care rights. >> hallie jackson, thank you very much. president trump told network news anchors he was ready to consider compromising, even talking about something he talked against. there's no hint that he's backing down, though. >> we've defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross.
we want all americans to succeed but that can't happen if an environment of lawless chaos. we must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders. i believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals. to improve jobs and wages for americans. to strengthen our nation's security and to restore respect for our laws. >> texas republican congressman michael mccaul chairs the house homeland security committee and joins us now. thank you very much. thanks for being with us. immigration is front and center. it's your area. it's your part of the country. did you like what you heard last night? >> well, actually, i thought it was a very presidential speech. we haven't heard a speech quite like this from donald trump. it signals to me he's moving sort of out of the campaign mode. this is not a campaign-style
speech. it was a presidential speech and one that i think goes beyond just appealing to republican in the republican bas of the party but rather to all americans there are many lines that i think appeals to the democrats as well and a call for bipartisan support for many of his agenda items. i think particularly on the infrastructure issue, you saw a lot of issue on the democratic side as well as when he mentioned immigration reform as well. >> is it fair to say -- and i want to put you on the spot specifically and i'm sort of reading between the lines with you, that tone is important, that if the inaugural address and some of the tweets hadn't happened, he might have had a faster start out of the gate? >> well, i think he's where he was before going into the speech
and where he is coming out. 76% of the american people who saw this speech actually liked it. so i think that will resonate with the president in terms of style and tone. and a civil discourse with the american people, i tried to do that when i talked to the american people on national television. i think perhaps he may have learned something from last night. that might be a better approach moving forward. >> one of the things he did emphasize is setting up this special so-called voice unit within homeland to deal with the victims of people who have been victimized by violent crimes from undocumented immigrants. let me play that part of the speech and ask you about it on the other side. >> we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our very innocent citizens. bad ones are going out, as i speak, and as i promised, we
must support the victims of crime. i ha ordered t department of homeland security to create an office to serve american victims. the office is called v.o.i.c.e., victims of immigration crime engagement. >> now, one might question why an office devoted to the victims of immigration crimes is there as a guest when according to "the new york times," "the washington post," that undocumented immigrants are far less likely to commit violent crimes other than the crime of coming across the border illegally than american-born. census data showing from 1980 through 2010, young men aged 18 to 49, immigrants were one-half to one-fifth as likely to be incarcerated as those born here in the u.s. why this focus? isn't this trying to arouse people's fears when there really
isn't an issue? >> well, as a federal prosecutor, we had an office of crime victims when i prosecuted a case we always reached out to the victim of the crime. >> but not victims specifically of undocumented immigrants. i'm talking about the fearmongering that some would suggest is in play to try to make people afraid of the others, of immigrants. unfairly. >> i think it's true that a majority of illegal immigrants in the country are not, you know, criminal offenders but what he has done is focused on the criminal alien and that's when the focus of the deportation. there are a lot of documented cases of criminal aliens perpetrating pretty horrific crimes. the case in san francisco was a good example of that. i have seen many of these come to my desk as well. you know, these cartels -- i went down there with the speaker and we got an intelligence briefing about the human
trafficking, the drug trafficking, potential terrorists and those were real issues and you can't dispute that there are victims of criminal alien activity. >> i'm not saying that. i'm just saying that the numbers don't add up. i didn't mean to interrupt you. >> well, i think it's real. i've seen case by case of criminal aliens assaulting innocent americans. obviously this is a priority issue for him. he's highlighting it in his address to congress and we're going to be looking at the formation of this office and perhaps my committee authorizing it. >> what about the wall? we didn't hear anything about having mexico pay for the wall last night. who is going to pay for the wall? >> well, i think that's obviously a tricky issue of how can you have that happen?
here in the congress we're working with the administration. i did go down the border. they know they have someone supportive of their mission. how we pay for that, that's a very good question. i know we'll probably have what's called a border supplemental bill and we're working on that right now and we're working on how we're going to -- what is the wall going to look like and where are we going to put technology assets and personnel in addition to infrastructure and then how much is that going to cost? so i think you're going to see in the next couple of months a border to help jump-start and start paying for this effort. >> and my take away from you is that it's not mexico that's going to be paying for it. you said that would be tricky and more effective and even more cost effective than a physical
wall? >> here's a good example. i went down there with the speaker. the river is a challenge. you can't put a wall in the middle of the river. however, what we saw was concrete levees that protect the communities from floods. they essentially operate as a physical barrier and the local communities embrace this and say we don't want a wall but we want completion of this levee system. that's a real creative, sort of win/win way of how you're going to secure the border but not be offensive to the communities down there in my home state of texas. >> there you go. working on a solution already. mr. chairman, one final question s. when do you think we'll hear the revised immigration ban order? it was expected today and now we're hearing it's delayed. >> i think you could see it later this week. obviously the rollout of the first executive order was extremely problematic, had --
you were turning away people, lawful permanent residents with green cards from coming back into the country. that should never have happened. people with lawful visas not being able to come back into the country. that caused the chaos. frankly, i applaud the president from moving swiftly on his agenda items. you have to be careful and cautious as well. you have to talk to your inner agency groups and you have to have lawyers look at this before you shoot it out. i think they're going to look at what the courts had decided and fix that executive order so it's more in conformity with what the courts have come down with. >> and satisfy yourself that homeland security, your secretary of homeland security is being fully briefed on this and engaged in the conversations. >> no, i wouldn't say that. i've had my input and the secretary testify before my committee. i told him where i thought the
executive order was problematic and where it needed to be fixed but i have not been consulted on this executive order. i think it will be coming out shortly. and i hope they do it right this time. >> and would it be wise to take iraq out of the seven countries so we could have our people on the ground back and forth and all of the iraqi who is have been so helpful to our troops? >> you know, i think that's something they are looking at. i know with the president of iraq over in the munich security conference, he had deep concerns. we had iraqi translators that were not able to come back and forth into the united states which is another flaw. iraq is an alley. we have an embassy there. we also have isis there. that's part of the issue there. i know that's something that the administration is currently looking at. these seven countries didn't come out of thin air. they were on the visa waiver security bill that the obama
administration signed into law, came out of my committee. most of them were either failed states or state sponsors of terror. it's hard to screen and properly vet individuals coming out of these countries. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you, andrea. joining me now is leon panetta who served as secretary of defense in the obama administration. before that, he was a white house budget director for a former republican president. you've had everything possible to do with president. you're a perfect person to talk to after a speech like last night. >> nice to be with you. >> i want to ask you about the budget plan. $54 billion more for defense. no way to spay for it except for slashing domestic spending, taking it out of the epa, we're told. there's not enough money in
either of those budgets to pay for the 54. how are they possibly going to make this budget work? well, it's not going to work. they are in danger of repeating the mistakes that we've seen on the budget over the last number of years. the problem is that you cannot try to balance the budget or even reduce the debt on the discretionary side of the budget. it doesn't work. two-thirds of the budget is entitlements. you're never going to be able to deal with the budget unless you're willing to put everything on the table and develop a comprehensive budget approach. so to take the approach that you're going to suddenly ramp up defense spending by $54 billion and literally cut the programs out of the state department, cut it almost by 30 or 40% in terms of foreign aid and then cut programs out of epa, congress is
not going to accept that and you have something dead on arrival. so the real challenge is going to be whether or not the president is serious about dealing with the debt issue and whether or not he's willing to call both republicans and democrats together to develop a comprehensive budget approach. >> there's been this letter from 120 four-star generals and admirals saying that taking away from the state department is making us less safe and i know jim mattis and how he feels about this and the reality is the military commanders understand that a very important part of our ability to promote piece abroad is using our diplomatic capabilities and one
of those is foreign aid and our diplomatic outreach to countries and to emasculate that part of the state department's budget means that you're going to have to rely more on military force and that's not where we want to go. >> the president last night made a point of repeating what he has insisted on which is the phrase radical islamic terrorism. i'll play that for you. >> our obligation is to preserve, protect and defend the citizens of the united states. we are also taking strong measures to protect their nation from radical islamic terrorism, according to data provided by the department of justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. >> that fact has been challenged and we've been told that h.r.
mcmaster, the n national security adviser, general ma mcmaster, arguing with the speechwriter not to use that phrase and that he used it anyway and that he doesn't have rights to go to the president directly. >> there's are recipe for chaosn the white house. the reality is, if you have a national security adviser, that person should have direct access to the president of the united states. and be able to talk to the president directly about foreign policy issues and national security issues. and, you know, general mcmaster is a good man. he understands these issues. he's fought in wars. he understands what war is all about and he understands the kind of terms that can inspire
even greater radicalism. and so for that reason, i think he was really anxious not to have the president use that same term. so i think that is a disappointing indication that a national security team that actually has some pretty good people on that team may not be able to work effectively with the president. that would be wrong. >> our reporting is also that the state department, the secretary of state, the defense secretary have not been able to get their teams in place, their deputies, because the people they have proposed have been overruled by the white house and particularly general mattis wanted michelle florio and she said no. so they are basically still home alone. >> you know, i think if people who are in the national security
arena don't have some flexibility to be able to appoint the people that they think can work with them and that they can trust, i think that becomes very dangerous in terms of the ability to deal with national security issues. you need a good team. you need a good team at state, at the defense department, you need a good team at homeland security. you've got to be able to have the head of those departments be able to point not only to personal staff but have some influence as to who becomes their deputy. so i think the white house is asking for trouble by somehow providing some kind of political litmus test with regard to these deputies. you ought to select deputies based on whether they know the issues in that department and whether or not they get along with the person who heads that department. that's the only way you're going
to get an effective national security team operation. >> you headed the cia. you've also been in congress. was it appropriate for the chairs of both the house and the senate intelligence committees to do the bidding of the white house to try to get reporters to walk back stories about russia and the russia investigation while they are chairing those investigations? >> you know, i think one of the things that i've seen is that there are really some minor league mistakes made by the white house. probably because of the lack of experience among a lot of the staff members there. but the one thing you do not want to do is to convey the appearance that somehow the white house is trying to influence investigation particularly this investigation. they ought to be able to have
the autonomy to conduct the investigations. they should be able to look into the issues of the russian ties with the administration. and to influence how that investigation is going or to convey that there is nothing there i think has, in many ways, perhaps undermined the credibility of the ability of that investigation to proceed. so we'll have to see whether or not they're able to do this in a bipartisan fashion, look at the evidence and be able to come forward without trying to convey where this investigation is going. the american people deserve independent bipartisan investigation into this issue and the white house ought to be smart enough to let them do their job. >> and if not, should there be an independent prosecutor? >> well, i think, again, by
trying to influence the chairman and by trying to get him to speak out before they've even completed their investigation, just raises questions about the credibility of those investigations. you know, i know the individuals involved, particularly on the senate side. i think they'll do a good job. but they, too, have to be wary of not looking like somehow they can be influenced about thousand investigation is going. if this should continue, then i don't think there's any question but that you need an independent prosecutor to look at the issue. >> leon panetta, thank you so much. great to have you here. >> thank you, andrea. coming up, historical perspective. how will the president's first address to congress stack up to other speeches? doris joins me next.
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government will produce want and ruin among our people. lincoln was right. and it's time we heeded his advice and his words. another republican president, dwight d. eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program, the building of the interstate highway system. the time has come for a new program of national rebuilding. >> president trump invoking abraham lincoln and dwight eisenhower. joining me is doris kearns good win. how did you view the speech last night? people say he was presidential, he wasn't talking about carnage, he wasn't tweeting that there were no big ad libs. is that what it takes to be presidential at a joint session of congress? >> well, i think there's two tests for a new president in one of these early joint session
speeches. the first is to leave an impression on the american people and on the congress and, to that extent, the impression of chaos and the last difficult months that he's had and weeks that he's had, there was a more measured tone. the words seemed to matter to him. the second test is whether these words get translated into actions. that's the real standard of judging one of these speeches and when you think about lbj going to his first joint session after john f. kennedy's assassination and makes this pledge, no memorial will matter more to jfk and the bill passes that huge segregation bill. it will depend on the priorities and what happens to the things he talked about. for the first impression, he went further than many would have thought. >> and saying to republican icons, abraham lincoln and dwight eisenhower and not talking about other republicans
because he really isn't a republican. >> you know, what's so interesting about the tariff protection, which was a minor moment in the lecture that he was going to give on tariff, he could have cited lincoln who was a huge infrastructure guy. when lincoln first ran for office at the age of 23, the main promise that he made to his constituents, it was called improved infrastructure then so that poor farmers can get their products to market, so that cities can rise. it would have been perfect for him to use lincoln in that way and then eisenhower on top of that with the interstate highway system. instead, this minor thing about tariffs came floating in. >> when he was looking for some iconic voice, his trade policy which is a bit of a muddle, too, because he says he's for free
trade and then talks about laying these tariffs down and also not doing what some had called for, to call china a currency manipulator. >> its wa really interesting. the people who voted for him and who really cared about that election, that's why the infrastructure is so important to them because that means jobs, it means bringing jobs back to america. it's needed things that have to be done. and that was the question for me. he did mention it a couple times but if you're going to get congress to work on that when they seem to be saying, no, let's do tax reform first, then maybe we'll get infrastructure in 2018, that's where a president has to use the muscle and use priorities and this was like a state of the uon message. a lot of things were mentioned but where the priorities are going to be drawn is the real thing in question in these coming weeks. >> doris kearns goodwin, it seems as though the pace is more rapid than any of us could have
imagined. >> i can't keep up with it, i'll tell you that. >> it's the age of social media. the presidency by twitter. but interestingly, for the most part he has been off twitter. i think there was a thank you tweet. we don't know what this really is. >> i think that's really important. if he's going to be able to let this message lie, he has to only tweet when he's happy, not angry. there should be a fake twitter account only when he's angry. lincoln wrote hot letters and let himself cool down. we need the experiment of a fake or hot twitter account and a cool one. >> that's a great lesson from abraham lincoln for all of us. thank you so much, doris kearns goodwin. and russia was not mentioned in the speech last night but russia is not going away anytime soon. president trump's colleagueses, his team, his campaign or others
had contact with the kremlin during the campaign and may even have been involved in the conspiracy so hack. joining me now is senator mark warner. thank you, senator. first of all, i was talking to leon panetta. >> i heard that earlier segment and love the idea of a fake, hot twitter account, maybe if all of us in congress use this, we could get a little more done. great idea. >> i want to ask you about something that leon panetta said that if there continue to be statements from chairman nunes and chairman burr in response to white house pressure to help spin the coverage, frankly, of the russia issue, that it would undermine their credibility and
would mean you'd have to go for an independent prosecutor. are you still comfortable that these committees can do it and do a credible job? >> when i heard that news on friday night, i expressed my grave concern. i think the intelligence agencies, we've got staff out there looking at the raw intelligence and we've got a working relationship and if at some point we have so much political interference that we don't get the facts, of course we have to go to a different venue. the challenge sometimes of an independent commission or a special committee, that might take months to get up and rolling and i frankly think the sooner we can get to the bottom of this, the better. one of the things that bothers me about the administration is that they say none of this happened, well, let us go ahead and finish our investigation and then we can remove this cloud over the administration that hangs so heavy at this point.
>> well, as someone famously said, of course, deep throat in watergate, follow the money. and david remnick and his colleagues at the new yorker are trying to follow the money and some of that money, if we had the tax returns, we would be sure that none of it involved purchases from or bank accounts from anyone who might have had some dealings with the president of the united states. >> well, again, i agree. and i think finding out whether there were investments made in trump organizations has to be part of what we're looking at. that would take a majority vote of the committee and one of the things that i've been glad to see is that we've seen very strong statements from people like susan collins and marco rubio. so they, too, believe this has got to be bipartisan and follow the intelligence. and we've got to use all of the tools at our disposal.
>> there is a lot of reporting that, in fact, the fbi had planned on paying the author, the former agent, the british agent who is working on that so-called dossier and then those plans fell through. what do we know now about that connection? >> well, that again is one of the unanswered questions and the fbi will be working with it as we go through this investigation, for me personally it raised a lot of questions because a lot of folks had dismissed the dossier and there were folks that thought it had validity. >> are you persuaded that the fbi is not being pressured unfairly? because there was communication between comey, his deputy and
reince priebus at the white house. but can we -- >> i was glad to see that the fbi did not take the bait, did not make these calls. because at the end of the day, the way our laws work, if you have, for example, an intelligence agencies monitoring two foreigners, once you start involving an american in that conversation, it has to be turned over in terms of counter espionage to the fbi. at the end of the day, the fbi will be where a lot of this gets resolved and i have confidence in jim comey. he's got to show that independence. there's a lot of folks on my side of the aisle that would question that but i believe the fbi is committed to getting this right as well. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. much more ahead. we'll be right back.
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one county in ohio voted for president obama in 2008 and 2012 but voted for donald trump in 2016. kevin tibbles is there. how did this group react? >> reporte >> reporter: last night i met at the oprah house and today i'm gathering for lunch but we were at the century-old opera house where people who voted for president trump said there was a different tone than on inauguration day. >> how did you feel about that? >> i liked it. i thought it was very hopeful. >> different than what you
expected? >> i think it's different from what he has been known for more recently. but i'm glad to see it. >> the inauguration speech had more of an edge but this was a more unifying speech than the inauguration speech. it hit home to me. >> i thought it was a good speech. i was impressed. i thought it was well-written, well delivered. disappointed to see that we're still divided and i think folks that are elected folks need to give him a chance. >> what i need to point out here is that these people are not necessarily huge republicans but they voted for change. they noticed that congress still
seems to be divided, andrea. many came away saying why don't these people start looking at sml town america and the way they sort of problems here. yes, they can have disagreements but at the end of the day they can come over here and have a cup of coffee and work it out. that's what they want to see happening in washington. i'm not so sure they saw all of that last night, andrea. >> and, in fact, it's not happening today because coming over for lunch to the white house is the republican leaders. none of the democrats. so you're better off at janelle's. stay there. have something on me. >> okay. we'll be right back. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function,
so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica.
parents aren't perfect but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again. joining me now for our daily fix, chris cillizza, fix blog founder. nancy pelosi, chuck schumer, nancy pelosi told us that they are expecting the trump supporters will begin to waiver when they see no action on key commitments. she said it's kind of like your friend is going out with a jerk and you can't tell her because she doesn't want to hear it and you have to wait until she figures it out herself. >> i think for both parties, andrea, like a game of chicken, sort of how much can he do, how much is he willing to do and then how much will congressional republicans go along with him,
how much will the joe manchins and heidi heitkamps and those up in trump states in 2018, how much will they play ball, if at all. >> as you're talking, we're seeing a very brief photo op with the republicans sitting with the president at lunch. >> the process begins as of now and we think we're going to have tremendous success. thank you very much. appreciate it. thank you. >> and thank you very much. and that was it. and then they go to color bars. i mean, that's all that we got from the president. chris, it's going to be an internal republican conversation at first. >> that's exactly right i think they have to figure out whether they can talk about obamacare which is going to go first and then democrats will wait and see. you're not going to see joe manchin and those folks have a proposal that is serious in that
they need to take seriously. >> we're going to have to leave it there. we'll be right back. s 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. find out how american express [kids cheering]ces [kids screaming] call the clown! parents aren't perfect but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again.
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