tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 29, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
before we toss it to "morning joe," we'll bring you a check on the reese in the day ahead. >> the nation's drug and oip oid epidemic. >> two former aides for new jersey governor chris christie will be sentenced for their role in the bridge-gate scandal, convicted for shutting down toll lanes at the george washington bridge in 2013. >> i'm alex witt, alongside ayman mohyeldin and louis burgdorf. "morning joe" starts right now. i know we're all going to make a deal on health care. that's such as easy one. i think it's going to happen quickly because we've all been promising, democrat, republican, we've all been promising that to the american people. i think a lot of good things are going to happen there. >> it's back, health care reform. >> he said health care is going to be easy again. >> it was left for dead after
friday's crushing defeat. but a new report says that steve bannon is leading the way to resuscitate the bill. >> that will work. >> this morning senator bernie sanders is going to be our guesting. my daughter is so excited. she waited in line for three hours at johns hopkins to see him speak. he'll be on at 8:30. welcome to "morning joe." it's march 29. with us veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle, former campaign director for ted cruz's campaign, rick tyler, msnbc anchor and political correspondent steve kornacki is with us. "new york times" reporter jeremy peters and senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc mark halperin. >> the trump administration and the whole sort of trump era is shining a light on people.
you look at everybody a little differently to see how do they respond. the one that is shining the brightest light on and i think has certainly changed the opinion, mitch mcconnell. i love yesterday trump and bannon came out, we're going to do this, do this. mitch mcconnell was like, no, no, you ain't. mitch mcconnell is showing why he is the -- he is the grownup in washington, d.c. he said, we've got bake, let's see how this goes. >> you know this better than anyone here at the table and i know a bit of it from talking to a few people. you talk to more people. they are so insulted by the level of incompetence that they're dealt every day from the white house staff, that they're living in a state of shock. >> the thing is, you have these people blow into town and i
guess the best comparison is when jimmy carter's squad pulled into town and they treated tip o'neill like he was some backwater dupe from south boston. tip o'neill taught them very quickly. i was interviewing mitch mcconnell about a month or so ago. it's like the scene out of absence of malice where wilford brimley says to paul newman, you're smart, mr. whoever, i'm pretty smart, too. mitch mcconnell said, they think they're the only smart guys in washington. wea we've got some mart guys here. the smart guys, rick tyler, are making them look dumb every day. >> the city has its own rhythm, own pattern, own inertia. the new people don't tend to change it. the question is, trump was brought in not to assimilate into the town, but the changes --
>> you have to be competent. reagan changed washington. reagan brought in james baker. reagan brought in -- reagan brought in professionals that actually knew how to help reagan do it. he's brought in a website operator who had never been in politi politics, as john said in his tweet, until august of '16. if you were running a website until august of '16 and go to capitol hill and say ye shall bow before me? >> you can't move the city. it's impossible. >> from your reporting in "the new york times," the new talks which quietly began this week involved stephen bannon, the president's chief strategist and members of two republican factions that helped sink the bill last week, the hard right freedom caucus and the more
centrist tuesday group. vice president mike pence went to the hill for lunchtime talks yesterday and there was a closed door meeting of house republicans to air out what happened and what might be next. >> today we broke down many of those dividing lines within our conference. there's too much at stake to get bogged down in all of that. >> after this morning, the resolve of our conference to repeal obamacare and replace it has never been stronger. i think we're closer today to repealing obamacare than we've ever been before and certainly closer than we were friday. >> oh, my goodness, i think where we are on obamacare regretfully at the moment is where the democrats wanted us to be, which is with the status quo. >> whose fault is that? >> well, it's pretty obvious we were not able in the house to pass a replacement. our democratic friends ought to be pretty happy about that because we have the existing law in place, and i think we're just
going to have to see how that works out. we believe it will not work out well, but we'll see. >> rick and i were both laughing at the same time. >> the best strategy. >> he doesn't say it like trump, it's going to fail. it's going to die! he's just like a southern judge going, well, tell you what, so you want to do that? tell you what. we'll just see how that works out. >> by the way, the freedom caucus, wpa did some polling, the freedom caucus did its constituents' will. they did exactly what their voters in their districts said to do. >> this is joe's reaction to all of that. he tweeted this. >> a scene from "dumb and dumber." >> jeremy peters, help us out
here. narrate. >> listening to steve scalise he thinks the will has never been stronger. the will may be there, the statement they're closer than they've ever been is just false. look at all you have going on on capitol hill right now. you have a tax bill that the president wants to do, an infrastructure bill he'd like to see. you have all these intelligence committee investigations going on. you have the confirmation of a supreme court justice. oh, yeah, and then the government runs out of funding next month and they have to figure out how to solve that. >> jeremy, are they just going to repeal it for the 58th time and have the senate say, no, no, we're actually not going to move on it? >> i don't think so. i think whatever they do, they want there to be some reasonable logical course of action in the senate, some kind of path. right now that doesn't exist. >> especially, steve kornacki,
because mitch mcconnell said -- when he was told yesterday, he said oh, my goodness, which in the south is the same as saying bless their heart. >> what he couldn't say and what no republican in washington can say out loud is how relieved they were that this seemed to end last friday, this was not going to make it through the house, not going to go through the senate, not going to have the conference committee, not going to have the next three or four months dominated by this issue. when you look at polling, this was unpopular even with republican voters. >> 17%. >> 17%. that's why on the right side of the republican conference, you could oppose this and be popular, on the left side, the moderates, folks from pennsylvania and new jersey they could be opposed for different sets of reasons. the silver lining for republicans last friday was this thing would be off the table. the appetite to revive anything like this now to open up a three-month fight would be
non-existent. >> this is idiotic for them to be talking about this because, mark halperin, they're pointing back to their failures of last week and the week before, and the broken promises. mitch mcconnell has got it right. democrats have what they want. they have the status quo. let's just see how that works out. why is steve bannon -- is he trying to help his falling standing inside the white house. i know he's in this battle to the death with other members and he's trashing everybody else inside of there to other reporters. is this steve bannon trying to save his hide inside the white house? >> i think you're right and senator mcconnell is right about the overriding dynamic. i think there are three factors propelling them to try and try again and not just walk awayment on a matter of policy, republicans are united, they don't like status quo, don't
like to be saddled to the downside. two, they really weren't that far apart for a deal that could win a majority in the house, not necessarily in the senate, but they were not that far away from trying to get to the next step. finally, you know, if they don't get health care out of the way, it complicates everything, as speaker ryan says. it makes tax reform harder, makes it harder for them to move on with the agenda. it's not so clean to say we're done when one-sixth of their economy is going down the tubes. >> you say thar were close to it. the more they gave to the freedom caucus, the more they would lose from mainstream republicans. there was no way that was going to work. you take away the essential health benefits that were taken off the table by the freedom caucus, that lost all the moderates, most of the people in the middle. they wanted to go further right. there is no way mitch mcconnell's senate would ever pass that in a billion years. >> i agree there's nothing today
that would pass both bodies. but the only way to get this done is get past the first step. while you're right, there didn't seem to be a way to compromise, the policy and political implications of the failure, did influence, is there a way to compromise and everybody gives something else just to get the bill to the senate. i agree with you, the overriding dynamics are the same and a lot of house members don't want to vote for a bill that's going to go to the senate and fail. >> let's be clear, mika, there is no way for them to reach majority in the house. >> maybe they can find out the hard way again. >> there's no way they can reach a majority in the house by just talking to the republican caucus. you want to reach the majority, you have to say good-bye to the freedom caucus and pick up 30 to 40 democrats. i'm not saying that's good. i'm not saying that's bad.
i'm saying that's the political reality. you're not going to pass republicans and get it through the senate. >> look at the states rushing to expand medicaid because of the expansion and it's going to make it even harder. if these pathos things, even more people that will potentially lose insurance. >> one of the innings i was looking at, yesterday i was questioning sean spicer's credibility. i think it's at risk, in jeopardy or shot. if you think about it and go through a timeline, now you might want to add questioning his stability. in yesterday's press brief, did you see him yesterday? he kind of snapped. i think things are getting in his head which is really early for that to be happening. then again, think about it. it happened when kpchbt april ryan questioned him over the administration's image. i didn't really see her shaking
her head. did anyone see her shaking her head? what does it look like? like this, right? >> she was looking down at her paper. >> there's two shots going on. i never saw any head shaking. i don't know what's going on. take a look. >> 2 1/2 months in, you've got other things going on, you've got russia, you have wiretapping. >> no, we don't have that. >> on capitol hill. >> i get it. i've said it from the day that i got here until whatever that there is no connection. you've got russia. if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a russian connection. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i appreciate your agenda here. hold on. at some point report the facts. the facts are that every single person who has been briefed on that subject has come away with the same conclusion, republican, democrat. i'm sorry that that disgusts
you. you're shaking your head. understand this. at some point the facts are what they are. hold on -- april, hold on. it seems like you're hellbent on trying to make sure whatever image you want to tell about this white house stays. because at the end of the day. >> i am reporting -- >> you're asking me a question and i'm going to answer it. i'm sorry. please stop shaking your head again. >> what is wrong with him? >> is he kidding me? >> mike barnicle, she wasn't shaking her head, first of all. secondly, how condescending can anybody be? third, this is not a first grade class. that was just simply beyond the pale. >> someone is in way over his he head. >> yes. there's a part of me that has great sympathy for him because
he's got an audience of one that he's dealing with, the president of the united states. the other thing is, he clearly does not have the temperament to be press secretary. josh earnest was in here the other day, he had the temporary. >> mike mccurry was there when hell was raining down from above and stayed calm. tony snow was there during a really tough time for bush. we remember tony snow. the thing is, you just don't have to be abusive, and in that situation, steve kornacki, i never heard anybody be as condescending from that position and abusive, accusing somebody of doing something they weren't even doing. >> i'm kind of where mike is on it, too. i'm trying to imagine the sort of political professional, the communication specialist who could step into this role and meet the demand being placed on him or her by donald trump, by the boss, by the guy who is
behind the scenes every day when these press conferences are going out and a reporter like april ryan speaks up, and it's in your mind that donald trump is judging you on how tough you are, how forceful you are, those sorts of things. i'm not saying he did himself, i'm not saying he did the white house any favors in that situation yesterday. >> no, he didn't. >> it's like you're sitting at a casino losing on the slot machine and you're getting mad at the machine and it's the guy who programmed the machine. >> the guy has no ability, none at all, none, to say president trump this is the wrong thing to do. he can't do it. he doesn't have the ability. >> mika, mika -- >> he gets out there and loses his you know what because he's tied up in his head because he has an inability to speak his mind. >> sean spicer should tell donald trump i'm not doing your bidding anymore if it means
being abusive. but nobody around donald trump is telling him the truth. >> i know. >> nobody. >> it would be nice if somebody tried. >> we'll go back to the first day, and i won't reveal my sources, but the first day somebody tweeted pictures of the crowd sizes before spicer's press conference. i picked up the phone and called somebody very high up at the white house and i said, i just want you to know -- >> this is the dumbest thing. >> -- this is the stupidest thing i've ever seen in my life. if on the first night in the oval office you talk about crowd sizes, we're going to strip the bark after your tree, we're going to kill you. >> that is unmatched. should have said no. >> let me finish. >> thank you. >> the story will be a lot shorter. >> stop shaking your head, joe. >> if you'll just let me finish, the stories will be a lot shorter. >> continue.
>> thank you. and so they said after it was over, you just couldn't help yourself, you all look like total idiots. i added a word in there. >> frauds. >> he said -- this person said, you should have seen how bad it was going to be. and after sean finished his press conference that you're screaming at us about, he then went into the oval office and the president screamed at him for being too weak and then screamed at him for wearing a light suit. that's when you say, mike, this job is just not for me. >> joe, what you raise and what steve just mentioned is who can go into the president of the united states, who can walk into the oval and say, president trump -- >> nobody. >> even if you had a jim baker walking into the office, you have to have someone who is
receptive to hearing that kind of counsel, and i don't think it appears that the president of the united states isn't receptive. >> chicken or egg. somebody has to give that kind of counsel. he's not receptive, great, leave. sean spicer leaving on day two would have said a lot and done a lot for this presidency. it would have been better than him staying there hanging on like a complete shill lying. mark halperin, the question i've been asking the past two days with a smile on my face, and i just want a yes or no. is sean spicer credible? >> not within the briefing room with people that cover him every dwa. some people use the white house podium to get through the day, not make news. he's become such a voice and such a face of the administration, they're not winning most news cycles. in part it's because that briefing daily is setting them back rathe than getting them going forward. >> there's no reason why he had to do that with april ryan.
april asked a question, answer the question and move on to the next person. >> temperament. >> he takes a lot of simple questions and turns them into big fights. he takes a lot of abuse day in and day out. guess what? read marlon fits water said, that's the press's job, whether it's george h.w. bush -- what about carney. carney was a loved guy at "time" magazine. we loved him, we chatted on the show. he got behind that podium. it didn't take long for him to be a total jerk. every day -- it is a tough, tough job. >> it might be time to rethink the job itself. you have the virtual cream of the crop of network broadcasters, print people sitting in the white house press room, you get no news out of there. why not send in some younger people, interns to just record
what the press secretary says. you're not going to get any big stories in that white house press room. >> if you look at what the job is, he's not serving the president or the people. not doing the job. >> still ahead on "morning joe," senator bernie sanders joins us live. plus -- >> hopefully it will start being bipartisan because everybody really wants the same thing. we want greatness for this country that we love. so i think we're going to have some very good rips. right, chuck? i see chuck. hem low, chuck. and i really think that will happen. >> donald trump once said on our show he would get things done with chuck schumer. according to some reports they haven't talk since he took office. was there a thaw in the icy relationship last night at the white house? first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> you guys want to see the sun today? why not, right?
some sunshine for about two days in the northeast while the middle of the country will suffer from the severe storms and heavy rain. let's get into the dangerous stuff from yesterday. 14 tornadoes reported but they happened where we want them to, out in rural sections of western texas and oklahoma. no reports of any injuries and no fatalities. last night the storms rolled through dallas overnight in the middle of the night. 100,000 people without power. the storms weakened. this is a three-day outbreak, 20 million people at risk in arkansas, northern louisiana and east tax tax, and even portions of southern missouri, too. a few tornadoes. tomorrow will be even worse. we have 29 million people at risk including paducah, national, memphis and tupelo. this is an area of the country, could see the possibility of not just tornadoes, but a few strong tornadoes. a little piece of good news out there. d.c., 65, sunny and gorgeous. atlanta is fantastic. in new york, sneaking up to about 58 degrees which will feel
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[ doorbell rings ] par-tay! xfinity watchathon week starts april 3. get unlimited access to all of netflix and more, free with xfinity on demand. i think i'll be able to get along with chuck schumer. i was close to schumer in many ways. it's important that you get along. >> hopefully it will start being bipartisan because everybody really wants the same thing, we want greatness for this country that we love. so i think we're going to have some very good rips, right, chuck? i see chuck. hello, chuck. and i really think that will happen. >> all right. donald trump giving a nod to democratic leader chuck schumer speaking to a group of democratic and republican senators at the white house last night. last week the president fumed at
schumer after the health care bill was pulled before a house vote calling him and nancy pelosi losers, saying they now own obamacare. the two have reportedly not spoken in over two months. schumer recently said trump's tack to the right was the cause of the two being unable to work together. he told politico, quote, he moved. he, not me. he moved so far over to the right that it's virtually impossible to work with him. in turn, trul recently labeled schumer an obstructionist. >> chuck, i'm very disappointed. he's a guy that should make deals for the people, democrat or republican. i thought he would be a dealmaker. instead he's just an obstructionist. i'm disappointed in him. >> hey, mark, you think there's a possibility that last week's failure on overturning obamacare does move donald trump more to the center, move him more towards an understanding that he's going to have some get some
democrats voting with him? >> i think there's a realization among some people around the president that might be a better route. look at it from the democrat's point of view, they've been insulted. the president is weak and not strong in his of his approval rating because of what happened on health care. the base is not going to allow chuck schumer or nancy pelosi an easy path. doing health care first put him in a bad place. i can't imagine outside an intervening event chuck schumer would be able to do it because of the democratic base right now. >> steve, you agree? >> yeah. i think trump has made schumer's job easy. if you think back to the weeks after the election, chuck schumer was making conciliatory news about i could work with trump on infrastructure. schumer was mindful he was going to have two democratic senators.
cries of betrayal, cries of treason, that sort of thing. chuck shuker was going to be a bind, he was going to have to choose between that base and a president extending an olive branch that could squeeze him on the other side. because of the direction donald trump as chosen, chuck schumer has been able to feel the democratic base happy without having to come to the middle. >> donald trump is weak, donald trump is not on the ballot in 2018, but claire is in missouri, of course, joe manchin is in west virginia. there are a lot of democrats that would actually be helped by dealing with this administration. this gorsuch thing, i tell you what, i will keep saying it and democrats will keep saying i'm totally wrong. merrick garland is not going to matter in democrain democrat ek
in 2018. if you're in west virginia or missouri or some of these other red states that are voting where the democratic can come looking extreme and making nancy pelosi's base happy does not help in west virginia or north dakota or missouri. >> on the gorsuch nomination, joe, there's a lot of frustration privately among democratic senators who will tell you, it's incredibly shortsighted of the democrats to block this or to try to block this -- they can't block it, of course, and lose their ability to filibuster whoever trump nominates for the next open court seat. you don't know what the political dynamics are going to look like. you don't know how weak orr strong trump might be then. if you take away the filibuster and waste it on this fight, you basically give trump carte blanche to nominate whomever he
wants to the supreme court the next time around, and that one is going to be possibly for the kennedy seat. that determines the makeup of the seat. it seems like a wasted bullet i think. at least this is what i'm hearing from some democrats. >> not as extreme as republicans shutting down the government, but it was that sort of thing where you can see it coming where you say no, don't, stop, wait, think through this. rick, you've got the democrats doing this against gorsuch, and that's not what most of the people want in missouri or west virginia or north dakota or a lot of these states. i know the democrats are angry because of garland. they have a reason to be angry because of garland, the base does. i totally understand that. this isn't about feeling good about yourself, as i told the tea partiers when they were shutting down the government. this is about winning, and this is a very shortsighted approach
on how difficult dudi coming before the senate. they aren't going to be able to put horns on this guy. >> i think steve is right. the democrats are being driven by their base. but someone in the party has to explain what jeremy explained, is that if they lose the filibuster on gorsuch who is replacing a conservative judge with essentially a conservative judge, they're going to lose that ability when it comes to replacing a local judge. someone needs to explain to their base, because i know it's important to their base, that the supreme court doesn't get anymore conservative. they're making it easier for them to. >> mika, they say it's its own seat. great. what are you going to do about it? are you going to act like republicans did in '13 orr try to win? >> well, senator bernie sanders joins us ahead. maybe we can ask him about this.
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i want to take a moment to talk about something deeply personal. my best friend tia garner passed away after a long excruciating battle with pancreatic cancer. tia, along with o friend laura and i, were kind of a goofy trio. we went through the trials and tribulations of growing up together in virginia. she met the only man she would ever love, richard garner at uva and embarked on an incredible career in investment banking. then came her pregnancy with twins and the challenging arrival of william and emily. tia and i thought it would be great if our daughters had the same name, same spelling, everything. we have two emilys, mine and hers. when tia was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago, she set out to try and beat it. she traveled the country looking for the best doctors, the latest medicines. she tried everything. and we, our "morning joe"
family, we've brought william and emily into our family and traveled from orlando to new york city to charlotte, even went to the democratic and republican conventions in philadelphia and cleveland. we would bring them everywhere. we even got the kids in front of joe biden to get words of wisdom about living with cancer. tia fought for every last second that she could get with her two adorable kids. she was absolutely heartbroken about leaving richard and stubborn about it. he was very possess sive to the bittersweet end. three weeks ago she looked at me and said she just could not believe it. i've never seen such a gritty, desperate, gut-wrenching fight to the end in all my life. i know there's not a lot our federal government can't do. we often turn to washington to fix problems that we can solve ourselves. the death of my best friend, the daily suffering of joe's mother,
the battle of millions of americans every day underlines the need for medical breakthroughs that can only be funded adequately through private donations and the national institutes of health. tia had doctors far and wide constantly looking for the answer when it comes to her pancreatic cancer. she lived longer than most could have, but she could have used a lot more time. and even on her death bed she told me she's simply not ready to go. tia was 50, and this sunday william and emily turn 15 without their mother. ♪
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1980. >> that's pretty low. with us is the man you just saw testifying there before the house foreign affairs committee, former u.s. ambassador and state department spokesman nicholas burns, a professor of diplomacy and international relations at the harvard kennedy school of government. here onset, nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols. >> mr. ambassador, i love a line out of here, because i'm sitting here thinking out of the past 14, 15 years, with very a budget that focuses on the hard power at the expense of soft power. hard power may win wars, soft power avoids future wars. you say, quote, as president kennedy said more than half a century ago, diplomacy and defense are not subs tutsd for one another. either alone would fail. as we talk about wars, i think the only thing you can call what the trump administration is doing to the state department is engaging in a political war. what's going on?
>> this is a 31% redmuks the state department and aid budget. that would decimate the state department. the state department is filled with people. we don't have weapons systems or military installations to close. it is an assault on diplomacy, but i was very encouraged. i was testifying before house foreign affairs, a big committee as you know. every single member, republican and democrat with the exception of congressman rohrabacher opposed president trump and said it was shortsighted, that we have to have a strong state department and aid given all the problems we face in the world. that was encouraging to see that bipartisanship yesterday. >> do you think there's just a general misunderstanding of the trump administration, a general misunderstanding by donald trump about the importance of diplomacy, the importance of spreading the u.s. message throughout the world without missiles and tanks? you think a guy that claimed he
opposed the iraq war and opposed all the wars of the past 15 years would take the complete opposite tact. >> as you listen to what he said since january 20th, it's all about the military. i support the military as you do. but there's no talk about the state department. he doesn't talk about diplomacy. in fact, he's been alienating a lot of our best friends. look at the merkel visit to washington a couple weeks ago. he doesn't seem to have a really deep appreciation of what diplomacy does and how it can head off conflicts. >> hans, speaking of conflicts right now, obviously, a lot of going after isis, proving to be a lot tougher, a lot uglier than donald trump thought. he said this was going to be fast and furious. >> it's furious. that part is true. but it's hard going in west mosul. you see that there. raqqa is going to be more difficult because of the coalition. you have so many different factions fighting on who is going to take the city of raqqa.
a word we're going to have to get familiar with. >> you have isis among the civilians. they've used the civilians as human shields. >> raqqa is their birthplace. they have support there among the locals. we'll hear a lot from someone who lives in raqqa. let's be clear. we have over 100 civilian deaths. lieutenant general townsend said there's a fair chance the u.s. did it. we can talk about the tactics of this and how it happened, was there booby traps, they're saying the munition they dropped could not have collapsed that building. the broader problem here is the diplomatic one. that is what happens when isis is cleared out. that's why secretary tillerson as well as secretary mattis have a huge challenge. they have breakfast about once a week. secretary mattis is in new york. you know who he's meeting with? henry kissinger. there's a lot of diplomacy that takes place at the defense department as well. we see heads of state, diplomats
coming in. here is my quiz, breakfast once a year. which washington hotel do they have breakfast at? >> the jefferson. >> you guys know washington? >> hay-adams. >> come on, guys. >> mayflower. >> trick question. why would they have breakfast at a hotel? they have -- >> you're taking away too much of our time. >> they have breakfast in the state department because they need a secure room. it's important that mattis goes to tillerson. >> i hope that was worth it. >> nobody said trump international. >> i'm being criticized for windups that go nowhere? that's interesting, joe. i have a pot over here. it's black. >> let's go to mark halperin right now. do you have a question or a quiz? >> i'll go with question. ambassador burns, i'm wondering what you think so far are the current hot spots the administration -- they're trying
to lay groundwork for positive things. in terms of the inbox, what do you think the most urgent things for the two secretaries are to be dealing with now? >> i think the issue we just talked about, how with now. >> how do we defeat islamic state in mosul and raqqa. second, mark, russia have to continue to detain putin europe and the president's credibility in europe is not very high because he's been coddling putin. he refuses to criticize putin. a lot wonder if the u.s. will weaken sanctions against russia. third they have a meeting -- president trump has a meeting with xi jinping in mar-a-lago. yesterday's decision to gut u.s. commitment to climate change venture, that was jinping and president obama that put it together in 2013. chinese will be upset. weakens local contract. that was a big decision
effectively to take the u.s. out of the climate change agreement. >> i know you cover the pentagon but we had this conversation about the president maybe putting more emphasis on defense over state, more on military power. >> the budget is clear on that. >> what about the isn't of state, rex tillerson. you don't hear from him in public that much. he has not said much in public. do we know what's doing on with him behind the scenes. >> he's supportive of the cuts of the state department. he's not come out against him. we haven't interestingly heard from mattis. his public testimony before these cuts, every time you cut diplomats i have to buy more bullets. we suspect we know what mattis thinks. we haven't heard him defending the state department or criticizing the proposed cuts. we do know there's a budding alliance between tillerson and mattis. that's important for a lot of reasons. tillerson doesn't really know washington. his sherpa in washington is turning out to be secretary mattis. >> that's interesting. >> ambassador burns very quickly. what's the community saying
about rex tillerson? >> well, i think people are worried because they don't believe he should be supporting these budget cuts. they are not sustainable for state department. they will decimate our diplomacy. worried, joe, by secretary of state, not a single assistant secretary of state appointed. almost april 1, never had a situation in half a century where the state department has been like a ghost ship. no leadership on the leadership floors. >> okay. >> ambassador nicholas burns, thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> hans nichols and black pot. thank you very much. >> still warm. >> nbc's katy tur and julie page joins us with reporting. so much for presidential tradition, barack obama was the last -- stop. don't say it. why did they let him? >> before that it was george w. bush. >> whee. >> look at that. that's how you throw a baseball
there. there he goes. with a vest on. that's what i'm talking about. look at that. >> okay. okay. so why has president trump declined the honor? i know why. we'll talk about that. >> at the home plate. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ sfx: engine revving ♪ (silence) ♪ knows how it feels to seees your numbers go up, despite your best efforts. but what if you could turn things around? what if you could love your numbers? discover once-daily invokana®. it's the #1 prescribed
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sparking a new custom that 13 future presidents, including george w. bush and barack obama would partake in. donald trump will not be the 14th. >> why not? >> he doesn't want to look awkward in any way. president trump has declined the invitation to throw out the first pitch when nats host miami marlins. >> monday. >> on monday. really. reportedly citing a scheduling conflict. it's worth noting the president is also meeting with egyptian president al sisi at the white house that day. that is a conflict. >> that is a conflict. >> trump was critical of the nationals in 2012 when they shut down ace right-hander steven strasberg coincidentally scheduled to start on the mound. trump declined to fill out ncaa tournament bracket with espn has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch before in at least three major league baseball games in the past and with this being the
first opening day of trump's presidency he should have three more opportunities before the next election. >> he's done it before. >> he can play a little. >> can he throw the ball? >> he can play a little. >> why is this a story? he has a scheduling conflict. >> i think he might be worried, too, about the crowd reacti. that's the other issue. >> it's tough for everybody. >> 37% of the people will be cheering. >> unless there with his base. >> all right. coming up, senator clinton bernie sanders is going to be with us from capitol hill, amid talk republican health care may be coming back from the dead. nbc exclusive following poeb trail of paul manafort already under scrutiny for ties to russia. richard engel joins us with that reporting. it gets even more complicated ahead. we're back in 90 seconds. my business was built with passion...
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i think we're going to have some very good relationships. right, chuck? i see chuck. hello, chuck. >> okay, chuck. this is the way we're going to work. as long as we're sitting at the same desk, we might as well be a team. your hip is touching my hip, chuck. >> welcome back to "morning joe," it's wednesday march 29th. with us we have msnbc
contributor mike barnicle, msnbc anchor and political correspondent steve kornacki, nbc news correspondent katy tur. she's the author of forthcoming book "unbelievable my front row seat to the craziest campaign in history" due out this fall. on capitol hill senior analyst for nbc news and msnbc mark halperin. white house correspondent for "associated press" julie pace. good to have you all on board this morning. >> a lot of people here. mark halperin, let's go to you. what happened last night? trump talking to republican and democratic senators. that was surprising in and of itself. what are you hearing about any efforts for trump to reach out to the democratic side? >> you look at the agenda for donald trump post affordable care act, infrastructure, tax reform, regulatory relief. all three of those are things democrats in theory could be on board for. i did an interview with terry
mcauliffe in virginia. he said, sure, those are all things i might be interested in being supportive of. the problem is the dynamics in the democratic base. the problems, things like gorsuch fight, health care continue to push democrats away. the president and one party at the white house is not enough to change the fundamental dynamic. he can't seem to move things with republican votes. reshaping and trying to get a new coalition is going to be a really big challenge. >> mark, this is a unique story in a sense. have you a totally n nonideological president surrounded by rigid ideologues in the white house. is that not the biggest impediment to doing anything with the democrats? trump is so nonideological, he could sit down with chuck schumer and do infrastructure. he's about winning, not ideology. >> there are ideologues in the white house but there are some people who want to get things done and more centrist in presentation, treasury secretary
and gary cohn at the white house. they have democratic backgrounds, have policies on infrastructure, tax reform and regulatory relief where there might be common ground. the culture of washington is difficult to change in terms of the partisanship. the first 60 plus days most of what democrats did was force democrats toward their base. there's the possibility of making this happen, but it's going to be really, really tough. >> here is the president last night revisiting the health care topic. >> i know we're all going to make a deal on health care. that's such an easy one. i have no doubt it's going to happen quickly. i think it's going to happen. we've all been promising, democrat, republican, we've all been promising that to the american people. i think a lot of good things are going to happen there. >> today we broke down many of those dividing lines within our conference. there's too much at stake to get bogged down in all of that. >> after this morning the resolve of our conference to repeal obamacare and replace it
has never been stronger. >> i think we're close today to repealing obamacare than we've ever been before. >> my goodness, i think where we are on obamacare, regretfully at the moment, is where the democrats wanted us to be, which is with the status quo. >> whose fault is that? >> well, it's pretty obvious we were not able in the house to pass a replacement. our democratic friends ought to be pretty happy about that because we have the existing law in place. i think we're just going to have to see how that works out. we believe it will not work out well. but we'll see. >> so let me tell you what just happened there in terms of raising kids. you've got a father sitting in his la-z-boy and a mother and they are watching the evening news. there are kids in the other room and building forts and running
around and screaming and throwing things and fighting. then they finally figure out we're going to build this fort and stay here all night and we're not going to go to school. they are creating all this chaos and the father and mother get up and walk in the other room. that's what mitch mcconnell just did there. steve bannon, he can go over to capitol hill all he wants to. >> build his fort. >> that's really cute, steve. why don't you go back and try to run a website. antonin scalise. we're going to get closer together. mitch mcconnell is going no, no, you're not. it's not going to happen. mitch mcconnell, katy tur, showed why he's the smartest leader on capitol hill. >> mitch mcconnell is calculated. donald trump is not calculated during the same way. that's what we asked during the campaign. what's it going to be like if he gets to the white house, and he did and he needs for work with congress and realizes it's not so easy as saying this is how i want things done, which is what
he was able to do in his business. >> remember when he would threaten paul ryan on the campaign trail. >> he thought he could scare him into behaving because his voters would leave him and he wouldn't get re-elected. paul ryan did get elected. there's a contingent in the republican party that doesn't fear trump because they are safe for a few years or they are safe because they know their base. their base wants him to be -- >> i don't think he can handle reality. like when you try and tell him the truth, he unfollows you. he doesn't want to hear anything that doesn't fit into his little -- >> what's surprising, though, not just us, we've been saying, these are the rules in washington. you don't miss off the majority leader. you don't insult members of congress. they don't work for you. they work for 700,000 people in
their district. you're relevant to them. i mean, all these things you don't question judges. you don't do this. you don't attack the press. not because all those people are sensitive, because washington is a very complicated game to play. >> there also was an opportunity for him, a unique opportunity to exert his will a little bit to a degree to get washington to bend toward him specifically on the issue of infrastructure. there was this study that came out yesterday, nick coen who does numbers crushing, he looked at the voter file which takes a few months after the election to come up with. one out of five voters for obama in 2012, one out of every five switched to donald trump in 2016. i don't look back at that campaign and say they switched because they thought he was going to jump to obamacare
replacement plan, because he talked about tax reform. they switched -- infrastructure is one of those issues that jarred voters loyal to democratic party straight through obama and switch to donald trump. if trump had come out and embraced that early in his presidency, that could have shaken up politics. >> did see that early on with chuck schumer and other democratic leaders saying they were willing to work with him. he did have that unique opportunity. i was talking to a couple of sources of mine close to donald trump and i asked them why did he not start with infrastructure? why did he not start with an olive branch to the democratic party and be that person who could finally bridge that gap in washington and get things done, because he's not an ideologue, and ultimately they didn't have an answer for me. >> mark halperin, i'm not saying here he shouldn't be a disrupter. i'm saying if you're going to be a disrupter, you better have a
james baker sitting next to you. you better have leon panetta sitting next to you. they sold him a bill of goods. this is the bill of goods they sold him, i know they did, because they told me they sold him this bill of goods. presidents win from starting with their base, working out from the base. we've got to solidify the base. that was their obsession even in the transition. we have to show them we mean what we say. they went so hard right on so many issues and so many appointments that they forgot who trump voters were. they forgot about the one in five working class voters that voted for obama that switched to trump. this isn't a trump coalition. this is a freedom caucus coalition that he built among his cabinet agencies. >> i don't think there's any doubt based on the coalition that elected him and based on his own ideological or n nonideological sensibility trump use take a deal with pelosi he
got 65 to 35% of what he wanted. the problem of washington is paul ryan and mitch mccobble based on politics, what they think is right. i don't think they would accept 90/10 deal. that's the risk. he has to say to republican leaders we've got to make deals. you're not going to get everything you want for the conference. i don't think they are close to their on their politics. that's why you see very little talk trying to give up something to the democrats right now. >> another dynamic going on inside the white house is the ganging up on reince priebus. everybody blames reince, everybody says its reince's fault. >> in turkey they blame reince. >> julie pace, you're actually working on this. you did a piece in trump's white house drama, priebus is the target. you've got some real reporting
on this as well. >> it's funny. any time anything happens, reince becomes the target. he's an easy target because he's a bit of an odd fit for the white house. he was rnc chairman, put him at the top of the establishment movement trump basically toppled during the campaign. it's become sort of this joke almost. it's not as though he is without real critics and without real flaws but he does become a bit of a punching bag for anything that goes wrong in the white house every day. >> mike barnicle, "new york times" reporting on it this morning. >> yeah, julie. maggie haberman and glen thrush, extensive piece on mike pence, vice president, the following paragraph. mr. pence's team has questioned whether mr. priebus was up to the demands of his job. according to one west wing official close to the vice president who is not authorized to discuss, blah, blah, blah,
mr. trump made his own unhappiness known with mr. priebus former chairman of the republican national committee. all of these signals being sent up by various people in and around the administration. according to your reporting what's the over and under of reince priebus lasting until memorial day, seriously. >> memorial day might be a little bit early. look, in talking to people, priebus knows as well as anybody that chiefs of staff are operating on borrowed time. president obama's first chief of staff lasted about 18 months. bill clinton's chief of staff lasted a little over a year. this is not a job where longevity is a major characteristic, so he knows that. people within the white house know that. i've talked to people, though, who have said the president said the opposite. the president expressed confidence in priebus even after the health care vote. sometimes you get the sense that the president is telling people a little bit of what they want to hear based on that person's own opinion of priebus. i know that's a shocking
revelation there. but you know, you do have people who are aiming for reince's job, both inside the white house and certainly former campaign officials outside the white house. >> that is the understatement that there are people gunning. katy, gunning for reince's job. we've had leaks for two months constant. reince isn't up to this, up to that. now reince and bannon have this sort of -- apparently bannon is now defending reince because bannon is now alone in the white house. but every time you talk to trump, or every time you talk to somebody who talks to trump, he always expresses confidence in reince. >> i think the best strategy is to ignore all of that, frankly, because there's so many people with so many different agendas in the white house.
donald trump thrives on chaos and controversy, what we saw during the campaigns, what you saw in the trump organization. everybody is out with their own agenda and leaking things to the press in order to influence donald trump himself who is somebody who is wishy washy on things. reince priebus maybe he'll make it past memorial day, maybe he'll make it to the fall and farther. that's not to say that steve bannan is in a secure place either. >> no, he is not. >> he's not. >> by the way. >> people forget -- >> i'm so glad you said that. >> you hear it from trump how can you believe it? >> people are talking about the fact that steve bannon is increasingly isolated in the white house. and going around trashing other members of the white house for the first time. >> trump is loyal until he is not, and there is nobody safe. the only person that is safe there is jared kushner because he's married to ivanka. everyone else can go at any moment. >> there is that.
julie, were you in the press briefing yesterday? >> i was unfortunately not there for yesterday's show. i watched it, though. >> you know where she was? she was home shaking her head. >> was she? were you doing this? because i don't think april ryan was. here is what happened when sean spicer kind of -- kind of snapped on her. take a look. >> he lost it. >> two and a half months in you got the story today, other things going on, russia, wiretapping no, we don't have that. >> on capitol hill -- >> i get it. i've said it from the day that i got here until whatever that there is no connection. you've got russia. if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a russian connection, but every single person -- no, that's -- i appreciate your agenda here, but the reality is -- no, no, no. hold on. at some point report the facts. the facts are that every single person who has been briefed on
this subject has come away with the same conclusion. republican, democrat. so i'm sorry that disgusts you. you're shaking your head. i appreciate it. >> i'm trying to -- >> understand this, at some point the facts are what they are. hold on. april, hold on. it seems like you're hell bent to make sure whatever image you want to tell about this white house stays because at the end of the day. >> i am just -- >> you're asking me a question and i'm going to answer, which is the president -- i'm sorry. please stop shaking your head again. >> oh, my god. i can't get over it. julie. >> no words for that. that's unbelievable. >> look at her. >> julie, first of all, can you make sense of that, what happened there. is sean spicer credible at this point? >> don't mess with april ryan is my first piece of advice for press secretaries. a lot of press secretaries have learned that lesson over time.
look, april was asking a really legitimate question, there's an fbi investigation into whether trump campaign was coordinating with russians during the election. that's just a fact. james comey said that publicly on capitol hill. to dismiss out of hand reporters who are asking about that investigation or asking how the white house tries to move past that is a legitimate question. it's a little bit odd that sean would try to undermine just that very premise. in terms of sean's credibility, i think a lot of reporters would tell you sean is helpful behind the scenes. a lot of us have good relationships with him behind the scenes. i think any time you're in a white house, though, where the press briefing becomes the story, in part because things that are said from the podium turn out to later be not accurate or that the story has to keep changing from the podium, that's bad for the president. that is not a situation where white houses are operating on their a game when the podium
piece of it is the story. that's where they find themselves a lot of days. >> mark halperin, people do watch it because it's taken on its own sort of place, its own corner in american popular culture. didn't it rate like a soap opera. >> you don't know what's going to happen. >> it is theater what they say. it's not true. it's corrected the next day. you look at the nunes stuff where he said why in the world would he come over here to tell us something we already know. now we find out that's exactly what he did. >> that's unsustainable. >> we say it's unsustainable. how does spicer -- again, you've been doing this a very long time. how does spicer keep doing his job with any credibility when events like that happen every day. >> as julie said, you don't want the day to be driven by the briefing. at the same time we mentioned mike mccurry before, high marks
as press secretary. they used the briefing to try to drive the story of the day towards where the white house wants to be. too often that briefing drives the story away from where the white house wants it to be. at the same time there's no doubt one of the biggest dangers to the president, not that the press is skeptical because we'll always be skeptical of all presidents of all parties, not that democrats are hostile, it's the creeping sense among some republicans that the lack of credibility on some issues is going to affect their ability to get anything done on something like tax reform where you need popularity and credibility if you've got a chance to do something that big. >> slight shaking of the head when he accused her of having an agenda. >> she doesn't have an agenda, she's a reporter. julie was saying, this it's a completely valid question. how do you get past that perception. the white house and st. john spicer might not like there's a perception out there. they might not agree with it. >> how can there not be one. >> there's a perception that there's something weird going
on, at the very least there's fbi investigation into the campaign. let us remind everyone of all the republicans and donald trump himself who said repeatedly in the run up to the election about how you can't vote for hillary clinton because she's under an fbi investigation. now we learned that his campaign was under an fbi investigation as well. so it's going -- there's a cloud -- that's a fact. >> and the investigation, steve, has nothing to do with salad dressing. when he tries to be that flip or that glib, he just seriously undercuts his credibility even more. >> it seems like the position that he's going to be spitting out every time this is raised, and it's not going to be going away by any measure any time soon, absolutely nothing -- just stick to that line. i think every time he does that, it's just going to invite ten more questions from the audience and that's going to upset him and the whole thing is repeating himself. >> he's playing to an audience of one. >> that's the problem. >> that's the question mark halperin we have to end on.
is this about sean spicer or is this about donald trump? sblg about the client who is donald trump or is this about the pr rep who is doing exactly what he is ordered to do down to wearing dark suits. >> you don't just go back to when the health care bill, the vote was pulled and the president made two calls to two news organizations he regularly dispara disparages. he's never going to let anyone run his pr particularly when times are tough. if there's an attempt to shift direction to come back, it's not going to be driven by anyone on the staff, it's going to be driven by the president. >> we've all known sean, known sean for a long time, worked with him at the rnc. i liked sean a lot personally. i've always liked him a lot personally, he's been a straight shooter to me. >> sweet guy. >> like the guy. talked to him election morning. >> i remember that. >> spent a lot of time and like sean always. he's always been kind, always
been giving. this is not the sean spicer that we've known over the past 10 years or so. >> this white house. >> not even close. >> this white house has gotten in a couple months where most white houses get six months, nine months in. they feel under siege. they feel like they only get negative coverage, harassed, don't get credit for anything they do. that always starts with any administration with the president who demands to know why am i not seeing more people on tv effectively defending me. >> let's be fair, mark halperin, what have they done? if they don't get credit for anything they do, what have they done? what's the story. >> they want more credit for the gorsuch nomination. >> don't step on the news. >> exactly. donald trump has always stepped on good headlines. >> anything else, mark? any accomplishment that we're missing? please. >> it's early. >> i'm serious. >> they like their executive orders on regulation.
that's another one they tout. but the bunker mentality they have, which they carried with them from the campaign is the fact of life over there. again, it's driven first and foremost by the president who wants to know why am i being constantly attacked, why aren't people dvdring me. it's very hard if you're sean spicer or anyone else to break that dynamic. mr. president, better to be sunny and optimistic and fight through this rather than wallow in it but that's the dynamic. >> it's very simple. if you attack the intel agencies, they are going to attack you back, and they are going to win as we have said every day here for six months. >> they are going to bring you down. >> if you call the press the enemy of the people, the press is going to push back. if you attack paul ryan and say i'll support you until i decide i'm not going to support you. >> then tease jeanine pirro and have her call for his resignation. >> i'm just saying if you declare war against everybody, everybody is going to declare
war back. i think that moment when he wen to the "new york times" and sat down and talked to them and started to try to build the relationship with the "new york times" for one afternoon. let's face it, they built friendships that lasted a lunchtime. but the lunch was over and he went back to fighting them. if he had the discipline to sustain that, the press would still be tough, that's this job, but it wouldn't be constant. >> but he's also a person with a unique inability to say i was wrong. >> no, but, but, but, we notice during the campaign, joe, that he actually edited himself along the way. he learned in realtime riffing in front of huge audiences how to sort of adjust. you saw that editing along the way. except like time and time and time again when it was like handed to him on a silver platter, don't mess this up about putin. >> yeah, about putin.
>> katy, you remember two times during the campaign, after he got killed in wisconsin and then after -- >> "access hollywood." >> the "access hollywood" tape. then you looked at the time also after comey gave his statement, there were times when he said, okay, i need to sit back. >> he did. >> i need to be quiet, i need to be disciplined. >> when he was scared. when he was scared of losing he got on prompter when there were consequences. when he saw his poll numbers start to tank. this is for trump so it's all relative. he got it together a little bit more. he's won now so consequences aren't quite the same. he's already in the office. he doesn't have the same need to get his act together. i think you're seeing that sort of, you could say, with his desire to reach out to democrats, the desire they say he has to reach out to democrats. i don't know how you do that if you keep tweeting look at hillary clinton, her links to russia and uranium. i don't know how you offer ab olive branch in one hand when the other hand.
>> punch them in the face. >> exactly. >> mark halperin, julie pace, thank you so much. katy tur stay with us. ahead on "morning joe" bernie sanders joins us live. first following money trail on paul manafort. richard engel with the latest report on campaign chairman. >> he was chairman. >> he was chairman, not a volunteer. he was very close to the campaign. >> i thought he was there for two days. >> he was chairman. >> you're saying he was the chairman. >> remember we called him lurch. >> chairman of the campaign you say? >> we will now go ash and just introduce your selves. introduce your self in front of all this live television. it's always live for me. unfortunately other guys they -- for me everything is live. one mistake and it's no good so we just can't make mistakes. so we don't make miss tas. go ahead, ken. >> national order of police from south carolina.
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this morning there are new questions over former trump campaign chairman paul manafort's business dealings overseas. joining us now from london nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent richard engel. richard, what are you learning? >> good morning, mika. specifically we're reporting on some offshore bank accounts and companies linked to manafort that are now being looked into. he's the focus of multiple investigations into president trump's inner circle and their possible ties to russia. paul manafort. long before he was president trump's campaign chairman, manafort was paid millions by a russian oligarch close to vladimir putin. according to one report, man manafort promising to greatly benefit the putin government by influencing politics and media coverage. nbc news learned u.s. treasury department officials are now following manafort's money
trail, an investigation that's led them, and us, to a small island in the mediterranean. to find out more we came here to cypress, to the city that has a reputation for beaches and as a hub for money laundering. this is where some of the money manafort got from the russian tycoon went. banking sources with direct knowledge of the transactions tell nbc news at least 15 accounts were opened in cypress for more than 10 countries all linked to manafort. the sources say in one case a million dollars landed in one of these accounts and left it on the same day. >> movements of large amounts of money very quickly in and out of account is very similar to what money launderers do. >> a lot of money involved $18 million for a media company. according to wikileaks state
department officials describe as one of two of three oligarch manafort turns to. >> played a critical role, was involved in potentially receiving payments from russian oligarch. this raises a lot of very serious questions. >> manafort has repeatedly said he never worked for the russian government and on tuesday deripaska took out an ad strongly denying the press report he hired manafort to help the government calling it fake news. in cypress, which claims to have tightened financial controls over the last few years manafort's accounts raised suspicions. in 2012 the interim auditing system at laiki bank flagged some of the accounts for possible money laundering. according to sources when the bank asked for more information, manafort chose to close the accounts. in a statement to nbc news, a
spokesman said all of manafort's companies were legitimate entities and established for lawful ends, adding mr. manafort has no specific personal recollection of the shutdown of his cypress accounts which he had took place during a banking crisis on the island. the attorney general in cypress tells us that his office has provided information to u.s. investigators sbout the manafort-linked businesses in cypress. >> nbc's richard engel, thank you very much. coming up latest twist on devin nunes bizarre handling of the russian investigation. we now have the first house republican calling on the chair of the house intel committee to recuse himself. so does conservative writer david french in the national review. he joins us next. kevin, meet your father.
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>> it's dogs and cats living together. >> you guys had a relationship with him, friendly relationship, came on the show. >> yeah. >> you interacted with him. >> noaa physical relationship. >> you had a relationship. >> friendship. >> we had a good friendship. >> do you think we'll see more people like that if his approval rating stays at the 36% it's at now, does that give republicans who maybe haven't been prone to stand up to him a little more courage? >> honestly, the fact that republicans are still sucking up to him at this point is kind of pathetic. the whole thing has turned into lies and misinformation, calling the news fake news, undermining the judiciary, undermining practically every branch of government. i don't care if you're a republican or democrat, there's right and there's wrong. this guy is wrong [ applause ] >> i think it helps -- >> she always gets the applause
lines. >> no. that was nice of you to clap. >> good moment for you. >> still ahead on "morning joe." >> nine weeks down and 199 weeks to go in the first term of this administration. so i would suggest everybody take a breath. i've never seen such breathlessness over nine weeks of work. >> what was he doing. >> was that chris christie. >> what was chris christie doing? >> oh, my god, is he spicer's replacement. >> he's going to be taking some of the administration's focus on opioid. >> no, no, no. he should be spicer's replacement. >> no, he shouldn't. >> he should. >> he gets combative. >> he actually -- >> not spicer. somebody other than that. >> spicer is in his own head and doesn't know how to say no. cristie does. >> spicer's job needs to be automated. >> exactly. >> yeah. >> what's that going to look like. >> i don't know yet. >> they asked him on the "today" show, he said he would not take
chief of staff job. >> it's spicer's job. >> mika, he's not going to take spicer's job. >> he's a nice guy but you've got to say no sometimes. >> didn't attorney general come out with a long report about the opioid crisis last year? >> yeah. >> why do we need another commission to look into it? >> well, that would be fine if we did, but i think he'd be better served doing spicer's job. >> stop. oh, my lord. so how old do you want to be when you retire? uhh, i was thinking around 70. alright, and before that? you mean after that? no, i'm talking before that. do you have things you want to do before you retire?
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are you going to stay as chairman and run this investigation? >> well, why would i not? you guys need to go ask them why these things are being said. >> can this investigation continue as u.s. chairman? >> why would it not? aren't i briefing you guys continuously? haven't i been keeping you up to speed. >> they are saying cannot run as u.s. chair. >> you've got to go talk to them. that sounds like their problem. my colleagues are perfectly fine. they know we're doing the investigation and that will
continue. >> so you're not going to tell the committee who your source is? >> we never talk about sources and methods. i wouldn't expect you to do that either. you guys are so infatuated with sources. >> no, we're infatuated with the truth that you don't tell. >> it's interesting he's not going to be telling anybody on the intelligence committee, including adam schiff or anybody else, republicans, who his sources are or what the information. lindsey graham i believe said yesterday on the "today" show, how do you lead if you're not willing to share that info with the committee. >> that was house chairman devin nunes adamant he's fit to lead the committee that is investigating russian meddling in the election but the committee has come to a grinding halt. nbc news confirms that all of the democratic members of the intelligence committee have called on chairman nunes to recuse himself from the russia investigation. yesterday the first republican lawmaker called for nunes to step down from the russia probe,
congressman walter jones of north carolina said how can you be chairman of a major committee and do all of these things behind the scenes and keep your credibility? you can't keep your credibility. jones, a member of the armed services committee is also the only republican house member to support forming an independent commission to investigate russia's role in the 2016 election. other republicans are saying nunes must at least account for his secrecy and trips to the white house. >> if he's not willing to tell democrats and republicans on the committee who he met with and what he's told, i think he's lost his ability to lead. i think he has to repair the damage. my belief is that the house is off track and probably can't get back on track. >> i think there needs to be a lot of explaining to do. i've been around for quite a while and i've never heard of any such thing. obviously in a committee like an intelligence committee, you've got to have bipartisanship.
otherwise the committee loses credibility. it's turning into a centipede. >> joining us from "washington post" staff writer for national review and senior fellow at the national review institute david french. david writes this in the national review. let's begin with two assertions both of which should be inarguable. first no one in washington is entitled to any position of power or responsibility. second, the greater the power or responsibility, the more integrity, character, and -- crucially -- competence we should expect from our public officials. by that standard, why is devin nunes still chairman of the house intelligence committee. just at a time when the nation desperately needs adults to step forward, nunes unnecessarily poured gasoline on an already raging fire. the american body politic is
awash in conspiracy theories, mistrust and wild claims of espionage and criminality. it needs leaders. it needs competence. it needs integrity. his own power and his own position are not worth the on going loss in public confidence. it's time for nunes to go. >> david french, it seems to me the key word is competence. i don't know devin nunes, i've never heard anybody say he's an unethical man. he just seems to be incompetent and he seems to have fallen into the trap of being a dupe for donald trump. >> you know, i think you're hitting the nail on the head here. the american people -- forget unbiased for a minute. i don't think anyone buys republicans and democrats on the hill are unbiased. but they can expect professionalism. they can expect competence. they can expect a reasonable degree of transparency. none of those things are happening right now, none of
them. so you have a situation where a chairman of the intelligence committee is going to the white house to be briefed on documents coming back to brief the white house on documents the white house just briefed him documents and saying he's not going to disclose sources and methods like he met a detefector under bridge. >> he's in the white house. >> you are right. >> sean spicer did a week ago explaining where he gets his source from the white house. >> it was obvious at the time, the white house was blaming nunes. >> do you think they did it to blow up the committee or did you think they were really that stupid politically. >> i think it is about getting through news cycles. the purpose was to get external validations for some kinds of
trump's tweets. you have the chairman of the committee conducting on white house grounds oh, i have seen documents unmasking that indicate things that should trouble americans. at least you got some sort of back fill on trump's tweets. this is a matter that we are seeing all the time. >> even of the monasking does n prove trump's tweets. >> you have one o f the tweets yesterday when donald trump was talking about hillary and russia and podesta. i cannot wait for this election to be over. it is like in the middle of the campaign. >> donald trump has trashed his predecessor, the 44th president of the united states, the american system government. the press, the fbi through this tweet. great britain. >> mexico.
>> and sorry. >> now we are on different topics. >> now, all defensivdefensivene he has trashed the sbintel committee. >>. >> it is an interesting -- >> i think it is important to know here that politically this is super easy. >> politically donald trump should ask -- a, we keep on talking about his tweet and russia because nunes is still there. >> can i stop everything here? >> why did we show a clip of "seinfield"? >> it is a tease of a taease. >> it actually applies. >> continue.
donald trump should want this process as transparent as possible. the key point that was made, donald trump lacks credibility with a large part of american population. that devin nunes is still there. >> people held their noises to vote for donald trump. they want to see jobs come back and washington to start working again. so far, i don't think he's presenting a possession of confidence for those voters going forward. >> david, i don't know how transparent donald trump or anybody in the white house wants this russian hearing to be. >> well, i mean the evidence is in so far that they don't want any much transparency. they have been on russian ties from the beginning and the white house issued statements of contact of russia. i don't think transparency is the hallmark of the white house
on this issue. the question remains, what are the investigation of the credib credibility. >> we know the fbi is looking into it. right now the house side, it looks like you are heading for a majority report that'll play well on hannity and a minority report that'll be featured on rachel maddow. that's not what americans need right now. i can tell you i live in tennessee in the middle of trump country and i have people coming to me who are trump voters all the time. do you think there is anything to russia? >> people are really concerned about this. that's why we need professionalism, competence and we need reasonable transparency here. >> do coupons. >> thank you very much. >> i have one question. >> oh, my apologies. >> i have one question.
>> two parts. >> don't screw it up. it will be in the white house's interest to discredit the intelligence committee because they are the ones that's investigating trump. is it possible that the trump is gone under mind from the trump committee. what is going on there? >> to the point of the house. yes, it is certainly of the case that donald trump wants to be able to respond to any negative information that comes out from the committee with information of his own. >> it seems of one possibility. what is happening is, it has been handled poorly because of devin nunes. >> that serves the interest. >> i don't think it shows interest. >> how are you going come out with an objective. >> i am thinking it is a problem. >> because you don't want an objective analysis and you want to blow the committee apart. >> the key is whether you want
objective analysis, you want to seem as though you have an objective analysis. >> you don't want an independent commission. >> this is where it is going. >> david french. thank you. >> it goes on for about 20 minutes. >> katy tur. just ahead on our next hour, our former candidate, bernie sanderss, will join us live. >> hello chuck. sm >> hello newman. >> do you get it? >> he's nenewman. >> we'll talk about if he can
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reform was going to be easy. >> a new report says that steve bannon is leading the way to resuscitate the bill. >> senator bernie sanders is going to be our guest. >> my daughter is so excited. she waited in line for three hours. >> he will be on at 8:30. welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, march 29th. >> now, our msnbc's political contributor, rick tyler and jeremy peter senior political analyst, mark. >> the trump administration and the whole sort of trump era is shining a light on people and
you look at everybody a little bit differently and see how they response. >> the one that shines the light on is certainly changed my opinion of mitch mcconnell. >> yesterday, trump came out, we are going to do this, we are going to do this. and mitch mcconnell is saying, you know what, we got obamacare. lets see how that goes. >> you know this better than anyone here on this table. >> i know a bit of it from talking to a few people and you talk to more people. they are insulted by the level of incompetence that they dealt with everyday of the white house staff. >> the thing is, you have these people blowing to town and i guess the best comparison was
when jimmy carter's squad pulled into town. i love when i was interviewing mitch mcconnell about a month ago. it was that scene -- paul ne n newman, you are smart. yeah, they think you are the only smart guy in washington. we got some smart guys here. rick tyler and them are making them look dumb everyday. >> the city does not want to change. the city has its own rhythm and pattern and enertia. trump was brought in not to assimilate in the town but the
change. so far, they have not had much. >> the reagan changed washington. reagan brought in james baker. >> he also brought professional that actually new how to help reagan how to do it. >> he's caught in a website opera operator who had never been in politics. if you have not been in politics, thank you run a website until august 15th and gough to capitol hill and you say you shall bow before me. >> you cannot move the city at 36%. it is not possible. >> this is all jeremy peters reporting from new york times. involves stephen bannon. the president's chief strategist that helped sink the bill last
week. the hard right freedom caucus. >> there was a storm meeting of house of respects to air out what happened and what might be next. >> today we broke down many of those dividing lines within our conference. there is too much mistakes. >> the results of our conference to repeal obamacare and replacing it has never been stronger. we are closer to repeal obamacare and surely closer than we were friday. >> oh my goodness. where we are on obamacare regret fully at the moment is where the democrats wanted us to be which is with the status quo. >> who's fault is that? >> it is pretty obvious. we were not able in the house to pass a replacement. our democratic friends ought to be happy about that because we have the existing law in place
and i think we are going to have to see how it works out. >> we believe it will not work out well. >> okay. >> we'll see. >> so rick and i were laughing at the same time. >> it is his best strategy. >> he does not say like trump. it is going to going to die. >> he's just like -- we'll see how it works out. >> the freedom caucus did its constituents wit. they stuck further down. >> this is jones' reaction to all of that. >> gerrymandering. >> he tweeted this. >> yeah. >> stephen bannon. republicans tackled healthcare again of a scene from "dumb and dumber." >> does that visual help
describe your reporting, help us out here? >> look at all you have going on on capitol hill right now. you have the tax bill that president wants to do an infrastructure bill he would like to see and you have this intelligence committee going on and you have a confirmation of the supreme court justice. they have to figure out how to solve that which is not an easy task. >> are they going to repeal it for the 58th times and have the senate say no, we are not going move on it. >> i don't think so. >> i think that whatever the they do they want there to be some reasonable logical course. right now it does not exist. >> especially steve cornacki.
mitch mcconnell sat. when he was told yesterday. which in the south, bless her heart. >> it is bad. >> what we could not say there and no republican in washington can say out loud but a lot of them think how relieved they were of this lasting last friday and not going to make it through the house and you are not going to have the conference committee or the next three or four months dominated by the issue and frankly if you look at the polling. this was unpopular with republican voters. >> that's 17%. >> you are sitting at 17% and that's why on the right side of the republican conference, you can post with the constituents and on the left side of the moderates, they can be opposed with different sets of reasons. silver lining for republicans on last friday is this thing is off the table. the appetite to revive anything like this now opening up a three month fight on this now is
nonexistence. >> this is idiotic for them to be talking about this. >> they're pointing baa k to their failure and broken promises. mitch mcconnell got it right. democrats have what they want and the status quo. lets see how it works out instead of self-esteem bannteph. is he helping his fallen standing inside the white house. is this bannon trying to save his high inside the white house? >> i think you are right. i think senator mcconnell is right of the dynamic. >> i think there is three factors propelling them to try again and not just walk away. >> one is on a matter of policy and republicans are united.
they don't like the status quo. two, they were not far apart for a deal that they can win a majority in the house and not necessarily in the senate. they were not far away trying to get to the next step. >> finally, you know if they don't get healthcare out of the way, it complicates everything as speaker ryan says, it makes tax reform harder and makes it harder for them to move on from the agenda and not so clean to say we are done with this. >> they were close to it. the more they gave to the freedom caucus. the more they're going to lose from mainstream republicans. there was no way that was going to work. >> you take away the essential health benefits that were taken off the talk by the freedom cauc caucus. that lost all the moderates and most of the people in middle. >> they want to go further right.
there is no way that mitch mcconnell will pass that in a billion years. >> the only way to get this done is get in first step. >> you are right, it did not seem to be a way of compromising. the failure did focus the minds of people and said is there a way that we can compromise and everybody gives something up to get to the next step and the bill in senate. to be clear, i agree with you. the over riding dynamic are the same and a lot of us don't want to vote for a bill that's going to go in the senate and fail. >> still ahead, president trump eavesdropping prescription prices, can we get democrats on board. we'll go behind the astronomical cost. >> and later senator bernie sanders is joining our conversation. first, we'll take a look at the
weather. >> they are exactly where we want to occur. >> little damage was done and that was an impressive tornado there. little too close. today, this is going to be worse than yesterday. 20 million people are at risk. we are sending this storm to high population from little rock and outside of houston. this is where the bulk of the storm will be and looks to be late development today. a lot of it after day dark. >> day three, a strong tornado or two, watch out from memphis. the map right now is not too bad. still a lot of people of dallas area waiting to get their power back. there are some good news out there we are seeing a great forecast in areas of the southeast where it is warm and finally in the northeast, the sun has returned. >> washington, d.c., baltimore,
and boston, what an ugly march it has been. we'll give you nice clouds today and give you a nice day. >> you are watching "morning joe" we'll be right back. knowing where you stand has never been easier. except when it comes to retirement. at fidelity, you get a retirement score in just 60 seconds. and we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. it's your retirement. know where you stand.
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get unlimited access to all of netflix and more, free with xfinity on demand. welcome back. in yesterday's perez briefings, sean spicer seemed to snap a little bit. it happens as he was asked about the image. >> you got wiretapping. >> no, we don't have that. >> on capitol hill, i get it. i said it on the day that i got here, there was no connection. you got russia. if the president puts russian salad dressing, that's a russia's connection.
>> i appreciate your agenda here. at some points report the facts. every single person who's been brief on this subject comes away with the same conclusion. i am sorry if that disgust you. you are shaking your heads. >> it seems like you are trying to make sure o f whatever image you want to testimony about this white house stays. at the end of the day -- >> i am just reporting >> you are asking me a question, i am going answer it. i am sorry, please stop shaking your head again. >> what's wrong with him? >> is he kidding me mike barnicle . she was not shaking her head. >> sletrying to understand bei g being -- how condescending. >> third, this is not a first
grade class. >> clearly, that was just simply beyond the pale. >> someone is way over his head. >> yes. >> there is a part of me that has great sympathy for him because he's got an audience of one that he's dealing with, the president of the united states. >> he clearly does not have the temperament to be press secretary. >> josh earnest was here the other day and he add the temperament. >> mike mccurry was there when hell was raining down from above, he stayed calm. tony snow was there for the wickedly tough time for bush. you just don't have to be abusive. in that situation, steve cornacki, i never heard anybody as condescending. >> and abusive. >> accusing somebody doing something they were not doing. >> no, i am kind of where mike
is on, too. i am trying to imagine the political professional, the communication specialist who could step into this role and meet the demands being placed on him or her by donald trump. by the boss and by the guy who we think is behind the scenes everyday when these press krc conferences going out and a reporter like april is speaking up. i am not saying he did himself. i am not saying he did the white house any favors in that situation yesterday. >> no. it is like you are sitting at a casino and you are losing on the slot machine and you are getting mad at the machine. it is the guy who programs the machine. >> it is clear of the problem here. >> the guy has no ability, none at all, none to say mr. president, this is the wrong thing to do. >> just ahead, during the campaign. donald trump says chuck schumer
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i think i will get along well with chuck schumer. i was close to him in many ways. everybody wants the same thing. i want great business for this country that we love. i think we'll have good relationships, right, chuck? i see chuck. hello chuck. i really think that'll happen. >> donald trump giving a nod to senate democratic leaders. >> chuck schumer spoke last night. last week, the president fumed at schumer after the healthcare bill was pulled, calling him and nancy pelosi losers. the two have not spoken since over two months. schumer says trump's attack o f the right is the cause of the two cannot be working together.
>> he told political "he moved," not me. he moved so far to the right that's virtually impossible to work with him. >> trump labeled schumer -- >> it is an obstruction and i am disappointed at him. >> mark. do you think there is possibility that last week's failure over turning on obamacare does move donald trump to the center, move him towards an understanding that he's going to have to get some democrats vetting with him? >> they have been insulted and the president is weak and not strong in terms of his approval rating and what happens on healthcare. >> an easy path to start giving
donald trump political victory. we all thought this is the route he may take beginning of his administration during healthcare and putting him in a bad plals. place. >> chuck schumer even if he wanted to help the president to get things done would be able to do it because of democratic base right now. >> trump made schumer's job easy. chuck was making conciliatory noise where i can work with trump on infrastructure and he could have ten democratic senators up in 2014. what schumer was getting back was cries of betrayal and treason. just absolute opposition. >> the president can squeeze him on the other side. because of the direction that donald trump has chosen, schumer
have to keep the base very happy with the democratic party without feeling pressure to come to the middle. >> donald trump is 36%. donald trump stood on the ballot in 2018. clear is in missouri and joe's mansion. there is a lot of democrats that would actually be helped by dealing with this administration. >> this gorsuch thing. i just -- i will tell you what. i will keep saying it and democrats will keep on saying it. i am totally wrong. mayor garland is not going to matter to democrats and conservative states in 2018. what niese senatoe these senato do. if you are in west virginia or missouri or some of these other red states that are voting with the democrat incumbent, looking extreme and making new eastern
span any pelosi happening. >> gorsuch's nomination. there is a lot of frustration privately among democratic senators who'll tell you incredibly short sited of the democrats to block this or try to block this. they cannot block it, of course, and lose their ability for filibust filibuster. >> you don't know what the political dynamic is going to look like. >> you don't know how weak or strong trum m may p maybe. >> you basically giving trump to nominates who ever he wants to the support and that one is possibly for the kidnappcandida. it seems loo i cike a wasted bu. >> not as extreme as republicans
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ripping us off every single day. we should lower the prices. >> the president has talked at it. mr. president come on board. it is absurd that one out of five americans cannot afford the medicines their doctors prescribe. >> that's area number one. the other area, the president during his campaign rightfully pointed out of our infrastructure and water plants and rail systems are crumbling. >> we can create and i have introduced legislation to do this over 13 million jobs over a trillion dollar investment to rebuild our reconstruction. >> i think that's an area that we can work together. >> what about the area of healthcare, senator?
>> well, you know the president holds -- told us that he was going to provide great healthcare to everybody during the campaign. >> ofmassive cuts of medicaids d raising premiums for seniors. >> healthcare program, i don't see us working together in that area. >> mike barnicle . on healthcare, it seems like democrats and the obama administration and now the trump administration focuses on what they can do to apiece the insurance industry. what can we do about what insurance companies do to our lives within the healthcare framework. >> that's a question that's never asked on television. congratulations. [ laughter ]
>> here is the answer. lets me just lay it right out there. >> there is one major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right of the united states. that country is spending double of what the british do and far more than a skad -- scanadavians do. >> for them, their goal is not to provide quality across effective healthcare but to make as much money as they possibly can out of human suffering. this is not just a republican problem. it is a democratic problem. neither party has had the guts
to stand up to the insurance companies and do what i need to do medicare for all single paid program. >> medicare is a popular program right now. it is a life safer once you get to 65. with can save hundreds of billions of dollars of costs taking on the drug company. >> the problem is, members of congress and many cases don't have the guts to take them on. >> medicare only works for 50 years. >> we have to give it more time to see if it really works. >> there you go. >> rick tyler. >> i am curious of gorsuch. >> i know you call it a culture vote. that's a 60 vote threshold, would you be forcing the republicans to change the rules so that gorsuch can be approved
by minority only. does that set up the court for the next supreme court justice who's likely to come off the court who'll be liberally placed by the conservatives. right now as you know the rule, the current rule is that it requires 60 votes for a supreme court nomination. >> democrats changed the rules for a lot of lower level appointments because of republican obstruc obstructism. you want some kind of bipartisan of a woman is going to get a lifetime tenure of the most important courts in this country. i think, i am going to vote against gorsuch, i had a pleasant and long discussion with him on all the important issues facing this country. i don't think he's going to be
voting in the right direction in terms of citizens united and voters suppression and a woman's right to choose. i think his views are very, very right wing. i am going to vote no and it think it should takes 60 votes for him to get the appointment. >> so senator, tom perez, the chairman of the democratic committee is launching this over haul requested resignation letters from all staffers. staffers were told to expect this. shortly after perez took over. donna brazil asked all the employees to submit a resignation letter dated on april 15th. one aid tells nbc that major organizational changes will be announced in the coming weeks. >> does the dnc need a massive over haul? >> absolutely. >> i supported keith ellison.
he understood where the democratic party is today. >> terms of how it does business has failed. the evidence is obvious. it is not just that we lost the white house and the u.s. senate and house. we lost 900 legislative seats in the last eight our nine years. >> the party needs a top down oval haul. that means instead of being dependent or being dependent for campaign contributions has got to become a grass root party. >> it has got to stop speaking and fighting for young people. people who want to transform this country. >> i believe and one of the reasons that we are successful in beating the healthcare plan is people at the grass roots are beginning to wake up and are prepared to fight back. >> and we got to capitalize that
and that's the kind of party that democrat party has to create. >> why not go in all the way and become a democrat. would you have more credibility? >> not necessarily. >> number two in vermont, you cannot register as a democrat, i always get the democratic pr process. the democrats will not succeed unless it attracts many, many millions of independence. the number of people who are moving in the independent direction, it is growing. >> for democrats to be successful, that party is going to have to repeal to a whole lot of independence. >> i asked a former dnc chair a couple of months ago expanding the democratic tent including that tent to working class voters and states like kentucky who are pro-life.
should the dnc actually aggressively try to recruit candidates that lineup culturally more with areas where they want. for instance, you were accused of being more progun because you are from vermont. >> that was a great point. that was considered a cardinal sin from the democratic party telling the story like before and campaigning for republicans in 1998 and kentucky. i said well, how radical are they on guns? >> how radical are they on pro-choice. >> i looked at him and i am thinking, you are going to lose. this guy was a working class democratic who believes in the sort of thing that you believe in. he matched up with the community where he was running. >> should democrats be more accepting of that on the
national level? >> joe, let me answer it in this way. in my state up in the northeast section of t state is conservative. >> right. >> and i do quite well despite the fact that i am pro-choice, i am progay rights and strongly proenvironment. i think the issue that millions of americans -- by the way, i don't concede this red state and blue state. i have been to west virginia. you got decent people there. decent people who are working long hours for lower wages if they are lucky to have jobs. they don't have healthcare. those are the issues that the democratic party has got to stand up for. not only stand up for work but they got to have the guts to take on wall street and as mike point that out of the insurance companies and the drug companies. when we do those things, i think good things happen. >> that's a perfect example.
>> west virginia is a state democrat should win. >> there is this massive cultural divide that allows donald trump to win by 45%. >> that's what i am saying. i am not asking for a new test. can the democratic party be open to candidates that may not be rejre re -- >> the south is the poorest part of our country. >> you got high on employment and african-american areas and you got white working class areas. what the democrats have got to do is come into those states and not be republican-like but have the guts to take on the big money interest. if they do that, i think other things will fall into place. >> i believe that strongly. >> president trump, senate
errolierro er rolling back on obama era. >> the latest move called of an epa to initiate the clean power plan which sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. >> the president, take a listen. >> my administration is putting an end to the war on coal. we are going to have really clean coal. with today's executive action, i am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on american and to cancel job killing regulations. [ applause ] where do you want to begin with that? >> that's a six-hour discussion. >> i don't know what adjective to juiuse.
>> you have the president telling the world of his views. unless of the climate -- what he's done appointing the people he has appointed is that a danger, a horrific danger, not omnivore only to our generation but to our grandchildren. >> mr. president, listen to scientists, climate change israel and it is already causing a dastating problem in around the world. if we transfer it away from fossil coal or gas and sustainable energy, i worry very much about the planet of the future generations will inheret. >> by the way, despite trump's rhetoric there, the corporate world understands the future is sustainable and energy and most on the new investments are going
into solar which is explode all over our country and all over the world. what this guy is doing is really international embarrassment and endangering the future of our country. and i will along with many of my colleagues to do everything that we can to move this country in a very, very different direction than trum m p is proposing. >> the financial times. >> "exxon mobile" calling to stick with the climate. >> how crazy could it be that the largest oil company. >> right. >> understanding more than the president of the united states. >> to say -- trump's position is pathet pathetic. >> senator bernie sanders, don't hold back. >> that's what you always do, that's why we love you.
>> thank you very much. >> always great toalk toyou. >> you heard o senator naming sky high prescription drugs. >> ahead, we'll dig deeper into that very issue. we'll bring in the ceo who was at the center of the heated congressional hearing over the price of her company's products over the epipen. that's ahead on "morning joe."
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the president during his campaign rightfully pointed out that we pay the high eest price in the world for prescription drugs, that the drug companies are ripping us off every single day, that we should lower drug prices. i have introduced and other people have introduced very serious legislation that would take on the pharmaceutical industry, substantially lower prescription drug costs in the united states. the president has talked about it. mr. psident, come onboard. it is absurd that one out of five americans cannot afford the medicine their doctors prescribe. >> moments ago senator bernie sanders on "morning joe." let's bring in nbc news capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt. you're looking at the issue of reducing drug prices. what are you finding? >> good morning. republicans may have failed to pass the health care bill in the house. while the whouite house and
congressional leaders say they may not be done trying to replace obamacare, president trump has put a special emphasis on prescription drug prices. if he does try to change the system big pharmaceutical companies would wind up in the spotlight and the cross eyhairs. mylan raised it 200% and they got ripped over the coals for it. >> after mylan takes our punches, they'll fly back to their mansions in their private jets and laugh all the way to the bank. while our constituents suffer, file for bankruptcy and watch their children get sicker or die. >> so as they're gearing up for the fight, drug companies like mylan are arguing that they only have one side of the story. >> meet bob. his family is pretty healthy a he has health insurance.
last year heai $25 at the pharmacy counter for his daughter's epipen. the co-pay on the front of his health insurance card. but his plan changed last year, partly because of obamacare. bob became one of the 51% of americans in an insurance plan with a high deductible and this time bob hasn't hit his $2,000 deductible when he goes in for the epipen so the pharmacist says he owes over $600, the list price of the drug. bob can't afford this, so why is it happening? yes, the drug company has been rising prices, but a big part of that is the price of the middlemen, like the pharmacy benefit managers who work directly with insurance plans. they negotiate lower drug prices from drug companies in exchange for keeping those drugs covered with big plans. for people on those plans it translates into a lower premium but the discounts cost the drug companies money so they raise the overall price of the drug for everybody else. if you're bob, it just feels like you're paying $600 today for a drug that used to cost
$25. >> so obamacare has pushed many more people than before into these high deductible plans. it was a problem congress said it wanted to solve, but in the meantime everyday consumers are getting a look at drug prices that were warped by a system they weren't supposed to see or one drug companies didn't want them to. >> i like bob's red face because i feel that way too. very well done. all right, kasie, thank you. let's bring into the conversation, the ceo of mylan, heather bresch. brian sullivan is also with us. you were talking about those middlemen like express scripts. >> i don't want to pick on them. heather can lay it out herself, she did eloquently on cnbc a couple of times. nobody is saying drug price hikes are okay. the point -- i thought that was awesome, i wish i had thought of it, which is that americans, and you can talk more to this, because we're paying more out of pocket, we think prices are going up a lot more than they are because it's all cash.
>> and everyone blamed heather on the epipen. >> so talk about the middlemen and also talk about how there are so many prices that are fixed into the entire system that drives the prices up for everybody. >> well, first, thank you, guys, because it's complicated. it's easier not to talk about because to fix it is going to require a heavy lift across the entire supply chain. >> what's the first thing we do? >> there's two things that needs to happen. there needs to be transparency. when you go to the pharmacy counter, you have no idea what it's going to cost until you walk up to that counter. i thought her demonstration was great. $25 last year, $650, of course you're outraged. we've got ceos of households out there, moms every day that are making difficult decisions with a lot of money out of their pocket and then have no ability to know what something costs, what their options are. so that's the first thing. the second thing is you should get the benefit of your insurance from dollar one. what has happened because of
high deductible plans, you look uninsured until you hit $1,001 or $5,001. so you should get the benefit of the plan's negotiated rates that are in the system from dollar one. >> what happened with the epipen? was that mylan raising the price and taking all those profits or were there middlemen that took the money as well? why didn't that come o in washington. >> well, because sometimes headlines create the narrative. and unfortunately headlines aren't going to produce results for americans at the pharmacy. >> so did it all go straight to mylan? >> absolutely not. we showed that we were collecting less than half of that. so 274 was coming to mylan, $334 was being absorbed in the system. so what we've said, i wasn't trying to blame anybody. what i was trying to show is that there's a complicated system that involves five groups of institutions, from insurers to pbms to retail pharmacies to
wholesalers. and people thought that it went from the drug manufacturers to the pharmacy counter. and the reality is, there's a lot of -- >> heather, here's what i worry about. drug prices -- drug prices have gone up. you guys have raised prices. >> yes. >> but pbms have raised prices, insurers have raised prices and now that health care is off the table, i wonder is anything going to get done. >> like transparency is what we need. >> are we going to talk about it or just talk about tax reform? >> and is the white house interested in stripping down the middlemen and making it more transparent? >> i've been encouraged. i've heard two things, artificially high prices, which there are. and i don't disagree. that's why i'm sitting here today and i thank you guys for having this conversation, because we need -- we need to fix -- we need to allow patients at that pharmacy counter, which is now over 50% of americans spending a lot of out of pocket money that they have no idea what they have got to pay. so it's a constituent issue,
it's an american issue and it's certainly going to be a campaign issue in 'y18. >> heather bresch, thank you for putting yourself out there again. we appreciate it and brian sullivan thank you as well. >> brian, thank you. come back. >> all right. that does it for us this morning. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. >> thank you so much, joe and mika. i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle live from washington, d.c. this morning digging in. the republican leading the russia investigation refuses to recuse himself and won't reveal his secret source to anyone. >> even the other members of the committee? >> no. >> a republican congressman says he needs to step aside. obamacare round two. the president hosting a bipartisan group of senators and promising repeal and replace ain't over yet. >> i know that we're all going to make a deal on health care, that's such an easy one. >> and out of the woods. hillary clinton back on the stage with her mt