tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC April 6, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT
thank you both. tomorrow we're taking the show to capitol hill. where senator john mccain will be among our guests. that does it for us this morning. >> thanks, joe. good morning i. i'm stephanie ruehl. we're talking hard choices today. the president signaling a big change in syrian policy. >> that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. big impact. >> as he has his most important meeting yet with the chinese president after years of saying things like this -- >> we can't continue to allow china to rape our country -- they think we're a bunch of dummies. >> and a war in the west wing, steve bannon threatening to quit after being taken off as the national security council as the power struggle gets even uglier in the white house. and the count down we are just two hours away from the
senate decision to go nuclear. plus backing bill. president trump throws his support behind bill o'reilly. >> i don't think bill would do anything wrong. he's a good person. >> as more advertisers pull their money and one congresswoman goes there. >> bill o'reilly needs to go to jail. >> we begin today with the global challenges facing president trump. the attacks in syria and the nuclear threat from north korea pushing him to seek help from russia and china, two countries that have not exactly been america's closest allies. we got the best team in the business to break it down and i want to take you first to chris, i want to start with this visit by chinese president xi jinping. this is the most important international meeting we have seen so far. what exactly are the stakes? >> reporter: i think they're enormous. let's start with the economy. you heard that sound byte from the president, family refrain
from him has been that america has lost jobs because of the trade imbalance so he intends to put a lot of pressure on china on that and we're going to see a very different kind of style. xi very straightforward, formal diplomatic. he has not faced an american person, american president or diplomat with quite this style of donald trump, but this economic conversation, of course, may be side tracked just a little because although north korea was always on the agenda more so after the firing yesterday of that intermediate ballistic missile. there's going to be pressure on china to amp up economic sanctions. >> i know in just a few minutes we're waiting to hear the president. he gave some remarks yesterday about syria and i want to share part of what president trump had to say following those attacks, because he has said for the first time when he saw those
images he was impacted in a big way. take a look. >> when you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, that crosses many, many lines, beyond the red line, many, many lines. my attitude toward syria and assad has changed very much. >> what does that mean? >> reporter: first of all, with assad obviously he is somebody who was not for taking him out of power, obviously he is signaling there a potential shift, but also he said and i think this is significant as well, they will have a message. now they will have a message meaning what is that message going to be. hans nickels just getting off the phone and suggesting that they are ready should the president ask for a range of military options. white house officials calling this close to the vest saying the president is considering his options. exactly what those options might
be, for example, the pressure that is coming from some on the hill to get additional sanctions against russia as an enabler shows you just the range of what he is going to be considering. >> i want to bring my panel in. brian lan z-a and zerlina maxwell formal with the hillary clinton campaign and mali for the u.s. so i want to start with you and syria. two big things we saw yesterday. president trump saying assad has crossed the red line. he sees things in a different way and nikki haley said u.s. should be prepared to act alone. >> this is really important what they're saying. i was on just 24 hours ago, less than 24 hours ago where we were talking about president trump's previous statement where he was pointing the finger at obama and we were wondering why are you deflecting at this point. this is an important act that
needs to be -- that needs to be responded to. i think the fact that he has said he's reassessing his position is important. i think he's very clearly willing to consider options. if the u.n. doesn't act that we might be prepared to act alean. that was how it went down. we also pressured russia numerous times to act with us and when we refused secretary albright said we're going alone. it's very new and important. one last point i would add, it's also important from a communications perspective and a strategic point of view to not show all of our cards when it comes to dealing with assad. this points him on the defense siff. now he thinks wait a minute the united states might respond, i might have to change my ways. >> what he didn't do was really in an aggressive way mention vladimir putin. how closely tied -- earlier on "morning joe" i heard rick
stengle say they are that closely tied. this is tricky because as you know, vladimir putin is one name he has not flipped on as of yet. >> that's true. one of the reasons assad felt emboldened enough to conduct this chemical attack was just right after we had said that secretary of state tillerson said, we're not a priority and given that and our relationship with russia, it almost seemed like we were willing to let russia handle it. i do think -- i think president trump was probably careful not to tread on that just yet. maybe they're trying to figure it out. there are clearly things -- they're clearly some conflicts that they're going to have to separate, but i'd be very interested. i do think that that administration may act on this. >> brian, do they have to act? for president trump to say this goes beyond the red line, we know how much he talked about president obama saying red line, red line and not acting.
the fact that he said this goes beyond the red line, does he have a choice? doesn't he have to go? >> the president has options all the time. the president is a compassionate man and those images had a profound effect on him. and so right now he's assessing with his national security team to see what options exist. the diplomatic approach is the best approach going forward. we have had had diplomatic relationships with assad and russia for eight years. it was a mess that the previous administration created. syria is a mess because of the foreign policy effects because of obama and clinton. now the next administration is here fixing it. resolving some of the existing issues. congress is going to play a role. the president was effected by what he saw wred. he stated that. congress was effected. people are going to sort of rally behind the president
during this time as he figures out the best solution for america, as he consults congress and as he deals with the international community to build a broad coalition to hold assad accountable for these things. it's not a go it alone process but if that's what it takes, he's prepared to do that. >> moments ago president trump spoke to "fox and friends," spoke about syria, spoke about china. this meeting with xi jinping could not be more important, could not be coming at a more important line, it's fine line he has to walk, given what his position is, all the things he has said in the past. >> it's going to be very interesting. nobody really knows, we have not been treated fairly on trade for many, many years. no presidents taken care of that the way they should have and we have a big problem with north korea. we're going to see what happens. >> so the hope is to get them to bring leverage on the issue. >> we're going to see what happens. we'll be in there pitching and i think we're going to do very well.
>> as it relates to china and north korea, the united states and china have very different motivations. what can trump go in with today? >> i don't know because i don't know that president trump knows. i think that what worries me and i've said this on your show before is that he doesn't have a full grasp of the details when it comes to foreign policy so when he said it's going to be very interesting, we're going to have a good deal not a bad deal but what does that mean? when it comes to life and death and something as serious as north korea's capabilities with ballistics missiles and the attack we saw in syria, we need somebody who we have faith in and can listen to and he's talking in details. he doesn't have to as you said reveal all of the plans, but i don't get the confidence when i'm listening to him that he has a full grasp of the issues. >> as of yesterday -- some people things may be improving in terms of foreign policy because the deck chair seem to be shifting inside the white house and who president trump's advisors are. white house chief strategist steve bannon, you know the guy
who's been next to president trump from the beginning, he threatened to quit after he was removed from the national security council. i want to go back to nbc's chris gen essential. what do we know exactly. >> it's totally nonsense. having said that there are multiple sources inside the west wing that say, in fact, it did happen and one quote is, if my talents aren't needed here i can take them some where else. there is already a job dangling out there for steve bannon outside the white house to potentially head a super pac. what these reports have shown is that there's this growing rift inside the west wing on one side you have nationalists like steve bannon, on the other side people like jared kushner who consider themselves globalists. it presents a very difficult problem for this president, because obviously steve bannon's somebody who has been with him for the beginning, who helped to devise the strategy that helped win him the white house and is
very popular for what is a dwindling base for the president. what sparked much of this is the feeling that within the white house it is bannon wos causing a lot of the chaos. an act of chaos if you will and the president ever mindful of his approval ratings, now down into the 30s has some very tough decisions about what he does about it, stephanie. >> i want to bring back my panel. i got to start with you. you are part of team trump and when we've spoken about this in the past, media settle back. there's not so much chaos but at this point, a lot of us inside the white house and there is quite a bit of chaos. do you really think steve bannon could be out? we know that since president trump spoke to congress it went well. we heard the jared kushner's of the world were feeling great. and trump gets back to the conspiracy, wiretappings, voter fraud, all of that and that seems to come from the world of bannon. is the world of bannon over?
>> no. everybody serves at the pleasure of the president. i think it's an honored to work for the administration and this president. steve offers a distinctive voice in the white house. any time -- >> i'm going to need you to get real right now. i get it. the honor of the president, i'm with you, i'm with you. we talked to people inside the white house, it's nasty in there. what's happening from recur perspective? >> you have different point of views that are aggressive. you've got very successful men and women. they want the ear of the president, a will the of them have the ear of the president. at the end of the day the president decides the course and he decides the course where the west wing and the white house wants to go. this is a man who always brings in -- he hears them and listens to them. he knows where he's going to go. so this is a healthy process. where conflict of ideas is a good process. you don't want somebody saying we're only going to do this. this is the only approach. you don't want an echo chamber of the same thing especially when you're talking about
international affairs and the economy of this country. you want diverse voices. bannon is a diverse voice and jared is one of them too. he brings these people in, listens to them and ultimately decides what he wants to do. >> a white house without steve bannon. do you feel better about it? >> i feel better about it. i think his views and background, his two failed muslim bans those are things i don't support and so if he's out of the white house, that definitely instills a level of confidency in me perhaps the president is trying to get serious and not pander to his base which doesn't like people who look like me or who you are coming from other countries and practice -- >> that's not true. >> that's not true. >> i worked on the campaign. bannon never had anything negative to say about my community. >> to your face. >> i've known steve for four years. i never once did i sense
anything that the media has portrayed steve as what he is to be. i get it. it's a popular narrative. it helps. >> it's not a narrative. >> i'm saying my experience is ps. >> i refuse to ignore the literal words he said. >> i never experienced a single threat of anything racist whatsoever. >> that's your experience. i'm going based on what was said. >> words also matter as well. >> thank you. nbc's -- guess what, you two, you're not leaving. president trump will speak to a group of wounded veterans before departing for his major visit heading down to mar-a-lago to sit down with xi jinping. we know they're not playing golf. next we're going to talk to one of the president's closest confidente. an inside look into president trump foreign policy thinking.
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welcome back. you're watching msnbc and a live shot inside the white house where president trump will address a group of wounded soldiers any minute now. we're going to bring that to you live as it happens. we want to focus on president trump's shifting position on syria. here's what he said about it. >> i like to think of myself as a very flexible person. i don't have to have one
specific way and if the world changes, i go the same way. i don't change. well, i do change and i will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. >> so the question is how big of an impact did it have? we have a great guest to talk about it. he's the ceo and president of news max a conservative website. he's also a long time friend and confidant of president trump. one could say the situation in syria has been devastating for quite some time, but yesterday president trump had an emotional moment so many of us did when he saw that young children suffocating to death. do you believe it had such an impression that we're really going to see a policy shift here? >> i'm not sure but i think the president is a very empathetic guy. i know sometimes we see him on tv and he seems rough and tough but i think he has a lot of empathy. i would not want to be assad at
the this moment. i think obama made a terrible mistake and i advocated that the president had the ability to use the force and he should have been done it without congress, that is president obama and it was a big mistake. i think president trump now thinks that's a mistake, that they should've used it and i think they'll be some -- some strike. i don't think it's going to be a total war but i think what we heard yesterday were very serious words from the president and he's very resolute when he comes down to make a conclusion like that. >> he's had very serious words to say in china in the past. in 2013 he called china our enemy and now today he needs to talk to north korea, he needs to talk trade and possibly get on the same side. thousand exactly is he going to do that? >> well, i think in the lex come of donald trump enemy is not a
bad word. he's called the president an enemy of the people. i'm in the press. he's creating a negotiating position. i think -- he's also said, you can find quotes, where he said he wants to deal with china. he and i spoke about phone just over a week ago and he was talking to me about the chinese summit and he described it as the big one and the big meeting i think it's the biggest summit he's had so far and you're dealing with china which is the second largest economy in the world. much more important than russia which is -- which has the gdp of mexico. so china is very important to the strategic interest and the economic interest of the united states and i think the president recognizes that and that's why he's invited president xi to his home in florida. >> trade is something that president trump from the beginning understands or it's a focus for him but north korea, how much does he want to doing into this? president obama has said when he left office, this is one of the
biggest threats we need to focus on. do you believe president trump agrees? >> so the history of american dealing with north korea starting with general mcarthur's argument that if we don't deal with these guys we're never going to get rid of them and he was proven very prophetic back in the '50s actually. american politicians have triesed to bypass it. donald trump is the type of guy that runs to a fire not runs away. he runs to a fight and he sees north korea growing. we're now at a precipice because now do they have nuclear war heads that we've turned a blind eye over many administrations to but they are very close to get ballistic missile capability that can deliver those weapons perhaps to hawaii and soon california. i think the experts are pretty much in agreement on that. it's a grave danger and i think the president recognizes that and i think he will act and what he's basically saying is china
has a very strong influence, if not the strongest influence over the north koreans and we should force them or pressure them to act. so i think it's actually a pretty clever policy right now. >> let's go to a different kind of conflict, inside the white house. there's reports that steve bannon threatened to quit. if he did, if he does, is that a gift to president trump? is that what trump wants, steve bannon got him here but there is so much criticism about his fringe views, it's where the conspiracy theories come from, is that what trump wants? does he want bannon to leave? >> i don't -- i have not heard that. the president's only spoken very highly to me of steve bannon. i've seen them down here several times down in florida. the president i think is a loyal guy. steve was very loyal to him when very few people supported him and i think when you look at all of these -- i've known steve for a number of years now. i first met him about 15 years ago when he was in private
business. i have never seen any racist or anti-semitic behavior on his part. i think you could go through anybody's websites and find people making comments that are inappropriate -- >> hold on a second. >> i don't think that reflects steve. >> on news max, if you put news max up against breitbart, do you believe the level of offensive language and racism would be the same? >> well, i haven't compared both of them but i do think news max tends to be much more careful than things that go on breitbart that is true. and we are not breitbart. but i do believe that steve personally so you can listen to -- if i tune in to the howard stern show today i would hear a lot of things. do i think howard stern's a racist, no. i hear some pretty wild things on that show. >> i don't think that's fair. if you are a news organization,
a public person, what you put out there in the world matters. >> well, if you actually see what steve himself has put out, i'm not here to defend steve bannon. we have disagreements on lots of things, like i'm not for protective tariff. i am much more open i think than steve son immigration. i think we need immigration, we need legal immigrants. we need a humane policy dealing with immigrants. i think america's future depends on immigration. so i would have some policy differences with steve but on a personal level i don't think he's a bad guy. i think that the president obviously -- my experience with donald trump is his much more of a essential truss than steve has been in the past, he much more wants to occupy the middle ground, the common ground with people. he's a compromised deal maker type and i think we're going to see more and more of that coming through as the months and years go on in the trump
administration. >> we'll see. all right, chris. thanks for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thank you, stephanie. >> any moment now president trump will be speaking to a -- tongue tied -- wounded veterans from the wounded warriors organization. we'll take you there live when it begins. president trump voices his support for bill o'reilly has nearly 40 companies have pulled their advertising from his television show. does the president's support help or make things worse? you're going to be hanging out in here. so if you need anything, text me. do you play? ♪ ♪ use the chase mobile app to send money in just a tap,
welcome back. i'm stephanie ruehl and it is time now for your morning primer. we begin inside the white house. president trump has just arrived at an event where he will address a group of wounded veterans. the vice president is speaking now. >> the house is set to leave today for a two week break. this comes without any progress on the health care deal which republican lawmakers spent the week trying to revive. >> and a secret service agent assigned to mike pence has been suspended after reports he solicited a prostitute.
the agent has been placed on administrative leave pending disciplinary action. right now astronaut john glenn is being led to rest at arlington national cemetery. he was the first american to orbit the earth. he died in december at the age of 95. a life well lived. and pepsi has pulled its controversy ad less than a day after it's release. the advertisement shows kendall jenner ending a protest with a can of soda. it came under major strut any for making light of the racial protest and police brutality. pepsi took ownership saying clearly we missed the mark and we apologized. >> president trump is about to take the podium. he's speaking to a room full of wounded veterans. mike pence just spoke. we'll take you there now. >> i thank you very much.
i want to thank you, vice president pence, for your wonderful introduction, but maybe more importantly for your incredible service to our country. you have done an incredible job, thank you very much. [ applause ] >> melania and i are deeply honored to join you all today and to stand here among real heros, these are real heros. secretary shelkin and secretary zinke right in front of us working so hard. i want to thank you for joining us as we pay tribute to america's warriors and i call them america's winners because they are winners and mark this year's soldiers ride. the soldier ride has been very, very unique. lieutenant general lynnington, devon shay and all of the
dedicated people at the wounded warrior project. thank you for organizing this event, really great job, an amazing event and thank you for serving those who have so bravely served our nation. on behalf of the country, let me extend to all of the riders and your families, the warmest, possible welcome into i call it the people's house. this is the people's house. it's the white house, but it's the people's house and i thank you all very much. especially all of the folks that are on stage with me. you are something very amazingly special. thank you. thank you. [ applause ] >> you've risked all that you have, all that you possess to keep our people safe and our democracy secure and we're going
to keep it going folks for a long time, that i can tell you, in your honor. we're going to keep it going. you've earned our freedom with your sweat and your blood and your incredible sacrifice. we salute you, we salute your service and we salute the flag you have so courageously protected. we love our flag. thank you. [ applause ] >> the story of today's event is a story about america and the strength of her citizens. in 2004, a young man working in a tavern on the east end of long island, i know that end of long island very well, was moved by a desire to help his family americans returning from iraq and afghanistan. so chris carney had an idea.
with the support of friends, chris wrote a bike across the country to raise funds and awareness for the wounded warrior project. great people. he biked 4,000 miles, wow, where's chris? where is chris? stand up. 4,000. man. wow. [ applause ] >> and raised at the time $1 million. this act of devotion to our heros inspired others and since that first year, the soldier ride -- it's why we're here today -- has become an annual event that unites and up lifts our nation. president bush hosted the first soldiers ride at the white house in 2008 and i am proud to continue this incredible tradition and we're going to keep it going for a long time.
i should have it for about seven more years. [ applause ] >> most of all, i'm proud to stand here today before all of you and to share with the nation the depth of our gratitude and the height of our total admiration for these folks, for our veterans, for anybody in uniform. and that includes our great men and women in blue. and i want to thank all of them because they're just incredible people. each of you is forged in battle the sacred bonds of loyalty that link our people together, our country, our values, our very way of life endures because of you and it endures because brave americans raise up in every
generation and they really do, they rise to the occasion like nobody can rise to an occasion. to fight for this country and to defend its citizens with every ounce of blood, sweat and tears in their bodies. our way of life continues because of men and women who are willing to sacrifice anything and everything to protect their fellow warriors and to protect all of us. you've not only poured out the blood and all of your blood in some cases for this country, but you've poured out the love from your souls and from your hearts. each of you has carved your place into the history of this incredible nation and i can tell you into our hearts. it is that love which brings us
here today which binds us together as one people and which offers us the hope and promise of a future that is safe and secure and free. with one grateful heart and one mighty spirit the people of our nation thank you, they really thank you and embrace you as you carry on this magnificent soldier ride. good job. good job. may god bless you, may god bless our incredible country, may god bless our warriors and let's have a great ride because i'll tell you what, i couldn't do it. thank you. thank you. congratulations.
congratulations. thank you. [ applause ] >> president trump speaking to a room of runded veterans. when he started -- clearly a group of men and women to honor, when he started, i call you winners. it does make me think of something he did say in the past, calling john mccain a loser because he was captured, so how do you balance -- how does the president get up there knowing, all those vets in the room, what did he say about john mccain? >> vets don't care what he said about john mccain. if you look at trump organization over the last 30 years he's had a tremendous amount of respect for vets. he's clearly hired them in the administration. his respect and admiration is of the highest esteem. we have a president here who wants to empower our military. wants to make sure that their mission is clear, clearly stated. they know what the goals are and
they have the skills and the equipment to achieve them. this president loves our military and i think our military loves him equally. >> it should be that way, he's the president of the united states and commander in chief so i expect him to have the highest regard. he hasn't necessarily used supportive rhetoric in the past. he talked about the military doesn't win any more. i hope that we see a more respectful tone because it's too important for him to go off at the cuff like he does oven. >> we're going to take a break. next in about an hour the senate is set to deploy the nuclear option. plus more advertisers pulling their commercials from the o'reilly factor as the president voices his support for the news anchor. did president trump make it worse? ♪
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruehl. house intelligence chairman doin will step aside from the russia investigation. this has been in the news pressure for him to step aside for a couple weeks now. i want to take you to capitol hill where casey is standing by. >> reporter: this is something of a surprise here.
we had heard from republican leadership over and over again that there was full confidence in devon nunes. we know it's going to be taken over by a trio of republican congressman, michael conway from texas, tray gowdy and tom rooney. i'm also told by a source that devon nunes stepped out of a meeting and he stepped out early. not clear if he was being pulled out in order to be informed of this news or how this happened. we're still working on all of the details here, but clearly it has gotten to the point where there were some concerns about his ability to lead this investigation in a credible way and there seems to be a push to try to restore some of that credibility to this investigation here on the house side. so nunes in recent days had stopped answering questions from
reporters. if you caught up with him in the hallway, he would pretty forthcoming. he stopped doing that. this isn't the forum to take questions. that was a pretty dramatic switch over what we had seen over the past few weeks. we are waiting for the speaker of the house to come and give his weekly leadership press conference, or i guess his weekly sol lowe press conference on thursday. this is expected to be the last time we'll see him in washington before congress heads out on that two week recess. that recess over the course of easter was supposed to be a potential work period for the house intelligence committee. they had been discussing whether or not to take depositions, to do interviews during that period of time. that was one of the potential sticking points between democrats and republicans. so we'll see if this change kind of makes it a little bit -- takes the temperature down a little bit, makes it easier for democrats and republicans to
work together here. >> i want to bring my panel back in. i have a new guest, conservative column kristin tate. brian you surprised? >> i am. i am surprised, but my full confidence in the three people that are moving forward. the decision was made quickly. you move on and move on with the process and you let all the facts land where they land. >> was this the right move? >> we don't have all the facts yet. the investigation will continue. i have full confidence as well. i'm happy to here that tray gowdy is one of the three members that will taken over. we'll see what happened. >> the benghazi guy is taking over. i think it's important that he's stepping aside because we need a bipartisan, completely transparent investigation into what happened because it's not a partisan issue. the fact that a foreign government interfered in our election should matter to republicans and democrats. >> i know we're waiting for paul ryan. as we look at this in a broader
sense, though, do you believe with devon nunes stepping aside we can clean the slate and there can be a bipartisan effort but have too many names been called, too much bad blood? >> it was going to be a bipartisan clear transparent effort with devon to begin with. he's never been viewed as this partisan that carried the party line. he had a great reputation. he continues to have that. got tripped up on the little things. life happens. you move on to the next issue. it's going to be a bipartisan review of what took place. we're confident with the facts and it's just as simple as that. -- >> hold on. there's nothing simple about anything of this. >> absolutely. once the facts are laid out and they're laid out for the american public to see, they'll see that nothing took place. >> it would be hopeful if they were transparent up front and when it comes through, everyone
lied about it initially until it came out through reporting. >> it will be interesting to find out the white house's take. is this positive from their perspective? >> reporter: look, i was just upstairs trying to get some information around the west wing around the oval office. everybody who has that kind of insider information is with the president right now and not answering. they're in that wounded warrior event. having said that this may be the latest casualty in what has been clearly from sources inside the white house a time when the president is looking at his dropping approval ratings, looking at the chaos inside the west wing, looking at what happened with health care, looking at now having these major international problems being laid at his feet including north korea and not needing this distraction as i'm sure i just got plugged in, but i'm sure your guests have been talking
about, this could become a situation where when you have the republican and democrat heads of the senate intelligence committee feeling they have to go out and have a show of unity because there's such widespread belief here in washington that the house intelligence committee had lost all credibility there was nothing i want to share paul ryan. he's about to go to the podium for his weekly address he continues to have that trust and
i know he's eager to demonstrate to the ethics committee that he has followed all proper guide lines and laws. in the meantime it is clear that this process would be a distraction for the house intelligence committee's investigation into russian interference into our election. chairman nunes has offered to step aside as the lead republican on this probe and i fully support this decision.
of weeks we have encouraged members from across the conference, you see many of them represented here today, we have encouraged members from across the conference to come together and to try and find consensus, in particular, i want to thank kevin brady and greg waldon for being so engaged in the conversations and these talks. while we have work to do to get all the way there, we have made some real proing this week. that's why we're here today. we have come together in a new amendment that we all believe will lower premiums and provide added protections for those facing real challenges gaining access to affordable care.
this brings us closer to the final agreement that we all want to achieve. this idea was offered by two of our most conservative members, gary palmer and dave schweikert but embraced by a people representing all corners of our conference as you can see by a few of the members who are here today. i would let the authors speak more about it but let me just say briefly this amendment would create a new federal risk sharing program. it a high risk pool that will lower costs for people with preexisting conditions and lower costs for everyone else and the authors will go into more detail. following votes today i asked the house rules committee to mark up this amendment and add it to what we were all alreadying before. i want to thank gary and dave for being so productive throughout the process. their amendment makes this a much better bill. it gets us closer. this is the kind of collaborative bottom-up effort that we have been looking for, like i said we have more work to do, and those conversations continue to take place and they really show promise. but this amendment alone is real
progress and it will help us build momentum for delivering on our pledge to the country. i'd like to ask the majority leader to speak, if he could. >> thank you, speaker, thank you all for being here and good morning. i think the results of the past couple weeks have dn -- >> with el' take you back to chris jansing. chris, this seems like a bit of a surprise. it seemed the republican party was standing by devin nunes staying in this position. are you surprised to hear this from paul ryan? >> reporter: there's widespread recognition i think here throughout washington, certainly on capitol hill about the damage that was done by this rift, certainly between nunes and schiff, but more what happened here not far from where i'm standing th that he had that pr conference and second press conference he held and the deepening questions how far all of this goes. it hasn't helped certainly that the president continues to take
umbrage on twitter and elsewhereabout the russia investigation, is trying to sort of push it aside and at a time, frankly, when those on the senate side are taking it very seriously, and when the fbi investigation is ongoing. so i think that there is a sense that this had to happen. i mean, when you think back, it wasn't that long ago when they had that first hearing, when we heard from both nunes and schiff together, when they had, what a six-hour public hearing for comey and rogers, and there was almost an air of collegiality. they were conferring with each other. that relationship and the general opinion of the house intelligence committee has dropped so far, so fast. it it was almost as though something had to happen. i think there is general surprise that it happened because nunes had dug in so much, given what else we're seeing going on inside this white house, and the considerations that they have
overall as they're trying to move forward, not just obviously on health care, but on so many other things including infrastructure and taxes, not wanting a distraction strax isn't so much a surprise. >> brian, when you look over the last few days, is this a broader showing that president trump is starting to move closer to the middle? the idea if devin nunes stayed in that position would this this sort of digging in. to step back shall let's open the kimono a little, isn't that what we've heard not just were democrats but lots of republicans saying this is what we'd like, the stephen bannon contingent, where things were further to the right. in the "new york times" piece going over what's happening within the white house and it said gary kohn, who is close to jared kushner, said in private meetings that a stephen bannon plays to president trump's worst impulses. the fact that in the last two days a stephen bannon is pushed aside, let's say, you're seeing
h.r. mcmaster, wide support from democrats and republicans move up, devin nunes now saying you know what? i'm going to step down. what is this telling us about the president? >> the president is in control whether devin nunes is conducting the investigation into russia. that's a paul ryan decision. >> hold on the president -- >> you want the president involved in deciding who investigates him? >> i'm not telling you what i want. why do you think devin nunes went to the white house to see the president? to please him. >> i disagree. paul ryan and the republican house leadership made a decision to turn the page on what was going on and created an environment where people felt they were comfortable with the investigation. the president played no role whether devin was removed around. bannon conflicting voices are a good thing in an administration. it happened in reagan. it happened in clinton. it happened in w. bush, it happened in herbert walker bush. this is a pass of it thing. the country has diverse voices throughout all corners of america so it's a good thing. whether bannon was pushed aside, that's nonsense. last night he was in the
national security briefing as well last night. he's going to continue to play an active role in this administration until the president says he wants to move in a different direction. if the president didn't want him in that security council he wouldn't have been in the meeting last nice. diverse voices are good for the administration. >> i don't know that white nationalism is an example of diverse voices. that's not something that i think is just we should allow that in the argument, just for debate sake. i think it's important he's stepping aside because now we actually can have perhaps hopefully a bipartisan and transparent investigation into what happened. we have to get to the bottom of it. i don't think that these distractions whether it be the tweet about wiretapping or the attacks on susan rice which i find unfair and unfortunate, they're just side shows to the main show, which is getting to the bottom of what happened with russia, period. >> i don't think we should -- >> you know what? unfortunately we're out of time. >> okay. >> so sorry. kristen, brian, zerlina thank you for joining me. i'll send you down to washington, where kristen welker
takes over coverage. >> steph, thank you so much. good thursday morning from washington. i'm kristen welker sitting in for hallie jackson on what is yet another busy day in politics. we begin with breaking news out of capitol hill. embattled house republican intelligence committee chairman devin nunes temporarily stepping aside from the russia investigation. this as moments ago house speaker paul ryan saying the week was another great week for health care talks, announcing a little bit of progress but this morning efforts to revive that bill all together have all but been collapsing. why lawmakers are again punting, and a white house battle aftershocks from that nsc staff shakeup. steve bannon knocking down reports he threatened to quit after being bumped from the council. and happening now, a live look at the senate floor, republicans pulling the trigger on the so-called nuclear option. votes beginning in the next hour, we'll bring you up to date on all of that as judge neil gorsuch is helded for the supreme court. our team is here and ready to
go. kasie hunt on capitol hill, hallie jackson in florida where the president will be headed this afternoon and on set, white house reporter for the "wall street journal," carol lee, washington bureau chief for "usa today" susan page, marcel letceh re, former undersaeker to for defense of intelligence under president obama. i have to start with breaking news and i'll get everyone's reaction. carol, the fact that devin nunes, does he stepping aside, he was under a lot of controversy and finally he seems to be giving in at the way he handled this. >> right. and what we've seen from the white house and the speaker really strongly backing him to it becoming an unsustainable situation where there's already, there's been a complaint filed with ethics, with the congressional ethics committee about that he was talking openly about classified information and so he had that, not to mention all of the drama with his back-and-forth at the white house and reviewing documents and not fo