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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  April 10, 2017 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT

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he played more government that is year than tiger woods. >> he was lying, of course, because he was speaking. president obama averaged about 35 rounds of golf per year. and at this point in president obama's presidency, he had not tonight, the selling of a presidency, how does donald trump brand his first 100 days as a success? with the administration hard at work, two white house reporters share behind the scenes details with us tonight. also, how do you sell success when your team is not
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getting along? the in-fighting between jared kushner and steve bannon that just keeps causing headlines. and what happens next between the u.s. and russia over syria? "the 11th hour" begins now. and good evening, once again from our headquarters here in new york, the end of day 81 of the trump administration, that means starting tomorrow 18 days remain toward the first 100 days' benchmark. and there is a lot of reporting to indicate the white house is scrambling to defianne the firs 100 days in office. the news from the political correspondent, the quote is this, white house on edge as the 100-day judgment nears. the piece recounts a meeting with about 30 staffers of about one fifth leaked the deals of
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the gathering, centered rank trying to craft the message of the first 100 days, quote, 100 days is the mark issue and we have essentially two weeks to turn everything around, said one white house official. this will be a monumental task. one of the bigger challenges is turning out to be foreign policy. quoting again from the peace, mike dubke, his communications director told the aides that international affairs would present a messaging challenge because the president lacks a coherent foreign policy. there is no trump doctrine, dubke declared. some in the room were stunned by the remark. it should be noted that this meeting occurred before the airstrikes in syria, but the president's poll numbers seemed to have been helped in the past few days, which included the airstrikes in syria and the meeting with china's president.
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a new poll puts his approval rating at 43% but break that down by party and the polarization of the country is still on display here. thumbs up from the approval 83% of republicans only 11% of democrats and 42% of independents, interestingly. but even with his overall approval on the rise the negatives from the past 81 days from piled up. false claims about inauguration crowd size, combative press briefings, the mike evelflynn fg after he lied about meeting with the russian ambassador, trump's explosive phone call with the australian prime minister, of all people. jeff sessions having to recuse himself on russia, the president's wiretap claims and the ensuing devin nunes saga
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over intelligence-sharing, the meetings with russians coming to light. a crushing defeat on health care reform. reports of in-fighting inside the white house. that is a basic list today. even the president's choice of the supreme court justice, the swearing in is tarnished in the eyes of his critics after the senate had to quote, rewrite the rules to get his man confirmed. let's bring in our members of the panel, shane golmacher joins the broadcast, and the washington reporter, and here real clear politics kaitlin burns, welcome to you all. shane, with the first 100-day challenge looming, and we should be clear, fdr labelled it. he was really talking about congress but he became the author of this kind of mythic
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benchmark that the media care about much more than any actual people. what is going on inside the trump white house with this approaching? >> well, while the 100-day marker is a media creation, donald trump is so much a creation of the media that he is paying attention, too, his white house is very much obsessed with it. you heard today the gorsuch announcement, trump claimed he accomplished that in his briefing, and as you listed there is a long set of things that have gone wrong for donald trump so far so they are trying to package what has actually gone right, despite the legal setbacks and legislative defeat. they have a few things they would like to highlight, but the process of brainstorming in last week's meeting, the details of which we have at politico, show they're not on the same page just yet. >> eli, we don't dwell on that
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just yet, but the president came into the office with 100 name recognition, we've never seen that before. he is by all standards, a television star. so what have you heard further on what he has been ordering the staff to do prior to this benchmark? >> well, it's interesting, if the americans are not grading donald trump on a curve that makes the approval percentage even worse i suppose. i think inside the white house there is a realization as borne out by the meeting that shane reported on and by a lot of the reporting i have done also, in terms of they won't say this publicly, they know and the president knows that this has not gone well. i talked to a person very close to the president today who said he understands this is chaos, that they have not piled up that many wins. that they may have been slow to get out of campaign mode and to get into governing mode.
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he realizes now he needs to work with people. you think that would be something he might have understood coming in but that has been a realization that has dawned on him of late here. and really when you step back here, you have an anti-establishment figure whose biggest win so far the appointment of neil gorsuch to the supreme court was really carried out and executed by mitch mcconnell, who personifies the office, they have a long way to go. >> and kaitlin, if i asked you to define attend candidate what would you say? and if you had to define the brand of the president what would you say? >> well, i think they're very similar, i don't think we've seen a difference between candidate trump and president trump. it reminds us that president trump is kind of the marketer in
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chief, looking for the bumper sticker way to sell what he thinks he has accomplished. he is a transactional president. his experience in politics is the campaign, campaigns of course are very transactional, you win or lose. same goes for much of his business experience, governing as we know is not that kind of thing. and if you judge it in those terms he has not gotten out what he wanted to given that he is working with congress. >> so shane, if we accept that he was kind of the chaos candidate, he was about -- and i think he would say that proudly. he was about upsetting the status quo, drain the swamp and all of that. we keep saying unforced errors so far in this presidency. a lot of it is the down side risk that comes with that tendency. >> yeah, i mean, he brought in a set of people that did not have government experience. he named as chief of staff,
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reince priebus, the former chairman of republican national committee, yes, that is a political insider but no, that is not somebody who knows how congress works and that has been a huge challenge for this white house. getting bills passed, finding sponsors, knowing the sweet spots of when to push and when to pull back. and again, during this first 100 days there are likely no significant 100 achievements. in fact, they face one big deadline still. they need a bill to pass to keep the government open, needs to pass by april 28th. april 29th, is the marker. >> as they say what could go wrong? eli, we've said this president respectfully didn't come from this line of work. a lot of what he found out about the job, the history and everything from the structure he is living up to, the customs and structures, first-time knowledge, he tends to wear
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briefings very visibly. are you saying he is accepting new truths? becoming different as a manager, his twitter behavior and the like? >> well, we haven't seen as many tweets with the president this week. i'm hesitant to draw any conclusions and say anything definitively, because as we said during the campaign, as a joke, there is no pivot with donald trump. but he has been chastened by the experience of the first 100 days. the chaos theory that worked during the campaign, i don't know that the chaos theory has worked to the president's benefit. that is one thing that somebody said who is very close to the president outside the administration, they say he is looking to realize that and calm within the administration, whether it's the in-fighting or out-reach with capitol hill. he wants to notch some wins. at the end of the day they say
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he just wants to win. it's all in how you define that. the chaos has always surrounded donald trump. the organization reflects the person at the top. donald trump's corporation and his presidency thus far have been defined by chaos, in-fighting, battles, people fighting for his favor. and so even if he wants to fix it that may be tough for him to do. >> and kaitlin, polling, which he cares deeply about, which the news media cares deeply about, from a low of 35, 36, he is still up, though, under water, and for people who are searching for something presidential, i guess lobbying 60 cruise missiles into syria will have to suffice. >> right, this is a moment where presidents can control some things but they're thrust often into presidential challenges, we've seen it before. he very much campaigned as a domestic president, right? campaigning on economic issues,
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and economic populism, the steve bannon issue. and he is becoming a very different type of president he campaigned on as it relates to foreign policy. i think it will really shape what we're seeing right now and if he is looking for a win that kind of thing comes with very big risks, of course. yes, the missile strike was widely approved by the public, but there are lots of lingering questions about what happens next, of course a wariness from americans, waiting for direction. >> and the foreign policy part of it we'll take up later in the broadcast. but shane, what happened to the speculation about a new chief of staff? is there any new intel on that? >> trump has been sounding people out about alternatives to reince priebus. it doesn't sound like he wants to make a move before that 100-day marker, lest it completely subsume court and
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jury j -- coverage of that. i typically have not thought about foreign policy sending off missiles in terms of public opinion. yes, of course there is an element to that. but typically from the white house podium that is not what press secretaries speak about. but today he said this was widely praised domestically and internationally, and it was widely praised in terms of its popularity. >> shane, have you ever seen leaking like this, i know it's great for our business and coverage, but have you ever seen anything like it on a per capita white house basic? >> trump is historic in every sense of the word. >> all right, we'll take your word for it. and just out about a story we
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have been chronicling, and it reads for the next few days, trump will not be supervised by jared kushner, he will observe passover until wednesday evening. that is kind of like what the coverage has been like. the panel sticking with us after our first break. as we mentioned as the white house tries to brand this first 100-day period, it'ses trying ag to tamp down the in-fighting, but can the white house make peace after all? "the 11th hour" back right after this. i calculate how much home i can afford. i get multiple offers to compare side by side. and the best part is... the banks come crawling to me. everything you need to get a better mortgage. clothing optional. lendingtree, when banks compete, you win. okay! ...awkward.
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what is the president's perspective on the ability, the current ability of the senior advisers to resolve their differences and resolve their personality differences and work as a team? >> he is very confident. there was a lot of stuff overblown about this that makes it out into the media sometimes and gets a little bit more sensational than it truly is? >> mr. spicer had a sporty outing today, more on that later. appearing today making his 35th on-camera briefing of the still young administration and he is still having to answer questions of course about warring factions just behind him there in the trump white house west wing. while the white house has continually downplayed this narrative, the white house reports that the president himself called a message to his staff, work this out, according to the report.
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shane, eli, kaitlin remain with us. shane, a great quote stuck out, causing much movement here, in this piece, quote, anyone who thinks that steve bannon has lost his influence they don't know what the f they're talking about. family broadcast, we'll set our imagination wild and figure out what he or she was saying. what is the chance this has been overblown? we're all so wary and on the lookout constantly for shiny objects of any size, shape and form. >> you know, i do think there is one element overblown, which i do not get a sense that jared kushner and steve bannon who worked very closely on the campaign actually different lsl other. right now they're the two most
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powerful people next to the president, and they have his ear. jared kushner is a new yorker, and steve bannon has a different view. and when it comes up to issues on how to handle health care they have different visions, and so while yes, there are disagreements and a clash here, so much of it will be on the substance of what trump does. while trump was elected on broad ticket discussions, he didn't have a replacement. he said replace it with something terrific, it is up to bannon and kushner to replace it. and they differ on the specifics. >> well, i think people close to steve bannon told me what he thought were policy disagreements he has come to realize may be more personal than that. he does feel a bit kneecaped or felt that way maybe before the
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friday peace-making session that reince priebus organized. but i spoke to someone today who is not really on team bannon and they said you have to realize that steve, unlike other people like paul manafort, who was thrown overboard when he became too much of a problem, steve bannon, this person said, is close to this president. they do enjoy a close working relationship and he is really the biggest link in that white house to donald trump's political base. so there is probably some serious hesitation about actually making a change and getting him to leave the white house. but it is difficult delivering on that change. we talked in the last segment about donald trump really conforming to washington, rather than forcing washington to bend to his pugnacious style of leadership. and bannon brought in people from breitbart. but this is an establishment town. there is no populist
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infrastructure to draw on when you need to get things done. >> and kaitlin, suddenly jared kushner has this incredible portfolio. he has proximity and he has the aura and protection of family. everyone is allowed to keep family close. >> well, what is really interesting about this palace intrigue beyond washington and new york is that now that we are in the process of deciding what to do in syria, for example, deciding the fight against isis, i think the american people think who has the president's ear? it becomes a national interest, and important when you're involved in these kind of issues so deciding who has the president's ear, who is his most trusted adviser, who he he going to for this advice, i think matters in the outside and broader context. but yes, jared kushner's
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portfolio seems to be growing day by day, also as he is close to the president by family relation and we know he is a trusted adviser of his, he is not someone who will be forced out by the president. so let's see how long this kind of detente lasts. >> and shane, don't look now but coming down the pike is tax reform, which you know so many people don't realize what goes into that. there is a reason why it has not been done in a long, long time. and then oh, by the way, let's all agree on infrastructure. that is what we want, who gets it, who gets the contracts for it. where the right of ways will be decided when you add six lanes to the super highway. this is a crowded agenda and we have days ticking by. >> i do think it's a complete misunderstanding of how washington works to think you can move from health care failure to tax reform and say
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this is going to be easier. health care was last done eight years ago, tax reform was last done in 1986 and that was a bipartisan package. ronald reagan rolled that out with the support of congressional democrats. and trump will be looking for a tax package where he will be unlikely to start with any democratic support. and any changes you make will fissure the republican party. there are deep divisions on the type of taxes you should cut, what you should raise, and it goes back to the administration wing. you have another wing that is more tied to wall street. gary cohen, the former president of goldman sachs is more allied with jared kushner, is deeply involved in the tax package. how do you reconcile those two things? it's not clear that you can. >> and eli, what is your cocktail party answer when someone asks donald trump, who once called himself a democratic
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new yorker, who was pro choice, got lined up with bannon, and by extension that kind of movement outside the republican party? >> well, you really do get the sense that donald trump said a lot of what he had to say to win a republican primary and then to get elected. he does believe deeply in some of the things related to immigration, trade is important to him. but in terms of being able to deliver on that he is not going to be able to take responsibility himself. a lot of things on his white board in the office they have not gotten done. there is not a sitting trade rep, the nomination for that position. a priority we thought for the president, that person is not done yet. there is a lot of to do things on his list as we approach the 100-day mark. he is trying to figure out how to show some wins for his base but also how to govern. at the end of the day he just wants something to hold up as a
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win. he is so ideological malleable, but at the end of the day he just hopes he has something to show for it. >> what a terrific panel, thanks to all of you, shane, kaitlin, and eli, we'll take our second break and the serious consequences on the in-fighting, secretary of state rex tillerson heads to russia just days after the u.s. launches missiles into syria when "the 11th hour" continues. hey allergy muddlers
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this week secretary of state rex tillerson will face the biggest challenge of his yet short shorten tenure in office. he will make a trip to russia and do it with the added scrutiny of multiple investigations between the trump administration, trump campaign and russia. he is tasked with discussing the serious issues of requesting the syrian president stop using chemical weapons on his people. and the trump administration as we saw this weekend is spending a


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