tv Deadline White House MSNBC June 27, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
today. mitch mcconnell and colleagues took to the microphones to attack obamacare. >> the schedule may have changed a little bit but one thing that hasn't changed obamacare is collapsing. >> it's a bus, going off a cliff and democrats are saying stay on board, we're trying to rescue the american people. >> but seven years after that law was passed, the republicans failed to garner enough votes to pass an obamacare reform or repeal bill. we have chris jansing from capitol hill, wrangling white house eli stoke hols, i know you were at the white house where the action has moved from capitol hill down there. what do members expect to hear from the president? is he disappointed about a win or willing to be patient and wait for them to get their act together in the fall? >> you know, i think that the white house would like to see
something get done by august so they feel like they have a little time. i don't know the administration was all that set on having a vote this week. but i think members are kind of waiting to see what they hear from this president. i think they anticipate that this is an executive who above all really wants a deal to get done. they saw the process play out similarly when the bill went through the house, first it was withdrawn. they had to meet and get together and president had to hear a lot of concerns from a lot of different lawmakers then they got to a place where they could get a bill through the chamber and have a celebratory press conference in the rose garden. i think the likeliest thing is that the president will hear people out. he met earlier with rand paul at the white house, had an individual one on one meeting with him, i think this is a president who is open to picking up the phone to doing the one on ones to the group meetings to hearing people out and trying to sort of do what he can to help massage a deal but this is going to be tough. >> did it hurt their efforts
that the president master brander had branded that house bill as mean, had branded the senate republican efforts as lacking heart. are you picking up any sort of sense of shared responsibility, that maybe the white house comments and president's tweets weren't always constructive from a legislative standpoint? >> yeah, you can read between the lines, not just the president's tweets, expressing frustration that ab outside group supporting this president and re-election is always already there attacking senator heller in nevada, the most vulnerable republican in the senate. a lot of frustration they can't get on the same page and also the mixed messaging and inconsistencies, they are used to it coming from donald trump at this point, the early morning tweets, say one, then say another. they continue to say things like the first bill was mean, they don't want a bill that's mean.
the talking point from the white house continues to be the president wants to see a bill with heart but that is just the talking point that allows them a lot of wiggle room at the end of the day to try to put something down on paper that 50 republican senators can support, whether or not it actually has heart will always be in the eye of the be holder but the president is trying to leave them room even though he's ziging and zaging and con founding the members on the hill. >> chris jansing, was there simply not a middle path between the policy priorities of the conservatives like ted cruz and rand paul and mike lee and the moderates, people really, really worried about those cuts in medicaid funding like susan collins and others? >> this is nothing short of a republican rebellion that exposed the big divisions and ranks. rand paul in the meeting with the president that ee lee referenced, he said look, this
has to be a total repeal. he wanted moneys for a health saving s account and the people on the other side, the lisa murkowskis, who were looking for more mod pratt rat programs. they live in the most rural states in the amount of medicaid recipients, right around high 40 percent, 51% for the two of them. and remember, a lot of this was negotiated behind closed doors, no women were involved, the democratic messaging clearly had been getting out privately some republicans acknowledged that they had been successful. phones had been ringing off the hooks in the capitol. part of the message, there could be as many as 13 million women who could lose coverage if they get pregnant. obviously planned parenthood. in the end to your question, it really nicole was about these
divisions and how do you bridge the gap. in a republican party where they feel different where the deficiencies of this bill are. >> chris, i'm wondering what they think time is going to do. my sense is when it comes to health care, this isn't a political football. this is people's lives and people's children's medicine. their parents nursing home. this is deeply personal to people no matter what side of it you're on. how is time going to help heal divisions in the views of the xrat gift who thought buying time might get them to 50. >> i'm not sure that's what it is. there's no question mitch mcconnell wanted to get this done this week. most of the people i have talked to who were in the senate think it makes it more difficult. certainly i found that the democrats i've talked to are energized about this because i know my inbox is full of people who are sending e-mails from these organizations that o
opposed it, whether it's doctors, special interest groups, saying call your member of congress as i've been checking in with senators, talking about phone calls 10-1. even john thune told me that he has been getting tons of phone calls and when i asked him about the opposition, he said well, it's always the opposition in these cases that are energized but in this case they are going to be going home to a lot of even republican constituents even trump voters who have been seeing the headlines in the local papers and hearing stories and are concerned. i will tell you one of the surprising things for me the last week when i went to a trump rally in iowa, these are people who had been to dozens of trump rallies who told me there was nothing they thought would turn them against donald trump. they were worried about one health care. the way one democrat put it to me, i'll quote him there, this could be the most crucial recess of this presidency, what those republicans find when they go back to their states.
>> chris jansing, thank you very much for carving out some time for us on a very busy day. we'll go to peter alexander at the white house with reports up to 40 senators have already arrived. what do they expect to hear? this isn't the celebration that they had in the house side, a different kind of meeting today. >> the last time we saw a bunch of buses rolled up to the white house about a month ago, all of the house republicans who framed the president for the celebration in the rose garden. later would then say the bill he celebrated with them was mean. today senators arrived here under different circumstances and sarah huckabee sanders wouldn't cast in any specific terms how the president viewed the mood of the senate bill, whether it was also mean, more mean, less mean than the last one. suffice to say the president will be meeting with dozens of republican senators a short time from now. it will take place in the state dining room, an opportunity to hash out details as they try to
i guess resuscitate this in the near future. what's notable is the sort of difference in the tactics that this white house, this president has taken this time around versus the last one. last time around there were a series of meetings before any decisions were made. the president made a lot of phone calls then to house members and also had a lot of republican senators over -- republican lawmakers to the white house. this time although he met with rand paul today, his only real broad visit is after the bill is being pulled and notably as we talk about the bill now being pulled, you're seeing what some would question in terms of a show of -- only after the bill is pulled, both of those senators are saying, we were a no as well. >> peter alexander, jump back in our hour if you pick up anything interesting from the meeting. i'll bring in my panel, donny
deutsch and harold ford and peter baker, out with a brand-new book today, obama, the call of history. >> congratulations. >> thanks. >> joining me from washington, there's more, matt slat, conservative union and heidi for usa today and nbc analyst. you cover this white house and everyone knows this president loves to win. do you think it hurt his efforts at winning that he really never sort of got in line with any conservative principles when it came to health care, kept talking about more heart, less mean. anything that was going to do anything to roll back obamacare was going to have to pick some priorities and make tough choices. do you think anyone had that talk with the president snd. >> i don't think we have a sense of what this president wants the bill to be. we don't know the top priorities other than saying the obamacare program is gone. he made a point of saying it isn't working and collapsing in its own weight own ought to be
fixed but he hasn't weighed in, this is the only way i see doing it. in some ways that might help him get to a deal. >> why didn't he work with democrats? >> i don't think he has conservative impulses when it comes to health care. i remember during the primary god, to sean hannity, we can't let people die on the streets. i think he has an impulse to covering as many people as possible. why didn't he start with a bipartisan effort? >> the incentive structure used to be if you could call a bill bipartisan you're rewarded and today you're penalized. that's how they came to a conclusion, doesn't have much cross party support and steve bannon tells him stick to your base, if you lose your base, you've lost everything and the president was sticking to a republican only negotiation. that doesn't work if you have two you can lose. >> we're going to let matt weigh in in a little bit.
we're lucky to be joined by chris van holen of maryland. thank you for being with us, senator. >> great to be with you, nicole. >> i want to play you something that one of our correspondents got for us from lisa murkowski, one of your colleagues, republican senator from alaska. >> would you be a proponent of trying to work across the aisle to make the fixes as opposed to saying we have to start over? >> absolutely. the congress of the united states whether you're a republican or democrat in the house or senate, working on problems that are part and parcel of who we are as americans. this is -- this is not -- this is not for republicans to fix or democrats to fix. this is for us as americans to fix. >> senator, let me ask you, she was stopped in her tracks by this question of whether or not she would work with democrats. would you work with republicans
to make necessary reforms to obamacare. >> yes, let me make really clear, this particular bill that's in front of the senate right now, is rotden to its core. it really destroys the affordable care act and doesn't attempt to fix it or improve it. we know the more people look at it, the more they hate it. we know that the fundamental bargain in this bill is to knock tens and millions of americans off affordable health care in order to give the tax breaks to wealthy americans. if our republican colleagues will put that aside and that has been part of the pattern of all of these bills if they put that aside, we're happy to work with them to fix the exchanges. many of them are working well but many are not. we put forward reproposals to improve the exchanges. make no mistake, that has never been the goal of the republican plan -- >> do you doubt the sincerity of
senator murkowski then? >> i'm not doubting the sincerity of senator murkowski? >> of senator collins? who do you think you could work with? >> we can work with any senator who agrees that we should put aside the fundamentally rotten core of this bill. and -- >> i understand the talking point is rotten core. let me get a question out and the floor is all yours. obamacare was never more popular than it became when republicans started messing with it. before republicans threatened taking it away it had serious problems and most democrats can privately admit that was the case. i'm wondering where you see, on immigration there was a gang of eight. what kinds of members and what kinds of fixes you'd be open to working toward. >> nicole, i think all of our members are prepared to work with our republican colleagues
to improve the exchanges within the affordable care act. we've seen rising premiums and rising deductibles and we know from the congressional budget office report that this bill will only make those things worse but there are very practical things ke can do together and many have introduced legislation to do that. we welcome the opportunity to sit down with republicans as long as they abandon the idea of going behind closed doors and doing everything in secret. we said we're willing to work with them. >> that wasn't productive. let me ask you about elizabeth warren. she says all democrats on the ballot and next two federal elections should back a single payer health care program. would she be in those meetings or she thinks everyone should back a national single payer system. is that a position that helped or hurt you guys -- i think you lost four out of fire special elections so far? i'm confused where the
democratic party is on health care, where war enis and working on fixes. >> number one, in the very near term, what we want to do is improve the exchanges. reject the republican effort to blow things up, focus on improving the exchanges, but yes, democrats have a larger vision. it may not be unanimous, i believe we should create a public option within the at fordable care act exchanges, pled ca medicare for all type auctiopti. and help drive down the premiums and deductibles by creating more competition. that's an idea that we would embrace. i think most democrats would embrace that idea and you can then billed on that. but that is not something that our republican colleagues have been willing to talk about. maybe -- maybe if they hear from the american people and we do
defeat this thing completely, maybe then they'll be willing to come to the table and engage in a discussion and not hide behind closed doors in secret meetings. >> thank you. i appreciate it. please come back and see if us if there are any breakthroughs. >> will do. >> we're keeping an eye on the white house where we can see that senators have made their way into the complex and meeting is under way there's president trump, senator murkowski over his shoulder who just said moments ago and susan collins, both of them open to supporting a bill that is more generous to the people in their state and at least senator murkowski on the record saying she's open to working with democrats. i want to bring matt slap into the conversation. i heard a democratic senator quho got his copy of the talking points about being rolten to the core, but didn't hear as much desperation from him as i heard from lisa murkowski to solve a problem. i wonder, where you think this
center is? i think that senator murkowski and collins and portman, some -- it's not fair to call them all moderates but they were worried about the medicaid cuts and reforms. i wonder if you think there is in potential for a gang of eight compromise to happen around health care reform or if you think republicans are sort of committed to their policy position as sort of the party line democrats are to theirs? >> look, nicole, you're right. really, the senate is a very spontaneous place. mitch mcconnell has the tistle fl leader and these members can do what they want. if they are mode rat republicans who want to work with democrats encome up with their own version of things, they can do it at any time they want. if you ask the right question, are they united on making changes or united to making sure
there's nothing done that baekens obama care, republicans know they want to do it, just don't know if they agree on the best way to do it. democrats have shown zero desire to do anything to repeal and replace obamadare. >> what they get hung up on is the repeal part. where there is sort of agreement on right -- how do you spin this as anything other than just a colossal fail on republicans? >> today? >> republicans have been talking about repealing and it and now control the senate and white house and have a nothing burger to shoal for it. >> i think this is put up or shut up time for republicans. we ran around this country, obamacare was an abomination and now to get them to pass and if
they fail to do that in the senate, there will be hell to pay at the ballot box. >> what are you hearing in terms of what happens next? >> i think it's really significant that you're hearing senators collins and murkowski talk this way. if you looked at senator kol inz' statement from last night, she wants to fix obamacare, the more you see senators talk like that and time given for this to be torn apart which now it will over this heated recess where we may see the same thing happen to senate bills as we did to house members, it will make it harder for members to come together. we're in a very idealogical place where republicans won by campaigning on repeal and replace. but the american people are not idealogical and what they are focused on is not so much the repeal but the replace. now they are seeing what that replace is and by the cbo estimates, 22 million people would lose health care.
you compare that to the problem we have today, the problem that we have today is that a sliver of the population, about 3% is paying really exosh tant premiums and something needs to be done about that. the question is, if you leave ideology aside, do you go in there and surgically correct that problem in the individual market or do you go to a free market really more idealogical free market driven approach which by the way there's not a good model for this anywhere else in the world which is why they are struggling to show counter what the cbo numbers are showing and sell this to the american people. >> thank you. joining us now the third highest ranking democrat in the senate. thank you so much for spending your afternoon with us. i know it's a busy day. i wonder if you have heard -- i won't play it again, but lisa murkowski stopped in her tracks when she was asked if she was
open to working with democrats. i wonder if you're open to working with republicans on fixing the parts of obamacare that are not sustainable? >> absolutely. you know, i've talked about this from day one. step back for a minute and think how different today would have been if republicans the very first day of this senate session back january h4th, had not passd a budget reconciliation procedure, not going to take democrats in with us, we're going to put 13 men in a room and write this bill. our only goal it to repeal obamacare. what if they had said we want to work with you to fix the problems of our health -- >> you've got someone who said it. now you've got senator murkowski who said it. if she wanted to meet with you tomorrow, who would you bring with you on the democratic side? i saw elizabeth warren says all democrats should back a single payer health care system in the
next two elections. that doesn't sound like you're on the same page when it comes to doing something in the middle. >> i think what lisa murkowski has been saying and what i have been saying and many democrats believe this, let's get an idea of what the problems are and work to solve them for the health care system. when i go home and talk to people, they aren't saying any quote words, i'm really worried if i lose my health care, my daughter won't get the coverage she needs and worried about my parent in the nursing home. you know all of the things mem are scared about. let's listen to what they want, affordable quality health care that will not be used politically by any party but make sure they've got certainty in their world. if we sat down with that premise and started working with each other, i'm confident we could come up with ways to move forward. >> who you take a meeting tomorrow with republicans who wanted to work on a bipartisan
measure along the lines of the bipartisan immigration reform bill that didn't pass but got farther than anything that came from extreme wings of either party? >> if i knew the republicans i were sitting down with shared the goal of fixing our health care system, so it was more affordable, had good quality and people could deal with some of the rising costs that is hurting so many families and not -- >> i'm sorry to interrupt you. may i ask -- >> may i ask you to listen in to president trump with me and give me reaction on the other side. speaking to republican senators right now. >> melting down as we speak. rates are going up and in fact it's interesting that you're sitting next to any because in alaska it was 206%, a 206% increase in alaska. i used to use arizona as the standard, 116%. it's really meltdown and we're going to try to solve the problem. i invited all of you and i think
we have either 52 out of 52 or 50 out of 52 and either one is pretty good as a percentage. we're going to talk and see what we can do. we're getting very close. for the country, we have to have health care. and it can't be obamacare which is melting down. the other side is saying all sorts of things before they knew what the bill was. this will be great if we get it done and if we don't get it done, it's going to be something we're not going to like and that's okay and i understand that very well. but i think wif a chance to do anything very, very important for the public. very, very poimportant for our country that we love. i'll ask the press to leave. i greatly appreciate you folks being here. we love you very much, you're very kind and understanding. but we will now ask you to leave. thank you very much, everybody. >> senator, thanks for staying with us, your reaction? >> well, first thing i'd say, he
started with the premise that obamacare is melting down. that's what he's been trying to do since the beginning of his administration. stop trying to make obamacare melt down. ask the questions. he's looking at 50 or 52 republicans and saying let us fix this on our own. that immediately again excludes all democrats. in order to get anything through that the public will accept, you need tomorrow from both parties at the table, public hearings, listen to the experts, try and come up with ideas that we can share and move forward. i've done it with budgets before and other people have done it with policy but you don't do it by excluding people from the room who have different ideas. >> can i ask one really weird question, do you actually think this president is o poised to any specific policy in obamacare and if so what? >> i think what this president
has said is he's gone out to rallies and said repeal oba obamacare because he could get a big applause line. i don't know he understand exactly what the provisions were or what we're trying to accomplish in our health care system today for more affordable quality care. i heard him say your premiums won't go up and promises but doesn't know the details of what that means. you can't negotiate a bill if you just make promises and aren't looking at what the real impacts are across the country. >> thank you so much for spending time with us. please come back. >> you bet. >> saber rattling in syria. was the white house sending a signal or preparing military options and white house finally answers questions on camera but comes out swinging. another combative moment in the briefing room coming up. (baby crying)
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we're back, i'm anxious to hear from my table what we just heard. we have a republican senator who stops in her tracks when asked if she will work with democrats, of course i will and two democratic senators, as long as you don't change anything about obamacare i'm in. >> i'm disgusted as an american, i was watching you try to navigate and get them to move an inch. it was disgusting coming out and watching mcconnell and thune and first thing out of their minds, we have to destroy obamacare and democrats and chuck schumer, we have to save obamacare. let's call this obama/trump care, that is literally the insanity in a childlike nature of this problem. it's a branding issue -- >> i don't think obamacare if you renamed it trumpcare. >> if you're donald trump and i have a simple piece of advice for him, he wants to be the outsider and radical. stand up, say i promise this
country one thing, that people will not lose the health care and i know this is fantasy land, i want ten democrats and ten republicans, get in a room. my only mandate, nobody is losing health care, maybe the deficit hawks will suffer. whatever it is, maybe you'll pass with 30 republicans and 24 democrats. that's the way to do this. this has to -- >> let's bring harold in. president trump is not idealogical when it comes to health care. i don't think his reflexes are for truly conservative health care market based solutions, i think he would be comfortable with something more bipartisabi. he said the senate bill needs more heart. why can't this happen and who are the democrats that could sort of put aside their other issues with him and go down there and try to work with him on a bill? >> i share your thoughts and donny's thoughts, it was weird
watching chris and patty, both had to make clear it was rotten to the core, they needed good faith republicans to work with. your disgust is shared. the people he should be sitting with right now at the white house are the governors. because the governors are the ones who have been charged with taking the extra medicaid dollars and administering a program and expanding medicaid as we know it. democrats believe -- i don't agree with elizabeth warren, she may be part of the coalition you you are talking about. you need 30 and 20 or 50 votes and pennsylvania would break the tie. let them explain what's working and not working. that should have been the basis for the start of it. obama and trump made the same mistake, they outsourced it to the congress. the congress was unable to find the right way. obama had more success because nancy pelosi was a far more effective bringer together than paul and mcconnell have been able to be. at the end of the day, a big part of has worked. the parts have not worked they should fix.
the challenge is people like rand paul and ted cruz, they don't believe the government should play any role in stabilizing the health markets. >> they don't get to come in the room also. >> they can go to the diner with warren. >> murkowski, the sasses and portman, may be two or three more, that group should be what you ought to start with. but donald trump generally believes if he puts his name off and puts trump on it, it's better automatically then he'll come back and fix -- i don't mean to be flippant, but this is whom he is and run into a real brick wall here. heidi said it, there's an idealogical challenge here. if you allow yourself the impasse it's never going to get done. you have to get 25 republicans and 25 democrats and let's try to get this done. he can't get it with republicans and list ping to patty and
chris, not going to get it with democrats either. >> let me ask you, who in the white house could get behind this idea of sort of letting trump be trump on health care. i don't think the true trump is a idealogical conservative on health care. this legislative process, like something falls out and there he's tweeting about more heart and too mean. who in the white house would ever entertain the idea of having him spearhead or lead any sort of bipartisan policy process on health care? >> in theory you believe gary cohn, ivank trump maybe, perceived to be more moderate, middle of the road but not seem to be playing much of a role in this. steve bannon is a base oriented thinking and they played in the house process, maybe to their
detriment and trying to let mcconnell hurt his -- and hasn't worked. >> trump could be a hero. do it. that's it. >> let me ask the guy who wants trump to be a hero to give us the last word. do you think trump is sort of in the state of mind to do something that makes groups yours mad but may deliver him a win? >> matt wouldn't be mad. >> he doesn't stay mad. he's on my show. fantasy land. >> talk to my wife, i get mad. trump wants wins and what he wants to do is be able to say to the people who elected him, we saw a failing obamacare and we did what we could to make sure that the premium cost of these -- for these insurance options came down but i think you have to look at the very central thing for democrats, if obamacare fails, what is the
next step? it's going to be a government takeover. we saw this with the banks and see this over and over again. failure is the democrat's friends. >> nicole? >> one thing to adhere, we have a solution to this branding program. we should take obama and trump out of it and call it with romney care. it's what was successfully done in massachusetts but it's exemplifies how much we're unable to talk to each other. >> eli, i want you on this idea. we heard john kasich out with his democratic governor, the kbofers are sounding off about the cuts to medicaid. republicans weren't just looking at republican opposition on the hill. there was republican opposition out in the land too. >> yeah, i was at the national press club and kasich was standing up there with john hickenlooper of colorado and say what you will about their national ambitions and political
benefit of appearing together, both trying to put pressure on folks from their states and on senators members of their own party, kasich especially with rob portman trying to put pressure on them, to say do the right thing, this is going to hurt people. but it sounded like they were coming from some other planet that it was so foreign in washington whereas you heard in the interviews you just did, no trust across the aisle either way between republicans and democrats. you see the people driving this process at the white house, it's mike pence and mark short. conservatives who have relationships with the conservative leaders on the hill. they are not prewired to work with democrats on this. it seems pretty far fetched what they were talking about perhaps the intractability of the republican caucus as we've seen when they were in the minority. we'll see it more now that they were in the majority and lead to someplace where the only option is a bipartisan solution but it still feels that's a long way
off at this point. >> we have to squeeze in a quick break. the new warning on syria as president trump drawing his own red line? david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college.
prevagen. the name to remember. >> a striking late night message from the white house causing a stir in washington and around the world. warning of a potential imminent attack in syria, quote the u.s. has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians including innocent children. the united states is in syria to eliminate the islamic state of iraq and syria. if however mr. assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price. that led our kristen welker to a very pointed question last hour. >> if syria is poised to launch another chemical weapons attack, isn't that an acknowledgement
that the air strikes in april didn't work, sarah? >> look, i think that our goal every day is to do what we can to protect life in all forms and to take steps to move the ball forward in defeating isis and defeating all efforts of terrorism and i think the statement yesterday helped do that. >> why will a paper statement work when air strikes didn't dissuade bashar al assad. >> i don't know it didn't based on what we know at this point. >> hans, what do you know? >> well, if you want -- looking for example of how off message the white house and pentagon was last night when this initial statement came out from sean spicer about an hour beforehand, secretary mattis on his plane talking to reporters heading to
europe, we refuse to get into the syrian civil war and want this to end diplomatically. the pentagon spent most of the day and morning cleaning things up. what they did, yes, in fact there is intelligence so they corroborated the white house' account and said this intelligence led them to believe that something changed over the last 24 hours and there was compelling evidence that syria potentially was preparing for a chemical attack but just last night when this first statement came out, all of the calls we made -- didn't seem the white house notion had reached the highest level of government and you kind of see that, mattis talking to reporters almost heading in the opposite direction where spicer was going. >> eli, what does the white house have to say about getting itself on such a different page that from the pentagon and from central command i think who also responded that they had no
knowledge of any of this? >> well, the white house this morning was forced to issue a statement kind of cleaning it up saying that any reports that people at the pentagon weren't aware of this were just erroneous reports, fake news as they like to say and just moving past it that way. it's been very hard to get more answers and more clarity on what actually per sip tated this very strange statement that came out last night, really seemed like a one off. obviously if this was a priority a national security priority, something that was imminent, you would expect it would come from h.r. mcmaster, not political appointee sean spicer, the press secretary and also expect that the president's first statements the next morning wouldn't be airing grievances but follow-up about something very serious, his press secretary drawing another red line with a statement that took everybody by surprise the night before. really not much follow-up on that. again, you view this in the
context of a president who his own staffers like to say never telegraphs his moves and never satisfies what he's going to do. if he was threatening assad, hard to see that being in character. so still a lot more questions than answers as far as what that was about and what precipitated the statement itself. >> peter baker, you are the resident scholar in terms of this president seeing himself as everything that his predecessor was not. i think it's fair to say this president saw president obama not having his finest hour when he drew the red line in syria and seems focused on syria and in doing the opposite of his predecessor. how does your larger sort of theory of the case play out in what you've seen over the last not even 24 hours but last 18 hours, sort of statements and as eli was saying, statement for the press secretary is not where sort of intel is communicated,
it's not where military moves are communicated, it's not even where foreign policy even communicated. what do you make of this and particularly against the backdrop of which you are an expert in? >> i think president trump views his mission in life in part is to undo the legacy which he sees as being damaging and the syria red line episode was one of president obama's weakest moments because it caused so many issues he didn't fully anticipate in terms of american credibility and problems with allies in the region and genuinely stopping the problem in syria. mind you, there's a bigger problem in syria, conventional weapons are used every day of the week. and many, many hundreds and thousands now have been killed and that has not been something that president trump has invested a lot of personal effort in. he does feel he can draw a red line both to make a point to president assad and distinguish
himself from president obama. >> harold, what do you make of the process points, that this came from a press secretary and not a national security official and seemed to take his own pentagon by surprise? >> i trustee lie's reporting although i'm not as disturbed or bothered by that. >> why not? >> i think two things, one, if the syrians are getting ready to use a chemical weapon, then i hope we do act. and i think it sends a signal to the syrians that our intel is better on the ground if you're aware you're going to do this. and i thought sarah huckabee sanders didn't answer the question, she should have said yes but we have to monitor this fully and all time. that worries maybe there's not communication in the white house like there should be. that's the real worry. on a raw political -- not to be cynical about it. this is a wonderful politically
for trump to do, whether they use chemical weapons or not, he wins. if they don't, he can say i told them not to and if they do, we act and end up having to act. i'm not as cynical about the flow of information here. if it turns out hr mcmaster and mattis were duped, i hope they have the decency and patriotism to say look, this is the president playing politics. short of them doing that, i'll take them at their word on this and hope and pray he doesn't use the weapons and if he does that we're prepared to act. >> hans, thanks you for spending your busy day with us. more fireworks from the briefing room, the moment that stopped all of us in our tracks.
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welcome back, everyone. in full disclosure, i've been on the receiving end of a lot of angry mobs of reporters but i've never seen anything like this. >> if we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room but news outlets get to go on day after day and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources, have, you know,
you mentioned -- >> come on. you're inflaming everybody right here right now with those words. this administration has done that as well. why in the name of heavens, any one of us are replaceable and any one of us if we don't get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel. you've been elected to serve four years. you're here to answer questions. and what you just did was inflammatory saying the president is right and everybody else out here is fake media. everyone here is only to do their job. >> i disagree completely. if anything has inflamed, it's the dishonesty by the news media. it's outrageous of you to accuse me of inflaming when i was just
trying to answer a question. >> is sarah huckabee sanneders to something or did she cross the line as she always seems to do, kellyanne conway with her alternate facts, taking a decent fact that sometimes the press gets it wrong but i thought she was schooled by brian saying we're asking questions so the american people know what's going on, you lecture us, the freeze us out. we were in a white house that was far from perfect and we never would have gotten away with what -- >> i'm a big fan of sarah --
>> i'm not making this personal. i'm just trying to get an answer to this. >> mean it would be good to go to press secretary school. i was particularly aghast today when the white house briefing of going on. there is a secretary of energy, he's trying to brief the reporters on energy week and sean spicer is answering reporters on capitol hill. there are times when you scratch your head but the bottom line question about what cnn did and what's going on with this russia probe, it does have a lot of us conservative who is are partisan republicans, saying this coverage is so breathless, it's constant and it's continually. let's see if there are facts. and i think that has led to some outrageous reporting for cnn but i applaud cnn for firing people who were involved with it because it was a scurrilous story. when they get it wrong, we ought to call them on it. >> matt, listen, as you said,
the people who got it wrong were fired. this white house goes out -- just take inauguration day for me. was sean spicer pointing at two pictures and telling us something that was not true when he said there were as many people at donald trump inauguration as there was for president obama's? >> i think that was not -- >> yes. and he still has his job. we're pursuing the russia story because donald trump met times with his fbi director and never asked hip about it jeff sessions was never briefed about hacking and sean spicer never had a conversation with the person for whom he speaks about russia. >> we're not going to fight today because -- >> i love you, man, i love you. >> i can't have you two fighting
you have to solve health care. >> 17 intelligence agents said there was this inflexion into our election so obviously we cover it. but what's getting so tiring and at some point i think trump's base is going to get tired of it. >> well, not them. >> the seven or eight that can get out the door. the "new york times" goes to press every day. once in a while they get something wrong. these are people doing jobs. the white house at some point sounds so stupid, just stupid, particularly from a president who has lied pretty much every day in office, who there have been complete mistruths or falsehoods 437 times. it's just stupid. >> let me bring in the wall street jour journal, which is t
paper conservatives trust more. do you feel the same sort of animus that everybody else in this room feels at time like today when they are lashing out over a single incident in. >> yeah, i think all of us do. and at the wall street journal and "new york times" and "washington post" and most news organizations have a very rigorous editing process to make sure what goes into the newspaper, what goes out on the air at a tv network is fact based. but this white house clearly, they relish that exchange in the briefing room today. they love these opportunities to bash the media because it's a hobby horse they love to ride that pushes everybody, their supporters and everybody else around the country back into their respective partisan corners and it works to their benefit. it insulates this president from blame when people can look at the media, believe that it's biased and then not believe the damaging story of the day or stories that are coming out about this administration. so it is very strategic. obviously it's disingenuous,
sarah huckabee sanders talking about how terrible it is that the media orelies on unnamed sources, when everyone in that white house, we've always had conversations asking to be quoted and it is nonsensicanons. >> we're going to face a crisis like you face in september of your president's first year, he's going to face a challenge when he's going to have to look the american people in their eyes and lay out something uncomfortable. the question becomes do you believe a sean spicer or a sear ra huckab -- sarah huckabee -- >> i like the huckabee family very much but that was a really bad performance. >> him whining about the media is going to get very old. >> peter baker, you've covered four white houses. >> peter's 12 still.
>> our own benjamin button in. >> in what way is this white house profoundly different? >> i had tense moments with the clinton white house, i spent 13 months covering the starr investigation, the impeachment, the trial, not fun. there's a different quality to this. this is much angrier and it's much more personal. >> thank to you my panel, donnie, harold, peter, eli, that's a final plug for peter's new book, go buy it, read it, everything he writes is perfect. time for "mtp daily." >> bush communications officers never would have uttered that comment about peter baker. >> if it's tuesday, the vote on the republican health care bill in the senate is p