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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  July 27, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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and abel, other brothers can fight with each other and get along. >> i don't know if this very pair able or not. that will be up the president. >> reaction to donald trump's surprise announcement. strong and swift from all cornerers of the political spectrum, including some of the most political voice sblz people aren't made transgender they're born that way and why should we hold that against them. we should be open to everybody. >> we have the armser is visions committee and former secretary of defense, and stay or go as the senate tries to move forward on a healthcare bill senators instead of distracted by one of their own. potentially being pushed out of the cabinet. >> if jess sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. any effort to go after mueller could be are the beginning of the end of the trump presidency, unless mueller did something
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wrong. good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in new york. we're track a white house civil war between new communications chief anthony scaramucci and chief of staff reince priebus it's broken out into the open with scaramucci going on twitter overnight and accusing priebus of leaking his financial records, even though those records are public documents, they're not classified it's not really a leak. it was the first evidence that scaramucci possibly with the president's backing might be making a move against priebus who had already lost long-time aid sean spicer and was himself on the ropes. >> i don't like what they're doing to the president of the united states or their fellow colleagues in the west wing. now, if you want to talk about the chief of staff, we have had odds, we have had differences. journalists know who the leakers are, so if reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that. >> joining me now is nbc's kelly
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o'donnell at the white house and nbc's casey hunt on capitol hill. kelly, this is extraordinary the knew communications chief after a dinner with the president going rogue you would think against the chief of staff but not really rogue if he is blessed by the president. >> and take a page right out of the president's playbook when you consider the tone and tactics that president trump has used toward his own attorney general. so the new white house communications director who had told us just days ago he would be starting in a few weeks, the white house is saying now he is officially on board now will not take a federal salary, he of course comes from the wall street health fund world and part of what he was upset about was his financial disclosure being made public. it is a publicly obtain able document, that's a standard thing we do to look at the financial records of those who work in the executive office of the president. he is believed to be worth about $85 million. so among those not taking a federal salary. going after reince priebus in a very sort of let's take it
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outside kind of way, using twitter to goat the chief of staff into talking about disclosures or leaks, you made that disfings leaks are meant to be when there's a disclosure of classified information. sure, white houses get upset when their personal conversations and strategy makes it's way in published reports, but that has always been the process of washington and journalists or state houses around the country where there are those inside the white house who are sharing what they know and very often the president himself is dialing his friends on the outside who then, of course, talk to other friends and so on and so on. so you've got a case here where scaramucci who say communications director in many ways behaving like he's the chief of staff saying he's interviewing all the santsz to the president, that's a very high level within the highest level within the white house, and challenging the chief of staff to suggest that he might be one who has been saying things unflattering to the
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president. let's remember reince priebus has worked very closely with president trump not just in the six months of this administration, but once the president got the nomination a year ago in cleveland at that convention, it's been a full year of priebus and the president working as partners. and so this is a big challenge to the tenure of reince breeb bus. >> if was very clear from all of our reporting that reince priebus was one of those along with bannon and sean spicer who are fighting the arrival of scaramucci. i want to bring to our viewers the scaramucci tweet, the deleted tweet that he subsequently deleted where he said in light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which say felony i will be act contacting fbi and the justice department #swamp @reince 45. so he's bake saying he's going to ask the fbi and justice department to investigate reince priebus the chief of staff for a possible fell any of leaking, it
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would only be a felony if it's classified information which we just pointed out is not, it was public information right out there. all of this happening, of course, as -- upon capitol hill the speaker of the house, one of reince priebus's closest friends and long time colleagues from wisconsin shared wisconsin politics paul ryan spoke. casey, that's where you are, let's just play a little bit of the speaker of the house defending reince priebus today and then talk to you about healthcare on the other side. >> all i have to say as you know reince say very close friend of mine. reince is doing a fantastic job at the white house and i believe he has the president's confidence. so if those two gentlemen have difference, my advice would be to sit down and settle your differences. >> this is jet another distraction, political distraction as you would think that the president would be focusing on trying to rally votes in this final what could be the final or ultimate day of senate voting on healthcare.
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>> and actually mr. speaker would you like to talk to andrea about -- >> how are you. >> sorry, i tried. >> that was a great try. right there the middle of of it all. >> the speaker as you know does not typically stop to chat although that was very kind of him i think four he was obviously willing to say hello. look, had is definitely a distraction and the speaker typically doesn't comment on -- he'll say i don't comment on the tweets, he tries very much to dis distance himself from all of this. i actually think it's noteworthy that he took this opportunity to stand up for reince priebus. >> i think that's been a little bit of -- it's a little bit of a departure from some of the approaches he's taken in other ways, for example, evened to kind of steering clear of saying anything about the senate healthcare bill and what the house might be willing to do. they, of course, are trying to get that done and you know what? reince priebus has been a critical part of this. and there has been some reporting and conversations
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about what the fate of the healthcare bill and how that is tied to reince priebus's future in the white house. but, you know, this is another consequence of this feud between scaramucci and priebus. people on the hill, republicans on the hill are potentially losing an ally that has been very critical for them. i mean, when republicans up here have a problem with what the white house is doing, it's reince priebus they've been calling. and it was sean spicer as well. those are people that are well known to people like paul ryan. the deep ties are just not there as much with mooch moochl and i think that's going to play out here in the policy realm in addition to the distraction that you were referencing. >> and just very briefly, the leann caldwell of nbc and nbc's reporting is that the lifting of the medical tax may have been taken out of the so-called skinny repeal and that now just has the elimination of the individual mandate. i mean, what are we getting down
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to as they head towards these final votes? >> reporter: well, that's the question. we've been talking to republicans all morning and many of them say, look, i don't know where this stands. and there -- the thinking had been it would be koulk repealing individual mandate and employer mandate along with any other popular positions, the medical device tax was thought to be one that was an easy sell. it's looking like that's not the case right now. >> thanks for your attempt to stop the speaker of the house he's walked by, thank you. . a busy day on capitol hill. the president may have managed to decision tract briefly distract attention from his failures so far oj healthcare ant conservative blowback he may not have expected for his bullying of jeff sessions by announce a major policy decision about transgender troops via twitter. today to reassure those 15,000 known transgender troops who are left with no guidance about their own future service the chairman of the joint chiefs had
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to zep in send a message to all service mens that there will nobody change in their status until they get clarification. new york's democratic senator kearse ten gillibrand serves on the armed services committee. thanks for standing by for us. this was done on twit with no clear plan, with no consultation that we can tell with the generals. apparently general mattis was on vacation was informed, but this is a major policy decision just reached in some sort of ad-hoc way. we don't know if it was for political reasons to try to reach out to the base after blowback after sessions. what do you think is is going on here and what's the impact on all of these people? >> the impact is it's harmful. it's going to make us our military less strong. it is not going to help military readiness. what's so shock about this is these are men and women who put on their uniforms in the morning, report to duterte if i and find out via twitter that they're commander and chief doesn't have a role for them in the military.
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it's outrageous and these thousands of men and women are serving in all capacities. so you're really undermining military readiness. it disregards them and disrespects them and i think it actually harms our military readiness and the national security. >> and this contradicts also the president's then candidate trump's assurances during the campaign saying he would be better than hillary clinton for lgbtq people. >> well, you know, i worked so hard with other on repealing don't ask don't tell, i mean, this is ex-just an extension of that kind of discrimination. these are men and women who will sacrifice their lives for this country and the commander in chief is disregarding that. it makes no sense. it's so discriminatory and so toxic and congress needs to push back. i'm going to work really hard on a piece of legislation that the president does not do this to our troops who are serving bravely and with enormous respect and credibility.
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it's horrible what he's done. >> now, there does seem to be bipartisan support to say the least. john mccain, the chairman of the armed services committee, senator match and others. so it would seem is is there a path where congress legislatively can draw the line on this change? >> well of course there's a path. as we repeal don't ask don't tell i will work hard to make sure this doesn't become the policy of the u.s. military. it harms our troops, it harms our national defense, it harms military readiness. i can't think of something worse do right now. >> now, the justice department has also just intervened with a brief in a new york case. it's the first time we've seen this, but a very aggressive stance by the justice department against all gay people. what are you reading from this in terms of the social issues and how the administration is handling it. >> this is one of the reasons why i oppose jeff sessions in the first place, because he does not share my values and to discriminate people in the workplace, again, antithetical
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to our core american values. i think it's a huge problem and i'm going to push back on this effort by the justice department to target lgbt americans. it's wrong, it's morally wrong. >> at the same time, the -- there's an agreement now senate and house agreement just has to be worked out in conference on those sanctions against russia, iran, and north korea. the president, according to scaramucci, is still considering a veto. this was passed overwhelmingly in both houses 97-1 in the senate, 419-3 in the house. what would be the point of vetoing something that would be overridden? >> i don't know what the would be to do that. these sanctions are important. we need to hold russia accountable for interfering with our election as the national security analysts have told us. we have to hold north korea accountable for their missile tests, for their threats to harm america. we have to hold iran accountable for their missile tests, foyer
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their investigatement terrorism. that's what we have to do and if woor unwilling to hold these countries accountable then we're not keeping america safe. so i don't know why the president would consider something where we would override his veto. congress has a vast majority supporting these bills only a handful of people have voted against them so we are going override that veto. >> vladimir putin has spoken out strongly against this. could that be part of the calculus. >> you can ask the president, andrea. >> i certainly would if i had the opportunity. thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. >> thank you. >> and coming up next, leeian panetta, the former secretary of defense, white house chief of staff. a lot it talk about. this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. ♪ whatever you want to do... ♪ ...is alright with me.
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in the white house briefing yesterday, the white house was unable to answer questions about that tweet about what happens now to the 15,000 active duty transgender troops after the president's surprising twitter announcement. joining me is leon panetta the former secretary of defense, the direct to cia during the obama administration and chief of staff for president bill clinton now the chairman of the panetta institute for public pal policy in kofl. i'm guessing you're not telling your students this is the right way to make policy on twitter, no consultation with the generals, the secretary of defense may be informed while he was on vacation?
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>> this is exactly the wrong way to make policy that affects our national security. you cannot do it by a tweet the way the president has done it. without taking the time to sit down with our military leaders, with our defense officials and really work through the policy involved here. and so we're seeing the consequences of that. i commend general dounnforth fo saying we're going to keep policy in place because the commander in chief is not an answer to the white house. >> they said at the press briefing that this policy erodes military readiness. you can respond to that? >> we are the strongest military power on the face of the earth. because we have allowed everyone, regardless of race,
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col color, creed, gendtor, sexual orientation we've allowed everybody everyone to serve our country. if they meet the qualifications of being a soldier then they ought to be given an opportunity to serve. and that's the policy that this country has put if place. the president's ban tried to reverse that policy and it's very damaging to both the morale and the quality of our military. we're strong because we abide by the principles that we believe in. which is that in this country, everyone is created equal and everybody deserves a chance to be able to serve our nation. >> mr. secretary, at the same time this tweet was coming out, the white house had a principles committee meeting yesterday to decide on whether or not to send more troops to afghanistan and there's a problem there. there's a disagreement between mattis and tillerson on one side, others as well and the president apparently on whether to send a few thousand more
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troops with the commitment to afghanistan. these are the big issues, plus the threat of any day now the potential of another icbm launch from north korea. >> andrea, we are living in a very dangerous world. i've never seen this many flash points in the world that could erupt into a larger conflict, whether it's in the middle east, whether it's syria, isis, whether it's iran, north korea, whether it's afghanistan, whether it's the whole issue of cyber war, whether it's russia, china. the president of the united states as commander in chief ought to be focusing on those danger points and developing proper policy and strategy to deal with those danger points. the fact that he's spending his time tweeting publicly demeaning his attorney general, talking politics to the boy scouts,
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doing things that no other president has ever done in the history of this country, i think it's weakening his position as commander and chief and is send a terrible message to the world that the united states is not living by the standards that we say are important to our democracy. >> now let me add to that the fact that he has been undercutting his secretary of state telling "the wall street journal" he disagrees about the decision to recertify that iran is complying with at least of the nuclear agreement, which is what the decision of all the other allies and the iran weapons inspectors are saying, the international weapons inspectors. so, and there are other cabinet secretaries as well as the chief of staff and of course jeff sessions who are kind of twisting in the wind. >> well, it's -- it's just a horrible way for this administration to behave. i've never -- i've never in my
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lifetime have seen a president who treats his cabinet the way this president has done. publicly demeaning and criticizing members of his own cabinet, undermining policies that are being developed, tweeting his views on everything that undermines any kind of basic strategy for our country. what this does is it basically makes every cabinet member that much more nervous about what that individual will do. and the whole purpose of having a cabinet is to empower people that you trust, that are loyal to you, and you are loyal to them. that's the way it's supposed to work. and he's basically undermining that basic policy. so we have right now an administration that is operating by tweets and a president who's operating solely by tweets rather than the careful process
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of developing policy carefully, working with your cabinet, working with your national security council in order to do what is right for our country. that's not happening and the fact is, it is weakening, not on the office of the presidency, i think it's weakening our country. >> what about the office or the position of chief of staff reince priebus now under fire, his close ally, the press secretary was pushed out, quit in protest. and now he's under attack by anthony scaramucci who's obviously very close to the president. >> well, again, you know, you can't -- you can't be president of the united states and have everybody in the white house shooting at each other. i mean, this is -- i guess it was mo udawel who used to say the worst thing you can do is form a firing squad in a circle. and that's what this white house has done. everybody's shootd agent each
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other. everybody's criticizing each other including the president of the united states. and in that atmosphere, how the hake you can get policy done for the united states of america? somehow they've got to restore some sense of discipline. and, frankly, the chief of staff has a responsibility do that. if he doesn't like priebus, if he doesn't get along with him, then he ought to get somebody who will install that kind of discipline. but for goodness sakes, to have this kind of open warfare going on between the president, his staff, and his cabinet members is an slooabsolute disgrace to this country should operate. >> thanks very much for joining us. appreciate it. >> you bet. >> coming up, field trip attorney general jeff sessions under fire heading down to el salvador while his former senate colleagues are rushing to his defense back here at home. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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in new york. pete williamsins me with nor on the story. how unusual is this? >> well, the government has never take ann position the justice department has never take ann position on whether the civil rights act, the one that says you can't fire somebody because they're a man or a won oar catholic or they come from cleveland or whatever has never taken a position or whether the law because it says you can't fire someone, you can't take -- you can't discriminate against someone because of sex, the justice department has never said whether that means you can't fire someone because they're gay. but now the government has. the justice department earlier this week filed court papers in a dispute between the estate of a man whooz fired from a skydiving company, he was an instructor wraerz fired because he was gay. he sued and the question is does the civil rights law prevent that. for the first time the government says, no, it doesn't. the government says here is that the law says you can't fire someone because of sex and that means you can't treat men differently than women. and that's been the position that most appeals courts have
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taken on this with one exception, there was a federal appeals court that's now ruled that will, yes, it does provide -- it does block discrimination against people because of sex. so it is a new position for the justice department, consistent with what some federal courts of appeal have said. but it also puts the justice department at odds with the equal employment opportunities commission which has intervened in this case to say, yes, the civil rights act does ban discrimination against gay people. it's going to be up to this appeal court to see how this works out. this san issue that could be headed to the supreme court because there does seem to be a split developing among the federal courts. >> this is another sign of action by this -- by this administration on social issues which we've just seen in the last 24 hours. >> right. >> thanks so much, pete. thank you and meanwhile, vice president mike pence is standing by president trump's unprecedented public criticism of his attorney general jeff
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sessions. >> i know the washington way is to talk behind people's backs, but that's not president donald trump's approach. one of the great things about this president is you always know where you stand. his express disappointment here is very sincere and he said we'll see what happens in the future. >> right. >> at least the american people know and every member of the cabinet can know that you'll always know where you stand with president trump. >> republican ally who are ral tloig jeff sessions defense including senator lindsay graham who called the president's attack a sign of weakness and this plea from ken starr, of course the whitewaurs prosecutor against bill clinton tell the president to please cut it out. joining me now is michael steele, former rnt and previous administration, but a law professor and the dean of a law school. you've got people lining up to point out that this is legal
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ethics, this is procedure that jeff sessions had no choice but to recuse himself for conflicts of interest. >> right. well not only is it exhausting, andrea, it's also problematic in the sense that people now are beginning to see exactly how this administration is positioned itself on these very important ethical and legal matters. and the reality is there is, you know, regardless of the politics here, there are some very bright lines. and i believe jeff sessions, you know, stayed true to those lines when it came to his responsibility. and what is surprising, it's not like jeff sessions didn't telegraph nor tell publicly what he intended to do if he was required to do so. and that was to recuse himself. it came out in his hearings, he was skasked directly about it lg before the vote to affirm his appointment. so the administration knew this. this wasn't a surprise to the president and his team. all of this phony, fake response
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to jeff sessions now is just -- it's just not legitimate, it's not sincere. it's not real. because this was not something that jeff sessions sprung on the administration. he was very clear about it up front during his public hearings that if put in a position that required him to recuse himself, he would do so because he understood what the ethical and legal requirements were. >> and now you've got anthony scaramucci going after one of your -- one of your success oerz at the republican committee reince priebus was part of the chief of staff and i want to play a little bit this from this morning. >> as you know from the italian expression the fish stinks from the head down. but i can tell you two fish that don't stink, okay, and that's me and the president. i don't like the activity that's going on in the white house, i don't like what they're doing to my friend. >> i don't like what they're doing to the president of the united states or their fellow
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colleagues in the west wing. >> i want to show all you and our viewers a picture on "wall street journal" website. take a look at this oval afs picture of reince priebus and anthony scaramucci and tell me whether you think the chief of staff is going to be there for very long. >> it's high noon. look at that. they look like they're about to draw weapons there. it's like, come on. but that's why the mooch is in the west wing. that's why he's in the oval office. he is trump's guy. reince priebus never was. i know a lot of people around this town sort of think it's great, he's right there -- no, reince priebus was not the president's man. that's been very apparent in the way that the president has allowed others to circumvent the process that reince priebus legitimately tried to put in place to command and control the ins and outs and the goings on inside the west wing. now with all of this happening, you've got anthony scaramucci
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who's been brought in to fix it, to clean it up. and i think his signal in his latest interviews indicate that he's prepared do is that on behalf of the president. >> thank you so much, michael steele. high noon indeed. >> yes, indeed. >> meanwhile, a key republican senator alaska's lisa murkowski on how the president's interior secretary applied pressure to her vote on healthcare. >> he told me what i already knew, which was that the president wasn't pleased with the -- sorry, i'm looking for which room i'm going to. wasn't pleased with the vote that i had taken. and i knew that. i had had a conversation with the president. my commitment is to the people of the state of alaska. i'm a pretty -- pretty strong
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and independent -- >> democrat senator tim kaine who serves on the armed services and foreign relations committee joins me now. healthcare, front and center, you've got lisa murkowski and of course susan collins standing firm. and look at the pressure being brought on her and other members of the alaska delegation by ryan zinke the interior secretary. >> that pressure is intense. but what lisa said is pretty important clr is we're getting pressure from our constituents to help them and not hurt them. in terms of who the pressure is coming from, i don't have any doubt that senator murkowski is going to decide i have to put alaska ians first and the press secretary calling and trying to arm twist me, all right get in line, everybody wants to arm twist me but we've got to be response of a is to the needs of our constituents pnd lt. and this is not a mine juror issue. healthcare is the most important expenditure anybody ever makes and it's the most important thing about our lives is our health. so i don't think you're going to easily buffalo any of us by
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threats from cabinet members. >> well, at this point where do we stand? is there likely to be a vote on what is called skinny repeal, whatever that means anymore because we understand that under the reconciliation budget rules they no longer can include the repeal of the medical device tax? >> there's a whole -- the reconciliation process very poorly named because there's nothing reconciling about any of this, it's very devicesive, but it limits their options. and what we're hearing is they still don't have a plan. last night our leader senator schumer on the floor made a point. he goes, look, we're not going to vote on anymore amend mejts unless you put your actual bill on the table. the bill that's on the table is the house bill, that's dead, everybody knows it can't get the votes. the senate preferred option, the senate republican preferred option only got 43 votes and the repeal only only got 46 votes. so they don't have a version yet. we understand they're still
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trying to work on is there something narrow that can he can get through together but even what we hear about this skinny plan repealing the penalty on the individual and employer mandate and maybe another item like medical device teches or something like that, that would take insurance away from 16 million people, drive prices up drap matically and probably blow up the stability of the insurance markets. so, but we don't exactly know what the next iept tem is. whataway do know is what's the right thing to do, which is what john mccain said yesterday, put it in the health committee, i actually serve on the health committee, put it in the committee and let the chair lamar alexander and our ranking member patty murray do like they have done so often, find common cause, listen to both parties and move something forward that would be good for everybody, not hurt a lot of people. >> what's going to happen if mcconnell brings up an amendment on single pair? >> well, look, if we are going to have that's called a vota
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ramma process, there might be a lot of amendments but i think what the democrats are committed to is don't talk to us about amendments until you put your bill on the table. if they just try to buy time because they don't have a proposal by throwing ought these stray amendments, i think ben cardin said it pretty well, the house bill that's on the flyer right now say cashing cuss, it's dead, everybody knows it account get the votes. we don't want to vai mendments to a carcass, we want to know what the plan and is then we'll talk amendments. let them put their plan on the table and then we'll start to have amendment votes. but just little show amendment votes to buy time while they try in their eighth year of saying they're going to come up with an obamacare replacement, what they ought do now is put their plan on the table. >> i want to also ask you, you've got a son in the service. what do you think about the president's decision to make this what seems to be an off the cuff decision kout consulting the generals on twitter about transgender service members? >> andrea, it was inappropriate
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for so many reasons. first, fif you are qualified to serve and you meet tough qualifications you should be able to serve. i was really proud that general dunnford put out a statement saying that we're not going to start treating our people with disrespect. if you're qualified to serve, we thank you for your service, we don't ban you from serving. that was my first reaction. second, when the president tweeted this out i was really confused because we had that armed services hearing last week and this very issue came up. it was a hearing to confirm the nomination to be the advice chief 69 jint chiefs of staff in general. he was asked about this and he said there's a study underway and we're looking at it and the study isn't completely ready yet. he gave no indication, none, that the pentagon was, you know, in favor of a ban as the president was. so when the president put this out yesterday and said, you know, based on advice of military leaders, i thought, i bet he hasn't gotten any advice. >> i bet they're caught flat
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footed like this and it looks like what's come out since is that he just decided to do this on his own without getting the advice of the military leadership who already had a process underway to look at this. >> and you've been one of the leading advocates forgetting agreements, you've argued strenuously about that. now we've got afghanistan policy sort of in limbo with a troop recommendation from the military that i understand involves several thousand more troops, the president resisting. >> right. well, interest was interesting because two weeks ago we were surprised to here the president was outsourcing the troop number to the sec def, sec mattis, that seemed odd. and now we're hearing there's a recommendation coming back that he's resisting. here's the point that's important. a troop strength number is not an end in itself, it's a means to an end. and the question is what's the strategy? the white house has not come forward and given us an afghanistan strategy. they did come up in a classified setting last week and start to
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lay out fairly comprehensive isis strategy. i think they need to put that out in the public. but they've not given us an afghanistan strategy. and so to be having a ping pong match between the white house and the pentagon about troop strength numbers when they haven't briefed congress on strategy yet, they're getting the order wrong. they've got to come up here and brief is about a strategy and then root their recommendation about troop strength in that strategy. that's one of the reasons that jeff flake and i are pushing in foreign relations now for a revised military force authorization that would cover the taliban, al qaeda, and isis and the chair and ranking members of our committee bob corker and ben cardin are helping us move forward on that. it's snag omething that where h need to do. >> always great to see you. >> absolutely, thanks. >> and coming up, west wing drama the president's inner circle airing their feuds in public.
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up next. stay here on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. a once daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. needles. fine for some. but for you, one pill a day may provide symptom relief. ask your doctor about xeljanz xr. an "unjection™".
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>> you can state your position as secretary of say the? >> i'm not going anywhere. >> how long will you stay for? >> as long as the president lets me. >> how is your relationship with the president right now? >> good. >> secretary of state rex tishls trying to put to rest reports about his own future of the country's top dip plo pat. growing fences over policy and
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state department staffing let's gets the inside scoop from anne gear ren and rick stang will from undersecretary of state for public diplomacisy and affairs and nbc analyst. rick, do you have a successor yet? is that one of the unfilled jobs? >> well, that would be a big unfilled job. >> i mean, he hasn't filled all the undersecretary jobs and assistant secretary jobs. he's been compromised the president says my son in slaw who you should be talking to rather than the chief cabinet officer. i think he's in a difficult situation. >> i don't think he's on the cusp of resigning. >> my reporting is as well but that he's been very frustrating. and you've been report thong from inside the state department. the fact is that the president has taken middle east policy away from him, that's being done by special envoy from the white house. his son-in-law is handling this whole persian gulf mess and the fact is that will both mattis
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and tirps have bellerson have b to resolve it because of things that happened on kushner's watch. and now they're take the iran policy because he thinks that tillerson's been too soft in recertifying that ivan at least complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement if not all the other issues that we have with iran. anne. >> it's like what's left, you know. >> right. >> cashmere? i mean, right. there are other things can he potentially do, but you're right. i mean, on issue after issue and i would include the paris climate change agreement, among those either things tillerson has recommended that the president has gone the other way on or his authority to make recommendations has been eroded in his view or really quite explicitly. i mean, trump put on the record in that "wall street journal"
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interview some things that we had been hearing for a week or so that tillerson being frustrated that a small group of people in the white house afeared to usurp the review of iranian compliance with the iran nuclear deal, which is something that really it remains at least on paper the purview of the state department. and more importantly for tillerson, he clearly felt that his advice was being discounted and his advice goes far beyond the specifics of the iran deal to include what would happen if united states did start to pull away from the iran deal, what would happen to our allies, what would happen to american businesses who have counted on that deal and so forth. and he really felt like he was being pushed to the sidelines. >> now, ann and rick, stay with us, we'll have another bit of conversation. we want to talk about russia and north korea, but first you both
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remember at the state department when we had access for the press. >> i talked about that with seth myers last night. >> you can assure us that russia will not be able to move further in nurt ukraine? >> thank you. we haven'ted a hi time in here. we haven't had any time in here. i mean, that is humiliating. >> yeah. you looked like a woman who was lost in a shopping mall. (bell rings) with my moderate to severe crohn's disease,... ...i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay... then it hit me... ...managing was all i was doing. when i told my doctor,... ...i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease... ...even after trying other medications. in clinical studies,... the majority of people on humira... saw significant symptom relief... ...and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability... ...to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened;...
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back now with ann geren and rick stengel. russia it turns out in the last few months under the trump presidency has been pouring its economic support into kim jong-un's regime. >> yes. russia our adversary almost everywhere an they've been supportive of that regime and people who are against the west. this is one of the unexplained stories about the fact that russia is trying to subvert us almost everywhere and in north korea. they've been supplying them with not necessarily with weapons but with goods and running an exchange with them. >> ann, this brings us to what to do about the sanctions. the president's talking about --
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or through scaramucci about maybe vetoing the sanctions bill, which is going to head to his desk. is a veto-proof majority. is he just wanting to pick a fight and send the signal to putin or what is he trying to do there? >> i honestly have no idea. the white house has been clear for weeks they don't like this congressional review provision, and frankly many other white houses before this one probably would have been uncomfortable with that because it's new and it steps on executive authority. but i think a veto would be simply to say that they don't -- they would say it's about that provision and nothing else. but there is for sure a veto-proof majority. marco rubio among others have confidently predicted that it would be overridden, so i think the white house is going to lose on this one. >> it just shows that even republicans are now beginning to take much more aggressive steps to challenge this president
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because of his moves on foreign policy. we're going to have to leave it there. we'll be right back. >> what's the secret of turning a no into a yes? do you know how to network like a champ? when is a good time to have fun in the office? i have great answers to these questions which minor league help you run a better business. check out the your business page on nbcnews.com for an exclusive online video series to help you work smart, grow fast, and go further. so that's the idea. what do you think? hate to play devil's advocate but... i kind of feel like it's a game changer. i wouldn't go that far. are you there? he's probably on mute. yeah... gary won't like it. why? because he's gary. (phone ringing) what? keep going! yeah... (laughs) (voice on phone) it's not millennial enough. there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you! so we're doing it. yes! start saying yes to your company's best ideas. let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open.
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that does it today for "andrea mitchell reports." nbc has launched a twice lady news on snapchat called "stay tuned." it will catch you up on all the day's top stories. go to the discover tab to find out exactly what you've been missing an follow the show online on facebook and twitter.
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craig melvin is here right now on msnbc. >> always good to have you in new york. grett onset last night, andrea. >> thank you. >> good wednesday to you. craig melvin in new york. white house war. the new communications director taking direct aim at reince priebus as he warns the white house to stop leaking so much information. today anthony scaramucci insisting he was not threatening priebus. how long can the oval office power struggle last? holy hell to pay. lindsey graham's stern warning to president trump saying he shouldn't even consider firing attorney general jeff sessions after days of criticizing and embarrassing his own a.g., has the president made up his mind? and what happened? exactly one year after she accepted the democratic nomination for the presidency, today candid new details from hillary clinton herself about that

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