tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 27, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
for me this afternoon. i'm chris jansing. i'll see you right back here at 1:00 p.m. and ali shellshy -- velshi will be back here tomorrow. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00. the bottom is calling and wants to know if we're there yet. the question on everyone's mind -- how much more dysfunctional can things get at the white house and is it all a massive distraction from questions about russia? our shiny object of the day, white house communications director scaramucci told us we can take his diagnosis of problems at this white house to the bank. let's start right. >> you can take this human equation to the bank. under confidence plus insecurity equals paranoia and back stabbing. >> he was talking about his nemesis on the white house staff, reince priebus, but
scaramucci may have inadvertently given the best explanation of the president's behavior. he called into cnn to explain a tweet he sent last night and later deleted. in light of the leak of the financial disclosure which is a felony, i will be contacting the fbi. it seemed to many that scaramucci appeared to accuse priebus of committing a felonily leaking his financial information. something he denied in the subsequent tweet. that's not the case because the information is made available to those who seek it one month after the forms are filed. that one month period for scaramucci's information was last sunday. and in the now deleted tweets he was targeting priebus as a source for this politico story. the feud is another public knife fight for a white house with a surplus of drama. >> if you want to talk about the
chief of staff we have had odds, we have had differences. when i said we were brothers from the podium, that's because we're rough -- some brothers are like cain and abell i don't know in is reparable or not. that's up to the president but he's the chief of staff. he's responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me do that inside the white house which is why i put that tweet out last night. we have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are, who the senior leakers are in the white house. we'll get to that in a second. when i put out a tweet and i put reince's name in the tweet they're making the assumption it is him because journalists know who the leakers are. so if reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker let him do that. the fish stingings from the head down, but two fish that don't stink, 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 and what they're
doing to the president of the united states. or their fellow colleagues in the west wing. >> joining me now nbc's peter alexander, just out of the briefing room in the white house. shannon pettypiece, philip rucker and eli stokals, "wall street journal" white house reporter. peter, let me start with you. only two fish that don't stink as i understand mr. scaramucci but i want to ask you about the airing of all this internal chaos. i know the president is a reality tv guy. but do you think this was sort of a play that he called? >> well, here's the bottom line. the president several months ago said this administration is working like a fine-tuned machine and if it is this is a bizarre looking machine. the latest -- this power play, you know, by anthony scaramucci effectively it appears increasingly like he's been outsourced the responsibility of dismissing the chief of staff,
reince priebus, even as i asked sarah huckabee sanders whether he's an officially an employee yet at the white house yet. he didn't take the oath of office yet and he's been standing side by side in recent days. the bottom line is that the white house in the words of sarah huckabee sanders insists that the president likes this kind of competition and they say he's not like past administrations in the sort of group think and this "game of thrones" atmosphere is exactly what he desires. >> philip rucker, what do you think about sort of the weakness that it projects that he can never pick a side? that even his fight against sessions he simply took to the not so manly, you know, weapon of his thumbs and his -- i think he uses an android. when it cops to -- if he wants to get rid of reince priebus, man up and fire the guy. they all serve at the pleasure of the president. why doesn't he have the sort of character to dismiss people
whose services he no longer wants? >> well, it's a great point because we remember before he entered politics he had his reality show and the two words everyone remembers from that was you're fired. he fired people all the time on television and he can't do its as president. he likes to demean them and mock them but he doesn't pull the trigger and fire them and we saw that throughout six months of the administration. there are rumors time and again he's going to fire sean spicer, he's going to fire reince priebus, he's going to fire jeff sessions and the people for the most part survive and hang on and that's what seems to be happening for the moment with priebus. although, you know, something could develop in the next couple of days. >> shannon, we went from sessions watch to priebus watch, but it's interesting that priebus is so far completely exonerated from having any role in the information that anthony scaramucci accused him of leaking, accused him of a felony leak. really, let's talk about leaking for a second. i mean, there are two kinds of
leaks. no president likes information that damages our national security, our country's intelligence assets leaks. the person who's done that kind of leaking is actually the president. it seems that he leaked information to of course the russians. the other kinds of leaks are the leaks that we all get -- everyone who covers this white house gets calls from people who work for him who don't to be tarnished by the lunacy of his white house. what kind of leaks are they more mad about? >> the president doesn't like any leaks that make him look bad. >> so the second kind? >> you know, if it helps make him look good or if it's about someone else, fine. if it's leaking information about someone outside the white house, a rival or enemy that's fine. i if it makes him bad or the mad king, if it makes him look like he's wandering around in his bath robe late at night and makes his administration look bad from the national security standpoint he doesn't like
those. it's not just the leaks about national security, about national intelligence that they're going after. it's the leaks having to do with the internal issues in the white house that make this administration look chaotic and despite what, you know, sarah said from the podium today this is by design, sort of the chaotic group of people with different ideas that they put together, sure, they like debate in the room. but i do know from people close to the president that it does drive him crazy when he has this dirty laundry being aired in public. he did not like that infighting between kushner and bannon to be public, he did not like the attacks on reince earlier in the administration being made public. i don't know about this specific case but i know in the past those things have bothered him. >> eli, do you think it bothers anyone that the only two who weren't accused of being rotten or stinking from i guess the head down is that the expression -- i have to learn some of scaramucci's italian colloquialisms to follow him as
the chief communicator, but did you get any blow back or hear that anyone was offended by the fact that everyone is a suspect, except scaramucci and trump? >> well, yeah, they're offend and a lot of people are fearful about losing their jobs, because they want to stay and hold on to those jobs and continue working in this west wing. but yeah, there's a reason why bannon and priebus and a lot of people close to the president fought to keep anthony scaramucci out of this administration for such a long time. because they sort of had a sense that this is how it would go and he has come in and he has sort of said and made a point of telling everybody that he only reports to the president. scaramucci was on air force one monday and he came back to the press cabin and he told all of us i don't know why i'm here. the president told me to come back here. every times he speaks to the president, reporters find out about it. and today he's talking ago he gives this interview to cnn. when we inquired if he talked to the president about the comments and about his tweets about
reince priebus, he indicated that he has and that he has the president's blessing. we are watching really the same reality show episode play out over and over again. and you do get the sense like phil mentioned earlier that he's brought scaramucci in to do something to sort of let him be the bad guy and get rid of reince because the president has been thinking about replacing priebus for a long time for months. but doesn't really seem to have the will or the stomach to say you're fired himself and he seems to be content to allow scaramucci to do to priebus what he has been doing on twitter to jeff sessions. >> doesn't have the stomach to fire staff, but he'll be just fine up against america's enemies but i digress. today sarah huckabee sanders was asked this question if the president has confidence in priebus. let's watch about what she said. >> look, i think i have addressed this question when its
comes to staffing and personnel many times, that if the president doesn't, then he'll make that decision. we all serve at the pleasure of the president and if it gets to the place where that isn't the case he'll let you know. >> so you can't say right now if the president has full confidence in chief of staff reince priebus? >> i think i just answered that. >> did i miss it? did she answer its, help me peter. >> they're not answering that question. you'll remember that we have heard privately behind the scenes of what the president said about jeff sessions, what i fired him, the same thing he said about james comey before he did fire him and what he's saying behind the scenes about reince priebus right now. but there's new reporting that even scaramucci said, hey, i'm sanctioned by the president to say this, so it appears that he was out there to deliver that message on his behalf today. >> philip rucker, it seems that everything the president touches is tarnished by him. the boy scouts of america issued
this statement -- i want to extend the sincere apology to those who were offended by the political rhetoric, that was never the intent. the president speaking here is a long standing tradition. what do you think of the obliteration of everything that's traditional and normal as a real sign of either his ignorance or his disdain for traditions that some people sort of hold sacred? >> well, it was a really fascinating moment a couple nights ago in west virginia when he gave that speech to the boy scout jamboree. these are children and teenagers and young, impressionable boys who are hearing and seeing the united states of the president and he's talking about hillary clinton and electoral map and getting them to boo obama. it was stunning that that happened and even more stunning that the boy scouts of america would issue a public apology
like that to scouting families for the president's behavior and rhetoric that night. we have not seen an apology yet from the white house. i don't think we'll see one from this white house. but it's yet another norm that this president is breaking and we saw it all through the campaign and we're seeing it now in the presidency. >> and shannon, i want to bring you into this conversation. sarah huckabee sanders doubling down on the appropriateness of that speech in her briefing today, pretty stunning. but i want to bring you back to where we started and it was this description of -- that i think scaramucci intended for reince priebus, but to me it perfectly described the president as insecurity sort of being what creates paranoia. i wonder if you think that was subliminal, inadvertent, projecting? i mean, i feel like i need a psychological -- a degree in psychology to understand what's going on down there. >> i'm sure anthony scaramucci would not intentionally be trying to describe the president
as insecure or incompetent. i think this type of remark is the type of thing that the drama around these comments this morning is a type of think we can just expect from having anthony scaramucci there as communications director. you know, like his communication style or not, agree with him or not, he is a big personality. he is not cautious with his words or his tweets. maybe he'll learn to be. he's not known for being someone who's politically correct or who's cautious about what he says. he's a big personality that they have added into this white house of already big personalities. someone told me after he was named it was like throwing gas on a tanker fire. more fuel on the flames of the white house, it's going to be drama and it's going to be continue. they're not putting someone in there who's cautious and conservative and going to watch what they're saying. i think this is par for the course as long as he's there. >> all right, thank you to peter
alexander, shannon pettytice and eli is sticking around. joining -- i'm going to drop the deutsche and just say donnie. you have become like madonna. rick stengel from public affairs and an msnbc political analyst. elise jordan also an msnbc analyst and a "time" magazine columnist. from washington, matt schlapp, chairman of the american conservative union. matt, i saw you on fox news this week sticking up for your old friend jeff sessions. how do you think about the banging on the pinata that is this president's cyber torture of jeff sessions? >> i just looked before he went on the air and me made some comment, he said it was a bit hurtful. it's been painful for me. i have a high regard for jeff sessions and i support the president and it's been hard to watch these -- the president's tweets against jeff sessions. i for one do understand why he's frustrated and all this. it's frustrateling for people who -- frustrating for people
who support president trump -- >> well, wait, let me stop you. i understand being president is being frustrating but our old boss didn't send me out to the white house briefing room to publicly attack any sitting member of his cabinet. i mean, he was frustrated all the time, go to the gym, take a pill. you don't attack the members of your cabinet on twitter when you're frustrated. i need a better excuse than frustration. >> you don't need an excuse at all. i'm just telling -- i'm answering your question and telling you how i felt about it. the thing is this. you could spend every hour of your show talking about how this presidency communicates in a completely different way, it's completely not conventional. but it is. and it is the reality that we're in. it's the reality that the american people voted for. they wanted a lot of change to how things are done in washington and the president is changing almost everything about being president. >> do you think they wanted to get things done? do you think they'll be -- >> yes.
>> so -- >> yeah. look, if we don't do things like repeal obamacare i think it's very difficult for us to go back to the american people, even to our republican supporters and say it matters to have us in office. if we don't have a real tax cut bill passed and get signed into law i feel the same way about it. so i think that the stakes are incredibly high for the republican party. >> donny deutsch, you know all the men involved. you know the president, you know anthony scaramucci. are they -- are they sort of -- did the president call this play? was scaramucci very deliberately trying to drive reince priebus out of the west wing? >> i think so. i think the day that scaramucci got the three cnn reporters fired he became a man crush of trump. i spoke to him over the weekend i said be careful. he didn't listen to my advice as most people don't. to put in context of just the last 24 hours of the white house, ranging from the interior secretary basically threatening
a u.s. senator if they don't vote on the health care bill, to scaramucci's silliness, and the transgender ban without the generals knowing, and continuing to trash jeff sessions, this is the last 24 hours. beyond all of the political nonsense there's a level of incompetence. >> and weakness. >> it's interesting that a -- pop culture side bar. on the apprentice, one of the person said he was never decided who to fire and he was given the words each time. even that symbolic thing was fake. >> from the man who calls us fake news. >> he's never run a big organization or had serious people working for him. he doesn't have that skill set. he's doing everything fundamentally wrong that a ceo does. particularly letting people fight in public. >> he's never worked in an institution before. forget the fact that he's never been in washington. he's never been in an institution where there's chain
of command. he's worked in a family business. he doesn't know how this works. much less institutions in washington which we built up over generations when you go abroad, you talk to other countries about building up their institutions. he is dismantling it by -- >> one tweet at a time. >> very quickly, you guys have -- well, he was voted for, we want something different. you know, is he going to run naked across the white house lawn, we wanted something different, america voted for me. there's got to be -- >> why do you two get naked? >> accountability that the american people voted for him and we want something different. >> i'm going to stay fully clothed and i want to -- >> go ahead, matt. >> this is hard for people in new york city and washington, d.c. to get most of my friends to get as well which is why none of them thought he'd win. even with everything going on in the west wing, i talked to people today when i was on capitol hill. the people who voted for him in the states that voted for him,
they are loving what he is doing from a policy standpoint. i agree with what nicolle said. we have to deliver on the big thing. but his people are standing by him. >> bill, they're not standing by the removal of sessions or the specter of that because they feel like he's the only one delivering not the president. but we're just getting started. coming up this white house revels in obliterating political norms as we have been discussing, but are we inching toward autocracy? a tactic that's raising eyebrows. and ahead, despite his displeasure with the man at the justice department the president has very few options when it comes to replacing the ag. today senate republicans warn that there would be holy hell to pay if sessions is thrown out. we'll take more about the nasty barroom brawl between two men in the president's inner circle who both earn taxpayer funded paychecks, but seem more focused on settling scores. >> we are a little bit like brothers where we rough each other up once in a while which is totally normal for brothers.
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find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. there are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save america from this president. okay, that is not their job. their job is to inject this president into america and so that he can explain his views properly and his policies so that we can transform america and drain the swamp and make the system fairer for the middle and lower income people. >> i could listen to that all day long.
joining us -- so he made a diagnosis that's intriguing to me. he thinks there are people in the administration who think it's their job to protect the country from donald trump. why might that be? >> i think this also is a self-serving narrative too. because this is a popular alt-right narrative that reince priebus and anyone associated with reince priebus is secretly out to get the president is not serving the president. >> right. that's why they make $150,000 a year and are getting disparaged. what's the agenda that reince priebus has? >> well, reince priebus or scaramucci i think he definitely wants to get -- he wants the get rid of reince and he wants to be chief of staff. i would say right now we're looking at this battle royale between two men and who is left standing and this will go on for a couple of weeks. this is a nightmare in terms of governance in getting everything done. the fact that we're talk about a battle between two of the top advisers and not about say the health care bill, what's
happening in congress right now. >> right. >> and russia. >> i started with it. let me ask eli quickly to weigh in on this because scaramucci is like when you turn your car radio up too loud it's distorted. but there's been a lot of dissatisfaction with reince priebus. we have all heard the stories and you cover that white house. but the concerns about his competence have been out there since day one. >> well, there have been and the president in the transition went with the people who are around him and were close and he had won and there was a lot of elation and excitement after the campaign. so reince was going to get a job and he wound up in the chief of staff job. you know, but the president from the beginning as soon as things started to get difficult started to wonder about him. and he's really been reaching out to people to fill that role, having conversations about who should i get, what about this person, this chief of staff. he's always taking the temperature of everybody that he talks to. you never really know is he
serious, is he actually going to make a change or always in this mode of sort of just trying to see what his options are. but loyalty with donald trump has always been a one way street. he talks about loyalty we need more loyalty. there's what he said to the boy scouts on monday in west virginia but it's really loyalty to him. he does not promise or deliver loyalty back. and it seems scaramucci regardless of whether or not reince leaves tomorrow, he leaves at the end of the year, scaramucci isn't officially you know on the job at the white house and he's already acting like the chief of staff. that is sending chills throughout the west wing because there are a lot of people especially in the communications shop who are sort of priebus acolytes. people who came from the rnc and they're nervous about the position. reince priebus seems to have been neutered within this administration and really everybody there sees scaramucci arm in arm with the president and it's -- and they're worried about their own standing. >> steve schmidt joins me by
phone right now. i want to play something for you because you and -- we have been something through that kellyanne conway talked about on fox news. >> there are so many qualified men and women who wanted to serve this president and this administration and their country who have been completely demoralized and completely i think disinclined to do so based on the paperwork that we have to put forward. divesting assets. the different hoops you have to run through because this white house is transparent and accountable and we have all complied with the rules. >> steve schmidt, she is demoralized by paperwork. i have never heard that before. >> well, look, you know, as you fill out this paperwork and we have all done it, it's burden some being under, you know, examination by the fbi, by cia is part of a full field background investigation is stressful.
even if there's nothing to be stressed about. >> do you know what i was stressed about? can i tell you, i was stressed about -- so i went to berkeley and i had to say how many times i ever smoked pot. and my most stressful part of my background check was trying to remember how many times. these forms aren't stressful unless you have done something wrong. i worked in the white house twice. i filled the forms out twice. when i was asked about foreign contacts i wrote down that i bought a rug in turkey on my honey moon. this is ridiculous. demoralizing and a disincentive? there are a dozen people from goldman sachs who work there. i'm dying to know if any of them were demoralized by having to detail their background. i felt important when i was asked to fill out those forms because i thought i was being trusted with secrets and with responsibility that required for me to make clear that i wasn't the candidate for blackmail or anything else. how is this team -- what is going on that they think that background forms being filled
out for 85 years are a disincentive? i don't get it. >> well, here's the point. these are positions of enormous public trust and responsibility. and what we have seen is -- across this administration is the application of that trust and responsibility. kellyanne conway in particular. i think that with the possible exception of mr. spicer there's never been an official from the west wing of the white house that has prevaricated more directly, more shamelessly to the american people than she has. the serialized lying, the nonstop dishonesty, the management payoff. this has a serious point when you get to it. if you think about the type of military alliance that george herbert walker bush had to put together to face down a real existential threat to the security of the world, this president absolutely lacks the moral authority in part because of the chaos and in part because of the dishonesty to lead the
western alliance. what do you think the reaction around the british prime minister or the canadian prime minister or the french president is to this nonstop chaos? there will come an hour in this administration where this country faces a real crisis. where this white house's credibility has to be intact to communicate to the american people and it's a disgraceful shambles. every day there is another assault launched from within this administration by the president, by the people around him on the dignity of the office of the president of the united states, the likes we have never ever seen and the diminishment of that office it is bad for america. it is bad for the world. and ultimately it's going to be very, very bad for the republican party. >> steve schmidt, thanks for letting us wrangle you by cell phone. what happens if the president
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there will be no confirmation hearing for a new attorney general in 2017. if jeff sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. any effort to go after mueller could be the beginning of the end of the trump presidency. unless mueller did something wrong. >> if you're thinking of making a recess appointment to push out the attorney general, forget about it. the presidency isn't a ball and this country isn't a china shop. >> matt, you ran the white house personnel and i believe that when the president -- you and i worked for recess appointed john bolton, i had a role in that. i was one of the communicators that defended the decision.
i think you were involved as the head of the office of the political affairs or you had a role -- am i right? >> i was political affairs but did a lot of personnel work. >> so talk about the politics of a recess appointment. >> yeah. i think, look, i think the president had clear ability to make recess appointments at certain periods of time, but the problem is that jeff sessions and the president see eye to eye on almost all policies. it was rod rosenstein the deputy general attorney who without talking to sessions picked the special counsel so it would be kind of bizarre to have sessions step away, be fired or resign or whatever, and then you have the problem person which is the deputy attorney general become the acting attorney general. that's the part -- it doesn't relieve anything. >> is rosenstein a problem person in your view? >> no, but i think that many of us do not agree, we think he flinched on the idea of picking a special counsel. i for one -- >> why? >> because i don't think -- you know, nicolle, the basic question is this.
they can't even point in the code what the criminal activity is. we use this word collusion. every lawyer i talk to, this is not even a legal term. >> then what are you worried about? >> i'm not worried about it. >> why are you mad at rosenstein? >> i'm not mad at rosenstein. >> you basically said if you're doing to fire anyone -- >> nicolle, the president is frustrated with the attorney general because of the russia investigation which hinges on the decision to pick a special counsel. i think that was a mistake because just like what happened in our administration and for eight years of the obama administration, it's actually possible for an attorney general or a doj to run an independent investigation without picking a special counsel. obama had tons of issues that bothered republicans and that were politically dicey including running the guns on the border and everything else, and they avoided the special counsel. i don't see any evidence that
rises to the level that you have to pick a special counsel. somebody like rob rosenstein can do that investigation, without bringing up the special counsels. as you know they can go on for years and years. sometimes a decade or more. and it becomes a fishing expedition which would be a shame. >> it's so ironic to hear my former colleagues who are behind trump take issue with mueller. and i mean, if everyone is so sure trump's so innocent why is so mad about mueller's probe? >> he's above reproach. >> mueller. >> yeah. he's untouchable. but the thing -- i don't want to relitigate bringing in the special counsel. but as you saw senator graham's remarks, they love the senate and when they see the president
meddling with it and that's what happened with nixon all those years ago that was the red line for them. all of the -- >> and red line they're drawing is around a recess appointment. >> what he's doing to the former colleague. torturing him. publicly humiliating him. they can all empathize with that. that's why it has crossed the red line with them. >> can you even think of someone who would accept being appointed ag as a recess appointee? >> why would you be such a glutton for that punishment? >> i mean -- >> someone who would be semipalatable and semicompetent who would accept the role. you look at senator cornyn has been hyped a little bit as a possible contender. but i doubt that he would make that move. especially after seeing how jeff sessions, his friend and colleague, was treated. so it makes no sense the way they're behaving. >> kasie hunt is joining us from capitol hill. kasie, i saw you get a little on
camera punk from paul ryan. i have heard that the democrats have things they can do to make sure that a recess appointment isn't even an option by not allowing the senate to go into recess. can you explain that and whether or not they're actually talking about having to deploy that if a recess appointment for a new ag becomes a reality? >> sure. i mean, look i have to say, i'm a little skeptical about a recess appointment because the reality i don't think it would be allowed in any way for a couple of reasons. first of all, the procedure that you're describing has become the norm. so the senate if they stay in session they're not technically in recess. and that's been standard operating procedure since barack obama was president really and a little bit more that. in this particular case it's not just democrats that are forcing that. either party can do it, any senator can force it. republicans are on board. they took a stand under the obama administration when he
tried to make some appointments to a labor board they said no way we're not doing it. they went to court and the senate won. obama -- president obama put these appointees in during recess and the senate said, sorry, you can't do that. it's not allowed. i don't see a world where this whole recess appointment is anything but a fantasy for the trump administration. maybe there are other things he could do. he could limit, you know, the regulation that creates the special counsel to get rid of bob mueller if you wanted to. but i don't see a world where getting a recess appointed ag is actually realistic. >> we're having the conversation because donald trump has said to aides going back to when sessions first recused himself that he wanted to get rid of him and replace him with somebody else who could either fire mueller or manage mueller. he's talked to people outside the white house. he's talked to, you know, folks who might consider taking the job about how this could be done. i understand that the only way they put the brakes on his desire and it might be as kasie said simply a fantasy, was to
point back to the comey debacle. look what happened when you fired comey. it was a mess. >> he will fire mueller. whatever the way he has to do it it's very simple. he cannot -- he said it as any author torrian said it, my red line is about the financial dealings. the world will see fraud, he's dishonest and he could end up going to jail. he will throw every toy out of the crib i don't care what the constitutional crisis. bob mueller will not be there at some point in time. that's when impeachment proceedings start. i don't care what the policy is, what every pundit says that's what's happening. >> the last ditch effort to pass some sort of health care bill.
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kasie hunt, bring us up to speed, some arm twisting, some alaska style -- should we call it pressuring, intimidation. i don't know. tell us what's going on up there q. >> look, nicolle, the pressure is so intends on the republicans to do something, anything. the interior secretary called the two senators from alaska after lisa murkowski voted against starting debate and essentially said, look, we're going to hold up all the things you want for alaska if you go through with this. senator murkowski has delayed a hearing on some of the zinke's interior nominees and she holds the purse strings as the subcommittee chairwoman on the appropriations committee. so we don't have official confirmation it's related but it seems like she's fighting back. but as a whole, republicans are under such pressure from the white house to do something, anything on health care that right now we're downstairs talking to senators coming in to vote. and look, i'll vote yes on this if you promise me it won't
become law as it's written. it's really quite a remarkable situation. the skinny repeal they have put together, it's essentially a repeal of the mandate, plus defunding planned parenthood and other things. graham said, look, this policy is terrible. this would be a bad idea to make this law, but if i can get a commitment we'll go to conference with the house and keep negotiating and also that -- he as an amendment to block grant funds to the state, then, yes, we'll go to the house and keep negotiating this. otherwise, i think this is a really terrible idea. so it's a little head spinning but right now republican leaders i would say -- i talked to one who says they don't think they'll get the votes, another one think, yes, they'll get the vote some time in the middle of the night. but i think it's having a difficult moment right now with that narrative starting to take hold. and over here on the house side, mark meadows saying that the skinny repeal is an ugly thing. pretty clear it wouldn't straight up pass the house. everything is in a state of v y
very -- i mean, it's straight up bizarre, frankly, nicolle. >> thank you, kasie hunt. matt schlapp, let me ask you what you think the prospects are and what role the president has played by calling the house bill mean, by saying the senate bill needed more heart, by targeting the super pac, targeting dean heller. i think in 48 hours he had five positi positi positions. where do you think this stands and do you think the white house has been constructive? >> i don't think this is as much as donald trump as about republicans who ran around this country and actually for the first time that i can remember actually delivered a consistent message that the american people actually listened to and polls showed they mostly agreed with and they did really well in four election cycles over the number one issue was obamacare. they sustained a message and here was the problem. the strategy behind it was to simply attack obamacare.
without having no idea of what the replacement would be. that was their political strategy. it was a terrible political strategy at the tail end because now it's put up or shut up time and they don't have concurrent on what that replacement would be. for the republican party take the president out of it for a minute if they can simply not go back to the american people and explain oh, sorry, yeah, you gave us a majority in the senate, gave us a big majority in the house, legislating is too hard. for the seven senators in the senate, six of whom voted to repeal this in 2015, the very same language and they did that because they knew barack obama would veto it. now that they have a president who would sign it, they actually don't want to repeal it. i think there's going to be hell to pay for those members. i think this is a very bad moment for the party. of course, most of the republican senators are doing what they said they would do and for the president i think he's looking at the legislative process and saying this as kasie said this is a little bizarre. i thought the people wanted to repeal this bill and i think that the -- because the politics
are so absolutely abysmal for the republican party, if they don't repeal and replace obamacare i think by the end of the year they will get it done, but guess what, nicolle, legislating is hard. and we ought to start doing it again. >> well, i think that most people on the hill that you and i both know think that the president's been pretty bizarre, not very constructive. but we're going to keep moving. up next, an autocratic distraction. why the latest statements are straight from the playbook.
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. so you can get business done. oscwe went back toing bithe drawing board...s. and the cutting board. we removed the added nitrates and nitrites, by-products, and artificial preservatives in all of our meat. every. single. one. why? for the love of hot dogs.
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russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightingly by our press. >> one year ago today then presidential candidate donald trump asked a foreign adversary to hack his political opponent. it was a major breach of norms. now from inside the oval office. after the president surprised everyone wednesday banning transgender people from the military via tweet, russia chess master gather cass pa rof who spent years publicly protesting vladimir putin compared trump to putin's autocratic ways. tweeting who do my supporters hate? who can i get them to hate? how can i make the hated targets angry so they lash out?
cass pa rof there accusing the president of attempting to ignite a culture war to distract from all the controversies and lack of achievements. >> he is taking from putin's playbook. it's not an ideological war like you're right and we're wrong. all facts are suspect, don't believe those guys, don't believe anybody. that is what trump is doing and that's straight from putin's playbook. >> with all the questions hanging over this white house about their policies when it comes to russia, why so blatantly adapt their tactics? >> well, i think the president thinks this may be his only way out. if you weaken the media to the point where half the country doesn't believe a thing that gets reported by the prosecute he is, if you weaken the courts and question the impartiality of the courts publicly over and over and over again, if you continue to do those things, you know, a lot of people will listen to the president and continue to doubt things when they come after him. if you say the investigation against you is biased and you attack mueller and you say that he's hiring political hacks to
work for them, whether that's true or not, some people will believe that because the president does have a pretty powerful bully pulpit to speak from. and that's really where we're going. he's trying to insulate himself from all the things that can be checks upon him. and we don't have any measurement yet about whether or not this is working or not working, but i think we are going to find out. >> one of the measurements wif is that viewer ship at every news network is up. newspaper subscriptions are up. people are hungry for the products at least of a free press. >> well, and they want to know what's actually happened. and i think that you've seen some reporting that fox news has suffered in the ratings because they don't immediately report breaking news that's not flattering to the president. and i just -- what gary cass par of said it just makes me think so much about how you shouldn't always be on edge if your democracy is functioning.
you shouldn't have to worry about your leader shim. you shouldn't have to worry about your government. it should be boring. and right now what we're experiencing as a country reminds me so much of places i've traveled and lived in in developing world where, you know, the leaders are corrupt, where the families are milking off the pretty and it's not pretty and it doesn't end well. >> we are a different country and you've seen republican senators speak up and he is getting boxed in and that's why he's getting more and more outrageous. this actually shows how great our republic is. >> go ahead, matt. >> can i just say one thing? this rhetoric is way over the top. fox news has different times of shows. there's plenty of republicans on fox news who are never trumpers. it's more diverse than you're characterizing. >> i didn't attack fox news. let me make a point, though, real quick and then i'll give you all the time you need. >> sure. >> even folks at fox news will acknowledge pressure to carry the trump message.
up that to be true. i know that to be true. people that have left fox nous -- how is that different from state-run media in some places? >> do you want to be careful with saying that balls there are plenty of places where the pressure -- >> i'm just asking pressure. >> but is the opposite pressure happening at other news outlets. >> not happening here. can't you tell? >> well, i'm not make thag charge but i'm saying across the line we all have to met in the news media generally e they are not by and large trump supporters and are not by and large republicans, okay, mostly, not completely. and there's no question if you look at polls, the press itself has not done itself a lot of good by always coming across as balanced. we've been here for a hour. we have a free press. you all were able to say everything you want to say. this is not a third world. you're not being silenced. this is still america. we're going to be okay, guys. >> well, some reassuring words. rick sentencing el, you were an under secretary of state. >> and a journalist. >> and a journalist.
two of the threatened bodies. do you think all is fine, there's nothing to see here? >> i think it's nervous making the under mining of institutions, the under miepg of the press, the undermining of these chks and balances that have made the system work. i take solace and consolation what we see going on in congress. that is the way it's meant to work, but the system is grinding and i hope the checks and balances come out on top. >> i'm actually a good litmus test. >> we're not worried about that. >> i'll take the audience. i just don't want to be assassinated. >> let me ask one more serious question. >> done any deutsch, you're safe, i promise. >> matt is going to be responsible for your safety and he's got pull. let me ask you a serious question about norms. >> sure. >> was there anything that made you uncomfortable, our old boss went to the boy scouts jamboree. are there any traditions that you're upset to see whacked with
a sledgehammer by donald trump. >> i have said, i'll tell you one, i just don't think they set up the west wing to succeed and i don't like the way the west wing always handles all kinds of questions, including some of the topics you handled today. i reveer the halls of that place. i spent a lot of time there, you did, others have. and i think there is a certain amount of refr ens you should have for the institution of the presidency. when it comes to questions like the boy scouts and stuff, he is very informal. >> he talked about hot people in new york. he talked to young boys about a rich guy with a jaut in are you cool with that, yes or in. >> it's not the way i would give a speech to the boy scouts and it's are not the way the president we served gives a speefrp to the boy scouts. is that being said i didn't like how the last president handled the boy scouts either. it's a great institution. we ought to leave it alone. >> well, he sent a video message. is that what you're talking about? >> no. look, those boy scouts have been
a little bit under attack by people who want to use them as social experimentation as well. >> we'll have to agree to disagree. thanks to my panel. that does it for had this hour. i'm nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts now with chuck. how are you doing? >> we're employing to have big news, apparently r coming up. five big time senators have a big health care announcement coming in to minutes. so even more reason for you to stick around. if it's thursday, we're about to find out if healthcare reform will go belly up yet again. >> tonight, the skinny on the health care debate. can republicans pass their so-called skin my bill? or will even that go down to defeat with every other proposal? >> in some cases, it will get fat if a lot of amendments are adopted and it may stay very skinny. >> plus, the growing chaos in the president's inner circle. >> if jeff sessions is