tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC July 28, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
president trump made so many times? and will he or won't he? the president is scheduled to speak in new york this hour about gang violence. will he stick to script? or go after senators he's already slammed on twitter for their health care votes? and the west wing war. the new white house communications director high-profile debut with that profanity-laced diatribe, slamming and threatening other top oval office officials. is the president's agenda at risk with the white house war only escalating? okay. let's start with president trump en route to long island, new york, scheduled later this hour to do something, well, quite normal for presidents of the united states to do. talk to law enforcement officials. but he leaves behind a capitol that is shell-shocked after a stunning defeat in the dead of night on the signature issue of his campaign, obamacare repeal. the president is blaming john mccain, lisa murkowski, the rules of congress. everyone and everything but himself. although he said he would get it
done on day one of the trump administration. in fact, substitute a few names, and the same could be said about the chaos going on inside the white house and the astonishingly personal blame gam game. we'll get to anthony scaramucci and prescribes in just a moment. kelly o'donnell is at the white house, kasie hunt, our capitol hill correspondent, and chuck todd, moderator of "meet the press," and nbc news political director, joins us from washington. so kelly, what's the whitehouse doing about all of this? what's the reaction there? >> reporter: well, if weather is a metaphor, it is a stormy day here in washington, d.c., with lots of rain and kind of a fog on the city. the white house is saying that it is looking to see if there is a way once lawmakers go home for at least part of their august recess -- we know that house members are heading out of town, but when senators have that chance to do it, perhaps we'll
hear some feedback that might restart this in some way. i'm hotold from white house officials the thinking is there may be yet another iteration of health care beyond the so-called skinny repeal. i don't know what we go to next, but another way of approaching this. maybe bringing together democrats as a possibility. those are still sort of white board options to be filled in. but there is a sense of surprise, but not shock, i'm told, at the vote of senator john mccain, who had supported beginning debate on this measure, and then ultimately, as you showed, 1:00-plus in the morning, having made the rounds to his colleagues and the vice president voted no with the democrats. so for the white house, the president has left. he is heading to an event in long island, new york, that is about another topic. i would certainly expect, given the way the president tends to talk about the things that are most on his mind, that he may refer to it, as well. he also tweeted, and this is
really something for those people who watch our program like to know the ins and outs. so this is about the rules of the senate. the president tweeted, if republicans are going to pass great future legislation in the senate, they must immediately go to a 51-vote majority, not senseless 60. even though parts of health care could pass at 51, some really good things need 60. so many great future bills and budgets need 60. that is one of the rules of the senate. the intention of that, of course, the founders wanted the house to have simple majority rules, but the senate to require on certain kinds of legislation more collaboration. so the president weighing in on the rules of the senate, not likely he'll have much effect there, but expressing his frustration that they just couldn't get it done. chris? >> and kelly o'donnell, going out on a limb, suggesting the president might go off-script today. we thank you for that, kelly. kasie, i don't know, did you sleep one hour, two hours last night, if at all? what's the mood on capitol hill? where do they go from here? >> reporter: it was a late night
up here, chris. but at this point, look, everybody is a little punchy. nobody totally knows what happens next. i think the idea that kelly was alluding to, this idea that there might be another iteration of health care, i have a feeling everybody is pretty exhausted by the idea of that right now, at least if it's going to be republican-only. chuck schumer spoke to reporters earlier, excited about the idea of potentially doing something in a bipartisan way. john mccain putting out a statement to that effect, as well. and there was some frustration expressed on the house side, too, because remember, house republicans did pass a bill. they -- a lot of them took a pretty tough vote, and it took two tries, but they did get it done, and they're kind of left hanging here. our colleagues caught up with some this morning when they came in to do their final conference there on their way out of here for about a month for their august recess. but take a look at what the mood was like on the hill. >> what happened last night? >> ran out of backbone. just stunned. >> obviously, last night was a disappointment. and in the effort to repeal and replace. but it's not a death nail.
>> so is health care reform dead then? >> no, i wouldn't say it's dead. but it's obviously on life support right now. no question. unless the senate does something. >> the president never really laid out the core principles. and didn't sell them to the american people. >> reporter: so there you had charlie dent, moderate republican from pennsylvania, being pretty critical of the president, saying, look, he didn't sell this to americans. and the sale effort on this bill was really quite different than we have seen in the future. and by the late last night, it had devolved into an argument that republicans should vote for something, as long as there was a commitment that it would never become law. which i have to tell you, i've seen -- look, like a debt ceiling vote, a lot of times members don't want to vote to raise the debt ceiling, but they do it anyway because they have to. that's a calculation that makes sense. this was something by the end where everyone was scratching their heads. and i think, you know, it was -- very bizarre narrative, quite frankly. and john mccain was the one in
the end who took it to its final resolution and said, hey, look, i'm just not going to do this. he put out a statement this morning saying that he hopes that they can return to regular order, actually start to work together, and as we know, he is set to start treatment for brain cancer coming up in the next few weeks. chris. >> kasie hunt with the understatement that what happened last night was bizarre. voting for something that you want then to fail. chuck todd, look, bizarre things on capitol hill aren't anything new. but where are we with health care? was it the death knell? is it on life support, what's going to happen here? >> reporter: now what's going to happen, i do think -- mitch mcconnell -- i don't think he has any more stomach to try to do the reconciliation one more time and try to resuscitate this one more time. i think the reality is, what john mccain said in his own statement, lamar alexander, patty murray. they're the top republican, the chair, lamar alexander, the ranking democrat, is patty murray on the health committee.
and you are going to see the repair bill. and attempt a small repair bill. may even have a repeal of the medical device tax, which is something members of both parties don't like. usually for some sort of constituent reason, because some medical tech company is in their state, builds these products. but that may go. you will have some sort of attempt to help the insurance companies feel as if they can have a little more of a safety net if they go into rural markets where they may not have enough healthy people to sign up for -- on the exchange. so that's what you're going to see. a bill of fixes in some form or another. because they have to. the issue in rural america is serious. the issue of insurance companies walking away from these small markets is serious. they're walking away due to the uncertainty in the law. so that's where i think realistically this goes. and i think even -- look, mitch mcconnell is done. i really believe it. i don't think he has the energy at all to try to do this, because i think he used up a lot
of political capital in his own conference to get the 49 republicans he did get to go along with what he did. >> but you know what i was thinking? >> i don't think he has the capital to do this again. >> not the capital. with you wh but when you talk about how tired he is, and kasie hunt talks about how exhausted everybody is, frankly, the last couple of months everybody is exhausted. just everything that's going on. yeah, they stayed up late last night, many of them didn't get to sleep. but everybody is exhausted. i'm looking at the front page of the "new york post," where it says survivor white house, chuck. this is survival of the fittest at a whole new level. how does -- we're going to talk more about this coming up. how do you get anything done when you have a white house where on one side you have the new communications director, who seems to have the support of the president, of the people closest to him, who can say this -- i won't even characterize it -- >> reporter: you can't -- >> the rant speaks for itself.
the nuns would have washed my mouth out for soap many times over. good catholic girl. and on the other hand, how does he exist with a reince priebus and a steve bannon? can this go on, and they actually get anything done, chuck? >> reporter: no, it's untenable. and yai think they can't go int tax reform with this situation. look, we have two distinctly dysfunctional pieces of washington. congress has been on a path of dysfunction for a decade. that we are all well aware of. we have chronicled it. we have a different type of disfunction in the white house that's very much because of the way president trump is managing or not managing the staff, however you want to describe it. and ultimately, that's -- so it is untenable. i think this weekend, the president has to pick. it's pretty clear, the family wants bannon and the president wants priebus out. then just do it. because right now you have total paralysis. >> does he have the stomach for it, chuck? >> reporter: obviously, he
doesn't. or it would have been done already. the republican party has this huge problem. in this respect. the last ten, eight years, have been defined by the only thing that kept all of their coalitions together was undoing anything obama. whatever that meant. okay? and it was a different definition for different people. and obama -- and basically, that strategy proved to be, while good politics when you're not in power, when you still try to pursue that path while you're in power, it was untenable. and that came crashing down last night. and i think the question is, how does this party reorganize itself? what is the vision of the -- what does it mean to be a republican any more? i think the trump wing of the party and the congressional wing of the party are nowhere near on the same page. not just ideologically or on policy, but also on tactics. and they've got to bridge that divide. because obama is not president any more. and this whole thing -- you know, i'm sorry. this whole push on the health care was about a lot of it for
some people was the motivation of undoing an obama legacy. so they've got to just sort of set that aside and focus on what they are going forward. >> yeah, and speaking of focus, not only is obama not president, hillary clinton is not running for president right now. chuck todd, we'll look for you on sunday on "meet the press. "kelly o'donnell, kasie hunt, thanks to you, as well. hugh hewitt, conservative radio talk show host, msnbc political analyst and host of a show here on saturday mornings. i wake up with him. and liz smith, democratic strategist. let me start, hugh, where chuck left off, which is that, look, already many of the things that the president -- president trump has gotten accomplished is to sign these executive orders and roll back things like climate change, other areas that obama put into place. but in terms of a party and in terms of what health care represents, and the whole idea that it was about getting rid of this, where does this leave health care and republicans right now? >> i think it leaves obamacare exactly where it is, churning
through the democratic party with ten very vulnerable democratic senators who came from states that donald trump won up for re-election. and it's their worst nightmare in some respects. because lisa murkowski and john mccain, yeah, they did brand the republicans as people who will not deliver what they campaigned on. those two. but 49 republicans voted to repeal and replace. the house voted to repeal and replace. and obamacare is what's driving people's premiums up, their deductibles through the roof. and in ohio, 19 counties without even one insurance plan. nevada, 14 out of 17 counties without one individual market plan. >> yeah, hugh, we can go back into this, and we can make the argument about how it's the uncertainty, frankly, with everything that congress and the president have been doing and talking about that's driving a lot of that. i want to get to really where are we with this? what do the republicans do? does the president just say, i thought it was easy, i thought i could do it, i was wrong, let's move on? >> no. i think they do what i just did, which is to remind people
adverse selection is a reality in the insurance markets. >> people know what's going on, hugh. people live it every day. >> they get the premium notices. and they're not going to blame the republicans for this, chris. the premiums are as a result of the obamacare fiasco. i call it a death spiral. some people disagree with that. when you haven't got one insurer in nevada in 14 counties or 19 counties in ohio, that is a death spiral, and i believe it's going to continue. and come november of 2018, they're going to look at incumbent democrats who passed this monstrosity eight years ago. >> two things. hugh, i know this sort of a tough issue for republicans to discuss right now. but if you look at the polling, it shows that republicans do currently own this. and that voters have the perception that republicans own health care. and two, what you are saying goes back to what chuck was saying earlier. that republicans don't have any affirmative plans. any solutions on what to do with
health care. all you are doing is running against obamacare. and using the same empty political rhetoric of the last seven years. you guys had seven years to craft a replacement, to help fix this law, and you failed to do that. >> and yet there is still something, liz, that the president can do, and he said he's going to let this health care bill implode, explode. look, some of the things he could do to make it tougher for obamacare to work, end subsidies that help pay -- that pay deductibles and co-pays for low-income people. they can stop enforcing the individual mandate. they can stop all the advertising, all the outreach during the signup periods. what are the odds, liz, that he could pull the trigger on some of this? >> look, i mean, you know what they say? they say elections have consequences. and we're seeing the consequences of this election. the consequences of when you elect a -- you know, erratic -- >> what if he decides i'm going to go after this? >> i think there is a great
chance. because, you know, he does not seem to show any regard for the well-being of the people that he represents. >> well, what he doesn't do, and i think it's frustrating a lot of republicans, is he doesn't accept responsibility. it's everybody else's responsibility. i mean, there is that consistency with this president. he doesn't apologize. the boy scouts being just the most recent example of that. and he doesn't take blame. i mean, this is yet another break with what we have seen in the past. and i just want to remind folks of what past presidents have said and done. >> clearly, too many americans haven't felt that progress yet. and they told us that yesterday. and as president, i take responsibility for that. >> our troops in iraq have fought bravely. they have done everything we have asked them to do. where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me. >> i do not believe, therefore, that the local commanders on the ground, men who have already suffered quite enough, should be
punished for not fully comprehending the nature of today's terrorist threat. if there is to be blame, it properly rests here in this office and with this president. and i accept responsibility for the bad as well as the good. >> so, hugh, would the smarter thing for this president then to say to his interior secretary, call lisa murkowski and threaten her, or tweet and go after everybody who isn't on the same page with him. come out and say, look, we didn't get this done, i promised you i was going to get it done, we didn't get it done. the buck stops here. here's where we're going with this. >> now, chris, i just have to reject this. because the fact that it failed in the senate is owned by susan collins, lisa murkowski and john mccain. >> and not the president of the united states, who said they were going to get it done. >> no, no. it rests with senator mccain, senator murkowski and senator collins. because had they gone to the conference, they would have had
a bill come forward, that had that failed -- >> we don't know that. they were voting on a promise they didn't know was going to be kept. >> clarity, though. clarity. three republicans joined 48 democrats to kill repeal and replace. collins, murkowski and mccain. they're not blamed trump. i will blame trump for dysfunction. i will happy to say he ought not fire robert mueller and leave russia alone. there is plenty to be critical of donald trump by. but the people who killed the attempt to kill obamacare are mccain, murkowski and collins. >> the people who wrote it, and produced a bill. 12% approval rating among the american people. that's who killed it. >> and we didn't really know what the approval rating was, because people don't know what it was that they were going to end up with. that is by any measure part of the problem. liz smith, hugh hewitt, good to see you both. i'll see you tomorrow morning, hugh. thank you. >> thank you. we also have breaking news. the pentagon confirming the
launch of a ballistic missile out of north korea. i want to go right to our pentagon correspondent, hans nichols. what do we know about this launch? >> we know that it was an intercontinental ballistic missile. we knew how long it flew. it flew for about 45 minutes. and how far it traveled. about 1,000 kilometers. the scary part about all of this, when you tease that out, because basically they shot this missile straight up into the air, then it landed. when you tease it out and you give it a theoretical range, we'll see just how far and what it could potentially reach. potentially, the lower 48. now, i say that, because the last missile launch that we had from north korea, the july 4th one, flew for 37 minutes. it flew also a distance of about 930 kilometers. when you do all of the telemetry, you do all of the analysis, you get a much greater distance. the longer these missiles stay aloft, the more likely it is they can reach the continental united states. just a quick background on this. u.s. intelligence assessment is now that north korea can marry a
nuclear weapon and reach the united states by 2018. before that number was always 2020. and just yesterday we heard from the army chief of staff, general milley, saying that north korea has accelerated and gotten a lot quicker a lot faster, and they're really developing this technology. now the question is, what sort of military options are there? they talk about the importance of having military options. they don't necessarily telegraph them. >> military options are there. the problem is, none of them are good. hans nichols at the pentagon, thank you so much. and coming up, more on the west wing war. new communications director, anthony scaramucci, taking center stage after some very public and vulgar shots at reince priebus and steve bannon. is the real risk here that he's upstaging the president. and russia retaliation. the kremlin already taking action against the u.s. in response to a new sanctions bill approved by congress. but will president trump actually sign that legislation? and live pictures from brentwood, new york. this is where president trump is expected to talk about gang
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chief strategist. about reince priebus, he said, reince is an expletive, paranoid schizophrenic. a paranoiac. after criticism, scaramucci tweeted, i sometimes use colorful language. i will refrain in this arena, but not give up the passionate fight for trump's agenda. hours later, he didn't exactly take the blame, tweeting, i made a mistake in trusting a reporter. it won't happen again. and now a new report about what started all of this. accusations of leaks at the highest levels of the white house. the ""washington post"" saying the president could be given a list of leakers as early as today. joining me now, two reporters who have written extensively about this topic, phil rucker, white house bureau chief and msnbc political analyst. jonathan swan is a national political reporter. so, phil, part of scaramucci's scorched earth approach was evident early when he said he was going after leakers.
is he ready now to go to the president and say, here are the people you should fire? >> you know, he was preparing to, and part of the case he was trying to make intermittently with the president against reince priebus, the chief of staff, was to basically allege that priebus is a leaker and has been a leaker of negative stories. now, none of that evidence has surfaced publicly, so i don't know if there's any there. but that's the case i'm told, scaramucci was going to make to the president today. >> we don't know if it's going to happen. so in the meantime, left talking about this "new yorker" interview where scaramucci also said he wanted to kill all of the leakers. i mean, how is this all playing in the white house? how is it playing generally? i mean, what is scaramucci trying to accomplish here by saying, you know what, i sometimes use colorful language, but he certainly didn't say, i'm so sorry, steve bannon, i'm so sorry reince priebus, or i regret anything at all, except maybe talking to ryan liza. >> right.
the reason he didn't say sorry for those comments is because he doesn't regret those comments. he, in fact, believes those comments. he -- he has healthy hatred for both men, and the hatred is very much mutual. reince and steve bannon are sort of in a little bunker at the moment, metaphorical bunker, trying to plot ways to destroy anthony. but they're also obviously enjoying the fact that from their perspective, he seems to be flying awfully close to the sun. now, for -- >> is he, though? is he? >> well, no, so i was going to qualify that. i was going to qualify that. the way they see it is, like, in the short term at the moment, trump is enjoying this. i mean, every -- every conversation i've had in the last 24 hours, donald trump has not reprimanded anthony scaramucci. quite the opposite, he's enjoying the fact that he's bombastically out there talking about leakers. however, this is not necessarily
sustainable. to correct that. so i think the strategy seems to be for reince, can he outlast, you know -- can he sort of weather through this period, wrap himself up into a little ball and sort of, you know, somehow plow through while anthony, you know, punches himself out? >> yeah, i mean, i think one of the things that backs up what you're saying and what you're hearing over the last 24 hours is, you know, i've watched a very long interview on fox news last night, and they pressed hard about things scaramucci said. and i think her response was kind of like a shrug. well, sort of his tweet speaks for itself. he sometimes uses colorful language, but he's dedicated to the president. but phil, what do you think? does scaramucci run the risk of all of this attention he's getting, overshadowing the president and instead ending up in his cross-hairs? >> absolutely. if this starts becoming the
mooch show instead of the trump show, he's got a problem. but -- >> meet the mooch. >> exactly. but the bigger problem here is, these are the individuals who are paid by the taxpayers, who are supposed to be running the united states government. and for the whole week now, all we have been focused on is who is leaking to whom, and who is stabbing whom in the back or the front or in public or in private. and it's chaotic in this white house, and it's been chaotic for six months. but i think it's been especially -- >> did somebody go -- is it either -- we were talking about this with chuck todd. does either scaramucci go or -- i mean, i guess it's -- a subject of some debate about where he is. no, jonathan says. if anybody is going, it's going to be priebus and bannon? >> i don't know who is going to go, but this doesn't feel sustainable. i don't think you can have this continuing feud going on for months to come at this peak of emotion. something is going to have to give here in order for an agenda to get through. >> yeah, in this battle between
scaramucci and priebus, we almost forgot that there was this little thing going on with jeff sessions and the president of the united states. and we actually heard for the first time from jeff sessions about this yesterday. i want to play that. >> well, it's kind of hurtful. but the president of the united states is a strong leader. and he wants to make a change, he can certainly do so. and i would be glad to yield. >> you know, it occurred to me yesterday, jonathan, again, as i was watching the white house press briefing and i heard from the third senior white house official in one day saying we -- we serve at the pleasure of the president, but refusing to say that he is supportive of any individual in his cabinet, any individual on his senior staff, who he has ever asked about. they never say, oh, the president supports him 100%. they never say that. obviously, this is a white house where a lot of people think their job is at stake. what are you hearing from your sources, jonathan? does sessions survive? is the attention now kind of the
pressure off of him as it shifts over to the whole other fight with priebus? >> the big question with sessions has always been what comes next. i mean, donald trump -- none of this is new. ever since the recusal. i mean, donald trump was in his residence when the recusal happened. he saw it on tv. and immediately sort of went into a rage about it. and nothing has changed. he's been venting about sessions for a long time. they've talked. he's mused about replacements. but it still comes back to two problems. number one, whoever you replace him has to get senate confirmation, because the democrats won't let him do a sneak move during the august recess. and secondly, the two people under sessions at the justice department are, if anything, more independent, more likely to be tough on trump. so does he do some sort of giant massacre at the top of the doj? i mean, the options are not terrific for donald trump here. so the -- that's why the conversation has been so
tortured, so drawn out. and, of course, there's the public dimension, because i think the president enjoys this sort of public humiliation aspect of it. >> well, we'll see if he mentions any of this in long island and his speech that's supposed to be about gang members. jonathan swan, thank you. have a good weekend. "washington post," phillip rucker, good to see you. we have breaking news to tell you about. nbc news just confirming that charlie gard has passed away, the british infant on life support suffering from the rare genetic condition. he was 11 months old. his parents' attempt to bring him to the u.s. for an experimental treatment captured the attention of people the world over, including the pope and president trump. joining us from london is nbc's ali arouzi. obviously, this was a heartbreaking situation. our hearts go out to his parents, to his family. what can you tell us? >> reporter: indeed, chris. heartbreaking situation. we've just heard from representatives of charlie's parents, connie yates and chris
gard, they're 11-month-old child has just died. presumably he's been taken off life support. as you know, chris, his parents have been embroiled in a bitter fight with the hospital at almost every stage of his care. as you mentioned, they wanted to take him to the u.s. for experimental treatment. they were fighting the courts to get that done. but once charlie's situation had become irreversible, they then had taken their fight to a different state to try and take the 11-month-old boy home so he could spend the last few days there with him. and have some tranquillity as they put it. but that wasn't possible, either. and the judge said that the boy had to be taken to a hospice, and that the details of his stay at the hospice would be kept private until after his death, which has just happened now. the judge -- the parents wanted their son to spend a matter of weeks, possibly, with them at the hospice. but the judge said that he had to take little charlie's best
interests into heart, and it was possible that he was suffering now, and that this had to come to a head sooner rather than later. he had given them until 12:00 yesterday to make their decision as to how they were going to go forward. it was all done in private. and it appears now that little charlie has passed away at a hospice here in london. chris? >> so sad. ali, thank you so much. appreciate your report. and up next, the latest on the escalating international tensions after north korea launches another missile today. and russian retaliation. the kremlin demands the u.s. cut its embassy staff in moscow in response to a new series of sanctions approved by congress. yet the white house hasn't said whether the president will sign that legislation. what happens if he vetoes it? we'll get the latest, next. hey! this is lloyd. to prove to you that the better choice for him is aleve. he's agreed to give it up. ok, but i have 30 acres to cover by sundown.
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we are following two big international stories this afternoon. the pentagon just confirming that north korea launched a ballistic missile, and russia is retaliating today after the senate approved sanctions against moscow for its interference in the 2016 elections. the u.s. embassy has been ordered to reduce its staff. two american diplomatic
properties have been seized. i'm joined by wendy sherman who served as undersecretary of state of political affairs for secretaries kerry and clinton. and nbc news chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, is in moscow for us. richard, tell us more about it. what the feeling is over there, and what they're hoping will happen. what they hope to accomplish. >> reporter: well, i'm standing in front of one of those diplomatic compounds. this is a country retreat, just outside of moscow in a forest that has been long used by the american embassy, by american diplomatic staff and their families, as a place to relax. there's a barbecue inside, a swingset. clearly a place designed for entertaining to get away from the pressures of the city. as you can see, it's gated shut, and the government says that as of the end of this month, it will be off limits to american personnel. it seems like it is already off limits to personnel. we haven't seen anyone coming or going, and we have been here for
the last several hours now. this facility also a storage facility in moscow, used by the u.s. embassy, as well. both of them seized. but perhaps the bigger move here is the limiting of the number of american personnel stationed in this country. russia says that over the next month and a half, it will be expelling hundreds of americans who work here. technical staff, diplomats, in order to reduce the number to 455. and the reason that number is significant is that is the number that russia says -- of personnel russia says it has serving in the united states. so it believes that this is reciprocity. and this goes back to a move -- initially goes back to a move under the obama administration when president obama seized two diplomatic compounds from russia, expelled dozens of russian diplomats. at the time, president vladimir putin didn't retaliate. this was right before the trump
inauguration. it seems that putin wanted to give trump a chance, wanted to see what would happen. but now with the senate and house having passed new sanctions, and the russians decided to act now. >> all right. thank you so much, richard. ambassador sherman, what do you make of the swiftness of this decision by moscow, and will it accomplish anything? >> well, i think we're actually back to a sort of kind of regular order in what was once the kind of cold war back and forth that went on. i hope we're not in a brand-new cold war. we're in something quite different. but nonetheless, this isn't a great surprise they have retaliated, created these reciprocal steps. and indeed it's reported today that secretary tillerson and foreign minister lavrov spoke today, and foreign minister lavrov said they're ready to work with us on global threats. so indeed, one has to show moscow that when they interfere in our democracy, in our election, in the very being that we are as the united states of america, we are going to take
action. so i hope the president signs the legislation that passed overwhelmingly and certainly in veto override, proof ways, and we continue to send a message to moscow that we are tough and we are serious. >> i mean, given those numbers, do you see any any the president doesn't sign this into law? or are you thinking he might actually -- what would he accomplish by vetoing it? >> well, it's hard to predict anything these days in terms of what the president will do, as you have been saying all morning, chris. i think that what he's put out is, well, maybe he'll be tougher. he'll negotiate something tougher. and, in fact, that was referred to when putin took this action that the president had said he might be doing something more onerous. i think he's got to sign this legislation. it will be overridden by the congress. and it's important for us to get to work. your other story today on north korea shows the seriousness of the fact that our government is not populated with all of the experts and people that it
needs. that there isn't regular order to deal with these incredibly serious issues. and that the president is focused on tweets, not focused on the national security of this country. >> let's talk about the threat posed by kim jong-un. we just heard from our pentagon correspondent that for a long time we were hearing potential the u.s. could be threatened by 2020. now they're moving that up to 2018. obviously something concerning that within a year or so this could be a very real and present danger. but we've known for a long time that at least the military options, the responses, none of the options are very good. so even if there were to be regular order somehow, and we know that's not the case right now, certainly within foreign relations, within the state department, what's the u.s. going to do about it? >> well, there is a chance -- i was going to say shot -- but it seemed too great an irony. there is a chance of a diplomatic strategy that would be backed by a credible threat
of force. by onerous sanctions that would be deeply enforced by a very concerted conversation with china, not just over dinner, but at lower levels, and a very disciplined and focused way to try to get china to use the leverage that it has. working very much with south korea and japan in terms of military exercises and military prowess and missile defense. but a very complex strategy. and, quite frankly, the team is not in place to carry out such a complex strategy, which would be tough. might not get us to where we need to go. but quite frankly, as you have said, the choices here are pretty bad. and we've got to at least give a diplomacy and using all of our tools, all at once, in a comprehensive fashion, to try to get us away from the brink of war. the other day, when the president did his tweets, which ultimately were about transgender americans serving in the military, which they do every single day, and i thank them for it, that first tweet
didn't say what the topic was, but rather that he had been consulting with his generals. and it was reported that generals at the pentagon were nervous for nine minutes until the second tweet came out, because they thought the president might be declaring war on north korea. that's a pretty scary thought. that the generals at the pentagon thought the president of the united states might declare war by tweet. >> terrifying, to say the least. wendy sherman, nbc's richard engel, thanks to both of you. and be sure to tune in to "on assignment" right here on msnbc. hometown hero? constituents in maine reacting to their senator, susan collins' vote against the obamacare repeal bill. we'll hear some of their feedback, live from maine. also live pictures from brentwood, new york, where protesters have gathered, and where the president is scheduled to speak any minute now. we'll bring you that live, as soon as he takes the stage. ♪
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relieved that obamacare remained the law of the land, and no small part thanks to their senator, republican susan collins. now, they said, look, morgan, maine has a unique population. one, they're an older population. two, 23% of their state is on medicaid. and three, they have a large population of seasonal workers, because of the farmland here. so that means some of those workers can't afford their own insurance. but they also say some of their employers don't cover enough of it. but here in maine, chris, it's also a twin effect. because, one, it's not only medical, it's also financial. we're standing here, as you mentioned, in dover fox croft. the population is only about 4,500 people. and this is a unique farm to table restaurant. it's situated right kroacross t street from the only local hospital in this region. and if it weren't for the doctors and patients who pass through on their way in and out of appointments, she might not have a business at all. take a listen. >> there will be doctors coming and having lunch in our business
and then people coming from doctors' appointments at mayo, they'll stop in for lunch. if we lost mayo, we would have to drive about an hour to get g service and as a business owner, i personally don't have time to get an hour each way to a doctor's appointment. >> that woman also has an 8 week old baby. she mentioned the proximity is not feasible to her. 95,000 people across the state today to lose their insurance if obama care was revealed. back to you. >> morgan, i hope you had a good lunch, that restaurant looks phenomenal. >> president trump running a few minutes behind for his speech, but protestors have gathered
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