tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC July 28, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
before john kelly, the only former military general to serve as white house chief of staff, al heg. he held the job from may 4th, 1973 to september 21st, 1974. that's all we have for tonight. we'll have more on the white house shake up on meet the press. check out our 1947 meet the press podcast. ari picks things up right now on the beat. good evening. i hope we have enough news for you to cover. >> i think we have a lot of news. i enjoyed the podcast. thanks again. a big show here this round goes to anthony scaramucci. he reports directly to the president and reince priebus does not. trump removing priebus and naming a new chief of staff. today, friday, july 28th,
2017 is the day president trump admitted there's something wrong with the trump white house. something is not working and someone is getting canned. reince priebus was the most high ranking, established republican in trump's white house. he was not just fired tonight. he has been attacked, humiliat humiliated, derided and dissed in the most personal terms before now being shown the door. it would be easy to fixate on that treatment but that could ob cure the deeper reasons donald trump is shaking up his white house staff. russia consuming this presidency. congress overriding trump on sanctions. republicans losing that big health care vote early this morning as white house staff spent their time infighting in the lead up to the vote instead of helping out. trump calling john mccain with a last ditch plea and he gave it a thumbs down along with the
entire bill. that's part of why trump announced that reince is out and john kelly will take over. he'll have his hands full because this move clearly and publicly reenforces the power of mr. anthony scaramucci who reports directly to the president. think about this here on this blockbuster friday evening. almost everyone across all party lines all over this country this week thought scaramucci had a terrible, even embarrassing t e time, but according to his boss, it was a good time. it was a great week and for now the trump white house that's all that matters. i want to get right to the breaking news. rick, why is reince out and why
did it go down like this? >> reince has been isolated for a long time. there's been no chief of staff for quite a long time. i think it went -- look, i think, i'm beginning to believe that scaramucci was brought this for a purpose and it was to humiliate reince. unlike session, nobody came to reince defense. there was no one left in the west wing to support him and he had to leave. he probably read it on twitter along with the rest of us. >> nbc reporting there were sources saying he may have had the resignation in as soon as yesterday. what he read before that on twitter and the new yorker magazine and everywhere else was a kind of shaming and a kind of disgusting level of personal attacks that's really unbecoming. .>>ig thissn't the first time donald um has done this. marla maples found out she was
getting a divorce from the new york post. sessions was somebody that he confronted not in person but on twitter. marla he con fronted through the tabloids. he's using twitter now the way he used tabloids in the '80s and '90s. this time there's no gate keepers and no editors. he can just write the headlines and we have to report on them. >> we're getting a lot of updates. stay with me, everyone. i'm being told we have andy car on the phone. a fitting guest as a former chief of staff to george w. bush. can you hear me? >> i can. it's great to be with you. this is will a very memorable day. >> it is. it's the first day that donald trump has taken action with regard to his own view of failures in the white house. have you seen a chief of staff removed like this and what does it mean? >> i'm sure this is the first chief of staff removed in the way he was removed.
it was kind of tawdry, awkward, uncomfortable, unfair but it's reality. now we have to rally to make sure that general kelly, the new chief of staff is in a position to help the president do his job and that is a major responsibility. >> wouldn't it be hard to say nothing of general kelly's background, which is widely respected but wouldn't it be hard, in your view, in a political climate like this to have someone with no political experience be chief of staff? does that mean effectively that role will be played by other trump loyalists in the white house? >> general has to understand politics and has been part of it for a very long time. i know he did work on capitol hill. he was a congressional aid when he was a junior officer. i know he worked at the pentagon. i know he did a great job in the field and the tough role as
commanding troops during a highly politicized effort for what was going on. he's weary of the immediates and the way washington, d.c. works. he's also from boston. i kind of celebrate that. i think he's a good choice. he's an adult. he has a courage to speak truth to power. he's demonstrated that. he has -- he understands the consequence of policy. that's something that is very, very important. it's not just about understanding what policy is and how it should be implemented but he understands the consequence of policy. >> i take your point he's operated in the climate. that would mean that he also understands the shelf life or half-life of a loyal trump aide
can be very short indeed. howard, listen to donald trump speaking about reince priebus on electi night. >> i'll tell you reince is really a star. he is the hardest working guy and in a certain way i did this. come up here. it's about time you did this. >> there's the embrace, howard. what happened? >> well, first of all, don't forget that during the campaign when the whole bus incident happened with billy bush comments and so forth that shocked so many people about what the then candidate trump had said earlier on, reince priebus suggested that candidate donald trump might want to consider getting out of the race. i don't think he recovered from that to begin with. he was on borrowed time from the moment he became chief of staff. he was never given the authority to really run the white house. he was never highly regarded by
other people. he was called r reincey by the president as though he were a pet and not the chief of staff. the good news for anthony scaramucci here is he got his man. his got reince priebus. priebus is out. the bad news for scaramucci is the chief of staff is a marine corp general, retired. i'm wondering how long kelly will put up with the guy that scaramucci can talk with donald trump any time he wants without going through the chain of command. that will be interesting to see. i know the word is out today that reince priebus knew all about this yesterday and they were going through the motions. i don't buy it for a second. i think this was executed gangland style. they for this event at which the president widely, lavishly praised kelly who is about to
take over. then when they get back to joint base andrews, trump stays on the plane. the president asks reince to stay behind. they have a discussion and then reince priebus gets off the plane and then gets in a car with two other trump aides who then after a few seconds or so get out of the car and leave reince priebus alone in the car to read the tweets announcing his own dismissal. that's the way i put the tick tock together. that is remarkable and a humiliation that indicates to me that they must have actual ly gotten priebus on some leaks. scaramucci showed them to trump thands w and that was it. the only other reason priebus stayed around was to work on the health care bill.
once the bill went down, his close relationship with paul ryan no longer mattered. >> alleged. >> you know what i mean. nobody was taking priebus seriously. that's my point. >> i think your point stands. >> the gangland style is rough. >> classless. >> it's not just that scaramucci calls up magazines to do a mean girls style take down of people. it's also they couldn't get the job done on health care this week. i don't know that priebus would be the one to blame. >> no. he was the chief of staff. the question will be who does
scaramucci report to. >> the president. it says in the written statement he reports to the president. >> that what it said before but is it now with kelly as chief of staff. >> i would love to excellecomme that. >> he needs absolute authority. >> andy, go lead. >> general kelly understands what leadership responsibility is. he demonstrated he's respected it. he's respected the chain of kmant. i do believe that he will bring important leadership discipline to the organization at the white house and i hope that it includes the reality that you can't really serve the president well as a chief of staff if you are not all informed. people should respect the chief of staff's responsibilities and role. my rule was that the chief of staff should no before, during or after when a meeting with the
president is taking place. preferably before. you'd like toyota be during because you'd like to be there for many of the meetings. at a minimum respect the chief of staff's burden enough to tell the chief of staff you talked to the president and this is what we talked about and the chief of staff can get on and talk. i was fortunate to work in a white house where the president backed me up on that kind of discipline. he was wonderful at making sure that -- it wasn't that i was quote the gate keeper or wouldn't let people see the president. i said if you're working for the president and you need to see the president, go see the president. if you want to see the president, you better not go. it's got to be a real need. i want to know about it before, during or after. i prefer know about it before. >> i think that it's a nice idea that one like discipline and kind of order oriented person would write this ship. imagining that somehow kelly
could turn this white house into a functioning machine is like thinking that you can throw a non-rotten banana into a pile and all the the others will not be rotten anymore. >> that's a little cruel. >> hold on andy. i'm going to come back to you in a second. >> at no turn has this white house demonstrated functionality. i don't think that introducing one competent person will change that. >> let me bring andy back in. even a very discipline general can't train someone if they're not willing to go to the gym. you may hire the personal trainer and he may be great personal trainer, but if you're still going to tweet at 4:00 in the morning, how does that leave him in a position to bring discipline to the white house? >> probably the most discipline he had in his life when he went
to military school. he may have had taste of that as a young student. maybe he will reflect on the discipline at military school and respect the general that will now be right down the hall. iop general kelly will introduce him to discipline in a nice way. you shouldn't allow him to be, i'm going to say so undisciplined that the impulsive nature of his activities is the norm. >> howard, go ahead. >> listen to what we're saying here. we're now treating the president of the united states, perhaps appropriately, as a 15-year-old boy at military school. don't forget the military mind goes in both directions.
general kelly retired. knows whose the commander in chief is and the commander in chief is the president of the united states. if the president of the united states says, you know, i want to be able to talk to anthony scaramucci any time i want to maybe i'll let you know, maybe i won't. he's going to go ahead and do that. i would say that kelly has been around the president enough to know how donald trump operates. i don't think he's under illusions that that's going to change. >> absolutely. one more point and i want to play some paul ryan. >> hold on. the issue you raise, howard, was tested in that they rolled out a travel ban. it was so fast and so unprofessional and so unclear with regard to green card holders and veterans and foreigners and iraqi translaters that the whole thing had to be
blown up and started over. there are some test point where is the donald trump style has sup superceded. take a listen paul ryan talking about reince priebus and what he hoped would happen earlier iseek. >> i've only heard about this. i'm not sure what the whole interplay is. all i would say is reince is a very close friend of mine. he's doing a fantastic job at the white house. i believe he has the president's confidence. if those two genertlemen have difference, my advice would be to sit down. i think he's doing a great job. >> i don't think that reince and the speaker were either talking or he's protecting him. the whole thing, i think andy was trying to say and i don't want to put words in his mouth, it's hopeless. this president is not going to change. he's not going to run the chain of command. he's not going do be disciplined. he's not going to change the way he does things. your example of the roll out on
the travel ban was an excellent point of that and on the transgender tweet is another point. it goes on and on. >> let's look at the context. there's the drama. there is the hate tweets. there is the wannabe fake rivalries in this administration that look like classic studio gangster behavior. there's real gangsters and studio gangsters who go into the studio and pretend to be tough. if you're so tough call up steve bannon and say what you have to say insad of calling the new yorker magazine. i wouldatch this. this would be great stuff. >> we're inside of it and we can't get out. scaramucci has written a few self-helps, which i have read. not recommended. a couple of them he mentioned he kind of positions himself as this person that learned to be what he warrants to be from
watching tv and movies. it's a guy trying to be a wall street guy that he saw on tv. >> there's all that fake drama and all that supposed tough talk and then there's the policy failures. there's the sanctions votes that are telling the president we don't trust you on russia. there's the gop pushback on all of this and then you think about jeff sessions, howard, and donald trump being told you don't get to name your own attorney general if you want to replace him. that's how much republicans have stopped trusting him. that's the policy context for this week. >> there's almost a complete disconnect between actual legislating and administrating
and getting things achieved in the country and the unbelievable show that we're watching at the white house. by the way, anthony scaramucci, studio gangster, is a mirror image of the man who seems t en president of the united states. they're both on a the same reality show wavelength and i think that's why trump and scaramucci are currently getting along. the question i would ask about health care, about sanctions, about tax policy, all the things the president wants to do is john kelly really going to be the guy to do that. not just in the republican party but in the democratic party. maybe he's got some native skills from boston. you've got at the white house
generals who are political in the context of the military but aren't political, political. you have a bunch of business people. you have a hedge fund manager and no political people to run the government and get policy done. i'm not sure this is going to solve any of that. how do they connect to the washington that the president either calls the swamp or the sewer depending on the day. he's got to find way to do that. >> what's really interesting about this whole studio gangster thing is to build on the point that the last guest was making. that's not the same as making policy. a studio gangster win might be like an interesting tweet that everyone responds to or people are crazy about this thing you said about steve bannon but the reality is that doesn't accomplish anything except this very temporary feeling of victory that is completely hollow and doesn't do anything for the american people or this administration. >> you have to put the failure of -- i think this week is different.
people say trump's had wads weeks. this is the worth week. the health care bill failed because he was supposed to be the chief persuader of the country to get it done and he squaun squaundserred that opportunity. the sanctions bill, that's the entire u.s. congress saying we don't trust you. they're taking away a tool he should have about whatever he wants to aomplish with russia, ukrain trade, et. they've taken it off the table. putin knows that. it's a humiliation. they had to do it because they don't trust him with it. >> it's extraordinary howard. it goes to a shift. a shift that started clearly in the congress with republicans on these issues. on the sanctions and the push back to the notion of replacing sessions and grassley saying we won't hold a vote this year. you'll be stuck with acting attorney general rod rosenstein
who is his worst nightmare from russia. that was a real rebuke and scaramucci comes in and trump quote loves what he said in the vulgar, profane interviews. how can you score this as anything other than trump conceding something is not working when he has to replace the chief and yet is he doubling down as he did in the campaign. we have seen this cycle before. he turns to the uber loyalists. he's not known for having a team of intellectual rivalists to begin with. >> he turns either to long time friends from new york, gary cohen or in this case anthony scaramucci. he's familiar with those new york people or he goes to the military. don't forget h.r. mcmaster, the national security advisor is
active dut military. he's literally in the chain of command. sure, trump looking for those kinds of reassurances. looks for the loyalty that goes in his direction unquestioningly. i'll tell you, this number one thing that any real chief of staff would do would be to either limit or take away or sup sup supervise the president's relationship with his most important thing in life, which is his phone and his twitter account. could that ever happen? could anybody conceive of that happening? if you can't conceive of that happening then this will continue the way it is. i spent most of my time on the hill. the republicans and senators in congress, especially the senators who view themselves as independent are getting pretty darn tired of donald trump. they don't like the way he
attacked their former colleague jeff sessions. they're now going to watch as i'm sure trump will distance himself from and maybe start berating mitch mcconnell. they're not going to like it but they better get used to it. >> stay with me. our breaking coverage is continuing. we're not going to take a break but we have brand new statement in. the first official statement from reince priebus who has been ousted as chief of staff announced via twitter. i want to read what reince priebus is saying about this very tumltuous day. it's been one of the greatest days to serve this country and the president. i want to thank the president for giving me this opportunity the i'll continue to serve as a strong supporter of the president's agenda and policies. this is a very gracious departure. i can't think of a better person than john kelly to succeed me. reince priebus, we have been
reporting on this blockbuster news. the most significant staff change in the trump white house to date. just over six months in and the chief of staff is out. my pants st my panel stays with me. we can definitely benefit from your expertise. anthony scaramucci didn't just say reince was on the way out. he didn't just say he would have a lot of power. he also said really objectal things about bannon. he basically implied that he had the upper hand and in breitbart today there was interesting pushback. that's the site that is
sympathetic to steve ban thon whe that they started arguing this is becoming the anthony scaramucci show and president trump might be out of news. walk us through what breitbart is doing. >> i think breitbart is trying to illustrate what got steve in trouble. remember when steve was on the cover of time magazine, that's kind of when the dissension between him and trump started. trump was vocal this kind of smacking down steve. there's speculation that steve may not survive at that point in time. now breitbart is trying to illustrate that this guy is doing the same thing that got you so upset at steve hoping that either creates a situation where trump comes down on scaramucci or maybe he backs off a bit in his public attacks of steve bannon. the reality is whether it's jeff sessions on steve bannon and reince priebus, these are people
very publicly humiliated by one of their own colleagues. doesn't report to the white house chief of staff. this isn't going to stop. i think scaramucci is trying to remove anybody that could be an obstacle to his power base. these people within the white house build their own center of power and they have the upper hand and the new shiny toy on the shelf, they try to use that moment to neutralize anybody that could be a threat to them. >> will bannon find way to wriggle out of this? >> bannon, if anything, he's survivor. he will scratch and claw. he's a street fighter. we saw already how he was resilient enough to overcome the rooe previous attempt to try to have him removed. while all this is going on there's still this big russia investigation conducted.
steve made himself instrumental in leading the messaging and the fight back to push back the aggressive style against that. i think one thing the president is going to keep in mind is as he tries to carve out people and lose people he needs as many people in his boat as he can keep while this russia situation is still unfolding. >> stay with us. for folks just joining us as we apoach 6:3p.m. on the east coast. we have a breaking news story. the most significant staff change this the trump white house. it's sings months in. reince priebus, the chief of staff ousted. replaced by general john kelly on a week that was a parade of horribles by this administration by any outside estimation. donald trump doubling down with the original, with the loyalists.
a source told the establishments ruled so long it's proving harder to kill than we envisioned. did you see this come and what does it mean to have john kelly as a chief of staff but anthony scaramucci acting life a clehie of staff? >> i think everybody saw this coming. trump humiliates people for a while until they leave. he's going to try to operate totally differently than this sort of inexperienced free willing white house. he's totally inexperienced in running a white house. >> yeah. he's been around washington wu your view is this is a very special rule. >> it's a really difficult role for very sophisticated operators. what trump has been doing is
switching from trying to run the government or the country or white house to staging a show and casting and scar amucci was cost in a role and he's playing it. this is like much more the bachelorette. it's a reality show. it ends with the exit interview. i think the drama has replaced governing. >> that goes to a larger question here. does donald trump having struggled suh mightily with creating policy on russia sanctions, on obamacare, on this transgender policy that he proposed by tweet and the military will not take it as
policy until they get a lawful order. has he given up on trying to be america's chief executive and going to be america's content officer? >> he's failing as president, succeeding in the production of reality show. it's incredible television. it even sur planted a fascinating interview with me. it's totally riveting. all your ratings are up. everybody's ratings are up. it's an incredible show. the question is, the country that wants the bachelor. >> i watch tv. i participate in tv sometimes. i'm not against tv. speaking, if i may, be so idealistic, speaking as a citizen, if ben is right about that theory, that makes me really sad. >> i think it's definitely game
of thrones but not in a macho way. it's about people fighting over stupid gar gbage and this threa threaten to eliminate all of them. >> howard, go ahead. >> i was going to say that to try to put a little possible substance into the reality show theme that we're focusing on right here. i think substantively by picking general kelly who comes from the department of homeland security, don't forget. donald trump is going to double down on both the theater and the reality of his anti-them campaign. the immigrants, the terrorist
threat. i think in terms of what happens on the streets of america, it's quite possible that donald trump is saying we'll have this theater back in washington but the way i'm goi to make myself popular, the way i'm going to get things done is i'm going to be the tough cop on the street when it comes to immigration and terrorism. they're really going to focus on that because that's something as commander in chief and as the head of the government he can do a lot with executive power and not even worry about or even think about the normal process of legislativing and so forth. this is what autocraftic -- this is what people do. they focus on law enforcement. they focus on invaders. that's not a laughing matter. >> it's easy to forget in the news cycles but there scaramucci
tear began with his falsely accusing reince as a felony. i know should as a lawyer that the false accusation of a crime is sugar landlander. the only person that came close to breaking the law was sca scaramucci and not reince. >> there's way to cross in n non-sense theater to ruini p don'ts lives. tr know what his views are and has no core principles on health care. when he says go do my bidding, nobody knows what that means. the one exception is immigration. he's said to ice basic take off
the gloves. >> he's antagonizing session who is has been a tough voice in line with donald trump's anti-immigration stance. it doesn't make any sense what's happening right now. this is really serious and people's lives are hanging in the balance. >> we have ethics lawyer for bush 43. >> well, to some extent. it's the russia inquiry that
inflamed president trump, has caused him to lash out at members of his staff. to some extent, priebus is gotten the brunt of it. i suspect the failure to pass a health care bill is probably part of that. probably a bigger part of it. first of all, it's the one major piece of legislation that congress has passed and it's the one thing president trump did not want to have on his desk.
it was the firing of mike anyone because he had assured the russian ambassador that sanctions would be revisited and possibly lifted once president trump took office and then he misled vice president pence about it. >> you capture perfectly because we've been doing a lot of theatrical comparisons. you're describing a trump administration trying to tell the russians we can ease up on you and the collective bipartisan power of the united states government because this is still a multi-prong democracy saying no which is like the scene in the wire, you want toyota be one way and it's the other way. that's what the congress told
president trump. he doesn't get to exercise as much foreign policy power as every other president has. talk about humiliating. that's more humiliating than the mean tweets but it's only substantively humiliating. richard, you have been an outspoken critic of the way this white house has run from the beginning. you have suggested at times that there is an ethics cloud and potential at time a criminal question hanging over this white house. your views of this rather dramatic friday afternoon ousting of donald trump's clehi of staff. >> i think kelly is a serious person. the problem that he's dealing with is there a lot of people in the white house who are not taking their jobs seriously. people who are lying publicly in the most ridiculous manner and
the president is tweeting all sorts of things. he doesn't know what policy he wants. he just want a health care bill with his name on it. put a bill through with the single payer and call it the donald trump makes america great bill and he'd sign it. it's about the ego than the clear plan to move forward. that's not the way to run a white house. with respect to the russia investigation. they ought to let it alone. let bob mueller do his job. stop tweeting about it. let them do their job. stop lying about contacts with the russians.
>> do you think he can get the president to stop tweeting about the ongoi vestigion? >> i think he ought to give i a good try. that makes it worse and worse every time the president jump sboos the russia thing. it's making it much worse. it puts it in the news cycle. it's the president who puts it in the news cycle. wooeds probab he keeps tweeting and we keep talking about it in news. i think that general kelly ought to give it a shot to persuade the president to act professionally, focus on his policy priorities. and do his job. i think there's a lot of people that might have to get fired to make this a professional white house. >> i'm being told the white house has put forward a brand new statement we're about to air
for the first time which has a factual claim. this is sarah huckabee sanders moments ago. take a listen. >> about this started with the president and reince about two weeks ago in terms of timing. i know everybody has a lot of questions on that. >> let's just play that if we can one more time. i think the context is her saying this entire firing began occurring weeks ago. i want to make sure we have that right. let's listen
again. >> the conversations about this started with the president and reince about two weeks a in terms of timing. i know everybody has a lot of questions. >> this has nothing to do with anthony scaramucci? >> it doesn't. >> any change for steve bannon? >> when you find out about the decision? >> we're not going into the process. i've given you all i have. >> i want to make sure we get that right in fairness to the
white house and our viewers. that is an assertion there, brand flu that the conversations about this with reince began two weeks ago. >> it was all part of the orderly, slow stately march of events at the white house. i agree with what ben said. reince priebus has been on a short timer for months, if not from the day he was sworn in. he didn't have the president's confidence this part because of what happened with the campaign. he was seen as a washington insider. not that effective one any way. this -- i think there's been times all through the first six month where is the president has been on the verge of telling reincey to get lost, to get out. it didn't happen. whether they broach the topic a few weeks ago, it's possible. i don't think it was final and impossible to avoid anymore or now is the time to do it.
when the health care bill came down. as long as the health care bill was still a possibility, there was some, perhaps, residual value in having priebus around because of his relationship to paul ryan. the bill would have to go back@house. once the bill went down, there was no reason left to keep him. there's been very little before that. >> the president had been asking donors and advisors about do you like reince? that's been going on since the very beginning. i don't think the new chief of staff will be able to solve. we were told that donald trump had a set of skills. he was a deal maker, make deals with congress and everybody believ . it turns out revealed this week, he doesn't have those skills. he literally does not have the skills to get people on board to get behind a legislation and the whole process bores him.
>> do you think he knew he didn't have those skills? >> i think he thinks he's the best at everything. his base was absent. where were the march, rallies. where were the calls to members of congress. it didn't exist. finally, it reveals how dysfunctional donald trump is as a manager. >> ben smith, i want to read to you a donald trump tweet. >> oh, please. >> curve ball. >> that's why we watch television. >> curve ball, it's an old one. donald trump, 2012. three chiefs of staff in less than three years of being president. part of the reason obama can't pass his ajegenagenda. >> it's the wonders of 2017 that there's a tweet for every moment. there ought to be a calendar. this was also how he ran his campaign. it was constant infighting, constant leaks, constant turn
over of senior staff and drama. i think it was way to, really maybe the apprentice is the right analogy. i think he's good a ma notary public -- monopolizing attention. my colleague chuck todd joins our special coverage. chuck, what have we learned both about what donald trump thinks of how things are going given this change and what is now the white house which is suggestion they had been at work for some time. >> this is acknowledge he knew it wasn't working. that he knew for whatever reason and you can make an argument that it was president trump that was preventing reince priebus from being able to actually be cleef of staff. there's always been some question. did he ever get empowered to do
the job he was appointed to. you have to say on paper, this is a very traditional washington way to react to a bad period. you can look at it in this way. it's an acknowledge that he wasn't working. he's on his second clehief of staff, second deputy white house chief of staff and it's day 189. >> wow. >> that's an acknowledge it wasn't working. let's give him credit here. if you think about donald trump's other wregothe orbit of somebody addressed this question about three weeks ago. who is sort of the calming big name washington man or woman that could calm things down. bill clinton after the issue brought in leon panetta. after things were going south
with george w. bush it calmed the waters a little bit with some in congress. it wasn't obvious who donald trump could turn to. we know he wasn't enamored with the republican establishment. john kelly makes a lot of sense. the president clearly does listen more to generals than any other political entity in this town. ultimately, whether john kelly succeeds will be based on whether the president empowers him to succeed. does ahony scaramucci report to the president or john kelly? does gary cohen report to the president or john kelly? ultimately, that's going to be the test of whether did john kelly get those assurances going in? can he bring his own stafferers wi with him? that's also another thing we don't know. on paper this is the right
potential call for him in order to turn the page but it will only work if he empowers him. >> i hate to boil it down too much. when you look at this week, did reince priebus lose or did anthony scaramucci win? >> i never figured out how reince priebus was ever going to win this any of these situations. the president was almost, my gosh there's, i'm sure you have been discussing this but there's been one source, the wall street journal was reporting that the president was disappointed that reince didn't fight back with scaramucci during this public feud. it's something that we know this president, he respects somebody and willing the fight back more than somebody who wants to sweep stuff under the rug. i guess you could say scaramucci won, but did he? i think he wanted to be chief of staff ultimately.
>> he did. >> priebus lost but scaramucci survived. how about that. >> chuck, stay with me. panel, stay with me. i want to bring in kristen welker to talk for a moment about what we're hearing at the white house. >> reporter: i think this moment of discord and division here and there's a hope this is going to be a reset to some extent in talking to officials here behind the scenes. there's been a sense for some time that reince priebus was on his way out. the president was not satisfied with not only his fighting sense this week but his leadership abilities more broadly. particularly when it comes to some of the president's legislative goals like health care. that health care defeat last night, i'm told was really the death nail for reince priebus, but, i think there's still a lot
of concern here about what happens next to the points chuck was making. who will effectively be answering to the chief of staff? will anthony scaramucci be answering to him or the president. right now it seems like he has a direct line to the president. there's to the president. there is a lot of frustration about anthony scaramucci's comments this week about, the extent to which he targeted the president's top officials, and what you have are a lot of other people watching their back. >> targeted? >> i'm not putting you on the spot for your own view, but do people within the white house feel that this complete decorum busting set of attacks is being rewarded? how else could one interpret it? >> reporter: there are some here who feel as though that type of language, that type of behavior, those type of tactics shouldn't be tolerated. the question is, how does the president feel?
it is my sense that he's okay with it. there are some here brushing aside what we saw from anthony scaramucci. others who are laughing it off. there is a group of people here that is quite concerned that the fact it is being tolerated, and to some extent, endorsed. so will john kelly be able to put a lid on that type of behavior? i think the other thing to watch moving forward is this. the president likes the bravado that he sees never anthony scaramucci but he doesn't like it when someone gets out ahead of him. becomes too big of a star, if you will. so that could be a challenge for the new communications director. to walk that fine line between being outspoken but at the same time, not overshadow him had when it comes to making headlines. he's been in the headlines a lot this week. it has been about him and not necessarily the president. i think that will be a chile moving forward and certainly something that we'll be paying close attention to.
>> fascinating and another busy friday night at the white house. thanks for joining us here on "the beat." >> you were nodding your head. >> i was agreeing with what kristin was saying. we don't know what's going to happen. we're all trying to guess. here's what we know about the way trump has run the white house in the past. we're using words like street fighting, "game of thrones," brawling, gangsters. people are focusing on this very pugnacious interaction. the idea that reince didn't fight back enough and that made donald trump mad. if you run a clothing store like that, it would go out of business, much less the world's biggest super power. it is disconcerting, as an american, even removed from my place in t media, to see this happening. >> there's a broad disconnect. really just the weakness of the administration. like they are not able to
project power. they have no foreign policy. they can't get basic things through congress. >> congress in their face yesterday the most importantly piece of legislation, the russian sanctions. there's a straight gap between their anger and bravado and total inability to get things done. >> michael isikoff, it is inward and always about them. people can debate whether it is a reprieve or not that the health care bill was voted so dramatically down by john mccain early this morning. but it certainly was not pushed over the line by a white house communications director who could only talk about himself and other people who work in the white house. to say nothing of the fact that he is worth $40 million, trying to figure out his sale of his company, and he's attacking
bannon who is worth between $20 and $50 million and they're all talking about each other and not about health care. >> there are core questions about the functioning of the government here. just to state the obvious. the president doesn't have a homeland security secretary. in fact, it is not clear who the acting secretary will be. there's no issue more central to his agendas than immigration. dhs is the department inharg c of implementing that agenda. he has already got a beleaguered attorney general in limbo. so just in terms of central questions about having a functional government, you know, it seems to me throws had anything if amplified this evening. >> on those news updates that i will share, we can digest, you reported, shane harris saying he spoke with the dhs spokesperson who says the department has no
guidance on who is now the acting secretary of homeland security. it seems at this hour, had five minutes before 7:00 p.m., that's an unknowable if, god for bid, something of a national security level disaster are occurred and you didn't that have acting person. number two a reporter quoting an anonymous white house official, and i'll not sure why, what i'll about to read should necessitate anonymity. but anthony scaramucci still reports directly to potus, not new chief of staff kelly. because there's so much white house talk about leaks, richard, maybe you can tell us how that works. that would seem to be an anonymous leak west don't know if it is anthony scaramucci saying that. >> that's probably him making it very clear that he has a direct report to the president he which
is unusual. usually the chief of staff, people report to the chief of staff. and this sets us up for a situation. we're going to have warring caps in the white house once again. a very disorderly situation they need on stop talking like gangsters. the language they're using belongs on the sparanos or something like that. there should be a command structure. people are reporting to the chief of staff and they're coordinating their policy. theye focusing on communications when they need to make communications, telling the truth, not repeatedly lying to people on the white house lawn. i think general kelly, if dole a good job, he'll have to fire a lot of people, or at least get a lot of people to stop talking to the media because they're making fools of themselves.
we're not just talking about the president himself. >> and as this comes to a close, michael flynn, james comey, sean spicer, in an awkward twist, he was still working today, helping get out the word about all of this stuff including reince priebus, his former boss. and private lead mark kasowitz who was brought out on russia. from your time in the conservative ecosystem, was this the expectation for how trump would manage? >> no. i believe they believed taking office, they would go gang busters and be wildly successful and all the things they've tried to do and failed miserably on, they thought would happen very quickly and easily. and now, really the most important thing that happened this week in that world was with
jeff sessions, put them squarely in the middle. for the first time, you had conservatives publications and commentators having to criticize the president, who they have bent over backward to try on defend everything that he's done that has been awful. they were put in the middle and had to criticize the president for the first time. breitbart was putting up stories about how jeff sessions has been a hero and an ally. it was an unusual die animal pick might have represent the first real splintering. and i think everything that happened in the last had few hours shows that donald trump might turning on everybody. people in congress are very concerned that he might g gang busters and attack they wi. the one person standing between the house republican sxompbs the senate republican congress was reince priebus. slowly we're seeing donald trump remove people that might have been willing to walk into the
oval office and conthe front him and he's fired them all. >> i want your final thoughts as you look at this rather telling comparison. 842 days for rahm was considered fast at the time. far more for bush there, 1,900. this change at the top coming this fast. 190 days. >> donald trump is a person obsessed with size. he loves to talk about big crowd size, number size, and the numbers don't lie. his numbers are smaller than the other numbers and that's indicative of a very big problem. >> reince never fit in with this white house and i suspect you'll see more mini mes like anthony scaramucci. >> it is a striking day after a striking week. health care, russia, a boy scout appearance that was unrivaled, an attempted ban on the men and women who serve in the armed service who's happen to be
transgender and apparently it was withdrawn, and we close with the report in our hour that there is no information on who is the acting head of the dhs. that does it for "the beat." i hope you have a great weekend. i'll be back at monday 6:00 eastern. "harall" starts right now. trump to priebus? you're fired. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm joy reid in for chris matthews. after months of speculation, reince priebus is officially out. late tonight, donald trump announced his replacement on twitter. i am pleased to inform you that i have just