tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 29, 2017 5:30am-6:01am PDT
good morning everyone. i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york. at the half hour, here is what we're watching. defense analysts say the long range missile north korea fired yesterday is capable of reaching the mainland, in fact going as far as chicago. chairman of the joint chiefs dunford calls south korean counterpart to discuss military options. tesla has unveiled its much-awaited model 3 electric
car delivering the first 30 last night to employees. the sticker price of 35,000 is about half the cost of tesla's previous electric cars. they can travel about 220 miles on a single charge. tesla ceo elon musk says the company has received more than a half million reservations for that car. that's why he says tesla is facing a production hell to fill the orders. another west wing shakeup at the white house to tell you about this morning. the president announced in a tweet late yesterday afternoon homeland security secretary general john kelly will replace reince priebus as white house chief of staff. priebus resigned thursday and says he leaves on amicable terms. >> i feel good about the fact that he's making a change that makes him comfortable moving forward. we had a good talk yesterday. i resigned. he accepted it. we started working together and talking about who would be a great pick to come in here. >> john kelly will do a
fantastic job. >> now, the shakeup comes just days after incoming communications director anthony scaramucci called a reporter and unleashed that infantly-laced rant against priebus. joining us, ned ryan, jeremy peters and katherine lucy, white house reporter with the associated press. big welcome to the three of you. ned, i want to reach out to you first. as you worked for president george w. bush, you have a sense of some of the white house inner workings there. i'd love to hear your reaction to scaramucci's rant and the priebus departure. >> first of all, i think with some of the scaramucci stuff, i would like to see some of those debates -- first of all, having debates and having differences of opinions in a west wing, not unusual. seeing it litigated this publicly, not the greatest. i'd love to see them take this internally, have these conversations, have these debates. in regards to general kelly, you're looking at a four star
marine general who is known for bringing discipline. i hope he comes in empowered to bring discipline. the white house needs to look at being disciplined on messaging and narrative, being disciplined on decision making. i would argue, too, there needs to be team discipline. there's only one team in the west wing, that's president trump's team. if anybody wants to be on their own team, they can go elsewhere. the other thing i hope general kelly will be empowered to do, we'll have discipline on pushing forward president trump's agenda he campaigned on. some people are wanting to put in their own agendas. you know what? president trump's agenda was a winning one. it's what put him in the white house and will be the only agenda being pushed. >> big-time agenda. as you know, repeal of health care. the failure of that, the seeming chaos in the white house. what do you think are the consequences of all of this? >> i don't think they're going to give up on it. again, i know for a fact that
the white house was having conversations with senators yesterday about what the new steps are moving forward. they're not going to simply walk away from health care reform. i think they're going to start putting a lot more weight behind tax reform. they're not giving up on getting health care reform done. i this i the conversation trump can have with these senators is listen, midterms are based elections. the base is with me. let me help you help yourselves. let's get this agenda through and figure ot what we can do moving forward. we're not looking for perfection right now, the first step, if we can get 70% of this done, that's great. they need to get something done with health care and they absolutely need to get something done with tax reform. i hope general kelly is coming in and helping with discipline that again they can put real weight behind pushing forward this legislative agenda, and i'm hopeful they will. >> okay. jeremy, i know you contributed to the report on the scaramucci rant. is that what directly led to priebus' resignation or at least
the timing of it? >> no. this had been percolating for a while. our reporting shows that president trump lost confidence in preeb yus. perceived to be what donald trump abhors the most and that is weak. a lot of debate about donald trump expecting loyalty. but in his eyes, the biggest sin you can commit is looking weak. that hatds unfortunately become how reince priebus was seen, not just in the president's eyes, but in the eyes of a lot of the staff around him who saw the fact that he could not protect people he had brought in, like katy walsh, former deputy chief of staff, and sean spicer, the outgoing press secretary. the staffers came to believe that if reince priebus could not protect these people who had been with him for so long, what was he going to be able to do to protect them. now, bringing in general kelly
raises another question altogether, alex, that's where there there will be discipline and order when it's known for chaos and disorder. ned brought up an interesting point, there should be one team at this white house. unfortunately there's not. it operates like a medieval court and you have all these little feef dumbs and centers of power competing with one another. is general kelly going to be able to tamp that down? i don't know. i don't know that donald trump has ever empowered an aide to bring that level of discipline. >> you mentioned weakness. any barometer on how it appears to be so publicly vulgar? >> with scaramucci? >> i think that actually annoyed donald trump. there's a fine line between humoring donald trump and annoying him. something like that, trump would have seen as an unnecessary distraction. so what did scaramucci then come out and do?
went straight to donald trump's playbook and blamed the media. he said he should have never trusted a reporter. so i think we probably won't hear from scaramucci in such a public way for a little while. >> colorful. >> colorful. that's a nice euphemism for it. >> katherine, general kelly for chief of staff. i'm curious what we might bring and can he co-exist with scaramucci? >> that's the question, isn't it. our understanding is the president likes generals, thought maybe he could bring more discipline to this role. he certainly is a different style of pick than reince priebus. but the big question really is, as the previous guests have spoken about, is whether he'll be empowered and able to really exercise control. currently -- someone said to me the other day you had the white house where there's all these chiefs and no clear chief of staff. you have a number of different people who are empowered who
have direct access to the president, even leaked lower and mid level aides who have walk-in privileges to the oval office. thus it's been very hard to get everybody on one team. so really what we'll be looking for in the weeks ahead, especially as they try to figure out how to move forward with a legislative agenda, a policy agenda is if kelly will be able to get everyone rowing together. >> this comes days after the president publicly shaming senator jeff sessions. that met with some backlash. i'm curious for your reaction and what happens if he fires sessions? >> i'd probably punt myself in the camp of actually being a little disappointed with sessions. first of all, every cabinet member does actually serve as the pleasure of the president. i know trump was frustrated by either sessions' reluctance or slowness and dealing with things he thought should have been a priority. i look at more of spurring him on to work on certain things.
you saw announcements, i believe it was wednesday night, about the doj, sessions and rosen stein starting to up their efforts on the leaks that have been taking place in the inner agency. i didn't look at it as some others might have as being a real strong attack on sessions. that all to say, sessions behavior, we'll see. i've heard ideas floated that sessions might actually be moved over to dhs. i think we'll have to see what plays out over the next few weeks. i looked at trump just reminding sessions, hey, there's priorities here, i'm the boss, i'd love to see these things handled and taken care of. i didn't take it as strongly as others might have. let's remember all the cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the president. >> barring the possibility of him moving to dhs, jeremy, do you think he might be the next to go? if that were to happen, would the president lose a lot of gop support? >> he absolutely would. you've already seen chuck grassley say we're nlt going to
confirm an attorney general for you, president trump. our schedule is full this summer. sorry. my reporting tells me that this has been a public venting session for president trump because everybody around him has been so stern and unambiguous and unified in telling him no, you cannot fire the attorney general. what he's doing on twitter is kind of like lashing out because we're being told by everyone this is not a good idea. this is kind of his own way of venting. i think sessions may be safe for now. the dhs rumor is one i've heard, too, that he could be moved over to dhs. i don't know how that would play in the senate. i think that might be seen as an i'm massization of sessions. he is perceived by trump to be weak. if we can peer inside donald trump's head, by recusing himself in this investigation
and not standing up for donald trump, president trump has told people he believes sessions is weak. you don't ever recover from something like that in donald trump's eyes. as one aide told me, i would never display weakness to donald trump. >> alex, if i could, i would reiterate that exact point. this was a real rub for donald trump. there was no conversation, no heads-up and sessions recuses himself. that really was the beginning of trump's maybe frustration with sessions, the whole recusal. >> that's come from trump himself. we agree on that certainly. catherine, wu f you've got conservatives who hit hard for belittling sessions. but then the transgender people being band from the military, is it possible he made that move to inoculate himself from the criticism from the right on sessions? >> it's tricky to follow all the different movement, he was
getting a lot of push back on sessions. that announcement on transgender people serving in the military certainly came as a surprise to a lot of people, including folks in the pentagon who seemed to be making up -- some people certainly seem to be taken aback. it's a policy that i should -- it's a policy that needs to be worked out. they haven't actually fully announced full details of how this is going to work. but that's also gotten a lot of pushback from a lot of conservatives in congress. there's a lot of people questioning whether that's the right move. i think one of the things we're looking at as a new chief of staff comes in, as there is some effort to do a reset, is how should things like this be ruled o out? what kind of message should they try to push? what kind of policies are they working on and how do they exercise more discipline over the process. >> thank you very much, ned, catherine, jay mere, appreciate it. coming up at noon, my guest
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that bombshell "new yorker" article where anthony scaramucci went off, did that force reince priebus to define? joining me sel lena maxwell, the director of progressive programming for sirius xm. joe watkins, republican strategist and white house aide to george h.w. bush and rick tyler, now an msnbc political analyst. guys, good to see you all. rick, i've got to get right to this profanity-laced tirade
against priebus and steve bannon. should anthony scaramucci be the one looking for a new job today after whether the new chief of staff, general kelly, will tolerate being a baby-sitter day after day. i think scaramucci has other problems. he has a company for sale he only has one chinese buyer for. it's a very ten use situation. it may be all too convenient he has to leave anyway. i don't know how it's tolerable to have someone who so crudely disparaged the seniors adviser to the president and if californkelly does not control the charge -- >> if that's the director's way of communicating, certainly
there's scrutiny. the white house chief of staff chop is all about politics. the fact that the general's background is not political, does that put him at a disadvantage? >> not necessarily. for the most part a chief of staff really understands his or her president and knows how to serve the needs of that president well and manage access o that president. as long as general kelly understands that jared kushner and ivanka trump, kushner will have direct access to the president as well, he'll be able to manage this white house. as long as he lays the law down that this is how it's going to be and that there's got to be order and won't be people speaking out of terms. he'll be able to get his arms around this white house and rein in the -- >> do you think we'll see a move
from the general to set some sort of a tone for his new role? >> i think he's going to try very hard. i don't think he's going to be successful, in the same way that no staffer has been successful in trying to control donald trump because i think that there is very much a comparison to be made between the two men. in a lot of way, anthony scaramucci is trump's id and essentially his mini me. imagine if dan pheiffer called up the new york irto trash people. if you do not know if you are on the record, off the record, that is a mistake of that job. hein doesn't understand the rules he need to follow to do
his job well. >> we'll move to health care here. do you think the failure to repeel and replace actually. >> it may help republicans in the long run but i think it helps the country more importantly in the long run. 16 million people are not going to get thrown off their health insurance. if you think for a moment about somebody going through cancer treatment or some other type of serious illness, worrying about whether or not they were going to lose their health insurance in the middle of that treatment, that's inhumane to me. i want to thank all of the activists who were arrested and put themselves on the line and called their congress people to make sure this did not pass. maybe republicans in the end. >> so i'm curious, joe, passing tax reform, what are the chances
of that with the failure of health care? >> it just ups need to make sure tax reform gets passed. the republicans in the house and senate can't afford to head into the mid-term elections without being able to say they did something, that there was some meaning. legislation that they passed. obviously health care hasn't gotten anywhere, they haven't been able to make any head way on the health care issue. they'll need to make head way on tax reform, get legislation to get passed and go to the voters and say we lowered your tax ed and this is what we did. >> do you blame john mccain for the failure of the so-called skinny repeal? >> no, i blame the republican party for claiming to have a repeal and replace for seven and
substantive. the the republicans have their own particular problem. he doesn't understand the compromise, the kbi i don't know how it helps republicans really at all. there's just -- the legislative agenda i think for this president is done because he will not change, he doesn't understand how to get it done and this week i think was a turning point. and also, alex, the biggest thing i think was whereof the trump voter, the trump base? the left organized to defeat the repeal and replacement of obamacare but where were the trump voters supporting their man. they were absent, this were
awol. >> what do conservatives do if he fires sessions? >> i think they're going to resolt he is a hero on the ride. he's been a very he's bringing us back in terms of minimum mandatory sentences and harsher penalties and immigration. he's doing a lot of the things that donald trump ran on. and the base of the party is happy about that. i think they're defending jeff sessions not on because it's really you'lliliating to tresh you in the ia.
>> quickly, the president introducing the transgender ban. was that some way to protect himself over the backlash of conservativ conservatives? ? >> quickly, a wild week for the white house. i'm curious with the erratic function of the white house. at what point does that become too much for this white house o handle? >> which part becomes too much? getting anything done or -- >> yeah, getting anything done. the articles say trump is always moving but rarely getting anything done. >> he can do things on he is own but in terms of getting anything
legislatively you can't make an out of control president in control and he's not going to be able to do that. >> good to see you all. thanks so much, guys. the next big battle on capitol hill, where, in all of this, is the stuff that matters? the stakes are so high, your finances, your future. how do you solve this? you don't. you partner with a firm that advises governments and the fortune 500, and, can deliver insight person to person, on what matters to you. morgan stanley.
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