tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 29, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
>> tonight on "all in" -- obamacare is alive and the white house is in chaos. just hours after president trump's greatest failure to date, his chief of staff is out. >> reince is a superstar. >> and replaced with a general. >> john kelly, one of our real stars. >> tonight a new low for the trump presidency after last night's victory for the resistance. where the white house goes from here. >> they should have approved health care last night. but you can't have everything. >> and how collins, murkowski
and john mccain may have saved obamacare. >> this is clearly a disappointing moment. >> when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. reince priebus is out. anthony scaramucci has ascended and the trump administration is reeling after one of the most dramatic votes in recent senate history brought an end, at least for now, to the gop's seven-year effort to repeal obamacare. we'll revisit that historic moment but first today, president trump announcing he is replacing reince priebus with homeland security secretary john kelly. >> reince is a good man. john kelly will do a fantastic job. general kelly has been a star. done an incredible job thus far. respected by everybody. a great, great american. reince priebus, a good man. thank you very much.
>> general john kelly leaves his post. he will now occupy the most powerful staff position in the white house. there's no replacement as of yet. the president he also announced the news on twitter where he offered kind words on twitter saying i would like the thank reince priebus for his service and dedication to this country. we acome plick plish aid lot together and i'm proud of him. a source close to priebus says he resigned last night, making his tenure, 190 days, the shortest for any interim chief of staff in the history of the white house. the move coming months of reports. less than 40 a hours the new white house communications director, anthony scaramucci, directed the fbi to investigate priebus for leaking a scaramucci financial disclosure form that was in fact publicly available form.
scaramucci went on the profanity lac laced tie ride, describing priebus as not f'ing. dismissive of mr. priebus for not returning fire. given the choice between the two men, president trump chose scaramucci. tonight, reince wants everyone to know, there are no hard feelings. >> this is not like a situation where there's a bunch of ill will feelings. i think this is good for the president. i think it is smart to pick general kelly. i'm always going to be a donald trump fan. i'm on team trump. he has the best political instincts. hark hang on a second. he knows, i think, intuitively, when things need to change. i've seen it now for a year and a half on this wild wrid the president that i love being a part of. but he intuitively determined that it was time to do something differently. and i think he's right. >> joining me now, the washington correspondent for new
york magazine, and the staff writer at the atlantic. you wrote earlier that basically, everyone inside and outside the white house had come the dislike reince priebus. why is that? >> i wouldn't say everyone. there are people within the white house who have not liked him. who disliked him for a long time. who disliked the national committee figures more broadly. who are anti-establishment types. and i think partly, with donald trump, he is never going to look inward to blame himself for anything that goes wrong. he is likely to point the finger at somebody else and that happened to be reince priebus. we just had this huge event with health care which was an embarrassment and yet another failure legislatively. that was the last straw when it comes to reince priebus. i think when this wait a minute the plan, it seems pretty clear that there was a lot of build up.
from the very beginning in this administration, people were fighting with reince priebus. there were a lot of reports in steve bannon and reince priebus not getting along. and not getting to work together. and they came out on the record in new york magazine to talk to me and pretend like they were best friends. >> i'm glad you said pretend. i was going to interject that if you didn't. >> they got me at the beginning of the interview. they said they had given back massages and texted each ooflt they did this whole show. to me and other reporters as well. i believe they also did this with the "washington post." the massage they know was pretty special, i felt. there has been a lot of conflict with reince priebus. >> what you are saying is par for the course. there is a bunch of things going on here. to the point, look, firing your chief of staff after one of the most shocking and indeed humiliating defeats i've ever seen, last
night's senate vote. that is not unwarranted in certain ways. what happened last night was really bad. it would be bad in any white house. what is striking to me is the humiliation factor. from early on, you said that trump has around him a cast mini trumps. and the trump organization is where everyone is trying to outtrump each other and in comes anthony scaramucci who seems the take it past any imagining. >> exactly. scaramucci, he is the best donald trump impersonator in the world. better than alec baldwin. better than anyone. the reason he probably has a bright future is because he has fick figured out how to handle trump. he is also like him. when trump says he surrounds himself with the best people. he means people like himself. reince priebus was never like donald trump. he was added to this white house
and given a prominent perch as a concession to the republican congress in an attempt to bridge use him to push through legislation and bridge the two worlds. you know, and you're right. reince priebus was the one, or one of the people who told donald trump that he should go for health care first. and spend all of his political capital and his time coming into the white house on health care and it didn't work. he wasn't necessarily wrong to fire reince. my question going forward is is this new chief of staff someone who doesn't know the republican establishment. is he going to make things better. is he going to advance the legislative agenda? i don't know. it is not clear that it will fix it. >> so you have a situation,
olivia, sean spicer and reince priebus were the institutionality republican party an organization to which he has a very strained complicated strange and alien relationship. he conquered that entity. he is the most important republican in the country and yet the party itself and its agenda is a bit at odd length for him. there was a big question about, will this president take a new tact and try wedge the infrastructure? and he went down the line with the gop agenda. does that change having gotten rid of sean spicer and reince priebus? >> possibly. they have fewer solid relationships to establishment republicans now. but donald trump doesn't have an ideology. his ideology is donald trump. he is very much influenced by the people he surrounds himself with.
people were sharing anthony scaramucci older tweets on friday and over the weekend after he was hired, this is someone who has been all over the political map. so it is going to be interesting to see how kelly and how scaramucci and anyone else that he brings in, influence what's they bring this policywise. so far it has been the status quo in terms of the things that republicans are interested in and what they believe establishment wise. but going forward, if none of them are around, i think it is whoever -- there is a saying about trump, the last person to talk to him is the one who wields the most influence. and i think that will tush -- turn out to be true. >> and there is a spectacle of this humiliation. >> i think the president has a genuine talent for bringing out the worst in people. those are things he is indisputably excellent at doing.
to have priebus publicly, the detail of the "wall street journal," we know from the reporting, he likes watching his aides fight each other. he gets a kick out of that. it is amusing to him. he looked askance at not firing back at scaramucci and that was the final straw. does that ring true to you? >> absolutely. so many people who have worked for trump in his orbit have told me trump gleefully and deliberately fosters an atmosphere that one person describes as the hunger games. he wants them on bludgeon each other to death to prove their supremacy and to win's trump's affection. he enjoys that. he does believe that it brings out the best outcome because he believes the best person will ultimately win.
i also think we have to just take stock of the fact donald trump, the day that the major republican legislative initiative was on the vernal of passing or imploding, he was on the verge of a knife fight. >> i don't think he is just trying to figure out who is the best. i think donald trump is easily bored. >> that's a great point. and a genuinely revelation to how this country is functioning right now. i'm serious. >> he is easily blurred and he likes chaos and he is entertained by it and when he is stop being entertained he moves on to the next one. all of the so-called pal is intrigue by looking at it like that. it is the apprentice west wing edition.
last night he is mad that his attorney general couldn't get it over the top. it is so true. i've never seen anything like it. the health care process which was pulled off like a heist, it was pulled off like a heist where mitch mcconnell will sneak in and crack the vault and get health care out before anyone can catch them. while they are doing that, presenting the plan or saying why it was good, the president had no obvious interest in, nor understanding of what was happening at a policy level. he was picking a fight with his attorney general who he clearly wants to fire. so he could stop the investigation to his associates and perhaps himself. and egging on a knife fight between aides. this is what he was doing in the most monumental day in the fate of the domestic policy agenda of the party in which he was the head.
>> yeah, think about it. he is stuck in the white house, he is someone who likes familiar surroundings. he likes to go home a lot during the campaign. woe fly home at odd hours to sleep in his own bed. he is in a strange place in a strange city that is not his own. to which he's not native. he probably missed new york, but that is likely. and i think he is just looking for ways to keep himself occupied. it is not through policy. people reported that he didn't know the difference between medicare and medicaid. he cannot act exactly the same way as he did on the campaign. i'm sure he has a lot more people, even though he does say crazy things on twitter, he will affect morning show hosts for plastic surgery or other things. he is not quite at the level of
campaign donald trump in that respect and i think it is making him look for other areas where he can be entertained. >> there's also that we have not had thankfully, any major crises that this white house who is the negotiate but one has to think about what will happen when thats happen. thank you both for your time tonight. >> i'm joined now by the contributor author of one nation under trump. >> and with me david jolly. and as someone who has been writing about the structural name of the republican party as an entity in american politics for several decades now, and about how unique it is and the nature in which it has gone off the rails. do you think there's a connection between the kind of chaos that we've seen legislately and what we're seeing in the white house? >> i'm sure there is. while a lot of it preceded
trump, in a lot of ways it provided the ground work for trump to emerge. this attack on government at least since newt gingrich came to washington. there is little doubt that dysfunction in congress and the fact that you have a republican party that is not really focused on solving problems but on trying to manage its way through with a large group of radicals and no moderates to speak of anymore. this is all connected. i keep coming back, governed by the least compensate among us. the more congress is unable to do anything, both ryan and mcconnell failing at passing things on to trump and what they homed was they would have a president who would sign anything put in front of them. if they can't put anything in front, they'll be under attack and trump will go after them as well. >> it occurred to me last night, i was a watching the health care
debate under fold chflt i found remarkable for a number of reasons. it came down to a moment in which a bunch of republican senators which said the bill before us is a disaster and a fraud. i'm quoting directly. we're going to vote for it. as long as you froms bill doesn't become law. and i thought do you know what that is? they miss barack obama. they all miss voting for stuff the president co-veto. they miss playing legislator as opposed to actually being one and this is them attempting to role play back in time where they can pass things that won't become law. that is now how it works any more and you saw last night, they're not ready to actually legislate. >> last night was a humiliating and historic moment for republicans. >> that was just bizarre. equally disarrest was the president going to twitter saying, yes, please, i agree. pass something that you don't want to be enacted into law.
we woke up a deeply divided party. for seven years republicans have promised this. members of congress are going to hear it. to norm's point, we have been divided in different variations for a decade. now it was chief party versus establishment and now it is trump world versus will tea party and there is no place for senate right republicans. what we saw last night was the inability of this president, a republican president, to lead the party and lead to nation on one the of most critical issues we face and one he had promised to reform. >> i want to press on the nature of that failure. it's all interconnected. the only way donald trump can win in a republican primary, i remember watching debates. he would be up there with governors. these are govern who's they're quite different than.
say stott walker. there would be planned parenthood defunding and everyone could tell with you tremendous detail the ins and outs of defunding planned parenthood. donald trump could not do that but the voters chose someone who didn't have that. so it seems to me to come back around. last night was the product of the choices being made by a base that don't really seem to care in some deep sense about governing. do you agree, norm? >> absolutely, agree. i think what you had was a republican party. it goes back in this case to when obamacare became president. using a set of themes that it is all corrupt, it's all awful. it can't get any worse than this. trump comes along and says what have you got to lose? we'll blow things up. and you have voters who said do that.
and you have people this congress who were not prepared. along with a president unlike any we've ever had who has zero knowledge of policy and no interest in developing any knowledge. >> quickly, there's some talk the president will pivot against gop congress and run against them. do you think that's likely? >> absolutely. your conservative base will blame ryan and mcconnell as being rinos. the purge in the white house of priebus and spicer, the other establishment republicans. this president's only path forward is to go back to what he knows. which is to surround himself by those who believe in trump as the person, not as trump as the leader of the party. >> all right. thank you both for joining me. we'll have much more on today's shake-up next. capping off a disastrous, unbelievable week really of the trump administration, next. with incredible offers on the mercedes-benz you've always longed for.
health care last night. but you can't have everything. boy oh, boy. they've been working on that one for seven years. can you believe it? the swamp. we'll get it done. i said from the beginning, let obamacare implode and then do it. i turned out to be right. let obamacare implode. >> just before his chief of staff today, that was just hours after senate republicans failed to pass even the skinny repeal, as they called it, of obamacare. the president's speech today centered on lurid depictions. as he often falls back on. he praised john kelly who just hours later he announced as his new chief of staff. joining me, the first district who traveled with the president today. you were in territory that's adjoining your territory. you had a home town crowd today. the president once referred to the white house as a smoothly running machine. would you say that's the case?
>> well, hopefully by putting an experienced general, it can become one. i would say right now, they're in a transition where, you know, hopefully identifying strengths and weak knows of those who are there and additional changes, they can get to the point of being a smooth running machine. but i don't know if they are there at this moment. >> it seems from people around the president, he blames paul ryan and reince priebus and probably blames people like and you other folks in congress for the failure of health care. he said they have been trying to do it for seven years. he hasn't been trying. do you think it is their fault? >> i've spoken to the president about this today. he tweeted as well about where he puts the blame of three republicans and 48 democrats in his opinion. and i had a conversation days ago with a senator.
and i asked, do you have three or more moderate senators in your conference who just won't vote for any repeal, no matter what it looks like. and that senator said yes. so i wasn't terribly surprised by what happened earlier this morning. i was told that it was going to go a little bit different. senator mccain changed his vote after that. >> so you thought -- wait a minute. that is interesting. you were told they had the votes. >> i was under the impression that they had the votes. and i didn't think it was going to be much more than a 51, a tie breaking vote by the vice president. i wasn't expecting it to go down by one. and whether you're a conservative senator or a moderate senator, they were
trying to move the process along. this obviously wasn't what the large majority of congressional republicans wanted to see get done as the final product. it wasn't the final product. >> right. you were at this event toeday ad i want to play you something that the president said that got attention. he was talking about how police officers treat a suspect who have not been convicted of a crime. but presumed to be innocent under the constitution. this is what he had to say. >> when you see the thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see they will being thrown rough. i said please don't be too nice. like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head. the way you put their hand. like don't hit their head and they just killed somebody. don't hit their head.
i said you could take the hand away, okay. >> do you support the president's call for police brutality? >> no. i would say the president is coming the an area where we have people who, i have my own constituents, the high profile murder of four by ms-13 that brought a.g. sessions to them. two were in congressman king's district. they were murdered by machetes. the nature of what we are going through right now is tearing apart families. >> those crimes are indisputably horrible. anyone who sees them will be. but the question is, is it okay even in the context of that to engage in illegal criminal activity, assault or police brutality? >> just finishing the thought, to answer that question is while it is deeply emotional, what's going on, it is very important for our law enforcement to be following their rules, the laws,
people are innocent until proven guilty. we have a process here in our country to ensure that people have a hearing, the right to counsel. what is interesting. when dealing with -- with ms-13, we have people who are illegal on many different fronts and that whole issue is highly charged. but is the best practice of all of our law enforcement to be following local rules and regulations and understanding. >> this is what the suffolk county police department said. violations of the rules are treated extremely seriously. was it appropriate for the president to say that? >> no. i definitely have a different style than the president. >> but was it appropriate? to tell police officers to engage in brutality? >> no. i don't, i can't agree with that. >> was it appropriate for the police officers on stage to applaud?
>> i didn't know i was going to be here to referee this one sentence of the speech. they really got into a whole lot of really important issues. >> congressman, you could understand, you know who freddie gray is, right. >> sure. >> his spine was snapped and he died in the back of a police van. possibly because he was treated roughly. and you can see how if his family saw the president of the united states made a joke about prisoners being treated roughly and seeing police officers applaud, you can understand how that would be hurtful, right? >> sure. there are a lot of people who watched this speech who live in my area who are very pleased that the president is taking the aggressive approach that he is on combatting ms-13. they lost their son as a result of an attack with a machete. so -- >> but the question -- the key point is there is a difference between one and the other. what seems important is someone who is a lawmaker, someone who
is a president and enforcing the law, is to understand that the engaging in protecting people from ms-13, and prosecuting crimes, does not necessitate the police engaging in extra judicial violence. that seems like an important line to establish. one doesn't have anything to do with the other because we're a nation of laws. and we pursue people like ms-13 lawfully. >> i mean, it is one of those particular questions where it is kind of impossible to, you can't play devil's advocate. and law enforcement has to follow their local regulations. they have to follow their laws and people are innocent until proven guilty. i would say that there's an emotion that is felt when it is a -- >> i respect that. >> when there is a kill here just murdered someone with a machete that we're going, not in this country legally and that goes on and we're worried about
making sure that they don't bang their head. but one of the reasons you set those standards is that you don't want anyone to take mat enters into their own hands and then you have an issue that becomes more complicated. i get it. and it is impossible to argue the other side of it. if i was up there, i wouldn't have said it. but there was so much more to the speech and so much more to the back story of what we're going through here and something police sent out the tweet afterwards to reiterate what their policy is. i'm sure their people will get the message. >> i wouldn't to play -- these crimes that have been committed are horrifying and we should be clear that violence that gangs like ms-13, which was started in the united states and exported back, have brought terrible pain there as well. groups that left a long toll of violence. the president describing what it is like in the district adjoining yours had this to say to get to your point about the broader themes in the speech.
take a listen. >> since january 16th, think of this. ms-13 gang members have brutally murdered 17 beautiful young lives in this area on long island alone. they beat them with gloves. they slashed them with machetes, and they stabbed them with knives. they have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into blood stained killing fields. >> given how horrific these crimes are, and they have been or sxifk it has been concentrated geographically. do you think about the place you live and the place you joined as blood stained killing fields? is that an accurate description of the place you reside? >> when these incidents take place, there at that moment, absolutely.
these are, i love long island. this is our home. i wouldn't want to live anywhere else. especially this time of year, we have a lot of people who come visit us. the weather is beautiful. for those who are watching and want a good place to vacation. but at that moment when you're outside of that bar and there was a small skirmish inside that results in someone taking a knife and basically ripping out -- i don't want to say it on the show. but what happened, one of the other incidents that happened, and it is not, they don't use guns in many cases because they don't want too quick of a death. they want other people watching what happens. so at that moment, it is just happening too much and it is also human trafficking, drug trafficking, gang rape. we talk about the murders but we don't talk about the other stuff going on as well. >> i appreciate you taking the time tonight. thank you for sticking around.
>> thanks, chris. next, the drault scenes from last night's vote. gasps on the floor. a stare down. we'll break it all down for you. you don't want to miss it, next. we can't stay here! why? terrible toilet paper! i'll never get clean! way ahead of you. charmin ultra strong. it cleans better. it's four times stronger and... ...you can use less. enjoy the go with charmin. when heartburn hits fight back fast with new tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside.
what is happening here tonight. we are about to reorder one-fifth of the american health care system and we are going to have two hours to review a bill which at first blush stands essentially as health care system arson. >> to understand the absolutely stunning drama that unfolded on the senate floor last night, you have to start minutes before 10:00 p.m. when senate republicans first posted the text of their health care bill and 18-page repeal written that day over lunch. democrats would have two hours to review it. before a midnight vote. the possibly of reordered america's health care system in the dead of night with americans asleep. immediately, democrats rose one after the other to speak out against and it the idea of jamming it through overnight. after mcconnell first introduced the bill, just one republican senator would take to the floor. that was senator of wyoming would intended to hold the floor at all costs.
>> does the senator yield? >> i think this is under my time. >> if i can respectfully ask the chairman, since we've only had this bill for an hour. we have as you can see, a number of senators who want to speak and i would respectfully ask if there's any time we will have between now and the vote to make any comments, since we have just had the bill for a very short amount of time? it will obviously impact millions of americans. >> i think the answer that i gave was perhaps your time might be better spent taking a look at the bill. >> as the clock ticked toward midnight, mike pence got to the hill. to potentially cast a tie-breaking vote to chants of shame from protesters. the first vote began at 20 minutes after midnight. the last lever democrats could pull which was a request to send the bill to committee for debate. that bill on certainly fail and did it. even with that first vote, they kept the first vote open. talking to vice president pence on the floor. it was becoming clear, he was stalling. nearby, john mccain was talking to two senators who criticized
the bill. suzanne collins and lisa murkowski. then pence was talking to mccain. mcconnell did not have the votes and the vice president was trying to change it. and they kept the vote open for over an hour. the clearest foreshadowing happened when mccain walked over to democrats. they were joking around and smiling. he even put his arm around diane feinstein. it was at 1:30. mukowski voted no. collins voted no. mccain didn't answer when his name was called. he talked about this seconds later and asked for the clerk's attention. >> mr. peters? >> as buzz feed noted, you can look at this one moment like a renaissance painting, what each person was doing when that third vote was asked. to kill the bill. something several democrats said
they did not know what would happen for sure until they witnessed it. bernie sanders nudging the vote was coming. bob casey on his feet waiting in anticipation. and sherrod brown slapping the desk. and elizabeth warren leaning in to see what would happen and then unable to resist, cheering for mccain's vote. chuck schumer trying to quiet them with the audible gasps. and mitch mcconnell, arms folded, staring at mccain, watching him walk off the floor knowing the bill was dead. the crowds would find out seconds later. [ cheers and applause ] after that vote, leader mcconnell said it is time to move on and acknowledging the
defeat. >> this is clearly a disappointing moment. we worked hard and everybody on this side can certainly attest to the fact we worked really hard. to try to develop a consensus for a better way forward. so yes. this is a disappointment. a disappointment indeed. >> joining me now, senator jeff merkley of oregon. what was it like to be in that chamber last night? >> it was an incredible amount of drama. we understood it was essentially a tie and the health care for 16 million people would depend upon one hand, john mccain's hand. was it thumbs up or thumbs down? >> so you were talking on your colleagues, you knew about the no's. you needed one more vote and there was an indication that sent to you that you understood
john mccain might be a no. did you know that walking in to the chamber? >> we knew it was in question. we knew the arizona governor had talked to him. we knew he had given a speech that this process was not the right process. on the other hand, he voted to get on to the bill and he indicated some willingness to send to it a conference committee. so it was really hanging in the balance. and then on the floor, the vice president comes out on the floor. instead of taking the seat, he goes to talk on john mccain. that's a good sign. and then the vice president disappears. that's not such a good sign. and then the vice president comes back and goes out with john mccain. probably to hold a conference. maybe to talk to the president. and then we were really worried. so it was right down to the last moment. >> i was watching the same scene. i wasn't in the room and i was drawing the same inferences. you were watching in real-time drawing to draw clues from this
like he have one else was. >> yes. and in the middle of it, john mccain came to the democratic side. four or five of us huddled around him. he had a question about the bird rule. we were contesting potentially the last section of the eight-page bill saying it didn't seem to fit the rules. we said we would set that aside. he asked questions about whether we would be willing to proceed to the defense he authorization act and facilitate that so we don't have a long drawn out mark-up of it. we said we were happy to do that. that felt pretty positive. it sounded like he was about to go with us. we still weren't 100% sure. >> how did you and the democratic colleagues feel when this was all over? >> tremendous relief. we have been engaged with grassroots america saying we have to work with you. you have the ability to say what is really going on on the ground to your republican senators. that in fact expansion of medicaid is working really well. that the exchange has empowered
hundreds of thousands in your state to get health care. that the health care bill of rights makes sense and that blowing all of this up would be a terrible thing to do. we needed the health care stake holders to say that. we contacted them to say. but you saw this solid determination to get something passed even if it hurt the people of america. it was a real battle. a huge relief he that we aren't going to blow up health care, and we're hoping our republican colleagues will say enough of the politics. we know things need to be fixed. we will work with you. the democrats have a list of things that need to be improved. the republicans have some. let's work together. to make this system work better. >> senator mccain is flying back for chemo and further treatment for brain cancer which means his
votes won't be on the table for the rest of august. i think it is unlikely mcconnell could move on this for the rest of the month. i guess the question is, how confident are you that this is not, that we've seen the end of this unilateral push on this piece of legislation? >> well, here's the challenge. the republicans were doing things to deliberately undermine the marketplace exchange. they were proceeding to sabotage reinsurance which allows to go get insured against the risk of really sick people. then they proceeded to have the president hold the cost sharing payments. companies said we have to bail out. we don't know what we'll be paid. if we don't know how much we are compensated. then they shortened the period for application and the open sign-up period. that hurt. and so forth. we needed to say quit sabotaging the exchange. this is actually your all's
idea. there was the republican right wing think tank's idea. there were the private options. private insurance companies. and yet then ironically that's the part that they're trying to blow up now. so i hope they can get out of that mode and say okay. yes. we'll quit sabotaging and make things work better. >> thanks for joining me. >> you're very welcome. >> ahead, the unbelievable week in the trump administration that started with the president making public attacks on jeff sessions, as it is ending with a new chief of staff.
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british colomb -- obamacare repeal and once ridiculed by the president for getting captured during vietnam and in between those sign posts there was what you might call a series of unfortunate events, including the previously mentioned ban on military service by transgender people and the instantly infamous boy scouts jamboree that sounds like a political rally and prompted the boy scouts to issue an apology. and scaramucci interview with the new yorker in which the new kplungss director attacked reince priebus and steve bannon, topping all of that off was the ouster of reince priebus and the appointment of a new chief of staff also by twitter. joining me director from move on and matt mccove. and matt, you are not a never trumper, and not on the trump train, somewhere in between as a sort of republican guy, republican operative. if i were a republican
operative, i would be feeling pretty low right now. what is your feeling? >> well, i certainly felt that way after last night. i mean, the sense of failure with the senate effort to do something on health care, to keep the vehicle moving was profound. and there is a lot of blame to go around, honestly. seven years, not getting consensus behind one bill. letting this process become such a mess. the product itself became a mess. so look, i think the question now is can trump have a successful final six months of this calendar year. next year is an election year and it is difficult to get much done. i think the likelihood of passing tax reform probably increases with health care failing. i think the need is there. you had the big six up on capitol hill agree on principles this week on tax reform. so we'll see where it goes from here. and i think more order and less chaos out of the white house will go a long way to helping them move the agenda forward in the last six months of the year.
>> anna, we've seen the death of the health care bill so many times, in fact, in discussions, i was like what do we call it? there is no -- only so many times we could say the health care bill is dead. so have to you be very i don't know, maybe it comes back in a few days. moveon, one of the groups that mobilize strongly against it, what is your understanding of what just transpired and where you are in these first six months? >> well, man, thursday was unbelievable. first of all, let's be really clear what happened. a moral atrocity became a political liability for republicans. it became toxic politically. and on thursday night, the resistance movement, which had a massive uprising over six months, succeeded in killing a terrible idea that would have killed americans. we've killed it. it's a zombie. it has arisen before from the grave and if it arises again we'll kill it back into its grave. that's the work we have to do. i think you're seeing people
celebrate this week rightly because of the incredible victory that we have seen. and no one is resting on their laurels. everyone is getting ready to fight as much as we need to keep this terrible cruel idea from ever seeing the light of day. >> what anna just said connects to something you said about moving on about tax reform. there is not going to be the same level of moral vehemence with tax reform as there is to the health care bill. there will be strong opposition and taxes are hard. but i guess my question to you is, do you think they will actually move on? i mean is the idea, okay, this is finally -- we've taken a bunch of l's. this one we're going to take and move on for exactly that reason. >> yeah, i think they will move on. i mean, look, there's going to be a lot of finger pointing as to why health care did not pass the senate. there's going to be a lot of doubt and monday morning quarterbacking. the strategic decision to start
with health care rather than starting with tax reform. tax reform is something that trump understands better. it's an issue that his team understands better. there's broader unity and consensus than there was on health care. the question is, moving forward with a new chief in staff in place, can the white house operate with focus and discipline, with strategy, communications, everyone on the same team on the same page working together. i think the necessity is there. >> i have some news for you. i mean in all honesty, i just didn't think that's going to happen. i think that the way they've conducted themselves is apparent. maybe it will and maybe general kelly is a miracle worker. the chaos is interesting because for folks like matt, the chaos is maddening. but i heard from so many folks that i report on who are working in
the trenches, whether it's democratic hill staffers or republican hill staffers. it's chaos for those fighting. the bill was hard. they felt like there was a lot of distraction. the president's allies and the president's opponents find the chaos maddening in different ways. do you feel that the chaos ends up making -- seriously. do you feel that the chaos has made it harder to mobilize the opposition to the president's agenda? >> it's worth noting as a side note that chaos is an authoritarian ruling strategy. all of us need to keep our eyes on the traditional politics around trying to defeat a health care policy bill but also the craziness which is an intentional strategy by the white house to keep people off balance. be aware of what's happening. it's made it harder and more remarkable that the resistance movement killed the top priority of this administration and the gop. the thing that was supposed to be passed on day one was beat back by a movement of people that started mobilizing in
december, flooded town halls, that showed up every time a senator or a member of congress would possibly show their face back home, they were confronted by people saying hell no, you're not going to do this with us. they're not going to stop on health care. one thing i want to be clear on. if tax reform comes up, that's a different agenda than health care but people are fired up to stop this entire toxic agenda. we're not done. >> i wouldn't undercount that. thanks both for making time. >> thanks. joining me now is lawrence o'donnell, host of the last word which is on tonight live at 10:00 p.m. >> i'm stealing your introduction for this segment. the highlight was the worst week in the trump presidency. you did it in 70 seconds. >> so you worked in the senate and have been sort of in the room at various times. have you seen something like what happened last night? >> never. never. no, no.
listen. i've seen, you know, votes decided by that one vote on the senate floor at 2:00 in the morning. i've been there. i was there when bud kerry did it as a democrat who cast the vote to decide the whole thing. never with this kind of suspense. and one of the reasons for the suspense has been the inconsistency of john mccain. so john mccain comes back from his surgery -- by the way, it's kind of inconceivable that someone gets off the bed from surgery. >> he had a tumor taken out of his head. >> for brain surgery. and that you would then fly across the country to take health care away from tens of millions of people. that becomes conceptually impossible to imagine off of the bat. but i listened to his speech when he came back and i said right away, this speech indicates he's going to vote against anything mitch mcconnell proposes. then he confused people and he cast the procedural votes with mcconnell which didn't surprise me.
in the old days you didn't have votes on motions to proceed, there were none. you automatically proceeded to the debate. mccain was using the old tradition there. and i kept saying, wait until he votes on a substantive piece of legislation. both times he voted no. i was not one of the democrats on the democratic side of the floor last night where you heard them gasp. you heard an audible physical reaction from the democrats when mccain voted with them. they wouldn't have been so surprised if mccain had been consistent over the years of matching his rhetoric to his votes. because his rhetoric was completely clear and i believe mitch mcconnell knew all week he didn't have mccain. >> as someone who follows me on twitter, you were right about this and there were a few people who heard that speech and said wait a second, this is him giving the signal and there was a lot back and forth procedurally. here is my other question about how the president relates to congress, which is fascinating at this moment.
you've got people saying now the president is going to go after the gop congress. >> does he think there's a third party in the congress? >> donald trump. i don't think it's implausible that he does that. i mean you can tell he's angry at them and i think he thinks well i had this thing going that was mine and i let myself get dragged into this thing that they had. i don't care about it. >> here's why nothing is implausible in the trump white house and remains even more in the zone of nothing is implausible. they're bringing in a white house chief of staff who knows absolutely nothing about politics. the white house chief of staff's job first of all is politics. it's the most political job in the white house. he's a complete incompetent on that front. whatever you think of reince priebus, he knows more about politics that general kelly is ever going to know about politics. general kelly is now going to work with the most incompetent
people he's been around in his life. he comes from a world where people below him know what they're doing, professionals within the military. he's leaving all of that behind to a world of chaos. he has a measurement for failure on his first day and that is exactly how many hours does it take him to yank scaramucci's credentials off of his neck and ban him from the building. because if he can't do that he has a white house totally out of control on day one. and he is a failure on day one because his job is control of the white house. >> the issue -- we all sort of chuckle about getting on the same page. the issue is that the president doesn't want it on the same page. fundamentally that is the issue, right? organizations take on the attributes of their leaders in many respects. and this white house is a manifestation of the man at the top. >> no white house has ever had a president saying to this one,
hey, go out and publicly attack the chief of staff, go out and publicly attack sean spicer. never had this. so all of the madness begins with trump, all of it. everything is his fault in that sense. and the bringing in of scaramucci, which is simply a crime against the government payroll. the american taxpayer is going to pay for this guy's madness, this guy who belongs in a straitjacket now has these white house credentials around his neck. this man is unemployable in county government on long island, in any city hall in america. >> he's very successful. in hedge funds. >> there's exactly one government office that would employ this raving lunatic and that's donald trump's white house. >> he's got the job. lawrence o'donnell, great to see you. that is all in for this evening. stay with msnbc tonight. good evening. i'm lawrence o'donnell.
and i didn't get fired today. if you didn't get fired today, you had a better day than reince priebus. >> reince is doing a fantastic job at the white house. and i believe he has the president's confidence. >> reince is a good man. john kelly will do a fantastic job. >> that war of priebus and anth scaramucci ending very well for mr. scaramucci. >> i'm beginning to believe that scaramucci was brought in for a purpose, and that was to humiliate reince. >> he was called "reincy" by the president as if he was a pet and not the chief of staff. >> the president has confidence in general kelly. he has to have a person around him that he has confidence in. >> at no turn has this white house demonstrated functionality. i don't think introducing one competent person is going to change that. >> they should have approved health care last night. you can't have