tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC July 31, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
jansing at msnbc headquarters in new york. changing of the guard. former homeland security secretary, john kelly, sworn in to replace reince priebus as white house chief of staff. can the former marine corps general bring order and discipline to a white house drowning in chaos? russia retaliation. vladimir putin tells the u.s. to expel hundreds of diplomatic staffers from russia, responding to the new u.s. sanctions bill. what it means for an already tense relationship between the u.s. and russia. and all in the family. they're two of the president's closest aides, but a new report calls into question whether ivanka trump and jared kushner have the power to implement the president's policy. let's start with the newly installed chief of staff. a lot is resting on the shoulders of john kelly, who was sworn in this morning. the former secretary steps into a white house consumed by political and personnel problems, looking to bring discipline to a chaotic white house, resurrect the trump
agenda, rebuild relations with congress, oh, and rangel the president's twitter feed. that's just for starters. let's go to nbc's kristen welker. kristen, i would say the expectations bar for kelly is pretty high. but i guess the question is, can he meet it, and what does the white house want from him? >> reporter: the white house sees him as a stabilizing force, chris. for all of those reasons that you just laid out. he's a 45-year marine veteran, someone who has led with an iron fist. the president thinks that he's on a very good job as dhs secretary. the fact he's been tough on crime, tough on illegal immigration. so he wants him to bring some of those sensibilities to this new role. but it is going to be a steep climb. there's no doubt about that. part of what he is charged to do is to try to bring more stability to this administration, to cut down on the discord and the in-fighting. but, of course, the big question remains, will he be able to rein in the president?
some of the tweets, some of the comments the president makes. that's going to be the question and challenge. and remember, it comes as the president is feeling very frustrated that his domestic agenda has been stalled. the final straw for reince priebus was the fact that the health care vote went down in defeat. so there's going to be a lot of pressure on general kelly to move the president's domestic agenda forward, when it comes to health care, tax reforms, as well as infrastructure. take a listen to what corey lewandowski had to say earlier today on laura ingram's radio show. >> he has not had a significant legislative accomplishment yet, which i think is a shame, considering the republicans control both the house and the senate and the white house. and they haven't moved that big legislative agenda that they should have done. >> reporter: and one of the big questions is, what will the chain of command be here at the white house? that's still being worked out. but i'm getting the sense that general kelly wants people to be
reporting to him primarily, and then reporting to the president only on a need-to-report basis. in other words, that he would be the point of contact for top staffers here. we'll have to see how that plays out. and i anticipate we'll get a little bit more information about that a little bit later on "today" when sarah huckabee sanders has that briefing a little bit later today, chris, because of the medal of honor ceremony at 3:45. >> so president trump talked about the north korea situation. bring us up to date on that, kristen. >> reporter: no doubt, the biggest threat this administration is facing. and biggest foreign policy crisis, really, in the wake of that latest provocation, north korea on friday firing yet another long-range ballistic missile that experts believe is capable of reaching the united states. so this is topic number one, issue number one, when it comes to foreign policy. president trump meeting with his full cabinet earlier this morning, asked about the threat. take a listen.
>> what can you do about north korea? >> we'll handle north korea. we're going to be able to handle them. it will be -- it will be handled. we handle everything. >> reporter: the question is, what specifically does that mean? we know that the administration's thinking has been to sort of turn up the heat on china to ramp up pressure on north korea to stop its nuclear provocations. that hasn't been working, chris, as we know. the president has expressed his frustration with china. u.n. ambassador nikki haley tweeting her frustration with china. we know that the president spoke with the leader of japan over the weekend, and that the two agreed to do more, to work together. japan vowing to ramp up its defense systems. and the united states, with that show of force over the weekend, chris, flying essentially a military exercise bombers over the korean peninsula to send a message that the united states won't tolerate more provocations, chris. >> kristen, thank you very much.
but for now, let's review what's been going on at the white house that john kelly steps into. the shortest tenure of a chief of staff ever. controversy over a profane tirade by the new communications director. two -- two organizations, police and the boy scouts, apologizing for statements the president made. and that's just the past week. however, to hear president trump tell it, all is smooth-sailing right now. >> we're doing very well. we have a tremendous base. we have a tremendous group of support. the country is optimistic. and i think the general will just add to it. >> wes clark is a retired four-star army general and former nato supreme commander, senior fellow at ucla's buerkle center. rick tyler, msnbc political analyst and shelby holiday, politics reporter. general, let me start with you. do you agree with the president that this is not a chaotic white house, and whatever level of dysfunction you think there is, does general kelly bring the
kinds of skills that can bring it to an end? >> well, john kelly is a tremendous guy. he worked for me when he was a colonel, and i was a four-star. he has tremendous integrity, he's got follow through, he's got discipline, he's got management smarts, he's personally courageous, and has very high ethical standards. so he's been thrown into the snake pit, so to speak. he's going to have to clean up the management, and it's who reports to who. how do you coordinate the message every day? who talks to whom on the hill, and what do they say? these are the typical management issues you would expect in the white house. but in this case, you've got some deeper issues. you've got political issues that are associated, let's say, with foreign policy. do you encourage the president to have more private chats with mr. putin? or do you say, mr. president, you just can't do that? or do you just let it go? and then, mr. trump, president trump is still in business. so there's money issues involved. and how do those money issues impact you if you're the white house chief of staff?
he's spent a lot of time at golf courses, and there's a lot of money moving behind. no other president has ever done this, and no other government official can do this. and then there's the fbi investigation. so how does he protect himself from getting drawn into that? these are big, tough issues. if anybody can handle it, it's john kelly. but he's really got a tough challenge ahead. >> well, i was talking about this with former bush 2, george w. bush, chief of staff, andy card. and here's one of the things he says kelly needs to say to trump. >> i'm trusting general kelly said to him, my expectation is that you will have more discipline in how you tweet. you will have more discipline -- i'm not saying don't tweet. just have more discipline. allow some period of time so that there is thought to consequence before the tweet goes out. >> rick, is he someone -- donald
trump someone who is likely to listen to even a four-star general, former four-star general, when he says, hold off a little bit here? >> well, as donald trump likes to say, time will tell. i do agree with general clark that this is -- kelly is probably the best person he could possibly have in here. what general kelly really needs to do is to get donald trump to start thinking about the projects and the legislative agenda, the things he wants to accomplish as president, the same way he must have been thinking about real estate projects. real estate projects, especially on his scale, were incredibly difficult, because you have permitting, labor issues, contractors. you have laborers. you have the court cases. you have imminent domain. you have all kinds of things. and donald trump wasn't the guy who was going to town hall and pulling permits and fighting the epa in court, et cetera, et cetera. he had good people doing those things. so the general has to get him to think about how we can use our assets, as he likes to say, our
best people, to be working on these projects to move them forward, and the president can return to the bully pulpit as a persuasion mechanism, to convince the country that where he wants to go is the best course of action. and if general kelly can get him to do that and convince him that he's currently a liability, and he's been a demonstrable liability to passing legislative agenda, particularly with health care. we saw that. >> oh, come on, rick. do you really think there is anything in this president's history that says he's going to take well to being told that the problem here is you? >> that's -- see, that's exactly what i'm saying, chris. he's not saying the problem is you. he needs to say, here's the things that you want to get accomplished. and here's the critical path to making those things happen. this sort of slap-dash, you know, get up in the morning and, you know, tweet what's on my mind is not going to work in this situation. i don't think it would have worked as a real estate developer, either. and if he could get him to think in those terms of how to get projects done and how to be effective, maybe he can help him
to do that. but i -- look, it sounds like you and i remain skeptical. >> well, i think that healthy skepticism is called for, and if you read the "wall street journal"'s editorial page, shelby, here's the headline. priebus wasn't the problem. over the weekend. the reason mr. priebus wasn't as effective as he could have been was because mr. trump wouldn't listen to him and let him establish a decision-making process. perhaps he'll listen more to mr. kelly. he had better, because on president's course, his presidency is careening toward a historic reputation where names like jimmy carter and richard nixon reside. ouch. can he make the turn? >> i think trump can say that, you know, it's all smooth-sailing and nothing is wrong here. but the fact that he is putting general kelly in as chief of staff is an acknowledgment that things need to change. that he has not been successful, his approval ratings are low. he's had legislative disappointment after legislative
disappointment. >> i agree -- he believes he has not been successful. he believed reince priebus was not successful. and apparently the straw that broke the camel's back was health care. >> right. so a lot of people are looking at this and saying, at least president trump respects general kelly. general kelly was not involved in the campaign. i've been texting with people close to trump's inner circle. they say that could be a good thing. he's not chummy with the family. that could be a good thing. they think that general kelly, you know, he might not have all of this political experience, per se. but he has been in the armed forces for more than four decades, and his job will be to manage people, to set the strategy and to execute the vision. >> and he was, general clark, i think from 2004, to 2007, a legislative aide for the marine corps. so he does have at least that part of experience on capitol hill. and he also went to military school when he was a teenager. i think -- do we have a picture of -- there it is. this is 1964 at the new york military academy. do you think that -- and i hear all of the things you're saying
about what you think john kelly can do and how much you respect him. will that respect be reciprocated, which a lot of people inside and outside of this administration have felt he has not done? he has not returned loyalty or respect. do you think he will in this case? >> well, i think -- i think president trump has his own agenda. and we're not sure what that agenda is. but from the beginning, as soon as he was elected, he set about discrediting the news media and his own intelligence agencies. now, we could speculate as to why that's been his agenda. but he's done that, despite the advice of all of the other people who had been around him. so we don't know how john kelly is going to be able to handle that. if john can carve out the right role for himself, if he can do management, if he can do -- orchestrate the political efforts to getlati legislation passed, that will be great. he's got to step back when the children come in and want to talk about their business. and he's got to be very careful
with the machinations around president trump's concerns about the russia investigation. because if he gets brought into that, then he's got his own personal legal issues at stake. >> yeah, that really is interesting to a lot of people, rick. if you're going to have a chain of command of any kind, and try to say to ivanka -- and we should say that both ivanka and jared have said, look, we're willing to deal with it in whatever system he wants to set up. but if you're used to going in and talking to your dad or talking to your father-in-law, not to mention the fact that you don't have to be within the i guess workday to be hanging out with the president of the united states when he happens to be your father. so, rick, do you see some sort of chain of command being established, that includes all these people who are used to having walk-in privileges? >> it depends on how general kelly approaches him. look, family is always going to be an exception. and family has access to family. but it's reasonable for general
kelly to say to the family, look, i know you want to meet with your dad. if you're meeting him on personal business, just let me know that. if you're meeting with him on some agenda item that has to do with government business, i definitely need to know that. and just -- i'm not going to block you from your dad. but help me do my job. let me know what you're doing. because when you have different projects and programs and people going in different directions, it can get embarrassing when you have conflicting messages. but it can get dangerous when you have situations like north korea. >> shelby, real quickly. number one thing that he could possibly accomplish. i think most people would say get the twitter under control. >> yeah. and i have been talking to people close to trump. they think he might actually listen. it's not that he needs to stop tweeting, the president. he needs to start tweeting in a more productive way. he needs to acknowledge that focus and making the case for his policies and being more effective on twitter would be a good thing, and maybe general kelly can get him to do that. but i would also add that general kelly does line up with
trump in terms of priorities, law and order, border security, immigration, and so he has already proven he can take the trump agenda and implement it somewhat effectively. and so a lot of people are very hopeful that he'll be able to do that here in the white house, as well. >> shelby, thank you very much. rick, as always. wes clark. i love it when you're able to say he was a colonel when i was a four-star. well done! well done, general. always good to see you. coming up, russia retaliation. vladimir putin responds to the new sanctions bill by demanding that the u.s. slash staff in russia. will this have real impact or is it just some political tit for tat? plus, pulse of the people. wait until you hear what folks in alabama think about how president trump is treating alabama native, jeff sessions, and republicans' failed bid to overturn obamacare. >> i think they could have done a better job of coming -- you know, they put their word on the line the last eight years and said they were going to fix this. and when they had the opportunity to fix it, they dropped the ball.
so i think a couple years from now, midterm elections, people will remember that. your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
new reaction coming into russia's order to cut u.s. diplomatic staff there by 755 people. vladimir putin announcing the decision just days after congress passed a new bill, imposing sanctions on russia, north korea and iran. vice president pence this morning saying the u.s. will stand its ground. >> recent diplomatic action
taken by moscow will not deter the commitment of the united states of america to our security, the security of our allies and the security of freedom-loving nations around the world. >> let's bring in steve clemens, editor at large at "the atlantic" and an msnbc political analyst. so steve, how big a deal is this, and what's the impact? >> well, i think it's very, very big. i mean, not only is it restoring clarity to a relationship that has been i think lost in a cloud of illusions, i think our allies in western europe in particular, because vladimir putin really wants to break up the western alliance, we're breathing a sigh of relief. it's not that u.s./russia relations have to be horrible. but russia has to demonstrate some recognition and change of behavior for some of the nefarious things it's done from crimea to hacking the u.s.
election. so as my colleague at "the atlantic" wrote today, julia yoffey, this is a response 20 times bigger than barack obama, who expelled 35 russian diplomats from the united states. so it's a big deal and the world is going to pay notice. i think it's getting u.s./russia relations back into a sort of no illusion track, and that's, to be honest, quite healthy. >> do you see this as healthy, rick, and what do you think the message is that vladimir putin was sending? >> you know, i don't necessarily think it's quite as big a deal as steve said, in the sense that it's not some kind of gigantic world-changing, climatic thing. >> well, it is something he can do fairly easily. >> yes. >> but 755 out of, what, 1,200, we think. >> there aren't 755 americans at the moscow embassy. >> no, a lot are rof them are n russians but they do do the job. >> but it resets the table a
little bit where trump -- where putin in a sense may be giving trump some wiggle room to try to reconcile after they have had this rupture. it's been an unrequited romance between trump and putin. trump has not been able to do anything. congress has quite rightly increased sanctions, both for crimea and ukraine and what happened in the election. and now, you know, maybe it's giving trump some room to actually, you know, compromise in the figure of a person who is being reasonable. i don't know, it's interesting to me. particularly after putin, during -- right after the election, when we took back the -- you know, the maryland and the other place, basically did nothing, right? that was an interesting strategy. this is a much more traditional tit for tat reciprocity strategy. >> steve, i hear you chuckling over there. >> i love rick stengel. and rick stengel was a great diplomat in the obama administration. and one of the things it reminds me of, rick stengel was part of the obama franchise.
one of the problems we have with the u.s./russia relationship, is making it a person-to-person thing. president putin to president trump. people have to be coordinated and brought together. and what we saw happen in the g20 hamburg meetings was donald trump go in without preparation, without a coherent plan of what the united states wanted to get out of those meetings. and what we got out of that was the russians got some of what they wanted. the united states got nothing. and so i think that part of what has to happen now, and i think with general john kelly, who is a systems guy, hopefully hr mcmaster getting a boost up, we'll see if that happens. nonetheless, more systems people who will bring that capacity to donald trump. and i think that helps create within the u.s./russia context more opportunities for a healthy, complex management of an important strategic relationship. and while rick may be right, that, you know, to some degree, you know, there aren't that many people there, i think the symbolism of this opens up new
pathways that could get the system -- the u.s./russia relationship back on a normal course, that it doesn't look like donald trump is simply in a russia-hugging relationship while the rest of the -- his own administration, the gop, and of course, democrats and independents are astonished watching the behavior of a president unmoored from reality. >> and trying to disrupt democracy and get involved in our elections. and the "new york times" sort of put it this way. they thought that they could get donald trump and then he would treat them as a super power they once were. quote, that has now backfired spectacularly. it's a sanctions overwhelmingly passed by congress last week sent any message to moscow, it was that mr. trump's hands are now tied in dealing with moscow, probably for years to come. so when you have, rick, russian meddling in this election, is this a case of be careful what you wish for? >> it may be for mr. putin. and to respond to what steve said and to respond to the
compliment, nobody writes about diplomacy better than steve does. that trump was not prepared for the negotiations with putin. putin is a person, but he also represents russian interests. nobody represents russian interests more fiercely and understands what that means better than vladimir putin. donald trump does not know what it means to represent american interests. he's representing his personal foibles and ideas and who knows what else he's representing. which is why he was trumped in that meeting with putin. so unfortunately, what putin hadn't bargained for is this strong man that he may have ushered into america, who is not able to actually manipulate the system. he's not able to get his ideas through congress. he's not able to get this kind of reconciliation idea to be accepted by his own party. so trump is going -- putin is going, wow, maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. >> rick stengel, steve clemons. i'll add my two cents to the mutual admiration society. two of the smartest people on this subject anywhere. thank you both, appreciate it.
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mr. president, what more can you do about north korea, sir? >> we'll handle north korea. we're going to be able to handle them, okay? it will be -- it will be handled. we handle everything. >> that's president trump this morning, in response to a reporter's questions, saying, quote, we'll handle north korea. of course, north korea on friday tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that some analysts say could reach a broad part of the u.s. mainland. let's bring in connecticut democrat, jim himes, a member of the intelligence committee. good to see you. so that's the quote. "we'll handle north korea." and he added, "we'll handle everything." are you confident in the administration's ability to do just that? >> sorry, chris. i was just saying a little prayer here, sitting on the intel committee as i do, and focusing on north korea as i must, saying a little prayer that we don't handle north korea the way he handled his transgender pentagon announcement or the way they handled the repeal of obamacare
or anything else. no, it didn't give me much -- it didn't give me much comfort. i will say, you know, again, i'm as much of an opponent of the idea of foreign policy or any policy by twitter. but i do think the president understands one important thing, which is that china is the country with the leverage here. now, i'm not sure taunting them on twitter is necessarily the way to get them to do what you want them to do. but i do think that he understands that. and i do know that the people around the president understand people like mattis and mcmaster understand how very, very ugly any military option in korea would be. >> everybody says that. everybody says, all of the options are terrible. and yet what can the u.s. do, then, to get china to exert its influence? what would you say? >> well, you know, what china really fears is chaos on the korean peninsula, number one. and number two, an increased u.s. military presence on the peninsula. you know, we moved some anti
missile raiders into south korea some time ago and the chinese just hate that. so rather than berating them on twitter, making it very clear to the chinese that we are going to simply up our military presence in the area if they don't take a harder line with the north koreans. and, by the way, i think, you know, if i'm right, and i think i am, that the chinese really fear the concept of chaos in the north korean peninsula. remember, that's their front yard. some sort of assurances to the chinese that, you know, this crazy, her mettic, very odd state that we're not going to deliberately try to destabilize it, that our interests like the chinese interests, are in eventual reunification in something that looks like germany and giving the chinese some assurances we're not particularly interested in total chaos on the korean peninsula either. i think those things in combination might push the chinese to take a harder line than they have. >> you know, it's interesting, because the president after he met with president xi in
mar-a-lago seemed to indicate they had a strong relationship, it probably wouldn't get to the point where we had to press them any more to do what you say they should do. and then you also have russia, of course, and the relationship with vladimir putin that has not developed exactly the way that i think necessarily either side would have thought. i want to play for you what the vice president had to say. he was in estonia today, which obviously has a big state. all of the baltic countries have a very big stake in russian behavior. here's what he had to say about expelling 755 embassy diplomats and staff. listen. >> in a sign of our commitment, very soon president trump will sign legislation to strengthen and codify the united states' sanctions against russia. last week, russia took the drastic step of limiting the united states' diplomatic presence in their nation. a better relationship and the lifting of sanctions will require russia to reverse the actions that caused the sanctions to be imposed in the first place. >> so congress imposes sanctions. vladimir putin says just a second, 755 people got to go.
should the u.s. respond to that? where are we right now with russia and how concerned are you about the action taken by vladimir putin? >> you know, i'm not that concerned. and i do think it's high time that we actually took some fairly aggressive measures to really lay it on the line with vladimir putin that invading neighboring countries is not acceptable. that messing around in our elections is not acceptable. >> something beyond sanctions, congressman? >> you know, i -- yeah. look, putin is a bully. >> such as? >> well, you know, increased pressure on economic trading partners of russia. you know, making sure that we up our military presence in the baltic states. making it very, very clear that we won't stand for it. and by the way, number one at the top of the list, absolutely has to be the president finally speaking with a very clear voice. remember, the president in the white house did not want this sanctions package put in place. they realized they had a veto-proof vote in the congress. i think that was really important. but what would really help here
would be if the president would come out and say what every other single human being in washington, including the cia and the nsa and the intelligence community understands, which is that russia is a bad actor. that they messed around in our elections and that they can't be allowed to get away with that. to this day we have a president denying -- saying, oh, the russians wanted to help my opponent, maybe they didn't do it, maybe it was somebody else. the president needs to be clear and direct on this issue for the russians to get the message. >> we just have a few seconds left. but all of this, as every issue does, lands on the plate of the new chief of staff, general john kelly. i wonder if you know him, what you think of him, and do you think that, given the fact that he did have some legislative experience, he was the marine corps's legislative liaison between 2004 and 2007, that he can improve relations between the white house and congress. >> yeah. that's a great question. i think you put your finger on it. look, he's a four-star marine general. if anybody can impose some discipline and structure and hierarchy on an organization, it would be a four-star marine general. the thing that is missing here, though, is that donald trump
does not understand that you can't brow-beat. you can't shame. you can't bully senators and the congress into doing what you want to do. he does not seem to understand that our whole government is set up to move pretty slowly and pretty painstakingly, and that what he needs to do is build relationships. he needs to reach out, support people, offer them help. you know, what he did with the senate, and by the way, attacking a former senator, sessions, i think that was critical to the failure of the -- of the senate health care bill last week. and if john kelly can explain to him, you know, how a legislature works and we think of ourselves as a coequal branch with the united states president, that might be a huge step forward for this white house. >> congressman jim himes, good to see you. thank you, sir. >> thanks, chris. the repeal and replacement of obamacare might be going nowhere for now. are republican voters outside washington, though, laying blame with the gop, with the president? plus, all in the family. ivanka trump, jared kushner. do they really have tremendous power when it comes to who is
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washington following the august recess. president trump going after congress and insurance companies about health care. he tweeted today, if obamacare is hurting people, and it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies? and why should congress not be paying what the public pays? this weekend, he sent a tweet, saying, if a new health care bill is not approved quickly, bailouts for insurance companies and bailouts for members of congress will end very soon. and then there's that new proposal from senators lindsey graham and bill cassidy, seems to be gaining some support. msnbc's gherarrett haake joins . >> the easiest way to explain this, if this skinny repeal was a way to take the controversial parts of repeal and replace out of a bill entirely and pass something small, graham cassidy is an effort to take all of the controversial parts of repeal and replace and kick them back to the states. so the idea is that states and their governors would have more say in how to spend things like medicaid money and set up funds to help keep premiums low and
that kind of thing. that's an idea that has a lot of support among republicans, just for the sort of federalism aspect of it. and now it seems to be getting a little bit of traction with the white house. we know lindsey graham was there on friday, selling the plan. i'm told by an administration official it was moderately well-received. and bill cassidy is going to the white house today. the other advantage that this bill has, it's sort of the next last serious republican idea that's been committed to paper. but hasn't been scored by the cbo or voted on yet. but the cbo is looking at it now. so it could be kind of the next serious idea to get a good look. >> well, there's also this bipartisan plan that's being introduced today, what, by a coalition of 40 house republicans and democrats. what's that about? >> reporter: that's right. so this plan also has things in it that republicans and democrats really each like separately. it brings those cost-sharing payments under the purview of congress instead of the president. it sets up a fund to help stabilize markets. it gets rid of things like the medical device tax, which is so unpopular. really on both sides of the aisle. but the thing working against that is, it's a house plan.
and speaker ryan has made it very clear that the house isn't really interested in diving back into this fight. although it is interesting that today we are seeing some talk about bipartisan plans coming from an unlikely place. here's rand paul in kentucky today. >> no, i don't think it's over. i think there's a possibility still for going back and revisiting the bill we voted on last week. that's one. but then there's also a possibility for sort of bipartisan, traditional, through the committees over the next six months to do something. i think part of the problem is obamacare was all democrats and no republicans. same could be said of repeal, if it's all republicans and no democrats, we're going to be a divided country, and we still haven't gotten to the root of things. >> reporter: so if rand paul is talking bipartisanship, chris, we have entered a different phase of this. but if that's going to come about, i think any next moves on health care could be a little while coming down the pipe. >> msnbc's garrett haake, thank you for that. a lot of americans are talking about this failure to fulfill republicans' promise to
repeal and replace obamacare. we're joined now from mobile, alabama. we're outside the beltway now. real people. what are they telling you? >> reporter: chris, outside the beltway here, people are passionate about health care. here in alabama, it's one of the things they wanted to weigh in the most about. and you said it. after over seven years of these failed republican promises to repeal and replace, in their view, these republicans failed to deliver and to live up to these promises. and they also, many of the folks we spoke with, love this idea, the trump suggestion, that these lawmakers should be stripped from their privileges, regarding health care, saying they should live under the same rules. let's listen. >> they put their word on the line the last eight years and said they were going to fix this. and when they had the opportunity to fix it, they dropped the ball. i just don't -- i think a couple years from now, the midterm
election, people will remember that. >> you can't hide behind democratic politicians and road blocks any more. so now they're having -- they're being ratted out, and i'm unhappy with him. >> well, get something done. you know, get things done. if they have to have the same health care bill that most people have. >> the republicans need to stick together. they actually need to do some work and get an actual bill that's good enough for republicans and democrats and pass this thing. >> reporter: so, chris, trump was elected as an outsider, to, quote, drain the swamp. and for many people here, the way this health care debate was carried out, it just reinforces this idea that he is fighting an entrenched system. chris? >> mar anna, you got to go to a baseball game to do this story? that's not so bad. >> reporter: and i love baseball. and people there also, they were out with their families, and also talking about just the foul language that's coming out of
washington, particularly the communications director, anthony scaramucci. so that didn't go down well here in alabama, either. >> thank you, good to see you. and all in the family. she is, of course, one of the president's top aides, and an advocate for issues close to her heart. but can ivanka trump actually get any of her agenda items pushed through the trump administration? for mom, the nation's largest senior living referral service. for the past five years, i've spoken with hundreds of families and visited senior care communities around the country and i've got to tell you,
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so this morning, president trump held his first cabinet meeting with his new chief of h meeting with john kelly and jeff sessions sat right across the table from him. back in his hope state of alabama, he has a lot of support. >> i wish he would drop his twitttwit er account. >> i feel like jeff sessions is his greatest advocate. he has done the most in his administration so far and accomplished the most. >> joining me now is just barro. and annie carney.
so sessions getting support from back home, does he win this war with trump? >> i mean trump has been making all of though noise and not firing him and trump sometimes complains for awhile and then finally acts on it. it agent shows me that he doesn't adequate see firing sessions as a viable option. chuck grastzly who chairs the committee says he would not schedule a hearing any time in year on a session's replacement. what he wants is he wants sessions to interfere on the russian investigation at this point. >> now you have a new chief of staff in john kelly. is there any real chance that the president would move him
over to the department of homeland security? >> i think one of the great thinks for sessions is the chief of staff shake up is that it has been like five days since he was targeted on twitter. it seems to be on the back burner right now, that fight. i don't think that he will move him, like it's not just in alabama that sessions has support he has support from everyone internally. everyone but the president himself who i'm told wants to kick him in the butt in public, and get more on lor and is more on board, but is not imnantly planning to fire him. they both, at least by mult pi got the replacement support of john kelly.
general kelly is a true american hero. she and her husband have had unfettered access in and out of the white house. you wonder could everything change with a new sheriff in town? >> there is a weird split, right? they have been getting in their own way for a lot of the personnel discussions. jared was one of the people encouraging the department that he should fire scare mu which i. they have talks about how much they can achieve there. but trump has not really done anything on that and the transgender ban goes against the image they were trying to
present for lbgt rights. they can say we didn't have anything to do with this, but they do seem to have control over the personnel agenda. >> what's your sense of where iv iv ivanka trump is. a lot of people were looking at her and jared kushner saying they can be a moderating force, remind the president of his middle of the road positions on things like lbgt rights on women in the workplace, all of the issues that ivan ka hka has tal about. >> it was a really interesting example ivan ka didn't even know what was coming. they were quietly lobbying trump on this issue for months. for all of her access to the president, for how much she listens so. she is not really in the loop on
major policy decisions. she is not the player she maybe thought she could be, and she is, now she is, she seems to have a read credit ability problem. you said it is a well known socialite friend of ivanka trump's. you look past it because they stood on their own two feet, they were accepted excite their parents and now there is no separating the two. is there a sense that people will not be going to them any more? >> the sense now is that she is just a nicer looking version of her father. she is staking on what is left, right now some longstanding on a budget that has been called dead on arrival? >> i don't think it is great for congress.
>> if she doesn't get those issues done, she is, you know, really will have nothing policy wise to show for her time in the white house. >>. >> thank you to both of you, and we have sad news to report today. oscar nominatedauthor, and writer sam shepherd has passed away. he was pivotal in the off broadway movement. he died surrounded by his children and sisters after a long battle with als. he was just 73 years old.
so that's the idea. what do you think? hate to play devil's advocate but... i kind of feel like it's a game changer. i wouldn't go that far. are you there? he's probably on mute. yeah... gary won't like it. why? because he's gary. (phone ringing) what? keep going! yeah... (laughs) (voice on phone) it's not millennial enough. there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you! so we're doing it. yes! start saying yes to your company's best ideas. let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open. so you can get business done. there's nothing more important so when i need to book a hotel,
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your entire dvr. top networks. and live sports on the go. included with xfinity tv. xfinity, the future of awesome. that wraps up this hour of msnbc live, katie turr is back. >> i could not stay away any longer. 11 a.m. out west, 2:00 p.m. in the east, a new general in town. day 192 of the trump administration. the trump white house is attempting to turn the page on a presidency plagued with infighting. and trump is counties on this man to get the job done. four-star general john kelly was sworn into office as a new white house chief of staff just hours ag