tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC August 11, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
tonight, the president goes there, again on north korea, calling the u.s. locked and loaded and vowing if kim jong-un takes action, he'll regret it fast. and there's something else. it might not have occurred to you that american sons and daughters would be called on to fight in venezuela, but the president won't rule that out. he also weighed in on iran, on mitch mcconnell, mike pence's plans for 2020. and announced a press conference for monday. just another summer friday in america as "the 11th hour" gets under way. on the upside we did make it to friday. good evening once again from here in new york. day 204 of the trump administration. and for the third day this week, the president took reporter's questions in front of cameras. that's more than one venue. today, the president refused to
rule out military action in venezue venezuela. but we digress. there was a lot more verbiage today on north korea, the main topic, including an apparently new threshold for what would be the u.s. into the fight. though it's not clear the president is speaking for anyone but the president on this. as members of his team continue to talk about other options. >> what have you been able to do to reassure south korea given the recent tensions rising? >> i think as far as reassurance, they probably feel as reassured as they can feel. certainly they feel more reassured with me than other presidents from the past. it is a very bad situation. sit a very dangerous situation. and it will not continue, that i can tell you. hopefully it will all work out, okay? nobody loves a peaceful solution better than president trump. lots of good things could happen, and we could also have a bad solution. but we think lots of good things could happen.
>> what would be a bad solution, sir? >> i think you know the answer to that. >> when you say bad solution, are you talking about war? is the u.s. going to war? >> i think you know the answer to that. >> have you spoken to the governor of guam? >> i have not. but they will be very safe. if anything happens to guam, there's going to be big, big trouble in north korea. >> have you ordered any change in our military readiness? >> i don't want to say. i don't talk about that. you know that. >> one update. the president did speak to the governor of guam later this evening. that was around 2:00 today. and another on-camera event earlier in the afternoon, our friend jonathan lamered a the president to respond to those criticizing him for saber rattling. >> mr. president, you said you wanted to send a strong message to north korea. what do you say to the critics who say you're raising tensions? >> my critics are only saying that because it's me. if somebody else uttered the
same words, they would say what a wonderful statement. i will tell you, we have tens of millions of people in this country that are so happy with what i'm saying, because they're saying finally we have a president that's sticking up for our nation, and frankly, sticking up for our friends and allies. >> the president was saying right there his base is fine with his use of tough talk with north korea. but diplomats point out this is about our wider world and nuclear weapons and not the base. the president's language speaks for the u.s. and may commit the u.s. to an unrealistic threshold. and it's true that the whole world is watching. in germany today, chancellor angela merkel told reporters that an escalation of this rhetoric won't lead to a solution. in moscow, in a forum with students, putin's foreign minister said the war of words from both our president and north korea "is now starting to go over the top. we still hope and believe that
common sense will prevail." the president was due to speak to the chinese president, as many look to china to be the middleman. today, the president roamed around several topics with reporters, such as do you have the right generals in afghanistan? he did not say yes. he repeated his criticisms of mitch mcconnell, who should be his biggest ally on capitol hill. he also was asked about his comments for thanking vladamir putin for ousting u.s. diplomats from russia. also another spot on the map where we could see activity by u.s. military forces. >> were you being sarcastic when you thanked vladamir putin for expelling 755 diplomats in russia? >> in order to reduce our payroll, i think you know that. >> what options are on the table with venezuela? >> we have many options.
by the way, i'm not going to rule out a military option. we have many options for venezuela. this is our neighbor. >> that would be a u.s.-led military operation? >> we don't talk about it. but a military operation, a military option is certainly something that we could pursue. >> this appearing on camera is something new this week. the president also promised more time with journalists, announcing he was holding "a pretty big conference on monday." and one last thing before we introduce our leadoff guest here tonight. i want you to hear three people talk about the president's choice of words this week. in order, they are kree dcareer diplomat nicholas burns. political journalist john heilman appearing with nicolle wallace this afternoon. and on that same broadcast, former four-star u.s. army general barry mccaffrey. >> the president's words this week were extremely unwise and rash and unsophisticated.
you have to be very careful when you threaten a nuclear war. you do not want to back your adversary into a corner. >> it is ridiculous. it's like movie language. this is the movie of comic books, like he's playing a president. he's doing this thing, which he's talking away action heroes talk, not the way presidents talk with the power of life and death in their hands. >> we've turned to the north koreans and kim jong-un, if he takes a provocative measure, if he fires on guam, i think we're going to take military action. i'm almost sure the president can't retreat from this position. once military blows are exchanged, i think the chance of going to all-out conventional war are significant. he still doesn't have a usable nuclear capability. i don't think we're going to go there. but i do think the president is saying he's prepared to go to nuclear conflict. >> one of the more chilling
moments on this network today. and with that, let's bring in our leadoff friday night panel. welcome to all. matthew, can you walk us through the evolution of donald trump's language of this week? first of all, we note that we can only hope the expression "locked and loaded" translates approximately, at least, in north korean, just as they promised today in one of their statements to reduce us to jelly, probably in english, that means some version of a pulp. but these are the kinds of things that diplomats worry about. >> yeah. i mean, you have this increasing bellicosity, which is no surprise from the north koreans, but it is a surprise coming from the american president. and you have language that is at
once both startling and juvenile. he talks about how we could have a good or bad solution. how if the situation continues, there's going to be big trouble for north korea. that's the kind of language a parent uses when scolding children. so i think it's bizarre for american diplomats to be hearing this, it's bizarre for the american people to be hearing this. and we can only imagine what they're thinking over in north korea. >> and matthew, the point's been made that what the north korean leader craves more than anything is recognition. that he's been talked about at this level of play, an entire week now by the new american president has to be, if profiles of him are at all true, satisfying on some level. >> he's getting a ton of attention on an international stage. and mostly from our president, from donald trump. you know, the president yesterday obviously thought his public appearances went well, because he was out there today talking in front of the cameras.
and while this rhetoric might be alarming to some in the international community, the president thinks it's going well, because he keeps going out there and saying these things. >> robert, i watched you with nicolle wallace this afternoon. and you, having come to know you a little bit, seemed genuinely shaken by this week. >> first of all, my president, our president is saying things that no other president has said before. to the other guest's comment, kim jong-un is now on the same level as donald trump. or donald trump has lowered the presidency to kim jong-un. i'm not sure exactly what's worse. it feels like, brian, that our president is playing toy soldiers where he's in the backyard and he's playing with these toy soldiers and moving them around. it's not juvenile. this is chilg. -- chilling. this is not about his base in pittsburgh. this is about moscow, berlin, this is about guam, this is about tokyo. to think that the president
doesn't understand that his words have weight, to think that this president doesn't understand that millions of people are literally figuring out how they're going to hide under desks and dpraj garages a forth is really sad. it's really sad that the president seems to be so cavalier about this. >> we'll show our audience later in the broadcast the civil defense warnings that people in guam woke up to in their morning paper and on leaflets this morning where this is very serious business. and endeara, on top of that, tonight we get out of nowhere venezuela. what do you make of it? >> it is stunning. i mean, you know, at first i had to -- when i was listening to the press conference, i had to check my ears and say wait a second, first we were talking about the possible war with north korea, now we're talking about possible military actions in venezuela. i mean, military action is always supposed to be the last resort, not the first thing you jump to. and we've gone from the
president barely talking about venezuela at all, to introducing it in the conversation saying all options are on the table. that's not to say what is happening in venezuela, which is what the president points out is a close neighbor and it is a serious crisis going on there. but this is what diplomacy is for. we should have been paying attention to venezuela a long time ago. there's a lot that happened under the chavez regime that led up to where meduro is now, but you don't threaten military action right away. it's bizarre. i really don't know what he's thinking, and as he said, it's almost like playing a president on television, saying oh, you better not act up, or i'm going to do this. you over there don't act up or i'm going to do something to you, too. i've spoke on the a lot of european and asian diplomats. all of them are stunned at the language that donald trump uses,
and the sim poliplicity of it t everything is very bad or could be good or really great people. there was a report in buzz feed how diplomats are playing word bingo when they hear donald trump talk because he only has a couple of phrases they use and they ticket off the list. it sounds funny, but it's kind of sad. we need more complex thinking than just a few stock phrases that he thinks are going to make people act the way he wants them to. >> we've done video mashups much the same way. matthew, a question about style over substance. but it's nonetheless germane. we've gone days in this administration without seeing this president. they've gone days of white house briefings without us being able to see them. suddenly, though, more than once a day, an availability to take questions. a point we made here on the broadca broadcast, it puts enormous pressure on that day's small press pool around the president,
and they have done a magnificent job, these two days in recalling questions that for months we have wanted to ask but have not. so i'm just curious as to what this change in policy is. can this be any aspect of the arrival of general kelly as chief of staff? >> first of all, major props to the reporters there, like you said, i've been very impressed by the work they've been doing on behalf of everyone in the media. i'm not sure if this can be attributed to general kelly. we've long known that president trump considers himself his best messenger. we know he wasn't that happy with sean spicer or the communications shop at large. we know he likes being out there defending himself, and like i said, even when other people think that didn't go well at all, clearly he thinks they went well. he appeared in front of the press two days in a row, promised a press conference on monday. for him this is a lot of fun and he likes being out there being
his own spokesperson. >> robert, i heard tom friedman say last night he has no doubt the president has good people around him. he named mcmaster, mattis, kelly for starters. his doubt is whether or not they're a team. and that is a critical question. >> if you notice what the president is always out front with his staff. in other words, his staff are usually scrambling behind him. i think the president enjoys chaos. the president enjoying being on the offense, and he really enjoys basically saying look, i'm the president here. i won. i won pittsburgh. i won paducah, you did not, so i'm not going to listen to you. this president is a very emotional thinker and sometimes a very irrational decision maker. so this indecisiveness is part of his dna. this is what got him in the white house. the question is now that he's
the leader of the free world, is this in our best interest, and it really is not. the staff is doing a good job, but the president is a tiger and they cannot control this beast. >> and this man who says nothing by accident, deletes nothing by accident, had a chance to support the leadership in afghanistan today and did not, took a pass. >> that's right. which again, the loyalty is about himself and his family as we've seen. the amount of turmoil we've seen out of the white house and his close staff. you're a friend as long as you suit him and then he's willing to get rid of people. so i think the generals who are running afghanistan should be a little worried about their position. i do want to follow up on that whole comment about, you know, he won pittsburgh and paducah. you know, brian, i'm from pittsburgh and i just want to point out he didn't actually win the city of pittsburgh. the pittsburgh went about 80% for hillary clinton.
but one thing we didn't mention, which i think is a really interesting story that came out is that foreign policy publishing this memo, this ousted national security counsel official, who talked about essentially you remember how hillary clinton was famous in the '90s for talking about the vast right wing conspiracy against her and her husband. this guy is talking about an all-wing conspiracy. according to rich higgins, this aide to donald trump, everyone is against the president. marxists, bankers, globalists, deep state, the heads of the republican and democrat parties. and mcmaster is a national security adviser just said this is crazy and forced the guy to resign. apparently the reporting indicates that donald trump himself was mad when he found out the guy was forced to resign. apparently he agrees with this. that is frightening that the president has that kind of a belief, the paranoia, that everyone is against him. i think that's something that we
should be concerned with. it goes back to him feeling that he's coming off well in these repeated press conferences. >> indeed. and it's another chilling story, that one in tonight's "new york times." our great thanks to our initial panel tonight. thank you for joining us on a friday night. coming up after our first break this evening, guam preparing itself as president trump taunts the north korean leader, as americans begin to wonder what exactly is happening here? "the 11th hour" back on a friday night right after this. so all four of janice's kids are on four separate paths of self-discovery which occur at four different times in the afternoon, leaving a total of four minutes for her kids to eat. even though dinner time has become less strict, we remain strict as ever when it comes to our standards. made with premium cuts of 100% kosher beef, so you can feel good feeding your family, no matter what time dinner is. hebrew national. we remain strict.
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this man will not get away with what he's doing, believe me. and if he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat, or if he does anything with respect to guam or any place else that's an american territory or an american ally, he will truly regret it. and he will regret it fast. >> i want to show you what the people of guam woke up to this morning, and remember, 168,000 residents of guam. u.s. citizens all. they're living under the threat of north korean missiles arriving off their shores in some sort of show of force. this is their local paper, the guam pacific daily news. they ran an article today. it's listed on tear website tonight, an article called "missile threat tips." just some solid how-to advice for civil defense in the event of a missile launch. here are the guidelines. don't look at the flash or fireball. as blindness may result.
take cover behind a concrete structure, if possible. while flight time is 14 minutes, it can take more than 30 seconds for the blast wave to actually hit. after impact. after the blast, shower well, using plenty of soap and shampoo. we are not making light of this threat, nor is anyone on guam, far from it. in fact, we are joined by two guests to talk about it. democratic congressman ted lou of california is with us tonight, important in taiwan, he went to stanford and georgetown and he's a colonel in the air force reserves who was stationed in guam. we have a second colonel with us well, jack jacobs, a recipient of the medal of honor for his action in vietnam. congressman, based on your knowledge of guam and where it sits and 14 minutes of nighing time between a launch order in
north korea and splashdown in that region, how vulnerable do you think they're feeling right about now? >> thank you for your question. very vulnerable. having served in guam, the u.s. has zero good military options against north korea. any military scenario can spiral out of control, leading to a large loss of life, not just in guam, but also in south korea. that's what makes a president's statements so reckless. he needs to stop backing into the u.s. into a corner where we have no good military options and try diplomacy. >> jack, this is what you've been saying. there are no good options. we keep hearing this phrase, you know, protective strike, an advanced strike by the u.s. remind folks how much firepower is focused just on south korea. >> well, there is an almost unlimited number of artillery tubes and rockets that are very, very close to the demilitarized
zone and all of seoul, between 25 and 30 million koreans, they're all in range. our forces are considerably south of that. but all that notwithstanding, they're all at risk. and by the way, the war isn't over. there's no armistice. there's just a cease-fire, the war that started in 1950. it's actually legally still going on. >> i want to run some of the sound. the president did call the governor of guam, you're going to see the governor taking the call on his speakerphone, the voice you'll hear is the president's.
>> uh, there's no word on whether or not the president knew this was going to be televised and put up on the web tonight during that conversation. during which the president assured the governor tourism was going to increase tenfold when this was all over. congressman, you're also on foreign affairs. and so i want to ask you what must our allies, especially in the pacific rim, be thinking? >> the problem with the trump administration is not only do they have a lack of a strategy in many areas, including north korea, but they set up conflicting statements. so earlier, you had rex tillerson basically saying the time for talking might be close with north korea. and then the president starts doing this tirade of very provocative statements. so it's very confusing to world leaders. what i want the trump
administration to do is get on one page, so that we know what the administration believes. and the president has said that he thinks it's good to be unpredictable. in foreign affairs, that's really stupid. you don't want to be unpredictable, you want to be clear. >> jack, you have said we will know this is serious if we see the evacuation of a quarter million americans. >> we have about 100,000 military dependents. 7th fleet is there, so they can evacuate american dependants. nothing is going to happen, or we don't know if anything is going to happen, until we hear the canary in the mine. and that is the evacuation of military dependants. when that happens, you can have a high degree of confidence that we have a high degree of confidence that there's going to be action there. >> the president today did alter the threshold by saying an overt threat would bring about u.s. action and, of course, any
movement on guam would as well. so that's the world we're looking at on a friday night as we head into an august weekend. our great thanks tonight to congressman ted lou from joining us from southern california and colonel jack jacobs, thank you both. coming up, the president said it was sarcasm when he thanked vladamir putin. but back in washington, robert mueller remains hard at work. that's next when "the 11th hour" continues. it's just a burst pipe, i could fix it. (laugh)
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were you being sarcastic when you thanked vladamir putin for expelling 755 diplomats from russia? >> in order to reduce our payroll, absolutely. i think you know that. in fact, i was just speaking to the secretary and we're talking about coming up with an answer when, rex, tell me. >> by september 1. >> by september 1, we'll have a response. but we have reduced payroll substantially. >> a lot of people talked about the fascinating body hang wage on display this afternoon. that was president trump earlier today flanked by members of his national security team, in bedminster, new jersey. and his thanks to vladamir putin yesterday for expelling 755 u.s. embassy employees, thanked him because it helped him to reduce payroll. the president said today, a day later that had been sarcasm. here with us tonight to dig into these comments and the latest headlines circulating on the
russia investigation are matthew miller, msnbc justice and security analyst and former chief spokesman for the u.s. department of justice. jack sharman is with us tonight, a criminal defense attorney who served as special counsel to the house banking committee for the white water investigation. matt, because you were the won who soonest ago was a federal employee, i thought you would want the chance to speak up on their behalf. 755 people, some of them russian nationals, but a good many americans trying to rush back to get their kids in school, find a place to live because they've been uprooted from russia. our government said nothing about their hardship or this news until the president thanking vladamir putin. >> yeah. you know, i think the president was telling the truth today he was being sarcastic, but that doesn't make it better. it was an insult to those career diplomats, many who have served in iraq and afghanistan. many have endured surveillance
by putin's government while in russia. the president implied they were surplus, and it was just as important what he didn't say. he didn't say one word about vladamir putin again taking an action that weakens u.s. interests. this comes back to the biggest underlying problem with his relationship with russia, and that is he always has put his personal interests ahead of the country's interests. whether it's encouraging the russians to obtain hillary clinton's e-mails, whether it's criticizing career intelligence agents who found the russians interfered in the election or encourage vladamir putin by never once taking him on in public. for all the talk about what bob mueller is investigating, this isn't that complicated. a lot of the scandal is hiding in plain sight. >> jack, matthew is right. it keeps roaring back, in part because of actions or omissions by the president and his team. so let me ask you this.
since the russia news this week was mostly this manafort raid, what does it tell you about the mueller investigation, even though it was several weeks back now? >> well, the execution of a search warrant in a business crime context is unusual. it is designed to send a message, often to the subject or the target that the prosecutor is serious, in a situation like this where there are concurrent congressional investigations. it may also be a message that the prosecutors are not going to rely on or wait upon the congressional investigations. >> matthew, i want to read you a quote. this is from the daily beast on the subject of blame. headline team trump shivs paul
manafort. >> why did that suddenly appear in print, matt? >> i don't know. but it's a very dangerous game that those aides to the president are playing. it's clear what bob mueller is doing here. the key to cracking open a big case like this is finding a cooperating witness. he's putting pressure on the two people who have the most individual criminal liability. one, paul manafort. two, michael flynn. that's exactly what he was doing by executing this raid on paul manafort's house and putting pressure on paul manafort's son-in-law, trying to get him to flip. bob mueller is clearly trying to work his way up the chain in this investigation to get manafort, threaten him with jail time, make him nervous and get
him to cooperate against the president. for the president's aides to be criticizing manafort, they want to keep manafort close right now, not push him away. a team with a sophisticated criminal defense attorney and operators would tell them to cut that kind of stuff out. >> jack, talk about how cooperation as a legal notion can differ on the eye of the beholder. you can be a witness like mr. manafort and say you're cooperating and maybe feel like you're cooperating. the prosecutor may not hashare that opinion, even the day after you come in to talk to them. in this case, it looks like he had lingering doubt that there was something in the manafort residence. >> absolutely. it happens all the time. the witness may believe that he or she is cooperating in a layperson sense, that is i'm meeting with you, i'm answering questions and giving you documents, i'm looking at documents that you provide me. whereas the prosecutor may understand cooperation to be, is what the witness telling me
believable to me? is it helping my theory of the case? and you have that discussion frequently with prosecutors. and it can lead to sometimes more drastic results when the two sides cannot agree on what cooperation really means. >> jack, when people knowing your resume ask you how much power does a guy like the special counsel robert mueller have, what's your answer? >> a great deal. certainly in our experience, when i was working on the house banking committee with judge starr and his staff, they were always very professional and thorough. on the other hand, they made it clear that they were the prosecutors, and that they would not defer to congressional investigators and lawyers, but rather would discharge their constitutional duty using the tools available to them, such as a grand jury, which of course,
congress cannot avail itself of. >> for this case, it looks like the deputy attorney general chose the by the book guy from central casting, robert mueller. our thanks as always to matt miller and jack sharman. great to have you on the broadcast. thank you so much for joining us. another break for us. coming up, reaction to all this from the man who ran the ethics office in the bush white house. we're back with that right after this. too many children in this neighborhood do not graduate from high school. the kids after school, they are alone and they have nowhere to go and we tried to solve that problem by having this wonderful place where they can be children. wtef is the washington tennis and education foundation. we help the kids with their academics, and we teach them tennis. we have retired teachers doing the tutoring and they're here every day.
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we have many optioning for venezuela. and by the way, i'm not going to rule out a military option. we have many options for venezuela. this is our neighbor. this is -- we're all over the world. and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. venezuela is not very far away,
and the people are suffering a and dying. we have many options for venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary. >> the president today in bedminster, new jersey, talking about venezuela. he said the u.s. not ruling out a military option. he did not elaborate. when we heard that, we kind of assumed our next guest was set off like a roman candle. let's bring in richard painter, chief white house ethics lawer under george w. bush. richard, what did you make of the addition of venezuela to the hot zones the u.s. could see action in? >> well, first of all, it makes no sense to talk about military options in venezuela. venezuela has not threatened the united states. there's just no justification for that at all. and no one would support us on that. and president trump is not going to do it unless he's absolutely crazy. so what he's done is talked
about an option that he's not going to use, that no reasonable president would use. and that destroys our credibility in this north korea situation. the world needs to understand that when the united states talks about military action as an option, we mean it. and there are situations in which you do have to talk that way. but venezuela is not one of them. that was a very irresponsible comment, and makes our position with north korea that much more tenuous. >> richard, i want to share with you and our audience the radio interview this week with a white house aide named sebastien gorka. the best we can do with our waning time on the air tonight is to tell people if you're interested, read his background on the web tonight. he's a white house aide, unlike any other white house aide in modern times. he did an interview this week. you may recall rex tillerson, secretary of state, had some kind of mollifieing comments
about the north korea situation. gorka was talking about tillerson when he said this. >> so on bbc radio, a white house aide spoke that way about a man fourth in line to the presidency, richard. what would have happened -- you worked on the white house staff 43. what would have happened had this happened in another white house? >> well, we wouldn't have been in that situation in the bush administration, because i don't think sebastien gorka would have
qualified for an internship in the bush white house. i don't know how he got into our country with his ties to fascist groups over in hungary. i'm shocked to see him in this white house. he's not qualified for the job he has. and for someone like him to be mouthing off about the secretary of state, when we are in a diplomatic crisis, is irresponsible. so anybody who acted that way in the bush white house would have been fired on the spot. >> to your area of expertise, i wanted to read this -- >> instead the hotel with its namesake is charging more for its rooms than most or all of
the cities other hotels. richard, who do we see about this, this hotel kind of famously made the president his own land lord? >> well, yes, it's a very profitable operation. it's certainly been made very profitable by the that's correct that president trump is over there in the white house. because all the lobbyists want to have functions over there at the hotel, book the ballrooms and then the white house people will come on over there and maybe even the president will drop by. you'll certainly get people coming over from the agency who want to meet white house people. and that's a very good watering hole for wall street lobbyists and anyone else. it's a great business operation. my concern is whether that is consistent with the legal requirement and the lease that nobody who works for the united states government, no federal official should get a share in
the profits. i think that term has been violated. there are serious concerns of the emoluments clause of the constitution. just the perception that the president of the united states gets a cut when people are organizing all these parties to get access to the united states government. it certainly doesn't look good. >> richard painter, who was the ethics lawyer in the bush white house, and we always hasten to add a life long republican, thank you for finding time to come on our broadcast. when we come back, how many times can this or any president or any white house employ the confident i was only quid kidding" response. escalator. that can be hard on her lower body, so now she does it with dr. scholl's orthotics. clinically proven to relieve and prevent foot, knee or lower back pain, by reducing the shock and stress that travel up her body with every step she takes. so keep on climbing, sarah.
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joke at the time. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> obviously everybody knows i was beings sarcastic when i said it, but where are those e-mails. why did she delete those e-mails. >> can you say whenever the the president says something we can trust it to be real. >> if he's not joking, of course. >> we're trying to cut down on payroll, and i'm thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. >> small savage of controversial comments uttered by this president, all of them have with your life in kbhcommon. we were later told they were meant in jest as theed president expressed his thanks to vladimir putin was meant sarcastically. matt, do you think this cuts
cleanly along liberal matter, coastal label nabobs and the trump base who are untroubled by the wording? >> with i don't know who it troubles and doesn't trouble. hiss base has shown they're willing to put up with a lot, but it cheapens the language of the presidency. whether it's a joke or not, presidents have limited options when it comes to what they're allowed to joke about. and police brutality and diplomatic retaliation from a maj major geopolitical foe, they were offensive to folks serving the country overseas. whether it was a joke or not, "u" to wonder why the president feels he can go say these things. >> robert, given especially your membership in the republican party and your experience in what used to be classic cal
republican politics. you could argue there are two menstrual to the success of donald trump's life as president. one of them is named mueller, the other is named mcconnell. why do you think he's trolling both guys on social media? >> because he's a bully. it's been very successful for donald trump for the last 60 years that he's been in new york as a businessman. what he doesn't understand is the nuance of politics. that is man who controls your legislative fate. let's talk about all things that the president campaigned on, especially supreme court justices. mitch mcconnell is that gatekeeper. the last thing you want to do is hit the beehive. >> matthew, the role of
mcconnell has me thinking what the president also said today about tax reform and cuts and infrastructure. where are these bills he's talking about? >> well, the timelines keep changing. we get promises and those don't come about. they said tax reform time this fall, maybe november, december. as you know, tax reform not just tax cuts is extremely complicated and it's hard to see them coming up with something so quickly. and infrastructure as is been documented in the media, that plan isn't going anywhere. president trump said he's been working very hard on it, but it's a mystery to and us republicans in congresses. >> if there really is a inferen news conference on monday, perhaps we can add these to the list of questions. we appreciate it. up next, the man who looks dreamily at the president when
they are together. is he also looking to be president someday? just like the people who own them, every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be with customer contracts, agreements to lease a space or protecting your work. legalzoom's network of attorneys can help you, every step of the way. so you can focus on what you do and we'll handle the legal stuff that comes up along the way. legalzoom. legal help is here.
(boy) and these are the lungs. (class) ewwww! (boy) sorry. (dad) don't worry about it. (mom) honey, honey, honey, honey! (vo) at our house, we need things that are built to last. that's why we got a subaru. (avo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. get 0% apr financing for 63 months on all new 2017 subaru legacy models. now through august 31st. as we look at the eagle, the last thing before we go here to the extent is about the vice president. a lot has already been written and said about how he looks when his boss, the president, is talking. "the washington post" has described his look as admiring. that seems to be something of an understatement. a huge part of the job with the number two guy is loyalty to the
top guy, of course. but a recent article in the "new york times" says in effect, don't let that dreamy look fool you. mike pence has set up a pac. he's often the bridge to traditional republicans as they are known. the the "times" quoted he wants to be ready if there's an opening in 2020. it did was asked today by your own peter alexander about the possibility of a pence candidacy. >> do you think your vice president will be a candidate for president in 2020? >> i don't think so, no. i don't think so at all. he's a good guy. he's just left for colombia and other places. he's been a great ally of fine and a great friend of mine. >> about the republicans amg for
the 2020 elections, it was john mccain who recently said to "the new york times," quote, they see weakness in this president. look, it's not a nice business we're in. we'll choose to end it there hadn't that is your broadcast for tonight and for this week. thank you for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. correspond kneel i couldn't say vanderbilt was one of the richest americans ever, so much so that his name is kind of synonymous with what it means to be a rich person now, right? vanderbilt? he was a self-made man. was a new yorker. he started off as a kid running ferry services between is it a ten island and manhattan. he worked his way up to running and owning multiple ferry services and then steam boat lines. started off with regional steam boat likenesses and then ultimately he got to ocean going steam boats. he hit theea