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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  August 15, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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that wraps us up this hour. i'll see you again at 11:00 and right now more news. she's in the house. hallie jackson is here. >> stephanie ruhle, thank you very much. president trump is home in new york and so are we. right down the road from where the president today is tweeting and retweeting and then untweeting about everything except that scripted speech condemning hate groups, which didn't do much to convince some ceos to stick by his side. more now ditching him as he tries to turn back to policy. all as he gets a wake-up call from the thousands of protesters lining fifth avenue. further south in charlottesville, we're following new details about that murder suspect with 911 calls revealing what could be a violent past. plus, back from the brink maybe. we're live on the korean peninsula. kim jong-un's new message after plans looking to go after guam.
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all here in the next 60 minutes. i want to start with nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker who is a couple blocks from where we are at 30 rock at trump tower with this new charlottesville fallout over night. more businesses jumping away and peeling off from president trump with this new tweet raising some eyebrows, too. watchia got? >> first, let's start with these ceos, hallie. you're right in addition to merck's ceo who pulled out under armour ceo followed and late last night yet another ceo pulled out. significant because, of course, jobs is the president's big issue and you have these big three ceos. the intel ceo. i couldn't think of it for a second. there you go, pulling out. and, of course, this raises real world consequences for the president who said he's going to be a jobs creator. he's going to focus on the manufacturing sector. he wanted to bring these ceos
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into the fold. he was greeted here at trump tower by hundreds of protesters who lined the streets. so, is he moderating today, hallie? just the opposite. raising more eyebrows with a series of tweets. he retweeted a far right conspiracy theirrist first thing this morning and then mid-morning he retweeted an image of a trump train crashing into a person who had a cnn logo. now, the white house hasn't commented on this on the record. we should mention that the tweet was taken down. one white house official requesting and did offer this. inadvertently posted and as soon as it was noticed, it was deleted. who initially posted the tweet, what was inadvertent about it and why it was ultimately taken down. but, this is creating more difficult questions for the administration on a day the president wanted to get back to his agenda. he's going to be talking about infrastructure holding a big
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infrastructure event later on today and i know you'll be there, hallie. >> taking the truck down fifth avenue to come join you as soon as this program is over. thank you very much. gabe gutierrez who is in charlottesville. gabe, some of the newest developments here. these new 911 transcripts talking about james fields' past. walk us through what some of these allegations are from his mom. >> hi, there, hallie. disturbing allegations from james fields' mother. these came back several years ago when james fields was just a teenager. according to these police records she called 911 at least twice. the first incident in 2010. she says that he, she had locked herself in a bathroom because he had struck her in the head after she had stopped, she had told him to stop playing video games. and the incident in 2011 she says that he was standing behind her with a 12 inch knife. now, some of these 911
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transcripts says, according to police, that he had scared mom to death. that he smacked the caller, the mom, in the head. and that he would "beat her up." samantha bloom spoke to reporters over the weekend. she uses a wheelchair and she also said she didn't know the political leanings of her son and never really talked politics. she thought she was heading to some sort of political rally but didn't know the details. she was very, very shocked to learn of what had happened. also from over the weekend we had learned that according to a former high schoolteacher in kentucky that fields had admiration for adolf hitler. a clearer picture is emerging of jam jam james fields. he was never charged or convicted in any of those previous cases back in 2010 and 011. hallie, he appeared in court yesterday and a jud yesterday. >> gabe gutierrez in charlottesville, thank you for
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that. bring in former rnc chairman michael steele back down in washington. ozzie and real clear politpolit reporter. what's up with the tweeting? >> the same old, same old. >> same day, same question, new tweet, right? >> it's his crack. that's exactly what it is. he cannot get off of it. it's what he is. it is what he does and how he communicates. it is clear he doesn't pay attention to the details of a particular tweet as long as he thinks it says something good about him. he'll retweet and say it's something not good. that's the president. i think we're used to it now and that's part of his mo. it's how he probably intends to run the rest of his presidency. and the white house, particularly, the new chief of staff, is going to have to come up with a formulation to deal
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with this on a regular basis on a day-to-day basis. the hill has already factored it in. that's why policy is going as slow as it is. from any given day, they don't know what direction the president is necessarily going to go. >> let's talk aboutt the hill. here's what he had to say about has gone on over these last maybe 18 hours or so. listen. >> i was a bit miffed yesterday when he attacked ken frazier. i know ken, he is from philadelphia. his father was a janitor. he went to penn state, i went to penn state. he's a few years ahead of me. i met with him as a friend. they're doing great work at merck on cancer drugs. i thought it was a cheap shot. >> his attacks on ceos, ken frazier seems to be turning off charlie dent, who was never totally in trump's corner anyway. but, number two, this is actual policy impact. you heard from kristen welker.
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the head of intel leaving and head of under armour. and these are people who will help implement their economic policy. does that hurt him? >> yeah, it does. it takes a lot of steam out of the engine. look, these were individuals who brought their gravtaus and their portfolios to the president's table to help them, particularly on his economic and tax agenda to lay down a new course for the country. and while a lot of them probably weren't necessarily supporters of the president during the campaign, they took up the call to serve the administration to help get big things done. but, this is not that. and what they're witnessing and what they're concerned about is getting involved in a hodgepodge of, you know, bad story lines that hurts their brand. i mean, they have to think about, you qknow, if you're undr armour with a very sophisticated market of, you know, users and
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clients, you've got to be concerned about your brand being associated with what went on in charlottesville in a negative way because the president's association and use of words makes it more difficult for you to have that brand associated that way. so, these are calculations that these ceos are now making, hallie. they're saying, you know what, we'll step back from this until things settle down and you get your act together. maybe we'll come back and maybe we won't. that's not good for the president long or short term. >> the president did condemn the violence that happened in charlottesville and he did come out and explicitly yesterday name the hate groups, including the kkk, including neo-nazi and white supremacists. political reports that richard spencer, the white nationalist leader says he doesn't believe trump. says he does not believe the president had condemned his movement pointing out that he did not use the term white nationalists. >> this was the concern among republicans in the first place
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why they came out so strongly, quickly in contrast to donald trump right when it happened. there was this concern that the president might be trying to kind of have it both ways here. and that even if he were to release a statement, which he did under political pressure certainly, that it would still have the first statement was the one that made the impact. and interestingly, you know, lots of reporting about how the president was under political pressure. he explained that political pressure, kind of, in those tweets. talking about the ways in which, you know, none of his critics will ever be satisfied by his response. he tweeted such. his tweets, as we know. kind of his inner monologue, so to speak. >> he's not a credible person. not a logical person. he is a racist. whatever he says, you have to take with a giant grain of salt. the metrics by which you measure trump rhetoric. remember he said obama was weak
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for not -- >> calling out the problem by name. >> trump is acting the way trump criticized obama. that's the measure by which we should measure him. and by his own metrics, trump fails. >> hours after the statement, michael, that they're talking about here. the president retweeted what one could only describe as a known peddler of conspiracy theories. why give that sort of wink and nod to that demographic? >> who knows. i mean, it makes no sense. i mean, we got to get to a point, i think, hallie, where we stop trying to figure it out. it is what it is. this white house is -- >> is the bottom line going to be the tweets are just sort of his instinct and what he says from the podium is what his advisors want him to say? is that the point we reached here? >> look, you saw that statement that he delivered yesterday. it was not something that was from the heart. it was not something he believed in. not something he felt he should do.
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and you know the internal white house discussions. the fighting going on between him and others about what he should do and how he should respond and how he, you know, if he does that, he looks weak. or he doesn't want taseo seem l he made a mistake. if that's how you're focused at the very beginning of a conversation or a controversy like this, then, yeah, you're going to see the kind of tepid response he gave yesterday. so he gives credence to the white nationalist that he thinks trump stands with them. that was not believable on its face. >> ultimately nobody is responsible for what comes out of the president's mouth or his twitter feed than the president himself. >> right. that's it. bottom line. that's why, you know, it is what it is. and the white house and everyone else will have to deal with the ramifications that come from this. this is not the first time this has happened and it sure won't be the last time where the president has tweeted something
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or said something that sets off a firestorm. he is outside the system for a reason. this is space he likes to occupy and he will continue to occupy that space because that's how he wants to run his presidency. >> michael steele holding it down there in washington for us. thank you very much. i'll ask ozzie and caitlin to stick around for a little bit. you have north korea threatening to ring in the necks of the yankees. as kim jong-un makes a show out of reviewing military plans to attack guam. but he's telling the u.s. there is something it can do to get him to stand down. what is it? i was a doer. i was active. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better.
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so, look at your screens. check out some new images this morning from north korea. have you seen these yet? kim jong-un reportedly looking at plans to strike off the coast of guam. talking with some of his military officials. the north korean leader apparently has not decided whether or not to go through with it, but here's how defense secretary mattis is responding at the pentagon. >> i think if they fire at the united states, it could escalate into war very quickly. yes, that's called war if they shoot at us. if they do that, then it's game on. >> game on from secretary mattis. matt bradley is in live in seoul for us. so, matt, the north koreans are revealing more about the thought process here. take us through that thought process. what should we know? >> well, thanks, hallie.
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always hard how to interpret, read the tea leaves from north korean state media. what we saw in those pictures was kim jong-un reviewing troop formations and talking to generals and he was looking over maps of the plans and threatened strike to launch four intermediate range ballistic missiles into the waters just off the u.s. island of guam. there were actual lines from north korea to guam. so, very provocative. and also very stage managed. he said, he also gave a little bit. he said that he was going to wait to see how the foolish yankees behaved and that he would "wait to see how the foolish yankees behaved before he would ring the necks or ring the wind pipes of the foolish yankees." now, against, this is the rhetoric we have gotten used to hearing from kim jong-un and north korean state media. something to be said here. it sound like he might be waiting and giving the u.s. a
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little bit of an opening to dial this back. now, two ways that the u.s. generals have said that they could actually appease the north koreans. that is to get rid of the thad missile batteries that are located here in south korea and to cancel military exercises, joint exercises between the south korean military and the u.s. military. those are supposed to start on monday and last for ten days. now, it's no exaggeration, hallie, to say these exercises are some of the largest that are seen anywhere on earth. but they have been happening every year for 40 years and every year the north koreans condemn them and almost every year or often they will launch missiles and provocation afterward. so, unclear whether they're actually going to be going ahead with this, but, so far, the u.s. and south koreans have given no indications that they're planning on canceling these exercises. hall hallie. >> matt bradley, thank you very much. global director of beacon global strategies and senior
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director for the counterproliferation strategy caitlin are also back here with us. you heard matt talk about the idea that potentially this could be seen as an opening from north korea. earlier this morning, i asked the admiral about what kim jong-un is really doing here. listen. some characterization that the statement overnight was tantamount to pyongyang blinking. is that your assessment? >> reserved his own personal comment and his own personal engagement. if he's not blinking, he's at least opening his eyes a little wider and seeing what would happen to him in his nation, if he chose this reckless course of action. >> michael, is that how you see it? do you agree with the admiral there? >> that is how i see it there, hallie. kim jong-un backed down a little bit. but only a temporary victory for the trump administration. some of this was orchestrated by
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their own rhetoric. but, look, i think they're going to test, again. they may test another nuclear weapon in the coming months. there will be more missile tests. so, it's sort of the short-lived victory. but, you know, as long as we're scoring the trump administration over the last week, they did get a decent u.n. security council resolution to try to sanction and in this instance we may have gotten them to back down from this foolish test that would have sent missiles towards guam. >> they still have demands, obviously. no surprise there. there is no way the u.s. and south korea are canceling these exercises. no way that is going away. so, what happens next? you've seen some of the cabinet members. the secretaries of defense call this strategic accountability. where does this really go from here? >> where this goes from here is we need rigorous implementations of the sanctions.
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pursuant to the security council resolution. we will have to up the pressure on china perhaps by sanctioning some more of their financial institutions. but, look, what china fears the most is u.s. enhanced presence in the region. they don't like the thad missile batteries. of course, we're not going to take those down. i have my own doubts about whether it's in china's interest to operate with us on north korea, but we have to try. and i think what we do in this situation is we say, hey, look, china. if you don't want us in your theater, then you need to do something about the north koreans because we see them as a threat and we're only going to put more defensive and offensive weapons in south korea and japan and send more warships to your neighborhood. so, that's not in your interest. so, you ought to help us out. >> president trump has spent his first night at his trump tower home here in manhattan since before the inauguration. before he went to bed, before he got tucked in, he had a phone call with the japanese prime
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minister. and, obviously, north korea from what we know about the call from the white house was the topic of discussion. the president trying to make these moves to reach out to allies here. do you think it's working? do you think it's effective at this point? >> let's hope so. what the president's rhetoric was on the campaign trail was america first and sounded very much like america alone. his phone call last night sounded like he was building bridges. not something he is normally used to. he is saying we will defend japan. remember on the campaign trail he had said, maybe japan can have nuclear weapons and fend for themselves and we'll take care of our own. by saying we'll defend japan and the allies on the peninsula he was putting them forward and saying these guys are paramont. these are people who we are going to protect and not us going in alone. >> that's why the prime minister aba sought to establish a relationship with him early on. saw him meeting with him during the transition and later on. trade was a big issue and japan
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had, obviously, been preparing for the increase the north korea tension. so, it's interesting to see how that relationship has evolved. japan, of course, looking for trump to be a reliable ally as it pertains to the situation just given their original proximity. michael, what are you looking for over the next five to seven days here in the region? >> i'm going to be looking whether kim jong-un tests another weapon or a nuclear device and/or whether he launches any more missiles. i think he'll stay away from the guam. i sort of believe that's a prudent, rational act for him to take. but i'm going to be looking to see that and i'm going to be looking for evidence that the chinese are trying to legitimately help us. the call to aba and the continued outreach to the south koreans also drive the chinese crazy. we have to hope for some chinese realization that, you know,
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we're only going to get stronger and have a bigger presence in the region unless we handle this dprk situation responsibly. >> michael alan, always a pleasure to have your perspective on this program. thank you. coming up today, a big test for what you might call the trump effect. and, yes, we are talking about alabama. people in the deep south heading to the polls to decide who should actually replace jeff sessions in the senate. but the candidate who has the support of the president and the senate majority leader may be running a bit behind. maybe neck and neck. we'll check it out getting beyond the beltway and on the ground in alabama, next. [upbeat music]
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we are back now with a look at your morning's headlines. this morning, no longer a statute standing of a confederate soldier in north carolina. after demonstrators pulled it down with a ladder and rope overnight. part of one of the many anti-racism gatherings across the country. take a look at this oklahoma man. he's now in custody this morning with the feds saying jerry drake varmel planned to blow up a bank in oklahoma city. investigators say he parked that van packed with what he thought were explosives, kind of like the ones used in the oklahoma
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city bombing back in 1995. turns out it was actually a fake. part of a month's long it domestic terrorist investigation. kudos to the law enforcement officers involved there for preventing something far worse. at least 300 people have been killed in a series of mudslides in sierra leone. officials are worried that number could grow higher. a lot of people were asleep when tons of mud poured into the capital city. the red cross says about 600 people are still missing today. and back here at home, down south in alabama folks right now, right now are voting for who they want to be their state's next senator. it's part of a special election to try to pick the successor to jeff sessions after he was named the attorney general. and among the voters out today, one of the candidates himself, senator luther strange. the state's former attorney general who held the job since being appointed by alabama's then governor. strange has the backing of senate majority leader mitch
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mcconnell and, oh, by the way, of president trump, too. in an endorsement that surprised even the people working on stranger's campaign, the president recording a robo call for luther strange. despite all of it, though, he still find himself second among republican candidates trailing former state supreme court candidate roy moore according tareal clear politics polling average. this thing, garrett haake. this has become a kind of referendum. talk me through the meood of th people you are talking out there today? >> what we're seeing is the result of a long, ugly, nasty primary campaign that has been going on almost since luther strange got appointed to the seat. a lot of republicans despite the fact that there's a bunch of candidates in this race, even folks you didn't name, people don't see what they want in this race. all the major candidates have awards. luther strange, endorsed by president trump. that's huge here. but he's also endorsed by mitch
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mcconnell and so many folks here are frustrated at the way the republican senate has done business. they also see sort of a cloud of scandal over how strange was appointed to the seat in the first place. mo brooks who is the freedom caucus congressman from alabama. he is pretty popular up here, too. but not being allowed to forget some of the nasty things he said about donald trump during the primary season and then judge roy moore who is the former supreme court justice up here who has a big base of support among evangelical supporters who like the stance he took more than a decade ago on the ten commendment statues here and other voters here, including at this polling place in hoover describe him to me as being too outside the main stream to be an effective senator. people are down right frustrated. you don't have to take my word for it. here are some of the voters we talked to this morning. >> i'm very frustrated. because this is the best america can bring up. all we do is gripe and complain. and then we get a chance to make
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a difference and this is what we do. >> those knuckleheads up there won't do anything. you know, you vote to have a certain agenda in and you vote for certain things and they can't seem to get on the same page. all they want to do is bash each other. >> those two voters both said they are going to or likely going to hold their nose and vote for luther strange. that could be enough to get him into the runoff out here. which means another couple weeks of ugly campaigning, hallie. >> you will be there for it all. thank you very much. azi and caitlin are back with us. way more popular in alabama than he is in the country overall. got the gallup poll showing 55% at the first six months of his administration. nationally, 40%. so, he's more popular here. if his candidate, if the guy that he has now tweeted about again today doesn't actually win, what does that say about the president? caitlin? >> he shocked conservatives
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there about throwing his endorsement behind him because this is a mitch mcconnell-backed candidate. this is the establishment choice. so, you could imagine the scenario where if luther strange doesn't do well, trump then points the finger at mitch mcconnell. we have seen him be upset with the health care battle and wouldn't be surprised if it takes a turn for that. this has been a race about who can endear himself to donald trump and be that voice in washington, which a lot of voters feel have been missing. >> i remember talking to mo brooks weeks ago. here at 30 rock. he came on set and i said, do you want the president's endorsement? he said something along the lines, it would certainly, i wouldn't say no to it if it happened. >> it's amazing. the clip that you played had voters saying that they want something done. they want something accomplished. you have a president whose party controls the senate and controls the house and hasn't gotten anything done. these voters on the ground want some accomplishments. and their frustrations aren't just with the wrong party. you know, politics in general,
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which is what sort of sent donald trump into office. if he is now getting tagged with that, with the inability to get something done and if he looks weak and if he looks like he can't get something done within his own party, all bets are off. >> interestingly enough when you look at the house compared to the senate. remember in the house, lots of republicans within the house are frustrated often with leadership. you don't see that in the u.s. senate. you see senators very much onboard with mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell is the one that helps them deliver a republican majority. a lot of respect within the body for mitch mcconnell. even though luther strange is not running and touting that endorsement, you are not hearing those divisions in the senate. we're coming back to talk about politics. everything going down, not just in alabama but inside the west wing. we have heard it over and over. steve bannon is done. the chief strategist is finished. this time, maybe it's a little different. maybe. we'll explain why coming up.
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♪ (bell mnemonic) >> all right. i said he was and obviously got caught on tape saying he was. i have no problem saying that. >> is he going to be gone in a week? >> that's up to the president. >> what do you think? >> well, if it was up to me, he would be gone. but it's not up to me. you know who that was. that was the mooch. the former communication director for the white house speculating about steve bannon. so you have talk about bannon
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and his future and that series of negative articles about national security adviser h.r. mcmaster and who may have been pushing those pieces. the kind of friction that john kelly is hoping to get rid of with bannon taking another turn under the microscope as you can see from that "new york times" headline. bannon in limbo. this is a story we have seen before, a tune that has been sung before. jeremy peters and "new york times" reporter, what is different now based on what you know? >> i think what's different now, a couple of things. you just alluded to, hallie, the h.r. mcmaster smear campaign that is going on in right wing media. right wing media that is very friendly to steve bannon. that would be breitbart, of course, the organization he used to run. a book that came out by josh green that portrays bannon, correctly, i might add, as the mastermind behind donald trump's populous nationalist campaign
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and its closing, crucial final months. the cardinal sin, of course, in a trump white house is outshining the president. and there are some who believe that that is what bannon has done by allowing his profile to get so high and, of course, those people are working very hard to highlight passages in that book and pass those along to president trump. >> okay. that said, some of your colleagues over at "the times" reporting a fair amount of conservatives on the hill. i think of mark meadows and steve king quoted in that piece who do see steve bannon as the cond conduit that has to be in the strength column for bennettt, no? >> absolutely. i would not say that bannon is by any means on his way out the door. certainly, trump understands that bannon is sconnecting with the base with him.
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in the same way that karl rove was portrayed as bush's brain. bannon is kind of trump's translator. he has provided trump with this intellectual architecture and vocabulary for a movement that is more intuitive to trump than it is intellectual for trump. so, the two of them are really kind of the same mind there. and i think that there is a loyalty that was forged by this, you know, through the fire experience they had in the final tumultous weeks of the campaign. >> with all the talk about what happened in charlottesville and all the talk to the president's response to that and who was involved in crafting the response. you heard michael steele point out ultimately it was the president himself who said, but reminder of what david duke said after the election to steve bannon. you have an individual who is basically creating the ideological aspects of where we're going and ideology is the
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most important aspect of any government. to be clear, steve bannon has condemned the movement and he said he is not in any way associated with that. but that is, obviously, sort of playing into why i think you're seeing his name come up more and more in the last 72 hours or so. >> i think there is -- sorry. >> get back -- i think there is a crucial distinction to be made there. steve bannon's critics who are bringing that up and trying to portray him as part of this white nationalist wing of the party and then what's going on in donald trump's mind. if you look at how donald trump has responded to this criticism of him. he's firmly where steve bannon is on this. it is the media, they believe, all this controversy and insisting trump apologize. >> i had that conversation in the last 24 hours. folks ined is the west wing really do feel, even those that might believe feel this is a media-generated controversy they believe. listen, we have been reporting about general kelly's review
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that was happening when he was at bedminister and this week assessing the troops and figuring out how to make things run better. what kelly has essentially tried to decipher is why the west wing isn't working properly. those they think who aren't team players and has heard about bannon. that said, even if his personal influence is waning, his personal is not. look what happened yesterday. china trade. look what's happening tomorrow. nafta renegotiation. that's steve bannon. >> and even if steve bannon does exit the white house, there is this question of what kind of person he would be on the outside. whether positive or negative. we also have seen advisors come in and out of the white house who stay within the president's orbit. and, so, this is important. a lot of critics of steve bannon do wonder what kind of influence he could wield outside of the white house and then also supporters wonder whether any kind of negative reaction could force him to have a negative -- >> jeremy made a good point about steve bannon giving the
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intellectual infrastructure for donald trump's kind of policy. remember, donald trump is a guy with a large chip on his shoulder. try to make it in manhattan and made a lot of money, but never fully felt accepted in part because he acts in ways that are disqualifying to people and, yet, shamelessly he presents himself to this elite crowd. i'm one of you but not one of you. steve bannon helps shape policy out of that. those policies will stay whether or not he leaves. >> we'll continue part of this conversation after the break. jeremy peters, friend of the show, we'll say good-bye but just for now, pal. as the president tries to move past some of this fallout from charlottesville comments that he made, he's at trump tower. look at this. i feel like we're back in the transition. the golden elevators. the live shot of the elevators donald trump just upstairs and getting ready to roll out his big infrastructure plan or at least talk about it more. something he brought up again and again. what can we expect? that's next.
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and life's beautiful moments.ns get between you flonase outperforms the #1 non-drowsy allergy pill. it helps block 6 key inflammatory substances that cause symptoms. pills block one and 6 is greater than 1. flonase changes everything. >> are you confident that donald trump is fit to lead the country? yes or no? >> i believe he is fit.
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well, that was colorado's republican senator cory gardner at a town hall just within the last hour or so defending, as you heard, president trump's fitness to serve. it comes less than three days after senator gardner was one of the most high-profile republicans to tweet some reaction to the president's initial statement after the charlottesville attack. basically calling him out for not explicitly condemning white supremacists and for not calling it domestic terrorism. that is an interesting moment with these lawmakers home for recess. joining us now, matthew from politico. what we just heard from that town hall in colorado. is this an example of them criticizing the president and then coming back to defend him in the end. how do you read it? >> it is deja vu. offensive remarks, republicans
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are quick to run away. you remember famously the "access hollywood" people. you had all these people jumping ship and unendorsing and a few days later they were back on board. heat of the moment to go against the president and then within a few days, they are become to defending him all over again. >> and cory gardner, keep in mind this is the chairman of the national senatorial committee. cory gardner definitely should and does have his finger on the pulse of the republican electorate. >> and this was his first town hall meeting in more than a year. that was the lead of the denver post.criticism and by the way, this guy has been mia. so i think there was a lot of pent up frustration. >> i want to talk about infrastructure for a minute because this is something the president is talking about later today. and talk about deja vu, the golden towers were staked out there as members of the media waiting to see or hear from the president trump today like during the transition.
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this is something that the president campaigned on. democrats said we're willing to work with him on this. so why hasn't more materialized in the last seven months and what could materialize coming up is this because we saw some infrastructure discussion with folks in the house and that hasn't seemed to have gone anywhere fast. >> well, like you mentioned, that is kind of what is crazy to remember here. early on in december and january, dchls were actually on board with infrastructure. chuck schumer talked about this was an area where he could work with donald trump. those days could hardly be further away now. we're seeing today an executive order which will try to streamline the permitting process, but there is no grand multibillion-dollar infrastructure plan as trump promised and a lot of people see that as a missed opportunity. if he had started with something like infrastructure instead of obamacare repeal, maybe he could have worked with democrats. i think in the wake of everything we've seen over the past eight or so months, democrats have no incentive to
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work with him even if he produces the kind of infrastructure package that he promised. >> and they nodding along with you. thank you for joining us from politico. and here onset. probably the last time we will see you as you head off for afe. we'll be back with the defense secretary saying they are close to wrapping up a review of the afghan war strategy. so does that mean more u.s. troops on the ground? plus today's big picture, you will not want to miss it.
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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.
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earlier in the program we heard defense secretary mattis' pretty black and white warning to north korea. and now the secretary is talking about another really critical issue for this administration. afghanistan. he's defending the u.s. commander there after our reporting that the president had some real concerns about what was happening on the ground. hans nichols who covers the pentagon is joining me with more. take us through some of the new comments. should we expect personnel/policy changes? >> secretary of defense was very clear that they are close to having a decision on afghanistan. they call it the south asia review. this is whether or not they will send additional troops to afghanistan. they might also do a complete withdrawal. secretary mattis was very clear on this point that they could have a total withdrawal.
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they are also considering having outside contractors from a former country run by erik prince, potentially that is an nicholson, my colleagued asked him if he should stay commander. he said of course. and then i followed up with a more specific question. we'll play it for you because i think secretary mass tttis' ans is quite revealing. >> does the president have confidence in general nicholson? >> ask the president. i will tell you right now he is our commander in the field. he has the confidence of nato. he has the confidence of afghanistan. he has the confidence of the united states. >> we directly asked the secretary of defense if president donald trump has confidence in his general in afghanistan. and we basically got a nonanswer from secretary mattis. that is telling, that corroborates a lot of reporting you and nbc have done saying
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that the president no longer has confidence, asked for him to be fired in that national security meeting last month. where this goes forward in terms of the strategic review and what they will do in afghanistan, i get the sense it is still an open question. >> something i know that you will be watching from the pentagon. thank you very much. we want to get to today's big picture which comes to us from japan. you will see american world war ii veteran marvin strombo on the right returning a japanese flag to an 89-year-old farmer. so why are we showing you this? it's because of that flag which strombo took as a seef near fou a dead soldier. that soldier? yasu's brother. seven decades later, he is giving the flag back to some of its rightful owners. and you see some of that writing? those are signatures from neighbors, friends, family, well
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wishes before he went off to battle. yasu last saw his brother in 1943. the photographer here, from the a.p. powerful moments. i'd love to hear your thoughts on facebook, twitter, snapchat and instragram. thank you for watching. right now i'll turn it over to my colleagues and friends. >> good to have you here. >> and i will well week long. >> good morning, everyone. it is tuesday, august 15, let's ghets started. >> racism is evil. and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs. including the kkk, neo-nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as americans. >> in a statement almost 50 hours in the making --
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>> they have been condemned. >> today though he did con develop the nazis. >> does he order his spine on amazon prime? why did it take so long? >> in north carolina, anger reaching a boiling point overnight as anti-hate demonstrators took to the streets. tearing down this confederate monument. online people across the country have been banding together. exposing people who attended the white nationalist rally. >> we all need to stand against what is wrong, acknowledge that racism exists and stand up for what is right and civil and kind. and to show the next generation that we haven't forgotten how hard people have fought for human rights. >> the consequences are real for the president. >> three ceos have left the american manufacturing council following the deadly violence in charlottesvie.

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