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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  August 15, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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that's why i just signed a new executive order to dramatically reform the nation's badly broken infrastructure permitting process. just blocks away is the empire state building. it took 11 months to build the empire state building. but today it can take as long as a decade and much more than that, many, many stories where it takes 20 and 25 years just to get approvals to start construction of a fairly routine highway. highway builders must get up to 16 different approvals involving nine different federal agencies governed by 29 different statutes. one agency alone can stall a project for many, many years and even decades. not only does this cost our economy billions of dollars, but it also denies our citizens the safe and modern infrastructure they deserve. this over regulated permitting
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process is a massive, self-inflicted wound on our country. it's disgraceful. denying our people much needed investments in their community, and i just want to show you this because it was just shown to me, and i said, i think i'm going to show it to the media. both real and fake media, by the way. this is what it takes to get something approved today. elaine, you see that. so this is what it takes. permitting process flow chart. that's a flow chart. so that can go out to 20 years. this shows about ten. but that can go out to about 20 years to get something approved. this is for a highway. i have seen a highway recently in a certain state, i won't mention its name. 17 years. i could have built it for $4 million or $5 million without the permitting process. it cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but it took 17 years to
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get it approved and many, many, many, many pages of environmental impact studies. this is what we will bring it down to. this is less than two years. this is going to happen quickly. that's what i am signing today. this will be less than two years for a highway. so it's going to be quick. it's going to be a very streamlined process. by the way, if it doesn't meet environmental safeguards, we're not going to approve it. very simple. we're not going to approve it. this is -- maybe this one will say, let's throw the other one away. would anybody like the long, beautiful chart? you can have it. >> my executive order also requires agencies to work together efficiently by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project. it also holds agencies accountable if they fail to streamline their review process.
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so each agency is accountable. we're going to get infrastructure built quickly, inexpensively, relatively speaking, and the permitting process will go very, very quickly. no longer will we tolerate one job-killing delay after another. no longer will we accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hard-working americans. now, i knew the process very well, probably better than anybody. i had to get permits for this building and many of the buildings i built, all of the buildings i built in manhattan and many other places. and i will tell you that the consultants are rich people. they go around making it very different. they lobby congress. they lobby state governments, city governments, to make it very difficult so that you have to hire consultants and that you have to take years and pay them a fortune. so we are streamlining the process and we won't be having so much of that anymore.
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no longer will we allow the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble in decay while protecting the environment we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, waterways, tunnels and highways. we'll rebuild our country with american workers, american iron, american aluminum, american steel. we will create millions of new jobs and make millions of american dreams come true. our infrastructure will again be the best in the world. we used to have the greatest infrastructure anywhere in the world. and today we're like a third-world country. we are literally like a third-world country. our infrastructure will again be the best. and we will restore the pride in our communities, our nation. and all over the united states we'll be proud again. so i want to thank everybody for being here. god bless you. god bless the united states.
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and if you have any questions, we have -- mick, you could come up here. mick mulvaney. if you have questions, please feel free to ask. >> why do you think the ceos are leaving your manufacturing council? >> because they're not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. we want jobs, manufacturing, in this country. if you look at some of those people that you're talking about, they're outside of the country, they're having a lot of their product made outside. if you look at merck as an example. take a look where -- excuse me. excuse me. take a look at where their product is made. it's made outside of our country. we want products made in the country. now, i have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they're leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside. and i have been lecturing them, including the gentleman that you are referring to, about you have to bring it back to this country.
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you can't do it necessarily in ireland and all of these other places. you have to bring this work back to this country. that's what i want. i want manufacturing to be back into the united states so that american workers can benefit. >> why did you wait -- >> i didn't wait long. i didn't wait long. i wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what i said was correct, not make a quick statement. the statement i made on saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement, but you don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. it takes a little while to get the facts. you still don't know the facts. and it's a very, very important process to me. and it's a very important statement. so i don't want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. i want to know the facts. if you go back to my -- in fact,
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i brought it. i brought it. i brought it. >> what did you bring? >> as i said on -- remember, saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. it has no place in america. then i went on from there. now, here's the thing -- excuse me, excuse me. take it nice and easy. here is the thing. when i make a statement, i like to be correct. i want the facts. this event just happened. in fact, a lot of the event didn't even happen yet, as we were speaking. this event just happened. before i make a statement, i need the facts. so i don't want to rush into a statement. so making the statement when i made it was excellent. in fact, the young woman who i hear is a fantastic young woman, and it was an nbc, her mother wrote me and said, through i guess twitter, social media, the nicest things. and i very much appreciated
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that. i hear she was a fine, really actually an incredible young woman. but her mother, on twitter, thanked me for what i said. and honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what i said was very nice. unlike you and unlike -- excuse me. unlike you and unlike the media, before i make a statement, i like to know the facts. they don't. they don't. how about -- how about a couple of -- >> david duke praised you. >> how about infrastructure questions. >> was that terrorism? >> say it. what? >> the ceo of walmart said you missed a critical opportunity to help bring the country together. did you? >> not at all. you take a look. i have created over a million jobs since i am president. the country is booming. the stock market is setting records. we have the highest employment numbers we have ever had in the history of our country. we're doing record business.
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we have the highest levels of enthusiasm, so the head of walmart, whom i know, a very nice guy, was making a political statement. i do it the same way. you know why? because i want to make sure, when i make a statement, that the statement is correct. and there was no way -- there was no way of making a correct statement that early. i had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters -- >> david duke was -- >> unlike -- >> the nazis were there. >> i didn't know david duke was there. i wanted to see the facts. and the facts, as they started coming out, were very well stated. in fact, everybody said, his statement was beautiful. if he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. i couldn't have made it sooner because i didn't know all of the facts. frankly, people still don't know all of the facts. it was very important -- excuse me, excuse me. it was very important to me to
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get the facts out and correctly, because if i would have made a fast statement -- and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing. the second statement was made after -- with knowledge, with great knowledge. there are still things -- excuse me. there are still things that people don't know. i want to make a statement with knowledge. i wanted to know the facts. >> was this -- two questions. was this terrorism, and can you tell us how you are feeling about your chief strategist, steve bannon. >> i think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and this country. and that is -- you can call it terrorism. you can call it murder. you can call it whatever you want. i would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict, that's what i would call it, because there is a question, is it murder, is it terrorism. then you get into legal semantics. the driver of the car is a
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murderer. what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing. >> can you tell us how you're feeling about your chief strategist, steve bannon. >> i never spoke to mr. bannon about it. >> do you still have confidence in steve? >> look, i like mr. bannon. he is a friend of mine. but he came on very late, you know that. i went through 17 senators, governors, and i won all the primaries. mr. bannon came on very much later than that, and i like him. he is a good man. he is not a racist, i can tell you that. he is a good person. he actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. but we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. but he is a good person, and i think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly. >> do you have confidence -- >> they've called on you to defend your security adviser, h.r. macmaster against these
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attacks. >> i did it last time. senator mccain? who voted against obamacare? >> senate mccain said that the alt-right is behind these attacks, and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in charlottesville. >> well, i don't know -- i can't tell you. i am sure senator mccain must know what he is talking about. when you say the alt-right, define alt-right to me. you define it. let's go. >> senator mccain defined them as the same groups. >> excuse me. what about the alt-left that came charging at the -- as you say, the alt-right? do they have any semblance of guilt? what about the fact they came charging -- that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? do they have any problem? i think they do. as far as i am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.
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wait a minute. i'm not finished, fake news. that was a horrible day. >> protesters on the same level as neo-nazis. >> i will tell you something. i watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. and you have -- you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. and nobody wants to say that. but i'll say it right now. you had a group -- you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent. [ reporters talking over each other ] >> do you think that what you call the alt-left is the same as neo-nazis? >> all those people -- excuse me. i have condemned neo-nazis. i have condemned many different groups. but not all of those people were neo-nazis, believe me. not all of those people were
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white supremacists, by any stretch. those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. you look at some of the groups and you see -- you know it if you are honest reporters, which in many cases you are not. but many of the people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. this week it's lee. i noticed that stonewall jackson is coming down. is it george washington next week and jefferson the week after? you have to ask yourself, where does it stop. but they were there to protest -- excuse me. you take a look the night before. they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. infrastructure question. go ahead. >> the statue of robert e. lee stay up? >> i would say that's up to a eck lo local town, government, community, depending on where
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it's located. >> how concerned are you about race relations in america? do you think things have gotten better or worse since you took office? >> they've been frayed for a long time. you can ask president obama about that. he made speeches about it. i believe the fact that i brought in, it will be soon, millions of jobs. you see where companies are moving back into our country. i think that's going to have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. we have companies coming back into our country. we have two car companies that just announced. foxconn in wisconsin just announced. many companies i say pouring back into the country. i think it's going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations. you know why? it's jobs. people want jobs. great jobs with good pay. when they have that, you watch how race relations will be. i'll tell you, we are spending a lot of money on the inner cities. we're fixing the inner cities. we are doing far more than
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anybody's done with respect to the inner cities. it's a priority for me. it's very important. >> mr. president, are you putting what you're calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane? >> i am not putting anybody on a moral plane. you had a group on one side and a group on the other. they came at each other with clubs. it was vicious and horrible. it was a horrible thing to watch. there is another side. there was a group on this side -- you can call them the left. you've just called them the left -- that came violently attacking the other group. you can say what you want, but that's the way it is. >> mr. president -- you said there was hatred and violence on both side. >> i think there is blame, yes, on both sides. you look at -- you look at both sides. i think there is blame on both sides. and i have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. and -- and, if you reported it accurately, you would say.
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>> neo-nazis started there. they showed up in charlottesville to protest the removal of the statue. >> excuse me. you had some very bad people in that group. but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. you had people in that group -- excuse me. excuse me. i saw the same pictures as you did. you had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from robert e. lee to another one. george washington was a slave owner. was george washington a slave owner? so will george washington now lose his status? are we going to take down -- excuse me. are we going to take down statues to george washington? how about thomas jefferson? what do you think of him? do you like him? okay. good. are we going to take down the
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statue? he was a major slave owner. so we'll take down his statue. it's fine. you're changing history, you're changing culture. you had people -- imn'm not talking about the neo-nazis and white nationalists. they should be condemned but you had other people in that group, and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had trouble-makers, and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. you had a lot of bad people in the other group too. >> who was treated unfairly, sir? you were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? >> no. there were people in that rally. i looked the night before. if you look, they were people protesting very quietly. the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. i am sure in that group there were some bad ones.
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the following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people. neo-nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. but you had a lot of people in that group who were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest. i don't know if you know. they had a permit. the other group didn't have a permit. so i only tell you have. there are two sides to a story. i thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country. a horrible moment. but there are two sides to the country. does anybody have a final -- you have an infrastructure. >> what makes you think you can get an infrastructure bill? you didn't get health care -- >> you know, i'll tell you. we came very close with health care. unfortunately john mccain decided to vote against it at the last minute. you'll have to ask him why he did that. we came very close to health care. we will end up getting health care. but we'll get the infrastructure. actually, infrastructure is something that i think we'll have bipartisan support on. i actually think democrats will
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go along with the infrastructure. >> mr. president, have you spoken to the family of the victim of the car attack? >> i will be reaching out. i will be reaching out. >> when will you be reaching out? >> i thought the statement put out -- the mother's statement, i thought, was a beautiful statement. i must tell you, it was something that i really appreciated. i thought it was terrific. really, under the kind of stress that she is under and the heartache she is under, i thought putting out that statement to me is something i won't forget. thank you all very much. thank you. very much. >> do you plan to go to charlottesville, mr. president? >> do you think you're helping to heal the nation? >> i own a house in charlottesville. does anyone know i own a house in charlottesville? >> where is it? >> in charlottesville. you'll see? >> is it the winery? >> it's the winery. i know a lot about charlottesville. charlottesville is a great place
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that's been very badly hurt over the last couple of days. i own actually one of the largest wineries in the united states. it's in charlottesville. >> do you think your words are helping to heal this country? >> what do you think needs to be done to overcome the racial divide? >> i really think jobs can have a big impact. if we continue to create jobs. over a million, substantially more than a million. just the other day you see the car companies coming in, foxconn. if we continue to create jobs at levels that i am creating jobs, i think it's going to have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. >> what you said today, how do you think that will impact the racial -- >> because people are going to be working, they're going to be making a lot of money, more money than they ever thought possible. and the other thing, very important, i believe wages will start going up. they haven't gone up for a long time. i believe wages now, because the economy is doing so well with respect to employment and
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unemployment, i believe wages will start to go up. i think that will have a tremendously positive impact on race relations. hi and welcome to the 4:00 hour. i am nicolle wallace. we've been watching together as donald trump makes big headlines of his own in an effort that began with elaine chiou, his secretary of transportation, serving as his easel in the announcement that over permitting is a disgrace. donald trump proceeded to double down on his all sides are to blame for the violence in charlottesville, virginia, this weekend. donald trump proceeded to engage with the reporters for about 25 minutes. let me go to you, frank bruni, for your thoughts with, one, his attacks on john mccain and, two, his posing the question that maybe george washington's monuments and thomas jefferson's monuments should come down next. >> let us not forget him taking
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this serious national moment to tell us how large his winery is. we'll talk about the 25 minutes not just for the rest of the week but for aening long time come. i was shaking my head. i felt like, minus the flames it was an act of self-imolation by a man who can't take criticism. he obviously meant what he said on saturday. yesterday he obviously only said what he said because he was being made to. it was a child pouting. a narcissist screaming. whatever hole he was trying to dig out of he made three leagues deeper. >> frank bruni here with us. joining him. michael steele, former democratic congressman from tennessee harold ford jr. and doug thornel. michael steele, let me go to you
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about any good donald trump might have done himself yesterday. we were on the air talking about it a little bit after it happened by calling out neo-nazis and white supremacists. i can't believe i am saying this. today he seemed to erase any good he did himself by naming the groups by returning to the explicit language that heartened neo-nazis. nau neo-nazis heard his message on saturday. when he said there was blame on many sides. the neo-nazis posted it on a post i saw circulated on "the daily stormer." >> they appreciated the shout out. >> how do they feel about this performance? >> they probably felt equally well about it. because the idea that the president did not double down on the statement from yesterday, and basically went back to the about-ism. what about the left, what about this, what about that. giving comfort, if you will, in
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a sense to the rhetoric that came before. i just don't -- i don't understand why this is so hard for him. it -- look. i get it in many senses. you don't like to be seen as a failure. you made a mistake. but in this moment, this is one where you kind of look at the country and you go, i feel you. i get what you're saying. i understand where we've come from and where we need to move to. and i don't need to be an obstacle to that. >> is he an obstacle or is fomenting racist -- did he express a racist world view by saying there is blame on all sides? >> he came as close as you can get without directly saying it. that's not what this is about. it's about looking at people who but for hoods and burning crosses took to the streets of charlottesville and, with nazi signs and all that crazy, inflicted harm on the community, killed an individual.
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he said he is starting to reach out to the mother. he said she said something nice about him. you know, that's beside the point. the point, mr. president, is how do you help the country heal itself? this is clearly devastating to a lot of people and yet you're doubling down on would have, could have, should have. look at the other guy. they're just as bad. >> what he returned to today was his analysis that there was blame on many sides. it's what got him in trouble, leading to four resignations of people whose opinions he values very much. i would say after his former buddies in the media who wronged or slighted him after doing their jobs as journalists. the people whose opinions he values most are titans of business. they're dropping like flies. >> his comments around those on the jobs council was he thought they decided to leave the council because they had created so many jobs outside of the united states and had tentacles and their businesses outside of the u.s. -- he would have known
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that before. to echo, this president is a person who never likes to take responsibility or accountability for anything. i thought the most touching moment of this piece -- and i don't disagree with frank at all -- was when he thought the mother's statement was beautiful. >> her tweet. >> her statement. she actually made it on some of the news programs. she said she was going to take up her daughter's cause because it was the right cause. the president said he thought that was beautiful. now, she rose to the moment. this president, after praising her statement and having an opportunity again to -- for a second mulligan. for him not to take the opportunity to say, for those of you who marched that day to believe that that message that day is my message, let me correct you. it's not. i appreciate your vote but what you're campaigning for today is not what i campaigned about. this is not the america i love and we love. how you missed this moment many
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times in a row and doubled and tripled down on the most pernicious statement possible. it's not a direct appeal but it's as close as you can possibly get. i would not be surprised before the end of the day that every person on the business council, anyone with shareholders, anyone with a board of directors that understands 2017 and 1917, you're going to find a lot of them having to remove themselves. not because they don't want to see the business interests of the country pursued and advanced, but because they can't be aligned with somebody who is just not telling the truth. the president believes more closely what he said saturday than what he said yesterday based on eight opportunities to say something today that woo have healed or united the country. >> he kept on saying he is someone who needs to have all the facts. the most laughable thing. what facts is he talking about? we didn't get a full picture of every last thing that happened in charlottesville until several days later. what did he know on saturday?
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he knew that neo-nazis, white pr supremacists, people chanting down to jews, faggots. what information do you need to say those people are wrong? what facts did he need to say this is reprehensible. >> the facts that back up his story. i thought saturday was the low point of his presidency. i was wrong. it's today. he had a real opportunity to do what the congressman said. he doesn't believe it. >> that's fundamentally the problem. >> he doesn't believe it. >> what are his true colors? what does he believe? >> we always say he is not a politician. he is a politician because he knows who his base is. >> who is his base? >> a minority of his base are the people who were in charlottesville. >> which people? the white supremacists? >> yes. the alt-right. i hate that term because it sounds like a genre of music and you don't understand what it
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means. >> let's call it what it is, white supremacists. >> that is part of his base. i think what he realized today is that maybe he needs to get them back. and so he does this performance, and then on saturday he doesn't say anything about them. he lets that sit out for two days. and enthis he go and then he goes out and does a wink and a nod. spencer, these other folks, "the daily stormer," they didn't believe him because they know -- >> they believed him saturday. they ridiculed him yesterday. >> they know where his heart is. >> here is where i think he is quite a terrible politician. maybe i am too much of an optimist about this country. i think the number of people who want to hear him shrink from condemnations of white supremacists is a small number of americans. if he thinks that's good politics in the long run, he is wrong. he is losing people completely. >> he hasn't gone out of campaign mode yet. he is still running the campaign. >> that's an important point,
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because from donald trump's perspective, who is taking him out? who is the opposition on the other side? there is just a lot of voices screaming at him. and he gets up and he'll say and do his thing. he'll go, i am waiting. and there is no -- there is no counter-voice. there is no democratic opposition, there is no democratic leader that's going toe-to-toe to him and sort of giving him the pressure point, bringing the very thing you're talking about, all those other americans who could rally around someone who would support a particular perspective that's different from donald trump. that's a vacuum. >> he sees himself the way a preschooler sees themselves when they've been reined in. it was an fu to the adviser who made him do something politically correct yesterday. it was an fu to all of us who condemned him all week long. i thought it was a rebuke of his own staff who tried to handle him. for insight on what was going on in the room we're joined by kelly o'donnell and the
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"washington post" ashley parker and kimberly ate kikins. tell us what you thought, what you saw and what you know. >> reporter: i am struck by the fact that one night in his own bed sort of revived the president's fight on this issue, and without -- >> what kind of sheets is he sleeping on, kelly o.? i don't know what the thread count is. he could market those. >> reporter: we were given guidance that he was not going to take questions and that aides or members of his cabinet like secretary chiou would be taking questions. you saw that he wanted to take questions. so there were no prepared notes to refer to. and the sort of fight in donald trump, mostly about his own place in this sort of series of events, came out. not a lot of about where the country is, not a lot about the heartache people are feeling, not a lot about the -- the
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people in the country looking for a president to speak in the terms of moral leadership that we have seen past presidents address. it was a lot about litigating his own thinking, his own timing, his assessment of the video that he watched. and even when asked about race relations, equated it to jobs, which is his reflexive talk political talking point. we had colleagues who were in the lobby. i am obviously outside on fifth avenue. they took a photo of chief of staff john kelly, who at least in the instant where this frame was snapped he had his arms folded across his chest and his head down. you see that photo there. >> wow. >>. >> reporter: a moment in time perhaps. but it would suggest he was taking this in as well. i won't say what he was prepared for or not. but the president, in a very fighting spirit, he did use the words again. white supremacists, neo-nazis.
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he condemned them again. but as you've all discussed, he has gone back to where he was saturday in many respects and refuses to seem -- to see that he has a place in the national dialogue here, that he is not fulfilling in terms of especially those who are not his supporters wanting to hear something different from him. dissecting the actors who played out various roles in this terrible event on saturday is not the role of the president. investigators will do that. he is missing an opportunity. and for a person in business, opportunity, being able to see opportunity, should be one of their greatest skills, and he is not seeing the opportunity in this based on how he just addressed these events and his role in it. nicolle. >> ashley parker, i monitored a little bit of conservative media last night, and he did get credit, even on the right, for the statement yesterday, for finally singling out the kkk and the alt-right. i thought conservative media went out of their way to cleave
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themselves away from racism. donald trump put them all back in the same boat together today when he returned to his "many sides" analysis. he said that we still don't know all the facts. there is blame on many sides. he called the protesters ugly people, talked about what they were wearing. can you talk about what he undid. and i wonder if you think that you -- you are the west wing whisperer. i know a lot of his senior staffers are spending some time with their families this week. i wonder what kind of mess they wake up to tomorrow morning when they see that their boss eradicated and erased any good they did with that statement yesterday, which was obviously carefully crafted and with sort of sealing the fate of any staffer who tries to help him help himself. >> reporter: well, there is a lot there. to be clear, that statement yesterday, it was, many still believed, too little, too late.
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it sort of gave some republicans, conservative media and staffers an iota of cover. to say, of course he condemns these people and white supremacists and the kkk and neo-nazis. you're right he undid it all today. it makes it a lot harder for his staff and his defenders to go out and credibly defend him. it also raises some questions about sort of the true power of general kelly, this new chief of staff. he was brought in not necessarily to control the president, to control the staff around him, and he seems to be doing a good job of streamlining a lot of processes. again, it underscores the point that donald trump will be donald trump no matter who you bring in or what strictures you put around him. that's what we just saw in trump tower. >> kimberly, what he did yesterday was the vehicle for allowing republicans to not flee from him. not that republicans have been
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profiles in courage. i am thinking of the "access hollywood" tape. they've needed a bridge back. today he threw a stick of dynamite on the bridge. i wonder what you think that republicans who thought they might have been able to find a way back to him after the 50-hour delayed condemnation heard him return today to blaming many sides and saying all sides are to blame. >> reporter: i think you are absolutely right. you saw people who had condemned him for his initial remarks not being strong enough in condemning, probably, the most easily condemnable group of people that there is. white supremacists. and then yesterday, after his remarks, however stilted and prepared they were, you saw people like lindsey graham tweet that he did a good job. i think that they wanted to be able to come back to him. you saw people like cory gardner defending him at a town hall meeting. all of that goes away now.
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it will be extremely difficult for republican lawmakers, whom he needs, if he actually wants to, for example, change infrastructure and advance an infrastructure package, he needs the republicans in congress. it's going to be much harder for him now to get people to back him, certainly they will speak out soon, if they're not already on twitter speaking out against the equivalence he was making between white supremacists and people protesting them. >> kelly o., here is how i was going to start the show before we ended up in breaking news. i was going to remark that everything you need to know about decoding donald trump you can learn from his preschooler. when he is mad he lashes out. what do we know about those grownups today? i know you put up a powerful picture. how do you think general kelly's tenure as chief of staff is going? >> reporter: well, in terms of the role that he said as he defined it, to try to bring
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order to the staff and the senior employees, we have seen a lot of those aides that we talked to remarking favorably about john kelly's time so far in bringing a sense of country before self, country even before president. trying to organize. he has made it clear he is not there to tame or control or manage the president. obviously the environment of what has happened since saturday makes this very difficult for people who have come to work for this president, some of whom were not a part of the trump campaign. they come from other parts of the republican party, have served in other forms of government. many of them have seen the difference in their own lives and other bosses between campaigning and governing. and this president is still very much in campaign mode at all times. his unpredictability is something that, at times, served him well as a kentuccandidate.
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in governing and in moments where something bigger than the day-to-day politics is required, he doesn't have the capacity to react to that. it is august as you pointed out. one of the perils for any president in august is that senior staff takes vacation, they go off with their family. congress is away. there is a void. we don't have a communications director in the white house. there were fewer people available to help shape the response and to influence the president to whatever degree. i thought it was notable that, while he praised steve bannon, called him a friend, saying he was not a racist, he also said we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. that was an important tell. it was not a full-throated support. >> kelly, he said we'll see what happens as though he has nothing to do with it. like we'll see what the weather brings. the decision is on him whether or not he leaves someone who is a direct line to this alt-right, white supremacist movement deep inside the west wing. i want to watch again the
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president reasserting his "many sides" analysis of the violence in charlottesville. >> define alt-right to me. you define it for me. come on. let's go. >> senator mccain defined them as the same -- >> what about the alt-left that came changing at them? excuse me. what about the alt-left that came charging at the as you say alt-right? do they have any semblance of guilt? let me ask you this. what about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? do they have any problem? i think they do. so you know, as far as i am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day -- wait a minute. i am not finished. i am not finished, fake news. >> sir -- >> that was -- >> protesters on the same level as neo-nazis. >> i will tell you something. i watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. and you have -- you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other
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side that was also very violent. >> doug, what do you make first of the equivalence between both sides being bad and also, in that -- there is always so much with donald trump -- an attack on the media, dovetails a tweet he sent out last night. i made additional remarks on charlottesville and realized once again that the fake news media will never be satisfied. truly bad people. i guess that's us in the media. i think most people watching us are telling us the bad people are the ones driving the cars into peaceful protesters. >> to the point both of you made about there isn't someone on the other side to stand up to trump to he needs to stand up a stalking horse. in this case it's the media or ken frazier yesterday. >> why can't it be the white supremacists? >> i don't know. that's a really good question. he doesn't -- i think that what we're seeing here is a president that is so dependent upon his base right now, because of where his numbers are, that he is afraid of them. in a sense, that he doesn't want
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to turn them off. i think that today was a revealing moment for him as a president. it revealed kind of his values and who he fights for. those folks who were in charlottesville, many of them white, many of them black, who stood on the other side of the nazis and the kkk, i salute them. i salute them for standing up to them. >> my question is why doesn't he? >> those folks are not the same thing. what we saw down there was hate on one side, and then we saw people who were standing up to hate on the other side. >> but i guess my point is, it's not normal for a president -- dayes not even normal for a republican president to not stand on the side of the people -- ronald reagan, george h.w. bush, george w. bush -- >> it isn't normal. >> bob dole. all condemned and redukbuked, t kkk, white supremacists and white nationalists.
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>> it's not in his dna. >> the answer goes to what you just said. i think he's channelling his base. he is articulating -- i can tell you that a significant number of folks watching that presser went, that's what i'm talking about! pushing back. getting in the face of the media. >> who? >> a lot of people who support what the president is doing and what he's saying. republicans, independents, it doesn't matter. those who find that this president is the best form of channelling their anxieties, frustrations and more importantly their anger, this works for them. going back to what you were saying before about the president and how he is appealing or not appealing. he doesn't care about appealing to anyone at this table or anyone outside -- >> why does he watch so much? his tweet this morning had a picture of a body with a cnn being hit by a train. i think he's obsessed about how
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he's thought of in mainstream media. >> at the end of the day the kid on the play ground knocking everyone around, who does he care about the most, the teacher reprimanding him or the kids egging him on? that's the play ground we're in. donald trump is not concerned about the teachers, being the media, establishment, political leads and others telling him to stop and behavior a certain way. he is listening to the people saying, right on, baby. one more hit for us. >> the reason it's so important for people to show up at these marches and make the point that supremacy is wrong is because what we were built on as a country is equality. in terms of a country. the president draws an equivalency between people showing up saying we are superior to you because you are a person of color, you may have a different sexual orientation or faith. it's stunningly unchristian to do that. i would say to teachers and
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parents struggling with how to talk to your kids. this is about equality. you can have whatever viewpoint you want, but you can't believe you're superior to anyone. that's what those groups stand for. for this president to defend it and coddle it and promote it is disgusting. i hope republicans who stood up to him over the weekend will now become more erect and sustain their opposition to him and those who have said in the past they have to think about what they want to do with this president going forward, even mike pence has a decision to make today. he has a decision to make along with mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, and all the leadership of republicans. democrats too have to be cliche, but republicans have to be clear, this is not -- no republican has ever spoken like this. i don't assign this to the republican party, but i tell you this. if they don't stand up and sustain it, there are going to be a number of republicans --
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democrats and americans alike who say, this is not the party that nicolle wallace was a part of that george h.w. bush and george w. bush represented for so many years. michael steele who has been as outspoken and smart as anyone on this, i give you credit, you are not aligned with this. >> i bet they punt. >> it's shocking. >> let me read what you wrote about this frank. trump is the yardstick by which all of the other republicans measure large. he makes you yearn for leaders you never in your wildest dreams considered yearn worthy. when did you wish someone could summon the passion and clarity of ted cruz. he is this -- i'll say it -- this disgrace -- a disgrace to the republican party, to anyone who has ever governed under the banners of a republican. ted cruz in the -- >> your point is a powerful one,
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that, compared to everyone -- i know that the rage that sean hannity and folks in the conservative media feel on behalf of donald trump is because they think that mitch mcconnell and paul ryan are breaking faith with their voters. but their voters, the vast majority of them, they did not pick this. >> no. at this point this is not for the republican party a political question. this is a moral question at this point. >> right. >> let's make that very clear. i think -- oddly enough, ted cruz when he released that statement understood that. that statement word for word was even better than what donald trump finally got around to on monday and completely undid today. donald trump is incapable of moral leadership. that's the final headline, verdict of this story. he is incapable of moral leadership because he can't see past his anger, nar narcissism. i feel not only fearful as an american. i feel cheated.
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we deserve a leader in a country this great a hell of a lot better than donald trump. >> he could have rallied the country behind him saying, i disavow these people. this is what ronald reagan or bob dole did. >> yes. >> it was totally absent. you have got to wonder -- i love kelly o'donnell. she is a great reporter. the idea of staff being on vacation and is part of the problem. >> it goes back to the preschooler. he is not a 3-year-old. susan page joins the conversation. usa today, washington bureau chief. i wonder if watching this press conference and seeing donald trump do the real donald trump, where you think that leaves us as a country. and i never thought that a nuclear standoff with north korea would pale in comparison to the alarm that i feel and i think a lot of people feel about the first racial crisis that's taken place under donald trump's
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presidency. >> this is the beginning of the story, it's not the end of the story. the alt-right forces will look and listen to the president's words and be emboldened. we'll see more protests and se forces running for office and flexing their muscles when it comes to american politics. and i'm sure that's going to spark counterdemonstrations and protests, as well. so, there is -- there are consequences to the president speaking. one other thing, nicole, that struck me when i was watching this, if you had been working for a president and something that deteriorated into the way that press avail did, you would have thrown your body in front of the president as they dragged him off stage. the idea that white house staffers were standing there watching that was just really remarkable. >> well, susan, let me ask a follow up. just the impotence and the false frame we put around all -- who cares who the chief of staff is. it was a big deal, we went wall-to-wall when reince priebus was unceremoniously dumped on air force one.
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what difference does it make who the chief of staff is in this white house? he's totally unmanageable. >> the chief of staff is the chief of staff, he's not in charge of the president. in this case, the president is not someone who wants to be governed or told what to do or told what he can't do. and i think that may be a reality that general kelly is simply facing. he's brought some additional order to the process, the policy process at the white house. but the idea that he can change the president, i think, just isn't true. and i'll say one good thing about this. we are seeing the president willing to be very transparent about what his real views are on this subject. >> yeah. >> his real views are the saturday statement, not the -- >> kimberly, let me bring you back into this conversation and ask you about this equation. i've called it an 80/20 problem. the white house is at 33% and plunging, because of many dynamics. 20% of them might have been the disarray created by a weak chief of staff in reince priebus, but 80% of them are a president who throws his staffers, his own
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cabinet under the bus. a president who doubles down and makes a one or two-day story a four-day story by today returning to this many sides analysis of violence perpetrated by white supremacists. i wonder what you think about the 80% or whatever you think the part of the equation is for the blame of donald trump's actions, of his lack of impulse control, of his twitter attacks. of all the things that he does. are we to leave all of that up for grabs and let him be who he is and sort of focus on the palace intrigue? at the end of the day, who cares if steve bannon is fired, if these are donald trump's true views about race. what difference does any of it make? >> i agree with you. i mean, at the end of the day, it stops with the president of the united states. today, we saw the president of the united states say, sincerely and clearly, exactly what he felt. and that is what the american people are left, at the end of the day. and i agree, that some of they will will take that as a positive sign, including many of
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the people in the alt-right and these hate groups that we saw gathered. he was singing right from their hymnal, saying things like, what's next? the statue of liberty? what's the next monument coming down. and i think at the end of the day, it is not the job of john kelly or steve bannon or anyone else. this is the leader of the free world. and he will have to be responsible for the words and the beliefs that he holds and he espouses. >> well, we don't have to wonder. at 4:45, david duke responded to the president's remarks, just now. david duke tweeting, "thank you, president trump, for your honesty and courage to tell the truth about charlottesville and condemn the leftist terrorists." so david duke like what had he heard today. >> there it is. it's reaffirmation, walking back the statement he was forced to give yesterday, because that's not where his head is or his heart. and playing to that small
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audience on the playground that he thinks he absolutely needs, because there's nothing right now in space to counter. >> who resigns? who resigns over this quality who resigns -- who resigns? which one of you can't live with yourselves for working for a guy who illicits praise from david duke? tell me, who resigns? >> well, hopefully you have republican leaders in the senate and the white house who finally really stand up to this. >> but what about his staff? >> the staff, i agree. but -- >> h.r. mcmeaaster is a general. dena powell used to be an executive on wall street. kellyanne conway owned a company. his kids used to live -- what do they do when they see this? >> you have jared and you have ivanka. and you know -- but they bringing out the best in him, can't you tell? i can't believe they are standing by and allowing this to happen, in the sense that both of them are jewish. you had nazis marching along
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there in charlottesville and he is basically defending them. he is defending them. and you're talking about blood and soil and all this nonsense -- >> any doubt that he is defending them is erased when david duke endorsing you. >> right. >> sorry. >> if that is -- if david duke authored that piece, which i have reason to believe that he did, and i trust you, he thanked president trump -- >> you have to see it to believe it. do you want to put that up the again? david duke tweeting as harold's talking. >> it is incredulous that anyone on the president's staff wouldn't be speaking now and calling and saying, we want to distance ourselves from that statement. this president news that there were white supremacist organizations praising him on saturday. yet he came back out and did this and now has to endure this. it begs your question even more. who resigns? because if you don't, you're now smeared with this and besmirched with this for the rest of your public and professional life. >> you take ownership of this, because --
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>> how do you run away from this? >> this is relational now. >> it is relational or causal. he caused this. >> i think it's both. >> but if you're a staff person, it's relational now, which is what michael is getting at. >> right. you're now absorbed in all of this. when you go back -- it's not been widely focused on, because of the violence that took place on saturday. but go back to friday night, and what had. my partner, rick unger made the point on our show the other day, that he was sitting there stunned watching americans claiming death to jews, carrying torches and talking about -- >> in 2017. >> in 2017. >> and the president's defending them. and coddling -- >> doesn't even address that! that doesn't even get addressed in the panoply of everything else as a kickoff. >> and it was interesting, because they weren't wearing masks or had swastikas, you know, he said today, well, there were a lot of good people who were part of this march in charlottesville. you know, the reality is, in part -- >> is that better or worse that they feel safe enough to show --
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>> well, it's worse. >> it says a lot about the environment we're living in right now and how donald trump -- >> the environment that's being created for us to -- >> correct. that donald trump has made it so people feel comfortable coming out and espousing these views and being this -- you know, this hate in sort of open form. that's scary. look, he said it so well. the contrasts he drew between himself and miss haier's mother, her last name is bro, mrs. bro, the gap is almost -- you can't close it. she just said, the stress she was under, and she said she's not mad, and she's now -- although she was not taking up those causes before her daughter, she's going to take up that cause of justice and fairness and equality. this president coddled kkk and neo-nazi and white supremacists. that's the only picture you
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need. and then the end of it, to put the icing on the cake, david duke thanks the president of the united states for defending the kkk and neo-nazis on last saturday. it goes back to michael's point, to your question. i don't know how you stay around this. because there was a moment weeks ago when i said to friends of mine, let people work with the president. let people try to figure out ways to get things advanced. i don't know how you get past this moment. i say this as someone who's african-american, but more importantly, who's american. how do you move past this moment? >> kimberly, do you have any thoughts on that? >> yeah, i think it's going to be difficult. i think this is going to be a major test for republicans right now and to see how they respond to this. and if it is a full-throated rejection. look, we've seen many instances that the president has said something outrageous and there was some condemnation and then it was back to business as usual. i think that this is different. and i think this is a major test for republican leaders right now. >> frankbruni, i never thought
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we would elect somebody who talked about grabbing women in the bleep. but we did. do we leave in place someone who gives safe harbor to kkk and white supremacists? >> well, we can't just summarily dismiss him. >> but what do you think happens? what does the future hold? >> we've said this before, but i really do believe this it was the beginning of the end today. because he has revealed things about himself -- i think we all knew them or worried about them. but he has made clearer than ever things about himself right now that i don't think americans can live with. i don't think americans should live with. you sk a asked which advisers r. for a long time, stiles they were being truthful or patriots. >> that they were trying to coax the best out of a flawed situation and trying to steer someone who is very limited the in the right ways. and they felt the jury was out on what kind of president he would be. when it comes to moral leadership, the jury is no longer out. the verdict has been rendered. here we are. >> if the head of the naacp had sent a text out or tweeted
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someone. if they had tweeted this thing out and said -- >> okay, george w. bush -- >> i don't. >> tweeted this out and said, this is something that's going to make david duke feel comfortable. and we decided at msnbc to repeat that, the president would say, that's take news. david duke just did it. what do you call this, mr. president? he praised you and thanked you for what you just said. nothing fake about it. this is real. >> that's going to have to be the last word. my thanks to all. thank you so much. that does it for our hour. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi, chuck. >> i would say shell-shocked an understatement. >> i think so. >> all right, thank you. if it's tuesday, president trump doubles down on many sides. tonight, control, alt-right, delete. >> define alt-right to me. you define it. what about the alt-left that came charging. >> president trump becoming increasingly isolated. >> i thought there's blame on both sides. i thoug


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