tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC August 19, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
♪ ♪ isaac hou has mastered gravity defying moves to amaze his audience. great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine. making depositing a check seem so effortless. easy to use chase technology, for whatever you're trying to master. isaac, are you ready? yeah. chase. so you can. good morning. everyone. it is 9:00 in the east. 6:00 a.m. out west. here's what's happening right now. bannon bounced all the way back to breitbart. >> i like mr. bannon, he's a friend of mine, but mr. bannon 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's a good man. he is not a racist. i can tell you that. he's a good person. so why did the president show him the door and why is bannon going to war for the president? >> boston braces today. a right wing protest versus a mass of counterprotester. so what is the city doing to prevent another charlottesville? the big break to catch that deadly driver. president trump's chief white house strategist, steve bannon is out. president trump speaking on the matter this morning taking to twitter to thank bannon for his service and adding, he came to the campaign during my run against crooked hillary clinton. it was great. meanwhile, congress is weighing in on whether the oust will do much to change president trump or the white house's messaging. here's what they told colleagues
last night. >> the president did absolutely the right thing in firing steve bannon. we cannot have a staff person in an administration undermining the policy of the president of the united states and his cabinet. so bannon had to go. >> do you believe that jewish members of this cabinet should resign in protest, particularly giving that breitbart is signaling their coming for them? >> yes. i think they have to. i think people of conscience can't pretend that this president is something that they had hoped he would be, and i think this is the beginning of the end of republicans being able to hide behind some imaginary donald trump that doesn't exist any more. >> president trump can rearrange the deck chairs on the trump titanic all he wants, but the problem is him and his inability to focus, his continuing attacks on everyone who disagrees with
him. and ousting one key staffer, however, can't erase the words used by president trump this week. president trump provided permission for these hate groups to exist. meanwhile steve bannon appears to be reassuring the president there's no love lost telling bloomberg's josh green, if there's any confusion, i'm leaving the white house and going to war for trump against his opponents on capitol hill, in the media and in corporate america. but one of bannon's colleagues says the website won't be as logo to trump as bannon has been. >> if he sticks to the issues on which he was elected, if he fulfills the promises that used to hang on steve bannon's wall on the west wing, then i think you'll see positive coverage. if this becomes an arnold schwarzenegger situation where he swings to the left in attempt to appease his critics, then i
think you will see a war. let's go to bridgewater, new jersey, that's where kelly o'donnell's been camped out there. hello. your reaction to the president's tweet about bannon and what more is he saying this morning? >> reporter: it was notable that the president did not make any comment on the day he was actually dismissed from the white house, waiting until this morning and the tone from the tweet from the president is very straightforward, thanking steve bannon for his work on the campaign and in the white house and signaling a bit of friendship in saying it was great. that is certainly a peace offering in some respects for bannon who is now a powerful figure outside the white house and as you've just described there are questions about where bannon's energy will be. will he be lifting up some of the trump ideas? will he be warring with staffers? we'll have to see how that unfolds. what also stands out about the firing of bannon, who also submitted his resignation so it's one of those washington
situations where both things happen, is that while the president signed off on it, this was a decision made by chief-of-staff john kelly. he announced that this was a mutual agreement and it's a sign that john kelly has new authority. the post steve bannon area begins. president trump did not respond to questions friday about the dismissal of his chief strategist. bannon leaves the white house but not the battlefield. already back to his former world at the conservative media outlet breitbart named executive chairman and already speaking out. bannon bluntly told the weekly standard, the trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. this image captures the exitus. all the advisors from this early group now gone. bannon, the hard line nationalist, economic populist, lost his power struggle within to more moderate voices with
whom he had sparred. bannon also said of his return to breitbart, now i'm free, i've got my hands back on my weapons. critics including many democrats, blasted bannon as an alt-right leader who gave a bigger platform to white nationalist anger. wall street reacted when news of his exit broke with traders cheering. >> bannon is set to have submitted his resignation. >> reporter: tuesday president trump defended bannon but later agreed he should go. >> he is not a racist. >> reporter: the white house released its own photos with music backed making the absence of steve bannon all the more obvious. and also new this morning, the president tweeted about those meetings at camp david and said, some decisions were made including on afghanistan. that's a reference to troop levels and a strategy there not yet announced.
the president indicating work was completed there. still more new this morning, the office of the press secretary released a statement that the president and first lady will not attend the kennedy center honors, which of course is one of the great washington traditionals that is supposed to be not about politics but about celebrating the arts and humanities, honoring some of the most -- most sort of award winning stars of stage and film and the literally word. it is something where we have seen presidents and first lady be a part of that for many years but in advance of the december broadcast they've announced they will not attend and their explanation is they want the honorees to be celebrated that night without any political distraction. they're getting out front of what they know would be an attraction of protest and criticism because certainly the arts community has been critical of the trump white house and so early on a saturday morning in august, they're announcing they
will not be going, alex? >> there won't be a white house reception for him not to attend in protest. we'll see you again later. thank you so much. joining me now nbc contributor national reporter for the "the new york times" and john harwood, cnbc editor at large. ladies, first. what would this war look like the one that bannon has said? based on his comments, is it safe to say the president would not be their direct target? would the war focus perhaps on jared kushner or gary cohn. how you interpreting this? >> if steve bannon feels as though he's been heard by the president, being listened to, if he's still someone that becomes an outside advisor to president trump, then he will probably be going to war with people like speaker paul ryan or mitch mcconnell or gary cohn or any of the people he sees stepping in the middle of donald trump's
ability to really carry out this nationalist agenda. he's already told the president that if congress somehow balks at the idea for paying for the wall on mexico, he should issue a veto and trigger a government shutdown. essentially, steve bannon if he isn't able to shut down the government, he's going to war with all the people around him and all the people in office. if president trump stops listening to steve bannon, if he starts to feel like an outsider, you'll start to see more stories on breitbart and other conservative media about how president trump is not keeping his promises. >> so let's take a look at this excertificate with this interview, now i'm free. i've got my hands back on my weapons. it's bannon the barbarian. i'm definitely going to crush the opposition. knowing what i know we're about to rev up that machine. this is someone he left the white house with a security clearance. is there any kind of sense of how the white house is prepared
to deal with this backlash if it gets to that point? >> well, i think the white house is going to be hurt and republicans on capitol hill are going to be hurt if steve bannon revs up that machine and goes after people who he thinks are going in a direction he disagrees with. but let's step back a minute and look at the big picture. most of what comes out of the white house and has been coming out of the white house is incoherent gibberish. when steve bannon talks in that interview about the trump presidency we fought for being over, no, it isn't. the trump campaign was about donald trump and you had a bunch of people who were glomming on to him and he was -- they were using each other to try to get to the white house. donald trump is president. he does not share steve bannon's krds. donald trump does not have political ideas and so you have steve bannon, gary cohn, steve
mnuchin, a whole bunch of people fighting to try to push trump to do what they believe in and donald trump is kind of a bystander in that process and what you have is just a completely chaotic situation where you're going to have multiple firing squads shooting at each other, the alt-right, the regular right, the moderate republicans, it's a big mess right now. >> i want to put up the entire quote for you to take a look at. it's part of the weekly standard interview, the point where he says, that presidency is over. what do you think he means by that? >> i think what he means by that is the fact that the presidency in terms of having steve bannon as a central character at the white house as someone who is going to be carrying out this agenda that is pushing that completely against washington as the presidency that's going to be really trying to keep those hardline promises that the
president made which is building a wall and having a muslim ban and having these extreme views and i would say outside of the republican party, that presidency is over. i think he's right about that in some ways. what we're now going to see with general kelly at the white house is someone whose going to be looking to make deals. i think while the democrats don't have much power i think republicans are going to have to be able to get together, we have a conservative wing. we have a moderate ring and we'll have to somehow get together and is that wall in mexico going to be built. are we willing to shut the government down over this? >> john, does this mean that he's going to have to pick a new chief strategist? do you expect that to happen? >> no, i don't. i think gary cohn is going to with steve mnuchin work on the tax plan and i don't think the health care plan is going to go anywhere. now you can have a bipartisan process in the senate. let me talk more about the incoherence. >> real quick. >> steve bannon was supposed to be the working class champion
and he chided in one of those interviews for congress for not repealing obamacare. the bills they were considering would have hammered the working class. it didn't make any sense. the one thing that steve bannon and donald trump worked together on was race. donald trump is not well disposed to latinos or african-americans and people of color. he shares that with steve bannon and those instincts all came out in the aftermath of charlottesville and the american people are not very happy with it. >> all right. guys, thank you so much. i'll speak with you again. speaking of what john was saying, in boston the preparations are underway to keep the peace by two planned rallies, one by right wing groups and the other by counterprotesters. i know they're looking at charlottesville. all the officials there. what are they trying to do to prevent the same kind of thing from happening? >> reporter: well, right now we've already seen people have canine trucks here, there are s.w.a.t. team officers, a lot of
police presence. even a barricade around boston commons. that's the canine unit coming out of that black van. these are just the preparations ahead of today's rally because this is expected to be the largest rally since charlottesville. there's a free speech rally and they said this is not about white nationalism but rather the ability to express one's belief regardless of whether or not those beliefs are, in fact, offensive. that's also why boston police department expect to see more than 20,000 counterprotesters coming right here to boston commons and when we spoke to the organizer of that rally, she said, look, this is about making our voices louder. we want people to understand the bigotry has no place here in boston. she also said that it's about showing that acceptance will win out over hate. this is this moment we expect to see happen here in boston today. of course alex, this is on the heels of charlottesville. you've seen those chilling images that came out of charlottesville just seven days ago when that rally turned violent and killed one woman and
that turned into a fatal rally and that's not what police want to see here in boston today. both organizers said they are, in fact, committed to making sure this is a peaceful protest and they're going through people's bags and monitoring social media feeds to make sure anyone that tries to make this a violent rally will be found and are not welcome here. >> lots more coming today there in boston. we'll see you again. thank you. this was trump's worst week since the start of his presidency but how do people within his own party feel? . we'll find out after the break.
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and we're just learning police have arrested a suspect who they say will be charged with murder. president trump already tweeted that his thoughts and prayers are with the police and their loved ones. we are with you. then in jacksonville, florida, two police officers were shot and wounded before they shot and killed that suspect. then near pittsburgh, a shootout there left two-state troopers wounded and a robbery suspect dead. strong words from steve bannon, the trump presidency that we fought for and won is over. bannon making those comments in a new interview posted just hours after the white house announced his departure. let's bring in ned ryan and former writer for george w. bush. welcome back to the broadcast. do you agree with bannon? is this a turning point for the administration? >> i think there is some concern that again donald trump was an outside the box candidate, his message was not necessarily a traditional republican campaign message, not a traditional republican campaign and i would think, i haven't talked to
bannon specifically about that quote but i would think what he's trying to hint out and warn is, people did not vote for the more traditional republican status quo approach. they voted for donald trump and america first and bannon is probably expressing concern that we don't want the trump white house to revert back to more of a status quo traditional republican agenda whether it's on foreign policy or domestic policy. the america first agenda was a winning agenda and this is what i think bannon is going to be doing with breitbart and he even texted me this morning and said steve bannon and breitbart have trump's back with regard to the american first agenda. i think he did that because it was a winning agenda. >> a short time ago the president tweeted about bannon's exit. he writes, he came to the campaign during my run against crooked hillary clinton. i'm curious what you make of that, you just used the word
warn in your description. do you think he is more about the agenda that put the president into office or about the man? >> i have to say -- let me put it this way. there is a significant percentage of the base that will -- that loves donald trump, the person and will be behind him no matter what he does. i also realize there's a significant percentage of his base that is very much concerned about the agenda. they voted for the agenda and viewed donald trump as the means to the end for that agenda. i think that again -- the thing i want to make clear and one of your previous guest is now now bannon's agen d is done. donald trump was preaching this message america first months and months before steve bannon showed up. it was a inning campaign agenda and when bannon came in august, i really do think between he and kelly anne, i feel donald trump had grabbed a hold of that populus message was on the path and bannon and kellyanne conway
helped get him across the finish line first. this is donald trump's agenda and it's a winning agenda and donald trump deserves a great deal of credit for being who he was as a candidate. if he had been more a traditional republican candidate i'm not sure he would've won the white house. >> someone suggested to me earlier on the broadcast that these two men trump and bannon are very, very like-minded, almost uniquely so within the quarters of the white house. so -- >> they are. they have a very similar world view and this is the one thing where i've told people in the last 24 hours, i truly believe that donald trump's instincts lean toward the america first populus agenda. what is of some concern with him with steve bannon leaving, there are a lot of voices inside that west wing that would tend toward the elite that are not for the america first agenda. anyone anywhere who is not behind the america first agenda
is fair game. >> is that why you tweeted, cannot tell you how bad a signal it would be to president trump's base if bannon is forced out? is that what you're concerned about, is that bannon could take the president's base with him? >> it's a bad signal and this is why i would hope that president trump would come out sometime next week and reassure the base, i am still deeply committed to the america first agenda and even though steve bannon has departed he is going to be a strong advocate for it from outside as i am a strong advocate for it on the inside. >> all right. ned ryan, good to see you again. thank you very much. the picture that could help police looking for a suspect in the barcelona terror attacks. we'll head there for a live report.
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welcome back. i'm alex witt. happening now. a counterprotest against right wing groups that is expected to draw nearly 20,000 people. prepz have been underway all morning. garrett is in boston with us. what is expected there today? what are you seeing so far? >> reporter: good morning. we've got two separate events that will eventually be one event this afternoon. there was events senged on boston common. a free speech rally put together
by some of these right wing groups. this is something they've been working on for weeks but in the wake for charlottesville it started to get more attention and they've been building up opposing effort has been built up to do a counterprotest and that's the event that could draw 20, 30,000 people depending on how many people who have suppress expressed interest. a lot of these folks are starting to draw in here. they'll eventually march across boston and both of these rallies will be in the same place. i want to bring in one of the organizers of the counterprotest. tell me what you expect to see out here from the counterprotests today. >> i expect to see a powerful message, not only just a moment but a movement that happens because people have been aexpired to join in the fight against hate. >> reporter: the organizers of your event say it's a free speech rally. what do you hear when they say free speech rally? >> i hear it's a cover for just the hate speech based on the
number of speakers who represent hate and bigotry and racism, so unfortunately if it was about free speech they would've invited us from the beginning to have a constructive conversation. >> reporter: not a conversation if you only have one side talking. >> absolutely. >> reporter: the president of the united states he tends to watch a lot of cable news on the weekend. what do you hope he gets and turns on his tv and sees thousands of people marching in boston. >> hopefully he'll get the message that he represents all of us and that includes -- not everyone except for the people who have the right free speech but everybody who has the right for free speech includes both sides, both your left and your right. you can't blame both, you have to protect both and you have to represent all. >> reporter: he's president of all these groups. >> that's right. >> reporter: thank you very much. they're going to get underway in about a half hour to the site of this rally. we'll be with you all day as
this develops. >> we'll see you again thank you to you and your guest. in charlottesville, virginia there are renewed calls for removal of confederate statues. mya rodriguez is there for us now. good day to you and a very different charlottesville than you saw when you were there this time last weekend. what's it like there now? >> reporter: it is a complete change from what we saw just a week ago here in charlottesville during that violent rally. the mayor here in charlottesville is now stepping up and asking state lawmakers to help the city to remove this statue of robert e. lee. it's a change of heart for the mayor because back in february the city council voted 3-2 to remove this statue. the mayor was one of the two votes against removing the statue. after last weekend's violent rally, the mayor said he had a change of heart. he was deeply affected and moved
by what happened. take a listen. >> i don't think they're safe here. i don't think that they are appropriate in our civic spaces, downtown. and i'm going to support the call of lots of other officials that they should be moved out of civic spaces. >> reporter: however, there is a problem with this statue. it's tied up in a lawsuit right now. there is a court hearing about that lawsuit coming up at the end of the month. let's bring in msnbc shawn henry, the president of crowd strike services. also jennifer rodgers. with a welcome to you both. shawn, to you first, what do you think will be different about how law enforcement approaches today's rallies around the country compared to what we saw last weekend in charlottesville? >> good morning. i think what we'll see is a much
stronger police presence. i think they'll also be a shorter fuse for police to get engaged if, in fact, they see people from moving from expression of their first amendment rights into actions that perhaps are more violent, if their antag nistic if they're inciting people. it's important to sort out those who are streaming in to a particular city, specifically looking to agitate the situation and make it much more challenging for law enforcement. i think we'll see a quicker engagement to just call those people from the group, take them aside and allow the protest to continue. >> it's a fine line, as you know. are there pre-emptive steps that could be taken to prevent violence from breaking out without intruding on people's right to free speech. >> and that is the biggest challenge for law enforcement now. people have the right to tree express themselves and that's protected speech. what happens is when you've got hate speech that turns to
inciting violence and i think law enforcement has to balance that and it is about swift action and deterring people from moving and crossing that line. i think we'll see a lot more physical barriers. i think they'll step in to separate groups so people can say what they'd like to say, what they're authorized to say under the constitution but to prevent them from engaininging in those violent actions like we saw in charlottesville. >> jennifer, at what point does hate speech become a crime? >> there are no statutes prohibiting speech per se, the only way you can charge someone based on what they say if there were actual action behind it. if there is speech that incites violence, you could potentially charge the person speaking with the violence but it really would have to be very, very venomus speech. it's very rare to charge someone if they're not doing the conduct, assault, murder but
just speaking about it. >> how does the right to freedom of speech as she's described there, how does that effect the fbi's approach to monitoring hate groups? >> well, what we're seeing in boston today and even in charlottesville last weekend, it's primarily a state and local law enforcement action. they're there to police looking for acts of violence, et cetera. the fbi's role from a hate speech perspective is looking for those who are inciting these and moving towards what we might consider to be domestic terrorism. i said last week that what i saw in charlottesville was domestic terrorism. and when you have people who are using language that is hateful and inciting, those are sewing the seeds for domestic terrorism. that's where we would see the fbi get engaged. the fbi will be working very closely with their partners in boston today, but they won't be
on the street patrolling the streets, alex. >> jennifer, the aclu is saying that they are no longer going to defend hate groups who protest with firearms adding that they're going to screen potentially violent clients more closely. so is that supported by the first amendment? >> well, the first amendment really just prohibits the government from suppressing speech. the aclu is not a governmental entity. they can do whatever they want with respect to taking clients or not taking clients. what they're doing is just drawing a line. they're saying we take who we want as clients. we're no longer going to take clients if we think there's an elevated risk that the event we otherwise might support will turn violent. people can argue ideology i cannily about whether that's wise to do or not, there's no first amendment or other prohibition for them to take that decision. >> jennifer, as with the aclu here, do you think we're going to see more refusals to represent controversial clients?
>> we might. we might. today actually might tell us more if we see more violent escalations and problems like we saw last weekend. but we might. the aclu has historically been an organization that took a principled but very strict view about who they would represent. anyone free speech regardless of how abhorrent the views are, they're now taking a more measured approach. we may see other groups do the same. we'll just have to see. >> shawn, finally a look to today, any concern that things could get out of hand like charlottesville or have pretty powerful lessons be learned? >> i think that absolutely is a concern and that's why we'll see this elevated law enforcement effort there. i think when you see people coming to a city he with helmets and shields and batons, those are the types of people law enforcement are going to look to move out and move eye from that site and to keep them away from
protesters who are peaceful or others who are again asserting their rights under our constitution. but they absolutely will be elevated. they'll be on high alert and they will act swiftly to deter these types of actions, alex. >> we'll keep a very close eye on things. thank you both so much. coming up. how much damage can steve bannon do now that he's left the white house for bart bright? and next hour, joy's going to host the politics of hate. joy will be joined by local officials and religious leaders to discuss the controversy free speech rally on the boston common tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. a daily struggle,
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peterson and sophia nelson. welcome to you both. sophia, what's your take on bannon's departure? >> it's good to be back with you. bannon i think is more dangerous outside of the white house than he is in the white house. what do i mean by that? listen to his language. he's going to get his weapons. we're going to go to war. these are the type of buzz words and code words that the white nationalist,s the white supremacists and the alt-right live for and i think that he's going to get out back on breitbart and he's going to do his thing and he's going to be ten times what he was before he went into the white house and perhaps it's even a strategy that they have that they had to let him go because the optics were really bad giving the events of charlottesville and the nation in the past week. i think he's going to be more of a problem outside of the white house. he was somewhat muzled in the white house. now he's unleashed. >> what do you think, james, do
you think he's overstating his own power? do you think he thinks the establishment republicans will try to steam roll the president? >> i think he feels that he's been rejected in certain ways because of the sort of national outpouring of outrage and response to what happened in charlottesville and in response to what the president's comments were in response to what happened in charlottesville. i think he's taken some l's in some ways. there's a way in which bannon outside of the white house and bannon unleashed -- he could stoke the flames of white nationalism much more directly through breitbart. there are a lot of folks who now see him as a martyr of trumpism. he's being martered throughout the process and that gives him greater sway with the kind of folks that are demonstrating today in boston and are demonstrating in unite the right demonstrations in charlottesville. we'll see how these things unfold.
bannon is great at propaganda. he has a narrative to bolster that propaganda because of his experience inside the white house and because of the ways in which he was pushed out of it. we should look to see how he's going to help or hurt this president going forward. >> to both of your points here, i feel jacked up. now i'm free. i've got my hands back on my weapons. i can fight better on the outside. so you said you think he's dangerous. what do you think this fight looks like? >> to say you're jacked up and amped up and ready to go, that rhetoric is scary if you will similar to what those marching in charlottesville and otherwise are saying. it is we're going to take our country back. we're not taking this. you're not going to wipe us out. while bannon hasn't used those exact words he's going to use his platform, if you think about it, when you come out of government and you've had a high position whether on the hill or in the white house, now you have
more access, you have more power. he is a different platform now, steve bannon, that is than he did before he went in because now the mainstream media will actually talk to him whereas before he was seen on the fringe breitbart. he can write a book now. he's been inside the white house for the last eight months. so i am absolutely concerned about the rhetoric and what's going to happen as a result of him coming out of the white house. >> james, recently breitbart waged a campaign to try to get national security advisor mcmaster fired. there's no military solution to north korea in that he said because he didn't see a playbook yet that didn't have the decimations of millions of south koreanss there. with bannon gone, do you think we should be more concerned about military action against north korea? >> no. mcmaster actually also understands that there are very limited options when it comes to north korea.
i don't think anyone is interested in going to nuclear war. people might talk a big game, there's any way -- it doesn't seem like that situation would be resolved that way. what's interesting to think about bannon's role in this, is that, bannon is into this sort of antiglobalist rhetoric. he tries to be very consistent about that across his economic -- across his economic ideology and his foreign policy ideology. so at the end of the day, attacking or going to war is not within the framework of continuing this antiglobalist message that bannon and breitbart are so invested in in terms of what they thought trumpism was supposed to be in the first place. >> go ahead. >> i don't know if i agree with that. i think the issue with north korea is going to be the commander in chief and what he's going to do. the joint chiefs are there. he has advisors, the national security team but at the end of the day what we've seen from this president over the past week and consistently as a candidate is that we don't know what he's going to do.
we don't know what he's going to say. the rhetoric on twitter has been irresponsible visa vee national security and i think if kim jong-un is as crazy as i think he is and trump is as not so stable as i think e i think we have a problem there because either one of them is erratic and you don't know what they're going to do. >> given what happens this week, sophia, bannon also said that white nationalist and neo-nazi are a collection of clowns adding that the democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, i got them. what does that mean. you think the president's position on these groups is this all political strategy? >> i think like my grandfather used to say to me crazy like a fox and i think president trump is crazy like a fox. i don't think he's maybe as we all think he is, is not doing what he's intentionally trying to do. i think his comments, posts, charlottesville the apology he didn't want to give or the statement he didn't want to give then he came out and said what
he really meant and bannon leaving, they believe based on how they won this election and they won this election with 64% of white males and 53% of white women. doesn't mean they didn't get other voters of look at the nuy lost badly with white men voters and with white women. that being said, they believe that identity politics discussions on race, taking down confederate monuments, et cetera, works to their favor for their cause and it gins up their base and i think they may have a point. >> where you are. these magazines making some bold statements with their covers following president trump's comments. are they fair? your answers, next. not this john smith. or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address his
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trump surrogate newt gingrich says the media is not giving the president full credit for his record. >> during the campaign, he repudiated david duke and the kkk, in his inaugural address he said you cannot be a patriotic american and a racist. so trump's record is better than this, but when you get into these kind of moments, the country yearns for someone to be extraordinarily clear. >> sophia nelson and james peterson, sophia, do you agree the problem is the lack of collar isn't it. >> people don't care what you say until they know that you care. trump blew it bigly this past week. he blew it because he didn't do what every normal president of the united states does. every president in my lifetime and i'm sure before comes together in an event of national tragedy, terror, other eyes, rallies, the people, lifts the people, calls the victims parents, goes down, hugs people,
pats people, lets people cry, participates, sends the first lady, whatever. we saw none of that. >> but sophia, can i just say, he did call heather heyer's mom and the white house reached out several times and she was having a hell of a day. she has said now i'm not going to talk to you. >> if i were she i wouldn't either. her child is dead and the president of the united states equaf indica equivocated to all sides and bad people over here. there are no good nazis, no good white supremacists and no good people who are domestic terrorists in this country. there are no other sides. >> what do you think in terms of coverage? how do you interpret the president's remarks? >> i mean, fair coverage to me is kind of a red herring. to me it hasn't been accurate, and the reality is, it's not accurate to say that president trump repudiated mr. duke, because he was very reluctant to do so.
he was kind of pushed into doing that much like he was pushed into making the second series of comments that he made in response to charlottesville, and i just want to go back to the identity part of the speech for a moment, alex, this helps us understand the coverage better. lots of folks talk about identity policy. you think about talking about race, black folk and people of color and transgender folks, this is on the left removing that from the political platform. if you look at the numbers and what's going on in boston today, what happened in charlottesville, if you look at the rhetoric of steve bannon, if. you look at who identifies most with donald trump, there's a certain set of identity politics that's operating that is unmarked, so when white folks identify with donald trump or white nationalists or american nationalists or white supremacists identity with tr sp or bannon, no one cause that identity politics but it is. we have to be accurate in terms of assessing the situation to understand whether or not something is fair or not.
>> sophia and james, thanks for sticking around for both blocks. that will do it for me. i'm alex witt. thank you for watching. i'll speak later with congressman john garamendi about the gold of state of california. "a.m. joy" is next. hmm. i can't decide if this place is swag or bling. it's pretzels. word. ladies, you know when you switch, you get my bomb-diggity discounts automatically. ♪ no duh, right? [ chuckles ] sir, you forgot -- keep it. you're gonna need it when i make it precipitate. what, what? what?
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