tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC August 20, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
or you can drive a cadillac. come in now before the end of our made to move 2017 clearance event and leave with the perfect cadillac xt5 for your next adventure. choose a low mileage lease on this xt5 for around $339 per month. good day to all of you. i'm alex witt in new york. here's what's happening right now. in just hour, the president will be homeward bound in the wake of what many call the president's worst week. questions abound about the direction of the trump administration and the competency of the president. >> there's an issue with the president's capability. there's some attribute of his character that makes him seemingly incapable of introspection and a broad understanding of what the country really needs. >> frankly, if john kelly, my friend john kelly or my friend jim mattis came to me and said i'm thinking about resigning
from this white house, i'd say, absolutely not. you have to stay. >> ahead, tremors, troubling and turmoil. the trump white house in these dog days of summer. also told, in the widening barcelona terror probe, a potential key face and key place as the investigation intensifies. plus, he made us smile and examine our conscience. remembering the legendary comedian and civil rights icon, the immortal dick gregory. we begin with new reaction from senator tim scott, with a message for president trump on what he should do to unite this country. >> it would be fantastic if he sat down with a group of folks who have endured the pain of the '60s, the humiliation of the '50s and '60s. my mother and so many others who have gone through a very painful part of the history of this
country. >> democrats including congressman andre carson with whom i spoke moments ago are also weighing in. >> donald trump has courted it is alt right. he's blown kisses. he's tiptoed through the tool lips with him. now his presidency is unraveling because he has refused to be decisive and definitive in his repudiation of these terrible organizations. >> the fundamental problem here is the president of the united states can't bring himself to repudiate a part of his support and that is that small group of bigots that are supporters of his. taken a position essentially that if you're with me, you can do no wrong. >> when this white supremist drives a car into a crowd of people killing heather heyer and injuring scores more and the president says there's fine people on both sides or violence on both sides, why is he so confused and unclear and unwilling to call out the
violent white supremacy that was on such gruesome display? >> this new reaction comes a day after counterprotesters, largely outnumbered far right groups in boston. a poll shows president trump's job approval in the wake of the racial tensions. the nbc news maris poll shows president trump's approval rating. these are all states which helped him get elected. the poll is conducted after the deadly charlottesville protest and president trump's reaction to it. meanwhile, in the last hour, another organization, the palm beach zoo, has cancelled an upcoming fund-raiser at trump's mar a lago club, adding to the growing number of canceled events. including the american cancer society which cited its values and commitment to diversity in its decision to abandon mar a lago. let's go out in to bridgewater, new jersey, is this a place, kelly o'donnell, as you're there for us, that they're calling a
northern white house or the new jersey white house? i use that vernacular in the last hour and i thought is anybody else using it? >> over time, there has always been nicknames given to the white houses when a president is vacationing and so that does happen often. and it's backed up by the fact that there are a lot of staffers and security and really a small army of people who are related to the services of the white house and keeping everything getting to the president's desk. so in many ways, the white house goes wherever the president is. so that kind of a nickname has certainly been used before, alex. >> thank you very much for giving me substantive answer to that, kelly, as i would expect from you. let's talk about the reaction of steve bannon's exit from the white house. >> one of the things is that bannon had such a large imprint on the white house in ways that were both policy driven, idea driven but also many said he was really part of the crisis in the white house of a warring sides and that was not helpful for the
country and not helpful for the administration to be on the same page. we have seen how the president's comments about charlottesville have caused ceos to walk away. have caused the president's arts council to resign. people who want to move away from the president. there are some who said cabinet level officials or senior staffers who object to some of the president's comments or his lack of speaking in a way of moral authority that they believe is in line with american values should also step away but interestingly, jay johnson, who served as the homeland security secretary under president obama and previously been general counsel to the department of defense has a different view about those working around the president in high-level positions. here is how he described what he believes is the importance of them staying on the job. >> frankly, if john kelly, my friend john kelly, or my friend jim mattis, came to me and said i'm thinking about resigning from this white house, i'd say, absolutely not. you have to stay.
as john reportedly said, it's country first. and we need people like john kelly, jim mattis, h.r. mcmaster, to right the ship. >> one of the challenges for the trump administration even before these charlottesville comments and the political fallout is this white house has not fully filled all of the appointee positions across the government. and there are those who say that given the controversy, the protest and so forth, that becomes even harder to attract talent to serve in government. and that's one of the risks of the president's low approval at this point is to not have sufficient numbers of people who are cap ibl an and have expertise in various departments to do the work of government. so you have jay johnson, who is certainly a big voice on this, suggesting that it is in the country's best interest, for senior officials to stay in their jobs and try to move the country forward, so that's an interesting take after so much
controversy and many prominent americans stepping away from the president. alex. >> absolutely, thank you so much for that report, kelly o'donnell, from new jersey. let's bring in congressman keith ellison, democrat, of minnesota, and deputy chair of the democratic national committee. big welcome back to the broadcast. thanks for joining me. >> let's look back on this piece for a minute. when you watch the protests there in charlottesville and subsequently in boston yesterday and then the president's response is to each, which were pretty different. what did you think? >> well, what i think is that we have a multiracial, multiethnic, multireligious group of people who are standing up and asserting the best values of the country when the president refuses to. the president clearly is confused. he said different things. but the main this rust of what he's saying is very clear, that he is reluctant to renounce the kkk and the nazis and white supremists, even if their action results in the loss of life of
somebody. he's made himself clear as far as i'm concerned. what's even clearer is, yeah, boston, great turnout, people are rising up, they're organizing. but also in durham, north carolina, they're doing the same thing, in new orleans, all over this country. people are saying we have -- we fought a bloody civil war and we went through a civil rights movement. we're not going back to the bad old days. we are going to cling to our solidarity. we're going to cling to this one america idea and i'm proud to see people out there exercising their first amendment right. >> yes. let's talk about former oklahoma congressman j.c. watts who spoke with my colleague, chuck todd, this morning, about charlottesville and the president's role. here's j.c. watts' take. >> one thing i will agree with president trump on is this. the racial divide didn't just happen when donald trump got elected. they didn't just happen when president obama got elected. i think they were probably heightened. i think they were probably
intensified under president obama. and i think they carried over into the trump administration. >> so do you agree with that? is it fair to pin the blame for charlottesville on president trump? >> you know, yes, i do think he shares a tremendous amount of responsibility. because i think that my friend j.c. watt is setting up a strawman to knock him down. everybody knows. every third grader knows that america used to hold slaves, took land from native americans. we all know about that. but what we expect leaders to do is to advance us and move us forward. i do not agree that president obama intensified racial tension. in fact, what i'm seeing is multiracial unity against the neo-nazis out there. and what i'm seeing is businesspeople even saying, look, we don't want any part of that. and that was a multiracial group among that business council. so i think the truth is that donald trump has not done what we expect presidents to do which is to heal the country, to push
us forward, to lead us to our best and noblist ideals as an american, which is liberty and justice for all. we stand up there and say that pledge of allegiance. we ought to mean it. but not everybody believes it. he ought tonight one to say no, this is the american norm, liberty and justice for all. >> we saw the massive rally. 40,000 people hitting the streets. what does that mean for you? a lot of folks. how do you turn that, you and other democrats inening could, how do you use that to your advantage for the 2018 midterms? >> well, quite honestly, i'm not looking to try to exploit that energy out there for political purposes. to me, the democratic party like those protesters needs to step up in the patriotic moment and do what's right regardless of politics. politics, we always got politics. but this is a moment where our national consensus is under threat by the president. and i think that what that means to me is there are people who
love this country, they love the ideals of unity, equality under the law, and they really do buy the messages of people like martin luther king and john f. kennedy and lyndon johnson. and that's what it means to me. now, the real issue is can the democratic party say, look, we're with you, we believe in that, because we believe in that, and i think we are, i mean, we had 160 people organizing over the weekend, getting voters signed up, signing up folk, knocking on door, doing events all over the country because we are compelled not by politics beau by a moral comparative that we have one america. we call it rise and organize. our theme is, look, rise and organize, #, riseandorganize. don't be upset and be angry, get out there and connect with your neighbors. that is the best therapy for what this traumatic event rep
reent issed by charlottesville is to the country and the president's moral failure. i mean, i think that is the real message for the democrats. be a part of the people's movement. lift up the highest ideals of our nation. unite us brings us together. here's what i say to my republican friends. so far, there's about 24 of them out of 292 who have said what the president did specifically in making moral equivalency between the kkk and the people protesting them is wrong. we got about 90% of our republican friends and allies out there who have not condemned what the president has said. we're calling on them to come to higher ground. say that the nazis and the kkk and these white supremists are not the same as people who protest them. say that those ugly horrible ideologically system. we've seen people like david bratt say no. we've seen other people say no.
more republicans. we're asking them to come our way and say, look, we can argue taxes, we can argue budget, but we cannot argue whether or not we're going to have one america. we have to be on board. silence is speaking. we want to ask you to get people about denouncing this. so that's kind of how i'm looking at it right now, alex. >> i'll tell you, that was powerful. i could have let you go on and on just talking about this because you made a heck of a statement right there. i do want to ask a question about money though with democrats. because it's something that the hill reported about democratic fund-raising. the rnc has raised three times more than the rnc did in july. 10.2 million versus 3.8. why do you think that is? >> well, i think that we just gotten our team in place. i feel really confident folks are working night and day out there. we're working really hard. and i feel that we're going to have some really good reports to share in the weeks to come.
but i think we've taken a little time to get our team in place. it is in place now. i think we're going to see some better reports. >> okay, congressman keith el s ellis, you're welcome back any time on this broadcast. going to war. steve bannon promises to use his weapon of mass destruction at breitbart to fight for the trump agenda but what are the potential casualties to come? ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through?
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steve bannon is going to be a very loyal soldier to the president as it relates to his agenda from the outside. if he's going to be a very important voice for the president, as it relates to leaning into congress, specifically, in trying to really get the failure of leadership in the house and in the senate to stand up and
really take a hold of the president's agenda. >> david bossi, former trump campaign manager on what to expect from bannon now that he's out at the white house. fighting words from bannon, who told the weekly standard, i feel jacked up, now i'm free. it's bannon the barbarian. i'm definitely to crush the opposition. joining me now -- do you need introductions? it's so fun to have you both. republican strategist susan del perisio and former vermont governor howard dean, also former dnc chair man and msnbc contributor. welcome, guys. susan, what do you think steve bannon is gearing up for? >> up to a point where it serves steve bannon. let's not forget steve bannon is in many ways similar to donald trump. he will keep going down this road. what i think he also may be in for a big surprise is that he's no longer in the white house. when you lose that kind of influence, you're not the same as you were.
he's going back to breitbart. at the same time, it's not the same as being the campaign manager for a nominee or being the president's adviser. >> so howard, do you think the white house should at all be worried about what steve bannon might do? he's got inside information. he has a top security clearance. >> yeah, i think they should be worried. you know, the most important thing is he's out of the white house. we have a guy who's essentially -- essentially called the alt right or the nazis and the kkk his people. i mean, that guy doesn't belong in the white house. he's gone -- >> he did just call him a bunch of clowns in his last interview. >> he's all over the place like his former boss. i'm glad to get him out of there. my suspicion is he fades into the woodwork and we don't hear a lot. he has a royal audience at breitbart. breitbart doesn't touch many more than about 15% of the entire population of the country. those fans are going to be with trump no matter what. so i don't really care what happens to steve bannon.
i'm just glad to see him out of the white house. >> there's also a really good practical cause for everyone to be happy that he's out of the white house. that is, it allows the chief of staff kelly to really get things more on a professional operational level in the white house. it's one less lean. it's one less person you're worried about gumming up the works. it's one less person whispering on a regular basis to the president. >> isn't the only person though standing in john kelly's way of getting the trump white house in order donald trump? >> yes, i'm not suggesting he's able to manage up, as they say, meaning the principal. but he is a bell to at least lend some order. i mean, just for government to be functioning at the very least. i'm not talking about moving policy agendas. i mean, as general kelly said, at one point when asked about his position on taxes, he said, i don't like paying them. he's not a policy person. he is just looking to streamline these operations and hopefully run a much better white house. >> do you think, howard, with
the leaving of steve bannon, that the voices of somewhat more moderate tones may be heard? we heard about jared kushner and ivanka trump and they were constantly at battle with steve bannon? >> i don't think so because the press will focus on the ones who aren't so moderate like miller, like gorcka. unfortunately, i don't think this is -- i do agree with susan that bannon's absence will lead to a little more order because kelly is a pretty imposing personality. but i, you know, i think you're going to have gorcka out there on fox saying these crazy stuff and steve miller who says crazy stuff every day. so it's -- we're far from having this be over. >> i want to ask about the president of liberty university, jerry fall well jr., who defended the president's controversial comments on ch charlot charlottesville. >> he said there were very fine people on both sides.
>> i have no idea. he has inside information that i don't have. i don't know if there were historical purists there who were trying to preserve some stat statues, i don't know. but he had information i didn't have. >> so i'm just watching your face. inside information? what? >> it's painful to watch that because he's obviously trying to keep his support with donald trump without saying the fact that what donald trump said is inexcusable, unacceptable. there were no good people at that rally. anyone -- and i'm really going out here on a limb. let's just say there were some people from the community who were interested in what may happen at the rally. the minute they saw who was attending. if they didn't run, they were part of the problem. they should have run away. >> and there are -- >> and there were people -- >> there are graduates of liberty university, you may have heard, now returning their diplomas as a ult are of being offended by it. >> this is what i call faux christians. who have nothing to do with the values of jesus christ.
certainly many of them don't. the ones that do, there are a lot of people who really do try to be christ like. none of us succeed in that. so i applaud the liberty graduates who sent their diplomas back. i applaud real christians who stand up and behave like christians. whether conservatives or pro-life or anti-abortionists, whatever they are. i don't appreciate hypocrites on a large scale. >> what about those literally putting their money where their mouth is? they are bailing on mar a lago, trump's club in palm beach. 19 events now canceled because -- >> the phenomenon here is do you want a charity event where half the people aren't going to go? because that's what would happen. >> what's interesting is about two weeks ago there was there philanthropic newsletter -- yes, i read a lot of boring things. they came out with saying that right now about half of the charities were already not sure what to do. they were really -- there was a big split but that a decent amount were staying with mar a
logo. it is a deshth irect response t president's remarks this past week that have completely turned the tide. it's not just the charities. it's the military. it's the ceos. it's the republicans that all have put out statements this week -- >> the arts committee. >> the arts committee disbanding. the republican jewish league said something, saying that his response was not morally responsible. there's so many. >> but do you expect, howard, that donald trump, he pays attention to pocketbooks. he knows money. mar a lago stands to lose anywhere from 100,000 up to maybe a quarter million dollars on some of these events. >> the trouble is, he doesn't respond well with kind of pressure. i don't expect trump at age 70, whatever he is, to change. the charities are being smart. remember, susan g. cohen was wrecked by, now, congresswoman karen handle by cutting off plannplan planned parenthood and hatch the women who support susan b. komen
weren't going for that. i don't know what trump is doing -- >> but there is something with his brand, i'm sorry, with his brand, when you see the new yorker and the economist with the klan connotation with the hood, that is going to be very disruptive to his brand, to his children, to his future after his presidency, if he really does get branded with that. >> okay. she's never going to let us sit together again. really? but it was good to see you both front and center as always, thank you. >> thanks. remembering dick gregory, how the activist and comedian used humor to spread the message of social justice. hear him crack one of his jokes in front of martin luther king jr. and see reaction next.
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reluctant to talk about president trump this week, not one member of the current republican leadership in congress agreed to come on this morning. in fact, even the white house was unable or perhaps unwilling to provide a guest right down to the white house press secretary. >> well, republican congressman francis rooney is not unwilling and he joins me now from washington, d.c. is it just that you like me better than you like chuck todd? just between you and me? you don't have to answer that because we all love chuck todd. my question to you, sir, is it's good to see you. what do you make of this? the gop leadership begging of the talk shows today? >> well, i really can't speak for anybody else. i've just got to speak for myself. i'm more than glad to speak with you because i think that the press is an important reflection of the first amendment. >> well, we're awfully glad to have your voice obviously. your constituents and your ideology there. i do want to ask you to comment on what you did regarding president trump and asking him to show moral guidance, to take a more healing, a more unifying tone. why did you feel a need to do that? >> well, i think our country's
crying out for a ronald reagan-style let's look up and forward unifying and healing message. you know, ronald reagan came in after a time of sel self-depreciation under jimmy carter and the country was divided and internally bickering. particularly the horrors of charlottesville we need to learn from and move forward to solve the real problems the people elected us to solve. >> what about trump supporters? most of whom say his candor is one of his most enduring features. let's listen to what jerry falwell jr. said a bit earlier on abc's "this week." here it is. >> -- reasons i supported hip is because he doesn't say what's politically correct. sometimes that gets him in trouble. he does not have a racist bone of his body. i know him well. >> what do you think is wrong with mr. trump calling it like he sees it even if his view is not the popular view?
he is the president and he is elected. >> he is the one elected. i would like to see all politicians be a little more candid and forth right in what they say. we've spent seven years talking about repealing and replacing obamacare, shooting blanks. now we've got live ammo and nobody seems to get it over the finish line except the house of representatives. >> here's one problem with this president in particular. he says one thing, sir, and then he says something that can contrast to that. disavow that. make something that he previously said doesn't seem valid or it doesn't make sense any more. is that a problem with this president, for those who say just let him speak candidly? >> well, i think that sometimes more is said than needs to be said once the point's made and move on to the other point. hopefully with general kelly in there, the white house will have a little more streamline support organization behind the president. will be easier for him to focus on his message. >> do you also mean more
discipline? >> well, i'm not going to tell the president of the united states what to do. i know i try to be disciplined in my approach to these things and stay focussed on the big picture issues we face. >> how about congressman adam who said the president can't bring himself to repudiate his supporters who are bigots? should the republican party need white nationalist support to win elections? >> i really don't know who these people are. you know, i know a lot of good, god-fearing honest conservatives who want limited government. we need to deal with our debt and our spending. but are also compassionate and want to figure out a way to provide opportunities for employment and growth for all americans. that doesn't have anything to do with those kind of people. >> i know you've also said, sir, the police in charlottesville should have anticipated the kind of violence we all saw last weekend. what do you mean by that? the city was inadequately prepared or did they not foresee what was coming properly? >> well, when you have those kinds of groups protesting, i
would have thought that from the government on down, they would have been ready to deal with the kind of situation that's going to evolve from that kind of hateful conduct. and you see how much better it was in boston where the city seems to be prepared to let all sides exercise first amendment rights in an environment of nonviolence. >> what about advocating for the removal of monuments to the c confedera confederacy? will you be doing that? >> what piv said to the local papers in my area is i think it's a local decision. every community has got different makeup and different values and can balance the two different opinions of not running away from our history, which is a legitimate opinion. i think even secretary rice has said that. and she was a victim of many civil rights abuses herself. and then on the other side of the coin, there are people in some communities that will say these are so odious i don't want to drive by them every day. i would maleave it up to the lol people to make that call. >> thank you for joining me
today. >> thanks for having me on. the passing of civil rights activist social critic and comedian dick gregory. gregory introduced humor to the civil rights movement so it could reach the masses. he marched with martin luther king jr., against school segregation in birmingham. gregory was beaten, was sentenced to 180 days for parading without a permit. teasing king about the differences in their opinions. sammy davis jr. was also in the audience. >> as i have expressed to dr. king, the reason i'm not to do my 180 days is because i can't see them giving me 180 days and only giving him 5 and he started it. >> gregory took a couple of unsuccessful runs at politics
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we have new details out of spain where police identified more victims another, including a 7-year-old british australian boy. this as the manhunt intemperatures fintensifies for the suspect in these attacks. let's talk about these details and more that you're learning. what do you have? >> let's start with those victims. there's been speculation over the past few days the 7-year-old has been what they've called missing. his dad flew in from australia. his mother was with him at the time of the attack and she's actually in the hospital and was in such bad shape she had no idea her son was missing. unfortunately today we got con fir confirmation that little boy
is among the dead. i was able to speak with his widow just an incredibly strong woman and she told me a little bit about what this has been like for her. >> jared was kind, intolerant and would never hurt anybody. for this type of action to take his life, it's horrible. it's just senseless. i can't make any sense of it. >> it's a real shock anyone would do this to her. we do have a link to a go fund me page on our website set up to help pay for funeral expenses there. meantime, the investigation really still in high gear into this terror cell. they now believe that it was 12 men involved in this. so we have four that are in custody.
five that were shot dead by police. one, they are still looking for. that is eunis abakube. a manhunt including roadblocks around this area has been in effect. that manhunt really stretching beyond spain now. they're canvassing, trying to find out where he may have gone. and then the the two final people involved, believe to be involved in this, their bodies were found in that house that was used as a bomb making factory. police said they found 120 canisters of propane and butane so they believe they had planned for a massive massive bomb attack. when something went wrong and that house blew up, they switched to a vehicle attack. alex. >> too many heartbreaking stories with this terrible attack, thank you. coming up, forget full moon fever, eclipse fever ahead of tomorrow's main event. coming up, what you need to know
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now to the countdown for the great american eclipse. it is beginning in less than 24 hours. this historic event is drawing people from far and wide to the cross country path of the total solar eclipse. carbondale, illinois, one of the areas right a long that path. one more time to you today. so that's the stadium which is going to be packed tomorrow, right, with eclipse gazers? >> exactly, alex. i want to show you the stadium where 15,000 people are going to be watching this eclipse tomorrow. and they're here from all over the world as you were saying. just in my short time in carbondale, i've met people from japan, mexico, france, spain, and everybody's here for a reason. i want you to meet my friend tom over here. tom, in 1979 during the prior
total solar eclipse you were 14 years old. you were sent out to photograph the echaslipse and what happene? >> the camera broke. >> now you'll do what? >> do it again, make this one happen. >> you've brought how many pieces of equipment? >> three pieces of equipment, three cameras three tripods. >> he has also, a lex, bought the original camera that broke. he repaired it. you're going to use it to photograph? >> with film, with film. >> how did you get that film? >> i found that from a friend at an astronomical society. he was willing to donate it. >> that's an amazing story. is this your eclipse quest of sorts? >> this is definitely my eclipse quest. >> so many people like tom over here, they've come here for personal reasons. and they're hoping to see this eclipse in its totality tomorrow in the stadium and also all around carbondale, illinois. alex. >> it's going to be a universal viewing event. thank you so much. and to your guest as well with his old-fashioned camera. let's bring in a member of the solar eclipse task force at
the international astronomical union. the big welcome to you. okay, just give us the 10 cent version of what happens during a solar eclipse for someone who doesn't understand the science of it. >> you said the 10 cent version? >> yeah, quick. >> it's worth a lot more than that. totality is something you can't imagine. it's an electrifying effect. it's an other worldly effect. the next best thing to being in outer space without having to wear an astronaut suit because you still get to breathe the air. it's something unimaginable. you say, that's the sun, that's the moon. that's what the sun really looks like. and you're very surprised. this is the part that you can't see because the sun is so bright. and it's just shining that light on you day after day. and it's only during these little secret moments across the remote places on the world and this time it's local after 38 years since 1979, my very first eclipse, i was in winnipeg, on that one, where tom is trying
again now to get this photograph. but this is -- it's magical. it's colorful. the details in the streamers and the corona. you can see prominences, flares, all these things that requires sophisticated equipment to look at. spacecraft and such. very expensive equipment. here you are looking at it with your naked eye. it's a two-minute treat. >> definitely that was worth a so $10 description for sure. i understand you've witnessed 20 solar eclipses in your lifetime? >> 20 solar eclipses, 10 total, 6 annual, 4 partial, around the world all my life. this is very special because it's -- it's come to the united states. it's special for us. it's only in the united states. it's coast to coast. it's going to affect 12 million people residing on the path. plus millions who may have ventured in. we already know that by hotel booki bookings. we know that by people driving in, the traffic.
we expect a few more people to come into it. we could have easily 15 million people enjoy totality. that's a rarity. i don't think we've had this in a long time. >> i want you to speak to my son whom i've been trying to say you must wear special gralasses. you cannot look at the sun even just briefly. you'll back me up, right? there's a real safety concern. >> that's right. during the partial phases, that is when it was not a total eclipse. you must wear eclipse glasses or filter or you can do pin hole projection. you can just poke a hole in a piece of card board or put a little aluminum foil, that gives a better hole, then project it on to a white piece of paper or white wall. and you'll see an image of the sun and you'll start to see that cresting. you'll start to see it progress, whatever maximum you have. because all the united states gets partial phases. >> all right. well, mike, i appreciate your enthusiasm about it. i think we're all pretty excited. it's going to be happening right about 24 hours from now.
we're going to keep our eye to the heavens safely with those glasses. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you, alex. >> turn to msnbc for coverage. we'll have it for you throughout the day. meantime, one by one, groups are dropping out of events at trump's mar a lago. will the president take a stronger stance against racism now that it seems bad for business? vid. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ dinner time then. dinner time now. even though dinner time has become less strict, we remain strict as ever when it comes to our standards. made with premium cuts of 100% kosher beef.
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everybody knows, every third grader knows that america used to own slaves, took land from native americans. we all know that. what we expect leaders to do is advance us and move us forward. i'm seeing multinational against the neo nazis and business people saying look we don't want any part of that. >> congressman keith ellison told me that at the top of the hour, pressure on president trump to distance himself from white nationalists. independent journal review and sean sullivan, congressional
reporter for "the washington post." guys, i'm going to get into our conversation in just a second. but i do have some breaking news just coming in to me, everyone. very, very sad news on this weekend. we've already lost dick gregory, 84 years old last night of the legendary comedian jerry lewis has died. he was 91 years old. lewis made a big name for himself as part of the comedy team martin and lewis. later on in his career, he adopted that cause of muscular dystrophy, started the teleon this in 1952. many of us grew up with that, myself included. he died peacefully with his family by his side. keith morrison looks back on his life. >> this is how most people remember jerry lewis.
zany, goofy, nonstop hilarity. he was born jerome levich in new york, new jersey. he never finished high school. the business, making people laugh, was all that mattered. ♪ >> audiences loved him. here he was, still a teenager, with second billing at the prestigious 500 club in atlantic city, which is where jerry lewis formed half of one of the hottest comedy teams in history. ♪ when the moon hits your eye >> dean martin and jerry lewis, crooning casanova and the clown. jerry lewis and dean martin were literally an overnight sensation. it wasn't long before hollywood called. they made 17 movies together, all box office hits. then in 1950, they got their own variety show, jerry lewis was only 24 years old. they were making $10 million a year. the fans couldn't get enough of them.
but then, as suddenly as it started, it was over. after ten years, jerry and dean called it quits. when martin and lewis parted, they were no longer friends and there were rumors that the break y breakup would end each of the men's careers. instead, jerry lewis went on to sign the biggest deal in hollywood history, a $10 million contract with paramount. he made more than 30 movies, solo. those movies broke new ground. unlike anywhere else at that time, jerry lewis had complete control. he not only acted in his films, he wrote them, produced them, directed many of them, too. years later, his movies didn't do so well. and the only place left to see a jerry lewis movie was late-night tv. but there's one thing, one huge, long-running act that never seemed to get old. every labor day, the jerry lewis telethon for muscular dystrophy.
and after a long career, when he was 69, he got going all over again. debuting on broadway in the hit musical "damn yankees." his was a life as big as entertainment. the only thing he ever wanted to do and did so well. he got the whole world to watch. ♪ >> and that was keith morrison reporting for us. jerry lewis dead at the age of 91 years old. so much like the news travel these days i first heard about it from twitter. penn tweeted jerry lewis just died.
joining me on the phone right now, penn, i'm glad you're here. i appreciate you calling. this is a pretty sad time for you. y i know you met jerry lewis in the 1980s. talk about your recollections. >> jerry was such a different generation from us. and when i first met him in montreal, i was talking about -- i was just kind of blaise. you know, jerry. no big deal. he's an old guy. doesn't mean much to us now. sitting around talking to the other comedians. and i was very blaise. didn't mean anything. then jerry walked into the room and made eye contact with me and all of a sudden all the kind of cool and hip just went away and i absolutely fell apart, like i would have if i had met him when i was 10 years old and going to
see all his movies. there's no exaggeration that i completely broke down and sob d sobbed. after that, i did the telethon. he just had a movie that opened last year here in vegas. i went to that opening. exactly the right age, the comedy movies my parents took me to. he was just everything. and although he was such a wild man, an inspiration in everything he did and always funny. you know, always funny. i flew an airplane with him. you would sit on the seats and everybody around you was laughing every single moment he was on and saying a comedian is
always on and often said. but jerry was just -- you would just move with him through a crowd and everybody around you was laughing. so much the way that life should be. and life will be different without him. i know king of comedy was about robert deniro and all of that but we certainly have lost the real king of comedy today. >> what do you think is the most important contribution he has made? if you could tell me that in about half a minute, i would appreciate it. >> he was really, really, really funny. there's nothing else that needs to be said. >> his muscular dystrophy telethon, i know i grew up on it. i'm sure you spent your labor day s watching it. >> be on it, did it with him. >> he must have enjoyed having you around. i think that he probably, in the
way that you appreciated him when you met him, i'm sure he saw something special in you, penn, and asked you to come and join him for those magnificent days. penn jillette, thank you so much. we're so sorry for your loss as we are for the rest of the country. jerry lewis dead at age 91. >> up next, chuck todd and "meet the press." this sunday after charlottesville, president trump makes his both sides are to blame argument. >> but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. >> equating the white nationalists with the protesters. >> 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? >> did the president lose his moral authority this week by failing to condemn white supremacists, the klan and neo-nazis? i'll ask former republican congressman j.c. watts and the former u.s. ambassador to the united nations and one-time mayor of atlanta, andrew young. >>