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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 5, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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should be honoring. now to an american hero of ours, andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." >> thank you, right now on "andrea mitchell reports," broken dreams. president trump ending the dreamer program, allowing nearly a million undocumented immigrants brought here as children to stay in the u.s. unless congress replaces the act in the next six months. >> the nation must set and enforce a limit on how many immigrants we admit each year, and that means all cannot be accepted. >> military threats, the u.s. warning of a massive military response to any north korean threat as south korea holds live fire exercises at a north korean diplomat warns of still more to come. >> the u.s. would receive more pictures from my country as long as it relies on relentless
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provocations to put pressure on the dprk. >> another hurricane zone. florida bracing for impact as hurricane irma barrels toward puerto rico and cuba, packing 175-mile-per-hour winds. this just ten days after harvey made landfall and south texas begins a massive recovery effort. >> the water just started rising from the tub, started rising in the shower first. and we realized it was coming up from underneath, nothing we could do. >> too much. >> it is a massive job. it is all good. and we're going to get through this. >> and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell. good to be back where attorney general jeff sessions here in washington has just announced the termination of the dreamers program, six months from now, unless congress acts to renew it. ending the obama program that permitted children brought to the u.s. by their parents to
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stay without fear of deportation as long as they were enrolled in college or served in the military. >> to have a lawful system of immigration, that serves the national interest, we cannot have -- admit everyone who would like to come here. it is just that simple. >> this despite strong opposition from broad sectors of the business community as well as many red state governors. this is just another challenge for congress coming back today, already facing a big september to do list. kristen welker is at the white house, joseph soberoff has reaction from some dreamers. the rational for deciding to end the dreamer program, despite what the president said recently about loving the dreamers, and that they won't be harmed, this is a pretty abrupt cut in a program with just six months' notice. >> it is, andrea. what we heard today is attorney general jeff sessions lay out
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the legal argument, making the case that this goes against the rule of law. and thereby giving congress six months to try to come up with a fix. a couple of notable points, though, this announcement came from the attorney general, not from the president himself, underscoring just how politically thorny this is. also highlighting the fact that this is something that the attorney general was really pushing for, andrea. we know that president trump was internally divided. we know this administration was divided over what exactly to do with the dreamers on the campaign trail, the president promised to scrap daca. once in office, as you say, he talked about trying to handle this issue with heart. now, already it is sparking backlash on both sides, taking a live look right now at protesters who are rallying in washington, against this move. they're right now on pennsylvania avenue, right in front of trump hotel. they're going to go all the way to the department of justice. their message is that this unfairly treats those who are here, who were brought here illegally as children, but who
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have lived here for most of their lives and who are now working, going to school, in the words of one immigration advocate, these are model immigrants. now, on the other side, andrea, you have those on the far right, the president's base, who are infuriated as well. they say this is the president punching this decision to congress, they say he should end daca immediately and he's turning his back on this critical campaign vow. expect a fierce fight to ensue as congress tries to deal with daca and a whole host of other very difficult issues on its plate. >> we may hear in some fashion from president obama, from former president obama, who said as he was leaving office, in his last news conference, that i think you were at the last q&a that if there is one thing he would speak out on, despite his deference to his successor, it would be if there were an end to daca, to the dreamers act. >> an official who works with former president obama tells me that we should not be surprised
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if we see president obama get into this fight, if he goes out and voices his opposition to this move. no plans yet have been announced, andrea, that certainly is something that we will be watching for. and if you go back and take a look at what former president obama did with this move, to enact this order for daca, he said, look, congress is not acting on comprehensive immigration reform, so i'm going to take action. the obama administration looked at this through a legal prism for months if not years to try to see what type of executive action the president could take at the time he felt as though his hands were tied on a whole host of different issues related to immigration. but this was the one area where the former obama administration felt as though it could move to protect these 800,000 so-called dreamers who were brought here as children. but, of course, the counterargument is that former president obama overstepped his authority as president. so that's where the legal issue
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is really going to be focused on. we'll be watching very close through see what, if anything, president obama does in the coming days. >> as we see the pictures from washington, d.c., let's go to the west coast where jacob soberoff is at cal state fullerton. you've been talking to dreamers out there understandably concerned. california is a big location for those who have taken part in this deferred action program. >> reporter: 223,000 of the 800,000 dreamers in the united states are in this, the great state of california. and here at the university of -- cal state university fullerton, of the 40,000 students, almost a thousand of those students, 900 of those students are undocumented immigrants, qualified to be dreamers. there are so many dreamers at this campus that in the library, behind me, there is what is called the titan dreamer resource center, for the dreamers on campus to come in and actually get counseling, get
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other services. not just as dreamers, but in their everyday life as students. and that's the thing that really hits home when you're here on campus, these are students first. these are family members first. these are workers first. young man, pablo garcia, i was walking to biology class with, happens to be a dreamer. and he needs to deal with getting to that biology class on this second or third week of school, making sure he gets there in time, and doesn't get late marks. in addition to the fact that he is now by the order of the attorney general of the united states potentially going to be deported from the country, faces that possibility. over the course of the next six months. what a lot of dreamers on the ground here tell me and talk to me about is what happens in between now and then, what happens if congress does act, let's say, six months to the day from now and there is a fix for daca, deferred action for childhood arrivals, what about the 1400 dreamers every single day whose status actually expires and they need to reapply in order to stay in the country
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legally. with that status that was granted under the obama administration. that's a big unanswered question we have not heard yet from back on the east coast, over the course of the day here, out on the west coast we'll see massive organizations as we have over the course of the immigration rights movement, all the way back to 20 05, when nearly a million people marched on the streets of wilshire boulevard toward downtown los angeles. they don't expect that turnout in downtown los angeles today, but a short drive from here, we expect to see people gathering in a little bit and we're going to continue to follow that closely. >> thank you so much, jacob. a lot earlier, three hours earlier on the west coast, but we'll see action throughout the day and the president has just issued a statement. joining me is maria theresa kumar, msnbc contributor and michael steele, republican adviser, former spokesman for house speaker john boehner. let me share with you what was handed to me. the president issued a written statement as kristen welker pointed out earlier letting his attorney general carry the ball on this very controversial issue
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which has very little support overall in terms of our polling. and is even divided the republican base, we see red state governors, people from iowa, senator grassley's state, agricultural sector, business people, very upset about this, wanting these dreamers to be protected, wanting seasonal workers to be protected, wanting immigration reform in essence. the statement from the president is that he has to defend the constitution and there is a serious legal question about the legality of this executive order. no question of that. he says i do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults for the action of their parents. we must recognize we're a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws. and he then put s it on the legislative branch, ends by saying it is time for congress to act. michael steel, first to you on this, congress hasn't acted on broad immigration reform, what is the likelihood that this congress will get together in the next six months, which all they have to do with -- with all
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they have to do with the break over the holidays as well, and decide on this, which is so highly controversial. they have got to do the budget, they have got to do a continuing resolution, they have got to do the debt ceiling. top priority is tax reform. let me also point out, i was on a conference call with the department of human services, of homeland security, rather, dhs today, they not only couldn't answer very basic questions, but there is no evidence that the president has done anything legislatively to kick this off with congress. >> congress has a tremendous opportunity here. there has been a lack of bipartisan action on immigration going back over a decade. we saw this under president george w. bush, we saw it under president obama, whatever you think of the legality of this program, the legality of the executive action, and ending it would be a humanitarian catastrophe, economic catastrophe and national security catastrophe. i think you'll see leaders on the hill come together to reach a compromise and get something
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done. but president trump can't just walkway from this. his involvement, his support is going to be critical. look, they said that only president nixon could go to china, maybe only president trump can preside over actual bipartisan immigration reform. >> let me share with you something we received from president -- from senator john mccain about the president's decision and point out that the senator is actually in washington, in his office today, and over the weekend was at a national security conference in italy. so clearly his brain cancer is not slowing him down. he says president trump's decision to eliminate daca is the wrong approach to immigration policy at a time when both sides of the aisle need to come together to reform our broken immigration system and secure the border. maria theresa? >> that's right. the fact that this was always -- daca was always supposed to be a stopgap, temporary until congress got itself in order, that's why it is a two-year program, you have to go back and get revisited. what trump did is set a mine off
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in the homes of millions of families now who are not sure what is going to happen to them. and it is also unfortunately putting us in a political puzzle where are we going to get the leadership from the republican party that we desperately need. i don't know if that's the case. the fact that the white house did not know how many daca recipients today serve in our military, they haven't done their basic homework of how close and how intertwined these young people are into our community. the fact that that jeff sessions stood there and said in convoluted, the refugee crisis and central america with these dreamers, that is a false, misleading statement. >> you just teed that up. one point to circle back, i was on that conference call, as i say, and the question was asked, by alan gomez, who is such a deeply invested reporter in all of this, and thoughtful reporter and he asked the question how many are in our military, none in our military, you have to ask the pentagon. that is absolute nonsense. some of the criteria for daca
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consideration to be a recipient is to be in the military, to have graduated from high school, have a ged, to have been in congress, to be enrolled in clem college, to have a certificate, you're serving or post serving in the military. >> we need a frank conversation with the american people. we are basically -- have identified a group of immigrants that we claim we want. they're english speaking, culturely american, they contribute billions of dollars to our taxes, they are actually willing to give their lives for this country. and we're saying they are not good enough. >> and michael, let me just play a little bit more of jeff sessions, talking about controlling our borders, which has nothing to do with these people who arrived prior to 2007. >> that's right. >> the effect of this unilateral executive amnesty among other things contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences. it also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of americans by
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allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs. >> to say nothing of his use of the word illegal aliens, which is offensive it a lot of people, and not correct, but, michael, the fact is i don't know what he's talk ing about when he talks about the border. this has nothing to do with the border. >> the surge of folks from central america to the border in 2014 was not related to daca. i don't think there say credible argument to be made it was. this is one of the reasons that congress is going to have to lead on this issue because members have been grappling with this issue for over a decade, a deep reservoir of knowledge, of information, and a lot of thought given to how we can come together to get things done, both in terms of dealing with these folks, the dreamers, daca situation, but also improving border security, which is separate but important priority. >> i think what is happened is folks are trying to convolute this idea of open borders with this idea of who we already have here, undocumented, they're two
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different issues as is our security concerns. we have to be able to separate those three issues, but, again, this idea he's saying that daca qualified individuals are taking jobs from american workers, no, they're coming out of the shadows, they have a social social security, they are fairly competing for those jobs. >> just to nail this down, that's one of the issues, they gave all of their information, they came out of the shadows, registered, gave family information, fingerprints, and now they are completely exposed after six months to -- >> and trusting our government to do right by them. they came out of the shadows. these are young people saying i want to do right by the law, i'm giving my information and exposing my family. we have to make sure we're taking care of them. >> which is why, no matter how you feel about president obama's action and the constitutionality of it, we need to deal with the situation, congress is up to the task. >> michael steele, thanks so much for kicking this off and our thanks to kristen welker and jacob soberoff. military hysteria, vladimir putin's new warning today about the north korea crisis as the u.s. accuses the north korean leader of begging for war.
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president trump is announcing a new arms deal with south korea and japan today. this as the north korean envoy in geneva says that sanctions and pressure will never work. and vladimir putin weighing in, signaling strong opposition to a new u.s. effort at the u.n. to embargo oil deliveries to
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pyongyang. putin warning against military hysteria in his words to a nation that he claims would, quote, rather eat grass than give up its nuclear weapons. on that, he may be true. joining me now, chris hill, the dean of the joseph korbel school of international studies. and msnbc military analyst general barry mccaffrey, retired four star army general. about the military options, the president very importantly had a meeting with his military advisers on sunday after that launch and there was a very strong statement as you saw from defense secretary mattis. let me play that for you. >> any threat to the united states or its territories including guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. we are not looking to the total
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annihilation of a country, namely north korea that is, as i said, we have many options to do so. >> general mccaffrey, that was a very strong statement, and importantly coming from the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs standing out there in the driveway at the white house. you didn't hear from the diplomatic side. and i'm told that they are considering a number of possible military options, despite the catastrophic potential consequences of retaliation from the north. >> yeah, i would agree. i think that secretary mattis is unlikely to be engaged in saber rattling. i think they went and told the president, diplomacy probably isn't going to work, here are your military options, but what i heard in the background, secretary mattis' statement, was a willingness to employ nuclear weapons against north korea if required to prevent them from becoming a nuclear power and
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threatening the united states. and, you know, be that as it may, it is logically one option. and what isn't an option, i think, is a notion we fight a conventional war with north korea, through miscalculation, and then end up wrecking the korean peninsula and having huge civilian casualties. i think we're in a very threatening situation right now and i basically don't believe the diplomatic approach will work to denuclearize north korea. >> and ambassador hill, we have a situation where there is the possibility, especially coming up on another anniversary this weekend of the founding of the north korean state, the possibility of another missile launch and if that missile is up on a launchpad, in any kind of -- with any kind of lead time, we don't know what might happen. there could be even a cruise missile attack from off shore by the u.s. >> it is very hard to say.
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this is a president who scoreiated president obama for his red lines and yet we seem to cross president trump's red lines every day. very hard to say. there are military options, obviously. but none of them particularly appealing and, in fact, they would involve great destruction, especially through south korean civilians. after all there is 20 million south korean civilians within range of 14,000 north korean artillery tubes. so this would be -- there would be terrible carnage. moreover, i think people need to understand that the u.s. military in korea is not configured to somehow operate without korea. it is very much intertwined. so any kind of military response, especially this preemption idea, would have to involve south korea and acquiescence and that would be tough. i think the road is open to much more diplomacy with china. real sort of down to earth
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discussion with them about their expectations for an outcome, our expectations. i don't think we really scratched the surface. i think sending tweets in the dead of night or making statements that somehow if they take care of that north korea thing we'll somehow take care of the trade problem, i don't think it is a serious dialogue. i think we should have someone there in beijing sitting with the chinese and going over precisely what we are expecting and what they are expecting. and i don't think we have had that kind of discussion. i think that's where the diplomacy should be. as for the russians, this is a country that seems to operate more on spite than on national interest. but, still, we have to talk to them and try to tamp down their reaction. we're not going to solve this in the u.n. north koreans could care less about the u.n. i think the opening quote about eati ining grass from pewtutin, applicable for north korea, but i think a serious diplomatic
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effort with china is still something we ought to be pursuing. >> and general mccaffrey, the president on twitter today announcing a new arms package sales to both south korea and japan. what kind of weaponry are we talking about here? >> well, i think ambassador hill is entirely correct in his assessment of the whole situation. the military options are there and they could be unilateral, could be b-1 standoff missile attacks on the launch that might happen this sunday. so there are unilateral u.s. options. i cannot imagine we would take those options without getting a sign off on the south korean and japanese, which is unlikely to happen. so i think ambassador hill is quite correct. what we're seeing now, though, unfortunately, is a lot of rhetoric out of the president that is conflicting with the national security objective. are we going to withdraw from the trade pack, with south korea, why are we excoriating
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about appeasement with the north and then announcing an arms package that would take probably a decade to implement. seems like more empty rhetoric than it does adding to the potential solution. >> and let me just put a quota on all of this, the bipartisan leaders in congress of the finance committee, which control trade issues and trade deals have come out strongly against the president's weekend threat to withdraw from the south korean/u.s. trade agreement. just general mccaffrey, there is bipartisan opposition in congress it that as well. well, to be continued. thank you both so very much. ambassador hill and general mccaffrey. category 5, hurricane irma strengthening to an extremely dangerous and potentially catastrophic storm. where is it likely to hit? the forecast coming up next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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florida is known for preparing and doing a great job with disasters. we have no idea what is in store. we'll have to pray for the best,
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hope that -- the hope would be this thing would dissipate and go out into the atlantic. we have to prepare for the worst. >> florida's governor rick scott declaring a state of emergency in all of his states, 67 counties, ahead of hurricane irma. now barreling toward the caribbean as a category 5 hurricane with winds up to 175 miles an hour. tomorrow morning a mandatory evacuation of the florida keys will begin for tourists. government officials say another evacuation for residents is l k likely to follow. the national weather service calling the storm dangerous saying it could strengthen ahead of reaching the u.s. virgin islands and puerto rico. rafael miranda joins me now with the very latest. this sounds alarming to say the least. >> it is alarming. florida on high alert. irma continues to strengthen as we head throughout the morning, now the strongest atlantic basin hurricane on record with winds of 180 miles per hour. we have not seen a storm like this in the atlantic basin. here is a look at the satellite
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loop, very impressive healthy looking storm, this is what we have been tracking all morning long. rolling towards the leeward islands now, the first brunt of that later on tonight, the northern leeward islands. and there are the winds, 180 miles per hour, sustained. we're seeing gusts up to 220 miles per hour, almost unreal to talk about this. here is a look at the path. later on today, into tonight, passing through the leeward islands. tomorrow, puerto rico, looks like the eyewall may miss the island to the north and that would be good news. still going to see tropical storm force, maybe hurricane force winds along the north coast of puerto rico. and then this is when it gets interesting. will irma interact with cuba? that could potentially weaken the storm a bit before it approaches the united states. and where will the storm go after cuba? which coast of florida will it go to the gulf of mexico? still many questions to be answered. we're tracking the computer models, andrea, we don't have any answers. that's still five days away. all we know is the storm is
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approaching the southeastern united states and florida on high alert. >> we don't know if it will take another turn, if it does, once it hits the mainland, and head north as well to the northeast. rafael, thank you very much. i want to turn to morgan radford in san juan, puerto rico, where people there are preparing for the impact of irma. morgan, thanks so much for joining us. you've been talking to people about how they're preparing for this hurricane. >> right now, andrea, people are prepping for the worst. we're inside the iconic -- >> i think we lost -- we lost morgan radford as she's talking about the preparations there on the island of puerto rico. we'll try to return to her as soon as we re-establish contact with her camera. meanwhile, as the hurricane looms in the atlantic, thousands are without power and water as texas begins its massive recovery effort in the aftermath of hurricane harvey. jacob rascon from houston with
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more on the recovery efforts. >> reporter: this recovery effort will be ongoing for months and years to come. right now, the stage that we're in is the piles of trash that you see in neighborhood after neighborhood where we are as -- an area northwest of houston, a neighborhood called nor chester, and if i could, i want to point out right over here, this home was built up, specifically so that the flooding would not hit it. it was built up several feet, but like all of the other homes in this neighborhood, it still got water inside. the latest numbers from fema are that 573,000 people, more than a half million, have requested assistance, that's for their homes, that's for their cars, and other things. i believe near 200,000 have been approved. this is going to be ongoing for months. and for years. we know that congress, the aid is pending there. they'll need more than that. 190 billion i think was the latest estimate that the governor gave, which would be, like, katrina and sandy
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combined. and so this is an effort, as you would imagine, it looks like this in so many areas. there are neighborhoods, a few of them in west houston, still under water. this is because of the reservoirs, they're still overflowing, still need to slowly let out water. the people that live there, they're furious. even though it is empty right now, behind me, i can't say in the last several days the volunteer effort has been overwhelming. and very impressive. thousands and thousands of volunteers helping make sure that houstonians are not left behind. >> jacob rascon in texas, thanks so much. coming up, war games, south korea conducting live fire drills for a second day in response to the north's nuclear test. chris van holland just returning from south korea from the dmz, joining me next right here on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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>> that's right. >> no border really. >> no. you go to the dmz and on this trip, which was led by senator markey, we also went to the chinese/north korean border. we approached the north korean border from south korea and also north korea, which is, of course, where there is a bridge where there is lots of commercial traffic between china and north korea. one of the issues that we need to address here, of course, is chinese -- chinese continuing to be an economic lifeline to north korea. >> and to that point, i think you were just on the phone with the secretary-general of the united nations. there is a resolution being considered, the u.s. is pushing for an oil embargo. to get china and russia to agree and not veto a resolution with an oil embargo, they have been continuing a lifeline because they don't want the regime to collapse. >> i know. this has got to be an indication that at the chinese have got to get serious. this is a moment when north korea went ahead and exploded, another nuclear weapon, largest to date. they have tested icbms, talk
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about doing another one. china needs to recognize that this is the time to put economic pressure on north korea through an oil embargo. it helped to bring north koreans to the table in a meaningful way. so i hope that we will adopt that, and that the russians and the chinese will not stand in the way. >> is there a way, perhaps, given that north korea exploded this massive largest test ever, we don't know yet, technically, whether it was hydrogen, but enormous. is it possible that since they did this as president xi was opening a summit, in china, with putin, with other leaders, the embarrassment to china in the very hour that he was hosting this summit. >> this certainly was a slap in the face of the united states, but also as you suggest a big slap in the face to president xi. and that's why i'm hopeful that china will get serious about
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this. senator toomey and i also introduced bipartisan legislation in -- >> republican senator from pennsylvania. >> exactly. to begin to tighten the financial screws and we make a very simple statement in the bill, which is if you're a business or a bank, doing business with north korea, you're not going to be doing business with the united states. and while the trump administration has taken some steps to crack down on some of these firms in china, we believe we need to send a much stronger signal. >> the president has sent conflicting signals including accusing the south koreans of appeasement and also threatening to cancel the trade agreement. you've got a bipartisan group of senators from the finance committee, saying nothing doing, they're not going to cancel this trade deal. >> yeah. this is nuts. the president of the united states needs to be on the phone, conducting diplomacy. not these hot and cold tweets. we want to work with china and we want to get them to put pressure on north korea. on one hand, he tweets that his best buddy, president xi, the
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next day he tweets something very different. he's attacked our ally, south korea, called them an appeaser, which is not true. we returned from the meeting with the president of south korea, who is demonstrating resolve and also deploying the thaad missile defense there, which the chinese have been pushing back on and trying not to do it. so to say that we're going to walk away from the trade agreement and to call them appeasers is not the way that the united states should be conducting diplomacy. >> let me ask you about the dreamers. as you know, the attorney general announced today the cancellation in six months if congress does not act, the president then issued a statement saying, congress must act now. is congress going to get to this in the next six months. >> here is the president, pulling the plug, on the dreamers. and then trying to provide cover for himself by saying congress, you act. it was a wrong decision. he didn't have to do it. he did it, he's going to hurt 800,000 people and the communities and businesses that
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rely on these young people. now i hope congress will act. in the senate, we have a bipartisan bill. paul ryan will need to step up to the plate. he's talked a lot about this. this is his opportunity to show some leadership on immigration. >> there is a large protest, you can see live pictures now from washington of dreamers and supporters coming out. we have pictures coming in from denver. this is going to spread around the country today. does the president and jeff sessions have a point that the executive order is not constitutionally valid and shouldn't this be done legislatively? >> this, the particular executive order regarding the dreamers i believe is constitutional. a lot of legal scholars made it clear it is constitutional. you can put it through the courts. there was the expanded, of course, executive order where a court has found some problems,
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put with respect to the dreamers, they really i should have stuck with the young people who know only america as their country. and, yes, congress should be working on immigration reform. my goodness, the senate passed a bipartisan bill years ago, never got a vote in the house, i was in the house of representatives at the time, speaker boehner never allowed a vote on it. of course, congress should act. but the president should not have talked -- taken this very harmful damaging action today. >> thank you very much, senator chris van holland. welcome back to the battles on capitol hill. so it begins. coming up, the art of the deal. a growing to do list for president trump in the next few weeks. can he close with congress? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [king] as king midas, i expect things to last a looong time. and so should you. midas has a lifetime guarantee on these parts. that's right. on things like struts, brakes, shocks. all kinds of automobile parts. [king] guaranteed for life. does he turn everything to gold?
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>> despite the recent signals, president trump went ahead today and terminated the dreamers program. he let his attorney general carry the water there. a lot of questions about the legal status of those currently currently protected by the program who volunteered all their family information when they came out of the shadows last year. let's get the inside scoop from robert costa and host of "washington week" and ed garren diplomatic correspondent and jeremy peters, political times reporter and msnbc contributor. robert, first to you. what is your understanding of the status of those who are now in limbo while they wait for congressional action? they volunteered all their data and now, if congress does not act, what happens to them? are they deported? >> it's a serious situation. they did entrust their information with the federal government expecting this daca program to be continuing as a federal policy. now, they're waiting on congress, andrea. they're trying to figure out,
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can speaker ryan and leader mcconnell come up with a package that wins bipartisan support and that makes sure that president trump signs it in the oval office to ensure that they can stay in the united states. >> now, this program is popular. according to all of our polling. it's popular. and there is a lot of bipartisan support for it, especially in agriculture states and other states which relies heavily on a lot of these people. >> yeah, it's -- you just have to look at who's for ending it. and you go right back to a fairly small percentage of the country, but a vocal one and people that trump feels he owes a promise to. he promised to end this program during the campaign saying that it had been enacted illegally. his complaint has always been on those grounds. and once in office, then he was sort of confronted with the human side of it. and you see him struggling with
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that. but, ultimately the fact he made this promise and he does have a constitutional legal quarrel with the way the program was set up and you have what happened today. >> this is a two-year program for people who were younger than 16 when they arrived in the u.s. before 2007, jeremy. these are people who have been in school or certified to be in school or in the military or have served in the military. >> exactly. and have been by most accounts completely productive members of society. and to your point, andrea, that's why the program is popular. even among republicans polling shows a resistance to ending it out right. and where the split is in the republican party right now and i've spent the last few minutes talking to some activists and strategists on both sides of this issue, there is an agreement that something can be done to keep these dreamers here.
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it's a question of what that agreement is. do you grant them citizenship? probably not. a harder sell in the house, for sure. do you grant them some type of legal status to stay here? some type of permanent residency. that's probably a lot easier to do. >> and, robert costa, we have not yet heard from former president obama. there is a possibility close to people close to him we will hear from him on this issue breaking his silence. but joe biden has just tweeted, brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here and now they'll be sent to countries they've never known. cruel. not america. is this the start of 2020? >> well, the democratic response is certainly going to be something to watch. and it's not just about the 2020 positioning we could see former vice president biden thinking through that decision. but leader pelosi in the house and leader schumer in the senate are, they know republicans are in a box here. republicans are cornered as they try to extend the debt limit in the budget. look for democrats, i'm told
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from my sources on capitol hill to demand a daca fix is included in some of these legislative packages as they know republicans are scrambling for votes. >> these latest legislative packages are ready and have to include harvey aid, that's supposed to be brought up on the house side tomorrow. and then it will go to the senate. one possible scenario not yet signed on by democrats which would add the debt limit extension to the harvey aid. >> right. all these must-do assignments in front of congress now. and certainly one, you know, one benefit, the way democrats see it, is that they have some, you know, legislative vehicles to which they can attach daca and they can, you know, legislative fix for daca and they can make demands of republicans that would have been much harder for them to make otherwise. i agree. i don't think they're going all the way for citizenship, but some sort of extension of legal
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status or temporary legal status. >> jeremy, they may need democratic votes because mark meadows and the freedom caucus met with, that is a strategy coming from one segment against any of these fixes.absolutely. the hard right is eyeing a number of battles that could be really breaking points for the republican party coming up over the next few months. a clean debt ceiling, structural reforms to the spending that the federal government makes on medicaid, medicare. you have tax reform, of course, coming up. let's not forget they promised to fix the tax code. you have the border wall that conservatives have decided this will be a hill that they die on. there is a number of these fights coming up and the idea now that immigration reform, the most volatile and divisive of all issues for republicans to deal with is now on the table in a big way. the likelihood of a big break in
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the party, i think, is severe. >> but the likelihood of a fix on something as volatile as immigration reform, even for these young people, people who were young when they were brought here is so difficult. so challenging. jeremy peters, ann garen and robert costa, thank you all so much for starting us off as congress heads back to town today. we'll be right back. stay with us. there's a denture adhesive that holds strong until evening. fixodent plus adhesives. just one application gives you superior hold
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thanks for being with us. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online and on twitter. craig melvin is up next right here on msnbc. >> thank you. good afternoon to you, craig melvin at msnbc headquarters in new york. keep dreaming. protests erupt across this country as the trump administration announces its decision to end the program that protected about 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. now, congress has six months to deal with the issue. bloody september. that's what some say the gop is facing with steve bannon out of the white house and, still, apparently wielding tremendous influence. how will the bannon factor affect the trump agenda? and monster storm. hurricane irma is now a category 5 and she's barreling towards the coast of florida. the latest on the catastrophic storm's path.

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