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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  September 11, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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"deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. >> we're going to bring you the latesta tropical storm irma and cover the latest headlines, including a concession from the president's ideological soulmate who said firing jim comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history. first tropical storm irma making its way toward georgia, but not before battering much of the state of georgia with wind, rain and flooding. we're likely through the worst of the wind damage, those floods are still a serious risk for low-lying cities in its path. about two-thirds of the state, upwards of 6 million people, are without power in florida. and we are just now starting to get a full picture of the devastation in areas like the florida keys as well as cuba, the british virgin islands and the rest of the caribbean where at least 36 people havet
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their lives. we start in northern florida. morgan radford is in jacksonville where the storm has passed but residents are worried about rising waters. morgan? >> nicolle, residents are worried about those waters. you can see how high they are on me right now. i'm 5'10". they're already up to my knees and expected to get even higher. we move from gainesville to downtown jacksonville. these waters are expected to rise four to six feet throughout the day. i want to introduce you to angel here. you live -- is it this building here? >> i live on the second floor up there. >> where the dog is. so explain to uwhat was the water leff like just a few short hours ago? >> the water level was above these upside down picnic benches you see up to the steps. and the waters were crashing against the windows. you see here, it broke the stucco off the side of the building. it was hitting pretty hard.
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>> i want ben, our awesome cameraman, just to show the water here. i want our viewers to really understand. the river has literally crested over and ruined these apartments. we're standing effectively in the river. there's no barrier between the river and apartments. almost as if we're at the beach. >> exactly what it looked like. looking out of our window, the waves were four to five feet coming through here. now it's calm. this is calm. >> have you ever seen anything like this? >> no, never. i was born and raised in florida. oouf been through hurricanes. this is -- nothing i experienced. >> what went through your mind when you knew irma was coming. is this worse or better than you anticipated? >> this is worse than what i anticipated. judging the track, really didn't have anywhere to go. couldn't go south. couldn't go north. couldn't go anywhere to get away from it. >> do you have enough food, water and preparations inside?
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>> we have enough for a few days. >> and that's what we're hearing. people are stocking up on food and water and trying to make it last as long as possible. >> thank you for your incredible reporting from jacksonville. we're going out to southern florida where the worst of the storm has passed. people are in the process of evaluating what their homes look like, what their lives look like in the wake of hurricane irma. yesterday at this hours, the area looked like this. >> why don't you get under the overhang. >> this came off one of the palm trees to the east of me and i'm not going to let go with it because it could just fly around. probably weighs about 25, 30 pounds. >> the angle of approach can make all the difference. and a storm more parallel -- -- that hurt.
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>> those are some of our extraordinary cleague vering t storm yesterday. one of them, jacob soboroff is now on the southwest coast of florida in everglade city battered hard by the massive storm. what are you seeing today? looks like the sun has come out but they are a long way to normal. >> it's a relief to see the sun and a relief to see the palm trees not swaying. this is what happens to a palm tree when it gets hit with a hurricane irma and comes into contact with a giant suv. this suv has been totally obliterated by this palm tree. you talk about damage, trees falling over, palm fronds on the street are the least of it. we were in everglade city at the intersection of the tammiana trail 41 and highway 29. and it was virtually completely flooded out. it was a really very sad thing to see, frankly. about 500 people live down there. most of them evacuated before the storm.
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we there were as many of them returned to the first -- for the first time. i think you're looking at some of those pictures right now. this place was totally washed out. a place very hard hit by hurricane wilma but the residents told me this was much worse than wilma. i met up with some of the sheriffs from collier county, where naples is, but that part of southwestern florida is in the same county and the sheriff told me luckily there were no casualties but the bridge out to the island was also completely impassable and homes there were mplete devastated. when you got a munity at or below sea level, and an entire community and their homes are at risk and you see them completely washed out. that's what everybody was worried about. the idea of this tremendous storm surge coming into low-lying communities. and because it didn't get to 5, 10, 15 feet, it didn't get to 10or 15 feet, it didn't inundate the place i am now, naples, florida, but everglade city is a
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much different story down there. residents that are going to be digging out, drying out for months if not a year or more down there. restaurants, a school. you have got countless homes and national parks down there as well. tourism is a huge industry down the there. it's going to be a long time before strangers come back down there. the local men and women of the first responder agencies have to just get the residents back in there, get their homes up and running and back to a normal life. really sad thing to see. the good news in all of this is the prayers of the people that stayed there were answered and as far as i know, as of right now, no reports of loss of life down in everglade city. >> jacob, thank you for all of your incredible reporting. you were out with the first responders putting the most important thing, the human face on this storm which wasn't as catastrophic as they predicted but still a lot of wreckage in those towns and people's homes as they sift through their most valued treasures. jacob soboroff in everglade
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city. turning now to politics and the president's response. president trump met over the weekend with members of his cabinet as hurricane irma pounded florida. here's what he had to say about the rescue effort yesterday when he returned to the south lawn of the white house. >> a group that really deserves tremendous credit is the united states coast guard. what they've done, they have gone right into that, and you never know. when you go in there, you don't know if you're going to come out. they are really -- if you talk about branding. no brand has improved more than the united states coast guard. >> no brand has improved more. didn'the coast guard had a branding problem. but never far from this president's mind, something about branding and it was just a curious thing to say. i watched it in realtime as it happened. our colleague kristen welker was there. i wonder if you have any reaction from the president or from the white house about singling out the coast guard and their branding situation. >> we never got to ask that question during today's
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briefing, but it was kind of striking, right? this first opportunity for the president to talk in realtime about the storm as it was punishing much of florida. he didn't just praise the coast guard, he said fema. for a guy who views himself as a faster brander, perhaps it should not come as any surprise. again, this morning as he was speaking on this anniversary of 9/11, he did stick to the script as it were read something prepared remarks to the audience gathered at one of several moments of silence today talking about how following this latest crisis, at times when americans are in need, americans pull together. he talked about how in moments like this, our differences seem so small and the common bond seems so strong. so even after those remarks, tharpt sort of off the cuff, as it typical with a lot of things he says that somehow don't seem to be hitting the strike zone in terms of what many past presidents would have said, he followed a more traditional tone. >> and i want to ask you about some good news coming in.
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the white house inbox today regarding the president's muslim ban. i know we've matched the reporting but the headline on "the washington post" story reads, supreme court allows broad enforcement of travel n, at least for a day. please explain. >> so let's walk you through this. the supreme court justice, specifically anthony kennedy, put a temporary hold on limited imposed by lower court on the president's order barring most refugees from entering the u.s. kennedy was responding to the justice department that was challenging a part of that recent ruling by the 9th circuit court of appeals in san francisco. without kennedy getting involved, that decision would have gone into effect tomorrow. the full supreme court will have time to consider the merits of the trump administration request. the bottom line is this relates to that clause that defined family members, family relationships in terms whof would and would not be allowed to come to the u.s. as part of this ban. if a refugee had grandparents who were u.s. citizens, that was
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not a qualifying factor. so in the simplest of terms for now, those refugees cannot come. you need a more immediate family member like a mom, dad or sibling, you name it before the full supreme court weighs in. >> i watched the white house briefing today and couldn't help but notice that sarah huckabee sanders was pounded with question about the interview that former white house adviser steve bannon gave to another media outlet in which he called the firing of jim comey the greatest political mistake in modern history. i wonder if you were surprised by how much attention that got from our colleagues in the briefing room, and if anything about her response surprised you. i saw a little bit of, well, he doesn't work here anymore. not my problem. but we know that donald trump has a very hard time quitting even ousted aides. >> she conceded the two have spoken at least once since his departure. it's obvious he's playing a significant role in guiding a lot of the thinking of this president. you know, in many ways, karl rove was the brain for george w.
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bush. this is sort of the soul for president trump, perhaps, in the views that steve bannon has been espousing his comments about james comey. obviously, those comments to "60 minutes" were very notable. sarah huckabee didn't really want to talk about that. she said you are a lot more focused on this guy than you were when he was here. this was his sort of coming out of the shadows as it were, politically speaking, and very firmly communicating a lot of the things that a lot of americans have seen to this point. the president agrees with on all these different topics. and sarah huckabee sanders doubled down on some of the comments, specifically about james comey, defending the decision to fire him. basically saying that, you know, she didn't say he perjured himself but the president stands by that decision and that was the right thing to do. >> on a day the president is trying to strike a tone of unity, about they are still
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dealing with the muslim ban and firing of jim comey, some of the -- >> not the interview that would have happened on the eve of 9/11, if they had a choice >>hen we come back, is donald trump declaring his independence or just going rogue? we'll talk to one of the reporters on the front lines of that fiery debate. also ahead -- in the aftermath of the president's botched response to the violence in charlottesville, can the man who said that donald trump lacked the moral authority to lead teach him something about race. and the nation and the pentagon mark a somber anniversary. >> maniacs disguised in false religious garb thought by hurting us they could scare us that day. but we americans are noted me mf cotton candy. we are not intimidated by our enemies. starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world.
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backlash over the weekend against a spate of stories about the president's recent dealings with democrats, suggesting trump is breaking the mold and behaving more like an independent president than the leader of any party. today the author of one of those stories, peter baker, white house correspondent for "the new york times" and an msnbc political analyst and heidi przybilla and. peter, i was covering the hurricane news on twitter as my
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heroic colleagues were on the beat. i was following some of the politics headlines. president trump demonstrated this past week that he still imagines himself a solitary cowboy as he abandoned republican congressional leaders to forge a short-term fiscal deal with democrats. although elected as a republican last year, mr. trump has shown in the nearly eight months in office that he is in many ways the first independent to hold the presidency since the advent of the current two-party system around the time of the civil war. peter baker, why did that make so many people so mad? >> well, i think a lot of people misinterpreted or maybe read it to mean that independent meant bipartisan or cent terrorist. that's not what it meant. an independent can be anything. george wallace or strom thurmond. independent means in this context someone who is clearly not part of the system. not been part of the republican party and is willing to go at
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odds with the people who lead it. we've seen that time and time again. we saw again just last night with the steve bannon interview that the former adviser to the president still pretty much in his camp. plans a war on republican establishment characters in next year's election. so i think people misunderstood independent to mean something that i didn't mean it to mean. i meant someone not part of the two parties. that doesn't mean he's not conservative or hasn't worked with republicans or advanced a conservative agenda. he has chosen to govern mainly from the right so far but you know better than i do. a lot of republicans would not consider him to be one of their own. >> so i thought about this comment that sarah palin made after the 2008 campaign and she said i'm so happy to be unshackled from my pesky advisers. i thought people might have received the word unshackled or unhinged a little better. and i understand what you're saying but part of the problem is just keeping it real here is
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that independence is associated with something good. people think of joe lieberman and sometimes john mccain and susan collins as the more independent members of the gop caucus. they don't think of a guy who struggles to condemn white supremacists as independent in the spectrum. i understand what you were saying. you were talking about unattached. a free agent. is that right? is that fair? >> that's exactly right. another way of saying disrupter which is a phrase we've used a lot this year. attachment to the party and to, you know, a team because, being part of this team. we've seen again and again he does not consider himself to be part of the team. he tweeted last week in response to those upset with him for his fiscal deal. he said republicans, sorry, but this is -- he used the phrase as if he was addressing republicans to be somebody other than himself. his affiliation with party, not an ideology. that's a different thing. >> heidi, this caused such a
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kerfuffle because this president is soerkassocied particularly i the minds of democrats in some of the most polarizing politics in modern history. >> in the ensuing six months since he took over, the democrats who thought maybe he was that independent actor and that he was somebody they could cut a deal with has been poisoned, they say, now by events like charlottesville. even if the inclination was there to kind of cut some of those deals it has been those more polarizing efforts and announcements like on charlottesville. like on the muslim ban that's kind of poisoned the well with these democrats. at the same time, nicole, everybody here in washington is playing the parlor game of trying to, you know, read into this and see if this is going to be part of a pattern or if this was a one off. and i think there is an affirmative case to say that this will be a potential opportunity for the president because there are other deals that he -- to be had.
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for example, on daca where he can put points on the board. a spending bill by the end of the year. i think so much of this was also kind of driven by trump's desire to kind of just get something, anything done, and he knew if he had to go back to the tea party and do this two-step of spending cuts at a time we needed this money, when he knew you couldn't get this done without lifting the debt ceiling. it was also just a pretty easy calculation that he had to roll the tea party to just get this done. >> jonathan swann, take me inside this parlor game. a close trump ally says to me, see, i told you he was justi a transactional guy. >> over the past week since trump cut the deal with schumer and pelosi, he has been in a
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state of barely restrained glee with some of his colleagues. he's been re-enacting the meeting. >> wait, stop. you mean like acting it out like -- >> kind of. he's been -- and that's what he does. after meetings, trump does the blow-by-blow. he does this all the time. he does this all the time. >> okay. tell me more. so then -- so then he says, nancy, i say let's screw paul. what happened? tell me about this. >> the way trump views mitch mcconnell, and he's not shy about this. he tells anyone who will talk to him who is at the white house. he views him as a failed leader, low energy, somebody who can't deliver, who is passed his prime and trump has really enjoyed this whole rubbing it in his face. we know he's had a tense relationship with paul ryan for some time, but my sources said he was more irritated with mcconnell in that moment. and it really was an impulsive
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moment. he saw the opportunity for the deal and went against what they med outh previous day. so he's been enjoying this. he's loved, you know, just -- it wasn't even passive aggressive. just aggressive when he was on air force one and said i did this great deal with chuck and nancy. he's just enjoying watching them squirm. that's the reality of them. >> let's draw this string forward because the white house is now sort of -- i think the word i heard is euphoric. the president is essentially euphoric. but it's not like they cracked the nut on some difficult policy. it's not like they found a middle ground on immigration. it's not like they found a middle ground on some sort of societal ill that we've been grappling with for years and years. they found a way to keep the government open for three months and to fund two natural disasters. i think the president is a little too happy with himself. but some of the ways forward if he wants to continue to work with democrats are to maybe do something on immigration. i don't see the daca wall deal. i've heard that from more
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republicans than democrats. but tell me if there is really any likelihood that democrats will sit down and hammer out a deal for daca where they actually fund a wall. >> yeah, it's a great question. you're right. this is the smallest possible deal that uses the "d" word. not even much of a deal. the democrats took a position and republicans took another position and trump said i'll take the democrats position. he didn't haggle or negotiate or get anything out of it. he just simply said, sure, let's do the three-month deal. all it does is postpone a fight for three months. without actually resolving any substantive disagreements. in washington, postponing a fight for three months constitutes kind o a victory because we're so used to fighting over every single inch. you're right. the idea of immigration, of a longer term financial or fiscal deal, it involves concessions and compromise. there's very little evidence to suggest either base of either
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party is really up for that. the democrats could get away with doing this deal with him right now because he accepted what they offered. let's wait three months and see if chuck schumer and nancy pelosi can really come to the table and offer something that will make their own base go nuts because they have to make compromise in order to get something else they really do want. that's the real test. neerths base of either party really wants their wellers right now to find -- to make compromises. >> i believe it was -- i first read the president is going to meet with tim scott. it may be one of those hurdles the democratic base cannot get beyond, the president's response to charlottesville. tell me about the meeting with tim scott and what the white house hopes to accomplish. >> it's actually more what tim scott hopes to accomplish. he's the only african-american republican senator. he has wanted to talk to trump about race for some months now and actually his staff to staff conversations have been going on
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for in time before charlottesville. after charlottesville, he condemned trump in very strong terms. he said that trump had lost his moral authority to lead because of his failure to condemn the white supremacists. and what tim scott wants to, do he said at the time that trump needed to be exposed to people with different life stories, minorities. before tim scott brings any of these people in he wants to have a one on one conversation with the president where he shares his own personal story growing up poor and black in the south and having a very different life experience than donald trump had. he wants to share that personal experience and see if he can't hemove t president in a diffent rection on race. >> heidi, let me give you the last word here and ask you about a term usually associated with my beloved chickens. in free-range trump, many see potential for a third party. jeremy peters writing now more than any point in its modern
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history, the party has reached such a breaking point that historians and political analysts and republicans say it faces the possibility of breaking and spawning a third party. is this the word on the street in washington? >> here's what you watch. these are a critical few months here for the republican party to accomplish something. and you can see where the seeds for that are pleasanted and already sprouting in the form of steve bannon threatening these primary threats against republicans. if we don't get the wall, we don't get health care. well, they've already lost that. nothing on infrastructure, no tax reform, somebody has to take the fall and that's not going to be donald trump because he will happily, as we've already seen, campaign against-these republicans, and that's when i think you watch for some kind of escalation of civil war within the republican party because the last people who are going to be blamed for this are the democrats. they don't kracontrol anything this town. when we come back, facing
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extinction. the last remaining moderates in the republican party are being squeezed out. and as heidi just said, steve bannon is making sure the door slams them on the way out. ...has grown into an enterprise. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. now, i'm earning unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase i make. everything. which adds up to thousands of dollars back every year... ...and helps keep my passion growing... every direction. what's in your wallet?
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they're not going to help you unless they're put on notice they'll be held accountable if they do not support the president of the united states. right now there's no accountability. they have totally -- they do not support the president's program. it's an open secret on capitol hill. everybody in this city knows it. >> so, therefore, you're out of the whourite house, you're goino war with them? >> absolutely. >> steve bannon has declared war against members of the republican party who he sees as less than loyal to the president and his nationalist agenda. politico now reporting he's plotting primary challenges against sitting republican senators in the midterms. today nbcearned bob corker, one of trump's latest critics
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from within his own party, is stepping down at the end of his term in 2018. considering stepping down. this after publicly questioning trump's fitness to lead just last month. let's turn to our panel today. rick stangel who was under secretary of state for public affairs. katie packer beason who was the deputy campaign manager for mitt romney. and mark moriale is the presidentth in ceo of the national urban league and a former mayor of new orleans. let me start with you and ask you, tim scott's effort to come and try to educate the president is noble. so i don't want to criticize tim scott, but what does it say about this moment that we find -- >> tim scott was very strong after charlottesville. >> we were together. >> some people were surprised he was so strong and resolute. but if you know tim scott, it's absolutely clear that on that issue, he will not yield.
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now will trump take him seriously? will he be serious and will a conversation lead to policy changes? for example, if you want to do something about race, disband this bogus voter integrity commission. it's morthan about words. it's about action. it's a good step and for tim scott, a lot to be seen about what happens as a result of that meeting. >> are you impressed or intrigueby the fact this was initiated by tim scott and not by donald trump? >> you know, i think that tim scott is a person who, if the republican leadership listened to him, they could educate themselves on race. they've gone absolutely since the 2016 cycle, absolutely the wrong way. you had a jeb bush early on trying to build a more inclusive, if you will, republican party. what you got from trump and bannon and those and the likes
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is some sense that there's no place in sort of this party they want to create, whether it's a new republican party or an independent party for people of color, for people who do not fit their sort of code of being part of this nationalistic movement. >> katie, sally bradshaw is a small circle of women who have had jobs as senior as you on a campaign. sally bradshaw was jeb's chief of staff when he was governor and his campaign manager during this most recent run. she wrote in response to a question from buzzfeed last week that trump is turning the republican party into anti-woman, anti-minor ut, anti-black and she having been the author of the autopsy in 2012 after your old boss' defeat knows what she's speaks. what do you make of this effort by tim scott to go and try, to i guess the word is educate or have a conversation with the president about what can only be described -- i think the question no longer is, is the president a racist. it doesn't even matter what the
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answer is to that. he gave racists comfort in his response to charlottesville. where is the republican party and are all of our hopesiding on timscott's conversation on wednesday this week? >> i think tim scott is in very much the same position a lot of women in the republican party are which is, is there a home for me here? do we feel comfortable advocating for this party and representing this party? >> what's your answer? >> it's a challenge. a pollster, a young female, millennial pollster in our party was featured in a column last week talking about this very issue that it gets harder and harder and harder to defend this president. and i applaud tim scott for sticking with this, for sticking with the party in spite of very difficult challenges and saying i want to give this guy a shot. the challenges that donald trump seems to see everything through the prism of donald trump and its impact on donald trump. this meeting with the leadership and coming down on the side of
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the democrats instead of republicans. it has nothing to do with policy or any kind of philosophical north star that he follows. it has to do with, in this moment, what do i feel like doing. >> have you answered the question you asked kristen? do you still find a home in the republican party as a woman? >> i do and look at other leaders like tim scott and hold out hope. >> let's look at sarah huckabee sanders struggling to answer questions about steve bannon and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> the president wants to work with all members of congress, that includes republican leadership and democrats. you saw some of the president's leadership last week when he helped strike a deal to make sure that we got the funding that was necessary. we're focused on moving things forward and certainly that's the goal. >> is he still talking to steve bannon? does he still seek his counsel? >> i know they've had one question. >> he said this discussion over daca could lead to a civil war in the republican party. how and why is he wrong? >> steve always likes to speak in the most extreme measures.
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i'm not sure i gragree with tha. >> he got the president to govern in the most extreme measures. the muslim ban is in front of the supreme cort again today. it's not just words and sarah huckabee sanders was trying to brush it off as style points. but the president, by and large, sided with steve bannon on the paris climate accord, on -- and if it's the presidency now marked by climate disasters, what do you make of the relationship between steve bannon and donald trump? >> well, donald trump has been a member of one political party for 40 years. and that is what's good for donald trump political party. it has one member. what steve bannon managed to do is make -- >> joined it? >> he joined it. seemed like this party is actually for you, americans. this minority of the republican party that he's really for you. there's no ideology there. there's no soul. you use that term transactionalist perfectly right. he's not an independent in the sense he's between the two.
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he's a guy looking out for his own best interest, not the best interest of the voters. >> peter baker, that was precisely the point of your reporting over the weekend, right? >> it is. the word independent can mean different things. some interpret it to mean something between. he's not between. he is a party of one. that may be a better phrase that maggie haberman used in my newspaper, my colleague. he sees his own path, and he's not stuck with anyone else's path. we'll see where it takes him a few months down the road. >> peter baker, thank you for that reporting and coming on a talkinto us about it. when we come back, even steve bannon thinks that firing jim comey was a big mistake. huge, in fact, because it resulted in the appointment of special counsel bob mueller. on the other side of the break, we'll show you who steve bannon is suggesting might share some of the blame.
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it is also true, many say, and you're a smart guy, that if james comey had not been fired, we would not have the mueller investigation. true? >> i don't think there's any doubt -- i don't think there's any doubt if james comey had not been fired we would not have a special counsel, yes. >> so we would not have the mueller investigation. >> would not have the mueller investigation in the breadth that clearly mr. mueller is going. >> someone said to me that you described the firing of james comey, you are a student of history, as the biggest mistake in political history. >> that would be -- that would probably be too bombastic for even me but maybe modern political history. >> the firing of james comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history?
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>> i think if you're saying that's associated with me, then i'll leave it at that. >> former chief strategist to the president steve bannon says not only was the firing of fbi director james comey the biggest blunder in modern political history, he says without that, the mueller investigation would not be barreling toward the white house. the hill reporting yesterday that two more white house staffers lawyered up. rinse priebus and white house counsel don mcgahn have hired a lawyer amid the investigation into russian meddling. this comes on the heels of a friday bombshell, a story lost amid hurricane coverage. mueller gave the white house the name of six aides he'd like to interview. let me ask you, just about the atmospherics of this russia investigation bearing down on the west wing of this white house as i know some aides, especially the national security
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circles, feel like they're just starting to get their sea legs under the kelly rule. but mueller is really sort of speeding up and accelerating his irn interaction with this west wing. >> it should come as no surprise we're seeing reports like hope hicks and rinse priebus now on the outside, don mcgahn getting their own lawyers. it would be remarkable if they weren't. one thing we're starting to see is we're going to start seeing legal fees putting an enormous burden on a lot of these people. $1,000 is fine if you're jared kushner. it's not necessarily fine if you are a midlevel staffer. and i suspect, based on what i'm hearing, we're going to start seeing outside legal defense funds popping up. but directionally, this investigation is pretty clear. they are burrowing down on the obstruction of justice and that plane trip where they wrote the misleading statement about the
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meeting don jr. had with the russians, that plane trip is going to be scoured over. and the other parties, it's clear from whom mueller is hiring that the financial side of this is going to be a deep investigation, and i know that people inside the white house were concerned, particularly about the reports about michael cohen who was an associate, a lawyer for donald trump and had some unsavory associations that ar coming under scrutiny. >> heidi, i've got bannon fatigue myself so i'm not going to play any more of it, but the one piece that is worth sort of adding to what we've already shared with our viewers which is important to explain why we're doing so. this is someone in constant contact with the president of the united states. a real window into his thinking, an ideological. he sort of alludes and hints to charlie rose that he should get to the bottom of where jared kushner came down on the decision to fire jim comey.
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are you starting to hear sort of whispers and murm murs of this white house starting to cannibalize in the terms of the investigation and throwing colleagues under the bus? >> well, there's, of course, been a lot of speculation about the lord of the flies kind of atmosphere within the white house. not just between bannon and kushner. that's a well-known narrative, but between other aides and even the son, don trump jr. and jared kushner over that meeting at trump tower. so the fact that so many of these aides now not even in the immediate periphery but in the secondary periphery are having to lawyer up, absolutely creates an uncertain atmosphere in the white house in terms of them even being able to interact with each other without having to worry, is this something i'm going to have to share with my lawyer or with robert mueller. but i think this investigation is also kind of -- because it's
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been taken out and given to robert mueller is also something that they -- they don't have to deal with as much in terms of pr because they just direct all those questions to the special counsel or to their outside lawyers. >> they have no control, rick. >> to state the obvious, no less important because it's obvious, is the reason that bannon thinks this is the worst political mistake is that he thinks it's a mortal threat on the presidency of donald trump. let's just say that. >> right. >> i feel like we've been report -- >> dance around it. >> just saying he said this. no, he, and he has inside and special knowledge that he sees this as a kind of laser beam focus on the presidency of donald trump. unraveling. that's why he thinks it's a terrible thing. >> wt he just did is asked to be interviewed by mueller. it's stunning tt in the same breath he says i'm going to stand by donald trump. then in the next breath he says
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this is the worst political decision in modern history. but he pointed the finger at chris christie who wouldn't defend the president after the billy bush debacle. bannon is a tricky figure. he basically says to mueller and his investigators, look at this decision. come interview me. it's a stunning thing. don't miss this point. he's on television proclaiming his loyalty while at the same time saying that the man he is loyal to, his ideological soulmate, made, quote, the worst decision in modern political history. how can you be more critical? he's a tricky figure, and who can trust him? >> katie, there's a lot of lore in trump circles. i've said ever since these clips have started coming out from cbs that steve bannon is the most overrated strategist in modern history. you put that question to trump insiders, they say it's all relative. they say he was sort of all they had. as someone who worked at the highest levels of politics,
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steve bannon has an inflated sense of self and also is not very good at what he does. >> if you win elections, everybody thinks you are a genius. if you lose one, everyone thinks you're a moron. there's plenty of smart people who have lost elections and ve versa. >> plenty of mons who have won? just say it >> to your point, he does proclaim this loyalty and he's clearly going to lay the blame for this firing at the feet of jared kushner without a doubt. but if you look back at the last year of this presidency, there is nothing that gets donald trump more incensed than the talk about russia. and there was a famous quote back in the watergate days, follow the money. follow russia, and that is where the achilles heel of this presidency lies because there is some there, there. there has been no transparency, no truth when it comes to russia and dealings with the trump organization, dealings with the trump family. as you know, and you know, any seasoned political operative
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would have immediately turned this phone call over to the fbi if they were contacted by an agent of the russian government -- >> with the pressure on these other white house aides, it will be interesting to see who becomes a cooperating witness for mueller and how soon. when legal fees mount and you can't sustain an expensive defense, sometimes the only way to protect your own reputation is to say, i will cooperate in exchange for non-prosecution or immunity. >> and no "there" there in the russian investigation. he's only a witness for mueller if he can talk about obstruction of justice around a crime which may or may not have happened. >> and thinks he might be fired. might be what -- >> he asked to be interviewed because he expressed i have enough idea to suggest this was the worst decision in modern history and if you are his lawyer or anyone who is a lawyer, which i am, i'd be cringing. you're asking to be drawn into
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something -- >> i think the lawyers are in therapy with the rest of us. thank you for spending so much of the hour with you. appreciate it. one of the few in washington not willing to call out his own party weighs in. my car insurane my car insurane by switching to geico. i should take a closer look at geico... you know, geico can help you save money on your homeowners insurance too? great! geico can help insure our mountain chalet! how long have we been sawing this log? um, one hundred and fourteen years. man i thought my arm would be a lot more jacked by now. i'm not even sure this is real wood. there's no butter in this churn. do my tris look okay? take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more.
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how do you want the american people to remember you? >> he served his country, and
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not always right. made a lot of mistakes. made a lot of errors, but served his country, and i hope we could add honorably. >> that was john mccain yesterday in his first national interview before returning to capitol hill this week. back with our panel. what did you think when you that? i have always looked at people like john mccain and john lewis as really special. and their special to me because of the, what they did before they even became members of congress. any man who could withstand five years of captivity is someone that will have my respect. i remember john mccain came to our conference when running for president in 2008 and even startled me when he said, do you want me to take questions from the audience? this was not an audience of john mccain supporters and opened the floor and took any question that came, and handled like -- in his
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own unique candid way. so even when i disagree with him on public policy, i'velways thought of him as a man of great character and great personal integrity. >> and has that been 4r069 in the republican party in the time of trump? >> i do think it's been lost. he, john mccain, i've had the privilege spending time with him. he's one of the most decent, honorable men, but, fun, too and easy to get along with, but he's a patriot more than anything. he gave almost everything he had to this country, but went on to spend of rest of his life giving almost everything to this country and he has my admiration for sure. >> and still kicking. i think he's got a lot of work left in him, rick. >> as a former member of his base. the "journalist." >> that's right! >> we were on the straight talk express. i actually sat at the front not the back where the cool kids sat. that he is a maeve rverick. a member of the party but does
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the independent thing he thinks is right at the time. that's an american patriot. >> nesneak in a break. we'll be right back. it's a serious disease. my doctor said the risk is greater now that i'm over 50! yeah...ya-ha... just one dose of the prevnar 13® vaccine can help protect you from pneumococcal pneumonia- an illness that can cause coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and may even put you in the hospital. prevnar 13® is approved for adults 18 and older to help prevent infections from 13 strains of the bacteria that cause pneumococcal pneumonia. you ould n receive prevd a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or its ingredients. if you have a weakened immune system, you may have a lower response to the vaccine. the most common side effects were pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, limited arm movement, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, less appetite, vomiting, fever, chills, and rash. get this one done! ask about prevnar 13® at your next visit to your
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our thanks to rick stengel, katie packer, and mark morale. that does it for our hour. "mtp daily" starts right now with katy tur in the for chuck. >> hi. if it's monday, a day of disaster response and remembrance. tracking irma. >> got to keep everybody safe. >> the massive storm moves north leaving destruction across the state of florida. plus, defending the homeland 16 years after 9/11. >> we've marshalled resources and organized them in a way to confront the threat of terrorism, also to organize ourselves in a way that will allow us to respond to any event. >> i'm talk to former homeland security secretary jeh johnson about the threat of terrorism and the storm operations


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