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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  September 28, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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that no doubt means general kelly, the new white house chief of staff. there are also reports that jared kushner did not tell the senate intelligence committee about his use of private e-mails. even when he met with that committee. that could create serious problems for jared kushner. this afternoon, chairman richard burr and mark warner sent a letter to jared kushner's defense lawyer asking why the committee learned about this through the news media instead from jared kushner himself when he spoke to the committee. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. tonight, president trump on defense. the white house fights back from criticism on its hurricane response on tax reform. and the private air travel of his cabinet. speaking of which, there is more new reporting tonight on more travel by secretary tom price. tonight, what price is willing to do about it.
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and the former commander of hurricane katrina response calls for an evacuation of puerto rico. that is how the 11th hour gets under way on a thursday night. good evening from the nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 252 of the trump administration, and let's put it this way. just imagine these headlines durl normal times. russia continues its attacks on the u.s. and a natural disaster has left over 3 million americans in peril over a week after the storm. those are some of the headlines in our news tonight. and on top of those stories, all of which we'll discuss tonight, another story that will not go away for the trump white house just got worse. tonight there's more news about private air flights taken by the secretary of health and human services tom price. politico's new headline is this. price took military jets to
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europe, asia for over $500,000. they write, quote, the white house approved the use of military trips to africa and europe this spring and asia in the summer at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers. the overseas trips bring the total cost to taxpayers of price's travels to more than $1 million since may, according to a politico review. they have led the way on this story. before that report dropped, price took questions about the controversy for the first time, explaining his plan to try to fix the problem. >> there will be no private air charters at hhs going forward. a second is to cooperate fully with the inspector general. i called for an internal review within the department itself. finally to pay for my portion of those trips. clearly we got -- weren't sensitive to the taxpayer on these instances, which is why
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i've taken the actions that i've taken today. >> about that comment, my portion of those trips, he is paying on a prorated basis for his seat on those flights. not the full $1 million tab. that's according to politico tonight. his department says he'll write the government a check for exactly $51,831.71. again, earlier before this latest reporting broke, the press secretary was given a chance to say whether or not price will keep his job. >> is the president looking further into tom price's use of the private plane? >> the president said yesterday he's not thrilled, certainly not happy with the actions. we're definitely looking at the issue. they're conducting both interm and an ig full review. but to be clear, also, the white house does not have a role on the front end of approving private charter flights at the agencies. that's something that we're certainly looking into from this
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point forward. and have asked a halt be put, particularly at hhs on any private charter flights moving forward. until those reviews are done. a full review, we'll see what happens. >> tonight the white house is also on defense on its response to the devastating lack of basic necessities in puerto rico. there's a struggle to get supplies to the people who need them. shipping containers filled with food, water and other essentials sit in the port of san juan. but there aren't enough trucks or drivers to get them moving. today the administration defended the response they say is proceeding well. >> why has it taken eight days to get a three-star general on the ground to start organizing this? we know the island situation, et cetera, but why eight days? >> yeah, well, because it didn't
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require a three-starp general eight days ago. >> you are seeing devastation in puerto rico. that is the fault of the hurricane. the relief effort is under control. it is proceeding very well. considering the devastation that took place. >> and more on all that later on in this broadcast. and then there's the tax plan this white house and congress have pivoted to in search of an issue to win on. trump has called it a miracle for the middle class. but experts say it's hard to determine whether that's true based on the information we have thus far. from what they can tell, it does appear to help wealthy americans, including the president and his family members, after trump repeatedly said the plan is not good for him. here's how the white house responded to that today. >> how can you say that this is not helping him? >> the american people are concerned about their financial position. i think what they're concerned about is when they go to work every week and they get their
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paycheck at the end of the week, how much do they get to keep? how much goes in their pocket versus how much goes to government? >> this tax plan appears it will benefit the president and his family. why not be candid about that? >> look, i told you it will benefit the middle class. i think that's what american tax -- american taxpayers care about what they take home. they care about what they have to spend. >> let's turn to our lead-off panel on a thursday night. peter baker is back with us, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." and shannon pettypiece is back with us from bloomberg. and jonathan la mere, for the a.p., also an msnbc political analyst. welcome to you all. peter, there are optics to talk about. there's obviously suffering and substance to talk about. but let's go with tom price first, because it is very likely to be top of mind with the president. what's the latest? >> well, i think the latest is
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you see a drip drip drip for tom price as to whether he gets to keep his job. president trump has been the sort of president we've seen before with jeff sessions not to offer a lot of support when somebody's in trouble. in fact, to hold somebody in his circle out to dry if he chooses to. and this is a situation where he's genuinely mad at the secretary for embarrassing him, for doing the kind of thing that perpetuates the idea that the swamp is not being drained, but the other way around. does that mean he's going to be out? we don't know. certainly tom price tonight is nervously waiting. >> shannon, people even in the loyal base are going to hear that figure, $1 million in private and/or military air travel. that leaves a mark. a check for roughly 52 grand may look like a too cute by half response. >> right. as peter said, this is the classic swamp. this is everything the base hates about washington. this is what they feel they fought against.
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so that's why this story has some resonance. and for tom price and his future in this add m, he was already on thin ice with the president after this failure to repeal obamacare. you know, we've seen a lot of people come in and out of trump's doghouse. some people stay there. and some people like jeff sessions have a way of sort of going through the revolving door and coming back out. but because price is really out of favor with the president, i think that's why his situation here is kind of perilous. there's already talk on the hill and among others about a possible replacement. scott gottlieb's name from the fda has been around. that's sort of the stage we're at, about really sort of talking about who's next or where do they go next, even whether or not price will be in the job two weeks from now. >> there are two clear choices, stay or go. we've seen cabinet members stay and get publicly humiliated, i.e., the attorney general. but none of this looks good.
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>> no, it does not. jeff sessions is a great example. he was one of the president's closest allies on the campaign. trump got very, very angry with him when he recused himself from the russia probe. he did not broadcast that publicly for a few months. but now then he did. in a series of tweets. still hard to comprehend that a sitting cabinet member he went after him. sessions kept his job. trump behind closed doors as recently as this week saying he's still mad at the attorney general. secretary price does not have these long-standing ties with the president. as the other panelists have said, is taking some of the brunt of the blame for the failure of the health care plan. >> yes. >> let's remember what the president said yesterday, we'll see whas his phrase when he asked if price would keep his job. that in trump lexicon is often a kiss of death. he said, we'll see, about five days before he fired steve bannon. we've seen the extraordinary amount of turnover here in the first handful of months in this
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administration. i don't think secretary price should be sleeping easy tonight that he's going to have this job much longer. the president is telling people around him that he's disgusted with this. he thinks it looks bad. it flies in the face of the drain the swamp credo. he hasn't made up his mind but secretary price is certainly in trouble. >> let's pivot to the suffering going on in puerto rico. the president on twitter has tried a couple of times to point out how great the effort is, and it's received high marks from the governor, the president also along the way retweeted bill o'reilly tonight, if you did a word cloud of the business journalism tonight, this night next week i have a feeling the word katrina is going to pop, because the comparisons may become inevitable. and certainly impossible to stop. what is the confidence level on the inside, beyond all the pr, that they're ahead of this, that they are where they want to be eight days after this storm? >> well, certainly there's a
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feeling of catch-up at this point. certainly at the very least as you pointed out at the top on the optics, certainly the suffering is also, you know, real and very hard to get their hands around. there is a logistical issue here, but it is also about leadership. we saw with katrina and president bush, not just the actual efforts on the ground which were hobbled by a number of obstacles, but the sense of leadership, the sense that the president cares and is investing urgency in the problem. in the last few days, he's begun doing that in a much more sustained way than at the beginning. but it's taken a real toll on the perception of his leadership that he didn't do it right away. >> shannon, there has been a palpable empathy gap, an absence of empathy. you hear stuff, you read stuff, anyone in the white house who didn't previously know that puerto ricans are americans
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certainly knows by tonight. and they also know this is the stuff of accountability. mayors are graded on clearing the snow after a big snowstorm. presidents are often graded on how they respond when nature hands us the very worst. >> yeah. and this is thursday. and on sunday, i could see my twitter feed and my facebook feed being posted with images of people saying, what is going on here? why is the president talking about nfl and why is the country so upset about that when we have this humanitarian crisis unfolding in puerto rico? the optics just keep continuing. we now have a cruise ship from a private company evacuating people off this island. and it just rings this memory of katrina where you had the walmart trucks going into new orleans when fema couldn't get there. here we have once again a private company, carnival
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cruise, evacuating people from this island when the federal government is saying, no, we can't get there. you know, or don't worry, we're on top of it. the optics aren't good. going into the weekend, they're not going to get any better. the president goes there on tuesday. i think there's a sense that hopefully the situation will be better by tuesday, or not -- you know, better, but the optics will be better by then for his trip. but he could be flying into a very difficult situation visually as well as, you know, physically on the ground for so many of these people. >> there were a few heroes in katrina. jonathan, what's it like on the inside? we haven't really talked nor do we plan to with the war with the nfl tonight, at long last, or war of words with north korea. while all this goes on. >> that's right. this is a president and administration that likes to say frequently, we can talk and chew gum at the same time. they like to think they can
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handle multiple things at once. we've hear sarah sanders say that repeatedly. they have to do that now. you didn't even mention the ongoing russia probe. there are certainly in the last few days publicly there's been much more of an effort to engage here on the crisis in puerto rico. it's not just about optics. these are real lives. but they're playing optics game very poorly. we have the acting director of homeland security today saying it's a good news story, in terms of the federal government's response to this crisis. i think very few people on the ground in puerto rico would agree with that. the president, though, certainly he is starting to focus on this more. he's worried about the response. behind closed doors, he's still talking about the nfl. he's telling groups of conservatives this week he thinks that's a winning issue for him. he feels like that they're his base, really responding to that, they're angry that the people --
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that players are taking a knee and linking arms in protest of the national anthem, because he has also decided to turn this into a personal issue for him where he feels the protest is as much about the president as it is about the flag. >> last word, peter, you were around for 43. you know better than most. empathy counts, appearances and action really count in events like this. >> they absolutely do. president bush went back to the gulf coast in new orleans repeatedly after the initial storm. i think he went back almost 20 times. he spent tens of billions of dollars. he never caught up to the first impression that was left. the first impression that was left was it wasn't being effectively managed. that hurt his presidency for the rest of his second term. the perception that the presidency was not on top of something as important as that. that's why it's important for president trump beyond the next few days, whether he can change that perception after having done or seeing at least he's done a pretty good job on texas
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and florida, that remains to be seen. >> thanks to our great friends. peter, shannon, jonathan, thank you for starting us off. after our first break tonight, still ahead, we'll get a live report from san juan as millions of americans continue to wait for help there. also tonight, the heat is increasing on twitter on capitol hill. we'll discuss the russia investigation with a man who's investigated a sitting president before when "the 11th hour" continues. it's me? alright emma, i know it's not your favorite but it's time for your medicine, okay? force ♪
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. the presentation that the twitter team made to the senate intel staff today was deeply disappointing. their response was, frankly, inadequate on almost every level. >> one of the topics we'll get to in this very segment. mark warner, the ranking democrat on the intelligence committee not satisfied with twitter's explanation as to how russia is using its platform to influence american politics or what they're doing to stop it. company execs met with the senate and house intelligence committees today. twitter shut down some 200 twitter accounts it traced to kremlin operatives. some were the same agents that bought facebook ads during the presidential election. across town at fbi headquarters, one impact of the russia investigation was on display today. new fbi director christopher wray was formally sworn in.
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notably absent, mueller and comey. there is some new information on mueller's investigation this evening. we're learning that vice president mike pence's attorney spoke with special counsel mueller over the summer. politico reporting it this way. the meeting which has not been previously reported was held at pence's request to express his willingness to cooperate with mueller's investigation. joining us tonight is someone who knows quite a bit about special investigations, ken starr is with us, former federal judge, former solicitor general and independent counsel in the whitewater and monica lewinsky investigations. i ins you're of the belief that the president should be much more wary and onguard and worried about these congressional investigations than the mueller investigation, and if we have that correctly, why is that? >> well, no, i think he's got to
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be wary about both. i think there's a tendency, brian, to ignore what congress is doing, when famously, during the watergate investigation so many years ago, the explosive fact of the white house tapes came not from archibald cox, the special prosecutor, but from congressional investigators during a deposition. i would say it's all hands on deck. but i very much appreciate what was just reported about the vice president saying, we are going to cooperate. the president's lawyers are saying that. that's exactly what needs to be done. let's get this over with. the way to get it over with is through cooperation. >> though among reasonable people, shouldn't it be assumed that mike pence is going to fully cooperate with the investigation? >> it should. that should be the operative principle. these are folks that are sworn to uphold the law. and they need to do their duty. and right now, it is to cooperate with a dully appointed special counsel as well as congressional oversight
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committees. i'll just say, i worked closely with bob mueller when we were both serving in the bush administration, bush 41. bob is a terrific lawyer and extraordinarily able. and he has very good judgment. he's honest, total integrity. so my advice is, cooperate fully. >> based on the tea leaves and what we see in public, which, of course, is a small fraction of what's going on beneath the surface, not unlike an iceberg, do you read anything into where this stands, how far along we are? >> i think we're not that far along. but it looks as if especially in light of what we now know, which is the surge of paul manafort's condominium, early in the morning, that's an extraordinary action. i believe, my reading of the regulations under his appointment is that he likely consulted with the deputy attorney general.
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i don't know that. because that was an extraordinary action. very high-level person, high visibility person. and it sends a really powerful message. i mean, business. it's a bit of shock and awe. so i -- and the report is that there will be an indictment. i think there will be a number of indictments before this is over. when i arrived at little rock in august of -- a long time ago, 1994, bob fisk, my predecessor said, move your family here, you're going to be here for a long time. and sure enough, there were 14 criminal convictions by the end of our tenure. >> how will interviewing various white house aides, some very senior, change the tone and tenor of this? they all, after all, have to go back to the west wing and work with each other, not knowing what was asked, what was said, what was answered. >> it's a terrible situation within the white house. it's demoralizing. it's one of the reasons that you
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want to get these things over with quickly. as quickly as possible. but my advice, again, you've got to be transparent. as we see now with the jared kushner, the latest revelations, these facts are going to come out. truth will come out. so the choice is to, do i try to hold on, stonewall, or do i say, you know, the best thing for me to do is just to get it all out there, and then face the consequences of that. but you're right, they then have to be very judicious and confidential about what they're doing in the white house. so you have to essentially compartmentalize sgld yes or no answer if this is possible. do you see the president being placed under oath before this is all over? >> yes. >> ken starr, thank you for appearing with us tonight. thank you very much for your candor. and for sharing your opinions with us. ken starr with us from our washington studios. let's bring in jeremy bash,
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former chief of staff at the pentagon and cia, and former counsel to the house intel committee and msnbc national security analyst. first of all, my friend, any reaction to what you just heard? >> i'm going to pinch myself to make sure i'm not dreaming. i agree with ken starr. i think this is not going to be over soon. i think there will be indictments. i think the president will have to testify under oath. >> just don't injure yourself, because i need at least your mind for this next segment. about twitter, specifically, i was among those nfl fans going through social media looking at what was being said. not knowing that a fraction of what was being said was being said by russians or russian bots. what insidious way to get into our national conversation, get into our heads, change just a bit what we think is normal, cause some divisiveness between us, and maybe even back up the position being taken by the president. >> we're gaining a window into the sophistication of the
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russian propaganda machine. if you think about what russia did in our election, they did three big things. they engaged in hacking, cyber hacking and dumping of e-mails, propaganda, and also worked on their agents of influence, those individuals potentially close to or inside the trump campaign to influence them, and also to work with them to potentially denigrate trump's opponent. on propaganda, they were very sophisticated. we're learning they didn't just say go trump or down hillary, they actually got into trying to promulgate ideas in our society, elements of which are true, which is that there are problems about police brutality, that there are racial divisions in our society, that there is not always equality. that also happens to be true. it also happens to be a lineup with the russian narrative, which is that american democracy is not as strong as it seems. and it is very difficult, brian, i don't think any of us here have an easy answer, how we as a
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society will operate. how the government should operate to root that out. >> imagine in normal times, a headline like russian attacks against the u.s. continue. >> that would obviously require an amazingly rapid and forceful response. here, i don't know that we exactly have the game plan about what to do. >> finally, we have a report coming up, an extensive one on puerto rico. but i know of all the jobs you've had, you speak so affectionately about the time you spent in and around your colleagues at the pentagon. tell our viewers what the pentagon can do, if they are freed up to do it with the natural disaster like this? >> i was in the pentagon in the fall of 2012 when superstorm sandy hit new york and secretary pin et ta and the entire military leadership sprung into action to deploy resources. because nobody can do logistics, nobody can deliver air drops of
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fuel and of supplies, nobody can conduct an amphibious landing lie the u.s. department of defense. we have the people, and the resources. i spoke to mitch landrieu, who was in washington talking about the lessons learned from katrina. if you get 48 hours or 72 hours behind a storm, it is very hard to catch up. you're basically looking at cascading problems, one on top of the other on top of the other. right now it appears the problem du jour is they don't have drivers, because they can't get to work because there's no gas in their tanks because the gas tanks have no electricity. but if the military is deployed, if they're deployed rapidly, i believe the humanitarian situation c situation, the crisis can be -- >> they could be dropping mres, water, generators and fuel neighborhood by neighborhood. just tree top level or closer to the ground, move on to the next
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folks who need help. that's the great tragedy. when you've seen it work, when you've seen them in action, to know what and who they could be helping here. jeremy bash, always a pleasure. thank you very much for coming by the broadcast. >> thank you. >> coming up, will a reported million dollars worth of private and military air travel result in a vacancy perhaps in the trump cabinet sooner rather than later. that, and more, when we continue. a coconut water company. we've got drinks for long days. for birthdays. for turning over new leaves. and we make them for every moment in every corner of the country. we are the coca-cola company, and we're proud to offer so much more.
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today you said that you think that you still have the confidence of president trump. why do you think that? >> well, i continue to work, we continue to work together, work on the issue of the hurricanes, work on global health security, continue to work on -- >> has he talked to you about this? >> as he has said publicly, he wasn't happy. and he expressed that to me very clearly. >> health and human services secretary tom price, the new report from politico that we mentioned earlier in the broadcast had come out, that headline that price used military aircraft and additional trips, trips abroad, traveling to africa and europe this past spring, the report puts the taxpayer bill for his travel upwards of $1 million. with us touk ta buck this, and other topics pending, former chairman of the republican party, michael steele. he's also an msnbc political analyst. also with us, democratic
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pollster, cornell belcher who worked on the '08 and '12 obama presidential campaigns. gentlemen, welcome to you both. michael, as they say, this doesn't look good. >> no, it doesn't. >> you can't answer with, where do you want to begin. >> no way. it doesn't look good. and the thing that kills me about this story line is that the folks are getting caught up in this, the same people who were rabid about government spending, were rabid during the obama years, about the least little price tag. so, you know, it says a lot to me about the hypocrisy. it says a lot to me about the fact that no one inside internally is clocking this. to make sure that there's a safeguard there to make sure you don't go out and do these things. that's part of the problem with the administration in the way it's unfolded over the last eight or nine months. they don't have the right people at the right level. >> the sub cabinet appointees. >> who go to the secretary and go, mr. secretary, you can't
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take a private plane to geneva or wherever, because taxpayers aren't going to pay for that. they're not supposed to pay for that. >> at the state department, there's no ambassador to india, and no one for the indian ambassador to call in and talk to because that expert is missing. at hhs, it means that maybe one of the sheriffs who would normally be seated is not there. >> it's not there. these things have a way of compounding themselves. that's where the secretary finds himself right now. he has a very uncomfortable conversation with the president of the united states who is not happy. now, how that will translate for him over the next few days depends on how much more of this story sinks into the public and leaves a stain that the president doesn't like. >> cornell, i've admired your mind for politics for a long time. and this next question is serious. and it is meant to make you turn on your memory bank. when was the last time, can you
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think of a time when the party in power, white house, house, senate, also exploded before our very eyes? >> well, first, brian, let me say, heart and prayers go out to the people of puerto rico. >> absolutely. >> all the time i've been watching your show, my heart's breaking for paradise. they deserve better than the second class citizenship status they're being shown right now. this does sort of remind me, i was also chairman dean's polster coming in when we were going up against chairman steele. you know, in 2005, we came in, and the republican -- you remember brian talking about a permanent republican majority at that time. and what we saw unfolding was a cultural corruption. we democrats pounded republicans around a culture of corruption and undermined their brand. i see some similar elements
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right now going into this next midterm where, look, you know, trump talked about draining the swamp. the chairman knows better than anyone else, when americans think about the big cats in washington, they think about the big cats smoking cigars and flying around in private jets. it encapsulates all they think is wrong with washington. for a guy who came into washington claiming that he was going to drain the swamp, and that he has a billionaire cabinet who's flying around in private jets at the taxpayers' expense, it goes hard against his brand. democrats would be smart to sort of pound republicans and pound the president, undermining key elements of his brand about draining the swamp and being different. because i think in the midterm, it could pay off with undermining their brand. but i still think democrats, and i know the chairman is going to agree with me, i still think
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democrats need a positive message about themselves. but i think we do have a line of attack on the republicans going into the midterm, and the president going into midterm. i don't think it's enough until democrats have a really powerful message about sort of why they're a better alternative than republicans, not just donald trump, republicans are bad. >> i can give you 15 seconds before a break to respond. >> i can say a better deal ain't it. >> wow. he has turned over the remainder of his time to me. i'm going to take a break, and when we come back, both gentlemen will talk with us about this question being posed by politico, is 2018 a nightmare scenario for democrats or republicans or both. because each day she chooses to take the stairs. at work, at home... even on the escalator. that can be hard on her lower body, so now she does it with dr. scholl's orthotics. clinically proven to relieve and prevent foot, knee or lower back pain, by reducing the shock and stress that travel up her body with every step she takes.
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muslims shouldn't be allowed to serve in congress. does president trump share any of those views that i just mentioned? and if not, why do you think this person is set to be a u.s. senator? >> not that i'm aware of. i have not taken a deep dive on every comment that the senator -- or the senate nominee has made. i certainly know where the president stands on those issues and wouldn't see any parallel between the two of them on that front. >> sarah huckabee sanders trying to separate the president from the divisive views of alabama gop senate nominee, and get used to that, judge roy moore. but she didn't go as far as to condemn them. a new politico piece is moore's win conjures 2018 nightmare for both parties. and this is an interesting point. it goes on to say, quote, the alabama race is the latest contest forcing both parties to take seriously candidates they
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once might have dismissed as unelectable. back with us, two great minds in politics. michael steele, cornell belcher. michael, i'll start with you. that was matt newsboum from politico. the series of questions he asked, isn't that going to be asked of every major republican in 2018, distance yourself from judge roy moore? >> the press secretary get that script ready and get it down pat because you're going to be asked it over and over and over again in different ways. i think that headline in politico has a spot-on the reality for both parties, is that what the president's election opened up in 2016 is a pandora's box of uncertainty for both parties in '18 and beyond. you've begun to see a little bit of it play out, in the senate race is one of those, where, you know, the establishment says,
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here's our guy. good clean-cut american, talking straight to folks. they went with a guy who thinks that muslims can't serve in the united states congress. that's the new reality. >> cornell, i need not remind you the republicans don't have a lock on crazy. and they don't have a lock on extremism. that this thing crosses party lines. it does make, to quote politico, an interesting conundrum for the democrats. >> look, i think the problem is, you know, donald trump wasn't that far from the same sort of sentiment when he opens up his presidential race saying mexicans are rapists and we should build a wall and ban muslims. brian, since the election of president obama, and i wrote about this in my book, which you should pick up, this idea that certain people are losing their country, and president trump is saying, i'm going to give you back your country, this is the
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paramount problem for america moving forward, right? this racial divide. we now have millennial generation which is the most diverse americans ever in history. they'll see america become a majority/minority country. we see the racial aversion rising. look, he can say all those things in alabama and still win the republican nomination. that is unbelievable. and frankly, probably the odds-on favorite to win the senate race in alabama. this sort of racial division is how america ends. and we need leaders from both parties, both democrats and republicans, you know, speaking to the anxiousness that certain people have about losing their country. because brian, as a country, we're not going to get whiter, we're only going to get browner. we have to solve this, or in fact we lose the future. >> that got all of our attention, as it always does coming from you, cornell. michael. our great thanks to our two guests for this interesting
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segment. gentlemen, thank you both. coming up, back to puerto rico. why the relief effort isn't getting to the people, 3.5 million americans who need it. it's balanced... it's easy-drinking... it's refreshing... ♪ if you've got the time ♪ it's what american lager was born to be. ♪ we've got the beer. ♪ welcome to the high life. ♪ miller beer.
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let me say this one more time real clear. to the white house would understand it. we need to do a evacuation, you can call a voluntary evacuation, but we need to support that. people don't have money. send ships in, every airplane should leave full. let the air companies go in, pick hundreds of people up, take them to relatives in new york, chicago, wherever, miami. and in new orleans and let them find a place where they want to go stay so they can register for fema. >> why not appoint him? welcome back in the 11th hour. retired lieutenant general one of the few heros of katrina was
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unsparing in his criticism of the trump administration's response to the hurricane maria destruction of puerto rico. he emphasized the need for a stronger military presence on the island right now. >> i heard a conversation earlier today where they indicated that if the task force commander wanted to do air drops, he could make a recommendation. that's bull bleep bleep now that he on the ground, he need to figure out orders and figure out what rules -- this isn't working. they try to put lipstick on this pig but it's moving too slow. >> the general pointed out forcefully today the following. air drops could have started days ago. he says para troopers should be dropped into puerto rico right now. he said they need to come and
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deer wide body passenger jets and get people out of there. he said they need a carrier offshore as a landing platform. he said the army's 7th transportation command could supply all the needed truck drivers, moving big things and lots of people in a hurry is what they do. he says he had 20,000 troops and 240 helicopters at his disposal in katrina. so far puerto rico doesn't have numbers close to that. he points out, without communications, without portable cell towers, there's no way to coordinate the relief effort. on the ground puerto ricoiance need fuel, power, water, fuel and cash is in low supply. with us from san juan puerto rico, mar yawna please tell us about the lines you saw today, about how far people walk just to stand in line, and the need.
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>> reporter: there are lines for everything on this island. lines for gas, lines for food, lines for medicine. there are lines for ice. i walked into a neighborhood today and there were mother who told me the line for ice here in san juan starts at 7:00 p.m., the myself factory doesn't open until 8:30 in the morning. they told me they were giving two ice pack ets per person. they're having to take their young children in the middle of the night to sit in the long lines with no electricity, looters around, we're coming to you from a safe location because there is a occur few in case. these mother have to stand in light all night to get ice to keep their food refrigerated. we heard from people who are diabetic who need the ice for their medicine. trying to get out of puerto rico is a challenge.
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today we saw 1,000 people waiting in line to board a royal caribbean ship. we saw hundreds of people at the airport. there are only 24 commercial flights leaving the island. the average is 170 flights per day out of san juan international airport. a week after the hurricane hit, when people should be returning home, as we've seen in harvey and irma, people here desperately trying to leave and the desperation is growing. what is frustrating what you explained in items of getting the much needed supplies distributed within the island. the lack of access to fuel, the devastated infrastructure, the fact that 91% of the island doesn't have any cell phone reception makes this challenging but not impossible to deal with. the latest numbers from fema, they're on the ground 600 fema
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officials on top of federal personnel. fema said their search and rescue teams have reached 90% of the island but we're getting text messages from people in the northwestern part of the island, a surfing community, places in the north eastern part of the island where some people are searching for loved ones. again the desperation in san juan growing by the day. i can only imagine those places where fema hasn't been able to get to. >> thank you so much all the hearts on the mainland go out to our fellow americans there and we hope life gets better so, so soon now that the military is in the game. another break. a emotional and -- ico... geico can help with way more than car insurance. boats, homes, motorcycles...
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much of what the house does, this was bipartisan. republican congressman steve scalise was wounded back in june when that gunman opened fire on the baseball field where he and others were practicing for the and wall baseball game. he thanked the capitol police officers who were with him and in the line of fire that day along with his colleagues. >> the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. >> wow thank you for speaker. you have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people's house. [ applause ] >> all i remember are the thousands of acts of kindness, love and warmth that came out of this and kept me going through all of it and re-emphasized how wonderful most people are and
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how much compassion there is out there. he was a lot closer to dying that day than anyone initially realized and he survived a lot of surgeries, one of them transited his pelvis side to side, tearing up organs, arteries. he compared himself to humty dumty, he's the man they put back together again. thank you for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. there is a lot going on tonight. tom price, the health security he may soon cover the second high-profile departure from the trump administration specifically because of a corruption issue. the first corruption related departure from the trump administration of course was carl icahn. the billionaire

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