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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  October 1, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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thank you so much. good day to all of you. i'm alex witt. it's high noon just about here in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. here's what's happening. breaking news, tweets from the president about north korea and, gee, i forgot to talk about that. they seem at odds with what the secretary of state suggested just yesterday. we have those details in just a moment. the latest numbers on puerto rico reflecting the toll of human suffering. where the recovery effort stands. is the aid reaching those who need it the most? also a new statement from the nfl about the anthem controversy. will we see more players take a knee today? we'll show you what happened so far at a game overseas. behind bars no longer. the call to keep o.j. simpson out of florida hours after his release from a nevada prison. let's go right to nbc kelly o'donnell about 15 minutes or so away from the president's golf
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club in bed mminister. these new tweets about north korea, they are certainly raising quite a few eyebrows. >> we have come to look at the tweets of the president as statements of official policy and u.s. government opinion. not just the otheutteerance and stands out here is the official divide between the secretary of state and the president on the threats of what to do with north korea. we often hear rex tillerson especially at the u.n. general assem bletalking about the need for diplomacy first. and yet the president in his remarks there back in new york talked about the potential to utterly destroy north korea, if provoked. so, today, it is notable this new series of tweets. for context we learned yesterday that rex tillerson has opened a direct channel to north korea, not using an intermediary like china. not that talks have started.
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but a means to have talks. with that background, hear are a couple of tweets that are getting our attention. the president writes, i told rex tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state that he is wasting his time negotiating with little rocketman. save your energy, rex. we'll do what has to be done. we've seen economic sanctions being turned up with the security council at the united nations with repeated 15 to 0 votes to try to economically stiven the regime's ability to manufacturer, mobilize and use whatever weaponry they are developing. that has been in the works. something that the administration is certainly behind. but, if not negotiating, then what is the president referring to? he has talked about the need for a military option. his top advisors say they are exploring those possibilities. there's always grave risk with that, especially with our allies, south korea really at
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the doorstep of potential harm, if north korea wanted to act. so, it is puzzling. it is concerning. that the president is seemingly waving off his secretary of state. the top diplomat from diplomacy. so, it's something that will certainly get people talking. also important to note, alex, that in a month's time the president will travel to asia with several stops and that will be a major trip. so, with all of this leading up to it, that really gives us a backdrop of something to watch in the days to come. alex? >> considering all that is at stake, that is a mixed message and concerning for sure. thank you very much. also new today the trump administration defending the president's response to the crisis in puerto rico, including his attacks against the mayor of san juan. here's treasury secretary mnuchin followed by nick mulvaney a bit earlier. >> i think when you know the president gets attacked, he attacks back. the mayor's comments were unfair given what the federal government has done.
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again, really this is about the -- >> how do you know they're unfair? have you been down there? >> i haven been down there. >> the san juan mayor wants to sort of go against the grain. we'd love to have her on the team as we all pull in the same direction. my understanding is that as of yesterday she had not been to the fema operation center in her own city. we need taget ho get her involv. >> reaction from mayor cruz coming face-to-face with president trump when he visits tuesday. >> if he asks to meet with me, of course, i will meet with him. i mean, you know, anything that can be done and anyone that can listen. again, i've been quite complimentary of the people from hhs and fema. their heart is in the right place but we have to cut the red tape. >> joining me now, msnbc political analyst and reporter for "usa today" and jeremy peters and reporter for "new york times." very good day to the both of
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you. heidi, you first here. politically motivated that was the president ramping up his attacks this morning talking about his critics that way. why go there? what is there to gain by picking this fight? >> look, there's only one issue here, alex. that issue, is the president doing his job. his job is, one, to get the resources there and, two, to unify the country around trying to help puerto rico, not to divide us. in this case, what we're seeing is not just in that tweet, but in the series of tweets. 18 tweets of over the past day. the president going directly after the victims of this crisis. and not just that mayor, but also the people there saying that they are not helping or that somehow they expect everything to be done for them. now, what prompted all of this? simply that the mayor pleaded for help. she reacted in an emotional way to the statements by elaine
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duke. not even the president saying they were doing a great job down there. from her perspective, how can the president not see that this is a person who's wading through waist water with a bull horn to try and rescue people. this is someone who knows her people are drinking from creeks. that there are babies that need water. and, yet, the priority here in this pattern of tweets seems to be that the president perceived this to be a criticism of him. and that there was no greater priority in that moment of crisis than to punch back. >> you know, jeremy, you just came back from the virgin island. you saw the devastation first hand. when we look at the rhetoric, this president is using to describe puerto rico whether it's bringing up the debt crisis or referring to this island nation as a territory and questioning the role that the u.s. will play rebuilding, is there some clear motivation for him? >> well, i think that he is just punching back as mnuchin said. it's a pattern with donald trump
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that we've seen time and time again. it's irresistible. he cannot resist taking the bait when someone attacks him no matter how slightly. no matter how small the slight seems to be. i don't know that this was any type of grand strategy on the mayor of san juan's part. but if it was, it certainly worked the best way that democrats could have hoped for. and that is the president of the united states cyberbullying the mayor of a city that is besieged and drowning, literally, in hurricane flood waters. it's -- when i was down there, one of the things that i developed an appreciation for is just how difficult it is to carry out basic alogistical functioni functions. it's incredibly difficult because the supply lines have totally broken down. and they don't have the man power that they need. this is not something like a community like puerto rico or
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the virgin islands or these small communities can handle on their own. they need an immense amount of outside resources to do that. >> to get things to those ports after the jones act was recalled on thursday. you're absolutely right on that. let's look ahead to tuesday here and the puerto rico rip ttrip t president will be taking. when you have all this rhetoric, heidi, what will it look like especially if he meets with mayor cruz? >> i think mayor cruz will be capable of putting all that aside and focusing on what the priority is. she is going to have to be concerned that if there is any kind of tension that comes out of that that we'll see a repeat of what trump has done in his tweet storm and continue to try and blame her for the situation oo on the ground. it will revolve around whatever the news coverage is of that event. if the containers are finally starting to move. no doubt, the president will seek to go there and highlight
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what he thinks is a great effort by fema and, let's be clear. this is a really horrible situation that -- the grid there is dilapidated and a lot of the challenges that fema is facing are real in the aftermath of two major hurricanes they're trying to deal with in florida and in texas. but that does not whitewash the fact that the president went immediately to those areas that he was very focused in a disciplined way on keeping the attention on getting the resources to those areas in puerto rico we have a situation where the mayor is right. we have the numbers. people are actually dying. >> the "washington post" into this title. the past week showed trump is struggling to be the president he promised. where does he go from here in order to make the turn from candidate trump to president trump? >> i think ten months into this presidency we're all still waiting for that. honestly, alex, i'm puzzled by
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anybody who thought that trump could be anything other than what he was in the campaign. he doesn't really see the need to be either. he believes that everything he's doing is presidential. presidential to his own standards of that definition. i think that every time we go looking for the president to be this empthetic figure who can guide us through these national traumas, whether it's charlottesville or these hurricanes and the devastation in their wake. we're fooling ourselves. i mean, he is somebody who has shown a very limited capacity for empathy. and he's just not going to be that kind of leader. he's not healer in chief. >> i have to remind, everyone. it was maybe three weekends ago he was in houston and he showed some empathy. he showed a side of what happened and his ratings went up. people love seeing that and i remember calling it a remarkable side. you guys, please, stand by for just a moment because i want to
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get the latest on the latest feud of the president and nfl players less than an hour from kickoff for a host of sunday football games. the miami dolphins and new o oleans saint took a knee, but three players did kneel during the anthem. mike is in baltimore where the baltimore, let's say, ravens are playing pittsburgh. mike, what are all the fans saying about this? i am sure they have a host of opinions to share. >> pittsburgh and baltimore an intense rivalry against this ba backdrop. i have to tell you, everything i talked to today and everything i read that the nfl is still struggling to come to a unified response. the commissioner roger goodell has met with players and owners over the course of the last week. remember, it was just nine days ago that speech friday night in alabama when president trump took out after the nfl players and colin kaepernick in
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particular and, again, president trump going back to that in a tweet yesterday despite everything that else that is going on in puerto rico and in north korea with the issues there. the president tweeting, it is very important that nfl players stand tomorrow and always for playing our national anthem. respect for our flag and country exclamation point. so, the president still stoking this fire. and as you mentioned, the players over the course of this morning and thursday night for thursday night football, still not quite unified. there's been kneeling before the anthem standing with interlocked arms deu s during the anthem. kneeling during the anthem. so, still, they're trying to come to grips with this. we'll see what happens as a spate of games are set to begin in just an hour's time this sunday. meanwhile, i have talked to a number of people. this against a backdrop of many baltimore fans and pittsburgh fans actually burning their jerseys in protest of what the players are doing over the
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course of last week. we've seen it over youtube and social media. most are wearing steelers or ravens jerseys. here's what a few of them have to say. >> more important things to worry about. >> you'd rather just watch the game. >> i'd rather watch the game. >> it's sad that the president is getting into sports and mixing politics with sports. it's very unfair for pehim to b calling athletes out of otheir names. but i don't think that kneeling is a problem. it's far beyond just kneeling. because somebody could be kneeling for the rights of the flag and somebody could be kneeling for the rights of their own personal beliefs. >> alex, special significance. we're here in baltimore, of course, some 200 years ago. this is where the "star spangled banner" during the banner of the war of 1812 and part of the
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controversy, the police controversy who died in police custody. part of the controversy that lit the fire that's still burning here in nfl stadiums. alex? >> i appreciate that context. thank you so much. back with me now, heidi and jeremy. so you can go first here. who do you think won the week on this debate? the president or the players? >> okay, alex, this has been true since the day in 2015 that donald trump descended those stairs at trump tower. whenever he is stoking cultural division and cultural wars in our country by his benchmark, he is winning. why? because he's firing up his base. whether the country is winning, i think, is a much bigger question on this. but, in this moment, you can look and see that the nfl ratings, for example, among the fans are down. that there is some concern going forward about the financial ramifications that we'll have on the nfl. in the meantime, you see his fans, trump supporters and aided
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by, i would say, an industry of fake news and misrepresenting news, as well, about what these players are actually doing and what their message really is. that he's winning with his base because a lot of these people really believe that this is about just the flag and disrespecting the flag and not about something much greater, which is police brutality. well, there was a photo circulating this week from the president's trip to indianapolis that i hope continues to get out there, alex. that i think represents what is really happening here, which is an african-american veteran wearing his hat and clutching a folded flag kneeling by the side of president trump's motorcade. because, this is not about some simply, you know, disrespecting the flag. this is about something much deeper. and about what these nfl players see as patriotism. their version of patriotism and exercising their first amendment
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rights. >> that is a powerful image by that photo. jeremy, quickly to you, who won? >> i think heidi is right, alex. this is not really a clear cut case of, you know, the president being on the wrong side of this issue and the american people on the other. i think there are two questions here. one is, are these players exercising a right that they have under the first amendment? that doesn't seem to be the question. are these people the best messengers to be kind of leading the charge against inequality when they're making millions of dollars and they could be easily called cry babies by people who oppose what they're doing and think they're overreacting. so, this is not easy one way or
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another. they're not perfect messengers and neither is president trump. i think for a lot of people, they just see noise and they see a president who is, once again, being distracted by the shiny object. so, as heidi said, this probably isn't good for the country as a whole and the country loses. i don't can know that president trump wins or the country. >> thank you so much, jeremy and heidi. good to see you both, as always. o.j. simpson, everyone. a free man. the department of corrections released a photograph just shortly after his release. in july, the nfl hall of famer won parole after serving nine years after a 33-year sentence for robbery. state attorney general says simpson is not welcomed in the sunshine state. the president's tax plan a big win for the wealthy and will the middle class be able to save enough money to buy a car?
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turning now to the devastation in puerto rico. 11 days after hurricane ravaged the island. 95% remain without water and 9,000 people remain in shelters. also scenes like this one becoming the new norm. lines stretching for blocks for gasoline and hours long waits for basic supplies like food and water. joining me now is ted lou hmembr of the house committee. your efforts to help puerto rico. >> the trump administration has been late and inadequate in their response. we know that their knew for days before the hurricane hit that it
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was going to make landfall in puerto rico and, yet, their president was too busy trashing the nfl and playing golf and now they're playing catch up. hopefully they can do much better but the u.s. army is reporting more people are in need of drinking water now than they were a few days ago. >> okay. in other words, we have a long way to go yet. president will assess first hand on tuesday the situation there. let's move to politico who is warning in spite of the warning against the white house using personal e-mails, jared kushner may have used personal e-mail for office business. i know, sir, you have been tweeting about kushner. did he fail to disclose this to investigators in congress? >> yes. look, i'm not going to chant lock him up, but i am going to request, again, that jared kushner's security clearance be suspended. earlier this year, congress mon don buyer and i wrote a letter to the white house asking for the suspension of his security clearance because he lied twice on his first two security clearance forms by failing to
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disclose his russian contacts. now, we know that he failed to disclose his personal e-mail account to u.s. senate intelligence committee even though they asked about the information and, further more, he ignored the nsa warnings. now be suspended because he was misleading people, but he was just being stupid to be doing these actions. >> in terms of volumes, kushner's leader said he only sent 100 e-mails between january and august. what kind of risks did he open himself up to? >> a huge risk. according to the politico article they believe his personal e-mail and cell phones have likely been compromised and once the foreign power knows about your e-mails, they can track and learn additional information based on all the e-mails you sent and this is really a danger to america. his security clearance needs to be suspended now. >> you know, in terms of compromising business insider reported that kushner's lawyer accidentally forwarded an intel letter to some e-mail prankster.
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how does something like that happen? >> we do have a lack of security protocols at the white house. so, in addition to personal e-mails by kushner, ivanka trump, a senior white house adviser has also using personal e-mail for business and then they have stories and other reports that the president, when he goes to his properties, the wi-fi is not secure. we need to have a huge investigation into how secure the entire white house is against attacks by foreign powers in terms of the cyberarea. >> let's move to taxes here. the president describes this as a middle class miracle. but here's how cnbc analyst sums this up. take a listen. >> the way it's currently constructed to cut taxes. if you make $66,000 a year, you're going to get a $660 tax break. if you make $730 a year, you're going to get somebody in the neighborhood of over $130,000. doesn't really matter where you sit. you're not going to get much of a break under the top 1 to top
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10%. >> from what you're seeing congressman, anything there for the middle class? >> there are three huge problems with trump's tax plan. first, according to tax policy center, 80% of the benefits go to the top 1%. second, the middle class will pay more. one in four middle class families according to "washington post" analysis will pay more in taxes. and this entire plan is not paid for. that means it will blow a huge hole in our federal deficit and add trillions to our federal debt. >> add to that the tax plan also removed state and local deductions from high tax sates and there are a handful of states who say, nope, we are not going to support this. what do you see as the chances of it passing the house? >> i believe the current tax plan is constructed as dead on arrival. it hurts states like california, new york, new jersey, where there are a number of moderate republicans running for their
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life next november. i don't believe they're going to be able to vote for this monstrosity of a tax plan. >> all right, thank you so much for your time. good tasee yo see you. >> thank you. the talking to at the american air force academy that made many americans proud this week.
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>> he will star in a one-man show latin history for morhaons that debuts later this month on broadway. salutes the inspirational achievements and be sure to check out the profiles of this honorees on nbc news. next, what to make of the president's new tweets about north korea. i'll speak with a former cia analyst who was recently contacted by north korean officials. can we at least analyze can we push the offer online? legacy technology can handcuff any company.
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welcome back. i'm alex witt at world headquarters in new york. at 33 past the hour and police say two women are dead after a knife attack at a train station. >> the mayor says more than 46 o0 people have been injured. earlier police seized ballot
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boxes blocking the vote of. president trump's latest tweet on north korea saying i told rex tillerson our wonderful secretary of state that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with rocketman. save your energy, rex. we'll do what has to be done. this tweet comes a day after tillerson acknowledged back channel talks with north korea officials. joining me now, a top north korea expert at the heritage foundation and a former cia analyst and bruce was among several republican analysts that north korea contacted all in an attempt to better understand the president and his messages. bruce declined their invitation. with a welcome to you, bruce. it's important conversation here. i want to start with the president's tweet. are you alarmed by it at all because there is a subliminal tone there implying more sanctions or military action. does it undermine back channel negotiations? >> i think it's part of a trend of some conflicting signals coming from the trump
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administration. earlier this year, the president, as well as the secretary of state and hr mcmaster national security adviser seemed to be suggesting the u.s. was considering a preventative attack, one in which we might do a military strike even if we feel we are not in imminent danger. lately that message seems to be downplayed in favor of pressure. now we had recently the secretary of state saying recently that they were reaching out and three different channels with north korea and now the president seems to be undercutting it. >> what the president is doing. do you think they read this as more saber rattling or do you think they take it as an actual threat? >> some say good cop/bad cop. a way to pressure north korea by perhaps suggesting a military strike. but it also leaves certainly our allies confused and one would think that north korea would be confused whether negotiations or discussions would be worthwhile. that would not seem to be the case given the president's tweets right now. >> i want to turn to north
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korea's outreach to republican officials and i know you declined to meet with officials in pyongyang but the "washington post" says the talks with other republicans are under way. they started before this back and forth name calling began. first of all, how close are these officials to kim-jong-un. >> any official is subordinant to the senior leadership and one of the questions that any former official has in talking with north korean counterpart is how representative are they of what kim jong-un is really thinking and how much flexibility they may have in sort of probing u.s. for indications of willingness to negotiation. and, also, there's, you know, discussion amongst korea watchers in the u.s. to whether a north korean official shows signs of flexibility or whether, you know, that's just misperceived signals. >> i understand you declined the invitation to go to pyongyang
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and it is my understanding you did meet with north korean officials was it june in sweden? what was the difference? >> meetings between north korean official os and former u.s. officials. let's call it track 1.5 meetings. those kind of meetings for years. so, even some that, you know, now are being seen as being reached out to have engaged in meetings in the past. so, i did meet with some officials in sweden in june and wrote an op-ed about it. the main message there was that there was no signals of flexibility that the official os had said that denuclearization is off the table and nothing that washington could offer to force them to -- >> how much could officials doing the negotiations and following all of this how much could they take that as fact. trying to get them to back off is pointless. >> well, we've tried negotiations. we tried i would argue sort of incrementalism on applying
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sanctions and many more things we can do and we've recently seen this administration imposing more sanctions on north korea entities and new executive orders and we still really been pulling our punches against chinese entities. there had seem to be a wave of kind of momentum for imposing either significant finds oron chinese bank or sanctioning chinese violators of the law. we don't know if that will be held now that their banks and businesses will stop doing business with north korea. >> you've also said that north korea seems to be much more emboldened. they have a lot more confidence. they're more self-insured than they've previously been. is that because they have the military might to back up themselves? >> right. it's a consistent theme that u.s. experts have noticed in meetings in perhaps the last year a greater self-confidence even cockiness given all the
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successful tests they had with a wide range of missiles, as well as their nuclear tests. they had two tests last year and then the hydrogen bomb or nuclear bomb test thisia year. if they are across the finish line or very close to the finish line of an icbm then they likely feel emboldened that they would not be abandoning this arsenal at least without significant pressure. >> i'll look forward to speaking to you about this more. let's go to puerto rico and the ongoing recovery efforts there. the distribution of gas and water means a top priority. they are working with government agencies, as well as the private sector to speed up the process. today officials announced more than 700 gas stations are pumping. telecom service is also available to 35%, 36% of the population. the situation, however, remains dire with residents waiting in long lines to get basic supplies in places. joining me on the phone, former governor of puerto rico. and with the welcome to you,
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your satisfaction with the way the recovery efforts are going so far is what? do you think they're on course. >> well, first of all, thank you for having me. let me tell you, this is a symbol -- puerto rico is not only san waup. there's huge lines, huge lines on gas stations but the external aid that you go out of san juan and you go to and you go to the south and southeast and it's like a water movie. it's just like a water movie and, again, puerto rico.
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i think that congress cannot be on what is and after harvey. >> so, the concerns that you have long term, sir, what are they? >> energy, communications, people feel in need of basics goods like water. there's no running water more than 50% of the clients on the energy. 80% 90% of the houses or businesses. so if a business has no water cannot operate. so, then there's huge lines and wheneveria can get some food. and, yes, there's some improvements, but let me put it
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this way, four days ago you were in line nine hours, seven hours and now you will be four, you will be three. and actually that's in san juan. if you move through the rest of the island, the situation is worst. and i'm from a small town in the center of the island and, let me tell you, there the situation is worse. there's some communities in towns that are, there is no way to communicate with them. you have to fly there. or go walking through the mountains. so, it's a very hard situation and doesn't scratch the surface. >> clearly time is of the essence. we're watching very closely, sir. thank you for your time today, former governor of puerto rico. good luck, sir. >> thank you so much. >> thank you.
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falling out around social media this week. the head of the air force academy sends message to cadets and one you want to hear. denny heck of washington state on the intel committee and you'll hear from roger stone this week. his take away coming up. this is the story of john smith. not this john smith. or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address his own specific health needs.
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it's the dressing down that went viral this week. the head of the usair force academy talking to cadets after racial slurs were posted on message boards of five black students. >> if you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. if you can't teach someone from another gender whether that's a man or a woman with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. if you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. and if you can't treat someone from another race or a different
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color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. >> joining me now former marine corps captain bernice armor, the first combat pilot in the armed forces. good to talk with you, again. what did you think about what you heard went down at the air force academy. first of all, the slurs against those cadets. >> unfortunately, it's not the first time something like this has happened across the services and it just needs to be addressed. and that's why i was excited about this experience. because the leadership is absolutely stepping up in a big way. >> and, you know, he asked all those cadets to get their phones out after he delivered that speech and said to record it to post it or play it back as you need to. i mean, it was so powerful. so, do you think his message was received. >> absolutely. and, you know, let's get one thing clear. we are not going to change the
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minds or the blaeliefs and valu of people who are posting things like that or writing things like that. that message is not going to change them. what we do want to impact is their behavior. if you cannot treat people with respect and he listed out several things. if you cannot, then get out. right. because it's about behavior and how are we treating each other and hopefully along the way treating someone with dignity and respect we can actually get it in our head, wow, this is the right thing to do. >> in the military throughout, i mean, it's all about units. it's about people working together and you can't have respect or show respect to those around you. that's not going to do well for the unit. when you say this didn't surprise you. did you ever receive this kind of treatment yourself? >> you know, i'll just give you a little snippet. not just of me, but my grandfather was a marine back in 1942. one of the first blacks allowed to serve in the military. diversity has never been something that has happened, the
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integration just because it was the right thing to do. my father went through some things and, of course, i went through some things. whether it was because i was knew or a brand-new pilot or black woman or gay. i will never be able to say why someone treated me a certain way. but as i share with folks, number one, we have to overcome the obstacles, right? acknowledge the obstacles. don't give them power. and like the general did, how do we step up and be accountable and hold people's feet to the fire. he told folks, you know, take out your phone, record this. if you don't have the voice to say it yourself or even if you do but you don't have the power and the leverage, use me. and that's exactly what we need our leadership to do. when we are not accountable as leaders and the senior leaders in our military, with my experience, you asked me about me. things happen. the leadership didn't step up. but had the leadership held their feet to the fire, i guarantee the behavior would
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have stopped if their career was on the line. >> do you think by addressing it it this forcefully these kinds of incidents are dwindling? i mean, we should say in this particular incident, these five slurs that were put out there are believed to be the work of one awful individual who is doing this. the handwriting was the same. so there's definitely one bad apple doing the wrong thing, but do you think the numbers are dwindling? >> you know, unfortunately, there's a lot going on in our country right now. do i think the numbers are dwindling? compared to what my grandfather went through and my dad and my stepdad went through, yes, absolutely. i have seen things dwindle during my lifetime? i'm not so sure. it feels like they're changing. they're morphing. sometimes they're more overt. sometimes they're more covert. i do believe that it is a result of the atmosphere we're in right now, or in the military, we say the commander sets the morale,
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the energy, the tone for the unit. so what's the tone being set for our country? what's the tone being set for our air force? for me, what was the tone set for the marine corps and the tone set right now? you know, a lot of things are going on. gays are being able to serve in the military. i never thought i would see that in my lifetime. now we have things going on with the transgender brothers and sisters. you know, we had the first woman to graduate from infantry officer school. so there are steps being taken forward, and there are steps, it feels like, taking a step backwards, but we have to keep that forward momentum, and the leadership, again, i stress that wholeheartedly, the leadership is going to have to hold our leaders below us accountable. otherwise, things won't change like we would like them to. >> former marine corps captain bernice armor. always good to see you. >> who's winning the nfl kneeling debate, the players or the president? analysis next. you guys wanna check it out?
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country superstar darius rucker sang the national anthem at this morning's nfl game between the saints and dolphins. as you see, some saints could be seen locking arms. three members of the miami dolphins were also seen kneeling during the anthem. i'm joined by republican strategist susan del percio and political and legal contributor maya harris. with a welcome to you both. maya, to you first, the president again last night urging players to stand during the anthem, but as we just showed, some players did not heed that warning. but the fact that most players did stand, is that a sign of compromise, do you think? maybe the nfl is trying to put this controversy behind them. >> you know, i think that the nfl players are standing firm. and when you look at what's happened with this whole entire debate, and look at what's happened in the last week with donald trump. this is such a way for him, a cynical ploy for him after he's had another horrible week where
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he's been criticized for the miserable failure that his response to puerto rico has been. so now you see him reigniting, you know, a manufactured debate in which he's tried to characterize as the flag and the military against unpatriotic african-american men, when the fact is that when you look at what they are standing for, what they're kneeling for, it couldn't be more american. you know, first amendment rights, free speech. you know, the tyranny of the state when it comes in the form of police brutality against our citizens. and you know, so when you look at the president, what we really need at this moment in the country is a leader who can actually help this country to reckon with these real issues and to address them in a way that really instead of deepening our divisions actually begins to build bridges. and sadly, this president seemed incapable of doing that. >> susan, your take? >> i think actually the image of
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all the players standing arms locked is very powerful. it's something instead of now seeing one or two players kneeling, seeing the whole team united is even a stronger message. i think it's unfortunate that this is getting kind of converted into a question of if you're not standing for the national anthem, you're no longer standing for america. that's exactly what donald trump wanted this argument to be. it's just another shiny object that he's putting out there so he doesn't have to talk about some of the other problems he's having in his administration. >> are there winners in this battle, maya, between the president and the nfl? >> well, you know, i mean, he's done something that some people would have thought was impossible. he's completely united nfl players and the owners, you know, around the rights of their players. but i think that ultimately, america loses when you have a president who takes so much time fomenting division in the country instead of bringing us
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together to actually solve the real challenges and problems that we face in this country. there have so many people in this country who, you know, are hurting, whose incomes aren't rising, and we need to develop solutions to those problems. we need to be advancing an agenda that's going to make their lives better, and just look at the devastation in puerto rico. the fact that he, you know, took so long to turn his attention to what was happening there, and look at the people who are serving there. and instead, he's continuing to want to have this divisive conversation and promote a divisive conversation. so i think that the losers here are the american people. >> all right. ladies, unfortunately, i'm out of time. susan and maya. susan, i'll start with you next time. you guys, almost time for kickoff for nfl games across this country. we're scanning the sidelines. will nfl players again take a knee in defiance of the president? we have new pictures at the top of the hour. ...has grown into a. ...has grown into a. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. now, i'm earning unlimited 2% cash back
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