tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 10, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PDT
the person. >> a republican senator rings a nuclear alarm over donald trump. >> he doesn't realize that, you know, that we could be heading towards world war iii with the kind of comments that he's making. >> tonight senator corker's stark warning over president trump. his claim that nearly all of his republican colleagues agree, and why what happens next is so important. then the president deploys the rubber glue response on the moron report. >> one of the greatest of all terms i've come up with is fake. what we're learning about just how staged the vice president's nfl walkout was. >> you can see us. that's okay. you can say yes. that's fine. >> "all in" starts right now.
>> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. republicans in washington have reportedly been whispering about it for months in private conversations, but now the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, senator bob corker has finally come out and said it. the president of the united states, leader of corker's own party, is a danger to this country. in an interview, corker told "the new york times" the president's behavior could get sexual abuse world war iii. >> sometimes i feel like he's on a reality show of some kind, you know, when he's talking about big foreign policy issues. and, you know, he doesn't realize that, you know, that we could be heading towards world war iii with the kind of comments that he is making. >> the risk is so severe, according to corker, that senior advisers have to try and protect the president from himself. corker telling "the times" i know for a fact that every single day at the white house it's a situation of trying to contain him. most significantly, corker says
he is far from the only republican lawmaker to question the president's fitness for office. quote, look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we're dealing with here. those astonishing comments from a senior republican lawmaker followed a heated exchange on twitter yesterday between the president and senator corker. who just announced he is retiring at the end of his current term. the president tweeted senator bob corker begged me to endorse him for reelection in tennessee. i said no and he dropped out. said he could not win without my endorsement. he also wanted to be secretary of state. i said no thanks. he is also largely responsible for the horrendous iran deal. there is a lot that is inaccurate in those two tweets. but we'll start with the fact that according to corker, at least, the president urged him to run again and promised to endorse him if he did. the senator shot back it's a shame the white house has become an adult day-care center. someone obviously missed their shift this morning. this was not the first time
corker expressed grave concerns about the president's conduct. last week he defended embattle secretary of state rex tillerson and earlier criticized the president's response to charlottesville. >> i think secretary tillerson, secretary mattis, and chief of staff kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos. the president has not yet -- has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. >> long before that, however, corker was one of the president's key validators among mainstream republicans. on the short list for vice president, auditioning alongside trump on the campaign trail. at the election, he interviewed for the job as secretary of state. when that didn't pan out, he went on to vote for every single one of the president's cabinet nominees, including ones like
tom price who have since resigned. plus almost every effort in the senate to repeal and replace obamacare. in what must be a relief to corker's colleagues, the senate is not in session this week. majority leader mitch mcconnell at an event in his home state of kentucky defended corker as a valued member of the caucus. white house counselor kellyanne conway was less enthused, scolding corker without the slightest hint of irony for what she said was an incredibly irresponsible tweet. corker's comments are representative of his republican peers. but not because they don't agree, no. in one of the ultimate examples of saying the quiet part loud, meadows told the associated press, and i'm quoting him directly, it's easy to be bold when you're not coming back. for more on the fallout, let's bring in msnbc political analyst robert costa, national political report fore"washington post." robert, you got a new piece out for "the washington post" that takes a look at how this sort of feud is ricochetting through white house. what have you found? >> the president's fuming inside
of the west wing, i'm told, along with my colleagues ashley parker and phil rucker, angry about the race in alabama last month. unhappy about the stalled agenda on capitol hill. and of course with senator corker's comments, he is telling his aides that he wants to get out there and rally his base. he wanted to do a rally in north carolina over the weekend. that was not planned. he just did a fundraiser. well see a president under the guidance of general kelly trying to break out. >> you know, so there is increasingly this conception that is -- seems to be shared by people in the white house, outside the white house, and corker is just stating it explicitly, that there are people in the administration whose job it is to essentially restrain the president and sort of protect the country from him. what does the president think about that idea? >> the president goes right around that kind of system. it is true based on all of our reporting that the president has
the door closed to the oval office. that general kelly is controlling the paper flow. but that does not mean at night when he up in the residence that he is not making a round of calls. we're reporting tonight that he continues to talk to long-time friends like tom barrett and the business community seeking their community, not as his official aides as he tries to navigate this thorny political environment. >> there has been speculation obviously tillerson and the president seem to be in some kind of cold war there has been i would say rising chatter about kelly being unhappy. what are you heard than? >> the president's reluctant to make a change right now because he has a general, a respected one at his side, and he made comments over the weekend saying he expects kelly to stay for a long time. but that doesn't mean behind the scenes he is not frustrated. he has made it very clear to some of his closest confidantes that he wish he could continue to have the rapport with many more aides than he does now, that he could have different kinds of people wandering into the oval office. he likes to bounce ideas off people. he can't do that anymore. >> you a lot of sources on capitol hill, and you've been covering politics there for a
while. what do you think of corker's contention that with the exception of a few members of the caucus, everyone agrees with him? >> it's a little bit of a stretch because a lot of senators i've spoken with, they believe that the president's behavior at times is erratic, but they're not ready to walk away from him because they do want to run in 2018 on some kind of tax cut, on some kind of trump-based plan when it comes to legislation. they know they can't have a full break. you didn't see many people echoing senator corker today. there are of course private conversations i've had and other reporters have had reflect senator corker's position. i've heard it from some and off the record in background basis. but there is not a chorus behind corker at the moment. >> all right, robert costa, thank you for reporting. ted lieu is from california, one of the president's strongest critics on hill. what should senator corker do if he believes what he says he believes about the president's fitness? >> thank you, chris, for your question. he should be doing what he is
doing now, which is speaking up against the president. let me say when the chair of the foreign relations committee says he is worried the president could start world war iii, americans need to listen. donald trump's reckless threats against north korea are dangerous. estimates of any war with north korea could range to 2.1 million dead, 7.7 million people injured. and i call on all republicans in congress to speak up like senator corker, otherwise they're enabling trump's dangerous behavior. >> you know, you cite the world war iii part of the quote, and that is the one that caught my attention the most. part of the problem is it seems hyperbolic or so remote or such an inconceivable tale risk. but it didn't seem like corker was joking when he said that. >> senator corker is not someone that engages in hyperbole. throughout his career, even though i disagreed with him on many issue, he is not someone that flame throws. so when he uses that term, it should catch americans' energy and eyes.
and we need to put a stop to this erratic behavior of the president. >> concretely, what do you mean by that? article i branch of the u.s. constitution has tremendous powers. it has declined over time, as we have seen the ascendancy of this all powerful executive in many ways. what do you mean by that concretely? what should republicans in the senate who agree with bob corker be doing? >> i would love if they support hr 669 that prevents the president from launching a nuclear first strike without congressional approval. because that would be war. and only congress can declare war. and i think congress needs to step in and say mr. president, you cannot start a war with north korea without first coming to congress. >> you know, corker is speaking out today there have been others in the past who have spoken out, like lindsey graham. and this is him almost exactly a year ago. name one sports team university, publicly held company, et cetera, that would accept a person like this as their
standard bearer, talking about the new president of the united states, i believe a day after the "access hollywood" tape. today, how bad did he beat me? i did better in the presidential race than today on the golf course. great fun, great host. it seems like there is this kind of memento sort of permanent amnesia that members have where they can find the president completely unfit one moment and then turn around and be golfing with him the next. >> look, what senator corker said today i think is what the overwhelming majority of members of congress believe. i'm not quite sure why lindsey graham would say what he did, because previously he said some very similar things that senator corker said about donald trump. but i can tell you about my conversations with various republicans on the house floor about the president. they range from dislike to deep concern about his erratic behavior. and i think senator corker is simply articulating in public what many in congress already believe. >> all right, congressman ted lieu, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you.
>> i'm joined by james fallows, author of the new piece "it's what bob corker does next." james, let me start with you. what do you mean by it's what corker does next that counts? >> it's a significant step, as congressman lieu was saying and robert costa, that you have somebody saying in public what many, many republicans have been saying in private for quite a while, which is there is something abnormal about this president. he doesn't have the knowledge. he doesn't have the temperament. he doesn't have sort of the approach to world affairs that we want to see in somebody who is the commander in chief. so it's significant that he did that. but as you mentioned, the comparison with lindsey graham, we've heard things like this for a long time. it was only a year and a half ago that ted cruz was blasting candidate trump as a pathological liar. so the next step is whether the republicans who actually have the monopoly on hearings and all the rest through controls of
both houses, whether they will do something. whether it's passing legislation, setting limits on military action, whether it's having hearings, whether it's bringing witnesses. so the saying is a good thing. the doing is what we would like to see next. >> evan, you've actually been sort of talking about this for a while. it's what prompt you'd to run as an independent, sort of leave the republican party. you worked on the hill. you were a hill staff for a while. do you think corker is accurate when he says this is a widely shared view in the caucus? >> i think it is accurate what he says. but i do believe it's also a bit of a stretch. i think there are plenty republican members of congress who actually are not quite so opposed to donald trump's erratic behavior.
they're amused by it some of them. they think it's odd. they think it may have value. they certainly agree with some of his other sort of protect the culture type of nationalist nativist ideology. so yes, i do believe there are some, especially in the senate. but i think it may be a bit of a stretch, unfortunately. >> there is this moment today, and james, you've been writing about, again, there is this sort of -- there is two things competing here there is a sort of permanent amnesia that constantly happens with him where there are moments like after charlottesville where people throw up their hands or a year ago after "access hollywood" and you think oh my goodness, this person is totally unfit, and then it goes away and people integrate it into their understanding of him. and then there is a sort of desire to remind yourself of how bizarre aberrant so much of this is. the white house released cabinet members' praise. it is a truly bizarre document in which people that work for the president are on the record praising his ideas. >> it is. it is, as you say. it's bizarre. and we have to remind ourselves several times a day that is not
how things normally happen. it is inconceivable that a chairman of the senate foreign relations committee would be having this kind of discourse or criticism against a president of his own party. i mentioned in my piece that 50 plus years ago, j. william fulbright who was the democratic chairman of the committee launched a serious critique of his president's party lyndon johnson's catastrophic policies in vietnam. but that was done with great deliberation and there wasn't something wrong with johnson that he was unfit, that he was temperamentally erratic. it was the policy. so that is something we haven't seen before. >> mark meadows' comment, evan, was sort of amazing to me. meadows is basically saying -- i mean, if you disagree with bob corker, you would say something to the following. that's outages. what a slanderous thing to say about the president of the united states, who is obviously a judicious and competent chief executive of this nation. no instead he said well, you're just saying that because you don't have to run again. which seems like a giant self-own. >> that's exactly right.
the strange thing, chris, if you spend any time on the hill in some of the positions i was in, you hear members say that all the time to each other. and to others. well, see, i can't do this or i can't do that because that would cost me reelection, even if it's the right thing to do. in this case, opposing donald trump, i think they've known in their heart of heart, many of them, that it was the right thing to do, that they needed to do it for the good of the country. but reality is they prioritize keeping their seats more than they do the interests of the country. i'm sad to say that and what's worse than, they actually think that's okay. they've told themselves that for so long. and it's gotten them off the hook for so many things for so long that they feel like that's an acceptable way to think. and it absolutely is not. in fact, it's brought us to a point where we have senator corker, of course, the chair of the foreign relations committee in the senate, saying that the president is bringing us to the precipice of a global war. so the thing is that donald trump sort of hinted and threatened sort of nuclear activity during the campaign. we've known that this was the
reality of donald trump for a long time. corker participated in normalizing that, in attacking people like me and others who wouldn't fall in line. i'm glad he is doing what he is doing now. he is doing the right thing. he is speaking truth. i support and embrace that. but the reality is we need leaders that have more courage and are willing to do the right thing for the country even when it's hard. >> to that point, james, what do you make of this bizarre sort of caretaker guardship that has grown up that is now sort of widely understand that there are people there whose job is to protect the country from the president? >> minute by minute or day by day, obviously you would prefer to have somebody with the judgment of former general mattis, retired general mattis or current general mcmaster who have experience there to exercise a sort of disciplining hand. but that is not a good way for democracies to run the long run. >> no. >> one other point, if i could, i think it's interesting there is a triple game of political calculation going on here. one is the immediate thing that representative meadows said. oh, you can't say this.
you're only saying this because you're not running anymore there is a second calculation that if things are going to shift, if the iceberg breaks off, getting ahead of that curve. and then there is the third there is the calculation of how is this going to look 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now what people are accommodating. >> you know what? that question gets asked and answered less. james fallows and evan mcmullin, thank you both. >> thank you. tonight, how many people fell for the vice president's football stunt? ahead, the cost, the fail, and how the white house showed their hand. and the president apparently still fuming over being called a moron by his secretary of state. it turns out rex tillerson has a bit of an enemies list too. that story in two minutes. ah, dinner.
throughout history, the one meal when we come together, break bread, share our day and connect as a family. [ bloop, clicking ] and connect, as a family. just, uh one second voice guy. [ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it. bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. mr. president, any response to rex tillerson's comments last week? >> yeah, i'm very honored by his comments. it was fake news. it was totally phony story. thank you very much. it was made up. it was made up by nbc. they just made it up. >> well, the president is still annoyed by the nbc report last
week since corroborated by numerous other outlets that secretary of state rex tillerson had openly disparaged the president, referring to him as a moron after a july 20th meeting at the pentagon. according to new report the big daily beast, the president has in recent days insisted that nbc is, quote, run by morons. as for tillerson himself, a well timed new yorker describes the president as the breaking state. here is how tillerson talked about improving relations with iran, one of his first meetings. maybe we don't visit in our capacity to change the nature of this relationship because we are bound by it. maybe we leave it to the next generation to try. the he thought for a moment. i don't know. i'm not a diplomat. the author of that profile, dexter filkins, joins me now. it's a fascinating piece. his diplomatic debut where he comes into a room and basically gets into a dorm room style fight over u.s./iran. i don't mean dorm room in the sense of amateurish.
i mean the kind of thing you talk about when you're fighting it out as opposed to a kind of diplomatic protocol. >> yeah, i think they believe that the last days under obama, the iranians been getting a free ride. >> right. >> so we're going to come in and hammer them. >> you portray someone who is obviously very effective in his business life. but is kind of without allies in this very strange kind of floating space as the secretary of state of the united states. >> yes. i think the ally that he really lacks, it seems, is the president himself. so we're in this incredibly dangerous confrontation with north korea, and the secretary of state, he is out in china. he is trying to stave off a war. >> he is trying to secretary of state basically. he is doing what you would want the secretary. >> yeah, both iran and north korea.
these are really dangerous situations. and he goes to china, and he is trying to basically prevent war from happening. and the president humiliates him. so i think that's got to be frustrating for him. >> there's a great moment in here, and i thought about it because a colleague of yours in the new yorker who did incredible reporting on this very topic where in one of their first readings, the president rails to tillerson about the foreign corrupt practices act. it's like their first time coming. february, a few weeks after tillerson was confirmed by the senate he visited the oval office to introduce the president to a potential deputy. he began fulminating federal laws that prohibit american businesses from bribing officials overseas, the businesses he said were being unfairly penalized. tillerson disagreed. >> well, tillerson's story is amazing. he said mr. president, i disagree, and he said when i was in yemen several years ago for exxon, and we were doing a big oil deal, the yemeni oil minister walked up to me and handed me his business card. i flipped it over, and it was a swiss bank account number. and he said $5 million.
he said mr. president, no we don't do that. and we're going to get on a plane. we're going to go home. if that's how you're going to do business. the yemenese called back months later and said okay, okay. let's do the deal. do. >> you think that he -- i guess the question is, can he do the things that he needs to do necessary in these very delicate diplomatic standoffs if everyone knows that the president -- he is not speaking for president? >> it's a really good question. there was somebody in my piece who said to me that the south korean foreign ministry had essentially told them we don't call the american embassy anymore. in seoul, south korea, there is no ambassador there. we just read the president's twitter feeds. but i think that's -- >> that seems really dangerous to me. >> it's super dangerous. >> because you want to have -- it's just important it seems that you have channels of communication that are based on sort of relationship building.
>> yeah. >> and mutual consideration. >> there is something else which i think is also very troubling which is the tillerson's orders, his marching orders from the president, from the white house are cut the budget of the state department by 30%. and that's -- that means -- the state department is mostly people. it's diplomats abroad. that means cutting people. and at the very same time they're doing that, they're increasing the budget of the pentagon. and so it's sort of your carrot is getting smaller and your stick is getting much bigger. and so, you know, when you have a problem and all you have is a stick. and i think that's what people are worried about. >> that accelerates. this is something you have reported on. you've been on the ground in iraq and all over the world. but it accelerates a kind of militarization of american foreign policy that has been
happening for a while now. >> yeah, it kind of goes back to -- it goes become to what is happening in north korea. it's a really dangerous situation. you have essentially the north koreans have said we are absolutely determined to get an icbm with a nuclear bomb on it. and the trump administration said we will not under any circumstances permit that. >> tolerate that. yeah. >> and that means war. unless you make a deal. >> right. unless there is someone in the conversation to get an offramp. great piece in the new yorker. check it out. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. thank you very much. coming up, the white house's continued problems with inappropriate plane travel. how much did it cost for the vice president to fly across the country for a stunt intended to further divide the country? and was this video blogger paid by russia to make anti-clinton videos during the campaign? that unbelievable story ahead. ♪ if you have moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's, and your symptoms have left you with the same view, it may be time for a different perspective. if other treatments haven't worked well enough, ask your doctor about entyvio,
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we did a great job, and we weren't treated fairly by the media, because we really did a good job. one example, they had these beautiful soft towels, very good towels. i came in, and there was a lot of people. and they were screaming and they were loving everything. i was having fun. they were having fun. they said throw them to me, throw them to me, mr. president. so i'm doing. so the next day they said oh, it was so disrespectful to the people. it was just a made-up thing. and also, when i walked in, the cheering was incredible. >> you were a rock star. i saw the video of it. >> it was crazy. the cheering was deafening. >> deafening. it's been nearly three weeks since hurricane maria decimated puerto rico. and the president's obsession from the start has been focused on himself. the reviews and the coverage of his disaster response rather
than the problems of the people of puerto rico. here he was again on sunday tweeting. nobody could have done what i've done for puerto rico with so little appreciation. so much work. but the facts on the ground remain these. 85% of the three million american citizens of puerto rico do not have power. and 40% do not have clean drinking water. the storm hit almost three weeks ago, and there are hundreds of thousands of people in america in the richest country in the world to do not have clean drinking water 19 days later. yesterday people from 30 miles, just 30 miles from san juan lined up on the side of the road to fetch water from a stream using a pvc pipe. nbc's mariana hortensio reported thousands lining up to get bags in the morning while americans in rural towns plead for supplies. >> from the bottom of my heart, please help us. because we're dying here. >> it's a war zone. they need help here. >> have you seen any sign of supplies coming this way? >> none, zero, nothing. >> there are lots of americans suffering in puerto rico.
>> it's a war zone. they need help here. >> have you seen any sign of supplies coming this way? >> none, zero, nothing. >> there are lots of americans suffering in puerto rico. and when it comes to response, there is no "a" for effort. if the president is so obsessed with how people review his performance, his best bet is to actually deliver on their needs. add going toll the growing list of technology companies and restores tooth enamel. it's an easy way to give listerine® total care to the total family. listerine® total care. one bottle, six benefits. power to your mouth™.
"washington post" reporting today that, quote, tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by russian agents who aim to spread disinformation across google's many products which include youtube as well as advertising associate of google search, gmail and the company's double click ad network. the paper went on to note the discovery is also significant because the ads do not appear to be from the same kremlin-affiliated troll farm. a sign of the russian effort to spread the disinformation online may be much broader than silicon valley companies have unearthed so far. downplaying that the company used platforms to interfere in the election. much of what we know resembles what we know about facebook. both companies were initially reluctant to admit they had been used. but only now, nearly one year after the election are we perhaps beginning to understand the scope of the russian operation. to help with knees new revelations perspective, i'm joined by natasha bertrand who has been covering this story closely.
what i find fascinating about this is someone is doing this, right, from the russian side. they're doing it on facebook. they're doing it on twitter. and now they're doing it on google. for not that much money. like $100,000 here or there, right? and my question is, well, is this the sum total of it or is there a lot more that we're going to learn about? >>, no like you said, it's a year after the election, and we're just now starting to find out little by little, drip by drip what the russians actually did during the 2016 election in terms of manipulating the social media platforms that we use, in terms of manipulating google news, gmail, youtube in order toed me until the election. and just in the past month alone, we've learned that they managed to organize protests in the u.s. using facebook groups and facebook events. we learn they'd managed to use youtube to recruit, you know, people to spew russian propaganda on their behalf. so this is really just the tip of the iceberg. >> all right.
i think it's always important to separate intent and effect. so what we're learning a lot about is the intent, which is that they were just throwing lots of stuff up against the wall. in terms of the effect, some of the protests had four or five people. so there is this creepiness aspect. you just noted the youtube people, the youtube stars were recruited. this site was taken down because it violated terms of service. it appears to have been backed by russian propaganda. i want the play just one of the videos. i think these gentlemen are from nigeria. they were posting during the campaign. take a look. >> hi. today's interview one of the worst election in america. and we have one of the worst candidates. and the candidate is hillary clinton. most of the black people in america think that hillary is the one that is going to protect them and hillary is going to be the one who fights for them. hell no. hillary clinton is one of the liar. all she wants is power. all she wants is to rule over america. she doesn't care about anyone. hillary is going to stand for the muslim. hillary clinton is not our candidate.
so if you vote for her, you take responsibility for all her crime. >> okay. now this is laughably terrible. a lot of the stuff that was being turned out was in that category. you had this crazy spectrum, right? they're doing all these different things. but there is a spectrum of confidence from that video up to successfully hacking the dnc and john podesta. >> a lot of the content that the russians posted on facebook, for example, was extremely well written english. and a lot of it was riddled with typos, there was a lot of discrepancies in how well they actually spoke english and were able to do this. but i think that, yeah, the russians were sloppy. they were really just throwing everything against the wall and seeing what would stick. and, you know, a lot of russia experts that i have spoken to say this may have been on purpose. they may have left fingerprints and made it very obvious to show look we can do this here and we're not going to stop. >> i sometimes think it's the old tale of the blind men with the elephant.
whatever this thing was in the middle, this effort had different aspects to it some of which were really effective, like the hacks in wikileaks. sol of it hard to think affected the election. but you just wonder in your head what is the chart, the org chart look like on the other side of this thing being ordered. >> i mean, i think, again, i think that they were just seeing what they could do. when congressmen are telling us they have evidence that they're going to be back in the next elections, they really understand that this was trial run, essentially. they never -- the russians never actually thought they would get donald trump elected. they thought this was all a way to undermine the legitimacy of the election. and if they were going to throw as much as they could against the wall, whether it be divisive political ads, racially charged things, basically getting people to get riled up and to foment dissent across the country, then that was a win in and of itself. >> right. natasha bertrand, thanks for joining me. >> thanks, chris. still to come, the paid protester that flew across the country in order to pull off the most transparent stunt ever. the many fails of vice president pence ahead. and the president fails in one
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book now at choicehotels.com thing 1 tonight. president trump is still at it. he still does not seem to have any big basic grasp of health care or health care policy. you may recall that early in his administration, the president infamously discovered that health care is complicated. >> we're going to repeal and replace obamacare. now, i have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. >> nobody knew! and now in a hard-hitting interview with mike huckabee, the father of his press secretary, the president seems to indicate that health care bloc grants will relieve him of his current requirement to be the personal physician of every single american. >> and we're going get health care too. we're going to get health care. we'll have health care before the election. but we're going to get health care and bloc granting the money back to the states so the states can take much better care. it's a smaller form of
government. in theory, i want to focus on north korea. i want to focus on iran. i want to focus on other things. i don't want to focus on fixing somebody's back or their knee or something. let the states do that. >> he doesn't want to focus on fixing your knee, america. the most jaw-dropping moment from that interview comes when the president explains that he invented a word. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
in an interview with mike huckabee, president trump took credit for inventing a brand-new word. >> the media is -- is really the word i think one of the greatest of all terms i've come up with is fake. i guess other people have used it perhaps over the years. but i've never noticed it. >> really now? claiming you came up with the word fake. it's not the first time the president has said something like that. in a may interview with the economist about tax cuts, he said, you understand the expression prime the pump? i came up with it a couple days ago and i thought it was good.
that led "vanity fair" to declare donald trump thinks he has invented a phrase that has been used since 1932. when trump was stumping for luther strange last month in his primary contest, the president acted like no one had ever thought about calling the 6'9" senator big luther strange. >> that is the tallest human being i've ever seen. i'm tall. that's why i call him big luther. that's why everyone now calling him big luther. did people call you big luther before you met trump? nobody ever called you big luther? i think it's a great game. >> now you would think that a guy who has gone through life at 6'9" inches and named luther may have been called big luther a time or two over the years. >> insider deals, abusing the public trust. time for a change. >> big luther! >> time for big luther strange. >> he cleaned up montgomery, big luther. >> son, you can count on it.
by now you may have heard a little bit about vice president pence's big weekend. on saturday, he flew to las vegas to honor the victims of the shooting there. then he flew 1800 miles east to indianapolis to take in a football game, and then headed back to the west coast the following day, flying 2,000 miles to los angeles to attend a fundraiser for the kremlin's favorite congressman, dana rohrabacher. but despite tweeting how excited he was to see the colts/49ers game in indianapolis, and more on that particular photo shortly, pence didn't actually stay to watch it, tweeting that he left before kickoff to protest players kneeling during the national anthem. and as we were to be detail, he made a really big deal out of it. now the white house presented his sudden departure as a spur of the moment decision, a man who wanted to watch the game but couldn't accept the disrespect he saw out there on the field. but there is hilariously overwhelming evidence to prove otherwise. that evidence, next. here's a story that vice
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that story, well, it stinks. not just because pence completely misrepresented why the players were kneeling. just 24 minutes after kickoff, pence tweeted out a fancy graphic explaining his decision. also turns out the representers had been told to stay in their van because, quote, there may be an early departure from the game. a senior official admitted the vice president had discussed his early departure if they doesn't stand for the anthem and trump corroborated it. i asked vp to leave if any players kneeled. there was no question about doing so. they've been doing so in nearly every game since colin camp kaepernick kicked off the move in 2014. >> a man in power comes to the game, then leaves the game with
an attempt to thwart our efforts. >> vice president pence blue back and forth. his travel prompting a pointed question from adam schiff. after all the scandals involving unnecessary travel by secretaries, how much track payer money was wasted on this stunt? joining now, jason johnson, and sports editor of the nation. dave, what struck me most here was sort of the desperation, the amount of contrivance to yank this back. well, the president is talking about football players, puerto rico is getting hit by the hurricane. let's get back to talking about football. we want to talk about football. >> i haven't seen this cor ing on arrive this bad since seinfeld. the speed with which this
unraveled was so amazing and shocking. and it has to be said that not only is mike pence getting hammered by democratic politicians or shows like this one, the local indiana newspapers have hammered him today. remembers this is pence's hometown. and they've done so, remember, because this was supposed to be peyton manning's day. the reason why pence was there was because there was this great unveiling of a peyton manning statute and they feel like pence overshadowed with as one reporter put it a cheap political stunt. this is like -- joe said this on your network. he described it as work than bridgegate and i think that's a defensible position. at least with chris christie it was about jersey revenge. think about the high minded purpose at work. it was to chill the first amendment rights of people who want to talk about a subject that this administration will not talk about which is racism and police brutality in this country. it's stoked by an administration that all it has left is a dwindling base. >> it's also like i saw
conservatives reacting to it and i thought this was fascinating. there's this idea, the sort of eye rolling when people on the left want to make a protest, take a moment and turn it into a political moment. and i saw conservatives eye rolling about the vice president being, like, dude, i'm just trying to watch some football here. they felt that this was an encouragement. like why are you bringing this up now. >> chris, i completely agree. i have been saying this all along. nobody likes the fact that the president of the united states has turned america's past time into a political litmus test. everybody can watch football whether you support it or don't support. it's not helped that donald trump does fake racist outrage well. mike pence does not. he's not sincere. he's like a pastor showing up at a strip club saying i'm so offends i'm going to leave. you knew this was going to happen. it doesn't help him at all. >> and david, i also think
there's something interesting happening with this whole issue which is that they want to talk about it. the president clearly is delighted in himself. he found this issue. and i think -- again, i do think it's an issue that abstracting away, probably the majority would be on their side. that they're sort of turning around because trump is such a uniquely polarizing figure in some ways. >> people have to look at the polls on this issue. the common sense in trump's campaign, what's this idea that this is a winning issue for him, because he gets to demonize black people who are protesting racism i guess. and yet when you look at the polling numbers, usa today did polling on this, other places as well, support is actually moving towards the players. not necessarily actually moving towards the players on the idea that we need to have a discussion on police violence, but moving towards the players on the idea that people should have the right to dissent and that this is about first amendment rights and that trump does not have the right to chill that. and part of that really is the toxicity of this presidency, but
it's fascinating when you look at the numbers from a year ago about does colin kaepernick have the right to kneel and it's a shift in the direction of the player. >> this is the weird sort of midas touch. we've seen it in polling on trust in the media as well. the approximate the is very good at galvanizing his hard core base. he can take something like kneeling for the national anthem which people might screw skeptically. by targeting them he puts them in a position where they have to choose sides and they say i guess i'm not on trump's side. >> most people aren't. one, they want to enjoy the game. two, they don't think this is sincere.
the larger problem about both trump and pence who's doing his best trump impression is that everybody recognizes that their values and thinker seem to be focused in the wrong area. you literally had neonazis marching against them. they don't want to talk about that. >> to the sincerity, trump fundraising off pence's nfl walk out of course. then the last little detail about that photo that he tweeted which was like -- he tweeted like get ready for the game. it was like taking the sip of water before the spit take. oh, well i'm just going to enjoy this game. guess nothing political is going to happen. it was an old photo that they used from three years ago that people called out immediately. it was an old photo that someone also put through some sort of instagram filler to make it look slightly different. this was something, once again, the ""indianapolis star" was pointing out it was an old photo. the speed which this unraveled was really shocking. i think for a lot of folks
hearing them talk about respect for the flag and respect for the troops, while at the same time, this horrific situation in niger with troops dying and being killed and no mention of it by the president or the vice president. none. that rings i think true with people in a very sincere way. they won't talk about this. they won't talk about the real problems faced by military families. and i would argue that someone like michael bennett of the seahawks has spoken to more soldiers over the last two months than donald trump or mike pence. >> four u.s. service members, special forces, killed in action in niger, a country in which
there are apparently about 800 u.s. service members, and truly global war on terror. thank you both for being with me tonight. that is all in for this evening. >> tonight the president takes on a member of his own party, tennessee senator bob corker unafraid, not holding back, also not running for reelection. plus, if the mike pence walk out on an nfl game was a koryo graphed political stunt, what did taxpayers shell out for a trip like that? tonight what the white house is saying to the criticism and the cost. and the president weighs in on the pictures that have defined his visit and for some his response to puerto rico. the 11th hour on a monday night begins right now. and as we start a new week, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 263 of the trump administration brings us reports of white house staff members who want out, a trump loyalist who says this presidency could be doomed, and a republican senator saying trump has put us on a path to world war iii. and that was the big fight the president found himself in this