tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC October 15, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
that does it for me. "a.m. joy" will be back next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. the latest news from my colleague, alex witt. >> my superior hero friend at comic-con, thank you. i'm alex witt at msnbc headquarters in new york. here is what's happening. >> i'm not going to deal with that kind of petty stuff. i mean, this is a town that seems to relish gossip, rumor, innuendo, and they feed on it, they feed on one another in a very destructive way. i don't work that way, i don't deal that way. i'm not going to dignify the question. >> what is the question and why does secretary tillerson refuse to answer it? a congressman who has been leading the call for president trump's impeachment joins me to talk about what's stalled his efforts, and what happens after 2018. new alarm today at the
president's obamacare cuts. a new report suggests who might be hurt most by the moves. more allegations of sexual assault against movie mogul harvey weinstein, the latest details ahead. and the spreading california wildfires, new stories from the front lines on the rescues and how doctors are taking action to save lives. but first, politics. secretary of state rex tillerson, pressed this morning on whether he called his boss a moron. >> as i indicated earlier, i was asked about that. i'm not going to deal with that kind of petty stuff. >> when you don't answer the question, it makes people think you probably did say it. but either way, whatever happened, it is serious. so can you please clear it up? >> as i said, jake, i'm not playing. these are the games of washington. these are the destructive games of this town. they're not helpful to anyone. and so my position on it is, i'm
not playing. i'm not dig nnifying the questi with an answer, jake. >> tillerson also setting the record straight on north korea after the president's tweet that tillerson is wasting his time trying to talk kim jong un. kelly o'donnell has more. >> reporter: when you look at the president's comments, things like "calm before the storm," you look at his twitter feed, and you hear the chief diplomat for the united states talking about this issue. rex tillerson saying diplomacy is the u.s. position, that comes first, even though the president has at times appeared to provoke kim jong un and provoke the 19 stops. tillerson says he's being told to put diplomacy first. >> the president has also made
clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. he's not seeking to go to war. >> so he doesn't think it's a waste of time? >> no, sir. he has made it clear to me to continue my dip lolomatic effor which we are. as i told others, those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops. >> reporter: that in and of itself is a provocative statement, "until the first bomb drops." the united states is trying to reassure north korea that there are reasonable military options that the united states could use while at the same time moving forward on diplomatic actions. president trump has said over the past 25 years several presidents have failed to take care of this issue and he will fix it. it's unclear how that will go forward. at the moment they're saying diplomacy matters when it comes at a time when the iran issue is
another counterweight in trump foreign policy, leaving some of the united states' adversaries guessing about what the president really wants to do. alex? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house, thank you for that. josh barrow and jeremy peters, guys, good to see you both as always. jeremy, i want to start with you first and get your reaction to tillerson's commons to the "mor "moron" comment. he's not denying it, right? so what does it tell you? >> it tells me that he said it. it's been pretty clear since the day the story was first reported and he refused to answer the question whether he said it. my reporting tells me he not only called trump a moron, he called him an expletive moron, not language i want to use on television to say exactly what he said. but no, this rift between the president and his secretary of state is very real. the likelihood that rex
tillerson remains the secretary of state three, four, six months from now i think is very thin. >> again, this is someone, rex tillerson himself saying he would be surprised if he lasted the entire year, he said that a few months back. tillerson is also trying to clarify the president's position on north korea. he says he's seeking diplomacy, but here is the president's tweet earlier this week, "presidents and their administrations have been talking about north korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid, it hasn't worked. agreements violated before the ink is dry making fools of u.s. negotiators. sorry, but only one thing will work." he also told rex tillerson in a tweet, don't waste your time trying to negotiate with north korea. who should the public believe? >> i have no idea what the administration's strategy is here and i don't think the north koreans know either. we used to try to figure out
what the russians' strategies were, now you have the president contradicting people in his own cabinet who he could theoretically fire. we've had 20-plus years of north korean policy that hasn't worked. it's not that one thing works, it's that nothing works. diplomacy has not been a successful strategy but there is also no viable military option there. i think he wants to define himself in opposition to these presidents who failed by saying he'll have something different. the problem is he doesn't really have something there other than making threats on twitter. for months we've had a lot of noise here without any actual military action on either side. my hope is that can be a mistakenable situation through the rest of this presidential term. it's not clear to me there's any bigger plan beyond that. >> josh, to your point of not really knowing what the president means by his words, i want to play the sound from
republican senator susan collins this morning talking about the president's choice of words. let's take a listen. >> what the president needs to realize is that his words really matter. when he makes an off the hand comment like the calm before the storm, as he did recently, both our enemies and our allies analyze that comment to figure out what it means. he does not have the luxury that he had when he was in the private sector of saying whatever comes into his mind. >> jeremy, more and more members of his own party are taking issue with these cryptic messages that come from the president and the potential harm that it could cause. how damaging might that be to the president in the long run? does it render him ineffective, we say it's just the president tweeting again, who cares? >> the problem that susan collins put her finger on there
is often there is no deeper meaning to these comments. the president is a deeply impetuous man, he flies off the handle, tweets something, and often there is no real thought or strategy behind it, it's just being intemperate. while you're seeing a handful of senators like susan collins and john mccain speaking out, questioning, you know, the president's stability, bob corker of course, they remain and will remain in the minority of the republican conference in the senate. that's just not going to change until republicans start looking at president trump's poll numbers and seeing them drop below 90, 85% approval rating in their states and their districts among republicans. the president remains popular with his base, remains popular with republican voters. and the political courage that's necessary to stand up to a popular president, a popular president among his base, at least, it's just not there.
>> josh, in regard to what the president says, oftentimes we try to explain it away by saying, well, he's appealing to his base when he tweets out, but how much do international leaders understand playing to the base and interpret his words as such, instead of something directly to them? north korea, for example, or iran. >> i don't think the tweets about north korea are exclusively about appealing to the base. i think the president has a broader idea, when somebody punches you, you have to punch back, at least rhetorically. this is something you saw throughout his career. if you read in "the art of the deal," he talks a lot about publicity seeking, you make grand promises, he calls it "truthful hyperbole" when it's a big exaggeration, he thinks it indicates an underlying truth. i think the president kind of just talks. he talks a big game, he's been used to being able to make big threats and big promises and not make good on them.
the problem is more people are paying attention than ever before and the stakes are higher than ever before. i wouldn't chalk this up exclusively to a domestic political strategy to appeal to his base. i think he thinks when you're dealing with somebody like kim jong un who is a bully or who is making bigger threats than he ought to, the way you deal with that is by threatening back in kind. >> how do you, josh, interpret the president and lindsey graham playing golf yesterday for the second time this week? senator rand paul was also spotted at the president's golf club this morning. >> both of these are senators who have previously not been in trump's good graces, like he fires omarosa and brings her back and fires her and brings her back, you can be the president's enemy and then be his friend. lindsey graham got in the president's good graces but
trying to bring killing obamacare back from the dead. now adjustment of the iran deal, so it's a good time for graham to have the president's ear and spend time golfing with him. rand paul has oddly become friendly with the president even though he's been one of the most frustrating people in the senate for the president's putative policy agenda, he's been critical of the tax plan the republicans released, saying it raises taxes on middle class families. and of course he voted against the last health care repeal bill. i think there's something about his style that the president likes. both of them have sort of feuded with the establishment republicans in the senate including mitch mcconnell. >> i think the president also appreciated lindsey graham giving him a shoutout when he shot 73 at golf earlier. that's a great score, no denying that. >> when he allegedly shot a 73. >> oh, there you go. okay. jeremy, let's talk about the president's rolling back of the obamacare subsidies. there's a new ap analysis which says nearly 70% of those benefiting from the so-called
cost sharing subsidies live in states trump won last november. will that reality trump supporters, and if so, when? >> it could. there's a certain logic to the argument that trump now owns this, by kicking it to congress and saying you deal with it, taking as explicit an action as refusing to make payments his hands are now all over this. it's because of his actions that these premiums are going to rise. the problem, though, is trump doesn't really seem to get blamed for much of anything. and congress is an easy scapegoat for him. and by kicking the ball to them, he may very well be shifting the blame to them in the minds of voters. so it's hard to really say at this point. i think this is one more problem that mitch mcconnell doesn't need, when you were talking earlier about rand paul and lindsey graham meeting with the president, part of what's going
on there, alex, is trying to box mitch mcconnell out. there is a growing number of republican senators who are increasingly frustrated with mitch mcconnell's leadership. those include rand paul and lindsey graham. and president trump does not care for mitch mcconnell either. and i would not be surprised at all if you see more actions of this type, more maneuvering around mitch mcconnell in a way that puts him and his status as a majority leader in a bit of political peril. >> that has to be uncomfortable considering mitch mcconnell's wife elaine chao is in the president's cabinet. josh, i know you write this week with respect to the economy and president trump's takes, why republicans don't see that the trump tax cut hurts the middle class, and the president overstating the impact of the stock market. can you explain those? >> so the republicans rolled out this tax plan drawn up by the white house, the president is talking it up as a big tax
consult. 12% of taxpayers would face an increase, and by 2026, a quarter more people would pay more under the plan. the reason is because of changes they make to the personal exemplifie exemptions. the new system would take away those exclusions, a middle class tax would pay taxes on 8 or $10,000 more of their income, so a lot of americans would pay more. this is something a lot of republicans didn't really understand in the math when they signed onto the plan. it will become a significant problem for the plan. that's why you see rand paul and other members of the senate saying, this isn't okay, we need to adjust the plan to hold these families harmless. the problem is the budget rule they've written up for this
allows a big expansion of the federal budget deficit from a party that's talked about how deficits are bad. if you want to protect those middle class families, it grows the deficit even more. you have to find somewhere else to raise taxes, maybe ones that aim more at high income taxpayers. >> the president is saying the debt subpoenaeis up, the stock up. the comment didn't make a lot of sense. the president may have meant the stock market is up, that's an indicator markets think the economy will grow faster so what really matters isn't the government debt, it's how well we can service the government's debt, and if the economy grows faster, we'll better be able to handle the debt. one reason the stock market is up is because the president is proposing a big corporate tax cut, that's great for shareholders, regardless of what it means for the overall
this whole issue is about people. it is not about politics. it is not about numbers. it's about people. and these congress men, they're seemingly willing to do nothing, and i've got to tell you, including the democrats, who once this last republican proposal died, they seemed to walk away from the table and not want to give states flexibility.
it's a shame on everybody. and who gets hurt? people. >> ohio governor john kasich on the impact of president trump's cuts to obamacare. welcome back to the broadcast, congressman. i want to get right to it and get your response to john kasich. are democrats partly to blame? >> no, democrats have proposed that we have risk corridors and that we fund the csrs. we've made propositions. the problem is the republicans don't want to do anything to help it in the house. our bills can't get scheduled for a vote, a markup or a hearing. on the senate side, patty murray and lamar alexander tried to work together to provide a solution. senate democrats want to do that and lamar alexander wants to do it. but the republicans don't want
to do it and president trump's executive order cuts the legs out from other them. john kasich would certainly have been a better president than donald trump, but that's not the issue. >> as you know, at the end when they need votes and the prepared party falls off from the coalition which will happen on the debt ceiling and
may happen on tax reform, then leader pelosi can have some influence in negotiating a final deal that may get passed with senate democrats as well as republicans. the freedom party is the most conservative, i think about 70 of them voted to not help with funding for puerto rico. that was cruel and inhuman. texans who voted for texas relief didn't vote for puerto rican relief. some of them didn't even vote for texas relief. they'll need democratic votes to get things done. at the end when it comes to crunch time, the democrats can have some say in policy that will be good. >> on your personal to-do list, i know you said you were planning to introduce impeachment articles against the president in the coming weeks. what specifically do you think the president has done that warrants impeachment? >> well, the president, it starts with james comey and his firing. he said to the russians, i've gotten rid of that nutjob, and
told lester holt, i fired him because i said to myself this guy is not working with me on russia and i need to stop this, basically. that's obstruction of justice. there's quite a bit -- we've drawn an article that lays out the facts and shows it how it is. there's the emoluments clause, he continues to violate those. we're not supposed to be take money from a foreign government without coming to congress. he's done it at trump hotel, trump international tower, trump world tower, trump everything. there's a domestic emoluments clause about getting monies over and above your salary being forbidd forbidden. he gets money from secret service and the people who come to mar-a-lago. that comes to hundreds of millions of dollars. there's abuses of the press which is a series of actions, a pattern of behavior starting back i guess with megyn kelly and the debates and how he attacked her, then went on
"morning joe" and their hosts. most lately when he questioned nbc having a license, which of course he can't revoke, but he threatened it. he calls the news as the en em of the american people. these are violative of his oath to uphold the first amendment and freedom of the press. with the judiciary, arpaio, judge curiel in california. an authoritarian first goes against the press and the judiciary. that's what this man has done and it puts the united states in a vulnerable position. >> i would think you've explained your reasoning to your colleagues but i read on twitter that you're still seeking co-sponsors, especially judiciary members, for your impeachment articles. what kind of support have you received from the democrats and is there any interest whatsoever from republicans? >> we've gotten some people who committed to support our resolution. we want to get a few more.
we don't want to be like the previous resolution that was introduced in july that was introduced by one member by himself. not that william tell and the lone ranger aren't right sometimes, but it's best in congress to have some support and not be the lone ranger. al green did not introduce his resolution yet but he made a presentation on the floor. we have some judiciary members on board, others working with us to get more judiciary members. that's where it would have to be initiated. it's a slow process, basically we've got the resolution drawn. but we still need more sponsors. we would like to have ten when we introduce it, seven, eight, or ten. >> have any republicans said to you privately, look, the timing not quite yet, but if the president continues on this same trajectory, okay, then we will support you? >> i have one republican that has said he is looking at it, he's considering it. i have other republicans just like senator bob corker
suggested, who have told me on a constant basis that they know this man is not balanced, he is not capable of continuing to lead us, including freedom party people, who said i don't know how long we can stand this. we privately will tell you, and by their words and by their expressions, that they would like to see an end to the trump administration and don't approve of what he's doing. but the republican base is still supportive of trump. that's who is strong in their primaries. and politically they can't come out and say it. but you look at people like ileana ros-lehtinen of florida, she's not running for reelection, she criticizes him regularly, saying the change in insurance will run up more people without insurance and hurt her district as well as mine, his executive orders will devastate really trump people, middle class and low-income people will pay more and probably go uninsured. when they do get insurance in these associations, they'll have skimpy policies, when they're
sick they'll find out the policies don't cover them. there are problems there. you see bob corker, he's not running for reelection and he's become free to criticize, and not just criticize, to speak the truth about this president who is incapable of taking action based on rational thought and work, but rather acting like a child and acting in a tell tempestuous way about anything president obama did and trying to destroy it. >> thank you, congressman steve cohen, i appreciate that. >> you're welcome, alex. the battle plan and the poli potential impact on the midterm elections, coming up.
by listening to an thiaudiobook on audible.ame and this guy is just trying to get through the day. this guy feels like he can take on anything. this guy isn't sure he can take it anymore. unwavering self-confidence. stuck in a 4-door sedan of sadness. upgrade your commute. ride with audible. dial star star audible on your smartphone to start listening today.
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, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio works by focusing right in the gi-tract to help control damaging inflammation and is clinically proven to begin helping many patients achieve both symptom relief as well as remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment. entyvio may increase risk of infection, which can be serious. while not reported with entyvio, pml, a rare,
serious brain infection caused by a virus may be possible. tell your doctor if you have an infection, experience frequent infections, or have flu-like symptoms, or sores. liver problems can occur with entyvio. if your uc or crohn's medication isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. welcome back, everyone. i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york. new reaction today to president trump's decision to decertify the nuclear deal with iran.
israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu says the president has created an opportunity to fix the original agreement and halt iran's nuclear ambitions and aggression. let's make sure we know they're in lockstep there. steve bannon has declared open war on the gop establishment and he has outlined his plan to force change in senate leadership and use primary elections to oust republicans who are seen as obstructing president trump's agenda. joining me now, brett stephens, conservative op-ed columnist for "the new york times." should steve bannon be the guy leading this movement? >> this is what those of us who were never-trumpers warned against when donald trump began to make headway in the republican party. which was, not only was he going to destroy the country, he was going to destroy the party too. and bannon's kind of campaign of permanent revolution against presumably fellow travelers,
people who agree with him on at least many issues, is more evidence of that. you know, before the election, bannon had told an historian that he considered himself a leninist. of course bannon denied the comment. but that's exactly the way he's been playing it ever since, which is first you gain complete control over your party, and then you sort of have a constant revolution. this is what they're going to do, they're going to try to drive out any of the classical liberalism that used to inform at least part of this republican party, the parts i sympathize with, and turn republicans into a party of nativists and bigots. >> we saw the president and senator bob corker, they were certainly going at it on twitter. bannon referenced it yesterday at the value voters summit. i want you to take a listen to that. >> bob corker has trashed the commander in chief of our armed forces while we have young men
and women in harms way, right? he said he's leading them on a path to world war iii, that he is not stable, that people have to keep him moderated, that it's an adult -- what, an adult center, and they took the morning shift off. >> yeah, but let's remember who started this. why does he not talk about the president trashing corker first? >> well, first of all, there is that, and it ignores the fact that bob corker, unlike some other republicans, began trying to work with the president, tried, like i think many people who thought, well, he got elected, he deserves the benefit of the doubt, tried to cooperate with the president. you know, what bob corker did i think is the epitome of patriotism. he is sounding an alarm bell as loudly as he can that the commander in chief is unfit to hold the office that he does. and people who are genuinely patriotic ought to commend him. it's particular funny, by the
way, coming from bannon who himself used to leak against the president when he was in the white house. it's another example of the hypocrisy of the guy, although i don't know why anyone should be surprised by that. >> before i get further into bannon's rhetoric, how widespread do you believe that ideology you just talked about, people's opinions of the president, how widespread is that within the republican party? >> i think it's almost universal, that is to say, at least among friends i speak to, even those who support him in some sense understand that this is a man who in a different world would have no business being president. anyone who has spent any amount of time with donald trump does not come away from a meeting with the impression that this is a guy who is in command of his facts, who is able to carry on sort of logical, sequential thinking, who is anything more
than just overmastered by his impulses and his temper. so it's very difficult to imagine that anyone who is acquainted with the president doesn't feel this way. the real question is, who is being honest among the republicans and forthright and who is simply going along with what they know is a charade? >> so was bob corker being honest and forthright when he said that mcmaster, mattis, and kelly were the three men keeping this country from descending into chaos? >> does anyone doubt that? >> how about senator susan collins, she said americans are tired of bannon's rhetoric. let's listen to what she had to say. >> mr. bannon's over the top metric is nme rhetoric is not helpful. mitch connell is the senate leader. america needs him. i'm glad they're working
together on tax reform and i'm glad they're meeting this week. mr. bannon's comments are not helpful in that regard. >> brett, does the president still listen to bannon, does he still have the president's ear? >> i think there's no question. there are widespread reports that bannon has an open line to the white house. we know the way that trump operates is even when you're fired, you're never really fired, you're always somewhere within the orbit, you're always a phone call away. people like senator collins, they're great public servants, but the republican party that still wants to keep its sanity, and by the way, still wants to represent a good consensus of the american people, needs to stand up much more forcefully than they have so far to the ban bannonites in the party. otherwise we're moving to the
collapse of the party. and for those of us who care about genuinely conservative ideas, an invitation to democrats and to the future to become the permanent majority party of the united states as the republicans tear themselves to pieces. >> isn't the job of the white house chief of staff to be the gatekeeper, the person who knows who's coming in and out? why can't john kelly do something to reduce the amount of communication between steve bannon and the president? >> unfortunately because he's the president, alex. i've joked earlier they're engaged in a form of extreme baby-sitting. at least with baby-sitters, the presumption is that the baby-sitter is the adult or the near adult, and the baby is a baby. no one is going to be able to prevent the president from resort to go twitter. nobody is going to be able to prevent the president from picking up the phone. so the most that we can hope from them, and i think what they're doing is courageous, i
certainly wouldn't want to be in their shoes, is for them to contain the damage. they're never going to be able to tamp it, as long as trump is president. >> conservative op-ed columnist for "the new york times," brett stephens, thanks so much. >> thank you, alex. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. is now a good time to refinance? yes! mortgage rates are historically low. the time to refinance your home is right now. get started at lendingtree.com.
the only place you can compare up to five real offers, side by side, for free. our average customer can significantly lower their monthly bills. quick. beat the fed's next rate hike. do not miss this window. are you sure you have the best rate? it only takes 3 minutes to find out. go to lendingtree.com right now.
the energy conscious whopeople among usle? say small actions can add up to something... humongous. a little thing here. a little thing there. starts to feel like a badge maybe millions can wear. who are all these caretakers, advocates too? turns out, it's californians it's me and it's you. don't stop now, it's easy to add to the routine. join energy upgrade california and do your thing.
the deadliest group of simultaneous places in california history. a look at the before and after one family faces after losing everything. ahead of tonight's debut of "kasie d.c.," we'll bring in kasie hunt about why president trump is playing golf with senators graham and paul, among other questions.
believe the health we aof our water sourcesany is essential to the health of our communities. which is why we're helping to replenish the mighty rio grande as well as over 30 watersheds across the country. we're also leading water projects in more than 100 communities. and for every drop we use... we're working to give one back. because our products rely on the same thing as we all do... clean water. and we care about it like our business depends on it.
the death toll has risen to 40 with several people's whereabouts still unknown. there are 17 large wildfires consuming more than 220,000 acres. a new estimate of the overall wildfire destruction is put at $3.5 billion. nbc's sarah doloff is there. sarah, i know the wind is possibly picking back up again today. what's it like? >> reporter: right now they're getting a break from the weather, alex. those numbers you just mentioned, the acreage, it can be difficult to get an idea of the extent of the disaster. take a look what the home behind me looks like before those flames swept through this neighborhood. it was a regular family home,
filled with memories, now just a burned shell. multiple that by 5700 and you begin to understand the loss that's being experienced here. right now behind me, that is the california national guard. they are going lot to lot, door to door, sifting through the debris, looking for saves, other valuables that may have survived the fire, amid reports from officials there have been some cases of looting, some people being loallowed back in their neighborhoods, other people are being kept from returning for now citing safety concerns. i mentioned the winds, they have been dying down, firefighters are getting a break from the weather. a bit of positive news, they expect to have full containment of all the fires in the area by friday. >> that at least is very good news, i can't articulate when went through my mind when you talked about looters in the area. i mean -- okay.
♪ do you want clean, stain free dentures? try polident. the four in one cleaning system kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria, cleans where brushing may miss. helps remove stains and prevent stain build up. do you have the coverage you need? open enrollment ends december 7th. so now's the time to get on a path that could be right for you... with plans including aarp medicarecomplete insured through unitedhealthcare. call today or go online to enroll. these medicare advantage plans can combine your hospital and doctor coverage... with prescription drug coverage, and extra benefits...
all in one complete plan... for a low monthly premium, or in some areas no plan premium at all. other benefits can include: $0 co-pays for an annual physical and most immunizations, routine vision and hearing coverage, and you'll pay the plan's lowest prescription price, whether it's your co-pay or the pharmacy price. or pay as low as zero dollars for a 90-day supply of your tier 1 and tier 2 drugs, with home delivery. don't wait, call unitedhealthcare or go online to enroll in aarp medicarecomplete. sfx: mnemonic
i done think there's any doubt that anyone sees him as anything other than the most unique president we certainly have ever seen in modern history. how he wants to use his own skilled tactically to push things for change, i'm there to help him achieve those. >> secretary of state rex tillerson on president trump this morning after again refusing to dispute an nbc news reports saying he called president trump a moron. let's bring in former dnc chairman howard dean, also the former governor of vermont, and susan del percio. always good to have you join me on a sunday. let's get started, susan, with you. what is your takeaway from that? will his performance today help or hurt his relationship with the president?
>> it will help, but to what end? a lot of people are already saying that the secretary of state tillerson wasn't going to stay much past the end of the year. i think that's probably till the target. they just don't want to show any major shakeups especially on the foreign policy side at this time. but he's probably also waiting frankly for the next storm or for the president to get mad at somebody else. so just ride it out. >> how about you, howard? can you read between the lines for me, if you will. what wasn't tillerson saying there? >> here's my problem with all this. who cares if somebody called the president a moron. what difference does it make? a million people are being thrown off their health budget that there's a tax bill on the table for creating a $2 trillion additional deficit. policies of this president are insane, literally insane. and we're worrying about whether the secretary of state called him a moron. so what? >> i see what you're saying, and it seems rather trivial, but
what we need to discuss is the interpretation of how foreign leaders lack this synapse between the two. they're not on the same page. >> i can tell you exactly what they think because i just got back from a trip to germany where i met some of those foreign leaders. they are pulling their act together because they think trump is crazy and unpredictable and basically nobody who works for trump with the possible exception of mattis has any credibility. the president's word doesn't mean anything because it's never meant anything and the people who work for him's word doesn't mean anything because trump will pull the rug out from them in five seconds. the world is looking for a new leader and we don't have one in the united states. we haven't seen that for 70 years. >> in terms of those who work with him, susan, there was another public declaration of loyalty this week from john kelly. let's listen to some of what he said. >> although i read it all the time, pretty consistently, i'm not quitting today.
i don't believe and i just talked to the president, i don't think i'm being fired today. and i'm not so frustrated in this job that i'm thinking of leaving. i would tell you, this is the hardest job i've ever had. this is, in my view, the most important job i've ever had. >> what does that say to you about what's really going on behind the scenes? >> i think it's saying that this administration, they want the leaders of this administration, whether right now, it looks like it's more mattis and kelly, really want to see the president's team look unified. i think it was great that the chief of staff kelly came out and did this interview. it cleared up a lot of, i think, rumors and innuendo out there. he is committed to staying. that's the other thing, to go to what howard was saying earlier about what world leaders say, also want to see some stability in the white house, and john kelly does represent that stability. it was a very smart move.
actually, in the last few days. even in the last few hours, we have seen this administration actually all say the same thing in the last 48 hours. which is a little unusual, but on the foreign policy side, that is what we're seeing. that's a good step ing the right direction. >> look, based on john kelly's appearance in the briefing, howard, how do you think he sees his role? how much authority do you think he has in the role? susan is saying that it looks like he brings some stability, but is he able to execute that in this role? >> look, i think this is so funny for a democrat to be saying this, but basically, this country depends right now on three generals. mattis, kelly, and mcmaster. to the extent they can reign in trump who is unpredictable and i think unbalanced, that's the success of the country. i think kelly -- i think all three of them share in common, they're doing this for the country. they're doing this, as they see this, they're doing this for the country. they know what their role is. they know how important it is to have stability and discipline in
the face of the president who has none of either. and i think that's why they're doing it. i admire that, even though i'm sure i'm not going to agree with all the things they decide, i do admire people who with willing to put their country first. you don't see a lot of that in washington these days. >> i'm going to say, i guess we should note this on the calendar because your comments sync up with the tenor of the comments i got from bret stephens. just saying, like 15 minutes ago. susan, i want to take a listen to steve bannon talking about 2020. here it is. >> going to finish this term, he's going to win with 400 electoral votes in 2020. >> 2020? we have to get through 2018, susan. isn't that where republicans should keep their focus? you have senator ted cruz saying the midterms could be a blood bath for the gop. not seen since the likes of watergate if they don't pass critical legislation. i mean, is it plausible the democrats retake the house and senate after 2018? >> at this point, donald trump
became president, so yes, anything is possible. should it happen? it should not right now. when you have a president, a house, a senate all the same party. you should see some losses, but the calendar, especially for the u.s. senate, is so on the republicans' favor, but it looks like steve bannon is on his way of trying to blow that up. and i will say this for bannon, though. he is making inroads on the ground in these states where he wants to put in republican challenges. and the republican party, the establishment, if you will, or these incombbts should be very concerned about what he's doing because that is how you actually end up being successful and winning a primary. >> howard, i was told earlier on the broadcast that the possibility of donald trump winning in 2020 with 400 electoral votes, certainly exists. what's your comment to that? >> look, anything exists in american politics. i think the election in 2016
said so. but again, why are we paying attention to steve bannon? he's basically a nazi sympathizer who's spouting out in a christian coalition meeting. who cares? he's not in the white house anymore. thank god for that. i wouldn't pay any attention to him at all. let him do what he's going to do. it's just gossip and he's basically a twit. >> with the one exception, i agree with all the statements you made about steve bannon, but he does have resources and he can really hurt the republican party. >> that's true. >> and that is a republican is something i'm very, very concerned about because that goes to our core as a country, and on our democratic values. >> okay, susan and howard, also good to see you both. thank you. >> still ahead, the russian fake news attacks on the u.s. election. how americans provided much of the bogus material and they didability even know it. many interesting places.