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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  October 17, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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vote, right? 3 million more people voted for his opponent, and yet he's still the president and it contributes to this feeling of these powerful forces at work against which you have no power to fight. >> i should note there is another moment melissa mel llano started this me, too, hashtag. particularly men should check out that hashtag. it's extremely upsetting and also eye opening about how profoundly ubiquitous this is. that is "all in" for this evening. tonight, the president goes there on just about every topic imaginable during a free-wheeling impromptu 40-minute rose garden news conference. and that man at his side, mitch mcconnell.
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the man steve bannon is trying to run out of office. and perhaps most troubling, trump falsely asserts that he does what other presidents failed to do when it comes to america's gold-star families. all of it and more on a monday night as "the 11th hour" gets under way.
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talking about health care, tax reform, cuba, the national football league, and more. a reporter asked the president why he hasn't spoken publicly yet about the death of four u.s. green berets who were killed 12 days ago during an ambush in niger in africa. in his answer, he talked about how difficult it is for him when u.s. service members are killed in action and he has to call their families, also noting incorrectly it's something his predecessors didn't do. >> is i've written them personal
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letters. they've been sent or they're going out tonight, but they were during the weekend. i will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families because i have done that traditionally. i felt very, very badly about that. i always feel badly. it's the toughest -- toughest calls i have to make are the calls where this happens. soldiers are killed. it's a very difficult thing. now, it gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them, and one day is a very, very tough day. for me, that's by far the toughest. so the traditional way, if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. a lot of them didn't make calls. i like to call when it's appropriate, when i think i'm able to do it. they have made the ultimate sacrifice. so generally i would say that i like to call. i'm going to be calling them. i want a little time to pass. i'm going to be calling them. >> earlier you said president
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obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. how can you make -- >> i don't know if he did. no, no -- i was told he didn't very often. a lot of presidents don't. they write letters. excuse me, peter, i do a combination of both. sometimes -- it's a very difficult thing to do. i do a combination of both. president obama, i think, probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn't. i don't know. that's what i was told. all i can do, all i can do is ask my generals. other presidents did not call. they'd write letters. and some presidents didn't do anything. but i like -- i like the combination of -- i like, when i can, the combination of a call and also a letter. >> trump also talked about puerto rico and what he described as its people's inability to distribute the food and water the government is providing. in what we should quickly note is a country where 100 bridges and many more roads are gone.
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>> puerto rico is very tough because of the fact it's an island but it's also tough because as you know, it was in very poor shape before the hurricanes ever hit. we have done -- i will say this, we have done -- >> people don't have drinking water. >> well, we've delivered tremendous amounts of water, the what you have to do, you have to have distribution of the water by people on the island. we have massive amounts of water. we have massive amounts of food. but they have to distribute the food and have to do this, they have to distribute the food to the people of the island. so what we've done is we now actually have military distributing food. something that really they shouldn't have to be doing. >> for the record, u.s. military distributes food after any number of natural disasters. after that, the president took a shot at a familiar target, a reporter asked him about hillary clinton's response to nfl players' decision to take a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence. and he interrupted to say this. >> why -- >> oh, i hope hillary runs. is she going to run? i hope. hillary, please run again. go ahead.
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>> on that, let's start off our lead panel on a monday night. matthew nusbom, white house reporter for politico. tamara keith, white house correspondent for npr. jonathan lemere, white house reporter for the "ap" and msnbc political analyst. we welcome you all back to the broadcast. all right, matthew, you get to start because you were in the rose garden, in effect, in the room where it happened today. what prompted this and did anything about the president's motive in wanting to do this have an appearance, take really unlimited questions, did that come through in his words as to what his motive was? >> well, like you said, this was a very impromptu press conference. i think it came about because during his cabinet meeting, he said that he would be taking some questions on the steps. and we were all kind of left wondering, what is he talking about? and then very soon after that, we found out that the briefing was going to be canceled. the scheduled briefing with press secretary sarah sanders. we were ushered out for this sort of surreal rose garden
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press conference. there weren't any chairs set up. this was all very spur of the moment so we gathered around a rope and shouted questions to a president who loves being out there going this back and forth with reporters and his goal, i think, was to show, hey, look, mitch mcconnell and i are friends, the things you read about, the feud between us, aren't accurate. whether or not he got that across i think remains to be seen but they certainly tried. >> tamara, why hasn't the president talked about the loss of four u.s. special operators in niger in africa? the secretary of defense has. it's not operational security. the pentagon has already talked about the incident and their deaths. is there any reason why the president has not spoken about them heretofore? >> it's really not clear, this incident happened, at least we were notified of it, on the day president trump was traveling to las vegas to meet with the families and people affected by that mass shooting there.
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as the air force one was coming in to andrews air force base, sarah sanders came back on air force one and talked to those of us reporters who were on that flight, told the pool that the president had been briefed on the incident that had happened there. sarah sanders came back on air force one and talked to those of us reporters who were on that flight, told the pool that the president had been briefed on the incident that had happened there. and that was really the last that we heard of it from the white house. >> jonathan lemere, we heard from general kelly, the chief of staff, last week saying really there's nothing to see here, especially about his relationship with the president. no panic behind the scenes, no chaos. then this morning's "washington post." under the headline, "inside the adult daycare center: how aides try to control and coerce trump." "some trump aides spend a significant amount of their time devising ways to rein and control the imptuous president angling to control outbursts
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that might work against him. according to interviews with 18 aides, confidants and outside advisers most of whom insisted on anonymity to spoke candidly." i will note general kelly told the press you need to get better sources. >> we're all working on it. yes, certainly some of the chaos has been reined in behind closed doors. this is not -- there's more organization now than there was when reince priebus was chief of staff. it there's better control of information going into the oval office. there are more dedicated organized attempts at the policy procedure, there have been small steps taken. at the end of the day, the president does what the president wants to do. we know that he was -- he always fancies himself his best spokesman. he believes he is the best person to communicate his message. he did want to display an improved relationship with the
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senate majority leader but also just wanted to, according to those close to him that we talked to, have a better sense of controlling the narrative out there. trying to push back on a few issues. trying to hit some of his favorites like the nfl, which, of course, he brought up again today. but also to defend himself. puerto rico is the biggest one here where he has been really frustrated with what he has seen as he believes unfair negative media coverage of the response to that hurricane and he wanted to try to get his side of events out there. but as the president so often does, he sort of steps on what his intended message was going to be. today the headline we're all getting from this, the thing that's resonating the most, is the idea of his accusation that president obama, other predecessors, didn't communicate to the families of fallen loved ones when that is simply not the case and has been widely blasted from both sides of the aisle as inappropriate comment from a commander in chief. >> and matthew, on puerto rico, i've read it's been said about the president that he can't hear the absence of empathy in his answers. he, when wronged, when he perceives he's been wronged, he tries to relitigate as he did again today and it comes off as victim blaming, all these 3.5 million american citizens in
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puerto rico. >> that's right. he turned to the same script today that he's been using on puerto rico which is to say, first of all, it's an island, which makes it more logistically difficult. and second of all, the united states government has been doing its job by getting the aids and supplies there, then it's on the puerto rico government, the ones falling down on the job. you're right, he doesn't understand how that and past tweets saying we can't be there forever, some people want everyone done for them, that was his most explosive comment on this. how that sounds like he's placing blame on the people of puerto rico, widely considered a subpar response by this administration to a massive natural disaster. >> tamara, talk about what we know was the chaos behind the scenes as he spoke. we know that because we heard from the press conference. the press department after the press conference clarifying some of his remarks. also talk about the visual of mcconnell today.
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it was the face that launched a thousand memes. whether hostage themed or larry david themed. what did the two-shot, as they say in television, look like? >> that was sort of classic mitch mcconnell, he just sort of standing there and trying to look placid. you know, the thing that is really -- stands out to me about this is that this is the third time in about a week and a half that the president or one of his aides or rex tillerson have come out and said, everything's fine, these stories that you're reading, they aren't right, everything's great. so you had rex tillerson come out and do his press conference. then you had general kelly come out and give that -- come into
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the briefing room, which is vale really uncommon for a chief of staff to come out into the briefing room to simply say everything's fine, i'm not trying to control the president, when i make faces, that's just me thinking hard. so there this remarkable thing that has been happening, you know, every few days now where someone comes out and sort of says, no, the chaos thing that you're reading about isn't quite right. >> kind of like a cop in a traffic accident. nothing to see here, keep it moving. all right. jonathan, the "associated press" stock and trade is writing those instant leads on deadline that we, all of us news consumers, get to see. what would your lead be about this event at the white house today? go. >> president donald trump, the lead would be something along the lines of the president who enjoys pairing with reporters, attempts to control the narrative, attempts to push
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back, attempts to display that in improving his relationship with senate majority leader that he's trying to get some things done. this is a white house that does not have much in the way of a confidence in can point to. they need help from the senate. the same senate that the president feuds with constantly. members of his own party, he goes after by name often. he needs senate majority leader for tax reform, for other goals. he's trying to suggest, project to his supporters, look, we're in control, we're going to get some things accomplished. >> our thanks to our leadoff panel on a monday night. matthew nussbaum, tamara keith and jonathan lemire. thank you all. still ahead after our first break tonight, bill kristol is with us to talk about the war within the republican party happening now. general barry mccaffrey is back with us for more on this threat from north korea, a development on that front late today. and up next, more on the president's comments on our fallen men and women in uniform and his accusation that his predecessors didn't reach out like he does and speak to their families. that and more as our broadcast continues on a monday night.
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>> those comments and more today from the president caused fury from former obama administration officials, especially one telling nbc news, "president trump's claim is wrong. president obama engaged families of the fallen and wounded
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warriors throughout his presidency through calls, letters, visits to section 60 at arlington, visits to walter reed, visits to dover, regular meetings with gold-star families at the white house and across the country." other responses were less measured. former obama deputy chief of staff alyssa mattromonico wrote on twitter, "that's a bleeping lie to say president obama or past presidents didn't call the family members of soldiers killed in action, he's a deranged animal." former deputy national security adviser ben rhodes also posted on twitter, "this is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by trump standards. also obama never attacked a gold-star family." the white house responded with a statement of its own saying, "the president wasn't criticizing predecessors but stating a fact. when american heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, presidents pay their respects. sometimes they call, sometimes they send a letter, other times they have the opportunity to meet family members in person.
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this president, like his predecessors, has done each of these. individuals claiming former presidents, such as their bosses, called each family of the fallen, are mistaken." that's where this debate stands. and with us tonight, paul rico ff, founder and ceo of iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. platoon leader in iraq formerly. jeremy bash with us, former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon. also an msnbc national security analyst. paul, i looked up this figures. total wounded, just over 20,000. total dead in iraq, 4,530. total wounded in action, over 32,000. these are all your brothers and sisters in uniform. you have them serving all over the planet tonight. total wounded in action, over 32,000. these are all your brothers and sisters in uniform. you have them serving all over the planet tonight. how did you react to what the president said today?
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>> i was surprised. i mean, i've been in this space now for, you know, a decade and a half. i know presidents call, they write letters, they visit, they do all those things. i saw president bush do it, i saw president obama do it. i think all of us in the community saw that. i want to take a step back here. i think what we all found throughout the trump run and the trump presidency is that issues of national security, veterans, military, the stakes are higher, the march of error is smaller. the margin of error is very small. i think you'll see both sides of the aisle hold him accountable on this and hopefully on all issues of national defense, veterans issues and military going forward. there's also a bigger question he didn't answer, hasn't answered. what are they doing in niger? four special forces folks that were killed in niger. we haven't had a national conversation about what they're doing there, what their mission is and what their families and
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the rest of the military can expect from what might be a prolonged engagement there. >> yeah, would be nice to know more about that. mr. bash, we asked that you be us tonight because you have served at the pentagon in wartime. you've served up close with former secretary leon panetta. you've seen this process. tell us about it. >> brian, on august 6th, 2011, we lost 30 guys when a helicopter was shot out of the sky in wardok province, afghanistan. john kelly, now the chief of staff, who was then serving in the pentagon as senior military adviser to panetta, called the secretary, called myself and told us about it and with the president, many of us went to dover, not only to greet back the remains of our fallen heroes, but, in fact, to console and condole the family and friends of the loved ones. it was a huge haul. i saw the president personally, president obama go up to each family member and spend several moments with each. this is something the president did regularly. president bush had to do it. previous president had to do it. they make phone calls, handwrite letters. visit with goal star families. for president trump today to say his predecessors did not reach out to the families is a disgraceful and despicable lie, especially 12 days after the
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biggest combat death in his out to the families is a disgraceful and despicable lie, especially 12 days after the biggest combat death in his presidency, played. 126 holes of golf and yet to reach out our even speak publicly about those deaths. >> paul rieckhoff, of course, thankfully the tempo of battle has cooled. we're not seeing the numbers sometimes weekly of killed in action, wounded in action as we were when both of these post-9/11 wars were at their height. we hasten to add we have people in uniform in both theaters of operation tonight. was people don't know, what is your experience with how previous presidents -- there were only two during this most recent wartime -- have handled this kind of thing? >> they've handled it very well. they've hand ld it personally. i mean, i can't imagine what it's like to be in the shoes of a president making those phone calls, but it's always a very
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intimate experience. you know, each family usually wants something different or may not even want the phone call so it's a very delicate -- it's the most sacred thing, i would argue, that our president does. it has to be handled incredibly carefully. i've seen that done in over a decade working in the veteran space, working with military families and gold-star families. a bigger issue i'm concerned aboutsing many veterans are concerned about, how often we're being dragged into politics. this happens again and again. our military and veterans are being politicized. see that now with the national anthem. it there are issues we keep getting shoved in the middle of the nastiest fights in america. we have enough to deal with overseas. that's where all americans should be putting up the guardrails and holding this president accountable, media accountable, anyone who drags us into this over and over again. that's what's most unprecedented.
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having us used as a shield or bludgeon is a very dangerous place for america to be in. >> there's a lot going on at the iava website but none of it is about getting involvd in presidential politics. jeremy bash, one more question because you have us thinking about niger, any reason -- it can't be what you call operational security. it can't be opsec that the president isn't talking about niger because the secretary of defense has discussed it. any reason why the president has not in 12 days? >> none that i can think of. i mean, i think it's possible he did not want to shine a specific light on this mission, but, again, as you referenced, when the department of defense acknowledges a mission, acknowledges that we have lost individuals in battle, it's appropriate and, in fact, i think incumbent upon a commander in chief to do so as well. >> gentlemen, thank you both very much nr coming on. sensitive topic obviously. paul rieckfoff, jeremy bash, our thanks. coming up, is the president trying to work both sifds an increasingly fractured
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but we've been friends for a long time. we are probably now, despite what we read, we're probably now, i think, at least as far as i'm concerned, closer than ever before. and the relationship is very good. >> president today singing the praises as you saw there of senate majority leader mitch mcconnell from the rose garden despite what he's said about him in the past, an attempt to show a united front today. while former trump aide steve
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bannon has launched an all-out attack on mitch mcconnell who went out of his way today effusive by mcconnell standards, to defend his close relationship with the president. >> i want to underscore what the president said. we have the same agenda. we've been friends and acquaintances for a long time. we talk frequently. we don't give you a readout every time we have a conversation. frequently we talk, on the weekends, about the issues that are before us. >> trust us, that's effusive by mcconnell standards. back with us tonight, bill kristol, veteran of the reagan and bush administrations. editor at large of the "weekly standard." bill, how are we supposed to square -- are we supposed to not
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see the speech steve bannon gave this weekend that lights mcconnell on fire rhetorically? are we not supposed to hear the war he has pitched against mcconnell and all who report to him? are we supposed to believe this? why are you smiling? >> yeah, i don't think supposed to, from whose point of view? i think donald trump enjoys humiliating people and he's humiliating mitch mcconnell there. he lets bannon attack him. he's going to semi support a bunch of challenges to incumbent republicans. mcconnell made clear they support all incumbent republicans. then he sort of has mcconnell at the white house? a way forces mcconnell to say these nice things. they've been friends for a long time. it's humiliating for the senate majority leader i think. >> i want to talk to you because i saw your reaction earlier today about what the president said about calling gold-star families. especially comparing his behavior to his predecessor. i wrote down a note when he said, talked about the times when he has to call multiple families. "for me, that's by far the toughest." >> yeah, it was all about him. i think he used the word "i" 18 times, i counted it up, in the ten sentences or so he said about that. it was all -- look, i'm sure it is tough for him, but it was so
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i was thinking, what if barack obama hadn't in every case made a phone call, if bush hadn't? obama wouldn't have said that about bush, right? >> right. graciousness costs you nothing. >> nothing. going back and litigating with what your predecessor might have done or not done? i don't think there's anything to litigate in this case, just to be clear. shows something so deep about trump. there's no sense that he is the president in a string of presidents who have to uphold certain standards and certain, you know, practices of decorum and it's not all about him, personally. that's -- as you say, that's the thing that was most strike bing about that answer. >> i get by comparison, we are institutionalists and you made an interesting point there about institutional history. where is the person in the white house? is it the gold-star father, general kelly, who is his day-to-day chief of staff, to
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tell him, here's what previous
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you know, despite what the press writes, i have great relationships with actually many senators, but in particular, with most republican senators. but we're not getting the job done. and i'm not going to blame myself, i'll be honest. they are not getting the job done. >> the president seeming to admit that his agenda's getting nowhere on the hill, r but quickly saying he's not taking any of that blame. not quite the harry truman adage. trump's agenda remains stalled. republicans haven't been able to move forward on health care, taxes, infrastructure. this is not the first time this president has tried to distance himself from any blame. >> coming from a different world, and only being a politician for a short period of time, how am i doing? am i doing okay? i'm president. hey, i'm president. can you believe it, right? they should have approved health care last night, but you can't have everything. boy, oh boy. they've been working on that one for seven years. can you believe that? the swamp. they said, mitch, get to work,
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and let's get it done. they should have had this last one done. we're not going to own it. i'm not going to own it. i can tell you the republicans are not going to own it. >> well, at least he's out there saying it. joining us tonight, carolyn ryan, senior editor at "the new york times" and kimberly atkins, chief washington reporter for the "boston herald." we welcome both of them back to the broadcast. carolyn, you watched that here in the studio with me. he's upfront about not taking me blame. >> i find it so striking. i mean, the thing it reminds me of a little bit, ronald reagan used to blame congress for a lot. blooming deficit were congress' fault. at least one of those houses was occupied by the opposite party. republicans control everything. if they get any kind of substantive legislation to his desk, he will sign it. and yet as you say, the agenda is completely stalled. >> and speaking of harry truman, he made -- he turned them into the do-nothing congress and worked to his great advantage. kimberly, perhaps because of that building behind you over your shoulder, can you remind us of what there is in the pipeline? i think a president mentioned a measure or two today that was a surprise to everybody. if congress worked 24/7 from now until new year's eve, what would be on the list of items they would have to tackle? >> it i mean, at the very least, they would have to pass a budget which we forget about. that's the first step. >> oh, there's that. >> in moving anything, particularly this tax plan.
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they need that budget passed in order to pass the tax reform. any sort of tax cuts under reconciliation with 50 votes plus a potential tiebreaker from >> it i mean, at the very least, they would have to pass a budget which we forget about. that's the first step. >> oh, there's that. if congress worked 24/7 from now until new year's eve, what would be on the list of items they would have to tackle? >> it i mean, at the very least, they would have to pass a budget which we forget about. that's the first step. >> oh, there's that. >> in moving anything, particularly this tax plan. they need that budget passed in order to pass the tax reform. any sort of tax cuts under reconciliation with 50 votes plus a potential tiebreaker from mike pence -- vice president mike pence. and it's unclear whether they have the votes to do any of those things at this point. as you mentioned, in addition to the fact that the president has not given up on health care reform, although it seems that members of congress have, they have things like infrastructure and today the president added, you know, easy things like welfare reform and economic development to the list of this very long and non-moving list
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that congress has to pass and, you know, to your point about not taking any blame for anything, if congress fails on any of this measure, on any of these measures, not only will you have the president continuing to hold the members of congress responsible, but you also have steve bannon on the outside saying, look, you know, congress isn't doing anything. it isn't giving any americans what president trump asked for. so we need to, you know, challenge incumbent gop congressmen. it's a lot of pressure on members of congress right now and they're really up against it. >> carolyn, i am not being flip, it was welfare reform he tossed out today out of -- ask the clinton administration what that was like. >> yeah, and think about all the collisions over policy and members of congress right now and they're really up against it. >> carolyn, i am not being flip, it was welfare reform he tossed out today out of -- ask the clinton administration what that was like. >> yeah, and think about all the collisions over policy and ideology and personality. remember robert reich and others, like, tore apart the cabinet. i mean, you're talking about big issues.
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the other thing that was so striking from that press conference is they seem to be backing away from the notion that they would get tax reform done this year. >> yeah, mitch mcconnell was in realtime kind of treading backwards. >> he mentioned that obama hadn't gotten several items on his own agenda done until july. >> he was ready with those dates. >> very precise. as you know, when health care went down, everybody moved and supposedly the energy and momentum was moving to tax reform which is another incredibly complicated measure. >> kimberly, we can't remind people enough, small point you made at the start of your remarks, no budget, no tax reform. and a lot of these issues are like that. you've got debt ceiling and on and on and on. and i don't have on me the number of legislative days the house and/or senate are supposed to have between now and then, but are we talking six weeks of work time for them? >> not even. i mean, we're talking when you look at when both sides are in session, it's probably a little house and/or senate are supposed to have between now and then, but are we talking six weeks of work time for them? >> not even.
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i mean, we're talking when you look at when both sides are in session, it's probably a little less than 30 days between now and the end of 2017. so there's not much time left at all to accomplish a great deal of things. you have, you know, senator cochran who is ailing and who is not here. we still don't know what john mccain or senator susan collins might vote on the budget. i mean, there's still so many unknowns, rand paul, it's not a lot of time, there's a great deal of uncertainty. we don't even know what even if a budget is passed what the tax measure would look like yet because it hasn't been finished. there's a lot of uncertainty and very, very little time. >> kimberly, if you want to get all technical about it, i suppose that's true. you want to actually know what's in these things. here's a gentleman who keeps his powder dry mostly since leaving the obama administration. eric holder, former attorney general, tweeted tonight with a photo, "stop the damn lying, you're the president.
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i went to dover air force base with president 44, barack obama, and saw him comfort the families of both the fallen military and dea." carolyn, this is one of those issues, paul rieckhoff said you don't screw around with this kind of thing because the american people have a funny way of saying this is sacred, don't get this wrong. >> it's sacred, it's profound. we've done a lot of reporting about how other presidents handled it. if you remember george w. bush, barack obama, kept this very private. and there's something that is so solemn about this particular part of being president that it felt a little incongruous the way president trump talked about it today. obviously he's set off a fury among the obama aides who watched the president, that president go through this. but he also seemed to be talking a little bit about his feelings rather than the feelings of thor be bereved. >> thanks to two journalbing abo witnessed tone and perhaps tomorrow. tonight a warning from, the republican party on the importance of america's role in
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the world. and what it could mean if this nation doesn't rise to the challenge. >> we have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause and we would bring more than shame on ourselves in we don't. we will not thrive? a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. we wouldn't deserve to. >> forceful, emotional speech tonight. that was john mccain in philadelphia. coming up, though, more on the war of words between washington and pyongyang. when we continue.
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i think he does want to be clearer with kim jong-un, that regime in north korea, that he has military preparations ready to go and has military options on the table and we have spent substantial time actually perfecting those. be clear, the president has also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. he's not seekingphe is not seeki >> so he doesn't think it's a waste of time? >> i -- no, sir. he has made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts, which we are. and we can -- as i've told others, those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops. >> until the first bomb drops. chilling language from the secretary of state rex tillerson, this weekend. and we should tell you north korea is out tonight with a chilling statement of their own. they've told cnn they are committed to developing a long-range icbm capable of reaching "all the way to the east coast of the mainland u.s." they say they're not currently interested in diplomacy and instead want to send a clear message of their ability to
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counter any aggression from the u.s. on top of everything else south korea is carrying out evacuation drills. so there's the looks of that. let's talk about all of it tonight with retired four-star u.s. army general barry mccaffrey. a veteran of that part of the world, a decorated combat veteran of vietnam. former battlefield commander in the persian gulf these days, and msnbc analyst. general, i want to start you with what we just heard from the secretary of state there. what do you make of his choice of words and tone? >> it's one of the more remarkable statements by a secretary of state in the history of u.s. diplomacy. there's almost an eerie ring to it of the japanese foreign ministry being in -- talking to secretary cordle howell while the bombs were falling on pearl harbor. secretary mattis is supposed to be in charge of threatening people and secretary tillerson
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is supposed to be trying to keep us out of war. i don't think there's a serious diplomatic engagement strategy here at all. where's a conference of the heaved state of japan, south korea, australia, the u.s.? where's the intervention of the chinese? directly at presidential level. it's just an astonishing situation. by the way, there's 2.1 million men and women in the armed force that's are listening to this language and they're saying we'd better get ready to go to war. >> yeah, i was just going to say. 28,000 of them in south korea, another 40,000 of them not far away in japan. >> sure. yeah. and offshore navy. by the way, in the background the second question one asks is where is congress in this? where's the senate? where's the notion of advise and consent? organization on the ufs military force. are we conceding unilateral authority to the president of the united states to conduct preventive war, potentially including the use of nuclear weapons? i think sort of the deal must be, well, he's just bluffing. but kim jong un at age 33 with
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his murderous generals around him doesn't know we're bluffing if we are. i think this is a huge potential tragedy unfolding in slow motion. >> then we see this statement released to cnn tonight from the north, kind of a commensurate hike in the wording, where they say no thanks, we're not interested in diplomacy right now, we are trying to perfect an icbm with a warhead that will make it to your east coast. >> well, they're going to have it too. there's no question. within five years. so again, the military preparations make a lot of sense. one of the other problems, it seems to me, brian, is using conventional air and sea power only, my guess is within six months we could destroy the north korean armed forces, bring down the regime. i don't know if they know that or not. but if we go to war, if that eventuality starts becoming apparent, that they're losing, they're going to go nuclear. so again, the consequences of all this could be profound. i want to see more involvement by the u.s. congress and more engagement on diplomacy and
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economic leverage. >> i have to ask you this. the president's about to embark on a big pacific rim asian trip including a stop in south korea, which may include a trip to the demilitarized zone, the war of course that never ended. a very tense part of the world. your opinion on whether or not he should go to the dmz at this time. >> the minute i saw that i was absolutely horrified. that is a huge mistake. it's an invitation to kim jong un to make some provocative action, potentially involving the security of the president of the united states. the president ought to be going to beijing, not south korea. he's got to hold a conference of heads of state not in south korea but outside the region. so again, i think this has been very badly mishandled and the
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consequences could be profound for the u.s. armed forces but more importantly, brian, we're not going to get hit by nuke weapons in the united states. not in the next year or three. the south koreans, the japanese, guam, okinawa, those are the potential targets in a nuclear exchange. our allies have to be aboard with whatever's going on. >> general, it's chilling stuff. scary world right now. thank you so much for coming back on our broadcast tonight. retired u.s. army four-star general barry mccaffrey. a final break for us. coming up a late injury report tonight. having nothing to do with the baseball playoffs or "monday night football." having everything to do with the world of politics when the 11th hour continues. i love you, couch.
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was being mocked by president trump. she is currently on tour promoting her book which is called "what happened." this week she's in the uk, where she was forced to miss some of her media appearances today, and tonight we are prepared to tell you what happened. she was running down stairs in heels with a cup of coffee and fell backwards. she fell, she hurt her foot, it hurt a lot, she went to the hospital, got an x-ray. turned out to be a broken toe. and then some, as it seems. and now she's in one of those surgical boots, which she wore on a bbc talk show later today. she apologized to the interviewer she had to cancel on and hopes to reschedule. she is resting uncomfortably in london and, always the politician, complimented great britain in a statement saying, "i've received excellent care from your excellent health service." on that note that's our broadcast for tonight. and as we start off a new week, thank you so much for being here with us and good night from nbc news headquarters in new york.
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a gop piece of war with president trump in the military. president is touting relationship with majority leader mcconnell and also emphasizing with former chief strategic steve bannon. under fire after a bombshell investigation by "the washington post." some democrats demanding the nomination be shelled. emotional senator john mccain awarded the metal. reflected on years of service. made attack on trump

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