Skip to main content

tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  October 20, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT

3:00 am
that divides. >> unlike the current commander-in-chief, they didn't use twitter and they didn't use names. there was no mistaking who former presidents bush and obama were addressing in separate appearances, good morning, everyone, it is friday, october 20th. with us, we have associate editor of commentary magazine noah rocketman, jonathan le mere and heidi briz bill przybyl la. what do you make of those remarks from the two former presidents and the past 24 hours. >> well, they actually come at a badly-needed time. they couldn't have choreographed it better. because yesterday was one of those days wherein you looked at the news, when you looked at your twitter stream.
3:01 am
when you looked at what was going on and really did feel like if it were possible, we had reached yet another new low in the trump presidency. battles over gold star wives and families and the back and forth, just extraordinarily ugly, but it was good to see george w. bush striking out against casual cruelty, saying white supremacy was blasphemy against the american creed, balk obama speak physical terms of unison and fought demonizing the other side. as the repiepder that even in presidents that many of us saw deeply flawed on policy issues in many ways, that they still had their country's best interests first and they still tried to figure out a way in the end to bind us altogether. so the timing was important, but
3:02 am
i must say, the continued political battle over a president's phone call to a grieving widow and what we saw from the white house and what we saw from democratic congress woman just had most people that i was talking to saying enough. enough. it's time to move on. >> yeah. well, we're going to get more on the former president speaking out in just a moment. first, we want the play for you, most of what white house chief of staff retired marine general john kelly said yesterday in what was his second press room briefing in as many weeks. it was forceful and personal. it was a defensive president donald trump after trump sparked the controversy, himself, on pond about whether former presidents reached out to the families of fallen soldiers, he, the president erroneously said
3:03 am
that former presidents did not. the president then invoked kelly's son who died as a manner officer in afghanistan in 2010 when defending his claim about his predecessors. we don't normally play such a long sound byte, but we really felt this was worth it. take a look. >> well, thanks, a lot. and as the more serious note. so i just wanted to perhaps make more of a statement in an explanation, give more of an explanation than what amounts to a traditional press interaction. most americans don't know what happens when we lose one of our soldiers, sailor, marines or coast guardsmen in combat. so let me tell you what happens, here buddies wrap them up in whatever pass or shroud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine and sends him home. their first stop along the way is when they're packed in ice,
3:04 am
typically at the airhead and then they're flown to europe, where they are then packed in ice again and flown to dover air force base, where dover takes care of the remains, embombs them, meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the med ams that they've earned, the emblems of their service and ten put them on another airplane linkdz up with a casualty officer escort that takes them home. a very, very good movie to watch few haven't ever seen it is "taking chance," where this is done in a movie, bo setting. chance phelps was killed under my command right next to me. it's worth seeing that, if you've never seen it. that's the process, while that's happening, a casualty officer typically goes to the home, very
3:05 am
early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on and then he knocks on the door, typically the mom and dad will answer, a wife and if there is a wife, this is happening in two different places, if the parents are divorced, three different places, and the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member and stays with that family until, well, for a long, long time, even after the internment, so that's what happens. who are these young men and women? they are the best 1% this country produces. most of you as americans den know them. many of you don't know anyone who knows any up with of them. but they are the very best this country produces. and they volunteer to protect our country when there is nothing in our country anymore that teams suggest that self service to the nation is not only appropriate but required.
3:06 am
so that's all right p. who writes letters to the families? typically the company commander, in my case the marine the company commander, division commander, secretary of defense, typically the service chief, commanddant of the marine corps and the president typically writes a letter, typically the only phone calls the family receives are the most important phone calls that is from their buddies. in my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from afghanistan, telling us what a great guy he was. those are the only phone calls that really matter. and the letters count to a degree, but there's not much that really could take the edge off what a family smeb going through p. so some presidents have elected to call, all presidents i believe have elected to send letters.
3:07 am
if you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most difficult thing you could imagine. there is no perfect way to make that phone call. when i took this job, and talked to president trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was, he not do it because it's not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. it's nice to do it in my opinion, in any event. he asked me about previous presidents and i said i can tell you that president obama, who was my commander in chief when i was on active duty did not call my family. that was not a criticism. that was just to simply say, i don't believe president obama called. that's not a negative thing. i don't believe president bush called in all cases. i don't believe any president, particularly when the casualty
3:08 am
rates are very, very high, that presidents call. i believe they are right. so when i gave that explanation to our president three days ago, he elected to make phone calls in the case of the four young men who he lost in niger at the earliest part of this month. then he said, how do you make these calls? if are you not in the family, if you've never worn a uniform, if you've never been if combat, you can't even imagine how to make that call. but i think he very bravely does make those calls. the call in question that he made yesterday or the day before yesterday now, were to four family member the four fallen. and remember, there is a next of kin designated by the individual, if he's married, that's typically the spouse. if he's not married, it's typically the parents, unless the parents are divorced and
3:09 am
they select one of them, if he didn't get along with his parents, he will select a sibling the point is the phone call is made to the next of kin only if the next of kin agrees to take the phone calls, teams they don't. so a pre call is made the president of the united states or the commandant of the marine corps would like to calm, will you accept the call? typically, they all accept the calm. so he called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could and he said to me, what do i say? . i said to him, sir, there's nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families. well let me tell you what i tell them and let me tell you what my best friend joe dunford told me, because he was my casualty officer, he said, kel', he was
3:10 am
doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed, he knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. he knew what the possibilities were, because we're at war. when he died and the four cases we're talking about niger, my son's case in afghanistan, when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends. that's what the president tried to say to four families the other day. i was stunned when i came to work yesterday morning and broken hearted at what i saw and remember congress doing. remember congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the united states to a young wife and in his way tried to express that opinion, he's a brave man, a fallen hero,
3:11 am
he knew what he was getting himself into, because he enlisted, there was no reason to enlist. he enlisted, he was where he wanted to be exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. it was a the message. that was the message that was transmitted. it stuns me that a member of congress would have listened in on that conversation. absolutely stuns me. and i thought at least that was sacred. when i was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. women were sacred. they were looked upon with great honor, that's obviously not the case as we see from recent case, life the dignity of life, that's gone. religion, that seems to be gone as well, gold star families, i think that left in the convention over the summer. i just thought the selfless
3:12 am
devotion that brings a man and woman to die on the battlefield, i just thought that that might be sacred. but when i listened to this woman, what she was saying and what she was doing on tv, the only thing i could do to check my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this earth, and can you always finds them, because they're in arlington national cemetery. i went over there for an hour-and-a-half, walked among the stones, some of whom i put there because they were doing what i told them to do when they were killed. >> joe, your take away. it was stirring on so many levels. >> it was stirring on so many levels and gem kelly has come under criticism for what he said yesterday in some corners. i believe she an honorable man. and i continue to thank god that
3:13 am
he is serving this country and what he has said is the most difficult job he has ever had to have, in part because of the man he works for. we'll say, though, there were -- while the headlines dealt with the member of congress, there were, he's a smart man general kelly. he knew what he was saying. there were several things that were said that cut both ways, that didn't just cut towards the congress woman but cut towards the president he serves, quote nothing in this country today suggests that selfless sacrifice to the nation is still required. ifts hard not to immediately think of the commander-in-chief as the example of that. there is nothing selfless about donald trump nor has anyone ever suggested in 71 years of his life that there is anything
3:14 am
selfless about him. he was careful to defend president obama, donald trump criticized president obama, gem kelly said i am not here criticizing president obama. also interesting that he was talking about what the president was quote trying to say. that's what the president tried say. he obviously, donald trump, obviously was incapable of delivering that line, perhaps because he doesn't understand what selfless service to the country means. what about the lines, mika, that women, when he said i was growing up, women were sacred in this country. looked upon with great honor. that's not the case anymore. >> right. >> of course, he threw in a harvey weinstein in the last week, but we all know that donald trump's name hung over that press briefing room as well and when he talked about gold star families. >> exactly. >> no longer being sacred, who was the one who launched the war
3:15 am
against a gold star family around the time of the convention, the khans. that was none other than donald trump, himself. >> he mentioned religion. >> you can pension religion, donald trump, a man who mockingly said when asked by anderson cooper, if he's ever asked god for forgiveness, he said, why should i ever have to ask god for forgiveness. willie, there are so many, so much to take out of this i must say, though, also, the one thing missing the larger than life omission from this statement was actually concern expressed for the gold star family here. >> right. >> this was general kelly again, an honorable man, but he was attacking a congress woman, defending his president and
3:16 am
somehow in this scrum the very woman that we were all talking about and the families of those four, those four military men were somehow omitted from this very long conversation yesterday. >> yeah, i think in his explanation that may have been lost. i have no doubt that general kelly honors those four men that fell in niger. it was an extraordinary moment. it was 18 minutes our newsroom and newsrooms and homes across the country were locked in and listening in silence, general kelly spoke with an authority missing in his boss. he spoke as a (core general that had to make these calls to gold star families and father on the receiving end of these phone calls, learn physical 2010 about the death of his son robert in afghanistan. one point to make about congress woman wilson, we've debated whether or not she should have
3:17 am
gone public with. that we pushed her with that. in fact, when she was on this show days ago. it should be pointed out, a family friend and not an opportunist. she was in the car, has known that family for a generation or. so so she is a family friend. i noted that gem kelly gave the president cover when he said, when he received the phone call about his son from general dunford, that general dunford said, they are the 1%. they knew what they signed up for. he made a point of using that line, because that is the cruise missile that's been levied against president trump for using that same line when he spoke to the widow of sergeant le david johnson. >> yeah, but he went on to say in so many words, i gave the president that line, that's what he was trying to say, but the implication wass he was incapable of delivering the line. the thing is, nick, it's not a hard line to deliver, that's a
3:18 am
hard line to deliver, when receiving that instruction, it's the logic behind it makes a lot of sense, which is your son, know that your son was doing what he wanted to do at the time and what makes it even more heroic is, he signed up even knowing the risk. where do we find such men? but instead it came across as a sarcastic throw away line according to family. >> you know, joe, it's hard to know the state of mind of the johnson family at this point in that car when that call came and, obviously, upset sergeant johnson's widow a lot and it was probably, you know, a hard call to get and a hard call to make. i think what general kelly is trying to say, these are hard calls to make. it's hard to get that tone right. it's often best not to do it. thoit it was fascinating, joe, this is the first time we seen kelly's own views of the world and politics. he clearly has a lot of contempt for congress and a certain
3:19 am
amount to stand for the press. i also noted that kelly essentially confirmed that sarah huckaby sanders was wrong when she claimed that president trump had not said what he said. so he was also batting clean jaup li little bit there for the president. it was quite a performance. it was meaning. i think and sincere, but you have to admit, there are some politics in there and some cover for the president. >> it was, mika, it was meaning. it was sincere, but again, there were some glareing omissions that i hope the general or others will follow up with today. but i go back to what mark halperin said from the very beginning, from the very start and that is, we're getting into very dangerous territory when we start analyzing calls that presidents make to widows or family members of fallen
3:20 am
soldiers that perhaps that's just an area that should remain private. that's an area that we should remain safely away from. >> well, it's difficult because this started when president trump, himself, delivered misinformation about president obama and president bush and we have no choice but to find the facts and to point out the truth and within all that, this all started. what i thought john kelly did, yeah, go ahead. >> no, i was just going to say, are you exactly right. and you said the before you went to the clip, yes, this is a controversy that john kelly had to go out and speak to, but it was the president that set the barn on fire. >> that's correct, every time. >> it was the president that started this controversy. it was the president who decided from -- and by the way, i asked
3:21 am
alex, these american heroes died on october the 4th on october the 5th, the national security council drafted letters for the president to send. he refused to sends those letters. the controversy erupted and then he decided belatedly to give these people a call. now this is all getting merckier and merckier. the fbi, which this is -- i don't know if this is unprecedented. but i don't remember a time where the fbi was investigating a military operation there are a lot of questions around this and they are enflamed by john trump using john kelly's martyred son and donald trump attacking barack obama and george w. bush and his predecessors in throw-away lines on talk radio. we have to always keep that in
3:22 am
perspective. >> there are some questions about chad and the travel ban and how this all came about, which we will be getting to a little bit later. i want to get jonathan noah and heidi in the president did start the fire here and i feel john kelly thread a very careful needle here, addressing the issue with elegance but also addressing the president of the united states on some of the things he has said and done in the past. i don't think he's taking any time to fool around here with the truth. >> sure, john kelly is obviously a very serious man with a deeply respected career. there are many trump aides to the white house who found the best way to convey a message to the president is through the media. they know the president is watching this, that that's a way to get across something important to donald trump. there is also a place, let's remember, john kelly is emerging as a singular figure in the trump world here, she speaking as the most authoritative defender of the president t. president put his chief of staff
3:23 am
in this position where he can go out there, speak commandingly about the issue, speak personally about this issue. john kelly is a very private man. he rarely speaks about the death of his son. he had to do this, this time. he chose to do this for the president. our reporting suggests, he certainly did as he said yesterday, tell donald trump that president obama did not call his family. he was not aware that he was going to make that public. he cozy, of course to make his defense yesterday. we know how angry he was at this congress woman for what he believed was politicizing this issue, he, himself, had to step into the preach for his boss who also criticized this issue. >> from the beginning. >> it was striking to watch general kelly get up there and say something in a way that president trump couldn't say it. he got up and clearly explained, why it happened that way. donald trump can't do that. he'll tweet in response to criticism he receives, he can't get up there and explain in general terms from general kelly is commander. he knows how to speak to people
3:24 am
and to troops in very clear and concise fashion. it is regrettable this is a terrain we have to fight a political battle now. i would caution donald trump's critics that the terms of engagement have changed. donald trump loses fights when the facts are in undeniable, when the washington post went out and found trump promised a $25,000 check to somebody he didn't deliver. trump wrote a $25,000 check. those facts are undeniable. this is september imt. this is values. now we're talking about service and how help should treat women and religion and life in this country and how you should sacrifice for your country. those are sentiments. donald trump has a real tendency to win those fights in a way i don't think his coastal critics really appreciate. those are sentiments shared more broadly than i think we give him credit for. >> heidi, i will say i saw a critic in donald trump in general kelly and the words he used yesterday, may not have been a vehement critic speaking
3:25 am
on television off the cuff, but he was very clear as to what he thought was important, how stunned he is as to the depths that we have gone in this country if terms of the level of the conversation and there is no one who knows more than him, where it all begins. >> it was pretty pointed and to the point, mika, that i was in the newsroom and he was uttering some of these things, including, for example, his comments about how women have been treated and at that point it was pretty unmistakable the parallels to the president's own conduct. but the thing that is most disturbing here is that the president in essentially starting this wheel rolling and talking about this phone call is really succeeded in masking the broader conversation that needs to be taking place right now, which is how this happened in the first place and taking the focus off of these individual soldiers as well and the investigation now that john mccain and other as far as are
3:26 am
saying must take place but se same time i think general kelly coming out there was also important, just because it did remind us all, regardless of whether you had you know picked a bone with it on what really does matter at the end of the day, with i is these gold star families, mika at a time in this country when many feel like this administration is starting to pound again the war drums, what is the way that we truly honor and show our respect for the lives of these soldiers is by making sure that this administration and this president is doing everything they possibly can to avoid more blood shed and more hives lost than a disproportionately affecting this 1% that they speak about. >> this 1% that again, mika, the general made note of that many people in the briefing room not
3:27 am
only knew, probably didn't know, you know, that 1%, but may not even know somebody that knows that 1%. there is a 1% that goes out and fights these fights and makes these sacrifices for all of us and it was again a very strong, powerful moving statement. i hope we can move on. both sides are in their corners, heidi is exactly right, we do have to keep our eye on the ball. right now, regarding this story, it's what happened, why did it happen? why did the president reifies to send condolence letters? why did the president refuse to talk about it. >> why was it not until the press pushed him hard to start talking about it that he fumbled his way into a controversy that forced him to address it. now has all of us investigating it. i do want to say one other thing, too, it is of all the
3:28 am
things that he said that john kelly said yesterday that seemed to under cut the president, he also let all of us know that the president used his words about barack obama. he written wered them from the proper context and used them for political campaign when john kelly let the president know that barack obama didn't call his family and that's the way it usually is, and that's probably for the best. write a letter. don't make the phone call the phone call doesn't matter. so in his own way, john kelly was providing a steadfast defense of barack obama, who had been slimed be i this president that john kelly works for as well. >> saying it's not the call you want to get, anyway, hearing from the buddies in the kneeled. >> yes, exactly and he knows. >> the investigation is where we'll go next.
3:29 am
still ahead on "morning joe," we are learning new information about the mission that killed four u.s. soldiers in niger and there is a connection between that attack and the trump administration to add chad to the travel ban, new information on why chad is even on the list, we'll get a live report from the pentagon. former homeland secretary janet napolitano joins us in the studio. you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
3:30 am
3:31 am
3:32 am
3:33 am
. >> joining us nbc news haps north carolina col, good morning. we want to talk about the mission that led to the death of le david johnson and three other americans. what more do we know what happened there? >> well, we know a little more of the tactics on the battlefield, how it went down. we don't have answers to the big
3:34 am
questions, why were they out in the open straighted from their vehicles? what sort of spell jepts failure was there? we do know open the back and forth. within 30 minutes, there was french air support, officials saying that's a testament to ho close the u.s. is working with their allies, there are eight separated from the larger group. they were visiting the veg. we got clarity on a key question, that is, where were they medevac'ed, how were they medevac'ed? there is misreporting on this, the pentagon frankly had not cleared information at first, so it was the french helicopters that met american troops, we still don't know when, how long they were on the battlefield, it was an american contractor that ended up evacuating the dead americans. they had two separate helicopters come in, a remote region of niger, you think of the border, this was drawn by colonials, there isn't any geographical distinction, they should have more likely been on
3:35 am
guard, given how many terrorist groups there are and that part of the country that part of the world, listen to what secretary mattis said when he was looking at the real risk soldiers face all across the globe. >> at the same time war is war and these terrorists are conducting war on innocent people of all religions, they're conducting war on innocent people who have no way to defend themselves. i will just tell you that in the, in this specific case, contact was considered unlikely, but there is a reason we have u.s. army soldiers there and not the peace core, because we carry guns. >> willie, a lit little on the back and forth with congress the pentagon first informed congress on tuesday october 4th at 3:47 the first flashing from french international didn't come until 5:50 on that day the pentagon, their pledge and cooperation with congress. they want to make sure congress
3:36 am
is being on board, obviously not enough. >> a little more clarity, i want to ask you about the latest version of president trump's travel ban that may play some role in the deadly events that took place in niger. let's go through the connection, ever since the new travel ban was announced in late september, there has been one glaring question, why is chad key american partner on that list in one foreign policy expert said i'm scratching my head about this decision, i'm not going to make sense of this one, now the council on foreign relations says chad has withdrawn hundreds of troops from niger who were fighting terrorism possibly due to the company added to president trump's travel ban. so why must there be a travel ban against a key allie? according to a.p., it's all due to an ad administrative issue. chad did not have the kind of paper to provide a repeat passport sample due to a paper shortage. chad's government offered to provide a pre-existing sample of
3:37 am
the same type of passport, homeland security refused to make an exception, they say the decision was made without the input of the state or the defense department and other national security agencies vehemently objected to chad's addition to the list. they were overruled, hans, can this possibly be a question over paper stock? >> yes and no, the homeland security says chad wasn't following the protocols, to do verification, you need to have all these protocols verified. this attack in niger is a reminder there are a lot of unsavory characters in this part of the world. it's difficult to keep track of. at the same time, everyone at the pentagon i need to stress this, stresses the importance of working with local forces in this part of the world t. three prep visions you hear the most here, by, with and through t. whole reason we're in anythinger is to train local forces, chad forces are very good, very experienced, remember, he is the president, no saint, right, he
3:38 am
came to power in 1990, a rebel himself, he trained at gadhafi's school of revolutionaries, these are well trained caddian troops, they have seen a lot of conflict through the the spire region. you the need partners. one quick note, officials here saying the french partnership is very strong and everyone want toss highlight how well u.s. and french counter terrorism forces are working. >> do you hear that head scratching of chad being on the list? >> i would say yes an no, you need partners, that's why the middle relationships, regardless of what politician say is important, you have so many training at american school, americans learning local language. it is, it makes sense because this is a dangerous part of the world. there are all kind of these shadowy groups, whether or not they're directly affiliated with isis, they want to be affiliated with isis, boca ha raka haram,a
3:39 am
qaeda the central governments there don't have necessarily that good ahold on all their civilians and what their associations might be. it cuts both ways, i'd be hess at that point to say one way or the other. >> thank you, haps, what are you hearing from the white housant this? >> they are aware this is a thorpy issue, certainly the politics of the travel ban have been tough the first ban they ruled out real complaints from different agency, department of state and the department of defense about some of the countries that were involved then. and now there are other questions pointed out when you need a key partner this that region, programs that's not a reason for chad to be on there list, the white house is hearing grumbles on the hill. we heard senator mccain suggest they need more information, why has the white house been sort of slow to provide the white house and the pentagon so slow to provide the sort of context the information as to what happened over there, the that cost four americans their lives and
3:40 am
certainly it's too early. we're sorting out the facts, let's remember the politicization in benghazi, correct? those were american lives lost there, too, the republican-controlled congress was very quick to call for these investigations. could we see something down here down the road? it's too early to say t. white house is aware, this is something they have to deal with for a while coming up, president trump has attacked both his immediate predecessors, bush 43 and obama over everything from the war in iraq to imaginary wiretapping that he just made up. now those two former presidents are pushing back over the tone and tenor of today's politics under america's current commander-in-chief. "morning joe" is coming right back. dad: molly, can you please take out the trash? (sigh) ( ♪ )
3:41 am
dad: molly! trash! ( ♪ ) whoo! ( ♪ ) mom: hey, molly? it's time to go! (bell ringing) class, let's turn to page 136, recessive traits skip generations. who would like to read? ( ♪ ) molly: i reprogrammed the robots to do the inspection. it's running much faster now. see? it's amazing, molly. thank you. ( ♪ ) ( ♪ ) ♪ one is the only number
3:42 am
♪ that you'll ever need ♪ ♪ because one is the only number ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance. it's about the one bold choice you make that moves you forward. the one and only cadillac escalade. ( ♪ )
3:43 am
3:44 am
. >> tomorrow all five living presidents will gather in texas for deep from the heart the one american appeal fundraiser to protect victims of hurricane, harvey and maria, yesterday we heard from both former presidents, bush and barack obama. bush did not pension trump by name. after president bush's speech, a
3:45 am
spokesman told nbc news the president was not criticizing president trump with liss remarks, insisting they are the same themes he has spoken on for the last two decades. but you be the judge. here's a look. >> we've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. at times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. argument turns too easily into animosity, disagreement es ka lates into dehumanization. we seen nationalism distorted into natoism, we forget that deannamism brought to america. forget tag conflict, instability and poverty follow in the weak of protectionism. we've seen the return of ice liegs ilationist sentiment, forgetting that american security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of
3:46 am
distant places. the american dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some left behind in a changing economy, discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts, bigotry seems emboldened. our politics seems more vulnerable to cop pier is race theories and outright fabrics. people of every race, religion, ethnicity can be fully and equally american. it means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is palace femi against the american creed. >> msnbc's nicole wallace reports a source close to president bush whom she served under as communications director says bush was aware how his comments would be received and he wrote the speech himself along with the pep of a hundredle of close aides.
3:47 am
joe. >> yeah, nel rothman clearly the language directed right at donald trump and directly at this sort of bannon-ism that he is now embracing. >> yeah, i was told by now that the gop would be the party of trump. it doesn't seem that way in the last couple of days, we've had seriesing comments from the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, outgentleman or rather senator john mccain at cato gave a blistering speech attacking the sort of trump-ian isolationism we seen in his foreign policy now george w. bush who has been giving these speeches for the last two decades, giving again with a movement that is overtaking the republican party. there is still a really live debate about which direction this party is going to go if, just because donald trump is president doesn't necessarily mean that the, you know to use a sort of warm term resistance has
3:48 am
abated. it's very much ongoing. >> it seems to be and let's bring in donny deutsche right now, donny, you started to see this about a month or two ago, a lot of people an line, a lot of columnists, a lot of writers that were conservatives that may have opposed trump in the primary were engaging in a let's wait and see attitude. that seems to have changed for a lot of conservative writers, a lot of conservative thinkers over the last few months and now, okay, up have former republican presidents making no secret of the fact they find his brand of politics detestable. >> yes, it's really brand of human decency, i'm so moved watching general kelly and what are you reminded of, what i was emboldened by beyond the layers you guys talked about, there are great men in this country. >> that is a great man, no
3:49 am
matter how you serve it, of gravitas, of honor and strength, listening to both presidents, we can slice and dice what they all did wrong, those are also two great men, men you believe in your gut had nothing but the best interest in the country everything they do. i just as a man watching another pan, a person watching another person, look at the three of them and go wow, am i proud to be an american, am i proud to line up next to them behind those guys and i see the human traits of our current president and how woefully reminded i am that most of us are not feeling good lining up the way he conductles himself, not only as a president, just as a human being. i found on the one hand, very catharctic listening to those men and frustrating and wanting coming up, we will talk to presidential historian michael beschloss how rare it is two people from two parties to speak
3:50 am
out against the commander-in-chief. plus he gives them a score of ten out of ten and puts the islands in a different ten out. we'll talk to the puerto rican governor about just how perfect the response has been. "morning joe" is coming right back.
3:51 am
♪ it's not just a car, it's your daily treat. ♪ go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid. experience amazing. when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night, so he got home safe. yeah, my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. what?! you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
3:52 am
...from godaddy! in fact, 68% of people who have built their... ...website using gocentral, did it in under an hour, and you can too. build a better website - in under an hour. with gocentral from godaddy. a dairy cow that talks to farmers? what kind of sorcery is that? it's not the magic-wand kind. it's the rfid-collar-and- internet of things-kind we created with chitale dairy. so every cow can let farmers know how she feels
3:53 am
and what she needs to be healthier- (phone vibrates) all with a simple text. tah-dah. magic can't make digital transformation happen. but we can. that's the power of vmware, part of dell technologies.
3:54 am
today marks the one-month since hurricane maria struck puerto rico and the overwhelming majority of the island is struggling. almost eighty percent of puerto rico is still without power. the official death toll is still at 48. but that number is expected to rise. yesterday president trump met with the governor of puerto rico at the white house. and when asked about the federal government's hurricane response, this is how trump responded. >> mr. president, between one
3:55 am
and ten how would you grade the white house response? >> i would say it's a ten. we have provided so much so fast. we were there before the storm hit. i would give a ten. i think we did a fantastic job, we have done a great job. i think our response was better than anyone has ever seen. >> the same question was then posed to the governor of puerto rico. >> reporter: governor, between one and ten, how do you grade the white house response? >> as i said, the president has answered all our petitions. this is still ongoing, so we expect that that will continue. >> but president trump wanted to hear more. and he took over the questioning himself. >> did the united states -- did our government when we came in, did we do a great job, military, first responders? fema? did we do a great job?
3:56 am
>> you responded immediately, sir, and you did so. i have been on the phone every day since the disaster. the response is there. do we need to do a lot more? of course we do. >> you know, mika, you look at that, and you see that behind it all, donald trump is still a bully. he's still a thug. crosses his arms, and -- >> staring at him like this. >> puts a man in the position where he has to say that. let me say again, as somebody that has served in hurricane zones. when the president of the united states comes in, you do what it takes to make that president, where are whether you're in your party or not happy, because you're neighbors, your friends, your constituents depend on support from the federal government, especially in this case, to come through with aid and support. so the president put the governor in an untenable
3:57 am
position. it's unfortunate. >> it's awful. >> the president's position he made clear in a tweet was that puerto rico was a disaster before the hurricane given the debt and infrastructure and electrical grid. he's making the point again, we did everything we could do, your island was already mess. >> your point, jodie, as far as putting the head of puerto rico in such a hard position, he still hedged. he said you were there immediately, but didn't say you did a great job. even though he has to give the president something, he gave him as little as possible. >> look at that. this is sad. puerto rico's governor will join us next hour. plus janet napolitano will be onset, and we'll have more on john kelly coming to the president's defense in emotional remarks yesterday where he also opened up about his own experience as a gold star father. kimchi bbq. amazing honky tonk?
3:58 am
i can't believe you got us tickets. i did. i didn't pay for anything. you never do. send me what i owe. i got it. i mean, you did find money to buy those boots. are you serious? is that why you don't like them? those boots could make a unicorn cry. yeah, tears of joy. the bank of america mobile banking app. the fast, secure and simple way to send money. bp developed new, industry-leading software to monitor drilling operations in real-time, so our engineers can solve problems with the most precise data at their fingertips. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. except when it comes to retirement. at fidelity, you get a retirement score in just 60 seconds. and we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. it's your retirement. know where you stand. and my brother ray and i started searching for answers.
3:59 am
(vo) when it's time to navigate in-home care, follow that bright star. because brightstar care earns the same accreditation as the best hospitals. and brightstar care means an rn will customize a plan that evolves with mom's changing needs. (woman) because dad made us promise we'd keep mom at home. (vo) call 844-4-brightstar for your free home care planning guide. we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig. wakey! wakey! rise and shine! oh my gosh! how are you? well watch this. i pop that in there. press brew. that's it. so rich. i love it. that's why you should be a keurig man! full-bodied. are you sure you're describing the coffee and not me?
4:00 am
welcome back to "morning joe." it is friday, october 20th. with us we have a political writer for the new york times. associate editor for commentary magazine, donny deutsche is still with us along with white house reporter for usa today, heidi, and joining the conversation, new york times reporter ya piece yamiche
4:01 am
alcindor. we heard from president bush and president obama who addressed today's political climate. >> we've seen casual cruelty. at times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. argument turns too less si into an mosley. disagreement escalates into dehumanization. we've seen nationalism distorted into nativism and forgotten the what. >> we forget that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. we've seen the return of isolationist sentiments forgetting that american security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of disassistant places.
4:02 am
a changing economy, discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. bigotry seems emboldened. our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabricati fabrication. people soft every race, religion, ethnicity can be fully and equally american. it means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the american creed. >> what we can't have the same old politics of division that we have seen so many times before, that dates back centuries. some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. i mean, that, that's folks
4:03 am
looking 50 years back. it's the 21st century. not the 19th century. come on. folks don't feel good right now about what they see. they don't feel as if our public life reflects our best. instead of our politics reflecting our values, we've got politics infecting our communities. >> i haven't been commenting a lot on politics lately. but here's one thing i know. if you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you're not going to be able to govern them. you won't be able to unite them later if that's how you start.
4:04 am
>> michael, you had a very good unusual scene yesterday of many former presidents, especially if their last names are bush. don't even talk about their successors in a negative way. george w. bush for the most part bit his tongue for eight years, even when the obama team admitted that they ran hard, not just john mccain, but george w. bush, but yesterday you had president bush, a member of the same party of the sitting president, and barack obama, obviously president of the opposite party, both attacking the sitting president on the same day on his brand of politics. george w. bush debating bigotry j lies, isolationism. this speech was aimed directly at the heart of trumpism.
4:05 am
>> totally. and, joe, it was unusual, you're right, the bushes don't like to do this. george bush 41 wrote bill clinton a letter on inaugural day 1993 saying i will leave you alone. don't have to worry about my criticizing you. the thing is if you look at all this, who would have ever thought that in the year 2017 any former president would feel the need to criticize the sitting president of the united states, and i agree with you this was absolutely aimed at donald trump for encouraging bigotry and white supremacy. it's that that's not normal. it's that that should cause the big defparture from tradition. modern presidents restrain themselves. think of jimmy carter in the early 80s when ronald reagan was following policies that were in many ways almost die metically
4:06 am
the opposite. carter was very quiet. that's the norm. but for george w. bush, especially, to depart from that tradition, you can imagine how strongly he feels. >> and heidi, this is on the back of the extraordinary speech made by senator john mccain. joe biden was there with them, the former vice president of the united states. you add in yesterday two former presidents. it seems like the old guard of american politics has watched what it's watched over the last nine or ten months and said we've got to come out as sad as it is and reaffirm what america is. reaffirm our values and the best of the country. they've all done that seemingly almost in concert over the last week or so. >> when you tick through all the names and talk about two former presidents in one week, one of the most senior and respected senators in john mccain, in his own way trump is uniting people, and i think the way to look at
4:07 am
this is these as senior statesmen are worried about the fundamentals of democracy. that george bush who sat through so much during the campaign with his brother being ridiculed and his own policies being criticized would choose this moment to speak out, and as someone who covered bush, i can kind of understand, perhaps, some of the emotions behind this, because if you all remember, prior to 9/11, what george bush wanted to do with the republican party was to take the republican party to the next -- into the next century, to -- by starting out by appealing to mexico. that was one of the first trips he made was to go down there and make clear that the republican party was going to be a big tent party, and welcome all. he saw a connection there, perhaps even on a religious level that these are people of faith. george bush was the person who after 9/11 then went to that mosque in washington and made clear that whatever kind of
4:08 am
hateful tendencies may have been simmering underneath and may have been directed at american muslims, that that was kept under wraps. that he should now view donald trump potentially as someone who came and kicked that over, and unleashed some of that hateful rhetoric that we're now seeing. >> joe, can i ask you a question? it's a sobering theory. obviously we're seeing all these great leaders come forward in uniting. what scares me is it gives trump the opportunity to blanket and say oh, yeah, all of the establishment, all of the guys that got you in the shape you're in right now, if you don't have a job, of course they're coming out. i am the solution. there's a double edged sword to everybody coming out and people we respect, but trump will be able to whitewash them with problems of the past. of course they're speaking out this way. >> he could do that.
4:09 am
i think the most important thing now is for people that once supported donald trump who also voted for george w. bush twice or maybe people that voted for donald trump but voted for barack obama twice, and there's certainly a lot of them in the upper midwest. they'll look at the men they voted for twice, men they respected and say wait a second, maybe they're onto something. and noah, every time that i -- my retweets these days are usually of writers like you and john padoritz and others, noah, that are well known conservatives, people that have a conservative following who continue to be skeptical of what donald trump is doing to conservatism, the republican party and the nation as a whole. don't you suspect that george w. bush coming out will at least send a signal to some traditional republicans that
4:10 am
maybe it's not just those talking heads on tv? maybe this guy is disconnecting us from what made us -- made the conservative movement the conservative movement. >> i wish it would. i'm a little skeptical. george w. bush received a lot of criticism from conservatives on a variety of issues. compassionate conservatism rang in the ears of spending. you're already seeing from trump supporters that this speech, they are conflating it with immigration reform. they're saying a pathway to citizenship is what george bush's legacy was supposed to be. that's a con flags of issues and people need to say you remember journal kureal, the muslim database, remember how we sad a selective memory about david duke? and you wouldn't want me to
4:11 am
denounce groups i wouldn't know anything being the kkk. it's not as though the nazi sympathizers came from nowhere. this happened over the course of a very short period of time, and it was inspired and legitimized from somewhere, and we need to be clear about what that is in serious terms. this isn't about immigration or the border. this is about rhetoric, sentiment, about what the country means. >> yamiche, there's also the effort by general kelly yesterday to address the other issue that has just been so stunningly sad given the national conversation. that is the gold star families and how they're treated at their time of need. do you think the former presidents' words hurt or help john kelly to help president trump do his job and educate him? >> i think john kelly in some ways echo what george bush said
4:12 am
and barack obama. there were sacred values that americans thought there were things -- that were sacred. when you think about john kelly's speech, talking about women and the army, the issue here, of course, is that i interviewed them. i actually got in touch with the mother of sergeant johnson. we were exchanging facebook messages. what she told me was that she was backing the congresswoman's version of the events. i think what's important there is while general kelly backed up his boss and said i support the way president trump did this, he said he was trying and essentially failing to be empathetic to this family. he didn't mention the fact that the gold star family themselves also felt disrespected and that the soldier's mother apart from the congresswoman had real issues with the way the president spoke to sergeant johnson's widow. he didn't say any of that. i think that became a political
4:13 am
moment. it's the idea that while john kelly, who is a gold star family himself, is talk about the president and saying that this week, that we've in some ways kind of taken away the sacredness of gold star families. he didn't say this commander in chief failed when he talked to this gold star family. one of the things that was important was president trump said the congresswoman completely fabricated this. that he didn't say anything like that. general kelly said he did say exactly what the congresswoman said, he just meant it in a different way, and you can see the way general kelly said it would be important. i think the also important thing to note here is when we talk about george bush and barack obama, i've talked to people who are both working in homeland security, and those people tell me that when you look at george bush and his legacy, he was a president who essentially saw the beginning of a system where thousands of people were racially profiled. this was a president who had hurricane katrina and people
4:14 am
blatantly saying the president didn't care about african americans in new orleans and failed them in the height of a crisis. we talk about george bush, it's important to note that while in some ways president trump has changed the expectations for presidents, that you should just be able to call out white supremacy much like george bush did. it was obviously not an issue for him to do that where president trump struggled at the end of charlottesville. president bush has his own history when it comes to race. there were some who said you oversaw a racist regime. when we think about it him, it's interesting to me to see him in this light, because he is having a second life, but there are a lot of people who remember the fact that thousands of people died in afghanistan and thousands of gold star families were thinking about that. >> joe? >> well, michael, people who said that george w. bush ran a
4:15 am
racist regime are -- to say engaging hyperbole would be kind. >> yes. >> this is a man -- >> i agree. >> who after 9/11, who half 9/11 went to a muslim center in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and embraced muslims and said -- >> absolutely -- >> that attacking muslims would be un-american when it was probably the very unpopular thing for him to do. and i speak as someone who is anybody who watched me on tv from 2004 to 2008, eviscerated george w. bush every night. so i have not been a political fan of his, but the one thing i always respected about george w. bush is even if i didn't agree with a lot of his policies, he
4:16 am
did understand what donald trump doesn't. and that we are better as a nation when we are united, and any bigotry, any bigotry, even as he said, the soft bigotry of low expectations is unacceptable. >> i totally agree with what you've just said, joe, and i think that's what moved him to come and speak out yesterday which as we said is not easy for him. and i think what he said underlines the fact that we've never seen this before in history. joe, there are five former presidents living right now. how many of them does donald trump have any relationship with? zero. we haven't seen that before in american history. and i think donny is right. that he will use that as a foil. i think it does say something about this presidency and what george w. bush was basically, essentially saying was donald trump may be trying to suggest he's part of some great modern historical current in history that's legitimate. what he was basically saying
4:17 am
yesterday was that absolutely wrong. donald trump and the people who encourage him and the people who talk about white supremacy and bigotry, they are fringe and have to be called that. that's something we haven't seen in recent times. >> and nick, i'm curious. i want to get your opinion on what donny deutsche asked earlier about whether yesterday was a positive or something trump would use. for me, and maybe i'm optimistic, i think yesterday showed that donald trump and steve bannon are clinging to a way of life that was dying 50 years ago. that donald trump will always be seen as the death cry of this extremism, this nationalism, this nativism. what did you see when you saw george bush and barack obama and even john kelly talking about we are a nation that once valued sacrifice and valued women and
4:18 am
treated them with respect. that once valued the fallen and their families. how did you take in everything that happened yesterday? >> speaking of bush obama, i had a different reaction. i saw two men whose policies were in some sense repudiated by the election of president trump, and i saw them kind of shouting into the wind. president bush left office deeply unpopular. he plunged this country into a war in the middle east that's reshaping the world and our country and a bubble economy that led to a huge crash. and those things gave rise to donald trump, set the condition for him to rise. i think it's trump's party now. bush was forceful in keeping a lid on this kind of nationalism when he was president. he spoke at a mosque, but i think the fors were always there. i think trump has unleashed them
4:19 am
and we can't go back, and i'm not sure we will go back to a different time anymore. >> michael and yamiche, and heidi, thank you all very much for being on the show. >> thank you. still ahead on "morning joe," former homeland security janet napolitano joins us. and senate reform. we have a live report from the white house ahead. and nicole wallace will join the table. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. [ stirring music playing throughout ]
4:20 am
another woman was murdered last night. [ faint screams ] we need to find the pattern. who does he leave the snowmen for? [ distorted voice ] by the time you read this, [ distorted voice ] i will have built a new snowman. have you seen anything like this? never like this. [ gasp ] the snowman. rated r. now playing in theaters everywhere.
4:21 am
pai'm open to that.medicare? lower premiums? extra benefits? it's open enrollment. time to open the laptop... ...and compare medicare health plans. why? because plans change, so can your health needs. so, be open-minded. look at everything-like prescription drug plans... and medicare advantage plans from private insurers. use the tools at medicare.gov. or call 1-800-medicare. open to something better? start today. ♪ >> tech: don't wait for a chip like this to crack your whole windshield. with safelite's exclusive resin, you get a strong repair that you can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace. another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula
4:22 am
to visibly reduce wrinkles. neutrogena®. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand. and together, we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand.
4:23 am
23 past the hour. joining us now, white house respondent kristen welker. the senate passed a budget yesterday. >> a couple of headlines. this is a $4 trillion budget that passed narrowly in the
4:24 am
senate. and it essentially paves the way not only potentially for tax reform but also for republicans to try to pass tax reform without any democratic votes. this still has to pass through the house. but this is a significant big step for the gop. paul ryan praising it, but democrats saying that this is a horrific budget in the words of bernie sanders saying that effectively it will lead to cuts to medicaid and medicare, and provide tax cuts for wealthy americans. but president trump praising the move overnight in a pair of tweets. let me read you tweets out this morning. he says the budget passed late last night. 51 to 49. we got zero democrat votes with only rand paul. he will vote for tax cuts voting against this now allows for the passage of large scale tax cuts and reform which will be the biggest in the history of our country. now, of course, this is the key focus here at the white house. rand paul, by the way, voting against it saying it would lead to too much spending, but the
4:25 am
president as you know has been in close contact with rand paul, golfing with him over the weekend, trying to secure his vote when it comes to tax reform. i am told that that's going to be really the singular domestic focus of the president moving forward. and as you heard earlier, the president wants to get it done by the end of the year based on my conversations with officials here. they say that's the goal, but not necessarily a reality given some of the hurdles they'll have to get through. >> nbc's kristen welker, thank you. and joining us now, host of deadline white house, former communications director for george w. bush, nicole wallace. also white house correspondent for bloomberg. shannon. joe, where do you want to begin? >> i want to begin with george w. bush with nicole. a lot of talk about george w. bush today. yamiche said many people were talking act how george bush ran
4:26 am
a racially divisive white house over eight years. and i do have to set this up for people who aren't aware of it. you're very aware of it. we had some really tough conversation about it. i was really hard on george w. bush. in fact, a friend asked me to come to an event of his in alabama and the white house said if you're there, then bush won't be there. i mean, it was -- the animosity was pretty strong. so when i say what i'm about to say, i think it's earned. george w. bush, he reauthorized the voting rights act early when a lot of republicans didn't want him to do it. >> with no internal debate. none. >> with no internal debate. there was no debate for george w. bush as there were with many republicans on this. he started his 2004 convention even though it may have been unpopular with a benediction from a muslim imam. he also if you ask bob geldoff
4:27 am
and bono, not republicans, who did more to save lives in africa, what president, what american did more to save lives in america than george w. bush, they will tell you and have said none. over 5 million lives saved in africa according to those organizations because of what george w. bush did. i could go on and on and on talking about him, pushing immigration reform with ted kennedy which drew the ire of conservatives. i could talk about his education reform which really, let's face it, it was focussed on race. and it was helping trying to pull up black americans and hispanic americans from failing school systems. he wasn't focussed on white students in the suburbs of houston in those reforms. i just -- the record needs to be
4:28 am
clear. even from somebody that talked badly about george w. bush's policies for four, five, six, years, i say to you, this one is not eve an close call, a racial war? that's ridiculous. >> listen, i appreciate that, and i'm sure that he would too. i think there's something that people are missing about what he did yesterday. those of us who worked for him heard him talk about his fear of theisms from the earliest days of his second term, he was worried about the forces of protectionism. i mean, the hardest votes were the ones that got the least amount of press coverage, trade votes. he had a hard time mustering support, as hid president obama. he was worried about protectionism. he was also worried about isolationism. one of his other legislative failures was comprehensive immigration reform. he had a partner in ted kennedy and john mccain, and he still couldn't get it done, but he was worried about nativism. what i heard him talk about
4:29 am
yesterday was an ism, racism. i felt the most powerful line of the speech was that bigotry have been emboldened. the thing that makes me feel sick about the party is the fact that bigotry is not only emboldened but it's permitted. that racists now take to the streets in broad daylight with their face showing and they're not afraid of their cameras capturing their faces or afraid of their mothers or fathers or sons and daughters seeing their faces. i'm sure he doesn't hold anything against any of the critics of his foreign policy. he was comfortable letting history be his job, but i heard from him real alarm about two things. about emboldened bigot and about casual cruelty. and i think the casual -- and i -- i've been decoding bush for the better part of two decades.
4:30 am
i heard in casual cruelty an indictment of the character of many elements of our party. the ease with which people say things about grabbing women in places where no one should grab them. the ease with which someone mocks the disability of a reporter. i heard the ease with which someone accepts racism into the republican party and the perils. i heard him indict the wall by talking about how keeping drug trade and crime outside our borders doesn't protect us from those things or terrorism for that matter. so i heard him really sounding alarms about every single plank of this platform of the president that won election. >> and president bush doesn't make public comments lightly. this is a guy who wouldn't come out and say anything critical publicly of president obama, and frankly, having been around him privately a couple times would always say he's a good man. we disagree on some things. i know how hard the job is.
4:31 am
i'm not going to criticize. for him to make the comments he did yesterday is notable. i want to ask you about general kelly. you were on the air. we were all glued to the television set for 18 minutes or whatever it was. where did that moment come from inside the white house? what do you think the conversation was? >> you know, donald trump put it in motion. and so i think to isolate what general kelly did for any of us who have not served in the military, who have never lost a spouse or child in the military was he shared something people in the military i talked to yesterday who lost spouses said that men and women in the military are pretty reluctant to talk about. that's how a soldier's body is handled from the moment a soldier loses his life on the battle field until he comes home. it was just a remarkable, almost expose of something that's held pretty sacred and secret by most men and women in the military to
4:32 am
talk about how a body is packed in ice and deck traited in the uniform and decorated with medals. however, he was there sharing that most personal grief, and everyone that knows him says this is something he never talks about in private. he shared that story from the white house podium in defense of a man who created a crisis with his careless translation of information starting monday when he accused -- and the comments were levelled in an accusatory manner. he essentially accused -- and general kelly may not have suggested it as an accusation, but donald trump did. when he was asked about the deaths, he accused his predecessors of not calling people who lost loved ones in the country. then he told a radio host, ask general kelly if obama ever called hip. wednesday he made a widow's grief worse.
4:33 am
and thursday whether asked by the president or -- i'm guessing general kelly offered to do this. he went out. we are not talking about it for a fifth day in a row because of donald trump. >> it's the very reason that i'm sure general kelly gets up every morning and reminds himself why he was there. this was a three or four day metaphor for a stabilizing force that i need to be there to contain. and we saw this not in a world crisis situation but this is a reminder of what he provides by being there, and god, please stay there. >> a much needed contrast in the white house. shannon, we're talking about white house practices. donald trump's inability to honor our soldiers. there's also family members that raise so many questions about exactly what their role is, and whether or not it's appropriate. you've got reporting on donald trump junior raising money for the gop, and possibly getting paid himself as well, making
4:34 am
speeches around the country? tell us about it. >> he's become the republican party rainmaker. he's one of the most sought after popular speakers out there on the republican fundraising circuit. there is a perception we hear george w. bush speaking out against the president. john mccain, nicole, how eloquently she put it, but there is still a very strong community in the republican party where the trump name is sought after. it has star power. it's a name they want to be close to. in doing reporting for the story, i talked to state republican parties who are so enthusiastic about having donald trump junior speak at their event, and not only because of his own political persona he's created as a gun-loving democratic hating son of the president, but because of his proximity and the trump name. there is -- and it's not support from the confederate flag waving people. this is the business community. this is establishment republican party. it is still out there, and i think that's still important to
4:35 am
keep in mind. >> he's a flame thrower too. you report on the white house every day. i want to ask your impression about what happened yesterday with general kelly and how that moment came to pass. do you think it was president trump pushing him out there? or do you think general kelly in service of the country said let me take this for you? >> i can't tell you the back story on how it came about. i know the reaction in the west wing was there was not a dry eye in the west wing. i think the staff was moved by this. and i think the staff, i think it helped lift their morale seeing someone come out and defend the president not in this -- we typically see people come to defend the president, they come out punching. he came out in a measured way, acknowledging that maybe the president didn't deliver the message in the way kelly would have liked to see, but there was good intention. so for the staff, i think it was uplifting and emotional. >> thank you both. nicole, we'll see you at 4:00
4:36 am
here on msnbc. by the way, this is now the two greatest cable news shows, "morning joe" and "deadline". when they come together, everything is okay. >> we're like the descendent. >> still ahead on "morning joe." the governor of puerto rico joins us after being put on the spot by the president yesterday. has the government's response to the devastation been as perfect as the president claims? is it a perfect 10? can he really say that? can he? we're back in a moment. ♪ video-game dance music
4:37 am
[burke] abstract accident. seen it. covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
4:38 am
looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo. ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor. dear dauwith our used to mother-daughter matches. but i've been taking osteo bi-flex ease. it's 80% smaller but just as effective. which means, i'll run you off the court. hugs and kisses, mom. osteo bi-flex ease. made to move. ♪ ♪
4:39 am
everyone deserves attention, whether you've saved a lot or just a little. at pnc investments, we believe you're more than just a number. so we provide personal financial advice for every retirement investor.
4:40 am
>> when you read the papers tomorrow, everyone is going to report this thing differently. breitbart will read with ryan slams the president among liberal elites. new york times will report ryan defends the president in a state hillary won. and the president will tweet 300,000 at al smith dinner. cheer mention of my name. >> that's last night at a charity dinner in new york. paul ryan with the keynote address and poking fun at the president and democrats. >> i know last year that donald trump offended some people.
4:41 am
i know his comments according to critics went too far. some said it was unbecoming of a public figure and they said his comments were offensive. well, thank god he's learned his lesson. a lot of people, they ask me, you know, a guy from wisconsin, what's it like to work on a daily basis with an abrasive new yorker with a loud mouth. once you get to know him, chuck schumer's not all that bad. every morning i wake up in my office and i scroll twitter to see which tweets that i'll have to pretend that i did not see later on. every afternoon former speaker john boehner calls me up. not to give advice. just to laugh. >> so some moments of levity there. paul ryan, though, he joked about having to pretent which tweets he ignores in the morning. but the position he's been in
4:42 am
and his reluctance to cross the president has been a frustration not just to critics of donald trump but sol republicme republ well. >> the best jokes always have a grain of truth. self-defacing humor -- he has a create personality and great comic timing. he nailed those. can i see people saying paul ryan, you should bristle at the nature of the presidency and how dare you joke about the fact that you pretend to ignore the tweets which he probably does. but it's the al smith dinner. it's a roast of yourself and everybody else. so, take it with a grain of salt and be light harted. we could all use some humor. >> but, i was saying bring that every day. for instance, if he's asked about the tweet go, look, guys, what do you want me to say? kind of be a little honest without kind of denigrating the
4:43 am
president as a way to show there's a human being there. >> it's weird, because donald trump does have a sense of humor. he joked about, for example, the kofefee tweet, but his apparatus around him refused to joke about it. they were afraid of joking about it. >> you can't do self-deprecating humor. the jokes were about his wife and other people. he can't do the joke about hymn. >> i feel like people walk on egg shells around him. >> paul ryan should look at that tape. >> we'll be back with the governor of puerto rico after yesterday's meeting in the oval office where president trump said he'd give himself and his administration a ten out of ten for the response. we'll see what the governor thinks about that. what started as a passion...
4:44 am
4:45 am
...has grown into an enterprise. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. now, i'm earning unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase i make. everything. what's in your wallet?
4:46 am
that's why a cutting edgeworld. university counts on centurylink to keep their global campus connected. and why a pro football team chose us to deliver fiber-enabled broadband to more than 65,000 fans. and why a leading car brand counts on us to keep their dealer network streamlined and nimble. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink.
4:47 am
mr. president, between one and ten, how would you grade the white house response so far to the hurricane? >> i'd say it was a ten. i give ourselves a ten. we have provided so much so
4:48 am
fast. we were actually there before the storm hit. i would give a ten. i think we did a fantastic job, and we're being given credit, we've done a great job. i think our response was better than anyone has ever seen. >> governor, between one and ten how do you grade the white house response? >> the president has answered all our petitions, and this is still ongoing. so we expect that that will continue. >> did the united states, did our government, when we came in, did we do a great job military, first responders, fema, did we go do a great job? >> you responded immediately, and you did so, tom, and brock have been on the phone with me essentially every day since the disaster. the response is there. do we need to do a lot more? of course we do. >> president trump meeting with the governor yesterday of puerto rico. grading the federal response to puerto rico's hurricane
4:49 am
devastation. exactly a month after maria's land fall is still a desperate situation with more than 80% of the island without power. joinings now is puerto rico's governor. governor, good morning. joe has the first question for you. >> governor, before we start this interview, i want to ask you on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the greatness of "morning joe," of willie, and mika and me. one to ten? >> it's ungradable. you break all scales. >> that is the correct answer. so we ask this question before. tell us how things are going in puerto rico. how dire does the situation remain? a and what do americans need to do both in and out of the government to help alleviate the pain and suffering you're all enduring? >> first of all, yesterday, joe, we had a great set of meetings in the white house. we looked at history in puerto
4:50 am
rico, and something like that had not occurred for our territory where we not only had the opportunity to speak with the president, the vice president, but also and vice president, but also talk about the midterm and long-term necessities for puerto rico. the truth of the matter is a lot of work has been done but we still need to do a lot more. the current conditions are, as you stated, less than 20% of the people in puerto rico have access to energy. about 70% of the people have access to water. that means 30% does not. we have estimated over a quarter of a million homes have been partially or completely devastated by the storm. there still has been rain, rain events in puerto rico which has significantly altered and affected the infrastructure. even with light rains because the soil was saturated, things were still collapsing. they had about 5,000 people
4:51 am
still in shelters that we, of course, are trying to move to temporary areas, and we're -- telecom is down. 000 we're making progress on all these areas, it is critical that we get the life sustaining materials such as water, foods, medicines and continue getting that so we can elevate this effort into a recovery phase, focus on re-establishing energy and, of course, the rebuilding of puerto rico. >> governor rossello, you've been extraordinarily diplomatic on the political side of the controversy that surrounded the federal response to the hurricane. i understand why you're doing it. you're trying to get help for your people and you've represented puerto rico well. what was going through your mind when the president turned to you yesterday and asked how great a job he was doing? >> i just answered truthfully. the truth of the matter is the president has responded. he has responded to all of our
4:52 am
petitions. i've had enormous access to the president and his staff. they have done so quickly. so we're very grateful for that. and i wanted to answer truthfully, the other component is the recognition by everybody, that we still need to do a lot more, that there's a lot of work ahead of us. this is a long haul, and we're grateful that the white house and congress -- we also have some congressional meetings yesterday, are supporting puerto rico for the long haul. we recognize the great job that over 18,000 people are doing here, whether dod or other federal offices. we also know in order to get through this, we need to do a lot more. >> governor, some people have trouble squaring the two things. at first when we asked you about the crisis, you described a crisis, 80% of the people without electricity, many people without water, people in
4:53 am
shelters. hospitals running on backup generators. how can that be true at the same time that the federal government has done a great job responding to the crisis? >> it's the level of devastation. i would invite anybody to come over here. we've had several people come to puerto rico -- essentially when you have a category 4, category 5 hurricane that's very slow and it just brushes through the middle of the island, the level of devastation is unprecedented. when you don't have an energy group that sustains your hospitals, that sustains your waterways, telecoms and so forth, all of those components break down and we're talking about access to 3.4 million u.s. citizens. but no matter how much food and water, historical levels of food and water have been delivered, there's still a pressing need. the reality that we're an island and different from florida or from texas where you can get
4:54 am
cars and equipment driven to your state, we have to get them either flown in or we have to get them through ports. i just want to be truthful. i know it's hard to reconcile. but both of those components are truth, are the truth. there is an effort. the men and women on the ground are working hard so we can get out of this emergency phase. but we still need to put the pedal to the metal and work as hard as possible, find creative ways to get out of the emergency and stabilize the situation. of course, on a parallel track which i think is very important, very critical, look forward and see how we can rebuild puerto rico in a much stronger, much better, much smarter way. that would be the possible -- the positive outcome, the silver lining in all this. you can use all these resources, not only to put things back together again, i think that would be acceptable, but rather to put puerto rico in a much stronger position than before.
4:55 am
>> as you know, governor rossello, many fellow american citizens here stateside who are rooting for you, having fund-raisers, food drives, everything else and we will stay on this story. puerto rico's governor ricardo rossello, thank you for your time. we appreciate it. >> thank you for the efforts and your thoughts and prayers. still ahead this morning on "morning joe," pentagon officials try to reassure skeptical lawmakers that they are being forthcoming about the attack that killed four u.s. servicemen in niger. more on chief of staff general john kelly's emotional defense of the president's conversation with a gold star widow and his own experience losing a son in battle. did former presidents george w. bush and barack obama find a way around the unwritten rule about not criticizing a successor. "morning joe" is coming right back. mike and i are both veterans, both served in the navy. i do outrank my husband, not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss.
4:56 am
she only had me by one grade. we bought our first home together in 2010. his family had used another insurance product but i was like well i've had usaa for a while, why don't we call and check the rates? it was an instant savings and i should've changed a long time ago. there's no point in looking elsewhere really. we're the tenneys and we're usaa members for life. usaa. get your insurance quote today. >> tech: don't wait for a chip like this to crack your whole windshield. with safelite's exclusive resin, you get a strong repair that you can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace. even if you're trying your best.be a daily struggle, along with diet and exercise, once-daily toujeo® may help you control your blood sugar.
4:57 am
get into a daily groove. ♪ let's groove tonight. ♪ share the spice of life. ♪ baby, slice it right. from the makers of lantus®, ♪ we're gonna groove tonight. toujeo® provides blood sugar-lowering activity for 24 hours and beyond, proven blood sugar control all day and all night, and significant a1c reduction. toujeo® is used to control high blood sugar in adults with diabetes. it contains 3 times as much insulin in 1 milliliter as standard insulin. don't use toujeo® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, during episodes of low blood sugar or if you're allergic to insulin. get medical help right away if you have a serious allergic reaction such as body rash or trouble breathing. don't reuse needles or share insulin pens. the most common side effect is low blood sugar, which can be life threatening. it may cause shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. check your blood sugar levels daily. injection site reactions may occur.
4:58 am
don't change your dose of insulin without talking to your doctor. tell your doctor about all your medicines and medical conditions. check insulin label each time you inject. taking tzds with insulins, like toujeo®, may cause heart failure that can lead to death. find your rhythm and keep on grooving. ♪ let's groove tonight. ask your doctor about toujeo®. ♪ share the spice of life. except when it comes to retirement. at fidelity, you get a retirement score in just 60 seconds. and we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. it's your retirement. know where you stand.
4:59 am
we've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. >> at a time when our politics just seems so divided and so angry and so nasty. >> argument turns too easily into animosity. disagreement escalates into dehumanization. >> we have folks who are deliberately trying to make folks angry, to demonize people who have different ideas. >> at times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding
5:00 am
us together. >> whether we support and embrace somebody who wants to bring people together. >> it means bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the american creed. >> if we're going to talk about our history, then we should do it in a way that heels, not in a way that wounds, not in a way that divides. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it's friday, october 20th. we'll get to more on the former president speaking out in just a moment, but first, we want to play for you most of what white house chief of staff, retired marine general john kelly, said yesterday in what was his second press room briefing in as many weeks. it was forceful and personal. it was a defense of president donald trump after trump sparked the controversy himself on monday about whether former presidents reached out to the families of fallen soldiers.
5:01 am
the president erroneously said that former presidents did not. the president then invoked kelly's son who died as a marine officer in afghanistan in 2010 when defending his claim about his predecessors. we don't normally play such a long sound bite, but we really felt this was worth it. take a look. >> thanks a lot. it is a more serious note, so i wanted to perhaps make more of a statement -- give more of an explanation than what amounts to be a traditional press interaction. most americans don't know what happens when we lose one of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen in combat. let me tell you what happens? their bodies wrap them up in whatever passes as a sproud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine and sends them home. their first stop along the way
5:02 am
is when they're packed in ice, typically at the airhead and then flown to europe where they're then packed in ice again and flown to dover air force base where dover takes care of the remains, 'em bombs them, meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the medals they've earned, the emblems of their service and puts them on another airplane, blinked up with a casualty officer escort that takes them home. a very good movie to watch if you haven't ever seen it is "taking chance" which this is done in a move having. gents phelps was killed in my command right next to me. it's worpgt seeing if you've never seen it. so that's the process. while that's happening, a casualty officer typically goes
5:03 am
to the home very early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on and then he knocks on the door, typically a mom and dad will answer, a wife. and if there is a wife this is happening in two different places. if the parents are divorced, three different places, and the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member and stays with that family until -- well, for a long, long time, even after the internment. so that's what happens. who are these young men and women? they are the best 1% this country produces. most of you as americans don't know them. many of you don't know anyone who knows any one of them. but they are the very best this country produces and they volunteer to protect our country when there's nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to
5:04 am
the nation is not only appropriate but required. but that's all right. who writes letters to the families? typically the company commander. in my case as a marine the commanders, secretary of defense, typically the service chief, commandant of marine corps and the president typically writes a letter. typically the only phone calls the family receives are the most important phone calls they can imagine and that is from their buddies. in my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from afghanistan telling us what a great guy he was. those are the only phone calls that really matter. yes, the letters count to a degree, but there's not really much that can take the edge off of what the family members are going through. some presidents have elected to call. all presidents i believe have
5:05 am
elected to send letters. if you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most difficult thing you could imagine. there's no perfect way to make that phone call. when i took this job and talked to president trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it because it's not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. it's nice to do in my opinion in any event. he asked me about previous presidents. and i said i can tell you that president obama who was my commander-in-chief when i was on active duty, did not call my family. that was not a criticism. that was just to simply say i don't believe president obama called. that's not a negative thing. i don't believe president bush called in all cases. i don't believe any president,
5:06 am
particularly when the casualty rates are very, very high, that presidents call. but i believe they are right. when i gave that explanation to our president three days ago, he elected to make phone calls in the case of the four young men who we lost in niger at the earlier part of this month. but then he said how do you make these calls? if you're not in the family, if you've never worn the uniform, if you've never been in comecom you can't even imagine how to make that call. i think he very bravely does make the calls. the call in question that he made yesterday or day before yesterday now were to four family members of the four fallen. remember, there's a next of kin designated by the individual. if he's married, that's typically the spouse. if he's not married, that's
5:07 am
typically the parents unless the parents are divorced, and then he selects one of them. if he didn't get along with his parents, he'll select a sibling. but the point is, the phone call is made to the next of kin only if the next of kin agrees to take the phone call. sometimes they don't. so a pre call is made, the president of the united states or the commandant of the marine corps, someone would like to call. will you accept the call. typically they all accept the call. so he called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could. he said to me, what do i say? i said, sir, there's nothing you can do the light en the burden on these families, but let me tell you what i'd tell them, what my best friend joe dunford told me, because he was my casualty officer. he said kell, he was doing
5:08 am
exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. he knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. he knew what the possibilities were because we were at war. when he died, in the four men recently in niger, in my son's case afghanistan. when he died, he was among the best men on earth, his friends. that's what the president tried to say to four families the other day. i was stunned when i came to work yesterday morning and broken heart ed at what i saw a member of congress doing. a member of congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the united states to a young wife and in his way tried to express that
5:09 am
opini opinion, a brave man, a fallen hero. he knew what he was getting into. he enlisted. he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. that was the message that was transmitt transmitted. it stuns me that a member of congress would have listened in on that conversation, absolutely stuns me. and i thought at least that was sacred. when i was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. women were sacred and looked upon with great honor. that's obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. life, the dignity of life was sacred. that's gone. religion, that seems to be gone as well. gold star families, i think that left in the convention over the summer. but i just thought the selfless
5:10 am
devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, i just thought that that might be sacred. when i listened to this woman and what she was saying, what she was doing on tv, the only thing i could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this earth, and you can always find them, because they're in arlington national cemetery. i went over there for an hour and a half, walked among the stones, some of whom i put there because they were doing what i told them to do when they were killed. >> joe, your takeaways? that was stirring on so many levels. >> it was stirring on so many levels. general kelly has come under criticism for what he said yesterday in some corners. i believe he is an honorable man
5:11 am
and i continue to thank god that he is serving this country in what he has said is the most difficult job he has ever had to have. but in part bouz of the man he works for. i will say, though, there were -- while the headlines dealt with the member of congress, there were -- he's a smart man, general kelly. he knew what he was saying. there were several things that were said that cut both ways, that didn't just cut towards the congresswoman, but also cut towards the president he serves. quote, nothing in this country today suggests that selfless sacrifice to the nation is still required. it's hard not to immediately think of the commander-in-chief as the example of that. there is nothing selfless about donald trump, nor has anyone suggested in 71 years of his
5:12 am
life that there's anything selfless about him. he was careful to defend president obama. donald trump criticized president obama. general kelly said, i am not here criticizing president obama. also interesting to he was talking about what the president was, quote, trying to say. that's what the president tried to say. he obviously -- donald trump obviously was incapable of delivering that line perhaps because he doesn't understand what selfless service to the country means. what about the lines, mika, that women -- he said when i was growing up women were sacred in this country, looked upon with great honor. that's not the case anymore. of course, he threw in harvey weinstein in the last week, but we all know that donald trump's name hung over that press briefing room as well. when he talked about gold star families no longer being sacred,
5:13 am
who was the one who launched the war against a gold star family around the time of the convention, the kahns. that was none other than donald trump himself. >> rementioned religion. >> you can mention religion. donald trump a man who mockingly said when asked by anderson cooper if he's ever asked god for forgiveness. he said why should i ever have to ask god for forgiveness. will willie, there's so much to take out of this. i must say, also, the one thing missing, the larger-than-life admission from this statement -- omission from the this statement was actually concerned express for the gold star family here. this was general kelly again, an honorable man, but he was attacking a congresswoman
5:14 am
defending his president and somehow in this scrum the very woman that we were all talking about and the families of those four military men were somehow a omitted from this very long conversation yesterday. >> i think in his explanation that may have been lost. i have no doubt that general kelly honors those four men who fell in niger. it was an extraordinary moment. it was 18 minutes where our newsroom and homes across the country were locked in and listening in silence. general kelly spoke with an authority and a clarity that's missing in his boss. he spoke both as a marine corps general who has had to make these calls to gold star families and as a gold star father who was on the receiving end of those phone calls, learning in 2010 about the death of his son robert in afghanistan. one point to make about congresswoman wilson.
5:15 am
we've debated whether or not she should have gone public with that. we pushed her on that. in fact, when she was on the show a couple days ago. it should be pointed out she is a family friend and in this case not an opportunist who glommed on to the phone call. she was in the car, has known that family for a generation or so. so she's a family friend. i also noted that general kelly gave the president cover when he said, when he received the phone call about his son from general dunford, that general dunford said they are the 1%, they knew what they signed up for. he made a point of using that line because that is the criticism levied against president trump for using that same line when he spoke with the widow of sergeant la david johnson. the u.s. aligned with chad in the fight against terrorism in africa. why was that country placed with north korea and iran on president trump's travel ban? the a.p. has a possible explanation and it is perplexing. that is next on "morning joe." knowing where you stand has never been easier.
5:16 am
except when it comes to retirement. at fidelity, you get a retirement score in just 60 seconds. and we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. it's your retirement. know where you stand.
5:17 am
to keep you on track. my "business" was going nowhere... so i built this kickin' new website with godaddy. building a website in under an hour is easy! 68% of people... ...who have built their website using gocentral, did it in... ...under an hour, and you can too. type in your business or idea. pick your favourite design. personalize it with beautiful images. and...you're done! and now business is booming. harriet, it's a double stitch not a cross stitch! build a better website - in under an hour. free to try. no credit card required.
5:18 am
gocentral from godaddy. [bell rings] so i was at mom and dad's and found this. cd's, baseball cards... your old magic set? and this wrestling ticket... which you still owe me for. seriously? $25 i didn't even want to go. ahhh, your diary. "mom says it is totally natural..." $25 is nothing. abracadabra, bro. the bank of america mobile banking app. the fast, secure and simple way to send money.
5:19 am
5:20 am
joining us now nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols. we want to talk about the mission that led to the death of sergeant la david johnson and three other americans what more do we know this morning about what happened there? >> we know a little mover about the tactics on the battlefield, how it went down. we still don't have answers to the big questions. why were they ambushed? why are highly trained mostly green berets, why were they out in the open separated from their vehicles? what sort of intelligence failure was there? we do know a little on the back and forth. within 30 minutes there was french air support. officials say that's a testament to how closely the u.s. is working with their allies. we know there are about eight separated from the larger group visiting a village. we got clarity yesterday on a key question, where were they medevacked and how were they medevacked.
5:21 am
the casualties medevacked by french helicopters. there was miss reporting on this. it was the french helicopters that medevacked american troops. we still don't know when, how long they were on the battlefield. it was an american contractor that actually ended up evacuating the dead americans. so they had two separate helicopters come in. remember, a remote region of niger. you think of the border there with mali. there isn't a geographical distinction. they should have been more on guard given how many terrorist groups there are in that part of the country, that part of the world. listen to what secretary mattis said when he was talking about the real risks soldiers face all across the globe. >> at the same time war is war, and these terrorists are conducting war on innocent people of all religions. they're conducting war on innocent people who have no way to defend themselves. i will just tell you that in
5:22 am
this specific case, contact was considered unlikely. but there's a reason we have u.s. army soldiers there and not the peace corps because we carry guns. >> a little bit on the back and forth with congress. the pentagon first informed congress on tuesday, october 4th at 3:47. the first flashes from radio french international didn't come until 5:50 on that day. the pentagon, they're pledging cooperation with congress. they want to make sure congress is being brought aboard. obviously, though, they're not doing enough. >> a little more clarity there, still plenty of questions to get through. i want to ask you, hans, about the latest version of president trump's travel ban that may play some role in the deadly events that took place in niger. let's go through the potential connection. ever since the new travel ban was announced in late september there's been one glaring question. why is chad, a key american partner in the fight against terrorism on that list? one foreign policy expert quoted last month as saying i'm scratching my head about this decision, not going to even try
5:23 am
to make sense of this one. now the council on foreign relations reports chad has recently withdrawn hundreds of troops from niger who were fighting terrorism possibly due to the country being added to president trump's travel ban. why institute a travel ban against a key ally. according to the a.p., it's due to an administrative issue. chad did not have the right kind of paper required by the trump administration to provide a recent passport sample due to a paper shortage. chad's government offered to provide a pre-existing sample of the same type of passport, but homeland security refused to make an exemption. officials tell nbc news the decision was made without the input of the state or defense department and other national security agencies vehemently objected to chad's addition to the list but they were overruled. hans, can this possibly be a question over paper stock? >> yes and no. what the department of homeland security is saying is chad isn't following the protocols. to do verification of people
5:24 am
coming in from chad, you need to have these protocols verified. this attack in niger is a reminder there are a lot of unsavory characters in these parts of the world and it's difficult to keep track of them. at the same time, everyone here at the pentagon stresses the importance of working with local forces in this part of the world. the three prepositions you hear the most here, by, with and through. the whole reason we're in niger is to train local forces, chadian forces are very good, very experienced. remember, the president of chad, no saint. he came to power in 1990. he is a rebel himself, trained at kadafi's school of revolutionaries. these are well-trained chadian troops who have seen a lot of conflict. throughout the region you do need partners. that's why it's so important. officials saying the french partnership is very strong and everyone wants to highlight how well u.s. and french counterterrorism forces are working. >> do you hear that head scratching, hans, over chad being on the list?
5:25 am
>> yes and no. i would say yes because you need partners, and that's why the middle to middle relationship regardless of what the diplomats and politicians are saying, why you have so many training forces going back and forth, training at hair khan schools, americans learning the local language. it does make sense because this is a very dangerous part of the world. there are all kinds of shadowy groups, whether or not they want to be affiliated with isis, they're boka haram, al qaeda. you need verification where these people, frankly the central governments there don't have necessarily that good of a hold on all their citizens and what their affiliations might be. it cuts both ways. i'd be hesitant to stay one way or the other. >> hans nichols at the pentagon, thanks. coming up on "morning joe," we go live to the white house where the president is celebrating a budget vote in congress amid growing questions about a military mission in africa that went terribly wrong. former homeland security
5:26 am
secretary janet napolitano joins us onset. we'll be back in just a moment. and in this simple everyday act, we see. when we give, we receive. ♪
5:27 am
going somewhere? whoooo. here's some advice. tripadvisor now searches more... ...than 200 booking sites - to find the hotel you want and save you up to 30%.
5:28 am
trust this bird's words. tripadvisor. it can detect a threat using ai, and respond 60 times faster. it lets you know where your data lives, down to the very server. it keeps your insights from prying eyes, so they're used by no one else but you. it. is. the cloud. the ibm cloud. the cloud that's designed for your data. ai ready. secure to the core. the ibm cloud is the cloud for business. yours.
5:29 am
joining us now, nbc news
5:30 am
national correspondent peter alexander. peter, chief of staff john kelly attempted to clean up the controversy over the soldiers killed in niger created by president trump. but the president quickly undid general kelly's work yesterday. what happened? >> reporter: that's right. let's walk you through some of the new tweets, one within the last couple hours from this president tweeting, jut out, united kingdom rise 13 pbs annually amid spread of radical islamic terror. this follows that crime in england and wales rose about 13% over the last years. according to statistics report i just checked out, much of the report was not even related to terrorism. more specifically to the question you were asking about, overnight the president's tweet again, after john kelly appeared to be trying to defuse what had become a bitter back and forth about families of the following, refocusing the conversation on
5:31 am
what matters, the president reengag reengaged. he wrote, the fake news is going crazy with wacky congresswoman wilson who was secretly on a very personal call and gave a total lie on content. that congresswoman a friend of la david johnson, oa friend of the family. she was in the car when she heard the call on speaker phone. the white house would like to move on past this entire episode. his two immediate pretd ses source, past presidents have largely been quiet for most of the last nine months. without mentioning mr. trump by name, both george w. bush and barack obama are silent no more. here is bush 43. taisk a listen. >> the american dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy. discontent deepened and sharpened. part son conflicts. bigotry seems emboldened, our
5:32 am
politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. >> a spokesperson for the former president told me that mr. bush is not criticizing president trump, insisting these are the same thems president bush has spoken on for the last two decades. for anyone listening, the message and presumably his target was impossible to miss. >> nbc's peter alexander, thank you very much. joining us author and columnist for "the daily news," mike lupica. the two former presidents speaking the way they did, is there any way to describe it as anything but unprecedented. >> no. it was clearly two shots across this president's bow. i think protocol is about to go out the window with former presidents not criticizing the current president. >> everything else has. >> it was why -- even yesterday -- general kelly in an
5:33 am
honorable and eloquent way, at the end of the day, mika, he's still providing cover for his boss and i think at some point it begins to diminish him. >> it does. the cia yesterday had to walk back a statement by director mike pompeo after he said this. >> the intelligence community's assessment is that the russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election. >> but in its january assessment u.s. intelligence agencies said they did not reach that conclusion, nor did they consider that question. in a statement a cia spokesman confirmed that the intelligence assessment had not changed and the director did not intend to suggest that it had. other members of the president's cabinet this week did admit that the russians are still working to undermine u.s. elections. >> the russians, god bless them, they're saying why are americans
5:34 am
anti russian and why have we done the sanctions? well, don't interfere in our elections and we won't be anti-russian. i think we have to be so hard on this. i will tell you that when a country can come interfere another country's elections, that is warfare. >> do you think we're doing enough to prepare for future interference by russia and other foreign adversaries in the information space? >> probably not. we're not. >> this as russian bots seem to be quite active on twitter. a russian account that pretended to speak for tennessee republicans popped up this year getting retweeted by many influential people here in the u.s. but president trump seems more concerned that the investigation go away, tweeting yesterday morning, quote, workers of firm involved with the discredited and fake dossier take the fifth. who paid for it, russia, the fbi
5:35 am
or the dems or all? >> joe, you go to the pompeo bit, there's no question that russia attempted to meddle. you just ask facebook and twitter and the intelligence agencies for that matter. the question is, did they have help? that's what bob mueller's investigation is looking at. you had former cia director john brennan earlier this week suggesting it would be difficult for him to imagine a world where russia didn't at least get some help coming in. he didn't get specific about who he suspected. the question is not about whether russia attempted. the question is about whether they had help from this side in doing it. >> right. mike pompeo's comments yesterday were immediately raised a lot of questions and specifically raised questions about whether he has gotten the too close to donald trump and now whether he sees himself as a mouthpiece of the president by saying that the intelligence assessment has not changed on russian election interference, that's mike pompoy
5:36 am
taking a stepping ba. what's interesting about pompeo for those who knew him in the house, willie, was he was an extremely independent guy. so independent that the whip operation i'm told actually stopped asking how he was going to vote because they knew there was nothing that they could do or say that would influence him in changing his vote on issues of conscience. so this obviously was very concerning yesterday and i'm glad they stepped it back. but we still have the president, willie, saying, that there wasn't involvement. still denying everything, saying now again, denigrating the fbi again. you have nikki haley as u.n. ambassador and jeff sessions, his attorney general, both coming out basically saying donald trump and yesterday mike pompeo were dead wrong. >> yeah. we've seen this in a number of occasions, whether it's mike pompeo or whether it's jeff
5:37 am
sessions or rex tillerson having to come out and clean up a bit of a mess. but to joe's point, you mentioned general kelly as well. the independence of a guy like mike pompeo sort of fades away when you're serving at the side of president trump. you are a part of what he's doing, part of his administration and people appear to have changed in some cases in the service of this president. >> willie, it's what i sometimes feel like is the general lousiness of the current situati situation. i don't believe any of these people are trying to act in a less-than-honorable way except that they look like they're acting in a less-than-honorable way. how many times do we see members of this administration have to walk back chowder-headed things that they say? >> more on this ahead when former secretary of homeland security janet napolitano joins the table. lawmakers take a first step towards tax reform and the search for the next fed chair has investors on edge. we'll be right back.
5:38 am
we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig. wakey! wakey! rise and shine! oh my gosh! how are you? well watch this. i pop that in there. press brew. that's it. look how much coffee's in here? fresh coffee. so rich. i love it. that's why you should be a keurig man! full-bodied. are you sure you're describing the coffee and not me? do you wear this every day? everyday. i'd never take it off. are you ready to say goodbye to it? go! go! ta da! a terrarium.
5:39 am
that's it. we brewed the love, right guys? (all) yes. these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. expert medicine works here. learn more at cancercenter.com
5:40 am
dad: molly, can you please take out the trash? (sigh) ( ♪ ) dad: molly! trash! ( ♪ ) whoo! ( ♪ )
5:41 am
mom: hey, molly? it's time to go! (bell ringing) class, let's turn to page 136, recessive traits skip generations. who would like to read? ( ♪ ) molly: i reprogrammed the robots to do the inspection. it's running much faster now. see? it's amazing, molly. thank you. ( ♪ ) let's go to cnbc's dominic chu. a little movement on the push for tax reform. >> absolutely. we're probably going to see more record stock market highs. the senate passing that $4 trillion budget measure means we're a step closer to maybe seeing tax reform done by a simple majority in the senate.
5:42 am
if it does happen and the house can't agree on this thing, it does pave the way for a tax bill potentially and traders are optimistic about that. they're also optimistic about a political report that president trump is leaning towards picking current fed governor jay powell to be the first chairman of the fed. that's viewed by many on wall street as being less of a shock to the markets since he could look to maintain some sense of stability and continuity with current fed policies. we're also, of course, keeping an eye on lyft. the google parent company is leading a group of investors looking to raise $1 billion to put into lyft. the investment makes lyft worth $11 billion. that's big, but nowhere near the $70 billion that uber is worth right now. what makes things more complicated is that alphabet is an invetter in both lyft and uber. some strange bedfellows developing there. >> weird. >> weird, right? one more thing, guys, department store lord & taylor could soon be seen on walmart's website.
5:43 am
this is according to "the journal," citing sources saying walmart is close to joining into a sales alliance, to make walmart more of a complete marketplace as competition with that amazon.com heats up. >> smort play for lord & taylor as well. dominic chu, thanks so much. nick, let's go back to the budget deal. bob corker talked about it and said this was the budget. this was a way to get to tax reform. do you think mitch mcconnell and donald trump will get their tax reform. >> i think it's unlikely. this is the first step. they passed a budget framework in the senate. this congress is good at taking that first step on obamacare on different issues. they had a hard time with the next 10, 20, 30, 40 steps. i think tax reform is a lod harder than obamacare in a lot of ways. there are already signs from people like bob corker that
5:44 am
they' they're dissatisfied with the direction it's going in. that it's budget busting, not deficit neutral. i don't think if they can't solve those problems, they'll go with the same problem they had with obamacare in their own party. >> willie, you're dashing off to work on something for sunday. what's on tap for sunday? >> my guest is dale earnhardt, junior, retiring in about five weeks. he's got five races left. the biggest name in racing. 14 times the most popular driver in nascar. i went down to talladega and spent the day with him last week. they wouldn't let us get in a stock car because there's no safety in the passenger seat. he got a corvette, a chevy guy. he took me in a streetcar on 180 miles an hour on the high bank turns along the wall at tallade talladega. my life flashed before my eyes, i saw the faces of my children. it was beautiful actually. >> no, don't do that. >> as we pulled into pit road, he said, dude, that's the fastest i've ever gone in a streetcar. >> oh thank you, thank you.
5:45 am
>> he had never driven the car before either. >> i've never done this before. >> oh, god. >> that's unbelievable. willie, i can't wait to see that sunday. mika, you actually have an event this weekend, too. everybody is busy but me. i'm going to be sitting home just like in a t-shirt -- >> roll tide. >> watching football. roll tide. what are you doing this weekend, mika? >> i'm working on "know your value." i have a special private event this weekend. next monday, august 30th is the big event at the grand hyatt in new york city. we have an incredible lineup. plus the grow your value bonus competition which shows women how to communicate their value effectively. so much work to be done. i'll be, woulding throughout the whole weekend. >> while you're doing that, mika, while willie is doing his important thing, i'm going to be watching alabama crimson tide. roll tide. >> you're cleaning the chicken
5:46 am
house. up next former secretary of homeland security janet napolitano. at some point lupica will start to talk baseball and i'll clean out my purse. >> big one tonight. i was playing golf days ago... love golf. i used to love golf. wait, what, what happened? i was having a good round, and then my friend, sheila, right as i was stepping into the tee box mentioned a tip a pro gave her. no. yep. did it help? it completely ruined my game. well, the truth is, that advice was never meant for you. i like you. you want to show me your swing? it's too soon. get advice that's right for you. investment management services from td ameritrade.
5:47 am
when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. do not use if you are allergic to taltz. before starting you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you are being treated for an infection or have symptoms. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to. inflammatory bowel disease can happen with taltz.
5:48 am
including worsening of symptoms. serious allergic reactions can occur. now's your chance at completely clear skin. just ask your doctor about taltz. now's your chance at completely clear skin. at bp's cooper river plant, employees take safety personally - down to each piece of equipment, so they can protect their teammates and the surrounding wetlands, too. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. mr. wise man... you wish to know how to protect your sterling credit score. my credit is off to a good start, but i worry my information was hacked, which kinda freaks me out. well, unfreak yourself out and download the free creditwise app from capital one. creditwise gives you a credit score,
5:49 am
and alerts you to changes. even if i'm not a capital one customer? nooooo! yeah, and it's free for everyone. thank you. gravity, is a fickle mistress. what's in your wallet?
5:50 am
joining us now, former secretary of homeland security and former governor now the president of the university of california, janet napolitano. great to have you back on the show. >> thank you. >> in light of the news of the past 24 hours, which seems like it just comes at an unprecedented pitch in the incoming, is just one thing after another. but yesterday at this time we were talking about polls. where more and more americans fear that we are on the brink of war, that we are getting closer to war, and they don't want it. they are worried about this. how would you characterize the
5:51 am
state of this white house and its ability to communicate exactly where we stand to the american people? >> well, it's a very tense time for everyone. and that's -- >> more so than usual? >> i think so. i think that emanates, you know, from the verbiage that comes from the president, the constant flood of tweets, the seeming escalation of conflict with north korea. >> and is it real? >> that is hard to say. because you've got some, you know, old pros leading some of the departments. mattis over at defense for example. mcmaster is a national security adviser. who you hope are trying to take the foot off the pedal a little bit. and really do a true assessment of where the united states is in the world, militarily and diplomatically. >> and how would you assess where the united states is in the world from your perspective?
5:52 am
given the fact the state department isn't fully staffed and the conversations that we have going on in the white house about north korea, the conversations that are being had around the world about what america looks like from the outside. what's your a segment of our place in the world? >> you know, i think it's -- it would be difficult to say we are safer now. and i think that everybody needs to take a deep breath, take a pause. return to american values. american values as the leader of the world, as a country that interacts with other countries, that supports our alliances and i think america actually is desperate for that kind of pause. >> hungry for it, no. >> the university of california system has sort of become ground zero for the fight about free speech on campus. the extent to which some speech
5:53 am
is perhaps seen as provocative and maybe should be curtailed or at least given a lot of warnings around it. ben shapiro went to campus, uc berkeley, and they shut the town down, they put a lot of resources behind that. do you resent that? do you think putting that much resources behind protection of free speech and in a place that is dedicated to free speech, that waste of capital, do you think that's frustrating? >> it's frustrating that it's necessary. the rock and the hard place that universities find themselves in is the protection of speech, even abhorrent speech. versus safety and security. and so what we've done at cal berkeley and what they just did yesterday at the university of florida is, you know, allow these provocative speakers on campus and then you just have to spend the money on the security. yes, spending that money is frustrating. but the value that we're seeking
5:54 am
to protect, the value of speech, the value of the first amendment, you know, that's where the investment is. >> mike. >> secretary, when you said it's hard to say that things aren't becoming less risky, having sat where you sat, in this year, 2017, do you think a dangerous world has become far more dangerous under this administration? >> you know, i think it has become more dangerous. whether that is caused by this administration is another question. but from terrorist groups to an attacks we've seen in europe for example, to what's going on in signer space, there's just a lot of activity, and, again, you know, i think that what the country needs is to have a real strategy, to have a set of policies that implement that
5:55 am
strategy and clear communication with the american people about what that strategy is. >> secretary, back to your home base for a second, the university of california was the birthplace of the free speech movement. these days, it seems more like the birthplace of the new anti-free speech movement. there's a lot of calls to restrict controversial speakers. some of them racist speakers. do you think as an educator, that there is a generational shift in the understanding of what free speech is and who should be allowed to speak? is it a problem in your eyes? >> yes, i think it is. i think we have to do a much better job of educating our young people about what the first amendment protects, what it means, and how -- once you start restricting speech, you are on a slippery slope. and so we are educators. and that should be part of our mission. because you're absolutely right, we see an increasing number of young people believe that, you
5:56 am
know, we should restrict people like, you know, richard spencer, ben shapiro, from speaking at campuses. and we must remind them that in the past it was speakers favoring, say, the civil rights movement, who were sought to be restricted. so, again, education is key. >> janet napolitano, thank you very much for being on the show. we're back with more in just 90 seconds. looking for clear answers for your retirement plan?
5:57 am
start here. at fidelity, we let you know where you stand, so when it comes to your retirement plan, you'll always be absolutely...clear. it's your retirement. know where you stand. you'll always be absolutely...clear. looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo. ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor.
5:58 am
well, mike -- >> oh, really. >> the two teams -- >> where's my purse, i'm going to clean it out. >> hold on a second, mika, this is very important. mike, the two teams that won the world series last year won't be going back. the first indians were booted out. many people thought the best team in baseball. now it's the cubbies who had an outside shot. but really the dodgers have been the team to beat at least since june. tell me about it. what are you looking at? >> what's amazing, it absolutely looked like a slam dunk, donors here, in the middle of the summer. inexplicably, they lost 16 out of 17 games. people are now looking at a, you know, yankees dodgers world series out of the past, except the astros are now pack home, joe, and i have this feeling. as mika pointed out -- >> i'm snapchating my daughters. >> it's probably better to close in game six because momentum
5:59 am
goes completely out the window. >> in a game seven. >> mike, they're not going to close it out tonight. they're going up against justin verlander. most likely not going to close it out tonight. as mika was telling you and me, verlander's last outing put him, if you look at his pitch counts and his strikes, mika was saying this puts him where bob gibson was in '67 and '68. rarefied air. what, 130 pitches, 95 strikes. if he puts that performance out tonight, he will mow down the yankees. >> no, it was interesting that mika was able to frame that historically with bob gibson. why i know she's focused on tonight's game. >> yeah, okay, all right, guys, thanks very much. we're done. it's friday. >> by the way, you know, mika, barnacle is going to be watching the game tonight because he's a huge yankees fan. >> i know. >> i will say this, i will never like a yankees team.
6:00 am
but if any yankees team were ever likable, this would be that team. >> sure thing, joe. >> oh, my god, let's keep that on a loop. >> you're not taking the bait. okay, good. >> thank you as well. >> that does it for us after a very long week. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. have a wonderful weekend, everyone. >> thanks so much, mika, thanks, joe. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, he who shall not be named. president bush and obama, their take on politic, well, their take on trump. >> we've seen nationalism distorted into nativism. >> a pair of campaign rallies, obama goes off on the current political discourse. >> we've got politics infecting our communities. >> and senate republicans pass a $4 trillion budget paving the way to get

81 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on