tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC October 20, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
challenged. she's the florida congresswoman who called out the president for his phone call to a pregnant and grieving widow. the president who couldn't help himself even tweeted about the congresswoman calling her wacky. press secretary sarah huckabee sanders explaining why he did that. >> it should have ended yesterday after general kelly's comments but it didn't. it continued and it's still continuing today. still the bulk of the coverage on most every tv you turn on and most every newspaper you open up today and the president responded to those continued accusations and continued mischaracterizations of his comments. >> so what exactly happened in niger? the short answer is we don't know all of the details yet. the pentagon and the fbi are now investigating. more on the fbi's involvement in this in a minute. but here's what the military has told us so far. on october 4th, four u.s. soldiers were killed when ambushed by a group affiliated
in some way with isis. there are several terror groups in the region, military saying they were working with the nigerian army and getting a lay of the land meeting with local leaders. on that wednesday, 12 u.s. soldiers went to a village near a place called tongo tongo in niger neared mauli board mahli . during that meeting they were attacked. military says 40 to 50 militants well trained armed with ak-47s and rocket propelled grenades. at some point in that sergeant la david johnson was separated from the group. how that happened and why it took two days to find his remains is what remains unclear. one official said there was a tremendous amount of confusion during and after the mission. congress has a lot of questions about this timeline. a senior congressional aide who's been briefed on the
situation tells nbc news that the ambush stemmed in part from a massive intelligence failure. how did this large group of militants assemble without raising alarms? why no overhead surveillance and why wasn't a quick reaction force available to help out once that ambush got underway? here's what white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders had to say about the investigation just moments ago. >> the nation are grateful for those four american heroes and won't rest until we get answers part of this process and that's what they'll do, and when the time is appropriate we'll talk about the details of the investigation. >> all right. for more on all this, kelly o'donnell at the white house, hans nichols at the pentagon and garris ha garrett haake. and's what about the comments made yesterday about congresswoman wilson as much as the white house would like to have that go away. bottom line is, that general kelly in his comments yesterday said things about this congresswoman that turned out to
be in doubt? >> reporter: he was attending a 2015 ceremony for the naming and commemoration of a new fbi building that was, that is in florida. of course, congresswoman wilson is from the miami-dade area. and perhaps it's a case where john kelly is going off his own memory, but there is a videotape of that, which sarah huckabee sanders acknowledgealed she has seen today and the statement from the white house which is in many ways doubling down on john kelly's view that congresswoman wilson made the event about herself it does not repeat a claim that john kelly made in the briefing room that she had touted seeking the funding herself, that funding had been approved before she was in congress. instead, they say talking about the legislation and her efforts in the naming part of the building. watching the videotape of that, it seemed certainly to me as someone who's covered congress a lot a standard way a member of congress would speak at a hometown event.
acknowledged republican members of congress who were also there. acknowledged the republican speaker of the house at the time john boehner and she spoke about the fbi agents for whom the building is named who died in a gun battle. so when john kelly references this he attended the event and said that that was an instance where she had made it about herself. the white house pushing back on that saying that his -- his view of how she conducted herself holds. even though they don't repeat the issue of funding, because she didn't say that in the 2015. there's an implicit acknowledgement the facts were wrong but they're hanging on to the sentiment of john kelly that he believes the congresswoman, congresswoman wilson did not make it about those who had been falling fbi agents. to talk why this is such a heated issue to yet another day, sarah huckabee sanders took questions on that as well. the president tweeting about it. the white house putting out a statement. she says that basically it
remains a story and we're talking about it. a clip from the briefing from a short time ago. >> i think it's real simple. you guys are the ones talking a lot about that story, and he felt it was important to address you and all of america directly. this story has been given an enormous amount of coverage over the last 48 hours and he thought it was important people got a full and accurate picture of what took place and that was a personal decision he made that he wanted to come out and frankly not just share with you, like you said, share with all of america and make an appeal to america to go back to kind of honoring that sacred code of gold star families. >> and, of course, john kelly is a gold star father losing his son robert kelly in afghanistan. he is now a civil servant working for the president of the united states and came to the press briefing where he talked about a number of issues that went beyond gold star families but made these comments about the congresswoman really now as a political figure in the modern
moment, in addition to being a gold star father's in trying to get at, was he making a mistake? do it knowingly? that we don't seem to have an answer for because john kelly was not made available today at the briefing. sarah huckabee sanders saying his statement stands as i explained a moment ago. ali? >> yeah, although the average person hearing that would say the statement can't stand, because they're acknowledging in a way, a very round-about way as this white house tends to do that that wasn't accurate. garrett haake, at capitol hill. general mattis is now i believe in senator john mccain's office. mccain's been talking a few days about the fact that the military and the white house do not seem to be forthcoming about the situation in niger. i think you saw mattis on the way in? >> i did. actually had a chance to speak with him on his way to mccain's office. stopped to visit some of the service chief liaison offices, starting with marine and navy, working his way through and
saying hi to folks before he came back up. i asked was there anything else he could tell us about the investigation, anything update, anything new today? the same john mccain does, turned the question around and said why would i tell you anything more if i don't know anything more. he's very much in the fact-finding process here. dismissed out of hand another reporter the question suggesting he was only here because of mccame mentioning a subpoena yesterday. those two men have a very close relationship, a very similar style and similar willingness to say absolutely nothing they don't want to say. and so this conversation happening, one story below me here in the senate office building will answer a number of john mccain's questions and it's clear mattis doesn't yet have all the angsts and this investigation is very much ongoing but at least his appearance will hopefully, possibly, satisfy john mccain the administration is being somewhat more forthcoming about
what happened in niger. >> hans, a lot of things americans have become familiar with in the last few days they didn't know. there are american troops in about 144 different countries around the world, many of whom involved in missions we didn't actually know they were involved in. >> reporter: yes. >> the fbi is investigating. a lot of people trying to figure why the fb i has a role in this. is the military okay with the fact -- are we supposed to know there were troops all over the world? >> reporter: the military updates congress throughout the legislative season letting them know, asking them for more money, letting them know about missions there. i have to add most of the troops in niger aren't doing counterterrorism training. most troops there are building a new drone base that will serve as a hub for a lot of nodes across africa, from west africa to east africa all the way up to tunisia so they can, indeed, have better coverage. most recent assessment, africon,
the group that has command of all of africa, had only about 20% to 30% of their intelligence needs met. so, yes, you have about 800 troops in niger, about 100 of them are doing this counterterrorism training, going out, doing what happened on this mission, which was a key leader engagement. most of those forces and there are about 300 further south in cameroon, are building drone bases in foort have b s iin pars and ears. i think congress a aware -- >> hans, interrupt you a second. john mccain is speaking right now. come back to you in a few minutes. >> -- it's always a pleasure to spend time with him and work with him in these difficult times. >> and you basically had been saying the administration was holding out about the details of the niger ambush. do you still feel like that? >> i nat we were not getting sufficient amount of information and we are clearing a lot of that up now. >> reporter: yesterday at the
press conference with ms. white said the pentagon was providing as much information as they needed. would you agree -- >> as much what? >> reporter: as much information as required. >> on what? >> reporter: generally speaking. alluding to the fact the pentagon was being fully transparent, firstly, secretary, do you agree. >> let me address that. >> reporter: please. >> we can do better at communication. we can always improve on communication, and that's exactly what we'll do. >> and could i just add -- the relationship that the secretary and i have goes back 20 years. it's one of respect. it's one of appreciation, and it's one of honoring service. so we continue to try to improve our lines of communication -- >> okay. losing the signal on that. that is senator john mccain and defense secretary mattis's just came out of mccain's office. you heard senator mccain say, continues to be dissatisfied
with the information he's getting from the white house, but obviously this meeting has gone somewhere distance to explaining what senator mccain's questions are. let's listen again. i think we have it back. >> reporter: -- get information on the table? >> whether we get the witnesses or not. >> reporter: who do you want to come as a witness? >> the head of the cyber -- >> reporter: secretary mattis? >> -- a place for him at the hearing yesterday. >> mr. secretary, do you expect -- [ inaudible ]. >> the senate and the house calls they always show up, my policy, and i have the technology to make that happen. >> reporter: secretary mattis, on the raid in niger, can you say if the president ordered that particular action, sir? >> no, i don't tdiscuss those kinds of things, thank you. >> let me close saying the second and i have had a 20-year relationship and have had our problems and issues but i'm
proud to work with him and proud of the work he's doing and we will continue these regular meetings so that we can work together in these very difficult and challenging times. i am proud to know him. >> reporter: secretary mattis, would you say it's a matter of -- >> thank you very much. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> reporter: secretary mattis, a matter of hours or days or months? >> garrett, trying to get another question in there. let me tell you what you were listening to. let's listen in, garrett's still there. >> reporter: -- and this -- [ inaudible ]. >> all right. trying to see if we could get secretary mattis' response there. so we've lost garrett from this conversation. he's trying to figure what's going on there. senator mccain called secretary mattis to the senate. secretary mattis said when he gets calls from congress he goes, answers questions. he was asked whether or not the president had anything to do with ordering the mission that was underway in niger, and the
general said the secretary said he doesn't respond to questions like that. hans, what do you make of that discussion, mccain still does not seem satisfied that he's getting everything he needs but underscored the 20-year relationship he's got with mattis and sounded like things were going in a direction that would satisfy senator john mccain, chairman of the armed services committee? >> reporter: saw two things. trying to make nice with a powerful senator, a senator with oversight over his department, the secretary doing everything he can to make sure they have enough information. you heard him say they need to do better with information sharing. here at the pentagon tried to share as much as they can. obviously it isn't enough. acknowledgement from secretary mattis there. also you heard a senate who is not quite satisfied, as you said, yet. he mentioned something about having testimony on cyber command. that confused me a little bit, because that seems like a separate issue there. again, the feed was fading in and out, but that didn't seem
like senator mccain was entirely satisfied with all of the answers he got and he didn't give secretary mattis by any sense of the pentagon, a clean bill of health. given several opportunities to do that, he didn't do it. what mccain actually wants in terms of subpoena and testimony again, i didn't quite understand what he meant having someone from the cyber side testify. because this has to do with africon, not necessarily cyber security. >> hans, thanks for that and kelly as well. for more on the investigation i want to bring in tarpa copp. what are we talking about here. is there an inherent suspicion something went obviously -- something went wrong because four service members died, but is there an inherent concern there's some kind of mission -- soldiers in all sorts of places and may not have a handle on the
situation or hablown into public consciousness because the president himself started a conversation about this no one pushed him into? this is yet another unforced error on the president's part? >> i think a little of both. both senator mccain and senator jack reid yesterday mentioned the first time they knew about troops operating in niger was when they read it in the paper about the attacks. to them that's unacceptable, being the, holding the purse strings for these operations. i think that's why you saw mattis on the hill today with mccain letting him know everything they know at this point, which doesn't seem to be very much. you mentioned, there's concerns over what happened to the troops on the ground. why they were sent. and why there wasn't adequate support for them to be able to push back when they were ambushed. >> certainly we learned in the last couple days we have troops at 144 countries. now some of that won't surprise people because we know where we have u.s. bases.
know when the media reports where we have troops. some of it was very surprising. i would not have come anywhere close to a number like 144. are we supposed to know all this stuff? and i guess there are people like john mccain who should know things because he's chairman of the armed services committee maybe the rest of us don't know. does it come as a surprise how many places we have u.s. troops in? >> i tend to follow it pretty closely. it doesn't surprise me, but specifically with africon. there's 53 nations in that area of responsibility. 15 of the top 25 weakest states are in the africon area of responsibility. in niger alone, 400,000 displaced people. so the reason that there are u.s. troops doing these advisory missions and trying to build partner capacity is because they see it as the best way to stabilize those places so that the next time we face isis it won't be in niger. you know, as you know, they
suspect this was an isis affiliate in niger. they've already done limited strikes in libya with the country just to the north and to prevent this expansion the u.s. has continued to expand its operations, its partnerships. usually this is on the backs of us special forces. >> all right. tara, thanks for your great reporting. learned a lot from it. tara copp with the pentagon bureau. pentagon bureau chief for the "military times." >> thank you. pennsylvania avenue to capitol hill. senate republicans calling on colleagues in the house to help secure a first major legislative victory of the trump era. tax reform. the effort took a big step forward last night when the senate narrowly passed a budget plan a precursor to being able to get tax reform done for technical reasons. the house takes up that plan as early as next week. the white house says its tax reform plan would lower most americans taxes. here's another promise that the
administration is making -- >> reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% would increase average household income by $4,000 a year. >> so you take the money that's not being sent to the government and you give it to the employees. that ends being about $4,000 per worker in the united states. >> what we're trying to do with this tax code. get folks to move earnings back to the united states, re-establish that connection so that every 1% of corporate increase and profit means a 1% increase to household income. >> interesting stuff. problem, i don't get the premise. i don't really understand how cutting business taxes is going to make your salary go up thousands of dollars, but i am hoping my next guest can help me through this. kevin is an economist and old friend whom i often turn to for a conservative perspective on the economy. he worked on mitt romney's 2012 campaign, a resident scholar at the american enterprise institute before becoming chair of white house council chair of
economic advisers putting out a report claiming the relationship between the corporate tax rate and household income. kevin, pleasure to have you back on. thank you for being with us. >> i remember you were at cnn before it was cool to be at cnn. right? >> let's talk about this, kevin. we are talking about two things. let me bring viewers up to speed. talking about a proposal to reduce the u.s. corporate tax rate, statutory rate from 35% to 20%, and then there is this claim that the 20% rate will result in something between $4,000 and $9,000 of increased income per household. draw that line for me from a. to b. >> sure. i think that we have to stipulate that something you and i talked absence all the way, way back when you were on, two stations ago. but he we are at msnbc, historically there was a connection between profits, how well employers are doing and wages. used to be firms did better, workers would do better. talk in our report a radical
disconnect between that relationship. used to be 1% higher profits would increase by about that 1%, wage change. now it's a structural break that's gone down to almost nothing so over the last eight years corporate profits have gone up by about 11% a year, wages barely budged. something you've talked a lot about on this show and other shows in the past, something we've talked a lot about before. >> yeah. >> so the question is, what explains the disconnect and i think that the academic literature is overwhelming in that it explains the disconnect a high statute other corporate tax rate but companies don't pay it. agree on that, too. they don't pay it because they put the money in ireland and other low-tax countries. workers don't see the benefits of the jobs and increased labor demand. to avoid the high u.s. tax they move the activity over there. with a lower 20% rate, encourage everybody to come back home, locate jobs here, do that,
increase demand for labor and drive wages up. that's how it works. you probably agree with all of that and -- i do. >> how big is the effect? >> right. the issue -- first i know you're not particularly political about this, but we have a white house that keeps on saying that we've got the highest tax rate in the world. the way you've articulated it, the way i understand it. highest statutory rate but a lot of companies don't pay it. your implication, a lower tax rate and broader base then what happens? >> sure. so on the corporate side, two parts of this tax plan. on the corporate side what happens then is people say, oh! i don't have to make jobs in ireland to avoid the u.s. tax. make the jobs in the u.s. you agree we that. moved plants back here and all of a sudden plants in the u.s. need workers. when they try to hire them that increases demand for labor driving up the wage. >> you've been getting into it a bit with larry summers who said kevin's conservative claim the cut will raise wages by $4,000,
economy with 150 workers a claim workers will benefit by $600 billion or 300% of the tax cut. to my knowledge, unprecedented in tax incidents. i don't need to get why you and larry disagree, but there is something here about the fact that we used to think that a rising tide lifted all boats, and the argument could be made that corporations that make more are better for workers. we now think that a rising tide generally helps yachts. you're looking at a multiplying -- >> hasn't been helping in the u.s., right. >> are you sure the structural break between companies earning more and people earning more is solved just by lowering the corporate tax rate and applying it to more companies? >> i think that what we have to do then is rely on science and i think that -- even though larry had harsh things to say it's important to understand in public life people criticize you
and you need to pay attention to them. they might say something to correct your future statements or future analysis. i don't think he's done that yet. if people wonder what larry has been saying go to greg manku and he explains the mistake made. >> we have an example from the reagan era when taxes went from 46% to 34%. wages fell for five straight years in today's dollars. we've got a more recent example from great britain where it shows plateauing -- dropping then plateauing wages after corporate rates were cut and i know -- >> sure. >> we often look at canada. >> can i address those? if you throw three, four examples at me i'll forget the first one. >> go ahead. >> in the '86 tax act don't forget what happened there was an increase in the user kocht c capital. discouragement on the business side helping fund reduction in the margin rate on the
individual side. in that specific case looking at just the corporate tax rate wouldn't work trying to model it. in the uk a big change in the labor force. increase to supply of labor because of immigration, a lot of immigration that can change the wage because there's an increase in labor supply. so the question is that you've got anecdotes, how do we smooth through them? a big literature looked at this. i wrote one of the first papers in a journal and we looked at cross-country data for all the countries that cut the rate around the world. what happened to their wages? and found workers benefit. it if you worry that american workers woen benefit it we do the same thing pret president macron advocated, doing it because he understands this channel. if you think it won't work here you have to basically come up with a theory why we're different from all of those other countries. >> you know where i always go in this conversation with you, point north to canada.
the corporate tax rate was lowered to 15% and, again, not there was no benefits to it but we didn't see the benefit you're talking about in terms of wages increasing. >> canadian growth is doing really well. translating into income growth now. >> not that percentage. >> don't forget also in canada the canadian regions have a much larger share of overall tax revenue. be afl which rate you look at when sturdies canada. i was at a conference there a year ago, economists said a lot of analysis how the corporate rate benefited canada even a paper with a bunch of curves on the corporate tax base were from canada. >> dropped lapper's name. on monday. we'll continue this conversation with him. >> terrific. >> gervin good to see you. >> great to be back. >> keep the conversation going. the kind i want to have about tax policy as opposed to fact
checking claims. >> always fact check me, though. >> appreciate that. >> if i get wrong i want to know. >> we'll talk again soon. chairman of the council of economic advisers. since the end of last year 3.5 million fewer americans have health insurance. new gallup survey, shows a jump almost 1.5% the rate on a steady increase since last november when donald trump was elected. of course, throughout his campaign he promised to repeal and replace obamacare. the number of uninsured americans remains far below its peak of 18%. that was in 2003. just before the implementation of the american affordable care act. sorry. coming up next, nbc news is in north korea talking to people living in that nation. how are they reacting to president trump's tough talk and threats of war? we have a rare report from inside north korea, next. first, house speaker paul ryan was the keynote speaker at last
night's al smith's charity dinner in new york taking an opportunity to take a few jobs at his boss. >> i know last year that donald trump offended some people. i know his comments according to critics went too far. some said it was unbecoming of a public figure, and they said that his comments were offensive. well, thank god he's learned his lesson. patrick woke up with back pain.
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all right. garrett haake is live for us on capitol hill. but i'm not sure that's where we should be going. no. that's not. ignore everything i just said. cia director mime pompeo announced this week north korea is close enough now in its nuclear capabilities from a u.s. policy persecutive we ought to behave as if on the cusp of them achieving their objective being able to strike the united states. this comes at a time of heightened tensions between the hermit kingdom and the united states. a new survey monkey poll shows 72% of americans are worried the country will go to war in the next four years. 54% saying they think north korea poses the greatest immediate threat to the united states when compared to isis, russia, china and iran.
nbc's own keir simmons is on the ground inside north korea. >> reporter: from inside the democratic people's republic of north korea standing here in the square, will you'll have seen thousands marching, watched by the supreme leader kim jong-un, who stands on a balcony over there and the tensions with north korea escalating still further. north korea now threatening an unimaginable strike against the u.s. along the front line between america's allies south contrary in the north, a permanent sense of danger. they call this the demilitarized zone. it is anything but. every day these north korean troops stare down their american and south korean counterparts. both sides today on a hair trigger. >> that is the border between north and south. this side socialism in respect is where the communist world begins and we're not allowed to
stay very long. the north korean vice foreign minister says, president trump the rhetoric is taking them to the brink of war and in a war this would be ground zero. and our exchange with the north korean lieutenant colonel reveals why the two sides so close at this border are so far apart. what do you think of president trump? >> translator: trump is mentally ill. >> reporter: the guard tells me if there is a war with america, we will win. in a closed-off country the people are hard to read. some officials we spoke to still hope for peace. all seem braced for war. >> that was nbc's keir simmons inside north korea. one month to the day since hurricane maria made landfall devastating puerto rico for whatever you think you're hearing about this, nearly 80% of the u.s. territory remains without power. 30% of residents don't have access to drinking water. the governor raised the death toll to 49 people during a press
conference today. the governor spoke about his first trip to washington since the storm ravaged puerto rico. >> the president reiter airted his-oairted -- reiterated his commitment to stay with puerto rico fon the long haul. talk to senate majority and minority leaders both committing to work with puerto rico so we can make sure that puerto rico is treated equally. >> well, the situation on the island is so dire that thousands of people, tens of thousands of people, are making their way to florida to escape destruction. msnbc's mariana atencio is live inside one of those destinations at orlando's airport. maria mariana, you spoke to those who arrived. what do you hear? >> reporter: most are distraught and didn't want to leave their island, but after weeks with no power, water, and the prospect power restored maybe this christmas as the governor said,
many say they had no choice but it leave. most are coming to welcome centers like this one. it's seen more than 100 people walk through these doors today. especially a lot of families with young children. with elderly folks, and it is hard to see how this crisis is hitting puerto rico's children. i was able to speak to the vice principal of liberty high school. 2,000 children. 60% are puerto rican, about the impact and challenges of receiving this influx of students as well as with a mother who just brought her son over from puerto rico. let's listen to both sound bites. >> you see the face, the facial expression. the sadness, and i think that's, that tells a big story. >> it's been horrible. horrible and -- he's scared. he's scared. he don't want to see -- never, never that.
and now he worried for the language, for the -- for everything. this is hard. >> reporter: that mother and her son that you just saw, ali it is five family members living in one crammed hotel room because the mom had come over three years ago because of the debt crisis. mork works in a theme park and her idea make a little money to send back home now has to bring her two sons and mother to live with her with absolutely no planning. the young boy we just spoke to is not even enrolled in school. doesn't speak english. afraid he'll be bullied at school. you can imagine the psychological challenges for many of these paem families an districts. 1,000 children already enrolled in orlando area schools in the past two weeks. >> thanks for your reporting. a good understanding of this because you were on puerto rico on the other side of this as
people tried to recover there. seeing it on both ends and appreciate the reporting you're doing. marp jana atencio in orlando. and a crisis developing in puerto rico, the kind of thing that's happens if you don't have running water. 67 hospitals on the island, 21 powered by generator power right now. four hospitals remain closed. one of the major medical assets provided by the u.s. navy is this -- a massive ship serving as floating hospital that is calls "the usns comfort." gabe gutierrez was on that ship now off the southern coast of the island and he spoke to some of the people there. gabe? >> reporter: ali, we're here in the icu of "the comfort," the navy's second largest ship. a ship that's had a long history. 3 put into service in the late '80s, from "desert storm"
hurricane katrina and now here in puerto rico. it's been here since october 3rd. for this, 250 beds. there are about 50 patients here. the governor in the last several days blamed a lack of communication for not being able to refer more patients on to here. the responsibility of fema. the department of health and human services as well. as the puerto rican secretary of health to refer patients and we've spoken with a few from the western side of the i'dsland an they're trying to avoid an emergency. hospitals remain without power, running on backup generators and are sending some patients here. we spoke with a woman from san juan, diabetic, grateful to get the care and sent back to san juan. the ship was moved from the northern side of the island now to the southern part of the island near ponce. the question is, how long will
it, will it end up here? they're awaiting orders and say that they'll be here as long as it takes. ali, back to you. >> nbc's gabe gutierrez onboard the "uss comfort." to help, nbc.com/puertorico. one nation overdosed, opioid crisis tearing through the country ripping families apart. grandparents forced to take on the role of parenting their grandchildren. you're watching msnbc. right back after this. ♪
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right out to capitol hill, garrett haake, i was having a conversation and everything went awry, tracking the defense secretary james mattis, at capitol hill for meetings. as we were talking, plmattis ca out of john mccain's office, started talking. you went and chatted with him and we had to say good-bye to you. what did you get? >> reporter: right. we expected it to be a much longer meeting with him and senator mccain essentially covering more about the niger investigation under way. instead probably about a seven-minute meeting in mccain's office before the two of them came out together to take questions. some of which i think you saw. he's now, secretary mattis, is down the hall behind me in lindsey graham's office, close friends with mccain and more importantly another senior member of the armed services committee. work to be done there.
it's clear, this was not about an in-depth briefing. this was about a show of unity and a show, perhaps after mccain's comments yesterday about a subpoena. these two men will continue to work closely together. two headlines for me, ali, over the running gaggle we've had here, i asked secretary mattis directly about this raid in niger if it was ordered directly by the president. he refused to answer. said he's not going to talk about those kind of conversations with the president. also, i asked him ash the implication from the briefing a short time ago with sarah huckabee sanders when she sort of pushed back on this idea of anyone questioning general kelly's account of this whole back and forth with the congresswoman from florida. do you think it's appropriate, this what do you make of this idea somehow inappropriate to question a four-star general. he said how many questions have you asked me already today? a point by implication, certainly he's been available
and continues to be questioned aggressively. you can see all the reporters behind me. probably asked him several dozen questions in the hour he's been on the hill and when he comes out of lindsey graham's office we will ask a few more. >> bet you will. greater, thanks. glad i got to close the loop, from capitol hill. politico reports president trump blindsided officials and they're scrambling for a plan to combat the nation's odoid crisis. no word on werther there is a plan of action. time for a plan, though, has never been more urgent. as we report to you a lot on this show, according to the centers for disease control, 91 americans die every day from an opioid overdose. joining me now, nbc stephanie goff, deeply impacted by this opioid crisis. >> reporter: we've done a lot of
reporting on the opioid crisis and continue to do that and we uncovered a class of victims we don't talk a lot about that need attention and help. the grandparents. it's ripping parents and kids apart across the country and it's the grandparents who step in to raise the parents effectively becoming new parents again. losing a child to drugs and at the same time gaining a child. >> right here. smack. >> good job. >> reporter: this 5-year-old, colton, filled buy woundless energy. >> i can't always have hot chocolate. >> reporter: a challenge for his grandmother. >> sorry, little sister. >> reporter: raising him because her daughter is struggling with opioid addiction. >> we have day care expenses. we know we have extra food, clothes for somebody who grows an inch every week. it's just things that we didn't think we would be dealing with at this age. >> reporter: the opioid epidemic
is tearing through the country. >> both -- breathing. >> okay. unable to wake them up? >> no. they died and they won't wake up. >> reporter: the number of children removed from parents because of drugs and alcohol is on the rise. what you don't see are the grandparents who often are picking up the pieces. >> you are doing something that goes above and beyond what you expect to do. >> but he didn't ask for it. he didn't -- he didn't -- ask to be in this position. he deserves to have a happy childhood, and -- the alternative is that he would have been put in a foster care program. >> reporter: tell me a little about where you get support? who do you lean on? where do you get help? >> her, me and her. >> that's about it. >> reporter: a fakebook group helps to, grandparent to grand in parent. 2,500 strong and growing. >> the one place you can go
where people understand how you can hate and love your child all at the same time, and not be judged. >> reporter: she asked what the group would want to share with nbc. the answers came pouring in. >> just the first one is, talking about the thousands of dollars of adopting their own grandchildren. >> reporter: financial support. >> day care. can't adopt, can't afford health insurance. >> reporter: heard the same message from grandparents around the country. >> died of a heroin overdose when the babe was just 2 years old. >> addiction doesn't just affect the addict. >> grandparents like me need assistance. >> we need support from family and friends. we need support to our elected officials. >> reporter: grandparents themselves, screaming out loud for officials to step up and support them. >> reporter: larry cooper runs a kinship program in tampa, florida. one of few programs in the country ophiring a support network for grandparents.
>> hi, guys! >> reporter: some of them brought in their grandkids and shared their stories. >> how many of you are taking care of these children because you're worried they aren't safe with their own parents? >> when he was 6 months old they went to buy drugs and the baby got hurt in the drug buy. i had to have my daughter arrested, take my grandson. >> my husband and i hired a private detective to finally get the kids. >> you're worried about your daughter. same time, more worried about the grandchildren. >> this is not what being a grandparent was supposed to be. is it. >> no. >> no. >> i feel robbed. like you're, you got to be the mean, old parent. you know? i've been robbed as a grandparent. >> put me into depression at first. i september saying, i have worked, saved my money to do what i want to do and all of a sudden -- i'm starting all over again. >> reporter: let's talk about the money and it's got to be a big factor.
>> yeah. >> reporter: how much of a drain does it put on your day-to-day? >> especially lawyers and dipping in 401(k)s. >> yeah. >> reporter: the kids we met were all smiles. the resilience of childhood chi masking what they are living through. >> i feel bad for my grandchildren that their mother does not want them. that's the hardest part. >> his mother doesn't care about him, and he knows it. he said my mom loves drugs more than me. >> your grandson said that to you? >> yes. >> ours has said it, too. >> but the children don't let them dwell too much in the sadness. >> there is that joy, too, isn't there? >> there is joy. >> that's part of my day, every day, is when i come in after work and they hear that key go like that, and my grandson and his little puppy come running up. every day. grandpa. that's everything to me. >> many of the grandparents we spoke to hope their kids will
get clean and come back to raise their children. many are desperately trying to get their lives together and their kids. including penny's daughter who is 8 months sober but is still not ready to be a parent. >> how is this handled legally? >> obviously, they need support. there's a bill in the senate right now that would set up a federal task force to centralize information and resources for people who need help sooner than that. a lot of states have started to develop assistance programs and if they are looking -- people are interested and want to find those website, they go to today.com and will find some of them listed there. >> thank you for doing this story. stephanie gosk on this story. we'll continue to cover the opioid crisis. the economy and automation. could you be losing your job to a robot despite donald trump's response to create more jobs. sr is helping build the new new york. starting with advanced manufacturing
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but it's bryan with a 'y.' yeah, since birth. that drives me crazy. yes. it's on all your email. yes. they should know this? yeah. the guy was my brother-in-law. that's ridiculous. well, i happen to know some people. do they listen? what? they're amazing listeners. nice. guidance from professionals who take their time to get to know you. let's take a quick check of the markets. u.s. stocks traded higher on the heels of the senate approving a $4 trillion budget measure. a step toward achieving tax reform and, by the way, a lot of spending in that bill. that's why you see the dow up two-thirds of a percent to yet another record. we're seeing records across the board on all major markets. the dow at 23,305 as we close the day.
president trump has traveled the country to promoets his tax plan which he says is going to create more jobs, especially more manufacturing jobs. even the manufacturing sector, if it were to flourish, how many jobs would actually be created. with me is sheila, a staff writer with the new yorker and author of the new piece in the magazine on the cover "welcoming our new robot overlords." once robots assisted human workers. now it's the other way around. sheila, what are you talking about? you aren't just talking about replacing workers. you're talking about having robot bosses. >> that's coming. that's eventually going to happen. >> economists have believed for a long time that new technology and big technological advances created more jobs than they took away. often those jobs were higher skilled better jobs. what's happened in the last few years is economists have acknowledged that, no, the leaps are so broad and large and it's happening so quickly that entire categories of jobs are potentially going to be
eliminated and not be replaced. this has profound implications for income inequality, policy, education. >> this is not crazy stuff. this is not talking about the singularity when the machine and your brain become one. we laud these technical -- these tech companies that come up, these start-ups that make greater efficiency and mostly our apps but the dirty little secret even amongst the smartest in this country is that everything we're doing is leading to lower labor costs because we're replacing people. >> i'll give you one chilling example i encountered. so i was reading a lot about the $15 minimum wage movement which a lot of service workers have been fighting for. that's been a really important development. and while i was in the middle of reading about this, i saw a report about mcdonald's introducing its new digital ordering kiosk. mcdonald's is saying we're going to introduce this into thousands of mcdonald's locations in the next year.
we do not need you $15 minimum wage people anymore, bye-bye. and people, consumers actually like ordering things digitally. they can order on their phone and not deal with a human. this is happening. >> we don't think of the consequences. lindsey graham just finished his meet with james mattis on capitol hill. let's listen in. >> what was the day about? >> the day was about receiving information about niger, but it was more than that for me. so here's what the american people need to know. the counterterrorism rules under president obama, i felt, were overly restricted. they denied us the ability to basically engage the enemy effectively and aggressively. the war is morphing. you're going to see more actions in africa, not less. you're going to see more aggression by the united states toward our enemies, not less. you're going to have decisions being made not in the white house but out in the field. and i support that entire
construct. so the rules of engagement are going to change when it comes to counterterrorism operations. we're going to move the status-based targeting. if you find someone that's a member of a terrorist organization, then we can use lethal force. they don't have to present an immediate threat. when it comes to moving geographically, they have a system in place as to whether or not we want to have troops on the ground, what kind of level we want to provide in terms of assistance regarding the threat. so i've been a military warrior for 30-something years. there will be a lot of members of congress who say if you go anywhere you want to go and start killing people, you know, anybody you want to kill, then we need to rein you in. that's not the way it works. designating enemy forces is a commander in chief job, not a congressional job. it's up to the president and his team to determine who enemy threats -- who falls in the
category of being a threat to the united states and what military response to come up with to meet that threat. it's up to congress to have oversight of these operations. and if we don't like what they're doing, we can cut off funding. as you expand the places we go, as you give more authority to designate terrorist groups and more authority outside the white house, into the field, it's important to keep the congress more informed because, if we don't like what you're doing, we can cut off the funding. for us to make that decision, we have to know. so here's the balance. i'm never going to participate in an exercise where the authorization to use military force is a micromanagement of the commander in chief's responsibilities by the congress. i will insist as the war expands and as the rules change to be more aggressive that congress is informed more often and more