tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 21, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PDT
and for me, to share in it. it's hard. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thanks for watching. good morning, everyone. i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc world headquarters. it's 7:00 in the eastern, 4:00 out west. here's what's happening. massive intelligence failure. that's how the attack in niger that left four soldiers dead is being described by a senior congressional aid. now the fbi is getting involved. the white house doubling down in a political battlie with a florida congresswoman. gaining momentum and getting back to the business of the country. the chances tax reform could get done by the end of the year. we begin with a live picture of the white house and new
reaction this morning from president trump over his war of words with congresswoman wilson. he's defending his chief of staff john kelly after he criticized her for listening in on the president's call to the family of staff sergeant la david johnson. president trump's new comments are part of an interview to air in its entirety on fox tomorrow morning. >> he was so offended because he was in the room when i made the call and so were other people. the call was a very nice call. he was so offended that a woman would be -- that somebody would be listening to that call. he was -- he actually couldn't believe it. actually, he said to me, sir, this is not acceptable. this is really not. and he knew -- i was so nice. look, i've called many people. and i would any that every one of them appreciated it. >> meanwhile, "the washington post" editorial board is calling on general kelly to apologize to the congresswoman for getting his facts wrong about her
comments a the a new fbi buildings after video has surfaced. late every th later this morning, friends and family of staff sergeant johnson will gather to pay their respects. for more on the escalating political battle, here's msnbc's peter alexander. >> if you're able to make a sacred act like honoring american heroes all about yourself, you're an empty barrel. if you don't understand that reference, i'll put it a little more simply. as we say in the south, all hat, no cattle. >> reporter: kelly's commented intended to correct the record, now appear at times to have misrepresented the facts. while denouncing the congresswoman's remarks at a dedication. >> in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building. >> reporter: but this video of the ceremony --
>> mr. speaker, i need your help. >> reporter: from the south florida sun sentinel, shows wilson never claimed she got the money herself, instead recognizing lawmakers from both parties for the building being named after two slain fbi agents. wilson, a mentor and long-time family friend of johnson, this morning challenging kelly's story. >> i feel sorry for general kelly. he my sympathy for the loss of his son, but he can't just go on tv and lie on me. >> reporter: the white house tonight trying to silence the critics. >> if you want to get into a debate with a four-star marine general, i think that's something highly inappropriate. >> sara huk besanders later released a statement saying, quote, of course everyone can be questioned about their witnessing general kelly'shearted felt and somber account, and we should all be able to agree that impugning his credibility on how best to honor fall fallen heroes is not appropriate.
jonathan, let's start with you. as we mentioned, the johnson family is getting ready to pay their respects this morning. is there an opportunity for president trump and the white house to correct its missteps? >> i think this story has gone on far longer than anybody at the white house would have liked and certainly far longer than i think the american public would have liked. my guess is you're going to hear less, not more, from the white house going forward. i think from all parties involved, given the seriousness and the gravity of the loss of life here, i think there are a lot of people acting in ways that probably don't put their best foot forward. >> and kevin, let me play for you an exchange in the briefing room yesterday. take a listen. >> she also has quite a few comments that day that weren't part of that speech and weren't part of that video that were also witnessed by many people that were there.
what general kelly referenced yesterday. >> can you tell us specifically? >> exactly what he said. there was a lot of grand standing. >> he was wrong yesterday. >> kevin, we don't know about this alleged extra footage, but why not accept that general kelly got his facts wrong as a step in moving on from this troefs? -- controversy? >> i agree with john. the only focus today should be on the johnson family and the respect that we all as a country should be paying for all of the families of all americans. and who cares what party they're in. who cares whether they're republican or democrat. these are heroes and american families deserve to be able to grieve just on a human decency level. i agree with john. i think this is just a really -- the whole entire situation has just gone way out of control. >> jonathan, wasn't general kelly supposed to keep president trump in check and take the high road for him? so how did these attacks against congresswoman wilson play into
senator corker's adult day care center comments? >> certainly this was a week where general kelly ended up being front and center, chose to go out to the podium in the white house briefing room, said things that were not accurate about a member of congress. i think obviously he's somebody who has suffered a great tragedy himself in losing his son and probably -- surely, clearly feels very strongly about that at all times. but he obviously didn't want to be the beginning of this -- i'm sorry, to be the face of a controversy like this. my guess is that he will not go to the podium very often in the white house briefing room. >> and kevin, i want to ask you, what are you hearing from republicans on the hill by the precedent being set by this white house when key members of this administration are going to the camera to clean up the mess? >> well, you know, i think that the republicans on capitol hill really want to be focused on tax
reform. earlier this week on thursday night or early friday morning, they passed a budget. that's really the next political hurdle in order for them to get to something like tax reform. i'm hearing from my sources on capitol hill that next week the house will really advance that to the president's desk. that would potentially clear the way for tax reform by the end of the year. there is -- the bottom line is there is a lot of pressure on republicans in leadership as well as the far right wing party to get some type of legislative victory by the end of the year in order for them to be able to head into 2018 midterms, and any political distraction at all, whether it's fighting with senator bob korker or whcorker you has really frustrated some folks to some extent. that said, they feel they're still on pace to get tax reform done by the end of year. >> and kevin, just yesterday, possibly more distractions.
general mattis met with john mccain after subpoenaing the white house for information he believes they have. this is also coming on the heels of critics calling niger president trump's benghazi. what are you hearing about any congressional investigations? >> the calls on what happened in niger are definitely growing louder. these meetings have been happening all week. senate was out of session. i think that as this -- i'm sorry, senate was not out of session, but there were meetings that have been happening behind closed doors on this particular issue. the house was out of session. i think when the house returns, it will be interesting to see whether or not they pick up where people like senator john mccain have started to be -- started to come from. you know, these investigations, i think, quite frankly republicans have been having a host of investigations, whether it's on niger or whether it's on russian meddling. i would anticipate that they're going to continue. >> and jonathan, before we go to
break, let me play for you sara huckabee sanders' response to the comments made by presidents bush and obama. >> our understanding is those comments were not directed towards the president. in fact, when these two individuals, both past president, have criticized a president, they've done so by name and very rarely do. without being pretty direct as both of them tend to be, so we'll take them at their word that these actions and comments with respect directed towards the president. >> jonathan -- >> i don't they had to say donald trump for everybody to know who they were talking about. the white house has to say something, and sara huckabee sanders said what the white house wanted people to hear. president obama, when he was on the campaign trail, refused to say donald trump's name.
i don't expect to ever see presidents criticizing each other by name, but i think it was very clear what both of those presidents intended. >> jonathan, kevin, stick around. we have much more to discuss. and president trump's tax plan picks up steam after this week's senate budget vote but with looming deadlines and hurdles ahead. what happens next in? kyle, we talked about this. there's no monsters. but you said they'd be watching us all the time. no, no. no, honey, we meant that progressive would be protecting us 24/7. we just bundled home and auto and saved money. that's nothing to be afraid of. -but -- -good night, kyle. [ switch clicks, door closes ] ♪ i told you i was just checking the wiring in here, kyle. he's never like this. i think something's going on at school. -[ sighs ] -he's not engaging. i think something's going on at school. the unpredictability of a flaree may weigh on your mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go,
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you get up to 5 lines of talk and text at no extra cost. so all you pay for is data. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to xfinitymobile.com. new details in the heated controversy over president trump's alleged comments to the wife of a fallen soldier. president trump defending himself and his chief of staff john kelly amid a fire storm surrounding a claim mr. kelly made that turned out to be untrue. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at the white house with the latest. kelly, good morning. is the white house acknowledging that the chief of staff's claims weren't accurate? >> reporter: the white house is not addressing the specific
issue where general john kelly was simply misremembering it because he attended the event, got the facts wrong, somehow made a mistake. they are saying that the larger point he was trying to make, criticizing the florida congresswoman, still stands in their view. but it was a factual error made by general kelly as he addressed reporters earlier this week. but dara, today is a different kind of day. this is a day when the friends and family of sergeant johnson will gather in florida for his memorial. it follows nearly a week of controversy about how and what kinds of gestures a president should use to offer a family comfort. a controversy president trump says he did not expect. >> i was very surprised to see this, to be honest with you. zw >> reporter: in a new fox business interview to air sunday, president trump defended himself and chief of staff general john kelly over the handling of a condolence call to the family of fallen army
sergeant la david johnson. >> he was so offended because he was in the room when i made the call. >> reporter: general kelly argued it was not appropriate for florida congresswoman fredricka wilson a johnson friend, to listen in on the president's phone call and then to criticize trump's words. >> he actually couldn't believe it. actually, he said to me, sir, this is not acceptable. this is really not. and he knew -- i was so nice. >> reporter: but kelly, who lost his son robert in afghanistan, made an inaccurate charge against wilson thursday, accusing her of self-promoting at a 2015 fbi building dedication. >> talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building. >> reporter: but wilson had not boasted about funding. she talked about getting rushed approval to name the building after fbi agents killed on duty. >> i went to the speaker, speaker boehner, and i said, mr. speaker, i need your help.
the fbi needs your help. >> reporter: president trump called wilson wacky in a tweet, and the presser is tear pushed back at reporters who cited kelly's false claim. >> if you want to go after general kelly, that's up to you, but i think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star marine general, i think that's something highly inappropriate. sara sanders later backed off that criticism in a statement. of course, everyone can be questioned. and sara sanders was responding to the questions from reporters because, of course, john kelly is himself a gold star father. he is a retired marine four-star general. but today he is also a civil servant, serving as chief of staff to the president, who came before reporters and the public, making claims and comments that can in our society be questioned and challenged if there's a factual error. because of that pressure, sara sanders offered that follow-up
statement where she said that of course he could be questioned, but she went on to say -- to try to suggest he doesn't have sort of the standing to talk about the proper way to honor a fallen soldier would be inappropriate. so this is where it has been confusing. of course, he's a gold star father. there's a great deal of credibility that comes with that. but he's also a current political figure in what has been a very political week. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you so much for that report. and new details from the investigation into the deadly combat mission in niger. nbc pentagon correspondent hans nichols is in washington. good morning to you. what do we know so far about what happened? >> good morning, dara. as we continue to learn more, pentagon officials are cautioning that even investigators don't have all the facts. after being briefed by defense secretary jim mattis about the ambush that left four american soldiers dead in niger, congress is bracing for a new front in the fight against isis. >> we don't want the next 9/11
to come from niger. >> reporter: senator lindsey graham calling for more oversight. >> the war is headed to africa. it's beening it's beginning to morph. >> reporter: mattis summoned to capitol hill to explain how elite soldiers were taken by surprise. >> we can always improve on communication. >> reporter: public explanation coming as the internal investigation gathers steam. the fbi lending forensic support looking into how a team of well-trained special forces was ambushed, the pentagon says, by a group of 50 isis-linked fighters. military officials now say the special forces who were meeting with the tribal elders before the attack may have been delayed intentionally, allowing isis to attack. and a senior congressional aid extensively briefed tells nbc news that the ambush that killed sergeant la david johnson and three other soldiers stemmed in part from a, quote, massive intelligence failure.
but the pentagon warns that such conclusions are premature. still, there are urgent questions about why the team was exposed without drone support directly overhead. earlier this year, the u.s. commander for africa warned that only 20% to 30% of his intelligence requirements were satisfied. >> it's very dangerous when you carry out any mission and you don't have extended eyes and ears around yourself or the human intelligence to determine when you've met a threat. >> reporter: dara, we're learning even more this morning. "the new york times" is reporting that u.s. and nigerian forces are giving different accounts to the investigators about what happened, about whether or not they gave chase to islamists before they were ambushed. so there's a lot of unclarity here. yesterday on the hill, secretary mattis would not say whether or
not president trump authorized this specific mission, but a pentagon official i've been talking to all week say this isn't the type of mission, this operation that would require presidential authorization. >> so many questions. hans nichols, thank you so much for that. with only 20 working days left for legislators, does president trump's tax plan have any hope of passing before the end of the year, if at all? that's up next. e, you not only want a clean feeling every day, you want your denture to be stain free. did you know there's a specialty cleanser that's gentle enough for everyday use and cleans better than regular toothpaste? try polident cleanser. it has a four in one cleaning system that kills ten times more odor causing bacteria than regular toothpaste, deep cleans where brushing may miss, helps remove tough stains, and maintains the original color of your dentures when used daily. for a cleaner, fresher, brighter denture, use polident every day. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through?
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phones really have changed. so why hasn't the way we pay for them? introducing xfinity mobile. you only pay for data and can easily switch between pay per gig and unlimited. no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit or go to xfinitymobile.com. and to the weather now. clear skies in new york city. the temperatures are expected to reach a high of 76 today. for more on the weather headlines across the country, let's hand it over to reynolds wolf at the weather channel. >> hi, dara. we've got kind of an interesting morning. a setup for the severe weather possibility that will occur later on into the afternoon, evening hours, and maybe overnight. dara, it covers a big area going from parts of the northern plains, through the corn belt, through dallas and oklahoma
city. could have strong wind, hail, rainfall. can't rule out the chance of tornadic activity. damaging wind may be the biggest issue. to the west, we have snow in the pacific northwest, rain in northern california. opposite in southern california. dry conditions and warmer temperatures and days to come. awful for the firefighters. mean while for new york city, 75, chicago with 76. that severe weather possibility is going to be the top story of the day weather-wise from des moines to kansas city to oklahoma city, south of wichita, and into dallas. folks, have that safe place to go should severe weather come calling. that's the story weather-wise. dara, back to you. >> reynolds, thanks so much. now back to politic aens new reaction from president trump on tax reform after house speaker ryan brought up the possibility of a fourth bracket. president trump's new comments are part of an interview to air in its entirety on fox tomorrow morning. >> paul mentions maybe one more category, which i'd rather not have. it may not happen. but the only reason i would have -- and he does say this.
he's very plain. if for any reason i feel the middle class is not being properly taken care of. >> let's bring back jonathan and kevin. kevin, let's start with you this time. what kind of pushback is this getting from democrats and the financial industry? >> so all week i've been talking with sources on tax reform. if they add a bracket that, will likely be okay. even there from the president's comment, i think they would be okay with that. they're still reducing it from the seven current brackets. the president has proposed three. some folks have proposed four, including speaker ryan. quite frankly, even senator rand paul suggesting that four might be good. i think when you take a look at how they're going to pay for this plan, such as things like the state and local tax deduction as well as even potentially how they would finance 401(k)s, that's where the calculations get really interesting and where a lot of republicans are very much
crunching the numbers to see the bottom line for middle class america. end of the day, they pass that budget last week, they feel they're on schedule to get tax reform done by the end of the year. >> jonathan, the president is calling the gop tax plan a great bill. what kind of timeline are we looking at, and how do you see this playing out between the white house and congress? >> well, he's the only one that's seen it so far, that great bill. kevin's been talking to sources. i've been talking to sources. they're not going to unveil legislation until this budget gets finished. that should happen pretty quickly after the house gets in session. there's a lot to be worked out. there are serious differences among republicans. the one thing i hear over and over again from the optimists is that because they have done nothing else this year in terms of major legislation, they think tax reform may have a better chance. in fact, the desire to get out on the campaign trail and
something something to campaign on next year will push that across the finish line and convince some people who may be wavering or have some objections to go ahead and vote for it. >> john and ken, great to have you this morning. >> thank you. >> that'll do it for me. i'm dara brown. thanks for watching. i've always wanted to create those experiences for others. with my advisor's help along the way, it's finally my turn to be the host. when you have the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. ameriprise
coming up on msnbc's "your business," her ice cream business took a licking when the unthinkab unthinkable happened. we'll tell you how this determined female entrepreneur rebounded, making the brand bigger than ever. find out out collecting data helped this lunch shop owner. plus, what you absolutely must do to protect that data from a growing threat of cyber crime. let's grow fast and work smart. that's all coming up next on "your business."