tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC October 23, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
"andrea mitchell reports." >> right now, fallen soldier. two days after burying her husband, the pregnant widow of sergeant la david johnson opening up about the condolence call she received from president trump. >> i heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name. and that hurted me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risk his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? >> moments after that, the president took to twitter to challenge her account. attacks to grind. donald trump goes to capitol hill this week to push a tax plan that reportedly would cut the amount of money that working americans could put into their 401(k)s tax free. >> this is the middle class tax break. are you really going to help the middle class as the president says and then take away their number one tax break? and presidents' day. the five former presidents come together in a rare joint appearance to raise money for
victims of the recent hurricanes. >> all of us on this stage here tonight could not be prouder of the response of americans when they see their neighbors and they see their friends, they see strangers in need, americans step up. good day. i'm kasie hunt in for andrea mitchell in washington today where president trump welcomes the prime minister of singapore. this hour as his latest disagreement with a gold star family goes even farther. this morning, my eshall johnson, the widow of fallen sergeant la david johnson discussed her husband's death in niger, defended democratic congresswoman frederica wilson and detailed the call she received from president trump last week. >> the president said that he knew what he signed up for.
but it hurts anyways. and i was, it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. he couldn't remember my husband's name. the only way he remembered my husband's name because he told me he had my husband report in front of him. and that's when he actually said la david. >> this morning, president trump took issue with that last comment from myeshia johnson tweeting "i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sergeant la david johnson and spoke his name from the beginning without hesitation." joining me now to talk about a story we've been talking about for eight days, an national correspondent peter alexander at the white house, msnbc's garrett haake on capitol hill, political analyst robert costa, national political reporter at "the washington post" and cnbc's lon wei. thank you all for being here to talk through this.
peter, based on what the president has tweeted in response to this widow, myeshia johnson, we are going to spend another day talking about this dialogue that has evolved over gold star families. i want to show you, she talks a little bit about the congresswoman defending her. let's play that and then talk about it on the other side. >> the president said that the congresswoman was lying about the phone call. >> whatever miss wilson said was not fabricated. what she said was 100% correct. it was master sergeant kneel, me, my aunt, my uncle and the driver and miss wilson in the car. the phone was on speakerphone. whied we fabricate something like that? >> peter, where does this leave us? >> reporter: well, it leaves us on day eight of an issue that you better believe this white house would rather not be
talking about right now. all last week, emphasis was supposed to be on health care and tax reform. we begin this week with this topic front and center. no additional comment from the white house. i reached out a short time ago for a second time trying to see whether the president or any of his aides perhaps the chief of staff john kelly would be reaching out to the family of the sergeant la david johnson, myeshia johnson perhaps herself to clarify pore basically to say we meant no disrespect in the conversation. please note americans including certainly the president thank you for your husband's service for your family's sacrifice at this time. instead, the focus remains on this president who during the course of the campaign remember went after john mccain saying in fact he wasn't a war hero, attacked the kahn family as they spoke at the democratic national convention and now again in the white house despite all of his assertions that he would be very presidential, it would be very easy to be presidential. he continues this latest feud
with a grieving widow of a slain service member. casey? >> robert costa, what are you hearing behind the scenes about the kind of pressure that john kelly is under at this point especially now considering that we do have the widow of sergeant johnson backing up the congresswoman's account instead of john kelly? >> there's a lot of pressure on general kelly, but there's a lot he can also seems to not be able to control. the president continues to speak out on his own via twitter and the white house my sources tell me is a bit uneasy privately how they got ahead of this story that having general kelly out there to share his point of view was power in its own way but he spoke before the widow spoke and now her story of course, has real resonance in this national discussion. >> is there any indication we'll hear more from general kelly or it sounds like maybe he should stay behind the cameras for now? >> well, if he steps up to the lectern again in the briefing room, he'll have questions not
only about the widow's comments and what she's been through and her version of events but also what he said about democratic congresswoman frederica wilson. there's been some fact checking on those remarks by the general and whether they were accurate. he's been found to have made some mistakes in what he said about her account of a speech a few years ago. he'll be questioned about that and there all comes as they try to focus on tax reform. >> speaking of tax reform, garrett haake on capitol hill, shaping up to be a big week there. they're moving forward quickly on the budget. but the speaker has said consistently that they put out this framework because that's what they agree on. now we're starting to hear some of these details and it seems as though that's already throwing a wrench into the plan. >> yeah, that's right. republicans essentially desert first when they put out this framework of the ideas they agreed to and the things they thought would be broadly popular including simplifying the rate structure, cutting business taxes, things like that, but
what they have yet to hammer out is really the hard work of figuring out how to pay for it. that's going to continue to be a big challenge on the house side and on the senate side where there's complicated set of rules under reconciliation how they pay for these things. you saw one example of this over the weekend where this story came out that said one of the ideas being considered was to cap how much people col put in their 401(k) accounts tax free. that's like $18,000 a year. for folks over 50, about $24,000 a year. the number that got floated was they would put it the cap at $2400 a year. and you saw the president come out this morning on twitter and knock that down right away as i think politically unpalatable. he tweeted today this was not going to happen. this is the kind of ugly behind the scenes work that is going to have to get done and now you're seeing the president engage in it quite publicly. >> yeah, and that tweet that you mentioned no changes so far.
this goes to the heart of the president's argument. what i'm hearing happening behind the scenes is every time members of congress take a new plan up to him that may cut middle class taxes in some way, he essentially is rejecting it. that seems to be very much undermining the way in which they pay for any of this. >> absolutely. there's about half a trillion dollars in deferred tax revenue through the year 2020 that republicans were hoping to take advantage of by essentially shifting when people pay their taxes. remember on a 401(k) contribution, you don't have to pay the taxes up front but you do have to pay the taxes on them when you withdraw. >> so the revenue comes in later. >> this is why they really like this idea. they're not raising taxes, just shifting when you pay for the taxes. so essentially it's an accounting gimmick. that is why this was so popular as they find ways to pay for these cuts. again, this is why tax reform is so hard. everybody wants the candy of eating the tax cuts but no one
wants to eat the broccoli and find a way to pay for it. this is something that is going to give democrats a lot of room to maneuver and a lot of ammunition as they try to find ways to attack this tax reform effort. >> we've also seen what feels to me like a pretty significant shift from republicans here now arguing well, tax cut will pay for itself because the economy will grow at a faster than 3% growth rate because we'll be essentially cutting business tax rate, putting back more into the economy. that's your assessment of whether or not that's the case? how reliable are those assumptions? >> the idea that this can get us to a 3% sustained economic growth is hotly debated and it's unclear if this tax framework is the way to do that. there's a lot of numbers floating around. the administration says that if you even increase growth by even half a percentage point a year, could you get as much as a trillion dollars in revenue. certainly there is some agreement that dynamic scoring
will be used as they look how to pay for the tax plan but exactly how much growth they get out of it remains to be even. >> robert, i want to ask you about great reporting your paper has been doing about the president's negotiating style here. it seems to me that's going to come into play as these details on tax reform as each trial balloon goes up and potentially get knocked down. do congressional republicans feel they can trust the president to get the bill through. >> he's on the phone saying you're going to lose in 2018 if you don't do this and you'll skate on easy if you do. >> there's not a lot of trust among republicans on capitol hill that i've spoken to. they believe when the president tweets about things like the 401(k) proposal, that he's negotiating as in public as they're all trying to work out the details behind the scenes. we don't know what the tax bill looks like. behind the scenes, i'm told it's hundreds of pages of plans. they've got to figure out what to use. they think the president is not
being a salesman. he's trying to negotiate. >> robert, peter, garrett haake on capitol hill, thank you very much. we are taking a look at right now the prime minister of singapore is pulling up to the white house. you can see president trump there is waiting for prime minister li to arrive. the two men scheduled to meet today and we're scheduled to hear from them later on today. we will bring you anything new coming out of the white house as we get it. but for now, let's talk more in-depth about president trump's interaction with sergeant la david johnson's widow and the investigation into his death. i want to bring in wesley clark, a retired four-star u.s. army general, former supreme nato allied commander. general, thank you so much for taking the time today. appreciate it. >> pleasure to be with you. >> i want to start first, we've just heard again from senator john mccain in the past hour. i want to show you what he had
to say on "the view" and then talk about it on the other side. >> we should not be fighting about a brave american who lost his life serving his country. that should not be the topic of discussion in america today. >> yes. >> terrible, terrible. >> general, as a lifelong member of the armed services, what is your take on how this discussion has turned and what impact it's having on the country? >> well, i think it's a very sad thing that la david johnson and the other soldiers were killed in niger. my heart goes out to their families. also to the commanders and the people who were working this who loved these men and were using the best tactics and doing the best they could to get the mission done over there. there's a lot going on in africa, most of it's not known to the american people. some of it is classified. some seems obscure, but our
troops over there are doing a great job. now, the president of the united states tried to make a condolence call. he didn't handle it very well. some people -- it was upsetting. it's one of the toughest things in the world to do is to call the family after a soldier's been killed. it's very difficult to do. it didn't go well. but i agree with senator mccain. i think we've got to move on. we've got to take care of our losses. we've got to console the families. we've got to have sensible policy an congressional oversight of these issues and we've knot got to do the right thing for the country. >> so far the president clearly not moving on based on the tweet this morning. i want to follow-up on one of the things you reference which is congressional oversight, the sense and we heard over the weekend from a couple members of congress who essentially acknowledged they didn't know very much what the u.s. was doing on the ground and myeshia johnson this morning said she
doesn't know anything about the details surrounding her husband's deaths and they won't tell her anything else about it. is that standard procedure or what does that tell you what they may have been doing on the ground there? >> i don't think there's any great mystery what they were doing. they were up there in a meeting and they were trying to provide advice and assistance to the armed forces. that's the mission that our forces have in several different countries in that region. but the specifics of why were they there at that time and how did they get shot and why didn't we know it and why wasn't there ire support, those issues are being looked at by the chain of command through the pentagon. it's being developed and it will be made available but what you almost always get the wrong report when you get the first response. so you want to really make sure it's right before you tell the families because what you tell the family is what sticks. and you can't come back and
change that story without causing immense pain and trouble for the families. so you know, it's too bad we don't have more information on this right now. but we weren't expecting that kind of contact. i don't think the chain of command was expecting it. and it just happened. but it is dangerous there, and there are insurgents and there is al qaeda and boko haram it's called in that area. and so when things like this happen, they do have to be investigated and we have to be patient enough to wait for the outcome of that investigation. >> the women of the congressional black caucus are calling on general john kelly to apologize to congresswoman frederica wilson after the comments he made about her last week. do you think that's something that falls within kelly's responsibility at this point to at least reach out personally to her? >> well, you know, i can't speak about it in broad terms, but i can say this. if i were john kelly and i had
had that -- made a mistake like that, obviously he got false information. i'm sure he didn't sit there and study everything she had said. someone probably handed him a note and said by the way, she did this, yes, i mean i would certainly apologize because if i were in the white house, i would want the best possible relations with every member of congress. so you know, this is a feud that doesn't have to -- this doesn't have to happen. look, there are really important issues behind the scenes, kasie. we're moving into a crisis situation with north korea. the armed forces are trying to get ready for it. the secretary of defense told the men and women of the united states army two weeks ago, get ready to go to war if north korea doesn't give up those nuclear armed missiles. and so this is a really serious situation and what we're seeing here and the reason i think john mccain said what he said about this shouldn't be the national dialogue, it's painful. it's terrible what happened.
we all feel badly for the -- for mrs. johnson and for the loss of those soldiers and their families but we also have really important things that need to be in the national dialogue that the american people need to understand before we launch into another fight, a terrible potential war in a far off land. >> trying times indeed. general wesley clark, thank you for taking the time today. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, call for unity. all five former presidents come together. that's right here on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ! you're finished! curse you, he-man, you interfering imbecile! give us one good reason we shouldn't vanquish you to another dimension! ok, guys, hear me out. switching to geico could save you... hundreds on car insurance. huh, he does make a point... i do like to save money... catch you on the flip,
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done in texas and in florida and our friends in puerto rico and the american virgin islands have only begun to dig their way out of what could be still a calamitous disaster. but can be a new beginning. if we just do wa we ought to do. and prove that the heart of america, without regard to race or religion or political party, is greater than our problems. >> five former presidents putting politics aside over the weekend. it was a nice break. joining forces to raise money for hurricane relief efforts.
the star-studded lineup included a performance by pop star lady gaga. i love this picture. she posed with the presidents backstage and she apparently also gained a new fan in president george h.w. bush who tweeted that he would gladly have joined her on stage for a duet. i would pay good money to see that or any one of the other former presidents he mentions in that tweet. joining me are tad devine, democratic strategist and george will, columnist and msnbc contributor. gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. let's touch briefly on that show of unity from those five former presidents. that is not something we're used to seeing or talking about in this debate. what did that make you remember watching that? >> it made me remember when a time when our president acted presidential. that ended january 20th of this year and since then, we've had a president who doesn't seem to understand if you're going to hold this office, there are special responsibilities that go with it. those five presidents former presidents up there understood
it. and hopefully the president will learn a lesson from it. >> speak of special responsibilities, i want to show you a little bit of my yee shah johnson interviewed this morning on good morning america. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> is there anything you would like to say to the president now? >> no. i don't -- be no, i don't have the nothing to say to him. >> your little girl will be born in january. >> yes. january 29th. >> what are you going to tell her about her dad? >> i'm going to tell her how awesome her dad was and how a great father he was. and how he died as a hero. >> pretty emotional striking words there from a gold sar widow who is now engaged in a debate with our president about the circumstances of her husband's death. george will, do you recognize where we are right now? >> it's his second optional fight with gold star parents. that's the stunning thing about this is it's so optional.
to govern is to choose, to choose is to make enemies. therefore don't make any optional enemies. the mccain episode, he picked the fight with mccain two somers ago in 2015. out of the blue he says not a war hero. >> americans didn't seem to care though. they sent him to the osk office anyway. >> stunning. er. >> 62% of the people in the exit poll said they did not believe he had the capacity to be president. and he was elected. i don't think this is a surprise to people. he said he would be presidential when elected. he's not doing it obviously. >> you mentioned john mccain. george will, he took a thinly veiled very thinly veiled swipe at president trump over his draft deferments. it comes after several attacks from president trump about mccain. take a look. >> one aspect of the conflict by the way that i will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of america and i the highest income level found a doctor that would
say that they had a bone spur. that is wrong. that is wrong. >> george will, that seems like a striking remark from mccain swipe at and actually hold on right there. we have the president in the oval office speaking very briefly. >> continues to do, as well. >> with the prime minister of singapore. >> you never see a downturn in singapore. i would say looking from the outside, you never see a downturn. i just want to congratulate you on having done a fantastic job. the relationship that we've had over the years has been very good but it's never been closer than now. and we'll be spending a lot of time. one of the things we'll be doing in a short period of time is signing together a very large contract where singapore is buying billions of dollar worth of airplanes from boeing that will be made in our country. so that's jobs and you're also buying the best plane, by the way. that's very good. so i just want to thank prime
minister lee. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. very happy to be here with you. and to be here at a time when our relations are prospering and we look forward to taking them forward, deemening them and strengthening for many years to come and starting with this administration. >> that's very good. i think it will never be stronger. >> thank you. >> i'll be going over to that part of the world in two weeks. and stopping in numerous countries including as you know japan. >> yes. >> south korea, china. we're going to be stopping in vietnam and probably the philippines also. so it will be a very busy 10 or 11 days. >> very important trip. we look forward to meeting you and to hearing your message. >> very good. thank you very much. thank you, everybody. >> thank you. >> thank you guys. >> thank you very much. >> prime minister, are you going to address the dprk? >> thank you. >> do you regret that myeshia johnson. >> the president ignoring
questions about myeshia, the widow of la david johnson. i want to pick up where we left off. we were talking about john mccain who did not name the president by name but talked about this divide among americans some who were able to get out of being drafted in vietnam, others like him who went. >> well, he didn't do it by name but identified him by his bone spurs as it were. as we've recently been reminded by the ken burns' series, it was a perfect storm hit during vietnam. the baby boom generation feeling its weight and coming of age, huge expansion of college enrollment. into this you had a lesson to be learned which is if you're going to fight a ground land of asia, don't do it with a conscript army because you're going to have all these carveouts, the military didn't need the entire 18 to 24 cohort. so it had all these exemptions beginning with student exemptions. >> which, of course was class
based. >> if you go to an ivy league campus, princeton, yale, harvard you'll see a wall listing the casualties in the civil war and first world war and second world w war. almost nothing from vietnam. they didn't go. >> ted, have you been doing this for a long time as a consultant. i want to pull back the lens a little bit. we talk how divided we'd are, how difficult our politics are. at the same time, the era that ym is talking about when we were fighting about draft deferments and the violence was going on in american cities, do you think we're overblowing the state of our politics today or do you think it is as bad as many democrats nowadays say it is. >> i think it's very bad. the kald dron is brewing right now. that's the problem. people aren't in the streets since right after the inauguration but i think when you have a president that the country cannot trust and doesn't believe in and something really bad does happen, if the president has a precipitous military action or some other terrible economic downturn, he
really can't go to the well because he's dried up the well during the time he's there. that's the danger that if something bad happens, we could have civil unrest and turmoil in america. he's the cause of it. >> george will, do you recognize the republican party today? >> there are two of them. again, one is shrinking and the other is growing so it appears. that is the bannon wing seems to be growing a bit. the traditional republicans are trying to figure out how or if to try and live with had other faction. now, bannon in a sense is more bark than bite at the moment. he parachuted into alabama, endorses the guy who was going to win anyway and took advantage of the post the rooster crows, the sunrises there ever the rooster crowing caused the sun to rice he's the rooster in this case. we'll see if he can really mount challenges in tennessee, utah, nevada, arizona, then we'll have three or four or five parties. >> tad devine we've talked about
because of bannon and the president, the divisions within the republican party. had you a front row see the inside the democratic party. now we have the dnc has ousted some people viewed as progressive allies inside the committee. they're struggling to raise money. where do you see the democratic party going next? is it bernie sanders' party even though he refuses to join it? where do you see it. >> the message that bernie delivered in the campaign is the winning message. it's ground in economic issues. he talks about jobs, about health care, about whether or not people can earn a living wage. i think that's really the success route for democrats. if we move to that economic terrain and talk about standing up for people against powerful interests and role of money in politics, i think it's a winning message. i hope democrats embrace it across the board. >> george will is shaking his head. >> you guys are working on mcgovern 2.0. for example, the price of entry the litmus test is going to be
endorsing a single payer health care plan. there are 155 million americans get health care from employers and they're happy with it. so i think that's a nonstarter. >> final word. >> well, i would say listen, i think the audience out there for that message is much larger than the audience that's going to listen to trickle down economics from the republicans. you know, and we need someone credible to deliver it. i think bernie would have beat trump like a drum in the general election if he had the opportunity. hopefully we'll have someone who does. >> tad devine, george will, thank you. i want to turn back to the story we have been talking about all morning. the fbi has now joined the investigation into how four american soldiers were killed in niger this month. senators lindsey graham and chuck schumer on "meet the press" yesterday both apparently unaware of the scope of u.s. military press innocence that is african country. >> i didn't know there was a thousand troops in niger. john mccain is right to tell the
military because this is an endless war without boundaries no limitation on time angd geograp geography. you've got to tell us more. >> he didn't know we had 1,000 troops in niger. did you? >> no, i did not. >> joining me now is the former head of counter intelligence for the fbi. frank, thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today. appreciate it. >> certainly. >> can you start by just explaining to does the fbi bring to an investigation like this? i'm not sure most americans are familiar with why they would be involved. >> sure the fbi's entry into the inquiry is significant for a couple reasons. they're going to do what the fbi does best which is establish what happened. but the other thing we all need to remember about the fbi is it wears two hats. it's both a law enforcement investigative agency and an intelligence agency. so dating back too 1985 and a man named leon klinghoffer being
killed and thrown off a cruise ship called the achille hour row we have the creation of a statute all caed terrorist acts abroad against u.s. citizens and it allows the fbi to work and act like this as a crime. they'll approach this with dual paths, one the possibility of preserving criminal prosecution of whoever is captured inside the united states in federal court or turning the whoever did it over to the military for trial by a military tribunal. this is where it gets really interesting because as you just said, we're really not technically at war in nijer. congress hasn't weighed in on that issue yet. so if we declare these subjects whoever they are to be hostile combatants, then we're saying we're at war in niger. perhaps under the global war on terrorism. but the fbi is going to do the neat thing of preserving both options. if they capture whoever did it, they're going to be read their miranda rights likely. we're going to preserve evidence.
fbi is going to do an interrogation that is capable of use in u.s. federal court. that's the beauty of the insertion here of the fbi. >> that's the difference between what the fbi can do and what say a military investigative team could do? >> of course because they'll approach interrogation differently. likely the interrogation would not be usable in court. the fbi has a special team that does this out of washington, they'll come out of the new york field office. they've done this before very successfully. >> the u.s. military says one of the things they're trying to do here is piece together a timeline of what happened. what will that kind of help explain? what do we know and not know about that right now? >> yeah, so again the hat the fbi wears as part of the u.s. intelligence community allows them to coordinate all the intel available, coordinate with nsa for signal, with the cia for human sources on the ground. they'll look for everything from tire tracks to dropped cell
phones. can we get fingerprints off a dropped cell phone, off a shell casing that remains on the scene. it will be a major crime scene, a murder scene for the fbi. >> frank gigluzzi, thank you so much. we'll be waiting the ruts of that investigation as, of course, will the widows and family members of those four servicemen killed. but coming up, wall or nothing. workers are scrambling to complete prototypes of the president's much hyped border wall before a thursday deadline. we've got a live report from the border next right here on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
of we're going to build a real wall, a wall that works. we need the wall. it's imperative. >> i'm going to look at them personally, i'm going to pick the right one. >> president trump has made it clear that building a wall between the u.s. and mexico is one of his top priorities. and that he'll be actively involved in deciding on the wall's construction. i seem to recall him saying it would be beautiful. this thursday is the deadline for the prototypes to be completed. and msnbc's jacob soboroff is in tijuana, mexico and looked at some of the designs. jacob. >> i guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. there are eight of them. they're very large between 1 and 30 feet tall. that is something that was asked for by the trump administration.
we're on the mexican side because you can't actually look at these from the american side. they're set far away from where the public can be to avoid protests like we saw at standing rock. border patrol took me to get an up-close look. take a look. just east of san diego between the two existing border fences, mock-ups of president trump's proposed border walls are coming together. >> what are we looking at. >> there are a total of eight prototypes four constructed out of concrete and four out of alternate material. >> these are pretty tall. >> 18 to 30 feet tall. >> the trump administration made that a requirement at a time when apprehensions are on track to be as low as ever without the wall. >> will this lower the numbers further. >> it's hard to gauge. there's always going to be some form of crime or illegal migration. can we do our job better? absolutely. i think these walls will contribute to that.
>> the full an wall isn't funded only these samps. if trump can somehow convince mexico or congress to pay, the wall won't be as long as the one candidate trump proposed. >> currently we have just under 700 miles of fencing along the border. we don't have intentions of fencing off the entire southwest border. it's not necessary. >> does the president say okay, i like that one? >> we're going to test it for breachability, for the sub terrain yun aspect. can we dig under it, dig through it, scale over it. >> what happened? people are crossing. > almost on cue, a group of asylum seekers migrants not from mem cojumped over the existing fence to turn themselves in to border agents on horse back. >> a group of three people jumped over. a girl with a backpack. explain what is going on. >> this is a reality of border enforcement. the united states is still the ultimate draw for people that have dire situations where they're at. we're going to continue to witness this. it plays out on a regular basis for us.
>> it did just now. >> just now, yeah. >> another reality people just a stone's throw away will ultimately determine whether trump's wall works. we made our way to the mexican side of the border. this is the primary fence, the thing donald trump doesn't think is big enough to keep people out of the united states. this is the spot where earlier we saw the folks jump into the u.s. so what do you guys think? >> well -- >> it's a high wall. >> do you think people are still going to try to cross? [ speaking foreign language ] >> this man came over and told us he had experienced trying to crosses the border when he was younger. >> is this new big wall going to stop mexicans from coming to the u.s.? [ speaking foreign language ] >> trump's wall meant to keep immigrants away today is drawing
mexicans as a tourist attraction. >> oh, my god. >> case i, they may look great or terrible depending on which political persuasion you are looking at these walls from. the reality is, however, no matter which way you cook it, apprehensions along the southern board remember near all-time lows without the wall. that makes the challenge in your world up on capitol hill really difficult. nobody is going to fund this thing if you don't need it whether it is mexico or the congress of the united states. that is now the challenge donald trump, the president of the united states, faces after he comes out here as promised to pick his favorite wall. they're going to do that breachability testing. the bigger test is if anybody will pay for it. as of right now, the's looks like not so much. >> jacob, i personally -- that was a fantastic package just seeing the pictures of those kind of sanding there. it's a little bit stunning. who exactly paid for these pieces to be built?
was it or wasn't it mexico? it sounds like it wasn't mexico. how did the contractors, how were they chosen? how did these come to be without anybody noticing till now? we're seeing you and anyour camera shots of it. >> it's a great question. "usa today" has done fantastic reporting on this using a freedom of information act. it was a hectic process behind the scenes. the trump administration put out a request for proposal and got hundreds of submissions from private companies. ultimately there were six chosen for the eight walls. they're private contractors from across the united states. this is being supervised by customs and border protection but the projects themselves are being carried out by private industry. if i just look behind me right now, there's still big heavy machinery out there finishing this because they have to be done by thursday after which point all that testing begins. there are about $400,000 maximum for each of these.
they're all different. depending on the materials used and what went into them. again, it's all beeg done by private companies picked by trump administrationing. > jacob, thanks so much for your great reporting. appreciate it. have to go now though to breaking news. can of state rex tillerson just landed in baghdad. for a previously unannounced visit. nervous afghanistan earlier today. we will continue to monitor and bring you the latest and we will be right back with that. i don'd paranoid, but d'ya think our recent online sales success seems a little... strange? na. ever since we switched to fedex ground business has been great. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?! hi bill. if that is your real name. it's william actually. hmph! affordable, fast fedex ground. i'm done. i'm done.
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president bush to me embarrassed himself, speechwriter wrote a high falutin speech. it's clear he didn't understand anything he was talking about. he has no earthly idea whether he's coming or going just like when he was president of the united states. i want to apologize to any of the bush folks in this audience, okay? because there's not been a more destructive presidency than george bush's. >> former white house chief of staff steve bannon escalating his war on the republican establishment slamming former president bush in a defiant speech at a republican convention in california. let's get the inside scoop from
peter baker, "new york times" chief white house correspondent and msnbc political analyst and "new york times" congressional correspondent and msnbc contributor. thank you both for being here. peter, i have to start start wit bannon is saying about president bush, calling it the most destructive presidency in history. it seems to me, didn't republicans just spend the last eight years saying that about president obama? it seems like a very striking statement to make. >> well, it is. of course, he's responding to what president bush said last week in the speech in new york where the former president talked about -- it seemed to be a rebuke of president trump and trumpism. he didn't use trump's name but he talked about nationalism is leading into nativism. there is too much cruelty in our dialogue. he defended immigration and free trade. it was a direct rebuttal, it seemed to me, to president trump. steve bannon coming back after him on the flip side. it's interesting, what that
tells you, why there is this rift within the republican party because people are still very upset with president bush for the iraq war, what they think is too much spending, so on. i think you heard from that tape, the audience was mixed about that. they didn't necessarily jump to bannon's side on that because there's still residual support for president bush among a lot of republicans. it tells you a lot about where the republican party is nowadays. >> especially in a place like california, where the republican party seems like it's still the party of bush. i want to show you a little bit of mitch mcconnell did fire back at steve bannon over the weekend. take a look and we'll talk about it. >> they've been out there for a number of years. they cost us five senate seats. they would have got majority but for the fact they were able to nominate people who could not win in november. in '14 they were defeated everywhere. in '16 they were defeated everywhere. the difference is, we've been in
the majority. some of these folks you've been quoting, as i said, are specialists in nominating people who lose. that isn't going to help president trump achieve his agenda. >> peter baker, who do you think the president is listening to right now more closely, mitch mcconnell with that argument or steve bannon? >> it's a great question. he's playing it coy. he appeared with senator mcconnell last week and they patched over their differences publicly. he said, i might try to talk steve ban out of going after some of these republicans. he later called in the week -- later in the week he called three republican incumbents and said, i'll be with you, don't worry about it. bannon isn't backing off although all. i think this is a very interesting -- one of them is the hard case and the other one is saying, don't worry, i'm going to be with you. and if you're a republican senator, you don't know which one is correct and whether the president is genuinely on your side or genuinely allowing steve bannon to go out there and take on these republican incumbents. it's created a great deal of
uncertainty among the republican caucus in the senate. >> i think there's a lot of uncertainty about whether or not president trump is going to help convince these base voters of his they should be voting for these incumbents when they are so vil lainized. how worried are people like robert wicker, john barrasso who received called from prrtd and said, i'll be with you but facing down these attacks from steve bannen? >> i get the sense on capitol hill that republicans are very worried not so much the threat of steve bannon but whether or not the president is going to keep his word to them. when you're a senator who has seen this president go after mitch mcconnell, go after bob corker and then you get a call from the president saying, i have your back, in the back of your mind, in the back of the minds of a lot of republican aides i'm talking to, they say they understand the president in some ways will go with what he thinks is relevant at the time, what he thinks is best at the time. that means he could say he was going to endorse you and turn around and change his mind or he
could be like luther strange where he endorses you and then at the last minute when he sees this isn't going to work out, he could pull back his endorsement. there's this idea that republicans can't really trust this president. >> and if anything, some concerns, perhaps, about some reassurance the president himself won't go into these states and ultimately try to defeat them. peter baker, thank you both for taking the time today. really appreciate it. in the wake of the harvey weinstein allegations "meet the press" reached out to every female u.s. senator to see if they had any #metoo stories they were willing to share. senators claire mccaskill, elizabeth warren and heiid heid shared their stories. >> when i started out as north dakota's attorney general, one of the most significant things i wanted to do is i wanted to change the dynamic of domestic violence. i had a vent where i was speaking, a retired officer i
was talking about what happens to women and what happens when there's violence in the home. and after i got done, this very -- very much older law enforcement official came up to me and he pretty much put his finger in my face and said, listen here, men will always beat their wives and you can't stop them. >> i was a very young state legislator, in my 20s. i was single. and i was nervous about getting my first bill out of committee. so, i cautiously approached the dias and went up to speak to the very powerful speaker of the missouri house of representatives. and i explained to him the bill i had and did he have any advice for me on how i could get it out of committee. and he looked at me and he paused and he said, well, did you bring your knee pads? >> males are doing this to women, they should know this is not appreciated. it's not cute. it's not fun. >> the first women who started
the me too campaign were incredibly brave. and they inspired the next wave. and, in turn, they inspired the next wave and the next wave and the next wave. that's how we make real change. rheumatoid arthritis? do what i did. ask your doctor about humira. it's proven to help relieve pain and protect joints from further irreversible damage in many adults. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 20 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common,
remember to follow the show online and facebook and twitter @mitchellreports. chris jansing is up next here on msnbc. chris? >> you can also follow kasie online. >> thank you. >> i'm chris jansing at msnbc headquarters in new york. widow's outrage. the wid doef a fallen soldier talk bs about the fury. the president disputes the conversation, including the claim he struggled to remember her husband's name. is this the crisis of his own president's making, threatening to complicate his legislative agenda? steve bannon escalating his fight, pushing to oust republicans in the midterm and going after members the president will need to pass his agenda. how much of a threat is he to party establishment? and the growing number of harassment scandals. allegations of sexual