tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC October 25, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
that's it for us. craig melvin takes it away. >> andrea mitchell, always good to see you in new york. good afternoon. craig melvin at msnbc headquarters in new york city. who's winning in two vulnerable republican senators who claim they had had enough, decide not to run again and speak out against their party and president. if there's a battle for the
heart and soul of the gop, is president trump winning? also dirty politics. nbc news has confirmed hillary clinton and the democratic national committee paid for research leading to explosive dossier leading to links between russia and trump campaign. #metoo, they have come together to share powerful stories of sexual harassment, not just in hollywood. we'll talk to the woman who started the movement that became a hashtag and talk about affecting real change. we start with republicans who are trying to save the marriage. as president trump heads to dallas for an update on hurricane recovery in texas at a campaign event, tax cuts appear to be the only baby that can unite this fractured gop trapped in an unhappy union. two republican senators spent all of monday taking
high-profile shots at president trump. one, senator jeff flake, continued the onslaught with an editorial today in which he compared the president to joe mccarthy. the president, meanwhile, took the fight to one of his favorite places, twitter this morning. that is where we're going to start. meanwhile, right now president trump, we are told, is answering questions from reporters, questions related to that dossier, related to jeff flake. also related to senator corker as well. that conversation with reporters is happening right now at the white house. when it wraps up, we'll bring to you here on msnbc. peter alexander is also at the white house. garrett haake is on capitol hill. peter, let's start with you, sir. how is the white house taking the brushback? >> reporter: we're hearing from the president himself, preparing to leave from dallas aboard marine one. i'll give you the notes as i'm receiving them from our team that's on the south lawn. he was asked specifically about jeff flake, the president said, these are not full quotes right
now. we'll hear the full tape as soon as we get it. he said his poll numbers are terrible. he said he he never would have run because his numbers are so bad. he called it a smart thing to get out. he could get out gracefully. he has nothing else to say. i wish him well. i think he'll vote for tax cuts. that's the same thing i've been hearing from senior advisers here, that is this white house beliefs jeff flake, bob corker, john mccain will ultimately be on board with tax cuts. they say it's their obligation, ultimately, to represent their constitute yents who they say com come from states, tennessee and arizona, that both supported the president. the president was also asked if he thought this sort of bitter back and forth, this feud would have a negative impact on his agenda. he didn't think that was the case. he says he knows bob corker. spoke fondly of how he's known
him for a long time. he believes they'll object board, emphasizing this point i just made to you. he was asked to conclude this thought. if he thinks he should be more civil towards these lawmakers. it would seem like a big tactical change for the president to be a bit more civil. his feuding tweets have become a stable of the first nine months of his time in office. he says, i think the press makes me more uncivil than i am. i went to an ivy league school. i'm very intelligent. the press creates a different image. that's a preview of what you'll be seeing when we play out this tape right now. the president has made an impromptu news conference in the south lawn. under president obama it would be a wave to the cameras and departure. now all reporters run out there because it's a rare occasion where you get to hear the president unfiltered on corker, sflak, and even that dossier. >> again, that conversation with
reporters happening right now. we'll turn that tape around any moment. garrett haake, let's come to you for a moment. aftershocks from yesterday, are they still reverberating on capitol hill? >> reporter: they're not. what's striking about this is after that big speech from jeff flake that took so many people back yesterday, today on capitol hill, you're hearing from republicans saying, this is something for the two of them to work out. we are are all on the same page about the agenda. it's so striking the language being used here. jeff flake said the president is a threat to democracy, essentially, yesterday, and capitol hill republicans are saying, this is a personal feud between the two men. so, they're essentially answering questions that aren't really asked here and pivoting back to saying, this is something that flake and corker and the president need to work out themselves. not really addressing the broader questions that jeff flake raised, but by and large, you're seeing republicans who are choosing to stay, who are choosing to be up for re-election again in two or four
or however many years, say we are standing with this president and we're focusing on the agenda. so, flake's big moment yesterday doesn't appear to have drawn out any of his republican colleagues in open agreement. at least not yet. >> as you indicated is striking because senator flake indicated he was fairly confident more republicans would follow suit and start speaking their mind. taxes, of course, top of the legislative agenda right now. we have some news as ind i understand it on the late es repeal and replace. there was a cbo score that was just released. >> reporter: the cbo score for that lamar alexander/patty murray compromise. not on repealing and replacing but on stabilizing obamacare, on finding a way to pay for those crs payments that have been so controversial since president trump said the administration would no longer continue to pay for them. the cbo in this case actually found that paying those
payments, congress appropriate rating money to pay that money to insurance companies actually saves government about $4 billion over ten years. they found this is because those payments are more efficient than giving subsidies to people to pay more for more expensive health care plans later on. so, a little bit of financial good news for proponents of that compromise. but the cbo also found that enacting it won't help individuals get lower rates on their plans for next year. it's already too late for 2018. so, i think that might potentially mean congress, which only does focus work when there's an imminent deadline, does not have an imminent deadline to take on this legislation, even though the cbo says financially it's a good idea. >> did the cbo think it would have an impact on a number of people? >> the cbo didn't -- this bill
is more about cost than it is about expanding or contracting coverage. >> garrett haake on capitol hill, peter alexander, we'll come back to you, if we can, once we get this tape of president trump turned around on the lawn. hugh hewitt is a conservative radio host, anchor of his own msnbc program on saturdays and bill jaffer, former adviser to senator bob corker. a big thanks to all of you for being with me. i was reading in "the atlantic" and the assertion inside conservative media, you had pro-trumpers, never-trumpers and the anti-trumpers who had to appeal to a pro-trump audience, to a certain extent. now it appears with corker out, flake out, the pro-trump faction is winning as others have either left or piped down a bit with their disapproval. is that how you see it as well or is that a bit of an
oversimplification? >> i read peter's piece. i think it's an oversimplification. i view the corker retirement and the flake retirement just politically. jeff flake was going to lose the primary to kelly ward, who's a marginal candidate and can't win the general. so, republicans generally are happy that senator flake has stepped aside because if martha mcsally runs, she'll win the primary, she'll win the general. so what was a vulnerable seat is suddenly much stronger. i think bob corker as well was subject to a primary challenge in tennessee that would have been ugly at best. he may have won that. jeff flake wasn't going to beat kelly ward. i just look at these as individual political decisions, not as a pro/con trump issue. >> adviser to senator corker, he says that he could have won. why not do what lisa murkowski and senator collins and some other folks who have expressed displeasure and disagreement with the president, why not stay
and fight the good fight? why cower, if you will? >> i wouldn't call it cower. you've seen corker be outspoken over the last few weeks and months, even before he made his decision to run. and the truth is that bob corker easily would have won this race. the real truth is he's long been thinking about whether it makes sense to stay in the senate. he thought about that the first time he ran and thought about it again. this is sort of a trump thing. this is about bob corker's decision he's going to run or not. it's true he's been speaking out but he did that before he made that decision. >> we have this back and forth between the president and reporters. gentlemen, stick around, listen closely, let's talk about it on the other side. here's the president.
>> this is tape, obviously, so looks like the president is approaching reporters now. again, he's on his way to dallas by the way for an update on hurricane relief efforts and also campaign style event after that there in texas this evening. but before he takes the chopper to air force one, he took a few questions. >> well, i think it's very sad what they've done with this fake dossier. it was made up and i understand they paid a tremendous amount of money and hillary clinton always denied it, the democrats always denied it and now only because it's going to come out in a court case they said, yes, they get it, and they're embarrassed about it. i think it's a disgrace. it's a very sad -- it's a very sad commentary on politics in this country.
[ inaudible ] >> i don't think so. i think it's fine the way it is. we have actually great unity in the republican party. [ inaudible ] >> look, they have to do their thing. we have great unity. if you look at what happened yesterday at the meeting, we had, i guess, virtually every senator, including john mccain. we had a great conversation yesterday, john mccain and myself, about the military. we had a -- i called it a love fest. it was almost a love fest. maybe it was a love fest. standing ovations. there is great unity. if you look at the democrats with bernie sanders and hillary clinton, that's a mess. there's great unity in the republican party. [ inaudible ] >> well, i think it's sad but i think to a large extent, in all due respect, i think the media causes a lot of it.
fake stories are being reported, a lot of bad things are being reported that aren't true. i think to a certain extent, maybe i can blame the media. politics is a rough business, no question about it. i will say this, i think the republican party has a pretty good unity. when i look at that room yesterday at lunch, and you know, and you reported on it very well, you gave it a very good report, the fact is there was tremendous unity in that room. and we're really unified on what we want to do. we want tax cuts for the middle class. we want tax cuts for businesses to produce jobs. there's great unity. [ inaudible ] >> he said you were a danger to democrat. >> well, look, he was against me from before he ever knew me. he wrote a book about me before i ever met him, before i heard his name. his poll numbers in arizona are so low that he couldn't win. and i don't blame him for
leaving. i think he did the right thing for himself. but if you know, long before he ever knew me during the campaign, even before the campaign, i mean, he came out with this horrible book and i said, who is this guy. i remember the first time i saw him on television, i had not really been -- nobody knew me in terms of politics, but the first time i saw him on television, i said, i assume he's a democrat. is he a democrat? they said, he's a republican. i said, that's impossible. so, look, his poll numbers are terrible. he's done terribly for the great people of arizona. a state that likes donald trump very much, even you will admit, and he would have never won. even in the primary, he's way down in the primary. he did the smart thing for himself. this way he can get out somewhat gracefully. [ inaudible ] >> he's saying that because he has nothing else to say. but i do think this, i do think this.
i wish him well. i really believe he's going to dot right thing for the country. he'll vote for tax cuts because we desperately need tax cuts to put our people back to work. we need tax cuts also to be able to compete with other countries. [ inaudible ] >> you know what, i -- i hope bob -- i really believe bob cork ler dot right thing also. yes, go ahead. [ inaudible ] >> i can't hear you. i can't what? say it again. [ inaudible ] >> well, senator flake did vote with me. i understand it was about 91 or even more than that. from that standpoint -- no, i think i'll be boosted in arizona because he's very unpopular. i think the fact that he did it the way he did it probably -- i
mean, i'm very high in arizona. they like me. they like security at the border, you know, all the things. but i think i'm probably helped greatly in arizona by what happened with senator flake. [ inaudible ] >> i don't think they do that. i really know they want tax cuts. they know we need it. we need it for the country. we need it for the people. we need it for the middle class. . we need it for jobs. i don't think they do that. i really don't. i know them very well -- i don't know flake but i know bob corker. i think they feel they have to do it for the country. say it? [ inaudible ] >> i think we'll get some democrat votes, yes. i do believe -- i haven't started the process, but i believe there are certain democrats that if they don't vote for these massive tax cuts for business, for jobs and for
the middle class, they will lose their races in '18. >> mr. president, should you be more civil -- [ inaudible ] >> well, i think the press makes me more uncivil than i am. people don't understand. i went to an ivy league college. i was a nice student. i did very well. i'm a very intelligent person. you know, the fact is, i think -- really believe, i think the press creates a different image of donald trump than the real person. [ inaudible ] well, i think it's always okay when somebody says something about you that's false, i think it's always okay to counter-punch or to fight back. >> even a gold star mom, gold star widow? >> john? >> you were talking to the president about -- trction
contributions and 401(k) is off the table. >> i wanted to end that quickly. 401(k)s, to me, are very important. they're important because that's one of the great benefits to the middle class. i didn't want that to go too far. that's why i ended it very quickly. >> the chairman of the house ways and means committee said it was on the table. >> maybe it is. maybe we'll use it as negotiating. trust me, that's one of the great things -- you know, there are certain elements of deals you don't want to negotiate with. 401(k)s, and kevin knows it, and i think kevin brady is fantastic, and he knows how important 401(k)s are. >> you told me last week you thought the uranium sell to russia was one of the big stories of the decade. three congressional committees are now looking at that. we haven't heard you comment on it since those investigations were launched. >> i think the uranium sell to russia and the way it was done, so underhanded with tremendous
amounts of money being passed, i actually think that's watergate modern age. [ inaudible ] >> i can't -- say it again, please. >> what do you know -- the pentagon to tell you and tell the country about what went wrong. >> i can't -- >> the ambush in niger. >> well, we're going to look at it. now, i have to say, we are decimating isis in the middle east. what's happening is they'll go to parts of africa, they'll go to other places. when they get there, we meet them. it's a dangerous business. i have to say. it's a dangerous business. so, what -- no, i didn't, not specifically. but i have generals that are great generals. these are great fighters. these are warriors. i gave them authority to do what's right so we win. that's the authority they have. i want to win. and we're going to win. and we're beating isis very badly.
you look at what's happened in the middle east. we have done more in eight months than the previous administration has done in many years. now, what happens is you decimate them and that's what we've done. we have decimated isis in the middle east. they go to africa, they go to different places. when they go there, we meet them there. that's what goes on. it's a tough business, it's a tough war. but we are winning it. you know what, we're going to continue winning it. with that being said, my generals and my military, they have decision-making ability. as far as the incident that we're talking about, i've been seeing it just like you've been seeing it, i've been getting reports, they have to meet the enemy and they meet him tough and that's what happens. [ inaudible ] >> i was extremely nice to her. she sounds like a lovely lady. i've never seen her, never met her. she sounds like a lovely lady.
but i was extremely nice to her. i was extremely course yous as i was to anyone else. it's interesting, you folks have called many people i spoke to. everybody has said, unbelievable, good things about me, but you never report that. >> i reported that. >> did you report it? did you report it? thank you. [ inaudible ] >> i can only say this, i was really nice to her. i respect her. i respect her family. i certainly respect la david, who, by the way, i called la david right from the beginning, just so you understand. they put a chart in front, la david. it says, la david johnson. right from the beginning, no hesitation. one of the great memories of all time. there was no hesitation. i think she's a fantastic woman. i was extremely nice to her, extremely respectful. >> you made four phone calls to
four different families that day. did you say anything different to myeshia johnson than any of the other three families? >> i would say basically we talked condolence. i mean, it's all about condolence. it's about warmth. in many cases, you listen. because in so many cases one of the families they were saying, yes, he was a great football star. and, honestly, they poured their heart out, john. it's the hardest calls. they poured their heart out. but i am always -- look, you people have called many people i've spoken to. every one of them has said, i couldn't have been nicer. now, it's a rough time -- i mean, how tough is it? there's nothing tougher. but i have such respect for those families. nobody has more respect than i do. nobody. [ inaudible ] >> we are look, at daca. i would love to do a daca deal but we have to get something
very substantial for it, including the wall, including security, including a strong border. we have to be able to stop drugs from pouring into our nation. [ inaudible ] >> the tax plan is going to be incredible for this country. it's going to bring back jobs. it's going to cut taxes tremendously. we're going to bring back $4 trillion, i think at least from overseas. that money is going to be put back to work in our country instead of other countries. the tax cut is going to be massive. it's going to keep companies from leaving our country. >> republicans who want out -- [ inaudible ] >> say it. [ inaudible ] >> not that i know of, no. and i have to say, the whole russian thing is what it's turned out to be.
this was the democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election. it's an election that's very hard for a democrat to lose because the electoral college is set in a way that it's very hard to lose an elections for a democrat. necessity lost it. they lost it very badly. and very easily. you look at the votes. it was 306 to, what, 223 or something. they lost it by a lot. they didn't know what to say. so, they made up the whole russia hoax. now it's turning out that the hoax is turned around and you look at what's happened with russia and you look at the uranium deal and the fake dossier. that's all turned around. >> are there any other republicans you want to see out of the senate? >> no, not at all. no, no. we have a very good relationship. honestly, when you look at -- when you take a look at what's happened with hillary clinton and bernie sanders and the hatred and the division and
animosity, i'll tell you what, honestly, the republicans are very, very well united. [ inaudible ] >> we're going to have a big meeting on opioids tomorrow. we're going to be doing a very, very important meeting some time in the very near future on opioids in terms of declaring a natural emergency, which gives us power to do things you can't do right now. john, talk up, please. >> this gps investigation began on the republican side of things in the primary. do you have any idea who it was -- >> they say it began with the republicans. i think i would know but i won't say. it will be determined. it will be determined. look, hillary would have never announced it was them except for this great court case that's going on where the judge was going to reveal it. so, they figured, we'll do it first. they're very embarrassed by it. it's a disgrace.
yes, it might have started with the republicans early on in the primaries. i think i would know. but let's find out who it is. i'm sure that will come out. >> do you have any idea? >> i think i would have -- if i were to guess, i have one name in mind. >> what's the name? >> it will probably be revealed. [ inaudible ] >> say it. [ inaudible ] >> i'd rather not say. you'll be surprised. you'll be surprised. [ ina >> president trump there. we couldn't make out that last question precisely, but the president doing what he is prone to do in situations like this. trying to leave us with a bit of a cliffhanger. it was a wide-ranging exchange with reporters there.
the president covering everything from that, quote, fake dossier to the uranium scandal that he compared to watergate. the president also at one point when talking about that conversation that continues to make news with the widow of sergeant la david johnson, the president saying he had quite the recollection of the conversation. he said that he certainly remembered using the soldier's name because he, quote, has one of the greatest memories of all time. the president saying he was extremely nice to the widow. also early on in the news conference, the president doing again what he's prone to do, blaming the media for the perception that exists regarding his civility. the press makes me uncivil. i went to an ivy league college. i am a very intelligent person. also spending some time talking about senator jeff flake who
made that impassioned speech yesterday, announcing he won't be running for re-election. saying when he first came to know senator flake, he thought he was a democrat. also went on to say that he was confident senator flake and senator corker also a senator who's not running again, said that he's confident they're going to be voting for the tax cuts. president trump boarding air force one there, headed to dallas, texas. the president going to be there for a campaign event this evening, but before that going to get a briefing on the hurricane relief effort in texas. we see the staffers there boarding air force one. in that gaggle of correspondents on the lawn, our chief white house correspondent, hallie jackson, has joined our gathering here this afternoon. hallie, let me start with you. we couldn't make out that last question. not sure if you heard that particular question but some of the highlights from that back and forth, as you see it. >> there's a lot, bottom line,
craig. because of the positioning and the president doing this in such an impromptu way,ist hard to hear even when you're on the south lawn. people are yelling this frl behind, my colleague kristen welker, was at white house, as peter alexander was here ready to report this all. let me step back for one second before we run through the headlines because i think it's important to remember what's happening here. this is donald trump coming out and doing these what can only be described as impromptu news gatherings with the press, calling on reporters, taking questions. you can tell he seems to enjoy it. he hangs outs in this instance for 15 minutes before he gets on his way to joint base andrews to head down to texas. he clearly wants to be engaging with the media. he had stuff he wanted to get off his chest. one of those was the first question kristen at the white house yelled, which was about this dossier, the news about the dossier. you heard the president
verbalize his tweets from the morning saying he thought this is all what the white house described as a real russia scandal. let me fill in the other blanks when you may not have heard when you listened to the tape play back. i think this is notable. when the president responded at one point, no, i did not, the question is whether he had personally authorized the mission in niger. so, we now have an answer to that, that the president did not personally authorize that. that's consistent with what we have heard. the indications at least we have been getting from the pentagon as well, but i want to point that out. you heard the president talk about his tax cut package there. i would note the actual question was not about the tax cut package, it was about whether the president will release his own taxes to let americans know how he himself would be affected by the plan he is proposing. the president deflecting on that. he also made a lot of news when it kamentz to, for example, the relationship with republicans. he reemenpeatedly talked about t unity inside the party, talked about the love fest, as de on twitter, that happened when he
was over on the hill yesterday. mentioning how warmly he felt he was received, at the same time dismissing senator jeff flake. saying, when i first saw the guy back in the campaign, i'm paraphrasing, the president said, i thought he was a democrat. clearly the president is unphased, unconcerned with bob corker and jeff flake's discussions yesterday. when it came to not just policy but tone and character and values, craig. that's what i was trying to get at when i asked the president whether he thinks he should be more civil. that's when he responded that he believes the press makes him out to be less civil. in these moments to pull back the curtain, you're trying to interject and say to the president, you're the one who tweeted that bob corker was incompetent and a lightweight. the president kept talking, mentioning he was he we want to an ivy league school -- >> very nice student. >> reporter: yes. followed up with when he likes to pull punches. he sees himself as a
counter-puncher. that's how the white house is talking about when the president gets into these -- i hesitate to call them a back and forth, but when he gets into discussions with other republicans, they say, when he hits, he hits back. i wanted to know, when is it okay to not hit back? is it when it's a gold star mom? the president said he thinks it's okay to fight back when somebody says something false about you and moved on. he mentioned having the greatest memory of all time, which is something he said previously on the campaign trail as well. i'm trying to in my brain here, craig, go through the other highlights of what we just heard. i think those are most of them. again, these are -- i just want to point this out. this didn't used to happen. when president obama would come out to leave on the south lawn on marine one, he didn't stop and talk to the press. he went and got right on the chopper. i've done this with donald trump like six times in the last two weeks so this is clearly different. >> why do you suppose that is?
>> reporter: i think he likes engaging with the press. i think he likes being able to get his message out there. i think this is say president who obviously watches television as opposed to past presidents. >> a lot. >> reporter: -- who maybe didn't do that. now look what's going to happen on cable news today. it's employing to be president trump getting across what he wants to get across. it's an opportunity for him to speak about, for example, the uranium issue come up so he's able to weigh in and get on the record about that. he was able to talk about opioids regarding tomorrow. we expect this announcement now on his plan to combat this epidemic. and to be honest, i think he in a lot of ways, having just covered him for a long time now, he enjoys the back and forth with the media. he enjoys looking around and picking out people and asking questions and seeing who's yelling and looking up. i think it's something that he likes to do. >> commenting on their coverage, their articles and things like that. >> reporter: if he didn't like it, he would just keep walking. >> that's true. again, i think a lot of folks are curious as to why he doesn't
do this in a more controlled setting where you can actually hear the questions and, you know -- >> reporter: remember, to him, he is controlling it. >> that's true. stand by for me f you can. the president spoke specifically to senator flake, specifically to senator corker saying he he was confident they would probably vote for his tax cut plan. again, this is a plan still in the works. it was noteworthy the president said 401(k)s are still part of the conversation. at one point he said no, and now hearing from the chairman of the house ways and means committee the president acknowledging 401(k)s -- there may be wiggle room with regard to negotiations. senator corker, the senator corker you know, he is going to president the president on this tax cut plan? >> i think senator corker is a believer in tax cuts but he's also a big believer in fiscal discipline. we have to live within our means. we can't leave our children saddled with a massive debt. he wants to see spending cuts measure the tax cuts, even level
there. i think senator corker will take a look at this like every issue. senator corker is one of the smartest people i've ever work with. i worked with neil gorsuch, supreme court, very smart man. >> if senator corker is so smart, how was it the president was able to dupe him? >> look, i think senator corker is also a very trusting person. he wants to find the best in people. i think he believed he could work with the president and bring the president to a conversation with other republicans, with democrats, find a way forward. senator corker is not a partisan. he's a conservative but not a partisan. he believes in working together and getting things done. he saw donald trump as someone who could do that. as we've seen on twitter, that's not the case. >> i know you spent some time talking to senator flake of arizona yesterday. you've covered him a fair amount. what did he say to you yesterday? based on your conversations with him, are you confident that
senator flake will probably support the president? we're talking about taxes here, but other legislative items as well that might come up between now and when he decides to head back to arizona? >> yeah, i think that senator flake is not a vote that donald trump can count on going forward on anything. i think one of the things flake told me last night is that, you know, he decided to bow out of this race in large part because he knew he would lose, there was not room for a republican like him and also because he said he wanted to be liberated to speak his mind, vote his conscience, follow his principles over the next year for his last year in office. so, i think he'll vote for legislation that he supports. remember, he is a conservative republican. despite having president trump believe he was a democrat the first time he saw him in tv. flake was a conservative long before donald trump was.
i think he'll support legislation he agrees with but he's not going to do anything out of mere party loyalty because, frankly, he's not sure this is a party he can support anymore. >> i assume you heard the president on the lawn. what do you make of his comments in general and why is the president of the united states continue to say things like, you know, i've got the best memory in the history of the world and i was a nice student. i mean, what's accomplished by doing that at this point? >> well, i think it brings up his memory to buttress his claim that he recalls correctly the conversation he had with the gold star spouse. and he did not argue with her as to simply reassert he recalls what he said and he was courteous. i think the reason he did today is jeff flake's comments were cutting and harsh but the president has changed the page. the uranium deal is now front and center. a lot of americans have not even heard of the uranium deal. all of a sudden the dossier is
front and center and the gps fusion firm, a lot of americans haven't heard of it or they thought the republicans hired it. as aaron blake makes clear in the washington post today, only democrats played for christopher steele, the mi-6 agent who peddled the stuff. >> it's also reported that the fbi continued to pay steele even after the fact. >>. >> i don't know if that's true. i trust bob mueller. i don't know him personally. i think a lot of democrats are now going to have to lawyer up in response to the uranium deal and in response to the dossier story. bob mueller's special counsel investigation is going to morph as dramatically as this day's news cycle did when the president stopped and talk to kristen and all the other people he stopped to talk to. he really does run the news cycle. the starting gun goes off and he starts a new one whenever he wants. >> hallie jackson, i feel like it's only appropriate that you have our last word here from the south lawn. ironically, it sounds as if hugh
hewitt echoed the sentiment you started our segment with here. >> reporter: which is about the president driving the news cycle. it's what he likes to do. it's what he enjoys doing and he did it again today. >> changing the conversation. hallie jackson there for us at the white house. hugh hewitt, jamil, thank you, hope you come back. love having you. the people, the people speak. how republican voters are reacting to the public blood-letting that is happening in their party. >> not every member of congress and every member is supporting that agenda. is it the supporting the man or supporting their principles they got elected on? on your medicare part d prescriptions, switch to walgreens. we make it easy to seize the day, so you can get more out of life and medicare part d. just walk right in for savings that will be the highlight of your day.
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prominent gop voices continue to sound off on the state of the republican party and the president. ramped up rhetoric and resignations and decisions not to run again are putting incumbent gops on one side and saent-establishment activists on the other. but what about the people, what are republican voters saying about all of this? let's get outside the beltway for a bit. chris jansing talked to kentucky republicans on the gop's current divisions. >> are you disappointed that more republican leaders haven't spoken out more strongly against some of the things that donald trump has said? >> i came of age in the '90s. we used to say character
mattered. that when he shows a lack of character we don't speak out about it. that bothers me a lot. >> i think we're becoming realistic. you know, we didn't elect a pope. we didn't elect a minister. we elected somebody who could get something done for the character. >> lack of character holds him back. >> i think he's getting a lot done and i don't pay one bit of attention to any of his tweets. i prefer to watch what he's doing and i like what he's doing. he's trying to get this country back on track. >> does it bother you when he attacks someone like john mccain? >> it doesn't bother me at all. >> there's too much at stake. >> john mccain attacks other republicans constantly. >> would you agree that this president has often make contradictory statements? >> he's not a lawyer. he's not precise in his language and people have to get used to that. >> the thing is, donald trump talks to every guy i've worked on the truck with or railroad car with, i drove a forklift
with, that's the way he talks. >> i think it ostracizes certain people. people who like it and some people feel he should conduct himself in a more professional way. >> the idea, though, that it's 12 dimensional chess, either he's hyperconfident and can do that or he's incompetent and can't get things passed. you can't have it both ways. to me it's obvious, he's just following his impulses. >> i'm not trying to have it both ways. i like what he's doing. >> i like what he's doing. >> and he's a new yorker. i mean, you know -- >> he's keeping everybody off-balance that wants to see conservativism fail. >> how many of you think the republican party is moving in the right direction on the national level? >> without the resistance, i think the agenda is good. >> what represents the resistance for you? >> i think we have members in our own party that are deliberately working against the president. john mccain is certainly one of them. >> how big is the divide in the republican party or is it exaggerated? >> it is exaggerated.
one of the things that's gotten lost in this republican party is probably more powerful than ever in its history. >> you broaden the tent and at some point you have to unite everybody around symbolcy. that requires leadership and sorting out and i think that's what we're struggling through right now. >> chris jansing, voters in kentucky. nbc news has confirmed hillary clinton's campaign and the democratic national committee helped fund that infamous trump/russia dossier. president trump also talked about that a few minutes ago. much more of our reporting next. paying less for my medicare? i'm open to that. lower premiums? extra benefits? it's open enrollment. time to open the laptop... ...and compare medicare health plans. why? because plans change, so can your health needs. so, be open-minded. look at everything-like prescription drug plans... and medicare advantage plans from private insurers. use the tools at medicare.gov. or call 1-800-medicare.
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the bank of america mobile banking app. the fast, secure and simple way to send money. >> the state dossier was made up and i understand they paid a tremendous amount of money and hillary clinton denied and democrats denied it and now only because it's going to come out in a court case, they said yes, they admitted it and they are embarrassed by it. but i think it's a disgrace. it's just really -- it's a very sad -- very sad commentary on politics in this country. >> president trump there providing a bit of a commentary on politics in this country.
taking a victory lap on the lawn at the white house. there may be some answers now about precisely who funded the so-called dossier said to contain donald trump connections to russia. nbc news now confirmed with a the "washington post" first reported that the clinton campaign and the democratic national committee helped fund that research. it was reportedly initially paid for by republicans during the gop primaries. i want to bring in nick, msnbc contributor, president trump before the comments there at the white house, tweeting this morning with glee quoting fox news quote, clinton campaign and dnc paid for research that led to the anti-trump fake news dossier. the victim here is the president. is the president, nick, at least partially correct here? >> well, look, he's partially correct in that indeed it was
democrats who were the second pair or second clients of the firm that produced the reports that went into the dossier but it started with a republican who was anti-trump. we haven't learned the identity of that republican donor but i have reported and others that it was a republican who got the ball rolling. the important thing here, craig though is that there's a ton of facts on the ground right now concerning russia and president trump and his business ties there and meetings between people with connections to the kremlin and the trump campaign that are far beyond the dossixt er and don't depend on the dossier and the mueller investigation won't rest on it. >> it sounds like the president might be trying to create a distraction. >> i think his whole party is trying to create a distraction around this. it was a great story from the
"washington post" last night, a whole bunch of roshters trying to confirm this for months. it's important news and doesn't change the basic outlines of the russia investigation which center on what ties that the president and his people had to the kremlin and to russian intelligence and russian business. if those ties produced some kind of collaboration with the campaign. the ties actually exist and the collusion question hasn't been proven yet. >> donald trump jr. and other campaign officials meeting with the kremlin connected russian attorney. we've been reporting on that to gather dirt on hillary clinton. how is this different from that? >> it's kind of a mirror image. parties engage in opposition research all the time. admittedly this is an extreme example to hire former intelligence agency but firms like fusion gps are there
because there's a market for them. companies and trade associations paid them for the research and campaign form research on their own. i've gotten plenty of research documents on the rnc under president trump and dnc under tom perez, it's a common part of politics. what's more exotic this time, the kinds of things that are being tracked down, the dossier and reports are unconfirmed and taking place in a foreign country. >> the actual dossier buzz feed reportedly published the 35-page thing earlier this year. i would imagine the qu"the new york times" and others have a slew of journalists trying to confirm the existence of it and details in it as well. are we any closer to that part of the story? >> well, it depends which part, craig. look, there are certain sal ashs things i won't report on air -- >> thank you. >> because they are unverified.
and there are other pieces that the fbi confirmed and reporting by reporters and investigators have confirmed. the president did have ties to russia and russia was looking for ways to get involved in the campaign and russia was looking for ways to help trump and that's why they sent or some russians appeared at any rate at trump tower in 2016 to present some research on hillary clinton. so we know parts of the dossier are true. >> always good to have you. >> thank you. >> not all politics today, fats domino, the piano playing master with smoothest of baritones has died. best known for chart topping hits, "ain't that a shame" and "blue berry hill." one of the very first acts inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame back when it opened. he ranked number 25 on rolling stones 100 greatest artists of
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impromptu news conference from the president of the united states. >> he was against me from before he ever knew me. he wrote a book about me before i ever met him or heard his name. his poll numbers in arizona are so low that he couldn't win i don't blame him for leaving. but long before he ever knew me during the campaign, even before the campaign, i mean he came out with this horrible book and i said who is this guy? he's done terribly for the great people of arizona, a state that likes donald trump, even you will admit. an he would have never won. even in the primary, he's way down in the primary. so he did the smart thing for himself. this way he can get out somewhat gracefully. >> donald trump was addressing the fallout from one lawmaker's decision to exit the senate and what it means for the fate of the republican party a