tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC October 26, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, a party divided. the president downplaying any split between himself and moderate members of party. >> we have actually in the republican party in a true sense, we have great unity. >> at the same time, he's also hitting back on calls for him to be more civil. >> the press makes me more uncivil than i am. i went to an ivy league college. i'm a very intelligent person. >> going to an ivy league college, being an intelligent person doesn't make you civil. a national overdose. public trump expected to announce a public health emergency on opioids. >> if we had a terrorist organization killing 42 americans a day on our soil, how
much would we be willing to spend to stop it? >> with a nation in crisis, have we waited too long to act? >> the last day i used was when i overdosed in front of my kids. that's the last day i used. >> and whitefish whitewash. the company would had two employees when it was awarded a $300 million contract threatens to pull their workers off the island after calls for transparenc transparency. we're going to begin this morning with the republican party looking more like the party of trump as the president declares a united front heading into the fight over tax cuts. the first big test of that unity will be in the house. just 90 minutes from now. i'm talking about the budget. i have a great team here to help me break it down, starting with my friend peter alexander at the white house. peter what exactly is the white house saying about the budget bill and do they have the votes? i mean, they need them if they want to move at all on tax reform. >> that's right, stephanie. the white house, as you would
imagine, says it's optimistic, of course, they need this budget plan to pass to keep to this desired timetable by the end of the year. two senior administration officials here telling me that the best case scenario is the house would pass tax cuts right before the thanksgiving holiday, that the senate would pass it on december 23rd. that's the best case scenario, they say. first, of course, they need congress to green light this budget. some republicans vowing to oppose it, to protect a popular tax break. that's a federal deduction of state and local income taxes that would hit middle class voters and high tax states like new york, new jersey, certainly california. the president addressing the budget vote with lou dobbs, take a listen. >> the house is looking really good, you know, they're passing this bill along very rapidly. i did make a couple calls. i said, fellas, please, no changes, just pass it along, we have to get tax cuts.
and just pass it along. and they said, i think we're going to do that. >> with two prominent senators, bob corker and jeff flake, fiercely criticizing the president this week over his character, his fitness for office, may even be a rupturing, a reshaping of the republican party. the president is still dismissing any of these issues. he has touted great unity among the gop. here's how he described the senate republican luncheon that he attended this week. >> i think we had a tremendous -- i call it a love fest. it was a tremendous love fest. maybe it was a love fest. standing ovations. the fact is, there was tremendous unity in that room. and we're really unified, we're really unified on what we want to do. >> unified perhaps with some exceptions. the presented taking a swipe. the president taking a swipe at senator flake, saying flake got out of his race in arizona because his poll numbers were terrible, in the president's word, and he knew he would lose.
>> dave weekle is a political reporter for "the washington post." christine queen, the vice chair of the new york state city party. and noel rapport, author of "branding america." this is a big day for republicans, so let's start with you. obviously getting the budget passed is the first step toward tax reform. and there's questions, will it get done. do you think it will go through? >> yes. there's one thing republicans do agree on is the fact that our platform stands for less government, low regulations and less taxes. so this is one thing that we do agree on. one thing trump said. i don't think he went as far as he needed to on that. we do have unity, but that's only in policy. we do not have personality unity. i've never seen anything like this in the republican party with the division that is so deep. and a lot of people think we can't really repair this. a funny thing about this, i think when trump got elected, the rnc, i think the republican
party was trying to figure out, do we keep going with the same gray elephant brand or now do we have to kind of, you know, wrap around the golden crested elephant of donald trump's brand. this is part of a lot of the division. >> is it fair to simply say like an old gray elephant and a golden crested elephant? we're talking about a time when you've got white supremacists that march in charlottesville and president trump says many sides. we you've got steve brannon rising to prominent saying we've got three scalps this week. to just say it's a gray el fapt or a golden elephant -- >> -- branding -- >> this isn't a pack of gum, this is the federal government -- >> republicans can -- >> and first of all, think setting aside the poor elephant who apparently has been widely abused and being now drowning in the fake old trump but anyhoo, policy success, there's no unity
within the republican party. >> tactical. >> no, you said you had policy unity -- >> no, no, no -- >> i didn't interrupt you. >> gotcha, all right. >> and that's shown clearly by you couldn't get, and i say thank god, trump care implemented. you couldn't do it. every time the bill was rewritten to a skinny medium, large zero size, whatever, you couldn't get the vote. and the thing about the budget, where i believe it will break down, because i believe there are members of the republican party in washington who are people who are good thoughtful leaders, is the budget isn't just about the buzzwords of conservativization. it means less services for people. if you're going to make an announcement today about opoid crisis, you need service -- >> do you think obama -- >> hold on a second, hold -- >> if men and women are going to be ambushed when they're serving this country, you need resources from the military, which the military is saying they don't have.
the budget isn't a brand. it isn't a philosophy. it is the nuts and bolts that keeps this country running. serves, arm also the military, and those resources have not been protected enough. and president obama is not the president anymore. we're talking about donald trump. and i'm not going to, you know, say everything obama did was perfect. i never said that it was when he was president. but he's not the president now and he's not the focus of this conversation. >> all right, what christine is talking about right now is the details and we know the devil lies in the details. i want to go to tax reform. because "the new york times" had a quote that stood out to me. the prospect of a once in a generation bill to cut taxes on businesses and individuals increasingly a peers to be best hope for a party anxious to find common ground. it's a bit like having a baby to save a failing marriage. so we know how important it is for republicans to have a legislative win here.
how much pressure is there on republicans to get tax reform through no matter what it looks like? >> i thought the comparison to health care was pretty well taken because, as you saw with health care, there is desire for a win without a lot of thought about what the policy is. and i understand lots of people in d.c., paul ryan starting with him, lobbyists continue with them. know what they want out of this tax bill. but it's not very popular. it's not something -- i don't think it's a first order thing that the president ran on. when he was rebranding the republican party, he was rebranding it on fighting wall street, stopping immigration, things like that. when you poll the details of this bill, especially the state deductions like we were talking about, it's not very popular. you have house members who have already begun to retire from not even deep blue district, just suburban districts who benefit from this cut who are feeling their oats a little more about opposing it. the idea you just need a big policy win. what people frankly like steve bannon were correct about months ago is a big policy win could be
something like infrastructure where you might get democrats to vote and you might see people who voted for trump and kind of in declining areas are grateful. it's not clear you're going to see that with a big corporate tax cut. i understand supply side theory. i also understand how it works, which is it doesn't really. >> trickle-down economics doesn't work. we know it didn't work before. we saw the experiment in kansas. let's stay with the president. he says he's been on the phone trying to urge republican leaders to push the budget bill through because we know he wants to get to taxes. we also know the president has a pun penchant for derailing his own efforts. people inside the white house working on tax reform are worried the president could derail it. here's what ted cruz said. >> i think it's unfortunate, the nastiness that pervades washington right now and, and the political battles of personality. it's like you're back in junior high. i really don't care who passed a
note to the cute girls in pigtails. we've got a job to do, damn it, and so all of this nonsense, i got nothing to say. everybody do your job. >> the president is the starter in chief of nonsense. >> this is no lie. we're seeing it play out. i know we're all laughing about it. >> nobody's laughing about it. it's tragic. >> it's not a joke. >> no. >> i'm a republican fund-raiser. this is what i do. this is why i'm on these shows, to give an opinion on the gop side. what i actually do is raise money for candidates running on the gop side. let me tell you where this is hurting people like me, consultant. because what i do is i sell this. oh, mr. so-and-so, if you write a check for x amount and we have a gop house, senate, president, basically a trifecta, we can get everything we want passed. we're not. so this is hurting a lot of things.
this is hurting a lot of gop strategists. this is hurting a lot of strategy on what we can do and what we can't do. we're not passing anything. this is a crisis within the gop. >> then does steve bannon help or hurt your effort? because steve bannon's goal is to blow up your system. and you're the system. >> let me tell you something we already have. we still have a group called the club for growth founded by stephen more. this was the anti-establishment. this is why we have ted cruz, marco rubio, tom cotton. we have a lot of these candidates, very good candidates, because they went against the same old same old in the republican primary and the club for growth would challenge some of these same old same old now we have the steve bannon effect, you know, which we have, now, really more in alabama. and we've got donors that are not going to give to bannon
still. this is a tragedy within the republican party. so we are dealing with this now. this isn't the first time. >> hold on, i want to bring peter a lexen der back from this conversation. the president isn't just talking budget or taxes. he is expected to declare the opoid epidemic a public health emergency this afternoon. we have public health emergency and national emergency which we heard i want to say six or eight weeks ago. what's the difference? why does it matter? because we know the crisis matters. >> yes, let's try to walk you through that. that is for sure. the president's going to stop short of declaring a broader state of national emergency. instead, he's going to declare, as you noted, the public health emergency. sort of less sweeping proclamation, but it can be renewed. it says that it will let states use federal public health grants for opoid treatment. it would make the labor department worker grants available for people in treatment. and it also gives health and human services the ability to
use money from the public health emergency fund. >> there's not much money in that fund though. >> that's the problem. >> no, you're right, very little. to be clear, senior administration officials say no additional federal funding is going to be directed to combatting this crisis. it's more of a reshuffling of funds. their argument against a national emergency is it's not necessary right now. basically that this would give them all the authority they need. the president's going to be making this announcement more formally at 2:00 today. we're told that parents who have lost children to addiction and people who have overcome substance abuse and first responders will join him in the east room for that, stephanie. >> well, there's certainly not enough seats in the white house for all of those parents. we're going to discuss this with our panel later in the show. a handful of house and senate lawmakers are getting closed door briefings on niger today. more than three week, that's how far we are, three weeks after that deadly ambush which killed four american soldiers and at the same time nbc has learned that the white house is preparing to step up
counterterrorism efforts in that part of western africa. nbc's pentagon correspondent hans nichols joins me now. hans, president trump on the campaign trail, if you said niger, he might say, no, sir, get us back here, that's not the territory where we need to be. but the generals are telling us something different now. >> well, what we're hearing from sources across the government is the trump administration was pressing the government in niger to allow armed drones inside of that country. these are drones with lethal capability, stephanie, that is an escalation to what we have right now, where we mostly have surveillance drones throughout africa. there are some lethal components over in djibouti, there are drone strikes in somalia. for central western africa, they don't have that capability. they need the permission from the government in niger. so that's one track of this story. the other side is we believe and our sources are telling us and nbc has confirmed that there is a second team inside niger. the first team was the one that went out.
they had that ambush coming back. they were ambushed a second time. that's where the four soldiers died. in terms of a second team out there previously unreported it does look like a special operations team working with french counterparts was gathering intelligence, looking for certain isis figures. how they clear this all up, how they explain this to capitol hill and also how they get these drones, authorities for drones both from capitol hill and the host governments in west africa, it's going to be a crucial part. >> a conversation that needs to be had. we're going to take a break. when we return, one of harvey weinstein's earliest accusers breaks her silence. ashley judd's revealing interview next. first, jimmy fallon to the rescue, revealing the reason president trump always seems to be mentioning that standing ovation from the senate lunch. >> trump sent three tweets about how the senators gave him a standing ovation. it's a big deal for trump. he hasn't seen 50 people
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. one of weinstein's earliest public accusers is giving her first tv interview since coming forward with sexual harassment allegations. actress and activist ashley judd speaking out this morning in an exclusive appearance on good morning america. >> i have no warning. i remember the lurch when i went
to the desk and i said mr. weinstein, is he on the patio, and there's like, he's in his room, and i'm like, are you kidding me? >> weinstein's spokesperson has provided this statement to nbc news. quote, any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by mr. weinstein. you know we're going to cover this now. i want to bring in my friend, attorney midwin charles, msnbc legal analyst. i've had the chance to speak now with a number of harvey weinstein accusers. their accounts, crushing. we're up to 67 accusers. judd said if weinstein is, quote, a rapist, then he should go to jail. but she also adds that she knows he needs help. she knows he could be suffering. are women ever going to see justice in the court system here over this one? >> well, you know, it's very difficult. i think that right now you have a lot of prosecutors, you have attorney generals looking into the activities that weinstein
has done. and if a lot of these activities fall within the statute of limitations, as you know, los angeles, lapd has opened up an investigation into allegations against him and they fall within the statute of limitations, so hopefully, based upon that investigation, we will see some jail time. but listen, stephanie, at the end of the day, this activity is going to continue if these men in power are not held accountable. you know, we were talking earlier about bill o'reilly and the fact that he settled sexual harassment claims and yet was still given a contract after that settlement by fox news. >> i mean, i just heard yesterday, james murdoch speaking at the paley center, he only just learned that it was $32 million. but when they did re-sign bill o'reilly, they knew about the settlement. they knew what the accusations entailed. and still said, yep, come on board. if that's corporate america, what world are we living in? >> that's the point, $32 million
versus one dollar, does it matter? the issue was they were aware he was involved in nonconsensual sex. what more do you need to know in order to continue to request someone -- >> okay, you're a lawyer and that's the problem. i've never heard the term nonconsensual sex until three weeks ago and i've said it 78 times. what's the difference between nonconsensual sex and rape? >> nonconsensual sex is an element of the crime of rape. rape requires actual penetration. and that is the difference. so there are many different forms of sexual assault. here in new york, the law recognizes about 20 different kinds. there's forcible touching. there's sexual abuse, various different degrees. there's actual rape. and rape is defined based upon the age of the victim. is it a minor? are they under 17? are they under 14? that's where you get your different penalties and your different fines attached as well. that's the difference. >> i want to share a bit more of what ashley judd said happened
to her specifically when she was just a teenager. >> there's this constant grooming negotiation going on. i thought no meant no. i thought with this volley of nos, which he ignored, who knows, maybe he heard them as maybe, maybe they turned him on. >> so how does this weigh out in court? it's just he said/she said, that the woman is weighted with sort of the burden of proof? for someone like ashley judd to come forward now, this is a major undertaking that she didn't need to do. >> she didn't need to do and unfortunately a lot of victims, women and men, right, let's not forget that men are often victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse as well, they often find themselves in this predicament where it's difficult for them to come forward because we see how they've been treated by the media. we see how they've been treated by the person that they are accusing and a strong team of lawyers who represent them. so i applaud her for coming forward. i applaud all the women who have
come forward. i think it's very difficult to do. it's a very hard thing to discuss. you are embarrassed. and you often feel perhaps that you have invited this upon yourself. so there's a barrier that a lot of women and men have to cross. i'm glad they have extended the statute of limitations in the united states. california being one of them. if a sexual assault crime occurred after 2017, there's no statute anymore, which i think is great. >> almost any woman you speak to who has experienced any form of harassment has said to herself, did i invite it. i want to share another story. cnn reporting five women have anonymously come forward to accuse journalist and author mark halperin of sexual assault. the women say it happened more than a decade ago during halper halperin's time at abc news. four of the women are former abc employees. none say they alerted management at the time. but one woman says she told a
mentor. it is not known if that person took the complain further. abc news tells cnn no complaints were filed during halperin's time at the network. halperin, who is a senior political analyst at msnbc said in a statement last night, i did pursue relationships with women that i worked with, including some junior to me. i now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. for that, i am deeply sorry and i apologize. under the circumstances, i'm going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while i properly deal with this situation. nbc news has not independently verified the accusations. msnbc has issued the following statement. quote, we find the story and the allegations very troubling. mark halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood. some are asking, is this a sea change. we're hearing more and more stories. all right. we're going to move on. up next, president trump set to formerly declare the opoid
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welcome back. time for your morning timer, everything you need to know to start your day. we begin on capitol hill, where in about one hour from now, the house is expected to pass a 2018 budget resolution that passed the senate last week. the budget would allow republicans to pass their tax bill through the senate through reconciliation. meaning it needs 51 votes to pass. federal officials say a laptop found inside the las vegas gunman's hotel room was missing its hard drive. investigators believe he removed the hard drive after opening fire on a crowd of concert goers, killing a total of 58 people. u.n. ambassador nikki haley's trip to a u.n. camp in south sudden was cut short after protest against the country's president. her security team escorted her from the camp when hundreds of protesters approached the area she was visiting. all travelers flying into the united states today could face stricter security measures before taking off. both american citizens and foreigners on all incoming
flights are subject to increased security interviews from airline employees. and the naacp is warning african-american travelers not to fly on american airlines flights aft water ther what the series of disturbing incidents directed at black passengers. now, let's talk money, power, politics. and a story that has been blowing my mind for weeks. calls getting louder this morning for an investigation into how a teeny tiny firm from the state of montana secured a no-bid contract to rebuild much of the electrical infrastructure down in puerto rico. whitefish energy had just two full-time employees at the time hurricane maria devastated puerto rico. it is based in white fish, montana, which just happened to be interior secretary ryan zinke's hometown. talk about a swamp drain. now the house committee on natural resources says it is looking into the $300 million contract and the governor of
puerto rico is requesting an audit into how whitefish won the contract and if it wasn't already enough drama, it spilled on to twitter last night when whitefish itself, the company with two employees, seemed to threaten to pull out its workers from san juan after criticism from san juan's mayor. i want to bring on matthew phillip, the policy editor of bloomberg business week. we talked about these no business contracts last week. how, now that we're giving this more scrutiny, did this happen? we know that whitefish wasn't the only one that wanted this. pse & g, florida power and light, they were interested, they didn't even get calls back. >> that's right, these are utilities with mutual aid agreements with prefa that are long-standing and they are, one, physically close to puerto rico and, two, you know, they have expertise in manpower that you got to wonder, whitefish energy, thousands of miles away with two full-time employees and only two
years of experience has any capacity to do this. the more we learn about this, the stranger it gets. >> is it strange that -- >> it might be -- >> "strange" seems like a nice word. this is a lot more than strange. what could the explanation be? yesterday the statement from whitefish said this is a complicated job that others aren't interested in and that's a lie. >> well, they have experience they say in mountainous terrain up in montana -- >> so does the agency in the dominican republic. so does florida power and light. so does pse & g. >> of course, and it's a $300 million contract. while prepa officials say i think we can finish by the end of the year, even whitefish energy folkings are saying says highly optimistic. this money didn't come out of fema. this is not something that shows up in the gsa contracting database we looked at last year to look at some of the other strange contracts being given to unknown small companies. so something happened with this
relationship between prepa and the folks at whitefish energy. they say they were in touch the week before the hurricane and that whitefish agreed to take a smaller down payment up front, $2 million as opposed to $20 million. even still, 40 people on the ground, plus this twitter war that i don't understand the politics of that, why they felt they had anything to gain. they're already under scrutiny. the mayor of san juan is not someone you want to scuffle with on twitter. >> go from the mayor to the governor. now the governor of puerto rico is calling in an audit on this company. wouldn't the governor of puerto rico know about a $300 million contract awarded? who specifically awarded them the contract? >> that's exactly right, we've looked at the contract. prepa did. this is a company that declared bankruptcy over the summer. they've got billions of dollars in debt. it's up clear where the cash is coming from. it depends whether the dhs
decides to put their inspector general on this case and do a full audit. this is a story that's going to be with us for weeks if not months i think, stephanie. >> well, as soon as the hurricane hit, creditors who faced off against the island said, let's bring an examiner in and puerto rico said no, we don't want it, we don't need it. there is some talk the puerto rican government wants this to drag out because they want to get their debt wiped out so they don't have to pay it. so could we see puerto rico's government playing a role here in all of this, to your words, strangeness? >> then why is the governor so puzzled in calling for an audit here? it's all very puzzling. i would point out something else. not long ago, flora corporation, a $19 billion company with 60,000 full-time employees, they do a lot of engineering, a lot of construction work, they got a contract that came out of the gsa, came out of fema, awarded by the army corps of engineers. that's a $240 million contract
to help restore power. why are they getting less money than a company with two employees and a two-year track record? this is another thing, when you see recovery efforts like this, you sub contract by about, you know, five levels. you go down sub contract, sub l subcontract. actually the company whose name is on the subcontract is able to find lots of ways to gleen profits off of that. whether this is that case, we don't know. but it is certainly one of the strangest things to come out of what's been a really horrific and tragic month in puerto rico. >> the last thing you want to see is people who experience this kind of tragedy be taken advantage of. quickly before we go. so at one point in this twitter war, whitefish was threatening to pull their workers off the ground, is that the case? why? aren't people asking for transparency? if you're this great company there to help, offer it up, open your kimono. >> exactly.
i think they realized somebody probably got a talking to yesterday. they issued an apology. they said that was misplaced, we did not mean to threaten, to suggest that we are threatening to pull out. the mayor of san juan immediately turned that right back on and said what are you doing, you have this contract, you're going to leave? the politics of that were just not so smart and it speaks to kind of the inexperience perhaps and tininess of this firm. >> the politics of this. remember, all of the people in puerto rico still without clean drinking water, without power. you have so many hospitals so close and others working on generators. can't believe we're saying it to those doing the rescue effort, but clean it up. all right, thank you so much. great reporting. appreciate you coming on. >> thank you. >> that fish is starting to stink. comie ing up, u.s. defense secretary mattis arriving in south korea this morning. a live report from the korean peninsula next. for your heart...
tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worse depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects: dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain. ask your doctor about lyrica. welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. defense secretary james mattis is about to land in south africa where he is scheduled to meet with security officials about the north korean threat. this comes as nbc reports diplomatic efforts between u.s. and north korea are not going well, with pyongyang refusing talks, hear this, refusing talks in response to president trump's increased attacks on the country's leader. msnbc contributor steve schmidt
reacted to this reporting, saying folks in d.c. seem to be downplaying the severity of the tensions. >> they'll be more dead americans in the first five minutes of a second korean war than there has been killed total casualties in the last 17 years of war. i think that there's a real lack of imagination and clearly a lack of imagination in washington, d.c. about the possibility for a real tragedy caused by reckless actions by this president of the united states. >> nbc news foreign correspondent keir simmons is in seoul, south korea, after spending time in north korea. what is at stake in mattis' visit? when we hear about this nbc reporting that diplomatic talks are simply not happening, no one is answering the phone on the other side of the line, that is worrisome. >> deeply worrisome. what's at stake is are we on the edge of a war. the tension is high here.
there are three u.s. carrier groups in the region. the -- well, it is very, very difficult and i think what you just heard sums it up, which is the possibility of a war that very quickly would see large number, of people, including americans, killed here. >> now, from your trip to north korea, do you think that negotiation is possible? you're truly on the other side of the world. and we're here saying how serious can this be. >> yes, very serious. look, i say this with real caution, but i didn't speak to a single person in north korea who didn't leave me with the impression that they were absolutely committed to the ideology there of self-reliance, of commitment to their supreme leader kim jong-un. many people told me they believed they could go to war with america, even a nuclear war, and that some north koreans at least would be able to survive that.
so, you know, again, the people i spoke to in the higher echelons if you like of society there, but in a way, that makes it more impactful because those are the people that are around the supreme leader. and you don't know always whether they are being straight with you, what they are really thinking. in a way, doesn't really matter, because it sums up the feeling there. they are very much people who think about history. they still believe they're at war with america since the korean war. that's the kind of thing that needs to be factored in. if the hope is that the u.s. can negotiate to get the north koreans to stop their nuclear program, i think that's a forelone hope and that is deeply worrying for the u.s. and the world. >> keir simmons. coming up, the president with the major announcement on opioids. is it enough, or do we need to declare a state of emergency? what started as a passion...
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last year alone. on august 10th, president trump said this. >> the opoid crisis is an emergency and i'm saying officially right now it is an emergency, it's a national emergency, we're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opoid crisis. >> since then, an estimated 10,700 people have died from a drug overdose. i want to bring in nbc national political reporter vivian salama along with my panel, christine queen and noel mcpoor. vivian, your reporting on this morning, this is an important issue for trump, but what has the administration done so far? and help me understand the difference between a public health crisis and a national emergency. >> well, a national emergency is essentially the more aggressive approach. that's what president trump's opoid commission which was formed back in june really was pushing for. they said that you have the power, mr. president, to really unleash the resources of this government on this epidemic. to the fullest extent.
a national emergency would have, you know, allowed the executive power basically to bring the agencies together to have a cohesive strategy and target this. it also could have had access to different funding mechanisms. now, public health emergency st. a lot of people are applauding it. it's more, it's going in the positive direction. but, this is coming from the health and human services secretary. it has access to fewer funds. one of the things that is important to note is that the public health emergency fund under the public health emergency has $57,000 left. that's all the resources that are available. >> $57,000. >> that's it. that's it. the public health emergency. >> that's nothing. 67,000 people died last year? >> that's absolutely right. so, congress is ultimately going to have to step up and that's what the white house keeps saying. it's congress' responsibility to appropriate funds. with the president ultimately
trying to propose a health care plan that guts medicaid, which is one of the major funding mechanism for people who have drug and opioid addiction there is no telling how that is going to play out and that argument is still going on. including republican lawmakers from very hard-hit states really pushing to get a separate fund of anywhere around $45 million over ten years to combat this. but a lot of people saying even that is not enough to target this epidemic at the magnitude that we're looking at with the statistics we just mentioned. 67,000, 64,000 people dying per year. it takes more than that. >> to make this, i don't want to say just a public health crisis, but the hhs secretary is the one in charge. we know we don't have a permanent hhs secretary or drug czar and it seems the president's mo has been let's push it to congress and tax reform and the health care deal
and is this something that the president should say, let's let congress handle it? this is a life or death national emergency. >> this is also not a political deal. this is a right and left problem. this is something that affects not only people who have the addictions, but there are babies being born addicted from mothers that had the addiction and they are passing it on. a huge crisis. we were talking before the show and i'd like to know where, you know, look at the opiiod crisis as far as it pertains to the drug companies. when will they take responsibility? >> they are taking responsibility. their responsibility is with their lobbyists. but, no, this is the absurdity of it the big pharma lobby has spent over $100 million this year and washington says, thank you very much. >> look at the tobacco. remember tobacco and they hammered them so hard that they had to put warnings and they had to put money in campaigns to try to help addictions. >> i don't disagree that the company should be held accountable. >> yes.
>> and it took a long, long time on tobacco and many people died. and people are dying at a quicker rate on this. so, yes, let's add that into the lanes we're in and not focus on that. i want to pick up what the reporters -- we do need money. and that will be money that will come later. and even after there was the settlement with the tobacco companies, it took years and years if not decades to get the money. i am not even sure if i was health committee chair. >> you're saying, let's go to the emergency room. >> with all due respect to republicans, that is a good pivot and the shiny new thing to chase. we'll chase them and we have to do now. drug addiction happens in the now. we should walk and chew gum at the same time. >> who has the money? >> the president of the united states. if he had done the higher level category, and i'm sorry, i -- >> obama didn't. >> but, again, we're here now. if the president had done that, it's not just money. in december 10th of president
obama's final month, he signed a bipartisan bill from congress that was a critical funding step forward on opioid crisis. but what the states have found, blue, red and purple. the administrative quagmire of the federal government is preventing them from getting money out. if he'd done the hire, before you even get to money. he could slash the red tape. bring the agencies together and utah, who's desperate to get their money to roll but an administrative issue could get their money to roll. one, we could use the money better. two, you get the money from the drug companies but take it out of the federal budget now and pay ourselves back later. because $57,000. that's less than half a penny for everybody who died last year. and you know who's guilty and responsible for this? yes, the drug companies. but for all of us and these are all our children's and our sisters and our brothers and we have to act now. and the president is fond of saying, huge problem. you fix it.
he's the president of the united states and he has things he could do, even in addition to money. he said he would give money in the campaign. he says he cares about these children. well, show us. stand up and do it. if not, shut up and get out of the way. >> let's work with the administration and let's fix it because these are our children and our teenagers and our neighbors and our family. this is an epidemic. coming up, what could be in the new kennedy assassination records? tens of thousands of previously classified documents will be made public today and one secret service agent for president kennedy will weigh in right here on msnbc.
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before we go, listen up. because this could be the future of home delivery. amazon unveiled a new service that would allow the delivery person to get inside your home when you are not there. it is called amazon key. delivery personal used smart lock technology to get inside and then a camera starts recording so you could watch their ever move. the system costs about 250 bucks to install and is available in a handful of u.s. cities. get your head around that one. that could be your future. that wraps us up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle and i'll see you back at 11:00 a.m. with ali velshi. right now more news with hallie jackson. >> coming up on this program, two months after a major presidential promise, we're
getting a look at what the new war on drugs might look like with the president expected to announce a public health emergency to free up resources for treatment in the opioid apdemic. does that go far enough to help the thousands of american families begging for help? following a different kind of war. not the one you think we're talking about. the new attacks on steve bannon with republicans trying to keep his wing of the party out of the senate and over in the house we're watching the vote on the budget blue print. you're taking a live look as the debate continues. we're watching for a vote that is set to happen possibly within the hour here. also any minute, maybe a new flood of documents on the kennedy assassination. this is something that everybody's talking about today. president trump saying it is going to be interesting. it probably will be. the last surviving secret service agent of president kennedy's detail who is in dallas is joining us here on set. you do not want to miss that er